Category Archives: Exclusively Eric

Look who’s finally following in his mom’s footsteps

Fine. The honest truth to my eldest son jumping into programming is that he wanted to make money via his passion in ICT. Thing is, he has been more of an observer (IMHO), in that he plays computer games, uses social media, and watch YouTube videos. That was the extent of his interest.

Last year, I started running a series of CoderDojo programme in his school, which heightened his interest in Raspberry Pi. I made him my unofficial assistant, so at this point in time, he knows what peripherals and devices he needs to setup or even troubleshoot a Pi.

Lately, he has been asking me about stepping up his game so he can earn some money. So I briefly explained to him that he’s going to need to do something that can sustain his interest long enough for him to learn substantially enough so that he can be qualified to be paid. Making money as a prime motivation for doing something will only make you ping-pong from one effort to another, which is going to waste his time and effort if he finds that whatever he was doing at the moment is too difficult or not up to his expectation or interest. On the other hand, if he focused first on skills that he’s already into, he’ll at least find some personal satisfaction in being better at something that he loves.


I suggested that he learns to program games in Python. So that’s what he’s doing now. So cool.

I’m glad that the official Raspberry Pi website has some cool references and tutorials that young people such as Eric can use. He’s currently going through MagPi’s Make Games With Python by himself. Like any other new and veteran programmers, debugging is his biggest challenge; not because of the coding, but the need for focus and patience.

All the best, Eric! Finish it! You can do it!


A blogger in the works

Or at least that’s what I hope Eric can end up doing. You see, he’s been bugging me lately with all his request to buy him stuff, take him to some fancy restaurants, or bring him on a vacation somewhere far away. I’m not sure what has gotten into him lately.

I have explained to him the concept of budgeting, and why it’s important to financially plan for anything you set your eyes on, which led me to explain why so and so is justified or unjustifiable for me to spend on. Especially if the spending is on a whim. So his next question was, “How do you make more money so you can spend more?”

“Why not blog, like I do? You’ve seen how I did it, haven’t you?” He nodded.

“But I don’t know what I should blog about. I have no idea.”

I answered, “Well, you like to watch those anime cartoons, don’t you? Why not blog about that? Or blog about what you’ve been doing today that was fun or interesting or sad. Just… anything.”

That was almost two months ago. I’ve been waiting on him to update this blog while at the same time practicing his English and composition skills.

Number of posts so far? One.

My favorite show ‘Fairy Tail’

Hi. Ever since I first saw ‘Fairy Tail’ I was so excited so I watch it quite a long time. Even a my father likes my favorite show. Well I sometime miss it because my mother deleted my recording……but even though my mother deleted some recording I still like ‘Fairy Tail’. Here I have a room FULL of my favorite shows. And my mother is watching her own favorite shows the most she likes is ‘Running Man’ a korean show. Let me tell about ‘Fairy Tail’ there was a Dragon Slayer named Natsu Dragneel and then he suddenly met Lucy Heartfilia she is one of the family member in the richest family in Mangolia. But she ran away because her father made her mother ran away too. Lucy wanted to be a ‘Fairy Tail’ member. They first fought a guy named Salamander. Who is a member of the Titan Nose Guild. And his real name is Bora a.k.a Bora of Prominice. Well see ya later bye. Oh and if your a ‘Fairy Tail’ fan your awesome. K see ya.


The one constant in life is change

I’d like to think that I’m one resilient person, that I can quickly handle any change and any challenge that comes in my way, and move on. But the year 2011 has been so unfair to me, both professionally and personally — changes and challenges bombarded me from all directions that I feel like I just want to hide from the world and just scream, “Enough!”

I’m glad that my kids aren’t too affected by my issues. My cutie-pies. Mr. smart-boy Eric is as busy as ever. For this month and the next, he’ll have his first ever piano exam for Grade One, his Taekwondo upgrading for yellow belt, becoming a ring-bearer for his aunty’s wedding, and extra band practice… all this during his supposed school break. I wonder from time to time whether all this is too much for him, but he said he wanted to do all these extra-curricular activities, so I’m letting him go ahead with them. Any time he wants to stop, I told him, it’ll be okay with me.

I tend to call Joel by his first name more frequently now. And he writes and recognizes his own name now, yeah! He speaks very clearly now, too. Always the mild tempered boy just as he was before. One pleasant surprise I’m seeing in him is his sense of humour. He’s my Mr. Funny Boy.

Ezra. Never the one to cool down. Just this morning as Joel, Ezra and myself spent a nice sunny morning having breakfast at a cafe, he threw another of his infamous temper, because I refuse to let him wash his hands after doing so for the umpteenth time. His screeching scream was followed by him lying down on the coffee-stained floor, spinning himself on his back as I tried to soothe him and asked him to calm down. Thank God the supervisor had recognized us by now as the frequent patrons of the shop, and she actually laughed seeing him do that. I would have laughed at him too if wasn’t for the crazy stares I was getting from the other people in the cafe. And the fact that the monster of a scream was coming from that little boy I call my son. Mr. Hot-Tempered.

