All moms need ME time

With the kids going through this tough stage of sibling rivalry where they are constantly at each other's throat (figuratively) and requiring Chris or I to intervene and make peace, the one place and time I get a few minutes of peace is......(drum roll...) the shower!!!
To parents considering having a second child I think I should inform you the one BIG difference with a second child is drastically less time. You know how with your one child you have a set nap time where you know you will have some "me" time? Well, with a second child, they almost never sleep at the same time as the first child....so you do not get that time and when you do......oh, what a huge blessing it is......but do not plan on it.....you will just be sorely disappointed.
I love my kids more than anything. But I am a much better mom when I can get some "me" time in between the large amounts of "kid" times. Painting when they are asleep or watching great movies late into the night as I sip a glass of wine bring me back to myself. Try it. Or share with me how you take some time for yourself.

Nora taking over my coloring pencils

Lately I can only freely paint IF Nora also gets a chance to create using the same medium. I have been using my Prismacolor coloring pencils to create the face for my angel painting. She plops herself on my bed and begins coloring too and with that little smile how can I say no?
She made a beautiful drawing with lots of colorful lines and spent a good 20 minutes doing it.
I love my coloring pencils......

Where's Luke

Luke refuses to be photographed at all. Here is what I get when he even gets a whiff of my camera. I hope this does not continue for long. any suggestions?

Angel for my Suzi Blu Class

I am taking Suzi Blu's class on Angels. My first assignment was to make an angel. I am not yet done with her, but here are some process pictures. I will plug in for Suzi's classes. She explains everything and gives excellent feedback. Click here to be directed to her Petit Academy Site.
It began with a sketch.
I use tissue paper to texturize her dress and her wings.
Here is her face.....Suzi made it look so easy.....

My face added on
First layer of painting

Close up of face.

Making Pizza

The kids have been begging me to make pizza from scratch since this morning. We went for a walk to the fruit market and Nora began whining for pizza the minute she saw the pizza joint. I had to bargain with them and say we would make pizza instead. Luke was all excited until he had an hour-long tantrum which pretty much took him out of this activity.

The pizza came out looking like mana. It was roughly 3 cups flour, 1 tsp. salt, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup water and olive oil.
We used pasta sauce for the red sauce and cheese slices for the cheese. They came out delicious.

Listen to your feelings to find inner peace....yes, even ONLINE

I have come to learn that humans communicate in whole other levels aside from the basic forms of communication we know of, such as talking to one another or using body language to convey meaning. I have come to believe that there is a whole undercurrent of communication that happens that very often outweigh in helping us make decisions; big decisions such as whether to trust a person or not. Over the years I believe my ability to utilize this 'skill', if you may call it that, has become more and more trustworthy.
Often we feel guilty in allowing ourselves to feel repulsed by someone else's actions. For example a person might annoy us or rub us the wrong way and our immediate reaction is to 'turn the other cheek' or doubt the validity of our own feelings. We might suppress it and never once question why we actually feel annoyed. You CAN choose to literally respect your gut feelings or choose to do the total opposite and take a doubting stance towards yourself and suppress these feelings. But if we actually stay in the emotion as it arises we might learn something about ourselves. Perhaps our body's reaction to the situation is trying to tell us something about this person in relation to ourselves. I say "our body" for very often a feeling of simple annoyance comes with bodily reactions such a heart rate increase, or ever-so-minute muscle tightening, etc. Nevertheless, if we choose to look into it or the very least respect it, we might find that it might be better off not being around the person.
Lately, I've had to force myself to be, I guess you can call it "ruthless", on my social media sites such as twitter and Facebook due to my attempt to respect my reactions and my goal of purposefully aiming for peace in all my social relations. When situations, comments and/or dynamics create uncomfortable situations in my thoughts I listen tothese thoughts and to the way they make me feel. Now this is where being a mom has helped me save myself and has allowed me to better execute my goals for myself. Having 2 children now that I would simply die for in an instant has made me feel my own sense of worth and AWESOME power. If you have children you understand what I mean. A mothers' love is awe-inspiring to say the least. To give you some background, I grew up struggling with issues of worth and worthiness. Coming of age without a father around, who just happened to be alive and well, can do that to any young woman. But being a mother has given me back my power to value myself JUST as much as I value my kids. Therefore in valuing myself comes not allowing negative energies to invade your space. The discomfort I feel at any point in any interaction must be listened to, respected and acted upon if I am to find inner and outer peace in life; hence the ruthlessness with my social media sites as I would in real-life interactions. Just because someone is being rude on the computer does not mean it should be allowed. Listen to your discomforts too and CUT IT, cut it out fast and clean; in whatever form you see fit. Try it, you will see that your life too becomes much simpler too.
Buddhist Beliefs - Sword of Wisdom


Me at 4.....

