Archive for the 'Parenting' Category

Life to Life

Can we talk about health care for just a few minutes? Thanks! A friend of mine’s dad (boy that sounds so complicated, doesn’t it??) is starting cancer therapy shortly. He’s had a port installed for chemo, but he is also going to have stem cell therapy. I was shocked to find out that you can actually get shots that cause your body to go into overdrive and manufacture a buttload of stem cells. Then they are harvested and used to help your body heal. I’m not sure on the specifics, but I do remember that you have to have several shots and they cost about $8,000 each. I’ll pause now, and let you get a grip on it. Several shots. $8,000 each.

Now, that is a lot of money, I think we can all agree, but life is priceless, and I daresay we’d all consider that a justifiable expense. And I’d like to take a moment to marvel that the human body seems to have had the capability to heal itself all along if we knew how to tap into it, and what an Awesome Creature God Created when He made mankind! K, moment done. Back to stem cells.

Did you know that umbilical cord blood has a high amount of stem cells? I remember it was talked about quite a bit when I was expecting DaBaby. And those cells are a guaranteed match for the baby they belong to, and have a one in four chance of being a match for that baby’s siblings. So, if the stem cell producing shot is worth $8,000 dollars a pop, just how much would being able to store and access cord blood stem cells be? Pretty valuable, right? But not as expensive aas you would think. In fact,Cryo-Cell Innovative Stem Cell Solutions offers a Cryo-Cell’s "Protect Baby, Protect Mom" plan to collect, test, prepare and store cord blood samples for 21 years for just $3,495. Less than half the cost of one shot.

But there’s more. Did you know that menstrual blood also contains stem cells? That messy mess we deal with each month while wrinkling our noses not only can cushion and nurture a new life, it also contains life. I didn’t know that until very recently. (Backing up to have another moment like the one described above.) And of course, your menstrual blood is a match to you, and may possibly match your first degree relatives. And with the "Protect Baby, Protect Mom" Special Limited-Time Introductory Offer it only costs $5,679 for your blood and baby’s blood to be processed, tested and stored for 21 years.

Now, I will straight up admit that I don’t have the money to afford such a thing. But if I did, I’d be on it. I think it ought to be covered under health insurance. If stem cells can cure lymphoma and Alzheimer’s, and reverse the damage of strokes and heart atttacks, we as a nation are FOOLISH not to mandate that cord and menstrual blood be saved. Stem cells can save lives. And without the killing of a single child. And that’s as political as I will get on this subject this day.

I’ll be back in a bit with today’s issue of Cass in the Kitchen!

Repeated note to self:

Always, always, always keep a simple project going, one that requires no counting or thought. Always, always, always keep it close at hand. Yes, I am repeating this, because I tend to forget it, and then when I do have a simple project close at hand, I rocket through it, and I am amazed at how much gets done as I sit here and talk to my children about their school work. Seriously! It’s a lot of stitching time, at least 2.5 hours a day, often more. I don’t think I’d get any more done on vacation, because I would be distracted by the going and the seeing and the doing. Not that I would turn down a free Seville Hotels Destinia vakay or anything. Cheap hotel bookings are a thrill whether I get to stitch or not! Just sayin’

Fantasy vacations aside, I really think there will be an FO to show you on Friday. And even if it’s not an FO, I might show it to you anyway, because I can. I also have a book to tell you about!

And now a question. Is it acceptable to put Crisco on my son’s face? I only ask because that football helpmet is so hard to get on and off! maybe I will let the other son lick it off, since he’s supposed to gain 10 pounds by Saturday. Hahaha. Hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahahah. *continue hysterical laughter*

HEY! HEY! We could do a lipo-transfer! Muhahahahahaha *continue evil laughter*

And yet more fun!

I told you I missed my kids, right? Well, when practice was called of yesterday, I opened up another new game! When I went to NMB last month, I visited the bead store, which I told you about. While I was there, I saw they were selling magnetic hematite. I wondered to myself what in the world a person could use magnetic hematite for. I mean, I just couldn’t think of much to do with it besides drape them around your wrist or neck, and if you have ever handled hematite, then you know it is pretty heavy.

