Saturday, March 2, 2019

Birthday Celebrations

Vanilla Mocha Birthday Cake

My daughter flew down on Thursday night for her birthday weekend.  I had prepared a dinner of salmon steaks, rice, green beans, and broccoli, which we had after she got home.

We had planned to go to Little Tokyo (Japan Town), in Downtown Los Angeles, on Friday (as it was supposed to rain on Saturday)  to have lunch and do a little shopping, but, decided to go to our neighborhood Japanese restaurant, instead.

Crab and Shrimp Roll

My daughter couldn't decide between the crab and shrimp roll and the spicy octopus salad, so I told her to order both, as we were celebrating her birthday (even if a day early)!  The crab and shrimp roll also included sunomono salad, which consisted of marinated/pickled cucumber and other vegetables.

Spicy Octopus Salad

She declared them both to be delicious!

Teriyaki Chicken and Tempura Lunch Combo

I decided to go with my "usual", which is the teriyaki chicken and tempura combo, which came with miso soup and sunomono salad, as well as the salad that is shown in the photo.  I drank the miso soup, ate the salads and  half the teriyaki chicken, shared the tempura with my daughter, and brought home most of the rice and the remaining half of the teriyaki chicken!

After lunch, we went shopping for clothes at our favorite discount clothing store.  They have closed most of their store branches and even this store was having a clearance sale, so we think they, too, might be closing.  My daughter found several pieces of clothing for herself and I found a few blouses and a poncho for myself:

JM Blouse
This JM (Jonathan Martin) brand blouse was the bargain of the day at $.50!  Yes, fifty cents! 

The poncho was on sale for $5.00 and the most expensive item I bought for myself.   The other two blouses I bought cost $4.00 each.

Altogether, I bought 28 items for my daughter and myself (I paid for her clothes as part of my birthday gift to her):

Clothing Receipt

The total cost of our purchases came to $116.51:

Receipt Totals
We then went to the shore store, next door, and I bought us two purses and a pair of shoes for my daughter - she will be making two presentations at conferences for work, this summer, and needed a new pair of dress shoes!  I tried on some shoes, myself, but the shoes I tried on in my regular size were too big (my feet slipped out of them when walking!) and the ones in the next half size down were too small (pinched my toes!)

On the way home, we stopped at a bakery in our neighborhood and bought a vanilla mocha cake.  It is an Armenian bakery and we like their cakes because the frosting isn't as sweet as in most other cakes.   

We got home just as friend M came over to do the garden.  I asked him to plant the bean and pea seedlings that we had sprouted.  They had grown rather leggy, as we delayed planting them for a couple of weeks due to one reason or another:

Green Beans and Pea Seedlings
But, hopefully, they'll take kindly to being transplanted at this late stage and grow well.

Then, it was time to have a cup of tea and order dinner from our favorite Thai restaurant, as we had invited three of daughter's friends over to dinner (only two could make it, though).  We drove over and picked up the food.  Then, came home and I vacuumed the living room, dining area, family room, kitchen, hallway, and daughter's/visitor's bathroom. 

Shortly after that, daughter's friends came over and we had dinner and birthday cake.  They played a card game and talked in the living room while I sat in the family room and relaxed.  After her friends left, daughter thanked me for insisting that she invited her friends over - she hadn't been keen on having any kind of celebration, but, afterwards, she admitted that she enjoyed it.

Today was my daughter's birthday.  Just over twenty six years ago, after a high risk pregnancy during which I almost miscarried her and had to be on bed rest for weeks, I drove myself (with my mother accompanying me) to the clinic for a routine check up (I was going 3 times a week for monitoring at that point).  At the clinic, I was told to go to the hospital immediately as my contractions were less than 6 minutes apart.  So, I drove myself to the hospital (my mother didn't drive; I assume the people at the clinic thought she drove because they didn't suggest I went by ambulance).  I was in the hospital for almost a week while they tried to stop the baby from being born too prematurely.  Eventually, they stabilized me to the point where I was told I could go home on Monday afternoon.  Just before they released me, they monitored me one more time and  took me to the labor and delivery section!  The following morning, I underwent an emergency C-Section and my daughter was born.  7 weeks premature, but weighing in at 5 lbs, and, in answer to our prayers, healthy!

Daughter hadn't wanted any party or anything, so I hadn't organized anything.  She didn't want to do anything, either, since we went out to lunch, yesterday, but I wanted to celebrate, so we went to our favorite Italian restaurant to lunch!  Afterwards, we went to the craft store to buy more yarn for me and some canvass for daughter for her acrylic paintings. 

