How we work

We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather

Monday, June 29, 2009

Reflections on Tradition

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Hi Friends – I’m back from vacation at the Jersey Shore and excited to get back to work for Pass It On, Baby! Heather did an incredible job of handling everything that normally is shared between the two of us, and I appreciate it greatly. I spent my days being a mom, a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife, a niece and a cousin. It was such a wonderful trip for my spirit. Cape May is probably my favorite place and every time I visit I leave recharged for the journey ahead.

I visit Cape May every year and have since I was a baby. Before I was born, my father did the same throughout his childhood. Now, in that same manner, I bring my own children. It is a place of tradition for our extended family. My cousins that have come since they were children, now bring their children as well…my little sister who I used to take up to the beach arcade, now takes my own children. It means more to me than I can express. I feel more myself there than any place in the world. The entire place feels timeless to me. It’s almost like I can still feel all the people who at one time visited Cape May with me and have since passed away, still there in that same exact spot. The same ocean that I whispered my thoughts and dreams to when I was a little girl, never changes, though I have changed so much. It’s my children’s turn to whisper their hopes…

With all these feelings swirling about in my head and heart, it’s no wonder I spent a lot of time reflecting on Pass It On, Baby! and where this is all headed, what this all means. I don’t have any more answers, but I did love some of the parallels that I came up with. When I sit and think about Cape May, it is not lost on me that two parts of the romanticism that surrounds this place is my family and the tradition. Family is there to support you through your endeavors, your hardships, your triumphs and your failures. Maybe a little like the community we are all building? Mothers helping mothers on hard times, offering a hand to help, a hug across the miles. I love the metaphor. A family of mothers…. Why do you help your cousins out, your aunts, uncles and brothers out? Because you should and because you care. Similar again, right? =)

Ok, yes - I love the family metaphor, but the big theme that I kept coming back to was tradition. Coming to Cape May as a child instilled in me that this trip, this time we spent was important. I don’t know as a child that I fully understood the fact that my parents were carrying on a tradition that was set forth for them and even their parents before them, but somehow this trip was interwoven in my being and its something that I.Just.Don’t.Miss – no matter what is going on. And the same is true with my brother, my sister, my aunts, and so on. As I pondered the meaning of tradition and why we follow them, how it influences, etc – I kept thinking about all the people who have sent boxes who have talked sharing the experience with their children. Children involved in boxing up their own clothing, helping tape the box, and some even taking the trek to the post office. (Bless you dear mothers who have attempted that! Lol!) I thought about my own kiddos boxing up their clothing to send and I realized that these are the singular moments that build upon themselves to form the basis of a tradition. Just like I can’t remember when the individual trips went from singular trips to a tradition that I just don’t break and is a part of who I am – involving children in the aspect of giving (not just through Pass It On, Baby, but all aspects of giving) enough times also takes it from some singular acts to a way in which they will live their lives. It becomes tradition in a sense.

So those are the kiddos on the giving end, but what about the kiddos on the receiving end? They are learning through tradition too. Where does tradition come from? We see it somewhere and are in some way involved in the act. These children that are receiving are learning about faith, love and kindness. Heather and I have talked several times about the kind acts that have been shown to us and how we have taken them and passed them on in a sense. These beautiful kiddos will too. Almost every letter we receive talks about the same theme too – “paying it forward”, “giving back”, “sharing blessings” and list goes on and on.

And the fact that each of us involved in this process pull from some good shown to us at some other part of our lives….tradition? Great…let’s keep it that way. I love seeing the world as a “family” of people involved in the “tradition” of helping other people out.

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The joy of giving and receiving...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Giving and Receiving - it is truly the essence of Pass It On, Baby! Those mothers who are done using their gently used children's clothes can "Pass It On" to other mothers who are needing the extra love and kindness. It is the circle of love - our circle of love. And we cannot provide this love without all of you who have been "giving" and "receiving". Both mothers win - both mothers feel better - feel rejuvenated - feel blessed after the circle has completed. We feel blessed as well just joining these families together. It's these families, these experiences that continue to push us to continue this journey everyday. We've had numerous stories of love and hope that have been shared - that you should read. It will uplift you and leave you knowing there is still so much good in the world. Please enjoy. Let us know your thoughts and how YOU felt just reading these little joyful moments of giving and receiving.

Pass It On, Baby! Recipient
I can hardly write this from the tears in my eyes. We received three packages today, from Texas, Indiana and Georgia.

I was so embarrassed to even ask for your alls help but, desperation makes you do a lot of things you wouldn’t. Plus, Alex had wore the same too small jean shorts, and three or four too small shirts for weeks. Dylan had a few more pieces, hand me downs from Alex, but I don’t think the child has ever had anything that was only his. (When he opened his things he kept saying "For me? Thank you mommy!")

I’m not embarrassed anymore. Humbled, blessed, touched beyond words, full of emotions but not embarrassed.

My boys are happy. Not that they weren’t before exactly. They’ve lost so much, they have so little. Their grandmothers severe illness (that included life flight by helicopter and many weeks stay in the hospital followed by months of rehab) took a toll on the whole family, then I lost my job to company lay off, I’d give up everything I have but I hate it most for the kids.

We’ve had to sell things, most heartbreakingly we had to re-home their dogs because life isn’t fair, we can’t afford right now to stay home (starting to get back on our feet again, able to put a little bit more back every two weeks into getting back into our home) and the apartment we’re living in with my brother doesn’t allow pets.

Still they get up everyday and live their lives with smiles on their faces but today, a whole new world opened up for them. It seemed like Christmas watching them open their clothes. Their faces glowed with appreciation. I read the letter inside the packages to them, and the names of the person who signed the letter. I told them where each package came from.

