Sunday, December 26, 2010

A little Christmas Karaoke

A belated Christmas wish...
I tried so hard to get this posted on Christmas Eve, and I had issues uploading. So a day late isn't too bad, right?

Hope you all had a Very Merry Christmas and I wish you the best for the New Year!

This is just me and my girls having fun. Not my best singing.

:)








Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What accident?

I'm at Walmart the other day with my husband and he takes off to go look at something. I get a phone call on my cell. It looks like a California number and I answer it, hoping maybe it's good news from the agency.

It was Geico. They were calling in regards to the accident on December 17th. They wanted to get a statement. I was stumped. Were they talking about 2 years ago when John hit the deer? I think that was around December. I didn't get it. Why would they call about an old accident? So I say, I'm not sure which accident you mean. They explain, the accident on Dec. 17 that involved our F1-50. Well my husband had told me that the headlight had fallen out the other day while he was driving. Weird. Just out of nowhere it fell out. I thought well maybe he put a claim into Geico since we had been talking about if they would cover that or not. So I ask, is this about the headlight? Well I don't know about a headlight, but I guess the other car got rear-ended, a Mazda, etc. I laugh and say, I hadn't heard anything. They ask if they can speak to my husband and I say, yeah let me find him. I can't find him, so I give the guy his cell number.

Hubby won't answer the phone if he doesn't know who's calling him. They called him and he didn't answer. So then he's looking for me and calls me on my cell phone. He says where are you? I say, the question is...... Where were you December 17th? I was teasing, but wondering if maybe he knew something but didn't think it was a big deal. Or maybe he'd called and told them about the headlight? He doesn't know what I'm talking about. He asks if I'm joking. I say no, Geico just called...  Then he remembers that his coworker had borrowed the truck on Friday- December 17th. I was so flipping pissed. This guy borrows the truck to go get doughnuts and we're not clear what happened, but he apparently hit someone. Then he didn't even say anything to my husband.. but he must have exchanged information with the lady. Hello! Did he not think we would notice or that the insurance company wouldn't call? He didn't even say anything when my husband had told him that the headlight mysteriously fell off that night!

John (hubby) wasn't very happy that I was accusing him of not telling me something. I just didn't know why Geico would be calling and he had told me the light fell out. I had no clue anyone had borrowed the car. I told him to let the guy know that he caused a nice little fight between us.

This is our family truck. It's the nicest vehicle we have. We've had it less than a year. We can't afford to pay the deductible to get it fixed. Hubby has since talked to the guy and let him know that he needs to pay to get it fixed. UGH! What a nightmare. I hate not being able to trust people and what hubby hates the most is being LIED to!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What's so special about December 14th?

It was a cold, Wintery day. I was scheduled to be induced. Actually I had tried to set up the induction for December 13th, my twin uncles' birthday(s). However, I called in the morning of the 13th and they weren't able to set it up for the same day, so I was going to have a baby on December 14, 1999.

I was excited and scared when I found out we were going to have another baby. We were living in Mayport, Florida and John had just gotten to his first command, the USS John Hancock.(February 1999) Jeremy was 2 years old. I was 21.


I was almost scared to tell my family I was pregnant again. However, when I called and shared the news, they were very excited and supportive. I guess it's different when you're married. LOL. (Jeremy was 6 months old when we got married)

One of the reasons I was scared was because I was a million miles from "home". I was out in the middle of nowhere with my husband and our son. I didn't know anybody else.  I would be seeing a new doctor. It was a lot to take in. Those first few months I was pretty sick and miserable. We were excited to be looking forward to a new baby though. We soon found out that John would be going out on his first deployment in September. I wasn't too thrilled about that.  It took awhile before we realized he wouldn't be there when the baby was born.

Being a new Navy wife, I was getting stronger, but I had no desire to stay in an unfamiliar area miles away from family with a toddler and give birth to another baby. That just seemed nuts to me. Why put myself through that if I didn't have to? So it was decided. I was going to move back to Utah for awhile. We were happy to say good riddance to our apartment. Goodbye mold/mildew. Goodbye painted over cobwebs.

I was entering another chapter in my life. I was dealing with our first deployment and our 2nd baby. Even though I would be surrounded by friends and family. I was doing it alone. Before I moved back home, (with my parents) I had found out that my sister was pregnant as well. This was her first child. How exciting to be pregnant together.





I don't remember much about John leaving. I just remember driving him to the airport and coming home and sleeping.



I was pregnant, so that wasn't unheard of, but I think also I was a little bit depressed. But life went on.  Little Jeremy kept me busy and laughing.  It was good to be home and not alone.



I woke up on December 14, 1999 and I was a mix of emotions. I was excited to know that my little girl was going to be born, but I did not want to go to the hospital without John. Maybe I shouldn't have scheduled an induction. Maybe I should have procrastinated. But today was the day and I had to be strong. (the memories are opening the floodgates)

It was a birthing party. I invited just about everybody to be there. And because I have the most awesome Dr. and nurses, I was allowed to do that. My 2 best friends were there, Stephanie and Terrill. I believe Stephanie was my camera woman. (video) My pregnant sister was there, only 6 weeks away from having her own baby. My mom and dad were there, John's parents, and  John's sisters and little Jeremy.



























(I swear I'm missing some pictures)

For good luck I wore my USS John Hancock ball cap. I think we got to the hospital around 8:00 AM. It made my day when the phone rang. It was for me. It was my husband. He got to call me from the ship's phone. (if I remember correctly) He called twice. Right before she was born and right after. That was pretty freaking cool!




Nothing fancy or complicated about the labor and delivery. Tristan was born at 3:48 PM.

