New Project for Learning about The World!

Let's Explore the World

Time has gotten away from me. I have no other excuse for not keeping up with the blog.  Summers are busy days for playing with my boys. Sometimes, instead of me wearing them out, they wear me out so much, that their nap time becomes mine as well. I can’t complain about that. I do love my naps and that I am able to spend my days at home with them. I know I am lucky. Things do tend to get in the way of my working on my various projects, though.  I will attempt to do better.

I think I have found the perfect way to do so. One of my fellow Multicultural Kid Blogs Contributors from Kid World Citizen has created the coolest Diversity Calendar out there (in my opinion) and I can’t wait to start celebrating some holidays that are new to me, but important around the world.  Here is the description from their website.

Diversity Calendar

Our Diversity Calendar is a month-by-month, thorough collection of holidays around the world! For the past three years, we have interviewed religious leaders from all major religions, and heavily researched our calendar to assure that the most important holidays have been included (and are happy to include any additional festivals or holidays our readers add in the comments!). This fabulous diversity calendar includes 285 special days including:

•multicultural and ethnic festivals

•religious holy days from all major religions

•environmental days to celebrate and honor our planet

•United Nations International Days such as “Global Youth Service Day“

•fun holidays that celebrate friendship, empathy, and kindness.

Even though it is probably intended more for teachers and homeschoolers, I know that my boys and I can come up with some fun things to do with it. From World Friendship Day to International Talk Like A Pirate Day and so many animal appreciation days, I think this will be a fun project!  I’m excited to show them how beautiful the world is in all of it’s celebrations.  Want to do it with me? I’d love to find ideas on how to celebrate some of these with you!

If you would like to purchase your own calendar you can do so HERE.

Let’s Celebrate Each Other!  

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Excited to Add New Things to Our Celebrations!

 

 

Easy and Cute Teacher Gift!

Teacher Thank You
Hi!
The kids and I got crafty for Teacher’s Appreciation Day and we wanted to share it with you.  I saw this on Pinterest (of course) and had to try.  The post I saw used shadow boxes, but that is way to pricey for my budget so we used canvas instead.  Here is what you need:
  • Canvas (I used 8 1/2 X 12 at $7.99 for a 5 pack)
  • Crayons (2 boxes of 64 count total $3 a box)
  • Glue Gun and Glue Sticks (I already had these)
  • Rope of ribbon of your choosing (I used rope I had)
  • Paint (optional) we used Dot Paint for a pretty finish
Because 3 of the things used are standards in my craft room, we spent a little over $1.50 per gift. Not bad for a days work!
First print or draw the letter you want to use as a guide for your product on a sheet of paper. Copy that same letter onto your canvas.  I cut the printed letter and used it as a stencil so they matched.
Second start arranging your crayons to fit the letter and cut them to size.  I just used a sharp knife, but you can use a small electric saw if you have one and are comfortable using one.  I am not, so I stuck to what I felt comfortable with.
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Once you know how you want them, start transferring them over from your sheet to your canvas and gluing them with your glue gun. I recommend doing one at a time. I tried to make a line and quickly setting more than one to go faster, but the glue dried before I could get them over.  Oops!  One at a time works better for me. Because I had to to them this way, I didn’t let the boys use the glue gun this time around.  Way to easy to burn your fingers when you are holding the crayon.  Not much room for error, ask my fingers.

Transfer Letter to Canvas

Once they were dry, I gave the leftover crayons to the boys and they went to town on the canvas. Here is where our Spanish Lesson came in.  We reviewed our alphabet and then named the letters we needed. We reviewed our colors as they picked their crayons and named the ones that were glued.  They also got to count the amount of crayons used. Learn & Play, I say!  
They loved the idea of drawing with crayons around crayons for their favorite teachers.  Sweet Boys!  For the finishing touch, we used the dot paint to make the pictures pop. 
4 letters finished
Once everything was set, I glued a piece of the rope to the top for hanging. Wrapped them up and Ta-Da! Pretty gifts!

Final Teacher Gift

You could do everything in a day (though the cutting was the must time consuming task so be prepared for that).
Hope you like it!  Happy Teacher Appreciation Day to all of the Fabulous Teachers out there Past and Present!  
Hugs to you all! 

 

Favorite Times

Favorite Times-2

Hello!

Life gets crazy sometimes and there is really nothing we can do about it but try to keep up.  The saving grace for me is the time I get to spend with my littles.  There is just no other feeling like that love you feel when it is just you and your kids, cuddling, chatting and giggling. 

