Giuliana Rancic on stroller hoarding; pasta; breast cancer

E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic owns 14 strollers and she’s not afraid to admit it. That’s just one fun tidbit I learned when I had the opportunity to interview the mom of one-year-old Edward Duke at Bright Pink FabFest 2013 in Chicago, an event dedicated to generating awareness surrounding breast and ovarian cancer in young women. (Rancic was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36.)

I’ve always felt a bond with Giuliana because I, too, have a closet full of sparkly designer evening gowns we were both treated by the same IVF doctor, Brian Kaplan, MD. On her show, Giuliana & Bill, cameras chronicled their tortuous journey towards conception – a path my husband and I also traveled, though not televised – which included a stint at a fertility clinic I know all too well. When G and I sat down to chat, I learned we, like many moms, had a few other things in common, including the frozen Spongebob-shaped spinach cakes we feed our kids, our love of tall strollers, and more.  I only had five minute to speak with her before she jumped on stage to welcome the 550+ hot pink leggings- and tanks-clad FabFest attendees, so I asked her my quickest questions:

What are three words to describe the moment when you found out you were having a baby?

“Elation; indescribable; a dream.”

What’s you’re #1 baby registry must-have?

“A great stroller. I have 13, maybe 14. I’m a stroller hoarder. I have one for travel, running, grocery shopping. All different colors. Duke likes to be high up [and so I love] Stokki. Orbit, too.

Favorite food to feed Duke?

“He loves pasta – there’s a lot of pasta in our house, And those little spinach and sweet potato things you get at Whole Foods.” (Together, we figured out they were from the Dr. Praeger’s line; I’m guessing she is thinking of their Spinach Littles and Sweet Potato pancakes.)

Nice time to space two kids apart? (Reports say she and Bill are planning #2.)

“Two to two-and-a-half years. I wouldn’t do closer. Now he’s one and I’m finally getting the hang of it.”

I also asked her what she considers to be the worst part and the best part of being diagnosed with cancer while in the limelight? She told me the worst part is that “once you go public, even if you’re having a great day, you’re constantly reminded of it.” Fans and viewers were constantly approaching her with their own stories, which served as a never-ending reminder that she, too, was living with potential fatal disease. “But that’s also the best part,” she added. As people revealed their experiences, they would often add something along the lines of “I watched you on E! News and you helped entertain me while in treatment,” which reminded Giuliana of why she went public – to help spread awareness and education.

 

 

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Sexy hamburger costume leaves a bad taste in my mouth

When I was five years old, I dressed up as a Blue Crayon for Halloween. At 13, I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Freshman year of college, when I spaced on buying a costume until the last minute, I resorted to being a peach.

That’s when the innocence ended.

Prior to that, Halloween has been about funny, innocent costumes and trick or treating until my bag of candy was too heavy to lug around. But sometime around age 19, the holiday became an excuse to dress in as little clothing as possible, and the only candy I would allow myself to eat were fat-free gummy candies. By age 22, living in Chicago, I was a Sexy Star Trekkie (super short Star Trek-esque minidress; knee high vinyl boots; Spock eyebrows; pointy ears). At 23, Britney Spears was in her heyday, and I went as her Superbowl persona, complete with a midriff-baring top, skintight silver lame leggings striped to look like football pants, microphone and an athletic sock on my hand…plus lots of enhanced cleavage. I was 24, and, like most unconfident women my age, I thought “Halloween” was an ancient Sanskrit word that loosely translated to “Time to try to get as many men to look at your body in the hopes that it makes you feel beautiful.”

Now, I’m over it. I (somewhat mockingly, I admit) laugh at the ridiculous “sexy” get-ups I see marketed in the weeks leading up to Halloween (Sexy Ghostbuster! Sexy Barista! Sexy Pirate!) or at the young women parading themselves down the street. At this stage in my life, I’m more focused on generating a cute costume idea for my daughter and instilling in her the self-esteem and values she’ll need so she doesn’t feel the need to strip naked, don a bikini made of stamped envelopes and go as “Sexy U.S Postal Carrier” for Halloween 2033.

I just came across a blog about a company that, this year, is selling a Sexy Hamburger costume. The get-ups comes in two variations – one for men, one for women.

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Kate’s post-baby bump photobomb

Baby Cambridge isn’t the only one who made a big debut on Tuesday. The 8lb 6oz fella appeared on the hospital steps along with his proud papa, his beaming mama…and her baby bump.

Yes, people, ‘tis true: After women give birth, their stomachs typically take weeks, if not months, to deflate, as the uterus contracts, skin snaps back, water weight drains and pregnancy pounds are shed.

