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Vanessa Lachey: Why We Had Date Night on Father’s Day

21 May

Vanessa Lachey Father's Day

MediaPunch Inc/Rex USA

What started out as family fun on Father’s Day turned into a chance to rekindle the romance for Nick and Vanessa Lachey.

When the 98 Degrees tour bus pulled into Brooklyn for a concert, Vanessa put together a special celebration to highlight all things close to her husband’s heart. And the balance couldn’t have been any better.

“That morning I surprised him with a boat ride around Manhattan, and we just had lunch on the boat. It was me, him and [Camden],” Vanessa, 32, tells PARADE.

“He did the show that evening, and then that night we had a date night. Honestly, without sounding super cheesy, it was kind of the perfect mix – just being well-rounded and having work – his love – and his family – his other love – and then having ‘us’ time.”

Keeping the spark alive has been particularly important for the couple since welcoming their now 9-month-old son Camden John. “I think people sometimes get lost in their kids and they may have forgotten what got them there in the first place, which is their relationship,” she says.

But Vanessa isn’t the only one completely smitten with Nick. According to his wife, the first-time father already has a big fan in his baby boy.

“I think Cam just loves anything that Nick does – he’s such a little Daddy’s boy, it’s adorable,” Vanessa says.

The strong father-son bond began when Camden was in the womb, explains Vanessa, who shares the two’s favorite tune has since been “Sleepy Eyes,” a track that now appears on Nick’s album, A Father’s Lullaby.

“Nick used to hum [it] to him when he was still in my belly, so that one to us is kind of special,” she says. “He hummed the melody and then when Camden was born, he added words and lyrics to it. So, that one has a special place in our hearts.”

These days, the first-time mom is juggling a full place – aside from being a wife and mother, Vanessa is also gearing up for the premiere of her new show, Dads, in the fall.

But her growing list of responsibilities both personally and professionally doesn’t faze her in the least. In fact, Vanessa happily embraces the opportunities to switch up her roles throughout the day.

“I’ve always loved being busy, and I’ve always loved having a creative outlet,” she says. “For me, it’s awesome that having a baby doesn’t stop you or slow you down. As a woman, as a wife, as an entertainer, I just love keeping busy … and because I love all of those things, it’s a pretty easy juggle for me.”

However, at the end of the day, Vanessa’s top priority remains her greatest job to date – motherhood – and the actress is determined not to be pressured into focusing her attention on the more trivial parts of parenthood.

“Part of the problem that we have is that we’re constantly telling these new moms to lose weight and look good and do this and do that, instead of just letting them be moms and enjoy having a child, and having their family, and having this new role in your life!” she says. “It’s one of the hardest, if not the hardest, job in the world, and all the emphasis is placed on everything else as opposed to what’s important, which is loving your baby, and loving yourself and your body.”

She continues, “My biggest tip is to know that you are beautiful and know that you are wonderful, and absolutely amazing for raising a child.”

– Anya Leon

Josh Duhamel: Why Nobody Knows Our Baby’s Name

28 Oct

Josh Duhamel Diet Pepsi Baby Name

Stewart Cook/Startraks

Josh Duhamel is no stranger to the spotlight, but the ability to blend back in with the crowds still isn’t completely out of the question for the actor.

During a Diet Pepsi event on Friday, Duhamel put it all to the test as he manned the cash register, surprising customers who recognized his famous face.

“It’s an opportunity to really mess with people. There was a lot of people who didn’t [recognize me], but there was enough that did,” Duhamel, 40, told PEOPLE at the I Got a Diet Pepsi And… campaign in Los Angeles.

“I think sometimes the ones who don’t are the best ones. They don’t have a clue and you just strike up conversation and they may recognize you, but they don’t say anything.”

He continues, “This brand is a lot of fun – they found me to be the guy to be in here and screw with people and just have fun.”

Aside from his Diet Pepsi partnership, Duhamel has been busy with his acting and will soon wrap work on his upcoming film Strings, which he spent a week filming in Canada.

The short work schedule was “ideal” for Duhamel, who prefers to keep things close to home and his wife Fergie, who’s due in late August/early September with the couple’s first child.

“I really don’t want to be away from her right now. I definitely don’t want to be gone when the baby’s here,” he says. “But I feel very, very blessed to have a wife that’s going through this pregnancy so beautifully.”

As the future father gears up for daddy duty, he’s happily embraced the sweeter side of pregnancy – the cravings! – as Fergie attempts to maintain a balanced diet. “She’s really been good. I think that’s why she feels so good. She’s been eating really healthy,” he shares.

“She does [give into cravings] a little bit of course – she always has and she always will – but she stayed very disciplined because it’s all about what goes into her body goes into the baby.”

