Archive for the ‘ celebrities ’ Category

Raffi Returns! The Singer Discusses His Album

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Raffi was a hit in my house (or more specifically, in the car!) while my sister and I were growing up. We listened to his songs so much that we almost wore out his cassette tape (yes, this was pre-CDs!).

Though it’s impossible to forget the charismatic children’s musician, many of us may have noticed his lack of albums in recent years. But fear not: Though Raffi–who is also an author–has taken on a variety of endeavors, which he describes below, he’s certainly did not bid adieu to singing. His album “Love Bug,” his first since 2002, hits stores July 15. Want to purchase it earlier? Here’s how.

“I feel like a new papa with this album,” Raffi told Parents.com. “I’m just thrilled to keep making music with my ‘Beluga Grads.’”

Here, Raffi discusses his song inspiration, his views on technology use, and more.

Parents.com: What prompted you to release another album after a 12-year break? 

Raffi Cavoukian: I felt the creative need to express myself to my loyal audience of many decades now, and recently I returned to the concert stage after an absence of 10 years….I thought well, gee, you know, I think a new batch of songs to express love and caring in a new way would be fun. At the same time, keep in mind that “Love Bug” is the first Raffi album of the digital era. In 10 short years, social media has changed parenting or at least made it more challenging. It has certainly impacted the landscape of childhood, so after I wrote and published the book Lightweb, Darkweb, about social media awareness and reform, I thought it would be really good to have an album of songs in response to the digital era, an album in full celebration of the real world.

P: How can kids and parents regulate technology use? 

RC:  In families, that’s the parent’s responsibility, to set the tone of their day, to set the tone of their interactions, and that requires conscious parenting, which is a Child Honouring principle….It just speaks to an awareness by parents of their inner processes so that they are mindfully engaging with their kids, and I know that’s easier said than done [laughs], but the goal is for mindful interactions, rather than unconsciously repeating what was done to us when we were kids. Parents have the opportunity and the responsibility of actually setting a tone in their families, where for little kids, I’m talking about real little ones, real life experience is valued and takes priority above all else. As I say to parents, and I’m basically saying what psychotherapists and pediatricians are saying, information technology can wait. What can’t wait is an infant’s need and desire to bond with the real world, the three dimensional world of wonders, of textures, of elements, this is the job of the formative years. You can do tech later. It’s going to change anyway [laughs].

P: Your listeners today are growing up in a different era than children of the past. How are today’s kids similar to your previous audience, and how do they differ? 

RC: The basic needs of early childhood are universal and irreducible, that does not change….What’s different is not the kids themselves, but the culture in which they live, to which they respond. It’s the culture that’s different, that’s faster, it’s more technologically obsessed, and these shiny tech devices represent an intrusion into the early years [of life for] a newborn and an infant. As I said before, the priority in early years, the job of a young one is emotional intelligence, as Daniel Goleman wrote brilliantly in that book, is to exercise the emotional intelligence, which is relational, real people, real world situations. We really have to be careful, we don’t want to introduce shiny tech representations of the three-dimensional world, these are flat, electronic representations that go hyper-fast.

P: What was your inspiration for the title track of your album? 

RC: The songs for this album came really easily to me. There was hardly any labor. I think for “Love Bug,” I had that guitar riff that I do [sings] and then the words just came immediately. I thought it was really a neat kind of way of looking at that impulse to hug people, and it’s just a love song.

P: What did you enjoy most about recording this album as a whole?

RC: I think the fact that I was recording again, a children’s album, that I imagined my fans would be waiting for it with great delight, because there hasn’t been a new one in 12 years. And the fact that I recorded 80 percent of it in my living room. In the book Lightweb, Darkweb, I talk about the lightweb being all that we like about digital technology, and I’m a tech enthusiast. I really appreciated the ability for my recording engineer to come from Vancouver, into my living room, with his laptop, and with just one connector box and some microphones, the recording console became his laptop, which is quite common these days. To work that way and the easy editing, I thought that was great fun. I look forward to doing more CDs actually, I’ve got more songs brewing.

