Birthdays and Giveaways

21 Oct

Alphonse will turn 16 in a little less than two weeks. Birthdays are fun but it’s always been difficult finding presents for him. Unlike your typical teenager, Alphonse wants little and needs so little to make him happy that often, we end up with such unimaginative presents of … you guessed right… underwear, shoes, and clothes. We can’t ask him what he wants when his default answer is “yes” to everything (when he says “No” you know he means it, whereas “Yes” can mean either) and Alex, his wily older brother, usually finds a way to twist this to his advantage.

Mama: Alphonse, do you want a new shirt?
Alphonse: (nods) Yes
Mama: Do you want new Crocs?
Alphonse: (nods) Yes
Alex: Wait, Mama, it’s my turn. Alphonse, do you want a new PS3?
Alphonse: (nods) Yes
Alex: See, Mama, you really have to get the PS3 for Alphonse. He really, really, really wants it! Please? Let’s buy the PS3 today!
(Nice try, son!)

Finding gifts Alphonse will genuinely love is always a challenge. These days, he’s still drawn to colorful preschool toys ; he actually sneaks off with his little three-year-old cousin’s toys every now and then. He still loves Disney DVDs despite our attempts to introduce him to other movies. And he is still absolutely, passionately crazy over bubbles. Running out of bubble solutions or bubble bottles will likely provoke a prolonged crying spell. We realize however that we can’t exactly keep encouraging him with these. While they remain part of his life, we have to keep looking at things and activities most neurotypical teenagers enjoy at that particular age. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. Nothing seems to pop out as remotely interesting to him as the things he is already used to.

Alphonse's PECS card

So we racked our brains and discussed countless ideas, without ever coming to a united position on our special gift for Alphonse’s 16th birthday. But you know how the answers to prayers come when one least expects it? Just a few weeks ago, we had a lightbulb moment.  When Alphonse popped open one of the large covered pails of water we had and dove right in- head, shoulders, body, feet and all- we knew at once what we were getting him this year.

Just a brief backgrounder: Alphonse loves water but not the kind you swim in. He loves humongous basins and shallow pools  and garden hoses and sprinklers of all kinds but would not venture into any body of water higher than his knees. This past summer, on a family trip, we went to a hot springs resort and were suprised when, for the first time ever, he decided to step into the pool and submerge himself neck deep. Not only that, he half-walked, half-paddled the entire length of the small pool.  That he decided to stay submerged for almost a whole day told us that he finally found the courage to enjoy being in the water. Unfortunately, when night came, he wanted to go home and sleep in his own bed, though we had already paid for accommodations for the night. We tried to coax him to sleep but he cried loudly and refused to be appeased. We made the long drive back and once home, he promptly fell asleep. With that experience in mind, we promised him only day trips for now.

And that is what he is getting for his birthday- a day visit for a swimming party at the same resort. We’ve already made reservations. I only have to firm up the plans for food and extra amenities, get the swimsuits and swimming gear ready, get extra decorations, and we are ready to go!


While we’re on the topic of birthdays, next month, Okasaneko Chronicles on WordPress turns three years old.  To celebrate my blog’s third birthday and to thank all those who have supported my blog with their visits and comments, I will be hosting my first ever giveaway. Wheee! Who can resist giveaways?

For now, I have decided on giving away three different sets of gifts which reflect each of the different passions I write about in my blog- autism advocacy, Sanrio and Hello Kitty, and Sylvanian families. Yesterday, I received an e-mail confirmation from Ms. Isabel Lopez, Marketing Manager of Sanrio Gift Gate Philippines, of their very kind sponsorship of the Sanrio gift pack. I was amazed that within an hour of sending my e-mail request, Ms. Lopez replied with a positive confirmation. I will wait for further instructions from her, but already, I am beside myself with joy.

Autism Society Philippines, through the kindness of ASP Secretary Tiffany Tan, will also donate two items for the autism advocacy gift package. I won’t reveal yet what’s inside this gift pack but let me tell you that some of the gifts will come from Alphonse and myself.

