Thursday, March 27, 2008

BC Children’s Hospital

Daddy took the afternoon off today, to take Arman with Mommy to the BC Children’s Hospital here in Vancouver. We have an appointment with a specialist to take a look at Arman’s legs. As you may already know, Arman had surgery when he was three to straighten his legs due to Blount’s Disease. We think his legs were over-corrected during that surgery, and so now Arman’s legs are bent outwards rather severely, instead of being severely bow-legged.

Anyway, we brought Arman’s old X-Rays, and a letter from Arman’s previous pediatic orthopaedic specialist. We also explained the entire history and circumstance of Arman’s situation. We took a few X-Rays with Arman on the premises, and met with doctor again for a prognosis.

The doctor said that one leg looks all right, but that the other may require surgery. However, there’s nothing that we could do right now, but to come again in 6 months for a follow-up session.

Our entire appointment was about an hour and a half from arrival to departure (with X-Ray in the middle). And it was all covered by our insurance. I was pretty impressed with the service and the facilities. Our next appointment will be in early September. Hopefully, there’ll be some good news then? Maybe?

Hang in there, Arman!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Melur and Arman Mengaji

Today, Nenek started teaching Melur some ‘mengaji’ (reading Arabic, phonetically). Melur got dressed appropriately for the affair. How cute is that?

We’re lucky to have Nenek around, not only to help us out around the house, but also to teach the kids stuff, like ‘mengaji’ and the Malay language. We don’t speak enough Malay to the kids, so having Nenek around really reinforces the Malay language with them.

And the kids aren’t easy around Nenek. I think Melur and Arman feel they can get away with more things with their Nenek, compared with their Mommy and Daddy. I think that’s the typical scenario between most grand children and their grand parents. But Nenek soldiers on.

Thank you, Nenek!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Arman's Bike Arrives

Arman’s bike finally arrived. I picked it up after work, and took it home on the bus. The bus driver (which of course is different from last time I took Melur’s bike home from Toys R Us) didn’t mind my bringing the bike inside. What choice did I really have? It’s my only way home.

When I arrived home with the bike, Arman was so excited to try it out. The bike came with the training wheels on. So I had Arman go inside to put on his shoes and jacket, while I took out the training wheels. When he came out, we tried it out for the first time.

Arman Rides His Bike

Arman really loves his new bike. What will we do with his old bike? Well, I guess we’ll have to give it away of something. I bought it for 10 bucks at a garage sale late last year. Now Arman and Melur can ride together outside.

Enjoy your new bike Arman.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Seri Malaysia at Hastings and Nanaimo

Another lazy Sunday for the family… but Nenek is around; so we decided to rent a car and drive around Vancouver for some sight seeing. We are also curious about a restaurant called Seri Malaysia. The restaurant's web site describes the food as Malaysian cuisine heavily influenced by the cooking style and techniques from Mersing! They have mee goreng Mersing and nasi goreng Mersing in the menu. Since Nenek and Mommy are from Mersing… we definitely need to drop by and checkout the place.

Papa on the driver's seat, Mommy next to him, and the kids and Nenek at the backseat, all with our seatbelts on. The restaurant is a bit far. It is about 35 to 45 minutes by car. If we take the bus then it will be 3 buses… and maybe 1 hour and 30 minutes one way.

So we arrived and ordered one chicken biryani, one beef biryani, gado-gado, mee rebus, and satay (about ten sticks – two per person). The food is awesome especially the biryani and gado-gado. Papa and Mommy think that it is probably the most authentic Malaysian dish so far compared to other Malaysian restaurants we have been to in the US.

Finished Eating at Seri Malaysia

We also met the owner/chef, En. Jamal, who is actually from Mersing. Most of his family members are still in Mersing, and Nenek knows most of them. No surprise there since Mersing is such a small town. He gave us a complimentary bubur pulut hitam. More food for us… We will definitely visit Seri Malaysia again.

After lunch, we took a stroll around the area. We stopped by a couple Asian stores, and bought some groceries, which are a lot cheaper than where we live. One of the stores sells live seafood. The kids were very excited to see live seafood, mostly live crab and fish. Take a look.

Live Seafood at Asian Market

And that’s our first trip out to Hastings and Nanaimo.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Big Day for Arman

Today’s going to be a big day for Arman. We started with Daddy taking Arman to the dentist, for his filling. A few weeks ago, the kids had their 6-month dental check-up. And, just like before, Arman needs filling, while Melur does not. Lucky Melur! And Daddy gets to spend some time with Arman this fine morning.

