Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas!

I have a ton of photos to share, but it may take me a day or two to get them organized and on the computer. But for now, I wanted to share the details of our delivery. Instead of the individual gifts given at Thanksgiving time, we delivered 9 large bags of general donations to give to the nursing staff. That way, the gifts can be distributed as needed to the families that come through, whether now or later on in the year.

Today we delivered:
3 large Lamaze developmental toys
26 hand-knit hats
33 burp cloths
10 wash cloths
9 tag blankets
2 large quilts
5 handmade blankets
19 complete preemie outfits
60 receiving blankets

Isn't that fantastic?!?! I'll update as soon as I can with photos, a sort of year-end wrap up of donations, and also some info about what we're doing next year. :D Hooray!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving Delivery 2009

Thanksgiving delivery! I was having a problem finding the right cord to get my photos, so sorry for the delay in the post. :) If you have become a "fan" of preemie presents on Facebook (just search for preemie presents!) then you'll see a few extra photos. :)

Delivery was perfect, there were a few parents in the unit tending to their super tiny babies and we even got to meet one of the teeny little girls in there. The boys were in awe! But realistically, they were much happier that the nurses were sharing their new bag of Oreos with them. ;) It was really nice that Philip got to give a bag out to some parents himself, he felt very proud about himself afterwards. :)

The bag on the left was Philip's idea, it is filled with nothing but a bunch of drawings for the nurses. :)

And now we're on to Christmas!! I still need some knit hats, and donations (or cash to buy) Bath & Body Works hand sanitizers, socks, candy, and glass tea light holders. So please contact me if you want to get in on the game before Christmas shows up!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Day Before Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving bags are finished!

We will be delivering these tomorrow on Thanksgiving Day to the hospital, along with a bag full of hand-drawn pictures from my 5 year old and a big bunch of brownies and cookies from me. :)

THANK YOU to my friends Bianca and Maureen who helped me assemble these bags yesterday! I'll have photos of the delivery up tomorrow.

For the deliveries tomorrow, the parents can look forward to this in their gifts:
2 bags of Melitta coffee
1 preemie outfit
1 washcloth set
1 burp cloth
2 votive candles
10 thank you cards
4 receiving blankets
1 Hershey kiss bag
1 box mini chocolates
2 fortune cookies

The following shops all have items in these Thanksgiving Bags:
Card Maven
Molly Lee's Pop Up & Mechanical Cards
Oh Sew Cute
JBart Greeting Cards & Art
Fish in the Attic Studios
Dodge Boys Mom
Curious Gravy Hand Printed Notecards
Cards 'n' Crafts by Klow
The Shabby Shop
Fancy Fortune Cookies

And another thank you to Heather, Trish, Vicki, Brian, Mariclar, Stacey, Pam, Leah, Lysbeth, and Maureen for cash donations to buy the other items! Christmas gifts will be donated a month from now, featuring hand-knit hats, blankets, and other items, so if you don't see your name or shop above it is simply because you are a part of Christmas instead of Thansgiving!

Those last 2 pictures include a lot of the Christmas items, like blankets and toys and hats and things. See you tomorrow for delivery photos! :D

Friday, November 20, 2009

A lot coming in at the last minute!!

ARGH with the sideways pictures! Why it only happens in this blog and not my family blog, I do not know! You'll just have to tilt your head sideways for some of these. ;)

So anyway! LOTS to update on! First, I received a shipment of 100 custom fortune cookies from Fancy Fortune Cookies. I was nominated by Theresa for a promotion they are running through their Facebook page, to "grant wishes". I was a wish granted! So I got 50 mint flavored and 50 chocolate flavored, then had them put the following messages on the inside. It took me a while to think of appropriate messages for these parents tending to their vulnerable little babies... I hope these are good! (Go on, tilt your head)

The best things about these fortune cookies are how actually *yummy* they are! Seriously!

I got several fantastic packs of receiving blankets from Robyn, thank you Robyn!!

