Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween 2014!

Yes, yes! It's Halloween! ....finally. I have a suspicion these next two months are going to feel like an eternity in holiday decorations. I'm so ready to be done with my decor and onto the next. My eyes have already been bombarded with bloggers doing Christmas decorating, so I'm going to allow myself some time to not get burned out by season.
Try anyway, let's not even talk about walking into stores and all their Christmas stuff is up. No people! No!
This year, I decided since we're a family of five that we could go dressed up as a group: The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! 
I didn't want to go alllllll out because I know how tedious costumes are (there's never really a super comfy one, unless you go as a housewife...) So with simple thrifted Power Ranger costumes for the boys (because they love it) and simple shirt and pants for the husband, Elena and me, we became The Mighty Power Rangers! (all from different seasons, did you notice?) 
I just used duct tape and foam sheets to build the patterns on the front of our shirts. I also got gloves and duct taped them up too. We used swords and weapons we already had at the house. And no helmets because, well, tedious, remember? 
My shoot didn't go according well...daylight was dwindling and our capacity to pose like those Rangers is harder than you think! 
I actually didn't procrastinate this year with the costumes. I was very at ease with it. I just wish I wouldn't have procrastinated with our photos. Maybe one year I'll get it together!
Here are some pictures of our previous years:
Andrew really loves his ninja costume. Can you guess what he chose to wear to school today? You got it. 
I try to mix it up a little bit with making and buying their costumes. I don't ever remember going dressing up and trick-or-treating because I grew up in Mexico (we celebrate Day of the Dead there, not Halloween). Even when we moved to the states, we weren't allowed to dress up. We did go trick-or-treating once and of course I loved it. Free candy? duh!
I love making their costumes and working with them to see what they wanna be for Halloween. There are a lot of great bloggers out there that go all out! It's amazing. How about you? How do you handle Halloween?
Have a great -and safe- weekend, guys!
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Thursday, October 23, 2014

throwback thursday: in 7 years

earlier this week was my 7th year anniversary. it just so happened that a week prior to this special day, i was going through the same town the hubs and i got married in. the venue was Brennan Vineyards here in good ol' central Texas.
i was feeling a big nostalgic so i snapped a few pics just for comparison. then and now.
turns out, it still looks the same :)
but our lives don't. we've grown up 7 more years. together. better & worse. healthy & sick. always, in love. 
and we have three gorgeous kids to show for it.
three kids. wowza. never in my dreams did i think i would be a mom to three. well, maybe in my dreams, but reality? heck no. 
i kept recalling that day. how everything seemed a blur. how we missed out on spending time with people we love because we were rushed off to cut the cake or whatever. how we shoulda just drank one more glass of that delicious rosé. how we were so exhausted by 11pm that night when we got into our honeymoon suite.
but i remember showing up in a red hot rod well. looking so skinny and feeling so important. walking down a luscious green path with my gorgeous bouquet of calla's to meet my wild-haired stud.
i remember crying while reading my vows to my groom and getting confetti streamers in my hair. taking pictures and trying not to feel so overwhelmed (you know how it is when you have family from all sides at one place, amiright?)
7 years later, it's just an empty piece of land under some gigantic oaks...
that perfect night in october though, oh what a sight. 
and  finally, we were married. all eyes on us as mr. & mrs.
that place was beautiful. it still is. i love that i got a chance to show the kids where daddy and mommy were married. to retell and relive. i love that they stand where we stood 7 years ago to show how beautiful life is. 
and seriously, who would have guessed we would make such pretty babies? (of course i'm biased, but what did you expect?) 
hubby and i first met while working at pizza hut 12 years ago--he was the fastest delivery driver, i was the sexy waitstaff. he asked me on a date to eat at a nearby pizza hut that is just like the one we met at. 
crappy.
BUT, oh man, the good ol' times and good pizza!!! this time around, i'll spare you all the details. IF you feel a bit courageous, you can check out the previous sickening love posts here and here where i 'profess our love'.
so tell me, how do you celebrate your anniversary? doing blasts from the past or do you go all out with gifts and surprises? 
have a great week everyone!
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Wedding Day Photo credit

