Friday, July 18, 2014

Back to School Deals at Zulily!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase through clicking on any of the links below.
I can't believe we're nearing the end of July already, and with most schools starting back up at the end of August, we're already in back to school mode. Today I'm sharing with you a few sweet deals from one of my amazing sponsors, Zulily. If you don't know about Zulily yet, you are missing out! It is an online daily deal site for moms, children, and babies that offers a huge variety of adorable clothing, gear, accessories, pretty much anything and everything you could possibly need or want for your little one, all at discounted price points! Many are marked up to 70% off their original pricing, and if you are a bargain lover like me, and prefer the ease of online shopping like I do, then you are going to absolutely love Zulily. So if you aren't registered on their site yet, go sign up today!
Here are a few of my current faves that have major deals going on right now:
Slouchy Harem pants & leggings - I think I have to stock up on a few of these babies for Blair

CA Collection by Carini & More, offering some awesome unisex canvas slip ons & sneaks for as low as $7 a pair! Will definitely be stocking up on some of these cuties at the rates my kids' feet grow ;)
& not necessarily of 'back to school' age, I can't resist an adorable smocked dress with delicate embroidery for infants from Classy Couture & Sweet Dreams...would definitely be a sweet new baby gift!

Happy bargain shopping!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Happy Fourth :)

A few quick pics (before my phone died) yesterday of our 4th of July, camped out watching the Glenview fireworks, celebrating our wonderful country. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday weekend!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

4 Years

Dear (not so) Little Landon,
In just a few weeks we will be celebrating your 4th birthday. I can't believe 4 whole years have passed since I gave birth to you in 2010. We are both 4 years older from that day and we have shared 4 years of growth, stories, love and life and laughter together. 
Last night I put you to sleep, after reading you bedtime story after story, as we usually do. Every time we finished the final page of a book you would look at me with your playful eyes and smile and say "again!" For the first time ever, I got Blair to go down before you, and I enjoyed our old bedtime ritual, just the two of us together, without simultaneously nursing Blair or hearing her cry for me from the other room and cutting you short. Instead of rushing half-heartedly through your books as I have been doing for the past 6 months, I sat there with you. Patiently, lovingly, present. And we sat there and we read books together. Book after book after book. When we were done, I tucked you in under your blankets, and we said our nightly prayers together. We always start off with "Now I lay me down to sleep..." and then end by going through all the people you love in your life and asking God to bless them. You finished off your prayer blessing "all the babies in Africa" and a final, "and please help me grow big and strong. A-men." I stroked your hair and looked at your little face in my hand sweetly smiling at me and it hit me like a ton of bricks. You are no longer my baby. You are no longer even a toddler. You are a full fledged kid now. And it somehow happened in the blink of an eye. I told you I loved you, kissed you goodnight, and I walked out of your room thinking how cool - how powerful, how scary, how huge a concept - that all the things your father and I say and do with you on a daily basis are shaping your person and becoming your own thoughts and voice. All of a sudden, you have turned into this child that we have been unconsciously shaping you to be for the past 4 years.
I got into my own bed next to Blair and just as I was dozing off into unconsciousness, I heard my bedroom door open and your little footsteps walk over to me.
"It's nighttime sweetheart, go back to sleep sweetie" I say.
"Mommy, can you snuggle me?"
How could I possibly say no.
"Okay, come up here" I say and I pulled you in my arms and under the blankets with me and we snuggled. I didn’t browse the internet on my phone. I didn’t listen to voicemails or respond to text messages from the day. I just held you in my arms and we stayed there like that until you fell asleep. I laid in bed with my two most prized possessions for the first time since Blair was born. Taking in the quiet and realizing how rare it is for you both to be sound asleep while I am awake. And I didn’t start a mad dash for my own freedom or personal space. I didn't sneak downstairs to go on my computer or pop in a movie or switch on my nightstand light and read my new book. Instead, I just laid there with you and listened to you breathing, holding you in my arms while you soundly slept. Taking in the moment and thinking about our lives these past 4 years.
I know that not every day is easy. There are many days you push me way past the edge of my patience. Days that I have to give myself a 'time out' in a separate room to take a deep breath before I completely lose it in a fit of rage and exhaustion. There are days I have cried in defeat and desperation and there have been times you have physically brought me to my knees. Because being a full time mom is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. 
When we first found out that we were pregnant with you, it was a big shock for your father and I. The two of us, head over heels in love with each other, but suddenly the stark reality was that things were not going to go as I had planned. I remember wondering how I was going to actually do this and how things were going to change. I didn't think I was ready for you, for parenthood. I wasn’t sure what this new path for me looked like, going through my pregnancy and giving birth to you thousands of miles away from my parents and all my family and friends. I was terrified. We hadn't a place to live yet. We weren't married yet. I had just been sworn into the bar and had just started looking and applying for jobs. I never doubted your father and I together, but I doubted myself. Fear and anxiety had a strong grip on me during those 9 months I carried you in my belly and I was always questioning myself and my mind was a crazy place.
But the day you were born and I held you in my arms, I knew. I was sure of myself and I understood it all. You weren't something that I needed to be ready for. You have been in me all along. I was always ready for you. You were meant to be. And at that exact time and place in my life.
I remember those first few days in the hospital with you, your father and I pouring over you with amazement, awe and love. I knew that my life would change when you arrived, but what I didn't know was how much you would actually change me. That change into motherhood was so concrete, so drastic, it’s almost as if everything that came before you was an alternate reality… like the person I was before I became a mother wasn’t me at all, an insecure, immature, half-person of the person I became the day you were born. You helped me see the world in a different way, and changed the way I see myself. You did it then, the day you were born and I held you in my arms at the hospital, and you did it to me again last night as I held you soundly sleeping in my arms, nearing the 4th anniversary of that day. I am reminded what life really is. What love is. What the point of all this all is.
The point is not living a lonely life, afraid. The point is not having everything go according to our plans. The point is living life with the people you love. The point is to open up to the life God intended for you. The point is trusting yourself to do so.
Although you are only 4 years old, there are so many amazing qualities that I already see in you and that I am so proud of. I hope you always live life with your sense of honesty, curiosity, kindness, compassion, vigor and excitement that you live life with right now.
I hope you are always excited to meet new people with an open heart and without judgment. Your 'best friend Tanya' you are always so happy to tell me about and whom your teacher told me you have a 'special relationship' with at school, I just found out was a little Asian girl with glasses. The first time you saw an African American you weren't confused or frightened but you innocently proclaimed, 'That's a chocolate man!' And it's always the friends you make and play so nicely with anywhere we go are always kids of different ethnicities. But I really hope you always carry this with you as you grow. I hope you always treat every single person with the same amount of respect. I hope you are never afraid, intimidated, think differently of or think that you are better than anyone who has a different outward appearance than you.
I hope you always retain your sense of generosity and joy in giving. You love making things for other people, helping me wrap presents for others, and giving things to others. You get so excited to give people things, especially things you've made for them, and you already understand this important life concept, that it will always feels better to give rather than receive.
Something else I hope you always carry with you is your enormous sense of kindness and compassion. You are never, ever, hurtful. Even when others hurt you. You never retaliate in anger or want to hurt them back. And you have an instinctual urge to want to help others in times of pain, sadness, or hurt. Whenever I am sick, you'll come bring me my big green mixing bowl from the kitchen to 'throw up in' and you will gently rub my back. You get so concerned when you see other children crying or upset. You can't stand to hear your baby sister fuss for anything and you always ask me if you or I can 'make Baby Bear happy' when she cries. It truly pains you to witness other people's pain and you always want to do something about it. 
I am not perfect. I have many flaws and failings as a human being and as a parent. But I love you. I love you with a ferocity that will never fade and I will protect you with every ounce of my being, always. I will continue to find joy in discovering who you are as you grow and change and turn into the person you are meant to be, and I will continue to do my best to be what you need me to be.
I love you, fiercely and unconditionally and until the end of time. Nothing with ever change that. No matter who you become. No matter the choices you make. No matter what you choose to study, or not study, no matter what profession you choose, or don't choose, no matter what sports you choose to play or not play, no matter where you choose to live, or who you choose to love. I will always, always, love you.
I may have been the one who carried you in my belly for those 9 months and gave life to you those 4 years ago. But I want you to know that it is you who gave new life to me. And that you continue to give me this beautiful, new life and perspective, every single day.

