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!

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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?

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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Dear Southwest: A Reply

Dear Southwest Airlines,

Thank you for responding to my letter. I appreciate you trying to explain why such a mess happened in the first place.  I must state, however, that you have left us with more questions than answers. In two separate correspondences from two different people at your company you give different reasons for the poorly made decisions of our return trip:

  1. “Because we had to bring in another aircraft from another city, we had passengers in ATL that we needed to drop off or pick up as well; hence, the reason for the stop in ATL.” (-Maddie)

  2. “The decision was made to operate your flight to Atlanta in order to clear Customs and accommodate you to Austin the following morning. “ (Adrienne Yurdyga)

Neither of these reasons sounds like a good explanation why this decision was even thought to be a good business decision. Neither does this:

“We carefully evaluate every available option to minimize delays and serve the greatest number of Customers while inconveniencing the least.”

What delay did you manage to minimize exactly? And who did you inconvenience the least?  Did anyone benefit from this?  As far as I could tell, everyone was inconvenienced including your staff in Mexico and Atlanta. I do not think this excuse holds much water.

If you did have passengers on the flight that were trying to get to Atlanta, did you take them all the way to Mexico and then back to Atlanta? How is that fair to those customers? Would it not make more sense to send in an empty flight? This is what I mean by having a backup plan. It just makes good business sense to be prepared for the unavoidable.

I completely understand the maintenance issue, as I stated in my previous letter. That was never the problem.  The “solution” to the problem is my issue. The fact that YOU HAD NO BACKUP PLAN is all I want you to consider for future flights. Bringing in another aircraft from such a long way and so late in the game just showed that your company had to scramble to avoid a major meltdown from over 100 people.  You must set up better policies to avoid such horrible conditions for the customers you claim to value so much.

Also, there are other issues that you did not even bother to address from my letter. Mainly, why sell tickets with flight times to choose from if you do not have the ability to keep those times. There should be some sort of warning that flight times are not guaranteed. This would make the fact that you can’t control your schedules clear to customers BEFORE they purchase a ticket and make their arrangements to fit those schedules.

Your apology email ended like this:

“We want you to have a better experience when you travel with us; and in this spirit, I’m sending a LUV Voucher* (in a separate e-mail) as a gesture of goodwill that we invite you to apply toward a new Southwest reservation.”

A little discount is what that means, right? Unfortunately that won’t entice my family back especially if it’s like the meal voucher you gave at the airport instead of finding accommodations for everyone you inconvenienced from children to elderly, from pregnant to those with medical issues and everyone in between. I’m afraid that for the rest of us, no “discount” will make up for the horrible experience.

I hope you do review this situation as well as every bad experience that keeps getting posted in your Facebook page and make the necessary changes.

Thank you for your time. Good luck in the future.

Sincerely,

Still a disappointed mama

www.bilinguazo.com

To see my original letter to Southwest, please see link below

Dear Southwest: A Mother’s Rant

Walking Tall

Walking Tall white

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.

“I Am Jackie Robinson” Book Review

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We are almost at the end of Black History Month and I did not want the month to end without adding a little something.  Thanks to the fabulous folks at Multicultural Kids Blog, I recently received this book to review for it.  I am very happy to be a part of this celebration and to be able to share a little bit of history with my boys.  The book we read is “I am Jackie Robinson.”  Not being a baseball fan or knowing much about him, I learned a lot from this book about this amazingly talented man and the obstacles he faced growing up and throughout his career.

The book is written for children and the illustrations are great for kids as well. The author, Brad Meltzer and the illustrator, Christopher Eliopoulos, have a series of books dedicated to teaching children about real heroes in the world they can look up to. I love the idea of such a great series.

My boys are 2 and 4 and love stories. This is a great way to teach kids a little history in a fun colorful book.  My only issue with it was the violence and some of the remarks. I know that is a subject we need to teach our kids because ignorance is the same as intolerance. I guess I just wasn’t as ready to teach it just yet. I probably should have read it first to prepare myself for questions. We read it for the first time together and I had to pause to explain to them why the way we treat people is important. I wanted them to understand that judging people for, not letting them participate in things or being mean for any reason is not ok. Once I gave them a little background and explained a little history to them so they could get an idea about what many people have suffered through to be treated equally, we were able to continue reading the story. I must confess that I completely skipped over the pages where Jackie got into a rock throwing fight with a little girl and her dad.  I just couldn’t bring myself to read that a grown man was so mean to a little boy.

Other than that, my boys really loved seeing a little boy be so good at sports. They were also very excited to see the real life pictures at the end of the book of the real Jackie Robinson and his family. They really liked that this was a true story.   The quotes are also very inspirational, I enjoyed those myself. I think it is the first biography we have read together so that was a good treat. I can’t wait to read more books from the series and learn a little bit more about some amazing people.