Friday, August 19, 2011

Guest Post- Baby Sign Language

Baby Sign Language across the ages

Just because it is called “baby” sign language doesn’t mean our little ones have to outgrown it when they are giving up the binky and blankie. Many parents have used a handful of basic BSL signs when their children are between six months to about two years of age, in order to get their point across while allowing babies to also express their opinions. However, it can be taught years longer and the vocabulary stretched even further!

An easy way to extend the length of time that baby signs is by allowing the generations to teach one another. Your ‘baby’ is soon a child and teenager, but he or she can still practice their sign language by helping mommy and daddy teach the newest addition to the family. Incorporate games when possible and then teaching becomes bonding activity and one that is far more fun than work. You can include visual queues such as baby signing flashcards or you can simply use the sign contextually

Incorporating BSL into homeschool curriculum is an excellent educational approach because then the language development and vocabulary benefits are extending right into the other academics. If you are not homeschooling your children there are still plenty of teaching opportunities, such as while reviewing homework or signing during evening storytime.

Baby sign language isn’t just for the classroom and home. BSL it is best taught in context so getting out into the world while teaching and practicing signs is important. It can be as simple as a trip to the grocery store’s produce section to review your vegetable and fruit signs. Or consider planning a trip to the zoo after you’ve taught the animal signs so your child can practice and apply the signs in that environment.

There are plenty of ways to keep the signs growing in number and complexity beyond those essential few, and plenty of opportunities to use signs long after the pre-verbal baby stage is through.

Visit to learn more about sign language for babies

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Who wants to be a surrogate?

No seriously... anyone?

Because there are Intended Parents out there who need to find that special someone. You could be the key to their dreams coming true. Ever notice that storks and angels both have wings?

I went to my appointment today for my medical screening for my latest surrogacy.

Turns out the Dr. at the clinic is the reason behind Utah legalizing surrogacy. I think he deserves a big Hallefreakinlujah! I felt like I was meting the president when he told me that. Wow!

He suggested I become an advocate for surrogacy and I'm starting to think I kind of already am. I told him about all I do within the surrogacy community; design t-shirts and other merchandise, wrote a children's book, etc. He seemed to be impressed and we chatted for a good amount of time. I left him with a copy of my book and some stickers and bookmarks.

Everyone was wonderful there.

He told me that they have a list of Intended Parents looking for surrogates. So let's make some matches, let's help create families. I know there are some great ladies out there who are looking to be matched or who are contemplating being a surrogate.

If you're serious about wanting to be a surrogate and would like to learn more, I suggest you check this page out:

You can contact me for more info or head over to Utah Fertility Center. Tell them I sent you. I hope you have room for all the blessings that come with being a surrogate.

Jill/Mormon Surrogate

When You Least Expect It

Knock Knock

Who's There?


Ima who?

Ima gonna be a surrogate again.

I was getting frustrated. I wasn't getting matched. I was being patient and waiting, but it seemed like I was waiting forever. I knew there were IPs out there for me, but how to find them? I was with 2 wonderful agencies, but I wasn't even coming close to finding a match. I decided to branch out and apply to different agencies, broaden my horizons. I even put up a personal ad within the surrogacy community.

About a month ago I made up my mind that I was done having periods. Why suffer? Well, they weren't all bad, but when they were it sucked. Why did I need to go through that? Hubby had a vasectomy 7 years ago, we weren't having anymore kids. So I decided to do something about it. I got on birth control. I'm not one to take birth control, even before the big V. I've always let nature take it's course plus I hate taking medication unless I'm practially dying.

So the other day I get an e-mail from an IM (Intended Mother) that knew me through my blog. She was looking for a surrogate. Long story short, I'm going to be her surrogate. This all happened in the last 2 days. Things are moving fast and it's very exciting. However, it's also a  lot to take in at once and gives me a flutter of butterflies.

Everything is lining up so nicely though. I can't help feel that it was meant to happen. The fact that I'm already on birth control pills makes me one step ahead. I would need to start taking injections next week to get ready for a September transfer and I am physically and emotionally prepared to do that. I don't have anything going on in my life right now that would hold me back. I was supposed to go in for a medical screening this morning, but there was a mix up and I'm actually on hold now waiting for an appointment time for tomorrow. Nope make that today at 2:45. Yay!

This will be the first time I will go through a local fertility clinic. I am excited about that. It's actually pretty close to me. (another sign I think) I will actually miss going out of town for this and the embryo transfer, staying in a hotel and all that... BUT I will not miss the hassle of going through the airport. Plus there would be now way I could just drop everything and hop on a flight today. Well, ok, there's a way, but that would be crazy chaotic.

I get to work with an LDS (Mormon) IM/IF this time. (not that religion matters) It does help that we have the same values, because then we know we match on issues that are important to match on.

It's just kind of funny that very recently I've opened up new doors to finding IPs (Intended Parents) and someone ends up finding me. I've also been thinking well maybe it's not meant to be right now. If it is meant to be it will happen, I will find someone. And then I did.

Wish me luck. We still have a few things to sort out and not much time to do it.

This will be the first journey that you all get to come along for the ride, not just hear about the memories.

Are you ready?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Looking for Elise who won a copy of Once Upon a Surrogate: The Stork's Helpers

Thank you for all the birthday wishes for my sweet little surro-babe (girl) who turned 5 on August 1st.  I was pleasantly overwhelmed by all the interest in my book and have randomly chosen a winner. Congratulations to Elise! Please e-mail me at (subject giveaway winner) so I can send you your book. If I don't hear from you in the next few days I'll have to pick another winner.


Monday, August 1, 2011

5 years ago today, I earned my wings

August 1, 2006 is a date I will always proudly remember. It will always make me smile and warm my heart and bring the sweetest tears to my eyes. On that day, my 1st surrogacy adventure came to an end as little S______ was born. That day I earned my wings as one of God's angels on earth. Happy Birthday S______!

Much Love,


If you are longing to hear more, you can read my post from last year about her birth:

Or you could check out the book I wrote that is all about my first experience: which can be ordered at

Ok,ok, to celebrate, I'll offer a FREE signed copy of my book today only! Just post a comment (about the book, or wishing my surrobaby a Happy Birthday) here on this blog post, here or here or here or here ...if it's easier tweet to @surropepperbird or @surrogacybooks.

I will allow one entry per comment and choose a winner soon.

Thank you for all the responses. Please make sure I have a way to find you if I need to contact you as the winner.

* Update: 8/7/11- Giveaway has ended! Thank you for all the birthday wishes for my sweet little surro-babe (girl) who turned 5 on August 1st.  I was pleasantly overwhelmed by all the interest in my book and have randomly chosen a winner. Congratulations to Elise! Please e-mail me at subject giveaway winner so I can send you your book. If I don't hear from you in the next few days I'll have to pick another winner.