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Singer Kehlani Shares Radiant Maternity Portraits

Singer Kehlani updated her fans and followers with a series of new pregnancy progression photos on her Instagram.

In one of her posts, “The Good Life” singer looked absolutely radiant and captioned one post, “A&I”which are the initials of her soon-to-be born daughter’s name.

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A & I. @arisjerome

A post shared by Kehlani? (@kehlani) on

View this post on Instagram

A & I. @arisjerome

A post shared by Kehlani? (@kehlani) on

‘Us ft our lemon tree,’ she captioned another one of the shots taken by photographer Aris Jeromem standing in front of a citrus tree peeking over a concrete wall.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsgHcAdn_qG/

In a recent interview with PEOPLEmagazine, the 23-year old talked about preparing for the birthing experience and expressed being anxious and “excited” about the forthcoming child birth process.

She told the magazine she has always been “interested” in the ‘extreme pain but also extreme beauty” of childbirth.  

The artist is currently expecting her first child with her guitarist Javie Young-White.

Beautiful!!

Here are some other super cuter maternity pics from her IG:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsBhJl_Hv26/

Also, congrats to her for getting her first Top Ten Record:

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bsg7MrcHsLw/

Cardi B Breastfeeds A Baby in New Controversial Video

In her newly released music video for her latest hit single, “Money“, rapper Cardi B promotes breastfeeding by featuring shots of herself nursing an infant. Well more likely it is a doll and not her 6-month old daughter Kulture with estranged hubby Offset.

The shots in the video that was dropped on Friday, December 21 of her holding a baby to her breast dressed in high fashion couture amidst is set among  abundant glorious conspicuous consumption and female body glorification!

https://twitter.com/cardibthe_queen/status/1076206874243055622

The video is visually stimulating and the ornate costuming and setting inside a bank and I think a museum is bold but nothing you wouldn’t expect from a woman on top of her game and with a very generous music video budget.

She pays homage to photographer Thierry Mugler’s 1999 Playboy shoot, and Lil Kim while pole dancing and playing the piano naked.

People on Twitter noted it is reminiscent of Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” and Beyonce’s “Partition” videos.

It is definitely got people with talking with half of the people I saw on Twitter saying she is personifying feminism, empowering sex workers via all the images of strippers, while normalizing breastfeeding and the message that a woman can be a mom, career woman and have it all. 

Others are saying the breastfeeding images juxtaposed with so much “T &A” sets back the movement to normalize breastfeeding through declaring that the female breasts are not sexual objects but objects for nourishing a child.

Either way, the video is quite an exhibition. WATCH!

Study: Giving Obese Pregnant Women Metformin Does Nothing

Among pregnant women with obesity, the use of metformin in addition to diet and lifestyle did not affect birth outcomes when compared with similar women who received placebo along with diet and lifestyle, according to findings from a randomized controlled trial in Australia.

“While metformin in addition to dietary advice reduced weekly pregnancy weight gain, it did not impact clinical pregnancy and birth outcomes,” Jodie Dodd, MD, PhD, professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Adelaide and maternal fetal medicine specialist at Women’s and Children’s Hospital in North Adelaide, Australia, told Endocrine Today. Metformin from early pregnancy for women who are overweight or obese is not recommended.”

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Moms: You Won’t Make It Through the Holidays Unless You Do These 6 Things

Being a mom is one of life’s most wonderful experiences for a woman, but it can also take a toll on you.

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you might find yourself even more stressed out than usual. What can you do to feel better?

Today, we offer tips to help moms everywhere this time of year, compliments of Vinay Saranga M.D. is a psychiatrist and founder of Saranga Comprehensive Psychiatry.