P: One song on this album honors Nelson Mandela. Can you talk about this piece? 

RC: Those who inspire us live on forever, and Mandela was such a huge inspiration to me. Back in 2011, I wrote and recorded that song and got a chance to sing it for him in Toronto. You can imagine the thrill of being there, singing it for him, and when I finished, he stood up to shake my hand. Well you don’t forget that. In fact, that song title, “Turn This World Around,” is the subtitle of my anthology that I published in 2006, it’s a collection of essays called Child Honouring: How to Turn This World Around. While we wouldn’t think of “Turn This World Around” as a children’s song, it’s the bonus song that completes this collection of songs….The other person I’ve paid tribute to is Pete Seeger. I was with him two years ago….We sang two songs, I remember we were singing together, one was “This Little Light of Mine,” the other was “This Land is Your Land,” which Pete made famous. I mean, Woodie Guthrie wrote it, but Pete made it popular, so I included “This Land is Your Land” as well in this album. The song “Pete’s Banjo,” in case you’re curious, when I came back two years ago from visiting Pete, there I was on my front deck in the sun with my guitar, and I was playing…something that sounded sort of like a banjo, and that’s where I got the idea of a tribute song for Pete called “Pete’s Banjo.” That’s where that came from, and I think that’s where the impetus for this new album may have come from, from seeing Pete Seeger in his ’90s, singing, and people loving it, and I thought, “Wow” [laughs]. I kind of saw my future, if you know what I mean….What does an aging troubadour do? Well he keeps making music. That’s the message I got.

Photo by Billie Woods

Do you have a kid with an urge to sing? Start out with this simple song.

If You're Happy and You Know It
If You're Happy and You Know It
If You're Happy and You Know It

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Larry King: “You Don’t Divorce Your Children”

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

We all know Larry King as the world-renowned TV anchor who kept Americans in-the-know on global happenings for 25 years via his CNN show, Larry King Live.

My Life As A Dad, the popular web series that delves into the lives of celebrity fathers, recently chatted with Larry King about his experience in being a dad to five children, two of which were born almost four decades after his first children.

Larry King’s son Larry, Jr., adopted son Andy, and daughter Chaia were born in the 60′s, a hectic time when his promising and long-withstanding broadcast journalism career took off. In the interview, Larry shares how he thinks his earlier children might view how he fathers his sons Chance (b. 1999) and Cannon (b. 2000) differently now.

“I don’t know if they are hurt by it…they don’t say it,” Larry says. “They all pretty much handle it very well and they love their younger brothers. But I imagine that there is a little resentment. That would be normal, you know, why he wasn’t there for me all the time. It’s the kind of life I led and if I could do a do-over again, I would have spent more time.”

The reputable TV anchor goes on to share his greatest piece of advice for parents and discloses one of his biggest regrets. His advice for parents: “The advice I would give is ‘you can’t get it back.’ The day you didn’t go to the game, you can’t get that back. You didn’t go. The hotel room that goes unsold will never be sold. The day you didn’t spend, you didn’t spend. That is a big regret of mine; that I didn’t do more.”

He also discusses how many men don’t understand real love until they have a child.

“It’s the first time in your life,” he shares. “You don’t have to love your wife–that’s why there is divorce. You don’t divorce your children. There are things about your children that will annoy you, but the love is spectacular.”

He also shares a special moment he had at one of his son’s baseball games: “Yesterday, my son pitched three scoreless innings for Notre Dame’s scrimmage game. I was sitting in the stands at the beautiful field at Notre Dame. He was pitching and standing on the mound with that regal look…I just looked at him and could almost cry. I flashed back to the day he was born and the day I took him to his first game. And there he is, standing with that regal look. He struck out a guy…that jolt just goes through your heart. He asked me, ‘Do you root for me more than you root for the Dodgers?’ and I said, ‘Of course!’”

And does he have any thoughts about the fatherhood experience?

