Saturday, January 31, 2009

After Party Saturday

After the Teo's birthday party, I decided to go for a run with the kids. Well, the kids were on their bikes while I ran alongside them. But really, at some places, it was me pushing them. They're not that fast yet on their bikes, especially up hills.

I also let them play at the park near the Old Barn while I did some more running. That gave me the chance to pick up on my training. I have a race coming up, after all. More about that when the event comes.

Later in the evening, we decided to eat out. The kids love Japanese food, so we opted for One More Sushi at the University Village. I'll finish this entry with a picture of Melur at the restaurant.

One More Sushi, Anyone?

Happy Birthday Teo

Teo is having a birthday party today, at the Gym, a favourite for kids’ birthday parties in the UBC area. Teo is another one of Arman's classmates from Kinderclub. He lives just 4 doors up the block (we're on the same block, literally).

Anyway, the day's festivities began with our customary trip to Kumon. We had to hurry, so I decided to let the kids ride their bikes to the bus stop. Walking there usually takes about 15-20 minutes, so riding their bikes was a big time saver. Here they are cheerfully waiting for the bus, with their bike helmets still on.

After Kumon, it was onward to the Gym. Melur tagged along even though it was only Arman who was invited. There were some vacancies at the party, so Teo's mom let Melur join in the festivities. Say thank you, Melur. And she did.

The first portion of parties at the Gym is of course the gymnastics part. I took some pictures and videos of the event. They played some hide and seek:

And they also played with this huge parachute that they made into a bubble, while they sat inside (that's what this is):

Teo and the Parachute

There were plenty of games. A pretty good set of activities, if you ask me. After the gym portion, we headed upstairs for the party portion, which means food and cake for the guests. As you can see, there were a lot of kids there. Quite the big party!

Happy Birthday, Teo!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Conversation with Arman

One day Mommy heard this interesting conversation between Papa and Arman. Mommy doesn't remember when it had happened... but it is definitely one of those precious moments that is worthy of a blog entry.

Arman: I want to write my name... How do you write my last name Papa? How do you write my last name?

Papa: My first name is your last name.

Arman: My last name is Papa???

Isn't that the cutest?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chess Cube

I’m encouraging the kids to play more chess, and not necessarily with me. So I got them hooked up with online chess at ChessCube.Com. It’s a pretty cool site that keeps track of all your old games. And you can even play them back. So I can log into Arman’s account and review his past games, and go over what he did right and what he can do better.

Melur playing Arman from the Kitchen

Here you see Melur and Arman excited to play each other on ChessCube.Com. You know you guys… you can play chess face-to-face. But I guess the novelty of playing on-line got the better of them. If you play chess, I recommend it – ChessCube.Com

Arman playing Melur from the Living Room

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Errands with Daddy

We did our Kumon thing this morning, as usual, and headed back to the University Village for a short dentist appointment for Melur at 12:30 pm. If you remember, in our last dental check-up, Melur had some cavities on her newly erupted molar. The dentists needs to check the molars if they’re operable. Otherwise, we’ll have to wait some more before the dentist can remove and fill the cavities.

After the dentist appointment (which was really very short), we headed to the bus stop to take the #41 bus to Oakridge Mall. The kids need some new clothes.

We were in and out of Zellers pretty quickly, and headed over to the food court for a snack. We had some seafood teriyaki. Tasty…

After that, it was back on the #41 again, further east to Fraser St to get some halal meat.

That was the last of Daddy’s errands for the day: Kumon, Dentist, Zellers and Halal store. What a day! On the way back, Arman filled up a form from the bus, to urge the government to buy more buses. I just explained the gist of the contents of the pamphlet, but he was pretty excited and adamant to contribute to the cause.

Do we really need more buses in Vancouver? I don’t know. But Arman seems to think so.

You go, Arman!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

More Fog, More Chess

It’s Sunday. I took some pictures as Arman and I made our way by bus from the UBC Aquatic Centre to the Old Barn Community Centre.

You see that it still quite foggy, just like yesterday. It almost looks creepy. But that doesn’t deter Arman. He’s ready for his next chess match.

Mommy and Melur will be joining us later. Here’s Arman playing chess with fellow Kinderclub classmate, Harry.

