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2014 Academy Awards Red Carpet: Celebrity Mom Nominees take over (PHOTOS)

Last night, all the A-List stars came out to shine at the 86th annual Academy Awards show at the Hollywood & Highland Center  on Sunday, March 2. 
It was a night of firsts as Lupita Nyong’o, Best Supporting Actress winner, became the first African to win an Oscar and the film that made her a star 12 Years A Slave became the first movie directed by a black person, Steve McQueen, to win Best Picture in the award show’s history. 
It’s awesome because the story is based on an autobiography written by Solomon Northup about his real life experience being born a free man but kidnapped by sinister smugglers and forced to live as a slave for 12 years of his life. The screenplay adaptation was a black guy too, John Ridley, making it the first time a story of slavery told from those whose ancestors endured it was recognized by the institution.  In other words, this wasn’t the romanticized Gone With the Wind version of that sordid past but a song of truth from those who lived it and endured under it. The acknowledgment last night is being characterized as a win for history. 
But enough heavy stuff. Now to fashion!
A couple of our bumpwatch moms, Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde looked absolutely amazing on the red carpet. Washington went with a lovely lavender Jason Wu  Goddess dress set to loose cascading curls and dark magenta lips. Her hands dripped in Jennifer Meyer Jewels and she went with jeweled silver Christian Louboutin pumps and a Judith Leiber bag.
Meanwhile, Wilde looked gorgeous in a black Valentino dress as well as she appeared on the carpet with her fiance Jason Sudeikis. The couple are expecting their first child together this year. 
Another baby bump that stole the red carpet was that of gorgeous Spanish model and actress Elsa Pataky who is expecting twins with her super hot hubby Chris Hemsworth. This will be the second and third children for the couple that are already parents to a one year old.
Other past Bellyitch Bumpwatch moms and other moms and parents to hit the carpet who caught our eye included:
Lincoln’s mama Kristen Bell  looked super fab with her super cinched in waist in that embellished jeweled Roberto Cavalli corset and fishtail skirt. She did the light blue box clutch and accented with Piaget Jewels and Brian Atwood heels. Love it!  
Julia Roberts looked a bit awkward with her pose in a black Givency peplum dress with black lace underlay. The Best Supporting Actress nominee for her role in August Osage accented her look with  Bvlagari jewels. Roberts won a Best Actress Oscar when she portrayed Erin Brockovich in 2000.
Camila Alves wore a satin draped Gabriela Cadena gown with a matching clutch while accompanying her husband who later won the Best Actor in a Motion Picture award for his role in Dallas Buyer’s Club, Matthew McCongaughey who looked dapper in a Dolce & Gabbana tux. 
Sandra Bullock was old Hollywood glam in a stunning Alexander McQueen dark blue gown featuring sweetheart cut neckline and draping. The look worked for the actress who won in year’s past for her 2009 role in The Blind Side.
Charlize Theron gave us life in her custom  Christian Dior Couture gown and what looks like a super sheer skirt revealing a svelte silhouette. Theron won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal in the 2003 movie Monster.
Kate Hudson was va va Glam in  a silver satin long sleeved Atelier Versace. Hudson was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Penny Lane in Almost Famous. 
Angelina Jolie accompanied her husband Brad Pitt who executive produced the movie that walked away with the Best Film award 12 Years A Slave.  Jolie, who looked gorgeous in a jeweled Elie Saab gown with sheer sleeve last night, got an Academy Best Supporting nod in 2009 for  a role in Changeling.
Penélope Cruz was all pinked out in Giambattista Valli looking like a Roman goddess. Interesting look. Cruz was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the 2009 film Nine, for 2008’s Vicky Cristina Barcelona and 2006’s Volver.
Well we guess we were wrong about Jessica Biel being on the bump watch list. Clearly, her tiny waste in a strapless Chanel Couture 2014 gown shot down that rumor. 
But Jennifer Garner is still mom to three and looked amazing in an Oscar de la Renta dress with matching purse and silver Brian Atwood platform peek-a-boo pumps. Garner starred in Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Before announcing the Best Film winner on stage last night, Will Smith wowed in Berluti and his wife, one of our Mom Style icons Jada Pinkett Smith looked stunning in Atelier Versace. Fabu!
 Giuliana Rancic  looked breathless in Paolo Sebastian Couture. The reality TV star and hostess has been on point for a steady while now since she quit with the quirky selections or earlier years.  
Finally, Pink looked amaze in her shimmery Elie Saab red floor-length gown with the plunging neckline and belted waist.  She performed a dedication to the 75th anniversary of the movie The Wizard of Oz.

