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With New Fatherhood, CNN’s Anderson Cooper Joined the 3 percent

When CNN anchor Anderson Cooper announced on the last day of April last month that he had become a father, he joined the 3% of single men in the United States who become a parent without a partner or spouse.

“On Monday, I became a father,” the heir to the Vanderbilt fortune and popular on air news personality shared at the end of a CNN Town Hall segment. “I have a son.”

He later tweeted that Wyatt Morgan Cooper was born on Monday weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces.

Before Cooper, one of his best friends, BravoTV‘s Andy Cohen also welcomed a baby solo, and similarly, Cohen too announced the news on his nightly talk show Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen

Other famous men who became parents while single include, actor Hill Harper, who adopted a son, while  there is apparently a growing trend of single men turning to surrogacy, according to recent reports.

International soccer star and the most famous person on Instagram, Cristiano Ronaldo, is a surrogate to three children, two of whom were born when he was single.

In 2008, Latin pop sensation Ricky Martin used a surrogate to father twins while he was also without a partner at the time. He has since welcomed a daughter, Lucia, with his husband Jwan Josef.

In a blog post on the E network‘s Daily Dish Blog, an expert explains the trend:

“There are many reasons why some men don’t start a family in their 20s or 30s. But it’s not too late to have a child, even if you don’t have a wife or a female partner? Single men who want to have a biological child of their own, both gay and straight, are starting to turn to IVF and surrogacy,” reports WINfertility, an organization which assists men in becoming single fathers.

“It’s not a simple process — basically, a single man who wants to be a dad needs an egg donor, a gestational surrogate to carry the child, and IVF to make fertilization of the egg and transfer of the embryo possible. There are hormones to take, sperm to donate, tests to undergo, egg testing to be done, contracts to be signed. It can be a years-long process. Which means that if you do it, you really want it.”

But according to Gayle East, owner and director of Surrogate Solutions in Hewitt, Texas, single man surrogacy is becoming more prevalent!

The type of guy who will be willing to undertake such a life-altering move are professionals who are financially stable and ready to settle down but they haven’t found a partner yet.

“They’re single guys who’ve been working in a career, saving money and becoming more financially secure. It’s very doable for them,” says East. “In the past, there was the stereotype of moms raising a family, but they’re seeing same-sex couples with families. And now, watching other guys go through this process will probably give more single guys the courage to do this.”

Congrats to Cooper!

Mother’s Day For Women Dealing With Infant Loss and Infertility



Most people don’t realize how painful Mother’s Day can be for those struggling with infertility and loss.

If that woman is you, you are allowed to do whatever you need to do to make it through this Mother’s Day.

Taking care of yourself becomes essential as you try to work through the grief and loss that has overtaken your journey to motherhood.

But on this day especially, take care of you.

You have permission to opt out of all the Mother’s Day messaging today and avoid people who may not understand what you’re going through and not be sensitive to your feelings today.

Do whatever brings you comfort. Binge on your fave ice cream. Enjoy a nice bottle of wine. Take in a Netflix movie. Spoil yourself. Or just rest and go to bed early.

Shut out the rest of the world and practice a little self-care.

And know that you are not alone in needing to do so.

Finally, here is my fave inspirational song and video from gospel artist Yolanda Adams  with a great message.

from your friends at The Bellyitch Blog
View this post on Instagram

This topic is an extremely sensitive one and It is important for me to bring it up especially as we approach Mother's day weekend. ⁣ I'll specifically speak from my own experiences with it. And the hardships us women and even men in my community face when it comes to pregnancy.⁣ ⁣ For some reason pregnancy is something that is just automatically suppose to come after marriage. No idea who created such a rule or why such a rule exists. ⁣ ⁣ I remember being newly married and the first thing people started doing instead of greeting me was look right at my belly. Then when they noticed I was not pregnant the look of confusion following "oh you're not pregnant yet" would be their conversation starter. ⁣ ⁣ I will never forget when just after 3 months of marriage church service ended and a member in the church who saw me yelled at the top of her lungs in front of everyone saying "BARBARA YOU'RE STILL NOT PREGNANT YET. WHEN WILL YOU GET PREGNANT? YOU'RE TAKING TOO LONG." ⁣ ⁣ I remember standing their speechless because I could not believe someone could ask and act in such a way. My husband however, came to my rescue and respectfully told her everyone has plans and it's God who gives children.⁣ ⁣ What made me so sad is what if I was really trying and had no success? What if I found out I could not conceive naturally? What if I just went through an unsuccessful expensive fertility procedure? What if I just recently miscarried? Do you know how all of these accounts affect women and men who are journeying this together? ⁣ ⁣ I always made sure I prayed for my future children regardless of when we decided to prepare. When God said it was my time, that was and the only timeline I followed through with and no one else's.⁣ ⁣ Dont ever let anyone force their pregnancy timeline on you! Don't ever let anyone make you feel less of a woman or man because to them you're "taking too long." If pregnancy is something that you seek and whatever method you have to go through take it to the Lord in prayer. For it is he who provides.⁣ ⁣ Photography by @mennydc5

