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.

3/25/2010

22 things I've learned as a mother


I saw this post on Stacy Julian's blog and she saw it on Amy Krose Rosenthal's blog....and the chain continues. Amy created this cute little movie about the 22 things she's learned from being a mother. I love these exercises! I love taking a moment and reflecting, in this case on motherhood and what I have learned. Take Stacy's advice and make your list before reading mine, it is quite amazing the similar things we have all learned.

1. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich paired with a chocolate chip cookie really is the perfect meal.
2. Everyone could use an attitude readjustment every now and then.
3. Children deserve to be given choices, you may just have to remind them to "choose wisely" (a phrase I say to my 4 year old on a daily basis)
4. Water is therapeutic.
5. Pipe cleaners supply hours of entertainment.
6. Paint on your clothes is a sign of being SUPER creative.
7. It's only furniture, walls, carpet. They can be replaced. A joyful childhood can't.
8. Follow through. Say what you mean and be willing to follow through with that.
9. Sponge Bob band-aids are much cooler than plain ones.
10. Have a snack in your bag "just in case"
11. It's just hair!
12. Be careful what you promise, some kids remember EVERYTHING!
13. I really do have eyes in the back of my head.
14. The most relaxing place on earth is holding a baby to your chest, lips resting on their fuzzy head, inhaling their perfect baby smell and swaying back and forth.
15. The 3 second rule applies to everything, even ice cream.
16. Anything...absolutely anything can be turned into a gun.
17. Naps are always better when you curl up with someone you love on the sofa.
18. No one looks at your child's clothes and thinks less of you because of the outfit they have chosen to wear.
19. Dress up clothes can be worn anywhere and should! Nothing brings more smiles and kindness to strangers faces than seeing Superman in their grocery store.
20. Slow down. Discovery happens when you are quiet and still and allow the butterfly to land on your shoulder.
21. Having a moment with a special friend is better than a BIG party.
22. Give enough time for a person to respond, some people process slower than others.

3/18/2010

Lines across my face...


My birthday is approaching, it gets me thinking about age and what it means to me. Every year past thirty I ask myself some questions...Am I holding on to this number or am I going forward? Am I at that point where I just never mention how old I am, let people assume I'm in my 30's? This all may seem silly to you, a tad superficial. This is my honest truth. What aging is to me may be issues with your thighs/soft tummy to you. We all have our "thing" right?

I love the lyrics to Brandi Carlile's song "The Story",
"All of these lines across my face.
Tell you the story of who I am.
So many stories of where I've been.
And how I got to where I am.
But these stories don't mean anything
when you've got no one to tell them to.
It's true, I belong to you."

Where did these lines come from? I don't remember when they appeared. It probably happened when I was changing an exploded diaper at 3am or when one of my beautiful boys sang me a song and I cried tears of pure joy because his voice was so sweet and that moment was the best gift God could give me or when I climbed a hill on my bike encouraging myself to go on or when my best friend, Jabby, made me laugh so hard and so loud it cleared a subway car.

I'm trying to learn how to embrace each line on my face. As Brandi so beautifully sings they do "tell you the story of who I am". Don't get me wrong...I'm not ruling out an eye lift in my 60's quite yet. :)
But instead of focusing energy on a number, instead I'm in a state of reflection. Taking note of all the amazing things I've done over the past year and the plans I have for the year ahead of me.
It's going to be one amazing ride!

And these lines across my face, they are the map of my life.

3/16/2010

Converted Morning Person


I've always called myself a night owl, I come from a long line of them. I'm the girl who can close down a bar, stay up with you till wee hours in the morning watching "Friends" marathon on a Friday night, or until recently, crafting late into the evening. Making use of those special hours when no one calls me Mommy.
I've never been a morning person. People would comment that I'd become one once I had kids. Nope, never happened. And now in only week two of being at work I find myself enjoying getting up at 5am before anyone else in the house. Hearing the sounds of the boys dreaming in their beds. I'm enjoying the quiet, the stillness. Dharma (the dog) has also been enjoying our morning walks, barking/howling as we walk out the door so that everyone within a block radius knows that she is up and out for her walk. I often wonder what the neighbors think about this, if they are cursing us or using us as their alarm clock. When the world is so still random people become part of your routine. You notice things that later in the day you wouldn't give a second of your attention to. The construction worker backing his big, pickup truck out of his driveway has become part of our routine. The man in the mini van with the squeaky tires who picks up the local dogs for doggie daycare has become part of our walk. And now Dharma and I have become a part of theirs. I pass a house with an old lady in a housecoat sitting in her living room, she's one of the only houses with lights on, she just sits and stares out the window. I wonder how long she remains that way. If it's just how she likes to start her day or if she's lonely and watching the neighbors has become her entertainment. One day last week I waved as we passed her house and her face lit up and she waved her thin, arthritic hand furiously in return. Today I got out of the house a tad bit later than our normal time and when I approached the old lady's house I noticed she was sitting on the edge of her wing back chair craning her neck in the direction from which we approach. I smiled and waved and I couldn't help but notice how her face relaxed when she saw us, almost a sign of relief. It brought a tear to my eye because soon we will be moving and it hurts my heart to know that this old lady, this stranger, will miss us. Dharma and I have become a part of her morning and she has become a part of mine. I'll miss that.
The picture is by Megan Rhodes. Please visit her etsy shop if you'd like to purchase this stunning print.

3/11/2010

Cha-Cha-Changes


After 6 years of being a Stay at Home Mom, I have decided to go back to work. I landed this awesome job with a non-profit, my official title (ahem) is Development Coordinator. I have my own office with a door and a window!!! I feel like such a "grown up"! As you can see from the picture I had to add a little bit of craft to my new home away from home.
I've surprised myself on how easy it has been for me to jump back into the office world. I thought I would tear up when I kissed the kids goodbye at daycare, but I haven't. I am honestly giddy. I'm excited to work on projects that stimulate a part of my brain that hasn't been used for a while.
The boys are adjusting remarkably well. There are a lot of changes on the horizon for our family. On a daily basis I am reminding myself to be in the moment even on the dark days, to embrace and know in my heart of hearts that the universe will provide and happiness will reign.

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