I couldn't wait for John to meet her. Luckily we had a digital camera and my dad was able to e-mail pictures to John on the ship. At least he got to see her the day she was born. 

It was so fun to have a baby born 11 days before Christmas!
Dang it, where's that cute picture of her in her carseat under the tree?    :(


She was 3 months old when John finally got to meet her and hold her, the day he got back from Deployment.

Tristan came into our lives in a very memorable way. Happy Birthday sweetie!





Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Surrogates gone wild

There are surrogates out there that give us a bad name. They have bad attitudes. They think they know it all about surrogacy and life in general. I feel bad for their IP's. It's like they live for drama. Can't get enough.  All they seem to want to do is cause trouble and pick fights.(I've witnessed it many times in the online surrogacy communities) They love to name call and put other surrogates down, just for having a different opinion.. It's ridiculous how the trouble makers band together and egg each other on. It's like a contest to see who can be the biggest bully.

No wonder we get a bad rap.When you see something on tv or in the news about surrogates and it's not very pretty, these are the ladies that model that behavior. Maybe it's not all bad media, maybe they're just talking to the wrong surrogates?

Makes me wonder if they were matched through an agency. If so, does the agency regret matching them? Do they make themselves sound sweet and wonderful and know that it's far from the truth? Or do they really think they are all knowing and all powerful? Do they think that they're decent people?

Call me old fashioned, but I believe in the Golden Rule." Do unto others as you would have done unto you." It makes sense to me. I don't want people treating me like crap, I don't want someone ganging up on me because I don't agree with them. So why do that sort of behavior? What do you have to gain from that? If anything it takes so much away from everyone involved. Yeah I know you think you're tough and you don't care what anyone else thinks.

Sure we all have our own opinions and yes you can express them, but do it in a respectable way. I believe in Karma, and these girls really have it coming to them.

Now, let me tell you about the rest of the surrogacy community....

The other 95% of surrogates are compassionate, respectable, intelligent. It's not a very good combo to be selfish and go into a relationship that requires selflessness. I've asked others to tell me what they think of when they think of surrogates and came up with this:


Selfless
Understanding
Respectful
Ready for anything
Oh so loving
Great friend
Affectionate
Trustworthy
Encouraging


As well as... warm, dedicated, concerned, funny and supportive. If you are lucky enough to know one of these surrogates, give them a hug and /or tell them you are proud of them!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In Memory of John Lennon

Today marks 30 years since the death of John Lennon. So today I am wearing one of my Beatles shirts. If I had more time today I would have played some Beatles Rock Band... but instead I listened to John Lennon songs and I am going to share this video of me singing karaoke (about 2 years ago) to Whatever Gets You Through the Night:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Latest review for Once Upon a Surrogate: The Stork's Helpers by Surrogacy Lawyer Theresa Erickson

I am always pleasantly surprised when I see that someone has purchased my book. I was pretty excited when Surrogacy Lawyer Theresa Erickson bought 2. Not only that but she mentioned she'd like to do a book review for her blog.

I got a sneak peek last week and it was very touching.  I was a little self conscious about what someone so powerful and knowledgeable about surrogacy would think about my book. Well what she had to say brought tears to my eyes. She liked it!  Wanna see what she had to say? Head over to her site: Surrogacy & Egg Donation Issues


Things have been going pretty good for my book and they just keep getting better.      :)

Just a reminder that through Christmas, my book is on sale at 25% off. No code needed, it's already discounted.

And if you'd like a shot at a free copy, this month's giveaway ends TONIGHT!  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

REMINDER- Book giveaway ends TOMORROW December 6, 2010

My surrogacy book giveaway ends tomorrow.

Details:
http://surrogacybooks.blogspot.com/2010/12/giveaway-and-sale.html

Tis the season to get sick

I hate all the crap that's going around. You've got the flu, croup, the common cold, some sort of stomach virus, etc. I hate how it can recirculate. I've avoided church for the past few weeks for this reason.
I had a cough, it sounded nasty, I believe it was croup. I would wake up in the middle of the night choking; gasping for air. It was scary as hell.  I hoped and prayed that my husband and children wouldn't get it. Luckily they didn't. Even after the cough went away, I'd still wake up choking for about a week or 2. (not every night, but maybe once or twice a week)

Right now a few of us have the sniffles. Not too bad in comparison! I'm still cautious to be around too many people. I hate to be in a vulnerable stage and catch something. We did go to church today, but Jessie and I came home after sacrament.

I was saddened to learn that a family in the ward/neighborhood lost their little boy (3 yrs old) to croup this weekend. I don't know all the circumstances, only that he had Croup and stopped breathing. There were not many dry eyes at church today, but the love for this family could be felt. John (my husband) was holding Jessica's (our 6 year old) hand and I know what he was thinking/feeling. How easy it can be to take our little ones for granted when we get caught up in the chaos of everyday life. How precious they are to us. I can't imagine losing a child.

:(

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Book sale AND giveaway

To kick off my book sale for December,


















I am offering a free copy of Once Upon a Surrogate, The Stork's Helpers.



















So what do you have to do for a chance to win? Choose 2 or more below. Each will earn you 1 entry.







After you have chosen 2 or more of the above, please leave me a comment at each place AND e-mail me that you've done so at pepperbird@gmail.com (subject surrogacy book giveaway)


Giveaway will end Monday December 6, 2010, so don't wait to long. Winner will be picked at random.

Want to learn more about my chilren's surrogacy book? Read what others have to say: http://surrogacybooks.blogspot.com/p/blog-mentions-and-reviews.html









Tuesday, November 30, 2010

25 days of 25% off Surrogacy Books















I'm having a sale over at Surrgoacy Books. You can order my book,  Once Upon a Surrogate: The Stork's Helpers  from December 1-25 at 25% off. Regularly $16.95, now $12.71. No code needed. If you are looking for a surrogacy book check it out. It is a new children's book about surrogacy, however it's written for all ages to enjoy.







Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blizzards and white outs

Well, if you live in Utah, I'm sure you heard the blizzard warning yesterday. I was not happy. I'm not ready for the snow and the cold and the storms. Once the snow gets here, I'm fine. I just don't like being out in a snow storm.

So, this big blizzard was supposed to be pretty hazardous. However, I heard it was pretty tame. Where I live, we have our own weather. If it's snowing really hard in Salt Lake or Provo, it's not here. Or it could be snowing really hard here (not very often) and now snow anywhere else. It's crazy out here. One of the reasons why I love it so much.

I was out last night doing a Scentsy party. Luckily I didn't have too far to drive. It was snowing lightly and it got really cold really fast. But there was no big bad blizzard.

I'll tell you about a story about a big bad blizzard though....

It was 2007 I beleive. Day before Valentine's. We had only lived out here less than a year. I thought I'd hop in the car and go to the store to get a cupcake mix to make some festive treats. I got caught in the nastiest white out blizzard I've ever been in. You know the one out here in Saratoga Springs/Eagle Mountain? Well I tried to head home, but there were accidents everywhere. Two accidents had just happened right before I got to the intersection, I turned around to go the other way I knew to get home and bam another car accident happened and I couldn't get past it. Luckily our heater was working in the car. I pulled over behind the Smith's parking lot and cried for a bit. It was frustrating and scary. There were only 2 known ways for me to get home and both were blocked. I tried heading to the freeway to Sandy to take shelter with my parents or inlaws. I couldn't even get on the freeway going north. All traffic was stopped. I was lucky enough to be able to head north to Pleasant Grove and spent the night with my sister and her husband. My husband was in the Navy stationed in San Diego. It was a day I'll never forget.

Since there was going to be this big bad blizzard yesterday, my sister called me and told me not to go to the store and get cake mix. HA HA.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday is a beautiful day for a guest post- ask a surrogate

I am so happy and proud to present a special guest poster today.  Tasha is a surrogate. I have asked her some questions so that you can get to know her. I tried to ask questions that most people want to know about surrogates. When you are done reading the interview, you can visit Tasha at: http://www.deliveringmiracles.blogspot.com/.

1- Why did you choose to become a surrogate?


I chose to become a surrogate because it's something I've always wanted to do; I had this desire even before I had my own children. After going through 4 pregnancies and deliveries of my own with relative ease, I decided that it was time to share that blessing with another family. My family is complete now and I am overjoyed at the thought of helping another cople complete their own family.


2- How long have you been a surrogate?

I began my journey in March 2010 when I applied with a wonderful agency. I was matched rather quickly and here I am, 17 weeks pregnant with twins for a terrific couple!

3- Did you go through an agency?

Yes, after talking with a few couples independently, I decided that an agency would be best considering I am a first-time surrogate.


4- Where are you in your journey? (looking, matched, pregnant, etc.)

As of today, I am 17 weeks with healthy twins.

5- How did you choose your intended parents? What did you like the most about them?

I really don't feel like I chose them, rather that they chose me. It's hard to be drawn to people on paper, but after I spoke with them and saw photos of their life, I had a real heart tug for them.

6- Do you live close to your IP's?

My IP's and I live quite far apart; a 2.5hr plane ride away. They are in NY while I am in TN.

7- Do you expect to keep in contact after the birth? If so, through what means and how often?


I hope to keep in contact them with; IM and I discussed this in the beginning and we both decided to see how we feel after we go through this together. I would like to keep in touch of course, but I know the demands of life and babies can keep a family very busy. And honestly, if they choose not to keep in contact with me (and I can't imagine they would do that actually), then I would respect that decision and know that they need to do what they think is best for their family.


8- Do you have any concerns? For now or after the baby is born?

I don't really have any concerns at this time. Maybye I won't ever have any at all. I've always known this is what I wanted to do someday, and up to this point, it has all gone almost perfectly.

9- What do you want to tell others about surrogacy?

I guess I'd like to ask others to truly research surrogacy before they form any opinions about the surrogates or about the couples seeking surrogacy. Surrogacy is not driven by financial motivation or a selfish a desire carry children -- it is very simply driven by selfless love.

10- Will you do it again?

I am saving that decision for the time being. I'd like to see how I feel after my current journey is complete.


Thank you Tasha! I wish you the best in your journey. I'm sure your IP's are happy to have found such a wonderful woman.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
surrogacy, surrogate interview, guest blogger, surrogate

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Home school science fun

Just one of the reasons I love home-schooling. Not only can I learn along with the kids, but learning can happen any day, any time.

I love it even more, when my husband gets involved. This was a little experiment we found in a book that my 6 year old got at the library about electricity.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Surrogacy Merchandise Sale (books, t-shirts and more)

As some of you know, I love designing. I have a few Cafepress shops where I sell surrogacy merchandise. (surrogacy shirts, mugs, clocks, journals, keepsake boxes, magnets, stickers, etc.) I have merchandise for the IP's as well as surrobabies and surrogate's own children.

Well Cafepress is having a great sale. They are offering $10 off any $50 order.


Details:

Happy Holidays:



Just letting you know about a Friends & Family Sale in my shop (and through-out CafePress) From November 20-23 you can shop for gifts and save among my designs and others.


You'll save $10 on orders of $50+ (use code: Friend10). So buy gifts and save.
(All links to my shops will be listed towards the bottom of my post.)



I am going to add to that sale. If you buy any 3 of my t-shirt designs (or $35 in merchandise), I will send you my book for free!