A post shared by BARBARA|MOTHERHOOD|LIFESTYLE (@mrsbarbarankansah) on

Quarantine and Holding It Together: Moms Really Deserve This Mother’s Day!



Happy Mother’s Day!

Today more than any other Mother’s Day, you moms out there deserve this day! In the age of COVID-19, moms have been put to the test and stressed to the max!

I shared an empathetic poster from a parenting group the other day to my personal Facebook Feed which a lot of moms could relate to and it got quite a bit of likes.

When I went to the original post’s comment section, I discovered it littered with commentary by dads and others who were lambasting the post for not including dads and for it not being inclusive of parenthood.

One said that the post perpetrated a stererotype that mothers were more responsible for parenting and that the message was wrong. I was upset. While parenting is indeed not a thing moms alone are responsible for and we, as a society, should not insenuate that moms alone should bear the burden of motherhood, I see nothing wrong with acknowleding the present day facts.

It is a true fact that during this pandemic when a lot of governments around the world, in states, provinces, counties and localities, have issued global “Stay Home” orders, mothers have been given the extra responsiblity of keeping their household together!

And it’s not like they haven’t always bore that burden, often times at the expense of their own self-care and sanity, but they’ve done it without complaint, and often times, without enough gratitude from those who they are dedicating their love, affection, and patience to.

So yes…let moms be recognized for their endearing devotion to being the champion, cheerleader, teacher, chef, entertainer, educator, and more.

I love Today Show’s special tribute to mom from their kids and so I am sharing it here for us all to view and appreciate! Happy Mother’s Day Quarantine Moms! You deserve an extra shower of appreciation today!

Whether you’re expecting, a new mom or a veteran mom, old, young, poor or rich you deserve a day to acknowledge your role as a mother!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Whether you’re an expecting, brand new, or veteran mom, rich, poor, old or young, you deserve acknowledgment today!

Meek Mill Welcomes 3rd Son, First with Girlfriend Milan Harris

Meek Mill and fashion designer Milan Harris had a lot to celebrate on Wednesday. Not only was it the rapper’s birthday, but his girlfriend delivered a special gift ⁠— a baby boy.

Meek Mill, who turned 33 on Wednesday, said it was the best gift before thanking fans “for all the birthday love” on Twitter. “Milano dropped me off a king on my birthday! #thebestgift,” he tweeted, confirming that she had given birth to a baby boy.

Harris shared an Instagram Story thanking everyone who sent congratulatory comments.

“I’ve been asleep all day, exhausted! Labor brings out a different type of strength,” Harris wrote. “Thank you everyone for your congratulatory comments, calls and text messages.”

This is Harris’ first child and Meek’s third. The rapper-turned criminal justice reform advocate has two other sons, Rihmeek and Murad Williams, from a previous relationship.

continued reading 

Mother’s Day: 7 Last Minute Quarantine Era Gifts You Can Get NOW

Hey guys! Mother’s Day is on Sunday!

In this age of Covid-19, it may be a little bit harder to find a gift for mom. If you are a mom, your husband, spouse or partner cannot rely on your kids making something for you in school so it’s time to get moving.

If your mom is still alive and well, lovely. You’re going to need to find a nice way to recognize all she did for you. And if you’re in a strained relationship with her, maybe this year is the year to send out an olive branch, especially considering the fragile state of the world.

Whatever your situation, here are 8 things you can get for you mom before Sunday:

Online cooking class

A lot of in-person classes, courses and the like have gone virtual.

