Gretchen Schock shares her love of recipes, crafts and frugal living. She also speaks very opening about the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. After a breast cancer scare in 2012, she decided to say goodbye to her nightly glasses of Chardonnay. It was time to get sober and live life with eyes wide open! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.

4/30/2009

I'm twittering about!

I swore I wasn't going to get into twitter. I know, I know, everyone else is doing it. I'm like the last person on earth who doesn't twitter about. Keep in mind the cellphone just reentered my life 2 months ago...I was on a 4 year hiatus before I joined the network. And now I am going to try my hand at twitter. So I added a link to follow me on the left sidebar. Who knows what I'll be talking about but it should be fun!

4/29/2009

31 cent night at Baskin-Robbins

from their site:
31 Cent Scoop Night at Baskin-Robbins®
and help honor America’s firefighters with a $100,000
donation to the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
National Junior Firefighter Program.

Participating stores will reduce prices of small ice cream
scoops to 31 cents*. At some locations, you may also have
an opportunity to make a donation to local fire charities.

YUM! What a great way to end the day.


4/28/2009

Gini's Birthday Party Invitations



You may remember the cards I made for my FIL's 60th birthday. When my FIL, Tom, decided to throw Gini, my MIL, a surprise party he asked if I would help by making the invitations. I chose to use paper from K&Company Wild Saffron card stock line. I love that everything is already color coordinated for me. I cut each down to 5x8 inches and used a matching paper print to create a folder along the bottom, keeping it together with eyelets. Oh how I love my cropadile! The invitation information was done in photoshop and printed on a 4x6 inch glossy photo paper. I really like to mix textile sensations; glossy & matte, textured & flat etc. I think it's interesting for the eyes. The blacked out part is their address on the invitations, safety first!
For the RSVP I made tags and on it asked the person to write a birthday message to Gini. Wait until you see what I have planned for the tags.
To be continued....

4/27/2009

Time Traveling

Have you missed me? Please tell me you have noticed my absence in blogland. On the 18th we made our way to AZ to celebrate my MIL's 60th birthday. It was a surprise for her, along with a party that night. It's been a year since we've flown and it's quite amazing the growth and change that can happen in a year.
1. No stroller needed. No longer do we need umbrella strollers checked at the gate. Both boys can walk over a mile without complaints. Also Logan can deal with more sensory issues since being in school and having to learn how to deal with unpredictable experiences and no longer requires the stroller as an escape.
2. Lighter load to carry for Jon and I because both boys can now carry their own backpacks with toys and books to keep themselves occupied.
3. The days of sippy cups and bottles are so far gone. And to top it off they both know how to drink from a water fountain totally on their own. Such a small thing, I know, but it's the little moments for me that I always want to cherish and hold onto for a bit longer.
And the final one...
4. Bathroom! I could do cart wheels down the aisle of the plane on this one...NO MORE DIAPERS!!! HALLELUJAH!
Before I know it they will be flying to Grandma and Papa's on their own while Jon and I go on romantic cruises. (wink-wink)
All in all we had a wonderful trip. The birthday party was so much fun, we partied like rock stars. Of course paid for that the next day. A humbling experience, a reminder that we aren't 22 anymore.
Stay tuned..tomorrow I'll show you the invitations I made for the party.
Happy Birthday Gini!

4/16/2009

Unschooling Summer





I've been reading recently about "unschooling" and find it very fascinating. I typically lean this way towards my parenting style, finding teachable moments in our everyday life. And while both of my children will remain in the public school setting, for the time being, I am actively going to join some other moms/dads on a mission to create an Unschooling Summer for our kids. You can learn about it here and it's not too late to join up if you are interested in this journey.

The boys and I recently had a lunch date with their daddy at his work while they were on spring break. We took a walk and stumbled upon this graveyard. And this is exactly what I am referring to when I talk about teachable moments. Logan was full of questions and I wanted to answer as honestly as possible, Jon was a bit hesitate at first but then dived head first in the conversation. It was the perfect opportunity to talk about death, death is going to happen in their lives at some point and why not explain it on this beautiful spring day as we walk happily as a family. Instead of after someone they love dies and the emotions are so strong and confusing. So we answered questions about what happens to the bodies after being buried? Why they are buried? Who is this lady anyway?
As we were leaving we stumbled upon a corpse of what I imagine was a deer and I felt like it was God placing this in front of us, as if to say "you guys are doing it right, here is an imagine to go along with those answers".
We looked closely at the bones, identifing the bones we clearly knew. Talking again about death, wondering what happened to this animal and making up different scenarios. All of which involved "the angry hunters". I think we've read Horton Hatches an Egg a few too many times.
I'm excited and inspired about our summer experiment. I wonder where their curious minds will take us. As I kissed Logan good night he whispered into our hug, "that lady was pretty mommy, like you".
Yes it is going to be a very exciting jouney.

4/15/2009

Baby Quilt

My childhood friend, Cindy, is having a baby boy in June and this past weekend friends and family came together to celebrate. Cindy and I have had a very long history. We went to high school together, stood next to one another as each one professed their love to their husbands, she stayed with me for a week when Jon had to go to Seattle right after Logan was born to find us an apartment. And I wish I could repay that. I wish I could go to Chicago and stay for a week to help her, but sadly I can't. I have my own kids who need me here. I know she understands this but I still feel a pang of guilt about it.

