Posts Tagged ‘
celebrity interview ’
Thursday, December 20th, 2012
We recently had the chance to talk with Lashinda Demus, Olympic hurdler and mother of five-year-old twins, Duaine and Dontay, about balancing life as a star-athlete and mom. Here, the 29-year-old track star shares her struggle with pregnancy and her experience adjusting expectations in order to fulfill her dream to become a legendary competitor and parent.
Do you think that in today’s society there is pressure for women to establish their career first and then have family, rather than the other way around?
I think that [we put pressure] on ourselves. The more vocal women are, the more we want to attain and do [we think], “Well I just need to get straight first.” And I think, “What happens to having a union and you guys working together?” Some women think when you become a mom or married, you automatically fit into this box of what a wife and a mother are supposed to be. I fell into that, too. I would find myself not dressing up, not going anywhere, and just making sure [my boys] look good. I didn’t care how I looked. I had to snap out of that.
Your biography refers to your pregnancy as unplanned. What was the original plan?
I always wanted kids, but my plan from the beginning was to compete until 2012, which would have me making three Olympic teams. I made ’04 my junior year in college, and then I hoped to make ’08 and then ’12. Then, I’d be 29 and start having a family. My husband and I were together for four or five years before I got pregnant in 2007. It wasn’t planned at all and I don’t think I was ready to have kids and that’s why I went into my little depression. I find that I’m more attached and more hands-on now because I constantly think about how I didn’t even want to be pregnant and that sets me straight. Now I’ve made my twins a part of my dreams.
Once your life started to take this different course, did you consider becoming a non-working mom?
I did not. I would get discouraged because I knew my body went through a drastic change and I thought “I don’t know how I’m going to get back to being number one in the world athletically, after having two human beings in my body.” I’m actually one of those women that won’t mind being the stay-at-home-mom. That’s one of the things that I think I’ll like to do. But at that point, I knew I was gonna get back at it.
You said your goal was to go through 2012.
I’m going to go to 2016. Once you’ve run as long as I have—I’ve been running since I was five years old—you want to make sure you finish the book. I want four things out of my track career and that’s an American record—which I have—a world championship title—which I have—Olympic gold and a world record. Almost had that gold this year, so I have two more on the bucket list.
Do you see that in your boys, that thirst to be the best?
I see not a will to be the best, but I see them wanting to please me, and that’s scary. That’s why I kind of keep them away from track…for a while. I don’t want them to think they have to stand up to what I’ve done. To me, that’s a lot of pressure. I want them to be passionate about something, but not passionate about pleasing me or outdoing me.
How is it being the mom of twins?
I always wanted twins that had that “I feel what you feel” thing, and they really have that. They’re best friends. My family is a family full of fraternal twins: My great-grandmother had four sets and they’re all fraternal.
That’s quite the legacy. In past interviews you mentioned that your legacy is what you want to leave your boys. Other than the markers, what message do you want your legacy to send them?
The message of greatness—not just in athletics, in whatever you’re passionate about. Since I was a little kid, something was put in me that I’m the best at this. I want them to just exude greatness. I’m going to have grandkids one day so I want them to have an example of “she was a woman, a mother, an athlete and she still, she put her best on the line all the time.”
Image via Luke Wooden Photography
Thursday, November 15th, 2012
In September, actress Melissa Joan Hart gave birth to her third child, Tucker. After giving birth, Hart teamed up with Merck for Mothers’ “Once Upon a Birth” campaign to raise awareness about maternal mortality worldwide and to find solutions for safe and healthy pregnancies. Recently, Parents.com had a few moments to chat with Hart about the partnership, her recent pregnancy and birth, and what it’s like to raise three boys.
Tell me about your partnership with the “Once Upon a Birth” campaign.
I partnered with Merck for Once Upon a Birth. Eight hundred women die every day as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, mainly because of hemorrhaging and preeclampsia, and 90 percent [of those deaths] are preventable with the right prenatal care and knowledge. For every story shared on the Merck for Mothers Facebook page, Merck will make a donation to Join My Village, one of the many programs that will help reduce the risk of maternal mortality. The UN wants to reduce the rate of maternal mortality by 75 percent by the year 2015, so Merck has made a pledge to commit 10 years and $500 million to this cause. They’re going to train women, husbands, and midwives in villages around the world so they can be more educated. Children won’t have to grow up motherless, and mothers won’t miss watching their child grow.
What’s the birth story you shared with Merck for Mothers?
