Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

To all our family members and friends,

We would like to wish all of you Happy New Year!
We hope that your wishes and resolutions will come true for 2010.

Best wishes,
Azroy, Ayu, Melur and Arman.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day Sale

December 26... Boxing Day... the day when stores put everything they have on sale. To empty out their inventory so that they can re-stock for the new year. In Vancouver, there'll be loads of people on the streets downtown and at Metrotown... shopping from one store to another. Mommy and Papa used to hire a baby sitter since it'll be too hectic to take care of Melur and Arman, and move about with so many people around us at the same time.

In Kingston, things are a bit toned down though. Not that many people. We put some thought into it... we think the small crowd here is because (1) most of the people are locked up - Kingston has a number of correctional facilities - people in jail can't go out for a shopping spree, (2) the students from Queen's and RMC all left for home, and (3) whoever lives here would rather drive down to Ottawa, Toronto, or Montreal to shop.

Nevertheless, it was a good haul for us this year. Papa made the first dent **big smile** into our finance by waking up at 7am and going straight to Canadian Tires and Future Shop. He bought his workout bench, weights, and disk cover. We'll have a small mini-gym here.

Afterwards, we all went out around 11am. We went to several stores... we had a list of things to get. Mostly clothing for the kids and Mommy. We ma
naged to get everything except for Arman's pajamas. But Melur had this natural ability to pick up the cutest thing... and asking "Mommy isn't this cute?" Argghhh.... and Mommy is such a sucker... So, all in all... we spent quite a bit... but we followed our list of things to get... except for Melur who got twice as many things that were on her list plus a cap. Oh well, she does look great in her new skinny jeans :D

Papa's new dumbbells... you can adjust the weights from 5lbs to 40 lbs

Our new family game... monopoly. The kids went to bed crying because we didn't let them play this game tonight... it was just too late guys, there's still tomorrow.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Arman's Science Project

Arman came back from school about a week ago with a note from his teacher. He has to submit his science project... His project is that he must learn about a chosen body part. Arman chose the "heart". And his project must include: (i) a model made out of clay, newspaper, etc. (ii) a diagram, and (iii) an oral presentation.

Pheeewww.... seems hard core for a six-year old doesn't it? Well, Arman, Melur and Mommy spent the past Sunday making a model heart made out of clay. And Papa helped to search for diagrams of the human heart from the Internet... Arman prepared a short report... and practiced reciting it at home. Here it goes:

"Hello. I am presenting about the heart. The heart is between your two lungs, right about here (point to chest). Its job is to pump blood to your body. It beats about 72 beats a minute. The arteries take the blood from your heart to your body. The veins take your blood from the body to your heart. The heart pumps the blood into the lungs. I can keep my heart healthy by exercising and eating good food. The most important thing I learned today is to exercise and eat good food. Thank you for listening to my presentation."

His presentation was this morning... He said his presentation went well...:)

First Piano Recital

The kids are taking piano lessons in Kingston... We used to have Mike for piano in Vancouver. He was very nice... so patient with the kids, especially with Arman. Now we have Debra. She's nice too.

The music lessons are part of the school program. Parents pay for the lesson fees, and the kids have their lessons during school hours. We are lucky, since one of Mommy's friends has to pick up her son during office hours to send him to his music lessons, and then, send him back to school afterwards. Yup, that’s how it is in Kingston... lots of kids, and not a lot of qualified music teachers. The younger kids end up taking music lessons in the mornings (during school hours), while the older ones take lessons in the afternoons.

Anyway, Melur and Arman had their first recital. Quite a lot of kids performed... probably around 20 or so. The room was filled with parents. Unlike Mommy and her "abang balik kampung" tragedy, Melur and Arman were confident performing. They practiced quite a bit... and played without a snag.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Melur

This blog is dying... so we'll try to rejuvenate it with news about birth... birthday lah!

Melur's birthday is on August 30th. We let her choose her own birthday gift, and the restaurant for dinner. For her gift, Melur chose a huge make-up kit (made for kids of course). Mommy and Melur spent the afternoon putting them on. And Melur chose Red Lobster to have her dinner celebration. One good thing about Kingston is Red Lobster... we didn't have one in Vancouver.

