Flu season is coming up and actor James Van Der Beek is not taking any chances with his growing brood. The longtime TV star (Dawson’s Creek anyone?) and father of three, Olivia, 4, Joshua, 2, and Annabel, nearly 9 months, is spreading the word on fighting influenza with FluMist Quadrivalent, a needle-free flu vaccine. Parents took some one-on-one time with James to talk TLC, how being a dad to daughters has changed him, and the one thing he would do if he had 45 minutes to himself.
P: We’re here for FluMist. Vaccines have been a big buzz topic. What is your take on vaccines and what do you say to parents who might not be with you?
JVDB: I totally understand the debate about vaccines. They certainly have a utility. My wife and I went back and forth on the whole vaccine issue, quite a bit, but when it came to the flu vaccine specifically it was something we decided to do. Initially I was afraid you could get the flu from a flu vaccine. You actually can’t. It’s impossible. That was new to me. When I found that out, I realized there are a lot of myths about the flu that even I had—as health-conscious as I am. When I found out that it hospitalized 200,000 people a year and that it’s responsible for the hospitalization of more children than any other vaccine-preventable disease, that’s when I thought this is something that I can really get behind and help spread the word. And [FluMist] is needle free. Kids don’t like when you stick needles in them. Go figure. My 4-year-old did it and didn’t cry and was really proud of herself. We did not vaccinate our kids last year and I had two kids with the flu and my wife was pregnant. And G-d forbid it can lead to some bad complications.
JVDB: Well my first kid was a daughter, yeah you do start to be more concerned with the world in general knowing your kids are going to go out in it. You start to really look at other people’s attitudes towards women especially, and you’re a lot more hyperaware.
P: Have you seen the YouTube videos of the daddy-daughter dates? Would you take Olivia or Annabel on a father-daughter first date?
JVDB: I just loved stories. I loved to have a story to tell and my kids will tell me a story and the only way I’ll know that they’re making it up is that there’s a dragon in it. Everything else is really believable until a dragon makes an appearance and I say, “Oh ok you’re making this up.” I turn to my wife and go, “Sorry…my bad.”
P: You’re three kids in, what do you think you’ve learned and you’re doing better with the third than the first?
JVDB: I’ve come to just realize how important it is to embrace the chaos. There might be parents out there who are able to manage everything neat and tidy, but that’s certainly not us. Fighting to really find that appreciation in all of those moments is so important because it really does go by so quickly. It’s a big cliché and it’s so true. There are those times when you’re just so frustrated and you just think to yourself “Really?!” Especially those moments: sit there and think I’m gonna miss this when it’s not happening.
P: What still continues to baffle you? Is there anything you wish someone would tell you the secret to?
JVDB: How do kids have that much energy?
P: I think we should institute adult naptime.
JVDB: I would LOVE adult naptime. I would endorse that in two seconds.
P: You recently had 45 minutes to yourself and you didn’t know what to do. If you had 45 minutes again, do you know what you would do?
JVDB: I should work out because that’s catch as catch can. What I would love to do is to see if I’ve got a football game recorded that nobody has ruined the score for me and just spend 45 minutes going through that. That would be something…. That’s so pathetic. Better than doing the dishes, which is what I think I did last time. I find myself doing dishes saying, “Why am I doing dishes right now? I could be doing anything.”
P: Despite the lack of free time, you seem to be very happy as a father. Was there one moment when you went “Wow. I’m a dad.”
JVDB: Yeah. First moment my first one was born. That was it. It was pretty instantaneous. I’d wanted that for a long time so when it did happen it felt like the resolution to a lot of unanswered questions in my life.
Photograph: Via Instagram with permission from James Van Der Beek
Here’s the newest installment of a brand new series from the Parents beauty department about mommy bloggers. Each installment will feature what beauty means to real moms no matter what their beauty routine is like—and how they take time to themselves after having children.
Let’s be real: A little part of us all wishes we were Jackie O. Or maybe that’s just Lauren Bryan Knight and me.
A little part of us all should aspire to be Lauren, too! The Texas native not only runs Aspiring Kennedy and is a mom to her oh-so-cute 1-and-a-half year-old daughter, Viola, she gets to do it all while living in London. Her travel guides will fill you with wanderlust, and her food posts will make your stomach growl.
What is your beauty routine like?
My beauty routine is very casual. I have many of the same products that I’ve been using since college in my makeup bag today. After finding what works for my skin and face, it cuts out one less round of decision making. Plus my hair is really thick, so it limits the options: up or down; clean or dirty!
How has your beauty routines changed since you had your daughter?
