Time Is The Enemy

To quote Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch “Tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!”  Now while it’s not THAT close, the reality is there are only 10 shopping Fridays left till Christmas (you’re welcome). As much as we may want it to, time doesn’t slow down, stand still or even go in reverse. Not even The Grinch has the power to change time.  Time does what it does – keeps marching forward at a steady pace, no faster or slower than the day before.   Why do you ask, am I so focused on time? Well in less than two weeks the boys will be turning 3 (no biggie – I got that covered – well my mom does anyway!) but Gavin will be transitioned out of Birth to Three and into pre-k at our local school. During our IEP meeting we met the OT, PT, special ed and speech folks.  As luck would have it, Bailey had an open house the same night we had our IEP meeting so we brought Gavin and made stops in all the rooms – and he got to meet everyone as well. MUCH to Bailey’s relief, she will see him several times during the day and his main room is just down the hall. During open house Gavin even got to visit the OT/PT room and played on the platform swing – allowing both the...

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The Good Side of Life

After all, at 46, I am much more aware of who I am. Yes, I am still finding and learning more about myself each day, but I have finally learned to like myself. My whole self. And not to care so much about what others think of me. And at 46, I can even laugh at myself!

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Procrastination at its Finest

I recently listened to a TED Radio Hour Podcast that focused on slowing down.  The overall message was that in some instances, slowing down the way we work and think, can actually facilitate a more creative process and help you become more effective. So I waited. And waited.  I’m still procrastinating as I type.  Hoping inspiration for this blog post will strike any minute now…. All kidding aside, I am always looking for ways to slow down this crazy, beautiful life of mine so I already buy into the concept these TED speakers were selling.  As I listened to the podcast, I tried to soak up as many tips and tricks to obtain a calmer, slower cadence to my every day life.  This is one battle in which I’m afraid I will always be engaged, but as I slowed down this week, I’d like to think that I wouldn’t have noticed a few special things in my world if not for my conscious effort. Complete and total unsolicited kindness of Noah who drew personalized drawings for my husband and I and left them on our master bedroom pillows.  He didn’t waste a single word announcing how thoughtful and creative he is.  He didn’t expect a thing in return.  My heart will break the day he stops leaving me these little love notes. Although it’s 80 degrees today, we actually should be in...

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Weekly meal prep saves my sanity

I am writing a post about cooking.  That’s right – I, Emily Gonzalez, am writing a post about cooking.  Stop laughing, dry your eyes, and read this because it’s important.  I started doing weekly meal prep two months ago, and it is literally one of the best things I have ever done for myself and my family.  I have SO much to say about it that I’m going to do a little series on it. Some background: I am not a terrible cook.  When I make food, it generally tastes pretty good, but the amount of time and effort it takes for me to get there is ridiculous.  It just doesn’t come naturally for me.  And I’m not one of those people who finds chopping vegetables relaxing after a long day at work – I actually really shouldn’t be wielding a knife at that hour.  Now with the second baby, cooking has become a practically impossible task for me during the week, and we frequently rely on frozen food and take-out.  Not that there is anything wrong with either of these options, but it became an excuse for me to eat super unhealthy.  At the end of the summer, I finally decided that I was tired of feeling sluggish, guilty, and broke because of my food choices.  The beginning of this new school year was the perfect opportunity for me...

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My Other Kids

I have two toddlers and they keep me very busy. I’d like to say that everything I do in this world is for them, but it isn’t really true. See, I have these 150 other kids that I see everyday in my classroom at school. It’s a job and it’s the way I’ll provide for Lucy and John. It’s the way my husband and I pay for the mortgage and it’s the way I go online shopping on Amazon Prime (every.single.night). But obviously it’s more. I know teachers say this all the time, but it’s true. At least, I...

