Amber Bogins (8)
Last week, DJ Khaled went on MTV and said, "I'm gonna be honest, I love you, I like you. I want you, I want you to be mine," he said. "I'm at MTV because it's a worldwide network and I'm not telling you this face to face because I understand that you are busy. I'm [gonna] be honest with you, I wanna marry you. Nicki Minaj, will you marry me?" Now no one can confirm Nicki's response to his proposal. She has been spotted wearing an engagement ring...just not Khaled's. So while the world is on pins and needles awaiting her answer, I started thinking about the ideal marriage proposal.
My special someone thought it would be great to start a two-day fight with me before popping the question. It was definitely not ideal for those two days, but the proposal at Campus Martius with the water fountain and lights in the background was amazing.
However, celebrities with more money than what should be legal have their own creative ways to propose.
The Royal Baby Watch is over! Monday, Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge greeted their royal bouncing baby boy. Kate will have at her disposal London's elite nanny squad. I saw a special with Diane Sawyer and the royal nannies are intense! They train for three years to learn how to be the perfect nanny for a royal baby. Their training includes changing cloth diapers, proper burping technique and my personal favorite, driving to avoid the paparazzi.
However, as mother of a two-year-old, the only class I took was Life. Here are few things I learned in my first two years as a mommy.
1. Enjoy the early months. There are a lot of stories about how tired you will be and the midnight feedings. Those are true. But unless your baby isn't feeling well, your baby will take a lot of naps. Ignore the housework, your phone or any other distractions and take a couple naps too.
2. Take advantage of the new baby fever. Your family and friends are probably just as excited about the new baby as you are. Invite someone you trust over every once and while so you can do something for yourself.
3. Target diapers work just as well as Pampers for a fraction of the cost.
4. Keep a camera ready. Babies are always doing something new. Even newborns make funny faces.
5. Relax. Yes, you should handle your baby with care, but they are not china dolls.
6. Everyone has baby advice, but you don't have to take it. Sometimes it's okay to say, "no thank you."
7. Toddlers are reckless and have no concept of injury until they climb on a coffee table and try to walk off. Usually it's nothing a kiss can't fix.
8. Don't be in a hurry to hear your little one say, "Mommy." Once they start they never stop and very rarely are they calling your name for something important.
9. The most important lesson I've learned is to slow down and make time to spend with your little one. It's very easy to get caught up with work, deadlines and public appearances. But little ones don't stay little long so cherish the coos, giggles and cuddles while their too little fend you off.
Now if someone has potty training advice, that would be great.
A Note From The Author
Last Friday, July 12, I blogged about the use of social media for social activism, and it sparked a heated debate between a Facebook friend and myself. A comment was made that it may not be realistic for people to walk off their jobs or abandon their responsibilities to protest. For some, social media is the only outlet they have. I’m not going to point out that Civil Rights protesters did walk off their jobs and were jailed and missed work — sometimes they never came home. However we now live in a digital era. Things change.
It is that conversation and recent events that have led me to write a follow up commentary.
I am not surprised that George Zimmerman got off. I would have been [joyously] surprised if he had been found guilty. There was that one glimmer of hope that my Inner American clung to — the hope that America would live up to its promise of “liberty and justice for all." My Better Mind, upon hearing the verdict, promptly pointed her finger and let out a huge, “I told you so.” And while my inner American cried for a dream deferred, my Better Mind held her tightly and whispered, “When racism is built into a law, it's hard to find justice in the courts.”
It is with that knowledge, and that revelation, that I am sitting at my computer now. I notice on my news feed that there are still blacked-out profile pictures, people are still wearing hoodies. I stand by my statement: "Blacked out profiles do not change government laws. Voices do." My question is: Now that the verdict is in and Zimmerman is free, and now that your outrage can be justified, how will you direct your actions?
Following in the steps of the late Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder has vowed not to play in Florida as long as the “Stand Your Ground” law is in effect.
No, we can’t all be Stevie Wonder. For some, social media may be the best way to get the message out. All I ask is that you post with a purpose. Genie Lauren is a woman who used Twitter to shut down Juror B37’s book deal. She tweeted her outrage, asked for supporters, tweeted not only the publisher, but also Martin’s parents. She created a campaign on change.org that reached 1,000 signatures with a simple statement:
Sharlene Martin, Manager
Drop Juror B37 from Martin Literary Management
Lauren was able to protect Trayvon’s legacy and ensure that his murder isn’t exploited by someone looking to make a couple bucks.
