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Surrogacy in San Diego

I’ve been fascinated with surrogacy ever since my best friend had trouble carrying a pregnancy. I wanted to help her and found it perfectly reasonable to be pregnant with her child, go through morning sickness, gain a bunch of weight, be tired, uncomfortable and worry for 9 months all while caring for my own two babies. My husband did not agree. It got me thinking about the women who do become surrogates. What does it take to be this type of hero?

“It takes a special woman to become a surrogate,” Christine Chavez of Positive Surrogacy told me. “Our surrogates are compassionate and selfless. They go into surrogacy with an open heart knowing they are helping someone’s dream come true.”

Christine and her business partner, Bernadette Hendricks, co-founded Positive Surrogacy in 2016 after being surrogates themselves and having worked in the industry for many years. “We promised ourselves we would never leave our clients feeling alone or overwhelmed,” says Christine. “The entire process is a lot to go through, and with Positive Surrogacy, our clients and surrogates will never feel they are just a number.”

IVF Meds

The ideal surrogate is living a healthy life emotionally, mentally and physically. “All surrogates in our program have had a child and/or children of their own with an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. Surrogacy is a commitment and takes an entire army, so we ensure our surrogates have a great support system. This support system involves our agency, her family and friends,” Christine says.

How many times a woman can be a surrogate depends on her health history, pregnancy history and delivery history. “We always leave this decision up to the medical professionals, the IVF clinics and an OBGYN,” says Christine. “The uterus is amazing and heals wonderfully, but we will never put a surrogate or baby’s life at risk. It all depends on the health of the surrogate and her uterus.”

Christine says that the biggest benefit of becoming a surrogate is knowing you are playing a role in helping deserving Intended Parents make their dream of having a child a reality. “You are completing a piece of their puzzle. It is such a beautiful experience that is hard to put into words. I think most surrogates would say the most memorable experience is the moment the Intended Parents get to hold their baby for the first time. In that moment there are so many emotions involved; love, compassion, happiness, joy. A sense of calmness comes over you as a surrogate. In that moment you know exactly why you did this, you know your job is done and that their life and journey is about to begin.”

Bernadette holding the twins she delivered for her intended parents

Other benefits include building lifelong friendships with other surrogates, the Intended Parents and the agency. There is also a financial benefit. “As much as we try not to make it about the money, surrogates are compensated for carrying a pregnancy for Intended Parents, and that’s ok. They are injecting themselves with hormones, they are going to multiple appointments with different doctors, they are carrying a child for nine months, some carry twins, some experience pregnancy related complications that can be hard on their bodies and their families so, yes, they are compensated for these things. Often surrogates use this money to pay off school loans, a down payment on a new home, put it away into savings for their children, etc.,” Christine says.

Of course there are some risks associated with surrogacy. “All surrogates come in with a clean bill of health and we follow all of the IVF clinic’s requirements to avoid putting any surrogate at risk,” says Christine. “Most of the time surrogates complete their surrogacy without any bumps in the road but unfortunately we do see some bumps from time to time. You are carrying a pregnancy that is made with different genetics so surrogates may experience different symptoms that they may not have had with their own. If a surrogate carries twins for her Intended Parents there is risk of higher weight gain, preterm labor, c section, etc. But with the proper care and attention from the IVF clinic and doctors we do our best to avoid these risks. Every pregnancy is different and we explain in great detail to potential surrogates the risks involved.”

Bernadette and Christine say they strive to provide a one-on-one experience to their Intended Parents and Surrogates while also making it more affordable to Intended Parents. “We know that by the time Intended Parents have come to us, they are emotionally exhausted and mentally drained, so it is our mission to reassure them that there is a happy ending to their story. Because we have been surrogates ourselves, we can relate to each surrogate and the things she may experience during her journey. We love what we do and hope our clients and surrogates can feel that through our work.”

If you’d like more information about becoming a surrogate or about expanding your family through surrogacy, contact Bernadette and Christine at:

Positive Surrogacy LLC

9625 Mission Gorge Road

Ste B2-174

Santee, CA.92071

619.354.7575

Positivesurrogacy.com

Let’s Get Physical

What are you and your infant/baby/toddler/preschooler doing this Wednesday?