Duhamel is doing his part to stay physically fit, but the actor jokes that he’s given up on trying to achieve a brawny build. “I’m sort of in shape. I do exercise. I do work out, but I’m not like The Rock,” he says. “I try to stay healthy, I try to stay athletic and flexible, but I gave up trying to get big muscles years ago because it just didn’t happen.”

The proud parents-to-be just revealed that they’re having a boy, but they’re maintaining a code of silence when it comes to their name choice. According to Duhamel, even Fergie’s extended family do not know the moniker – and will not until baby’s big arrival.

“Some people may not like it, some people may think it’s really cool, but we don’t really care – that’s why we’re not telling anybody,” he explains. “We’re not even telling [Fergie’s] mom because we don’t want to hear anything about it. That way you don’t feel like you’re second-guessing yourself. It’s between us – it’s a sacred thing.”

One thing’s for sure: the little one’s name plays to both Duhamel and Fergie’s senses of style.

“[The name is] kind of traditional, kind of not. My wife is a little rock and roll, so she’s a little bit more daring in that department than I am,” he says. “We decided on a name that we both really love and I think will suit this child.”

– Anya Leon with reporting by Mariah Haas

Céline Dion: The Twins Are Typical Toddlers

22 Aug

Celine Dion

KCSPresse/Splash News Online

Deciding to sing the title track for the new film Unfinished Song was a no-brainer for C line Dion.

“There are not enough movies out there like this one,” she tells PEOPLE about the comedy, which stars Terence Stamp, Vanessa Redgrave and Gemma Arterton and follows the story of a grumpy pensioner who joins the unconventional local choir.

“The movie is full of love and reminds you to live every day to the fullest.”

And Dion, 45, is certainly doing just that. Besides her nightly shows at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace, an English-language album coming out this fall and helping launch the career of new artist V ronic DiCaire, she’s got her hands full with 12-year-old son Ren -Charles and 2 -year-old fraternal twins Eddy and Nelson.

“There’s a lot of play dough, painting and hide and seek going on at our house,” says the singer. “[The boys are] doing exactly what most 2-year-olds are doing – growing, listening to music and running around the house.”

With the intense summer heat, the toddlers have been spending more time indoors than usual. Fortunately, however, their creative mama has managed to make sure they’re still enjoying their outdoor playthings.

“We’re doing a lot of activities inside. I even brought their swing inside,” Dion says. “But at night we all go for a swim in our pool after the show to cool down. We’re doing our best to keep cool.”

– Mia McNiece

Courtney Lopez: Gia Thinks Our Dog Is Having a Baby

19 Jun

Courtney Lopez: Gia Thinks Dog Having Baby

Denise Truscello/Wireimage

Mario Lopez is a man of his word.

Following a December wedding, the EXTRA host declared he and wife Courtney would get to work expanding their family immediately — and he wasn’t kidding.

In January, the couple discovered they were indeed expecting.

“Mario and I are so excited to add to our family! I found out a month ago and surprised Mario with the good news at breakfast,” Courtney tells PEOPLE.

But the proud parents aren’t the only ones gearing up for a new addition. Big sister Gia Francesca, 2, already has babies on the brain.

“Gia kind of understands that there is a baby in my belly,” Courtney notes. “She also told me our dog Julio has a baby in his belly — so who knows!”

Despite a bumpy start — “I had a rough couple of weeks when I first found out,” she shares — the mom-to-be is feeling better and already sporting quite the blossoming belly. “I am showing so much faster this time around,” she says.

And with warmer weather on the way, Courtney will be swathing her bump in floor-length frocks — but plans on foregoing a few fashion ensembles from her past.

“I love being pregnant in the summer! I live in maxi dresses,” she says. “Looking back at my first pregnancy, there are certain things that I wore and I have no idea why. I looked horrible and I won’t do that again!”

Originally from Pittsburgh, the expectant mama is thrilled to have settled down with her growing family on the West Coast. Her only wish? That her children will one day enjoy a winter wonderland.

“I don’t miss the East Coast at all — especially the humidity,” she explains. “The one thing I do want my children to experience from an early age is snow. There is nothing like being a kid playing in the snow.”

– Anya Leon

Mom Celebrates Her Son’s Birth – 13 Years Later

15 Apr

Introducing their bouncing baby … er, teenage boy!

After Kelli Higgins and her husband adopted son Latrell and his sister Chanya in 2011, the proud parents realized they would never be able to add their two newest children’s baby photos to the family album.

“I was very sad too because I didn’t have any photos of him either,” Higgins tells Today. “I think it’s really hard to have children and not know what they looked like when they were younger.”

That is, until the couple’s 12-year-old daughter suggested staging a newborn photo shoot featuring none other than her big brother, Latrell.

Kelli HIggins Adopted Teenage Son Newborn Photo

Courtesy Kelli Higgins

And, with that, Higgins, a professional photographer, pulled out the swaddling blanket and went to work. The result? A cute collage of Latrell in classic poses — feet included.