The moment I still can’t recover from though, is when Alex, who’s nearly 7 said:

“Mom, Indiana, Georgia and Texas must know Jesus and God. I don’t know anyone in Indiana, Georgia or Texas, but Jesus and God probably does, that’s how we got these clothes.”

Yeah, sounds about right.

Indiana, Georgia and Texas, thanks for knowing Jesus, and God.
Alex, Dylan, and their touched mommy

Pass It On, Baby! Recipient
I am so touched by the outpouring of baby things and prayers sent our way from Pass It On Baby ! It touches my heart so deeply to have mothers with children, twins and mothers that have sweet babies in heaven and dear sweet grandmothers send my sweet babies items, every item received is so cherished because each item comes with prayers for my babies and that means more to me than any amount of money or anything that I would purchase in a store ! My girls are also very thrilled when our babies receive a new package ,they are truly learning how giving and receiving from the heart is so rewarding !  We feel Gods love as well as the love and prayers that come with every package. I wish I could hug each and everyone that has sent a package or said a prayer for Landyn and Larsyn and my entire family.
 I have a journal with each and every package and those senders will get a personal thank you from Larsyn and I and with a miracle and prayers Landyn as soon as they arrive ! Which should be no later than July 31st !
Please pass on my thanks and love to all !
With love and prayers for you both and your supporters !
Mother of Larsyn and Landyn

Pass It On, Baby! Donator
I just want to say that word is spreading quickly about your cause primarily because it is a fabulous service you are offering! I commend you for your efforts! You're not only helping people in immediate need of clothing, but others, like myself, who have such a sentimental attachment to my children's baby clothes. Donating them to you feels like a good reason to let them go. So thank you for helping me turn my sadness at letting go into a good purpose! As my children grow, I, too, will Pass It On, Baby! :) Keep up the excellent work! 

Pass It On, Baby! Donator
We sent 4 boxes today- here are some pics of my "helping crew"-- the boys really did enjoy this project- and helped pack and tape the boxes-- the Post office, well, taking 4 children to the post office is always an adventure- especially when you are trying to take pictures and then have to wait in line for 15 minutes! (this group sent to 4 different families!!)

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to help more...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

In just under 2 months, Pass It On, Baby! has amazingly helped so many kiddos get some great clothing and helped several families ease the burden. And so many wonderful mothers are generously donating clothes left and right! It's so amazing to see this little network and community of people forming right before our very eyes. 

That being said, we want to reach out even more, help even more and grow our community (not too fast) in a loving, harmonious way. We would like to reach out to all you blog moms (and maybe not so "blog" moms) for ideas on ways we can continue to increase our readership, our interactions from you, our network of PIOB family members. We have received a few ideas and are reaching out to other types of blog groups like Adoption and Foster family blogs, military blogs, etc. We know there are those in each of these kinds of groups that could use the love and kindness of PIOB. We have had some wonderful bloggers post about our cause and add our blog button as well as told our story to Oprah's Angel Network which was published. (see the link on the left). I think the next on our to do list is holding some sort of a blog carnival or offering a giveaway. We are still learning about this whole blog world but would love for you all to share ideas on how we can continue to increase our online community so we can truly help more and share with more great families such as yours. Can you think of something that could help grow our community? Or simply - can you post a story on your blog about Pass It On, Baby or add our blog button so your readers can learn more about us?

Let us know. Post a comment and share your thoughts. We want to hear all of your ideas and start implementing them! Thank you all for your love and support. 

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Monday, June 22, 2009

God is in the Struggle

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Hi friends! Greetings from the Jersey Shore! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me regarding the situation I encountered with the family in need. I LOVED the idea of gift cards to fast food restaurants and I appreciate the encouragement and guidance. Let’s just say that I have taken away some important thoughts on the whole situation and who I want and need to be in the future. Thank you for the comments and for the direct emails that you sent. I learn from you….from those in need and from those that give – humility, generosity, kindness  and love. 

So Friday we spent the day driving here…. and whenever my husband and I drive long distances, we seem to have the most in depth conversations. It must be because when you are driving, everything else is stripped away. There are no chores, no appointments to make/ keep, no cooking, cleaning – you name it. There is only time to be with the one you are driving with and talk. Anyhoo,  I was talking to him about the blog and Pass It On, Baby! and some of my worries and concerns with the present and the future. As we were talking, I kept hearing the phrase “God is in the struggle” over and over again. I told my husband about it, but I also told him that up to this point I have made a conscious decision NOT to mention my religion or beliefs in my posts. Is this because I am not a believer? No…it’s not. It’s because I had a fear that if I started sharing my religious background, that people sharing the same belief structure would feel a common bond with me and that those who don’t…wouldn’t. I mean that I worry that only Catholics reach out to Catholic Charities, that Lutherans reach out to Lutheran Social Services….you get the idea. I want people of ANY religious belief or of no belief at all to feel comfortable reaching out to us for help. 

So the voice in my head kept repeating the phrase…..God is in the struggle. Ok, I heard it….now what does that mean? I didn’t know at first….but since I had the better of twelve hours to think it over, (LOL!!!) here is what I came up with.

I hear a lot these days about religion being a crutch, something that people turn to in their moment of need. What if its not so much the crutch, but instead what is left when the unimportant is stripped away?  

There are many of us, myself included, that strive for the material. But, there will come a time for each and every one of us where no amount of material possessions will make a bit of difference. Maybe it’s the sickness of a loved one, difficulty with a spouse, a death, a bout of depression -- but eventually, we all with come across a life moment where it becomes clear as day that the material really means very little. I can pinpoint those reminders in my own life clear as day.