- Your "Mumma", always

Thursday, May 29, 2014

End of School Year Teacher's Gift

Still can't believe Landon's last day of school was today! Made these lil planters for his teachers to thank them for all their hard work with him this past year. He has certainly made some enormous strides from when he started back last August and we are so thankful. 
Here's all you need to make these lil guys:
- flower pot (I did not plant and grow these myself, I got these potted gerbera daisies at Trader Joe's...$4.99 each)
- chalkboard tag ($0.59 each at Michael's)
- chalkboard marker. How I just found out about these chalkboard markers is beyond me. I used to use regular chalk to write little chalkboard signs (here & here) but these markers make it SO much easier, and much prettier. Found mine at Michaels for $12 (4-pk).
- Ribbon to prettify and gift-ify your pot and also to secure your chalkboard tag. You will need to tape down in two areas so it doesn't slip down to the bottom of the pot. I found this cute apple ribbon a while back in the clearance bin at Michaels. Any ribbon will work just fine but the thinner actually the easier to work with.
And there you have it! A simple, handmade, thoughtful and creative gift to your kiddo's teachers they are sure to appreciate :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Recent Adventures, Snapshots, & Artwork of Landon Christopher

I spy a little blonde boy

Sir Landon of House Bauman. (We're currently highly addicted to Game of Thrones)

Dinner date with the lovely miss Sophie
wagon rides with sissy
A recently discovered photo in my camera roll from last month, sweetly keeping watch over baby Charlotte. He also informed me that he wants 6 more baby sisters. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lactation Cookies!

