It was a somber bittersweet day in the StaplesCenter in Los Angeles when 20,000 mourners packed into the indoor stadium that the late NBA Player KobeBryant built to bid him and his 13-year old daughter Gianna farewell.
His widow VanessaBryant, a celebrity mom covered often on the blog, gave a heart breaking but still beautiful eulogy of her husband and daughter. As USA Today summarized in its coverage:
She mourned the loss of her “baby girl” Gianna, “a sweet and gentle soul” and preternaturally talented athlete who she said was destined for WNBA greatness. She remembered her husband as a soulful romantic with a “tender heart” and a “doting” father for whom family always came first.
“They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life,” Vanessa said of Kobe and Gianna, adding: “God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to heaven together.”
Beyonce Knowles Carter opened the event performing one of her hits, “XO” which she said was one of Kobe’s favorite song with lyrics that go, “In the darkest hour / I’ll search through the crowd / Your face is all I can see / I’ll give you everything.” She later burst into a soulful rendition of her song, “Halo”
Alicia Keys moved the crowd by playing Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” a piece she said was favored by Kobe and Vanessa.
At various points throughout the event, the crowd broke out in chants of “Kobe! Kobe!”
Retired NBA stars Michael Jordan, Dwyane Wade, and Tim Duncan along with entertainer Jennifer Lopez and her fiance retired baseball player Alex Rodriguez and late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel were all in attendance for the ceremony, along with other celebs like friends of the Bryant family KimKardashianWest and KanyeWest.
The date chosen for the memorial — Feb. 24, or 2/24/20 — is a combination of their jersey numbers. Gianna wore No. 2 and her dad wore No. 24 in the latter part of his 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Tickets went for variations of 2 and 4, $24.24 or $224 for two.
Several NBA legends like former teammates Shaquille O’Neal and Jordon gave rousing speeches by my fave was by University of Oregon player SabrinaIonesco who gave a wonderful speech and tribute to girls sports too in honor of GiGi .
Proceeds will go to theMamba & Mambacita Sports Foundationwhich raises money to provide sports education and training services for young women. The foundation was originally established as the Mamba Sports Academy, but Bryant’s widow announced that the name was changed to honor their daughter.
Kobe Bryant gave himself the moniker “BlackMamba” after a character in the QuentinTarantino film KillBill.
“Because there is no #24 without #2, we have updated the Mamba Sports Foundation to now be called the Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation,” Vanessa Bryant wrote on her Instagram page announcing the name change.
The two were headed to a game during a basketball tournament at a sports arena in Thousand Oaks, California named for Mamba when the helicopter they were riding in crashed killing them along with Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, 56, his wife Keri Altobelli, 46, and their daughter Alyssa Altobelli, 14; Sarah Chester, 45, and her daughter Payton Chester, 13; as well as Mamba Sports Academy coach Christina Mauser, 38; and pilot Ara Zobayan, 50.
Vanessa, when you told me the Moonlight Sonata is such a beautiful part of your love story bc Kobe vowed to learn it for you, I was speechless… I felt the depth of your love for each other & your girls with every note I played today. The love between u lights up the world. pic.twitter.com/NeVOggET3k
Bryant and his daughter were traveling to Gigi’s basketball game in a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, when it crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, Calif., on Jan. 26. All eight passengers and the pilot were killed.
The Bryants were laid to rest in a private ceremony in Southern California on Feb. 7.
Before the public ceremony got underway, the Los Angeles Timesreported Vanessa Bryant has filed a lawsuit against Island Express Helicopters, the company that operated the chopper. NPR later confirmed the lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Investigators are still working to determine the cause of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board said in its investigative update this month that the chopper’s rotors were both powered and turning at the time of impact, which it said indicates “the engines showed no evidences of uncontained or catastrophic internal failure.”
Photos taken shortly after the crash show conditions were foggy in the hills above Calabasas, but as NPR’s Russell Lewis has reported, the final investigative findings are not expected for at least a year.
