Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We Are Busy People

With two school-age kids, we are a busy family. Roy and I like to see the kids active, and that makes us busy too. The kids have school from 9am until 3:30pm on weekdays. They usually get half an hour rest and snack time after school, and then spent the next 1 to 2 hours on homework, school project, and piano practice.

Our weekly after school schedule looks more or less like this:

Chess club - Both Arman and Roy are members of the Kingston Chess Club, and they play club tournament games on a weekly basis. The club starts around 7:30pm and ends around 11pm. Arman usually comes home about an hour earlier. He gets a ride from the Chans.

Piano lessons (7pm to 8pm) - Both kids are taking the piano exam at the end of this year.

Islamic school or "menyaji" as the kids pronounce it (5:30pm to 6:15pm)
Scouts (6:30pm to 8pm) - This is probably the kids' favorite extra-curricular activities. 
Badminton for Roy (8pm to 9:30pm)

Family swim (6pm to 7:30pm) - We go to the swimming pool at the Queen's University Recreation Center. The swimming is only about 45 minutes (at most), but we shower and change there. Melur and I usually take our time to get ready for dinner afterward.
Dinner out after swimming. We have a list of "pre-approve" places - i.e., places that are cheap and offer healthy options. Our favorites are: Royal Angkor (Thai food), Subway, and Alibaba (they have the best chicken shawarma in Kingston). 

Islamic school (6:30pm to 7:30pm)
Family movie night (9pm onwards) - We let the kids sleep later than 9pm on Fridays. We usually watch an episode of Grimm on Friday nights, but since Grimm is on hiatus until March, we are watching anime instead. We are now going through "Fruit Basket." We've been watching 1 to 2 episodes for the past 3 weeks. We figure that by the time we go through the entire series, Grimm will be back on.

Swimming (9:15am to 10am for Arman, and 10:30am to 11:30am for Melur).
Islamic school (3:30pm to 5pm)

We try to plan a family activity together - e.g., board games, apple picking, sledding, etc. About once a month we'll go to Toronto for Arman's chess tournament. This week we might try downhill skiing at Batawa Ski Hills

Between Roy's work, my dissertation/research, and the kids' school and extra-curricular activities, our family schedule is quite packed. Roy and I still need to fit grocery shopping, doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning up the house into our schedule. On top of all that, we try to fit in exercise too! 

Playing Smallworld, which is currently our family's favorite board game. This picture was taken about 2 weeks ago.

What can we say... we are busy people.

1. I'm thinking that we should cut ourselves some slack, especially in keeping the house clean. So what if the kitchen is dirty by Uteh's standards? We have work, kids, and ourselves to take care of.  The house is not dirty-dirty, just OK-dirty. That should be good enough because there are other things in our to do list are more important.
2. The un-sung hero here is of course Roy. He shares the housework, ferries the kids and myself to places we need to be, and works full-time. We don't say it often enough, but thank you for everything!

Arman's Favorite T-shirt

About twice a year I would go through the kids' closets and throw out clothes that they don't fit into anymore. I don't actually throw them out (as in into the trash bin), I usually donate the "good ones" to goodwill. This de-clutters the house, and lets me take notes on the kids' clothing needs. 

Arman doesn't care much about what he wears. He usually wears whatever he could grab in his closet - he doesn't care much about wearing things that fit him and appropriate for the weather. But, there's one t-shirt that he loves to wear. He outgrew it (he got it about 2 to 3 years ago from Mak Long). He used to wear it all the time, so this t-shirt went through rapid wash-wear cycle. I decided to keep this t-shirt as a momento.

The t-shirt is bright orange (below). Arman looks good in bright, warm colours. But I think he likes it because it has a bit of an attitude. The t-shirt says: "Hear no evil... See no evil... Speak no evil... That's no fun!!!" 

Arman's favorite t-shirt - bright orange with an attitude. I remember him wearing this all the time.

Oh, come to think of it, Arman does like t-shirts with a bit of attitude. Here's one that he really likes and could still wear. He chose this himself, which is quite a rarity. Arman's usually more of a I-like-what-you-like-just-pick-something type of guy. 

Arman likes this t-shirt too (one of the few clothing items that he picked himself). This one also has an attitude.