Okasaneko
(http://blog.hellokitty.com/okasaneko)
A Tubby Tabby, Three Konekos, and a Life with Hello Kitty and Autism

Archive for the 'Kittymania!' Category

The Kitty Business

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I’ve been meaning to post new pictures of my Kitty purchases. The pictures are not complete; I chose only the pieces that I really, really like. My seller-friends know what I got from them, and that’ll have to remain between them and myself. (Procrastination excused!) But I wanted to share some, because they’re just so darned beautiful or because as simple as they are, they brought so much joy to Alphonse and myself.

This is a denim visor I got from AJ a few months back. Alphonse picked out the blue one himself. I think he thinks he looks cool in it. :-)

These are new bookends I got from Vivi and they go very well in my bookshelf. But wait…

Alphonse loves the vibrating Kitty strawberry toy Vivi sent as a gift! See the smile on his face? Suddenly, my purchases all seemed rather unimportant. How much is Alphonse’s smile? Absolutely priceless. Thank you, dear Vivi! 

This is Alphonse’s favorite clock from Nancy (it goes very well with his Kitty timer). For now, it hangs in our room while it awaits a permanent place in what will be Alphonse’s work area. The classic red and apple Kitties are his favorite. Most touching of all, Nancy and Vivi wrote Alphonse short notes which I have read to him. I know he loves being remembered and thought of. :-)

Now, this is my current favorite, a scientific calculator which I got on a clearance sale at Nancy’s. I’ve been dreaming of this for quite a time (it was quite expensive in other sites) and I was fortunate to have snagged this before anyone else did. Now, I’m looking for another one for Sweeney, who I think will be able to use this in her high school algebra and trigonometry classes. Oh, I do hope I find another one!

And for my Oriental-inspired living room, here are my newest add-ons:

a pair of gorgeous Kitties from Allen to watch over Akemi, my Japanese baby doll

a lucky manekineko gold plush from Gift Gate

 

and an elegant Japanese Kitty from AJ

I don’t have a specific room to house my Kitty collection. More often than not, you’ll find her here and there, scattered in the different corners of my home, proof of how she has insinuated herself into my life. Each piece reminds me of something, of Alphonse’s smile as he looks at Hello Kitty tenderly, of Alex’s clumsy but ultimately successful attempts to worm himself into my good side (a mommy bribe, he calls it), and of A’s willingness to sacrifice his own interests and desires just to accommodate mine. It’s not so much as the Kitties but the story behind them. And that story is always about love.

Crazy Ate (8) The Night

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

I promised A that I will not blog until I finished my work and I kept my promise, much as I was tempted to drop everything and blog my head off. There were moments over the weekend when a certain experience or event or scene would strike me, and the first thing that would go through my head was “I can’t wait to put this in my blog.” As enticing as it was, I had to put the brakes on my compulsion and act as a responsible adult. Work first. Fun comes next. And blogging is soo much fun that all I can say at this point is “Finally!”

Last week was pretty hectic; three concerts in one week (Alicia Keys on Tuesday, Sharon Cuneta on Friday, and Tony Hadley on Saturday) and my body felt as if it were being punished already. By Sunday, all I wanted to do was sleep and for the first time in days, my body resisted the call of mommy duty.

“Mom, I need something,” Alex would holler. I’d drool in response.

Alphonse would tug at my hand and give me a PECS card; I’d stare at the card blankly and wonder what the heck those little pictures meant. My mind was a blank.

And A would ask me, “Do we need anything from the grocery, honey?” and I’d try to scribble a list. I think I gave him some funny chicken scrawls and squiggles on a piece of paper. A, always patient, did the groceries himself and let me just sleep in. 

Whoa, I think I’m getting a little too old for nightlife, heehee.

Still, I had such fun over the weekend. A was my concert partner, as usual (he has much more stamina for these things than me, I am constantly amazed at his endurance). I love my husband and I can’t say it enough. When I think about what I made him do over the weekend, I cringe in mock embarrassment, but I am all the more grateful that my life is blessed by this man’s love.

I mentioned that we went on three concerts, right? Well, I didn’t mention this: I brought my Hello Kitty Dress Me doll everywhere over the weekend. And A was usually the one who held “her” while I took the pictures. :-)

Ms. Cuneta’s concert, Megathirty, on Crazy 8 night was very well attended (my review will come out soon) and I’ve never ever been disappointed in any of her shows (I’ve never missed one). Her voice is in the best condition it has ever been in recent years. Her special numbers with guests Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera were truly awe-inspiring. It made my heart swell with pride that these were homegrown talents who could stand tall with the rest of the world.

