Thursday, November 26, 2015

Christmas Wish List

These are on the top of Sam's and Jay's Christmas wish list.


How do you keep track of all the presents your kids have added to their list? We use an Amazon wish list. You can share the link with friends and family and keep track of items purchased.  That way if Uncle George buys a toy they won't get a duplicate from cousin Sue.

http://amzn.com/w/2RCDO1Q1O1IN4


I even made a list for my own wants because I am so forgetful! 

http://amzn.com/w/3HKY2BAC09HDL

What is on your list? 





Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Christmas Tree Ornaments - Giveaway


When do you start decorating for Christmas? My family always put the tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving. All the lights, tinsel and garland would be strew around the living room. Years of ornaments made by my siblings and myself would be added to the tree. Some of the uglier ones would be put in back. Now as a mom, I planned to do the same thing with my Christmas tree. However, my boys always go to visit their dad's family and stay at grandma's house for Thanksgiving. It is a much needed break for me so I don't mind. It gives me time to string lights outside, fluff up the fake tree and get the decorations started. We then add ornaments after school and the following weekend. (The boys tend to move ornaments whenever I am not looking too.)

This weekend off also allows me to bring our Elf Jingle Georgie out of hiding. His first appearance is a big event. The rest of the month tends to be a little less exciting. 

$8-$10 depending on size

This year I am going to add a personalized ornament to my tree. Full Canopy Armory does laser etching and can personalize almost anything! They have multiples styles of ornaments available for your tree. They also have gift items. Take a look at the website to see examples: http://www.fullcanopyarmory.com/ 

$5-$8 depending on size

Personalized for $20
6x6 ornament
  
$8

$8

$8

$8

$5

12X14 $25

16X12 $25
You can enter a giveaway for your own ornament right here on the blog. Use the widget below, like and follow the pages and send out the tweet on twitter. The giveaway goes live Wednesday, November 24 and goes until Friday, December 4th. The best part is that you can choose any ornament you like up to a $10 retail value.



Monday, November 23, 2015

miserable monday

more honesty miserable monday no motivation

#depression #nomotivation #miserable #mopeymonday

A photo posted by courtney mora-ludwig (@coco_twins) on

#depression #medicated #managed

A photo posted by courtney mora-ludwig (@coco_twins) on

#depression #miserable #nomotivation #managed

A photo posted by courtney mora-ludwig (@coco_twins) on

Friday, November 20, 2015

What's In Your Purse?

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





The other day I was searching for a receipt in my purse, I knew I kept it! I ended dumping my purse out on the bed. There was so much junk. I did end up finding the receipt I needed but 5 other receipts. There were dirty tissues, trinkets and treasures, and the list goes on.





I also had a note from Jay (#6) Some leaves and a stick he collected at recess (#1) Sam's building blocks and a mini screwdriver (#5 & #7) A picture of the three of us from a school event (#3) A pair of socks that Sam would not wear after going to the play place two nights ago (#4) a plastic spoon (#2) AND the hairclip (#8) I thought I had lost.




It reminded me of a game we played once at my mom's group. It had all of us laughing. 

What is the weirdest thing in your purse? 
What do you always have in your purse?
Can you find a receipt from Walmart?
Can you find a nickel from the 90s?
Who has a half eaten snack from their kid?




What are the essentials you keep in your purse? For me, I always have lip balm, pain medication and mints. We get a lop of chapped lips up here in Flagstaff. The wind can be brutal during the winter. With two noisy boys fighting in the backseat, I tend to get headaches (a lot.) Mints keep me from having stinky breath when I am out all day running errands. 





ChapStick Total Hydration instantly soothes and moisturizes my chapped lips. Plus it is 100% natural which is a plus and is clinically proven to give me healthier looking lips. 





My Advil Tablet Vial lets me keep just a few pills in my purse for those headaches and muscles aches. (Have you tried to carry a 5 yr old?) Nothing's stronger, longer lasting or better on your tough aches and pains than Advil, and nothing works on more pains than Advil (among OTC pain relievers.) 





Centrum VitaMints are adult multivitiams with a refreshingly minty taste you can take/enjoy any time of the day with or without food or water. This lets me get some essential vitamins into my system as well. Bonus points!




I was able to purchase all of these items at our favorite store, Walmart. This time I got to shop without the boys. Anyone else love to get out without your kids and just take your time? I found the Centrum VitaMints near the pharmacy along with all the other supplements. The ChapStick and Advil were both next to the register. I also saw some in the travel size section and by the pharmacy. #BeHealthyForEveryPartofLife with products from Pfizer.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What would I do without them?

