There’s a new flight plan in place for Carson Daly‘s travel schedule — one that doesn’t involve kicking back in first class with a bubbly beverage in hand.
“Usually I’m just drunk on a plane. Now I’m that guy who is walking down the aisle burping — I still drink Bloody Marys on the plane.”
But toting his precious cargo — 11-week-old Etta Jones — isn’t so easy. “She’s big. Off the charts. Ninetieth percentile in weight and height, which is ridiculous,” Daly shares.
Despite his amended air time and heavy lifting, the new dad loves his life now more than ever, a sentiment that is particularly strong around the holidays. This year, the family of four — which includes Daly’s girlfriend Siri Pinter and their 3½-year-old son Jackson James — will be spending Thanksgiving with their parents.
“We’re going to my parents’ house with her family too. We’ll all just hunker down and relax. I’m so thankful for my family. I never thought my career would last this long,” he says.
“It feels great, but it reminds me of what’s consistent, which is my family. To sit on the couch with my dad and drink a beer while he falls asleep and then goes, ‘What?! What’s happening in the game?’ Those are moments I cherish now.”
Doing their part when it comes to the traditional feast, Daly jokes his food guru girlfriend is going all out for the occasion and will arrive with her arms full of … a loaf of bread.
“I asked her what she’s contributing and she said, ‘I’m making bread.’ I’m like, ‘Really? You’re the ferocious food blogger,'” he says with a laugh.
“Then she says, ‘It’s not just any bread.’ And she opens up this Bon Appétit and shows me this immaculate sea salt bread, overnight rise and fall with the tides. This better be the best bread of my life!”
The couple’s plans for Christmas also include spending time surrounded by their loved ones — and indulging in a few family traditions.
“We usually watch The Christmas Story together and my dad pulls down all of the boxes in the garage and complains about that,” Daly says.
“We always get pajamas the night before. I’m almost 40 and my mom says, ‘You can pick one gift to open before morning.’ As if I’m 12. I’m like, ‘Let me guess: the pajamas.’ But it’s tradition.”
But the jolly man in the red suit has a lot to live up to this year. After being lavished with gifts since Pinter’s pregnancy, Jackson’s bond with Etta has blossomed … and so has his toy collection.
“We bribed him when [Siri] was pregnant. We would give him gifts like a Power Ranger or anything Transformers. He’d say, ‘What’s this, Dada?’ I’d say, ‘I don’t know. Who’s it from?’ [And he would say,] ‘Oh, it’s from baby sissy,'” Daly recalls.
“So leading up to the birth, when baby sissy came out it was like Siri gave birth to Santa Claus. He was like, ‘Who is this woman who gives me gifts?’ But he loves [Etta]. It’s too good to be true. We are a reality show waiting to happen.”
– Anya Leon with reporting by Jessica Herndon