One of my favorite times is night time or as we call it “nite-nite time”. I get to cuddle with my little ones individually, read stories, sing songs and TICKLE! I love their giggles and just having that special bonding time with each of them. It fills my heart.

I have sang the same Spanish songs to both boys since they were born.  My mother gave me a CD from Grupo Truhui when my first was born and it was like magic.  It truly did help him calm down and fall asleep. Not only that, but it worked with my second, too! Because of that, I learned some of the songs and created a mashup version that I now sing to them every night. 

The other night, my oldest was playing with the camera on my phone while we were getting ready for bed and decided to make a video of our songs. I wanted to share it with you because it means so much to me and I will cherish this video and our memories always. Sorry for the bad lighting (night time) no makeup look, goofy faces and the not-so-perfect singing from me (I do not claim to be a good singer).  But M IS in my opinion, so concentrate on him.  He just makes me smile!  I hope to one day make a singing video with my little one as well.  When I do, maybe I will share it, too!

Thank you for reading and may all your nights be filled with song!


I Love You!

No Matter How You Say It...

Today is our 10th wedding anniversary!  To some it may be just a drop in the bucket, and I sincerely hope it is.  I mean, how cool would it be to write a 50th anniversary post one day?  I wonder what that will look like. (Hopefully a lot more insightful, ha!)  I could get all sappy and tell you all of the wonderful thing I love about my husband or my favorite moments so far but I won’t (SPOILER ALERT: top three are wedding, baby #1, baby #2).  I’ll just tell my husband I love him in every way I know how with a little help from my Multicultural Kid Blogs friends.

新年快樂

Here are three from Varya at Creative World of Varya

  • Я тебя люблю – Russian (informal) 
  • Я вас люблю – Russian (formal and for more than one person)
  • 我爱你 ( Wǒ ài nǐ ) – Mandarin (Simplified) Chinese

And three from Jaclyn at Bringing Up The Parks

  • Saranghaeyo (사랑해요) in Korean, 
  • Mahal Kita in Tagalog 
  • Gua Ai Di (我爱你) in Chinese Hokkien 

Also,click HERE for a lovely post from A Crafty Arab on 5 Ways To Say I Love You in Arabic.

Plus a little added bonus, thanks to Julie at El Mundo de Pepita 

  • С юбилеем! Поздрваляю с юбилеем – Russian for a general happy anniversary wish.
  • С годовщиной! for a more specific anniversary (like your 25th for example)

Thank you MKB for teaching me a little bit of your beautiful languages. Check out all of their websites above. They are very much worth the follow.  And don’t forget to follow ALL of us at Multicultural Kid Blogs on Facebook!   

Happy Anniversary, to my love, my best friend and the man who made me believe IN love!

¡TE AMO!

 

How do you say I love you?

“Tomás and the Library Lady” the Play

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We love going to the theater.  We sound so fancy! We’re not really, but we do love to go to family plays.  I’ve talked about ZACH Theater before as we have gone to many shows there.  Our most recent adventure was to see a play called Tomás and the Library Lady . We as a family LOVED it! It was the perfect play to see at the perfect time.  Let me explain.

The play is based on a children’s picture book by the same name and is actually a true story. The main character, Tomás, is the son of migrant workers that travel from Texas to Iowa to find work in the corn fields. Tomás finds a library in town and befriends the librarian who shows him the magical world of books. At the end you find out that Tomás grew up to be a real life famous writer himself (Tomás Rivera) which is fantastic!

Why I loved the play:

  • It is English AND in Spanish. The library lady teaches Tomás words in english while he teaches her words in Spanish. It is a really wonderful bond they  develop. It helps the boys see how awesome it is to speak English and Spanish. Tomás is proud to speak both. This helps the boys be proud, too.
  • Tomás learns to read in english so he can escape into the many amazing books the library lady introduces him to. M is at that same point right now. We are trying to help want to learn to read and write by showing him how great books are. We have been reading to them all of their lives, of course, and love their books. Just now we are focusing more on word recognition and spelling. It was very inspirational for M to see Tomás struggle with words, yet not give up trying to read them.
  • They sing! This is always a bonus in my book. We love musicals in this family. Anytime we can go to a play where songs are in both languages we are there! And they were pretty good, too!
  • It was a simple yet lovely production. ZACH Theater is extremely good at making shows seem so effortless.  I’m sure a lot of production goes on behind the scenes, but you wouldn’t know it. There are no big sets, bright lights and fancy costumes. The emphasis is always on the story not the props. This is a great way to get kids to focus on the characters and their words. This play had a trunk, three suitcases and books. That’s it. There were only three people in it. And only one character had a a quick costume change off stage. The other two would just put on a hat/remove it or make a scarf a mustache to switch characters. How cool is that?

