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What went viral this week: Mom donates a whole Payless store + a miracle baby born 4 months early

It's time for the weekend and that means it is time to round up the viral stories that have warmed Team Motherly's hearts this week.

We've got some feel-good viral stories you may have missed over the last seven days. Take a look (and grab some tissues), mama.

Kindness in action: One mama's novel way to make sure every kid has back-to-school shoes

Mom and lawyer Carrie Jernigan of Arkansas recently went to one of the Payless shoe stores currently going out of business with the intention of scoring a couple of pairs of shoes for her own kids. But when her daughter asked if they could also pick up a pair of heavily discounted shoes for a classmate of hers who needed a new pair, Jenigan had a lightbulb moment.

"As I was checking out I just said, 'How much for the rest of the shoes in the store?' almost joking and I could see the clerks, her face, her wheels start to turn and she finished checking me out. She said, 'Can I have your number?'" she told 5 News.

Later that day the store manager called her, and soon she ended up with hundreds of pairs of shoes for kids (and adults) in her community who need them.

The story went viral and has turned into something she couldn't even imagine.

"It's turned into this huge school back to school bash for our community," she told Good Morning America. There's going to be a major event at the local middle school and others have joined Jernigan to donate backpacks and school supplies.

Mamas paying forward: This mom received the sweetest note from a stranger in the drive-thru 

As the New York Post reports, mom Heidi Goforth stopped at the McDonald's drive-thru for a couple of breakfast burritos when she got the sweetest surprise from a fellow mama.

When they pulled through to pay they discovered the vehicle in front had bought them breakfast and left them a sweet note on the receipt: "My son is in the airforce. I can't buy him breakfast so I bought yours. Have a blessed day."

"I just had this happen to me. It touched my heart sooo much!" Goforth wrote on Facebook. "I was buying breakfast for my son at McDonald's and the sweet lady in front of me in the drive-thru paid for my meal.

"I pray that you see your son soon," she wrote to the anonymous note writer. "He's lucky to have a mom that loves him so much! God bless you and him! Tell him thank you for his service."

This mom gave birth 4 months early + her miracle preemie is going viral

Ellonn Smartt from Des Moines, Iowa was supposed to be due in November, but her baby is already here. As ABC News reports, when Smart went into labor at just 23 weeks pregnant the 25-year-old mama was understandably scared.

"I started bawling my eyes out," she told ABC News. "I had dreamt of a perfect pregnancy and I thought everything was going great. All my appointments were fine, I was healthy, I ate right."

But her son, Jaden, was coming four months too early. Smartt needed an emergency C-section, and when her son was born he shocked his mom and the medical team by trying to do something pretty impressive for a baby so tiny (just 13 ounces). He was trying to breathe on his own.

"[The doctors] just were shocked that something so little was trying to do stuff on his own and breathe," Smartt said.

The tiny baby has been moved to the NICU at Blank Children's Hospital, and Smartt and her partner Jordan are hoping to take him home around the time of his original due date, November.

"[The doctors] are kind of going day by day. They're pretty much saying he looks really great," Smartt says.

Hang in there Jaden, you can do it!

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This is my one trick to get baby to sleep (and it always works!)

There's a reason why every mom tells you to buy a sound machine.

So in my defense, I grew up in Florida. As a child of the sunshine state, I knew I had to check for gators before sitting on the toilet, that cockroaches didn't just scurry, they actually flew, and at that point, the most popular and only sound machine I had ever heard of was the Miami Sound Machine.

I was raised on the notion that the rhythm was going to get me, not lull me into a peaceful slumber. Who knew?!

Well evidently science and, probably, Gloria Estefan knew, but I digress.

When my son was born, I just assumed the kid would know how to sleep. When I'm tired that's what I do, so why wouldn't this smaller more easily exhausted version of me not work the same way? Well, the simple and cinematic answer is, he is not in Kansas anymore.

Being in utero is like being in a warm, soothing and squishy spa. It's cozy, it's secure, it comes with its own soundtrack. Then one day the spa is gone. The space is bigger, brighter and the constant stream of music has come to an abrupt end. Your baby just needs a little time to acclimate and a little assist from continuous sound support.

My son, like most babies, was a restless and active sleeper. It didn't take much to jolt him from a sound sleep to crying like a banshee. I once microwaved a piece of pizza, and you would have thought I let 50 Rockettes into his room to perform a kick line.

I was literally walking on eggshells, tiptoeing around the house, watching the television with the closed caption on.

Like adults, babies have an internal clock. Unlike adults, babies haven't harnessed the ability to hit the snooze button on that internal clock. Lucky for babies they have a great Mama to hit the snooze button for them.

Enter the beloved by all—sound machines.

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Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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A few years ago, while my wife's baby bump got bigger and my daddy reading list grew longer, I felt cautiously optimistic that this parenthood thing would, somehow, suddenly click one day. The baby would come, instincts would kick in, and the transition from established couple to a new family would be tiring but not baffling.

Boy was I wrong.

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