#MissingType

Some of you like me, may have noticed over the last week or two, that the NHS has a massive blood drive campaign on called #MissingType.The campaign caught my eye not Just because of its rather witty marketing, but because of the compelling message behind it and because of a very recent, very personal and moving first hand experience.

A few weeks ago my father almost died. Quite suddenly, but not completely unexpectedly. It was very “touch and go” as the doctor put it, and if it wasn’t for two life saving blood transfusions that he received,  I’m not sure he would still be here with us today. That experience gave me a real appreciation not only of the NHS, but of the men and women who selflessly donate blood. That situation could have ended very differently if the blood that he needed there and then was not available. Worst still, if the specific blood type he needed was not available. So if something as small as me donating blood can help prevent that being a possibility for someone else then I feel I have a responsibility to give blood and give back, just as someone else did so that my father could live. The decision to give blood feels like a very personal one, and so I would never want to make anyone reading this feel like they should if it is something they are uncomfortable with. But I would hope that anyone reading this that hasn’t considered or thought about giving blood before, or has but like me just never had the impetus to actually go ahead and do it, reads this and is encouraged and compelled by the difference that they can personally make to the life of someone else. 

For me personally, having my father go through that experience made me realise that it could have just as easily been any other family member, friend or myself in that very vulnerable and scary position. So yesterday evening I decided to finally register as a blood donor and booked myself in at my nearest donation centre. It was very quick and easy to do, and there are plenty of places, dates and times you can go to give blood. For anyone still undecided, here are a few hard hitting stats from the Give Blood website:

1. Only 4% of adults are donors

2. Each blood donation can help as many as 3 people 

3. 100 donations equates to 47 litres of blood

4. B blood is rare. Only 2% of the population has type B blood

5. Only 9% of donors live in greater London

6. 8% of donors are donating for the first time 

If you would like to register or find out more, go to the Give Blood website or check out the hashtag #MissingType or #giveblood on Twitter for more information. 

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My top six new parent essentials

Baby Hands

I was bathing the little lady this evening when I realised that the bath support I was using was one of the most useful things we have been given as new parents. Which got me to thinking, most of the things we have bought or been lucky enough to receive from friends and family have been used and have been useful, but there are definitely some things that have stood out as things that have made our lives that little bit easier as new parents. So I thought Id share what I consider my top six new parent must haves in no particular order:

1: Baby bath support. We have the Jahgoo Baby Bath Support from John Lewis, but anything of a similar design will infinitely make bath time a lot easier and a lot less scary, especially with a new baby. We used it from our first bath time when our little lady was only 2 weeks old and are still using it now 5 months on. They don’t cost very much, but are worth their weight in gold!

2: Moses basket. Now I never had any intentions of getting a Moses basket initially. It was only at the insistence of my husband, mother in law and a friend that I conceded, and boy am I glad I did. My original plans were to have the little lady sleeping in her cot in the nursery from day dot, but peer pressure, the health and safety guidelines and the delightful surprise gift of a Moses basket meant that she was bunking in with us, and up to a few days ago still was. Again, this is something that has made our lives that little bit easier. I didn’t realistically think through how wearing it would be to trek back and forwards to the nursery in the night, especially when breastfeeding, so I am eternally grateful that we have a Moses basket. I suppose the only caveat here is that not all babies like and take to sleeping in a Moses basket, but that’s not something you’ll know until you have one.

3. Baby monitor. This is something that we only really started to use in the last two or three months. For a while I was starting to think that we’d wasted a small fortune on our snazzy Angelcare video and sound monitor, but now that the little lady has started to sleep in her cot in the nursery it is paying dividends. I’ve felt relatively relaxed in transitioning her into her cot because I know that I can see her and hear her quite easily when im not in the same room as her. What is also great about our one in particular is that it also reads the room temperature which really puts me at ease.

4. Widgey nursing cushion. As a breastfeeding mummy I highly recommend the widgey nursing cushion for making things that little bit more comfortable and easier on your arms. Not only does this fabulous cushion help with breastfeeding, but it doubles up a support for baby and for helping guests, particularly little ones hold baby. This cushion has been used and abused in our house so much so that we’re on our second one!

5. Muslins. I never really knew what Id use these for before the little lady came along, but I knew that they were something that parents with babies seemed to have, so I bought and was gifted with lots of pretty colourful muslin’s in all shapes and sizes. Since the little lady arrived I’ve discovered that you pretty much use them for anything and everything. They are so versatile and that is what is so great about them. We have them lying pretty much all over the house – in the cot, in the lounge, in the change bag, the pushchair.. They are an essential new parent purchase. My little lady was born in the midst of the summer when we had that rare spell of 30 degree weather so she spent her first few weeks and months sleeping in her Moses basket with only a muslin. We’ve also used them for the obvious spit ups, as a bit of a cover when im breastfeeding, as a shade over the pushchair in the sun and in the rain and for about half a dozen other things I’ve already forgotten!

6. Car seat mobile. We started off in the beginning with one of those spiral travel toys that you wrap around the handle of the car seat. But after one or two journeys with it we realised that it just keep slipping and falling, and then were advised that they are not actually supposed to be used in the car – who would have thought it? Luckily for us, a friend gave us a musical mobile that you can attach to the car seat which I thought was quite novel, and I must say, I never thought Id love a musical mobile so much. Its taken us from a baby who hated being in a car seat and in the car, to one that is happy and easily soothed the instant she is put in there.

So there you have it, my top six new parent essentials. Do you have any new parent essentials that you would add to this list?

Disclaimer: this is not a paid or sponsored review of any of the products mentioned. All views are my own.