It’s initiatives like this that show social media’s power and effectiveness. But in order to make a stand like that, you have to stay informed and you have to do research. It takes work to cause change. It takes purpose. Therefore, yes, hashtags, posts, profile pictures and any other social media tool spread awareness. But if you are trying to cause real change, it takes more time and dedication than that.
Extra note: This commentary had already been written, when I saw perhaps the most ignorant trend sweeping social media (mostly by white teens). Apparently some people think it’s cool to post a picture of themselves on the ground, presumably as Trayvon did when he died with an Arizona Ice Tea and Skittles. It’s called Trayvoning, and it’s disgusting. Stop.
While closing remarks are being delivered to a jury of women in Florida for the George Zimmerman case, social media is protesting. While surveys show that many African Americans feel that Zimmerman will walk, Facebook-ers show their support and hope for justice for Trayvon Martin by blacking out their profile pictures--a symbolic gesture.
Social media has changed the way people interact with each other, is it any wonder that it would change the way people protest also? It’s no longer necessary to take to the streets with signs and raised voices. It is no longer necessary to link arms and hold a position with the opposing forces staring you down, armed with weapons to subdue or kill you.
Marching in the streets is just a thing of the past. Now, with the simple click of a button, you can join millions in protest from the safety and convenience of your home while watching "Sports Center." You can say you stood with millions and fought, and never get your hands dirty.
Perhaps the people we are fighting for need a stronger commitment from us. Today, while Zimmerman is on trial for murder—an African American Florida woman, Marissa Alexander, was found guilty of attempted murder for firing warning shots at her abusive husband. She’s been sentenced to twenty years; her actions apparently not supported under the states “Stand Your Ground law,” even though no one was murdered.
As outraged as African American’s are about Trayvon Martin, we should be just as outraged about Marissa Alexander. And our outrage, our voices should extend beyond the confines of social media. A million blacked out photos are not loud enough to halt a person in their tracks to make them think.
As easy as it is to post, it’s just as easy to click the red X. But let a hundred people gather peacefully and frequently, and now someone has to listen. Let’s be visible, not digital. People like Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander need us to be seen.
-- Amber Bogins Real Times Media, Michigan Chronicle
Today is the 4th Anniversary of the death of the most prolific entertainer ever—Michael Jackson. I will never forget the moment, when news of his death came across the radio waves. I was driving South on the Lodge, my right turn signal blinking as I take the W. Grand Blvd. exit. At that precise moment, while I was mere minutes away from Hitsville, the news came: "Michael Jackson has passed away". I am always skeptical of the news reports that celebrities have died. The media is always trying to kill someone off. I immediately began searching the other radio stations and to my horror every station was playing a Michael Jackson song. It can't be true, I thought. I had plans to stow away on a plane to London to see "This is It". However, the news vans, the memorial, the growing crowd of tearful fans gathered in front of the Motown museum were the needles that poked a hole in my delusional bubble. My favorite performer was gone and with it my dreams of getting really rich and famous and bumping into him (read: catch a glimpse of him) at an award show.
Now, four years later, the disbelief has worn off and with it comes mild acceptance. I'm no longer sad about the life lost and can celebrate the music and memories made. While it would be very easy to talk about the controversies that plagued his career, instead I'm going to have an MJ Party and watch my 5 of my favorite Michael Jackson videos.
Watch them with me and tell me your favorites!
Sidenote: It is impossible to pick just five!
We’ve all been there. You meet someone really great and you really hit it off. It starts off innocent enough—someone stays the night, and leaves a toothbrush. Before you know it, you’ve cleared out a drawer for the special someone and making sure to buy their favorite brand of orange juice at the grocery store. The transistion from just dating to cohabiting can be seamless.
Living together is easy to justify.
“I spend most of my time over there anyway.”
“He lives closer to my job.”
“Why pay for two places when we only need one.”
Nowadays, the decision to for couples to move in together becomes more about convenience than an actual dry-run of how living together while married will be. It’s no big deal. With the economy being what it is, it may be more cost effective to take on a roommate with benefits.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you make that leap. America’s Toughest Judge: Judge Judy released her new book this month entitled: What Would Judy Say? A Grown-up Guide to Living Together with Benefits.
In an interview with Inside Edition, the Judge listed a few key points to consider before cohabitating.