His tips to help moms everywhere this time of year:

  1.  Give yourself a break: Being a mom is a lot to take on, so first and foremost, give yourself a pat on the back for how well you have things together even if it doesn’t feel that way all the time. Chances are, you have your own personal and professional life to manage, and on top of that, raising kids is a tremendous amount of responsibility so don’t be so hard on yourself.
  2. Prioritize: Make a list or a schedule for the coming week of things that need to get done. Include appointments you need to be at, tests you need to help your kids study for, extracurricular activities, birthday parties your kids need to attend and more. Seeing everything for the upcoming week in front of you helps you prepare and stay organized
  3. Make time for you: Being a mom is one of the most fulfilling experience a woman can have, but it can also take a toll on you. That’s why all moms need to make time for themselves every day. Even 20 to 30 minutes of some quiet time will help you rest, relax and recharge. You can sit in a quiet place and do nothing, listen to music, read a book or whatever takes your mind off of things and reduces stress. This shouldn’t be seen as optional but should be required for all moms
  4. Delegate: This is especially true as your kids get older. Delegate the household chores and other responsibilities. There’s no reason that mom should have to do everything. Get your kids to pack their lunch, clean up their rooms, do the laundry, takeout the garbage, etc.
  5.  Understand the delusion of perfection: As a mom, you may strive for perfection. Perfection in your parenting style, perfection in your kid’s studies and grades, perfection in your cooking, perfection in your career, perfection in the gifts you get your children this holiday season and more. While it’s certainly great to want to be the very best you can be, don’t let perfectionism eat away at you.
  6.  Discuss your feelings: Again, being a mom is a lot to handle. When it gets to be too much, don’t hold in your feelings because that’s not good for your mental or physical health. Find a friend or your spouse and speak about what you are feeling. You can also find a group of other moms who meetup to support one another. If you’re really not feeling like yourself, see a mental health professional to discuss what’s going on.

Bump Watch Round Up & Triplets of Copenhagen are HERE!

In all the fuss and bustle of the Holiday season, I have been neglecting my expecting celeb mama coverage!

Thank goodness, we can still get features from other sites to update us and here is a quick roundup:

Lily Aldridge: Second-time mom-to-be Victoria Secret model showed us her daily beauty routine and it’s totally wonderful! She is so cute! I cannot stand it! You can catch it here at Vogue!

Porsha Williams – Oh my goodness! I’m gushing over the sight of the Real Housewives of Atlanta reality TV star’s baby dancing in her belly in the middle of the night to the snoring of Williams’ fiance. Watch it on Instagram or Hollywood Life by Bonnie Fuller here

Maria Nordø Jørstad: Oh yeah and the Triplets of Copenhagen have been here for about a month now their mom is keeping it real with her very-much-still-there post partum belly. Click Below:

https://chtelegram.com/pregnant-with-triplets-she-shares-photos-of-her-belly-after-childbirth/12449

Remy Ma: Rapper and Love and Hip Hop:New York star  is still keeping it sexy in a FashionNova jumpsuit. Watch her show off at Atlanta Star

That’s it for now! I think we’re all caught up, partially, at least! (smile)

How We Got Our Son Into Reading Series Chapter Books

How We Got Our Son Into Reading Series Chapter Books

Editor’s Note: I am reposting this article from 2014 for a friend whose son is struggling with expressive writing. Also, if you have a son age 12-14 who will need to take standardized tests that require Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Language Composition, Verbal Logic and general Verbal Skills, getting said boy into reading NOW is a good idea!

Here is what my husband and I did to transition our son from Graphic novels to real chapters books and Book series!

Parents to boys often lament over the fact that they can’t seem to get their sons into reading and enjoying books for pleasure.  For those that are reading, they prefer the fun books from comic strips like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” or the “Big Nate” books but not more substantive chapter books that are all words with no illustrations. My husband and I faced such a quandary through our son’s early childhood as well.  

Like many modern parents, we had succumbed to the pressure of indulging his interest in video games. We got him his first starter game console in first or second grade and between that, and online games, it was a wrap. He would throw fits like a crack addict if we told him he couldn’t play games. He’d bug us when we were out to hurry and go home so he could get his Xbox fix. His grades and interest in school slipped.  It got out of hand.

And that is when we instituted a strict policy for him and our other two kids of not playing video games or watching TV during the school week.  It was a tough transition, and they all put up much resistance but it worked to wean our son off the video game dependency. 

But what about getting him to harness a natural love for books? Getting him to read for pleasure and look forward to the next book in a series to come out?  How do we get there? We know kids who read regularly have a higher vocabulary, do better at composition and reading comprehension exams and generally fare better in standardized tests. 

