Donating Halloween Candy for Veteran’s Day!

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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.

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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

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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?

Something Hit Me Today…

I read a Facebook post today that hit me deep.  Reading it and seeing the expression on the guys face sent me spinning back to my younger and most insecure days. Now I know the guy is just probably a model, but I have felt that pain I saw in his eyes before. Or maybe it just hit an open wound. Here is what I saw:

 Feeling alone

I know a lot of us have felt this way from one time to another.  I felt it pretty much throughout high school. I had a close group of girlfriends and everything, but somehow I just didn’t feel free with the rest of the general population. If it wasn’t for these fabulous ladies, I don’t think I would’ve remained strong enough to make it through. They kept me grounded, helped me study, made me laugh and partied their little tails off with me every chance we got. These are not the people that made me feel like that quote. That was left to every clique in town (and there were many).

We were an odd mix of ladies: from free spirits, to conservatives, country to punk and everything in between. The fact that we have remained friends (even if only through Facebook for some) and can still share our very varied lives is a miracle in itself.

Because we were such an varied mix, every lady in the group was also part of a larger clique…more popular clique…much cooler clique.  All of them, that is, except for me. I was never a part of any of these. I would go to parties or people’s houses thanks to these ladies as they would try to get me into their larger and cooler groups, but it somehow never took.  I always felt like if it wasn’t for my girlfriends, people wouldn’t even remember if had shown up at all after the fact and they sure as hell didn’t miss me.

I don’t blame this on anyone.  I am not a victim. I am just shy and awkward.  I still feel this way in new situations. It takes me a while to warm up to people. Even my mother-in-law tells me that when they first met me, they wondered if I spoke at all. I sit, observe and then decide if I want to participate.  It has often been a big “NO” in the participation front. It is at these times that I just wait for the time to pass so I can go home to my very comfortable and happy life. And today, it is so much more than I ever thought I would ever have thanks to my luv, my babies and my families.

Oh, and I also have a nervous laugh that some people find sweet while others can’t stand. If you don’t know me, then you might think that I am either not very clever because I laugh at everything or annoyingly perky. I am neither, thank you very much. My brain just can’t focus on any other reaction. I laugh when I want to cry, I laugh when I don’t know what to say, I laugh just to break the ice.  But when I laugh out of happiness and pure joy, you will know and you will love me. Yeah, I said it!

So why am I telling you all of this? I guess I just had to write about it since when I saw the post, I felt like if the person who made it knew me. This can’t be how others feel, right?  I thought it was just me! And if there are others, does it happen all over the world? Are different countries more open to new people and welcoming into their groups? Are their cliques in countries where diversity is celebrated? How in the world will I teach my kids that it’s ok to be a little different? That it’s ok to not fit in. That it wasn’t until I was in college that I felt like myself. It wasn’t until I shed the skin of that little-self-conscious-unappreciated-silent child that I saw the beauty in diversity. I love me now and I love all the beautiful people I have met from around the world. Maybe that’s what I need to say? What would you say?

Casa de los Primos

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The beach has always been my magical place. It has been my favorite place to disconnect from real life. There is something about the sound of the waves that can lighten even my heaviest thoughts.  Thankfully we were lucky enough to visit a lovely little beach named Akumal that is found on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico about 60 miles from Cancun. The name Akumal means “place of turtles” in Mayan and the name suits it perfectly. The town’s tourism centers on the life of turtles, from birth on. There is a wildlife sanctuary for the turtles, snorkeling tours to watch them in their own habitat and a plethora of decorative turtles and gifts to be bought everywhere you go.

This post focuses on the place we were lucky enough to stay in. It was a beautiful house called Casa de los Primos on the south part of Akumal.

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The house is a 4 bedroom house with an additional guest room separate from the main house that has one room and mini kitchen. It has its own pool and is right on the beach. This is not a post to advertise the house for you to rent, as I have no affiliation to the owners. I just wanted to give you a layout so you can visualize it with me as I show you what struck me most: the artwork and decorations.

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The owners (or decorator if they used one) took time to cover almost every nook and cranny with gorgeous and mostly original Mexican artwork. There were sculptures, paintings, weaved artwork, masks, crosses and everything you can think of throughout the house. Here are some of the pieces they had that I wanted to share with you to show you just how beautiful Mexican art really is.

 

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My boys loved all of the vibrant colors they say there and have since painted with a little more enthusiasm themselves. My oldest picks bright colors for his projects and can draw a beach scene for you with no hesitation. It may be his favorite thing to draw and paint right now, and I love it.

