Thursday, December 25, 2014

We are going to Disneyland! #SpringBreak15

magicalkingdoms.com Ticker

We really are going! 
Mikala and I decided to surprise the boys the other day. We didn't exactly get the reaction we were hoping for but they were excited. 


Mikala found a great game at Wal-Mart to help us announce the trip. 
We even used our Elf on the Shelf; Jingle Georgie, to set up the surprise.


Later that day Mikala made a paper chain out of 82 pieces of construction paper. It is hung in our hallway over Disney pictures from our last trip in 2012.


Keep watching the blog for more posts on our Disneyland plans. If you want more info on trip planning, check out this post

Friday, December 19, 2014

Do you need last minute holiday gifts? #PlanesToTheRescue

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #PlanesToTheRescue #CollectiveBias


Looking for last minute holiday gift ideas? Delight the little ones in
your life with Disney Planes items now on Rollback at Walmart! All
items listed below are on rollback through the holiday season!
#PlanesToTheRescue #ad

Disney Planes Flight to the Finish Speedway ($24.97)
Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue Die-Cast Vehicles, 3-Pack ($14.97)
Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue Deluxe Talking Vehicle Assortment ($19.97)





Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freedom to be Spontaneous as a Busy Single Mom

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. 
All opinions are mine alone. #TheMoodStrikes #CollectiveBias

As a single mom with twin monsters, my hands are beyond full. My whole life revolves around them. I am a mom from before the sun comes up and way past the time the sun sets. Meals, school, laundry, homework, cleaning, laundry, snacks, cleaning, story time, breaking up fights and more laundry. I don't have the freedom to be spontaneousMost days I don't feel I have even one moment to myself. When I do get time to myself, I usually sleep. I know it isn't exciting but having the bed to yourself can be nice. 



However, if I was dating and I didn't want to sleep alone... (did I just type that?) it would be nice to have one less thing to think about when trying to secure a sitter, figure out what to wear, doing my hair and makeup. Recently, I heard about K-Y® Liquibeads and they are easy to use and help me be ready for more than a kiss goodnight. There is nothing to be embarrassed about, but if you are uncomfortable shopping for personal lubricants, you can shop onlineI found some in my local Walgreens store. I already had to stop there to pick up a prescription for a sick kid. You can even go to coupons.com and print it out a coupon. 




I have to be honest though, as much as I might like to be in a relationship, I don't think I am ready to have one right now. I am getting closer to 40 then I care to think about. I have two small children. I am trying to work part-time and run a small business.  I live in a small town. I have tried to meet people. I have tried the dating sites. Blind dates are horrible at my age. Trying to meet people is a losing battle as well... Besides, I am too tired to even think about dating!



I think I will just wait and see what happens. I am trying to be a better person and make better choices. Right now, I think that means focusing on my boys. Actually, I am quite happy with how my life has settled into place. I have a very busy life that can make me smile, cry and scream all in one day. I work very hard to accomplish my To-Do list as it is - I couldn't add anything else without adding a lot of stress. For a new relationship to work, I need to be happy with my life and my choices. That confidence will shine through and things will come together when I least expect it to. I recently landed my new job at a time when I wasn't looking. Life has a funny way of working out for the best. 

Photo Credit: Savage Photography http://peaksphotography.com/

K-Y® Liquibeads are easy to use. The ovule is inserted using a one-time use applicator. Use only one in a 24 hour period. Use as needed every 3 to 4 days. Ovule should be inserted at least 30 minutes before intimacy. Read the enclosed information leaflet for complete instructions. Please Note: If you are pregnant or nursing, please contact a doctor before use. 



I do have a week off while my boys stay at Grandma's house after Christmas. Maybe my alter ego will set up another blind date. Or I could just stay home and take care of things by myself. A single mom has needs too! (I can't believe I just typed that either!) It could be a great way to end the year - OR - it could lead to a new set of resolutions. 
Hmmm...  I might have to think about this a little more. 
  • Making time for yourself as a Single Mom. 
  • 5 Ways to Escape a Bad Blind Date. 
  • Having a Night All to Yourself. 
  • 5 Ways to Stay Social as a Single Mom.
Check back in the New Year to see what I added to my list of resolutions. 
What will you do when #TheMoodStrikes ?