An annual MasterClass membership is the best way to learn cooking skills from some of the world’s best chefs. Each class—from the likes of Alice Waters, Gordon Ramsay, and Dominique Ansel—consists of about a dozen or so pre-recorded videos that range from 10-30 minutes so you can learn at your own pace. Right now they’re offering a buy-one get-one deal on their annual all-access membership, which means you can take as many classes as you’d like over the next 365 days and give a membership to a friend or family member for free.

Cost: $180 for two all-access annual memberships And for the next three days, if you buy one annual membership, you get one for yourself FREE! 

For a lower budget option, you can purchase a few $10 classes from Bluprint which offers over onloine 100 cooking classes in addition to crafing classes so if mom is into crafts, you can mix and match it! The classes are family-friendly and are for complete beginners to experts who want to know how to make cheese.

Cost: From $10 per class

 

MEMORIES: CUSTOM PERSONALIZED ALBUM

Turn all the photos you have stored in your phone into a virtual and real memory book. Shutterfly.com is offering up the services of its expert team of book deisngers for free right now. You just pay for the final product. Send mom the link to the final product so she can reminisce over the memories and she’ll get the actual book in the mail too to keep and cherish forever. Books start at $15.95

Order today at Shutterfly! 

ZOOM BRUNCH

Order brunch using DoorDash, GrubHub or UberEats and send over to mom. Create a Zoom account and send her the link and together connect, eat, catch up, chat, play some tunes. The first 45 minutes are free!

DRIVE BY FLOWERS AND MEAL DELIVERY

If mom lives near by, you can pick up a bouquet of flowers at your local grocery store or big box store. Walmart has them bagged already. Then grab some take out or a pizza from your local restaurant’s to-go service and drop them off at mom’s doorsetp. This is what my siblings and I will be doing for our mom on Sunday.

PJ’S AND ESSENTIAL OILS

Everyons is living in their pajamas all day and night so ordering then picking up a pair from your local Target store then dropping it off at mom is the way to go! The store also has access to lots of other items like essential oil diffusers, chocolates, cards and more.

You can order from Target online and maybe get it delivered in time if you hurry!

GIFT OF FITNESS

If mom is still active, get her a membership at an online gym. The Peloton App (no bike required) is 6 months free. Beach Body On Demand has one month free and a lot of other fitness apps have deals. Also, get her gear like a pair of UnderArmour Women’s UA Charged Escape 3 Reflect Shoes which is just $66 right now, down from $90.

GIFT CARDS

Finally, since everyone is home behind their computers shopping and having packages delivered to their doors…eventually, you cannot go wrong with an E-Gift Card from mom’s favorite retailer!

Hurry up and shop!!

 

Nurses Appreciation Week: 5 Daily Kind Ways to Honor Nurses

Guest Post

No doubt about it: America’s nurses are being hammered by unprecedented levels of stress. We keep soldiering on (that’s what nurses do), but it’s hard not to give into despair and exhaustion. Rich Bluni says the antidote for pandemic weariness is inspiration. And there’s no time better than Nurses Week—actually we get a month this year, but the traditional week still begins on May 6th—to start creating your own.

“It is possible to reconnect to that feeling of inspiration you felt when you first became a nurse,” asserts Bluni, himself an RN with over 25 years of experience in the ER, Trauma, and ICU and author of best-selling books Inspired Nurse. “But you have to own it. You have to get deliberate and proactive about it. It won’t just happen—especially right now.”

Bluni—who is now sharing stories and tactics from Inspired Nurse in short video segments—offers a fun, energizing five-day exercise to try during Nurses Week.

What You’ll Need to Get Started: Five dollars; five thank-you notes; five stamps, envelopes, and sheets of paper; five minutes; and five prayers/positive thoughts. Over the next five work days, you will use each of these. The order of your “fives” is not important, but the actions themselves are.

Day 1: Give away your five dollars to someone who needs it. This person could be at work, on your way to work, or on your way home. You might buy breakfast for a patient’s family member or for a coworker whose partner is now out of work. You could donate it to a local pet shelter or contribute to your favorite takeout spot’s fundraiser so they can make payroll. Or use it to buy a couple pairs of new socks for a homeless person…just give away your five dollars to someone who needs it. Don’t worry. You’ll find them.

Day 2: Bring your five thank-you notes to work and find five coworkers to thank. Chances are, over the past few months, your coworkers and fellow staff members have gone above and beyond for you over and over (and you for them). This is your chance to acknowledge all they have done. Write them each a thank-you note and give it to them. (Yes…texts count!)