The most recent one came at the same time as the birth of my daughter. I knew I was expecting a little girl and was thrilled about it. Ashlyn was the first girl born on my side of the family since 1981 and the first girl on my husband’s side since the early 70’s. Needless to say – big deal. Our friends were equally excited for us as they had been there for the births of our boys and knew how badly we had wanted this moment. We were incredibly blessed with gifts from friends, neighbors, family, co-workers – you name it. We were on top of the world. We had a gorgeous nursery for her with a chandelier, everything perfectly coordinating. We had everything you could want materially for a baby girl.

The day I was in labor, I was on a heart monitor since I was being induced. I didn’t pay any attention to it, but at some point,  a nurse came in and my husband could immediately sense her concern. It ended up that my heart was going in and out of rhythm. This began the endless parade of doctors, tests, cardiologists, work-ups --  all during my labor. This is a super-long story in itself, but to make it short, I was eventually told that I had heart disease – a condition that I unknowingly had since birth. The stress of labor was stressing my heart. It would be six long weeks before I would find out the true extent of the situation.

I went home to find myself completely overwhelmed with worry. I panicked at times, cried at others and couldn’t seem to get out of my own head. This should have been one of the happiest times in my life and I was struggling with the unknown. All those beautiful clothes, the fun baby stuff, the flowers, fun gifts – they weren’t able to do anything for me. They seemed so insignificant when I was worrying about whether I’d be around to raise these beautiful babies of mine. I would hold my beautiful new daughter when it was just us and whisper all the things I needed her to hear as guidance for the rest of her life…..just in case.  And so what did I do……I prayed. I focused on my spirituality, I drew close to God. And it was the only place that I found peace and comfort and the ability to accept whatever was coming my way. I was struggling, and God was with me in the midst of my struggle. God IS present in the struggle.

It seems funny that what we focus on the pursuit of, could bring us little if any comfort when we truly need it. On the other hand, what has amazed me most with the people we meet who are in need is there unwavering faith and unbending hope. I am not kidding, not pandering when I say that I am inspired and learning from them. I am HUMBLED when I meet someone of such personal resilience and I look at aspects of themselves as some that I would like to make my own. God is in their struggle. When the material is stripped away, it is your spirit that remains.

None of this we are taking with us, none of this will bring us any comfort in our darkest days. So, let it go….

If you find yourself in the struggle – the emotional, the financial, the physical, remember that you don’t walk alone. If you have a belief structure in place, draw it near. If you don’t, examine your soul for what you do believe in. But as you walk that difficult path, remember that God too is in the struggle with you.

If you aren’t in the struggle, you may have been before. If not, you are blessed. But recognize the false lure of the material and see it as just that – false, and let it go. When you donate your own childrens ‘ clothes, you have let it go. You have detached from the material and helped another along the way. Whether you are a believer or not, I think we can all agree that that has to be the markings of a beautiful world.

Oh and about that heart disease, I have it, but I’m ok. I will see my friendly cardiologist for the rest of my life, but they expect that my life will pretty much remain the same for the near future. And really, can any of us ask for more? J

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Father's Day Tribute...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Being that it is Father's Day weekend - I thought that this might be a good time to honor those men in our lives that need to be recognized. Maybe it's not necessarily a father or husband but maybe a teacher, coach, uncle, brother or pastor that has provided you that fatherly love and support you have needed along the way. Good men need to know that their presence in our lives has been respected, appreciated and downright needed. Let's take this time to share who we are honoring this Father's Day. 

I'll start. First I am going to mention my father. My dad is quite a man. My mom left him when I was 4 and my sister was 6 months. He struggled with how to be both mom and dad (especially figuring out what to feed us - like when he would give me cottage cheese and ketchup as a snack :)  And then when my mom came back into the picture, he struggled with letting us go live with her as that's what his children at the time wanted. He didn't want to see us heartbroken nor separated from each other. So he let us go. I know he regretted it many times but did what a loving father felt was best. Over the years, he found it difficult to interact with my mom as they had differences of opinion on how we should be raised, visitations, money and various other things that even married couples would probably disagree on. But he always fought for us. No matter what. And when my mom decided that she needed to leave again (due to a second failed marriage and not sure where her life was headed), my dad quickly stepped up to the plate. My father has been a foundation of strength in my life that I cannot even begin to put into words. He has helped me persevere through school when my sister was killed even though I wanted so badly to quit. He came up to Indiana from Texas to drive me home when I knew I could no longer be so far away. (That trip was fun although long - listening to various artists like Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead).  My dad has continued to help me be the woman and the mother that I am today. He may not have always made it to every game I cheered at or call me on the phone all that often just for a chat - but he is truly my hero. I love him for everything he is done for me not only financially but more importantly emotionally. Thank you dad for being my father. I love you!