Well, when I opened Jishaku, I suddenly realized the possibilities inherent in magnetic hematite. I played first with Batman:

IMG 0795
Notice DaBaby trying to horn in on the fun.

The game proceeded pretty slowly and methodically, and perhaps a little ho-hum, until this happened:
IMG 0796
(Notice Batman laughing like a loon. At me.)

Ohoh. That was interesting. Suddenly, it got about ten times more fun. We played about five games in rapid succession, with lots of good giggling time. And then the other boys came in.

IMG 0798
(Notice the handsome dh in the background.)

You know, it’s just as fun with 4 players as with 2. Except we were a little bit mean. We just told them the object of the game was to get rid of your stones. We didn’t tell them what to expect. And so we won, nyuck, nyuck, nyuck.

I can foresee the whole family having fun with this game, but not until I go back to NMB and get some more stones. Like most games, there just aren’t enough pieces for all the folks who want to play. That’s ok. The stones are pretty cheap 😉


If you noticed the other day when I reported on my trip, I showed this picture of the kids playing a game:

I didn’t say much more about it at the time, because I wanted to ask them about it, which I did this morning. Drama, Batman, Spidey and Stuntman declared the game “awesome”, and only Country, whose job was to work the remote found the game less than thrilling. And guess what?? Drama won! How often do you find a game where the youngest player wins? Of course the rest of the crew insists she had help, but seriously, how can you “help” someone play bingo, when the dvd does all the calling?

Disney Bingo comes with the DVD that features a short how-to-play segment, and calls the numbers. You can play several different patterns on the 6 reversible cards. It’s for ages 4 and up, and each letter is populated by a Disney character. There are movie clips on the dvd, too!

You guys know, because I told you, how busy I have been the past couple of weeks. I didn’t mind the work so much as I missed my children. If you don’t think you can miss people you live with, let me assure you that you can. We have a lot of fun hanging out and playing games together. Before football practice started, I was spending the time after dinner and before bedtime playing games with them. It was a pleasant way to end the day, beating the pants off them at “I Spy Snap” and “Phase 10″ just having a little fun together. ScreenLife Games’ Disney Bingo allows even more of us to play together at once, and around here, the more the merrier. I only wish there were 4 more cards so all of us could play at once.

You can get the game at or, and I recommend it without reservation. Here’s a little video about it:

Sponsored by Screenlife Games

Confessions in Recent Parenting Events

Ok, where are my children and what are they doing? Well, they are here at home as usual, and they are on the computer/watching tv/cleaning their room. In a bigger sense, they are almost through with the second of two five-night-per-week practices. Except when canceled for weather as I just discussed. It’s brutal, but next week, we go down to just three days.

I think I failed to mention what happened to my van last week, didn’t I? Some jack-leg (that’s what I say when I want to call someone a donkey, but my mother may be coming along and reading what I said) dug a pure-tee TROUGH in my van door. A Trough People. Seriously. I assumed they did it with the sideview mirror, and it starts out as a light scrape and gets deeper over about 18 inches until it is about 1/2 inch deep at the end. Half an inch may not seem like a lot until you see it gouged out of the side of your van, and then it is quite a bit. Dip-wad jack-leg. Cause they drove off, you see. So they are also chicken-poop. (I don’t need to define poop do I? Remember: Mama.)

I ought to call Advocate Auto Claims and see if I can get anything for the diminished value. Do you think I could get anything for a 1992 Dodge Caravan? Meh, at least the estimate is free. I didn’t know you could get paid for diminished value after a car accident, but you can. Too bad the person drove off, and I don’t carry comprehensive insurance on that old thing.

Ok, I am going to do something my mama likes to do. I am going to talk about everything under the sun, and then at the end I am going to include some pretty significant information. Tomorrow morning, I am taking Country for a fasting blood draw. At her physical yesterday, she was spilling sugar and ketones in her urine. And also, she and Diva will be getting full length spine xrays. They both apparently have scoliosis, and Diva has it bad enough that the doc referred her straight to the Ortho without even seeing the xrays. I think I might have now entered the phase of parenthood called “scared poopless”.