Dinner was great. We bought Melur a birthday cake from Baskin Robins - pink cake with ballerina shoes on top. Unfortunately, the people at Red Lobster didn't put it in the fridge when we dropped it off in the morning. The cake melted, totally flat by the time we finished dinner. But they were so apologetic. They bought us a replacement cake... and gave us a discount in the end.

It was a good birthday celebration. We look forward to celebrating it again next year!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Chess at Starbucks

It's such a nice day today. I thought I'd take Arman out to Starbucks for a chess game, just Arman and Daddy. Check it out:

Doesn't he look so confident playing chess? He's pretty good at it. I wonder how good he'll be.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Arman Skates Again

Arman had another school trip to the skating rink today. Arman's grade teacher, Susan, is really active. She takes her class out on field trips quite often. And for that, we're extremely grateful. Arman is getting all kinds of experiences he'll hopefully remember for a long time.

Anyway, Mommy blogged about one of Arman's previous ice-skating trips. I just wanted to add this one picture of Arman that Mommy took today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hip Hop Dance

Melur and Arman have been taking Hip-Hop dance lessons at school. After 3 months of weekly practice, the school organized a performance day for the parents. Unfortunately, Mommy and Papa got the tickets for the matinĂ©e show, which is scheduled during the lunch hour. Only Mommy could attend the show since Papa has to work. But no worries... Mommy will try her best to capture Melur and Arman doing “bad ass” Hip-Hop.

Yes, you guys can see the videos of Melur and Arman during their Hip-Hop performances. Melur has her game face on... she got all her moves right... and what attitude! Miss G. (Melur's teacher) said that Melur took easily to the dance, and had no problem getting her steps right... She obviously loves the more artsy stuff... dance, and lots and lots of colouring...

Arman on the other hand... well, he was definitely fun to watch. He kept smiling and looking at Mommy with the camera. He even waved. After the show, he told Mommy that he was glad she came to see him dance like the other parents. Awww...Maman, of course Mommy's going to be there! Wouldn't miss it for the world...

All the kids in the school participated, and they put together dance routines from all the classes. The combined routines tell a science-fiction/action story. If Mommy understands it correctly... it’s something along the line of superheroes freeing humans who were being imprisoned by evil robots. Both Melur and Arman were superheroes in the superhero group by the way...

On a side note, the Hip-Hop program is the school's way of making sure the kids fulfill their physical education and cultural arts requirements. Mommy and Papa would like to congratulate U-Hill Elementary for finding a creative way to make learning so much fun for the kids.

Watch out, wait a minute... let me put some Brooklyn in it!

Monday, March 9, 2009

More Snow

It was such a nice day yesterday with the Harry 8K Run. But today... IT SNOWED! Take a look at the snow out from our porch. There's a fair bit of accumulation over night. Hopefully, it'll go away soon.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Harry 8K Run and Malaysia Food

Mommy and Papa love to run road races. There are plenty in Vancouver, held almost all year-round. As with last year, our first road race for this year is the Harry 8K Spring Run, which is an annual run held on the first Sunday of spring. However, unlike last year, Nenek is not around to play with Melur and Arman while Mommy and Papa do our run. For this time around, we asked Kakak Jehan to baby-sit.
Since the 8K run is at Stanley Park, we dropped off Kakak Jehan and the kids at one of the playgrounds there. The runners will pass the playground on their route... so Mommy and Papa were hoping that they’d be able to see the kids... maybe hear some words of encouragement from them. What actually happened was that the kids managed to see Papa from the throngs of runners (must be his bright blue running jacket), but they couldn't see Mommy at all... (Note to Mommy: buy a bright running jacket for next time!). Later on Kakak Jehan told Mommy and Papa that the kids went on the sandy area to collect seashells. They also had an altercation with a couple of crows... the crows stole one of the plastic food containers that Mommy packed for the kids.

After the successful run (shameless plug: just look at Mommy's Supergirl pose on her profile... that one was taken right after crossing the finish line), all of us (including Kakak Jehan) went to our favourite Malaysian restaurant in Vancouver - Seri Malaysia in East Hastings. The owner/chef, Uncle Jamal, is originally from Mersing (Mommy's hometown), and a few of Uncle Jamal's relatives work at the hospital where Nenek used to work... what a small world isn't it? We ate a very hearty lunch - satay, nasi beriyani, gado-gado, and sirap bandung...