I am still waiting for Ban Kee’s Mr. Joseph de Leon’s reply to my request. I am hopeful that with these two generous sponsors already committed to the giveaway, they will follow suit. I will keep you guys updated on this.

The “I Am Three” Blog Giveaway will be launched very soon so please come back to this blog to get more details. As soon as the gift packs are all ready, I will post pictures and instructions on how to join. With two birthdays coming in November, it’s going to be a party!

P.S. Ban Kee said YES!!! It’s three for three!


10 Responses to “Birthdays and Giveaways”

  1. cynch October 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    woot-woot!!! me want freebie!!!! hehehe :P. happy 3rd birthday to your blogsite ^_^. and advance happy birthday to dear alphonse…be sure to share with us some pics from his birthday bash ok :D?

    • Kittymama October 22, 2010 at 10:59 am #

      Thanks for the greetings, Cynch! I promise to share the pics of his birthday (let’s pray it doesn’t rain hard then). And be sure to join the giveaway, pls? 🙂

  2. Jmee27 October 21, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    Sanrio freebies? Count me in!!!

    Happy birthday to your son and your blogsite.

    And thanks for the wonderful message that you left on my FB wall. I really appreciate the help that you offered my son. 🙂

    • Kittymama October 22, 2010 at 11:00 am #

      Thanks for wanting to join the giveaway, Jmee. 🙂 Alphonse says thank you too!

  3. Michael October 22, 2010 at 12:13 am #

    He has a Batman shirt, does he like Batman? I have become very into American comics in the past few years. I had been so in the early 90’s, but got out of it. A PS3 would have been nice. I still want one of those. =P I hope he will have a good birthday. Congratulations on three years here.

    • Kittymama October 22, 2010 at 11:06 am #

      He used to like Batman action figures when he was small and he had a favorite (a Bruce Wayne action figure with a retractable head) but now that he’s so much older, I haven’t seen him pick it up. I guess the Batman shirt is still all me. I like to buy him shirts that are supposed to be “teen-friendly,” so he has a variety of graphic shirts with popular designs like Batman, Star Wars, or Transformers.

      And the PS3 would be cool but it wouldn’t be for him, haha. I think his brother would get the most mileage there but we’re not convinced he deserves one yet, especially since he played the XBox360 into final submission (the red ring of death!).

      Thanks for coming by again, Michael!

      • Michael October 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

        I recently got a new Batman figure, as well as a few other DC characters. I put pictures of 3 up on FB and have 4 more to photograph. I collect 6 inch figures based on the comics and 4 inch ones based on a series of inter-related animated shows that ran from 92 to 06. Unfortunately, x-BOX 360 is made to fail. I do not have one due to there being few good games in the US that are only on it. I pretty much like Japanese console RPG’s with anime styled characters. The fail rate and fact that it does not play most of the few original X-BOX games I would want certainly helps in my decision not to bother with it. I do have Wii, Playstation, Playstation 2, PSP, DS, NES/Famicom, Super NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, NeoGeo, NeoGeo Pocket Color, Sega Mega Drive, Game Gear, Saturn, Dreamcast, and a computer. Though, those have been accumulated since 87.

  4. Manggy October 22, 2010 at 10:57 am #

    I’m not really eligible for the gift– but I don’t mind, I already have a sweet gift from you here– though I still wanted to drop by and say happy birthday to Alphonse and happy birthday to your beautiful, honest, and inspiring blog 🙂

    • Kittymama October 22, 2010 at 11:09 am #

      Is that really you, Doc Mark? I only see snippets of your life in FB these days but it certainly looks like you’re thriving in your new city and doing well in your profession. Thanks for saying hello again, Manggy. I really appreciate that you remembered. The blog world misses you. And I miss you. Take care always, my young friend!

  5. anne October 23, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    wOw!giveaways!!!hehehehe!i like! 🙂
    i hope alphonse would have a very happy birthday!
    happy birtday to your blog too!
    congratulations and god bless you po & your family!

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