Loading...
Browsing Tag

President Barack Obama

Michelle Obama Had A Miscarriage, IVF at Age 34, Memoir Reveals

Michelle Obama reveals in her upcoming new book that at age 34, she and President Barack Obama went through the in vitro fertilization (IVF) process when they couldn’t’ conceive through traditional means.

Inside her memoir, “Becoming“, to be released this upcoming Tuesday (pre-order yours today), she opens up in a way she couldn’t before when she was married to the leader of the Free World and she really goes in deep and personal.

In an advance copy given to the Washington Post, she revealed how she had to give herself the necessary shots when her husband was off fulfilling his duties in the state Legislature.

“I felt lost and alone, and I felt like I failed,” she told Robin Roberts in an interview that ran Friday on Good Morning America. “I didn’t know how common miscarriages were, because we don’t talk about them. We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”

Of those who had a miscarriage, 37% felt they had a lost a child, 47% felt guilty, 41% reported feeling that they had done something wrong, 41% felt alone, and 28% felt ashamed, according to a 2015 study CNN cited.

In opening up this way, the former First Lady is showing to the world that she is no different from other women who have suffered in silence. She also pointed at the social stigma of miscarriage and blamed it for why more women do not open up about their loss.

“The biological clock is real because egg production is limited. I realize that now because at 34 and 35, we had to do IVF.” she shared.  “I think it’s the worst thing that we do to each other as women, not share the truth about our bodies and how they work and how they don’t work.”

The former law firm attorney looks to want to inspire and encourage others because her struggles, they came out on top and with two beautiful children to boot.

“Too many young couples who struggle…think there is something wrong with them,” she added during the interview, saying she wants them to realize people like her and her husband, who are considered couple goals have dealt with it.

It’s great that she is using this opportunity to commiserate with those who have lost and struggled with infertility.

Watch bits of the interview here and she talks about miscarriage about 1:08

President’s Day: DC Area Kids Can See Pres Obama and/or Trump this Monday FREE!

image002

If you live in the Washington, DC area, for President’s day this year, you can take your kid to meet President Donald Trump inside the White House Rose Garden and/or the 44th President of the United States Barack Obama and other notable African American figures including Frederick Douglass.

Famed wax figures museum Madame Tussauds will allow guests to travel through time in chronology, embarking on a historical journey interacting with everyone from Washington to Trump. The museum includes an exhibit of the new Rose Garden along with a replica of the President’s military helicopter, Marine One.

While there is a modest cost to enter the museum, for FREE this Monday, February 20 for all students who have the day off, they can head to the Kennedy Recreation Center on 7th Street beginning at 11am. Marion Barry, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and other historic figures will be on display along with activities and giveaways from Madame Tussauds.

Also, from 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm, students from the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (who’ve traveled the nation with their “Blacks in Wax” show) will bring the figures to life as they portray  these iconic legends. This is a phenomenal opportunity for students, children, youth, adults, families and visitors to learn about African American history in a fun, instructive, interactive way.

The event is part of a partnership with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation as they celebrate ‘Black History Month’.

 

For more information visit: madametussauds.com/washington-dc/en/news/news/celebrate-black-history-month-at-madame-tussauds/

 

 

Pres. Obama Signed Law Requiring Changing Stations in Men’s Restrooms

obama babies act

The First Dad is looking out fall other dads.

Last week, the US President Barack Obama signed into law the Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation Act, or the BABIES Act requiring publicly accessible bathrooms in federal buildings to have baby changing stations in both men’s and women’s bathrooms.

Rhode Island Representative David Cicilline introduced the bill in April this year which passed into law this summer with support from Republicans as well as Democrats and very little opposition.

Now dads out with baby can comfortably change a diaper and it won’t be all on moms and baby won’t have to wait until get home to get out of a stinky diaper.

Well…only when they’re in a federal building. The law still doesn’t apply to private facilities and neither does it  apply in employee-only bathrooms. Also, if a federal building already has a baby changing station in a male-accessible bathroom (such as a unisex single-stall bathroom), it doesn’t need to install another changing station in the men’s bathrooms. Well, that makes sense.

Changes in those area may come soon or maybe more private companies may buckle under pressure. Last year, actor Ashton Kutcher created a petition to get Target and Costco to add changing stations, arguing “dads, like myself, want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that.”

Also, a New York State Senator, Brad Hoylman, has noted that single fathers or same-sex couples are also out of luck if the only changing stations available are in women’s bathrooms.

Bump Watch: Kerry Washington has Been Sticking with a Mainly Black Style Pallete

 

kerry washington

Since announcing her pregnancy at the 2016 Met Gala, Scandal star Kerry Washington has been laying low, but not as out of the spotlight as with her first pregnancy. She has made a few public appearances and in most of them, she looks to have selected to stick with a mainly black color pallete.