I have definitely learned to embrace the top knot. I don’t have two hours to wash and straighten my hair like I used to. Every two weeks, I have someone that comes to my house and blows it out for me at 7:30 a.m. She only charges $40! It’s a splurge but one that keeps my hair from being permanently in a nest on the top of my head. It helps me look—and feel—a bit more professional.
What is the importance of taking time to yourself?
We all have those days where we skip getting ready completely. That’s life as a mom—someone who is self-employed or being in school. I think it’s important to be okay with that version of yourself. However, I think many moms feel a loss of self and pride when they have a baby. The time they used to spend getting ready is soaked up by a baby. Taking five minutes to pull yourself together helps maintain confidence and pushes you to remember that there is a world outside of your living room.
How do you find time to focus on yourself, your blog, and your family?
Well the truth is: I don’t! When life gets too busy, I neglect the blog. I don’t feel bad about it either. It’s supposed to serve as a complement to my life. I never want to be a slave to it. The time I used to spend meandering Pinterest and other blogs for inspiration are gone. When I sit down to blog these days, I blog and then I’m finished. It actually keeps my content more original because I’m thinking of it on the bus or in the shower. The ideas come from my thoughts, and not because of something I’ve just seen elsewhere.
What’s the best beauty advice you’ve received?
Stop washing your hair so often.
Do you have any beauty advice for moms?
Spend a little more and invest in good products. You’ll use them, you’ll look better, and you’ll feel a bit more like a grown up, too.
ASPIRING KENNEDY’S FIVE FAVES
1. Bioderma Crealine H2O Makeup Remover: I buy this in France, and it’s literally like water on your face—except all your makeup is gone! No stingy eyes or oily gunk. It’s amazing.
4. Susan Posnick COLORFLO mineral blush: I adore the Susan Posnick makeup line. All of the pieces are designed so smart, and the mineral foundation has amazing natural SPF. I love having the powder and brush combo. It’s one less thing to tote around and makes your face look flawless in pictures.
Now that school’s back in session, you can turn your mind to the next big, important event in your child’s life — Halloween! Don’t wait ‘til last minute to scoop up whatever’s left in the store. Instead, use this week’s deals from Kohl’s, Costume Discounters, BuyCostumes and more to score amazing costumes at great prices right now, while the pickings are still good.
Yesterday, Hilary Duff celebrated Trident gum’s 10-year anniversary of their sponsorship of Oral Health America’s Smiles Across America campaign. (The campaign provides oral disease prevention to uninsured children.) This week 5 cents of every pack of Trident gum purchased—up to $200,000—will go to the cause! Parents sat down with the actress-cum-pop star and mom of 2-year-old Luca to talk dental health, why she’s more afraid of the terrible 3s than the 2s, and her own mommy monologue—Lizzie McGuire-style.
P: You’ve been involved in a lot of charitable work, what drew you to this cause?
HD: I think I just got inspired knowing that Trident has supported Oral Health America for the past ten years and they’ve raised over 2 million dollars doing such good. I’m starting to work with my son, taking care of his teeth everyday and trying to teach him how to brush. I’ve always had teeth issues so I know how painful it can be. I want to teach him how important it is to keep healthy teeth and brush after meals. And it’s my gum! This is actually my gum that I buy.
P: Speaking of teaching your son to brush, is he brushing his own teeth? Does he ever complain about having to do it?
HD: He wants to brush his own, but I brush him first and then I let him “brush.” We started brushing when he had two little nubs sticking out just to get him used to it. My friend told me, “Get a toothbrush in there as soon as you can and make it a habit and routine.” We try to make it fun. I’ll be like “I bet you can’t stand on one foot while I brush your teeth” and he goes “I can! I can! I can!”
HD: No. Not at all. I’m worried for 3 because 2 has been a breeze.
P: What’s your favorite part about 2?
HD: I think just all the vocabulary that happens. He’s getting so vocal and now he can put 4 or 5 words together. It’s a big thing when they can start joining words, but it’s sad too because some of the really cute things that you love go away quick. He’s starting to sing. He loves to sing the ABCs and The Great Big Spider—he does not like The Itsy Bitsy Spider he likes The Great Big Spider.
P: So you changed the words?
HD: Yes. And I guess…just how capable he is with everything now. He knows what he wants, but he’s a very sweet little boy and he has a really good spirit. He has the best smile. I’m lucky, but I’m a little afraid for 3 because 2 has been great.
P: Is there anything that he does that makes you think “Oh my gosh, he’s such a little mini-me?”
