Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cord Blood Donation

Whilst on the topic of Donate Life Week - running from 31st July - 7th August - I thought it would be a great time to briefly talk about cord blood donation.

My personal view, as with organ donation, is that if I am finished using it, then whoever needs it can have it.

I first became aware of cord blood donation back in 1993 when it was an option looked at to help save my nephew's life.  Unfortunately, it wasn't the match it needed to be, but the story still ends well. You can read it here.

Cord blood is the blood from the umbilical cord and placenta that your unborn baby uses up until birth.  Once your baby is born, in most cases, the umbilical cord and placenta are discarded.  You can however choose to donate your baby's cord blood.

My first son was born at Royal Prince Alfred Womens and Babies (RPA) which is one of the hospitals registered as a cord blood collection centre.  I had wanted his cord blood donated but because he was an emergency caesarian it was unable to happen.

My second son however was a much more orderly birth, also at RPA.  I had made known my request for donating his cord blood so the collection team were on hand to take the umbilical cord and placenta soon after his birth.

The cord blood collection team rang me the following day to say the blood taken from the cord was just shy of the amount needed to donate to someone.  His cord blood would therefore be used for research.  They apologised that it could not be used for a donation.  Are you kidding me? He was still helping someone.  Or many!  The fact my son's cord blood could be used for research could potentially save countless lives.  I was not upset in the slightest.

To save a life or lives on the very day he drew his first breath?  What greater gift is there that my son could give?

If you would like to find out more about cord blood donation, you can do so here.
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Monday, August 3, 2015

Donate Life Week 31st July - 7th August, 2016

This year, Donate Life week is running from 31st July - 7th August.

If you have been thinking of registering to donate your organs or tissue, then this week is a great reminder to do it.

I talked about a story very close to my heart in this post about organ and tissue donation.  This week is a good time to remind everyone of the benefits of being on the register and possibly saving one or more lives.

For more information about becoming a donor, visit the Donate Life website here.

It is really important to discuss this with your family members so that they are aware of your intentions should your donation time come once you have passed away.  Because not all donations need wait until then.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

How To Create Your Child's First Cookbook

Back in early March, I was discussing with my cousin Lisa what kids eat and of my cooking, what my children's favourite meals are.

Now I am one for memories and family sentiments.  I have a memory box each for the boys and a joint one for my husband and I.  Anything that I think will be nice to look back on one day goes in there.  From photos to certificates to champagne corks (in mine, not the kids), to birthday cards etc. You get the idea.  I have a journal each for the boys that I started before each of them was born.  The entries were more frequent back when they were babies, but I still do write in there for them from time to time.

The idea being that maybe not right now, but in years to come, they will treasure what has been kept and written. Being boys, this may not be entirely the case, however it will be up to them what they choose to keep or if they choose to keep any of it.  Being my boys, I can see already they both have a strong sense of family and a strong element of sentimentality about them.  Neither look like me so at least they have something of mine!

When Lisa and I were discussing meals, she suggested I get a scrapbook each for the boys.  As I make a meal they love, put the recipe in the scrapbook and one day when they are moving out of home, hand them over their very first cookbook filled with all the home-made recipes they love.

What a FABULOUS idea!

There is always that one recipe that your Grandma baked or your Mum made that you wish you had the recipe for.  Being Taurean and constantly thinking about food, I have made sure that I have obtained these recipes as I have gone along in life.  I NEVER miss out on anything food related. From anyone.

When one of my best friends broke up with her partner, she lamented that she no longer had the recipe for the best Caesar salad dressing you've ever tasted.  I said "I have it." She also commented that there was this great Indian chicken dish that she would no longer know how to make. I said "I have that recipe too." Then there was the all time party favourite, the Watermelon Smash. I said "no worries, I have it." I had obviously spent a lot of time at their place! And what a funny conversation it was when I was able to say "I have it" to each of the recipes my girlfriend wished she still had.  Her ex was a fabulous cook. Gotta give credit where it is due!

So back to the scrapbook.  I actually bought two A4 lined ring bound books.  I thought it would be easier for writing the recipes in there in a straight line! As for the covers of them, I thought it would be a neat idea for the boys to cover the books so that they could always look back on them as adults and see it was something they did when they were 5.  Which brings me to my next point.  My youngest turned 5 earlier this week so now I have two 5 year olds for the next two months.  I specifically waited until they were both 5 as they get such a thrill out of being the same age.  

True to form, Jai's is very ordered.  Cruz's is more abstract.  

The boys had the best time doing this activity and I had the best time watching and helping them. I was chief glue bottle squeezer!  Now I just need to cover them in contact so that their artwork stays in tact.

Thanks Lisa for the idea.  I love it and the boys love it. They are totally on board and suggesting which recipes I should add to their books already.  Caesar salad being one of them!