“Fatherhood is fantastic, fantastic.,” Larry states. “Whatever is second best is a distant second.”

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find kids’ outdoor games at Shop Parents.

How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer
How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer
How to Pitch Like a Big Leaguer

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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. 

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This Children’s Musician Is Making A Comeback With “Love Bug”

Monday, July 7th, 2014

He’s one of those musicians who only needs to use one name. You probably grew up listening to his songs, and your kids likely enjoy them now. He’s making a comeback with his first new recording in 12 years, entitled “Love Bug,” which will be released July 15. 

If you haven’t guessed, we’re talking about Raffi! The “Baby Beluga” singer, who parents and kids have known and loved for decades, has a collection of new jams on the way. His video  featuring “Love Bug” (and some adorable kiddos) makes its GoodyBlog debut below:

 

 

Can’t wait for the album to become available on the 15th? Starting July 8, you can purchase your copy at Whole Foods stores.

Is your little one a fan of critters? Try your hand at these cute cupcakes!

Inchworm Cupcakes
Inchworm Cupcakes
Inchworm Cupcakes

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5 Over-The-Top Celebrity Kid Birthday Bashes

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

In Hollywood, celebrity parents shell out unbelievable amounts of money to throw big birthday parties for their babies. Let’s look at five celebrity tots whose birthday bashes rank among the most lavish seen in the last few years.

North West

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West went all out for North’s first birthday party, which was branded by the couple as “Kidchella.” The mini music festival in Calabasas, California, boasted a karaoke stage, Ferris wheel and entertainment for guests of all ages. Nori wore a flower-power inspired dress and enjoyed a three-tier tie-dyed cake.

Blue Ivy

Beyonce Knowles and Jay-Z spared no expense to celebrate their daughter’s first birthday. Clocking in at a rumored $200,000, Blue Ivy’s party featured a princess theme and was replete with pink and white roses. Costumes, jewelry and gifts were provided for all of Blue Ivy’s friends and their parents. In addition to the party and an extravagant cake, Blue Ivy received a diamond-encrusted Barbie from her parents valued at $80,000.

Suri Cruise

For her fifth birthdaySuri’s parents – Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes threw her a circus-themed party complete with live elephants and giraffes. Thanks to the little girl’s love for Alice in Wonderland, the party was attended by professional actors dressed in full costume and guests dressed in fanciful attire inspired by Alice. The party reportedly cost some $20,000 and was thrown at the private residence shared by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes at the time.

Kingston Rossdale

Kingston is the apple of Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale’s eyes, and that was clear at his fourth birthday party. His famous parents spent a whopping $15,000 on their firstborn son’s birthday!  The relaxed Los Angeles bash featured a variety of snack foods, a lemonade stand, cotton candy machine and big birthday cake. Kingston’s parents kept the party kid focused with entertainment including super hero characters, bouncy houses, live birds, balloon artists and face painters.

Zahara Jolie-Pitt

Notoriously private, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt didn’t publicize the details of daughter Zahara’s seventh birthday party. Nonetheless, Angelina was spotted out in Sherman Oaks buying a new wardrobe for Z, and celebrity bloggers speculated that the family threw a fun party with an African-inspired theme in their home.

Use our Baby Name Finder to find the perfect name for your little one, check out which celebrities are pregnant, or find baby gift ideas at Shop Parents.

Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake

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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. 

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Jennie Garth: “It’s always family before friends, and the girls respect that….Family first.”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Set your DVRs, ladies, because tonight is a 90210 reunion! Well, kind of. Jennie Garth and her longtime gal pal Tori Spelling are teaming up again in the new ABC Family series Mystery Girls, premiering tonight. Parents caught up with Jennie a few weeks ago and then met her at a special Mamarazzi screening event, hosted by The MOMS of SiriusXM fame. The actress and mother of three daughters, Luca, 17, Lola, 12, and Fiona, 8, opened up to us about raising her girls to be confident women, recovering from divorce, working her latest volunteer project, and filming her hilarious new sitcom.

