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.

7/30/2009

Advice from a Mom

One of my dear friends, Cindy, just had a baby. (isn't he the cutest?!?!) As an (ahem) experienced mom...I can barely stop from laughing just typing that sentence..but I guess with 2 kids well past toddlerland and into school-age marks that I've "been there done that". I've gotten asked, "what thing could you not live without as a mom". It's a hard question. Because every child is different. Logan hated being held for long periods of time and was happiest in a bouncy seat observing the world from a safe distance, hmmm not much has changed. And on the opposite end there was Zane who I would joke,with anyone who would listen, that I was attachment parenting-not by choice! The kid had to be held 24/7. I would check my email, sew, cook all while Zane saw the world from the sling.

So that being said, my favorite thing to buy a new mom is The Baby Safe Feeder. It was invented by a dad who saw a need and created something to help his child. The best ideas are born this way, in my opinion. Both of my boys used and loved their baby safe feeders, to try new foods or to help soothe teething gums. Soon enough I'm sure baby Caden will be enjoying some frozen peas in his Baby Safe Feeder while mom and dad worry if he'll ever cut that first tooth.

The other thing that I never thought would be such a staple in my house is our pizza cutter. Yes a pizza cutter! I have 2, just in case one is dirty or can't be found ASAP. Pizza cutters are great for saving you time. And the added bonus...a small child can't cut themselves with it! Don't try and pretend you've never been there and if you haven't...you will if you have a second child. You're tired, forgetful, pulled in so many directions...or God forbid, you are sick as a dog and still have to perform your mommy duties. Scenario: You are making a sandwich for child #1 and right as you turn your back child #2 grabs the knife and sticks it in his mouth or stabs the cat all resulting in an emergency run. Or hopefully just a band-aid, as was my case. Anyway the pizza cutter is great for cutting tiny pieces of food for the very new to eating babies. Great for quickly cutting up kids' pancakes or waffles...reduces whining by 50%. And crusts on sandwiches..forget it!
Pull yours out and give it a try. And once you've grown accustomed to having one within easy reach make a list of all the things you can do with it and hand it off to the new mom in your life. Or better yet share it here in the comments.

7/27/2009

Scrap Fabric Necklace

I saw this idea on another blog, Cakies, and had to give it a try. You know how much I love to find uses for scrap fabric! I made my necklace with only 2 strands and much longer. I get asked about it every time I wear it and it definitely adds a bit of funk to a boring white tank. If you can cut and braid you can do this project. Seriously!
And isn't that patch on my hat...awesome! Here is where I bought it on Etsy.

7/26/2009

Changes...

There has been a change, a small one but a change none the less. I recently bought the domain name www.CocktailMom.com. Yes I dropped the "s". My best friend Jabby and I started this blog and almost a year ago she decided life was too busy for her with going back to school and working full time. So I took on the reins solo. After a lot of thought, I've decided to take CocktailMom to a different level. And it all begins with buying a domain name. So if you subscribe to this blog via a reader please update the web address.
Added bonus: now it'll be even easier to tell all your friends about the blog you read! :)
pretty please!

7/22/2009

Earth911.com


It's hard to remember all the rules of recycling, depending on where you live the rules can change from place to place. This website, Earth911.com, has all the answers and you can even type in the item you have in question and your location and they will tell you where you can recycle it. While you are on the site check out this short article about 8 Ways to Not Get Tricked While Going Green, it answers some of the questions that have recently come up about going green. And my personal fave, The Wine Debate: Glass vs Plastic.

7/08/2009

Zane is 4! Thank you Cards

I can hardly believe my baby is 4 years old. Every year the sight of fireworks takes me back to his birth. I'll never be able to look at them again in the same way. Zane is still taking the world by storm, entertaining anyone who will sit still long enough to watch his new dance moves, is constantly shocking (mostly) Jon with his extreme-no-care-for-safety personality. :)
That's our Zane!
I tried to set up a nice, semi formal, birthday photo shoot for him. I wanted to capture those baby blues and his smile that lights up a room. But he was not interested at all. After taking these pictures I realized that this sums him up at age 4 a lot better than still shots would. If you met Zane you'd know he doesn't sit still for very long.
This year for his thank you cards I did it all digitally and then printed them off on 4x6" photo sheets that I happened to get free after rebate at Staples. I'm writing the message on the back in black sharpie, easy peasy!