In 2014, 6 years after weaning him from a video game addiction, at age 12, he became an avid reader of Sci-Fi and fantasy series and his nose was constantly inside a book.  

It was a challenge but we got there.  How did we do it? First, we credit his excellent fourth grade teacher for assigning as summer reading a book that featured a boy our son’s age that had similar awkwardness and was equally shy: “The Liberation of Gabriel King” by K.L. Going.  He could relate to the main character which was a kid during desegregation 70’s who was socially awkward but had to endure middle school. He got through it with his best buddy, a little black girl integrated into his school.  Their ups and downs and school yard antics entertained our kid and he could relate to the characters. He read the book even when not asked. We were on to something. 

Next we did some online research and read great reviews from other parents about “Mrs. Frisby and theRats of NIMH”, another book Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier was about an 11-year old blind thief. It too held his attention. 

It was a really really great start!!!

To get him into series, we didn’t want to scare him and start out with the common 500+-page ones so we learned from our local librarian to try out “The Wicket Chronicles”series by Joan Lennon.  The lettering was large and the chapters fairly short. It is a great transition to series set.  

Similarly, Mary Pope Osborne’s”Magic Tree House”series of 28-books of adventures about a brother and sister duo who travel to exotic lands and times via their backyard tree house is  good for transitioning to longer chapter books.  

To move on to more complex series, we got a recommendation from a clerk at Barnes and Nobles to try Jeanne DuPrau’s Book of Ember” series, which featured an 11 year old girl as the protagonist. Our son was in the 5th grade then and 10-years old.  Again, the relatable main character was the trick! It was also a little longer than The Wicket series but still under 500 pages each, about 350. 

By then, the “Hunger Games” series was hot and all the rage. We gave him that book but he couldn’t get into it so we tried another Suzanne Collins series where a boy was the protagonist, Gregor. That worked! 

Our kid really enjoyedThe Underland Chronicles”and quickly got through it  thru the summer before his  6th grade year.

We figured out books with strong and brave boy lead characters with ensemble support characters were the trick and thus quickly and easily introduced Rick Riordan to his life. So 6th grade fall was all about Percy Jackson and the Olympians”.

In the Summer he was digesting Michael Grant‘s 6 book“Gone” series. 

By the time he was in the 7th  grade, he was going through the 3-book series in Riordan’s “The Heroes of Olympus” and each of those are about 500 pages each!

He later read James Dashner’s  Maze Runner series.

You can go with the books and series we used or ask your local or school librarian or local book store clerk for suggestions.  I also recommend The Faerie Wars series by Herbie Brennan!

But certainly test out various books until you get the right one. Definitely do some trial and error.  Another alternative will be to start with the book on tape versions and listen on the way to school or during long trips. Then cut him off and tell him to find out what happened next, he’ll have to read the book version himself.

Be creative. Stick with it. Hang in there and don’t give up parents. It works out in the end if you don’t give up.

Wrap Up:

1. Go with a book where the main character is a boy

2. Adventure series are great way to go as are sci-fi or fantasy adventures

3. Start with shorter series with large lettering and short chapters and gradually move up to books with more pages.

4. Get recommendations from librarians, book clerks and online reviews by other parents and readers, especially if the review is coming from a kid himself.

5. Don’t give up. Keep introducing different books until you figure out a series or topic he can get into and want to follow up on.

GOOD LUCK!

15 Books For Young Future Writers {Gift Guide}

The holiday gift giving season is upon us and alas, many parents, Godparents, aunts, uncles and friends maybe searching for non-toy gifts to give to children that have educational value. Never fear, for this year’s Bellyitch gift guide,  I am including some sources and ideas for plenty non-toy gifts for kids starting with this list of curated books for children who have expressed an interest in writing. I must admit, I am partial because my daughter loves to write and I am inspired by the late great Stan Lee who passed away this week to get her reading more.

In this list, your reader will be able to study the writing style of authors and from reading them, come to understand how each writer holds the reader’s attention. It should help a budding young writer in your life hone his or her own skills.

