Jillian Barberie Reynolds, co-anchor of Good Day L.A, is one busy mama! The 44-year-old Canadian native opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her two kids – Ruby, 3, and Rocco, 10 months – coming from an “incredible” adoptive family, and her upcoming role on THE LOOK.
CBS: Tell us about your two kids, Ruby and Rocco
JBR: They’re amazing! Ruby is 3 going on 33! Very, very smart little girl. She’s very curious and very, very sweet. I’m very lucky. And Rocco’s so sweet. He’s such a mama’s boy. He’s very big for his age [10 months]. He’s already wearing 18-month-old clothes. He looks just like his dad and she looks exactly like me. We got one of each and we’re done! Two seems like having 20 – we’re busy.”
CBS: Is Ruby in preschool?
JBR: “She started preschool in September and she’s loving it. And it’s really nice for us because it’s three days a week and we get a little one-on-one time with the boy.
She gets jealous of the boy. She’s just starting to come around now and she hugs him and says, ‘This is my baby brother.’ Before that, when I brought him home from the hospital she said, ‘Put him down mommy!’ or ‘Bring him back!’ or ‘We can take him to the Enchanted Forest and leave him there.’ She’s got quite an imagination on her but she’s starting to come around now, thank god.”
CBS: Do you think she’s now proud to be a big sister?
JBR: “I think she is. I think now that she’s at school and she has friends that have baby sister and brothers, now it’s starting to dawn on her what it means. I’ll catch her helping him with his walker – it’s pretty cute. It’s very sweet and it’s so fun for us.
My birth sister just flew down from Toronto for the first time to meet the kids. And my adoptive family just love the kids. I was in Canada during the summer. We went up to cottage country. My mom and dad – they adopted me when I was 1 1/2 – they can’t believe how much Ruby is like me.”
CBS: So you’re in touch with your birth family?
JBR: “Oh definitely. I hired a detective ten years ago and I’m very close to them. I just flew my sister and her husband out here. They’re a great family. It never really bothered me [being adopted], I just wanted to know my nationality. I found out that my mom and dad were young and they put me up for adoption and ended up getting married three months later. And I have two full sisters. I didn’t know any of this until ten years ago. It was a wonderful reunion and I feel incredibly blessed. They’re an incredible group of people. It was the best thing I ever did. We are one of the good stories – I know that all adoptive stories don’t turn out so good.”
CBS: Have you ever thought of adopting since you were adopted yourself?
JBR: “I never really thought about it. In fact, I never thought I’d have kids. I always thought I’d marry a guy with kids. I was single until I was 38 so it never even dawned on me to have kids. When I got married, I got pregnant within three months so I was like, ‘Wow, I guess I’m a baby maker!’ And then we got pregnant with our second very easily. So I’ve never really thought about adoption or having to adopt.
I think we’re good with two. We got married and got pregnant so quickly and then we had two kids in two years. We’re feeling the need for a break right now. I think adoption is amazing – it was wonderful for me – it’s just one of those things that if I did, it would be later on down the line. It would probably be an older child who’s about 5 or 6 because they’re the ones who have the hardest times getting adopted. I don’t think I’d go for an infant”
CBS: Would you consider going through the foster care system?
JBR: “Absolutely, I was in the foster care system myself so I would definitely go that route. I was in foster care with maybe about five families over about a year. I just remember growing up in Burlington, Ontario with my mom and dad. I had a great childhood.”
CBS: So are you still a big hockey fan even though you’ve moved to the States?
JBR: “I was a figure skater and my older brother was a hockey player. I was never a hockey fan because when I finished my skating I had to go and wait for my brother in the rink. I hated hockey because of that. But figure skating, I would talk about that any day of the week. I loved it and it’s something that I want to get Ruby into.
I did a show about five years ago called Skating with Celebrities. It was a wonderful show and skating is big down here. We’ve got a wonderful rink near me and they do outdoor rinks in the winter so that’s where I plan to take her to skate. I’m so excited because last year at this time I was pregnant and I couldn’t take her, but this year I can.”
CBS: Will you be going all-out for Rocco’s first birthday this January?
JBR: “We’ll probably do something at home and make it cozy. I’m not one of those people that thinks whatever the kid wants, the kid gets. This year, Ruby wanted a princess-themed birthday so that’s what we did. The year before we did a Dora the Explorer party. We usually hire people to come out and be the princess or be Dora.