And yet, this is the first celebrity-type new mom I can remember seeing with her post-baby bump so evident and just out there for the whole world (literally) to see. It almost seems purposeful to me – she appears to be cradling it with her hand, drawing her dress material in to highlight the roundness of her belly. Now, this might just be old habit; an ingrained move leftover from 40 weeks of pregnancy. But might it also be strategic? Part of her “I’m one of you!” appeal? The Duchess wears Zara, her parents own a party supply company, and she didn’t come close to wearing her pre-pregnancy skinny jeans out of the hospital…just like you!

We live in a society where most celebrities shed their baby weight before they even leave the maternity ward. Perfectly styled-hair, flawless makeup and gender-specific dress color aside, Kate walked out of the hospital and into the fresh, paparazzi-filled air looking like most women look: Still preggo. Her post-baby bump has no doubt helped countless women feel more confident about their new mom bods. Her belly made its first appearance back in February; this might be its last. I’m just glad it decided to show its face.

 

 

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Trending: Tampons

Lately, I’ve been hearing about all sorts of advances in feminine protection; I guess that’s what happens when you are a women’s magazine writer currently working on a story about bikini grooming-related ER visits. As it turns out, buying a plain, plastic-applicator tampon at the grocery store is so very passé. Check out the coolest new ways to purchase your ‘pons, protect your privates, praise your period, and more:

Tampon home delivery

It’s kind of like a CSA, only with tampons instead of turnips.  First, you visit LeParcel.com and choose your most trusted combination of tampons, pads and liners. Next, enter your
desired delivery date, and schedule repeat deliveries every X number of days (28 for the hyper-fertile; 24 or 31 if you’re semi-regular; etc.) Then sit back and scarf down a half-pound of Nestle White Fudge Flipz while you wait for your mail carrier to drop off your monthly supply of Tampax Pearls, along with your surprise “free gift,” which, from the looks of the web site, includes Ferrero Rocher Chocolates. (Heads up: Those iconic gold wrappers are not an effective panty liner substitute.)

Organic menstrual protection

The simple act of choosing a healthy snack has me paralyzed lately; between freaking out over Penicillin in my morning yogurt, tumor-inducing insecticide in my corn-on-the-cob, pink dye in my genetically modified Frankensalmon, and sulfites in my evening wine, nothing is safe anymore.

Not even our tampons. That’s why a new crop of feminine protection has popped up: Organic tampons and pads, free of carcinogenic chemicals, neurotoxins, irritants, fragrances, dyes and more. As if I wasn’t worried enough about pesticides on my strawberries; now I have this image in my mind of a conventional tampon hanging in a garden, repelling spiders and keeping bunnies far, far away. A company called Natracare sells 99% biodegradable and compostable, Continue reading

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What the Kardashians Taught Me About Pregnancy

Between the Kardash klan’s original four siblings, the Jenner girls, Kourtney’s fashionable little buttons and Kim’s early arrival, there’s an impressive amount of Kardashian DNA floating around the celebrity stratosphere. Thanks to stirrup-mounted reality cams and naptime selfies, the average gossip magazine/bad TV viewer (AKA me) knows a little too much about the various Kardashian birth plans. But it hasn’t been all $800 Gucci maternity tanks and diamond-encrusted pacis. Some worthwhile lessons I’ve learned along the way:

Kourtney

The seemingly calmest of the Kardashian sisters has basically delivered herself twice now. That is to say, once Kourtney is crowning, she pulls her babies out of her own vagina. Perhaps you didn’t hear me: She pulls her babies out of her own vagina! Thanks to an epidural, there is no animalistic screaming, no thrashing or grabbing her partner by the collar and grunting, “Look what you did to me!” either. She just reaches down when the doctor gives her the signal and helps welcome her new baby into the world. (The last time I bent over to retrieve something important from the lower half of my bed, it was a half-eaten banana our daughter had hidden there hours earlier!)

I remember watching Kourtney execute this maneuver when Mason was born and being both intrigued and enthralled by it. How maternal. How primal. How utterly hospitable. I wanted to pull my baby out of my vagina. As it turns out, I wound up having the most medicalized birth possible – a C-section due to baby turning breech – so this sort of Earth Mother delivery wasn’t possible for me. But should we attempt a VBAC with the future #2, I will be requesting Kourtney as my celebrity doula. And yes, that is a new hit reality show you smell.

Kim

I’m not going to tease Kim for her questionable baby-naming motives because this new mom was forced to endure enough taunting throughout her pregnancy. She came under unfair criticism for her weight and clothing choices, with the public seemingly unable to differentiate between a woman who is  with child and being “fat.” Just as Kim was being mercilessly ridiculed for gaining too much weight, Kate Middleton has come under fire for not gaining enough. You can never win.

Keep reading at TheBump.com…

 

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