For example, at producer Jennifer Klein‘s 19th annual Day of Indulgence party held in the LA home of the Pearl Harbor associate producer,  Washington donned a black HATCH Chloe jumpsuit to the Los Angeles, California event held on August 14, 2016. According to the YBF, or other bump watch alums, Kristen Bell was at the even as well. So were alums Jennifer Lopez and Anna Farris, InStyle magazine reports. 

kerry life & style

Washington and her husband, former NFL player Jimmy Kimmel LiveNnamdi Asomugha are expecting their second child. She decided to not film her hit ABC show while pregnant and succumb to all of the crazy ways show producers attempted to hide her bump. The show will return for its 6th season in the middle of the fall season, and on election night to be precise.

“We are basically going to start out the season on election night,” how creator Shonda Rhimes has said. “Yes, it is going to play into our season, but we’re not going to spend our time playing an election.”

KERRY SAG

She had to also get out of the house this past June 13 to collect her Actors Inspiration Award given at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation 7th annual L.A. Golf Classic Fundraiser in Burbank, California. She went with a floral light and airy Giambattista Valli bohemian dress with black and white heels from Sarah Jessica Parker‘s collection.

Kerry+Washington+White+House+Council+Women+voqUXXhb7hSl

The next day, she broke up the black with white and was there for her friend President Barack Obama and his wife First Lady Michelle Obama when she spoke at the White House Summit on the United State Of Women June 14, 2016 in Washington, DC.  it was the White House’s first ever summit to push for gender equality.

KERRY JIMMY

Out of all her looks, I love the black ribbed flare dress she wore during a taping of  Jimmy Kimmel Live‘ on May 12, 2016. And I also adored the Brandon Maxwell cape dress she wore paired with Gianvito Rossi pumps in April at an event (see first image in above collage.)

 

photos: Starcast, Getty, Insagram, YouTube screengrab

GET THE LOOK:

A Real Life Look at How Incarceration Impacts Parenting

prison sentence

There have been efforts in the last few years of the current administration to release people imprisoned for life for minor drug offenses. In recent times, more people are accepting that drug addiction is indeed a health crisis, despite the fact that drug addicts voluntarily enter the path that leads to their addiction. Irrespective of how they get here, many laws and policies are moving towards getting people clean and sober for the benefit of their children as well.

We see more empathy towards drug addicts.

Equally, people incarcerated for selling drugs for life too are deserving of second chances for the benefit of their children as well. This is true, especially when their crimes are non-violent and a life sentence is entirely too harsh a consequence for drug selling, many agree.

This excerpt from a column that senior White House official Valerie Jarrett penned in Medium provides a snapshot look into the life of one daughter who is missing the benefit of growing up with a father. Please Read:

In 1996, when Daryl Atkinson was 25 years old, he was sentenced to 10 years at a state prison for a first-time nonviolent drug offense. Daryl ended up serving 40 months due to good behavior, but for Daryl, those months were critical for building his relationship with his daughter — and he missed out on them completely.

“When I was sentenced, my daughter was just two years old. Where I was incarcerated, the setting where we would get to meet with visitors wasn’t at all conducive to building a parent-child relationship. The meeting room was cold and sterile, not at all fit for doing the things that fathers do with their babies, like playing with toys or reading to them.”

“And even when I was released, it took about a year for me to get back on my feet. I faced a number of consequences from my incarceration that set me back — including not being eligible for federal student aid. By the time I felt I had some stability, I had missed out on some key years in developing my relationship with my daughter.”

After being released, Daryl was determined to turn his life around. He obtained a degree in Political Science, and went on to obtain his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Daryl now serves as the Second Chance Fellow at the Department of Justice, where he specializes on reentry reform issues, including policies that help facilitate the parent-child relationship of currently and formerly incarcerated parents.

“The reality is that a parent’s incarceration has an incredible impact on the life outcomes for their child. Not only are children of incarcerated parents affected by the day-to-day issues that come from being more likely to live in an disadvantaged community with less access to resources but there’s also the potential for juvenile justice and delinquency issues that come from lacking strong parental bonds.”

Today, Daryl is a father of two daughters, and he never forgets what his second chance means for his daughters.

“I now have a daughter who’s 4 years old. Being at home with her every day gives me a chance to appreciate the experiences that I missed out on while I was incarcerated with my first daughter. It grounds me to think of the profound impact that my incarceration experience must have had on her. Her dad just wasn’t around. I think about that every day.”

