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How Sarah Chalke Prepped For Parenting

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Jan. 8 2010, Published 1:00 p.m. ET

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Sarah Chalke and fiancé Jamie Afifi are just getting into the swing of parenting now that they’ve announced the birth of their son, Charlie Rhodes Afifi, who came into the world on Christmas Eve.

The Scrubs star, 33, has gotten good practice thanks to her seven-year-old dog, Lola.

“I have the cutest little chocolate Lab that the whole Scrubs cast got for me at a charity auction," she tells me. "She was our little Scrubs mascot. She’d come to work with me every day. I love to take her hiking.”

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Lola allowed Sarah to hone her skills when it comes to being a mom.

“It definitely prepares you for responsibility,” she says. “At the end of the day, you’re responsible for this pet’s well-being, but I’m sure it’s a completely whole other level when you have kids.”

If her baby-parenting style is anything like her pet-parenting style, little Charlie is being doted on big time.

“I spoil Lola too much,” Sarah tells me. “I’m not quite firm enough for her. My sister, who’s amazing with dogs, is teaching me how to set limits better.”

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In what ways is Lola coddled?

“Well, she calls the shots. When I get up in the morning, she jumps up and down and follows me to the kitchen until I feed her, and it’s supposed to be the other way around, I think, that you decide when you feed her. laughs She’s the boss. I know I have to turn that around.”

In addition to having a pup for playtime, lucky little Charlie is getting good genes from his stunning actress mom and wise lawyer dad. Sarah greatly admires Jamie.

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“I always go to him for advice,” she says. “He’s one of the smartest people I know, and I think that he always has a great perspective on things.”

Indeed, babies were always on the brain for the lovebirds, who got engaged in 2006.

“I have three of the cutest nieces and nephews, who I’m madly in love with, and I’ve always wanted kids to no end,” she tells me.

Why do the new parents make a great couple?

“We’re opposite in a lot of ways. That makes a good balance, and we have so much fun together. We met so many years ago, and we still have a great time together. And I feel like he’s so there for me. It’s fun to know that no matter what happens, you always have somebody who’s got your back.”

Welcome to the world, Charlie. Enjoy the ride.

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