Daughter's Apples Painting

While we were out and about, this afternoon, daughter also picked up a free birthday coffee from her favorite coffee house and a free birthday doughnut from a favorite doughnut shop!

After we came home, daughter took a nap and I did the dishes from yesterday, had a cup of tea, watched news and knitted.  Dinner was leftovers from today's lunch.

Today, I am grateful for:
- Being blessed with my daughter, 26 years ago, today.
- Having daughter home for her birthday weekend.
- Being able to celebrate this birthday with her.
- Special celebratory meals
- Answered prayers.

Tomorrow, daughter will go to Disneyland with two of her friends (their birthday gift to her).  I will probably relax at home and do a few things around the house.  Obviously, I went off my diet during these past couple of days, but, I will go back on the low carb diet, tomorrow!

How was your Saturday?


  1. A very Happy Birthday to your daughter, Bless. What a lovely time you spent together, yesterday. It must have been a huge relief to you, following a difficult pregnancy, when she was born healthy. You clearly share a very close bond. X

    1. She thanks you for the birthday wishes, Jules. Yes, my prayers were answered when I had a healthy baby. I know that it's what every mother prays for, but I had been under a lot of other stress during my pregnancy and I was worried of the impact it might have had on the developing baby. We do share a very close bond, I think, and that has been a blessing to me.

  2. What bargains you got at the clothing store! We all like a bargain, don't we? How lovely that you could celebrate your daughter's birthday with her, and what a worrying start in life! The miracle that is the birth of a child never diminishes. Great shading in the apple painting. I cannot draw or paint at all - completely without talent!

    1. I really don't need a lot of clothes at this point, Eloise, and my monthly clothing budget is $10, but, it's hard to resist a bargain!

      Every year, on my daughter's birthday, I reminisce about the whole drama surrounding her birth (there's a lot that I won't write about on a public blog) and give thanks, again, for everything turning out so well. :)

      My daughter used to say she couldn't draw or paint, but she's finding it to be a relaxing hobby.

  3. Happy birthday to your daughter!
    It sounds like you had a wonderful time with her.
    Her painting is beautiful.

    1. She says thank you for the birthday wishes, Nil. I'm glad we were able to spend her birthday weekend together, this year. She used to say she couldn't draw or paint, but she has been painting more, recently, finding it a relaxing hobby. :)

  4. Happy Birthday to your daughter ... though probably belated wishes now! It sounds like she had a lovely day.

    I like your new poncho. I too have the frustration of finding shoes to fit now I seem to be losing weight. I also have the added problem of having one foot a size bigger than the other so I usually live in sandals.

    1. She says thank you for the birthday wishes, Eileen.

      Thank you; I have a poncho that I knitted, but I liked the look of this one and, at $5, I figured it was a good buy. I might have to go with sandals, myself, Eileen, instead of the closed shoes I am looking for!

  5. Happy Birthday to your daughter! She seems like such a lovely, talented, and smart woman. You should be proud.

    1. Thank you, Live and Learn. I do think she turned out quite well, myself, but, I might be just a bit biased! :D

  6. Replies
    1. Thank you, Regine. Hope all is well with you, too. :)

  7. My goodness! What an exciting few days you have had! The food sounds delicious. You found some excellent bargains, too.

    1. It has been a fun couple of days with a lot going on! I think I packed in more activities over these past couple of days than I have during the entire week, some weeks! LOL! But, I was determined to celebrate her birthday, the weather was good for the most part, and, perhaps even more important, I felt well enough and up to it. I have the rest of the week to rest and take it easy. :)

  8. Oh my! I missed your daughter's visit entirely. It sounds as though she had an amazing celebration, thanks to you. Her birthday dinner was a work of art. I would hate to dig into those lovely dishes without admiring them for a while. I am glad you took photos. And I am so glad she had friends over on her actual birthday. That cake looks amazing as well. Lots of great food spread out over two days was a great plan.

    I thought that your favourite clothing store had already closed its doors. So nice that you could still shop there for all those bargains. I love that top on you...and for 50 cents?? What a steal! I can't wait to see the other two blouses you bought. That poncho will come in very handy during your winter months.

    What an incredible story of your pregnancy and birth of your daughter. She is your miracle child.

    1. Well, you were out celebrating your own birthday with your friends, so, it's all good. :)

      As for my favorite clothing store, they closed almost all their stores, but this one store (one of their oldest store locations) is still open! I am not sure if this store will be closing, too, but, for now, they are open.

      Yes, that's just what she is, Susan; my miracle child. :)


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