Also, if you buy 3 of my books, I will send you $10 of any surrogacy merchandise for free.

Well.... what are you waiting for? The Cafepress sale is only November 20-23!

Before that, they're having a sale of $5 of $45, use code: PRETG5 now through Nov. 20th.

My Surrogacy Shops:
www.cafepress.com/surropepperbird
www.cafepress.com/surrobabe
www.cafepress.com/surrogatemade
www.cafepress.com/storkhelpers
www.cafepress.com/MultiSurrogacy
www.cafepress.com/surroholiday


P.S. I will do custom designs if you ask nicely. I will need a few days though.
Also, if you come across something you like, please "like"/share on facebook, Twitter, etc.

My Surrogacy Book Store:
http://surrogacybooks.blogspot.com/


My offer will last through the end of December. 

*IMPORTANT NOTE: You must purchase your 3 shirts (or $35 in merchandise) through one of my Cafepress links and then notify me. (pepperbird@gmail.com) I will wait 2 weeks to make sure there are no problems with the order and then send your free book. Same with buying my book- purchase 3 books online @ http://surrogacybooks.blogspot.com/, then e-mail me and tell me you want your free surro gifts. (right away) I will need your mailing address.

Enjoy and Happy Friday!

~ Mormon Surrogate







surrogacy books, surrogacy gifts, surrogacy merchandise, gifts for intended parents, surrogacy gift sale, surrogacy book sale

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Surrogacy update and the sweetest book review so far

It's been an awesome week! I don't want to get my hopes up, but good things just keep happening and I'm going to ride this cloud. First of all, my agency (surrogacy) may have found insurance for me. Not only that but they have a couple in mind for a match.  AAAGGHHH! That's what happy screaming looks like, right?  I was ecstatic.

So, that alone could make me happy all week. Well I came down to my office to check my e-mail and I had a message that there was a review posted for my book.

OH MY GOSH!!!! It's the most well-written reviw I've ever read or received. Not only that, but the lady was so darn sweet, she made me smile from beginning to end. I was so thrilled/touched/impressed. I was this close to crying happy tears. She made my day!

You can read it here:  http://northeastpa.citymommy.com/?q=node/6525

Hope the rest of you out in Bloggyland are having a great week!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Recent Surrogacy article in Glamour- my thoughts

The recent article in Glamour was titled The Most Wanted Surrogates in the World. It is about military wives being surrogates and there is a lot of truth to that. They are top of the pick for most agencies. I know first hand because I was a military wife surrogate and I've been with 3 agencies and have spoken to at least 5 others when I was looking to be matched.

Overall, I was impressed with the article. Most things I've read about or seen on television or even in movies regarding surrogacy is usually negative. We are ususally portrayed as unstable, weirdos, or the surrogacy process itself is usually not accurate. (one of the reasons I wrote my book, to provide something positive out there about us)

I believe it was Glamour that may have been the reason I fell in love with surrogacy in the first place. It was a magazine article I read back around 2002(?).  Surrogacy was a new concept to me back then and I completely fell in love with the idea. The whole concept was beautiful and the fact that you could get compensated on top of it all, blew me away. I wanted to be a surrogate. My husband was on deployment (US Navy) at the time and he didn't feel quite right about it. He didn't like the idea of me being pregnant with another man's baby. The timing was not right, and without his support I left it alone and moved on.

Funny thing is, I was living in Utah at the time, and it would have been ILLEGAL for me to be a compensated surrogate. Thank goodness that's not the case now, since I'm living in Utah again.

So, then how did I become a surrogate? Many of you have heard this story before, so you can skip this paragraph if you want to. It was the summer of 2005 and I was getting ready to move to San Diego to be with my husband. He wasn't going to be on a ship anymore, so I was going to be able to actually see him more than 1 month a year. He was always donating blood for his favorite radio station. We could have used some extra money so I started looking into donating blood for money. Well the internet led me to donating sperm for money. Hubby had a vasectomy in 2004, so that was a no go. However, it also led me to donating eggs. Hmm, that could be a cool experience. We were done having kids, hence the vasectomy, so how cool would it be for me to help someone else have kids? I did some research and contacted an agency near where we'd be moving to.  One lady was very helpful in educating me. I wasn't 100% sure if egg donation was right for me, so she asked if I had ever considered being a surrogate. Why yes I had. We discussed the situation that occurred a few years back and she reassured me that the baby would not be mine at all. She explained that I would be a gestational surrogate which meant that I was the carrier, no genetic ties.  She asked if I was concerned about being able to give up the baby and she told me it was actually pretty easy knowing that the baby is not yours to begin with. (that mindset really helped me)  She also told me that being a surrogate was much more rewarding than being an egg donor. My passion grew. My husband hesitated, but even miles away, he could feel the passion within and wanted to support me the way I had supported him when he joined the Navy. I was ecstatic!

I learned a lot about surrogacy in the month before we moved, and even since then. I found a wonderful online community/support group where I could learn about issues before they arised. (http://www.allaboutsurrogacy.com/) I could talk to other surrogates there as well as intended parents. (IP's)

The agency I had spoken with offered me an extra $5000 if I used my military insurance. (Tricare) I thought nothing of it. They were an agency. I figured they knew what they were doing. I ended up not going with that agency though for other reasons that made me feel uncomfortable.

The next agency did not offer anything extra, but I was told by many agencies that I was very desireable as a surrogate with military insurance. It almost hurt my feelings. I kind of felt like that took priority over who I was as a person, like that was the only reason they chose me. However, being new to surrogacy, why would I question these agencies? Not only that, but I didn't see a problem with using my own insurance when I was the one who was going to be pregnant.

