Nick Cannon is in the dog house, literally! The America’s Got Talent host and husband of Grammy Award–winner Mariah Carey owns eight Jack Russell terriers. It’s no surprise, then, that Cannon teamed up with IAMS So Good to teach pet owners how to keep their loveable pooches happy and healthy. Parents.com caught up with the famous TV star to find out how he and his famous wife teach their children (2-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan) about animal safety.
How did you teach your toddlers how to pet the dogs? Did you and Mariah rely on a book or watch a video to teach your children how to pet the pooches?
Mariah was the one who taught them, because not only is she a long-time dog owner, but we had our puppies and kids at the same time. She demonstrated over and over how to pet the dogs nicely and with care. She would take our kids’ hands and let them do it so they really grasped the concept of how to be kind to the dogs. Over time, they got it. The kids are really good to the dogs and treat them like precious babies.
Do you and Mariah give the twins any jobs when it comes to caring for the dogs?
The kids love to help feed the dogs. They know when the dogs are hungry. When they see the bowls are empty, they say, “Daddy, we need to feed them, so put food in.”
When you and Mariah read books to the children, do they gravitate to stories about dogs? What’s their favorite book that has an animal as a main character?
They love stories about animals in general. They love stories that have to do with dogs, bears, and lions. They especially love lions right now! Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown, is their favorite.
How do you get your children to play with the dogs?
The kids love to run around in the backyard with the dogs. Not only are they getting exercise, but they are really bonding with the dogs. As the dogs try to keep up with them, the kids laugh because they are having so much fun.
As a family how do you, Mariah, the children, and the dogs like to spend time together? Pets are known to get jealous sometimes when their owners have children. Have you experienced that?
We all go swimming, play with the ball, or go for a walk together. We do a lot together as a family. When we do family activities that include the dogs, they never feel left out.
In addition to pets being a big part of your life, I assume music is, too?
Music is on all day long. The kids love when we sing them lullabies to sleep. During the day, we play a lot of soul music. The kids are naturally musically inclined and they love listening to it.
Last month, Chris Noth presented a generous donation to Nourish Now—an organization that brings meals to families in need—on behalf of BV Wines. Parents spoke to Chris about how his work (both on-screen and on the hunger relief effort) impacts his life as a father to his 5-year-old son, Orion, from dealing with dinnertime pickiness to spending time together before Orion heads off to full-day school.
P: How does being a father impact your perspective on the issue of hunger relief?
CN: As a father your instinct kicks in and you want to make sure your kid is safe and well-fed. People don’t really know that 1 in 6 Americans don’t have access to food, that 17 million children are living in food-insecure households. Like me—I didn’t know that. It’s inconceivable to me that if you have a child that they would be food insecure.
P: Speaking of nutrition and healthy eating, your son is at that age when it can be difficult to feed your child, not due to lack of resources but due to pickiness. Is Orion a picky eater?
CN: All kids have their own peculiar tastes, I think. For instance, Orion doesn’t like spicy foods. He loves strawberries. He’s a big cheese eater, too, by the way. I was surprised at that. He loves cheese. Loves Parmesan cheese [laughs]. We’re just now getting him to eat meat; he wasn’t attracted to any kind of meat. But, then, he loves certain seafoods.
I try to trick him of course because he’s in that superhero-fascination age. I say, “You gotta eat this if you wanna be like Spiderman, kiddo. You gotta finish this up.” It’s an ongoing challenge. We’ve made vegetables kind of fun for him to eat. But we also use the old tricks of the trade. My son, for dessert, he doesn’t like chocolate—believe it or not—but he likes mochi. He’s crazy about mochi. So if he knows that he’s gonna get his two mochis at the end of the meal, he’s gonna clean that plate.
CN: She [my wife] is very good at that, at chopping vegetables up and blending them into things so he thinks he’s getting a French Fry but maybe it’s beets. I mean he does love those salty things that can be a little dangerous.
P: What about school lunches? What are you most excited or most nervous for with him going off to full day kindergarden?
