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Cheryl Hines: Healthy and Hilarious

It’s 6:45 a.m. and actor/comedienne Cheryl Hines is awakened by the sound of her daughter, Catherine Rose, born March 8, 2004, laughing in her crib. She has a new noise that she likes to make – Hines describes it as a strained laugh-cough that Catherine is very excited about. Even though Hines is not a morning person, she smiles as she rolls out of bed to get the baby. It looks like Catherine has inherited her mother’s wacky sense of humor, and Hines and her husband, Paul Young, founding partner of Principato-Young Entertainment and Chairman of L.A.’s Groundlings Theater, couldn’t be more pleased.

After a quick diaper change, Hines brings Catherine back to the couple’s bed, where the family will spend the next hour hanging out until the nanny arrives. Depending on what day it is, Hines then could be off to the set of HBO’s Golden Globe Award-winning series Curb Your Enthusiasm, where she plays Larry David’s wife, Cheryl, or she might be recording an episode of NBC’s Father of the Pride or even shooting a scene in one of several upcoming films she stars in, such as Herbie the Love Bug.

Today, however, Hines, is happy to spend time chatting about her daughter and how her life has changed since becoming a mom.
Cheryl Hines-Living a Healthy – and Hilarious – Life with Baby

EA: On days like these when you’re at home, what’s your life as a mom like?

CH: I’ll get up and work out and run around a little bit. Then I’ll come back and hang out with Catherine for the rest of the day. She will take a few 20-minute naps during the day, and at around 6 p.m. I will feed her some baby food and give her a bath and put her pajamas. Around 7, I will give her a bottle and rock her in the rocking chair in her room and put on the music and then put her to bed.

EA: Do you sing?

CH: There are some CDs that she really likes that I sing along to. She’s really the only person that enjoys my singing. Gillian Welch is one of them – she’s a folk singer. That’s really Catherine’s favorite. I also really like Dwight Yokum and I also bought a Disney Baby Lullabies CD. I think she likes music with words better than the soft gentle baby music.

Cheryl Hines-Living a Healthy – and Hilarious – Life with BabyEA:What type of workout do you do?

CH: I walk on the treadmill for at least a mile and then depending on how much time I have, I’ll do some sit ups, do some curls with 8-pound weights and some really lame pushups. And then there are some big bands that I do shoulder exercises with.

EA: Do you work out at home or do you go to a gym?

CH: I do both. We have a treadmill here that I find really handy, although I get on and off the wagon. My husband is great about getting up and getting on the treadmill every day. I am not as consistent. So, if I have time, I like to go work out at the gym and if I don’t, I try to workout here. At the gym I mostly work out with a trainer. We will do different machines that they have at the gym and sometimes the stair machine or the [elliptical trainer].

EA: How do you incorporate Catherine into your fitness routine?

Cheryl Hines-Living a Healthy – and Hilarious – Life with BabyCH: On the weekends we go on family hikes. We like to go to Runyan Canyon and carry her in the Baby Bjorn [infant carrier]. She really likes to get out, this Catherine! When I can, I take her to lunch with me or I take her to the grocery store and then walk her around the block in her stroller. I took her to the grocery store the other day and she sat in the grocery cart like a big girl.

Walking is how I went into labor. We live on a very steep hill. I walked up and down this hill so many times and it finally happened. I still have memories of that, of when I was pregnant walking up and down this hill. It’s hard to get that out of my mind. When walking Catherine, I’m afraid with the stroller that one false move and she’ll start flying down the hill and then we’re really in trouble!

EA: What did you do for pregnancy fitness?

CH: I probably walked a mile on the treadmill maybe three times a week. I didn’t want to do it – I didn’t want to do anything! I didn’t have a great pregnancy.

EA: In terms of complications?

CH: It was uncomplicated, so I was very fortunate. I was just very sick to my stomach almost the whole time and very emotional. I was very weepy and I am not really a weepy person by nature. I could really cry for a few hours straight. My husband told me I wasn’t allowed to listen to country music anymore! I would be on my way to someplace, like a party, and that country song … next thing you know, I’m a wreck. I didn’t get postpartum depression, but I understand it because that’s how I felt when I was pregnant.

EA: You may have experienced antepartum depression, because you are generally a positive, upbeat person!