How about this?

photo credit: Fit4Mom La Mesa

And a little of this?

photo credit: Fit4Mom La Mesa

Followed by this . . .

 

photo credit Hullabaloo Band

Join us in La Mesa’s Harry Griffen Park as we help Fit4Mom La Mesa celebrate their anniversary. Enjoy (yes, you will enjoy it 😉 ) free stroller workouts, food, drinks, friendship and a Hullabaloo concert for all!

The Mom’s Guide will be there at 9 a.m. with awesome giveaways so come register and take part in the 9:30 a.m. workout. Hullabaloo starts at 10:30. Click here for more information.

Brunch with kids isn’t always easy, until you find the right spot!

Going to any restaurant with young kids can often times be more of a headache than it’s worth…that is, until you find the RIGHT spot! One that not only welcomes kids, but engages with them, and makes their experience so enjoyable that they look forward to going back. Brunch is something that generally tends to phase out of your life when you have kids. They wake up early demanding food, and the idea of getting everyone dressed and out the door with hungry bellies and no coffee yet? No thanks! But that’s about to change once I tell you about The Hills Pajama Brunch!

Head on in dressed in your mornings best (aka, whatever you rolled out of bed in!) as early as 8am, for an all-you-can-eat waffle bar, where the kiddos can decorate their waffles with a variety of toppings for just $5! Mimosas are flowing at an affordable rate of $3, and their brunch menu is on-point!

Our families sampled a variety of menu items and couldn’t stop raving about EVERY dish. If you have a country-fried-steak-loving-husband, the Dragon Tiger Phoenix is to die for. Have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss the bread pudding sticks. Craving something savory? Their new carne asada breakfast burrito will be one of the best you’ve ever had!

With convenient parking, a dog-friendly patio, and affordable prices, The Hills is going to quickly become my new favorite, family-friendy brunch recommendation! We all had a great time, but these kids especially, give this place two thumbs up!!

 

BONUS: If you are still looking for the perfect place to celebrate Father’s Day, make sure you consider The Hills! The first 100 dads to arrive will receive a FREE Rad Dad hat, and EVERY dad will receive a free Coors Light draft during their visit.

 

*Disclaimer: Although The Hills was kind enough to pick up our tab, all opinions are my own and I am more than willing to recommend this great spot to anyone looking for a family-friendly restaurant to enjoy!

Give Dad a Gift the Whole Family Will Love

At the Mom’s Guide we’re always giving away fun things for, well moms. But today we’re giving away a prize that any dad would love and just in time for Father’s Day.

Dad doesn’t have to be a tech guy to appreciate the Penclic C2 Mini Keyboard, although there are 3 USB ports in this corded version for plugging in all of his techy stuff. Like my husband, he’ll probably like that no extra software/driver installation is needed and that the keys are actually full size.

You’ll love the Penclic’s sleek Scandinavian design that lets you reclaim your desk space. The clunky number pad has been removed, but the keyboard has full functionality. And since only small keystrokes are needed and minimal pressure is required when typing, using this mini keyboard relieves pressure on joints, helping to prevent computer related repetitive stress injuries in your kids and yourself.

This Penclic keyboard retails for about $55, but today you can enter to win one for free AND receive it in time for Father’s Day. For your chance to win, simply comment on this blog post with what you are doing with Dad for Father’s Day. One winner will be selected on Saturday morning.

Good luck!

 

 

Don’t Let Summertime Fun Lead to a Case of Head Lice

Kids across the country are looking forward to the upcoming summer break when they’ll be taking trains and planes to visit friends and cousins, enjoying sleepovers and camps, staying in hotels and riding amusement park rides.

Because head lice are spread most commonly by direct head-to-head (hair-to-hair) summertime fun often means a greater risk of coming in contact with lice. Our friends at Dr. Nit Wit, lice removal specialists, offer these tips for avoiding lice.

* Avoid head-to-head (hair-to-hair) contact during play and other activities at home, school, and elsewhere (sports activities, playground, slumber parties, camp).

* Do not share clothing such as hats, uniforms, hair ribbons, or barrettes.

* Do not share combs, brushes, or towels. Disinfest combs and brushes used by an infested person by soaking them in hot water for 5–10 minutes.