I was matched right away. The embryo transfer was about 2 months later and I got pregnant on the first try. I didn't expect that, and yet I wasn't surprised. The IP's paid for the shots, IVF,  and everything up until pregnancy confirmation. Then I started using my insurance. I want to point out that there was nothing at the time that said Tricare did not cover surrogacy. However, it was starting to become a topic of interest that one day they would no longer cover it. I didn't want there to be any misunderstandings so I was upfront and honest with all the doctors I saw. They even gave my IP's a room at the hospital when the baby was born. I was told that they had dealt with plenty of surrogacies before and I was very happy with how I was treated.

It is my personal opinion that all insurance companies should cover surrogacy pregnancies, regardless of compensation. Most insurance companies cover pregnancies that end in adoption. Those moms are similarly compensated. And what about pregnancies that are a result of an affair? Are those denied? (I hope those moms aren't compensated) If I am pregnant and I have insurance, why can't I use it? As a pregnant woman, I have a medical condition and I need to be treated, right? I would love to be matched right now, but because of all this hoo ha with insurance NOT covering surrogacy, I'm at a standstill. (P.S. my husband is no longer in the military and we no longer have Tricare)

This is what rubbed me the wrong way about the Glamour article- how our compensation was referred to. I'm 99% sure that most surrogates will back me up on what I have to say here.
  1. Surrogacy is not a job.
  2. Our compensation is not a paycheck.
  3. Our IP's are not our employers.
  4. Surrogacy is not a business transaction.
Yes, some of us are compensated. Yes, it is well deserved. We are compensated for our pain and suffering. Our lives are put on hold, even our sex lives.

For those who say surrogacy is prositution-
1- Are you stupid?
2- It's quite the opposite. We have restrictions where we absolutely cannot have sex for certain lengths of time. My husband would like to get his own compensation during those times.

I think of our compensation similar to compensating a mom who is giving up her baby for adoption. What is she compensated for? Well it seems that she is compensated for living expenses, and anything needed while she is pregnant. If a husband's wife was pregnant he would make sure she had a roof overhead, clothing, food, etc. Of course he would provide for her at all times. Our compensation covers whatever is needed to make sure we have all we need during the pregnancy and to make sure we are comfortable. That is my view and understanding of it. Also like I mentioned, it is for our pain and suffering. Being a surrogate is not as simple and easy as most people think. There is much more involved than merely getting pregnant and handing over the baby.

I would actually forget at times that I was being monetarily compensated. There are other compensations that come naturally. Being pregnant is nothing short of a miracle. If you've ever been pregnant, you know the speical feelings that come along with it. It felt above and beyond wonderful to know I was carrying precious cargo for someone else. I'm sure you know the glow that pregnancy can bring. For a surrogate, that glow is 10 times as bright and can be felt within. My compensation was the icing on the cake. It was very much appreciated.

For most surrogates, the compensation does not last long. Some use it to pay off debt, buy a new car, build up savings or a college fund for their children. The monetary compensation may not last forever, but the wonderful feelings from helping a couple become parents is ever lasting. Those feelings do not fade. I can still feel that "high" after giving birth to my 1st surro-baby.

I designed this t-shirt about 3 years ago and I think it sums it up nicely:


To see this as a t-shirt and some of my other designs click here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Book Review Rusty My Playful Cat by Jennifer McFadden

I was the winner of the book Rusty My Playful Cat by Jennifer McFadden. (details here) I received my signed copy in the mail yesterday. It is a darling book and my kids and I enjoyed it. I started homeschooling my children last year and I absolutely love books that teach values. The illustrations are so cute and it is a great story. My children are 13, 10 and 6 and they all liked the book and have read it a few times since it came in the mail yesterday.

My video review:




Thank you! We will proudly put this book on our bookshelf.

Please visit the author's blog where you can watch a trailer for this book: http://jenniferemcfadden.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/rusty-my-playful-cat-video/

Friday, November 12, 2010

Let's follow some new friends on this lovely Friday

Photobucket

Click above and link up.

I look forward to meeting some new friends.

Happy Friday!

:)

P.S. If you are a new follower for me, please let me know so I can follow back!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Really? My husband's not a military veteran?

I let you know last year how I feel about Veteran's Day. I believe that if you are a veteran and are now employed as a civilian, that you should get the day off with pay! My husband was kidding around yesterday saying how he should get today off or at least 1/2 a day. He was met with the response of "You're not a veteran. You didn't go to war." Or "You didn't retire, you weren't in for 20 years" ETC.

Woah, wait a minute. That's a bunch of HOO HA! My husband also received a text from his sister asking if he was a vet. Where was she when he was on deployment and the war 1st started?


Well, let's check the definition of a military veteran:
 (taken from wikipedia)

The most common usage is for former armed services personnel. A veteran is one who has served in the armed forces, especially one who has served in combat. It is especially applied to those who served for an entire career, usually of 20 years or more, but may be applied for someone who has only served one tour of duty. A common misconception is that only those who have served in combat or those who have retired from active duty can be called military veterans.

Now, I don't mean to be rude. I know that not everyone is clear on the definition of a military veteran.

The proof is in the pictures, right?


Well this alone should be proof enough that my husband is a veteran:
Hello? That's a tatoo on a sailor. Not just any tattoo either. It's a tribal tattoo that he got while on deployment- in port at Perth, Austrailia. (his favorite port I might add) An Aborigine tatted him. Although John points out it was in a regular tattoo shop. I happen to love frogs and purple. Coincidence?       :)

Ok enough silliness...

So, what do I have to say to those that would think my husband is not a veteran?



And then I decided to ask my husband a few questions and add some more thoughts:


Back to the pictures..