I was catching up on one of my guilty pleasure reality TV show series, Vanderpump Rules, and I heard cast member Scheana Marie Shay explain her actions to new castmember Dayna Kathan and blamed it on the hormones from egg freezing.
Of course, having a pregnancy blog, my ears perked up and I ran to my phone to do quick research and discovered that she was indeed on her second round of egg freezing at the time of the taping of this past season’s show.
She explained what happened with the first round of egg freezing and why she was doing it a second time in an interview with Too Fab this past Summer.
The first time she froze her eggs in January 2019, Shay explained, “we only got nine. We got 12 but only 9 were mature and down the road, I don’t even know if I want and as of right now, I have no desire to be a single mom so unless the right guy comes along and wants to step up and be the dad and play with the kids, I am very good just traveling the world and stuff.”
She added, sharing the reason for the second round, “If I do have a kid, I want two and the 1 in 9 or 2 in 9 chances are just not good enough for me.” and even if the eggs are fertilized and genetically tested and cleared to be fine, “I felt 9 was a very low number, it was good amount to get but because it was an easy process for me, I was like ‘you can do this again.”
It’s another reason to be healthy, Shay added, sharing that for 50 days before the process, she cut out carbs, alcohol and weed, “all the fun stuff.”
Therefore, it was a good thing for her to stack her eggs and as her doctor told her, “eggs are like money: you can never have too much or too many.”
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight last January, Shay said she contemplated the procedure for a few years while she was in a relationship but never had the time.
After her divorce, and a couple other relationships, she decided to go through with freezing her eggs.
“I did all these amazing things, I was like, Okay, you know what? Now’s the time, I’m doing it now. If I don’t do it now, I’m never gonna do it. I’m gonna keep talking about it,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “So, I just woke up one day, stopped birth control and decided I’m doing this now.”
In an Instagram post following the first procedure, Shay captioned a photo of herself in bed:
“I have learned so much about fertility and everything that goes into freezing eggs and IVF. @scrcivfand @drshahinghadir have been so amazing throughout this entire journey! Thank you to all of my super supportive followers who have been thru this and given me advice. If you are in your late twenties/early 30s and able to afford it, I highly recommend this! I’m already planning a second round this summer bc the more the merrier! Thank you all for following me on this journey…”
Shay, who is 33-years-old, said she recommends it to anyone under 35 who can afford it.
“I can still have a biological child if I choose to, and if I don’t find the right guy and that doesn’t work out, then you know what? I get to travel the world and have them on ice,” she told Entertainment Tonight.
The “afford it” part. That part! It’s not really affordable for a lot of women.
A typical egg-freezing process can cost about $16,000 (plus more for storage), so it might be financially out of the question for many people and certainly even more difficult to get a second round.
Good for her though and I would love it if Bravo had put more of Shay’s egg freezing in its season, perhaps even given her a Spin Off special on it.
It’s so instructive and great for that network’s young audience of Millennials and GenZers, many of whom are in their prime child bearing years and waiting until much later to start a family. #TeamScheanna
We can always count on an Australian fitness Instagram celebrity to school the masses on diversity in pregnancy experiences and this time, fitness pro Emily Skye shared two side by side shots to show how earlier a baby belly “pops” after a second pregnancy compared to the first.
“Last pregnancy vs this pregnancy – both at 19 weeks along!” she captioned the photo of herself at 19 weeks pregnant for baby #1 and the same gestation for baby #2 with a much larger bump. “EVERY PREGNANCY IS DIFFERENT!!”
Indeed at South Florida Morsani College OB-GYN maternal-fetal medicine specialist Dr. Stephanie RostoldInsider, it’s “totally normal” because the stomach muscles and tissues around them get stretched out during the first pregnancies.