* Do not lie on beds, couches, pillows, carpets, or stuffed animals that have recently been in contact with an infested person.

Symptoms of Head lice

Common signs and symptoms of lice can include:

Itching on the scalp, neck and ears is the most common symptom. This is an allergic reaction to louse saliva. When a person has an infestation for the first time, itching may not occur for two to six weeks after infestation.

Lice on scalp. Like may be visible but are difficult to spot because they are small, avoid light and move quickly. 

Lice eggs (nits) on hair shafts. Nits stick to hair shafts. Incubating nits may be difficult to see because they are very tiny and camouflaged to match hair color. They are easiest to spot around the ears and the hairline of the neck. Empty nits may be easier to spot because they are lighter in color and further from the scalp. However, the presence of nits does not necessarily indicate an active infestation. 

If you should encounter lice, Dr. Nit Wit is here with a full service lice removal salon including highly trained specialists, patented combs and non-toxic shampoos and rinses that lead to the fast and safe removal of nits and lice. Their kid-friendly environment provides each child with their own high definition television to watch cartoons or movies as our specialists remove lice and nits from their head. Their Wi-fi enabled waiting room helps create a sanctuary for parents to relax, regroup and educate themselves on how to prevent lice from recurring.

Information is key to lice treatment and prevention and Dr. Nit Wit shares that information with you in a safe and comfortable setting. At the end of your visit you and/or your child will be lice free and worry free. 

Dr. Nit Wit is located in Vista at 739 Shadowridge Drive

For more information, call (760) 598-5423 or visit DrNitWit.com

 

Breastfeeding Troubles? This might help . . .

If you are experiencing problems with breastfeeding, ankyloglossia could be the problem, and Dr. Ellen Im could have the solution. Ankyloglossia, also known as tongue-tie, is a condition present at birth that can restrict movement of the tongue and lead to difficulties with breastfeeding.

Tongue-tied babies have a short frenum – the band of tissue underneath the tongue that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. Normally, the tongue tip should be able to extend to lick the lips, lift the front half of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, and sweep along the gums. If a tongue-tied baby tries to extend the tongue, it may not be able to extend past the lower lip making breastfeeding difficult. A severe tongue-tie will prevent the baby from getting the tongue tip over the lower gum ridge. The presence of the tongue over the gum ridge inhibits the baby’s bite reflex. If the breast touches the bare lower gum the baby will reflexively bite. A similar condition known as lip-tied restricts the movement of the upper lip when a short frenum connects the lip to the gums.

Both conditions can make breastfeeding difficult because baby has trouble sucking. If you are experiencing improper latching, sore nipples, and decreased milk production, Dr. Ellen Im, a pediatric dentist in Poway, welcomes you to visit her office for a complimentary consult.

A mother’s milk supply is replenished only by vigorous sucking, which empties the breast,” says Dr. Im. “If the baby cannot suck correctly, the milk supply is not renewed, leading to frustration and problems for both mother and child. When the issue turns out to be ankyloglossia, a simple and quick treatment called a frenectomy to free the tongue can help.”

Dr. Im uses laser frenectomy to treat tongue-tied infants. “This quick and usually painless procedure involves minimal to no bleeding, no sutures, and a low risk of infection,” says Dr. Im. Further, recovery from the frenectomy is fast, usually within a day or two. After treatment, parents must follow a set of simple exercises to help prevent reattachment of the frenum.

Dr. Im is the mother of three and prides herself on providing quality pediatric dentistry with a mother’s touch. Her North County office is located on Pomerado Road and offers convenient Saturday appointments. For more information and to schedule your complimentary consultation, please contact her friendly staff at 858.679.6660 or at powaykidsdentalcare.com.

 

The Where, When & How of Camping with Kids in San Diego

Before baby, my husband and I were adventure-seeking, camping addicts. We agreed that having kids would not stop us from journeying to the wilderness, but let me tell you, the tiny humans do tend to make things a bit more complicated. Last weekend we took our now 3-year old on his 6th camping trip. I’m now confident in saying that we’ve mastered the successful family camping trip after a bit of trial and error. If you’re ready to take the plunge and enjoy some camping this summer, read on to learn about my tips for camping with a toddler in San Diego!