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



I wanted to start this post with a sarcastic remark. Hard to believe I could be sarcastic, right? Well, I just couldn't. I kept trying to think of what I would do without my boys - all my answers sounded cliche. My boys are my whole life. Forgive me for getting sappy but, I really don't know what I would do without them. I am blessed beyond measure. I will do anything I can to #loveandprotect them. PROTECTIVE LIFE has taught me a thing or two about the biggest responsibility I have in life.




Family is everything! That is why all parents should make sure that their children will be cared for, even after they are gone. I know, this is a sensitive subject. Nobody wants to talk about but it warrants some thought. To me, the best way to deal with a serious subject is to find some humor.

Have you seen the funny videos featuring The Holderness Family? If you are online even 10% of the time I am, you had to have watched at least one. They partnered with Protective Life for their latest video. (The video does poke fun about their workload at home but it is not meant to be offensive.)
What would they do without me?
All kidding aside, I need to think more about life insurance. For now, I can't live without them. 


Who would beg for dinner over and over again - and then be full after 5 bites?

Who would make sure the dinosaurs stay warm overnight?

Who would paint and color all over their desk?

Who would protect me from bears?

Who would cover my driveway with chalk drawings?

Who would ask me to take pictures of the computer drawings?

Who would beg me to volunteer at school?

Who would fill my heart with so much love?




Sammy and Jayson couldn't live without me!


How many Holderness Family videos have you seen?

Is there someone in your life that you can't live without?
For more information visit the Protective Life website.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tuesday, Twins, Toes, Two Tone, 2 CUTE

Tonight 


1 year ago - newly dyed hair


2 years ago -  in between therapy appointments


3 years ago - brotherly love


4 years ago - cold toes - I don't learn, do I?



5 years ago - such little cuties




6 years ago. I felt like I would topple over. It took another 68 days before I could hold them in my arms.



Monday, November 16, 2015

Ch Ch Ch Changes

So if you have been on my site you will have noticed the changes to my blog. I am trying to make it easier to navigate, follow on social media, and read. What do you think? My favorite color combination is pink and orange. I even have those colors in my bedroom.

Well, the boys are feeling better but they still have that annoying cough. I kept them home from school again today and avoided the snow and the icy roads. They are going to school tomorrow but there is a 2 hour delay so no rushing in the morning.

Well, I have a mild cold so I am going to go to bed at a normal time.

Thanks so much for reading and following. This blog means a lot to me and I am glad to share our adventures.

Friday, November 13, 2015

DCSE Aggravations! (Department of Child Support Enforcement)

I know I am lucky that I get child support at all. I just wished there weren't random issues with DCSE.

Department of Child Support Enforcement
more like
Department of Child Support eh, we will get to it Eventually

The Ex is paid biweekly. The payment from his 11/6 paycheck on hold. Why?? No reason! The caseworker says he has to contact the debt department. Then that department reviews it. If they feel it should be released (again no reason it should not be,) then it gets sent to another department. That department will then release it. Then it will post to my account. The day after that it will be deposited to my account!!!!

It could be next Thursday before I see it.

I have $6 to my name!

I have bills extended to TODAY that will not get paid! The cable/internet will be shut off. Necessary evils for a single mom blogger. It brings in cash and keeps the boys entertained. I do not feel guilty for this expense at all! (I hope people keep mean comments to themselves.)

My car has less than a quarter tank of gas. Even with lower gas prices ($2.19 yesterday) I can't afford to fill the tank.

Somebody either needs to buy something from CoCo Pretties www.facebook.com/cocopretties or a fairy needs to magically appear with  hundred dollar bills.

Again, I know I am lucky. I know we are blessed. I know plenty of single mothers that do not get a dime. I mean no disrespect.

I just wish we didn't have these cycles of being EXTRA poor. Our regular level of poor is enough stress. I have gotten to a point where we can manage poor. Weeks without money in not doable. The next payment will be held up because of the Thanksgiving holiday - which means we are  financially screwed for the month.

Ugh! Venting and Ranting over.

for now

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dreaded Dishes

Does anyone else hate doing the dishes? That has to be the chore I hate the most! Have you ever opened the drawer to get a fork and realize all of them were dirty in the sink?

If I had a personal assistant, that would be one of the first things on the TO DO LIST!

What would you put on the list?