And here are the offerings from Karista over at Cards 'n' Crafts by Klow. A card maker AND a knitter!! :)

With the first round of cash donations I received when hunting for help this summer, I bought a big lot of preemie clothes from Preemie Yums. They were really wonderful in working with me to give me a really healthy discount on these, so the donated money could go far. I ordered 12 complete outfits and they finally arrived the other day!

I *love* these teeny little outfits, they are absolutely perfect!! Here, my former Preemie (now a chunk-meister who will be turning 3 this winter) sees if the clothes will fit him. Not anymore!!

I also received these ribbon-tie candy bags for filling with candy, thank you Caryn!! Caryn's also got her own etsy shop here: Two Cats Creative

Lysbeth helped me out with a super great coupon, and with more donated money - and help from Lysbeth - we were able to snag these 18 packs of receiving blankets for a steal.

I've also been able to buy a few more little winter outfits, look at how CUTE these feet are!!

And even though they are upside down, I'm sure you can recognize their total cuteness.

Gift assembly is Tuesday!! I have a few more donations I'm picking up on Monday, I'll be receiving all the coffee bags on Tuesday from Bianca who works with Melitta - super yummy coffee to give these parents!!

So I'll be posting more picture early next week, when I get back from a little mini trip this weekend to visit family. :) Thanks everyone for your help!! Thanksgiving is next week... next stop, Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

More donations, more people to thank!

Some more thank yous are in order! Thank you Jeanette, Jennifer, Lysbeth, Kristin, Ian, and Jo for your help!! The cash donations were used to buy candy (seen below) and a few more receiving blankets. Look below to see some of the goodies I got in the mail. :)

40 super soft, super wonderful hand-sewn burp cloths made by Dodge Boys Mom.

With donated money, I was able to buy 40 boxes of Mrs. Fields chocolates. Mmm!

Some tiny, adorable handmade preemie hats made by Kristin at Dragondreamer's Lair.

And some absolutely GORGEOUS hand printed cards from Curious Gravy.

Thanksgiving is coming up soon!! For that shipment I mainly need:
  • Cash donations now (for votive holders, preemie socks, packaging, and food for nurses)
  • Gift certificates to Bath & Body Works for hand sanitizers
  • Thank you cards
  • Receiving blankets
Everything else is going for my huge Christmas delivery, more on that later!
Thanks everyone!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My inspirations.

I've written about this many times before, in other posts and in other places, but it is worth a re-telling as I'm seeking help with my donations... to share the story that got us here. The story of how Henry, this gorgeous blue eyed boy, arrived in our lives.

Henry was born 6 weeks prematurely just 15 days after my mother died of cancer. I developed HELLP Syndrome and he was born via emergency c-section. His lungs didn't work, and he needed three weeks of care in the hospital before we were able to bring him home.

I can not think of that time in my life without deep sadness. Each birthday Henry has had since then is such a bittersweet celebration. An anniversary of my mother's death, an anniversary of a traumatic birth, an anniversary of nearly losing him and myself. Remembering how awful it felt to have given birth, but to have my tiny child miles away from me every night. How helpless, lost, angry, and confused I was that whole time.

I was lucky that I got to see Henry at least once a day. I was lucky that he lived, and that despite some speech and motor delays he is now 100% *average*, which is all I ever hoped for him. To just be OKAY, to just be normal. And when I think of that guilt-ridden, inhumanly painful time in our lives.... I think about the parents going through it right now. Those who are going through it over the holidays, during a time that is supposed to be filled with family, celebrations, good food and cheer.... not heart monitors, surgeries, brain scans, and that horrible feeling of an empty womb combined with no baby to cuddle.

My mother taught me, through words, and actions, that the best way to get yourself through pain is to help someone else through theirs. So in honor of Henry, in memory of my mother who never got to meet him, and in celebration of how lucky we've been coming through it all... I put my time, effort, and money into this charity project every year. And for those people out there who want to "do something" over the holidays but aren't sure how or who to help, I offer an avenue. Giving gifts to these parents, these parents who feel lost, disconnected, scared and guilty... is rewarding beyond measure. And I'm glad to share that feeling with others who want to help me in my mission.

