Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.



Experience the beautiful summer nights, get out of the house for a date night! Take advantage of the outdoor concerts happening in your town.


FAST To-Go Dinner

Several times a week I have to eat on the go, running to teach yoga at various locations. Drive thru windows are not on my diet. And neither are energy bars. I'm focusing on eating real food and making better choices in what I put in my mouth.

This year we purchased a grill. I've never owned one up until this point in my life, big surprise I know! And I have fallen in love with my grill. We don't eat meat a lot so I purchase salmon burgers at Costco, they grill up fast and taste delicious. While the salmon burgers are grilling I also put on whole peppers. Within 10 minutes dinner is ready! Salmon burger topped with hummus, roasted red peppers and sliced tomatoes from the garden.


Life with Boys

I had no idea what I was getting into when I found out I was going to have sons. I'm the youngest of five girls and out of the eleven children combined that my sisters have given birth to, three are boys.

Years ago my "mom friends" and I would talk at length during playgroups, as our babies crawled at our feet about how we believe that boys can be raised to be sensitive and that it's the media that forces physicality and guns on boys. Boys can be painters and dancers, they will sit and draw just like girls and play with dolls. We were going to raise them differently.

Boy were we delusional!

I laugh to myself remembering those conversations. Don't get me wrong boys can be sensitive, and of course they can grow up to be anything that they desire. But in the meantime, the paintbrush becomes a sword and the dances tend to have farts and wrestling in the choreography. The dolls that once were used to teach the older child how to be gentle with the new baby entering your family, is now used to test the parachutes that they make and hang over the balcony. Most drawings involve evil villains or maps to treasure. Everything becomes a gun; sticks, toothbrushes, legos. And even though you swear that you'll never buy a toy gun because you don't believe in guns. Your son will beg every Christmas and birthday till eventually you'll cave and purchase a nerf gun or water gun.

Trust me. It will happen. And it's okay.

No one will think that you are a horrible mother because you allow your son to go to the grocery store in his halloween costume with a water gun tucked in his utility belt in June. People will just smile. Especially seasoned moms to sons. Because we know all too well that this is what life looks like when you give birth to a boy.



11 months of Sobriety

Today…I celebrate 11 months of sobriety. Yes friends I’m still not drinking. It isn’t a phase I’m going through. It isn’t a new fad to go with my yoga lifestyle. I’ve been working really hard at being sober.

11 months ago I woke up hung-over, feeling like complete shit and I promised myself that I will never feel like this again. I never want to waste an entire day of living because of drinking too much. I had gotten together with friends the night before and we were kind of celebrating my ability to drink again. At least I was. It had been 8 weeks since my breast (tumor) surgery and I was no longer on pain medication. I drank that night like I was making up for lost time.

My mom asked me recently, “I know you aren’t drinking anymore…but did you feel like you had a drinking problem?”


It has taken all the courage inside me to admit this.
Yes, I have a problem with alcohol. It took breast cancer to wake me up, it took meeting my wonderful wife to wake me up and it took time. I've had numerous moments in my life that should have shaken me awake to sobriety...but I wasn't ready to accept that I had a problem. Until now.

Over the last 11 months I’ve used yoga and food to fill the empty space inside me. I’m coming to terms with the realization that I can’t do it alone anymore. I’ve reached out to two friends who I know of that religiously go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Thankfully they opened their hearts to me and have offered to help me navigate this new course of my life.

So in a month it will be 1 year of sobriety, I feel like I should have a party but I don’t quite know what a party looks and feels like without alcohol. I’m still stumbling through this journey of being sober.  I get uncomfortable when people offer me a drink, not realizing that I’m no longer drinking. And I smile and say “no thanks” and try not to notice that I’m the only person in the room without a beer in my hand.

I’m still figuring things out.
I’m not quite comfortable yet calling myself an alcoholic. I don’t wear labels well. I fully admit that alcohol and me shouldn’t be friends. But like the first time someone referred to me as a “special needs mom” I was horrified! I didn’t want to be in this club! Now, as you know dear readers, I am a huge advocate for special needs. I even did a PSA for goodness sakes! But there was a time in my life when I didn’t feel comfortable wearing that label either and over time I embraced my son's diagnosis and now proudly wave that Autism flag. I’m proud to be in that club.