She said, “Living together is here to stay and as long as you're going to do it, there should be ground rules and you should do it in a smart way.”
Judge Judy’s Rule Number One: Set a time limit on how long you'll live together.
Rule Number Two: Keep your property separate.
She says, “No joint anything! No joint dog, no joint time share, no joint car.”
Rule Number Three: Postpone having kids until you've got that wedding ring.
Other key points to discuss before you rent the U-Haul truck:
How are we going to split the rent? How will we pay the utilities? What happens if it doesn’t work? Who gets the apartment?
As Judge Judy points out: There are no courts for just living together.
I originally intended to introduce my Mommy Blog segment with cute anecdotes about my daughter and being a first time mom. However, having watched the news, and seeing the devastation in Oklahoma, my thoughts are considerably more somber. Yesterday afternoon, a category EF4 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma. The base of the tornado was estimated to be two miles wide and wind speeds reached upwards of two hundred miles an hour. Currently the death toll sits at fifty-one confirmed dead. It is a bleak morning. Right now, as the people of Oklahoma are searching through the wreckage—the hopes for survivors all but diminished—my thoughts and prayers are with the parents of the reported two dozen children who were trapped in an elementary school.
It’s heartbreaking to see the devastation and the testimonies from the children who did survive. One elementary school aged girl recounted how she had to hold on to the wall because she didn’t want to fly away. As a parent—as a human—tragedies like this make you realize how precious life is. Speaking specifically as a mother of a nearly two year old daughter, it makes me stress over how to best protect my child in cases of extreme situations. While my child is not school-age, it safety and security concerns are now at the forefront of my mind, especially while considering daycare options. It is important to familiarize yourself with your child’s school or daycare’s safety procedure. What are the teachers, staff and other personnel supposed to do in case of a fire, a tornado or an intruder? Where are the escape routes? Find out when the next fire or tornado drill is at the school and ask if you can observe it. In addition, make sure that your family knows your safety procedures and escape routes. Now that my daughter is counting, the first phone number she will learn is 9-1-1.
Here in Detroit, I can count the number of tornados to touch down on my fingers, and my generation in Detroit has never dealt with the level of devastation Oklahoma is experiencing and has experienced. A Call to Action has been issued. Donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Or go online to RedCross.org to make a blood donation.
Follow Amber L. Bogins on Twitter @AmberLaShaii
Just the other day, I had a conversation with a female coworker and it went as follows:
Coworker: Oh your hair is cute.
Me: I can’t stand it. I had a hair emergency this morning and I just threw this together.
Later that day with a different female coworker.
Me: I like your shirt.
Coworker 2: It’s alright. I’ve had it for years.
Did you notice anything special about the two exchanges? Each exchange starts with a compliment, but neither I nor Coworker 2 said thank you to the compliments. Instead we diminished it and then rationalized our appearance. Why?
Recently Dove hired an FBI forensics sketch artist to draw two blind sketches of women, one based on the women’s description of themselves and the other based on a strangers description. The differences in the drawings are as troubling as they are telling. The women often times described every single imperfection they have without really acknowledging their positive attributes However, the strangers’ descriptions presented the women youthfully and more approachable.
As women, we have to be able to encourage ourselves and find our beauty.
You can’t a make positive impression on others if you have negative impression of yourself. Getting caught up in the “I’m too this…” or “This is too far apart…” critiques distracts you from the simple truth: God made you perfect as He saw fit and He does not make mistakes.
Here are some things you can do daily to help you see your beauty:
1. Remind yourself daily that you are beautiful.
2. Every day, find something different that you like about yourself.
3. Smile! It’ll help you feel lighter and make you look more approachable.
4.Take care of yourself. Get a good night’s sleep. Take vitamins. Eat healthy. A healthy you is a beautiful you.
5. Buy yourself something pretty. Wearing a new dress or new eye shadow that you know makes you look good will make you feel good. It's much easier to do Number 3 when you feel good.
6. Write mantra’s on sticky notes and put them on a mirror or anyplace that you will see them consistently. Below are a few to get you started.
- I am precious to me.
- Being a woman makes me precious.
- Because I am a woman I am strong
- I am proud of my body for what it is.
- I can accept myself for who I am.
- I recognize and honor my talents, abilities, and skills.
- I feel confident from the inside out.
- I say positive things about myself to myself.
- I love and approve of myself.
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