All of those points are great on their own, but there is one more thing that just touched my heart fully. It was that it was very similar to my story. Sure the details were different, but the bond was true. When we moved to the states and we started school I was an extremely shy 2nd grader and did not want to go anywhere with the other kids. I didn’t want to sit by myself at lunch or recess so I clung to my teacher, Ms. Jacinto. She could see that I was quickly withdrawing, so she went beyond her scope as teacher to become my friend. She let me have lunch with her and then walked me to the library to meet the librarian, Mrs. Davila. They must have known exactly what I needed because from then on, I would go to the library and help after having lunch with Ms. Jacinto. I would put books away and clean up. In return, Mrs. Davila introduced me to books that I had never heard of and helped me with the words. As an added bonus, I became a pro at the Dewey Decimal System. (Who remembers that?)  Most importantly, I learned to love books because of both of them. I hope that we can do that for the boys as well.

The attention and care they gave me for that brief time in my life when they didn’t have to will always hold a place in my heart. I even got teary eyed at the end of the play because it took me back to that lovely little library at Nye Elementary that saved my spirit. I did eventually join the masses and made friends my age, but I don’t think I would’ve found the confidence to be me without both of them.

Anyways, back to the play. GO SEE IT! It is awesome. If you are in Austin it plays at ZACH until February 14th. If not, find a show near you and get the book. The boys left inspired to read and they are speaking in Spanish even more!  Thank you, Tomás and the Library Lady  and ZACH Theater for being the perfect play at the perfect time!

Tomas Cast

The boys with the cast

Happy Holidays!

This holiday season, I would like to send heartfelt thanks for all of the support you have given Bilinguazo in 2015. I have learned so much from my readers and from my fellow bloggers on Multicultural Kid Blogs and Austin Moms Blog.  I am grateful for my family and friends. You have always lifted me a little higher than I thought I could go. I am, of course, so very thankful for my two little monkeys that have inspired everything that I have written for the last 5 years and for the love of my life for seeing more in me than I ever have. I hope 2016 brings a lot of inspiration to our lives and to helping each other achieve our dreams. I wish you love, good health, happiness and success! I would not be the person I am without each of you! Hugs, dear friends and see you in 2016!

Happy Holidays from my family to yours! ❤️

Breathe

Breathe

Our father came before us to make sure it was safe. Our mother took care of us on her own for a while to make sure we were healthy, happy and ready for our journey. We traveled by car through the night. We slept in a motel until we could go to our new home. We knew no one, barely spoke the language and were behind in school.

Then the wind shifted. Our home was big, new and amazing. There were classes in our schools specifically for us to help us learn the language and catch up academically. Our family was back together and we could breathe as a whole again. The whole world was new to us, we were scared but excited. We knew we would be ok. People welcomed us with opened arms. There was a sense of community and belonging in a way.

This was decades ago. What if we had attempted this journey today? What would it be like? It would be harder to cross the border by car. We would probably have to take a bus. There would be no new house as it is almost impossible to qualify for one these days. We would have to rent and probably not in the neighborhood of my parents choosing. The schools would not have the funds to have special classes for us to learn the language, at least not all of them would. We may be forced to remain behind in our learning. It would be very hard to excel the way we did. People may not be so welcoming because of the darkness in the world. Would we ever feel like we belong?

We came from Mexico, so not that far away. We didn’t have to escape any evils or leave everything we loved to save our lives. Yet, it wasn’t too long ago that people were trying to keep families just like mine out of this country.  Why? The reasons varied depending on who you asked but drugs, crime and the taking of jobs (no one else wants) seemed to top the list. Because six little girls looking for a home would fit into all of those categories, I’m sure. Now the wind has shifted again in a direction that is only proven to be worse. The same people that feared my people (and probably still do, but have a new focus for now) are casting their negativity on another group of people looking for a home: refugees.