P: Your girls are growing up so quickly. Is it tougher to be a parent to toddlers and preschoolers or tweens and teens?

JG: Oh my god I would have to say younger is tougher because they cannot articulate what they’re thinking or what they want or need so well. The language barrier is definitely a problem.

P: What traits of yours do you see in each of your daughters?

JG: All of my best ones [laugh]. I can definitely see qualities from myself as well as qualities of their dad. Good and bad from both of us. Luca today was listening to the same exact music that I was listening to at her age, which was The Cure. She didn’t listen to it today because of me, she listened to it totally on her own. So we have similar musical taste. She’s also beautiful. She has very similar body, dance, movement style. My middle one, Lola, is very organized and very much an organized thinker, a list-maker and she likes to have tasks and complete them—that’s how my brain works. My little Fiona, she’s very competitive. So when we play board games she likes to win, and she’s very quick-witted and those are definitely both qualities of mine. You definitely see yourself in them for good and for bad sometimes.

P: Is there a childlike thing that you get excited to relive through Fiona, since she’s your youngest?

JG: All of it. Easter egg coloring, and you know, she loves to play board games. Coloring. Coloring book coloring. I love just sitting and coloring. She loves any kind of game. Puzzles. We do all that. And reading with her. We still snuggle in bed together, where the other girls do their own thing at bedtime, you know. The book-reading at that time is one of my favorite times of the day.

P: Having three girls is no easy task, and you’re a single mom. Do you have any best piece of advice for women dealing with the same situation and transition?

JG: I have so much encouragement and wisdom to pass along to people. When I first was on my own, everything was so challenging. Everything was stressful. Everything was more than I could handle and I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to get through it on my own. I felt like I was swimming upstream all the time. And at some point it just changed. And all of a sudden, mornings are pleasant again. The morning rush isn’t stressful. It isn’t like “I can’t do this,” it’s like “Yeah, we got this guys.” Me and my girls will handle it and it will all be great. It rounded a corner for me and I think that that happens when it happens for everyone and nobody can force that, and it’s really hard to believe when you’re in it. Hold on to that faith and knowledge that it will get better.

From a kid’s perspective, it’s an ongoing condition. My kids are never going to not be sad that their parents aren’t together. And me acknowledging that and holding that really gently and tenderly is the best thing that I can do. I can’t change the situation unfortunately, but I can hold the fact that their feelings about it are always gonna be right there at the surface no matter how old they are.

P: It sounds like you are all so close. With such a busy career it can be tough to keep that “family unit” feeling going. Are there any routines to carve out family time?

JG: We do dinner every night together. It’s tough because my teenager’s got a full schedule. But it’s always family before friends and the girls respect that and they take that seriously, which is cool. I just keep it really tight. Family first.

Spice up your family dinner night:

How to Season
How to Season
How to Season

P: You’re involved in a new campaign that starts July 24 “Get an A+ in Eye Care” to help other families. Tell me about your work with this cause.

JG: Well with the three girls, two of them are now in glasses. I wear glasses. Eye care is something that’s a part of our family. I see when we provide vision care for the kids that don’t have access to it what a difference it makes in their lives. It’s pretty profound. I love being a part of it and this campaign is a very simple one. For every “like” on the Eye Solutions Facebook page Alcon is donating a dollar and that money goes directly to free exams and eyeglasses to children in need. I’ve been there and I’ve helped kids get fitted for their very first glasses.

P: Is activism and volunteerism something you hope to cultivate in your girls?

JG: Absolutely. It’s something that’s been instilled in me since I was a little girl. It’s something I’m just naturally handing down to my girls. It’s not something I really thought about. You pay it forward, that’s just what you do in this lifetime.

P: Mystery Girls with your longtime friend and co-star Tori Spelling premieres tonight. Tell me about the show and how you help your girls create solid healthy friendships like the one you have with Tori.