Where to camp: Green Valley Area Campground. Whether this is your first camping trip, or your fifteenth, you cannot go wrong with Green Valley Campground. Although it’s less than 45 minutes from San Diego, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to a rustic mountain retreat (especially if you can sneak away mid-week!). Almost all of the sites are shaded by mature oak trees, and offer unique features such as boulders or Manzanita groves, perfect for toddler exploration. There is a picnic table and fire ring at each site, and nearby bathrooms with flushing toilets and, ahem, hot pay showers. You may think that hot showers at a campground are an over-the-top camping luxury, but I assure you that after layers of sunscreen, bug spray, and dirt, you’ll be glad you brought a few quarters!

At 4,000 feet elevation, the warm days are perfect for water play in the camp’s cascades & pools, and the cool nights set the mood for campfires & sleeping bags. The short, but scenic hike to the campground’s falls are what really make Green Valley stand out as the perfect family adventure. Pack up your picnic lunch, bring plenty of water, and head out for an easy hike to the falls. Make sure to pack water shoes and a towel to take a dip in the pools on a hot day, keeping in mind that the falls dry up towards the end of summer. In the late summer months, the days can get hot with little-to-no water in the pools, so make sure you do your research before setting your expectations too high.

Green Valley campsites will run you $30 per night (make sure you bring exact cash). Check in time is 2pm, and check out is 12pm. They do enforce a maximum occupancy of 8 people per campsite (babies and children included), and additional vehicles will run you an extra $10. The campground fills up on weekends, so reservations are a must, and can be made online at Reserve America. If you go mid-week, like we do, chances are you will not need to make a reservation.

Other things to do or see. Bring your child’s trike or scooter. With minimal traffic flowing through the campground, it’s a great place to do a few laps and burn energy. Bring sand toys and a bucket to play in the dirt and collect items from your nature treasure hunt. If there is no water in the falls, drive another 15 minutes up Hwy 79 to Lake Cuyumaca where you can rent paddle boats, kayaks, and go fishing, or continue on up a few more miles to the quaint town of Julian for some lunch and apple pie!

If this is one of your first family camping trips, here are a few of my must-have suggestions to make your adventure a bit more enjoyable:

  • A screened-in porch tent, such as the Coleman Evanston. Having a kid, likely means you have packed a LOT of gear. The covered “porch” on your tent is the perfect place to store your bags, without leaving them out in the open overnight, or taking up room inside your tent. It is also the perfect spot for your kiddo to play off the dirt or out of the sun if you need a bit of a break from the elements. Lastly, we’ve learned the hard way that critters tend to come around at night, and have figured out how to open coolers and bags. With a screen in porch, you can protect your things at night, without having to lug your stuff back and forth to the car.
  • A solar-heated portable camp shower.  Even if you don’t plan to “shower” with it, this portable shower heats water up quickly in the sun, and is ideal for hand & face washing, as well as rinsing dishes. Faucets can be found at the campground every few sites, but the water is cold, and dragging your toddler or dishes down isn’t always the easiest option. Fill up this 5-gallon bladder in your bathtub at home, and have readily available warm water right at your site!
  • A toddler air mattress. This one from The Shrunks is our favorite since it fits a standard crib sheet and provides the toddler rails that keep your kiddo from slipping off the side.
  • Headlamps and/or flashlights. Make sure to bring an extra one for your toddler since they will likely want to use it for hours and drain the batteries pretty quickly!
  • Toddler binoculars. These binoculars by GeoSafari are great for exploring, and encouraging your child to take extra notice of the nature around them…and, we are giving one lucky reader a chance to win a pair for your next trip! These offer comfy fit goggles, blocking out distractions around them and providing a focus-free viewing experience.
  • Tent heater. OK maybe not a must, but this tent heater has sure come in handy for those cooler nights and early morning outfit changes. Pop the heater on for a few minutes before climbing into those sleeping bags, or in the early morning hours when you’re getting ready for the day ahead.

We’d love to hear about your family camping adventures! Comment below for your chance to win a pair of our favorite toddler binoculars to take on your next trip!

