What The Hay

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Cord Blood Donation March 4, 2008

Filed under: baby,environment,family — clothespin @ 6:22 pm

Read any current baby book or magazine these days and you’re sure to find adds and articles about the concept of cord blood donation.

What is it?  Blood from the umbilical cord and placenta is taken, after it is detached from mother and baby (so no pain), and then put into a publicly accessible storage bank for future use in people who need it.  Rich in stem cells, this is an ethical way of harvesting these cells with no harm to anyone and it is nearly always discarded as medical waste.  They are accessible to patients looking for donors to treat critical illnesses, like leukemia, brain cancer and a host of other diseases and is very similar to donated bone marrow cells.  Research is on-going so more applications for these cells may be available in the future.

Of course, you can save this blood for your child’s potential future use – at a substantial cost.  However, at least for hubby and I, finances and family history do not collude in this area.

There is a great amount of information at the website charity guide and has links to the  National Marrow Donor Program.

I was pleasantly surprised to see my hospital listed on the list served for public donations and intend to donate Rose’s cord blood after her delivery.

The only catch with doing this is – You have to plan ahead.  Just like with donating blood, the cord blood bank wants to know that the mother is healthy and won’t take it from people with diseases like HIV.  That said, their website states that if you don’t qualify for the bank, you can have the blood used for research – which is just as needed.

Another benefit of donating?  Some programs provide free screening for some infant diseases like PKU, CAH and others.

I’ll keep you posted on how the process goes…


The test… February 23, 2008

Filed under: family — clothespin @ 12:44 am

So, where have I been?

Hmm…. Well, I think I’ve been off in the land flippin out.  Around the time of my last post (months and months ago) I did a little experiment.

You see, despite being a yankee and theoretically having a genetic dislike for collard greens, I found myself nearly stalking the vendor of said greens at the local farmers market.  Not because he was cute, but because he had greens and I NEEDED them.  I had been convinced that all yankees were nuts and that greens were the greatest thing on the earth and why didn’t my parents feed these to me?  I ate vast quantities of these for weeks, along with pink-eyed peas and corn bread.  My husband thought that I was nuts.

I also had developed extremely sore boobs.  So sore that some nights, I couldn’t sleep on my stomach.  It was bad.

Despite having a degree or two in biology, I didn’t catch on very early.  Finally, one day, I bought the little experiment in a box and took the test… yes, the pee test.

I am pregnant!

Really, right now, I have my moments of excitement.  But, back then, I was seriously flippin out.  We had been not trying to prevent this for about 2 years by this point and I had convinced myself that it was just never going to happen.  I had become OK with this – to the point that we were even talking adoption.  But, to suddenly be possessed by this little creature that would change my life forever… well, it took a bit of adjustment.  And, I have been adjusting ever since.

Incidentally, she is a she and her name is Rose.  She is due the first week of May, so there may be more lulls in my posting.  Right now, our life is really busy.  Because, just to make life even more entertaining, we also just bought a fixer upper house.  Not that we’re nuts or anything.

So, now I’m in the midst of trying to make curtains for her room, paint her room, paint the kitchen, figure out how all of my craft stuff is going to fit into my new TINY office/craft room…   And, we have 2 more months to go.  So, stay tuned for the lunacy…


Delilah August 15, 2007

Filed under: Alabama,family — clothespin @ 6:58 pm

Hey there Delilah. Welcome home.


This is our newest family member! She came to us from the local animal shelter and totally won my heart the first day that I met her. I was crouching in her kennel door (A-10) and she slowly walked up towards me and put her head on my shoulder.

The entire time I was with her, and on every visit after the first day, I kept replaying in my head that blasted TV commercial where the very sad dogs are in the shelter and the announcer says something along the lines of “I don’t know why I am here, but I know that I am a good dog and I just want to go home.” That commercial has to be one of the best ones ever written for adopting a shelter dog. And, I kept thinking about it and her and…


I am feeling a bit sad… this is the only addition to our family that we’ve made since Carbon passed, and I can’t help but think of him. But, while I will always love him and there will never ever be a replacement, I have slowly come to realize that there is space in our family and that now is probably the right time.

Delilah is no Carbon (those will always be impossibly big paw prints to fill) but she is a true sweetie. Not to say that we aren’t having a few issues. She IS a shelter dog after all. The first little concern is that our sweet innocent girl isn’t so pure and pristine and one would think just by looking at her. Nope, she was 3 weeks pregnant when the vet spayed her. (There’s more information on the reason’s to spay or neuter your pet.) So, now her hormones are going all wacknoid and she’s no doubt pretty sore… but it is so much better than more puppies that would have to be found a home.

The other issues include being scared when someone walks up behind her and she didn’t see them coming – will have to work on her not growling at them when that happens. She also wants to chase the cat, who is less than pleased with the new addition to say the least. She also has this great desire to keep me to herself and growls at the Monster when he comes close. Well, she did that once and then was promptly educated as to why that is such a very bad idea. Basically, Delilah has entered Doggie Bootcamp. After learning that I am “Queen Goddess of the Universe and Bearer of all thing Food”, she’ll adjust and learn the new rules and will soon be a well behaved little pup. And, as hubby and a friend have reminded me – Monster was sooooo much worse than this when we took him from the shelter! He’s great now, so there’s no questions that the little girl will be fab, too.


The good side of this is – she seems to be house trained already! She also wanted to hang out in her crate. We are folks who have fostered countless dogs over the years, her willingly going into a crate is a true first for us. She loves people and doesn’t seem to mind the kiddos and is even walking on leash (in Petco, way too hot for jaunts in the park, especially for one recovering from surgery) fairly well. Plus, it’s really nice having a girl… and while I have no intention of putting her into clothes, I did get to buy a really pretty girly collar!



She’s also getting her own pretty bed… it’s in the sewing machine as we speak. I would have had it finished today, but the local power folks are not all that swift and the lights went out for 4 hours in the middle of a 100 degree day for no apparent reason. So, the bed is still in the sewing machine… I’ll post pictures of it when I get it finished – hopefully tomorrow.

Delilah is home and think that our Alabama girl is going to be a great fit.


A Day of French Fries August 4, 2007

Filed under: family — clothespin @ 10:29 am

French Fries.  Today is my immediate families annual day of fries.  We eat a large order of them on this day each year in loving memory of my best friend, first true love, buddy and protector, my dog Carbon.


Carbon died on this day 2 years ago.  It was without a doubt the hardest day of my life mitigated only by the wonderful hubby who took care of me then and now.


Carbon was a happy super friendly dog.  He learned to love french fries as we traveled the highways – his sweet dark brown eyes always capable of getting me to share part of my travel lunch.


So, on this day, hubby and I sat in a small park in the trees where squirrels played all around and toasted with fries to my lost love.  We ate some and threw the rest randomly out around, as an offering to the ghost of Carbon.  I miss him still and will always and forever eat and share fries on this most important day.