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Q&A with Days of Our Lives Star Alison Sweeney

Robert Trachtenberg

Mom to Ben, 7, and Megan, 3, host of The Biggest Loser, author of The Mommy Diet, and bad-girl-turned-good on Days of Our Lives.

Describe your parenting style in one word: By-the-seat-of-my-pants.

Last meal you made for your family: Ground lamb marinara with quinoa and broccoli.

Craziest thing you've done while sleep-deprived: I didn't look in the mirror before going to work. Another actor on the set of Days asked, “Did you drive a motorcycle here?” When I finally looked, my hair was like Renée Zellweger's in that scene from Bridget Jones's Diary.

Reason you're convinced your child is a genius: Ben recently told a kid in the playground that he was going to invent a submarine that turns into an airplane when he grows up. Obviously he spoke with conviction because the only question the older child asked was, “What's the wingspan?”

Last thing your child did that made you laugh: Megan does this hilarious “dance” when she likes music. No matter where we are—the mall, the grocery store—she will start totally breakin' it down if she's feeling the vibe. Her lack of self-consciousness cracks me up!

Best piece of parenting advice you ever got: To parent my first child as if I already had one. As a new mom, when your baby cries, your instinct is to rush to her immediately. But if you had to, say, soothe your imaginary 2-year-old first…well, it helped me calm down a bit.

Last parenting decision you regretted: I took Ben on a ride at a theme park that was too mature for him. He was tall enough, but since he doesn't watch scary stuff, he wasn't prepared for the content. We just had to tough our way through it, and he was really brave, but I'd redo that one if I could.

If you wrote a parenting manual, what would the title be? I Can't Understand You When You're Whining.

Who's your celebrity crush? Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs. He's a great host—clever, smart, and makes everything seem interesting. And he's hot, too.

First word that pops into your head when you hear the word “mom:” Facilitator.