JG: Tori’s and my friendship is a pretty unique situation because we were on [90210] for ten years together. Not a lot of people get to experience what we did. So we have this crazy bond together and we are so blessed by that and able to carry that into our next job together. This is very a special love for each other. For my girls it’s just about teaching them their self-worth, first and foremost. Teaching them to love themselves and respect themselves and to gravitate toward other people who do the same and also to give them that same respect.

P: How did being a mom affect your decision to go back into the studio full time with Mystery Girls? 

JG: For me it was location. It’s very close to my kids’ school and our house, where we shoot it. The hours of the day that we work, sitcom hours, are much less than any other show you can shoot, and we work three weeks on, one week off. So I can have a solid week with my kids. And also, our kids come to the set and it’s so close to their school that they just come right after school. If this was a show that shot in West Los Angeles or something, it would be a totally different decision to look at. When you have kids, for me, they come first and my job comes second. So I have to look at all those factors, location and traffic and drive time all that stuff.

P: Your character, Charlie, is a bit concerned about being perceived as a cool mom by her daughter. How concerned are you with being a cool mom?

JG: I try to be not cool. I’m the mom with the tattoos. My kids admire the fact that I am kind of edgy personally, and they actually try to keep me in line. But I try to be not cool because I don’t want to be their friend. I want to be their mother.

P: Your book Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde puts it right out there: don’t stereotype me. How do you help your girls be confident young women and defy stereotypes?

JG: I think just in my actions and them seeing me function, you know. I’m so independent and capable that they have no other way of seeing a woman. I set an example not by choice but because that’s how I have to live. It’s so easy to stereotype women. Even my 16-year-old daughter is cast in plays as the “pretty girl,” the cheerleader, and she does it beautifully and she does it with depth and a certain depth I wouldn’t think they were expecting, but I’m already cognizant of what’s happening with her. It’s something that we’ll be facing and working on and discussing I’m sure for the rest of all of their lives.

Mystery Girls premieres Wednesday, June 25 8:30/7:30c on ABC Family. Check your local listings.

Photograph: Courtesy of Jennie Garth

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Tori Spelling: “This little community of love I created…that’s my legacy to pass on to them.”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Attention all 90210 fans! Tori Spelling and her California co-star Jennie Garth are back with their new sitcom Mystery Girls, premiering tonight on ABC Family. Parents caught up with the pair at a Mammarazzi screening event hosted by The MOMS, one of a series of town hall style events hosted by the mommy lifestyle brand. In terms of mommyhood, not all of the mysteries are solved yet, but Tori revealed to Parents what it’s like to go back to work with four kids at home (Liam, 8, Stella, 7, Hattie, 3, and Finn, 2), the secret behind her fabulous birthday bashes, and her proudest accomplishment as a mother.

P: Having four kids, how did your mommy duties play into your decision to go back to work full time?

TS: Having done a lot of reality work since Liam was born, I’ve had that luxury of always being able to have them with me, so this is my first job that takes me away from them in eight years. It’s been a definite transition. I don’t think I was completely ready. Finn is still so young. But the timing was right and in this business you don’t always get a second chance, you know? We had an amazing show that ran for 10 years and to me that was like lightening in a bottle and that is what this felt like with this show. It felt like Wow this is the moment for it so I gotta take it and create it and do it. The nice thing is they do get to come to set, so I get to see my kids. We shoot very close to where we live, so it’s a nice balance.

P: Not only are you starring in the sitcom, you’re also the creator and executive producer. Where did the idea for Mystery Girls come from?

TS: When I first came up with the idea it was “Mystery Mom” because I was a mom and I wanted to do something in the realm of comedy, but I also love mysteries. I love like the 80s, 90s mysteries and I was like “I’ve never seen a sitcom do it, why not?” And two women doing it! The idea that [our characters] used to be on a show together was a wink wink to 90210. It went from Mystery Mom to Mystery Girls because it opened it up to everyone. But what we bring to these roles, it’s not just like you could have hired any two actresses to play these roles because there is a friendship and a sisterhood that goes for 20 years that you can’t write that.