Families just like mine but that have gone through unimaginable and life altering losses and devastation are not being welcomed with open arms. The fear of what is happening over there somehow sneaking in over here in disguise is a real fear, of course. Yet, do the people trying to stop the refugees realize that THAT is a fear created by the enemy and not the victims? These families are looking for safety, that’s all. Safety until the wars end, safety until their families are back together. Safety until they can breathe as a whole again. Look at any (reliable) media coverage and see the fear and sadness in so many little children and tell me they don’t deserve to know they too will be ok. That they are welcome. That they will breathe again. We can do better.

Want to see the sadness in their eyes? Click Here 

As I watch these events unfold, I realize how lucky we really are. For all of the wonderful things that I have been able to see, do and witness I give thanks. To having loving families (the one I was born into, the one I married into and the one my love and I created) I give thanks. To my little loves for making me a better me and happier than I thought possible, I give thanks.To all of the people that have helped my family succeed throughout the years even at our lowest points, I give thanks. To all those that fight to protect us, I give thanks. To having the opportunity to share my life in my own words, I give thanks. To all of you, I give thanks.

Be truly thankful for all you have!

 

Donating Halloween Candy for Veteran’s Day!

feature candy

I may a little late to do things, but this year I was not going to let the chance to donate the kids halloween candy pass us up yet again. They got a ton a candy, way too much for two little boys. Really, way to tempting to stay in the house with that chocolate junky that takes over my body every time she smells that delicious scent.  MMMMMM….wait, were was I?
I researched different ways to contribute and found this great list that I will keep for future reference. Check it out: Sweet Ways to Donate Your Halloween Haul to Those in Need
The one we chose is Operation Gratitude. The only way my boys were going to let go of so much deliciousness was knowing that it was going to some of the people they admire: Soldiers! Once I told them that we would be sending the rest of the candy to soldiers that don’t have access to any where the are at, they were all for it.  They were able to keep 5 pieces each and we packed up the rest. We had 4 pounds of candy!  Crazy! But I could see why they were such a hit…

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Then it was time to get crafty, of course.  We each made a little thank you card for the troops to add a little extra cheer.  T’s is quite artsy, I say.  He chose the colors himself it turned out really beautiful. I wish I had a better picture of it. M’s melts my heart.  He drew a soldier with a feather on his cap.  The little guy in there is himself.  He said he was there to cheer him up and that is why they are smiling. The whole picture tells a story. I love it.  I’m very proud of my little guys.

boys cards

While reading about Operation Gratitude, we found that you can send all sorts of things year round!  Save the information somewhere where you can easily access it and send a little love to those so many take for granted anytime you feel like giving. Click Here to save it.
With that, I end this post and say, Happy Veteran’s Day and Thank You to all of the men and women who have served, are serving and will serve for keeping us safe year round! 

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Super Easy Halloween Crafts

supersimple

Hello!

Halloween is almost here and my boys couldn’t be more excited! They have been wearing their costumes since we got them for them and have been busy creating some of their own.  We have also been doing my favorite thing…getting crafty! Yep, you can never have too many crafts! Here a few super simple crafts and ideas for your last minute Halloween fix.  

Paper Skeleton Costume

My oldest wanted to be a skeleton one day, so I searched on Pintrest for an easy to make costume and came across a million ideas, of course.  Here are a couple of super easy ideas for the skull and another for the rest of the skeleton.

Skull from Red Ted Arts

What you need:

  • Paper Plate
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • hole punch
  • Pipe cleaners or something to tie with
  1. Follow the middle circle on a paper plate with your marker to make a horseshoe shape. 
  2. Draw two half circles on both sided of the horseshoe
  3. Draw lines on the grooves at the bottom of the plate for teeth
  4. Draw circles for eyes and an upside down heart for the nose.

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5. Punch holes on both sides and tie a pipe cleaner or string through it. 

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Body

For the body I found a printable template on Poofy Cheeks that was perfect.

What you need:

  • printer
  • paper
  • scissors
  • black marker
  • tape
  • kids in dark clothing 

I just printed two for both of my boys and cut out the shapes.  I wasn’t about to cut each individual bone, so I just colored in the blank spaces with a black marker. Perfect for people that want to be a little crafty but don’t have a lot of time.

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I hand drew the arm and leg bones myself so I could make them the right size for my littles.

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Finally I taped them to some dark clothing, added the mask and the skeletons were complete!

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SPIDERS!

I wanted some spiders to hang on our fake spider web, but I wanted them to be extra special. I solicited the help of three very talented artist (aka the fam) and a spider family was born.

