Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Picking Up Melur

I was pretty affected by the news of my aunts passing in Malaysia, so much so that I took the day off today to reflect and offer some prayer for her. With a little more time on my hands, I decided to take Melur to school using the local bike trail.

I picked Melur up from school a little early, and was able to observe her in her element – Kinderclub. I vaguely remember my kindergarten years in East Lansing, Michigan. I attended Red Cedar School, and my teacher was Mrs. Ringer. I used to be so shy, and never really spoke up in class. But I did have friends from the neighbourhood that I played with, kind of like Acadia Park. That was my childhood. I stuck around at Kinderclub until Melur finished her activities. And then, we took the bike trail back home.

Seeing Melur play with her friends, so young and so full of energy, it kind of reminds me that life goes on. My heartfelt condolences go to my family in Malaysia, and all my aunts and uncles (and their families) who are even more deeply affected by this most traumatic experience.

Nenek Rahmah wrote a short article about her sister’s passing, which is posted on one of her students’ blog sites – AZLY RAHMAN.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Trail Biking

I had so much fun today with the kids. It’s Saturday, and I’ve been psyching up the kids for a bike ride through the local trails. Daddy bought a new mountain bike this past Wednesday (though I only got it home on Thursday). And I’m anxious to try it out on rough terrain. Here’s a picture of my bike, which I posted, on Facebook.

Anyway, we left the house around noon, while Mommy and Nenek stayed at home. We were armed with just our bikes, our helmets, a bottle of water, and a granola bar each. The trail starts just across the street on Acadia Road, and we headed south along the trails towards 16th Street. Half way down, we stopped for our snack. The trail was awesome, and the scenery was breathtaking. The tall trees shot straight up toward the sky, it’s canopy providing a nice shade for us and other pedestrians we encounter along the way.

The people we met along the way were very friendly. Some stopped to chat with us for a while. The kids and I were so exhilarated from the ride, that we just couldn’t contain our excitement.

Once we arrived at 16th Street (we live close to 10th Street, so it’s technically only 6 blocks down), we picked up some maps and headed back home. Melur got tired as we arrived close to home – She got cranky. But Arman was such a trooper. He just went on and on and on. I was quite surprised that the kids were able to maneuver through the rough terrain with their bike. I’ll definitely take them again next weekend if it doesn’t rain.

I think we’re getting close to the age when Daddy can start doing more and more things with the kids. Melur recently started playing tennis at school – another sport I’d love to play with my kids. Daddy’s looking forward to many fun days ahead this summer.

I wonder what sports the kids should take up. So many choices…

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First Choir Practice

Daddy volunteered to coach a kids choir, to perform at the upcoming Agong’s Birthday celebration hosted by the Consulate General of Malaysia in Vancouver. And today is the first practice, held at the CG`s home located near Oakridge Mall. We still have the zip car station wagon we borrowed yesterday, and Daddy already picked up the new mattresses from IKEA this morning. Nenek was a little shy, and stayed home today.

This was the first time Daddy ever headed a choir of kids, and I was happy to have Mommy around to help. She certainly was a little more organized than I was. We opted for the brute force approach - I sing, and the kids follow. Eventually, the kids will remember the tune and all the lyrics. Kids usually work best that way. Take a look, it’s turning out alright…

The practice was about an hour. Kids don’t have much patience anyway. But we distributed lyrics to the kids’ parents, so that they can practice at home. And that was the end of the kids’ first choir practice. We look forward to their actual performance in June.

First Choir Practice

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New Mattresses from IKEA

It’s Saturday, and today we’re taking a trip to IKEA (in Coquitlam) to get some new mattresses for the kids. They’ve been sleeping in Mommy and Daddy’s bed recently, complaining that their bed is too hard (Reminds me of Goldilocks and the Three Bears). We figure we can also use the kids’ existing mattresses (which are actually futons) as like extra beds for when we have guests. Mak Long is coming to visit next month, and so she’ll need something to sleep on in the living room, since Nenek has taken the fold-out sofa bed.

Just to be safe, we rented a station wagon zip car late this afternoon (I plan to use the car to go to the kids’ First Choir Practice tomorrow). It’s got much bigger trunk space. And so we had to take the bus a ways to get it on Burrard St. Nenek decided to stay home by herself. I thought Coquitlam would be really far, but as it turns out, by car, Coquitlam (well, at least the Coquitlam border close to Burnaby) is only about 30 minutes away. So we arrived around 7 pm with some time to browse (IKEA closes at 9 pm on Saturdays).