I’ll get there.
One day.

Today…I am simply 11 months sober.
And I’m pretty freaking proud of myself.


Divorce: Turning Hurtful Words into Conversation

Sometimes the words that leave my children's lips feel like a knife in my heart. This happened recently when I overheard my younger son, Zane, telling his brother that he likes Daddy more than me. 
I felt like I was punched in the gut! It's hard to NOT take that personally and I couldn't stop the tears that formed in my eyes. I knew that Zane didn't really mean it, I know that he loves me and his father equally. Things might shift when he's a teenager but for right now I knew his words had nothing to do with loving and everything to do with challenges of living through a divorce.
Instead of addressing it right at that moment I chose to take a few minutes for myself, to gather my own emotions and then sit Zane down privately to talk to him about it.

"I heard what you said this morning about liking daddy more than me and it really hurts my feelings when you say that."


"It's not nice to compare two people that you love a lot. If you were at daddy's house and said that you like me more him, his feelings would be hurt."

"I know."

"How would you feel if I said I like Logan more than you because he tells better jokes?"

"I wouldn't like it."

"I know that you are excited to see Daddy tonight and that you miss him at the end of the week and that's totally okay. And it's okay to just say that...I miss daddy."

"I miss YOU when it's daddy's week!"

"I know. I love you, let's be more aware of our words, Okay?"




Allow moments of your summer to be "organic play".
Pull out the sprinkler, don't bother with changing clothes.
Let the kids run through it. Change the setting. Move it.
Forget about the perfect lawn or the swamp you will have as a front yard.
Sit and observe.
Let the memories of your own childhood fill your mind.
And smile.
This is happiness.


Greenbelt Patch: They Grow Up So Fast

When the boys were babies, old men and women would "ooh" and "ahh" over the handlebar of the stroller at my angelic sleeping child and say “they grow up so fast” a million times. I’d kindly nod my head and smile, exhausted from lack of sleep and counting down the days to the monthly Moms Night Out when I could drink way too much and pretend I was 25 again—of course paying for that decision for hours the next day.

At the doctor’s office, I was having small talk with a nurse and inevitably the conversation comes to children—"Do you have any? How many? What are their ages?"
I shared my sons’ ages and she immediately gets a nostalgia look in her eye, “Oh that’s such a wonderful age. Legos, Star Wars…Oh, I just love that age.”
I nodded my head, “Mm-hmm."
As a parent, you know that when you are knee deep in any stage, you aren’t really appreciating it. I wasn’t appreciating the stage when my youngest son wouldn’t let anyone hold him but me—all the time!
Now I have to sneak hugs and kisses in when I can.
I didn’t appreciate the stage of having to always hold my children’s hands—hunched over my back in pain—while they learned to walk, to cross the street or walk in a crowd. Now, they want to do it on their own without any help.  
As I vacuum another small Lego piece into my Dyson—a piece that inevitably will be the all important piece to complete the Starfighter—I admit that I am not appreciating the stage we are currently living in.
The nurse tells me about her 20-something son and how she blinked and he was graduating high school, she blinked and he was graduating college and now she doesn’t see him but a few times a year. I got a little misty with her as she looked off into space telling me—the heartbreak was apparent on her face.
She remarked that if she could go back in time, she’d put him in less activities. I asked her more about that because it’s often a conversation amongst the moms on the playground: what sport your kid is going to play this season.
My children are not inclined to play any sports. They are barely interested in anything involving a ball, so it’s not a situation that I’ve had to deal with. I have felt pressure from other parents about the decision to not force my children into sports.
“They need to learn how to play on a team," they say. “How will they learn that you can’t win every time.”
I get looks, when I tell them I’m not enrolling either of my children in a sport, baseball, soccer, football or otherwise. Of course my children will learn these lessons from being in school, in summer camp, members of a rather large family with divorce and step-relatives.
We can learn how to work on a team by being members of our community and my children are very aware that they aren’t the winners every time. I actually feel the need to boost their egos a bit so that they have faith in their abilities.
If the boys were interested in sports it would be a different story, but they aren’t. And it’s not something that I feel needs to be pushed.


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