There are 2.2 million people behind bars in America today — and more than 5 million children have a parent who is currently incarcerated or has been incarcerated in the past.

Mass incarceration doesn’t impact just the people behind bars — it has consequences for both families and communities.

A parent with a criminal record can face a tough time securing a job, putting strain on a family’s ability to provide basic necessities to children. The stress of incarceration on a family can have further negative impacts on children — and some studies have shown that children of parents who have been incarcerated are more likely to enter the criminal justice system themselves.

President Obama knows that supporting individuals who have paid their debt to society is good for families and it’s good for our economy.

This is why President Obama has worked to reduce the barriers that people with criminal records face when they reintegrate into society. He’s announced new grants to help returning citizens take advantage of their second chance through education, job training, housing, legal help, and children’s services. He’s taken action to “ban the box” so that applicants with criminal records can have a shot at the majority of federal jobs.

Following President Obama’s lead are a number of employers, educators, and advocacy groups across the country that have stepped up to highlight challenges that incarcerated parents and their families face. For example, Google recently launched the #LoveLetters effort, an awareness campaign that highlights the impacts on children of incarcerated parents. There are also efforts founded and run by children of incarcerated individuals such as POPS the Club and ScholarChips aimed at providing peer-to-peer support and resources.

We support these efforts wholeheartedly.

Irrespective of where one falls on the political spectrum, not too many can fault efforts to re-connect children with their dads. The evidence about the impact of paternal absenteeism is in and the outcome grim. Let’s support active parenting from all angles and all sources, shall we?

Parents Pitch Products at White House’s First Demo Day

11845072_10152848817536353_8361405005731033882_o

So…we all know parents rock and some rock so much that they step in to fill a void and need among fellow parents by inventing some amazing and wonderful life-saving services, gadgets, contraption and tools.

A few of said innovative parents got a chance to show off their services and products yesterday at the First Ever White House Demo Day  on August 4, which was also on the birthday of US President Barack Obama.

Bellyitch’s founder JJ was on hand to witness and record the President go around the exhibits set up in in the State Room of the White House and hear presentations from a selection of about 30 startups and entrepreneurs.

Earlier these brilliant minds were among  small business owners who  had taken part of a two-day session that included round tables and meetings with Senior White House officials, venture capitalists, government leaders and business mentors.

Products for and by parents presented that day included:

Husband and wife duo develop technology to help libraries boost kids’ summer reading

(Felix Lloyd and Jordan Lloyd-Bookey, Arlington, Virginia) Entrepreneurs and husband-and wife-team Felix Lloyd and Jordan Lloyd Bookey founded Zoobean to help libraries use technology to better serve their communities. Their latest product, Beanstack, provides families with learning tips, tools to log reading sessions, book and app recommendations and special badges tied to local library programs and goals.  Jordan is the former Head of Google’s K-12 Education Outreach team. Felix is a serial entrepreneur whose first venture, MoneyIsland was acquired by BancVue.

Smart baby monitor can track a baby’s vital signs using only a video camera (Rubi Sanchez, San Francisco, California) Rubi Sanchez, the founder and CEO of Wearless Tech Inc., is a graduate of the University of California—Berkeley with experience in the health care industry. Her company has developed Cocoon Cam, a patent-pending solution that uses computer vision and cloud-based data analytics to transform the capabilities of a traditional baby monitor. Using their unique software, a digital video camera, and non-invasive infrared technology, Cocoon Cam can track a baby’s heart rate, respiration, and skin temperature from a distance. Parents can stream video and wellness information to their smartphone to know exactly what is going on with their baby’s health at any time.  The Cocoon Cam team was trained through the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program.

Working mom of two turns family handmade popcorn tradition into snack food startup

(Jean Arnold, San Francisco, California) Jean Arnold grew up loving the fresh popcorn her mother would cook using a hand-cranked stove-top popper. As an adult, she spent years experimenting with making her own organic popcorn and flavoring it with exotic seasonings inspired by her training at Le Cordon Bleu in London. Now, as the founder of 479°, Arnold has turned her love of popcorn into a gourmet snack business that is sold around the country.

I also caught a cute moment during a pitch by Co-Founders Aaron Horowitz and Hannah Chung, both who have had experiences with juvenile diabetes. They explained how their inventive teddy bear called Jerry works.  Jerry is stuffed with educational apps to help children develop healthy behaviors related to a condition they may be dealing with or generally nutrition, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness.

JJ captured the moment for a LIVE Periscope stream and uploaded on her YouTube channel where you’ll find other videos from the event:

 

 

 

Good stuff and it was pretty cool to be in the audience at the East Room to watch it all go down and to interview some of the exhibitors after the president’s remarks.