I was trying to be really well prepared [about giving birth to newborn son, Tucker] for weeks beforehand. Every Sunday, I’d go get my nails done, and I’d put on mascara. I don’t wear makeup when I’m not working but I thought, “I’ll put on mascara, a little concealer, in case I go to the hospital and the baby comes out real quick, so I can take a cute picture.” My doctor wanted me to go walk on the beach to move my labor along and on that day, September 18, there was a big storm, with 40 miles per hour winds. My water broke [when I was] on the beach, so I ended up in the hospital with windblown hair that I never brushed, and my feet were muddy when I put them up on the stirrups. So it didn’t turn out the way I thought. But what was amazing was that my husband delivered the baby. The doctor handed him scrubs, said “Get ready, come on down here,” and then [my husband] pulled the baby out—head, shoulders, body—and placed him on me.
Was that his first time?
The first time [when I gave birth to Mason], he swore he wouldn’t cut the cord. He was, like, “I don’t want to be involved. I can’t, I’ll pass out.” But he did end up cutting the cord. The second time [when I gave birth to Braydon], he grabbed the baby’s shoulders and pulled him out. With Tucker, my husband advanced in the medical arena.
What are some of the most difficult things you experienced during your pregnancies?
Nothing life-threatening. With the first birth, I had complications with the epidural, and the Pitocin, because I wanted to induce, and Mason was just a big baby, so it was just hard to get him out. I would not allow a C-section unless it was an emergency. With my second son, I did a natural birth, and that was a really, really exciting experience. But it was extremely painful and I had a little hemorrhaging. With Tucker, there was a moment where his heart rate dropped during a really severe contraction, and that scared me. [The staff] put oxygen in me and flipped me over, so it was a little scary for a moment. I’m really lucky — I’ve had very healthy pregnancies, very healthy deliveries.
Do you have tips for women for a less stressful pregnancy?
I did study hypnobirthing to learn about a more natural approach to childbirth. It educates you a lot on what is and isn’t necessary during a delivery. It teaches you great relaxation techniques and meditation, and you get soundtracks to help you relax. It really helps with labor. I would play music for the baby while doing my relaxation techniques. One of the things I recommend for expecting moms and dads is to go see movies because that’s something they won’t do again. Going to the movies is something I miss a lot. My husband and I would go on date nights to the movies, but now with Tucker, it’s going to be a while until we see anything but a kid’s movie again. And before you get pregnant or at the very beginning of pregnancy, travel because you really won’t get to go anywhere, like Italy, for a while.
What’s the best or worst parenting advice you’ve ever received?
The best was from my mom, when I had my first child. I would get a lot of advice from different people, including strangers, and I was second-guessing things that I was doing. She said, “You have great instincts, you’re a wonderful mother, do what you feel is right.” And that was the best advice. The worst advice is putting rice cereal into milk to try to make kids sleep longer. It doesn’t work when they’re not ready, not when they’re under 4 months old. They keep you up all night screaming and yelling because their stomachs are not ready for it and it upsets them more.
Has there been anything challenging or surprising about raising three boys?
Not yet; it’s just the energy level. I grew up with all girls. I don’t have to worry about doing the boys’ hair, and they’re easily entertained in a mud puddle; they don’t sit and color like girls. They want to run and jump and splash and throw things, so you have a lot of Band-Aids around and a lot of ice packs, because they’re always getting banged and bruised.
What are some of the best things you’ve learned from motherhood? What are some things you think will be easier with Tucker, because you’ve already had two boys?
Something that I’ve learned is, you can never be completely prepared for any situation, and it’s amazing how far your instincts will take you. Just being able to handle a situation when it arises is pretty incredible, as a mother. I’ve learned that you never know what to expect. Every little thing changes so quickly, but at the same time, each milestone is so amazing.
Image: Melissa Joan Hart with newborn son Tucker, courtesy of Merck for Mothers, Once Upon a Birth
Tuesday, October 9th, 2012
On October 2, actress and The Biggest Loser host Alison Sweeney joined Green Giant in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal to take a pledge for veggies!
Sweeney promised, on behalf of her family, to eat just one more vegetable per day–and encouraged all of the young school students in attendance to do the same.
(Families can also take the pledge on Green Giant’s Facebook page.)
Parents.com had a few moments to chat with Sweeney, mom to Ben, 7, and Megan, 3, about how she helps her kids make healthy food choices.
How do you encourage your kids to eat their vegetables?
We always come up with new, different ways to be healthy, like trying different recipes. There are a lot of ways to be creative and include vegetables. There’s the French fry approach, where I let them eat green beans with their hands and sometimes we dip them in stuff. Some veggies are great raw. My son doesn’t like bell peppers when they’re cooked, but he loves them raw.