Arman started off in good spirits. But he started getting cranky mid way through it. The dentist gave up putting on the rubber raincoat, and went in old school. I must say though, our dentist is AWESOME! I did my best to talk Arman through the procedure. And before we knew it, it was all over – in no time.

After seeing the dentist, we met up with Mommy, and took the bus to Toys R Us. Melur didn’t want to come, and so she stayed at home with Nenek. We’re going to Toys R Us to get Arman a new bike, since Arman was able to ride his current bike without any training wheels. Way to go, Arman! I think he’s pretty excited to get a new bike.

On the Bus to Toys R Us

Anyway, that was our day. Arman chose a smaller bike that Melur. Mommy and Daddy just wanted Arman to get a bike he was comfortable with. And we didn’t get to bring home the bike today. Just like with Melur’s bike, Toys R Us s going to assemble the bike first, and I’ll pick up the bike after work on Monday. Be patient Arman. You’ll get your bike in no time too.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Just Another Sunday

Sunday's usually our stay-at-home day, relax, and maybe do some chores. This morning, was more of a lazy Sunday morning. We got up kind of late, and the kids played in the living room. I thought I'd make a maze with them using building blocks (Lego's, but not really).

Making a Maze

While we were at it, I took a picture of one of Melur's many art works. The kids love to draw. And we keep a stack of photocopy paper handy. They want to draw and do art work ALL THE TIME. What do you guys think? Will Melur become the next Picasso?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Power Outage at UBC

There’s a scheduled power outage today at UBC, which affects our home. So as of 7:30 am this morning, we are out of power, until 2:30 pm this afternoon. And so we’re going out to kill the time. What else would we do in a house without power?

On the way to the Bus Stop

We made our way slowly to the bus stop. We just missed the bus we intended to take, and had to wait a bit for the next bus. The #41 comes every 30 minutes on the weekend, so you really don’t want to miss it, if you can help it that is. We took quite a few pictures while waiting for the bus. You can check out photos here on our Facebook album.

We had a few things we wanted to get at Oakridge. The kids need new shoes. Melur needs a new jacket. It has also been quite cold lately, so we need to get new thermal underwear for the kids. Arman got his at Zellers as usual. But for Melur, we headed to The Bay. The Bay is slightly more expensive, but it has better stuff. It kind of reminds me of Jaya Jusco back home in Malaysia.

At The Bay

Coins in the Fountain

After we were done shopping, we took the bus and headed east to Fraser St, to try some Malaysian food at the newly opened Chilli Padi restaurant. Unfortunately, when we arrived, the restaurant was closed due to a private event. I was actually quite aware of the lunch outing organized by the Malaysia Association of BC, but thought we’d just drop by to see. But the restaurant was completely full. Hungry, we decided to take the bus back home, and maybe stop by McDonald’s at Kerrisdale.

At Kerrisdale, we dropped by “Please Mum”, a children’s clothing store. There was a sale going on there. The lady at the store was quite the salesperson. She managed to get us to buy new sunglasses and hats for Melur and Arman. Totally unnecessary, and an impulse buy! But they were quite cheap. And we got a $2 sweater for Nenek. Really cheap! We didn’t stick around too long, for fear we’d buy the whole place.

Lunch at McDonald’s

Hungry still, we walked a few doors down and had lunch at McDonalds. We took some pictures of the newly acquired merchandise, and headed home soon after, around 4:30 pm. And that was how we spent the day when our house was without power from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm. What another fun day for the family.

Home with the Merchandise

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Melur's First Recital

This week is Melur's Spring Break – one week of no school. Mommy and Papa decided to send Melur to art and dance camp at Commons Block, instead of Kinderclub/daycare. Melur loves both artwork and dance, so we know she will enjoy the camp.

Arman Pretends to Sleep

The camp is for 5 days, Monday to Friday (March 17 until 21), and the recital is on the following Tuesday from 4:30pm to 5:30pm, which is TODAY. Mommy, Arman and Nenek headed out to Commons Block. Papa is working, but that is OK. We are all very excited to see Melur perform. The show started about 15 minutes late though. Mommy took pictures of Arman and Nenek while waiting. See Arman faking sleep because he is bored? He wants to go home because he is sleepy. So cute!

Melur and Akasia

So here is Melur sitting with her friend, Akasia. Akasia lives in Acadia Park and is in the same class as Melur at school. The background for the recital is the artwork from the kids. Unfortunately, we ran out of batteries before the recital started. We only manage to take a few pictures (blurred).

