Thanks to Nook for sending us the Nook LilyPad playmat to check out. It’s probably the most stylish modern playmat for babies I‘ve seen to date!
I’m so excited to work in partnership with Cryo-Cell to bring you these 5 tips for cord blood and cord tissue collection. They are helpful tips for storing your cord blood collection kit and what to do in the hospital.
As you probably know by now, our highly anticipated arrival has arrived. The funny thing about childbirth is that it’s one of life’s (slightly scary) unscheduled surprises. You know, unless of course it is scheduled in which case it’s still exciting and maybe still slightly scary. A few weeks back I told you that we would be banking cord blood and cord tissue with Cryo-Cell. This was my first time going through the process and while it’s pretty straightforward, I’ve got a few tips for you to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
That’s right, don’t be a procrastinator. Most banks can’t process the cord blood and/or tissue they receive until they have all of your paperwork. Which makes sense. Our kit came with paperwork that required me to answer some medical and personal questions, along with a few things for me to sign that reviewed the process, what I would be responsible for and what I could expect from Cryo-Cell.
You’ll be assigned a rep who will talk to you over the phone before your kit comes and you can go back to them if you have any questions or concerns like in my case where your due date is approaching (because you’re already procrastinated) and you’d feel better emailing or faxing the documents back to make sure they are on file before you deliver.
First of all, you don’t want to forget it at home. Duh. Second, you don’t want to have to make the old “my dog ate my collection kit” phone call. Seriously, you just never know what your favorite furball will do. Charger recently ate Kayla’s preschool diploma. For real. Fortunately, that was fairly easy to get replaced. Within your kit, there are things that a pet might smell and be curious about, like the anti-coagulant. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you do have pets, store your kit with your hospital bag in an elevated location that they can’t get to versus on the floor.
Another thing to be mindful of is the temperature of the area in which you are storing your kit. As much as it may make sense for your trip to the hospital, do not store your kit in your car in the weeks leading up to your delivery. You’ll want to keep it in a cool but not freezing cold place and out of direct sunlight to keep the temperature somewhat consistent. I found that the top of our changing table was the right place for my stuff, since it was out of reach for Charger and Stella and in an area of Blake’s room that didn’t get attacked by the strong San Diego sun.
Kits from different cord blood banks are slightly different and what they ask of your doctor can vary. In our kit from Cryo-Cell, there were detailed instructions for Craig and I to read as well as for our doctor to review. Personally, I would recommend taking the time to read both sets of instructions so you and your partner feel aware of what’s being asked of your doctor. Deliveries can be hectic. We had our own scare right as I started pushing and Blake’s heart rate took a steep dive. Thank goodness it quickly recovered, or we would have wound up with an emergency C-section. At that moment, I was freaked out and trying to remain calm and nobody was thinking about a collection kit.
Your doctor’s priority (rightfully so/thank goodness) will be safely delivering your baby and making sure you are okay. If things get hectic, your partner should be the one to make sure that the medical team remembers to collect the cord blood and cord tissue once things seem okay with you and your baby.
This is a big one. Like I mentioned, things can get crazy in the delivery room. You will also be on a euphoric OMG we just had a baby high and/or dealing with the shock and surprise that after a long wait your tiny person is finally here! And you are responsible for them…forever! Odds are that everyone will be tired. Blake arrived after 11pm and I had been up since 3:30am. Craig and I were both exhausted by the time they finished collecting everything, cleaning up the baby and tending to me.
You’ll probably need to contact the medical courier your cord blood bank works with so they can come and pick up the completed kit. Unless your labor is crazy fast, odds are your partner will have some time on their hands. I had Craig set an alarm on his phone to go off every hour after we were admitted to the hospital. This way in the exhaustion and excitement after birth we didn’t forget to call the courier. I think it was a smart move and one I would highly recommend to friends.
Relax and enjoy your new baby.
I reviewed the new Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II as part of the Step2 Ambassador program. I think it’s a great playhouse for toddlers and a nice indoor or outdoor playhouse.
On our quiet block in San Diego we’re blessed with a lovely little mix of neighbors. This summer Kayla has had the thrill of playing with one neighbor’s visiting toddler grandson and taking on the role of “big kid.” Not only is it adorable, but the timing could not be better considering we are entering big sister land literally any day at this point. So it was my absolute pleasure to park this new Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II in their back yard as a surprise for his next visit. And of course, I wanted to share it with you since I happen to think it’s a pretty solid choice for the smallest customers in the home buying market.
The Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II is one of the smaller playhouses out there. We actually had the original Neat & Tidy Cottage for Kayla when she was a toddler and it served us well. This newer model has the same features I liked before and adds a couple of new ones.
For starters, I’m a fan of the pretty neutral (non-gaudy) color palette of this playhouse. As much as I’m all for being kid friendly, I’m not the kind to park a neon pink playhouse in my yard or my living room. This house is cute, sweet and just sort of blends in to most landscapes without being an eyesore.
