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.

6/26/2010

discovery

6/23/2010

I got paid to do this...


The non-profit I work for is having a conference next month and I was asked to make a display board for the events I coordinate. Yes I got paid to put my scrapbook skills to work, today may have been my favorite day.

6/16/2010

End of the year Teacher Gifts


It's that time of year, school is out!
I wanted to recognize and thank the wonderful team of women who surround my son with patience and every day wake up and arrive at school to teach and help him grow. I know that teaching a child on the spectrum can be difficult and yet can be the most rewarding year of teaching. I didn't have time to hand make gifts this year, I did however whip up some really cute cards and included a Starbucks gift card.
TEACHERS ROCK!!!

6/14/2010

Craft at Work


Recently I received a coupon for free photo prints, whenever these cross my inbox I print out a bunch that I can use to make birthday cards. I brought a stack of pictures into work and during a lunch break I went through my paper recycling pile to see what I could reuse and turn into a card. My office building does not recycle so I have my own personal stack of paper recycling that I then take to a fundraising paper dumpster near my house. Everything I used was recycled except the staples...a file folder cut down, post it flags normally used on documents for signatures, and the word bubble is cut from a flyer. Happy Birthday!

6/10/2010

I'm not perfect

Agasp, to that title right?
I never want to come across as having it all figured out. Because guess what, I don't. My sink has dirty dishes in it too and my kids whine more than I would like to acknowledge. But this little corner of my world I try and remain positive.
Right now I am going through a major life change. I haven't blogged about it because some things have to remain personal, especially when other people are involved. But because I'm not blogging about it or updating my facebook status with way too personal information it seems as though all is perfect in my world.
And guess what..it's not. Don't get me wrong...life is pretty freakin' good most of the time.
But I have days when...
it all feels so overwhelming,
the voice I use to answer my son's question is not the voice I intended to use,
I want to scream "SHUT UP!!!!" but I don't and I am thankful for that,
I cry into the carpet in child's pose,
I go to bed at 10pm because I am exhausted.
My life isn't perfect.

"But I like to strive for perfection...
the kind of perfection that comes with LOVING the imperfect,
LOVING the path of life that I am on now,
LOVING the chance that I have to learn from mistakes, to find solutions to problems, to grow as a mother, LOVING the gifts and trials and long days that I am SO grateful to be here to experience." Quote from blogger Clover Lane

What I am going through is personal and it's something that many other mothers have gone through before. And maybe someday I'll blog about it. But right now...I'm learning, I'm growing and I'm taking the time to really enjoy this journey.
One thing I have learned through this experience is the value of a phone call or a card.
Do me a favor, if you know someone that is juggling a lot of balls right now simply calling to check in or dropping a card in the mail is the greatest gift you can give her.
She may appear to have it all together but I'll bet she's crying into the carpet.

6/08/2010

Free Summer Fun for Kids in DC


There is a lot going on this summer. And if your calendar looks anything like mine, our weekends are booking up quick! Both of my kids will be enjoying summer day camp this year and on my weekends with them I prefer to add a little education into the mix. Last year's "unschooling summer" was a HUGE success! I felt like both boys responded positively to trying new things and learning in this type of format. This year since I am no longer a Stay-At-Home-Mom I'm incorporating themes into each week and finding ways to teach them through crafts, cooking, art and hands-on learning. The biggest difference from last summer to this summer is that I will be planning the learning themes ahead of time. Which is honestly what I prefer, last year it was really cool to organically learn as we experienced life. For me that was stepping off the line a bit, embracing the idea of not having every minute of my life planned out.

While creating my planned unschooling schedule I came across some fun, free things to do with kids in DC. Maybe we will run into you!

Freer and Sackler Galleries
The galleries are located on the National Mall, the grassy area between the Capitol and the Washington Monument and ImaginAsia is a creative program for children and families.
http://www.asia.si.edu/events/imaginasia.asp

The National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW. If you aren't local check out their NGAkids website anyhow, it has some really great online activities that you can incorporate into your summer learning regardless of where you live.
The NGA summer programs are organized into two series—Stories in Art (ages 4-7) and Artful Conversations (ages 8-11)—designed to engage children and parents with works of art in the galleries. Check out the dates and themes here.

(The picture above is from last summer when Zane came across a skateboarding magazine at the doctor's office. We then went home and he began learning how to skateboard. And my stock in band-aids flourished.)

6/07/2010

Summer




"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June."
-- L. M. Montgomery

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