Then too, it happens in the most unexpected of places but that night, I was suddenly reunited with two old medical school classmates I haven’t seen in years. One is a well-known hepatologist (he did his residency at Yale University, completed a three-year fellowship in gastroenterology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, and obtained his Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University - whew! that was a mouthful!) and the other is a physician who loyally serves his hometown of Tarlac and is such a talented artist that I think he’ll soon be leaving behind medicine to go into full-time graphic novel writing and drawing.  I couldn’t seem to hug them enough when I saw them. In the excitement, I forgot to take our pictures and I rued it immediately. Drat!

Mr. Hadley’s concert made up for in sheer fun what it lacked in attendance (the venue was roughly 60% full). Both concerts were held at the same venue (Araneta Coliseum) so I was able to compare the volume of crowds. What was initially a disappointing sight turned out into a blessing- we danced and jumped and hustled, and we didn’t feel like we were sardines trapped in a can. Tony Hadley still has the voice that catapulted Spanda Ballet into the ‘80s icon it was, and despite the rather poor attendance, he gave us a show to remember.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. I’ll post a separate article on Kitty’s Day Out soon. Enjoy!

Megathirty 8-8-08

Kitty attends her first concert ever (in her underwear)!

Kitty enjoying the show…

Sharon Cuneta with Gary Valenciano

With daughter KC Concepcion (duet of “Dear Heart” sung in English, French, and Filipino)

KC sings “Imposible” while swinging from a wire harness

With Gary Valenciano and Martin Nievera

The Pangilinan Family

 

Tony Hadley Concert 8-9-08

Kitty trying to steal the show, popping in and out of the video screen

Wearing Alex’s horns, watching the Sabado Boys (a crowd favorite), the front act

The man himself, Tony Hadley, a little older, a little heavier, but still as good as “Gold”

A thrilled Kittymama with her new baby (Kitty is a Brit like Mr. Hadley :-) )

Autism and Kitty Love

Friday, August 1st, 2008

My son Alphonse will turn 14 in a few months (in three months, to be exact) and were he your ordinary, every day, typical kind of boy, he would not have a thing to do with Hello Kitty. His older brother, Alex, does not even set foot inside a Sanrio store, except when absolutely necessary, like when he has to buy a gift for me. (When Gift Gate used to carry Legos, Alex would ask that the Legos be brought to him by the door. The sales persons, thinking he was darned cute, would oblige. They would stand near the doorway, hold a couple of Lego boxes, and Alex would make his choice by pointing from afar. I think this will change in the near future, when he has to buy gifts for girls other than me.)

But Alphonse, well, he grew up with Hello Kitty beside him- on his bed, on his clothes, on his things- and to him, it was as natural as anything else in his little world. While A was concerned that I encouraged it a little too much, he didn’t exactly forbid it. I think as long as Alphonse was happy, he was happy too, never mind that Hello Kitty does not rank anywhere near A’s favorite things in the world.

This week, a package I ordered some months back arrived. It came from Esi, one of my friends in the Multiply social network. I knew as early as then when I asked for measurements that this would not fit me, but I had someone else in mind: Alphonse. And I was right. When he donned this on, he gave me the sweetest smile, rubbed his hands gently on the fleece surface, and hugged me tightly. Even more, when I started taking pictures of him, he posed like a world-class supermodel.

Wearing his fleece vest (from Tita Esi), with his Kitty timer (from Tita Vivi) on him and his favorite Kitty vibrating pillow (from Mama) in unprompted poses

Ah, the innocence and simple happiness of a child, one of autism’s unexpected gifts.

Just Because

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

A took these out from his pocket a few nights ago and handed them over to me without a word.

Four Hello Kitty pens, a pink nail clipper (now attached to my housekeys) and a small metal sliding-top box for medicines or trinkets

“What are these for, honey?” I asked him.

“Nothing, they’re just some things I thought you’d like,” he answered.

“Why?” 

“Just because,” his voice trails off as he kisses me lightly on the lips.

 My heart turns to mush.

I play with the pens for a while. I hang the clipper to my keys (you never know when Alphonse might need a trim). I like the box best as I think about transferring my carry-on first aid items to this box.

“Honey, did you notice Kitty’s nose is not yellow?” I try to make more small talk as A slips off his office barong.* He stops what he is doing and looks at me.

“Is her nose supposed to be yellow?”