If you like this list, put together by Epic!, you can get a book subscription for $7.99 per month from epic! and get access to 1,000s of books each month to read and return at your reader’s leisure. It’s a cost saving alternative to buying all of these books outright.

But if you would like to build a dictionary, you can click below to purchase them as a gift or check out at your local library for FREE!

1. The Dreadful Fate of Jonathan York Jonathan York leads a boring life. But when fate leaves him stranded in a sinister land, he finds himself seeking an adventure of his own. ($9.29)

2. Casebusters: The House Has Eyes The new kid in school has a poltergeist problem, and only the Casebusters can help. ($3.75 Kindle)

3. Otto Carrotto Everyone is crazy about something. For Otto, it’s carrots. He can’t get enough. Raw carrots, cooked carrots, carrot soup and carrot pizza. ($6.00)

4. Creepy But Cool: Bats Kids love Bats! Bats have always been mysterious and they have always scared people.

5.  No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons) Learn all about fire safety with the help of a girl and her dragon friend. ($7.95)

6. The Book of Dragons 20 delightful tales from Germany, China, France, Wales, England, Japan, and other lands tell of dragons fierce, friendly, and loving. ($4.75)

7. Explore And Draw: Wizards, Witches, & Dragons Learn basic art techniques and interesting facts while drawing wizards, witches, and dragons. ($5.75)

8. I Love You Just Enough While pulling weeds and planting seeds with her dad on Hazel Ridge Farm’s prairie, Heather discovers a wood duckling alone in the grass. ($12.75)

9.  A Horse to Love Erin is thrilled when her parents agree to buy her a horse–but owning a horse is nothing like she imagined… ($11.26 Kindle)

10.  Dear Dad, Love Laurie After her parents’ divorce, Laurie’s mom forces her to write to her father. With every one, Laurie finds herself growing up a little bit more. ($7.39 Kindle)

11.  Jasper John Dooley Not in Love Isabel loves Jasper, and it’s making life complicated. ($7.95)

12. We Love Horses Horses have been adored for centuries, and this volume of poetry brings the graceful steed to the page. ($7.18)

13. Can I Bring My Pterodactyl to School, Ms. Johnson? A boy asks his teacher if he can bring his pterodactyl to school, imagining all the ways it could help him and his class. ($7.95)

14.  First Day Jitters Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. ($4.99)

15.  The Big Test As her students grow increasingly anxious about the Big Test, Mrs. Hartwell must teach the most valuable test-taking skill of all. ($6.95)

10 Secrets to Getting a Better Night’s Rest

We’re not getting enough sleep and it is killing us. Did you know that 100,000 hospital deaths are caused by sleep deprived hospital staff. In the US, annually 1,550 die in fatal car crashes caused by driver fatigue and that number is 100,000 world wide. About 25M people suffer from sleep amnea and 70M suffer from some sort of sleep disorder with insomnia being the number one type of disorder.

The folks at Mattresstest.com put together an inforgraphic with 10 solid tips for getting a better night’s rest. Here they are:

10 Scary Things About Pregnancy Noone Tells You About

Bellyitch rewind

I was talking with a friend the other day and stopped short of going into all the gory details of what she can expect during labor and delivery. She asked me how come I wouldn’t finish my thought and I told her plain that there are certain “secrets” or rites of passage that you just have to go through and experience.

After you are done, you join the sisterhood of “having given birthhood”.

In fact, it’s not hard to explain, just uncomfortable and that is why these things are best left unsaid and out of pleasant conversation.

Lucky for you again, you follow this blog and you don’t have to go into it all unwarned. Below, I list the top 10 things your mom would never tell you, pregnant woman, about what you’re in for… that is if your friends haven’t already spilled the beans or you haven’t already gotten into in reading the endless amount of stuff I know you are reading right now.

10. At some point you will be on all fours or on your back, with your butt in the air and there will be a small team of people staring at your vagina, massaging it, and sticking their hands in and around your punany…no. Stop and strip down from waist down and spread out and imagine how uncomfortable that feels. Yes, at the point when you’re pushing you may not care about that, but at some moment, you’re gonna be like “oh wow, never imagined it would be like this.”