As for my husband - words cannot even begin to describe the kind of man I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with. Many people in my life probably cannot even comprehend our relationship but it is truly on the level of soul mate. We have a connection that fairy tales are written about. My husband and I have taken a spiritual journey together from the moment we met. He is my confidant, my best friend, my lover and the only person I can imagine spending every day with. He truly makes me laugh from deep down within my soul like no other person can make me laugh. He guides me when I'm not sure how to manage an obstacle in life with such gentleness, encouragement and wisdom. He keeps me young as I tend to be a bit OCD and one that has everything scheduled. He helps me to be more spontaneous and less rigid. I feel like the little girl that I once was when I am with him. He is a wonderful father! He is so involved with the day to day upbringing of our son. He is lots of fun and a great teacher! He changes dirty diapers, helps with feedings, baths and lets me go out with my friends if I need it. My husband is a dreamer, a thinker, and a great philosopher. He is constantly pondering over how to make ourselves, our communities, our schools, our cities, states and governments better. He talks daily about how to grow as an individual each day - becoming better today than yesterday. He is willing to try anything new and usually good at it (can be a bit disgusting at times.) He has a gift (and sometimes which can be a curse) of knowing what people are feeling. He has a very in tune energy feelers (which has been known to cause him migraines and other ailments) which he is still learning how to manage. It can be tough knowing what people think and feel about you, others or situations before they are even aware of it. (Like when he knows exactly what's wrong with me before I have even become aware of it myself). My husband lives through the ebb and flow of life and I envy that about him. He wants to experience all aspects of life and will always give it 110%. He is constantly learning and growing and sharing that growth with me. Although my husband may not have all material things in the world at this time (I know soon enough he will) - we are well taken care of and don't go without anything. Most importantly he provides us the love and attention we need and deserve. In the end - all we REALLY need is love. From there - we can be and attain anything. Happy Father's Day! I love you!

I'm looking forward to your Father's Day tributes or a "Man in my life that made a difference " tribute. Happy Father's Day to all of you!

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Stumbling Through Reality

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

I’m not even sure how to begin this post. I feel so embarrassed and the last thing I wanted to do was share this occurrence. But, I guess I feel that if I can get this out, maybe I can just move on with a clear conscience.

I feel like a fraud….

This entire blog is dedicated to kindness, charity and giving back. If you’ve read any of my entries, you get it and I don’t even need to go any further. Anyhow, here’s how it all began….

I am leaving for vacation this weekend with my family. We are so excited just to spend time together at the ocean. My extended family all rents homes in the same vacation spot this particular week, so it is not only a vacation, but sort of a family reunion too. I just love it, look forward to it every year and love the tradition of the family reunion/vacation at the shore that I have been raised on, that my parents were raised on and now that my own children are raised on. Needless to say, packing my kids, my husband and myself for the week takes a week in itself. Monday, the true pressure started as the date is quickly approaching, so like a million moms that morning, I took my kids to Target for some essentials. Everything was going well until I tempted fate and decided to try on a swimsuit. Since you can’t bring carts in the dressing room, I unbuckled my two little ones (3 and 1) and took them in to the dressing room. That was the beginning of the end. Having their freedom, they started to run around the dressing room, open the door while I was getting dressed – it escalated so fast that I abandoned the idea of trying on anything and headed straight to check out. By now, they were out of their seats, flailing around and I was doing mental exercises to keep myself calm and smiling. (which by the way, wasn’t working) I got them out to the car, got everyone buckled in and felt the relief wash over me. I just had to feed them lunch and put them down for naps and everything would be back on track. I could handle another five minutes in melt-down mode.

I pulled out of the parking lot and saw some people standing on one of the grassy medians. As I got closer, I could tell that there were two adults and two children…and they were holding a sign. It was one of those cardboard signs that read, “Family In Need.” My heart broke. I checked my purse and didn’t have any cash on me. At the same time, my kids were still melting down. I started to panic. I felt like this was one of those tests in life to prove your true character and here I was coming up completely empty. I started to think about where the nearest ATM was…my mind was racing so fast I wasn’t even thinking about simply asking them what they needed. The nearest ATM I could think of was about two miles in the opposite direction. I didn’t know what to do and by this time I was very close to them. I gestured that I didn’t have any cash on me and drove away. After I passed them and happened on the ATM, I turned in only to have the meltdown increase. I promised myself that I would circle back later on, but the day just got away from me. That was three days ago and writing these words literally has me sick to my stomach. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about them in the last few days or envisioned those kids standing next to their mom and dad.

And so, as I started all of this…..I feel like a FRAUD.

I don’t have any of the answers. I am trying just like you to be better, to make the right choices, to make the world a little better – but I’m making some big mistakes as I go and I have no idea on how to resolve them.

Anyhow, I feel sick. There are so many people in the world needing help, at times it feels overwhelming. I don’t know what you do about this each and every day. I have no answers. I guess the answer is that we each do our best and hope that it is good enough. Hope that when you total them all together it makes a difference.

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

1 year ago today...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

With today being the 1 year birthday of my son, I have had lots of time to reflect on this past year. Most importantly reflecting on the day he was born. As a first time mom, it sticks in my head so clearly. The emotions, the fear, the joy, the excitement - all 21 hours of it! :) But again it reminds me of all the kindness in the world and how there are truly good people out there.

Now although my experience with Cade's birth cannot even compare to many other moms out there - it is my story - our story. I was scheduled to go in for an induction on Tuesday June 17, 2008. On Sunday, I was frantically cleaning, waiting on the arrival of my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law to arrive. I decided after I had scrubbed on hands and knees 9 months pregnant that I needed a pedicure/manicure. Because I knew if I were going to swell up like a balloon with the induction drug, I at least wanted pretty hands and feet (plus I had heard about the pressure points in your feet). So I had everything ready to go. 

I had this really huge fear about being on the table and going number 2. I'm sure many of you have either feared it or had it happen. But since I had a whole day (Monday) before being induced, I thought I'd be extra clever and take a laxative tea Sunday so I would be clean as whistle for Tuesday morning. My baby apparently had other plans. I woke up on Monday morning around 3am and noticed I was a little wet. I went to the bathroom and noticed there was a little discharge but wasn't too alarmed at the time. Let's just say within the next 20 minutes I went through another 2 pair of underwear and realized that my water had broke. I finally woke my husband, called the doctor, woke my mother-in-law and headed to the hospital. Excited and scared!