P: Before Mystery Girls, your birthday parties on your reality show were famous. Do you have any fun parties planned and where do you get your inspirations?

TS: I did it the wrong way. I’m just putting it out there. I did it backwards. I went all out for the first two and then I kept having babies and now at four I’m like “There’s always a party, oh my G-d.” As a fulltime working mom, you just can’t keep doing the big parties. We’re scaling back now and we’re remembering it’s about family and who’s at the party, not about how big they are, even though I do still fixate on the details. It’s all about the DIY. Stella’s definitely a mini-me as far as decorating. Inspirations just come from when I was a kid. Everything that is out kind of comes back. So I always try to bring things back. Right now we’re into Jell-o molds. Bring em back!

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Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake

P: You mentioned Stella got your decorating sense. Are any of your four kids a mini-me?

TS: I’m gonna have to hear that question again because as soon as you said four I was like oh my gosh I have four. All of them have a little, yes. Liam is definitely stubborn like me. He’s creative and passionate like me. He holds in his feelings like me. Stella does the same. Stella’s a DIY goddess, so she got my crafting gene and love for it. She loves fashion like I do. Stella does everything I do. We have a lot of fun together. We’re best friends. Hattie has a much bigger voice than I’ve ever had. I would love to have Hattie’s voice. I’m still trying to find my voice and Hattie has it. She’s loud and proud and she’s number three. I will see her using her hands like me—I talk a lot with my hands. The other day she was on the phone and she had her hands on her hip just how I talk on the phone. I saw her walking and I was like “That’s my walk.” And then Finn. Finn and I have a really special bond. I had a hard pregnancy with him, so he and I…I just want to hold him and never let him go. He has a little soulful spirit and he looks a lot like me when I was a baby. Oh my gosh there are so many.

P: What has your proudest moment been as a mom?

TS: [When they show love to each other.] Mine are so little that they were kind of their own people and now they’re starting to love each other. They are just starting to help each other and the other day Hattie needed help off the couch and she was starting to cry and she was like “Sissy Sissy!” Stella came running over and lifted her off the couch. She changes Finn’s diaper and he looks for her. It’s knowing that there’s a little community of love I created. That they have each other and that’s my legacy to pass on to them. I’ve given them this. I’ve given them love that will surround them forever.

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Thalía: “I cannot be a superhero. I’m the best I can be in the situation that I have today.”

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Thalía, the Queen of Latin Pop, debuts her children’s audio-visual album Viva Kids Volume 1 today. Reviving cultural songs from her childhood, as well as translating popular songs into Spanish, for kids of all backgrounds to enjoy. Parents chatted with the singer, author and mom of  two, Sabrina, age 6, and Matthew, age 2, about the family collaboration to create this unique album, how she hopes it will boost language skills and cultural ties for a new generation of listeners, and her proudest Mommy moment.

P: You have already written a children’s book, what motivated you to create and record Viva Kids?

T: My kids were my inspiration. Sabrina is almost 7 and Matthew is almost 3. These songs were a part of my childhood and they were lost in time. I thought to give them a new injection of life with the new sounds and bring them back to this generation of kids. I decided to do like a home project just for my kids. They loved the stories—they have all these characters. I sang the songs to them and they were like “Mami, but why is this happening in the song? And what is going to become of…” all these things. One of the executives at my record company has kids like my daughter and my son—same age. I gave him the MP3 and he called me and said, “These songs, we have to produce them and we have to make an album.” So they convinced me and that’s it!

P: All of these songs are in Spanish, but are they all specifically from Mexican culture?

T: Most of them, yes. Some of them are from Spain, some of them are from South America. Some of them you heard them before. If you have kids and you saw a thousand times (like I did) Wreck-it Ralph, ”Sugar Rush” was in that sound track so I rescued that song. “Sugar Rush” was in Japanese and I told my daughter,“Sabrina, you want to write the lyrics with me in English?” And she said “Yes, let’s do it Mami.” We also have “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” but I sang it in Spanish. I think it’s also a great opportunity for kids that know that song in English to learn the words in Spanish.