CN: We just had our kindergarten meeting, so he starts next year. It’s a huge huge step. He had a very tight community at his preschool and so did we—with the teachers. It was just such a nourishing environment. I hate to say this, because it’s ridiculous, but it’s like from that [preschool] environment to kindergarten it’s kind of like he’s going to university in his eyes. He’s nervous. But, it’s still a really small community.
P: Since you split time between New York and L.A., when you and Orion get to see each other and you are in the same place, what are some of your favorite things to do together to celebrate that father-son bond?
CN: He’s into baseball. A Yankee game has got to be on the list. He’s obsessed with Derek Jeter; he’s very upset about his injury [chuckles]. You know, I love taking him, believe it or not, I want to see a couple of shows on Broadway. He digs that. He’s seen Spider-Man twice. I’m trying to see if Matilda is the show for him. Although, I desperately don’t want him to be an actor.
P: Why is that?
CN: There’s enough…entertainment isn’t one of the things we lack. Actors are not something we lack. Do we need another actor? G-d no.
P: Obviously charity work is very important to you. Is volunteerism and giving back something that you hope to encourage as Orion gets older?
CN: Thanksgiving we went to a local church that I found through the food bank. I think it would be a nice thing for him always to know about these things. He didn’t really quite get it, he was having fun, you know, asking to serve things, but he will get it. I think it’s important for every child to understand what’s around them, what the problems are and to be a part of the solution as they get older. I didn’t do it as a kid, frankly. I wasn’t aware of it. It is about awareness and then action.
P: Aside from volunteerism and helping out those around you, what would you say is the most important value you hope to instill in Orion?
CN: Generosity. I want him to be strong, but a gentle man. I want him to be able to see the difference between something that has real value and something that doesn’t.
Photo credit: Amy Sussman/AP for Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc.
Last week, Parents caught up with Maggie Gyllenhaal at the 125th Anniversary celebration of The First Aid Kit by Johnson & Johnson. After hearing from Safe Kids Worldwide about preventing childhood injuries, we spoke to Maggie about how she keeps her two daughters, Ramona, 6, and Gloria, 14 months, safe, and what she does to stay relaxed even in scary moments.
P:When you first became a mom, were you the nervous type?
MG: I was young when Ramona was born. I was 28 and still kind of a kid in a lot of ways. I wanted to be cool about everything and easygoing. I didn’t realize that the way to be easygoing is to do some preparation, to actually have a diaper bag with the things you need! Because if you do that then you don’t have to constantly be worrying, “Oh G-d! They need a snack and where am I going to get something?” I know all that now! Also my second daughter is much more easygoing with her own bumps and bruises. She’ll fall over and kind of get up and be fine. Not always, but she’s a different personality than my first.
P:Who puts on the Band-Aids at home? You or Daddy? Does Ramona or Gloria have a preference?
MG: I’m not sure Gloria has ever had to have a Band-Aid, yet. And Ramona definitely prefers me for that kind of thing, although Peter is happy to do it, too. She’s definitely more of a mama’s girl.
P:Have you had any scares with Ramona?
MG: I look at my girlfriend who has three little boys and they have been in and out of the hospital. They have gotten broken bones and stitches and my kids haven’t had any of that stuff…yet. It’s partially to do with their personalities. Ramona definitely is super active, but she’s also cautious.
There was one time when Gloria was about 4 weeks old that Ramona slipped. We were staying at a friend’s house in upstate New York and I was downstairs with our newborn. All I heard was a big thud and crying. I went upstairs and Peter was holding Ramona’s ankle in this way and looking at me in a way that I thought, “Oh my G-d she broke her ankle, and we’re upstate, and I have a 4-week-old, and it’s like 100 degrees.” And I really thought something terrible had happened and, in fact, it was nothing. But I think the way that she’d fallen he just thought, Ok sit down. Let me check it out. Peter was a soccer player, so he knows all about injuries. I remember that as a really terrifying moment, because when you have a tiny baby you are so sensitive, and my heart was just so open in those first six weeks in particular. So I still was not fully functional. I didn’t know how I was going to manage taking her to the emergency room with a newborn. Thank G-d I didn’t have to.
