Earlier this year, I wrote about one of my biggest pregnancy regrets–foregoing the opportunity to bank placenta blood cells, cord blood cells, and tissue because I thought we couldn’t afford it. Since my pregnancy 4+ years ago, the cost and application of this innovative technology has improved. And things will only get better going forward.

The ability of stem cells to save lives via cord blood banking has already proven successful for replacing abnormal or diseased cells, and treating life-threatening blood disorders such as leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. In fact, since 1988, stem cell transplants have been used to treat some 80 diseases.

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. 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’s available only from LifebankUSA. Whether you choose Placental and Cord Blood Banking or Cord Blood Banking alone, there are many important reasons to choose LifebankUSA.

When you bank with LifebankUSA, tissue banking (tissue from the placenta) is included for free.* Placental tissue contains mesenchymal cells (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 its complete 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 that time.†  Tissue banking is just one more layer of protection and peace of mind offered by LifebankUSA.

I will always regret not finding the means to take advantage of this service when I could. I urge those of you who are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant to research more about LifebankUSA.

LifebankUSA is having another awesome contest on their Facebook page. They’re giving away three top-rated and highly desirable Britax Marathon 70-G3 Convertible Car Seats (value $260 each) in a random drawing from entrants in the Facebook contest. You can learn more about & enter the contest here.


*Storage fees apply after the first year
†Clients will be responsible for the cost of shipping the tissue and any culturing or expansion of the cells.

I’ve been a BoyMom for over 4 years now and I’m still not sick of playing cars on the floor, Lego (disclaimer: I haven’t  stepped on yet barefoot yet, so talk to me after that happens), and all-things-Superhero.

Amy from BoyMom Designs sent me a shirt that reminds me of all the hours spent helping Jax determine which car is the fastest, rolling cars through each room of our house to see which floor surface is best for races, and choosing which car Jax might someday own from among the 50 or 60 cars he has collected so far (the purple one, of course).


This was the best pic I could get today. We parents know how challenging it can sometimes be to get everyone to remain calm enough to snap a non-blurry pic!

My new BoyMom t-shirt features 5 rows of fast toy cars, from red to orange to yellow. The logo across the top made me smile and think of Jax. I threw a cardi over it, paired it with some skinny jeans & Uggs, and I’m referring to it as my “mom uniform” on this chilly & chill Saturday afternoon. There’s a turkey roasting in the oven and a Disney movie on the tv. No, it isn’t Cars, but good idea!

Amy & I are offering one of these cute cars t-shirts to one of you and a 20% discount code for the entire site to all of you. You can enter up to 3 times to win the cars t-shirt shown above:

  1. Follow @boymomdesigns on Twitter. Come back to this post & comment to let us know you’ve followed. Leave your twitter name.
  2. Like BOTH James & Jax and BoyMom on Facebook. Comment below to let us know you’ve done this.
  3. Tell us about any one of your favorite parenting moments in a comment below.

One winner will be selected at random on Monday, December 2. In the meantime, please head over to BoyMom to check out all Amy has to offer–her store isn’t just for moms of boys! While you’re there, read her story; she is an inspiration!

Yes, my boys can be dangerous, destructive, messy, exasperating, and smelly — but the good news is that they are only that way some of the time. The rest of the time they are superheroes in the making; respectful and honest do-gooders, defenders of the universe, and best of all always loving. The kind of boys that will grow up to be good men. Of all the jobs in the world, being a boymom might be the most challenging and the most fulfilling. ~ Amy

Don’t forget to use your 20% discount code: U9X5JC.

UPDATE: Angela, you’re the winner of the BoyMom Cars t-shirt! I’ll be in touch with you soon!

Update: Contest is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Raine. Your comment was randomly selected via Random.org as the winner! I’ll be in touch with you via email later today.


Wisdom journal from MintedHow cute is my new, custom journal from Minted?! I’m almost intimidated to write in it because it’s too adorable—how will my words compare?

In case you haven’t heard about Minted yet, let me explain who they are. Minted is a global community of independent graphic designers and an online store that prints and sells the best of their designs in the form of paper goods. Brides, Minted makes killer wedding invitations, too!

But my favorite products on their site are the journals, because you know I’m a written word junky. Few things excite me more than the clean, fresh first page of a brand new journal. So many possibilities for writing! Typically, I start out a new journal optimistically, writing about the joys of life, the things I appreciate, all the good times and happy memories. Slowly I can see my negative thoughts creeping in there toward the middle pages. Then I decide I need to buy a new journal to start over again once my writing turns to the dark side in the second half. It is rare I finish writing all the way to the final page! Therefore, I have a collection of unfinished journals and diaries that go back to age 8. But none of them are as cute as my Minted journal.