This is one of my favorite pictures. It was when John returned from his 1st deployment. (USS John Hancock March 1999) This is John holding/meeting his daughter Tristan for the 1st time. She was 3 months old. A stranger took this picture of our little family and then we were lucky enough that the picture made it's way to us. They were so sweet when they took the picture, they said we were just the cutest little Navy family.
Look at all those roses. They were all for me. How sweet!

Here are the pictures from the "famous" 10 month deployment. (USS Shiloh CCG 67 April 25,2003) These pictures were either in the newspaper or found on the internet. I don't know who to give credit to, but we're in them, so how about that?

                        Yeah we were kind of happy to see each other.
 Is that not the sweetest thing you've ever seen? The way Jeremy is holding on to his daddy. That's John's mom off to the side holding little Tristan who has a balloon for a face. Darn it.


These are from his deployment on the USS Peleliu LHA 5 when they returned to San Diego on our 10 year anniversary: 9/20/2007. And I was even interviewed- http://www.navy.mil/search/print.asp?story_id=32066&VIRIN=51138&imagetype=1&page=1

riends and family wait pierside as amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) pulls into port
070920-N-8878B-037 SAN DIEGO (Sept. 20, 2007) - Friends and family wait pierside as amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) pulls into port. Peleliu departed June 1 for a four-month humanitarian mission to Southeast Asia and Oceania. Peleliu Sailors and partner nation military medical personnel and non-governmental organizations provided medical, dental and construction programs to countries in Southeast Asia and Oceania. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Michael C. Barton (RELEASED)
 
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Peleliu Returns Home
Story Number: NNS070926-30
9/26/2007
By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW/AW) Brian Gaines, Fleet Public Affairs Center Pacific
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- USS Peleliu (LHA 5) returned to its homeport of San Diego following their four-month Pacific Partnership 2007 deployment Sept. 20.

Approximately 1,000 friends and family members turned out at pier 13 at Naval Station San Diego to welcome the Sailors and civilians returning from Southeast Asia and Oceania.

As the crowd neared the pier, members of the Navy Southwest Region Band played popular songs to add to the festivities.

“The Peleliu wanted to go all out, so we did,” said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Russ Paje, the coordinator for the homecoming event. “Everything is running smoothly, and that’s always good.

As the ship neared the pier, the crowd began cheering loudly. Applause and random comments about the ship’s stature, as well as how remarkable it is to see Sailors manning the rails, could be heard throughout the crowd.

“It’s truly exciting,” said the spouse of Peleliu Chaplain Lt. Kevin Nortin, who was one of approximately 12 spouses who were allowed onto the pier for the coveted "first kiss.” “It has been a long time coming,” she said.

For some Sailors, such as Boatswain’s Mate 3rd Class Mark Carlson, it was a special family reunion. Carlson’s parents and grandparents traveled from Nebraska to welcome him home.

“It is an exhilarating experience,” said Jo Anne Carlson, Carlson’s grandmother, of her first time witnessing a homecoming. “I’m so proud of him and all the Sailors on the ship.”

“It’s chilling, exciting and emotional,” said Linda Carlson, Carlson’s mother. “I’m glad everyone has come back safe.”

For the spouse of Damage Controlman 2nd Class John Reeder, the day was twice as special. In addition to seeing her husband for the first time in four months, the day also marked their 10-year wedding anniversary.

“I’m a little nervous, but excited at the same time,” she said, who was on hand with the couple’s two young daughters. “It’s always a flood of emotions when John returns.”


Throughout the deployment, Peleliu served as a platform for military and civilian personnel, who provided medical and dental care, as well as, education and preventative medicine to more than 31,600 people in the Philippines, Vietnam, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

For more news from USS Peleiu, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/lha5/.





                                                John's view- Coronado


            Jeremy got to be on the ship with John from Hawaii to San Diego.
             Jessica being silly with her daddy, obviously glad to have him back.

                        Jessica and Tristan with John in his new uniform.
                        He was with the MA department towards the end.

I am proud to have been a military wife for 10 years.
Thank You to all military past and present. Happy Veteran's Day!



Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's such a good feeling

Just another day around here. The kids were all scheduled for their dental cleaning. It's in our old neighborhood which is now 40 minutes away. I don't mind the drive, and it's cheaper than going to the dentist nearby. Plus they know me and the kids and we love them!   :)

I usually carry around a few of my books with me and I have bookmarks, stickers, etc.  I brought a book to read because I knew I'd have some time between 3 kids' cleanings. The receptionist noticed the book I had brought and asked if it was the latest Richard Paul Evans book. Alas it was not. I still hadn't read his book from 2008- Grace. My mom gets me his latest book every year. I don't think she did last year though. Anyway he IS my favorite author, but ever since my husband got out of the Navy and I started homeschooling my kids, there's not a lot of ME time.

Since we're talking books, I mention how I recently wrote a book and my girls helped me illustrate it. She responded warmly. I then let her read the book. She was working, so she was only able to read a page or two at a time here and there. After a while she finishes and approaches me with tears in her eyes. She was so touched. She told me how impressed she was with the book and how in awe she was at me and what I do for others.  I never expect that. It happens from time to time, but it is never expected. I hope that people like my book, I am ecstatic when they love it.  I was so touched that my book touched her like that. She has children who can't have children, so she could relate. The assistant overheard us and she was impressed as well.  It just feels so darn good. Not everyone understands surrogacy or even respects us as surrogates. Even though I had already felt blessed by each surrogacy experience in itself, the blessings keep pouring down. I am in awe that helping someone else can feel so good for so long.

To top it off- NO CAVITIES for any of the kids. Wow!