P: Speaking of which, how do you think the album can be useful to teach Spanish to English-speaking children?

T: We know the importance of Spanish in this country. We have to learn Spanish because of the Latin community growing here. It’s also incredible for kids to have a second language. When we go to Europe we see the kids have three languages, here we’re more comfortable with just English. But I think it’s really important for the wiring of their brains to add another language. This album will add that factor. The words, the familiarity with Spanish, they can learn through music.

P: Are there other songs like “Twinkle Twinkle” that English-speaking kids grew up with and now they’re translated?

T: Not in this album, but that’s exactly why I did Viva Kids Volume 1 because I’m sure Volume 2 will be soon in the market. We have a lot of these ideas: “Head shoulders knees and toes” things like that. Simple songs that once you translate them adds a plus in the kids’ vocabulary for the language.

P: You mentioned that Sabrina and Matthew were an inspiration for the album and Sabrina helped translate. How else were they involved?

T: In the DVD part of Viva Kids, Sabrina designed the characters in the animation of “Sugar Rush.” So it’s really cool. We always have music in the house, we’re always producing stuff, working blah blah blah. I think [in general] this is a great opportunity for the parents and the kids to have quality time sitting there and watching this DVD and going through every single of this magical universe that we did for each song.

P: What has been your proudest moment as a mom?

T: Oh my G-d. I think the way that they react when there’s an unexpected let’s say problem or situation that somebody gets injured or somebody I dunno is crying or something. My daughter immediately like jumps and says “Are you ok? You know what, everything is gonna be ok. Breathe. Breeeeathe. Hold on. Wait here.” And she goes to the bathroom and she gets a face towel with cold water and she puts it on top of whoever the victim is and she starts saying, “Everything is gonna be ok. I’m gonna call your Mami and your Papi. Just relax.” Like a healer, but that’s something that as a mother you do. Right? Sometimes when you’re discouraged as a parent, you see these little things— these actions of charity or love or pure desire to help—it makes you feel pride. It makes you feel like I’m doing a good job. I cannot be severe on myself anymore. I cannot be a superhero. I’m the best I can be in the situation that I have today. It takes a big weight out of your shoulders.

P: What is the one parenting rule you always break?

T: There’s a lot of them [laughs]. I think one of the most common ones is sugar. The diet, you know. We try to keep them very clean at home, great diet balancing everything that they eat, trying not to give them candies or sugar. But sometimes, you cannot help but get the organic lollipop or the ice cream. You feel like bad, but at the same time you feel like “Oh my G-d, they’re having a good time!”

P: Do you have any advice for moms who break their rules?

T: As a mother of two, I just want to say take your time. Take time for yourself. Give yourself a break. You’re doing a good job. And that’s it. Don’t be that strict with yourself.

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Megan Fox: “I love something so much that I will never be the same again.”

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

In anticipation of this summer’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action movie, we caught up with actress and new mom (again!) Megan Fox. While many may recognize her of Transformers fame, her favorite role is mother of two boys under the age of two. Parents talked with Megan about the challenges and joys of parenthood, her rules about TV (unexpected for an actress!), and what she looks forward to as Noah, almost 2, and Bodhi, 4 months, continue to grow.

P: Now that you’re a mom, how does that affect how you pick your projects?

MF: The main thing it does is it affects how much I’m willing to work. I’ve never been an extraordinarily ambitious girl or career-oriented, but especially once I got pregnant with my first son and now [having] my second, it’s so hard to be a working mom especially when your heart is not in your work, when your heart is with your family. I have to make one movie a year because I have to invest in their future and I have to be able to pay their way through college and be able to provide for them. I’m looking for movies that will shoot in Los Angeles, for projects where I’m part of an ensemble so I can shoot in and out in 10-20 days. It’s all about trying to spend as little time away from my kids as possible.

