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Even Pink Has To Remind Her Husband To Take Her Damn Picture

Posted: 05 Jan 2018 07:52 AM PST

Pink’s recent Instagram post is one every mom can relate to

Open your phone and check the camera roll. Now check your Facebook and Instagram accounts. If you’re a mom, chances are excellent that you have a thousand gorgeous photos of your kids, and often, your husband with your kids. What’s usually missing? Photos of you and your kids.

Pink is totally there with you.

In a recent video she shared on her Instagram page, husband Carey Hart snuggles and nuzzles their one-year-old son Jameson. In the caption, the most relatable celebrity mom ever jokes about how she needs to make more appearances in family photos. We so get it.

Instagram Photo

“At least one kid is having fun while the other one spreads disease. And don't worry- Mrs. safety/fun police is making sure everyone has their seatbelt on while documenting history. Happy friggin 2018,” she writes.

Pink then tosses a little passive aggressive action at her husband saying, “I hope one of @hartluck 's resolutions is to photograph his wife more. Just so people know I exist. Carry on.”

Preach. And if Pink is anything like the rest of us, (and we know she is), she will then proceed to tell her husband to delete the photos with her in them because she doesn’t like how she looks. Just last summer, after much griping on my part about no photos existing recently of my kids with their mom, my husband took a few. “My arm looks like a baked ham, delete it,” I said helpfully after viewing his admittedly solid attempts.

Sorry, guys. We never said it would be easy getting photos with us in them. But the effort is worth it.

A quick scroll of Hart’s Instagram page does show one photo after another of their daughter Willow and little Jameson, and just a handful include Pink, so she’s not kidding.

Instagram Photo

Pink is dead on in wanting to make appearing in photos with her kids a priority. Because one day, those will be the photos they treasure most.

Instagram Photo

Even if your instinct is to delete or avoid a photo op altogether, just do it. Be in the damn picture. Trust us, you won’t regret it.

Instagram Photo

Hopefully, Hart is paying attention to his wife’s words and makes 2018 the year she pops up all over his Instagram page. We definitely wouldn’t complain.

Mom Catches 4-Year-Old Singing ‘Remember Me’ To Photos Of Baby Sister He Lost

Posted: 05 Jan 2018 06:40 AM PST

The video has quickly gone viral because it’s heartbreaking and sweet

We often don’t realize just how much small children are capable of comprehending. While grief is certainly complex, children feel it even if they don’t understand it. A video of a four-year-old boy singing a song from Pixar’s Coco has gone viral and touched the heart of thousands of people all over the internet.

He’s singing to a photo of his baby sister, who passed away last May.

Alexander Vasquez is the little boy in the video, seen strumming a guitar in front of a photo of his baby sister, Ava, and singing “Remember Me” from Coco.

“He’s only 4 years old and he understands,” his stepdad, Samir Deais, shared on Twitter. For those unfamiliar, two major plot points of the movie Coco are wrapped up in a little boy who loves to play the guitar, and also in Dia de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. The song “Remember Me” is an emotional part of the film — and it looks like little Alexander totally understands the true meaning behind it.

He was singing to his baby sister on what would have been her first birthday — but she tragically passed away at just four months old. Deais told TODAY Ava suffered from a kidney disorder during her short life. "My wife captured the moment when she was cleaning nearby," he says. “Instantly tears came to my eyes. It's wonderful to see how much he loves his baby sister. He also gives her goodnight kisses at the alter every night and asks her to give him in a kiss in the middle of the night when he's sleeping as well."

People everywhere were deeply touched by the heartbreaking sweetness of the video.

For his part, Deais is grateful the video of his son resonated with so many people, especially on what would have been his daughter’s first birthday.

Movies like Coco are a real treasure, because not only do they provide a brief escape into a whole other world for a time — they can even help kids like Alexander cope with their grief.

Last fall, Deais shared some uplifting news about his family after such a devastating year.

We’re all sending lots of love and light to Samir, wife Stephanie, Alexander, and their expanding family in 2018. Alexander has proven he’s already one heck of a big brother.

How Black Girls And Women Are Still Hurt By Slavery Today

Posted: 04 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

Nearly 150 years later, the black community still suffers the after-effects of slavery. Colorism and sexual violence — both rampant during slavery — are commonplace even now.

Intergenerational trauma began when our African ancestors were kidnapped and brought to this country. Like most black people, I know nothing about the violence and sexual abuse they experienced during the Middle Passage and when they arrived in this country. Yet I know the horror they endured lives in my genes.