As we got closer to home I decided to stop by our neighborhood library. I had been wanting to drop off one of my books. Plus, we hadn't checked anything out for awhile. We head in and I approach one of the librarians. I tell her I want to donate a book. She asks if it's to pay off a fine or damage. I say no- it's mine. I wrote it, I just thought it would be fun to bring it in. She said Oh wow and turns around and tells another lady that I wrote the book. I guess they don't usually have authors bring in their books.
:) Another good feeling. It's been one of those days that has left me feeling optomistic and happy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Guest Blogger Wanted: Apply Within

Looking for some guest bloggers. I'd really like to find a surrogate or intended parent, but also looking for bloggers in general.

Let me know if you're interested.

thanks,

Mormon Surrogate

Monday, November 8, 2010

To my 16 year old self

I was inspired to participate in this post by One Cluttered Brain who was inspired by Scary Mommy..

So here's what I'd say to my 16 year old self:

You are NOT fat!!! You just matured quicker than everyone else and don't have a scrawny little girl's body. One day you will look back and wish you were what you thought and others made you feel as "fat".

Let the boys down gently. You'll regret it later that you were mean to him when he was so good to you.

Spend just a little more time with your girlfriends, one day they may move away and you'll be lucky to see them like you used to, although, facebook helps.

You don't always need a boyfriend!

Try not to get too attached.

I know you are more mature than others your age and it feels so right, but maybe you should slow down just a bit.

Does he really love you? Because you really could end up heartbroken and it could affect you for a long time!

Stick to the voice lessons for at least another year, you're having so much fun and really getting good at it. This is what you love!

Keep working on those short stories. One day you could be a published author! 

;-)


Wow... that got personal!

Monday Blog Stuff- get to know me come play along

Hosted by (Never Growing Old) Click (above) to play along and add your post.
 
 

Questions:

1. What is your favorite kind of pie?

2. Have you ever ran out of gas in the car you were driving?

3. How many languages do you speak?

4. Do you take daily vitamins?

5. What is your worst eating habit?

My answers:

1. What is your favorite kind of pie?
I'm really not a pie person unless it has a graham cracker crust, so in all reality my favorite "pie" is Cheesecake. LOL

2. Have you ever ran out of gas in the car you were driving?


No not while I was driving. However, one lovely morning I jumped in our "new" truck and started it, then proceeded to gather all the things I needed for the day, including the children. At one point it sounded like the truck wasn't running anymore. I thought hmmm maybe I didn't really start it. So I do some trouble shooting and I just cannot get the dang thing to start. Hubby had mentioned something about the battery so I thought maybe the battery had died. Well we have AAA, and I thought we have it for just such ocassions. So I call AAA, a fine young man comes out to the house and diagnoses the battery, etc. Come to find out I was low on gas. We have a sloped driveway, he has me coast to level ground and sure enough the car starts. I was so embarrassed, because I KNOW that when our vehicles are low on gas and hubby has them parked backwards in the sloped driveway, that they won't start. But I usually know how much gas is in the vehicles and last I drove the truck, it was fine. Hubby didn't let me know it was low.. so it's all his fault, right?   :)

3. How many languages do you speak?


1- English. I took French for a year in 9th grade, but I do not "speak" it. I can say and understand very little. I also know some sign language, but would not do well in an actual conversation.

4. Do you take daily vitamins?
Not daily. I forget. However, when I do, I usually take children's vitamins. I mean come on, they're yummy. The Marvel sour gummy ones are our favorite around here.

5. What is your worst eating habit?


Sweets. I have to have something sweet every day and I usually crave it in the evening.   :(

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Game Over Frogger

Sad to say we lost a pet last week. It was quite devestating for the girls, especially little Jessica. She cried and cried. We only had Frogger for about a month. He(?) was a fire bellied toad.



     Frogger the day we got him   
                 
                                                 Also the day we got him, can you find him?



Somehow Kermit's still alive and croaking. The little guy's got gumption or something. He's a tough little critter. Tristan (my 10 year old daughter) found him over the summer and brought him home.


Kermit with Jessie when he was still new to us.



For a little guy he can move fast when it comes to flies. He doesn't catch them with his tongue, he lunges/hops at them. He is 99% accurate at swallowing them in one hop.

One time there were some flies in the truck that didn't want to leave. The girls put Kermit in the cab and he went to town. Talk about fast food feast. Jessica said with one fly he actually reached out his little froggy hand and grabbed him and ate him like a banana. (whatever that means)

Kermit's a singer. We've all been caught off guard to hear this strange noise and wonder what the heck it is. I only recently heard it for my first time. My cousin heard it while she frog-sat for us and my girls hear it almost daily. Anyway, last night he was in the kitchen croaking to me while I did the dishes. It was awesome.

We are happy that Kermit is still with us, but please join us in a moment of silence to remember Frogger.


I wanted to add another picture and video... but it's just not working out!   :(

Friday, November 5, 2010

Surrogacy Book Review

Krystal was one of my winners (for this contest) and has posted a review for Once Upon a Surrogate: The Stork's Helpers. She is also a surrogate.

Please visit her site: http://surrogatediva.blogspot.com/2010/11/once-upon-surrogate-storks-helpers.html

I will also include the review below:



A few weeks back I won a drawing that allowed me to review a new book about surrogacy that was actually written by a surrogate. I recieved the book a little over a week ago and last night I sat down with my daughters (8 & 4) to read the book to them.




Here's a review from 3 different perspectives:



My review on Jill Hancock Reeder's Once Upon a Surrogate book:



Once Upon a Surrogate is a good book for surrogates to read to their children or for parents to read to their children that were born via surrogacy. It explains, in terms that children can understand, the concept of surrogacy. My daughters really liked the fact that the book was illustrated by Jill's children and they were able to grasp the idea of Mommy being the "stork".