Little did I know I would have a LONG wait! I got settled into my hospital bed with nearly 10 layers of padding to absorb the slow leak and suddenly I realized OMG - I had taken the laxative tea the night before and had yet to go to the bathroom! I informed the nurse but all she could do was laugh and assure me that it would be okay. I was frantic. I thought for sure my worst nightmare would come true. Luckily a couple of hours later (still only 4 or 5 hours into the whole ordeal) that I was able to go. I felt relieved and hoped that there would be no more of that for the day!!

I had the best nurses. 3 to be exact. Since I was in the hospital for so long. My poor doctor who likes to schedule his inductions couldn't have scheduled this baby if he tried. The baby even decided at one point to go backwards from a 0 to a negative 2 half way through the day. When I wasn't dilating more than a 3 around 4 or 5pm that evening we started discussing C-sections. I was ready and didn't care how it had to happen - I just wanted the baby out! My husband was watching TV and had seen every baby movie ever made! :) He was nervous that he would not be allowed into the room during the C-section as that's what was said during our birthing classes. He even shed a tear or two over the whole idea. He definitely wanted to be there!

Luckily - a wonderful nurse was brought on the scene at shift change at 5pm. She turned me this and that way - put pillows in odd places and said to trust her. She knew how to get me going! And finally - I started dilating much faster. We were on our way. At 11:00pm I was finally at a 10. But my poor doctor had been home - probably sleeping - for a bit and was called in. The nurse and Chris got me started on pushing to be ready for when the doctor arrived. During one of my breaks - I noticed the nurse had a tissue in her hand. OMG - I freaked! I said to my husband - do you know what she has in her tissue?? I could see what it was but he played it up like he didn't. I saw what she was throwing away. At that point - I was like - OH WELL! Get this baby out - I don't care what happened!  

Cade Dailey Norton was born on June 16, 2008 at 11:41pm. 8lbs 6oz and 20.5 inches long. My parents and my husband's parents finally got to greet the little guy around 12:30am. I couldn't stop staring at this new life that had just entered my life. I felt so blessed (and still do). 

Because Cade had to be suctioned out - he had a pretty large bruise on the top of his head that made him jaundice since he was being breast fed only. We were scheduled to be discharged from the hospital less than 24 hours after delivery (due to a night time delivery) and we were being told that he had to go to the ICU (while my husband was at home taking a shower). Now I had never had a baby before - let alone dealt with ICU. I was scared and alone. I cried for an hour til my husband arrived. I was so sad to see Cade wheeled away and not sure of the severity of the situation. I was just getting attached to the little guy. Plus, the staff had told me that we would have to use formula as a supplement to help nourish him and help his bilirubin levels even out. That night I had to go home without Cade as he had to stay in ICU and I was being discharged. I was sad to leave him there but also nervous that he would refuse the breast and only take a bottle. 

While in the ICU room, the most kind lactation consultant entered our lives. She helped me find ways to pump the little colostrum that I had and make sure that he was getting it. She worked with the ICU staff to ensure that I was able to nurse before he got his bottle. She even got me a tubing that taped to my nipple so the baby could get formula while still nursing. She taught my husband how to take care of the equipment, clean it, prepare it and so on. This woman spent almost every scheduled feeding with me helping. She knew how I felt about the situation and even when she was supposed to be taking a break or off for lunch she made sure she was there helping me and my family whenever we needed it.

The next day - we were admitted to the children's ward and Cade spent the next 4 days in a light machine. 3 hours in - 15 minutes out to feed. My lactation lady was off one of these days and sent in another kind woman to help. She said that the first woman was worried about me and wanted to be sure that the feedings were going well. By the way - this room had 1 twin bed for both me and my husband to sleep in. It was quite comical with our head and feet at opposite ends of the bed (kind of like in the episode of 3 and 1/2 men LOL!). But we made it work. We laughed and said we would look back on this with a whole different perspective. 

Before I was discharged - my lactation lady came in to see me and the baby one last time. She was an angel. If it hadn't been for her - I would have given up on nursing all together as I feared for the health of my son. She made me feel like I could handle anything and taught me the skills I needed to be a breastfeeder for 10 months! Thank you! Her kindness meant everything to me! 

So - to make a long story even longer - I want to thank all the staff at Plano Presbyterian Hospital in Texas for taking good care of me and my family. For helping us understand what we didn't. For taking the time to give us love and taking us through one step at a time. 

Like I said before, I know so many moms go through much much worse circumstances but wanted to share my story of my little boy. It's this kindness that has been given to me that I want to give back to the world. People cared for me and my family. Just as I care for you and yours. As I stated in a previous post - I have been given clothes, toys, pumps, you name it. I want to continue to bless others as I have been blessed. "To whom much is given, much is expected." 

Happy Birthday Cade!


Thank you for letting me share my story!

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Path to Happiness....

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

If you’ve read this blog before, I think its pretty obvious that I think giving to others and helping others is just a good way to live life and a necessary part of it all. I think its just one of those ultimate truths that transcend religion, and simply put, is part of the road to happiness. Those are some pretty huge statements, so let me take a moment to explain.

When I am thinking about others and truly helping them, the focus is off of me. It’s an escape from the materialistic climb that many of us find ourselves on…the new house, the better car, the nicer clothes. Goodness, it’s exhausting! You can never find happiness that way, but we sure try. You know the thoughts…”when we finally get that new car (insert any of your favs here – the new house, the Carribean vacation, the social club membership – whatever), I will be SO happy.” Maybe you will initially, but it only lasts for a moment. Once you are in that mindset of materialism and you reach one of your “goals” you just shift your focus to another one. I know those struggles as well as anyone, I fight the battle of materialism daily and sometimes I am just tired of the endless pursuit of it all. You know, tired. Not the physical kind, but worse…..tired in my spirit, needing time to get myself right and refocused. I usually end up spending some serious time reflecting on what is truly important, and you know, none of the material things ever make it in to my list. It’s the emotional stuff -- the time with others, time with your family, the way someone made you feel, giving back, lending a hand,….you know what I am talking about. Once I begin reflecting on the true happiness that is in my life, I find that source of peace that I am looking for.