And just to let you guys know, the dance is a modern interpretation dance. It is supposed to represent Canada, multiculturalism and magic. Hmmmm......

Monday, March 10, 2008

No Training Wheels

That's right! Today, Arman rides his bike without training wheels. Awesome! I guess it's time to get Arman that new bike now. Mommy and Daddy promised Arman a new bike if he's able to ride his old one without training wheels. Daddy got Arman's current bike at a garage sale for CAD$10. I guess he deserves something a little better, and newer.

Anyway, we're so proud of you Arman. You can now join your sister on bike rides around Acadia Park. Let's go look for your new bike.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Harry 8K Run 2008

We did it! Mommy and Daddy can add another race to their belt - the Harry Rosen 8K Run 2008 at Stanley Park. It was a really nice day today, and we made it there just in time to start (but not early enough to be at the front of the line). We left Arman and Melur with Nenek, while Mommy and Daddy began stretching at the back of the starting line.

Before the Race

Mommy and Daddy started out running together, for about the first kilometer. Then Daddy went ahead with the rest of the pack. I think it's been a while since my last run, cause Daddy was all pooped out about 2-3 km into the race. Ha ha... But I still made it through to the end. And the familiar rush of completing a race came flooding back! My time was a lot slower that last year's Longest Day run, but that didn't deter from the awesome feeling of finishing a race.

Running the Race

After the Race

Mommy finished soon after I did. We celebrated with Nenek and the kids. We got lots of free stuff too, and the kids were quite entertained. Stanley Park is a beautiful place, with specatular views of both the sea and the mountains. Soon after we finished the race, we decided to venture to Granville Island (sorry... no pictures) and then the Halal Store, and then the veggie store. A pretty productive day that started with a race.

What will we do next week?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Check Out Stanley Park

We're at Stanley Park for the first time. Daddy borrowed a Zip Car to check out the venue for tomorrow's Harry's 8K Run. We'll be using the car tomorrow to get to the race and back. We'll also have some errands to run tomorrow after the race. We should try to make full use of the car while we have it.

Anyway, we stopped at one of the many beaches at Stanley Park to take in the sights. It's a wonderful day today. A little chilly, but otherwise quite nice. We're looking forward to some good weather for tomorrow's Run. It'll be fun, and a good start while training for the Scotiabank Half Marathon, which takes place in June. That's a little over 3 months away.

The kids are always in a good mood, especially with Nenek around. We're always thinking about what new place to take Nenek to whenever we have a car. It's so much easier to get around. This weekend, Nenek will get to experience Stanley Park, and Mommy and Daddy's second race every.

I hope we survive...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Arman Loves to Draw

Arman didn’t have school today, so he just stayed at home. When Daddy got home from work, Arman has his pictured taped up to the wall. He loves his drawing. And so I took some pictures of his drawings. He reminds me of like a teacher, putting up an exhibit of some sort. What do you guys think?

Arman's Exhibit

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Out with Arman Again

Arman really likes to go out with Daddy. It’s Sunday, and Daddy’s going to Safeway to get some groceries. Arman immediately volunteered to come along. As for Melur… she wanted to stay home. Why Melur? Why?

Home from Safeway

It was a nice day to be out. Arman isn’t as whiny is he used to be. He used to get tired really fast, because of his legs. I think he’s getting stronger, and has been complaining about them very much. He’s such a trooper. And so here we are, the guys out getting the groceries, while the ladies stay at home.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Trip to Metrotown

It’s the first day of March, and the kids have an early appointment with the dentist, just a regular checkup since the last one they had about 6 months ago. Melur is cavity-free, but Arman will need a follow-up appointment. According to the dentist, it couldn’t be helped due to microscopic grooves in Arman’s molars. Melur and Arman brush their teeth twice a day every day! They even floss every night!

Waiting for the Bus

After the dentist, we made our way to Metropolis at Metrotown. This is Nenek’s first trip on Vancouver’s SkyTrain. For some reason, we were (well, I was anyway) pretty hungry when we arrived, and so our first stop was… the Food Court, where else? After that was over and done with, we made our way around the mall, and got some essentials.

Playing at the Fountain

The kids had fun playing near the fountain. We took some pictures there. By the end of it, the kids were pretty tired. And so I enticed them with a smoothie from Booster Juice, and we made our way home.

On our way home

Melur typically has less stamina than Arman, and so she fell asleep on the bus back. Overall, today was a pretty good day. Did you enjoy your trip, Nenek?

Bus Ride Home