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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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When it comes to registering for baby products, there's one word we love: convertible.

In contrast to items you use for a short period of time, convertible (or multi-use) products are made to grow with your baby… and trust us, that makes them worth their weight in gold.

Convertible items allow you to reap the benefits of your baby registry for years to come—and that's just savvy shopping, mama. Also savvy shopping? Creating your baby registry with Target and enjoying their Year of Benefits registry program for expectant parents. Just by starting your registry, you will get a welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. And Target's newest registry perk, the Year of Exclusive Deals, gives you discounts on essentials for your baby's whole first year when you sign up for Target Circle as well.

If you prioritize value and longevity when creating your registry, here are 10 items you'll love from day one through day 1,000… and beyond!


A crib that can grow through childhood + beyond

Simmons Kids Slumbertime Monterey 4-in-1 Convertible Crib

A crib is a necessity as you plan for life with your baby—you know that already. But what about in a couple of years when they need a toddler bed? Or a few years beyond that when they graduate to a bigger bed? Well, you're in luck: With the right attachments, this bed can be the only one they need until college.

$299.99

A cozy blanket for snuggles + security

Plush Velboa Baby Blanket I Love You - Cloud Island\u2122 White/Black

Blankets have earned their spot on millions upon millions of registries for good reason: They function as stroller covers or play mats during the early days, then become beloved security items in the toddler years.

$14.99

A comfy spot for feeding + stories

Baby Relax Addison Swivel Gliding Recliner

During your first months of motherhood, a comfortable gliding chair will be your second home as you spend time feeding and bonding. As your child grows (and mobility makes those snuggles harder to catch), you'll discover a new love for this cozy spot for stories and bedtime snuggles.

$329.99

https://goto.target.com/YJj2e

Sealy Cozy Rest Extra Firm Crib and Toddler Mattress

Fun fact: A standard crib and toddler bed actually use the same size mattress. That's why it's smart to get a quality crib mattress right out of the gate: One less thing to change up in a few years!

$59.99

A changing table that doubles as a dresser

Simmons\u00ae Kids Monterey 4 Drawer Dresser with change top

If space is at a premium in your baby's nursery, look for a combination changing table and dresser. That way, you can keep using the dresser long after your little one is potty trained.

$319.99

A car seat that converts to a booster

Safety 1st Grow and Go 3-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

The safest place for your child is in the backseat of your car, in either a car seat or (later) booster. But instead of buying a new seat for each phase, you can check off multiple boxes at once by adding a convertible car seat to your registry.

$159.99

A stroller that accommodates big kids, too

Graco FastAction Jogger LX Stroller

The need for a good stroller doesn't end when your little one learns to walk, so look for a stroller that can accommodate bigger kids, too. We recommend a jogging stroller that allows you to attach an infant car seat and is still perfectly spacious for toddlers.

$146.99

A place to dine for years to come

Ingenuity SmartClean Trio Elite 3-in-1 High Chair - Slate

From first bites to family dinners around the table, one single high chair can be the solution you need. That is, if you look for a version that adapts into a booster seat when your child is ready for a plate at the table.

$99.99

A white noise machine + alarm clock in one

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

After spending months listening to ambient noise in the womb, white noise remains incredibly comforting for your child. It's nice to have a sound machine that can transition to a time-to-rise clock down the line. By cueing with sounds and colors, these clocks reinforce healthy sleep habits.

$59.99

A baby carrier that can haul a toddler, too

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier

A carrier is a major help when your baby loves being held, but you need use of your hands. But even months or years down the line, you can still get use out of that carrier. To maximize longevity, look for one that can be used with your child facing outward or even carried on your back as they grow.

$29.99

Enjoy building your registry with Target, mama! The Year of Benefits is calling your name with a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more! 😉

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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