Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


Adopting through Foster Care

The journey of adoption is exciting, frustrating, hopeful and heartbreaking. It’s a myriad of emotions being thrown at you daily. There are so many ups and downs and though you and your spouse are going through this amazing experience, right now it feels very lonely. Don’t get me wrong, we have an incredibly supportive family and a huge network of friends in our community cheering us on in person and virtually. But daily there are so many emails and phone calls that we can’t talk about because of privacy issues and that we don’t want to talk about because we don’t want to get anyone’s hopes up since we know that that particular child won’t be joining our family.

We are in what they call “the matching process”, which means we are daily looking at websites where social workers all over the United States post information about children in foster care who’s parent’s rights have been terminated. The websites have pictures and a small amount of information about the child and sometimes a video of the child being interviewed (think of the Wednesday’s Child segment that you’ve seen on the news). After reading the child’s profile and feeling as though that child would be a good fit for our family, based on this limited information, we then inquire about the child. The child’s social worker receives our home study and then we wait to hear if we would be a good fit for this child. The waiting is hard as waiting often is. But the rejection is even harder. The blanket statement “You were not selected for this child” that we receive via email, leaves us asking BUT WHY? Why did they not pick us? Aren’t we good enough? That child seemed like they would fit well in our family! Maybe we should tell them more about us that wasn’t in our home study…..

The whirlwind begins in your mind and then you take a deep breath and center yourself. You tap back into your truth. And you know that the social worker didn’t chose your family because there was another family that fit the child better. We trust that these amazing, hardworking people who see and hear things on a daily basis that would make you burst in tears and want to cover your eyes…they know what is best for this child. It’s not personal. But it feels that way in the moment. 

Daily I am thankful for my meditation practice. When this experience seems overwhelming and it feels as though my heart can’t hold anymore hurt in one day, I sit and close my eyes and breathe. I tune back into my breath and focus simply on inhaling and exhaling. I let my mind go clear and then I pray. I pray to the Divine that our new child will find us and join our family. That our house will continue to be filled with laughter and love. And to give us the courage to continue to be open and compassionate beings on a daily basis.


Regal Summer Movies Series 2016

Don't forget about the Regal Summer Movies series!
Only a $1 per person.

Both movies play each day at 10am on Tuesdays and Wednesdays all summer long. It's a great way to see some of your favorite movies on the big screen. Mark your calendars!


Gluten Free Eggplant Pizza

I'm really trying to eat everything in our fridge before it goes bad. It sometimes means that I am less than thrilled to make dinner. Living in the bottom vegetable drawer of our fridge was an eggplant. Don't get me wrong I like eggplant, it is okay. It's not my favorite but it came in our veggie box delivery and it has to be eaten. I scoured Pinterest for recipes that didn't involve a lot of prep work and would possibly get my kids to eat this eggplant as well.

I found this recipe from Clean Food Crush and decided to tweaked it for my family. We only had cheddar cheese in the fridge so that was what I used and it tasted delicious. Also I added more cheese than she did because I wanted my kids to eat it. And let me be honest with order for vegetables to cross my children's lips without them gagging as if I am trying to kill them with must be covered with cheese. I am happy to report that both of my kids ate a slice without complaint. HUGE WIN FOR ME!!!!

Here is what you'll need:

  • 1 eggplant, sliced to the size of a fingernail's width.
  • Cheese of your choosing, shredded
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dried basil
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes or pre-made marinara sauce
  • Garlic salt or diced garlic, whatever you have in the cupboards

To make the sauce:
I put a can of diced tomatoes in the Ninja blender with a ½ tablespoon of diced garlic (the refrigerated jar kind) and a splash of dried basil. A few quick spurts and it was ready.

Preheat oven to 430.
Place eggplant slices on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with oil. Top each eggplant slice with the sauce and cheese. Simply eyeball it and keep in mind it's supposed to look like pizza, so you don't want the eggplant swimming in sauce. Bake for 25 minutes and serve immediately.
For the adults I added dried basil to the top of each slice as well, but not for the kids. I think you can guess what their reaction would have been. :)


Facebook Reminds You

You know how Facebook pops up memories into your news feed from years ago? Suddenly before your eyes you see where your life once was, a memory that you might want to share to remind everyone else that you know that time is passing way too fast! Today the picture in my newsfeed was of my boys as babies.
It's hard to imagine that they were once small enough to hold and sit on my lap now that both of them are almost if not over 5 feet tall.

So much has changed and yet there are moments in our daily lives that haven't changed at all. Logan, my oldest child who is on the Autism Spectrum, is now in middle school. We have the same script as we are about to depart each other as we did when he was in kindergarten. In elementary school I stood at the top of the hallway, Logan refused to be dropped off with the rest of the kids in the front of the building, which was OK by me as I enjoyed having that last moment together just as much as he did. We had a routine that we did everyday. Memorized lines we would say to one another. It made him feel "safe" he told me once. We would stop at the mural and I would kneel down for a hug and kiss. I'd use that moment to remind him of something in his backpack that he needed to give his teacher, practice his clues one more time for his Friday mystery bag item etc, etc.  
I then would say "Have a great day sweetie", he would reply "OK take care of Dharma and Zane for me." 
"Okay I will", I would respond.
On one particular day he turned to walk down the hall, waving his left hand goodbye but not looking at me... as he did every school day. But this time he turned around, tears in his eyes and ran back to me on the verge of completely breaking down.
"You didn't say it Mommy!!! You didn't say it!!"
I was scanning my lines in my head as if I was on center stage and the spotlight was on me and everyone was waiting for me to deliver my line....

"You're going to be great!"

A huge smile then spread across his face. A deep sigh of relief. He turned to leave again.
I call out, "You're going to be great Logan! You always will be."
"I know, Mom. Thanks!"

Our script hasn't changed all that much, instead of standing at the mural I stand at the bus stop. And instead of saying "Take care of Dharma and Zane" he says "Have a good yoga class, Mom.", marking my transition from Stay At Home Mom to Working Mom. Today as he stepped on the first step of the bus, waving his left hand goodbye but not looking at me he paused and turned towards me. I smiled at him instantly acknowledging how grown he looks now and said, "You're going to be great!" A smile spread across his face and instead of his usual line "I know, Mom." He said "You are too." Thanks Logan. Sometimes we moms need to hear it too. 

For all you moms out there parenting kids on the spectrum; memorizing scripts, living by routines and wishing your child would eat something new.

"You're going to be great!"


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