Heading over to a girlfriend's (& fellow new mom of two) tonight while our hubs' are out of town and baked some oatmeal raisin lactation cookies to bring over. I've never made these before but they came out AMAZING. And really they are just oatmeal raisin cookies that are made with ground flax seed, oats, and brewers yeast, all really good for milk production. So anyone (and everyone, I promise - they are soo good) will enjoy these, not just nursing mamas :) This recipe yields a lot of cookies too (about 3 dozen) so it's a nice idea to make some for yourself and package up the rest and bring over to another breastfeeding momma friend :) 

Prep time: 20 min (while tending to children. Actual prep time is probably 10 min)
Cook time: 10 minutes
What You Will Need:
- 2 cups flour
- brewer's yeast
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar 
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
- 4 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups oats
- 1 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Mix the flaxseed and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
3. Mix together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar.
4. Add eggs to butter/sugar and mix.
5. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla extract to the egg/butter/sugar and mix well.
6. Mix together the dry ingredients: the flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt. (This was Landon's job)
7. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
8. Stir in oats and chips.
9. Scoop 1-1.5" flattened balls onto baking sheet.
10. Bake for 10 minutes.
11. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

DIY monogram coffee mugs

Saw these beautiful monogram mugs at Anthro a while back and stuck them in the back of my mind. Recently saw this pin on pinterest about making your own customized plates with a sharpie marker, & I decided to try to make my own monogram mugs. Plus, I wanted to make some housewarming/new mother gifts for a few girlfriends and decided these were the perfect gift, and even better that they would be handmade.
All you need is a ceramic mug, a sharpie, and stencils (optional). Then bake in your oven at 350 for 30 minutes and ta da! The marker will set in and is now permanent, and you have yourself a beautiful, personalized mug to make your morning extra happy.

A few important notes:
- Do not put these in the dishwasher. They can handle a good hard hand washing & scrubbing, but the marker will come off a little if you dishwash. So don't do it.
- Do not preheat the oven before putting the dishware in. As soon as you turn the oven on to 350, put the mugs in with it. Otherwise, the drastic temp change will cause them to break. And you don't want that to happen.

Friday, May 9, 2014

GIVEAWAY! Natural Amber Teething Necklace

I received this Amber teething necklace when I was pregnant, and definitely didn't think I'd need to use it as soon as I did - but at 4 months old little Blair Bear had started to teethe. I began using her Teething Necklace and love it. I initially thought she was supposed to chew on it to relieve her discomfort, but discovered that she is only supposed to wear it, which left me very confused and skeptical about it, but I noticed that she isn't nearly as fussy and is much more calm when she's wearing it. As a big proponent of natural health & healing (especially for little ones) I researched more about baltic amber and its healing properties along with reviews from other mothers who used it as a teething remedy.
I learned that baltic amber has been used for centuries for teething and is renowned for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties, which is how it can be helpful for soothing red inflamed cheeks and gums. In addition to helping reduce pain, drooling (for which amber is said to work by stimulating the thyroid glands) and irritability that is often associated with teething, amber beads have also been claimed to relieve eczema, speed up wound healing and stave off ear and throat inflammation, amongst many other ailments. The effects come from the beads merely touching the skin -- When a baby wear the necklace, the natural temperature of her skin warms the amber cortex (the external layer of the stone), which releases succinic acid, which is absorbed throught the skin into the bloodstream, which provides the pain relief. I love it.
I love learning about this stuff and using all-natural, non-invasive, side-effect free, & effective remedies, so I'm thrilled to have learned about these Baltic Amber Necklaces and I'm so excited to be offering one lucky mama a chance to win one of these for themselves :)

All You Need To Do:
1. Leave a comment on this post, telling me which teething necklace you would choose if you win.
To Gain Additional Entries:
1. Share a link to this post on facebook & tell your friends about it!
2. Share a link to this post on Twitter! (Easy way to do this is just to hit the "share it" button at the bottom of my right sidebar)
2. "Like" Amber For Babies on facebook
3. Follow Mumma's Corner (either via google friend connect, bloglovin', or subscribe to posts by email)

*Please leave a separate comment on this blog post for each additional entry, letting me know your Facebook and Twitter name if applicable, and be sure to leave your email address on each comment so I know how to contact you if you're the lucky winner! Good Luck!

Giveaway will run for 3 weeks from today and will officially close at 9:00am cst on 5/30/14.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Blair Gets Baptized O:)

We celebrated sweet Baby Blair's baptism in MA last Sunday and it could not have been a more perfect day, surrounded by so much love and support of family and friends that were there to help welcome her into the body of Christ with us. We feel unbelievably blessed to have so many loving, supportive people in our life, and the abundance of hugs, kisses, kind words & well wishes, and the overall outpouring of love and generosity that we received that day, and really ever since her birth. We are so proud of the sweet and extremely joyful little girl she is becoming and so glad to set on her own path with Jesus. God has done and continues to do amazing things for us and we are so thankful to Him, for everyone He has brought into our lives, and for blessing us with another healthy, beautiful child.
Some (a lot) of pics from Blair's first holy sacrament. (All photos courtesy of my dad and girlfriend Sarah :)).

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