Progress at the end of October

At the end of this post you'll find a new list of HOW TO HELP, it is forever changing depending on what I've been able to receive so far, and how creative my helpers have been! :)

But first, on to some THANK YOUS. With donated money I've been able to order 12 outfits from Preemie-Yums, and I've also been able to purchase a further 5 outfits and 8 onesies with the rest of the donations! Here are some pics of the clothes I was able to purchase, including a little matching set for preemie twins:

I've also received more thank you cards from some of my lovely card makers over at Etsy. I've received donations from JBart Handmade Cards and Fish in the Attic Studios. Thank you ladies! I have some more etsy sellers contributing cards soon, including myself, and I'll pst links when I get them!

I've also received my first batch of developmental toys, donated by Pam K. via my Amazon Wish List... find it at the top left corner of the blog if you want to donate that way. Thank you, Pam K.!!

And thank you to Jennifer, Stacey, Pam S, and Leah for the cash donations that helped make the clothing purchases possible!!

And now... an updated list of HOW YOU CAN HELP!! :)

I'm restocking my holiday cards next Monday, and all proceeds from purchases made now until 2 mid December go DIRECTLY to buying things for the parents of these preemies and the nursing staffs at the 2 hospitals where I donate. My shop is Coffee Bean Cards.

Click on the link at the top left hand corner of this blog. I've got diapers, developmental toys, socks, hand sanitizers, aromatherapy products, and receiving blankets on the list.

It isn't too late do make me some preemie hats, a blanket or two, some Thank You cards, burp towels, or any other little gift the parents might appreciate.

I need gender neutral receiving blankets, candy, boxes of tea, preemie clothes, developmental toys, votive holders, candles, and baby blankets.

I can use gift certificates from Bath & Body Works, BabiesRUs, Target, Wal-Mart, and also gift certificates for places like Pizza Hut or Jimmy Johns for when I'm feeding the nurses over the holidays too!

Post a link to this page on your blog, your twitter, your facebook, a post in your backyard, your forehead, your office, your knitting group, your friends, your family. If there isn't something YOU can do to help personally, then be a foot soldier and find someone who can donate something themselves, or from their workplace. Spread the word!

Contact me via email at and paypal me money to use for clothing, gift bags, boxes, tissue wrap, food for the nurses, candy, socks, and everything else that I'll need as the delivery times get closer.

That is it for now - I've got a lot of good news to share soon hopefully once I receive a few promised donations! THANK YOU EVERYBODY for helping me help these parents in a really, really difficult time in their lives. :D

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Donation Pictures

I've finally had enough sunshine outside to take some decent photos of some recent donations. :) I've got several promised donations still floating around out there, but some of the items have finally started filtering in, and they are gorgeous & wonderful. :) At the bottom of this post you'll find items I STILL NEED if you are interested in donating to the cause.

For the cash donations so far, thank you Heather, Trish, Vicki, Brian, and Mariclar! Your money will be spent at Preemie-Yums to buy discounted preemie outfits.

Thank you Melissa at Stirrup Queens and Kristen at Dragon Dreamer's Lair for all the shout outs and traffic!

Thank you Sharon from CardMaven and Molly from MollyLee for my first batches of gorgeous thank you cards!

Thank you Lesley from Oh Sew Cute for the beautiful burp cloths, wash cloths, and tissue holders, I love them!

And thank you Cheryl from the blog Cheryl Looking Forward for the aromatherapy donations!!

And thank you Veronica, who doesn't have an etsy shop BUT SHOULD, for these absolutely gorgeous quilts to be given to the families.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Donations for Clothing

I'm about 10 days away from ordering the preemies clothes to go in the bags, and anyone wanting to make a cash donation ... now would be a good time! The clothes are by far the most expensive thing I buy for all these preemies. I'm making 40 gift bags, 20 for each hospital, and putting at least one preemie outfit in each of them.