Harry vs. Arman

Let’s the games begin…

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vancouver Fog

It’s another Saturday, but an activity-filled Saturday as it turned out to be. For one, Daddy has an audition for Malaysia Singapore Night 2009. Daddy left the Gardenburst group recently, but decided to help some Malaysians put together something for this special night. Of course, Daddy can’t ignore his other responsibilities for the day, namely Kumon for the kids.

We hurried our way to Kumon this morning, and hurried our way back to UBC right after. When we arrived, it was really foggy. It’s been kind of foggy these past few days, but not quite like this. We made our way to the audition venue, some blocks from where the bus let us off. Check out the Vancouver fog:

We arrived on time for the audition, but they were running a little behind. We decided to wander about the halls a little bit. We were in the music department, as it turned out, and we were surprised to find vacant rooms filled with grand pianos. The kids just had to give them a try. I would’ve too, but I was too busy watching over the kids (and making sure they didn’t get into trouble).

The audition went terribly wrong. We didn’t practice enough to perform as a cohesive group, and we weren’t allowed to play our instruments very loud (so we weren’t able to hear ourselved very well). My thought – we were terrible. But seeing as we were the ONLY Malaysian group to perform, and Kakak Jehan was able to do some sweet-talking, we managed to secure another audition closer to the event date. Way to go, Kakak Jehan! We’ll have to really practice now, so as not to make a fool of ourselves come MSN.

It was lunchtime, and it was getting a little late. As we headed home, we gave Mommy a call, and decided to rendezvous at the University Village for some lunch. And so, we ended up having some Seafood Teriyaki. Yummy…

After that, we headed back to UBC SUB. There’s a package from Malaysia we needed to pick-up. On our way there, we decided to check out the university bookstore. I wanted to check out the Gelskins, protective stickers for my laptop. We ended up getting two, one for me and one for the Mommy. They’re pretty cool!

And now it was onward to the post office, to pick up Mommy’s package from Malaysia. It was still very foggy outside. You wouldn’t guess it was mid afternoon by the looks of it.

After we picked up the package, we headed back home. By the way, thanks for the package guys (you know who you are). Check out Melur. For some reason, she didn’t want her picture taken and hid he face in her hood. Apalah!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chess at the Old Barn

Arman has been getting really good at chess. Daddy has been teaching him some strategy, and he seems to be picking them up pretty well. He’s starting to beat his classmates at Kinderclub who used to beat him. Arman’s memory is quite impressive. Daddy tries not to overload his brain, giving him one strategy every one or two days (they’re more like tactics really, since that’s how Daddy plays). One of the first defences he’s learned in the King’s Indian Defence, which he’s taken a liking too.

Anyway, with all this talk about chess, Mommy found a chess club on campus, at the Old Barn Community Centre. Incidentally, it starts at 12 pm on Sundays, right after Swim Class. And so we decided to check it out today, after swim class. Here’s a video of us making our way to the Old Barn Community Centre. Mommy and Daddy think the kids are quite excited to check it out. It’s something new after all:

We met with the instructor, Lior, who was very nice. He seems very excited with the turn up, and took pictures of everyone in the club (on his iPhone), along with their names and contact info. Daddy introduced Arman and someone who’s taken a strong liking to chess, and Lior just had to check Arman out (I think I may have hyped up Arman’s abilities a little bit). Here they are playing chess:

Arman vs. Lior

Lior was pretty impressed with Arman. Arman’s only five, after all. And Arman was able to play the King’s Indian Defence. Arman couldn’t stop talking about it, really. Arman’s so excited about the game, Lior had to calm him down many times.

Davis vs. Arman

After playing with Lior, Arman played a few more games with the other club members. Arman was able to beat some, but he lost some too. There’s still a ways to go for his “training”.

Arman vs. Ben

Melur didn’t sit idly by either. She’s not as enthusiastic about chess as Arman is, but she can play the occasional game or two. Here’s a picture of Melur in action:

Melur vs. Annie

Coming to the chess club was a pretty good idea. I guess this will be our family’s ritual for the next few weeks, swimming followed by chess club on Sundays. Saturdays will be Kumon. Lior is setting up a tournament, and Arman will be participating in that.

