Ali Larter: Teddy Is the ‘Light of My Life’

11/02/2011 at 09:00 AM ET
Carlos Delgado/AP

Ali Larter has finally heard the sweetest music to her ears: 10-month-old son Theodore Hayes‘s first word.

“He actually said, ‘Mama,’ this morning! I started jumping and just grabbed him and kissed him all over. It was so sweet,” the actress, 35, tells PEOPLE during Glad’s One Bag Program tailgate on Saturday in Los Angeles, Calif.

These days, adds Larter, even her “sweet little boy’s” smallest accomplishments have been a great source of celebration.

“It’s really exciting,” she explains. “He’s the light of my life and I couldn’t be happier.”

Since welcoming her son, Larter has worked to regain her body after baby by integrating family into her fitness routine.

“I hike [with] my baby probably four or five nights a week. I don’t know if it’s because I want to hike or to get away during the witching hour, but it’s something that calms him,” she shares, adding she also stays “very active” with husband Hayes MacArthur.

“I’ve always been very athletic, but I say this over and over again: Moms just need to forgive themselves. You just do the best that you can. Period.”

And the family that works out together, trick-or-treats together; The trio buzzed their way through the neighborhood as bumblebees on Halloween.

Larter’s inspiration? The family’s newly planted garden — and its inhabitants!

“We actually just put in a garden in our yard and lots of lavender. There’s a lot of bees all over, and I believe in loving the bumblebees,” she says. “I saw the bee documentary [Vanishing of the Bees] and I thought, ‘This is going to be our little family’s [thing].'”

With plans to “try to do a hive” to make their own honey, learning to “embrace nature on every level” is a lesson the new mom hopes to instill in her baby boy.

“I’m never going to be one of those moms that puts hand sanitizer all over my kid,” Larter says. “I mean, hopefully, he’s going to be dirty in the playground or in the streams, hiking in the mountains. I want him to always be a child of nature.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Jessica Wedemeyer

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 17 comments

Kat on

When they say Mama, it is the best feeling! My little one made me wait for it too, but when she looked me straight in the face and said ‘Mama’ – my heart melted!

Nicole on

I never used to care for Ali Larter, probably because it seemed like all of her roles were typical hot girl roles, but in the past few years I’ve actually listened to her talk and she seems so educated and grounded, and now like such a family person! It’s nice to be wrong about people!

stacey on

she sounds very charming, and i love her little boy. He’s adorable.

Maryanne on

That is a great pic of her. She sounds so happy. Good for her!

What of it? on

love her haircut. she looks fantastic.

Dan on

saw her at the London in west Hollywood and shes even prettier in real life way tall too !!

Awww!! on

I’m so happy someone else is a bee fan like myself! They are amazing little creatures, good for her for trying to help them.

Her little boy is soooo adorable, I’m glad for her and her happy family.

Courtney on

Teddy is reall cutie and she seems to be such a good mom. Kudos to her!

Someone You Know on

She’s been “meh” to me but that picture of her and the story of Teddy’s first word kinda warmed me up to her.

Many blessings to her family.

cn tower on

I’m not familiar with her as an actress, but she seems like a great mom.

That’s a flattering haircut – really suits her. She also seems to be one of the fortunate few who look great with minimal make up.

mom on

The sanitizer comment is irritating. Whatever. The kid is only 10 months old. As soon as you have a nasty flu season once or twice and spend all winter with a sick kid, colds, flus, stomach viruses, ear infections, croup, and you aren’t sleeping for weeks at a time, you’ll bathe him in Purell like the rest of us! 😉

Bree on

I have always been a fan of Ali’s and that has only grown since she had Theodore (If for no other reason than he is such a little doll and I love seeing pictures of him!!) She seems like such an awesome down-to-earth mom.

I do have to agree with @mom, I may be a new parent but I have been an auntie, teacher and Brownie Leader long enough to know that one battle with flu season and she is going to be keeping him as germ free as possible!!

Lily on

“mom” – actually sanitizer’s contribute to people getting sick more often so even though it is awful to have a sick kid, they build up immunity so much in the beginning years and it is not helpful to kill it with Purell and the like. The kids who are rolling around in the dirt (literally or just figuratively) can have stronger immune systems and not get sick as much.

Jillian on

Sanitized is horrible!!!

Lisa on

She is so stinkin’ pretty. Her husband is a hottie too. Congrats to her and her happy family. Wish you all the best Ali!

jy. on

Good for her. Sad that they always have to comment about body weight/ getting her pre baby body back.

Anonymous on

Spending time with Ali, her sister and family was a joy growing up with. She is and always will be a great mom. She comes from a very good family with great morals. You Rock Ali!!