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As a child, I was never very fond of stuffed animals (a.k.a. plushes). I was always led to believe that they attract loads of dust, germs, & bacteria, which will lead to further chaos in my battle against allergies. My mom severely disliked a cluttered bedroom, & always thought those furry little critters made the room look messy & cluttered.

Therefore, throughout my childhood, I only kept one stuffed animal as my furry little sleeping companion. It was a caramel-orange colored kitten with light brown stripes, soft ears & paw pads, & a fluffy white tummy. That was one of my most treasured possessions as a child, not only because of it’s infinite cuteness & cuddliness, but also because my beloved grandmother gave it to me as a gift. I still have that same stuffed animal to this very day. It is wrapped in tissue paper, boxed, & carefully stored away in our home’s storage closet. I hope to keep this treasured stuffed animal for many years (perhaps even generations) to come.

This brings me to current times. As you can clearly see from the name of my blog, I am a huge lover of both rabbits & foxes. I’m not quite sure how I came to love both animals together, especially since foxes have a penchant for hunting rabbits. My earliest memory is from my youth, when my oldest brother had a pet rabbit. It was a dark chocolate brown color & was quite a mischievous little one. My brother’s rabbit was incredibly adorable & relatively well-behaved with a slight naughty streak. Since then, I fell in love with rabbits.

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As for foxes, I fell in love with them after reading my all-time favorite Japanese comic book series (a.k.a. manga) called XXX Holic. This comic book series made various spiritual & mythical references to foxes, & that just ensnared me straight away. I just fell head over heels in love with the spiritual nature of foxes as well as their beauty.

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Combining my two loves together, I created the title Rabbits & Foxes. It began a couple of years ago with my feeble & half-assed attempt at creating a free website on Wix. Why? A part of me was reminiscing about the late 1990s when everyone was jumping on the Yahoo! GeoCities bandwagon & making their own fan pages. (I remember those good ol’ days, when you could slap a bunch of JPEGs on a colorful background with rainbow-colored text & call it a fan page.) Another part of me was actually trying to make my own personal stamp on the World Wide Web. I was overly ambitious, & strapped on britches that were way to big for my petite size.

It was well after that failed attempt in which I created this blog. I was following Jian on a business trip to Shanghai, China & had nothing to do except stay in our hotel room on a day full of severe lightning storm warnings. So, I made up my mind to start a photo journal of my two week trip. I promised myself from that point on that I would diligently stick to this blog. Being the weirdo that I am, I came up with the idea of collecting trinkets & other useless things to go along with my rabbit & fox theme.

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My first pieces to my small collection were these two felt figurines that I bought online. I haven’t given them a name yet. So far I just call them Rabbit and Fox. I am very picky regarding the things I collect, so my “collection” is pretty sparse at this moment. I recently acquired these two new additions to my themed collection.

The rabbit plush takes a bit of explaining. It starts with my niece. She has a larger version of this exact stuffed animal that she sleeps with every single night. She plays with this stuffed animal daily, & it has become one of her most prized & treasured toys. I frequently like to tease my niece (all in fun, of course) & hide this stuffed animal behind my back, which makes her hyper-excited & chase me around the house to get it back. For fun, I got this smaller version of her favorite stuffed toy, which she named Bun Bun, just to match with her & to show her that I got my own stuffed rabbit. She was over-the-moon when she saw my toy. She told me that now I have to get all the other small sized plushes of all of her other stuffed toys to match her. I named my stuffed rabbit Irving, but my niece calls it Bun Bun (to match her toy’s name).