“U-huh. She might have a stuffy nose in this one, it’s all black!” I giggled like a mababaw na person (mababaw translates to shallow, but the vernacular sounds more apt) .

A asks to look at the box and gives out a groan as he turns it over.

“What?” I asked.

“This.”

It’s okay, honey, I love it anyway.

~0~

*Thirty second lesson on the Philippines: a barong is an embroidered dress shirt of the Philippines; for office use, linen is the cloth of choice but for a formal affair, the choice of cloth would be delicate fabric made from pineapple, banana, or abaca fibers

Wii Update

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

My Wii’s not broken! (*heaves a sigh of relief*)

Turns out that the power supply shorted out (must be the beastly heat) but the Wii itself is untouched. :-) A is bringing me home a new power supply thingie tonight. I can’t wait to get back to my Guitar Hero nights and Wii Fit Days!

Guitar Hero-rockin\' Kittymama

Kittymama’s rockin’ hot!

Way To Go!

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

newspapersI get my daily newspapers at night, when A comes home from work. He brings home nine different newspapers each night, part of a journalistic exchange practice they’ve had for years. Nights, however, I have very many things going on all at the same time so I am always hard pressed to finish all nine of them. I usually get my paper time in the mornings before Alphonse is up, while I have my morning brew.

Monday was a holiday so reading the papers was out. A was home, which meant conversations over breakfast, and not my solitary pursuit of hot drink and the papers. This morning, as I was reading through Monday and Tuesday’s papers, a name jumped out from the byline- my friend C! She had written an article about autism (she didn’t tell me :-( ) and it was on one of Monday’s papers. I was so giddily happy I texted her right away and told her I’m keeping a copy to have it signed. :-)

Here is a scanned picture of her article. (I couldn’t find a link on the online archives anymore, even as this is a major broadsheet.) I’ve also blurred her name to protect her privacy.

Congratulations, my friend!

What made me even happier was the fact that Hello Kitty got special mention. Even better, C was referring to MY Hello Kitty autism awareness widget! Yay for friends!

Kitty Speaks

Great job, C!

“How Do I Love Thee?”

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

For the sake of A’s privacy, I have decided not to post any pictures from my birthday vacation. Instead, I would like to share the many, wonderful ways A surprised me for this special event.

The night before we left, A brought home this cake for me and the kids. (See the dedication? How sweet!) I know Hello Kitty looks a little ragged in this cake, but I was so pleased that he remembered that I loved it just the same. Besides, Keroppi looked kinda cute!

Surprise Birthday Cake

A then asked me to pose for the camera, but I didn’t know he pulled a prank on me until I reviewed the pictures for uploading. :-)

 Fourteen?

See how he switched the numbers from 41 to 14? Funny man, but he later made up for this by saying he has loved me since we were 14. Ahhh, what could be sweeter than that?

The cake would literally prove to be just the “icing” for my birthday celebrations as A had more surprises up his sleeve.  

At exactly midnight of May 31, just before he and I went to bed, he pulled out two more boxes from I-don’t-know-where-he-hid-them.

Midnight surprises

I was confused why he would give me another SD card until I opened the beautifully wrapped gift. Imagine my astonishment when I saw this-

Wowoweee!

“AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” I shrieked and jumped and hyperventilated for joy!

And when I settled down from the screaming and the jumping, he gave me yet another one…

 Four million dollar love

A beautiful hello kitty-red Crumpler camera bag! How many more surprises can my heart take?

A and I then spent another hour fiddling with the camera and taking shots of each other. I fell asleep that night, wrapped in his arms, with the camera manual draped over my chest.

Over the next few days, as A and I enjoyed our brief vacation, he never failed to pull a surprise or two on me. They weren’t always  “over-the-moon” kind of surprises, though. Sometimes, it would be the simplest little thing, like a bar of chocolate or a bottle of Coke zero (”Coke is outrageously pricey in hotels,” he repeatedly reminded me. So one time, I ordered this very exotic tasting juice from room service, proud that I did not order Coke, and when the bill came, the juice was worth almost PhP600! I went back to Coke zero brought elsewhere, haha. But I digress…)

Most of the time, it was just the way he made his presence felt to me, like how, after 17 years of marriage, he still moves over to the side of traffic when we cross streets, or how he always gives me first dibs on the better pillow. Or how he starts and ends our days with “I love you.”

