Categoria: ivillage.com blog entries

Jessica Alba: My Secret to Keeping My Relationship Alive After Kids

In her exclusive blog for the iVillage blog series CelebVillage, actress and mom (to daughters Honor, 3, and 8-month-old Haven) Jessica Alba writes about how she keeps her marriage to husband Cash Warren ticking since becoming parents.

It’s hard to imagine what life is going to be like after your first baby, not to mention your second! Diapers are a certainty. Sleepless nights, coffee, and concealer (lots of it) are probably guaranteed too. Having time to see a movie or enjoy a glass of wine by yourself — let alone with your husband — before your kids head off to college? I know — it feels like an impossibility or a far-off dream. But I can assure you it’s not.

When I was pregnant with Honor, I was lucky that I could dispel some of these worries by turning to my mommy friends. We talked shop about all the baby stuff and parenting tricks they’d already learned after bringing home their little ones. During one of these chats, my girlfriend Kelly shared one life-changing word with me: “Schedule!” She had transitioned her babies to a consistent 7 p.m. bedtime, so she knew that she could have some grown-up time each night. And everyone, including her daughters, was happier for it.

Thankfully, her knowledge was my gain. Cash and I have also found that maintaining a family schedule is the key to making time for each other. Whether we’re settling into the couch to watch bad reality television or getting a babysitter so we can enjoy a date night out, we always know we have dedicated time after the girls are asleep to catch up, discuss what’s on our minds, and simply just be with each other (no cell phones or e-mail allowed!).

Carving out this alone time is especially important after almost nine years together, too. Often feeling tired after a busy day at work and home, I know how easy it is to take each other for granted or let our relationship sit on the back burner and think, “It will be there tomorrow, now it’s time for sleep.” So, making time for our relationship in our daily routine — even though it’s surprisingly predictable and may not seem as spicy as our spontaneous pre-kiddo days — really helps keep the romance alive.

And maybe it’s because I’m 30 or maybe it’s because I’m a mom, but I don’t think romance is always about swinging from chandeliers (although it’s nice from time to time). It’s really about the small gestures too. Recently when filming a movie in Atlanta, Cash surprised me by having a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to the set. It was a simple, heartfelt surprise that let me know he was thinking of me during my time away from home. I loved it. He also takes over middle-of-the-night feedings, tends to fevers, and takes the girls to the park without me having to ask because he knows I need a break. All these things add to our romance.
What about you? How do you keep your relationship ticking and inspire romance now that you have kids? I’d love to know (it’s always great to learn more secrets to parenting success).

iVillage Celebrity Blog: Jessica Alba’s Diary of a ‘Spy’ Mom – Take 4

I think Honor is excited about becoming a big sister. She’s getting into this stage now where she gets to do big kid stuff — and we try to make a big deal out of these little things.

We talk about how impressed we are that she doesn’t have to have her fruit cut up into small pieces anymore and gets desserts like cupcakes and ice cream. She gets to go potty in the toilet and doesn’t have to wear diapers anymore. She gets to have a lollipop or gets to chew gum as a special treat (as long as she throws it away and doesn’t swallow it!). She can ride a scooter, and she can sit in a big-girl swing.

So I emphasize all these awesome things that she gets to do that the baby won’t be able to do. And she gets excited about having someone in the house that’s younger than her, who doesn’t get to do all these awesome things either (hee hee).

We talk about how cool it will be to watch her younger sibling grow, and she will show her sibling how to do everything she can. My parents got her this sweet book called Big Sister, which is one of our bedtime books. Oh, and we also tell her that the baby won’t be able to play with her Barbies or American Girl dolls. Of course, it’s a safety issue, but Honor loves the thought that, for now, they’re only her toys. Little does she know when she gets older she’s gonna have to share… I guess we’ll tackle that one when the time comes!

As for me, I’m excited, nervous and ready. I’ve seen my friends who have multiple children, and seeing siblings love on each other is just the sweetest thing ever. Although I fought with my little brother a lot growing up, we were best friends, and I’d take vengeance on anyone who hurt him — especially his feelings.