P:You mentioned that your husband is great with these sports injuries. Is Ramona going in to sports or dance?
MG: I think she’s just active the way a kid is active and loves to do cartwheels and round-offs. In her school they do a lot of that stuff. She’s very strong. But, I don’t know yet what she’s going to be.
P:If you end up on the sidelines, how do you make sure she’s safe being an active kid?
MG: Well, like they say, some injuries are part of being alive. It’s just the same as…I think about heartbreak for my children or even the social stuff that goes on between friends. It prepares you for being an adult where you get hurt all the time—not as much physically. I think about that sometimes, too. If you ever fall as an adult—slip and fall—how incredibly jarring it is. As kids they’re doing it all the time, just falling over.
I think the ways that you hurt yourself both physically and emotionally as a kid are ways of preparing you for dealing with those same kind of things as a grownup. So, I don’t think it’s the end of the world for people to get hurt, but I do think that you have to be careful. I think you have to keep an eye out for them and you have to keep boundaries.
I thought before my kids were born that I was just going to be so easygoing. In fact, I find that it’s easier for me and it’s better for them to be really clear about what’s safe and what’s not. What’s okay and what’s not.
P:When they’re with their Grandma Naomi, do you leave behind instructions?
MG: My mom has said, “I’m allowed to give her more treats than you do. I am allowed to let her stay up late. That’s my job.” It’s part of the gift of being a grandmother.
Click here for tips on how to be prepared in 12 scary situations.
“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage,” I used to sing gayly on the blacktop at recess as I jumped rope. It all sounds so nice and simple, like a present wrapped in a bow. But as we all know, life is not as easy as the jingle had us believe when we were young, particularly the part about having kids.
More women are beginning to discuss the struggles and more serious medical side-effects of giving birth— specifically postpartum depression—but the subject still feels taboo. Director/writer/producer Jon Avnet hopes that his new YouTube series Susanna on the WIGS channel will help eliminate the stigma associated with the condition. The drama tells the story of Katie (Anna Paquin), a new mom suffering from acute postpartum depression, and her younger sister Susanna (Maggie Grace), who must step in to care for her newborn niece when it is clear that Katie’s illness is dire.
According to Postpartum Support International, 15 percent of women experience major or minor depression after the birth of their child. Yet, so many of us are in the dark about the condition and its symptoms. Like Katie, women experiencing postpartum depression often feel a lack of connection to the baby they were so looking forward to meeting. As a new mom, Katie feels rejected, like her baby is a stranger to her. Avnet combines Katie’s feelings of insecurity with the sleep deprivation and uncertainty that every new mother experiences to create a relatable and powerful story.
Each episode is a quick but impactful 10-minute view into Katie’s world, showing suffering mothers that they are not alone, postpartum depression is more common than we think, and there is no shame in talking about it and seeking help.
Susanna starring Anna Paquin and Maggie Grace debuts with six episodes Friday, June 14 on WIGS.
NCIS: Los Angeles star Chris O’Donnell has joined with The ConAgra Foods Foundation’s Hunger-Free Summer program to raise awareness for kids who depend on free or reduced lunch meals during the school year. Now in its fourth year, the initiative has delivered over 2.5 million meals and snacks to children struggling with hunger over the summer. The goal is to reach at least 25 percent more children in need during the summer than before, over the course of five years.
We spoke with O’Donnell about the program, his career, and what it’s like to raise five children.
How do you manage raising so many kids? Do you ever have peace and quiet? On a normal day, peace and quiet doesn’t begin until the last one goes to sleep, which gets later and later as they get older. My wife Caroline and I do try to find time for just the two of us, run out for a glass of wine or a quick dinner. The noise feels like the new normal at this point. If it gets too quiet, that usually means trouble.
What’s the best part of having a big family?