7/07/2009

Love Card

Jon's grandma is not doing well. The doctor's have told us that sadly we are at the point where she could pass any day now. It's such a horrible feeling...having to sit and wait to hear sad news. While she is in hospice I wanted to send her some love from her great-grandsons. I used the same images I took for the father's day cube and adhered them to card stock. Using a hole punch, some ribbon I joined each image to the next so it can easily be hung on her wall or bulletin board. We love you Grandma!

7/06/2009

I got inked!

Every year I pick a word to meditate on, to focus my energy on on a daily basis. Last year I blogged about the word I chose, "Embrace". The word has become so much a part of me. I am often reminding myself to embrace the moment, capture it, give it my undivided attention. Embrace what the universe has put before me, embrace the people, the experiences. I've also learned the lesson of accepting that I can not control other people's energy towards me and I strive to embrace that and move on. Reminding myself not to get caught up in their negativity, their anger. Embrace who I am and know that someday they will do the same for themselves.

I love words.
I consider them art, standing alone on a wall or shelf. So if comes to no surprise that when I wanted to get a tattoo I would choose a word, embrace. I am so happy with how it turned out. This is my third tattoo but the most prominent on my body. Stepping off the line a bit. ;) But I wanted the visual, daily reminder to what I believe is awakening into my true self.

7/02/2009

Green Lake Open Water Swim-Because I can't just go on vacation....


It may have something to do with my upbringing. I could blame my parents. They did call week long bike rides "family vacation" after all. Maybe it's just in my genes.
So as you know I went to Seattle and while there I planned to swim a one mile open water swim at Green Lake. The event is hosted every year by Seattle Parks and Rec. and cleverly called G.L.O.W.S
Have you figured out what it stands for yet?
There were about 100 people swimming the mile and as you can see from the picture many were wearing wetsuits. It was cold, so very cold. I brought my tri suit to swim in, but even that extra thin layer of fabric didn't help much. In the beginning of the swim I had a really hard time getting my breath under control. People were literally on top of me, got pushed under and swam over. Scary stuff. The water was so murky though that you really couldn't see the person next to you until you were right on top of them so I swam breaststroke. It took me about a quarter of a mile until my breathing became regular and I felt like I wasn't just breathing in my chest but actually deep in my lunges. I've been training for the Iron Girl Triathlon so I felt pretty confident starting this swim. When I'm out in the middle of this murky lake the battle of good and bad begins in my head. The internal monolgue...good:"you are doing great!"...bad:"seriously? breaststroke? Swim freestyle for God's sake!"
I started to really beat myself up mentally for swimming breaststroke. I'm a strong swimmer. While training in the pool I swim freestyle but once I put my head in and start freestyle in the lake I can't get my sense of direction together and I always end up swimming way off course and then getting totally frustrated with myself. I reached the half mile mark, rounding the corner I thought to myself...WTF who the hell cares if I DO swim breaststroke the entire time! It's not against the rules. I'm a really, really good breaststroker. So with that positive feeling within my soul... I took a deep breath, pulled that murky water away from my body and passed 5 people. Swimming strong. Reminding myself that I'm doing this..I'm finishing this strong.
So often we beat ourselves up over not reaching some far off expectation that we put upon ourselves when in reality we should be rejoicing in the feats that we have accomplished.
Drop kick that bad attitude and get back on course the best way you know how. The way that works for YOU!

7/01/2009

Banana Bread with Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips

It doesn't get any yummier than this. Seriously add chocolate chips to anything and my kids will eat it. It's not listed in the ingredients but I also add brown rice protein to the recipe, I like to hide as much protein as I can in pastries and breads for the 5 year old vegetarian in our house.

Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 medium bananas, mashed
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2/4 cup cottage cheese
1 large egg
2 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F.
Coat loaf pan with oil or cooking spray, whichever you prefer. Combine dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl combine wet ingredients, once completely mixed add wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until combined. Scrape batter into loaf pan.
Bake 40-50 minutes or until knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool completely and then slice and serve.

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