Day 3: Use your five stamps, papers, and envelopes to send letters of gratitude or just to say “hi” to five people for whom you are grateful or whom you miss. This can be done before, after, or at work (if you have a break). If you are quarantined from your family, send a letter to your spouse and kids. Send one to your elderly parents. Send letters to people who have made a difference for you in your healthcare journey, such as a professor, mentor, or anyone who has supported you in becoming who you are or in doing what you do.

Day 4: Spend five minutes doing a simple act of kindness. Maybe you’re caught up but your peer isn’t. Give him five minutes of your time and help him out. Spend five minutes with a new peer and tell her what a good job you think she is doing. This kindness can even be extended to yourself! Go outside for five minutes and feel the sun on your face instead of going to the candy machine for an unhealthy sugar fix.

Day 5: Depending upon your preferences, pray for five people or situations and sincerely wish them well. They could be patients or peers. Be positive in your prayers. Focus on surrounding these people or situations with blessings and peace. In lieu of prayers, you could also think five positive thoughts. Notice five positive things about a person or situation and be deliberate about sharing them with others.

Be purposeful about each task on each day. You might even recruit five others to do it with you. (Imagine what work would be like if even 10 percent of your peers “took five”!)

“Your renewed enthusiasm for your work is stronger than your fear and more lasting than your fatigue,” says Bluni. “Let the love and gratitude you feel for nursing inspire those around you and create a ripple effect that reaches to your patients and coworkers.”

About the Author:

Rich Bluni, RN, is the author of the best-selling books Inspired Nurse, Oh No…Not More of That Fluffy Stuff!, and Inspired Nurse Too. He has an active and popular Facebook page called Inspired Nurse.

Rich has been an RN since 1993. He has worked as a nurse in Adolescent Oncology, Pediatric ICU, and Trauma ICU departments as well as serving as a pediatric flight and transport nurse. He has served as an ED nursing manager as well as a senior director of risk management, quality, and patient safety.

He came to Studer Group in 2007 as a coach working with dozens of healthcare organizations and leaders to drive outstanding results. He is presently a senior director with Huron and a Studer Group national speaker, having traveled across North America to speak in front of hundreds of thousands of healthcare workers and leaders in hundreds of healthcare organizations, large healthcare conferences, as well as virtual webinars.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Welcomes 7th Child, First with Singer Grimes

Congrats to Billionaire SpaceX Founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk on the birth of his seventh child, his first with partner, singer Grimes.

The South African native announced the news by simply tweeting, “Mom & baby all Good” on the night of Monday, May 4th.

The couple immediately made headlines again later that evening when he replied to a fan asking for the child’s name and replied back:  X Æ A-12.

Grimes, real name Claire Boucher, explained the name on Twitter.

“•X, the unknown variable •Æ, my elven spelling of Ai (love &/or Artificial intelligence) •A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent + (A=Archangel, my favorite song) ( metal rat)” she tweeted.

But that name likely won’t even hold up in California where the baby was born, Mashable explains.

That is because “official names can only include the 26 letters of the English alphabet, an apostrophe for names like O’Connor, and a hyphen. In other words, Grimes’ baby’s birth certificate may sport an unusual name, but it will likely not include an ‘Æ.’

David Glass, a family law attorney who spoke with People, confirmed as much.

‘[Grimes and Musk] have an opportunity to appeal the rejection of the birth certificate application but it’s unlikely that it will be granted because, again, California … has been struggling with using symbols,’ he told the publication.”

Baby makes his 6th living son (his first child with first wife Justine Wilson sadly died of SIDS as an infant)

He and Wilson share 5 sons, a set of twins and triplets- all boys, Damian, Griffin, Xavier, Saxon and Kai.

Musk was also previously married to Westworld star Talulah Riley, who plays Angela on that hit HBO show.

Photo: Getty

Study: Parents Respect Teachers More, Think They Deserve More Pay

Just in time for National Teacher Appreciation Month which starts tomorrow, a new study finds that parents have a newfound respect for teachers and more believe teachers should be paid more.

As parents take on new roles as educators, a new report found that brand new homeschooling American parents have changing attitudes towards teachers.

