Lost Teeth and the Advantages of Saving Stem Cells

Heads up, this post has been sponsored by LifebankUSA, a company that specializes in saving stem cells through cord blood banking. Thanks for your support, LifebankUSA!

Just before the first day of school, The Munchkin lost his first top tooth! It was funny because we didn’t even know that he had any loose teeth prior to a couple of days before the first fell out. All of a sudden, he seemed to have a bigger gap on the outer edges of his top middle teeth and sure enough, they were both loose! The day after his school’s open house, one fell out and then the next day, the other fell out!

Of course, I posted this news all over facebook and the site’s magical algorithm started informing me that saving baby teeth for their stem cells was a thing that existed, and that the stem cells saved can be used to regenerate tissue, bone, cartilage, and neural tissue. Whaaaat? While I’m not sure that teeth that simply fall out are still good to save, (My minimal googling tells me that they’re supposed to be pulled by a dentist, which confuses me because baby teeth just fall out, so… why pull them?) there are other options if you are pregnant or planning on being pregnant.
If you are pregnant, you can contact companies like LifebankUSA and arrange to have your baby’s cord blood, placental blood, and/or placental tissue stored after you’ve given birth. (They call this “Advanced “Biobanking“) LifebankUSA is a cord blood bank that preserves these cells so that they’re available for use in existing and future medical treatments. Science is pretty neat! I’ve mentioned LifebankUSA on the blog before, but I felt like it was worth mentioning again. While my time to use LifebankUSA’s cord blood banking services may have passed, they might be helpful to one of you. Oh, I feel like I should also mention that they DO NOT do the dental stem cell banking; only placental and umbilical cord. (Just so there isn’t any confusion.)
The Munchkin’s lost tooth count is now up to four and he has an adorably ginormous gap in his mouth. When school started, his teacher was so surprised! “Where did your teeth go?!” and all of that. The Munchkin was so proud and I am proud of him for how laid back he is about them falling out. When the first top tooth fell out, he calmly walked over to my mother in law and just handed it to her. (Hahahaha, sorry Daphne!) The next morning, he complained of a “tooth ache” while eating breakfast and John had to pull the second top tooth out (It was hanging by a thread!) so that The Munchkin could finish eating breakfast. He took that really well too.
Do you guys have any funny teeth stories to tell? Your’s or your kids’? I lost my first tooth in first grade, while eating a chicken patty sandwich at lunch. I tried to chew the tooth, thinking it was a crunchy part of the sandwich! I almost swallowed it! Ha, can you believe that?

The Munchkin’s Minecraft Bowling Birthday Party

Originally, we were going to throw The Munchkin a Minecraft themed birthday party at home, as per usual, but a couple of weeks before we were going to have it, John suggested that we have it at a bowling alley. The Munchkin LOVES bowling, so there was no going back. I had to have a Minecraft birthday party…at a bowling alley.


This gave me some difficulty because there’s not a whole lot one can do at a bowling alley in terms of a themed party. I can’t hang anything up, can’t really make activities since everyone is there to bowl… I was basically stuck with table-related goodies to define my theme. Luckily, Discount Party Supplies sent me some great Minecraft er um, “Miner” themed items that I ended up using!

We invited some friends that we actually met when we were stationed at Fort Riley, who also moved up here as their next duty station (What are the odds?!), as well as one of The Munchkin’s friends from school. John and Mr. KS-friend took charge of the bowling aspect; setting up the names, figuring out the teams, and wrangling all of the kids. It was awesome. It was so (so so so) nice to actually sit back and just talk to the moms. So good.

Eventually, the pizza came and everyone was ecstatic. We chose a non-meal time to have the party, so I wasn’t sure if people would actually want to eat, but I guess bowling burns a lot of calories when you’re little! Those kids scarfed up the pizza in between their turns like it was their first meal of the day… at 4pm! I guess it was an early dinner?

The set from Discount Party Supplies came with stuff for 16 people: two table cloths (Which are actually pixelated real grass…not sure why they didn’t do Minecraft-style block grass…), cups, napkins, and two different sized plates; one for the meal and the other for the cake. I ended up adding a craft paper table runner because I love table runners (And wanted to break up all of that green!), and the best thing I could think of for a Minecraft themed centerpiece; which I have better pictures of towards the end of this entry. Turns out a bowling alley during disco bowling isn’t the best place to take photos in. SHOCKING!
PS: The bowling alley gave us the bowling pin and the balloons attached to it. They actually gave us table cloths and plates and stuff as well, but a plain birthday party??? Pffft. I can’t have that!

After pizza was cake, of course. Turns out, in the same way that Minecraft party supplies are only available online, it is not possible to go to a store and buy a Minecraft cake unless you want some kind of image printed on the cake. So, I had to improvise. I made a cake topper scene out of a little Steve figure that The Munchkin got for his birthday, some bowling pins that Santa put in his stocking, and something that we’ll just call a “pixelated bowling ball” that I made out of Pearler beads. Then, I stuck it on top of a cake/cupcake combo that I bought at the commissary. Easy.

The Munchkin LOVED it! He was like “Woah! Is that STEVE?! BOWLING?! On my birthday cake?!” I mean, look at that enthusiasm. You can’t make that up. Overall it was a really great party. Good friends, good times, and I didn’t have to clean up afterwards!!!
Side note: I’m pretty amused that The Munchkin and I are Team Minecraft, while The Bean and John are repping Team Captain America, I guess? Lil’ Miss is neutral at this point.

Speaking of, here is a gratuitous Lil’ Miss picture, because there hasn’t been enough of her in this post. Look how big she is now!