HD: All of his vocal-isms. He says “oh!” all the time because I say “Oh.” I’ll say to him “It’s time to go!” He’ll say “OH!” The other day I put something on instagram where he sprayed me with the hose. I didn’t think he could pull the trigger because they’re really tough. I just say “sure” all the time and I said “You can’t spray me” and he said “SURE!” and then pssshhhhh blasted me with the hose. He also says “No way” which is bad. I usually say it in a good way when I get excited like “no wayyyy” and now he says it in a bad way. I’m like “Do you want to change your diaper?” “No way!” Excuse me? The sass.
P: This year has been a year of transition for your family. What has been the key to maintaining a positive parenting relationship for you and for Luca, perhaps as an example for other moms that might be going through harder times?
HD: I think the key thing for us is that he’s our main priority and we love and care for him so much and so everything else will straighten out eventually. We’re just trying to move forward with as much love as we can for him and our family. And we have a lot of respect for each other.
P: You’re most famous for your portrayal of Lizzie McGuire. She always had that inner monologue running through her head as a cartoon. What’s your mommy inner monologue like?
HD: I wish I could be funny right now, but I really don’t think it’s funny. I think a lot of the time I remind myself to count to ten. Take a breather. Their little legs can’t always keep up with ours and I don’t want to rush him through life and rush through the stages that I notice are going by so quickly. My life is so busy and so hectic and I move so quickly that it’s like, take it down a notch. It’s all good. So I think Ok count to 10. Sometimes it’s so easy to say “I’m just gonna pick you up and we’re gonna go,” but I want to be really patient with him.
I’m cursed with children who are mega picky about fruit. Berries can’t be even remotely “squishy.” Bananas can’t be too ripe, or too yellow. Watermelon can’t have a hint of mealiness to them. One kid likes only green grapes, the other only red. As for apples, their favorite is the hard-to-find (and very aptly named) Honeycrisp. That’s until now, when we can mercifully add another variety to the mix: SweeTango. Have you heard of these? I hadn’t, but they’ve been around since 2009. They’re bred at the University of Minnesota and are a blend of Honeycrisp and Zestar apples. Like their parents, they’re really crunchy, juicy, and sweet.
SweeTangos are hyper-seasonal, meaning they’re only around for a brief part of the season–specifically, mid August (on the West coast) into November. Last year, they sold out in 60 days.
Because people who are into SweeTangos are really into SweeTangos, a big social media push is underway this season. Share the place you’ve found the apple using #SpotSweeTango on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and you can win a season’s worth of them, plus a trip to a SweeTango orchard. (You can also text your location to 99000.) To find SweeTangos near you, check out the interactive map that launched this week. Since they’re good enough to make my kids happy, I know they’ll be good enough for you and yours!
Lots of new moms would love a jogging stroller, but when it comes to paring down a registry list, the jogger is often one of the first items to go. (Sniff!) A new stroller line, called Urbini and sold at Walmart, is out to change that. Their jogging stroller, the Urbini Avi, comes in at $200, putting this piece of baby gear in reach! The Avi is built for parents looking for a little exercise, but it has a compact frame and easy fold, so you’d be fine relying on it for everyday use, too.
We’re happy to announce that ONE (1) lucky winner will get a red Avi jogging stroller, which has an approximate retail value of $200. To enter, leave a comment below, up to one a day between today and the end of the day September 18. More Qs about our giveaway? Read our official rules. Be sure to check back on September 18 and scroll to the bottom of the post to see who won. We reach out to winners via Facebook message (it goes into your “other” message folder on Facebook), so if you win, look for us there as well. Goody luck!
Watch this video and learn how you can get baby gear on a budget!
What do you do with your kids to get active? An NFL quarterback wants to know!
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is helping launch “Make the Play” with Quaker Oats to help motivate families to eat healthy and get active. Parents can submit their favorite ways to play with their families. The winning family with the most innovative game or original way to be active gets to participate in a “Day of Play” with Luck. Parents caught up with Luck to learn about the importance of kids getting active with their families.
P: What inspired you to get involved with “Make the Play”?
AL: This is my third year getting to work with Quaker. It’s really because we share so much passion for healthy lifestyles and encouraging kids to get outside to play for at least an hour a day, to eat good breakfast, and sleep well. I think those are great messages to get behind. I feel strongly about them and so does Quaker.
P: How did active play influence your childhood?
AL: It was a big,big part of my childhood. I have three younger siblings, so the four of us were outside all the time after school playing games, making up games. My sister made up a game called “roof ball.” We’d play that constantly. She always beat me in it, and it made me very mad. But we were outside all the time. We’d wait for my dad to come home from work, and he’d take 15, 20 minutes to just throw a football or shoot basketball hoops or kick a soccer ball or play volleyball. That was always a big part of my childhood, and I know it must have helped me with sitting down and doing homework later or falling asleep. It was a great way to use up some energy.