Monday, October 20, 2014

the all-seeing door

A few weeks after move in day, we received a package of boxes at our doorstep. They sat on the dining floor about a week before I opened them. They were padded boxes for a receiver from the previous owners I guess. And there they sat, on my dining room floor, for forever it seemed. I would always forget to take them with us when we recycle on the weekends and I was just tired of seeing them there. So, unpretty.
One weekend morning, Andrew woke up talking about eye-clops because he had finally seen the inside of the boxes. I've no idea what the child really meant, but it ignited a genius idea in my head. Why not make something out of them? And what better way to reuse such useless things than to decorate my house with them for Halloween?
So I introduce you the All-Seeing front door of the Witty house!
Like I seriously threw out the boxes and did. not. take a picture to show you these boxes. I've never seen any like it. I just spent 15 minutes searching for a pic of what one would look like. But no. Only the weird happens to me. 
But imagine a box full of these blue squishy, half-spheres surrounding each of sides of the box. It would be fun to walk on them if they covered my floor. 
And since they were all blue, I imagined it was ok to spray paint some green and yellow to change up the iris a bit. Then, I cut out a circle from a flat piece of cardboard and used it as a stencil to make the black part (pupil). Andrew helped me with this project so it was pretty easy.  
Next, I cut out 10-inch circles from white cardstock and glued the eyeballs on to them. 
And then came the installation. The boys loved sticking them onto the door with my perfect guidance for their layout. Because if they had any say in it, there would be random eyeballs all throughout the house. No thanks, guys. 
The boys brag to everyone they see (even strangers) about the eyeballs on our front door. Everyone that has come to the house has raged about them too. I think they're pretty great. Not bad for a free Halloween project, huh? 
The house even has magical Halloween powers, you guys! It makes cobwebs complete with its own spiders! 
And you guys, nobody is more critical about my front steps than me (I?) But to put it in perspective, we've only been here 4 months and eventually the time will come when the front door gets a good makeover.
Can you say green door and freshly stained steps? I sure can.
Halloween is coming! And this week I finish our costumes. Yes, we will ALL be going as something this year and I can't wait to show you! 
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Friday, October 17, 2014

halloween at the witty house

you guys, let it be known that i love this holiday. it's my favorite month too. in fact, my 7 year anniversary is coming up in about a week. but really, all the kids care about is that halloween is coming. the boys were so ready with their costumes the first week of the month!
and since we have a neeewww house, i figured it was the perfect time for the holidays to show up so i can decorate it! :) nothing too fancy, nothing too pinterest-ey. you know, easy peasy stuff that the boys can help me with.
so i cut out some bats, strung some lights, and bought creepy stuff for a dollar at the dollar store.
it is not cohesive or impressive by any means, but we love it and that's what counts. i want them to remember that their home was decorated specifically for them. at night, they comment on the fake bats. and that blasted skull on the window sill has heard me squeek every now and then.
and for two weeks straight, we have had dinner by candlelight. it has been amazing! 
if you didn't know, we didn't have a dining table for two years. after moving into this home, we were handed down a table and we have yet to find chairs for it. we make do with what we have but i'm just grateful we have a table! maybe one day i'll blog about that beautiful bench (not pictured) my handy husband made and the quilttop cushion my MIL sewed. 
but right now, if you have a table, gather some candles and light them up at dinner time!
ah! see!! there's that bench, quilt top cushion and matching table runner!!! oooh and a clean table!
and i got my cute little skeleton body out of storage again. last year, the boys decorated some fake pumpkins at Michael's. i spraypainted them black and white this year and then hand-painted a sugar skull design. now they look decent and presentable. now they'll last forever. and now La Catrina stands at my front porch in between the real pumpkins! i think she needs a head dress though. some color would look nice, me thinks.
and moms, wanna try something fun for your kids lunchbox? scare them to giggles with a juice box mummy! (sorry, i didn't mean to sound like an infomercial) i made these last year and the kid still loves it! easiest project, i swear. just get some athletic tape + juice box + and a pen! (don't forget to detach the straw before you mummify it!)
i'll post again this weekend for a look at my front steps. you wont be able to take your 'eyes' off it. haha, you'll get it...
so, do you love decorating your house? do you do it for yourself or for your kids? i love seeing how people decorate their homes on their Instagram! let me see yours! 
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Leí Leí {an app}