Sponsored by Advocate Auto Claims

Organizing the Stuff

I posed a couple days ago on Midlife Musings how I had (we hope) marginally organized my blogging, and now I am moving on to thinking about how we can better organize all the stuff. School is ramping up for those in public school, and my kids get their new school supplies this time of year, and it’s …alot of stuff. We color code as much as we possibly can, but with 7 children (and yes, they all have to have “cool plies”) we can’t always find what we need in the right color for the kid who needs it. Since my attempts to Sharpie things are sometimes thwarted by over-zealous rubbing, I’m thinking that it might be time to make life easier with the use of some good labels.

The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo (your agent is Nicole Lee) The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Tag-Mates separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Skinny-Minis separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy shoe labels separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy bag tags separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy bag tags separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy bag tags separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy bag tags separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy bag tags separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Tag-Mates separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Tag-Mates separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Tag-Mates separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Tag-Mates separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) agent site for Nicole Lee buy Skinny-Minis separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Skinny-Minis separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Skinny-Minis separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy Skinny-Minis separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy shoe labels separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy shoe labels separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy shoe labels separately (your agent is Nicole Lee) buy shoe labels separately (your agent is Nicole Lee)

The Ultimate Back-to-School ComboI’ve been looking at the Ultimate Back-to-School Combo from Mabel’s Labels. The combo and the colours are available for a limited time only, until September 30th, 2008. One pack per kid ought to be enough to sort out their school stuff, their sports stuff AND label a couple of drinking cups each (do you know how many of those we use per day???), and it would last for-ever!

Your Mabel’s Labels agent is Nicole Lee. She’s a WAHM like me, and most of you. You know I like to do business with other WAHMs. It just feels good, ykwim? Mabel makes clothing labels, too. I happen to be at the end of my “made by Mama” stash. Since I fought and fought to sew the old ones in neatly, I’ll probably order these instead:


Whaddya think? Should I ask her if she’d be willing to trade some sidebar ad space for an order of clothing labels?

This woulda been great!

Back when DaBaby was a baby, not that she is grown now or anything, we had to track everything she did. How much she drank, how much she peed, how often she poo’ed. And it was awful. In addition to tracking her, I tracked myself, as well. How many ounces did I pump? My “value” in my eyes became closely entwined with whether or not my milk makers equaled or exceeded the demands of her hungry belly. All in all, it was pretty much hell, and I am just now coming fully out of that pit of despond, ykwim? Looking back, she only had a few cans of powdered formula for that whole year-plus, and I am pretty sure that most of that was due to the fact that bottle fed babies just drink more because it is easier for them to do so.

Anyway. Moving on. Today, if I had to track that stuff, I’d do it differently. Babblesoft has created Baby Insights, a baby software program that allows you to track feeds, pumps, meds AND baby sleep schedules for your infant. Sleep schedules? That was about the only thing I didn’t track, LOL! And then when you need to talk to the doctor or midwife, all the info is right there at your fingertips. The real plus for me would have been able to close the window after putting in the notes, and then I would not have had the notebook of doom on my desk. Life would have been marginally better, and sometimes, marginally makes a world of difference.

So. Hot.

So, tonight, it was football practice, like I said. I didn’t get any mindless knitting started, so I took a book. I got three whole paragraphs read, because I was “the bathroom mom” tonight. I tour the facilities 5 times between 6pm and 8pm. That is a lot of walking in 90plus degree heat, ykwim? I’m sure I lost a couple of pounds of water weight, for which I am thankful, but Geez, Louise, was I ever glad to walk into the air conditioning here at home.

Have I whined yet about the fact that the a/c in my van doesn’t work for squat? I don’t know if it’s the air conditioning compressor or if it just needs that freon-stuff-that-really-isn’t-freon anymore, but I would be totally happy if dh would fix it. Ok, maybe not totally. But I would be happier. And so would my hair that gets blown around all over my head because of the windows being open. That’s a horrible thing to do to curly hair, you know. Horrible.

Anyway, I’ll have to ask him if he can get the auto ac parts and fix it. With free shipping and a full warranty, it ought to be almost affordable!

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