To show and share some honesty, here is a picture of my kitchen.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Way Back Wednesday

I joined a link up for Way Back Wednesday!
Check out this post about Jingle Georgie. He is our #ElfOnTheShelf




Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sick Kid vs Single Mom

Having a sick little one is always hard. It is really hard when there is no one else to help. I was woken up before 5am. Sam was not feeling well. Poor little guy felt horrible. Turns out it is just a cold, strep test came back negative. He is just miserable today. We had to go out in the rainy sleet/snow that we had this afternoon. Hopefully staying home today and a school holiday tomorrow will be enough time to rest.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bedtime Routine

As I get ready for bed tonight, I was thinking about our schedule. Do you plan ahead for the morning? I try to make sure that the boys have clothes ready to wear to school. I look at the weather to see if they need the heavier coat. Sometimes I even check the school lunch menu and ask the boys for their choice. I cover them up and pull the door closed.

I double check the lock on the front door. Turn off all the lights. Grab myself something to drink (soda or water) and head to my room. I tuck the boys in again. Double check that the alarm clock is set for the morning. 6:45, 7:00, 7:15, 8:05. I yell/whisper/threaten for them to shut up. I go back to my room and take my pills. (I'm crazy, remember?) I usually check social media and then read on my kindle or watch netflix. Once I am sure the boys have fallen asleep, I cover them up again. Then it is time for me to sleep. OK, I check social media one more time. Triple check the alarms (4 each morning) and turn off the light.

Even though I take a sleeping pill, it can take me hours to fall asleep. If I can tell that I am going to toss and turn for a while, I give up. I grab the Kindle and watch a TV show or play a game. It helps slow down and distract my brain. I recently got one of those trendy adult coloring books. I let my OCD take over and color paisley mandalas.

At some point, usually between 2 and 4 am, I finally fall asleep. If you were paying attention you would remember that the first alarm goes off at 6:45 am. That usually gets snoozed. Twice! Once I am semi concious I grab that smartphone and check my social media. I finally get out of bed when I really have to pee. I don't try to be quiet and I turn on all the lights.

The boys pull the blankets over their heads. If I don't procrastinate too much I can go in their room, sit on the bed, and talk to them about the day ahead. More often than not I am telling them to "GET OUT OF BED AND GET DRESSED!"

The last alarm goes off and they know that means to grab backpacks and head to the door. I didn't forget breakfast, we just usually are in too much of a rush. I either microwave something or hand them a pop tart. The school is about 4 moles from home. It would be a much quicker drive if we didn't have to pass two highschools to get there :) If I had enough sleep and I was able to make myself presentable; I go to class with them to volunteer.

This is a pretty good representation of what goes on every night. Of course there is the late night for a CoCo Pretties order or a sponsored post due the next morning. I usually don't mind though because it brings mich needed income.

What is your routine? Anything you wish you could change? Comment here.

I will read it tomorrow or at 3 am if I can't  sleep.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Flashback Friday - November 6, 2010

Like I said before, I have always wanted to be a teacher.  From playing pretend to helping out younger students,  being a teacher's helper running copies and grading assignments. Working in daycare and singing and playing with babies. This is all I have ever done in my life.

Five years ago, just after we had moved in our new place, I was working as a substitute teacher. It was for Head Start here in town. I liked the job but I hated leaving the boys at daycare.

It ended up not working out for us since the boys got sick so often. It is hard to be a substitute teacher and call in sick. The job ended not too long after that. It all works out how it is supposed to because I was home with my babies for the winter. That is where I was needed so that is where I was.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lessons Learned

As a child I learned that people fail you. I don't think the intention to hurt the child but it does;  and I sadly dealt with more than a few times.

My parents separated when I was little. I was just under 5 if I remember correctly. I never knew specifics when I was little. Now I have too much information. I can not tell what is fact, lies or opinions.

After my mom remarried I hoped that this would be the whole family we deserved. Things didn't go so well for me. I was a constant pain the ass. I was always causing trouble, not serious, but trouble all the same. Things happened during some important years that I have come to terms with as an adult. There are and will continue to be repercussions for a long time coming. The hardest part was feeling betrayed. Feeling that I wasn't safe or protected.

I was financially taken care of, well taken care of.  I had a car after I got my license. I had spending money. I worked a small part time job and I had my own income. Sadly the money wasn't as important as what I felt I was truly missing.

I still miss it. Sometimes I feel as though I have no family. I understand that dealing with mental illness is hard. I do it every day.

It has taken me a very long time to get to this point. I finally feel safe. I feel in control of my life. Life is not easy and I usually don't have enough money to make it through the month. I still miss what should be close relationships in my family.