photos: Zimbio, Starcast, Getty, Style

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Pregnancy Haiku

While combing through the Blog’s 6 year archives, I discovered some pretty creative short posts and thought I would share the best 5 here, my Bellyitch Blog Haiku.

poor soon-to-be-middle child.
He insists on sitting on my rapidly vanishing lap. That is his favorite spot for reading a book or coloring while I’m on the computer.
UNFORTUNATELY, LITTLE MUNCHKIN, there is little room on there as Baby#3 grows and grows.
He slips off. He wiggles his little bum BACK BACK to try to squeeze back on…
He slides…He slips.
I have to put him on his own chair to sit on his own bottom.
Mommy’s lap is “Out of Order” for 3 months, I tell him. Come Back in February.
ode to Garlic

Garlic. Oh Garlic. How do I hate your scent? Let me count the ways.
Pungent. Offensive. You make me want to barf. You waif through the air
Attach to my clothes, my skin. No amount of spearmint, peppermint or vanilla mint toothpaste of mouthwash can banish your aroma…
you stank.
so it’s bad enough I’m already clumsy and a bit on the less than graceful side…throw in a bout of pregnancy-induced klutziness and look out world!
sometimes I feel there is a practical joke- busting ghost or spirit walking around just knocking stuff out of my hands for fun.
why else would I drop the entire bowl of cookie dough my son and I were going to bake on Monday or spill a half a cup of coffee on my lap while dropping off my other son yesterday for no apparent reason…really, I keep dropping stuff left and right. Is my equilibrium off or something? Do I need glasses?
geez! I’m feeling quite Steve Urkel these days that’s for sure.
sleep v. the bladder

this time around, i’m not letting my bladder win
even with a gallon of pee resting on my groins, I refuse to get up and interrupt those lovely and vivid dreams pregnant women get
so i get up once a night and not 3 x as with the boys’ pregnancy…i’m gonna ask my doc if I am destroying my bladder doing this and setting myself up for incontinence in the future!
i suppose the first time i wake up in small puddle that would put an end to my stubborn battle…
tee hee….
someone needs a facial
i think of the intro to hip hop star Kelis’ song “Bossy” which starts with “diamonds on my neck, diamonds on my grill…” I LOVE KELIS! (video HERE
but in my version it goes, “I got pimples on my neck…pimples cause this girl…pimples on my neck…”
HAHAHA! i’ve counted 5 pimples on my neck and 4 on my chin in the LAST TWO DAYS! wHAT DA??? I am blessed with pretty good skin so these things set a sister back a bit…I’ve been mudmasking it for two days, but I think i need professional intervention….

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Friday Funnies: ABC’s “The Middle” is so relatable to all of our lives (VIDEOS)

It’s Friday!!!!!!!
This morning, my wonderful husband reminded me of how my frantic attempt to finish one of my kid’s projects I thought was due today while filling goody bags for another kid’s in class birthday party and making lunch and burning breakfast before resorting to the old standby, a Pop Tart,  reminded him of last week’s episode of ABC’s The Middle.

So after I cracked up for 5 minutes straight because it was SO TRUE, I said to myself I’d share with you a clip from that episode.  It is the one where the mom Frankie (Patricia Heaton Everybody Loves Raymond), in the comedy about the humorous everyday life of a a middle America family, joins a school drop off carpool but ends up having a tough time because she is always late, forgets Brick’s lunch and attempts to finish off his project right before the car pool pulls off! This is some Hilarious stuff. 
Suburban moms and families can certainly relate to many of the funny scenes in each episode.
This show is THE BEST and reflects REAL LIFE and should be on the air forever. Like when it’s done and the stars have moved on, it should be in syndication for many more frantic families to reflect and relate to… um yeah!  I mean like how my baby sister was born during the last years of The Cosby Show yet, she became a fan of the show when she went to college via syndication. Like that. Long live The Middle.  woo! 
Anyway, the clip and a few other select funny scenes to start your Friday off are below. Enjoy!

An episode that features Frankie going through her son’s book bag to discover a test and a test she never saw.. Then there is that “helping with homework” stress! I. Can. Relate!!