P: What is it like having two kids under 2? What’s the most enjoyable part and most challenging part?

MF: It’s total chaos obviously. Before you have kids you really do not understand how much work it is and how consuming it is. And then you have one and you’re like, “Oh my God my baby is my whole world.” Every moment of the day is dedicated to this one baby and then all of a sudden you have two babies! Their needs are so different because Noah is nearing 2 and then my newborn is 4 months. It’s really hard to manage because I also don’t let them watch TV. It’s not like I’m going to sit Noah in front of the television so I can take care of Bodhi. I have to figure out how to incorporate Noah into the process and have him help me take care of Bodhi and make sure he doesn’t get jealous and make sure nobody’s neglected and everybody’s needs are being met. As a mom it’s hard because I don’t feel like I’m ever giving either one of them 100% of my attention or 100% of myself, so I carry a lot of guilt. Do they each understand how special they are and how much I love them? And are they understanding that they’re unique? It’s hard to make each one feel like an individual when you have to raise them together and manage them together all of the time. So that’s the most difficult part.

The most amazing part of it aside from being blessed to just continue to have children: Noah’s starting to interact with Bodhi. He’ll try to comfort him sometimes when he cries and he’ll do the “sh sh sh sh” and to watch him do that melts my heart. I’m excited for the future, to see them be brothers and be best friends and I know that there’s gonna be lots of fighting, but there’s also gonna be lots of hugs and kisses. It’s sort of mind-blowing to think about how amazing the future is going to be with them, holidays and birthdays.

How to Prepare a Toddler for a New Sibling
How to Prepare a Toddler for a New Sibling
How to Prepare a Toddler for a New Sibling

P: When did you first have that “I’m a mom” feeling? 

MF: I was really connected during my first pregnancy. But even during my pregnancy I had no idea how worried I was going to be for the rest of my life. From the moment I gave birth to Noah, that was the first time I was like, “I love something so much that I will never be the same again.” I will never be relaxed again because I will always be worried about him and hoping that he is ok and safe and happy.

P: You said you don’t let the kids watch TV. When is the age range that you will let them? 

MF: I do let them watch movies, I just don’t let them watch TV. With movies I feel like there’s a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s linear. There’s a clear story. I think that it’s different than just putting a kid in front of the television, because it’s just nonstop. They’re just being bombarded with all of this sort of live media and it’s very overwhelming and it’s too stimulating I think for anyone. I don’t watch television because it’s just too much it overwhelms me. I just can’t deal with it. But I do let them watch movies. Movies are so nostalgic and they can remind us of these amazing times in our childhood. I remember going to the theater to see movies with my dad or my mom and those are special moments for me. One day they’re gonna watch television. I can’t keep it from them forever. My intention is to keep it away as long as possible or to introduce it through Apple TV so they’re not being exposed to the commercials constantly. My goal is no computers, no cell phones until at least 8th grade.

P: Tell us about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. How was it filming while pregnant?

MF: I constantly had a big box of saltine crackers with me wherever I went. So in between takes I would scurry away and shove a bunch of saltines in my mouth to keep me from being nauseous.

P: Your character, April, is a confident woman, and you yourself are also very strong. Do you have any confidence tips for young girls?

MF: You know it’s hard growing up. I’ve always been someone who’s been really assertive and willful and that’s just something I was born with, but I had to learn how to temper that and focus it in the correct direction because it was sort of becoming a detriment. I wasn’t using it correctly. You have to trust yourself. The idea of being really intuitive and listening to your own conscious and listening to—I’m sort of a spiritual hippy so I don’t want to be off-putting but—you gotta listen to your higher self and trust that you know what is right. Be prepared to maybe lose friends or lose relationships. Be prepared to maybe make some people upset and that’s ok as long as you’re pursuing what you really believe is right and correct and true.

We love the names Noah and Bodhi! Find your perfect baby name with Parents‘ Baby Name app.

Photograph: Megan Fox as April O’Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles / David Lee

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