“Here’s my sweet not so little newborn! His name is Latrell and he weighs 112 lbs.,” Higgins captioned the series on Facebook.

With the funny take on tradition going viral — it’s earned over 3,000 shares on Facebook — Higgins is hopeful it will shed light on a more serious topic.

“The one reaction that is really humbling and I’m really excited about is there have been a lot of parents that come to me telling me that they were thinking about adopting a baby, but after seeing those photos it’s changed their minds and they want to adopt an older child,” Higgins explains.

– Anya Leon

Alicia Keys: Motherhood Inspired Me to Cut My Hair

6 Dec

Alicia Keys: Motherhood Inspired Me to Cut My Hair

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Alicia Keys‘ new short haircut is just one sign of how motherhood has changed her.

“I’ve heard from a lot of mothers who cut their hair, too. I thought it was kind of special and brave, but apparently it’s a new mother thing,” the “Girl On Fire” singer told reporters after performing on The X Factor Thursday.

“I put out a song called ‘New Day’ on my album and I was just like, ‘You know what? It’s a new day and I’m cutting this thing off.’”

Keys also attributes her son Egypt Daoud, 2, for her more efficient recording sessions while working on Girl On Fire.

“I started to be more productive. Before I think I wasted more time just because I could,” Keys says of recording her newest album.

“[Motherhood] actually made me access a deeper emotion that I never knew. Even the writing on this record is deeper. It’s at a place where I probably could not have written two or three years ago.”

Also changing is Keys’ physique. The singer, 31, got her bikini body back by reclaiming “some time for herself” after giving birth.

“I find that having an hour of ‘me time’ feels really good,” she tells PEOPLE of her workouts. “Even though it is hard and it hurts and I complain the whole time, I’ve been really enjoying that.”

– Patrick Gomez

Viola Davis Genesis Is Getting Into My Lipsticks!

24 Aug

Stephen Lovekin/Getty

Calling life since adopting daughter Genesis “wonderful,” new mom Viola Davis always has her little girl on her mind.

“I just had a conversation with her on the phone and she said, ‘Hey Mama, how you doing in New York?’” the actress, 47, tells PEOPLE while attending The MOM’s Mamarazzi event recently.

“She has been to New York, but she didn’t come on this trip as it is so short and I didn’t want to uproot her.”

There have been a few trials along the way — although she is hesitant to refer to it as the terrible twos stage — but Davis is choosing to see the positive in her 2-year-old’s constant curiosity.

“She’s written on the walls. She’s gotten into my lipsticks,” she says. “She calls it ‘lippy lips’ and when she gets into my lipsticks she puts it all over her face. I love kids and everything they do; I love their innocence.”

That innocence, adds Davis, is one she treasures — and will do everything to maintain. “I didn’t have a sense of security growing up. I grew up in dysfunction [and] in poverty, and it took me years of therapy … to make up for all the years that I had lost,” she explains.

“Now that I have a child I am just feeling like a bull in terms of protecting the security, the innocence [and] the power of having a beautiful child full of joy. It means everything to me.”

With a passion for education, the Won’t Back Down star admits she has high hopes for Genesis’ future — both inside and outside of the classroom.

“I want her to identify as a citizen of the world and not just her small community. I want her to feel like she can be instrumental in changing and shifting the world by using her education,” Davis explains, adding her latest role has left her “red hot” about the topic.

“It is a combination of the education she will be getting at school and the education she will be getting in terms of tapping into her voice and her authentic self. I do not want her to be a passive citizen.”

– Anya Leon with reporting by Debra Lewis-Boothman

Danica McKellar Trying to Teach Son the Quadratic Formula

15 Aug

Jennifer Carrillo/Pacific Coast News

Danica McKellar really loves math.

While she’s best known for playing Winnie on The Wonder Years, off-screen, McKellar’s reputation as a New York Times best-selling author has earned the actress just as many fans.

“Math is a challenge!” she tells PEOPLE. “[But] you want to embrace challenges. That’s how you get strong and smart. That is how you prove, that is how you feel good about yourself. That is how you build confidence.”

McKellar, 37, who most recently penned Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape, credits the subject with boosting her self-esteem.

“Math for me [gave me the most confidence]. After The Wonder Years ended, here I was, this ex-child actress. You have to find your identity somewhere. For me, I found it in feeling smart and good about myself,” she says.

Even McKellar’s 23-month-old son, Draco, with estranged husband Mike Verta, is working on developing his math skills.

“We’re working on some things. He knows his colors and his shapes. He still gets seven when he counts the toes on one foot — he really likes seven right now!” she says. “He likes it when I recite Pi. And I’m trying to teach him the quadratic formula, he hasn’t quite gotten it yet. It’s sung to the tune of ‘Pop Goes the Weasel’.”

– Maggie Coughlan

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