Lastly, a shout of thanks to Kakak Jehan for making it possible for Mommy and Papa to run the Harry 8K this year...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Chess Club Day

Nothing really different went on today. It's another Sunday, and another Chess Club day. It's become sort of a routine. But Arman has a lot of fun playing chess with his friends.

After chess club, the kids always have a little fun at the playground, just outside the Old Barn Community Centre. Here they are enjoying themselves in the fine Vancouver weather.

Hope you've having a good weekend!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Malaysia Singapore Night 2009

For the past 2 years, Daddy has been performing at the Malaysia Singapore Night at UBC (MSN for short). MSN is organized by the student members of the Seri Malaysia Club (SMC) and Singapore Raffles Club (SRC) on campus. It's a cultural night celebrating Malaysian and Singaporean food and culture. Last year, Mommy wasn't around (she was working on her research in Malaysia), but Melur and Arman watched with their Nenek. The year before that, if you recall, Melur and Arman couldn't stay off the stage, while Daddy played the drums for the newly formed Gardenburst band.

Anyway, this is Daddy's third year performing. Daddy arrived separately to prepare for the show. Unfortunately, Mommy and the kids missed Daddy performance, cause we performed first. By the way, Daddy left Gardenburst, and performed with a new group of Malaysian students. We performed “Mentera Semerah Padi” and “Istimewa”. You can only view these videos from Facebook at the moment.

Mommy and the kids arrived soon after my performance ended. They had to wait a really long time for the food, cause it wasn't served until the entire show was over (I guess the MSN committee didn't want people leaving before the show was over). When all of the was done, the kids were able to enjoy some food.

I'm sorry we didn't take many pictures. It was kind of dark, and there really weren't many opportunities to take photos. Hopefully, you'll find more pictures about MSN on Facebook, cause the students were are quite active there. The kids were very well behaved over all. Hopefully they can watch my performance on-line, and it'll be just like they were there.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New Skates

Arman got some new skates from school. Well, they're used skates, but new to Arman. It's for Arman's school skating trips which Mommy blogged about recently. I found out from the teachers that Arman's skates costs about CAD10, which is really cheap. They got it used from a place called Cheap Skates, and I know this place. We've passed by the store on Dunbar a couple of times.

Anyway, Melur's been feeling like she missed out. So I promised to get her a pair of skates too... from the same place. And so today, after Arman's Chess Club at the Old Barn Community Centre, we took the #25 down to Dunbar. It's only about 10 minutes away by bus, and the bus runs about every 10 minutes as well.

The store itself is pretty small and cramped with used goods. I guess people can also sell their stuff here as well. What happens is, you put up a price, and every week, the price comes down. So you may have similar products with different prices depending on how long it's been around on the shelf. There were many to choose from with varying prices. Melur finally chose a pair she liked (and that I agreed with as well).

After leaving the store, it was time to head home. But the kids were feeling a little hungry. Just behind the bus stop was a Starbucks. And so we went inside and got some scones to enjoy while we waited for the bus.

Here are the ice skates we got for Melur. I hope you enjoy them, Melur!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Madelena

Melur is invited to Madelena's birthday party. Madelena is Jamie and Natalya's daughter (from KinderClub), and she is a year younger than Melur. But since Madelana would come to KinderClub now and then... she became quite good friends with Melur as well as a few other girls from KinderClub.

Since Jamie and Natalya live in Burnaby, we decided to get a Zipcar for that day. Taking public transportation means 2 hours of traveling time... and that's just one way! By car, it’s only about 40 minutes or so... Papa took this opportunity to get a Mini Cooper convertible. We drove in it with the top down even though the weather is still a bit chilly. The kids simply love it, and insisted on driving with the top down all the way.

After sending Melur, the rest of us went to Metro Town Mall for lunch. While Melur is having fun at the birthday party, Mommy, Papa, and Arman walked around and did some window-shopping. We picked up Melur about 2 hours later. Most of the other kids were gone already... but Melur was still running around with Madelena.

On our way back, we decided to drop by the Central Park at Burnaby. The kids played at the park there, while Mommy and Papa each took half-hour turns of running. The park has a nice paved trail for runners and walkers. The kids had fun (just look at them doing acrobatics on the slide), while Mommy and Papa managed to sneak in a bit of exercise...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Trail Run and Biking

Despite the snow we had earlier in the year, the weather's really been looking up lately. Since Mommy and Daddy like to run, we thought we’d take the kids out through the near by trails. Mommy and Daddy would run, while the kids take their bikes.

