Tori Spelling and her kids Liam, 2, and Stella, almost 1, are Cookie cuties, featured on the cover of the magazine’s June issue. Having grown up in the glare of the Hollywood spotlight herself, Tori, 36, reveals how she and her husband Dean McDermott are trying to give their own kids the best of both worlds: A close-knit family with a touch of Tinseltown.
On creating a white Christmas for her kids – just as her dad did when she was a child: “We rented a snow machine. As much as I wanted to be normal, as I look back, those big gestures were pretty amazing. So we hosted an event for the Ronald McDonald House Charities and had real snow in our yard. It was very wink-wink-nudge-nudge about my white Christmas when I was a kid. I had this vision of it being sunny Los Angeles with sledding, but it was rainy and muddy, and we had to put up a tent. The kids didn’t care, though. Liam was hesitant, but we got him on a sled a few times.”
On the nanny: “I never understood being competitive with a nanny. If you have someone you trust and who loves your kids, then what an amazing thing you’ve done for them. My kids have Patsy, who is a baby nurse to them and like a mother figure to me. Stella was an unplanned pregnancy, and I think it happened so I could keep Patsy longer. I am very sad Nanny [Tori’s childhood nanny, whom she was close to throughout her life] and my dad never got to meet my kids. I have this little bear that was Nanny’s, and I always bring it when I fly. I recently showed it to Liam and explained that the bear is like a grandparent who looks out for us. He grabbed it and kissed it.”
On living in the public eye through reality TV: “We’re honest, but we’re selective. They did film me coming home from the hospital four days after a C-section, when I was not looking my best. But I’ve come to the conclusion that on my show, I can look like a real person—even if the weeklies expect celebrities to look perfect when they go to the market. The film crew isn’t here all the time, either, because I want the kids to know life without cameras. That said, two of the cameramen and the sound guy are like uncles to them.”
On TV time: “TV is basically my life, so to be the mom who says, ‘My kids will never watch’ would be totally hypocritical. We try to strike a balance; it’s a work in progress.”
On her favorite family ritual: “Family dinner is huge on my list. I feel like it’s good to start it now. When Liam and Stella are eating in their high chairs, Dean and I try to eat something, so we’re all sitting down together. I see this continuing the rest of their lives. When they’re all grown up and out of the house, maybe once a week they’ll come home for family dinner.”
On being pregnant in Hollywood: “During both pregnancies, people touched my belly a lot. I would never do that to a pregnant woman—it’s a personal thing. And if I did, I’d say, ‘Your belly is so cute, can I touch it?’ But when fans do it, I couldn’t say, ‘Please don’t touch,’ because then it would be ‘What a bitch!’ At a certain point, I just decided that [my second baby] Stella was getting a lot of love in there.”
On the pressure to lose the baby weight: “Well, after I’d given birth to Stella, some woman at the market grabbed my belly and asked when I was due. When she had the flab in her hand, she realized her mistake. And the first time I went out after I had Liam, the paparazzi were around and I remember trying to hold my stomach in, even though my muscles were shot to hell, because it’s not like they want a story, ‘Look at the happy couple, they just had a baby’ they want, ‘Do you see her stomach? We thought she already had the baby.’ But I always say the weeklies build you up to tear you down. It’s a funny cycle. The week before they were asking, ‘Is she too thin?’ they showed a picture of me in a bikini on the beach saying I looked great.”