So this is a picture of me when I was 4. I grew up with this picture around me yet just now I notice that I am wearing a bikini in the tub.....very funny. I also now realize how much I look like Nora....she makes that same smile when she smiles.

Organizing our tiny DC apartment

I have been cleaning up our apartment this summer. Here is half of stuff I have chose to donate to charity or give away to anyone who needs children's clothes, etc. here are 3 huge bags of clothes. I find it helps when trying to thin down what you have to use black trash bags. It also makes it very easy to give things away knowing someone else will use it and it won't be sitting in some landfill for the next 30 years. You may know this about me, but I hardly ever buy anything new. The only items we buy new are underwear and shoes. I am very proud to be a second hand shopper.
To make our living room much airier (is that even a word?) , I have used our hallway as a storage area for the kids' toys. Items are separated by types. Legos go in Lego buckets, dress up in the dress up bucket, and trains go with train tracks and trains.....
I have used pictures to help kids identify which toys belong in which buckets. I need to take more pictures, but that is the goal.
Interestingly, the one most popular toy bucket is the nature bucket. It has acorns, sticks, rock and pine cones.....so again, you never need to spend money on expensive toys.....kids find toys in almost anything from shipping boxes, to long gift wrapping tubes.

Double and triple-digit addition...

I woke up from a nap to find Luke and Dad doing double and triple digit addition without carry over.....Luke was so excited he was jumping up and down.

Look at that big smile.....here he is writing 1000 on our dry erase...

Nora is a little senorita.....this is what she looks like ready to go out to do laundry in the basement....LOL

She always has a purse, a baby and in her purse she has money, snacks and a "phone".
She is pretty hilarious for a 3-year old......I tell her all the time she will be a fantastic mother when she grows up.

my car was totaled while I slept.....

My car was hit while I slept....luckily my hubby heard it and went downstairs.

This is the driver side door.....obviosly we are not at fault....but it still took the entire morning to deal with it.
The car was hit so hard that my roght tire was totally bent....bad news huh?
I had to get to guys in my apt building to help me move it back to the curb for the back was sticking out into the street.


Inspiration to feed more ideas....

I have decided to paint more trees since there are still a few ideas I'd like to try out, but I need some inspiration. Went out for a walk today to take pics of trees in my neighborhood.

One of my favorite trees is the magnolia tree....they give out such amazing flowers. A all around perfect tree.

Nora uses a mini toy phone and pretends to also take pictures of trees.

Nora at the studio....

Nora often wakes up in the middle of the night to watch me paint then fade off again. She always tells me how much she loves whatever I had completed at that point. it should be no surprise then to see her also want to paint. She now wants to sit on my stool and paint on my easel.....making me have to work on some other project as she creates her little painting. But how can I say no to that face.....there is just no way...
Silly momma below...
She is so focused. She could literally sit here for about half an hour. Pretty amazing for a 3-year old. I encourage all parents to always share their passions with their kids.
She's on my easel!!

New painting....a dab at landscape

Anyone who knows me knows I lOOOOOVE trees. I actually not only love trees, but I also love tree seeds, tree roots, tree textures....leaves....before the kiddies were born my hubby and I would get tree books and try to get to know all the trees in our neighborhood. To purchase this painting go to my art online art store.
The painting it done in mixed media and it's so textured that the tree comes to about 3/4" off the canvas. The canvas is 24"x30".
My husband...."my harshest critic", did not like the idea of adding flowers to the tree.....here is what it looked like before the flowers were added on. I still like the flowers better....in the end, it's my painting...right?
You can see the texture much better from this angle....these are supposed to be rocks and tall grass.
Here is a close-up of the tree itself..
another close-up.
a close-up of the branches.
I studied tons of cherry blossom photos on Google Images and this is my representation of them.....they are just so beautiful. If you have never been to DC during the Cherry Blossom Festival, it's something to see.