What are some veggie meals you make that are good for kids?
I love to make a veggie stir-fry for my kids because I think it’s a great way to get tons of vegetables in a meal. People always think they need a cup of rice for every stir-fry portion, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I think people’s proportions get all skewed. You can do a quarter cup of rice, have mostly veggies, and add a protein. Stir-fry is also good because it can be made with whatever vegetables happen to be in the fridge, so I pull out what I have in the freezer and my kids love it.
What do you make stir-fry with?
I stick to a healthy oil, like a safflower oil or something light. I do find healthier stir-fry sauces and ingredients, but as long as kids are getting their veggies, keep sauce to a minimum for just enough flavor. A lot of the time parents end up making bad choices. When you’re tired or the kids are tired, you don’t want arguments about dinner, so kids end up getting used to eating delicious but bad-for-you food. I can’t just let kids eat chicken fingers or Pop tarts every day. My kids do eat mac ‘n’ cheese, but in smaller portions with a lot of veggies.
You mentioned your son loves bell peppers. Are there any other vegetables that are great for kids?
Carrots, snap peas, and peas. Also broccolini and broccoli. (Green Giant has a great vegetable medley that kids love.) My kids love edamame. The veggies that are hard to sell kids on are asparagus and Brussels sprouts. My son’s teacher told me that it takes 10 tastings for someone to get used to a flavor, to know whether he likes something, so I’m still working on 10 tries for some veggies.
Do you have any tips for parents of picky eaters?
Picky eaters are a really hard thing, but you can use hunger as your ally. It’s okay to let them get a little hungry so they’re more likely to eat. Then you only offer them veggies. Kids are not going to starve. Also offer veggies as a snack when your kids get home from school, and have them prepared and ready to go in little bags. There are great reusable bags now at Pottery Barn Kids; I stuff them with carrot or bell pepper sticks and sugar snap peas. You really have to set boundaries on what’s allowed. With my kids, we work with set rules. We have Mac ‘n’ Cheese Monday, so they get mac ‘n’ cheese only on Monday. For Taco Friday we do taco wraps. My kids love using lettuce as wraps. You just have to put the taco mix inside. Often we think kids need basic or bland foods, but it’s really not the case. I put cinnamon in my kids’ oatmeal when they were around 6-8 months old and they loved it. I don’t want them getting used to tasting really starchy, bland food. I want them to expect flavor and texture. I use agave nectar with carrots and a little rosemary, and it’s delicious and sweet. I think there is a world of options out there.
What are other things you do with your kids to promote healthy living?
I think it’s super important to let your kids know that you’re active, too. You have to practice what you preach. I’ve been super successful at explaining why I need to work out. I tell my kids, “Mommy needs to get her exercise and go to the gym.” They see me making exercise a core part of my life, so that’s going to help them down the road. We do a lot of stuff that’s active as a family, like going on hikes with our dog, flying kites, and running into the ocean. I burn a lot of calories swimming with my kids and playing baseball with my son. With my daughter, we run around and dance. We have so much fun. You can find ways to be challenged by your kids and encourage them in the process. You have to commit to it.
What’s the best or worst parenting advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I got when I had my first child was: Imagine if you were holding an 18-month-old child when you hear your other child, an infant, crying. You would have to do something, but you can’t just drop your child and run to the baby. You would have to put your kid down, give him a toy or something to do, and then go tend to your infant. There’s no need to panic. Just take a breath instead. So many new parents feel everything is very high-stakes, that they have to run off to the infant, but it’s good to just wonder, what if there was a sibling already? It’s okay to just take a minute, take your time.
What inspires you as a parent?
My kids’ smiles inspire me every day. When you become a parent, all your decision-making changes. Every decision I make now is based on how it will affect my children. Sometimes it means having to discipline them or to make tough choices that will make them unhappy, but I have to do what is best for them their whole life.
For more about healthy eating and living, check out the following on Parents.com:
Image: Alison Sweeney, center, poses with stilt walker Michael Schruefer, left, and Sprout at the Green Giant event. Courtesy of Green Giant.
Categories: GoodyBlog | Tags: Alison Sweeney, celebrities, celebrity interview, celebs, Green Giant, health, healthy eating, healthy living, Noelia de la Cruz, parenting advice, vegetables
Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Crafting’s gone cool. Think beyond twee crocheted potholders and macramé plant hangers. Spurred on by Etsy and Pinterest, the new crop of crafters can seemingly make anything. And now they’ll be put to the test: DIY folks do battle in “Craft Wars,” premiering on TLC on Tuesday, June 26. Each week, three contestants will go scissor-to-scissor in creative challenges, and one will win $10,000. We chatted with host (and mom of 3!) Tori Spelling about the new show, and her advice for crafting with kids—especially her little artists, 5-year-old son Liam and daughters Stella and Hattie (ages 4 and 8 months).
