The Kitchen star chatted with PEOPLE Now about her recently expanded brood, explaining that her 2-year-old son David is taking a little more time than big brother Fausto, 13, to come around to their little sister.
“He wants to send her back to the store, or wherever she came from,” says Valladolid, 38, of her younger son. “He’s not loving [it]. There’s no hostility, there’s just no acknowledgement of her existence.”
“So we’re like, ‘Okay, he’s easing into it,’ ” she adds of herself and fiancé Philip Button‘s analysis of the situation. “But it’s been four months.”
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As it turns out, Valladolid’s baby girl’s name has a two-part significance to it: one literary, and one (coincidentally) familial.
“It was inspired by Anna Karenina, the novel, which was the same inspiration that my mom had — I didn’t know this — for my sister Carina,” she explains. “And when the baby was born, I said, ‘I want to name her Anna Karenina, but I feel like it’s complicated and I’d rather [it] be Carina, so it’s like my sister.’ ”
“I told this to my sister at the hospital and she’s like, ‘Do you know that Anna Karenina was the inspiration behind my name?’ And I didn’t know.”
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Valladolid, who just released a new cookbook called Casa Marcela, says her kids “inspire everything” she does, from her work to how she wants to make sure they have rich cultural influences as they grow up.
“All of the recipes, how I decorate, what I want them to remember for their childhood — how I want to inject our Mexican heritage into everything that I do,” she explains. “And that’s kind of how I balance them — I make them a part of it.”
“They’re in all of the pages of the book, they inspire so many of the recipes, they travel with me, they’re on the shows with me,” Valladolid continues. “And [people might] think, ‘That’s a little crazy, poor kids,’ but I feel like … you know when you’re sharing stuff on social media, I just feel like if you can be inspired by a photo of a burrito, I’d rather show you my kid!”
Being a famous chef does have its drawbacks when it comes to social media, though — but Valladolid has no problem admitting she isn’t a perfect parent.
“The other day, I posted a picture of the 13-year-old going to bed, and you can see a giant marshmallow, like he just took a bite of that,” she admits. “And I was like, ‘Yeah, that was probably dinner!’ And that’s okay.”