I've receive a few other donations today of cards and aromatherapy things, I'll post pictures soon, I'm expecting even more mail in the enxt day or two with blankets, hats, cards, and other preemie goodies.

Thank you everyone who has helped so far... there is still so much to do!! :)


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

How You Can Help, 2009 Edition!

Here we go, things are starting to get into high gear. :)
(Click on this post if you are new here:

Some of the handmade items are starting to roll in! Here are some preemie hats, booties & gloves that have been sent to me from a friend in England:

And here is some blanket progress from another friendly donating lady, Belle Maldonado.

Lisa over at the online store Preemie-yums ( has offered to help with all of the clothing this year, giving me a discount on certain items and matching others. The cash donations I receive will mainly be going here. I took clothing off of the Amazon wish list since they would be full price, and using cash to get discounted items from this supplier is a much better use of your money! :)

And now... for the big list....


Link to this site on facebook, myspace, twitter, your blog. Tell your friends about it. Spread the word and we'll see how far it can go. :)

2. CASH!
The most expensive items are always clothing, but with a discounted provider I can make the money go further. I need to buy 40 outfits in the 5 lb range, but will also need other outfits in the micropreemie size ( for 2-4 lb babies) and will buy as many as I can afford. Money is also going to buy the other goodies such as coffees, chocolates, developmental toys, and other items I've listed.

I need loads of thank you cards. (These have to be sort of specific, so email me for details). I need loads of blankets and hats, in non-itchy materials. I need to find candlemakers who might want to donate. Make something else that you think the parents or nurses might like? Let me know!

The wish list in the top left corner of this apge is for this project's Amazon wish list. The quantities are high on these items, but there are only a few listings. If you want to buy soemthing rather than send money or use paypal, this is a good option. There are things like hand sanitizers, preemie socks, toys, and preemie diapers.

For this afternoon, I'm now off to etsy to send out a trillion messages asking for donated candles, I'm looking for 40 of them!! Wish me luck. ;)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

contact me

Just a reminder that if you want to get involved, the best thing to do is email me directly! Email me from the button at the top of the screen, or by sending me a message at! ;)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Amazon List

I've got a cool little button at the top left of the page now, connecting you to my wish list on Amazon. There were several things I couldn't put on the list, things I'll get in person (like the chocolates) things I'm trying to get donated through stores, donations I'm seeking from specific places or people, and other items I might be able to get a discount on. But there is still plenty to choose from for those who want to simply buy something off a list and have it mailed to me!

I've begun contacting stores, looking for partners in this project. I'm also beginning to reach out to a few bloggers, crafty people I know, and friends & family. I'm not all the way there yet with this Initial Request, but then again I am at home alone with the two boys while my husband is away. I'll cut myself some slack. ;)

It is ON!!

4 months from now I hope to be tidying up the last of the donations for Preemie Project 2009. Of course, that means I need to get my butt in gear about asking for donations!

My plan for this year is here:

The story behind this project is here:

WHAT I NEED: (with the idea of creating 40 identical gifts)
  • Donations. I buy most of the items for the gifts myself, and it is easiest for me to receive donations and then buy things when they come on sale. Also, I can sometimes get a discount from stores (particularly online stores) for this project, so the money can go further sometimes if I am the one spending it. ALL DONATIONS are very carefully put into a separate bank account and used wisely!
  • Blankets. Lovely, warm, cuddly handmade blankets made with love stitched right in. This is where handmade means the most to me.
  • Hats. Knitters unite! I want hats. Hats to fit a peach. Hats to fit an orange. Hats to fit a grapefruit. Preemies struggle to control their body temperatures, and keeping their heads nice and cozy goes a long way in keeping these tiny creatures comfortable.
  • Clothes. Micro preemie outfits, preemie outfits, 0-3 month outfits. Most important is in the preemie range, usually around a 4-6pound size, as a "going home" outfit. But realistically, many babies won't be going home for months and they need their own little clothes while they are getting better in the hospital. Donations help, but if you buy any of these items yourself they still get used.
  • Candles. I will be soliciting a bunch of handmade candle vendors on Etsy this year, but I'm not sure how far that will get me. These gifts are designed for the PARENTS mainly, and a little, glowing, fragrant candle can go al ong way in clearing your mind of their angst. Last year I used donations and bought a ton of candles from Ikea, this year I'd like to put a little more focus on this item and see if I can get better fragranced items, and would LOVE to get more handmade.
  • Hand Sanitizers. This stuff gets used a lot with a preemie. We had to use it before the nurses would let us in the room every time, and when we got home with Henry we used it a lot as a precaution as well, since a sickness in a preemie is a lot harder than a sickness in a full term baby. Last year I used donations to buy full sized Bath & Body Works hand saitizers. I'd love donations of these full sized bottles, or money to purchase them myself.
  • Coffee. Parents of newborns need coffee anyway, the parents of a preemie even more so. Well, at least we did. ;) Last year I bought small 2-3 serving bags of flavored coffees. This year I'd like to try to get larger bags if possible. A full sized bag of ground coffee from Starbucks, Peets, Caribou Coffee etc... are they on sale at the grocery store? Get a discount? Grab them ans send them to me! Otherwise this is another place donations will go.
  • Thank You Cards. Last year my fellow Etsy card makers and I were able to put 5 handmade Thank You cards in each gift. These parents will have a lot of people to thank. I kept the thank you's gender neutral and purposely NOT happy looking thank yous - much more pretty but generic - because realistically some of these parents may be going home without their child, and their thank you notes shouldn't have puppies and rainbows on them.
  • Socks. Preemie socks, nice and itty bitty, for the same reason hats are needed. Last year I was able to get a discount on price from an online shop, but still bought more with donations and put them in the bags.
  • Chocolate. Last year I took hundred and hundreds of Hershey Kisses and wrapped them up in little bags with white bows on them. I'll be doing the same thing this year, and would love donations of Hershey Kisses or the money to buy them. The best time to do this is after Halloween when all the candy goes on MEGA sale! That would be a great time to get EXTRA chocolate as well because seriously? That is probably the most important part of the bag!!
  • Developmental Toys. This is a new goal of mine this year. In talking with one of the nurses last year, she suggested that I donate items for the nursing staff to give away to families they identify as having a greater need. I'm lucky. When Henry was born early we had nothing for him, but we were able to go out and buy the crib, buy the blankets, buy the extra clothes we'd need. But there are SO many people who can't do that. And who also can't afford to give their child some of the extras we gave Henry to help him as he continued to develop with delay. At 2.5 he is still significantly delayed in speech and gross motor skills, and he's not alone. I'm looking for donations of crib mobiles, black & white soft blocks, picture cards, and other toys you'll find in the "developmental" category for newborns.
  • Going Home Items. This is also for the nurses to give away to parents of preemies that they feel need a little extra help going home. This is where the newborn & 0-3 month clothes would be used. socks that are slightly bigger. Baby blankets. Other items that can be sent home with families who need a little extra hand, and who the nurses can help on the sly without them having to ask.
  • Preemie Diapers. This is also a new goal of mine. Wouldn't it be nice to send some families home with a free pack of ridiculously expensive preemie diapers? Yes it would!

Gifts will be assempled in November for delivery the week of Thanksgiving. The gifts will be non denominational and non holiday specific so that they can be distributed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New years depending on how many families the hospital is helping at the time. The 2nd round of donations - all the "loose" items - will be delivered the week of Christmas.

So far I have solicited exactly zero people, but hey, I'm just starting! I'll be looking for knitters, crafters, card makers, candle makers, store employees with discounts to share, online stores offering discoutns or donated goods, big shopw like Target and Toys R Us to see if they will donate to the cause, every friend and family member I have, and maybe even making an Amazon Wish List to list a bunch of things that people can just buy and mail to me.