In the survey of 2,000 of parents who are newly educating their children at home due to the COVID-19 outbreak , 80 percent indicated they have have newfound respect for teachers; 77% believe that teachers should be paid more; 69% believe being a teacher is harder than their current job; and 53% will take a greater interest in their child’s education after the stay-at-home mandate concludes. (VIDEO)

“We’re happy to hear so many parents saying they appreciate teachers more, and have greater respect for them,” says Jan Richards, Head of Education at educational STEAM brand Osmo, which conducted the study.

While many parents aim to balance study with play in their child’s daily regimen, the majority (68%) worry they are running out of ideas to keep their children occupied, 75% worry their child will fall behind on educational milestones, and 75% feel overwhelmed trying to balance their child’s education with their own work.

Top subjects parents want kids to continue learning during this time include math, science, history, phonics, reading, music, physical education, and art. 80% would pay to have their child utilize an educational program while at home; and 36% admit to using games on tablets/mobile devices to keep kids educated and engaged.

“The data validates the significant opportunities for STEAM companies like Osmo to keep delivering more learning content,” says Osmo CEO Pramod Sharma, whose products are used in over 30,000 U.S. classrooms and 2.5 million homes. “We’re actively working on creating more offerings.”

Osmo recently released a free, unlimited use Projector App for educators to broadcast their physical desk to students, and will soon release additional technology.

College Decision Day Reveal: 11 More Creative Ideas to Steal

cupcake reveal
college decision reveal

cupcake reveal
Last year, I blogged about a new trend of college reveal photo shoots and video reveals.

And now that we are in the era of COVID, the over-the-top party celebration with friends of the past will not be possible this year! Or will it?!

Here is a curated list of unique, creative and some common ways to share with your family and friends online where your kid plans to attend college in the Fall:

College Collage

The simplest and my fave is the ubiquitous collage of college logos around a photo of your senior. If your Class of 2020 graduate has already made her or his decision, you could indicate so in the photo or with the kid in the center photo wearing a jersey or t-shirt from the selected institution.

The At Home Signing Day

This idea is great for future college athletes. Have the parents or siblings pose behind the student at a desk or table ready to sign on the dotted line as is done during sports signing days.

Escape Quarantine and Shout It In the Streets

This idea simply involves a little photo shoot outside in front of the home, outdoors with your senior in his/her chosen school gear.

FROM TOT TO COLLEGE

I love this school’s idea of creating a timeline collage featuring a photo of the graduate as a toddler or preschooler and his senior photo along with a copy of the college announcement. Very creative. You can create something similar using Canva. or Picmonkey for FREE in minutes!

K.I.S.S. (Keepin It Simple, Silly)

Post a simple piece of swag from the school.

Major announcement

Incorporate some elements of the major in the announcement the way this future USC  Animation Student did with her announcement

View this post on Instagram

Well said ladies! Yes it is Official!!! I decided that I'm going to the University of Southern California (USC) in the fall! ❤💛 I will be majoring in Animation and Digital Arts at the School of Cinematic Arts!! I want to thank all of my friends!! I love you all! A big thanks to @cinnamonthechug @iamrachelkaufman and Especially @paigekaren67 without you I wouldn't have gotten into USC or be the person I am today, I'm so thankful and I love you more than anything!! . . . #usc#usccinematicarts#uscanimation#IGotIntoUSC#animation#animationmajor#futureanimator#characterdesign#characteranimation#collegedecisionday#college#universityofsoutherncalifornia#myart#myartstyle#originalcharacter#artistoninstagram#instaartist#digitalart#autodesksketchbook#digitaldrawing#cherry#cherry🍒#dulce#loveyourself#anythingispossible

A post shared by Lyndzi 18 years old (@lyndzi_ramos) on

Cool Runnings

Similar to the simple memorabilia, if your teen already has a tee or sweatshirt from the school, hang it from a hanger on a door and post just the item of clothing

FOOD

You cannot go wrong with cake pops or cupcakes. Print out small versions of each school’s logo, attach to a Popsicle stick or toothpick and voila!

Cupcakes are always popular

OR CAPS

college decision reveal

OR CAKE POPS

A Bed Party

Yes, Bed Parties are a thing but would require a bit of shopping for random items that come in the same color of the school and a trip to the party supply or dollar store for Mylar Balloons and streamers.

Post a photo of the future college kid in a bed of collegiate merch from the school of choice. Photo from Skiks which that site makes and sells such gear

Check out these below from Blue-Prynt a company that specializes in personalized decorations.

I hope you get inspiration from these photos!