Watch the latest episode clips at ABC.com HERE.

Purchase entire episodes on WarnerBrothers’s channel for $1.99 on YOUTUBE.

What is your favorite episode or Clip? I’ll see if I can get it up.

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Danielle and Kevin Jonas welcome daughter amidst Fake pregnancy rumors

Congratulations to Danielle Jonas and hubby Kevin Jonas of the Jonas Brothers on the birth of their daughter on Superbowl Sunday, February 2.
This is the first child for the former hairdresser turned reality TV star and eldest Jonas brother. The couple married in 2009 and announced last summer that they were expecting their first kid together.
Like Beyonce, the couple have been plagued with fake pregnancy and fake baby rumors as seen in this IB Times article and a  Crushable post which claims to break down how fake the baby is.
The Crushable article has managed to get a lot of people on board with the conspiracy theory but there are many clues in the article revealing that the author has never had a baby before. She questions a doctor visit with the baby’s heartbeat shared in Instagram because there is no video image of the baby, but dopplers take the baby’s heartbeat and have nothing to do with a video or video monitor. The monitor just happened to be sitting there. Thee photos she posted in IG where her tummy was flat were possibly old photos before the pregnancy. There are so many holes in the piece to go into that it’s not worth it. 
But what I did appreciate was the Instagram video Kevin shared with the baby moving inside Danielle’s tummy. That was THE best feeling during pregnancy inside and out. So cool of Kevin to catch that on video. 
The conspiracy theorists are wack! But um getting a baby detergent brand to sponsor your first photo release, hmmmm. Can’t knock the hustle. 
Congrats guys!

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DEBUNKED: “Half Caste” website selling white men’s sperm to single African women is a scam!

Here is another EXCELLENT example of why you cannot believe everything you see or read on the Internet, especially if you are a journalist.
I was scrolling through one of my Facebook friend’s timelines tonight when I stopped at a photo and story about a new organization called Half-Caste World which is attempting to create a new generation of one race, and bridge Africa  and the West. To do this, the Ghanaian-based company is promising to help African mothers get sperm from white men so they can give birth to a biracial baby.  
It recruits clients via a  Facebook page and website: http://www.halfcastebabies.com/
To promote the service, the Half Caste Babies website includes the above row of images which would lead the average visitor to believe these are clients holding their half-caste babies produced through the service. 
One popular Ghanaian site, Infoboxx, wrote on the story but unfortunately reported as if it was a booming and thriving business,already.
HOTCAKE: Half-Caste Baby Business Booming In Ghana. Got $3000?”  is the headline which sent many visitors into a frenzy commenting and sharing the story on their personal  Facebook pages. The comments under the story dealt with race, pride, colonialism and other deep and complex topics.
Infoboxx wrote that in its investigations it discovered that a man named Augustine N.K. Boateng, a graduate of Morocco’s University Mohammed Premier is behind the 4-month old company, based in Accra, Ghana and promises to provide semen for $3,000 to its target: single African women. 
Women who get the sperm are to inseminate it themselves at home. 
But before declaring it as a booming business in the headline, Infoboxx could quickly have ascertained the truth by investigating the images on the website alone.  
Heck, upon discovering that owner admitted the company is only 4-months old should be sufficient to note that the photos and claims of real clients are all fraudulent. It still takes 9 months to make a baby. duh.
Anyway, because I’ve covered baby-related stories for over 6 years now, I’ve seen it all and quickly ascertained the source of most of the images on the site.  

The first two photos are stories of African couples who gave natural birth to light or albino babies with blonde hair who looked white. We reported in 2010 on the second couple:  a Nigerian husband and wife, Ben and Angela, from London who gave birth to very light almost albino daughter who looks white but is their birth child.

The third photo is actress Garcelle Beauvais who is holding one of her twins, Jax . She gave birth to him and his brother Jaid in 2007. The image is a 2009 photo of Beauvais and her son featured on Babble.com

EDITED TO ADD:  The site has taken down the photo of Garcelle, further PROOF that it’s one big SCAM!

The fourth photo is  American NFL player DeMarcus Ware and his wife Taniqua with a baby they adopted in America in 2008. 

The last one was probably also stolen off of Google images too and most likely is the child of a natural-born baby or adopted one, not a client of this Half-Caste company. 