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Mind Body Soul Reunion

First of all, I owe a THANK YOU to Glennon Doyle Melton for sharing her story which led me to find a piece of my own truth. Now, on to my story: On March 1, 2016, I was lying on a gurney, IV in my arm, preparing for a brain scan and other tests to confirm that I did/did not have a small stroke. The right side of my face was numb, I had blurry vision that came and went, I had positional vertigo, I was nauseous, my neck and back of my skull were throbbing and I just felt beyond exhausted. Well, I didn’t have a stroke. Thank God! But that was the start of several months of searching for answers. For 7 months, I went through theories of my symptoms. The vertigo subsided but every day I had neck pain, throbbing headaches from the back of my head, facial numbness/tingling and I was constantly nauseous, fighting exhaustion. I felt like I had constant morning sickness. Every. single. Day. I went to the eye doc to check for eye strain. I went to the dentist for jaw clenching. I went to the GI doc for reflux attacks and nausea. I went to the neurologist for the headaches. I had a brain MRI (result = “unremarkable”), I had blood tests, hormone tests, breath tests and all kinds of other tests. My hormones were...

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Dancing with Dogs

Yesterday I left for work half an hour early so that I’d have time to swing by the feed supply store and pick up 50 pounds of chicken feed. I wasn’t planning on doing this. I had my day all mapped out, as I like to do. When I plan my day out and know what to expect, my anxiety is lower. But I have kids. And kids, love them to the moon and back, are scatterbrained. So an hour before leaving for work, I heard, “Moooooooom! We’re out of chicken food!” “Out out? Or out, like we have enough to feed them later today but need some for tomorrow?” “Out out!” ….Sigh. Monday it was dog food. Saturday I hauled home three boxes of compost from work to split between the chickens and the tortoise. And Friday I thawed a dead rat for the snake. Yes, I have five pounds of dead rat in my chest freezer in the basement. Why do I do this to myself?? This morning I woke up with a head cold and dragged myself downstairs to make coffee and dig up a new box of tissues. It was chilly, I was cranky, and everyone else was still sleeping. But as soon as my feet hit the stairs, I acquired a shadow. Step, jingle, claw click, claw click. Step, jingle, claw click, claw click....

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Kindergarten is Hard

My youngest daughter started kindergarten this fall and it has not been easy. I’m not sure if it has been more difficult for her or for me but, regardless, September was filled with tears. Last spring I wrote a bit about why we weren’t ready for kindergarten.  My youngest daughter radiates pure joy and happiness most days and I was concerned that the stress and pressure of school would have a negative impact on her carefree personality. By the second week of school I was afraid my predictions were correct. It began subtly enough. When asked how her day...

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You don’t know the half of the abuse

We all have songs that speak to us for different reasons. Lately, the song Heathens by Twenty One Pilots has been hitting a sensitive part of my soul. The song isn’t even necessarily about my situation, it was written for the movie Suicide Squad (which I haven’t even seen). Yet, several lyrics in the song speak to my experience. For almost 10 years I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. I basically told no one just how bad it was at home. I walked on eggshells all the time. I never knew which version of my ex I was going to get, minute by minute. Would he be nice or would he be grumpy and take it out on me? Over time, and mostly after ending our marriage, I was able to see him for truly who he is — a narcissistic who is a professional at gaslighting (manipulating someone by psychological means into questioning their own sanity). Outside the home people view me as loving, compassionate, caring, hard working and generally as a good person. But at home I was belittled, my accomplishments were never even discussed because he couldn’t care less about them and I struggled to understand how his perception of me could be so completely different than anyone else’s in my life, ever. The things he would say about me…I just couldn’t grasp how he could...

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Guest Blog: Minding City-Born and Bred Grandkids

By Teri Michaud, mom of Shawna Kitzman I am a better country mouse than city mouse, but what I am really good at is being a suburbanite.  This is especially true in my role of grandmother.  I love taking care of any or all of my four grandchildren, but I mostly want to do it at my house.  When the kids are sleeping or playing, I can check my emails, cook dinner, reupholster a chair.  Edie once asked me why I like to cook at my house, and I said I know where my pots and pans are.  She told me they had those, too, and she could help me find them. Recently Gary and I went to Brooklyn, New York, for two events.  One, we would be watching Colette and Julien while Ashley and Jeff went to a wedding in Manhattan.  She was surprising him with an overnight stay in a swanky hotel. Second event, they had bought us tickets to the Broadway musical “Beautiful”, for watching their kids when then went to Ireland last summer.  We got to their apartment a tiny bit late—very typical of us.  Ashley was scrambling to get out the door for a hair appointment and Jeff had a distance run scheduled.  We knew in advance that we were taking the kids to a birthday party in the park.  Jeff had the diaper...

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