When I am helping others, I don’t get that type of tired. I don’t need to take a break from it all, I am invigorated, happy, proud and thankful. Not thankful that I’m not in that position, thankful that I got to be there and help – got to make someone’s time just a little better. They tend to be the most peaceful and happy times in my life. When I lived in Michigan, I had the opportunity through work to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. The day we were there, we were literally framing the house. I had never done anything like that, and it was really tough work, but when the day was over, I was surprised at how refreshed my spirit felt. Everyone was there, giving of themselves, happy to be there and working together for a family we would never know. We all wanted it to be just right for them. It was amazing and many years later I am still inspired by people I met and by the whole notion of helping others because it’s just how it should be! You know, those same principles on helping others and being kind that we all learned way back in kindergarten. Where do those values and lessons go? While we were in college, my husband worked at a homeless shelter in the evenings. Its been years since those days and an entire professional career, and he still considers those moments he spent with those men some of the most crucial to defining himself as a person.

Yes, life gets busy….but the truth is you fit in your life what you want to fit in to your life. We can all do something that helps another in some way, and in turn leaves you with this same joy. For me, Pass It On, Baby! comes from years of sharing my blessings and clothes with friends who needed them. I LOVE the feeling of sending these clothes for another little one to enjoy. The materialistic side of me tells me in the back of my mind to hang on to them, that those clothes are memories….but I overcome that side the second I get them ready to pack up and send, and I replace it with a feeling that there is a child out there that looks as adorable in the same outfit I once thought my own kids looked so cute in. I think about another mother worrying about her children having enough clothes and that though enough is motivation to do what I can to help. This is our legacy…..You know the saying “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

If it’s not Pass It On, Baby! that moves you….find someway to be moved, to give back, to make it a little better than we found it. This lifetime will be what we all make of it….

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where in the world???

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Hello friends! Hope everyone is enjoying their day, and for those of you at home, I hope you are getting in to the new summer routine!! (Many of us have all the kiddos home for the summer! )

I wanted to let you know that since we have had such an amazing outpouring of support for Larsyn and Landyn’s mom, we will continue to keep you updated as we hear from her. For those of you looking to contact her personally, send us a quick note and we will pass along her information. She has a caring bridge page that she is also more than happy to share. And then – you too can know her name! =) Lol…she wouldn’t care, we just keep the names to ourselves as a rule.

The mother of the two autistic sons has also received a large outpouring of support. We all thank you for your kindness. We’ve even attached some pics of her son with the boxes.

These are two particular stories that we have heard that touched our hearts – but we have heard from just as wonderful mothers who are simply in the midst of “the struggle.” They are wonderful reminders each and every day to us of how beautiful all of our stories are and how kindness allows hope and faith to spring eternal. I know I’m a believer!

Now, one thing I’m SUPER excited about – look on our sidebar. I love the new map we have that shows where all our readers are from. We have to work out a kink as some of the countries are not showing (like Australia and New Zealand – where we actually have some readers! How cool is that???!!) but we are having fun and maybe brushing up on some geography while blogging. If you stop to look, we have had many readers from Canada. While we are officially setting up the non-profit here in the US (like all the legal and tax write-off stuff), we have had a super-kind woman offer to facilitate any needs/ donations for Canada. I’ll be totally frank – I know NOTHING about their postal system, so I will be asking our new friend to answer any questions that may arise.

We didn’t hear a lot on people wanting to share their personal ideas on kindness. Maybe you’ll reconsider? I’m totally in to hearing how other people make this world a little better, through charity, just plain old kindness or random acts. I told you before, it gets the dialogue going and gives us all ideas on how to better impact the people in our every day lives. It doesn’t have to be huge – just something.

One last thing, I was really nervous putting up the accessories and hair bows on the immediate needs section. I know they aren’t “needs” per se, but I have a little girl, Ashlyn. After four boys, I LOVE dressing her up all girlie with ribbons and bows – yes, a little over the top you might say. I had a mother contact us and tell me that she simply can’t afford them and that although she is dealing with much bigger issues, that it was still a moment that made her sad. So, I put it out there. I understood the need and when Ashlyn is done with her bows, you can bet they are headed somewhere else. Another mother contacted me and mentioned that she uses her crafting time to create bows for her own girls and that she would be sending me some to include in packages that I myself am sending. Not to mention another mother that said her 6 year old doesn’t use half of hers. Soooo – thank you mommas – you get it. We all deserve that moment to pretty up our princesses…..and they all are. =)

Here is my Ashlyn below....yes, maybe this is a little bit over the top! hee hee!! But after all that testosterone, don't I deserve it? =)

In love and kindness.