Look at that picture of Edry right over there, isn’t he adorable?! He’s my Mr. Happy Boy. I can’t believe he’s turning one year old next month! He looks just as handsome as my sons. *Sighs* … this kid makes me so happy. He’s a momma’s boy, this champ. He wriggles in excitement and reaches his arms out to me every single time he sees me, without fail. Every single time. And with the biggest smiles, too! None of my kids were ever that excited when seeing me while they were still babies, so I think the amount of excitement Happy Boy shows me more than makes up for his brothers’ lack thereof. My little crawler is working to strengthening his upper body and balance so that he can sit up by himself. I’m thinking in 6 months’ time, he’s ready for standing.

We’ve just completed our first ever Annual General Meeting for the Down Syndrome Association Kota Kinabalu (PSDKK). Even right now I’m putting some finishing touches on some documents and the meeting minutes to be distributed to the members. It got me thinking of the parents in my community who just had babies with Down syndrome, and how much I’d wanted to make an information packet to address this matter.

It led me to my memories when I first had Edry, and the fear and uncertainty I had during those early days.

So, here I am, tears streaming down my face as that familiar fear creeps back into my heart. There’s that self-doubt again. All those medical complication that a child with Down syndrome are susceptible to may creep up later in life… can I handle it? Can he? Physical and intellectual development challenges are also waiting for them. How? When? What am I to do? Will he work? Will he count? Will he understand the complexities of life?

And yet, raising Edry has been a breeze… how could it be? I’m trying to remember the struggle I had to endure to raise Edry. And I could remember none. At least no struggle that is any different from what I’ve faced when raising my other children. How could it be so easy for me?

I shouldn’t be asking these things. I should, instead, count my blessings. Because, at the end of the day, the reality is, I’m not raising a child with Down syndrome. I am raising Edry.

So it’s okay. He’s okay. I’m okay.

It’s going to be okay.

A lot has happened, obviously

Joel's 4th Birthday

Joel’s 4th Birthday,
originally uploaded by ltimbah.

I’m playing catch-up with all the blogs I own and have to update, and now I finally have the chance to blog back here again.

Everything is all good in the Dony household. School’s back in session since 3rd January, and things are always hectic during the first two months, at least for me.

Eric: Now in the 4th grade, still taking his piano lessons, no more tuition for him. Now joins the school band instead of the Red Crescent/Red Cross.

Joel: Starts kindergarten this year, and loving it. His morning routine is getting into class, and settling himself on his desk as I take out his cookies, water and handkerchief for breakfast.

Ezra: He’s potty trained for almost two months now, on his own accord, I might add. I did the 3-day potty training technique on him and it works as well as it did with Joel. So far he only wets the bed once, and that was quite a while ago, I can hardly remember.

Edry: He loves to roll himself from the mattress onto the floor. I’m currently teaching him how to balance and sit by himself. He still spits milk after every feed. I really need to plan his medical checkup soon.

I’ll just stop here. So many things to do. Not that I’m really complaining.

The REAL procedure for applying an OKU Kad in Kota Kinabalu

Argh! I thought I had this settled already, but apparently of the 4 sets of application forms required for me to submit, they only needed ONE copy, and returned the rest to me. That ONE copy is to be sent to the Kuala Lumpur office for them to process the OKU Kad. I have to send the rest of the forms myself to the rest of the places like the Welfare Department (yes, the Welfare Department where I applied for Kad OKU is *different* from the other Welfare Department of… sheesh, whatever) and the Education Department.

So here’s my understanding on how the application procedure works here:

  1. I fill in the form in 4 copies (with the doctor’s report written in), and include relevant supporting documents such as his birth certificate and parents MyKad copies.
  2. I send the whole 4 copies to the *Federal* Welfare Department, 1st Floor, Block B, Wisma MUIS, Kota Kinabalu for their verification.
  3. They take one copy of the form for processing to obtain Edry’s Kad OKU, and return the rest of the copies back to me.
  4. I go over to the *State* Welfare Department, Jalan Kebajikan (the map can be found in my Down Syndrome in Sabah page), and give them one copy of the form for their record.
  5. I go over to the Education Department, Wisma Bandaraya, and give them the other copy of the form for their record. The department uses it for placement later in the special eds school/kindergarten.
  6. The last copy is mine to keep.

I keep forgetting to do steps 4 and 5 even though I already have the copies of the form more than a week now. I’ve been too busy, busy, busy. And frustrated. The instructions for the application only stated that copies are for those departments, but they didn’t actually TELL you that you NEED TO GO to those places YOURSELF! And, heck, state AND federal departments? Aren’t these government procedures suppose to be integrated?

It’s just ridiculous. Goes to show that the Sabah government is still very much backwards in terms of adopting new technologies to make their jobs more efficient. Instead of helping, this just adds more stress to us families who’s already struggling to get assistance.

Let’s look at the positive side. I’ve applied for the OKU Kad for Edry. At least that’s one step closer to getting the whole deal done. I only need to find what little time I have in this hectic life to do the rest of them.

Eric is 9

Big brother Eric officially turned 9 yesterday. He wanted to celebrate it in Tuaran with our relatives, so I’m holding off buying the cake until tomorrow when he goes there (we planned to go today, but he misbehaved just now so he has to wait until tomorrow if he behaves well today). Yesterday was school day and it’s still in the fasting month, so he can’t bring a cake into class. I only took him to dinner at his favourite restaurant, Pizza Hut, after all of us returned home (by the way, I’m back at work after an almost-restful maternity leave, and why does Eric have to like Pizza Hut, the slowest fast food joint in the world with the worst service).