Hey guys, I know I don't normally do this on the good ol' blog but I really wanted to share a new and exciting thing geared just for kids that's a bit "techie."
If you didn't know, my Mexican heritage means a lot to me. Born and raised in Mexico, I know firsthand how hard it was for me to learn English when we moved to the United States. When Jazmin from ¡Leí Leí!  asked me if i could review an app they were developing specifically for Hispanic children and their parents, I was totally like, for sure!
¡Leí Leí! (translates to "I Can Read I Can Read!) is an educational tool that helps Mexican-American children gain bilingual literacy skills and supports their cultural identity through their cute little characters that both speak and look like them.
They have a Kickstarter campaign going on right now to fund their first appisode and it's ending pretty soon, so I encourage you to spend a few minutes learning what it's about:
This is taken from their Kickstarter page:
As a whole, the Hispanic population is an under-served minority group that is growing very rapidly. ¡Leí Leí! connects with first-generation Mexican American children, ages 3–5, before they enter school, to give them a curriculum that reinforces their early Spanish literacy while introducing English. It is important that these children gain proficiency in their native language, as these skills facilitate their English comprehension and literacy.
My home is mainly an English speaking household. But, my children know several words in Spanish because I speak it for their benefit. For one, I was very fortunate to grow up with a bilingual mother who knew the importance of knowing, speaking, and writing both languages.
But not everyone has that advantage.
Living in Houston, the third largest Mexican populated city in the United States*, I know that ¡Leí Leí! would be very beneficial to every Mexican kid before they enter pre-K or Kindergarten as most of them grow up with only Spanish-speaking parents.
But it's not just geared for the children. It's not just a mindless game they play when you hand them that tablet or phone.
It's also a tool that can be used for parents to help them learn right along with their children.
By providing kids access to ¡Leí Leí!, parents are empowered first by being aware of this educational gap for their children. And after each appisode, parents are connected to additional resources. They want parents to encourage their children, be involved, help them succeed. That to me, is the most important thing. Parents have to be involved if you want a child to succeed.
To give you an idea of what ¡Leí Leí! is, they've helped by simulating it on a smart phone:
I absolutely love the look of it! I hope you join us in this mission to make the most of our children's educational journey. You can do so by sharing the word through social media like Twitter and Facebook and Instagram (tons of behind the scenes--you know i love it!) and by donating to their Kickstarter page to keep this going forward.
Also, if you have any questions about the app, feel free to email me at sanlynet at gmail dot com.
Have a great week guys!
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*Taken from HoustonTx.gov page

Thursday, October 9, 2014

beautiful & sick & wiggly days

the days have been gooooorrgeous lately! the sun is out, the temps perfect. so so perfect. but my backyard...ehhhh....not so much. 
we actually still don't have a lawnmower. but no worries because both boys hate the grass and won't walk on it anyway. silly boys. does your kid whine and cry when grass touches his foot? mine does. and mosquitos. don't get me started on mosquitos. blasted things!
i hope by next spring, we get a plan going and start planting some amazing things. i have a great vision for my huge backyard. 
but for now, it's a pitiful soul-less yard. and the boys know it. they won't come out to play unless i push them out the doors. what's wrong with kids today? ...just kiddin'. 
and on one of those rare moments, i decided to bring my big camera out. i found that i was rusty. so rusty
give ninja swords to boys and they will play. 
little girl loves watching her brothers. they could care less about her, but her eyes just have so much excitement. she loves it the most when they giggle at each other too. they're silly boys, it's true.
it was one of those lazy afternoons, the kind where i wished i had a lounger with a cup holder so i could put my ice-cold lime infused water in, just relaxing listening to the boys fight. and don't forget the mosquito repellent. very important. 
but for now, it's just a wish. i know these days won't last long at all--the weather, the laughter...
little girl is scraping her toes and getting blisters all over her toes because she cannot be still. she loves her walker (thanks Nana!) and she loves to wiggle about--no crawling. 
the boys requested i push the trampoline next to the deck so that they don't have to walk on the 'itchy' grass. 
i'm telling you, her brothers bring her pure joy. i pray they will continue to do that throughout the years. it makes my mama heart so happy.
and i just have to note on here that elena eats everything. every little piece of trash, stale cheetoh, stickers, legos on the floor, and now my jade plant that sits outside. and please, no one has a bigger heart attack than me when she does that, so just settle those panties down. the jade plant is very mildly toxic to humans sometimes and it has been removed from my deck for future outings with the little girl. now comes the part where i look up all the other plants to see if they're poisonous. ay ay ayyy!
this past monday, andrew came back home from school because of a stomach bug. i have to confess that it was one of those great, lazy days again. the day was pretty much ideal to go outside--but i didn't coerce him to play outside because he needed rest. after a few tv shows, i turned the screen off and told them they had two choices: color or take a nap. and so they chose to color. as much as i want them to color from coloring books like i did when i was a girl, they prefer to make up their own coloring pages. 
and elena wanted to be in on the action too. she came around, saw those colorful waxy sticks and gnawed on a couple of them and wiggled off to a new adventure. 
she is my little inchworm. i'll leave the room and a minute later, she's huffing and puffing her way to where her mama is and greet me with the biggest smile. i love it. 
these pictures below are just a few out of like 30 that i took just trying to capture her in focus. she has mastered wiggling through the house like a champ, hence the blisters on the ball of her feet. 
she's a nut. she's amazing. she's beautiful. and she's mine. but i'll let you hold her. 
i don't think she'll learn to crawl properly. she seems quite content just commando'ing it. eating up left over carrots or small debris--it's gross i know, but you know what? mom of three here. and she'll eventually poop it out so win-win.
on a very shocking side note, i can't believe this is my life. 
have a great week everyone! we have some awesome plans this weekend that i am so excited about--yay! 
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