What to Expect When You Are Expecting.

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We are back in newborn baby territory and it is a little different this time around than it was with Addison who is now two, going on three in May.

Pack a bag a month before the due date Raul and I were on top of this as well as going to classes together, etc when we were expecting Addison. But for some reason I just thought not a whole bunch would change with Zoe. So we were all shocked when my "Braxton Hicks" were more than just that and actual labor. I had to pack in between contractions and Raul had to do the same for him and A, it was crazy but we did it. So yea, pack a bag in advance!

Sleep when the baby sleeps This one was huge. With Addy I was absolutely in awe of her and I stared at her, cleaned the house, basically did anything besides sleeping when she slept. Now with Z I take any opportunity to sleep when she does. I feel much more refreshed and the time I do spend staring at her, just taking her all in is pure quality and I love it.

Relax more and prioritize The world doesn't stop spinning when you have little ones and realizing that whatever you need to get to will be there when you are ready to tackle it is key. Certain errands aren't as important and that is ok. When the time is right, you will get to it, so don't rush or over extend yourself.

Use an app We didn't use an app to calculate feedings and diaper changes with Addy. This time around we found FeedBaby and it is THE BEST. The whole time that we were in the hospital and the nurses would ask about feedings/diapers, we would just show them the app. Ain't nobody got time to memorize every feeding/last breast nursed on, etc. Ah, best thing ever.

Hindsight is 20/20, even if you have had just 1 kiddo, what advice would you give/lessons learned?

Just Paint.

My Home It's taken me awhile to get back on the art horse.  Not going to lie.  I have been trying to find my groove again and even though I haven't been painting painting, I've been reading.  To date here are my absolute favorites.  And I mean getting dangerous with the library late fees territory:

Water Paper Paint: Exploring Creativity with Watercolor and Mixed Media  - Heather Smith Jones

Watercolor Painting, A Comprehensive Approach to Mastering the Medium - Tom Hoffmann

And of course I can't forget YouTube:

I have been messing with my process too.  Order of operations is big for me so first I would just dive into the watercolor paper with my sloppy paints.  I didn't get anywhere because I didn't know where I was going.  I am extremely methodical with my digital art but watercolor is a completely different beast to me.  So, I would read and watch other painters I admired and try what they did.  Some sketch, then bring the sketch into photoshop and compose the image, then print out the image, then use a light-box to trace it onto the watercolor paper and then go for it with the paint.

When I follow those steps, by the time I get to the painting phase, I'm paralyzed.  Watercolor paint is so expensive, watercolor paper is not cheap either, then you add in the brushes.....everything I paint better be a masterpiece at this point.  That is what I hear in my brain, that very loud annoying voice.  What I am finding that works for me (knock on wood that doesn't jinx it) is that I sketch out elements I might want to paint on computer paper.  Just scribble and freely draw.  Then when I think I have my elements, I will sketch out a composition.  Then I come to my paper and freely draw my composition but not too much.  Everything doesn't have to be planned in advance, a nice mix is nice.  Lastly, it's time to paint.  Parts can be wet into wet, other parts wet onto dry, etc.  But I eat that elephant one bite at a time.  Oh and chanting that no one is going to see this helps too.  I tell myself I'm painting for me (which I am, it brings me joy) and if it doesn't turn into anything it isn't a big deal.  I think this mind play is working for me.

I am taking in all of these opinions and methods of how other painters work and finding what works for me so I can just paint.  That is by far my favorite part.

The painting above is called My Home and 6x8 prints are available in my shop!