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.

3/22/2012

Spread the Word, Just Don't Say It!

Norwich Free Academy R-word Campaign
I came across this video as we all do; someone posted it on Facebook. After watching it I had to do more than just "like" it. I had to "spread the word". 
This video moved me beyond words. Hearing each young adult talk about their feelings and how such a hurtful word affected them...it's made me reevaluate all the words I use. I can honestly say I don't use the r-word or "stupid" but I know there have been times when my words have hurt someone unintentionally.
Let's be more mindful of our choices of the words we use, even if we are using them in jest. 
Words are powerful things- Spread the word, just don't say it!
   

3/20/2012

Spring in a Box- Felted Wool Eggs

This year I've promised myself to celebrate more of the everyday. Pulling out the celebration banner and acknowledging small moments. I wanted to share my love of spring with some special people in our lives. I made these little birds nest out of leftover grass from our wedding centerpieces and felted small, pink eggs. Each family that received a box has the appropriate number of eggs per children in their family. On the inside of the box lid I used leftover scrapbooking paper and stickers to write the message "Happy Spring", which means each box lid is different. 
It's just a small gesture to let the people I love know that I am thinking of them. 
Happy Spring!

3/16/2012

Childhood Career Dreams


Almost weekly Logan has a new career that he wants to be when he grows up.  Previously his career dreams lasted much longer, we had an entire year of him wanting to be an engineer, then he dreamed of being a scientist and the longest running dream career has been an astronaut. Which recently was overthrown by bounty hunter.

Walking home from school I asked my usual banter of questions to the boys, “did you do anything fun today?”, “what was your favorite part?”, “who did you play with at recess?”. Questions that I use to get them talking about their day and filling me in on details I wouldn’t know by looking at the contents of their backpacks. 
 
Logan interrupts the flow of the conversation and says, “Uhm, Mom…I changed my mind. When I grow up I want to be a solider.”
“Yeah? What do you think would be neat about being a solider?”, I replied intrigued by this recent career choice. We are not a military family. We don’t actually even know anyone in the military. He doesn’t have a cool uncle in uniform that he looks up to that would explain his desire to be a solider.

“I’d get to carry a gun”, Logan informs me with a smirk on his face. “And wear green.” (His favorite color) “And drive a jeep. And stand like this.” He stops in the middle of the sidewalk and puts his right hand by his brow, legs squeezing so close together that he’s teetering on falling over.
“Mom, would you hang a flag that shows you have a loved one in the war if I was a soldier?”
“Yes of course I would.”
“On the outside of the house?”
“Most definitely.”

Logan interlaces his fingers in mine, and we walk holding hands for a while he then looks up at me. I smile and this wave of emotion comes over me in the look on his face. His brow furrows, as it often does when he is deep in thought, “would you be proud?”.
“Logan, I will be proud of you no matter what career you choose…well as long as it’s legal.” I smile at my joke, which is wasted on the eight-year-old.

He stops walking and his brow continues to furrow as he stands there in the middle of the sidewalk looking down at a crack. He has always been such a serious child, he had this same furrowed brow as a baby. He takes what seems like a large breath and puts his right hand on his chest and looks at me and says, “I’d sacrifice myself for another good man at war.”
I inhale and my eyes begin to fill with tears. I stumble over the words, “I know you would.”
“It might mean I’d die”, he says sounding so serious as if tomorrow he’s enlisting.
“I don’t like the sound of that.”

He interlaces his fingers with mine and we continue our walk in silence for a while. His words are replaying in my head. How did he learn about this? Where is this coming from? This is the child who I had to teach how to observe other people, for months I sat at the dining room table with flash cards trying to teach him facial signs of emotions. A child that use to be completely tuned out, now has this amazing insight.

We walked a good while without a word being spoken, each of us in our own thoughts. Logan breaks the silence and says, “Or I’d come home with one leg. And then I’d need a fake leg.” A smile spread across his face. “That would be so cool! I’d invent a robot leg and it would have shooters in the back…oh and jets on the back right here.” He points to the heel of his shoe. “Just like Iron Man!”
And just like that my eight-year-old son brings us back to reality. I wipe the tears away that sneak down my cheeks and smile looking down at my son who instantly is enraptured with the design of prosthetic war legs. 

And my heart feels full.

3/14/2012

Smashed Pea Pie

This is a fantastic vegetarian dish and is often a crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 cups frozen peas
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, provolone, bleu, goat or a combination of different cheeses you have in your fridge)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
parmesan cheese, to sprinkle over the top
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Heat peas in the microwave to defrost. Once they are heated place in the food processor on the chop setting pulse until they are chopped up. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Spoon the mixture into a 10 inch round glass pie plate or metal pie pan that has been coated with vegetable cooking spray. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving.



3/13/2012

Routine

Take five minutes everyday to just sit and breathe.
"dismount" your life- it will be there for you when you've finished.

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