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There is something special about art from Mexico that just makes me smile. I am very grateful that this is my culture and that I am able to share it with my kids. Thank you, Mexico, for having such deep pride in the arts. Thank you, Casa de los Primos, for showcasing so much of it. Thank you, Akumal, for inspiring my boys and me to love art, color, nature and life a little more than before.

I hope you enjoyed the art. 

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Have a bright and colorful week.

My Global Pick of the Day!!

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It is my turn to share one of my first posts with you and the Multicultural Kid Blogs readers.  So I thought I would share with you one of my firsts post dealing with my greatest fear.  It’s not snakes, dark spaces or even heights. I’m pretty good with all of these. What is it then? Public Speaking. Can’t do it, even at my age. What’s a mama to do?

Public Speaking: Not in English or in Spanish, Please.

I hope you enjoy my take on it and I would love suggestions on how to help my little ones avoid this challenge.

Thank you!

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Walking Tall

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When I think of raising world citizens, I think of raising children that are open to all that they see and respect anyone they meet. I think of children as being an extension of their parents and caregivers. Parents that do not appreciate the beauty of the world, the amazing traditions and cultures of others and the wonderful people all around may not teach their children about them either. If they are not exposed to the world (be it at home or in a classroom), how can they learn to live in harmony with it?

With that in mind I truly believe that some of the bullies of the world have just never had the opportunity to learn from the differences around them. Children who are not exposed to other cultures and traditions may see others as different from them. They may not understand the world that anyone else lives in.

So far, in my kids’ young lives, they had yet to encounter the infamous bully.  The other day at the park, however, we came across our first bully in the making. We went to play as we usually do when the weather is nice. The park we like has a playground for big kids and another for toddlers.  We always go to the toddler side so they don’t have to worry about the big kids. Also, that park is usually empty which is even better for me.

Enjoying a typical day at the park

My boys were minding their own business, singing and dancing and just being silly.  There is a large raised walkway at the park that kids sometimes use to draw with chalk or parents sit on.  This is both boys’ favorite spot because it looks like a raised stage. They love to march back and forth on it and sing songs from “The Music Man”.  This time only T was marching when a boy that was definitely older than both of them decided to stand in his way, legs and arms stretched out to make sure T couldn’t get through. Here is how I saw it happen…

“Maybe he just wants to play,” I thought granting him the benefit of the doubt as he stood there with a very determined look.

“Excuse me,” said T (proud mama that he was so polite)

“No!” replied the kid.

M sees what is going on, runs over to them and says, “Please move, we are trying to perform.” (Yep, that’s how we roll.)

He still wouldn’t move. M tried everything from asking nicely to asking him if he wanted to play a game.  He told the kid that he could be the gate and they would push a button on the boys belly to see if that would open the door.  I found this hysterical myself since we play that at home sometimes. I guess I have to think about how our silly games translate into the real world.

The boy still didn’t move so M sighed and said, “Come on T, let’s just go this way.” They happily went around the boy, but the boy followed!

The boy went back up to Mario and said, “Wanna fight?” At this point I gasped and was ready to pounce. I told myself to wait to see what happened and stay calm (easier said than done).

Mario’s response was classic, “Fight? No way! Only mean people fight and mean people are yucky!” Proud mama moment again, even if calling people yucky is not so good either.  I knew he was just stating the obvious, though.  Loved it!

The kid then tried to take M’s toy horse away and that is when the (who I assume to be the baby sitter due to her age and lack of attentiveness throughout all of this) finally ran over and took the boy away. She’s lucky she did, or else that kid may have gotten an earful from this mama.

Way too cute to pick on, I say!

Way too cute to pick on, I say!

Point of the story is that if that boy had been exposed to more people and more situations, he may have had a little more respect for my boys and maybe even played with them instead of trying to cause a fight with someone so much smaller. He saw easy targets (smaller children) that were different from him (not just physically but because they were singing show tunes) and decided he would teach them a lesson. Something I’m sure he didn’t learn on his own.  This is a child imitating something that he has seen before.  I only hope that his parents or caregivers become more open and respectful so that this child and any other kid can do the same.

I am proud that my kids weren’t intimidated and stood their ground. I’m also proud that their first response wasn’t that the kid was threatening but maybe wanted to play. I am proud that they acted with respect, didn’t let them affect them and went on playing as if nothing had happened when it was over. Yes, I am a proud mama. I hope I can teach them to keep the respect and the patience they showed that day for always.
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Be proud, my love, you and your brother will reach great heights.