From winning the coveted Gold at the 1992 Winter Olympics to shimmying her way to victory on Dancing with the Stars, Kristi Yamaguchi hasn’t stopped moving in almost 20 years! The mother of two young girls recently released a home fitness DVD, wrote a New York Times best-selling children’s book, and this winter she plans to return to her roots when she hosts several figure skating TV specials.
Adding to her long list of accolades, Kristi is also a champion of influenza vaccination and works with the American Lung Association on its Faces of Influenza initiative. The accomplished mom-of-two daughters – Keara, 8, and Emma, 6 – opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her busy family life and working alongside her mother, Carole, to help educate others on the importance of vaccination for the entire family, including children, parents and grandparents.
CBS: Tell us about working alongside your mother, Carole, on the American Lung Association’s Faces of Influenza initiative to spread the word about the importance of influenza vaccination. How did you educate your daughters on the importance of getting their vaccinations?
KY: “Well, we talk to them about how we want to keep them healthy, especially when they’re in school and around other kids. They’re fine with it and now, it’s just part of their doctor visit.”
CBS: Did you and your family have a good summer?
KY: “We just came back from a great Maui vacation. We spent 9 days there and in June we spent 2 ½ weeks in Minnesota where my husband is from. I love it there and we try to get back there as much as possible.”
CBS: Are your girls excited to go back to school? How are you preparing for the transition?
KY: “Both of my girls are really excited! Keara of course is going back and Emma is excited to be like her big sister. Now that summer is winding down, we are trying to get the girls in the mode of going to bed early and getting up early.”
CBS: Can you tell us a little about your second children’s book that comes out this year?
KY: “I’m currently working with the publisher and the illustrator as we speak and it’s due out in early March. I’m using the same main character Poppy the Pig and it has an international theme. Keara named Poppy and is a budding writer and illustrator herself. She gives lots of input!”
CBS: Your Always Dream Foundation focuses on early childhood literacy. Are there any books or series that your daughters love reading? Do you all read together as a family?
KY: “Oh yes! Reading time is very important in our house and we set aside time for it every day – usually at bedtime when the homework and chores are finished. We have a library of Dr. Suess and Sandra Boynton books and Junie B. Jones is a current favorite of Keara’s. I guess you could say she’s a modern day Eloise and a little naughty like her!”
CBS: This year, you will also release a second home fitness DVD..Did your husband – former Olympic/retired pro-hockey player Bret Hedican – and daughters test out all your routines?
“[Laughs] My husband has tried a few with me and my daughters, well, they ‘pretend’ they’re helping me and working out with me, but you know how that goes!”
CBS: How else do you and your family stay active and healthy together?
KY: “We try to do fun activities as a family. It’s just a part of our everyday life. When the chores are done we get them outside in the fresh air. We take walks and turn them into ‘I spy’ games and treasure hunts. There a lot of extracurricular activities too like ballet and ice skating.” When asked if they’re into skating, Kristi replies, “Not really! I wish they were more into it, but once they are on the ice they have a lot of f
CBS: You are so busy with all your upcoming endeavors! What advice do you have for all the other mothers out there that have so much on their plates like yourself?
KY: “It’s really important to budget your time and the number one thing to do is to stay healthy by getting a flu shot. People can learn more about this at FacesofInfluenza.org. Keeping track of your schedule and staying organized is key!”