In terms of our children, we try to encourage each of them to explore their individual interests since they are each so unique. It is fun watching them as they dabble in all types of sports and extracurricular activities.
You took time off from your acting career to focus on your family. Was that a scary decision to make?
I had a couple moments early in my career where it was more about re-examining my life. I started young and had a lot of success out of the gate. I would go movie, to movie, to movie, and would never see the people I worked with again. I was really getting burnt out on a personal, emotional level. And that’s just not who I am. The road I wanted to go down was to be married and have a family.
Did raising kids ever get easier for you? By the time you were on the fifth baby, did you feel like you had a handle on things?
I think going from two to three kids was the most difficult, but it does get easier. The older kids start to behave and help out, and we are more experienced as well. We don’t stress out over small things that may have freaked us out in our first couple years as parents.
What’s your best advice for busy parents out there?
From my perspective, it’s important for parents to set a good example for their kids, and impart on them that they should think about and help others.
Why is the Hunger-Free Summer Program particularly important to you?
I was shocked to learn that one in five children in the U.S. faces food insecurity—and that the situation only becomes more worrisome during the summer months. It can be an invisible issue, so as a father of five, I want to do something to help.
Want to help O’Donnell and the Hunger-Free Summer initiative? Check out www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com and watch O’Donnell’s message below. For every video viewed and shared, ConAgra will donate one meal to Feeding America, the country’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Hilary Duff has joined the campaign to support Johnson’s Baby Cares partnership with Save the Children for the second year in a row. The actress recently visited the Save the Children early childhood education school in Yucca Valley, California – where she met with families who benefit from the program.
Celebrity Baby Scoop recently had a chance to catch up with Hilary about the Johnson’s Baby Cares program, her 1-year-old son Luca, and her biggest motherhood rewards.
Celebrity Baby Scoop: Tell us about partnering with Johnson’s Baby for Johnson’s Baby Cares. What’s it all about? Why did you get involved?
Hilary Duff: I can’t believe I have my first year as a mom under my belt – time flies. Looking back on it, I’ve been thinking a lot about the support I received from my family, friends and fans over the past year, and how their words of encouragement really helped me get through some challenging days.
Unfortunately not all moms have the same support system or even basic everyday resources to help them with motherhood. That’s why I’m proud to partner with Johnson’s Baby Cares for the second year on its newest campaign centered around Johnson’s Baby “Care Cards” – which is helping to deliver encouragement and positive support to moms across the country, while also raising funds for families and babies assisted by Save the Children.
Now, everyone can help in an easy and fun way! Visit Johnson’s Baby’s Facebook page to send a digital Care Card filled with love and inspiration to a special mom in your life. For every card sent, shared or liked Johnson’s Baby will donate $1 to Save the Children to benefit early parenting and childhood education programs.
CBS: How’s baby Luca doing? Is he into everything these days now that he’s walking?
HD: “Luca’s incredible! I can’t believe he is already 13 months old. He’s certainly an active boy and yes, even more so now that he is walking. In fact, he basically skipped the walking stage and went straight to “speed walking.” I spend my days on my feet trailing him around the house and yard!”
CBS: How has your life changed in the last year since you’ve become a mother? What are the greatest rewards of motherhood? Biggest challenges?
HD: I really love being a mom.Motherhoodchanges the way you see the world. I’ve always been passionate about giving back, but now I’m more passionate about supporting causes that help other moms and babies, like Johnson’s Baby Cares.
I’m rewarded by Luca every day, whether it’s with a new smile or an accomplished milestone, but the biggest reward has to be discovering this tremendous newfound love that I had no idea existed within me. Every day brings new challenges, but you learn to trust yourself and your instincts to help get through them.
CBS: You seem to have the ‘perfect’ life with a great career and family life. But do you think women can REALLY ‘have it all’? Have you had to make sacrifices now that you’re a mom?
HD: Nobody’s life is perfect but in this day and age women are able to find a balance between work and home life. Of course my life has changed but I don’t think of them as sacrifices because I was ready for this new chapter!