Actually... I think the Amazon list will be my 1st priority! I'm so full of good ideas. ;) I'll post a link when I get it sorted out!

Here we go!!! This year is going to be AWESOME, I just know it! I'm aiming for 40 gifts this year, 20 per hospital, but if I get less than that, I'll just distribute what I have between the hospitals.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

2009 Preemie Project... and March for Babies

I registered for the annual March for Babies walk, I'd like to raise $200 this year which is right around what I raised last year, slightly less than the year before - but I only have 21 days and those 21 days are going to be packed. We're actually flying to England the day AFTER the walk, and my husband will be out of town for 2 weeks PRIOR to the walk, so I'll sort of be lucky if I'm not insane by the time I step foot in London!

My fundraising page is here:

When I get back from England, I'll be launching into the Preemie Project once again. Lat year I reached out and asked for help casually, and at the last minute. I was astonished by how many people wanted to help, but struggled to keep it all organized - this year will be different. Here are a few highlights...

  • Donations are going to be logged in a much more organized fashion, that way everyone can get thanks yous, and the recognition they deserve.
  • I'm going ask for handmade donations to be started earlier. By beginning in March, that gives crafters 6 full months to either make the few items that they can or to make more than they'd have been able to last year.
  • 6 months of planning and receiving donations.
  • I'll be asking for corporate donations this year. Getting on that earlier - in those 6 months - hopefully means I'll find some success.
  • I'll be widening my internet requests, finding more small internet stores who might be willing to help with advertising, word of mouth, or extra stock.
  • Gifts will be donated to 2 hospitals the week before Thanksgiving. There will be enough gifts to last through Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. Because it covers more than 1 holiday, they will be non-specifically decorated. These bags will all have the same contents.
  • For Christmas, a different kind of gift will be given. I'll be giving gifts to the nurses, but the donation of goods will be given in "bulk". Items for the micro-preemies, regular preemie clothes, and some of the items from gift bags that were "left over" and didn't fit into the gift bags.
  • I'll be making an effort to get donations of non-preemie infant items as well, specifically developmental toys, diapers, and newborn clothes. Preemies have different needs than full term babies. They need smaller clothes, more medical care, and more developmental encouragement - and a lot of the parents just aren't able to give that little bit extra that a preemie needs. So maybe I can collect some items to send home to those parents that need extra help, at the nurses discretion.

So that's the plan, stan! Nice and.... ambitious. :D

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A valentines delivery - and thinking about next year.

Henry went for his final developmental clinic at the hospital last week, and while I was there I delivered another chunk of donations I had received. I figured I'd give them out now instead of waiting until next fall.

These are from Kristen over at - preemie hat heaven!!

Lots of little sizes for lots of wonderful little heads.

And here are some more wonderful preemie onesies donated by

And finally, another complete knitted set from my mother in law. The booty is on my finger. The set includes a tiny hat, tiny button down sweater, tiny booties, and tiny gloves.

I honestly tear up every time I hold one of these sets, they are so itty bitty and I am instantly transported to 2 years ago when Henry wore his.

So yes! The thinking has begun to be thunk about next year. I'm planning on asking for donations earlier this year, especially the handmade stuff so people have more time to get things done. So in the next few weeks I'm going to come up with a big master plan of what I want, how I plan to get it, what kind of help I need... and all of that fun stuff. :)
By the way - Henry's appointment went well. He is at the bottom range of normal on everything except gross motor, and he still scores way delayed on that... but looking at the whole picture we're sure he's fine. He is making progress, just seems to be taking is merry old time.
Everything has been delayed for him - everything except his fine motor skills but you KNOW those were going to be good because that involves eating. Nothing gets in the way of his food! But still... he's in weekly speech therapy and we've signed him up for music and dance classes to help encourage his other delays to hurry up already.
Not a day goes by that I don't consider the ramifications of his prematurity, not a day goes by that I'm not extremely grateful for him.... which keeps this nice little charity project right up there with Important Things for Me To Do. :) See you soon!