Surrogacy, or the process of carrying a child in the womb for someone else, is a fascinating and special service many parents rely on to build their families. And, while there is a lot of content from the perspective of parents who have used surrogate(s) to grow their family, we don’t often hear from the surrogates themselves.
I am fortunate to be friends with Dana Kamp, a fellow boy mom and writer, and one-time surrogate. Dana spoke with me over Instagram about her experience serving as a surrogate, and shared the often emotional story of searching for a match, going through a surrogate pregnancy, and where that relationship with that family is today.
Throughout our conversation, Dana shared valuable information for both potential surrogates and those looking to use surrogacy, and dispelled a few myths about what the experience entails.
Read on to see some of the highlights of our interview and watch the full video below.
Spring and summer travel is here, and parents are ready to get kids out of the house and on the road or in the air. But before kicking off their dream vacation, parents are left with the difficult task of packing for everyone in the family. And while it may be as simple as outfits and skincare for adults, packing for kids requires much more preparation, thought, and consideration.
I sat down with Tom Rosenberg, President and CEO of American Camp Association, to talk about how families could choose the best overnight camps for their children.
In our interview (posted below), we discuss taking the time to research the options available and consider what camps would appeal most to your children. We also discuss concerns such as tuition costs, homesickness, and device dependence.
As a parent, I tend to be more on the laxer side of the screen time debate. I know letting my kids have an extra 30 minutes on their devices can be just what I need to keep my sanity in check. However, when we travel, I prefer to limit screens as much as possible.
I find that while offering screen time can keep my kids calm and make for an easier trip in the short term, often the stress over devices losing charge, not working, or even inducing nausea make them not worth bringing in the long run.
My family has taken several road trips in our Subaru, the longest being our drive from New York to Ohio when my kids were 6 and 3. While we did endure the occasional whine, my kids were able to manage without a device in their face for a few hours.
We are heading out on the road again, this time to Washington D.C., and I plan to use some of my tested strategies as well as some new ones, to help make the trip a calm and enjoyable experience.
Read on to see my plans for a screen-free road trip.
I have called the Hudson Valley my home for several years now, and I am finally getting around to sharing some of the incredible food, places, and culture this region has to over.
The Hudson Valley is an area of New York State that stretches along the Hudson River. On the east side, you have Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess County, while on the west side of the river, you will find Orange, Rockland and Ulster County.
My family resides in Western Hudson Valley, so my focus will be on this part of the region, but you can certainly find incredible places to explore on the eastern side of the Hudson River.
While any time of year is a wonderful time to visit, the Hudson Valley is especially popular in the fall, and with good reason. The leaves turn gorgeous shades of red, orange, yellow and purple; farm stands are filled with tasty fall produce; and, apple and pumpkin picking is plentiful.
Please note fall weekends (especially Columbus Day weekend, and during Warwick’s Applefest) can be extremely crowded. If you prefer less people around during your visit, try coming in the middle of the week, or later in the season. Late November, before the Winter holiday activities start, is a good bet.
Read on to learn about some of my favorite spots to experience the best of the Hudson Valley.
Family vacations during school breaks are always something to look forward to and can still be enjoyed even in the era of COVID-19. Thankfully, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise domestic travel is safe for fully vaccinated individuals who wear a mask in public. If your children are too young for the vaccine, the CDC recommends you limit your travel to a short road trip to a location with outdoor activities that allow for social distancing.
Read on for ways to enjoy vacationing with your family in these unique times.
A few days after our family trip to Cape May, N.J., I can still smell the salty, sea air and feel the cool, ocean breeze on my skin.
I am no stranger to the beach; I grew up in Queens, within an hour’s drive of Long Island’s popular shores, took yearly trips to Virginia Beach as a kid, traveled to the beaches of the Carribean and the Middle East, and, more recently, spent many summers at the more northern points of the Jersey Shore.
Cape May N.J. has a lot of what you might find in any beach town, small shops selling ice cream, souvenirs, or beach gear, restaurants on the water and a walkable pathway that runs along the edge of the beach. However, what makes Cape May stand out is the charm of the town.
Cape May N.J. is dotted with beautiful Victorian homes and quaint shops. In proximity to our hotel, was just one small grocery store, and I can’t recall seeing a single chain restaurant or major retail store. Of course, this could make living in Cape May year-round challenging, which I can’t speak to, but if you enjoy an escape from the hustle and bustle of busier areas, a visit to Cape May may be right for you.
Anyone who’s tried to squeeze more than one young child in the back seat of a car understands how cumbersome standard child safety seats can be. And while I do like my kids using high-back booster seats, I was pleased to discover another option which offers space-saving features as well as peace of mind.
The ComfiGO Booster seat from ClypX is a compact, easy-to-use, travel-friendly booster seat for children ages 4 to 12 with a minimum weight of 40 pounds and who are between 40 and 57 inches tall. The ComfiGO Booster seat works with your vehicle’s lap and shoulder belt restraining devices to create an instant child safety seat.
The ComfiGO Booster seat features an adjustable, clippable strap that secures the shoulder belt on your child, preventing them from slouching and keeping them properly restrained, as well as another clip which can be used on the lap belt for added security.
Families will love that the ComfiGO Booster is lightweight and small enough to stow in most suitcases and travel bags, yet can be secured permanently in the car via the LATCH system.
I am blessed with the good fortune to live near some incredible hiking trails, including a large section of the Appalachian trail. I love the peace and quiet I find while hiking, especially in the fall and winter when the trails are less populated. I find being alone on the trail allows me to better experience the sounds of the wind whistling through the trees, birds chirping and insects buzzing. I can sync my soul with nature and put my mind at ease.
Now with the warming weather, more people are out hiking, so my opportunities for solitude are limited. However, I still enjoy getting outside, and try to hit the trails on weekday mornings when the crowds are manageable. Also, there is a difference between crowds on a trail, and crowds in general. Something aboout being out in nature reduces the stress and annoyance of being around large groups of people. I can’t help but feel good.
I find my fellow hikers, whether novices or experts on a months-long excursion, share this same spirit. While, we may have widely different views, and might even despise one another in a different space, on the trail none of that seems to matter. Here we all share one purpose, the desire to be one with nature.
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