CBS: We saw you and Mike enjoying Coachella. Comment on the importance of making time as a couple. Do you think it’s important? Do you have regular date nights?
HD: Yes of course it’s important to make time to focus on your relationship. But it’s not always easy! We aren’t huge planners, we tend to do things last minute but we enjoy going out for nice dinners or spending time with friends.
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 Celebrity Baby Scoop.
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
In honor of on May 12, we asked some of our favorite celebrity moms how they’re planning to spend the special day.
From new moms Holly Madison and Giuliana Rancic to mom-of-four Tori Spelling, let’s look at how the stars celebrate all things mom.
Reality stars Giuliana Rancic and Bill Rancic welcomed their first child, son Duke, in August 2012. The new mom opened up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her big plans to celebrate her first Mother’s Day.
“Bill and I are having our moms come to LA for Mother’s Day – to make it special for all of us,” she shared. “We’re planning a fancy bunch with the whole family at a nice hotel in Newport Coast and then a walk on the beach. Really, I just want to relax and enjoy the day together as a whole family.”
She added: “This Mother’s Day is especially meaningful because it’s my first time to celebrate as a mother, of course! After struggling for years to have a baby, it’s a real gift to be able to spend the special day with Bill, Duke and our family.”
Before welcoming her first child, daughter Rainbow, on March 5, Playboy model Holly Madison shared her hopes for her first Mother’s Day.
“I hope my boyfriend and I can find something fun to do that someone only a few months old will enjoy,” Holly shared. “Maybe we will take her to the Springs Preserve (a park here in Vegas) and see if she reacts to any of the animals and the nature.”
Tiffani Thiessen: White Collar star Tiffani Thiessen is mom to 2-year-old daughter Harper. The Saved by the Bell alum talked about celebrating Mother’s Day in New York City with her mom and her daughter.
“Being a mom now myself, it is even more special,” she shared. “What’s great is we will be in New York again this year as I shoot Season 5 of White Collar. I’ll get to celebrate the day with my Mom and my daughter, all of us together.
Supermodel Niki Taylor is proud mom to four children – 18-year-old twin sons Jake and Hunter, 4-year-old daughter Ciel, and son Rex, 17 months. Here’s what the blonde beauty had to say about what Mother’s Day means to her.
“I don’t know what my family has planned for me,” she admitted. ”I just want to be with my babies and I hope I am with my mom and my sister. My mom is still an amazing mom and she’s a wonderful grandmother as well. I thank her and always pray for her. I still always call her for advice. To me, Mother’s Day is about my mom and I want to be with her on that day. It is a day for the family to be together.”
She added: “My favorite Mother’s Day gifts are anything with chocolate or sugar in it [laughs]. Also, I think quality time is always the best gift.” (more…)
Singer and songwriter Jewel has been one busy mama! She recently performed during the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Lifting Lives Moment to benefit ConAgra Foods’ Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign. She is also set to play June Carter Cash in the Lifetime Original Movie Ring of Fire, coming out this May.
Jewel opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her son, Kase, 20-months, who went on his first “road tour,” her involvement with ConAgra and the cause to end child hunger, finding a balance between being a mom and having a creative outlet, and her Mother’s Day plans.
Celebrity Baby Scoop: Tell us about your partnership with ACM Lifting Lives. How did you get involved with the organization?
Jewel: “I was the spokesperson for ConAgra Foods last year. ConAgra’s initiative is to bring awareness to end child hunger, and they did this by partnering with the ACM. They have songwriters and artists write songs in different formats, such as a country song or a pop song, which are then used in the commercials. Last year, I sang a song for the campaign and Little Big Town performed it for the ACM Lifting Lives moment. This year, another girl wrote the song and I performed at the ACM Awards.”
CBS: How did you prepare for your performance at the Academy of Country Music Awards?
J: “I performed a medley of my song Hands and this other song. I’ve prepared in all sorts of ways. I had to work on the medley, work out the keys, and practice on it to make sure I was ready to do it live.”