WON­DER­FUL DAYS

Ch­eska Gar­cia-Kramer on Liv­ing a Ful­filled Life with Her Grow­ing Fam­ily

Northern Living - - FRONT PAGE - BY DIANNE PINEDA PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROY MA­CAM

If we could trade places with Ch­eska Gar­ci­aKramer, even for just a day, we would gladly do it for free. Known for her an­gelic face, pe­tite frame and fash­ion­able style, Ch­eska grew up in front of the pub­lic eye, start­ing as a child ac­tress, com­mer­cial model, to be­ing a TV host, and a mom to Ken­dra, four; Scar­lett, one; and Gavin, who's just 8 months old. Be­low, she shares about the seem­ingly or­di­nary things she does as a hands-on mom: read­ing books to the kids, play­ing with them, and tuck­ing them into bed. Yet, as she speaks about them, her smile wi­dens and her voice fills with pride, and it seems like she's talk­ing about the most won­der­ful life any­one could ever have.

WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU BUSY WITH LATELY?

Right now, I'm busy with shoots, events—I'm the am­bas­sador of some brands, and I have some en­dorse­ments, but reg­u­lar work I can't com­mit to yet be­cause my son Gavin is only eight months old. So it's only now that I'm get­ting back to the groove again; lit­tle by lit­tle I have been hav­ing talks with peo­ple to do some things, but noth­ing con­crete yet.

HOW HAS YOUR MAR­RIED LIFE CHANGED NOW THAT YOU HAVE MORE KIDS, WITH THE AD­DI­TION OF YOUR SON?

Well, it's made me more con­tent, I'm hap­pier with my life. Just like with all my other kids, I'm al­ways ex­cited and in my fam­ily we don't re­ally play fa­vorites so I felt the same ex­cite­ment with Ken­dra and Scar­lett, and now with Gavin. I'm very happy that my fam­ily is com­plete—I have a boy, and now Doug and I can con­cen­trate on do­ing our busi­ness. Like for me, now I feel like I can try to start my ca­reer again when the time is right.

WHAT LESSONS HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM BE­ING A MOM?

It's nice to get ad­vice from other moth­ers and to com­pare notes. And it's also nice if you put in your own par­ent­ing style. Like when I was preg­nant with Ken­dra, I had a lot of my friends teach or give

me in­sights on how it is like hav­ing a new baby. My first cousin was help­ful in teach­ing me how to bathe my child, and we shared a lot of sto­ries. But at the end of the day, I'm my own kind of per­son, and I have my own way of car­ing, nur­tur­ing, and my own style of par­ent­ing. And it's nice to lis­ten to what­ever your gut tells you—be­cause you know your child, and it's your bond­ing mo­ment with your child. So don't com­pare your­self with other peo­ple and trust your­self when it comes to rais­ing your kids. It's okay to lis­ten to oth­ers, and see from there what's go­ing to work or not, but still, in the end you have to fol­low your own way of car­ing for your chil­dren and your own in­stinct.

WHAT KIND OF MOM ARE YOU?

I'm ex­tremes—there are times when I can be strict, I make sure I can dis­ci­pline my kids, like I can tell them what they did was wrong. But at the same time I'm also very af­fec­tion­ate with my chil­dren in terms of giv­ing them words of en­cour­age­ment, my love lan­guage with them. Ev­ery day I tell my kids that I love them so much. Doug is the same; he's a very af­fec­tion­ate fa­ther. The thing with him and me is that we be­lieve in ser­vice, we serve our kids. For me, I read books to them, put them to bed… That's why our kids are so at­tached to us, they sleep with us in our bed­room. And we spend solo time with them. Doug goes on a date with the kids, with­out the yayas.

WITH THREE KIDS AND MOV­ING INTO A NEW HOUSE, HOW DO YOU KEEP IT TO­GETHER?

I re­ally don't know (laughs). When we moved in here I was al­most in my due date, I gave birth Jan­uary, but be­fore that I made sure that ev­ery­thing was set­tled, the house was clean, and we were able to have Noche Buena here. There was no way I would give birth then I'd have to fix the house pa. Doug ac­tu­ally got mad at me be­cause I worked too much, but that's just me, I'm a bit OC when it comes to keep­ing the house spic-and-span.

HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE YOUR KIDS?

Ken­dra is very af­fec­tion­ate, she sticks to us a lot, very maasikaso and

makulit. She's the type who says, "I love you, Mama; you look beau­ti­ful, Mama." Scar­lett is a charmer, very cute and pilya, but some­times feisty. Gavin is just eight months but I can see he's just a chill guy.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS DO YOU LIKE TO DO TO­GETHER AS A FAM­ILY?

We are the type of fam­ily who are happy here at home. We play in the play­room. We have movie nights. We have some of their friends or cousins over.

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE SE­CRET TO A HAPPY MAR­RIAGE?

I al­ways say the se­cret is the hus­band... A good man who's sen­si­tive to your feel­ings, what mat­ters to you, some­one who has a good hold of the fam­ily. Be­cause the fa­ther is the head of the fam­ily. The best thing a fa­ther can do for their chil­dren is to love their mother. Be­cause from there, you can set an ex­am­ple for them. For your boy, he can show that this is the kind of man you can be. For the daugh­ters, a fa­ther gives them se­cu­rity and shows them a good ex­am­ple, teaches them self-re­spect.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT YOU DO ON YOUR OWN?

I go to the salon. I no­ticed when I be­came a mom—be­fore I couldn't stand be­ing there—now it's a place where I can just zone out, I get my hair done, col­ored, styled. I get a mas­sage at home. Doug and I, we bond over foot mas­sages at home. Me and my hus­band al­ways talk about any­thing and ev­ery­thing. We've been to­gether for over 10 years. There's so much to talk about. We al­ways talk about what the other thinks.

HOW WOULD YOU DE­SCRIBE YOUR PER­SONAL STYLE?

I stick to very generic col­ors, like black, grays, whites, I just change up the bag or shoes, and ac­ces­sories. It's so hard when you're a mom, be­cause you have to di­vide your time. I pre­pare my kids' clothes. So I don't have time to think too much about what to pair with my clothes. I have three small kids, and I'm very hands-on. Es­pe­cially when we're about to go on a trip, it's such a pro­duc­tion. So I make sure they're all well taken care of first.

WHAT IS YOUR FIT­NESS AND BEAUTY REG­I­MEN?

When Ken­dra didn't have school yet, I was able to work out two or three times a week. But now that school started, I'm still find­ing my groove, like what I said ear­lier. I have to plan things well. For beauty, I mois­tur­ize and I wear min­i­mum makeup, and I make sure my face is clean be­fore I go to sleep. I like Estée Lauder's cheek tint and eye­brow pen­cil. My num­ber one rule is that al­ways have your eye­brows nicely done.

Pho­to­graph by Roy Ma­cam; Makeup by Lilian Le­ung for Estée Lauder; Hair by Ronie Misa for Kiehl's Stylist Se­ries. Styled by RJ Roque, as­sisted by Lord Re­bueno; Green dress by Va­nia Ro­moff.

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