Parents: Why this show, and why now? Do you think that crafting is trending?
Tori Spelling: I’ve been an avid crafter my whole life, but the whole crafting movement has definitely changed. It went from hobby to DIY home when the economy went down. People started to figure out how to redecorate their home or make a fashion statement by crafting everything yourself. It brought a lot of people with many different interests together to create. Creation is passion!
Parents: Are there any craft blogs on your bookmarks list?
TS: I love PSIMadeThis (by Erica Domesek, one of our judges on “Craft Wars”), Curbly, DesignSponge, TipJunkie, and HonestlyWTF. We also show great crafts and DIY craft projects on my website, EdiTORIal.
Parents: What kinds of craft projects do you make with your kids?
TS: We craft weekly as a family. We sit at my kids’ small craft table for hours creating cards, tags, presents, and jewelry, and we paint pottery and canvases. We get glitter everywhere and laugh through the whole thing. So fun!
Parents: How do you store or display your kids’ artwork or craft projects? Any fun alternatives to tacking them up on the fridge?
TS: They each get their own clear art storage box. Then I show off their work in mismatched lacquered frames and make a picture wall of their art projects mixed in with great black-and-white family photos. I also decoupaged a bunch of their artwork on top of a table. Every time we use it, we see their amazing creations.
Parents: Do you have a go-to crafting tool?
TS: Mini glue gun. And twine. I use twine on everything!
Parents: What are some easy craft supplies parents should keep stocked? Is there anything you think that parents should avoid?
TS: We love colored paper, stamps, ink pads, markers, glitter, and jeweled embellishments like stones, rhinestones, and grommets. Glue is messy. Try glue dots, instead!
Parents: Any advice for containing kiddie-craft messes?
TS: Do crafts on layered newspapers. When you’re finished, fold the newspapers and toss them away. Easy clean up!
Parents: Will contestants be crafting any kid-oriented projects on “Craft Wars?”
TS: Yes! They’ll make stuffed-animal pillows and playhouses made out of school supplies.
Parents: What other challenges can we look forward to this season?
TS: A birdhouse from a junk drawer and jewelry made from the wires inside a boom box!
Want to show off your kids’ creations? Download our Pocket Galley iPhone app.
Photos courtesy of TLC.
Categories: Crafts, GoodyBlog, Time for Fun | Tags: arts & crafts, artwork, celeb interview, celebrity interview, craft, craft wars, crafting, crafts, creative, DIY, interview, interviews, tori spelling
Wednesday, May 16th, 2012
Actor David Koechner and his wife, Leigh, are the proud parents of 5 children, but how do they manage to balance a busy career with their family life? The pair talk to GoodyBlog about their best parenting moments and the importance of finding time for family.
You’ve had a great career in acting as a comedian. How does your sense of humor help during stressful parenting moments?
David: Parenting has many parallels to comedies. When I get into a situation of cross-purposes with a child and refuse to give in or try to hold onto a power position, it helps to smile and realize I am being a fool.
Looking back over the past couple of years, do you have any advice for busy parents like yourself?
Leigh: Make yourself a priority, and give your kids both boundaries and attention. It does wonders to give your kids some quality face time and remind them that they’re a priority in your life, too.
David: Get up early if you want to get something done for yourself, and try and turn your career world off after 5pm. Also, figure out what works best for your family; when everything jives together, being busy isn’t so hard.
What about your approach to disciplining your kids? Do you play good cop/bad cop?
Both: We’ve found that not reacting to bad behavior works the best. Stay calm, walk away, and then talk to them after the outburst passes. We also try to be a united front when disciplining so that the kids don’t see one of us as the bad guy. A more positive atmosphere that’s filled with appropriate praise keeps the outbursts manageable.
Tell us about your messiest parenting moment.
Leigh: Our oldest, Charlie, was 3 months old and we were at our friend’s house for Easter. I had bought him a sear sucker suit that was just adorable. About an hour into the party, he had an explosion that shot straight up the back of the diaper and soiled his darling new Easter suit. I had forgotten to bring a back-up outfit, but thankfully I came prepared with Huggies wipes to clean up such a mess!
Sounds like mom to the rescue! David, what’s one parenting task that you’d say you’re better at?
David: I am way better at getting on all 4’s and giving my kids a horsey ride. There really is no competition.