When we got home, I set up the goodies on the table since the balloons were still floating and I’m not one to waste cute party decor. Plus, the lighting was much better. I will say though, that bowling Steve didn’t last long on the table because the boys kept playing with him and I finally was like “ENOUGH STOP!” and put it away, haha.

Here is a better picture of the stuff that came in the party kit. (Table cloth, cups, napkins, plates x2.) Everything worked well and people thought they were really cool. The only thing I thought could be improved was the thickness of the cups. Don’t get me wrong, they didn’t leak, but the party was something like three hours long (I knoooowww!) and by the end of it, those cups were feeling super flimsy when I picked them up. I’m not sure how they’d hold out for a longer period of time. Other than that and the pattern of the table cloth though, great stuff!

Here are some closeups of the centerpieces I made for the tables. I tied the balloons’ ribbons to a couple of rocks from outside, put them in glass containers, and covered the rocks/ribbon with brown fish tank rocks. Then, I dug out some green paper grass from my Easter decorations storage bin and put it on top. I wanted it to look like a block of Minecraft grass and was pretty happy with the end result. I thought that was going to be it for the containers, but the boys immediately came over and added the animals. It was the perfect finishing touch. Heart eye emojis all over the place. I added some paper blocks that came in a kit The Munchkin got for Christmas, and voila! Simple, but effective Minecraft tablescape!
Before I go, I wanted to give you a quick sneak peek at The Bean’s birthday party theme… Discount Party Supplies was awesome enough to also send some Lego “Brick” party themed items! Aren’t they cool?

The Bean’s party won’t be until next month, but I can’t wait to blog about it! I sure do love me some themed parties.
This post was sponsored by Discount Party Supplies, who gave us party kits for the boys’ parties in exchange for this post.
However, opinions are 100% my own.


I Gave up Blogging for 5 Months and Here’s What Happened…

Whew. This year has been a whirlwind. Life has certainly been busy. Between all of the kids, speech & occupational therapy sessions, and my school work, I was a mess. And unfortunately, something had to give. For me, that something is usually this blog. In a matter of speaking, I gave up blogging for about five months. I thought about it, but that was all I could do. I appreciate your patience while things got dusty around here and while I don’t think my blogging break is over just yet, I did want to pop in and say hello.

Short version: I’m not going anywhere, but I’m still on a break.

Long version: At first, my step away from this space was simply due to necessity, but as the break became longer (and longer, and longer…) I really started to reevaluate what it was that I was doing here. A lot has changed since I started this blog back in 2010. I have two more kids, The Munchkin is now school aged, we’ve lived in three extra states since then… I mean, what is the same, really?! I started to give a lot of thought to what it meant to have a mommy blog with kids who’s friends might stumble upon it. At what point does my writing about their lives become something that could hurt them? I think I’ve helped by not using their names here, but in the day and age of kids calling their friend’s moms “Ms. Colleen” instead of “Mrs. Panzer” how long will it be before someone thinks to Google me? Do kids even do that? I mean, obviously not at five six years old, but I’m sure that time will come soon enough. It’s a weird road for me to be on; I’ve always shared my life, but now… my life isn’t just my own. I still want to blog about my parenting journey, our outings, and about our life with autism, but I don’t want it to negatively impact my kids’ lives. Where is that line?

The Munchkin has made so much progress and moving to Alaska was the first time that we ever moved someplace where the people that we met didn’t know about his diagnosis. It was a strange thing. We made friends with a classmate of his (and his mom) that live near us, and she didn’t know about the diagnosis at first. We’re lucky that The Munchkin doesn’t have any tell-tale signs, like flapping or something, and that he’s still young enough that some of the sensory-seeking behaviors just seems like weird little kid things. So she didn’t know. I actually “outted” him when I told her about my blog. In the end it ended up being more than fine, but as The Munchkin continues to progress, I’m not sure what I owe him in regards to his privacy and this space. So I’ve been thinking. I still haven’t come to a decision.

I’m also going to start student teaching in the fall (Assuming I pass this Praxis math exam…cross your fingers for me; math isn’t my strong suit.) and I don’t know what parents will think of this blog. While I’ve never posted controversial stuff and have always kept my swearing to a minimum, I don’t know how my writing looks in the eyes of a parent. Any input on that front would be appreciated. Is it weird to be able to learn so much about your kid’s teacher’s personal life? Is that better? Is it worse? I don’t talk about politics, but what if someone reads something here that they find offensive? Could that be thrown back at me? That whole line of thought is a big question mark.

So yeah. Lots to think about.

For now, I’m going to keep thinking. The class I’m currently taking is kicking my butt (Although I have a grade of 99% and it’s more than half over! Praise hands emojis forever!!!) and I’m sure the next one will be more of the same, so I’m going to keep focusing on that. When I’m not at my computer, we’re usually out and about. Alaska is amazing in the summer you guys. I wish I had time to edit all of the photos on the regular and keep you updated, but it just isn’t happening right now. Maybe I’ll save them for winter so we can all have warm thoughts and mountains, haha.

collage1000(Click the picture to view a larger version)

One thing I really miss doing is creating content. Not just posting about my life, not just posting cute outfits, but making stuff. Being creative. Taking pictures. Writing up tutorials. The stuff you find on pinterest. School really hasn’t let me do that and I miss it. I do plan on blogging all the kid’s birthday parties this summer, but unless I start working with a sponsor and post something with them, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to pop in here.

So, until next time… get outside. It’s summer. Enjoy it. (John also got me into Game of Thrones now that summer TV is boring on, so um… get outside because WINTER IS COMING!!!)