The A to Z of Me

ChampagneAfternoon teaShoppingLondon

I was tagged by the lovely Not A Frumpy Mum to write a blog on the A – Z of me. The idea being that you write something about yourself for each letter in the alphabet. Sound difficult? Well it is. But Id like to say I had a fair stab at it. So if you’ve ever wondered who the mummy behind My Petit Canard actually is, here’s a bit about me:

A is for Afternoon Tea. I absolutely adore going for afternoon tea. I love the quaintness of it all. Eating sandwiches with cutlery, drinking tea from bone china, scones with lots of jam and cream and beautiful cakes that look like miniature works of art.

B is for Blogging and My Petit Canard. In case you were wondering, im not French, but My Petit Canard was a term of endearment that I used when I used to talk to my daughter when she was in my tummy. So when I decided to start a blog about my experiences of motherhood, it felt like it only made sense to use that same term, and voila, My Petit Canard was born.

C is for Cakes. I have a very sweet tooth and absolutely love cakes of all types. I’m the type of girl who wouldn’t think twice about starting a meal with dessert or having one instead of dinner.

D is for Daughter. I have a five month old daughter who I absolutely adore and cherish. She keeps me on my toes most of the time, but I love being her mummy and wouldn’t change her for the world.

E is for Entertaining. I love entertaining and hosting. Christmas, birthdays, baby showers, christenings, weddings, any excuse really. I love the planning and preparation and getting everything just so. But above all, I love showing friends and family a good time.

F is for Family and Friends. I have both a small family and a small circle of friends. I may not get to see all of them very often, but I’m the type of person that doesn’t have friends for friends sake, so those that I consider friends and family are held very closely and dearly to my heart.

G is for God. I never usually write or really talk about the fact that I’m a Christian. I’m not the type of person that forces their faith or views on others, but I would really like for my daughter to be brought up having the same type of faith in God.

H is for Handbags. Just like shoes, I have a bit of a thing for handbags. I never really used to be that bothered by handbags until a few years ago. I’m not sure if it was when I started working in the city, or when my husband bought me my first Mulberry bag, but somewhere along the line I started to love and lust over beautiful handbags. There’s nothing quite like the smell of a nice new handbag – im pretty sure its the equivalent of the new car smell for men!

I is for Indecisive. I’m really bad at making small, insignificant, everyday decisions. I have often missed out on pretty good deals and opportunities because it has taken me so long to make a decision. It annoys me, and it annoys my husband even more.

J is for Jazz. I adore Jazz music. I find it so soothing and relaxing, it instantly transports me and puts me in a good mood wherever I am.

K is for Karma. Because I’m a great believer in what goes around comes around and you will often hear me saying this.

L is for London. Im a London girl at heart. I was raised in London but have moved further and further away from it the older I have got. I love living further out where it is a little greener and a little less crowded, but I always love it when I get to go back into London town.

M is for Management Consultant. When im not being mummy full-time, this is what I do, and I love it. I love the challenge and variety it gives me, but not the stress and the late nights.

N is for Notepad. I’m a bit of a list maker, so I have quite a few notepads lieing around the house. I make lists for pretty much everything. At times I have multiple lists for the same thing which can get a bit confusing – I should probably write a list of all the lists I have so I can keep track!

O is for OCD. I don’t actually have OCD, but I would definitely say I have OCD tendencies when it comes to things like gift wrapping and planning events. Although I’m sure my husband would prefer it to be on something useful like cleaning!

P is for Petite. I take after my mother and am rather on the petite size. I am 5ft and not an inch more or an inch less. I quite enjoy being petite and never really realise quite how short I am until I see photos, which is probably quite a good thing otherwise Id probably have that short person syndrome where you try to overcompensate in some awful way or another.

Q is for Quidco. Quidco isn’t something that Ive actually used for very long, but I seem to be completely obsessed with it at the moment.

R is for Roast Dinner. A roast with all the trimmings has to be one of my all time favourite meals. I love to cook it and I love to eat it.

S is for Shoes. I have a bit of a thing for shoes of the high-heeled kind. Ok, a lot of a thing for shoes. But less so since the little lady came along and I can find less and less reasons and places to wear them to.

T is for Twenty Nine. My age in years as of tomorrow (Wednesday), and I must say I’m quite looking forward to heading towards the big 3-0.

U is for Understanding. I like to think that I am quite an understanding and empathetic kind of person. It would be one of the words I would hope friends and family would use to describe me!

V is for Vodka and Coke. My drink of choice, and one that I havent had for a very long time now, (at the risk of sounding like an alcoholic) 14 months to be precise. My preferred tipple is Grey Goose, and I got quite upset recently when my husband accidentally smashed an unopened 1 litre bottle of it all over the kitchen floor.

W is for Watches. Another thing that I have a little bit of a thing for. I have a couple of lovely Michael Kors numbers that I love to wear anywhere and everywhere. They instantly make me feel a little bit more dressed up everyday.

X is for Xmas. Xmas, or rather Christmas as I like to call it is one of my absolute favourite times of year. The festivities feel even more magical now that we have a daughter to celebrate it with. I cant wait to start creating our own family traditions.

Y is for Yoga. I’m not quite a yogi, but I have done yoga on and off for years. I find it such a relaxing and enjoyable release for my body when I do get the chance to do it.

Z is for Zara. My absolute favourite store and wardrobe staple of choice. I can quite happily spend an age in one of their stores perusing all the lovely, lovely, lovely things. If you ever bump into me on the high street, chances are it’ll be in a Zara.

So there you have it, the A – Z of My Petit Canard. Following the A – Z of me tradition, Id like to tag (and im really hoping they haven’t already been tagged) Charlie and Mummy, Dilly Bug Dj, Teacher 2 Mummy,  Puddin and Pie and Dancing with Dirty Feet!