“In future pregnancies, it doesn’t take much pressure to get those tissues to allow the growing uterus to push forward,” Ros said, adding that women may also find their baby bump sinks lower after the first pregnancy since the pelvic muscles are looser too.
Midwife Clare Herbert wrote in The BabyCentre., a second pregnancy (or any pregnancy after the first) may also look bigger sooner because the future child actually is bigger, which is common for second children.
It’s also possible for women to look bigger because they’re actually further along than they think they are, Herbert added, especially if they were still breastfeeding when they became pregnant. That’s because breastfeeding can interrupt the menstrual cycle, making tracking when the pregnancy occurred more prone to error.
Getting married before a baby arrives is traditional but not that common among Hollywood celebrity couples who often times raise families and skip the formalities of nuptials altogether.
A few like Ne-Yo and his wife Crystal Smith, Cassie, Cardi B, Tatyana Ali and Offset and Teresa Palmer and her husband, opted to have “shotgun weddings” – an old euphemism for wedding while the bride is pregnant to guarantee the baby will be born within wedlock.
Now that news is out that dancer, TV host and actress Jenna Dewan just got engaged to her boyfriend and father of her unborn second child, Steve Kazee, we wonder if they will do the same, or buck the old fashioned formalities!
“When you wake in the morning I will kiss your face with a smile no one has ever seen,” he wrote,channeling the words of Water Liars’ song “Let It Breathe”. “When you wake in the morning I will kiss your eyes and say it’s you I have loved all these years.”
It has been 10 years since I last posted the annual Bellyitch Most Expensive Strollers post. It was a yearly blog post staple and used to get tons of traffic because, honestly, I think people, generally, are obsessed with knowing what baby items are used and coveted by the super wealthy and celebrities.
Since the last post, a few stroller companies have gone out of business. RIP to Orbit, Maclaren and newer brands 4Moms and iCandy, which were once considered “it” strollers in their day but no longer manufacture luxury strollers.
In 2013, I published the list as part of the Bellyitch 100, a book of the top crib makers, maternity wear designers, stroller makers and baby clothes brands.
Anyway, so I used to publish the Most Expensive Strollers list at a time when I was raising a young family and brands would boast that they were on the list.
My social circle at the time included professional working women, stay-at-home moms, and mom bloggers, several who were affluent and looked at the stroller as a status symbol.
Here is another secret about what happens among moms at the park, at the school pick up lot, in the mall and other social places where mommies congregate. They check out what strollers they’re pushing a baby or child in and make judgments.
Yes, there is a definite hierarchy in quality of strollers and believe me when I tell you that certainly check out what stroller another mom’s child is being pushed in and make judgments.
When I was raising my children as a young lawyer, I went through 6 strollers, which is a low number considering many of my friends at the tiem had way more.
Our first stroller was a Peg Perego which converts from a baby carriage or pram to a push stroller. At the time, it was among the best. Then, when my first born turned into a toddler, we ordered theInglesina Swiftumbrella stroller from the Italian stroller manufacturer. It had a great run!
To pair with the Inglesina, a sturdy Italian brand, we got a lower cost Combi umbrella stroller for travel, a stroller we could beat up which was so much less that so that we wouldn’t mind if it got lost by the airline or damaged during travel.
Then, when I was expecting baby #2, I got as an amazing shower gift from my co-workers at my old job: a Peg Prerego Aria doublestroller!
By the time baby number 3 rolled around, the Inglesina had hit the dirt, we left the Combi on some island we visited for vacation once and we had loaned out the Peg Perego Buggy to relatives who didn’t take good care of it.
The wheels on the double gave out and we opted to give to Goodwill rather than try to fix it or get the company to repair it.
Now, while we didn’t get any of them to make a statement, I have had many moms and dads comment on the pricier high end ones while walking in the parks, malls etc. People are always looking for a status symbol and there is a preconception that most expensive means the best!