What you need:

  • pipe cleaners
  • pom poms
  • googly eyes
  • glue gun (with glue sticks) or regular glue
  • scissors
  1. Cut and shape the piper cleaner to the sizes you want the legs to be.
  2. Let your imagination run wild. Glue the legs to the pom poms and add eyes.DONE! 

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Paper Plate Ghosts

This one is fun for little hands, too!

What you need

  • white paper
  • white paper plates
  • tape
  • white party streamer
  • markers, crayons or paints
  1. Trace your little ones hands or have them do it on a white piece of paper
  2. Cut out hands
  3. Tape the cut outs to the back of the plate where you want the ghosts hands to be
  4. Make the ghosts face with whatever you fancy
  5. Add streamers to the bottom of the plate. Tape to the back of the plate.
  6. Say boo!

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Here are some easy food decorating ideas.

Quesamummy! 

What you need:

Tortillas

  • cheese
  • olives
  • any other filling you would like on your quesadilla
  • edible marker (optional)
  • a stove or microwave
  1. Warm up one tortilla for each person being served
  2. Flip to warm both sides
  3. Remove from heat and cut into strips
  4. Warm up another tortilla for each person being served
  5. Flip
  6. Add your filling. We did ham and cheese.
  7. Let cheese melt and then remove from heat.
  8. Add your strips of tortilla on top leaving enough space to see through and leaving the smallest strip out. 
  9. Cut round pieces of cheese and place where eyes would be
  10. Cut olives in half to make eyes and place on top of round cheese
  11. Draw a smile on the little strip you didn’t use and add as mouth.  Easy peezy! I added tomatoes and cucumbers to the plate just to make it a bit healthier.

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Sandwich Art

I am that cheesy mom that send decorated sandwiches to school.  Although my art skills could you some work, the boys really enjoy them.  I’ll keep on doing it until they tell me to stop or I don’t find it fun any more, whichever comes first.

What you need

  • A sandwich (duh)
  • edible markers
  1. Draw to your hearts content.  Just remember your canvas is pretty small so don’t try to get to detailed unless you are crazy talented. It’s not easy to show too much on bread. Here are a couple of examples.

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There you have it.  This is how I’ve been keeping busy these days.  What crafty things are you up to?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Tears and More Tears

Tears and More Tears

Ever since I can remember, my eyes have teared up for pretty much every expression and emotion possible.  They tear up when I laugh too much, when I get a little too excited, when I get mad, when I talk about something sad, when I cough, when I sneeze, when I yawn and, of course when I cry. If someone cries in front of me, chances are, I will cry with them or at least tear up. Have you ever tried to tell a super funny story and have the eyes of the person you are talking slowly start getting bigger and bigger until they look a little scared because your eyes are starting to fill up? Kind of kills the mood.

This especially complicated things in business since the last thing I wanted to be seen as was the stereotypical girl being too sensitive in the workforce. Being a mom, this little uncontrollable response is really hard for me to deal with when disciplining my children. It’s hard to be a rock and/or scold them without having them see the tears forming in my eyes. 

It never occurred to me how this would affect my parenting skills until now that these little sweet boys of mine are rebelling and acting all kinds of wild. I don’t want them to see me as weak, so I try to hold the tears back until I can leave the room. I think I am getting better at that. I guess it’s all about learning control. I will teach this to the boys as the days go on.  This is one thing we will have to learn together…hopefully.

I did forget to mention, however that along with the tears comes the red face. I have never and will never be able to hide the fact that I cried or even just get over it so no one could tell I had been crying. Unfortunately, both boys also inherited this lovely trait from me. Maybe they will outgrow that, but I still haven’t. The red face lasts for a long time and the red eyes linger for hours. It’s exhausting. That is why I try to stay positive as much as I can. Being sad just wears me out. I just hope that if people see my boys sad little faces sometimes they don’t think they are sad all of the time. I don’t really think they will, though, these are two happy and silly little ones.

Going back to the tears, here is a quick little story. The other day, I was cuddling with M and singing the songs we sing at nap time. I yawned in the middle of it, so naturally, I teared up.  He looked up at me a few seconds later and his eyes teared up, too. I asked him what was wrong and he told me I looked sad. I quickly smiled and explained to him that I was not even a little bit sad and that I just yawned. He smiled back and all was good again. Even if my boys did get the teary eyes from me, one thing they show me is that they have good hearts and a whole lot of empathy. If just seeing tears in my eyes made M’s eyes tear up, I think he is learning how to empathize with others. I love seeing my little ones grow.

What traits did your little ones get from you? What have you learned from seeing them in your little ones?