There is a swinging half door for easy entry that has plenty of clearance to avoid pinching fingers. The built in floor helps ensure that when you think junior is playing in the house, he’s not really digging an epic mud hole and eating the buried treasure if you use this house outside. One of the biggest shocks I’ve had as a parent is the things you find yourself having to tell your young child. Like “NO, don’t eat your toe lint!!” I know, this mom thing is super glam…
One new feature I happen to love is the built in flower box, which you can fill with real flowers. Yes, I’m now in my 30’s and I think this rocks. Children are totally intrigued by plants so I love that Step2 thought to add this. Of course if you don’t fill it with flowers I think it works really well as a place for food storage. Kayla and her buddy quickly filled it with food, phones, and other random objects.
Another new feature on the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II is the addition of a cute little outdoor grill. It’s a nice bonus and I like that it makes it very easy for two children to play together without having to compete for space.
The one thing I wish this playhouse included that it doesn’t is a few basic pieces of food for the kitchen so it’s ready to go right out of the box if it’s living at a relative’s house. However, the reality is that most people with children the proper age for the house already have quite the collection.
The working doorbell and mailbox are nothing new to this playhouse, but I’m glad they stayed because there is no child who can resist a doorbell at their height. Especially when they won’t be restricted to one push of the button. The good news is the sound is totally tolerable and not too loud. The mail slot is cute and calls for a little creativity to make some mail that can be put through. In the future I‘d love to see a couple of durable letters that fit this slot included in any of the Step2 playhouses for outdoor use.
My neighbor grabbed some basic play food from a friend and we were in business. This little built in stool is just perfect for the toddler/preschool crowd. Both kids took turns sitting on it and cooking or making phone calls on the included phone.
The shuttered windows are excellent for peek-a-boo. I know this because despite my total inability to bend and lean at this point I did it a bunch of times to play peek-a-boo with this guy. Of course he was in ALL his glory manning his new playhouse and mastering peek-a-boo.
So basically, I’m a big fan of the Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II for a child from about 18 months to 3 years old. My 5 year old still had a total ball playing in it, but it was clearly perfect for this little man at about 2 years old. It’s compact enough that you can have it indoors during the winter months and very durable yet unlike most larger playhouses, light enough that it’s not too hard to move around. The Step2 Neat & Tidy Cottage II playhouse is just hitting stores now so if you know a little one in the market for a home, or a second home at grandma and grandpa’s house, I highly recommend it!
Want to win your own Step2 Neat & Tidy II Cottage? You can – check out the Step2 Neat & Tidy II Cottage giveaway
Not too long ago we renovated our guest bathroom. Which I was terrified of doing because it was my first real home renovation project. I wanted something simple, clean and stylish that be transformed with accessories over time. Since we couldn’t be more in baby and kid mode if we tried, I had started kid-cessorizing the bathroom in my head well before it was done. There were two products stood out as must haves for safety and aesthetics – Begin Again’s Bathtub Pals and the Boon Whale Pod in White.
Looking for super hero dress up gear for girls? This SuperME backpack is perfect for a little girl who wants to be a super hero on the go. Thanks to SuperMe for sending one my way to test out.
A few weeks back, Kayla was invited to a birthday party that came with optional instructions to dress like a superhero. Which is awesome if you’re a little boy. It’s also quite limiting if you’re a girl. Probably because the only female super hero I can name is Wonder Woman? Which is why I was very happy to find the SuperMe line.
As you can tell, SuperME offers super hero gear that’s appropriate for those who just happen to favor pink and purple over blue and red. It’s also functional. Because that cape is actually a backpack. Which I filled up with lots of fun things last week to send Kayla off to her grandparents’ house so Craig and I could have our first (and almost certainly last) weekend alone in our home since Kayla’s arrival on this planet.
I added a very neat version of Go Fish that teaches exotic colors (think chartreuse and apricot) a new drawing tablet and some glittery crayons. Then I tossed in an awesome wooden camera from a little company called Twig and an Angel Dear Lovie that was really supposed to be for the baby, but when Kayla saw it and begged for it I waved my white flag.
So I know what you’re thinking – awesome, it has a cape. But can they take it to school? Haven’t you seen The Incredibles? Don’t you know that capes can get in the way? Which is why I think it’s pretty neat that the SuperME backpack has a secret pocket to tuck the cape into, which is entirely separate from the backpack storage area.
There is even a special pocket for that very essential super hero mask. The mask, might I mention is made from comfy material with no itchy or scratchy parts. I was impressed that we could even fit a large hardcover book inside of the backpack. Over the years I’ve found that so many backpacks aimed at children of this age are adorable, but useless when it comes to fitting the things your child actually wants to bring along.
Armed with some fun toys to bring along, her SuperME getup and the knowledge that she was certain to be spoiled with both attention and copious amounts of ice cream Kayla eagerly awaited the arrival of the grandpa-mobile for super girl pickup. And did some laps around the yard of course…
Want to know how to choose the best baby play gym? I’ll show you how with tips to pick the best baby gym. Thanks to Tiny Love for sending me this Gymini Developlace to check out.
Do you remember the days when words like teething necklace, Gymini and meconium were not in your vocabulary? Yeah, I don’t. Probably because a motherhood induced coping mechanism prevents me from having full clarity of life before Kayla. Also, I don’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday. Now that we’ve gotten to easy with one fairly self sufficient 5 year old it just made sense to totally start all over again. Not.