We started from the trails behind our house, and then proceeded south through the Pacific Spirit Park, past 16th street. We tried to take pictures on Daddy's camera phone, but it was quite dark in the shade of the trees. This is pretty much the only picture that turned out well.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pick-Up Arman

As we mentioned before, this academic year, Mommy sends Melur and Arman to school. Daddy picks up Arman after school. The days are starting to end a little later, bit by bit. I was surprised to find Arman and his Kinderclub classmates playing outside when I came to pick him up. It’s usually still dark when I arrive at Kinderclub around 5:15pm.

Anyway, Arman didn’t want to go home. He’s having so much fun. I’m sure Arman (and Melur) will start having so much more fun outside once Day Light Savings time kicks in in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait for that myself.

Here’s Arman:

Skating with U-Hill

Arman's kindergarten teacher, Susan DeBeck, is very active. She likes to take Arman's class out for field trips. They have already gone to the Vancouver Aquarium, Orpheum Theatre, and Jericho Beach.

Arman with Skate Bars

For today, Arman and his classmates are spending their school day at the UBC skating rink. This is Arman's second trip to the skating rink. With Susan's encouragement, Arman made a lot of progress. He can now stand and move on the ice without holding to a skate bar. He usually moves around the ice for 10 minutes before going to the bench for a short 1 to 2-minute rest. A lot of Arman's classmates are beginner skaters as well (though quite a few look as if they've been skating since the day they were born). They seem to be having so much fun learning how to skate together. Good job guys!

After playing for a while, Susan would ask for all the kids to line up at one end of the skating rink... and the kids will skate all the way to the end after she blows her whistle. You can see Arman lining up (without holding on to a skate bar) with his friends, and waiting for Susan's whistle.

When skating is over... Arman and Mommy would have lunch together. Mommy usually asks Arman what he would like for lunch... He usually says, "Basement!" Yup, a few food stalls at the UBC Village Food Centre serves Halal food. Arman likes to have lamb shawarma for lunch, and Mommy is only too happy to oblige.

Go Arman Go

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Al-Watan Tandoori

We've been hearing so much about this Halal restaurant on Fraser that apparently serves really good beriyani called Al-Watan. And seeing as we need to get some Halal meat from Fraser anyway today, we decided to make a trip to Al-Watan to see what the fuss is all about.

Sorry... we didn't take that many pictures. The food was REALLY good. Everything on the menus is good, but our favourites are the mixed tandoori (meat the even Melur likes) and the garlic naan. The garlic naan is really fluffy and tasty. I can't wait to go there again.

The owner (at least we think he's the owner) was very nice, and mentioned that he knows of a few Malaysians who frequent here. We know who they are (Kakak Jehan, and Kakak Ina). Anyway, thanks for an awesome meal.

Check out Al-Watan on Fraser and 44th st.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Bears on Valentine's

It's Valentine's Day, and we started the morning at Kumon, as usual. Here we are waiting for the bus after Kumon at Blenz, Mommy's favourite cafe:

There was a demonstration at Cambie and Broadway. People were voicing up about the atrocities at Sri Lanka. You can barely make out the chants.

Anyway... we didn't plan anything special today. We spent our Valentine's Day evening at home, with a family dinner. Daddy got Mommy some flowers and a teddy bear, Daddy also got Melur a smaller teddy bear, as you see right here. Melur seems to like it.

I got Arman a Rubik’s cube. Arman mentioned to me that he wanted to have one, but when we say Mommy and Melur are getting teddy bears, he wanted a teddy bear too. I guess I'll be getting him a teddy bear soon.

Anyway, for those who celebrate it, Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Vancouver Snow

I sent the kids to school this morning cause Mommy wasn't feeling well. We took the bus. Here we are waiting for the C22 at the bus stop near Acadia Park:

In case you're wondering, there wasn't any snow yesterday. It started snowing late last night, and the snow you see today accumulated over night. This is typical Vancouver snow. It snows a little bit, and before you know it, it's all gone (at least that's what I expect in the coming days). There's not that much snow this time around.

So here's what the snow looks like at University Hill Elementary School as I left this morning.