The idea of loving someone as much as I love Honor is something I haven’t wrapped my head around yet. But I know I will and I can’t wait. As a mother carrying a baby we get to bond while the baby is growing — reaching each milestone, feeling hiccups, kicks, rolling around. It’s the blessing I think we get for all the round-ligament pain, sciatic pain and frequent trips to the bathroom…

I’m signed up at three mommy sites that update me daily and weekly on the baby’s development, which is probably a bit much. But it’s a nice break from the day to check in with the baby, because, like everything else in life these days, time flies. (Ivillage)

iVillage Celebrity Blog: Jessica Alba’s Diary of a ‘Spy’ Mom — Take 3!

The Spy Kids star shares what’s different about her second pregnancy in part 3 of her exclusive iVillage blog series

So, as you may or may not know, I’m pregnant with my second child. I’m often asked what’s different this time around. Here it goes:

CRAVINGS: I have a fierce, insatiable craving for watermelon. I dream about it. No, seriously, I really do.

EXERCISE: I’m doing prenatal yoga and taking 30-minute walks through my last trimester, which is more than I did with Honor. And my belly popped much quicker with this one. I have a bit more discomfort that I don’t remember having with my first, but I am toting and keeping up with a 3-year-old and still running around a lot — so I have been blessed with some saviors: an ahhhmazing chiro named Dr. Takahashi and my yoga teacher, Aria. I thank my lucky stars for them.

WEIGHT GAIN: I’ve banned my loving husband from cooking a half a pack of bacon every morning and ordering or buying five desserts for dinner every night. We both put on a lot of weight the first time around and made a pact this time to eat better.

NURSERY: When we had Honor, we had everything prepped and ready to go — and not just for the initial newborn stage. We had a couple of stages checked off following that: probably a typical case of over-preparation. Right now we’re renovating our home to make room for baby No. 2, so we’re in a rental and we’re nowhere near the stage we were at when I was pregnant with Honor. And you know what… that’s okay. It turns out, the first five months Honor was in our room anyway in a co-sleeper, so I’m not too stressed about being overly prepared and having everything set up perfectly this time.** Kinda just going with the flow.

Really, our attention is with Honor right now, more than anything. She’s aware that there’s going to be a big change. The new baby is gonna cry and go to the bathroom and want to be fed — that’s kinda what they do in the beginning. We’re really dedicating as much time to making Honor feel as special as possible and a part of this new adjustment in our lives.

**Side note — I am soooooo excited about eventually getting to the new nursery! I love design blogs and it’s nice to see nurseries where people don’t replicate a store display. I aim for an eclectic mix of furniture found at flea markets, Etsy, and my fave baby brands with an emphasis on non-toxic materials. I’d like to do a “before and after” blog post down the road some time. I’d love to know some of your fave design blog sites that I should submit to! (Ivillage)

iVillage Celebrity Blog: Jessica Alba’s Diary of a ‘Spy’ Mom – Take 2

For the second entry in my “Diary of a Spy Mom” blog series for iVillage, I wanted to write a little more about the elusive balance between work and family.

I’ll start by saying that I don’t think I have or ever will achieve a perfect balance — I mean, who can? I feel fortunate that I’m in a position in my career where I don’t have to work as much as I used to. When I do work, I make sure that it’s time worth spending away from my family: taking jobs where I’m genuinely passionate about the material and excited to collaborate with the actors and filmmakers involved. And HUGE BONUS: I am lucky that I am able to bring Honor to work with me. Her days revolve around her nap — for now, at least — and she spends a lot time hanging out with me in my trailer. I create a makeshift playroom with a Pack ‘n Play for naps, I have lunch with her and spend all my down time with her.

