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Health & Parenting

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Mary-Louise Parker on Momhood and Marijuana

The "Weeds" actress talks about blended families, acting, and legalizing pot.

Creating blended families continued...

The key, says Pertman, is "normalizing" your blended family. "It’s not unusual or weird or problematic. It's just another way to be a family. Talking about the issues involved in adoption is fine, but talking about them obsessively is not. You don't make a big deal out of normal things."

As you prepare to adopt, keep your older child or children involved in the process (in an age-appropriate way) -- show them pictures and talk about what will happen. If you're preparing a family profile, let your children tell you what they'd like their part of the profile to say.

To help you, your child, and the rest of your family prepare and adjust, Adoptive Families magazine recommends Brothers and Sisters in Adoption: Helping Children Navigate Relationships When New Kids Join the Family, by Arleta James, a clinical therapist at the renowned Attachment and Bonding Center of Ohio.

Mary-Louise Parker on healthy living

Between getting ready for season five of Weeds, giving eight live performances a week as Hedda Gabler earlier this spring, and raising two active kids, how does Parker keep her own health and stress levels in check? She credits her older sister for a few wellness habits that have lasted a lifetime.

"She got me doing yoga and meditating when I was younger, and I still do that now," she says. "And when I was 11 or 12, she taught me how to take care of my skin. Use this in the morning, this at night, and sunscreen every day -- no exceptions! Those are the best things I do for myself."

Her worst health vice? Parker laughs. Unlike Nancy Botwin’s, hers is G-rated: candy. She runs through the list of her favorites with glee. "I like Tootsie Rolls, Smarties, really tacky candy like Bit-o-Honeys and Butterfingers. I have a bad sweet tooth. I’d rather have candy than a classic French pastry."

Beyond Weeds, what will she tackle next? Parker has two new movies in the works: Solitary Man, in which she appears as the girlfriend of a sex-addicted car magnate played by Michael Douglas, and Howl, based on the life of Beat poet Allen Ginsberg, still in production. She'd just shot her single scene for Howl the day before talking to WebMD.

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