We've internalized the same colorism our ancestors experienced on slave plantations. Lighter-skinned slaves worked in the Big House and darker-skinned slaves worked in the fields. Black people learned early that light skin was better.

Every black woman has a story about her own family — how lighter-skinned women are considered beautiful and darker-skinned women ugly. Black women fall victim to this criticism more often than men. We're held to a standard of beauty foreign to our African ancestry. Instead of embracing our full lips, kinky hair and ebony skin, we're told we're too black, our lips too big, our hair too nappy.

When I was a child, my paternal grandfather had little to do with me or my siblings. I asked my father why. He said Grandpa didn't like dark-skinned people. That meant he didn't love three of his four children. It also meant out of his 14 grandchildren, he only loved the three light-skinned ones. The rest of us didn't deserve his love or attention.

My mother's side of the family also didn't escape colorism. One of my aunts inherited "good hair" and didn't have to put a pressing comb to it. I inherited my dad's thick, coarse hair. From a young age, my aunt would say how nappy my hair was as she grabbed a handful of it like I was some pet that needed grooming. The last time she did this, I was 30. She said, "Your hair is nappy like your daddy's." Then she yanked my hair. I must have had enough. I slapped her hand away and told her not to touch me. She never did again.

The older generations in my family didn't escape it either. My great-aunt was born in 1903. She was dark-skinned. Yet she favored her lighter-skinned relatives. She wanted little to do with her darker ones. Her own grandchildren knew she disliked them because their skin wasn't light. Other relatives displayed colorism too. My male cousins married white women, bashing black women for being too bossy, too angry, too black.

According to my DNA test, I am 15% Western European, Irish, English and Iberian Peninsula. I know of two biracial women in my ancestry. I suspect at least one of them was a product of rape. Black women regularly suffered sexual violence at the hands of white men. This violation of their bodies stains our reputations to this day. White men believe we are promiscuous and hypersexual. Never mind that female slaves couldn't have rebuffed a sexual advance from a white man. If he wanted her, he would have her. She was his property.

As a black woman, I've encountered many white men who believe black women are “easy.” They make comments like, "I've heard that black women are wild in bed." Or "You just seem so sensual." He made this comment when we were having lunch. I was dressed casually. Or this one: "I've never been with a black woman. I want to know what it's like." This has happened countless times, like I am some kind of experiment or conquest. These men never wanted to know about me. And every black woman has these stories.

Black men saw how black women were treated by white slave owners. A white slave owner could leer and grope a black woman any time he wanted. Her body was his to do with as he pleased.

Now that's how many black men treat black women. I've received unwanted attention from black men since I was 12. I was just starting to develop, and I was self-conscious about my breasts. When I walked past black men, I got whistles, asked if I had a boyfriend, if I wanted to go home with them. They would grab me and try to kiss me or touch my breasts or butt. It was terrifying.

A friend of mine relayed this story to me. It's not unique. Her 11-year-old sister was molested by her mother's boyfriend. She told her mother, and her mother didn't believe her. Instead, she got angry and called her daughter "fast." She stayed with the boyfriend for years after that. The molestation continued until her mother broke up with him for cheating with another woman.

Slavery continues to hurt us — particularly black women. Because of it, we are the least valued in our society. We are unprotected and unloved by far too many people. It's time that changed.

What I Want My Child With Autism To Know

Posted: 04 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

My sweet boy,

I’m writing you this letter I know you will most likely never read, mainly because I will probably hide it from you. I have a lot I want to tell you, but with you only being 7, I feel like this may be too much for you so I will let the public read it instead.

There are things that, if I had the power, I would change to make your life better. But my job isn’t to change the past, but to make your present and future the best that I can.

I can only imagine the struggles you endure in silence every day. I will never know the extent of your confusion or how your brain processes stimuli. I will never understand why you are stimming constantly for days in a row and then nothing for weeks. I feel so helpless when I know that you're going through something, but I don't know how to help you. I try so hard to try to put myself in your shoes, but there is no way to know how you feel until you are able to communicate with me about it.

I have seen when kids have taunted you or made fun of you, and it infuriates me. I try to educate these kids that you will grow up with to try to get them aware and be supportive of you. I hope and pray that you don’t hear their criticisms. You are the happiest kid in the world, and I’ll be damned if the opinions of others, especially kids that are supposed to be your friends ruin your outlook on life. Just last week I had to explain to a boy why you talked “funny” because I saw him mocking you.  You, of course, didn’t notice, but I did and it broke my heart. After I talked to him about it, I had to hold in my tears and frustration until we were in the car. I try to not cry in front of you about these situations, but sometimes mama’s shield of toughness doesn’t do its damn job.

