i know what you mean!

Holiday weekend recap

Posted on: May 29, 2012

Saturday – took May over to Mạ Tím’s house but didn’t make it there until 1:30pm because the darn sale on Zulily.com was tempting but the site was so painfully slow – as usual. I have not had a good Zulily.com blow out sale experience just because the site is so prone to crash and the way things are organized is painful to browse. I wish they would allow me to sort by price, from low to high, so that I can stop looking through tons of stuffs I wouldn’t buy before I could get to the ones I would.

Arrived in San Leandro to a household that was bursting with activities. Even K.C. and AK were put to work preparing for the big birthday party event. May was sent to play with them while bé T., me, and Mạ Tím went on with preparation works. We took a little break to make lunch for everyone, fed the kids, and then sent them to nap as soon as we could. While May was napping, Son arrived at San Leandro BART, so I went to pick him up. Came back, and May was already up from her nap – 45 minutes as usual. Son was also put to work, running errants for a while. When all the kids eventually woke up, they were parked in front of the computer to watch some show so the adults could work in peace. Around 7pm we had to take off, because Dang arrived in OAK. Made reservation at Lalime’s for dinner at 8:30pm, had dinner there, home by 10:30ish. Sent May to bed, Son joined her soon after. I wanted to sleep too, but because there were some last minute stuffs I had to do, I was still up for a bit.

Sent and email to Helen letting her know May and Son will still join them for the usual brunch on Sunday in Berkeley, but didn’t receive a response. Mạ Tím texted and complained that the butter cream recipe from Martha Steward’s site was so sweet, tasting nothing like Helen’s, so I gave her Helen number, told her to text and see if Helen would respond. Mạ Tím said probably Helen went to bed already, so at that point I gave up and went to bed too.

Woke up on Sunday, gave Helen a call – Helen said “Jim and I were up until at least 3am last night! I emailed you right back, and I was on the phone with your friend for half and hour!” Darn. Yahoo you sucks. Turns out, Helen had her own butter cream recipe that uses much less sugar – Martha, you need to go easy to that sweet stuff! Dropped Son and May off at Helen’s, I headed straight to San Leandro. The place was a zoo as expected, kids running around, adults working furiously to meet the starting time at 4:30pm. Everything came out beautifully, the pictures from Mạ Tím will speak for themselves. But oh man, it was so much work. There were at least 7-8 kitchen helpers, but without the leader to usher work along, it would have been impossible. So every 5 minutes, it’s “Mạ Tím, what do I do with…?”
Around 4pm, after I confirmed at Little An was on her way over, I left to pick up Son and May from Helen’s place. Son was in the middle of a hike with Jim, so he told me to just take May and go ahead. Helen had May on the curb for me when I pulled over, and they both looked very pleased with themselves. May was full of stories to tell and questions to ask, but I had to use a stern voice to make her be quiet and go to sleep. Sweet May obeyed me to the T, with her eyes shut tight, trying very hard to nap. But I knew she could do it, and she definitely could use some rest. The effort paid off. After 10 minutes of occasionally peeking to see if I was still looking (I was), her eyes relaxed, and she started to snore when I exited the freeway.

Found a good parking space near the house, gave Little An a call so she could come into the car to sit with May, I jumped back into the house to help out. Most kids and their parents from K.C.’s school had already arrived at this point and were starting to eat, so it was a matter of serving and making sure everyone got what they wanted. Food were still being cooked at this point, but just some egg rolls and chạo tôm being fried in a deep fryer, etc. etc..

Party was over around 8ish, but half of the guests were still there when Little An, Gussy, May, and I left at 9pm. May’s dinner was basically a slice of the rainbow birthday cake. I picked Dang up from Little An’s place, intending to leave right away, but May asked for a bathroom break, so we had to hang out for 15 minutes. Picked Son up from Helen’s around 10:15pm, came home, put May to bed immediately, had some left over from the party (I brought my own tote bag, and as I’m typing this, I’m regretting not taking a whole watermelon with me…).

Monday morning woke up, came upstairs and saw Dang sitting patiently while May was decorating him as if he were a Christmas tree, with all kinds of bling-blings hanging on his arms, neck, head… It was so cute and hilarious. Gave May her milk for breakfast, and then proceeded to shop on William Sonoma on Mạ Tím’s behalf. Collected everyone around 11:30pm and headed out to Vientian’s Cafe in Oakland. Dang has been itching to try this place since the last time we told him about it, so he got his wish today.

Ate a big lunch there, came home, took May to bed for her nap after handing the keys over to Dang so he could go wherever he pleased with my car. Son went to work at 3:30pm. May woke up around 4:30pm, hung out in bed until 5:30pm – was going to be there for another while, but I convinced her to come upstairs so she could hang out with Dang for a bit before we drop him off at the air port. At 6pm we left the house for the airport. After dropping Dang off, I went over to Mạ Tím’s house hoping to pick up a few important things that I forgot to take with me. But the whole family was out for the night (not a surprise to me), and since May looked so crestfallen, I gave Little An and Gussy a call letting them know we are heading their way.

Stopped by the Chinese market near their house for some groceries so I could make something wholesome for May’s dinner, and then we were on our way. Gussy played with May while I made dinner for all of us. We had balut and canh bí with rice for dinner. Water spinach and Chinese broccoli were on sale and looked fresh at the market, so I got some for Little An, as she doesn’t cook that often. Made 2 quick stir fry dishes (cooking was very quick, just the washing and prepping took a bit of time), then cleaned up and left their place around 10pm. Came home at 10:30, gave May a quick bath, brushed teeth, read her a book, and she was down for the night.

Now I’m sitting here waiting for Son to come home (his shift should be done by midnight, but last time he came in at 3am). Hopefully he’d have a slow night tonight and come home on time.

That was our weekend. Thanks to Dang’s visit, I have cleaned the house to look somewhat presentable, and he helped us move the furniture around in the room downstairs to accommodate the 2 new dressers that Gussy and I hauled in last week.

It has been an intensely bonding period for Little An’s family and ours, just because we seem to have had a meal together every other day, sometimes 3 days in a row. I’ve been trying my best to take May over there whenever they are free, just because she likes her aunt and uncle very much. She thinks the dog toys are cool to to play with


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