9. After you have the baby, you’re gonna have to push out the placenta and deliver it. It’s not like an extra baby or anything, but just when you’re all done, they’re gonna be like, whoa nelly, there’s something else in there we need. EEk!

8. At some point, you may want to shave your nether regions, but you won’t be able to see that area at all, let alone your feet when standing up. So, hopefully no one will notice and you don’t plan romping in a bikini anyway.

7. You may have lots of flatulence and find yourself passing gas all randomly and uncontrollably and there is no way to be pretty about it. Your family will understand and they’re the ones that matter the most, after all eh?

6. During the pushing stage, you may poop and if you get an epidural, you may not even know it. The nurses will just clean it up and may not even tell you. Bless their hearts. Your husband may see it and throw up a little in his mouth when he sees it, however. This is why many women try not to eat large meals when they know they are close to giving birth. In the past, women would take enemas to try to empty their bowels. Well, enemas aren’t recommended anymore and sometimes you go into labor when you least expect it and have no control over what leftover digestible matter is sitting at the base of your colon just as you need to start pushing that baby out! oh well!

5. After delivery, you may have to double up on your nursing pads because you may start to leak at the most inopportune time. The sound of someone else’s baby crying from afar may cause your boobs to ache and you to spontaneously leak milk. Imagine that happening in the middle of your presentation at work. Eek!

4. After giving birth, even via c-section, you ooze blood and other secretions for weeks even after having the baby. And if you have to have surgery, you won’t be able to move your legs and may have a catheter for the first day or two while your legs come back. A nurse will have to come in and empty your bedpan every once in a while. You will be amazed at how much you pee in a half a day. It is so weird to be going and not even know it because you have no feeling there.

3. If you have to have an episiotomy (which isn’t done much these days), to repair that and some tearing that you may have while pushing your baby out, you will have to sit there, legs wide opened again, while a doctor sews your vagina back up. Read that again, “sewing up your vagina.” It just sounds Icky! The recovery is interesting because you’ll have to be mindful of those stitches until they heal up.

2. Your baby might come out with an alien-shaped head (on account of the soft still developing skull that helps the baby come out the vagina) and it may have various splotches on its skin, fine hairs (called lanugo) all over its face and body and may have lots of with acne. In short, the baby may not be that cute to anyone else (but you maybe because it came out of you). A lot of newborns don’t start out as cute as they end up after a day, week or even month (or two). If you catch someone calling him/her “precious” or “sweet”, that’s code for “eeek! I hope s/he grows into her looks!” It’s okay, most of them grow into their cute and cuddliness soon enough. But in the end, they all are blessings, even if they start out looking like a creature from Deep Space 9.

1. You may not be able to have normal bowel movements for days even weeks after delivery, especially if you have a c-section or are given any drugs during the process. You may have a nurse come in and have to push a suppository in your anus to stimulate a bowel movement. Why? Because you won’t be able to reach up there easily after all that pushing and prodding (either vaginally or via surgery ) to get that baby (or babies out). Yup, for me that was the number one “oh em gee” and unexpected part of child birth, anyway. I am comfortable with my body and self and that caught me by surprised so… *sigh* Godspeed pregnant people!

Now you know! And like G.I. Joe always said “Knowing is Half the Battle”

———–

Runner ups to the Top 10:

1. The Bill. I recall getting ours (though thankfully our insurance covered most of it) we were charged for each pill, each day watching TV, anesthesia, every shot, pillow, and comfort. For C-section that bill can be even higher. I had each of my children at an upscale private hospital and my last surgery came up to $11,000!!! Imagine, to have a baby? Granted we did pay for extras like a single room, but Good Lord, back in my native West Africa, could you imagine so much being charged so much to deliver a baby.?What’s up with the mark up?

2. Your belly does not go down immediately. You have a sizeable pouch about as big as you were at 6 months. That bump does not go down easily . Some women use belly bands to encourage it to go down. As the uterus shrinks back to its original size before you became pregnant, it will help it along as well. The only folks who have flat tummies after giving birth are celebrities that get tummy tucks right after giving birth (ethical or not, it happens!)