It’s been me and you since you were one. I’m sorry that your dad isn’t around.  I’m sorry that you weren't lucky enough to have one of those great dads. I’m sorry that it took me months to explain to you that you didn’t have a dad, because you started to notice that other kids had something that you didn't. But you know what? We are doing just fine on our own.  We have each other and you have the best Nana in the world.

I’m sorry that we have to fight about you eating. Kid, I know you would love to live off of chips and M&M’s, but that’s not cool with me. I make you drink your meal replacements drinks because I love you, and you need to stay healthy. So let’s not fight about that anymore. I think one day you will realize that I’m the “boss.” (Probably not.)

I absolutely love you, but sometimes I hate autism. I hate the struggles that you have to endure in silence. I hate the constant worry. I hate the fact that I want the best life for you but that I have to fight for services to help you. I mostly hate the uninformed population that judge you based off of one meltdown in public. Screw you judgmental people. I’m not in the mood for you.

You are a strong, resilient boy, and you amaze me daily. You are very stubborn (which you get from me), and we have our moments of who has the higher ground, but, Jaxon, you have my whole heart and nothing will ever change the way I look at you in awe.

Love you,

Mama

I’m Not Always The Parent My Kids Need Me To Be

Posted: 04 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

I need to get something off my chest when it comes to parenting.

Something I am actually not very happy with myself about.

Something I would like to try to adjust as much as possible.

When it I comes to parenting I am not always the parent my kids need me to be.

There, I finally admitted it.

This realization came to me over the weekend after my son was involved in an accident and injured. I won't go into too many details, but after I received the phone call that he was hurt, had to be taken to the hospital and the reason why, I immediately became angry.

I was angry at my teenage son for getting hurt in the course of doing something that he knew he wasn't supposed to do.

I was angry at myself and my husband for not taking my son with us when we went out and the incident would have been avoided.

I was simply angry all around.

Now you would've thought my anger and frustration would have subsided when I arrived at the hospital and saw my son lying in the hospital bed in pain with a leg injury, but I honestly couldn't see through my anger at that particular time.

Instead of putting aside my feelings, hugging and comforting my child, I made a not so great decision and used that time to explain why I was upset with him.

Looking back on this makes me angry with myself because all my son needed and should have had at that time was my support instead of a lecture.

See, I told you, I am not always the parent my kids need me to be.

After he was discharged from the hospital, I watched him gingerly trying to navigate his way out of the hospital on crutches and I was overwhelmed with flashbacks of when he was a little boy.

Immediately I became sad and flooded with reminders of the way my own mother used to yell and talk down to me at times. Memories surfaced of the days I vowed when I became a parent to never treat my kids in that manner, and to always be there for them, especially when they needed me most.

Once we got home and my son was situated in his room, I went and apologized to him.

We hugged it out after I explained that parents aren't perfect, and I mishandled this situation.

Relief washed over my son's face after I admitted I let my feelings get the best of me instead of being there for him when he needed me most.

Even though I am not always the parent my kids need me to be, and I can almost promise that I will mess up again, my kids know I love them unconditionally and will always be their biggest cheerleader throughout their lives.

I can only hope that someday when they are sharing stories of their childhood they remember the good days and how much Mom always tried her hardest, despite some messy bumps along the parenting path.

I Banned Jake Paul And Logan Paul From Our House Even Before The Latest Video — And This Is Why

Posted: 04 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

Few things are banned or off-limits in my house. I don’t forbid R-rated movies or books with foul humor. We don’t have screen time limits, or food restrictions. And I don’t even get upset when my kids swear — as long as they aren’t being mean and use it in the right context.

But there is one thing that is banned in our house– Jake Paul and Logan Paul. Or as I like to call them, the Douchebag Bros.

If you don’t have a teen or tween, you might be fortunate enough to have never heard about the Logan brothers until recently. And if you still don’t know who Logan Paul is after his latest vile and horrific YouTube stunt in which he shared actual footage of a dead body hanging from a tree after an apparent suicide, consider yourself extremely lucky.

If you have heard of them, you probably know that they are brothers who rose to fame making attention-seeking videos on the now-defunct social media platform Vine and now YouTube “superstardom.” Jake Paul even had a brief stint on the Disney Channel’s Bizaardvark, where he annoyed parents with his self-aggrandizing brand of humor.