It’s no wonder, you can see celebrities strolling their children in many of those on this list. The celebrities know that too. That is why Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony sued Silver Cross from publishing on their website an unauthorized endorsement which featured a People magazine photo of them pushing their twins in two Silver Cross prams.
People flock to buy whatever celebrities purchase and that stroller companies know that endorsement mean lots for their bottom line.
Anyhoo, on to the list. Of course, as a disclaimer, this list is not exhaustive. As usual, this list is based on my own personal research and I urge readers to point out other vehicles that should grace this list. Certainly, I would amend the post to reflect corrections.
In the meantime, check out this year’s list of “it” strollers pushed by the most Poshest of moms and celebs out there (I’m updating this list with a few more after the initial post so come back and ping me on Twitter if you don’t see one you think should be on this list)
DESCRIPTION: For over 128 years, Silver Cross has been handcrafting traditional prams in Northern England. This hallmark company is known for being pushed by Royals in the UK and across Europe and beyond.
The Silver Cross Balmoral Pram model boasts three coats of high shine lacquer, English leather and is painted by hand and individually numbered.
CELEBRITY OWNERS: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, Geri Halliwell Horner (“Ginger Spice”), Nicky Hilton
DESCRIPTION: Mima® is an established Dutch designer and manufacturer of strollers and high chairs and a favorite brand for European new parents that want high-end design, functionality and a very chic aesthetic. This relatively new entrant to the market makes a very functional and innovative stroller that features a patented “carrycot inside” system.
The popular Xari Black Chassis Stroller can be used as a carrycot or as a stroller and comes with a reversible seat that allows your baby to face you or the world ahead. It has one of those super fancy simple fold mechanism. It is very stylish and chic and has a design that grows with your child and provides enhanced convenience for parents.
GET IT ATBuy Buy Baby for $1,999 or a little less.
CELEBRITY OWNERS: Kourtney Kardashian, Alex Curran Gerard
DESCRIPTION: CYBEX delivers Versatile, elegant and convenient line of top-notched quality strollers, many that features a reversible seat, one-hand seat recline, and a quick-fold chassis usually in an ultra premium, lightweight design that adapts to your growing family’s changing needs. This American-made Massachusetts company makes renowned products.
The Cybex Priam Cherub Stroller is part of the Cybex Platinum Priam range in collaboration with renowned designer Jeremy Scott, this 3-in-1 stroller has been made from high-quality fabrics with a smart, luxe appearance. Its flexible frame can be turned into a travel system with matching carry cot, combined with one of the brand’s award-winning infant car seats, or transformed into a luxurious stroller sporting a reversible seat unit. A vibrant cherub print and golden wing attachments offer a heavenly touch to suit your little angel.
DESCRIPTION: The StokkE brand of stroller is an “it” stroller indeed. And about a decade ago, this Norweigian company’s strollers slowly replaced the Bugaboo as the favorite or wannabes, posers and the nouveau riche. The babies inside these strollers are decked out in mini-adult Designer clothes. The diamonds on the hands of the moms pushing these things can put your eye out, I mean the shine is that bright. And they are being folded and thrown in the back of Land Rovers. Pretentious? Naaaah! Their owners just appreciate a gorgeous quality crafted stroller, that’s all (wink).
The Stokke™ Xplory® Complete baby stroller is the only stroller you’ll ever need to buy! The Stokke Xplory Complete is an innovative urban stroller that adapts to your changing needs.
CELEBRITY OWNER: Chris Hemsworth, Sienna Miller, Stacey Keibler
DESCRIPTION: This Dutch company has had a major mark in the business since the early 1990s. The strollers Bugaboo manufacture guarantee a full of smooth ride, no matter the surface, city street or bumpy park. The brand has long been considered a posh status symbol and continues.
The classic Donkey buggy is fully loaded with push handle to shift the wheels to tackle any terrain, 5 harness straps, multiple recline position, a spacious under carriage bassinet, as well as a reversible, fully reclining seat.