Email Elizabeth & Heather

And here are those adorable pics I promised you of one of our receiving families. Keep this momma in your hearts, please. She is wonderful....and so are her beautiful sons! If you are familiar with autism - the fact that he is looking in to the camera is a HUGE accomplishment! Hooray! And there is NO mistaking happiness in the second pic! Just. Love. It!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The "Pass It On, Baby!" way...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

Several of you have asked what a blog carnival is. What we are intending to do is link our blogs together and everyone would post on a random act of kindness and how they specifically put kindness out in the world. We want to get people TALKING and THINKING about these acts of kindness that build up to make a major impact! Plus, if you are like'll LOVE reading others ideas! I personally loved the idea on Angie's blog about the drinks for the men and women who pick up the trash and the recycling. Or I've heard of other terrific ideas from people who bring coffee to those collecting for the Salvation Army in the colder weather...paying the toll for the person behind you...the list goes on and on. So what do you say, beautiful people -- are you game? If we get enough of a response we'll start it SOONER rather than LATER. Hey, we are all about learning from you all! =) ~ Elizabeth

First of all - Thanks so much to Angie and her Bring the Rain blog. She has been kind enough to mention us and generous enough to participate by donating clothes of her own children to families in need through Pass It On, Baby!

We continue to meet some of the most amazing women and moms!! Mothers who are going through tough times as well as those so eager to pitch in and donate clothes. Thank you - all of you! We are honored to be the facilitators joining us all together. We are so glad to meet each and every one of you!

As we continue to gain more great moms to our online community - I thought it might be a good time to re-touch on how we work and how you can help. Luckily (thanks to all of those sharing our site and our message), we have been receiving an influx of moms so happy and willing to donate clothes. We are so excited to have your help and we are working to match you up with the right recipient. Please know that it's just Elizabeth and I right now handling Pass It On, Baby! in our "spare" time as we are moms first and foremost (do moms have any spare time? LOL!) as well as run company's, teach fitness classes and so on. So we ask you to be patient with us as it may take us a couple of weeks to match the right recipient who needs the items you have available.

We do, however, need you to continue to help us reach those who could use Pass It On, Baby! Remember there are people - maybe those in your own communities that need a hand. We should all be thinking about those people and who could really use the help that PIOB has to offer. Although it may be small - this simple act can make their burden just a bit easier. Is there a family in your church, circle of friends, at your child's school - a neighbor, a sister, an acquaintance, an old friend, anyone you can think of that could use PIOB? These times can be so uncertain for so many people and something so simple, so easy could be what they needed to move past an obstacle or difficult patch. Maybe this would help a family through a difficult emotional time or a temporary financial situation? If we all could just think about those we see in passing or every day that might be able to utilize this blessing - we can reach so many more. Please send us their addresses and sizes of their children.

To reiterate our process - this is how we do it the "Pass It On, Baby!" way...

How to donate: Send Elizabeth and I an email and let us know what clothes you have available (ie sex, size, season, etc). Once we have matched you up with a family who has the same need, we ask that you box up your selected outfits, download the donator letter off our website (and coming soon a Pass It On, Baby! shipping label) and send via the US Mail Parcel Post with delivery confirmation. Unfortunately at this time we do not have a shipping contract so the shipping costs are currently part of the donation. (If that poses any problem for a donator, please let us know and we will work out some sort of arrangement. We don't want you to feel that you cannot donate through our charity if this isn't feasible for you.) Once the recipient has received your box, we will let you know. All we ask is that you tell us how giving through PIOB made you feel, how it made your family feel, how you were touched and maybe a photo of you packing up your threads of love. If you have already donated - let us know how you felt through a posted comment. Please take this moment to share with others this unbelievable feeling.

How to receive: If you know of someone that could use our services, please email us their information and we will find a donator match. If you yourself are in need, there are no questions asked - no reviewing to decide who we give to - you will receive clothes. We believe that those who truly need us will find us and so we have made it our goal to help each and every individual or family that crosses the Pass It On, Baby! path. It's very simple - just email Elizabeth and I the sex, sizes and season you need and we will match you up with a donator. We will let you know when your box (or in some cases boxes) have been sent. All we ask in return is to spread the message of PIOB! If you can, send us a comment or email telling us how it made you feel or how it helped you at this moment in time. And if willing, we would love a photo of your child in a PIOB outfit. This helps us to continue to connect others with the faces of those we have helped. If some day you find yourself more blessed than stressed - then we ask if you can to pay it forward to someone else through Pass It On, Baby! or whoever you may choose. If you have already received through us - please post a comment if you are willing to share. It helps others understand the power of a simple act of kindness.

It truly is so simple yet so powerful. I know we thank you all every time we blog but we just can't say it enough. We are just enjoying each and every moment as we help new people, connect with new people and share this message with as many that will let us. Keep Passing It On, Baby!

As a short side note - we are considering a blog carnival (this is all new to us) and would like to know if you would be willing to participate in some sort of "Random Acts of Kindness" game or day? We are looking for your feedback so we can get our followers talking about charity and giving to others. Are you game? Let us know! :)

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth & Heather

Friday, June 5, 2009

When Words Fail...

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began.... Pass It On, Baby!

I sat down to write about this whole experience, the people we have “met” in just this past month, the emotions we have felt, how truly GOOD people are, and I have to admit that words are failing me , so please forgive me – its just that I can’t even begin to explain how powerful and amazing this experience has been, the words feel too flat to convey the emotion. When Pass It On, Baby! was only an idea that Heather and I were talking about, we founded it on the idea that people are inherently good. We knew that people were good….we just had NO idea how good. (After all, our VERY first post is entitled “Building It All on Faith in Human Kindness.”=) And from that first post on, we heard from amazing people….people who were willing to help in anyway they knew how. People who I personally am so grateful are out in the world because simply stated, they are kind. They help and love others. They, probably without thinking about it, make the world better each and every day. When we posted about the family in the fire, we had a wonderful woman write to us about her own story and how, since she knew the emotions that this mother might be dealing with, she would love to reach out to her and talk with her – help her through long after some of the material possessions have been replaced. When we posted about the autistic child, we had people who weren’t even mothers yet go out and buy shirts. When we shared Larsyn and Landyn’s story, we were again overwhelmed by the people who stepped forward willing to help. And perhaps the MOST telling…..Do you know that in almost EVERY single request we have received, that darling mother, herself in need, has offered us clothing of another size that she is willing to donate? Even if it is her very own clothing. We have heard from people willing to donate their skills as a seamstress, shop owners willing to donate their inventory to mothers in need…..all of it – is just amazing. We are so incredibly thankful to be a part of this wonderful community of hope, love and kindness.

