Dancing with the Stars: All Stars champion Melissa Rycroft is launching the Unconditional Fun Sweepstakes, hosted by Banana Boat. The Sweepstakes will reward families who experience memorable moments together while protecting their skin from sun damage.
Melissa opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her 2-year-old daughter Ava, her hopes for a big family with husband Tye Strickland, her definition of truly having it all, and their fun summer plans.
CBS: Tell us about partnering with Banana Boat for the Unconditional Fun Sweepstakes. What is the sweepstakes all about and how can we get involved?
MR: “I have always been an active person, and since becoming a mom, I have done more than I did when I was a child growing up. I love taking Ava outside in the sun. We go to the lake, we go to the beach, just anything outdoors I think is really important — not only for building family memories, but just to kind of get her exposed to everything.
So this was the perfect time to partner with Banana Boat and their Unconditional Fun Sweepstakes, because it’s getting the word out and encouraging other families to do the same. Get out, go have fun, but at the same time, you need to protect your family and teach children at a young age of the importance of sunscreen.
So with Banana Boat you can go online to their Facebook page to upload pictures of you and your family having fun outside, and at the same time you’re registering to win some really great outdoor fun prizes that you can use in the summertime. And the best prize of all is a four day, three night stay at Great Wolf Lodge — tons of family fun!”
MR: You are the Dancing With The Stars: All Stars season 15 champion! What was that whole experience like?
MR: “Dancing With The Stars: All Stars was amazing! It absolutely topped my first round on dancing—mainly because we won at the end of it. It was just great; the cast became really close friends, rehearsals became a fun place to go rather than somewhere that we dreaded, and Tony and I had so much more fun last season than we did season 8. All around it was such a great, great experience.”
CBS: How is your daughter Ava doing? How old is she and what is she into now?
MR: “Ava is amazing! She just turned two in February, so she’s kind of into everything right now. It’s so much fun to see this little personality grow and her becoming her own person. She has likes and dislikes and interests, and it’s just so much fun to watch it happen.”
CBS: Are you hoping to have a second child anytime soon? What does Ava think about becoming a big sister?
MR: “Tye and I have always discussed the fact that we want a big family, but right now the three of us just kind of works. It will happen when it happens, but it’s definitely something that we think about and something that we want.
I’m not sure Ava wants it though. Every time we ask her if she wants mommy to have a baby or if she wants a little brother or sister she says, ‘No,’ and I can’t blame her. I mean, heck, she runs the household right now, it’s under her wing! So why would she want to share the privilege? But it will happen eventually.”
CBS: Do you believe ‘women having it all’ is unrealistic or is it attainable?
MR: “I think it can be attainable, but it’s really, really hard. I think women just have to make a decision sometimes of what you want to do. I would love to say that I have it all, but I don’t. When it comes to work, there are a lot of things that I choose to turn down because they takes me too far away from Ava.
For us, we’ve chosen that family comes first, so the career will sometimes have to take a backseat. But it’s all about balance and finding what works for your family dynamic, and when you do that and accomplish that, then you do have it all.”
CBS: With Father’s Day around the corner, we have to ask, what makes your hubby a great dad?
MR: “Oh my gosh, I lucked out on the daddy department. I have to say, the fact that he’s hands on, that he wants to be involved, and that he enjoys daddy daughter time is just such a blessing. I know that I’m very, very lucky. Just seeing him with her and seeing how she responds to him, it definitely makes you fall in love a little bit more.”
CBS: What other upcoming projects do you have?
MR: “Right now I have my partnership with Banana Boat, and to be honest, I’m enjoying my family time! You know, it’s the season to take a few months off, so we’ll see where the summer leads us. Never say never, but right now we’re focusing on family time.”
CBS: What do you plan to do with your family this summer? Any fun family trips?
MR: “We have a couple fun trips planned. We always go to the lake for holidays, and we’re going to go down to the beach. We actually have a fun European trip planned for the three of us, since we’ve never been—well, obviously Ava has never been, and I’ve never been—so we’ve got a lot of travel set up.”View Slideshow »»