CELEBRITY OWNERS: Leelee Sobieski, Amy Poehler, Julianna Marguiles, Jon Stewart, Matthew McConaughey and Gwen Stefani
PHIL & TED’S
DESCRIPTION: Phil & Ted’s is a small New Zealand company that has made children’s products for over 20 years and about a decade ago was known for its super sturdy brand of tough terrain buggies and strollers for the rugged athletic and sports enthusiast parent who takes baby out on jobs and mountain hikes. It is still the market but has retreated to a smaller share given new competitors on the market.
Its Sport Stroller line feature a smart handle with one touch brake, smart fold, aluminum frame, and top quality tough, washable cloth.
CELEBRITY OWNERS: Jessica Alba and Cash Warren, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts
DESCRIPTION: Joolz is a very new entrant to the market. This Australian company hinges its products on sustainable and eco-friendly renewable design and materials.
The Joolz Geo² Studio Complete Stroller features a modular design that offers 3 different configurations that make it the ultimate stroller for any family adventure. The award-winning design captures ergonomic comfort, ease, style, and maneuverability. It can be used as a toddler stroller, a modern pram for newborns, and an infant car seat carrier
Another American company is Boston, Massachussets-based UPPAbaby which makes innovative, high-quality strollers and car seats that fit the needs of parents, while appealing to the sense of style they’ve always had.
The VISTA convertible stroller allows for multiple configurations to transport up to three children, making it a great choice for growing families. The included bassinet features a longer, ventilated mattress, while the toddler seat is perfect as your little one grows. It has a telescoping handlebar and a large, easy-access under-seat basket that holds up to 30 lb. make the VISTA fuss-free for parents.
DESCRIPTION: When I started having a family, the Peg Perego was the it stroller. It is an Italian family-owned brand which makes baby strollers, car seats, high chairs and kid-sized riding toys for children and babies all over the world.
The versatile and agile Duette Piroet inline double stroller by Peg Perego can easily pass through narrow places, folds compactly, and is travel system ready. Comes with two independent adjustable seats with reclining backrests and two-position footrests. Peg Perego Duette Piroet features a versatile and extremely agile Italian inline double stroller design that can easily go through narrow pathways and allows various seating configurations for twins or different age siblings
DESCRIPTION: This is another relatively new arrival for city dwellers and traveling families. Babyzen manufactures and markets baby products and designs, produces, and sells collapsible baby strollers. Babyzen offers its produces to retailers throughout Europe and internationally.
The BABYZEN YOYO+ comes ready to roll, complete with the YOYO Newborn and Seat Color Pack Fabric Sets. The YOYO+ is an incredibly lightweight, compact stroller and steers easily even with one hand, allowing you to navigate corners and tight spaces. An underseat storage basket makes a convenient spot for on-the-go items, and an included travel bag is perfect for storage.
DESCRIPTION: Yet another Dutch stroller manufacturer whose name has been synonymous with top quality is Quinny. This company is among Europe’s most respected stroller brand and set the standard for engineering, design and trendsetting style.The Quinny line offers clever solutions for the confident parent of today; solutions that are made with parents and their lifestyles in mind. Stroll with ease and in stylish comfort with the rugged and innovative
The Quinny Mood Stroller features a unique hydraulic system that automatically unfolds stroller, plus never-flat, all-terrain tires that allow you and baby to conquer any terrain.
DESCRIPTION: This is another American baby product company. The Austin, Texas company boasts a staff of in-house engineers, mostly made up of parents, that make products to accommodate the daily lives and frustrations of new moms and dads. They’ve stopped at nothing to create intuitive, purpose-driven, well-made products that make family life easier and more fun — giving parents more freedom to live in the moment without being overwhelmed by more and more.
The flagship model, the Entourage, is perfect for families on-the-go. This one-handed expandable frame has three positions, 5 recline positions, a market tote and expandable lower storage area, giving you the freedom to travel anywhere in comfort.