P: What was “roof ball” like?
AL: “Roof ball” was a game where we’d throw a ball on the roof and the person who caught it got points. I shoulda won, but I rarely did.
P: What are some advantages of children getting active?
AL: I do think studies have shown that getting active for at least 60 minutes a day helps with concentration and focus, so I think that’s important. Just an active lifestyle is great for health overall.
P: What athlete inspired you as a kid to be active?
AL: My dad [Oliver Luck] played football in the NFL, and he was a quarterback, as well. He was always an inspiration, and I loved watching Peyton Manning and Steve McNair. I enjoyed watching those guys.
P: How does eating right affect your performance?
AL: It’s a big part of being a professional athlete. To me, breakfast is my most important meal. It’s often the meal you play a game on. I make sure I have oatmeal, milk, and fruit. It’s the fuel you use to hopefully do your best, so eating right is a big part of being a professional athlete. I wish I paid more attention to it earlier in my life.
P: What’s you favorite oatmeal topping?
AL: Fruit! All types of fruit—berries, especially.
P: What are some ways parents can inspire their kids to get active?
AL: I always appreciated my dad coming outside and playing with us—or my mom—and being a part of the game we were playing or refereeing it or just being outside. That was fun for us, and it was very encouraging.
P: What are you looking for when judging the “Make the Play” contest?
AL: Two simple things! One: Involve other people. It’s fun when a bunch of people are playing the game and families. Two: Have fun. Make sure you’re having fun, and that will come through on the videos.
Rosie Pope is not only an actress, she’s also a household name in the parenting world. Pope, 34, is the founder of Rosie Pope Maternity, MomPrep and Rosie Pope Baby, as well as author of “Mommy IQ: The Complete Guide to Pregnancy.”
CBS: The news about Will and Kate expecting baby #2 has taken the world by storm. What is it about royal babies that get the world so excited?
RP: “Being a prince or princess was probably everybody’s fantasy if only for a few moments as a child. To see it happen in reality is an amazing and magical thing and we get to watch the whole thing happen! It’s uplifting and the stuff of fairy tales but in real life.”
CBS: Kate looked so adorable during her first pregnancy; do you think she will duplicate her first pregnancy fashions or go with a different look?
RP: “Definitely duplicated but maybe she’ll get a little more daring now that she is confident in both how well the world received her fashion choices and in herself. First pregnancies feel so unknown and nerve racking and second pregnancies can be a little more relaxing. You are more used to the changes your body is making.”
CBS: As a maternity fashion designer, what advice would you give women who are pregnant and hoping to remain stylish?
RP: “Stay true to your sense of style and quite simply if it wasn’t something you would wear before you got pregnant, don’t wear it now that you are. We are lucky to have a lot of wonderful maternity designers today and so you can really find things that fit your new and changing body but are in align with the sense of style you have always had. I always keep this in mind when designing maternity clothes. Women want to feel like themselves as much as possible rather than trying too many new things in this very new world (to them) of pregnancy.”
CBS: As a mom of four, what advice would you give Kate about coping with morning sickness?
RP: “This too shall pass. It’s the only way to get through it because it is really not pleasant. She needs to use her support network to get rest and help with George. It is hard already being a mom taking care of your toddler while also trying to take care of yourself and the new baby. Kate is lucky to have help and now is the time to use it.”
CBS: What’s it like in your house with four active kids? What are they into these days? How do you keep everyone organized and keep your sanity?
RP: “It’s crazy but a beautiful kind of crazy! While schedules are so important to make sure we get everything done I have certainly learned to be more relaxed and go with the flow. I try and find those special moments of one on one time with my kids so that we connect in a very special way each day.”
CBS: As a working mom, how do you find balance between career and home?
RP: “I am still trying! One of the most important things are key touch points when I can. For us those are breakfast together in the morning and dinner together along with bath time and stories at night. Being there when they open their eyes in the morning and when they shut them at night are so important to me.”
CBS: Do you have any new projects you’d like to share with us?
RP: “I am working so hard on Rosie Pope baby, expanding the line and the distribution. I am so excited at the number of wonderful stores that will be carrying it come January. I am also planning to launch nursing as an extension of my maternity line next year too. If I totally give up sleeping I might finally finish my second book too!”
CelebrityBabyScoop.com is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on CelebrityBabyScoop.com.