But even before Logan Paul’s most recent “stunt,” there were plenty of reasons to hate them. They are brash and reek of white privilege and entitlement. And while I will grant that they are entrepreneurs of sorts for capitalizing on a new medium, their “talent” contributes nothing to the world. They pride themselves on building a career that consists of mockery and self-absorption. Jake Paul bragged that he was more powerful than the media giant that helped build his career, saying "Even Disney—off the record, but on the record—knows that I have the power. They love me because of that.”

Hell, Jake Paul even managed to piss off his entire neighborhood, proudly boasting, “the neighbors hate me.” And when he was told that neighbors complained about the street being a “circus,” he responded: "I mean, but people like going to circuses, right?" Umm, NO.

After I endured what felt like hours of my sons playing and singing along to Jake Paul’s obnoxious ode to himself, “Everyday Bro” (one of the most disliked YouTube videos of all time), I eventually put my put down a few months ago and said ENOUGH! It wasn’t just that their braggadocious behavior made me throw up in my mouth, it was the absolutely abhorrent message that their personas were sending to my sons — which was basically that being as loud, self-absorbed, and rude as possible will get you fame, money and power. And believe me, that is the last message my son’s need to hear in our already toxic, patriarchal world.

So one afternoon a couple months ago, I told my kids that they were not allowed to watch or listen to Jake or Logan Paul in our house anymore. At all. And, I wasn't budging on this one.

I’m not naive enough to think that my kids don’t sing their awful YouTube chants at school or that they don’t watch their videos at other friends’ houses. Of course, they do. But because they are still young and my husband and I haven’t lost all street cred with them, our opinions still matter — at least a little. And I like to think that because we are so laissez faire about things like R-rate movies, swearing, and screen time in general, that our prohibition on this means something. It isn’t just another “you can’t do this” rule, but a message that hate — of any kind — will not be tolerated.

Not in this house, at least.

Winter Skin Problems Are Legit, But Here’s What You Can Do

Posted: 04 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

Winter is a sack of crap for your poor, beautiful face. Everywhere we turn, the environment is drying us out. We are itchy. We are burning. We are red. Our skin feels tight and chunks of it are flaking off and you just want to dunk your face in a bowl of warm milk, but it's all turned to ice cream because, baby, it's cold outside.

And inside.

Everywhere is cold. If you are somehow not cold, it's either because you live in the tropics or because your heat is blasting hard enough to melt Elsa right out of existence. That dry heat is also leaching all the moisture from your skin. There is no escape!

The dry, winter air sucks up the natural layer of protective oils our skin produces, leaving us raw and dry and defenseless against the elements. *shakes fist* Damn you, elements! Wind makes it even worse and if you've never experienced windburn, I suggest you buy yourself a balaclava and hope it never happens to you.

This time of year, it's more important than ever to moisturize the living hell out of your skin. Layers of moisture. Apply a product and let it absorb for a minute and then apply another layer. You want to replace what has been taken away from your skin while giving it some reserves to protect the oils it makes again.

One delightful, but serious, culprit of epic dryness is hot showers. I know, I know. Hot showers make life worth living in the winter. When it feels like your bones have frozen within you, there is nothing like a hot shower to bring your temperature back up to that of a living person. But heat dries out skin and extended hot showers are big ol' moisture leachers. Try to keep your showers brief and warm. I'm sorry. Don't hate me.

And for the love, do not wash your face in the shower. Even if you're being really good about not running the water too hot, it's still going to be too hot for the delicate skin on your face. Wait until you get out and wash it in the sink with lukewarm water.

If you decide you need to combat the dry air in your home or office, get thee a humidifier or twelve. Desktop humidifiers are great for keeping you in your own little dew cloud while at work. They even make ones that fit in the cupholder of your car! Sleeping with a humidifier running in your room will not only help your skin stay hydrated, it will keep you from waking up with those awful winter sore throats that come from inhaling the heated forced air all night.

Some people like venturing outdoors when it's blistering cold out. I don't know what is wrong with you people, but you do you. If you insist on being in nature while nature is screaming at you to get your ass to your nearest hearth, at least protect your skin while you're out there, I guess. I wasn't kidding about windburn. You do not want it. And if you pair that with sun exposure and chapped or peeling skin, you are in for a world of hurt. Use some kind of barrier like Aquaphor to seal in moisture and protect your face from losing too much as Jack Frost nips at all your bits. This works especially great on cheeks and lips, two places prone to increased dryness in the cold. Also, consider covering up by wrapping a scarf around your face or donning a chic serial killer ski mask.