I Love You To Infinity Signed

If I had honestly thought that by the third day, he had pulled enough surprises, I was in for a bigger shock. A knew that Hello Kitty would not be too far behind when my birthday comes every year, so he also whipped up this Kitty bag of goodies for me: three different Hello Kitty NDS lite styluses (reminder to self: plural of stylus is styli or styluses, but I like the latter better), a HK lunch bag, a metal water bottle, a pencil case (which can also double as PSP case) and stationery staples in pink and red.  

Kitty birthday surprises

How can you not love a man who feels secure shopping for Hello Kittys? 

Just this week, a few days after we came back, A brought this home for me. His gift, he says, for my birthday. “But you’ve given me so much already,” I cried out. “For your wee feet,” he jested and smiled broadly as once again, the house was filled with screams and thumps of heavy-butt jumping.

Wee Feet

I’ve always loved Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems and when I was young, I took to heart Sonnet 43 of her Sonnets from the Portuguese. I always prayed that when I meet the man of my heart, he would love me this same way.

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,—I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!—and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.”

He already does. Am I not a lucky woman indeed? 

Because You Loved Me

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

My Mom

My mom’s birthday is today.  A very young-looking, beautiful 62, she is an accomplished businesswoman in her own right (Go, Reliv, Go!), grandmother of four, mother of five, and wife to a much-loved man.

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you!

~0~

I wrote this eight years ago in honor of the most important person who shaped my life- my Mom.

My Mom, My Hero

My mother regrets that toward the end of her days, when people ask her what she has to show for, all she has is a house full of children and grandchildren.

At the age of 18, my mother married my 23 year-old dad. It was 1964. Groomed since birth to believe that every woman’s destiny was to be a mother and a wife and nothing else, my mother strongly resented having to subjugate her desires to please everyone else. She wanted to study, but her parents, relics of a forgotten era, thought education was sorely wasted on women. They refused to subsidized her education. She worked and studied for a while, but the money she earned was barely enough for her own needs. Each day, she struggled desperately against her parents and tried to make something of herself against their wishes. She took care of herself and her siblings, and she went to school, often hungry, often without books, pen, or even paper. It was a hard life, with little pleasure and little of everything else.

She met my dad at 17 and fell in love with him. Less than a year later, when he proposed marriage to her, she said yes. She had kids one after the other. By the time she was 25, she had five little kids all below the age of seven. My dad had a tough time trying to get his business off the ground so he spent a lot of time in the makeshift office-cum-factory where he did manual labor from dawn till dusk. Mom was left pretty much alone to care for us.

In the beginning, when finances were tight, my mom put her dreams on hold for all of us. Money that could be spent fro her dreams was money for her children’s food, clothing, and yes, education. The one thing she was deprived of and that she wanted most was the one thing she would insist for all her children- a good education.

So each year, as a new school year commenced, my mother would wrap her dreams for herself all over again and pin her hopes on us, as if we would be able to satiate the burning ambition that raged inside her. The first time she saw her children’s schoolbooks, neatly bound in plastic and arranged in brand-new bags, she wept openly. She remembered all the times she wanted, nay, craved, for new books and bags, for a pair of black shoes, for pen and paper, and was denied of them. She prayed that her children be spared of the same “hunger” that she had grown up with.

Mom and 5 year-old meWhen I was five, I began to realize that behind my mom’s perpetually sunny disposition was a sadness that she could not mask very well. The tension was etched in the sinews of her limbs when she hugged or smothered us with kisses. I could not understand. She was happy when my dad was around, and even happier when all five of us were clowning around her. But late at night, I often heard her muffled cries and my parents’ whispered voices. In the morning, it would seem as I imagined the entire thing, and she would be up again, making us breakfast, back to her cheery self, back to the smiling, giggly, beautiful mommy we all loved.

I found the truth from a maid’s wagging tongue. Everyone knew it, she whispered conspiratorially to me. It was the talk of our little town. My paternal grandmother disliked my mother because she was not “good” enough for my dad. What made it more difficult for her was the fact that my grnadmother lived in the house right behind us and mom had to bear with hurtful criticism and unfounded gossip every day. Mom pleaded with my dad to move, but dad loved his family too much. He worked tirelessly to support his widowed mother and his siblings. He begged for mom’s patience. He asked my mom with bear with them gracefully and to bear them no ill will. He assured her that they would learn to love her once they got to know her. They will soon see what he found so special in her, he promised. But they never did.

Because we were my mom’s children, we never felt we quite fit in with my cousins. My cousins were always seen as more important, more beautiful, brighter, or smarter than we were. When we were very young, we tried hard to please my father’s family, but all they gave us were patronizing smiles and pats on the head. I have no memories of being hugged or kissed by any of them. Often, my grandmother would make fun of my flat nose or my chinky eyes, openly favoring my cousins’ long lashes and aquiline nose. I never cried, thought I bottled up all the hurt till my heart turned into stone.