Hair and Make-Up: Michelle Vogt http://hairbymichellevogt.weebly.com/

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tuition Credit for Sammy & Jayson

Originally Written - August 2014

I am writing this letter today to tell you some exciting news. The twins were accepted to Mt. Calvary School for the 2014-2015 school year. This is a private Christian school in Flagstaff. As with any good Christian education, the tuition is high. With TWIN BOYS, it seems like an impossibly huge amount to cover. As a single mom on a limited budget I am going to need help to give them this great opportunity. Lucky for us, the State of Arizona offers a dollar for dollar tax credit against your state tax liability. Any monies donated between now and April 15, 2015 will be credited to the 2014-15 school year. This money will help cover tuition for both the Fall and Spring semesters. Sammy and Jayson are registered at this website:
Sammy Ludwig -- Jayson Ludwig -- Mount Calvary Early Education
If you go this website, you can donate online using a debit or credit card or mail in a check for your donation. In the drop down box, you will select to donate to a Family/Student. Type in each of the boys' names and then you can select their school. (If asked on any forms, the boys are classified as Kindergarteners.) The total amount varies for each tax payer, but the donation could be up to an approximate $3,000. WOW!
All monies will be credited to your next tax return. If you have any specific questions, please refer to the website. If you can not find an answer, please email me and I will forward the information to the financial office at the school.
I first met their new teacher a couple years ago at a MOPS (Moms of PreSchoolers) meeting. She was explaining their different school programs to all the moms. Since that day, I knew in my heart that Sam and Jay needed to attend this school. We do have a preschool closer to our home, but I want the boys to be given a great start to their education. I know they will get that from Mrs. Williams. The boys love going to church. They love bible stories. I have even heard them recreating bible stories from Sunday School in their room with their toys.
I have an amazing amount of anxiety regarding this decision but I am trusting in God that all the finances will come together. I know this verse is often quoted but it is a verse that has stuck with me, even when I wasn't giving enough time and energy to my walk. There have been many times when I wasn't sure what our next step was going to be. However, we have spent the last four years planting roots in Flagstaff. I KNOW this is where the Boys and I are supposed to be.
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
Thank you for reading and considering to help the boys with their tuition to Mt. Calvary. 


http://mtcalvaryflagstaff.org/site/default.asp?sec_id=180002330
Thank you.

Monday, December 8, 2014

#SpinKindness as Seasons Change with #BoogieWipes

I am a Saline Ambassador for Boogie Wipes. I was given a Kindness Kit and #BoogieWipes samples to #SpinKindness this Holiday Season. All opinions are mine alone.
Have you ever noticed that when you smile at someone, they tend to smile back? The next person they make eye contact with will also get a smile. It gets passed from person to person and it makes your day a little brighter; even if for only a couple minutes. What if we tried to do this with kindness? 

I know that Kindness has helped me get to where I am now. When I was going through some really tough times, I wasn't sure what my next step was - let alone where I would be in a couple months. Kindness seemed to come from every corner of my life. I found housing, I found help with public transportation, I found help for my boys' speech delays. On and on and on... I know I have my moments but I try to spin that kindness to others whenever possible. 

This past October I co-hosted a Craft Show Fundraiser for a Transitional Housing program in Town. My boys and I lived there for 2 years. Talk about kindness. The staff are amazing. We only raised $150 that day but it is more than I could have done on my own. 

Just 2 nights ago I co-hosted another Fundraiser Craft Show. We are still selling raffle tickets to raise money for a family battling cancer. Four boys could lose a father and their mom will lose her husband. I want to do all I can for this sweet quiet family. Kindness can spread - try it for your self.

