Friday, November 28, 2008

FYI: Giveaway

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving (or regular Thursday). One of the blogs I read is doing a giveaway and I thought some of you would be interested in entering. It's a big basket giveaway of items for your little ones including clothes, a blanket, and toys - all from great mom-owned and operated which is even better. Check it out here for information. Good luck!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. If you aren't celebrating this day, than I hope you have a fantastic day full of things to be thankful for.

We are sick but thankful this day. Despite all of the challenges that preemies and preemie parents face, there are many things to be thankful for this year. Take a moment to give some extra loves, hugs and smooches to your family today.

And enjoy!!

I'll be back later this week and throughout December with a lot of new posts about staying healthy this winter, being an advocate, feeding and reflux issues and of course a preemie holiday gift list.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sign Language

Sign language can be a very useful tool for helping your preemie communicate with you and the rest of the world. Both of my preemies were delayed in speech so I know how frustrating it can be to try and understand what your preemie wants. There are a lot of books, videos, and websites that can help you learn and teach sign language. Here are some things I have learned while teaching my daughter sign:

1) Start simple. Your preemie isn't going to pick up every sign right away. Pick a few key signs and work on them until your preemie gets the idea and then slowly add more.

2) What signs to start with? Start with signs that can be used in multiple situations. Good ones to start with are: more, all done, help, open, drink, eat, and play.

3) Use playtime to teach signs - When you are playing, start using the signs and encouraging your preemie to do the same. Here are some good way to use some basic signs:

  • More - blow some bubbles and let your preemie pop the bubbles. Before you blow more, say more? while you make the more sign. Help your preemie make the sign so he/she can start to get the idea.
  • Open - put a toy in a clear container with a lid that is hard to open (zippered bag, peanut butter, lotion container). Have your preemie see you put the toy in and then hand him/her the container. If he/she hands the container to you or tries to open it, say open? while you make the sign. Open the container once your preemie tries to make the sign or you have at least encouraged it several times.
  • Help - if your preemie is getting frustrated or tries to indicate that he/she needs help than do the help sign before helping him/her. Try to get him/her to do it before helping them

4) Adapt. Even though it is usually best to use the correct gesture for each sign (so that others understand them), if you need to change them to better suit your preemie's abilities than do it. We have changed the play and help sign so that our daughter can actually do it.

Have fun communicating with your little one!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Favorite Product #28

This week's favorite product is the Fisher Price Fun 2 Imagine Shopping Cart

After seeing how much my daughter loved the shopping cart toy at her PT appointments, I went out and got this one for her. She absolutely loves it. She can put things inside the basket, push it around on her knees and use it as a walker (with help). If your preemie is starting to get the idea of walking - or just wants a fun shopping cart toy - than I would highly recommend this one. The shelf on the bottom is perfect for adding a heavy object for increased stability (a 5 pound bag of sugar works nicely).

For beginning walkers you can use this as a makeshift walker. Just make sure you weigh it down or help hold on to it because it will tilt. If your preemie has equipment requirements, I have heard of parents buying old kid size shopping carts from places like Trader Joe's. They are a bit bigger and more stable for holding oxygen, monitors, etc.

Once your preemie is walking, you can encourage imaginative play by using the shopping cart for a game of grocery store. Get older siblings involved as well - they can be the checkout person or the bagger.

For school age preemies - you can encourage them to write out their own grocery list before shopping. This helps them work on writing as well as remembering what foods they can "buy." Make your own grocery list and have your preemie practice reading the list as you shop. This is also a great activity to do in a real grocery store.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Craft Blog

I decided to create a seperate blog for all of the craft projects I have planned. Hopefully this will make it easier for those people who are interested only in craft projects or those people only interested in preemie specific posts.

The blog addres is The new felt play book designed especially for girls is now posted.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Amazon Baby Products Sale

I just received an email from that they are having a super sale in the baby store so I wanted to pass along the link for anyone who might be interested. This is a four day sale according to the website. Happy shopping!

Amazon Baby Store Super Sale

Monday, November 3, 2008

Handmade Holidays

Update: Thank you for all the nice comments - I'm so glad that people like the idea. I've added in some bigger pictures so people can get a closer look at the finished product. Also, I've gotten some emails from people who were wondering if I would make the race track book to sell (for those without time or sewing abilities). I've added the race track book to my etsy shop at for anyone interested. Thanks for the interest!!

Update2: I decided to create a seperate blog for all of the craft projects I have planned. Hopefully this will make it easier for those people who are interested only in craft projects or those people only interested in preemie specific posts.

The blog addres is The new felt play book designed especially for girls is now posted. Thanks!

With Halloween just behind us, the holiday season has officially arrived. And that means getting a move on with making gifts for the holidays. So I'm adding a new feature to the blog - Handmade Holidays. I'll feature some holiday gifts that I'm making or have been inspired by - all (mildly) related to preemies or families with preemies. I hope you enjoy!

Traveling Race Track Book

Since both of my kids are home with me, I end up having to take my 5 year-old to many doctor appointments, lab visits, and therapy appointments that aren't for him. I pack a lot of toys and activities to keep him entertained however I'm always looking for new items. I especially like activities that encourage him to use his imagination and the quieter - the better.

So I created his very own traveling race track book. It's a felt book with two different sized race tracks. When open, the small race track is the size of one piece of felt and the large track is the size of two pieces. The back has pockets for holding his beloved race cars. He loved it instantly. I plan on making some for our friends kids as well because every boy (or girl) can use a race track to take with them to places. The size makes it perfect for throwing in a purse or diaper bag.

Front View:

Small Track:

Large Track:

Car Storage:

Prematurity Awareness Month

November is Prematurity Awareness Month so if you get a chance, educate someone on prematurity and how it has affected your life. For more information, visit the March of Dimes site. In fact, if you know of someone who is pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant or just had a baby - encourage them to visit the site. They have a lot of valuable information.

In addition to November being Prematurity Awareness month it is also time for a bunch of new entries and information from yours truly. Things have finally settled down a bit! I will have a lot of new articles on development, favorite toys, being an advocate, keeping healthy and sane this winter and much more!