My mom knew that we hurt from our relatives’ rejection and she gave us kisses and hugs to make up for it. She taught us to hold the pain, to realize its enormity in our young lives, and to use it to make us stronger. She always gently reminded us that as long as we loved ourselves, no other person could hurt us again. Often the five of us would fall asleep all around her, a tumble of legs and arms, as she sang us songs to heal our wonded hearts.

Growing up, I have a lotof memories of moms’ special moments with each of us. Her childhood stories made up a lot of our afternoons. She read little Jasmine stories in different voices. She told Jeff and John war adventures and ghastly ghost stories passed on to her by her father. She watched intently, half in fascination and half in horror, as Joee performed a complex spidergirl routine of climbing walls and jumping off high places. Many afternoons were spent baking us cakes and letting us lick the spoons clean of batter. She had a gift for making good food and she made us all kinds of treats. Nights, she braided three little girls’ long hair and set them in curlers. She stayed up late when exams were around the corner, making reviewers and sample tests for my siblings, all in long hand. She brought us to school every moining, putting her make-up on while the car was moving, at the same time running through her checklist of other things that needed to be done. She was just ALWAYS there.

When my dad suffered four strokes in a span of a year almost nine years ago, our family was devastated. Twice in those four times, the emergency room physicians had turned us away from looking on as they struggled valiantly to save his life. Dad spent many months in critical care. Mom and I stayed in the hospital with him, and she fed him, bathed him, and loved him even when he was too out of it to know. One night, long after the steady stream of visitors had gone, I asked her what she thought our future would be. I remember her reply, for it is something that struck me deeply. She said, “I’m not afraid. I’ll take your dad any way I can. I just want him alive.” 

Shortly after, dad’s relatives took over his business and disowned us. My mother patiently nursed him to full health, but the emotional pain he suffered pushed him into deep depression. Mom took over the reins of the family while my dad recovered. She became the rock that anchored us together. She kneaded and baked bread till the weary hours of the morning to keep the money coming in. In those times of hardships, she taught us to hold on to our faith. Praying over dad constantly, she taught him to forsake his material loss and empty his pain to the Lord. For close to five years, she was the sole spirit that buoyed our flagging hopes.

I shared a lot with my mom. When I was young, we kept each other company during nights when dad stayed up late to close shop. Some Saturdays, the three of us would be up at two in the morning, eating pâté  and bread and discussing the day’s events with each other. I liked hanging around her, watching her put on make-up. She was always beautiful, always glamorous. I liked watching her choose clothes and try them on, one by one. She in turn, loved taking pictures of me- pictures of my first day in medical school, my high school prom, my first date, my first serious boyfriend. She wrote me letters every so often, tackling sensitive issues like crushes, my changing body, falling in love, premarital sex, and yes, the undying theme of excellence. For a long time, she was my best friend. She was always my soft place to fall on.

Mom taught me to reach for my dreams very early in life. She taught me courage when the pretty girls in grade school bullied me senselessly. She taught me to fight back not with my fists but with my brains. She encouraged to to try out for things I wanted to do, like ballet and gymnastics, even when my pudgy body seemed oout of sync with te requirements of the dance. The important thing, she continuously emphasized, was that I was not afraid to try new things, to see diffeerent perspectives, to take on bigger challenges.

I understand now that I was a favored child. I was not beautiful the way my sisters were. I was timid and soft-spoken, taciturn, quiet and aloof. But I loved my parents unabashedly and they, in turn, showered me with more love than I could imagine. Yet one day, I did something that hurt them deeply. I turned my back on medicine.

Mom pinned all her hopes on her first daughter. She placed her dreams of being somebody other than a wife and mother squarely on my shoulders. It was not a burden, I believe that still, but after a time, I came to realize tnat I could not fulfill my spirit in the way everyone expected me to. On the day I told her I was putting my career on indefinite hold, my mother wept once again. I carried that image of her for a long time, my mom slumped in her arms, weeping quietly, trying to make sense of my decision. We carried on a running conversation days after; she repeatedly asked me questions, I parried her with shrugs and smiles. After a while, I just stopped explaining. I een stopped listening. I know I hurt her by my seeming eagerness to throw away years of their sacrifice, just when the star I’ve reached for  was almost at hand.

And so, my mom sees herself as a failure in a lot of ways. All she has is a house full of children and grandchildren to show for her 54 years.

