Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cord Blood Banking with LifeBankUSA!

I blogged about cord blood banking with LifeBank USA after Blair was born and am back today with another follow up post as I keep getting so many questions about this hot pregnancy topic.
I absolutely loved working with LifeBank to donate Blair's cord blood last year. We got our request and paperwork processed super fast, and the process at the hospital to donate the kit was so unbelievably easy. All I had to do was bring the cord blood kit box in with me to the delivery room, and the nurses completely took over with all the instructions from LifeBank. Basically all they did was take 4 vials of blood from me, check off a few administrative notes, package up the tissue, placenta, & cord blood after delivery, and then all I had to do was call LifeBank within 2 hours of her birth to have a representative come pick up the box. I was a little stressed out about the whole process beforehand but everything turned out to be very simple and uncomplicated and very easy on me.
If you don't know anything about it, there are soo many reasons to preserve your baby's cord blood, or otherwise donate it. Through cord blood banking, you can collect and preserve potentially lifesaving stem cells, and doing so could one day save the life of your child or a blood relative. The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has proved successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, 1,988 stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.
You can bank even more stem cells by collecting them from 2 usable sources of stem cell-rich blood: the umbilical cord and the placenta. This service is called Placental and Cord Blood Banking and it is available only through LifeBank USA. Whether you choose Placental and Cord Blood Banking or Cord Blood Banking alone, there are still many other reasons to choose LifeBank -- LifeBank is the only company that offers cord blood, placenta blood, and tissue banking, and they are also the first to release placenta-derived stem cells for a successful transplant. They have been absolutely wonderful to work with and they will collect cells from anywhere in the US. Another reason to bank with LifeBank -- They include tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) for free. Placental tissue contains mesenchymal (MSCs) and MSC-like cells. While stem cells found in cord blood and placenta blood have been used to successfully treat patients, there are currently no approved uses for stem cells derived from the umbilical cord or placenta tissue. Possible therapeutic applications are in early research stages and LifeBankUSA's parent company is actively involved in their development. LifeBankUSA will store the placenta tissue for you as part of their banking package using their cryogenic tanks for long-term preservation. In the event your baby's tissue cells are ever needed for future therapies, the tissue may then be processed and cultured using available technology at the time. Banking with LifeBankUSA will definitely give you peace of mind, knowing that this stem cell-rich blood can be used to treat certain diseases in the future.
I really hope if you are pregnant you give cord blood banking some serious thought! And definitely keep in mind all of these added benefits that are unique to LifeBank. I know when you are pregnant, you have about 1,000 things on your mind every minute, but going through LifeBank for your baby's cord blood and placental banking will help give you greater peace of mind, I promise :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Beautiful Life

Some pics from Landon's Preschool Graduation (!!) and basic summer lovin'. We've been so busy enjoying the summer, working on lots of home, yard, and garden projects, as well as planning for Landon's big 'paw-ty' Saturday ;) Stay tuned for some really great posts and giveaways coming up soon! 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Father's Day gift ideas!

Just one more week until Father's Day so I wanted to share a few of our favorite gifts for all those special, hardworking men in your life! We love to pair all our Father's Day gifts with a little something extra something homemade, which always makes things extra special, especially when from the kids.
These have been some of our handprint/footprint crafts we've done in the past:
The first handprint craft reads:
Daddy, Take my hand in yours and you will plainly see,
How very much I need you now to love and care for me.
As my little hand grows, I will need you even more,
Everything I do in life, I have never done before.
Teach me to be kind and loving, sharing and forgiving,
Show me through your acts of love the pure joy of living.
The years will pass by quickly and one day I will be grown,
I will pass what you have taught me onto children of my own.
Hold me always in your thoughts and remember when we are apart,
The special love between a child and a daddy's heart.
Footprint Poem reads:
"Walk a little slower Papa," said Landon oh so small, 
"I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast, Sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower Papa, for you are leading me.
Someday when I'm all grown up, you're what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child who'll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right, And know that I was true;
So walk a little slower Papa, for I must follow you."

This year we got Chris a store bought gift, with this cute 'daddy questionnaire' tucked inside his card:

It was super fun to do with Landon now that he was finally at an age to respond to any questions asked of him. Loved seeing his responses ;)
You can find the above Father's and Grandfather's free 'questionnaire' printables here.

In addition to the small crafts, we also got Chris some clothing since I either lose all his clothing I steal from him or otherwise ruin it in the wash. We got him some cute items from Charles River Apparel which is a site guaranteed to have something for anyone in your life! Very similar to L.L.Bean in my opinion - they are a Massachusetts based company that offers a wide range of high quality sporty, outdoorsy apparel for both men and women. We got Chris this cute quarter zip up sweatshirt, plus this lightweight windbreaker/raincoat. (& I have my eye on this rain jacket for myself in buttercup...does this always happen whenever you shop for someone else?). 
If you still haven't figured out a gift for one of the Father's on your list this year, definitely check out their site - you are sure to find something for even the pickiest of dads :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Country Livin'

We are loving life out here 'in the country' and we've been spending so much time outside literally getting our hands dirty in nature as summer approaches. There is so much natural beauty here that we've been fully taking in and appreciating. I've been spending less and less time on my phone, at my computer or the tv, and have just been outside playing with the kids, going for strolls not to go anywhere but just because, and walking around the yard and observing them in their natural element - so curious about the world we live in, the growing herbs and plants that we bring inside to eat, their excitement over the beautiful deer that seem so majestic to them out in our backyard every night. Sometimes I get so lost in the beauty of watching their young minds grow and I'm just feeling so grateful for this season we're in. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Summercamp Music Fest!

Spent our weekend camping (slash hotel-ing) down in Chillicothe IL at Summercamp Music Festival. Landon's quite the seasoned camper now at year 3 in attendance and Blair's second (she was a MUCH happier camper this year). Fun looking back on our first Summer Camp 2 years ago
This year's was the best one yet, both kids had so much fun, and were total hipsters, as you can clearly see ;)

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