I am not sure how this ends. The blog post or my feelings about my family life.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Teachers In My Life

I have so many teachers that left an impression on me over the years. Some good, some bad, but all memorable. I might not remember all their names but I can clearly see those defining moments.
I remember a math teacher that everyone treated horribly. She was overweight, had more bad hair days than good, and wore polyester pants every day. None of that mattered because she taught me math skills THAT I ACTUALLY USE ALL THE TIME. (Even if we don't like to believe it, we do need math after we leave school.)
I used to get in trouble all the time for talking too much in class. Hard to believe, right? Well one teacher threw chalkboard erasers at me when I wouldn't shut up and pay attention. It wasn't funny at that moment but it makes smile now. Sadly I never learned that lesson.
There were two teachers in junior high that really stuck out. I think it was Ms. Hayes and Mrs. Rodgers. Ms. Hayes always gave us these ridiculous extra credit spelling words. I memorized them every week. I don't think I needed the extra credit, but I wouldn't pass up the challenge. Mrs. Rodgers taught my reading class. I was one of those kids that had to have my own group because I read ahead of my classmates. I also read way too fast for anyone to believe. I was constantly quizzed on the content. They finally gave up and I could check out 5 books at a time from the library.
Mrs. Rodgers caught me eating fruit snacks in class. I was supposed to write out the paragraph from the student handbook 20 times as punishment. I will also supposed to get my mother's signature. I wrote my paragraph and I did a great forgery of my mother's handwriting.
Mrs. Rodgers was also the teacher that pulled me aside to let me know that my great grandmother had died and my family was coming to pick me up from school. I was in 7th grade.
That brings to MomMae. She was my grandmother's mother. She lived in Tennessee. She came up to help out when my siblings and I were little. My other great grandmother would come too. We called her Moomie. I learned so much from these amazing women. Arts and crafts, sewing, baking were just a few of the things I learned at their side. I have a picture of MomMae in my craft area. She is finishing up a handmade bear she made to sell at a craft show. I loved going with her to set up and help. She would sell so many bears in just one day.
I know I get some of my creativity from her. Part of it is my crazy :) I am so happy when I see that Jayson also has that creative spark. Even after she passed away, her gifts are being passed down to my boys.
Both Sammy and Jayson have amazing teachers. I put them in separate classes for Kindergarten this year. Each kinder class has an assistant teacher as well. That means 4 amazing women are with my boys every day. They are thriving at school. Reading, doing great in math,  loving music, art, computers, PE, and Suzuki violin. Their school is the perfect choice for their education.
Me? I always wanted to be a teacher. I would always play school as a child, telling my brother and sister to do their work. I never changed my mind either. I got off track after highschool but I went to college when my oldest started school. I finished my associates degrees and moved on to University. I was on my last year (finally) when I found out I was pregnant with the twins. During school I was working so classes took longer than the traditional 4 years. I worked in accounting and administrative jobs. I picked up part time hours at a daycare. My favorite job and most stressful job though was being a special education assistant teacher. Working with those students could be heartbreaking. Not being able to read, horrible home life, no friends, disabilities that would only frustrate them... some days were so bad.
Last year I was volunteering at the private christian Pre-K that the twins attended. I actually was added to the payroll after Halloween. I loved my job. 16 students  (2 were my boys) and 2 teachers. It was easy and fun. The kids were so sweet. Sadly my depression kicked in after Spring Break. I was a mess by Easter. I had to take a lot of sick days to even off and get back to my normal. 
After that I learned that I need to learn from myself. I need to be quiet and pay attention. I need to track my triggers and calculate when the ups and downs are going to present. I have to teach myself some boundaries and that is a very hard lesson.
This year I am volunteering again. I have no plans to be paid. I  happy to be able to pop in and help out when I am available. If I am not having a good day, I can take that time for me.
What teachers were important in your life? Do you learn from yourself and your past? What did you want to be when you grew up?
Comment, share, facebook, tweet using the hashtag for my blog. #cocoandtwins
I look forward to seeing those tags!
~Courtney

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Back to the Beginning

When I first started this blog it was to journal my feelings, vent, and share all the pictures of the boys that I took on a daily basis. That was almost five years ago. Some weeks I had a lot to say, other months I had nothing to say. I had hoped to write every few days and keep a journal of my ups and downs. Writing had always helped me in times of depression. Writing can also help remember the joy. For some reason I got away from writing about the day to day. That needs to change. Sadly, I have so many thoughts bumping around in my head that I can't focus on only one idea.

This month I am going to try and use writing prompts from BlogHer and #NaBloPoMo

Check this link for a list of the writing prompts: http://www.blogher.com/nablopomo-november-2015-prompts

Excuse this interruption to your daily blog reading. Let's get back to writing.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Recap - PICTURES

Halloween was so busy. Between field trips at school, a party at our house, a school party and Trunk or Treat events around town - we barely had a chance to sit still. Here are some pictures from our Halloween fun!















I had a Halloween Party Post started but didn't get it posted before the 31st. I will still publish it, it will just be a recap instead. Watch for tutorials on some of the food we had at our party.