Kate's Carnival Party

Kate's Carnival Party was on Saturday!
It was a lot of fun & a lot of work!
There were over 30 adults & 20 kids...I am still recovering!
Here is an overload of pictures for your viewing enjoyment!

Invitation I made:

Hats & Party Favor Table:
Bean Bag Game:
(Kevin's mom made it!)

Ball Pit:
Awesome Cake that Kevin's mom made!
Cotton Candy Table (churros & pretzels too!)
Face Painting Table:
Entrance to Party:
The Descombaz Family:
The Runfola Family:
The Sembrat Family:
Cotton Candy Time!

Carnival Parties are fun!

Kate & Maddie the Pirate!
Kate sat here eating her cake for over 15 minutes!

Happy 2nd Birthday Kate!


got milk?

This past Spring our church did a sermon series on "Determined to Make a Difference". It really made me think about what my passions are & what I can do to make a difference. One of the things I feel strongly about is breastfeeding. I know that not all women choose to breastfeed & that is fine, totally their choice. To each her own! But, for me, I feel that "breast is best" & I chose to breastfed Kate for a year .

During the sermon series I was newly pregnant with Claire & I had TONS of frozen breast milk in my freezer that was leftover from Kate. I nursed Kate until I found out I was pregnant with Claire, but I had also been giving Kate was drinking whole milk since she was 11 months because it was fattier than my breast milk & she needed to gain weight. As silly as it sounds, I wondered if my frozen breast milk could make a difference! I couldn't bear to throw it away and I wondered if I could donate it to a hospital or something.

So, I went on the internet to see where and if I could donate. One of the first websites I found was the International Breast Milk Project. I was inspired. Check out the website, it is great. Basically, what the International Breast Milk Project stands for...it is a non profit organization that provides donated breast milk to infants suffering from malnutrition, poverty & disease in Africa. Their vision is that every infant will have access to human milk as a first choice when their own mother's milk isn't available.

After reading their website, I decided to apply to be a breast milk donor. I am one of those women who produces A LOT of milk, so I thought I would "share the wealth" and donate my excess milk to a good cause. I started the process when I was pregnant with Claire & I finally got this email today!

Hello Melissa,

Congratulations, you are now a qualified breast milk donor with the International Breast Milk Project! By becoming a breast milk donor, you have taken a step that can directly impact the lives of infants orphaned by disease and poverty in Africa.

The population of infants we are serving may be involved in a fragile health situation & you have been qualified based on your blood work & DNA sample. We are very excited to have your generous participation.

I thought you would be curious about what happens to your milk once it arrives at Prolacta Bioscience.

  • The milk will go through a drug screen, DNA match, and bacterial testing
  • Once done, the milk will be pooled with other donors to make a large batch of milk
  • The milk will be pasteurized to kill bacteria and viruses that may be in the milk
  • The milk will be filled into bottles
  • Samples will be sent for a full nutritional, bacterial, and viral analysis
  • 25% will be shipped to orphans in Africa and 75% will be made into human milk fortifier and sent to US hospitals.
We will contact you next week about setting up the shipping of your breast milk.

Thank you for your donation,
Robin at IBMP

I am really excited to be qualified as a donor. It has been over 5 month process in order to get qualified. I had to fill out a detailed questionnaire, get letters from my doctor & Claire's pediatrician, had to put a thermometer in my home freezer, record & report the temperature for 5 days, have a nurse come to my house & draw my blood (which I had to Fed-Ex overnight on ice) and give myself a DNA swab test which I also had to Fed-Ex overnight. It was quite the process, but I am so glad they were so thorough!

So, if you are a lucky one like me & are able to produce an abundance of breast milk, I encourage you to consider being a donor to the International Breast Milk Project.


10 on 10 :: January 2009

10 pictures on the 10th day of the month.

Coffee Cake I made for breakfast...YUM!

Claire falling asleep on her play mat. One minute she was playing, the next minute she was asleep...on her side.

Kevin studying for his Real Estate Appraisal State Comprehensive Exam

Present in hand, on our way to Mason's 2nd Birthday Party
(Our 1st of MANY birthday parties in the month of January!)

The birthday boy taking a swing at his pinata

Having fun at Mason's party

Kate was so tired after the party & she told me she wanted to go night-night in Boulder's dog bed.
Claire, looking cute!

Kate's (and Daddy's) favorite part of the day, reading books before bedtime. Boulder must be in the room during story-time & prayers, but Mommy and Claire are not allowed.

The full moon as seen from our backyard. Did you know that the full moon tonight will be the biggest full moon of 2009? (click on the link to read more about it!)


I heart Costco

January's POTM is.....anything from COSTCO!!

I heart Costco. I mean, where else can you get 3 heads of lettuce for $2.99? Or 2 pounds of Starbucks coffee for $12.99? Or 4x6 pictures printed for $.13 each?

After tonight, I REALLY heart Costco.

5 years ago in January 2004, Kevin and I bought a little 2o inch TV (for our bedroom) from Costco for $150. About 9-10 months ago the TV started having a problem. Whenever we turned on the TV, the closed captioning turned would come on also. It got kinda annoying after a few months. Then, a few weeks ago the closed captioning turned on in Spanish. Our poor little TV was I knew Costco had great customer service & a good return policy, so I decided to go to Costco & tell them about the TV to see if there was a warranty on it or something. I had to pick up some pictures today at Costco, so I decided to go by Customer Service & tell them about my malfunctioning TV. The woman I spoke to was nice & she looked up my info on the computer since I had no receipt. Sure enough, she found my info & I asked her if I could bring it in & return it...she said "sure". Suh-weeeeeeeet!

I called Kevin when I got home & told him the "good news". He has been dying to get an LCD flat screen TV, so this was his chance! When he got home from work we loaded up the TV and the girls & headed to Costco. The woman who I spoke to earlier today wasn't there, so I explained the situation to the new lady. She said usually they accept returns on broken TV's after 2-3 years, but since it had been 5 years she needed to get a managers approval. (gulp!) 30 seconds later the manager approved & we were given Costco Cash (aka store credit). She informed me that their current store policy on TV's & electronics was a 90 day return policy, so if we were getting a new TV we should be aware of that....good to know!

Kevin led us right over to the TV section & he was looking at the 26 inch TV's but then noticed for $50 more we could get a 32 inch. Why Not! We had our "Costco Cash" and Christmas money, so the TV was costing us practically nothing!

So, Horray for Costco and their amazing return policy & excellent customer service!

Here is a picture of Kevin's "new baby". It fits perfectly in our armorie in our bedroom....unfortunately because we upgraded to 32 inch, I lost a shelf of clothing space....it's okay, I will take one for the team!


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