The first birthday it’s usually only about friends and family because they’re so young, they don’t really get it. But some of the people here in L.A. go crazy. Like Tori [Spelling] and Dean go nuts. They’ll rent out entire stadiums for their kids. We’re definitely more low key than that! We’ll just do something at home and have all the family and friends over.”
CBS: Did you and your hubby always plan to go with ‘R’ names?
JBR: “Yes, Grant wanted to do that – he wanted the ‘R’ theme to go with Reynolds. Ruby came to us very easily. Rocco was a tougher challenge because I wanted Roman and he wanted a couple names that I wasn’t into. And then we decided Rocco was a great name. We could call him ‘Roc’ and we both agreed that it was great. And he’s such a big boy so he suits his name perfectly. And she’s such a Ruby! She’s such a sweet little gem. She’s very delicate, very tiny, very athletic. She’s very petite but she’s got my husband’s height any my facial features. She’s something else! She’s a real sweetheart.”
CBS: Tell us all about your role at THE LOOK.
JBR: “I’m advising and I have a line of beauty products coming out at THE LOOK which I’m really excited about. I’m doing a line of hair products first. It’s based on an oil – basically Moroccan hair oil is similar. I’ve been every hair color since I came to L.A. I was hired as a red head, I went blonde, brunette, blonde again. Now I’ve got a more natural color with blonde highlights. Your hair goes through hell especially being on TV every day. And I also have extensions. So I wanted something that was very friendly for all of that. We created a beautiful line.
Also, I’ve done my own makeup for the 24 years I’ve been on TV and I know what works for daytime and for night. So I want to share that with all of my viewers. So I’m coming out with my own line of makeup. People are always asking me on my Twitter about my outfits, hair and makeup. I just thought, I’m going to do my own line and share it with everybody. I’ll do makeup and tanning products – all the stuff that I use on a daily basis.”
CBS: Tell us about THE LOOK.
JBR: “It’s a place for everyone! If a certain celebrity has a look that you like, you can find it there. I also do my own wardrobe – I don’t have a stylist. So what it will be is where to get my look for less. It will give an alternative to my outfit for the day. Sometimes my clothes are from H&M and other times I’ll wear Prada. I wear the full gamut of things. It’ll give viewers and people online to get the same look for less. I want it to be affordable. I’m not Kelly Ripa! I don’t have her budget and I don’t have people styling me like she does. I’m my own stylist, I do my own makeup and hair. I’m a one-woman show in that way and I want to share it with my viewers.”
CBS: When will we see your products on THE LOOK?
JBR: “In a couple weeks we’re launching my hair line and then probably January we’ll launch my makeup. The name of the line is called ‘Jillian Barberie Reynolds’ and I can’t wait to expand on it. I’m so excited!”
CBS: What are your holiday plans?
JBR: “I’ve asked my mom and dad to come down from Burlington. I want them to spend the holidays here, but I don’t know that they’ll be able to. I’ve also contacted my birth mom to come out for a week or so. I want her to meet Rocco. And just kind of take it easy. I don’t really like to travel a lot. My husband, on the other hand, loves to travel. When I get back from work, I just want to chill and hang out in my very own backyard with my kids and my animals. So we’re just debating on what to do. Now Rocco is kind of walking and getting into everything so we don’t want to put up a tree this year. We really can’t – he’ll just rip it apart!
My sister in Toronto constantly goes away to escape the cold. This year they’re going to Jamaica. We always invite everyone to come down to L.A. to stay with us so we’ll see what happens.”
CBS: Do you do all the cooking when you host Christmas?
JBR: “My husband usually does all the cooking. He’s a Mr. Mom. He’s more of the control freak in the kitchen so I just try to stay out of his way because when I go in there I just mess everything up.
I remember the first year I met my birth family I was single. And since I don’t cook I hired a caterer to my Thanksgiving. They were mortified! They said ‘Why don’t you cook your own turkey?’ At Christmas time I had a guy come in and do a whole Christmas tree for me. They were just stunned. I said, ‘This is what it’s like for single women.’ I was 34, I was in L.A. and I didn’t have time. I had 5 jobs at the time. I said, ‘I don’t have time for a tree.’ So I hired this guy called Dr. Christmas and he decorated the whole house and they got the biggest kick out of that.
They thought that was hysterical. They thought I had ‘gone Hollywood’ but I said that I was still a Canadian at heart! I never thought I would end up in Los Angeles – my career took me here. First to Montreal, then to Miami, then to L.A. I really didn’t work in any small cities. I’ve been really fortunate and I’ve just gone where the jobs and opportunities have taken me.”