Upon discovering this, it looks as though the images of the babies that scroll through on the site most likely are of people’s children that the site downloaded off the web. None is a client or product of clients as portrayed. 
How unethical, dangerous, unhealthy and disastrous. Beware of the scam online, people. Stories like this one is why people have to be really cautious of the photos of their children they share online in public.
A little Google search and a healthy dose of skepticism will spare us all from scam artists like this.

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Beyonce isn’t the only celeb mom to shield public criticique by only showing her daughter from the back

This week, Joan Rivers is getting pushback for calling Kim Kardashian and Kanye West‘s daughter North, ugly during her last stand up gig.

Even though Joan’s brand of snarky and biting humor is her shtick, babies maybe should be off limits. It’s no wonder some A-listers like Beyonce Knowles  avoid showing her daughter Blue Ivy’s face to the public.

Beyonce usually only shares photos of her daughter Blue from behind
 That 2-year old is subject to harsh public inquiry and has been the subject of some pretty mean memes over her hair and other physical features.
We have noticed that British girl band singer Rochelle Humes (nee Wiseman), who we bumpwatched when she was pregnant with her daughter Alaia-Mai Humes (born May 2013), also rarely shows her daughter’s face in images she posts in social media.

Other than once after Aiaia-Mai was born, she’s only been giving folks the Back of the head shot with her dad  and Rochelle’s husband former Boyband singer Marvin Humes –  a la Bey and Blue.
With all the Internet critics and wayward comediennes out there, can’t blame her, though. 

What do you say?










photo credit: Instagram, Tumblr

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Viral Nation: 3 emotional Viral stories you should know

Each week, certain local stories and videos catch national attention and go viral. Here are three viral stories that caught our eye this week we wanted to share:
Daddy blogger at DaddyDoinWork.com, Doyin Richards, posted a blog post back in October that included a photo of him baby wearing his youngest daughter, born last July 13, while doing his 2 1/2 year old daughter’s hair. The post, “I Have a Dream: That People Will View a Picture Like This and Not Think It’s a Big Deal,” Richards wrote about being a doting dad and meeting the challenge to do something moms do all the time. He wanted people to see the photo and see it as norm. It got republished on The Good Men Project and eventually landed on the pages of Yahoo! Shine.  Awesome!
In a matter of hours of the photo to the story being posted on The Good Men Project, the photo went viral, quickly amassing nearly 5,000 shares, 3,000 comments, and 190,000 likes.
Sadly, some of those commenting on the story had some not-so-nice things to say: “He probably rented those kids. They don’t even look like him,” and “I would bet anything that you’re a deadbeat.”
Richards, a college graduate, and totally present father was understanding of all the emotional reaction to the photo, telling Yahoo Shine:
“The media doesn’t portray fathers as caregivers,” she said. “We’re seen as bumbling fools trying to figure out parenthood, or macho men pushing their kids into the NFL. The other issue is that there’s a stereotype that black fathers are deadbeats.”
Sad and unfortunate. I have my own photo of my husband doing our daughter’s hair. It should be a movement that we all share that photo to combat the negative deadbeats out there.
But perhaps, it’s better to focus on the thousands more that left positive comments and not bring shine to the miserable negative few.
Shine on, papa!

This hilarious Old Spice commercial is very relatable for moms to boys like myself. I spotted it on a friend’s Facebook Wall and I’ve gone back to it again and again, cracking up each time. It was only uploaded on January 3 and has gotten over 3 million views already! Hilarious!

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Finally, a mom shared a video of her daughter who suffers from Alopecia on the website of a motivational speaker Trent Shelton whose outreach video the little girl was watching when she learned a lesson about beauty.  It got over 160,000 shares. It’s a tearjerker. Grab your tissues and watch it until the end.