I would recommend this book to anyone going through the surrogacy process, as a means of explaining it so your children can understand.



My 4 year old's review:



2 thumbs up (literally), when I asked her how she liked it :) She also said "I liked the stickers", as she covered her arms in them. Then she added "so you were the stork to deliver us to be your children?" :-)



My 8 year old's review:



She thought the book was "okay", she said that she wasn't that interested in it, but that she did learn what an embryo is, which is something she didn't know before.



Thanks, Jill for giving us the chance to review your book!



You can learn more about the book by visiting:

http://surrogacybooks.blogspot.com/

or

http://mormonsurrogate.blogspot.com/



Krystal

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Book Signing- today 11/15/10 4-6 PM

This is for Dragons & Fairy Tales Books and Games:

"We are having a huge bash for our 1st Anniversary!! Each night of the week from November 15th to the 20th we will have a different genre of authors coming to sign books - a great way to find gift ideas for Christmas! Here is the schedule. For more information, check us out at www.dragonsandfairytales.com."


http://www.facebook.com/?sk=events#!/event.php?eid=157197940985909


I'm mentioning this because I'll be there with my book.
I hope to see you there!

:)

When:

Monday, November 15 at 4:00 PM 6:00 PM

Where:
Dragons & Fairy Tales

3535 E Ranches Parkway Suite A

Eagle Mountain, UT

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

an unexpected interview

I'm always amazed and caught off guard when I'm approached because of my blog. It's usually because of surrogacy. Who am I kidding? It's always been about surrogacy. 

Here's a recent e-mail I received:

Dear Mrs ________,  (sorry not going to show my real last name)



I'm a Journalism student in Paris. Within the framework of my journalism school, I have to investigate on surrogate mothers on Internet. The story is about the fact that these women use Internet and social networks to tell their stories. I've been very moved by your blog. I'm also very interested by your tweets.

I guess you are very busy but I was wondering if by any chance you could either send me an email about this experience, or answer a quick interview tomorrow (10/28). If you prefer, we could also exchange by emails. I can send you questions, so you can take your time to answer. It's pretty urgent because we are working just like actual editorial offices, so we have short deadlines. I have to give back my story before tomorrow night.

The interview would not be long, and it would be really interesting to get highlights from you.

The story won't be shown except to my teacher. She will then decide if she'll put it or not on our websites ( www.celsabuzz.info ). I'll be in French, but I can translate it for you.

Let me know if you would agree,

Thanks a zillion

Yours faithfully,

Chloé (not going to show her last name either)

At first I thought- is this for real? But she mentions twitter and my blog and I felt pretty good about it. She e-mailed me at the address attached to my Twitter account and I noticed she was following me on Twitter.  Plus I figured, if I answer her questions, what's it going to hurt? I doubted she would ask me anything I wouldn't feel comfortable blogging about anyway. Make sense?  So I said sure and answered her questions right away. I then asked if I could post the Q&A on my blog and she said yes.

Ta da:

1/ Why did you start a blog? Do you want to inspire others? Is it to counteract the awkward reactions most people show when you told them about surrogacy?


I originally started my blog because I was going through a spiritual journey at the time with my family. (getting ready to go through the LDS/Mormon temple) My youngest daughter was making some cute inspirational observations and a friend suggested I started a blog.

2/ Why did you choose to put your story online? I saw you were very involved in social networks and community websites. Why internet seemed to be the perfect place to share according to you? Would you say that you got a blog to share this story with all the women who want to become surrogate mothers? Or would you say it's a kind of universal story that you want to share with the all world?

I chose to put my story online because I was already telling everyone on Facebook, etc. what was going on in my life. With my blog, I felt I could reach out to more people. I love to connect with other surrogates and intended parents, but my blog is universal. I blog about everyday wife as well. My husband was in the Navy for 10 years and I've blogged about that a few times.

3/ For who did you write? Your kids and your family? Your friends? Did FIP's read your blog? Did you write for surro kids?

On my blog I write for myself (I hope that doesn't sound selfish, I meant that I write as a journal) and hope that I write about subjects and experiences that are interesting to others. I know some of my family and friends check my blog every now and then. My surro kids are pretty young to be reading my blog. I would love for them to know who I am though as they get older. I'm not aware that my FIP's read my blog.

4/ Do you think you write more about the good and easy states of your surrogacy journey, or do you think you write more when it was difficult?

I write about all aspects of the surrogacy journey. However, some things would be too personal to write about. For example, if I had a negative experience with an intended parent, that wouldn't be appropriate to blast all over the internet. It really depends on the situtaion. There are private places  I could turn to, to vent and get support and understanding.


5/ What was different between writing the book and keeping your blog updated?

Writing my book was a much more creative experience. I'm more easy going when I post to my blog. I worked hard on my book and edited and re-edited. With my blog, I like to be more spontaneous and don't worry so much about editing or having it "just right". Also, I wrote my book to be a children's book, although I feel adults could enjoy it as well. I wanted to contribute something about surrogacy that was positive. There is too much negative exposure in the media.


6/ What did you get out of this experience?

Out of the surrogacy experience? I get a feeling of accomplishment. It's very uplifting.. Even years after the babies are born, I feel on top of the world. It's amazing to help others, especially in a way that they couldn't do on their own. I care deeply about the surrogate children I've given birth to and I wish the best for them at all times. I'm amazed how many people approach me and ask me questions or compliment me for being so selfless. It's always unexpected and appreciated.



I really felt like I could have said more or could have been more ellaborate, but I was short on time, and wanted to get it to her so she could turn it in. I was very flattered that she approached me and that she had such nice things to say. She was worried about her English, but I almost think she is better at it than me.

:)