When you sit back for a minute and take it all in, it is almost too overwhelming. We are ALL putting kindness in the world. Act by act, this world is getting a little kinder. And mother’s burdens one by one, are being eased – if only a little bit. But even if it is just a little bit, it is something and it is helping.

As you can see on our sidebar, we were chosen as a charity written up in Oprah’s Angel Network. We submitted our story at the very beginning of this whole process, days after we had the blog up and running. We were surprised and SO excited when we received a note a few days ago telling us that they had published our story. And now the “our” in our story has come to represent so many of you guys too who have willingly opened your closets, your hearts and sent these packages of love along.

We have also had the pleasure of “meeting” an amazing woman whose button you will see placed on our sidebar – Angie Smith. I have been reading “Bring the Rain” for awhile now and like probably everyone out there, know that she is just an inspiring woman and a true example for so many of us. When I contacted her about PIOB, she immediately mentioned that she too would like to get involved. I don’t think we can even begin to thank her enough for helping us get out our message, let alone that fact that her family is also passing along clothes to help some wonderful mothers who need a little help right now.

We thank you for visiting us here and hope that you’ll check back frequently. Please contact us if you have children’s clothes to donate, or if you are in need of clothes for your children. We are here to help you on your way….just as so many have done to each and every one of us.

In love and kindness.

Email Elizabeth
Email Heather

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Story of Larsyn and Landyn

Please note: If this is your first time visiting our blog, please click here to hear the premise of Pass It On, Baby! and how it all began....

A little over a week ago we received an email from a wonderful mother of three girls from Georgia who is also pregnant with twins (a boy and a girl) named Larsyn and Landyn. She let us know that she had plenty of girls clothes that she would be happy to donate but provided a letter that she had sent to family and friends regarding this pregnancy as it has not been an easy time for her and her husband. She has requested clothing from Pass It On, Baby! for preemie sizes up to 6 months. Instead of us trying to explain her story, We felt it was better coming directly from her. So in her own words, is her letter below explaining this difficult time her family is going through.

"As most of you know us some don’t. We are the proud parents of three wonderful daughters Logan, Layton and Lyla and we are expecting twins! A boy Landyn Tom and girl Sarah Larsyn We just moved to Rincon, GA in January from our hometown of Blakely, GA.

On April 27th at 23 weeks gestation our sweet baby boy Landyn was diagnosed with a terminal birth defect called Alobar Holoprosencephaly. This is when the brain does not separate into the three hemispheres during the first 4 to 6 weeks of gestation.

We are devastated but we have put our faith in God. God made Landyn perfect and our goal is to use this gift from God and to make sure that Landyns short life touches many. There is no foot so small that it can’t leave an imprint on the world.

As for the medical side of things. We are doing well. I go to the Doctor once a week where they monitor both babies. Larsyn is perfect and Landyn is a strong little boy. His heart is strong and he kicks just a much as his sister. The diagnoses for Landyns birth is that he may live 20 minutes or a couple of hours. Babies that survive to birth and delivery are considered miracles as only 3 % of babies with this survive until birth.

We thank God for every minute we have with Landyn. We are so proud of his strength and the strength he has given to us. We pray now for a miracle, that Landyn may live long enough to feel our touch and unconditional love before he goes to Heaven.

God has blessed our family in ways we didn't understand at first. But through our faith and trust in Him, we came to realize just how much purpose Landyn’s life serves on this earth. Landyn has unlocked the deeper meaning of faith, life, love and hope, and has forever changed the lives of many. We are blessed to be part of such an incredible life that is meant to touch the lives of many.

Our specific prayers are that I carry Landyn and Larsyn long enough to ensure that Larsyn is healthy and would not require any time in the NICU and the same for Landyn. So that we may spend whatever time he has in our arms. We pray for strength and guidance with this and that God may lead us in a way that we may help others when they are faced with a journey like ours." 

I am so humbled by this woman and her story. The strength that she has and the ability to still offer up clothing to others during her own difficult time is so unbelievable. She has stated in another email how difficult it is to go out and purchase clothing for one when she is unable to purchase for the other. I can not even begin to imagine how tough that would be. Quite the double edge sword of emotions. 

So unlike some of our other stories of need based on maybe financial situations, this family needs us emotionally. They need time to heal through this. And the clothing we can provide through Pass It On, Baby! can help. Words cannot even begin to express how much love and kindness this family needs so please reach out and see how you may be able to help them cope through this difficult time. I have asked this mother to let us know if there are any additional needs besides clothes so we can do our best to provide that as well. Let us know if you or someone you know has any preemie to size 6 months girl summer clothes that could help. We are counting on you. 

We continue to know that each and every day through stories as these that we are on the right path. We are doing what we are meant to do. The stories we read from not only recipients but donators alike is that we are filling a void, a need in the world. We feel so blessed and so lucky to be on this journey. Thank you for joining in with us. Give us your feedback - post more comments - and as always please continue to share with family and friends this wonderful gift of Pass It On, Baby! We thank you and so does the families whose lives are touched.

In love and kindness,

Email Elizabeth
Email Heather