Since noses tend to run and then get wiped a million times a day, spring for the nice tissues. Ones with aloe or lotion are soothing and will provide you with a little more comfort while you attempt to unstuff your schnoz. Applying a healing salve to the skin around your nose can help reduce redness and peeling and get you back to your pre-Rudolph appearance a little faster.

And don't neglect the rest of your body. Everything is dry in winter. Everything. From your head to your toes and everything in between, a little TLC can go a long way. Be sure to moisturize your whole body. The best time to apply your lotion is right after you shower. Your skin is holding onto a little water from when you were bathing, but it isn't going to hold on long. That water is quick to evaporate, so slather some lotion on to lock a bit of it in.

Using products you enjoy and keeping them out where you can see them is going to make it more likely that you will actually use them. Set alarms, leave lotions stashed throughout your house, stick notes to your bathroom mirror, do whatever you have to do to make yourself remember to moisturize and moisturize and moisturize again. Otherwise, you'll be stuck telling people that no, it isn't snowing, that's just your dead skin flakes on your shoulders. Not a fun conversation for anyone.

To My Tween Daughter: You Don’t Have To Hate Your Period

Posted: 04 Jan 2018 06:00 PM PST

I'm closing in on 50 and will soon be passing the menstrual baton to my tween daughter. (Go ahead, picture a tampon.) I hope I can pass on something else to her, too: my positive attitude toward my monthly period.

I'm aware that I'm going against the flow with this opinion. Even if menstruation has become a far less taboo topic than it used to be, it's still something women love to hate on. And as for men– well, don't even get me started on how they have treated menstruation over the centuries. Some still think women are unfit for high-level positions, including being president of the United States, because of monthly hormone storms that will trigger irrational, impulsive behavior (cough Donald cough Trump).

But ever since my daughter has been old enough to talk, I've tried to teach her how amazing and powerful her body is.

So here are four positive things about periods that I'll be discussing with my daughter over coming years, when she's ready:

Female bonding. The common experience of periods binds us women together. Within an hour after I met my college roomies, we were joking about synchronizing our cycles. In every office I've worked in, female coworkers will go to each other–often crossing office hierarchies–to borrow tampons or Tylenol for cramps. Over the years, I've had occasion, for one reason or another, to talk about period-related things with a wide variety of women, including my 90-year-old great aunt and my host sister when I was an exchange student in Costa Rica. No matter how different two women are, there is always a feeling of camaraderie and sisterhood when it comes to this topic.

A handy excuse. Life throws a lot at us and there's nothing wrong with using an excuse now and then to get out of something. In certain situations, periods can be a golden ticket. I learned this lesson early. When I was in high school in the late 1980s, we could avoid swimming class by telling our male gym teacher we had our period. No matter when we last did this, he dutifully recorded a red "P" in the gradebook (no joke) while we sat dry and happy in the bleachers–no re-applying purple eye shadow that day. When you're looking for a no-questions-asked excuse to leave an event early, or to skip an evening out, or even to get yourself out of an awkward romantic or sexual situation, a vague allusion to cramps or even just "female issues" is all it takes. Women will sympathize and men won't dare to question.

A reminder of our sexual selves. I know that sounds weird. But if you look at it in the right light, being on your period is like a constant little reminder of your sexuality. There can be something sexy about going through all the routine parts of your day while something messy, wet, and primitive is happening down below. Like a secret crush or a hidden romance–its allure lies in the fact that it's an undercurrent. And, if you want to have actual sex during your period, there's nothing wrong with that, either. My open-minded partners have always found it to be a novel turn-on. And there's no need for lubricant, either. Just bring an extra towel.

They remind us of one of our superpowers. I never lost sight of what I learned in the first little booklet my mom handed me decades ago, along with a box of 'beltless' Stayfree maxi pads. Menstruating is shedding the uterine lining because an egg was not fertilized–meaning that every month, we have the potential to be pregnant. Now, I realize that the vast majority of months in our reproductive lives, most of us don't want to be. But it's pretty freaking cool that we could be. It just doesn't get more powerful and magical than bringing forth life.

My tween daughter is going to hear all kinds of negative messages about this particular thing her body does. After all, throughout human history, menstruation has been viewed as a curse. But women already waste far too much mental energy despising their bodies, and I'm trying to do everything I can to make sure my daughter doesn't hate hers. So when I talk to her about this subject, I'm going to be honest about some of the challenges periods can bring. But I'm going to spend just as much time talking about the advantages. And just maybe, she'll end up thinking that periods are a feature, and not a bug, of being female.