We shot Spy Kids in Austin, Texas (where director Robert Rodriguez shoots all his movies), and our apartment wasn’t far from set. Most nights I was able to make it home in time for bath and bedtime reading. There was also a great children’s museum, and the Whole Foods headquarters in Austin has a playground that Honor LOVED. It was a great experience overall, and if I have to be away from home shooting a film, there’s really no better place than being on a Robert Rodriguez film in Austin, Texas. Because he’s a father himself, there’s such a family vibe to all his films.

In terms of day-to-day balance, our primary uninterrupted family time generally happens on the weekends, like most families with parents who work during the week. It’s during those times where (my husband Cash Warren) and I decided that we need to step away from work completely — no emails, meetings or texting — and devote our undivided attention to Honor. It’s important to us to not be “half-present,” which can happen when you’re still in work mode. It’s something I learned from my mother and father, who at some points in my life growing up held down three jobs each. My brother Josh and I never felt like we were neglected or came second because when they were around, we were treated like we were the only thing that mattered to them and we always felt unconditionally loved.

For Cash and me, it’s a never-ending, ever-evolving process to find moments where we can connect. It can be challenging enough to keep connected amidst the normal demands of life without children. To bring kids into the mix makes everything a lot harder and more complicated. We work at staying open and communicating. Most nights, especially lately, we have time with just each other (after we put Honor down). We don’t do anything major, just make dinner and talk about our day or watch TV together.

As far as what we do together on the weekends, well, we’re creatures of habit. No adventures involving saving the world — just a lot of time spent swimming, going to the park and having barbecues. (Ivillage.com)

Jessica Alba guest blogs for Ivillage.com – Diary of a ‘Spy’ Mom — Take 1!

I want to start this post off by thanking iVillage for the opportunity to guest blog on your site for my “Diary of a Spy Mom” blog series. I am writing a few entries about the film and the parallels to my own life as a working (and very pregnant!) mother. Hope you enjoy these.

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D (which opens on Aug. 19) is my first foray into a true family film. I wanted to do something my 3-year-old daughter Honor could watch. On top of that, the opportunity came to me at a perfect time in my life from a thematic point of view, something I think many moms reading iVillage can relate to: the idea that we’re stretched so thin in our daily lives as mothers and how to achieve balance — if there is such a thing, LOL.

While shooting Machete, our second film together, director Robert Rodriguez came up with the idea of a new Spy Kids film. We discussed, among other things, the challenges of going back to work after having a child, which is very much a theme for my retired Spy Kids mom character. But Robert will credit Honor’s exploding diaper on the set of Machete as having really sparked the lightbulb for the return of the Spy Kids series, LOL. After that incident, he began to write my role for a new film and a new set of spy kids, played amazingly by newcomers Mason Cook and Rowan Blanchard.

Trying to work, be a mom and wife and do it all perfectly with a smile is tough as heck. In fact, it feels nearly impossible sometimes. As much as I try to prepare and have everything planned out, there are moments where I haven’t packed enough outfits, toys, snacks, pacifiers, burp cloths or some other necessity to avoid baby meltdown. And Honor will vomit, poop, pee or some combination, and I’ll only have one diaper left. I’ll make do with a diaper and a blanket, but I feel like I look like a bad mom. No matter how prepared you are as a mom I’ve found that you’re always going to make mistakes. And most crushingly, I always feel like I should be doing more.

We had a lot of fun incorporating some of these themes into Spy Kids. (My character) Marissa is a first-time mother with two stepkids who are very critical of her and a husband she barely gets to see because he’s always working. She tries desperately to please them all. I think she’s relatable to moms who are trying to do it all and want it to seem like everything is going according to plan.  ;)

One of my favorite scenes was shooting the action sequence where I’m on my last mission before retiring to be a full-time mom. I’m full term and going into labor in the midst of a chase sequence where I have to save the world — ONE LAST TIME — before throwing in the towel. It’s obviously silly and light and not showing the “real” side of active labor, but I got a kick out of waddling around with a big (fake) belly, kicking butt.

Jessica’s next blog entry about balancing life as a working mom, will be posted on Monday at Ivillage.com