Ellen Pompeo: Stella Brings New Meaning to ‘Happy’

01/05/2011 at 03:00 PM ET
PA Photos/Landov

The holidays may be over, but Ellen Pompeo has no problem celebrating her greatest gift — daughter Stella Luna — year-round!

“Every day is like Christmas morning. Every day when I go to her room to get her from her crib, it’s indescribable,” the Grey’s Anatomy star tells PEOPLE at the grand opening of The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas and Marquee on Friday.

“I thought I was happy before, but she just brings so much joy. She’s such a happy girl.”

According to the proud mama, 15-month-old Stella has also been making great strides — literally — in her milestones.

“She’s got the walking thing down, which is terrifying because the falling thing comes with that of course,” Pompeo, 41, shares.

In fact, adds the actress, baby girl’s latest achievement came only hours before attending that night’s event with husband Chris Ivery.

“When we left the hotel room she said, ‘Bye’ [to her father]. She said it once and it was super exciting. I screamed!” Pompeo reveals. “The door was slamming and I opened the door and said, ‘Did you hear that?!’ She’s adorable.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Mark Gray

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 32 comments

Tee on

Aw, she sounds really in love with her baby girl! Sweet!

Indira on

I don’t have any kids so I’m partially serious/joking. Does every morning feel like Christmas when your daughter or son is 16? I get the new love when your childs an infant/toddler..but, I’ve always been curious as to how that love evolves over time.

Shawna on

My kids are 5, 8, and 10. Every morning definitely does not feel like Christmas morning! lol Like this morning, they all slept in so I’m running around trying to get them all to wake up and get dressed and eat breakfast in time for school. And they are whining, “I’m tired!!! I don’t want to go to school!!” and I’m having to threaten…and so on. Yeah…not really like Christmas morning! lol Not saying I don’t love my kids but I don’t really get the mindset that being a parent is just awesome all the time.

Holiday on

Indira I have a 5 year old son and 7 month old baby girl and seeing both of them every morning puts a huge smile on my face! I look forward to seeing him every morning (and her too of course!)

momof boys on

No, at least I don’t. I have three boys (6, 8, 11). I love them beyond words. Some days are good, some days aren’t. But the days that do feel like Christmas morning are fantastic. Just think about growing up. Did you have that magical feeling with your siblings/parents daily? probably not, but more occasionally. As a first-time parent you see your child finding/seeing life in a whole new perspective which totally amazes you.

Mina on

Indira, things are more exciting when your baby is a baby because they are learning things we take for granted like walking and talking. So when they achieve it, we feel proud as parents who helped them reach that goal. I am sure the parent of a 16 year old is very proud and happy when their child passes a test at school or something. Every age comes with ups and downs. I think the “newness” (is that a word? lol) is exciting too but yes it does wear down, just like a body. The love never wears down tho.

CelebBabyLover on

I wonder why Stella said good-bye to her father and not her mother when her parents left?

DW on

My kids are 2 1/2 and 11 months and I adore them! However, I really don’t want to see their sweet little faces until it’s at least 7am. Most mornings, it’s far earlier (before 6am)! So I guess if Christmas means getting up super early, then yes, in that respect it’s like Christmas every morning! 🙂

B.R on

From a mother of a 16 year old no not every day is like Christmas, but there are still moments when they’ll do or say something and that feeling will come back, and you will remember what it was like in the beginning. At the end of it all as long as you love your child unconditionally you will always be proud and there will be moment that they shock you and it will feel like the greatest gift on earth, cause at the end that is what your children are. The greatest gift you will ever receive.

Jen DC on

@ CelebBabyLover: Because he was the last to say goodbye to her, probably. Also, a lot of new parents or people new to children don’t quite grasp that “Dada” doesn’t necessarily mean “Daddy.” Babies say “dada” at pets, people who resemble their fathers, their mothers, aunts and uncles… Anything that moves, really. Although at 15 months, Stella probably has grasped the difference. But yeah – he was probably the last one she saw on their way out. Doubt it means anything. That’s like asking Why was so-and-so the first person to get a wave from the baby? Because the baby felt like it at the time, that’s why.

Indira on

Thanks you guys for the responses. I was really curious. I guess when your child’s a baby–they’re just that– a baby. Bringing a really simple joy that’s new and exciting. When kids get older things things aren’t so simple!

Anonymous on

You get that honeymoon phase with a newborn baby. This is so you don’t strangle them for waking you up 400x a night and screaming and pooping and so on. It’s also why they’re so darned cute. 😛

Danielle on

I’m pregnant with my first child (23 weeks and counting…) and although I wake up feeling awful almost every morning from morning sickness, I still can find the joy in knowing that I’m going to be given the best gift of all in just a few short months….

ally on

Every day you see your child healthy and happy no matter what their age is a holiday…..

Ally on

Stella sounds like a beautiful, happy little girl whose parents love her very much.

Mira on

Not a good pic of these two. Ouch.

And the Christmas morning statement is kind of exaggerated. Come on now.

Teamwork on

Indira – I have a 16 yr. old and 7 yr. old. I feel like yes, everyday is Christmas. My son has his “teenage” moments but then he will say or do something that I know I taught him and their is an awesome sense of pride. I wish he was little again but I also love to watch the young man he is becoming….to see the fruits of my labor.
He is going to college in a year and a half and I miss him already.