Cheryl Hines-Living a Healthy – and Hilarious – Life with BabyCH: Very. It’s strange because I didn’t feel depressed – I felt out of control of my feelings. I didn’t feel like myself. I felt like I could just sit on the couch and stare at the wall for two hours. I wasn’t happy about it but I couldn’t help it. It’s funny now, and it was actually funny at the time, but that’s how out of control I was. I would just bring Kleenex everywhere I went because I knew it was possible that I might be just sitting on the couch. I didn’t feel depressed or sad that I was having a baby; that my life was changing, I didn’t feel like that. I felt like crying. You are so hormonal – you just can’t help it.

EA: After you had the baby, was it like a light went back on?

CH: Yeah. And actually my husband, it was interesting. I said, ‘I just feel like I will never be the same. I feel like this is how I am going to be for the rest of my life.’ And he was like, ‘No, it’s just because you’re pregnant.’ But he tells me now, ‘I was worried, too. I was worried that you were never going to snap back.’ But then after I had the baby, things changed pretty immediately.

EA: So sleep deprivation hasn’t hit you?

CH: No, actually. My mom was here to help out when Catherine was first born and it was so helpful because I remember the night that I came home from the hospital I really got a good night’s sleep. And I just felt so good after that night. Some of those nights are hard but I felt like it was fine because I wasn’t emotionally feeling so bad. I felt like if I can get through that, I can get through anything.

Cheryl Hines-Living a Healthy – and Hilarious – Life with BabyEA: Do you eat healthy?

CH: I try to. I know everyone is on the low-carb diet but I’m not on a plan. I went on The Zone for a week or so right before the Emmy’s and, actually, I was shocked that I did lose some weight on it.

EA: Was it hard to do it?

CH: It wasn’t because they deliver everything to you and if you can make yourself just stick to whatever they give you. The portions are really small. If you eat a fist-sized portion of anything, you’re safe. But also, on that diet, there wasn’t any extra sugar – mostly fresh fruit and turkey and salads and omelettes.

One thing I did learn going on that Zone delivery – they always want you to eat breakfast, they think it’s important. Now I get up and try to eat something like eggs or yogurt and granola. And then try to eat a healthy lunch like salad and soup or something like that. Dinner: My husband loves chicken, so I will grill chicken and make vegetables and salad or something.

EA: Do you like to cook?

CH: Sometimes I enjoy it. I like cooking on the weekends. I don’t like it when I feel obligated, and I’m the one that makes myself feel obligated. My husband would be fine. If I’m not here, he’ll eat peanut butter and whatever he can find. Then I feel so bad, so I always make dinner.

EA: Do you eat out a lot?

CH: We mostly eat in. We used to eat out a lot before Catherine. If we do go out, we like to go for sushi at Sushi Café. I am not that adventurous. I just like California rolls and the rainbow rolls. My husband is more of the diehard sushi eater. He’ll eat anything – the quail egg, the tuna, the eel.

EA: What do you enjoy just for you?

Cheryl Hines-Living a Healthy – and Hilarious – Life with BabyCH: I get pedicures and manicures. My manicures don’t last that long, but a pedicure will last a month or so. When you’re shooting, you wear so much makeup and it’s hard on your skin, so I try to get facials as often as possible. But when you’re shooting, you don’t have time to do anything!

EA: Does your schedule get crazy when you’re shooting and what do you do about babysitting?

CH: [Our nanny] is so great and we really work together. I try to be aware of her schedule because I don’t want her to have to work all the time. I have a few really good friends of mine who love to watch Catherine. They come over and visit when I’m not even here. But [our nanny] will bring Catherine to the set and we will hang out and have lunch. I might have to leave at 5 in the morning and I might not get home until 6 at night. My goal is to try to get back before she goes to bed. It doesn’t always happen but most of the time I’m here for some part of the day. Today I’ll do just a little running around so I’ll have a lot of time to hang out with her. And the weekends are all devoted to Miss Catherine. Every waking moment I spend with her.

EA: Do you now think twice about taking on certain roles?

CH: I don’t, actually. I feel like that’s very separate for me. But she’s so young that she’s not really involved in things that I do. She’s not going to be able to see a movie I make until she’s I don’t know how old. But at the same time, I probably entertain the idea of doing more family-friendly projects. I’m doing a remake of Herbie where I play Michael Keaton’s love interest. It’s more exciting when I get to do something like that because I think it’ll be more fun for her. At the same time, I’ve never been drawn to things that are really edgy. I’m not exactly the woman in the movie that everyone is dying to see naked!

EA: How do you feel that motherhood has changed you – what’s different?

CH: Everything in a way, and nothing in a way. I certainly think of Catherine before I make decisions. It’s like when you get married and all of sudden you’re considering someone else before you make decisions. Now, I’m considering two people before I make a decision.