Good luck, Arman!

First Swim Class for 2009

It is the first day of swimming for Melur and Arman for the winter session. Melur is registered for the K03 level, while Arman is registered for the P4 (Salamander) level. Both lessons are for 30 minutes, and start at the same time... Good news for Mommy and Papa, since both of us can take this opportunity to swim a few laps while waiting for the kids. Everybody ends up getting a little bit of physical activity on Sunday mornings.

Melur has been progressing well in her swimming lessons. She started off taking lessons at the UBC Aquatics Centre since January 2006. She progressed from the pre-school classes - P3 (Sea Turtle) to P4 (Salamander) to P5 (Sun Fish)... and later on the children classes - K02 and K03. Well done Melur!

As for Arman, this is his third attempt at P4. He has a difficult time with his kicks because his legs are not straight... but at least he seems to be enjoying playing in the water. Go on Arman... don't give up!

Anyway, we usually enjoy a 10-minute dip in the Jacuzzi after swimming. Here's a video:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Qianah

It's Saturday, and Arman's invited to attend Qianah's birthday party today. Qianah is Arman's classmate from Kinderclub, and Arman (and Daddy) sometimes get a ride home with Qianah (and her Mom) after school. But before we get to the party, let me tell you about the events leading up to the party.

We start-off with our usual trip to Kumon on Broadway and Ash. We do this every Saturday, just Daddy and the kids. It's a short trip, really. Melur and Arman have daily Kumon homework, and they get reviewed during these trips to Kumon. Daddy takes them on Saturday, while Mommy takes them on Mondays. Today, Arman finished his Kumon work before Melur, and you see him dancing in the waiting area.

After Kumon, we traversed the rain to Toys R Us, to get Qianah a birthday present. I didn't agree with many of the things Arman wanted to get, so I let Melur choose a gift for Qianah. I hope Qianah likes it.

After that, we headed back home. The trip to Kumon and Toys R Us took most of the afternoon, so we hurried back to wrap the present. Here we are at the bus stop:

We got to Qianah's birthday party in time (pretty much). Eventhough it was only Arman who was invited to the party, Qianah's mom invited Melur as well when she saw her with me. Thank you Qianah's mom. I know they'll have a blast together.

The party was very festive. Usually, when Arman gets invited to one of his classmates' birthday parties, the attendees are usually also his classmates. Not so the case here. But the kids were able to fit in. Check out all the videos and pictures from the party.

One thing to note, we met another “Arman” at the party. Although his name is spelled slightly differently, Armoun I think, the pronunciation is exactly the same. How cool is that?

At the end of the party, the rain turned to snow. What a snowy winter we're getting here in Vancouver this year. Check it out:

Anyway, thank you Qianah for inviting Arman and Melur to your party. We certainly had a a lot of fun. We hope you did too, and that you enjoy our gift to you.

Happy Birthday Qianah!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Down memory lane...

This is a picture Mommy found in her mailbox. It is Arman and Maria (from Arman's old pre-school). This is from one of the many field trips the pre-school had organized. This trip is to Jericho Beach sometime in July 2008... almost a year ago. Arman has grown so much now.

On a short note, Mommy and Papa think that Acadia Park Pre-School did such a good job with Arman. They helped us in getting in touch with a Speech Therapist and getting help for his legs... Arman also started Kindergarten already recognizing the letters of the alphabet.

PS) This entry is just something that Mommy came up with rather recently and felt like sharing... doesn't fall into any of the current timeline..

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More Presents from Malaysia

Hey!!! We got another care package from Malaysia today. Our last one was from last September. Thank you Nenek, Mak Long, Oteh, Andak and Pak Usu. The presents were a pleasant surprise.

Melur wasn’t around to experience the opening of the presents, because she was on a play-date with Sara. So there was more for the rest of us to enjoy. Check it out:

Anyway, thanks again. The kids (Mommy and Daddy too) are very grateful.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy New Year 2009

And what goes better on a new year’s weekend than a nice styling haircut. It snowed some more today, but the kids and I braved the snow to get to a barber. Check out our little diversion as we made our way there:

Anyway, this’ll be a short entry. Voila, check out the new haircuts: