Tag Archives: blog birthday

And The Winners Are…

17 Nov

On Monday afternoon, Alphonse helped draw the winners for the Okasaneko Chornicles’ 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway. As my special guest, he did a really great job of keeping the raffle drum rolling. (He loved the raffle drum so much he had a hard time giving it up long after he had drawn out all the winners’ names.) I was very proud that he resisted the urge to tear the raffle stubs I made of the entries into itty-bitty pieces.  He took his job very seriously, as you can see, handing each piece of paper to me very carefully, sometimes, almost gingerly.

Taking his job seriously

I won’t keep you waiting any longer. I know that the Sylvanian Kitty girls are just as excited to announce the winners.  Of 32 official entries,  here are the winners’ names and the items they won from this raffle:

 

 

Congratulations to all the winners!

Please expect an e-mail (or a private message if you’re in Facebook or Multiply) from me this week. Thanks for joining, friends, but best of all, thank you for always dropping by my little corner of the Internet. I really appreciate it. Here’s to another great year of blogging!

Thank You!!!

15 Nov

The entry period for the Okasaneko Chronicles’ 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway ended last night at the stroke of midnight. Thank you to all those who responded and sent in their entries. I will draw the winners tonight and post the names within three days. I will also send personal e-mails to winners so they can tell me where to send their prizes.

We have a dozen prizes to give away and this being a first for me, I will try to take the lessons I learned from this Giveaway experience and use them to make the next one better, and yes, bigger.

Once again, I express my sincerest thanks to Sanrio Gift Gate Philippines, Ban Kee Trading, HerWord.com, Autism Society Philippines, and The Fairy Godmother for their generous spirit. You all gave from the heart and I appreciate it very, very much.  God bless you all!

Now 16, Forever Sweet

3 Nov

Today, Alphonse turns sixteen.

It never ceases to amaze me when I look at him, now almost grown up. He stands three inches taller than me, fits into men’s clothing, and sports a slightly disheveled moustache which matches the smattering of hair in his armpits. Everywhere I look, I no longer see a trace of the baby or the child he once was. All I see is a man.

The truth is, I miss my baby. I miss the sweetness of his breath in the morning. I miss the softness of his unblemished skin. I miss being able to carry  him in the crook of my arm to sing him to sleep.

 I miss the way he fits in the side of my body when he curls up in bed with me.

I miss his chubby cheeks and his round, heavy body. I miss the hibernating porkchop and his pouty lips.

I miss his childlike smile, the one that erases all my fears away. 

But even as I miss those mementoes of his childhood, I marvel at who he has become today. Almost a man, but not quite. Loud, quirky, opinionated, determined. Headstrong and bullish. Sweet and trusting. 

It has been a long journey from then to now. There were many days of pain and heartache, and of grief and despair, but for each one of those miserable days, our lives were blessed a millionfold by what we have learned living with and loving him. Alphonse has taught us patience and tolerance, forgiveness and acceptance, gratitude and surrender. Most of all, he has taught us how to love without hope or thought of reciprocity. We love him because we do, and not because of anything he does to make us love him. It’s as simple as that.

Happy birthday, our dear sweet child, our Alphonse.  Papa, Mama, and Kuya Alex love you so much.

~0~

While on the subject of birthday celebrations, this blog also turns a year older this month. Happy 3rd birthday to Okasaneko Chronicles!

In 2007, when I started blogging, I was lucky to get even just ten people a day to read my blog. Three years later, despite the lack of promotion (I’ve never really been very big at that) and the freedom to express myself, those numbers have multiplied exponentially. In this little corner of the Internet I call Kittymama’s home, I have made many friends. I have also become part of a larger community of people I would never have met were it not for this wonderful experience. Thank you to all those who have come, visited, read, lingered, commented, returned, or even just glanced at the pages of my life. I am humbled by your kindness and love.

The Okasaneko Chronicles’ 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway starts today so please be sure to leave a comment in this blog post to join. You can read the mechanics here for the full details on the giveaway. Many, many thanks to all those who have helped make this giveaway a reality: Sanrio Gift Gate Philippines, Ban Kee Trading, Inc., BusinessWorld/HerWord.com, Autism Society Philippines, The Fairy Godmother, and Alphie (who is none other than Alphonse, the birthday boy who wishes to share his birthday blessings with his Mama).

 

One More Day!!!

2 Nov

The Okasaneko Chronicles 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaway is one day away and I’m reminding all of you to please join! I have really cute prizes to give away courtesy of the generous sponsors of this gift raffle. Even as I write this, however, one more  request for sponsorship is in the works and hopefully, this, too, will be received favorably. 🙂

Over the weekend, I received a gift pack for this giveaway from one of Alphonse’s eco-minded godmothers. Since she refuses to be identified and wishes to give anonymously, I have christened her “The Fairy Godmother” in this giveaway for her unexpected surprise.

Human Nature products are all-organic, natural and ethical products from Gandang Kalikasan, Inc., Gawad Kalinga’s arm in social enterprise. Thes products are 100%  Filipino, from materials to production, employing GK residents and communities to provide fair trade and sustainable livelihood for them. There are very few products like these in the local market and the few available are often imported and expensive. Human Nature is affordable and does what it claims to do, with no hype and no frills. 

These are the products Alphonse uses regularly and which his godmother feels this blog’s readers will appreciate: a 200 ml bottle of Human Nature’s 2-in-1 moisturizing shampoo and body wash with aloe vera, egg white and mandarin, a 50 ml bottle of yummy-smelling Sugarcane hand sanitizer in watermelon (triclosan free), a 50 ml bottle of this amazing DEET-free, safe-for-even-small-kids Citronella bug spray and this cute eco-bag that turns into a tiny strawberry. How eco-friendly is that?

I’m going to post the mechanics for the giveaway TONIGHT so watch out for it!

Herword is Our Word

29 Oct

Today, I am featuring the gift sent in by Ms. Judith S. Juntilla, my editor at HerWord.com, and Ms. Melody Bonus, the site’s webmistress, and it’s a beauty!

CH Carolina Herrera eau de toilette 1.7 fl.oz (50 ml) natural spray 

I’m not a big perfume person (I live on Philosophy’s Baby Grace and Amazing Grace, with the occasional spritz of Clinique Happy or Estee Lauder Pleasures Exotic) so I feel totally unqualified to review this. Instead, I will let the experts speak their mind to you:

The new Carolina Herrera perfume is floral, with a fresh start and an oriental finish. The composition is opened with fresh notes of bergamot, orange, grapefruit and a juicy melon. In the sweet heart there are Bulgarian rose, jasmine and praline. Cinnamon, woody notes and leather lock the composition down. (source: www.frantica.com)

Carolina Herrera CH features bergamot, orange, pomelo, melon, rose, jasmine, praline and cinnamon over woody base notes. (source: www.nstperfume.com)

I don’t know about you guys but I am just about sold on this. Were this not sealed new in cellophane, I’d be tempted to take a whiff or two and let my senses soar with the pleasure of a deeply luscious scent. Moreover, I love the aesthetics of this bottle. Deep red, in leather and metal, this bottle plays upon the imagination as well.

CH is expressed in leather, metal and intense red. A fusion between classic tradition and contemporary innovation, the fantasy and romanticism (source: www.carolinaherrera.com)

There’s a great review of this scent on the net and you can find it here. Check it out if you want to know more.

I am deeply grateful to HerWord.com for their support. As a voice of the Filipina woman, HerWord.com has advocated for the Filipina’s many roles in society. HerWord.com is also my home, where my writings have reached an audience of similar interests and passions.

If you want to win this beauty, be sure to come back for the 3rd OC Blog Birthday Giveaway! Five more days before it starts! 

Countdown to November

26 Oct

As November approaches, Alphonse senses something special is coming up and acts giddy and excited. It doesn’t hurt that another long break is overdue, what with the All Saints’ Day/All Souls’ Day holidays coinciding with most schools’ semestral break. Despite Alphonse’s lack of knowledge and concern about dates, he gets a lot of cues from the people around him and instinctively anticipates the coming days.

I can’t help but feel giddy as well. The OC (short for Okasaneko Chronicles, but funny how it simply dawned on me now that another form of OC is perfectly apt for me- obssessive compulsive, heehee) 3rd Blog Birthday Giveaways will be starting on November 3  and all the people I’ve asked for support has responded very favorably. Even HerWord.com, BusinessWorld’s e-zine for women, is sending a gift for giveaway! Yippee!  The mechanics will be up very soon so please watch out this week for more news on the giveaway.

To get Alphonse prepped for his birthday road trip, we started him on short trips again. His behavior looks very promising. He has been very well behaved on our short trips and save for some minor shouting (he does love his verbal stims), there have been no major problems with grabbing or running away. Two weeks ago, at the grocery store, Alphonse wanted to ride the shopping cart the way he used to when he was a small child. I can’t help but smile when I remember how he took off his size 8 shoes and tried to lift one leg to put inside the large shopping cart. He’s almost five feet five inches now so the sight of him inside one can’t be considered cute anymore. Good thing he’s very pliable these days and we were able to convince him to walk with us instead.

Yesterday was another holiday because of the local barangay elections. Taking advantage of another free day, we decided to start Alphonse’s day with a visit to Granny Flower’s ossuary (Granny Flower is A’s mom).

Then it was off to  my Mom and Dad’s house for a visit. We didn’t stay too long, though. We wanted to give him an hour or two at the mall before it was overrun with people.  We also wanted to tire him out by walking the stretch of the SM North EDSA Sky Garden’s 400-meter covered walk way.

Alphonse was met with a lot of curious stares as his dad and big brother held his hands while walking. He didn’t seem to mind the gawking; in fact, he had a ready smile for everyone he crossed paths with.

He fell in love with this overgrown pumpkin decoration and sat down and fiddled with it before we could entice him to walk again. He even laid down a few seconds on the grass right beside it.

But we made sure to keep our promise of afternoon merienda (snack). Food is always a highlight of any trip for him and he loves Ineng’s succulent pork barbecue on a stick. He had one while sitting, another one while walking back to the car, and a third one inside the car. When we got home, he ate two more! This boy can definitely eat!

It doesn’t take much to make him happy, as you can see.  We didn’t even have to spend for anything other than food. At yet, at the end of the day,  you can tell by his smiles and kisses that he absolutely loves these mini-dates. Here’s crossing our fingers he’ll love our birthday surprise for him!

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!

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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!