What is something your kids have said lately that made you crack up?
Leigh: My 5-year old daughter Audrey said, “Oh mother I feel so bad for you. You’re turning into an old lady. Your skin is so dry. Hold on I need to get some lotion.” Then she rubbed lotion on my arm while we sat in her bed at bedtime.
David: I taught my kids to do an impression of the comic actor Paul Lynde. We will go around the dinner table and everyone takes a turn saying, “I’m Paaaaul Lynde!”
That sounds like quite a tradition! What other family moments do you enjoy together?
Leigh: Friday night family night, exercising and going to church.
David: I enjoy Friday night family night, which includes making a big mess at dinner and then spending time to clean it up together. We also love playing “frozen fish” in our pool, which is a combination of Marco Polo and freeze tag and somehow daddy is always ”it.”
Which of your children would be most likely to be president of the United States?
Both: Audrey. She is fierce, funny, smart and truly wise, and she’s only five!
If your kids had superpowers, what would they be and why?
Charlie, who is 12, would be able to hurl people who cause heartache into another galaxy.
Margot, who is 10, would sing like an angel on a cloud with Adele.
Sargent, who is 5, would be the incredible hulk in a Lego world.
Audrey, who is also 5, would dominate all with her power of personality.
Eve, who is 15 months, would be a super-napper and have the power to sleep through the racket of barking dogs.
Those sound like some awesome super heros! Are there any of qualities in your children that you most admire?
David: I can already tell that they will be there for each other long after we are gone. Like any kids, they do fight, but they really take care of each other and truly understand the importance of family.
Leigh: I am most impressed with how they are each so unique and different from the other. They have a certain way of looking at life and are honing who they are way sooner than I. I also love how each one of them has a compassionate heart.
Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Is it just us, or have celebrity parents seemed less relatable than ever recently? We’re not talking about multiple nannies and lavish nurseries — that’s to be expected at this point. But saving Baby’s umbilical cord? Pre-chewing his food?
Maybe that’s why it was so refreshing to read actress Michelle Pfeiffer’s recent interview with Parade.com. When asked about the difficulty of parenting versus acting, Pfeiffer said:
“Being a parent is the hardest thing in the world. Sometimes I feel like I have to go back to work to get some rest, and we work a minimum 12-hour day making a movie! None of that is nearly as exhausting as parenthood—the psychological toll it takes on you because these lives are in your hands. I take it very seriously. Just when you think you’ve got your kids figured out, they change on you.”
A celebrity who admits that parenting is difficult? What a nice change of pace. Read what else Pfeiffer said about motherhood, including her decision to adopt her daughter as a single mom, in her full Parade.com interview.
Image: Michelle Pfeiffer via Helga Esteb/Shutterstock.com
Monday, February 27th, 2012
We’re gonna go ahead and guess that potty training isn’t your favorite part of parenthood. But it’s a task that every parent and child has to get through, so why not make it fun? This past weekend, How I Met Your Mother star Alyson Hannigan partnered with Pull-Ups to host a Potty Dance Party, introducing a new way to train. “Potty training is a big deal, so why not kick it off with a celebration?” says Hannigan. “The potty dance turns a daunting task into a fun, exciting experience.” (See video clips of Hannigan’s Potty Dance Party here.)
How do you know if your tot is ready to start? If she shows an interest in the bathroom, tells you when she has to go, or asks to be changed, she’s giving you the hint. When that happens, kick off the training journey with a Potty Dance Party. “When my daughter was interested, I would sit her on the potty, and if she went it was a huge deal,” says Hannigan. “It wasn’t until I picked a day and committed to it, and began asking her every 20 minutes if she needed to go, that it actually worked.” That’s not to say she hasn’t had any hiccups (Hannigan notes a couple public-restroom-automatic-flush incidents that scared her daughter, Satyana), but the combination of keeping it fun and offering an organic-gummy-vitamin reward for going potty in public has helped them both get through training.
Visit Pull-Ups.com to learn the potty dance steps and song and to start planning your own Potty Dance Party.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Well, “meet” doesn’t quite work in this case. Most of you already know Nancy from her co-hosting gig at Entertainment Tonight, the red carpet at awards shows, or one of the many projects she has on the side. Now you can catch Nancy each month in the pages of Parents as our entertainment correspondent. We’re always excited to see which stars she snags, like one of our celeb crushes…a Mr. Johnny Depp. She scored him and two other famous dads for her debut column in the February issue. Check out the Q&A by clicking here. For March, her celeb mom might just keep you Up All Night. Can you guess the star? Click here to read the interview.
Image courtesy of Entertainment Tonight