I made this quilt for her sweet boy. Even though she knows she is having a boy I wanted to make something that was a bit gender neutral. Just in case this baby doesn't gravitate to it possibly the next child that they have will. This scenario has happened in our house, Zane has adopted many of the handmade blankets that were made for Logan when he was a baby. The next quilt I make, I'm actually going to try using a pattern...just to see what happens.

4/13/2009

The Birthday Bull ride!

Some of you who have friended me facebook have seen the pictures but for the rest of the viewers here you go...the birthday bull ride. I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to ride a mechanical bull to celebrate my birthday. It was actually a lot harder than I thought it would be. A lot harder than it appears to be when you stand there and watch a dozen folks fall off. (The alcohol probably doesn't help either) Regardless you really have to use your arms to hold on.
I celebrated the night with some wonderful friends, people who make me smile on a daily basis, inspire me to be a better person and scream the loudest when I need it.
A wonderful way to start the new year!
video

4/09/2009

Disposable Camera Battery Tip!

Not many people use disposable cameras anymore since you can get a good quality camera for under 40 bucks. But we placed disposable cameras on every table at our wedding and I am so thankful we did. Some of the best pictures, the pictures I cherish 6 years later, from our wedding came from those cameras. But here is a tip that I wish I knew about at that time...when turning in your cameras to be processed at the photo lab ask to have the batteries also. Apparently inside each camera are standard AA batteries with lots of life left in them. Good for you and better for our environment.

4/08/2009

Boys live here...



I know it didn't happen overnight. They have always been here, my boys. But it wasn't until recently that I realize how they have turned into little boys. Their minds and thinking are different. We are no longer just reenacting superhero shows or books we have read. They are coming up with their own stories. Especially Logan, this is a very new development for him.

On the floor of their bedroom you can find little wars set up and in mid battle, abandoned until they return. Or superheros lined up on their dresser waiting for their turn in the attack to save the army from the villains. I don't get asked to hold their babies anymore, instead I'm instructed to throw the bomb or shoot the blaster. I knew having boys that this time would come, and since I'm a very girly girl type I need to learn how to play along. So I can be included, because with this new development they have also deemed some friends no longer fun to play with because they are GIRLS! I don't want that label! I am perfecting my gun shooting sound technique, how are boys automatically equipped with that skill? And learning that when placing the army men in battle you must have men facing all sides to protect the group from invaders, where did they learn this?!?
These are my children, right?!?!
With each stage and development it is a growing experience for all of us. I see Logan sneaking off, out of site from his brother, to read a comic book in private. I watch as Zane dances and sings to himself when he is alone. And I want to hold these moments in a bottle, sealed up. I know these moments won't last forever, much like the first year of baby cuddles never seemed to last long enough. And some day these little boys will be men...but right now I'm embracing it. All of it! Even if it means I need to get lessons from a 5 year old on how to make the proper gun sound roll off my tongue.

4/07/2009

Another Rag Rug


Since the first rug, I've made 3 more. I've picked up some t shirts from freecycle and from family who were overjoyed that I was doing something with their cast offs. Here is one that I am in love with. I just love how it turned out. Sadly it won't fit under our door when you try to close it so this one will be for sale. I've started a blue and white one for our bedroom. It's so sad that our bedroom is always the last room to be decorated and I think I'm going to go with a blue theme in there. Blue is really speaking to me recently, calm and cool. Sounds like a great way to wake up.

4/06/2009

Pop's Tattoo



On Saturday I took a friend to get her nose pierced at Pop's Tattoo in Silver Spring, MD. This tattoo shop totally rocks. First off it's not intimidating, I honestly feel intimidated in most tattoo shops. It's like walking into a mechanic's shop...it feels all male and I always feel not cool enough or not taken seriously. But at Pop's the decor feels as though you are entering a spa complete with a Buddha sculpture on the wall, but instead of the trickle of a water fountain it's the buzz of the tattoo gun (is that what it's called?!?!).

And the people who work there look you in the eye and talk to you...it doesn't matter that I don't have a half sleeve or spacers in my ears. They take even the simple nose piercing seriously and walk you through the process, help you pick the right size ring or stud and they explain everything. You aren't left guessing or searching google for the answers later that night. The cost is right too! The new piercing was 40 bucks and I got my nose ring switched to a smaller ring for only 10 bucks.
If you are in the neighborhood head over to Pop's and get some work done, Bob is worth the trip!

4/02/2009

Cheap Date Night

Hubby and I recently went out to celebrate our anniversary, we didn't want to spend a ton of money but we also wanted to actually DO SOMETHING. And then I remembered that there are free concerts at the University of Maryland. If you aren't local check out the university closest to you and see if they offer any free performances. We saw new works by students and it was pretty remarkable. Lots of talented young folks breaking out into the world. The energy alone was contagious, I now understand why college professors do what they do. To be around that energy must keep you feeling younger on a daily basis.
We have marked our calendars to check out some more free shows like the drum ensemble on may 2nd, I think the kids are even going to dig this. And I wish I was going to be in town on April 22nd to see Living In Our Landscape, where they are going to talk about artist going "green" and how they are "using their art as a means of environmental activism, ‘greening’ the concert tour industry, or using their celebrity to inform and inspire their audiences and fan base, what are the roles and responsibilities of artists when it comes to environmental activism?"

Some really remarkable stuff right down the street from our house and for FREE!

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