If you have camped with kids before, comment with either:

A) One piece of advice for camping with kids, or if this will be your first trip,

B) What you are looking forward to most on your first family camping trip!

Free School Lunch When School’s Out

 

No Kid Hungry in cooperation with the USDA has developed a simple way for families with school-aged children can find free school lunch, even during the summer months.

Free, healthy meals are available to kids and teens age 18 and younger at thousands of summer meals sites across the country

To find the site that is closest to you, follow these simple instructions . . .

  • Use your phone: Text FOOD to 877-877 to find a site near you
  • Map it online: Go to NoKidHungry.org/SummerMeals to find a site online
  • Call for details: Call 1-866-3HUNGRY to find a site and learn more

Many summer meals sites offer fun learning and recreational activities as well as free food, so kids and teens can stay active and spend time with friends. Sites are registered with USDA and are held at safe local places such as schools, churches and community centers.

Meals served are tasty, follow USDA nutrition guidelines, and help families save money. There are no applications to fill out and programs do not require proof of income.

For more information visit NoKidHungry.org/SummerMeals

Save on Montessori Summer Camp

This summer, parents who want to give their children the opportunity to broaden their horizons can look no further than a local school in Poway. Country Montessori School is situated on a 3-acre campus with extensive playground areas. There will be seven individually themed camp weeks with half-day and full-day options. Children from 2.5 years to 10 years are accepted to the camps.

“The teachers and staff were phenomenal, each week my son came home with the cutest types of arts and crafts and paper work about the camp topic.  It says something that my son wanted me to pick him up as late as possible because he was having so much fun at CAMP. It is enjoyable to see your child learn in such a fun way and make new friends!” said Tracy Matula, parent of Dante.

“I liked that each week we learned about new topics, it was not boring at all. I am sure going to miss everyone but I can’t wait for next summer.” said Dante.

Camp topics can go from Adventure to Space Travel for the Elementary age children and from Under the Sea to Marvelous Mammals for the Early Childhood children.

“All camps are led by CMS staff and there is before and after camp childcare available” said Sheila Walker, Director of Admissions and Enrollment.  Discover more at www.countrymontessori.org

Mention the Mom’s Guide and have your $50 summer camp registration fee waived!

Rent, Play, Return! The Sharing Exchange Solution

You know that awesome gift you got your son that you thought he would LOVE? That amazing pirate ship with all the bells and whistles? Unfortunately, it wasn’t such a hit and now it has been sitting in the playroom for the last three months!! Of course you can’t get rid of it because someday he may want to discover how cool it really is!  A local San Diego mom, Ashley Wilson, has created a solution to the overflowing playroom issue.

TheSharingExchange.com is an online rental marketplace connecting families enabling them to rent children’s toys & gear from each another.  Now families can access anything they need for their kids, just for time they need it. Strollers, games, toys, baby swings, maternity clothes, travel gear, party décor- all available from neighbors in your community!  There is no need to own everything! 

Now you can hop online to The Sharing Exchange™ and lend that totally awesome pirate ship to another child who will actually love it, and rent something else for your child that he/she will actually like! Rent, play, return! Everyone ends up happy and you make some extra $$. Many San Diego parents have already made money off the things they own, while also renting the things their kids will only use, or be interested in, for a short time.

As we enter the summer season many San Diego families are getting a large influx of out of town guests and visitors. The Sharing Exchange™ is a great resource to rent the extra things you need for your out of town visitors; extra high chair, booster seat, pack in play, toys, outdoor equipment etc. No need to be racing around town to Good Will or buying duplicate items. Parents can browse inventory, read reviews on owners and book rentals ahead of time.  Perfect for making your guests feel right at home with all they need. Bonus: The Owner of the items will even deliver to your house!

Check out their site, www.TheSharingExchange.com to become a part of their sustainable sharing community right here in San Diego! Their movement aims to empower and strengthen communities, while also helping our youngest learners understand social rules such as give and take, cooperation, helping others, and respecting and taking care of other peoples’ things.

Meet the founder and learn more about The Sharing Exchange™ in person at the Hullabaloo Waterfront Concert series this summer at the downtown Waterfront Park (May 28th, June 25th, August 27th, and Sept 24th).