#BoogieWipes has a new #SpinKindness initiative that they are trying to spread just like that SMILE! They sent me a box full of goodies and told me to be creative in how I shared my kindness. 



I took an OCD approach to begin with :) I laid out all the goodies to see what I had. I made up little gift bags of all different sizes to pass out. Then I got really busy with my day job, my side business, Black Friday shenanigans, and then a cold. I did get three bags passed out that week though. I had planned to do more yesterday but I was sidelined with a cold. I guess I needed one of my GERM Buster bags for myself :( I am feeling better though and I plan to pass out lots more goodies this week.


This was for the family that showed me kindness on Thanksgiving.
My boys went to Grandma's for the long weekend.
They offered to share their meal with me.

This bag of goodies is for a mom recently diagnosed with an illness.
She is always so sweet and so kind.
I wanted to do something nice for her during Turkey week.
  
I included items into a basket we raffled off to raise money for
a Housing Program in town that helps women & children
that have escaped domestic violence.
Boogie Wipes, Detangler, Body Wash, Boogie Mist and Kandoo Wipes

If you have been given a #SpinKindess package/gift you will also receive a round Spin Kindness tag/card. There should be a word or code in the space following  .com/  Type in the entire URL and follow the directions.  

If you want, you can then #SpinKindness to someone else. Any cards from me will have this link: http://www.spinkindness.com/Boogie/  with the code Mora-3Q12 underneath so they can be tracked back to me.


Oh, I almost forgot. There is a big giveaway that is being done up through December 15th. Six Winners in all. 
Go to this link:  http://www.spinkindness.com/win/    


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Pssst... Shhhh... Do you want to be a SECRET AGENT?? Well, a KINDNESS Agent? OK! Then follow this link to sign up and 
Join us on our mission to #SpinKindness with #BoogieWipes

https://www.spinkindness.com/join/




Sunday, November 30, 2014

Jingle Georgie is BACK! #ElfSurgery

It is that time of year and I am one of THOSE moms! 
Our elf has come back and he is waiting to surprise Sammy and Jayson. 


     However, before he could start to ice skate into the room, he had to have surgery. Jingle Georgie needed to have bendable arms and legs to fully participate in his winter games this year. So with the help of a few mini paperclips and some patience, our Elf on the Shelf can now pose for his shenanigans. I used one mini paperclip for each appendage. Just straighten the clip out and then carefully inert it into the seam. Be careful to not rip through the material. Jingle Georgie does not have thick skin. Once his surgery was done, he was ready to play. 


Our Elf had recently gone shopping to take advantage of the Black Friday sales. He came home with some treats for the boys including pajamas, slippers, mini coloring books, chocolate gold coins, M&Ms candies and most importantly; a new scarf and some ice skates for himself

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf at your house? What traditions does your family participate in for Christmas? My boys loved having Jingle Georgie join our family last year. Here are some of the things our Elf did last year while he visited.


(Click on the link to see more pictures of Jingle Georgie)


Our Elf's Arrival 2013
(original blog post from 2013 Christmas season)


Sugar Crash! CoCa Cola and Oreo Cookies led to snow angels on the kitchen counter.
The Grinch and Max have captured Jingle Georgie!
Sledding with his Polar Bear friends.


EDITED TO ADD: (12/1/14)

The boys thought an ice skating Elf was super cool. We re-read the book and talked about the No Touching rule. Sam wanted to know if the elf can really hear him and know what is going on. They both wanted to tell Jingle Georgie about what presents they were hoping for under the tree. So after his nightly report to Santa, JG came back to our home. This is where the boys will find him.



Jingle Georgie has a list in his hands started with Christmas wishes.
He also left a note with new slippers. 
He knew their teacher gave them permission to wear slippers in the classroom during the winter.

Where will we find him for Day 3??

No, really! I need more ideas.