Thule is an established Swedish outdoors and transportation products manufacturer that is a leader in cargo carriers for automobiles. It recently expanded to get into the stroller biz.
The Thule Sleek is a stylish stroller for on-the-go travel adventures with the ever-innovative, marvelously multifunctional which features a ventilated canopy, a convenient window, a reversible seat, generous seating options and more.
DESCRIPTION: Another Dutch company is Maxi-Cosi which started in the 1980s as one of Europe’s first permiere car seat manufacturers. It has since expanded and updated its quality of strollers to the point that is competes with the other exquisite brands out here.
Travel everywhere with ease with the Lila Modular Stroller is a convenient, compact and extra comfortable, making it great for dining out, shopping or vacation that is good with maneuverability and can accommodate an infant seat. It’s perfect for a growing family because it can easily turn into a dual stroller.
DESCRIPTION This Richmond, Virginia-based company launched one of the first jogging strollers in the 1980s. It designs and manufactures jogging strollers and all-terrain strollers and offers strollers and joggers, such as urban use and three wheeled all-terrain strollers; and accessories. The company also provides dependable push chairs for children and adults with physical disabilities.
The City Select LUX is a rugged yet streamlined stroller features an extra seat with a telescoping handlebar adjusts to just the right height, while the hand-operated decelerating and parking brake provides additional peace of mind.
Earlier this month, rapper Meek Mill and his ex girlfriend, fellow rapper, Nicki Minaj got in a heated Twitter back-and-forth, the day before she launched her latest project.
By the end of the online exchange, Mill, real name Robert Rihmeek Williams, confirmed that he and his girlfriend, boutique owner and Milano Di Rouge designer, Milan Harris are expecting.
“My girl is with me pregnant watching me tweet about my ex is very clownish,” Mill tweeted ending the recently reignited feaud for the day. “Ima exit!”
Guaging by the reactions and responses to that tweet, it appears a lot of people had no clue that Harris was expecting though from combing through her personal Instagram page, it looks like it was the worst kept secret.
Photos of herself and her bump featured prominently on her IG page since last December. Belated congrats!
Each have children from previous relationships though this is the first for the two of them.
Iglesias took to Twitter to announce the news. “My Sunshine 01.30.2020” he captioned the photo of himself in a surgical mask, scrubs and protective hair covering, signaling the newborn arrived via C-Section.
Multiple sources confirm to E! News that the Game of Thrones star is pregnant and expecting her first child with husband Joe Jonas.
“The couple is keeping things very hush hush but their friends and family are super excited for them,” one source shared withJustJaredwho was first to report the news. Another insider added, “Sophie has decidedly been choosing outfits to wear on and off the carpet to accommodate her changing body.”
The couple’s last major public appearance together was at the 2020 Grammys where Sophie cheered on her husband during the Jonas Brothers‘ performance of “What A Man Gotta Do.”
Joe and Sophie surprised fans in May 2019 when they got married in Las Vegas after the Billboard Music Awards. The duo enjoyed a second ceremony in France one month later.
Since then, the couple has continued to document their love story that includes everything from sweet social media posts, unforgettable vacations and red carpet date nights.
I love actress, dancer and producer Jenna Dewan who is currently expecting her first child with boyfriend of a year Steve Kazee, but is still proving pregnant women do not have to slow down when they are expecting.
I just peeped her new FOX television show Flirty Dancing, which is a US take on a popular UK dating dance show where singles learn a routine and then pair up and dance to see if their dance floor chemistry translates to the dating couch. In the US version, the single dances with two different partners and picks one.
And in between acting appearances in shows like Supergirl, Witches of East Endand American Horror Story: Asylum, in June 2017, Dewan founded Everheart Productions, with a focus on producing female-centric stories for film, television and digital platforms. Dewan will star in the scripted musical drama television series called Soundtrackthis winter.