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REVIEW: FastAction™ Fold Jogger Click Connect™ Travel System offers bang for your buck

We asked elite runner and new mom Mary Beth Chosak of the blog SlowFoodFastPace.com to test out for us Graco’s latest jogging stroller, the Fast Action Jogger Travel System. ($319.99) 
(For a very thorough assessment of the stroller including comparisons to another jogger she already owns, check out the full and comprehensive review on her blog HERE.)
We’ve got the soup and nuts summary below:
OVERALL PERFORMANCE If you’re in the market for a stroller that you can jog with from the time your little one is a newborn well into toddlerhood, the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System is a fair value that will give you some bang for your buck.
VALUE On paper, the Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System has a lot going for it.  It retails for about one hundred less than the BOB Revolution SE, yet it comes with a car seat, a base, a child tray, and a parent handlebar console.  If you buy all those things a la carte and trick out a higher end jogger until it has all the same features as the FastAction Travel System, you would have spent roughly twice as much as you would have in opting for the Graco.
APPEARANCE Aesthetically, the Graco is a snazzy ride (I tested the chili red model).  It’s gender neutral and looks to be made of durable material that would stay looking fresh after years of use.  Taking a closer inspection of the features of the stroller, some of the parts are plastic and not as durable as first thought. 
SMOOTHNESS OF RIDE The tires are large and inflatable and the decent suspension provides a comfortable ride on a level and paved surface.  I tried it on a paved exercise trail with our 15 pound five-month old in the SnugRide infant seat as well as with our 30 pound two-year old without the infant seat.  The ride was plenty smooth enough for both children on the trail, though it felt somewhat rickety on the sidewalk.
ANCILLARY FEATURES The stroller has some snazzy little features that add comfort, safety, and convenience.  The handlebar console has two cup holders and a place for your smartphone that will come in handy if your tot, like mine, appreciates some tunes on your runs.  The storage basket under the seat is fairly large and accessible.  The stroller has a tether, which I consider a valuable safety feature, though the placement of the tether near the basket of the stroller is curious; it could easily attach to the handlebars instead and I don’t know why the manufacturer would unnecessarily use a long strap on any children’s product.  The locks on the rear wheels are well-placed and effective, though it would be handy to be able to fully lock and unlock the stroller in one place instead of on both the left and right wheels.  The stroller includes safety reflectors on the rear tires.
EASE OF FOLDING The stroller does fold up easily. The one-second, one-hand fold is nice, though I’ve found that once any stroller is yours, folding it up becomes second nature in no time.  The FastAction has a kickstand, which can get in the way when you’re collapsing the stroller.
SNUGRIDE INFANT SEAT The infant seat is fine.  The harness secures easily and my baby seemed very comfortable in it. However, the SnugRide is a popular car seat that’s been around for a while.  This is one of Graco’s bread and butter products, and it has had plenty of iterations on it to get it right.  So it was surprising to me that the handle bar and the canopy get in each other’s way.  This is annoying and not a big deal, although to boot, the canopy is neither taut nor sturdy-feeling.  The levers that secure the base of the car seat to the car’s latch system do not have the push-button feature that some car seats do; I consider this a nice feature, even though it is just a frill that you’ll hardly ever appreciate unless you take the infant seat base in and out of your car regularly.

SHORTCOMINGS An important reason the Graco disappoints as a jogger is the poorly-designed front wheel lock.  This isn’t obvious until you get a jogger out on a downhill (with precious cargo inside), or even just get moving at a steady clip, but the front wheel really should lock to give you maximum stability.  When you’re walking with a stroller, a swivel feature in the front wheel is convenient.  When you’re running, a sudden swivel caused by a pebble or bump on the trail can mean you wobble or lose control.  
The other place where the FastAction Jogger strikes out is the canopy.  It’s not large enough to completely shade your child.  While somewhat useful, I wouldn’t consider it sufficient protection from UV exposure.  If heading out on a sunny day with this stroller, slather on the sunscreen or have your babe don a hat and long sleeves.  The mesh window that’s designed to let you peer in and check on your passenger is too small to be useful, and I found myself simply pulling back the canopy to check on my toddler.  
Also, short folks like myself (5’ 1’’) may find the handlebar placement on this stroller a little too high.  
SUMMARY The Graco FastAction Jogger Travel System is a good jogging stroller, but in this mama’s view, not the best. If you’ll be using the stroller extensively for running, you’re bound to notice some of the Graco’s shortcomings. And like all joggers, it’s big and heavy. If you want something you can use to jog a mile or two once in a while on smooth and even terrain, and you don’t mind the small and flimsy canopy, then the Graco may be just fine.  And given that a jogger would be one of many, many pieces of baby gear you’ll ever buy, it’s nice to have an option by a reputable manufacturer at this price point.  
If you’re thinking of getting this stroller, consider getting it from our partners Amazon.com at a discount for $269.99.

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