Comment here with your best idea from last Christmas. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pulling My Hair Out? NO! My Secret to Fuller Hair



As a single mom to twin boys life can be pretty hectic. Some days I feel like pulling my hair out! Unfortunately my hair falls out on its own due to thinning hair. I really am too tired to do it anyway... I have tried so many fixes to have fuller hair. I have gotten it cut, styled differently, hair bows, barrettes, and headbands. New color, high lights and low lights. Volumizing shampoo, conditioner, spray, gel, foam, etc. I have a ton of products in my bathroom that never seem to get the job done.




Then I heard about Rogaine for Women. It is super easy to use. After you shampoo, just towel dry your hair and apply the foam at the roots. One Step! It really helps out this Mom when my boys are up to mischief on the other side of the door. I just blow-dry my hair and I am ready to go. I don't use any other styling products. Nothing to weigh my hair down. Nothing else to buy at the store. This product is dermatologist recommended. You will see the best results using it once a day as part of your beauty routine. My hair feels fuller and I have had more good hair days since I started using it.

My boys and I go to Wal-Mart once a week for groceries and bribes rewards for good behavior. I can easily grab Rogaine for Women in the Health & Beauty department of the store. At my store, it is next to the frozen food. I can swing by for some ice cream as a reward for myself!




Do you know someone with thinning hair? 
Do you want thicker hair, fuller hair, more volume? 
Wal-Mart carries Rogaine products for both men and women. 

Did you see my teaser video on Instagram?   http://bit.ly/1xdvbZG

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

more mumblings

Last night was horrible. I cried. I rocked back and forth. I wrote a blog post. I finally fell asleep and had bad dreams. I woke up this morning, got the kids out the door for carpool, and tried to decide HOW my procrastination would start. I had a counseling appointment scheduled for 830. I figured if I sat around long enough then I wouldn't have time to shower and I could go back to bed. Somehow I ended up turning the water on. I blow dried my hair, put on clean clothes and even brushed my teeth. I walked to my appointment and I was only 4 minutes late. The counselor was 7 minutes late  I had her read my blog post. She could see the difference in mood and the blog was the fastest way to make her understand. She then mentioned Momastery. I didn't catch the reference. She told me that I needed to see you talk about Learning Everything I needed in a Mental Hospital. Tonight when the boys were finally snoring I googled it and got sucked in. I have a feeling I will be on her site a whole lot more. Hearing her speak reminded me that I am not living my life for anyone else but my self. My twin boys are my responsibility, but I do not answer to anyone else. As long as I am doing my best for those boys, I am doing my job. 

Every time I get up enough courage to be really honest, life take a major turn. I have been lucky that some times it ended up being a great view ahead of me. The rest of the times I crashed into a brick wall. I feel like I hit one of those brick walls back in May. 

I was manic. I felt great. I was being honest. I filmed a spot for my aha moment (Mutual of Omaha) and I was proud of it. I was being the best ME that I could be. I shared some very personal details with 4 friends : suicide attempts, drug use, racing thoughts, medication after medication, promiscuity, and 15 other things that these 4 couldn't seem to handle.  One friend and I have not spoken size.certainly then. One friend I see on a weekly basis but I don't feel that we do more than say hi in the hallway. One friend ended up moving away. We tried to reconnect but something was off. I never did get to say good bye before she left. The last friend has been the glue stick. She is trying to hold it together. She is trying to piece is all back together. It just isn't working. Sadly, all her attempts with the glue stick are annoying me. She is who she has always been. She hasn't changed but I have.

I realized that I was pretending to be somebody different. I was faking it. I could slap on that smile and put on some eye makeup and nobody knew the real me. Once they got a glimpse, they were confused. Or at least that is the answer I have come up with on my own. It hurts. I tried to explain how being open and honest really helped me. That I needed validation of my feelings.  That my brain never shut off or even slowed to a normal rate. That suicidal ideations bounced around at least a few times a week on an up swing. THAT I WAS FINE.  Contrary to what others think, I meant it in that moment. I was fine. I am fine. I take some great meds that even me out and help with the anxiety. I am trying to start a small business, I volunteer at my boys' school, I am planning events under a new project, I am giving back to the community that helped me, and I am still doing it without a car but dependant on the kindness of others. 