I got the fox a few days ago as a little Christmas present to myself. My niece immediately took a liking to it, especially because it makes a rattling sound. (Yes, I bought myself an infant’s plush from the baby section at the toy shop.) There was a larger stuffed animal version of this fox, but I decided to stay with the small size trend. I love this fox because it doesn’t look to overly cartoonish or babyish. It’s just the right amount of cute. I also named this fox Gaspard. As you can tell already, I like naming all of my inanimate objects. I don’t think this is weird at all contrary to whatever Jian might say. I think it’s rather fun & unique. I’d much rather say, “Can you bring Richard over here?”, instead of saying “Can you bring me my iPad?”. Or I’d rather say, “Can you get Stephan for me?”, instead of saying “Can you get me my phone charger?” Doesn’t that just sound more interesting? I think so. I’m so happy I have new mascots for my blog! Let’s all welcome IrvingGaspard!! Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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The title of this blog post has more than one meaning. Immediately after going to Disneyland with my family, I ended up getting really sick. I believe this is the third time this year that I’ve fallen ill right after I get back from a trip. I’m usually quite prepared when it comes to my personal well-being & overall health, as well as maintaining a good & thorough hand-washing regimen. However, the allergy & cold game is especially strong this year. I can feel a disturbance in the force… (A cheesy & clichéd Star Wars reference from a very Non Star Wars person.) That’s a big reason why I’ve been MIA from my blog. Plus, I’ve been singlehandedly decorating my house for the upcoming Christmas holiday, & helping my mom prepare the house for incoming houseguests.

So, I had a very bad cold & slight fever when I got back from my Southern California vacation. I’m so lucky that I didn’t get any symptoms until my vacation ended. The last few times my family visited Disneyland for the Thanksgiving holiday, at least one person either threw out their back (…my brother…) or got severely ill (usually myself or my nephew). I’m very glad this trip went off with minimal glitches. Everyone had a fun time, & the best part was that my nephew & niece thoroughly enjoyed themselves, & they went home with so many incredible memories to treasure for years to come.

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Both kids cried so hard at the end of our trip. One child didn’t want to go home at all, & the other child wanted to hurry up & get the hell out of Disneyland on our last night. My sister had invited a close friend & her two daughters to meet up with us on one of our days at Disneyland. The daughters of said friend are good friends with my niece & nephew (they are all close in age). Having girl friends hang out with my niece made her so happy. My nephew, who is incredibly sentimental, was over the moon to have all of his favorite people surrounding him & letting him decide what rides we should go on. All of the grown ups really spoiled the kids so much at Disneyland…lots of individual attention to each child, lots of leniency, lots of sweet treats (but not a lot of souvenirs or presents).

 

 

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Left to Right: Jian, niece, brother

Throughout the entire weekend, we jumped between both theme parks (Disneyland & California Adventure). My nephew (who is usually too stubborn to try new things) tried a few new rides, & even went on a few of the more adventurous rides for older kids. My niece also tried out a few new rides, & got her hair done at the Frozen-themed hair salon complete with glitter hairspray & clip-on colored hair extensions. I’m usually very skeptical about buying souvenirs &/or toys for my nephew & niece. They have a tendency of not taking good care of their belongings, & either end up breaking their things or losing them. Last year, I got “burned” by a bad experience that left a sour memory. I had gone out of my way to buy my niece some memorable (& expensive) souvenirs, & then she lost all of it. Even though her lost gifts got replaced for free by our hotel, that whole experience left me wary of buying the kids any more presents. But of course, me being the doting aunt, I always cave in & end up buying more gifts for my nephew & niece. This year, I only bought them each one souvenir. I got them monogrammed Mickey & Minnie hats. They each got hats with their names stitched on them, & I was more than surprised, I was utterly shocked that they politely wore their hats for the entire day we were at Disneyland. They really appreciated their gifts, & that made it worthwhile for me.

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Overall, this trip to Disneyland was probably our family’s most memorable vacation to-date. None of the kids fussed, complained, cried (until late at night on our last day), or got sick. My brother’s back pain was not acting up, & my sister was not acting like “diva mom” very much. Even my mom had a great time with all of these hyperactive kids bouncing around her. Her feet got stepped on several times by a few inconsiderate tourists, but she was fine in the end. Jian & I got to spend quality time together as well, & we each bonded even more with my niece & nephew. I swear, my nephew & I are so in sync. We get sick together, we like the same things, eat the same foods, & we are similar in other ways. This is how we’ve been able to remain extremely close since he was born. I’m just now starting to understand my niece’s personality, & she can look up to me because we are both girls. She is really finding her own voice & is able to speak up, which helps us understand her better. My sister’s kids will forever be my little sweethearts, even when I have children of my own. We had a blast with Mickey & his friends, & have plans to go back next year. Cheers!

Left to Right: niece, Jian, me, nephew

Today’s song of the day:

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