What I particularly love about Minted is that the journals are designed by independent artists, yet each one can be personalized by you.  I ordered and personalized this cutie. I’m considering holding off on writing in it until I’m done my Positivity Notebook and then using my Minted journal for Positivity, Part II.

What do you think I should use my new journal for?

Leave a comment telling me what you would use your shiny new Minted journal for, and your comment will serve as your entry to win the journal of your choice! For one additional entry, leave a second comment indicating which Minted journal is your favorite.

One winner will be selected one week from today, on Wednesday, June 12, and will be notified via email.

Disclaimer: I received no financial compensation for hosting this giveaway; However, I did receive one gorgeous, personalized Minted journal. The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own.


Bridge to Nowhere - Mackinac Bridge in Thanksgiving Blizzard; cable study.My goal the past week or more has been to focus on correcting some of my I’m-NOT-doing-it-right behaviors (and in doing the corrections, I’m adding to my list of things I’m doing right, which helps). For example, I’m wallowing in self-pity for a number of reasons (sorry for the vagueness). Therefore, I should be carrying around my positivity notebook everywhere I go–and not just carrying it, but opening it and writing in it. But…baby steps! One little thing I did right was this: I pulled it out on Friday and read the thing cover to cover. Granted, 75% of it is still blank, but I’ll get there. I keep reminding myself that the more I write in it, the more valuable a resource it becomes.

Also in the self-care department, I took a bubble bath 3 days in a row. Hmm, after writing that here, I’m noticing something: I am a lucky woman to be able to sneak off for 30-45 minutes 3 days in a row, don’t you think? It wasn’t all peaches, though, believe me. It is rare to have a completely uninterrupted bath, despite the fact that we do have more than one bathroom in my house. But the act of slipping into the water and opening up a book was a glorious step in the right direction, and it made me happy to do it, even if the feeling didn’t last as long as I’d have liked.

My husband has seen how the past few weeks of this dismal winter–and the waiting and the stress and so on–has affected me and kindly offered to treat me to a massage at my favorite spa. I accepted, gratefully, even though I sort of didn’t want to go. Jax was sick since Thursday night (ruptured eardrum), meaning I’d barely slept for several nights in a row but had still gone to work, where things are very busy. Moments before I had to leave to go to the massage, I had one of the worst parenting moments I’ve had to date, when I had to–gasp–discipline Jax (by taking a toy away). Immediately after this happened, I had to leave in order to make the massage appointment, with Jax sobbing in my kitchen. I never like to walk away from Jax when he is upset, so it was incredibly difficult for me to let my husband handle it (his request) and walk away the bad guy. I sat in my car, parked out front of my house, and texted my husband that I was going to cancel and just drive around and clear my head. Fortunately, he talked me out of doing that and reminded me that discipline is part of parenthood! I went to the massage, and I let the massage therapist work out the tension in my neck and shoulders. She commented, “Even your feet are tense!”

It’s February, too, which means more gray, rainy, cold days than any human should have to endure. Not enough snow to play in, to at least make the other yucky days more bearable! Yes, I know it’s a short month, Valentine’s Day, blah blah blah…. My self-care goal for the rest of this week is to find make time for my SAD lamp. It’s apparent I need it! I’ve been too busy to use it, and I’m trying not to mess up my sleep even further by using it after dinner (which is when my only free time happens, if I get any). So it’s a bit of a conundrum. If you use one, when do you make time for it?

So, even though I feel as if I’m failing in some areas of my life these days, I’m mostly rocking the self-care. I just hope to start feeling the effects more noticeably soon, because I can barely stand my miserable self.

In a perfect world, I’ll be making some time to write a few better blog posts, too.  ;)

I have a surprise for one of you who links up to this bloghop! I’m going to give away one of my must-haves for the ultimate bubble bath–a Lush bubble bar. This one, in fact. It smells like coconut meets chocolate meets a smidge of orange. Instant mood-changer. All you have to do is write your I’m Doing It Right post and link to it here. Your link is your entry. Next Monday, I’ll select one winner at random.

get the InLinkz code

What a week! I’m thrilled that so many of you entered the four giveaway contests held here to celebrate my second blogiversary and to introduce you to a few of my favorite things (like Oprah!).

Without further ado, here are the winners of the four giveaways:

Green Your Little’s Lunch a Little

Lynne Bingham






Let’s Eat Cookies to Celebrate Autumn!







Something for Kiddo

Tara Durham






Something for Mom


Winners, please keep an eye on your inbox for more info soon!