As any normal person, I still get overwhelmed. My kids still drive me crazy. I am overweight and the pills pack on pounds every month. My knees and ankles hurt every day from the walking but I can't stop. 

There are many days that stress me out and confuse me but I am still here. There must be a reason. 

I am not sure what the point is behind any of these rumblings either but they needed to be said. I needed to say them. If you have any words to say, please leave  comment.
.







Monday, October 6, 2014

Monday Mumblings from a Mom

I am having a horrible night. In the past (before the twins) the month of October had always been hard for me. I never knew why. Somehow, no matter what bad things happened, I made it through year after year. This summer I finally figured out the why... I thought the problem was taken care of... however the last few days have gotten worse and worse.

I am overwhelmed. I am stressed. I am on the last nerve before I snap. I feel like I could hide in my room for days. Obviously that isn't an option.

I am at a loss for what to do. I feel sick to my stomach. My head is pounding. I want to scream. I want to cry. I am scared that things are going to spiral so far out of my control that I won't make it back.

My boys have been driving me nuts for a week. Their behavior has been horrendous. They are eating every five minutes. Sneaking food out of the kitchen and bringing it into their room where they make a huge mess. It was a couple minutes before 5 p.m. tonight and Sam asked for a snack. I told him I was about to quit working so I could make dinner. I got to a stopping point and headed to the kitchen. I took out the trash. I got out a lot to boil so.e pasta. I realized the cup of milk was no longer on the table. I went down the hall to remind them of the rules and take the cup. Instead they both scrambled to hide something under the table. Jay had the cup and Sam had a one pound block of cheese. It was no longer in the wrapper. It was out of the wrapper, half under the dresser with a large bite missing.

I lost it. This was the 5th time in two days that they had gotten in trouble for taking g food out of the kitchen without permission. They had been yelled at, spanked on the bottom, sat in time out, and punished. I made Them throw away the cheese, clean. Up the mess, put on jammies and get in bed.

Now here I sit two hours later and I feel like a terrible mom. This is one of those nights that I wished I wasn't doing this all by myself. No one is here to comfort me. No one is here to give me a break. I can't walk out the door.

This single parent thing is not easy. Sometimes you really don't like your kids. You hate the way they act, the words they say, the bad choices they make. I love my boys so much but... I had to bite my tongue before I said things I would regret. Words that have hurt me my whole life. I heard them when I was little and I still feel the sting.  I have made my own bad choices. Over and over again. I want to do better. Sadly I am stuck in a horrible cycle. My whole life is one big screwed up circle of crap.

I am not sure what I hope to gain from writing this out on the blog but I had to do something. Even if one other person reads this and can understand - well - it will be worth it.

A long time ago, I would just let the anxiety and depression take over. I wouldn't do anything but sleep for days. I failed my oldest son and I didn't want to make those same mistakes again. It scares me to think how close I am to doing that again. I feel like I finally have it together but it is only two steps away from falling off the edge.

October is a month of changes. The leaves turn color. The weather gets cooler. The warm sweaters come out of storage. It also has multiple causes that people want you to be aware of - breast cancer, domestic violence, suicide prevention, make a difference day, etc.  That is a lot of stuff to be added on to a very full plate. It is especially a lot for a single mom with twins.

Somewhere in this hectic month, please think of us.  Say a prayer, think good thoughts, send good vibes. Thanks.



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Back to School with Boogie Wipes

Disclosure: We receive samples as Saline Ambassadors to distribute in our community. All opinions expressed here are our own.



My boys started school last month and I sent them to school with a little Boogie. The teacher loved the products I sent in and now the whole class likes to Boogie too. I still can't believe I have 2 Pre-K kids. They absolutely love school and they think their teacher is AMAZING!





Boogie Wipes are soft saline wipes that will help to soften mucus and clean up little noses. These wipes are not just for kids, and not just for noses. You can clean up sticky hands and faces too. I love them as a mom when I blow my nose. I know some people might not like using a wet or moist wipe on their nose but once I tried it, I was hooked.




