The hot seat: The Barkers

WE were pleased to "Meet the Barkers" last spring when MTV unveiled its latest portrait of an oddball American family - mohawked blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, actress Shanna Moakler (aka Miss U.S.A. 1995) and their two kids, Atiana and Landon, who sports a baby mohawk.

The show, chronicling the events leading up to Barker and Moakler's first Valentine's day as a married couple, filled the hole left in our collective (M)TV reality after "The Osbournes" and "The Newlyweds" fired off their last expletives and eye rolls.

Instead of watching the Barkers argue about designer sheets or cope with shrill, screaming teenagers, we got to see them mixing their rock 'n' roll lifestyle - Playboy Mansion parties, Vegas bachelor blowouts - with being responsible parents of a 6- and 2-year-old. Then, in the season finale, Moakler had an "oh s---!" moment after taking a pregnancy test.

Fast forward nine months, and the Barkers have welcomed a new addition to their family, a baby girl named Alabama, born on Christmas Eve. Curious about what happened during gestation? "Meet the Barkers: Season Two" debuts Tuesday at 10 p.m. on MTV.

Q: How'd you pick your new baby's name?

A: Moakler: We loved the movie "True Romance" [Patricia Arquette's character is named Alabama]. Actually, the soundtrack from that movie was in our wedding - we love that film, and it was special for us. We went through a bunch of names for a while, but that was the first one, and we went right back to it.

Q:Why should people meet the Barkers?

A: Moakler: We're a young family, and there are a lot of young families out there, so it can be really inspiring to show [them] that you can balance a family and the things that you're passionate about. It's a fun show; it's lighthearted and entertaining - [plus] there's a music side, a family side, my acting ...

Barker: Those are the positive things - there are some ugly things this season that will be entertaining, too. But it's universal, no matter what kind of family you are - color, age - you can find something that appeals to you, that you can relate to.

Q: Do you want to be role models for other new parents?

A: Moakler: I wouldn't say that we want to be role models to anybody - that's a strong word and very Miss U.S.A.-esque [laughs], but we show that we are good parents and can balance our careers and families. You can still be young and do what you love to do, be passionate about it and still raise a healthy family.

Q: Have you discovered the secret to a happy marriage?

A: Moakler: First and foremost, we know that we're friends and parents and that we respect each other. But I think it's just communication. Constantly talking and sharing, even if you're upset and angry and you don't want to talk about it, yet you have to. I don't know if that's going to come across a lot in the show though.

Q:It seems like you're always affectionate with each other. Do you ever fight?

A: Moakler: We argue! I'm an Aries, and he's a Scorpio, so we're both very stubborn, but we really try to communicate as much as we possibly can.

Barker: Yeah, we're happy, but we have our beef - sometimes she throws things at me.

Moakler: [Laughing] He gets a remote control thrown at him once in a while.

Barker: [Laughing] I know how to dodge a Sidekick.

Q:Other reality show couples land on tabloid covers every week, how have you avoided that fate?

A: Barker: Those people are wanting that type of press, you know? We're not out there looking for that. We don't really let everyone know the details of our lives - even though our lives are on TV. If we have a problem, we deal with it ourselves, not in the tabloids or other publications.

Q:Why have a reality show in the first place?

A: Moakler: For us, it's fun to see. It's a documentation of things like our wedding, moving in together or going to the doctor and getting our first ultrasound. It's really cool to have footage of that just as a memory, a video album that we can have for life and show our kids when they're older.

Q:So you're definitely going to sit them down and make the kids watch the show?

A: Barker: Wouldn't it be weird if we didn't?

Moakler: Our daughter loves it, she thinks it's exciting - to see herself on Halloween, all dressed up and trick-or-treating and stuff.

Q:What made you decide to do another season?

A: Moakler: I got pregnant, and it just seemed natural. The first season documented us moving in together and getting married. This was the next step, us having another baby and proceeding with our lives and our family: Travis is going on the Warped Tour [with the Transplants], we had our one-year anniversary, and our kids are obviously getting bigger and crazier.

Q:Why are people so obsessed with watching celebrity reality shows?

A: Moakler: I guess it just shows people's human side - what people that they look up to and admire do in natural situations.

Q:Do you consider yourselves reality stars?

A: Barker and Moakler: No! Barker: We're not reality stars; we just happen to have cameras following us for a certain amount of time.

The Score

Names: Travis Barker, Shanna Moakler

Ages: Both 30

New Year's resolutions: Moakler plans to "lose 30 pounds of baby weight," and Barker says he wants to "learn to play the piano - I pretty much quit all the bad stuff I was doing already."

Sunday routine: Family day with the Barkers, whether it's father-daughter piano lessons, lunch or going to the movies, they always "spend the day with the family."

Favorite way to entertain a child: the Wiggles

Extracurricular activities: Travis has a record label called La Salle

Records and owns Famous Stars and Straps clothing line, for which Shanna designs the women's line.

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