Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What a wonderful kick off to our Holiday Fund. Not even two weeks into the fund and we have already received $788 in donations. THANK YOU so very much!! If you are still contemplating whether you would like to support our fund please remember that all the donations will benefit families in the Alta Bates NICU who are facing significant financial hardship. Their economic situation threatens their ability to be with their baby in the hospital, or even worse for some, it may threaten their baby’s homecoming because they cannot afford car seats, cribs and other necessities. Please read the following testimonies and consider supporting us in our effort to support these families.

"The story of Sam is one that I have told to anyone and everyone that will listen. He was born in September of 2010 at just 24 weeks and weighed only 1 lb 12 ounces. We spent 95 days in the NICU at Alta Bates, enduring many roller coaster rides as Sam went from a fragile micro- preemie to a "feeder and a grower". Those are the basic facts, but there is so much more to Sam's story. While Sam in the NICU, Sam was cared for every day by superheros: his nurses, nurse practitioner, neonatoligists, physical therapist, occupational therapists, and many many more. Each one of these people had a hand in saving the life of my son. I was so inspired by what I witnessed daily in the NICU that I allowed my story to be filmed for a Sutter Health TV ad and am now an active member of the Family Advisory Council. The first thing the Council did was set up a fund so we could help out those families less fortunate that find themselves in the NICU. It was such an easy and obvious way that we could give back and improve someone else’s stay in the NICU. It is with gratitude and purpose that I fully support the Holiday Gift Fund." -Melissa Harris
"Molly and Patrick were born at 34 weeks and spent 20 days in the NICU. We were so lucky that they were born healthy, just a bit too too small to go home right away. It was a very stressful time, but the nurses and doctors, and especially the lactation consultant, at Alta Bates were top notch. I was so impressed by how the NICU was organized and managed. I always felt like I was getting the highest quality care for my kids. The nurses were incredibly supportive, nurturing, and knowledgeable. And even while going through my own hard times with my new babies, I realized how much I should count my blessings as I saw what other NICU families were going through. I lived 10 minutes away from the NICU and was so blessed to have strong family support. I can't imagine what it must be like for families who have to travel from far away to be with their children, or don't have the support I had. I have been waiting all year to be able to support the holiday fund and help other NICU families. It is the best way I can think of to give thanks for the care we received for our beautiful babies." -Jessica Russel, Mother of Molly and Patrick.
"Foxen Worthing is two and a half years old. He was born at Christmastime in 2008 at 30 weeks. We spent 52 days in the NICU, including Christmas and New Years. The tenderness and generosity that the nurses, doctors, staff, fellow NICU families, and the lovely chaplain showed to us every one of those days still brings tears of gratitude to my eyes. Today, gazing upon my sweet and strong and stubborn and sly toddler, I am still overcome with gratitude. The term "miracle" makes me a little unco mfortable, but I'm not sure if there is another that conveys what happens at the NICU. Superhuman grace and love and insight and patience is expressed through all these people: paid professionals just as much as the people they serve, and these tiny creatures, grasping at life, are nurtured to health by hundreds of hands and then delivered, ready for the world, to the arms of their wide-eyed parents. I contribute to the Holiday Gift Fund in hopes of passing on some of the tender loving care that was given so freely to our family when our preemie came as a Christmas surprise."

If you are currently unable to support our fund by donating money, please consider passing this email on to friends or family members who may be interested in reading our story and offering their support.

With many thanks,Loki Sky and his Friends

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Photos: birthday, violin, Amsterdam, St. Nick arrives

The table is prepared for the special breakfast on Loki's third birthday:

Our birthday gift: a sort of table harp, called a cymbaal (or cimbalom):

Birthday at daycare:

Loki recently became fascinated with violins, starting with a busker at the grocery, and then when his Tante Naomi brought one for his birthday. This spatula and long shoe shown have become his violin and bow:

Marieke brought her violin:

It fits better as a cello:

Carving a  pumpkin into a Halloween Jack-o-lantern

On the train to Amsterdam:

In Amsterdam, visiting some American friends who are spending 6 months in Paris. The boy here was born on Loki's due date:

Sharing a bike with Mama at a neat playground in Amsterdam:

America's story and image of Santa Claus came from the Netherlands' St. Nicholas, or Sinterklaas. After coming from his home in Spain (!) via steamboat (!!), he tours the Netherlands on his white horse:

Painting, with pink hair:

Sometimes, we all work:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

We are back, once again!!