But you see, mom, you are not a failure. You are my hero. You were always my hero. I took a step back from medicine because I wanted to be there for my children, the way you were when I was growing up. I wanted to look back on children’s early days and remember afternoons spent telling them stories. I didn’t want them to miss any moment with me. I grew up whole and healed because you were there. I didn’t want Alex and Alphonse to grow up on me. Their bandaged shins would not wait. Their little spills and tumbles needed a mother’s kiss. I wanted to be there with them as they started their monrnings and still be there at night to tuck them in. I wanted them to remember songs I taught them. I wanted to be you.Mom and Adult Me

Life is too short to waste on regrets. You haven’t wasted your life. Mom. Even as I write this, I am passing on your legacy to my children. They will always know how it is to be loved. My dreams were made on the kisses you showered me, on the letters you sent me throughout my young life, on the the faith you showed your short, pudgy, unbeautiful daughter. You always knew I was good enough to be anything I wanted to be.

Don’t worry about me, mom. I may have taken a detour in life, but today, I am doing the things I love. I have made a real home with my husband. Each day, I am blessed with opportunities to help two boys reach perfection. I write about faith and trust and belief. I write about truth and family. I write about love. And I live it everyday.

You will always be my hero, mom.

And all because you loved me.

My Gratitude Knows No Bounds

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Thank you!

To all my friends, old and new, who wished me a happy birthday, whether through this blog, or through Multiply, Friendster, text message, or email, many, many thanks for your well wishes and prayers. I will post pictures from my birthday celebration(s) as soon as I upload and sort them. :-) A and I had a really great time! 

Stepping Up To Be “Wifely”

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Much Too Young!I’m writing this from an undisclosed location, away from the kids for a change. I am on a very special birthday vacation. Yes, friends, tomorrow, I turn a year older. :-)

I was hesitant to celebrate my birthday away from the children. Aside from the worries of the long days and nights without my boys, I worry about the people who have lovingly volunteered their time to be surrogate parents to them (my parents and sisters). And yet, they all agree, son Alex included, that I deserve this. And that I should grab at this chance to replenish my soul, to rejuvenate my spirit, and to renew the commitments I made to myself and to my family for personal changes. I am speechless with their generosity.

So now, here I am, alone in a picture-perfect room, away from my Alexander and Alphonse. A is running some errands for me, and I only have my laptop to keep me company. I am unused to the silence. I have never been alone this long before.

Languidly, I click on my Hello Kitty mouse and the pictures change. I find myself lingering on some blogs, one of them, Toni’s Wifely Steps. For a woman many years younger (and lighter, hehe) than me, we have surprisingly similar interests. I smile as I browse through my favorites. Books, games, crafts, home, marriage and family. Perhaps that’s why I am drawn to her every day.

Bostik saves the day!Sometimes, her posts are fluff and light, filled with juicy tidbits and humor; other times, they can be somber and thought-provoking, filled with soul-searching and gravitas. You can never tell what strikes her fancy, but I always hope for the following: Sims 2 (and other gaming news), Twilight, books and, of course, lots of “A Day In the Life” and “Spick and Span” posts. After all, I wouldn’t have gotten around to fixing my son’s sleeping bag if it were not for Toni and her Bostik Sew No More.

I am distracted by the knocking on the door. Room service, I think. I wait a bit more before I open the door, distracted by the upcoming Sims 2 IKEA Stuff, to be released in June. The knocking continues and I run to let the server in.Addicted to Sims 2

He looks at me funny as I sign for the meal. I catch my reflection on the mirror and see that I am, in fact, grinning to myself. I remember that I have yet to show one of my favorite posts from Toni, “There is no love in laundry,” to my husband. It brings me back to our early days when A and I were newly married and we did everything together (we still do); I think he’ll get a smile out of this.

The door opens again. A is back, smiling. He proudly shows me a bottle of Coke Zero he got somewhere (“Coke is outrageously pricey in hotels,” he reminds me).

This is what this vacation is all about. Time to just be a wife to A. Time to recommit to our marriage. Happy birthday to me, I thought to myself, as I pull A to the large comfy bed.

~0~

I didn’t think I’d have time to blog during my vacation but I wanted to squeeze this in before time runs out at midnight tonight.

Wifely StepsToni of Wifely Steps is celebrating her fifth anniversary as blogger (and also five years of marriage). I write this out of appreciation for the enjoyment I derive from her weblog. Thank you, Toni! Happy Aniversary and Happy Anniversary!