Did you go Back to School with Boogie? 
What age are your children? 
What school supplies did you buy for your kids? 




GIVEAWAY!






Monday, July 21, 2014

Back to School with Walgreens (I'm Not Ready for This) Get A Shot, Give A Shot

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.



I can not believe that my boys are about to head off to PreSchool. I tease that I can't wait for the break, but really... I'm not ready for this. They are growing up so fast. Sam and Jay are so smart and they are going to have a blast in school. They had some health issues as infants but they have been healthy ever since. My boys aren't yet enough for required vaccines but kids 7 and older can take advantage of the Get A Shot, Give A Shot program at Walgreens. 

The United Nation Foundation's Shot@Life will provide a life saving vaccine to a child in a developing country when your child gets their school immunizations at Walgreens. My boys recently got a round of shots. I took the easy way out and didn't tell them prior to the appointment. I knew they would be scared. What do you do to handle your child's fears of getting shots? As a single mom, I used bribery. I explained that since they were so good, they could pick out a new toy and a treat. How could you talk to your kids about the Shot@Life campaign? Isn't it amazing to give back to a child in need?



When you get that supply list from the teacher you can check two things off the list by stopping at your nearest Walgreens store. Use your Balance Rewards to save even more money on items you might need for home. You don't even need to clip coupons anymore with the new paperless coupons. 







My boys were able to find items from their supply list while we shopped today. They also found a lot of additional items not on the list. Any other moms out there buy candy to keep their kids quiet while shopping? Be honest! I can not be the only one. 



I am glad to be part of #CollectiveBias and the #GiveAShot #shop campaign.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I HATE COLLECTION AGENCIES

THEM: This is an attempt to collect a debt.  Hi, is this Courtney?

Me: Yes

THEM: You owe $xxxx.xx for ~~~~~~~. Would you like to make a payment?

ME: No. I don't have any money.

THEM: Are you still unemployed?

ME: Yes, and about to apply for disability again. Nothing has changed since you called me 2 weeks ago.

THEM: Well, let's set up payment arrangements. Even $25 would be good. Can I have your payment info?

ME: Are you listening to me? I have told you before, I have multiple mental heath issues. I am SMI. I don't work. I receive welfare. I have an appointment with Housing tomorrow. I don't have any extra money to send you. I wish I could take care of this but I don't see anything changing in the near future. If anything, things are getting worse.

THEM: Well, with that bad attitude, you are right, nothing is going to change.

ME: Excuse me? It is not a bad attitude. It is a mental illness. It keeps me from working. 

THEM: Well, okay then. Good.....

ME: Get me a supervisor!!!

THEM: No need to get loud.

ME: There is no need to be rude. I want to talk to a supervisor NOW!

The supervisor finally came on the line after being on hold 4 minutes. She told me emphasized (wrong word choice) and hopefully things would get better. And that even a small payment would help. She said they would be calling back regularly but she could push it out to every 2 weeks. 

2 weeks ??? Like my mental illness will be BETTER in two weeks. I am crazy, not stupid, lazy or having a bad attitude. I would love to be a more functioning adult. Sadly, phone calls like this send me into a downward spiral. I am trying to calm down now but the kids are stealing peanut butter cups from my chocolate stash and the xanax hasn't kicked in. I know it is hard to understand what it is like to be me, and I know these people have a job to do - BUT - I hate this!





Monday, July 7, 2014

CoCo Pretties GIVEAWAY - July 2014




I am hosting a Rafflecopter Giveaway on my facebook page. The winner will receive a $15 gift certificate to be used on any tutu custom order. Shipping is not included. Winner will be chosen from all entries received. 


Friday July 11 - Monday July 14
2014

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Summer Pretties

This is what I do each week to help me keep my sanity. Everything can be purchased in person or through paypal. For more pictures, check out my facebook page. 

www.facebook.com/cocopretties