Dear family and friends,

We are back with the 3rd Annual “Loki Sky and his NICU Friends’ Holiday Fund” benefiting families at the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. We need your help now more than ever to help families, many of whom will spend their first Holiday Season with their new babies in the hospital.

This year we launch with a different target. We hope for the same amazing contributions as the past years, but this time we will donate the money to those who need it most. The economic downturn impacts many families. For them, the combination of having a sick baby in the hospital and their difficult financial situation often causes enormous stress. For example, spending much needed time with their babies increases the chance of losing a job. Some parents need to make a choice between spending money on transportation to the hospital to be with their baby, or between buying healthy food for their older children. Others are at risk of losing their baby at discharge because they lack the money to buy a crib or car seat, a requirement to bring one’s baby home. These are families who are otherwise very capable of providing a loving and home for their babies.

We ask you to help us help those families. We all were lucky with support from friends, family and even strangers. Together we can be those strangers. We can make a significant difference in the life of a NICU baby and their family.

How you can help:
Internet: Please go to and use a credit card or Paypal account to send money to XXXX. Be sure to note "Holiday Fund" in the comments.

US: Please mail checks in name of: XXXX. Please write “Holiday Fund” in the memo.

NL: Maak geld over op rekening XXXX o.v.v. “Holiday Fund”

Deadline: Monday December 18th 2011

Delivery: Our check will be handed over to the Family Advisory Council during the Holidays. Photos and stories will be shared as usual.

Thank you very much for your help!
Loki Sky and his NICU Friends

Monday, November 7, 2011

Videos from California

Here in the Low Country, the bad news is that Loki has been struggling with a fever for 5 days. The good news is that not only is he getting better, but he didn't have to go to the hospital.

Regardless, here are some clips from California:

  • Loki likes to have one or two extra pacifiers, so that he can rub his face with one while slurping the other. Here, he shows how he can sneak in a fourth one. 
  • He plays with his NICU buddy Foxen unlike with anyone else. Here, they go a bit crazy in the chapel at Children's Fairyland.
  • Esti is one of the funniest people I know. Loki agrees.
  • Drumming performance at Shaggy's.
  • California's coast!
  • Cooking pumpkin pie with Margaret
  • For Loki, the highlight of our trip may have been the swimming pools. His "swimming" quickly improved.
  • He laughs at cartoons with Mom. (form here forward, the audio volume is a bit lower...)
  • When he plays, he often uses a high falsetto voice. Here I captured in via the monitor.
  • Trying a hula hoop with Magnolia, Luna's daughter. 

About Loki Sky

Loki Sky is a special little man. He was a very early micropreemie, weighing only 610 grams (1 lb, 5 oz) after 24 weeks, 3 days gestation, born to an American Father and a Dutch Mother in Berkeley, California on October 18, 2008.

On January 11, 2009, while still in the hospital NICU, his one kidney stopped working. It was repaired after three surgeries. After spending time in three hospitals in three cities, Loki came home on February 17. He struggled with eating, and then stopped in July, leading to 8 days in the hospital, a failure-to-thrive diagnosis, and a NG feeding tube. On October 10, a minor surgery installed a G feeding tube. Another procedure replaced it with a new one, and then again with a Mic-Key button in Jan. 2010.

In August 2010, he and his parents moved to the Netherlands.

Read about his first name.
Read & hear about his middle name.
See photos.
See videos.

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Loki's Holiday Gift Drive

Please consider donating to Loki's Holiday Gift Drive for the Alta Bates Summit Medical Center NICU. You can donate by Paypal or credit card here:

Click here for more information, including how to pay by check. For all posts on the Gift Drive, click here.