I did some research, and the mattresses we wanted to get were on sale. We just wanted to test it before buying. And the kids liked it. But when we headed down to the warehouse area to retrieve it, it was not available. It was technically in stock, but stored away somewhere. According to the staff, it would only be taken down tonight, and would be available first thing tomorrow morning. And so, we headed back home, almost empty handed (Mommy bought some stuff for baking). Daddy will need to drive back out here tomorrow morning to get the 2 mattresses for Melur and Arman. That shouldn’t be too bad - new mattresses for Melur and Arman, and kind of new futon for Mak Long, and anybody else who’d like to stay over and visit us in Vancouver. Come on over…

Friday, April 18, 2008

Missed Entry

Hey guys, we forgot to post one entry back in March. Check out our family’s outing to Oakridge Mall on March 15, during a Scheduled Power Outage at UBC.

Melur Loses First Tooth

Loose Tooth. Can you see it?

Exciting news... Melur has a loose tooth. Her front right tooth has been loose for slightly more than a week. And now it is ready to come out. Papa, Mommy, Nenek and Arman all circled around Melur for the big event.

Nenek tries her hand

Looks Traumatic

Alas, the tooth was very stubborn. Totally refused to budge even though Melur has been wiggling it for days. We all asked Nenek to take care of it since she used to work as a dental nurse. Nenek tried to pull it out with facial tissue... since it was slippery. But that didn't work. Papa tried to pull it out with floss but that didn't work out either. Everybody gave up hope...except for Mommy. Mommy used floss and voila... tooth out. Melur cried when she saw the blood... hmmm... no chance of becoming a doctor there...

It's Out! Now can you see it?

Melur plans to put her tooth underneath her pillow at night when she sleeps so that the Tooth Fairy can give her some sweets or money in exchange for her baby tooth.

Incidentally, after putting Arman and Melur to bed, it SNOWED!!! Like, really!!! It’s the middle of April, and we’re getting snow in Vancouver. What is this world coming to?

Snowing in April

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Arman Loves His Bike

It’s another nice weekend. Daddy took this opportunity to check out the kids playing outside. Arman absolutely loves his new bike. You see him here with his new bike. He’s growing up so fast! Slow down, Arman (and I don’t just mean the bike).

Sunday, April 6, 2008

First Muslim Potluck

Today, our neighbour invited us to a potluck for the Acadia Park Muslim community. Apparently, it’s held at the Commons Block on the first Sunday of every month. We didn’t know, and weren’t really ready for it. The neighbour said to just bring whatever we cook for dinner, and head on over, which is what we did.

It was a very festive affair. Somebody brought lamb to the event. It was very yummy. We were able to meet with all the other muslims staying in Acadia Park. Up until today, we’ve only really been engaged with our neighbour. So this was a good chance to get to know a few more people. I was surprised to find people who’ve actually been to Malaysia, or have some relation to Malaysia. What a small world!

We’ll be more prepared next month. Thanks for inviting us!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

UBC Botanical Garden

With Spring in full gear, Mommy signed us up for a tour of the UBC Botanical Garden. Nenek prepared a hearty breakfast for the long walk ahead. And what did she make? Roti Canai - from scratch. It was awesome. We've had Roti Canai at home before, but only the frozen kind from the freezer. These one were made the old fashioned way - Malaysian style.

We arrived at the UBC Botanical Garden in good spirits. The garden itself wasn't very far, but we took the local community C20 bus there anyway, to conserve energy I suppose. We arrived on time, but some people were late, so we had some time to hang around the entrance to the gardens and checkout the gift shop.

Arman wants some Seeds

Arman saw some seeds for sale. Mommy has been getting the kids interested in gardening. And so Arman threw a tantrum, wanting to buy some seeds to plant at home. Mommy explained that she already bought some seeds which they can plant at home.

Traversing a Tunnel

We took a lot of photos. You can check them out on facebook. And you don't have to sign in to view them. I'm hoping these photos are clearer, in case some of you guys want to print them and stuff.

The Skunk Cabbage

One of the plants of interest was the Skunk Cabbage. It's supposedly quite smelly, that I didn't actually smell it. The kids though didn't seem to think it was all that smelly. I wonder what kind of taste the have? Cause you know taste is related to smell.

After the tour, we headed inside for some refreshments, and some activities for the kids. The kids made a little smelly thing, something like potpourri, which they can keep in their pillow or in their dresser. I think they had fun making them.

Arts and Craft

After that was all over, we had our own little 'refreshment' session. Mommy made some croquette last night, specifically for today's journey. And we feasted on that, kinds of like a late lunch. It was so Yummy!!! Can you make some more Mommy?

Food for lunch

It was quite a nice day out. And rather than wait for the bus, which comes every 30 minutes if you missed it, we decided to walk back home. Home wasn't that far. I'd say about 2 km. We stopped by a playground on the way. The kids couldn't resist it.

On the way back from the Garden

And that was our first trip to the UBC Botanical Garden. It was quite nice, and we'd definitely go again, perhaps when Mak Long comes to visit in May. Do check out the photos I uploaded on facebook. And drop us some comments every now and again.