Deb Lilly on

Children, at least the little ones, are great, but oh my — those teenage years. I had a nun tell me one time that God gives us little children to love and cherish and teen-agers so that we can bear to part with them — so very true:-)

staceykay on

I have a little girl that turned 2 on Christmas Eve, and a baby boy who will turn 1 in 2 1/2 weeks. I’m with DW, if ‘feeling like Christmas morning’ means getting up every morning really early, than yes, it feels like Christmas morning every morning. lol. Now, later in the day when I pick them up after work, THAT’S when I appreciate them far more and can’t wait to see them!

hooper on

I like the comment God gives us little children to love, but I think he gives us teenager as payback for all the bad things we did! I have two sons, love them dearly, would give my life for them. Come on people tell the truth and to the lady getting ready to have her first child, Everyday is not like Christmas! The world is not perfect but you face it everyday head on. However, I can’t imagine having children at a real young age or older in life, it is just a lot of work and you just hope that they remember how good you took care of them so they can take care of you one day if needed, but don’t get me wrong I will have no problem messing up my depends! Laugh!

nikki on

i’m not yet a mother, but i can imagine how beautiful it must feel to be one. i have 4 beautiful nieces,the oldest is 14 going to 15 and the others are under 3 so i guess i do know the difference lol. and yes it is beautiful both phases. both have pros and cons like everything, but at the end i guess it all comes down to one thing being a parent is a beautifull rewarding thing.=)

Donna on

I have three teenagers. I assure that blissful ahhhh stage will not last forever. Yes, I love them, and yes there are many moments I truly feel blessed, but…. I Christmas morning, every morning, I don’t think so.

tola on

Indira–my boys are 12 and 14 and no it doesnt feel like xmas everyday heck I am not even sure if it felt that way everyday when they were little. I love my boys more then anything but lets be honest kids are a lot of work you can do a half a** job of it but look what you can end up with. At the ages my boys are now I am starting to see all that hard work I put into them show with their choices and how they treat others and that is like opening a christmas gift


I have 2 daughter’s 18 and 23, they are a joy even to this day, I have become their friend as they became teens and I love to watch them grow and learn and become independent on their own, I of course will miss them when they leave home, but for now all is great. Having my girls go to a local college so they can continue to live at home has been fantastic, because I get to enjoy their company even longer, and they are so helpful with so many things. As Babies they were so much fun, watching them learn and grow, now I learn from them.

Lake on

it depends on the kid. My son’s early years were hell, every day was agony and death. But after age 16 or so (he’s 18) now, well, it’s been showers of emeralds every single minute. He is the most nourishing food, sheer wonder! He is my teacher, my playmate, my student, my ally, my comedian and audience, my duet partner….we have SO much fun together! But I do not want to remember the years from age 3 months until about age 12, no thank you!

amsjll on

I definitely think when they are doing something new all the time, and growing SO fast, its amazing to watch. And their new presence in your life is still, well, NEW. Mine are 5 and 2 1/2 (girls) and I’m still amazed most days by something or another. And then I want to run screaming out of the room, or house, or county! lol They are the cutest little things, and they make so many others, random strangers, smile everywhere we go, that is awesome. All their achievements, these days potty training with one and the other all the preschool things like learning to read a little. But I know whats coming- two teenage girls. I was no walk in the park and either was my husband, so I’m sure karma has us in for it. But our parents survived, somehow, and so will we! I look forward to seeing more milestones in the future and someday (plenty far off I hope!), starting all over with the magic with some grandbabies! 🙂

heava on

I never thought I would even had kids and I would always roll my eyes at the new parent oohing and aahing over their new baby…and then I had one…and I was a goner…I love love love getting him out of his crib every morning (I will admit that he has the sleep gene so he never wakes up on his own. He would stay in bed until noon if I let him). Maybe that is why every morning is so wonderful for me…because I am rested…lol…but right now at this age, although sometimes challenging, but so so much fun and amazement every day. He is exploding with new things every day it seems, so it is so easy to get completely caught up in it. I know the space she is in right now…nothing tops it.

greysfannn on

Im 16 and i know its definitely not xmas morning for my rents. My brother and I can be a pain in the butt. We are teenagers its what we do best.

B.R on

@greysfannn lol, thank you for admitting that teens can be a pain in the butt on site full of moms. See but it’s moments like that and what you said that makes a parent proud and makes it feel like Christmas morning. You told the truth in a place where you could have just as easily said “teens are the best we never do anything wrong, we are the most well behaved group of people on earth and we would never be a pain in anyone’s butt”. Which can not be true of any person adult or teen, we all drive someone crazy. I for one would like to thank you for your honest. Now a question what is with the whole not being able to put laundry in the hamper thing with most teenagers. Myself and a few other moms all have the same problem, you give your teens a hamper and all the dirty cloths end up next to it. Do you guys do it just to drive you parents nuts? Is it really that hard to drop your cloths a foot to either side this way it end up in the hamper? I have asked my son and his friends and all they said was ” I don’t know”, since you are here and honest about things I though I would ask if you don’t mind answering.

Veronica on

The photographer who took this pic should be fired!!!

Indira on

Lol i’m 21…I look back on being a teenager and I always think…”wow…if i knew it’d get better, I would’ve been different”. The thing about being a teen is that since you’re still a child in many ways– you can’t see that theres light at the end of the tunnel! At least for me.

Grey'sfan2 on

I being 23 and having been a teeager not long ago know teenagers aren’t perfect & drive our parents crazy! Looking back I feel bad but it’s what teens do & they made it through but, I still feel bad. They probably dreaded some mornings (not every day feels like Christmas from my point of view) but they loved us anyways LOL but, now my parents enjoy having me at home because I have grown and am quiet!!