Transitioning Your Toddler to a New Room


Here’s my sweet 2 year old sleeping in her crib for one of the last times.  We have one of those cribs that converts into a toddler bed by removing one of the sides.  She’s been in that all her life, about 34 months.  Now that baby sister is coming to occupy that crib, she’s moving into big brothers room next door. 

My hubby and I thought about how to make the transition smooth and fun for both our son and daughter.   First, we decided we better do it a few weeks before baby arrives so they are both used to it before having another major change.  Also, that would lessen the feelings of “the new intruder” kicking me out of my room.

My mom had the brilliant idea of bringing a tent into the room to make it fun (whenever the kids visit my parents, they love pretending to sleep in this tent).  So my mom gave us the tent and we put a mattress inside.  We renamed the room “Camp Crazy” and had a big grand opening party.  It was a huge success!  My son didn’t seem to mind having a guest in his room, and my daughter loved the idea of going into the tent.  They’ve been sleeping together for about a week so far, and no fits or crying from either of them.  We are proud, thrilled, and relieved.

There are times when my daughter says, “I want to go back to my old room” and my heart goes out to her.  She used to have her whole room, but now she has a tent in her brother’s room.  I suppose it’s good to learn how to downsize and be flexible – even if you’re two! 

But see…she looks happy enough roughing it, don’t you think? 



Book Review: Have a New Husband by Friday


If you are a married woman or considering marrying anytime soon, I wholeheartedly recommend reading Have a New Husband by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman.  (Yes, this book will deliver on its promise, although it will probably take you more than 5 days to read it because you’re a busy mom) 

I have been a big fan of psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman for years.  His down to earth style, no nonsense approach, wit, wisdom, and humor will endear you to him on every page.  You’ll love the stories about Mrs. Uppington (his wife’s nickname), Leemie (what his wife calls him) and Moonhead (his childhood buddy) as he illustrates the very different ways men and women see life and communicate.

If you’ve ever been frustrated…why doesn’t my husband help me around the house more?

If you’ve ever felt unloved…he just doesn’t get me!

If you’ve ever wondered why he won’t talk to you…can’t he say more than “fine” and “yes dear”?   

If you’ve wanted to hide instead of hopping into the sack…doesn’t he think of anything else besides sex?

Then Have a New Husband by Friday is for you! 

I love how Dr. Leman peels back the curtain to help us women understand the male psyche.  If you take his advice to heart and listen with an open mind, your marriage will be changed for the better.  Guaranteed.  Not only will you have a new husband by Friday, he’ll have a new wife by Friday too.  A new improved model that doesn’t nag, belittle him in public, or tear down the walls of respect in the home. 

You’ll find funny comments in the book (“Sex is very important to a man.  But it’s not the only thing.  There’s ESPN too.”).  You’ll read letters about real life situations you’ll be able to relate to, with Dr. Leman’s action based responses that really will get your husband’s attention.  There’s a “What Would You Do If…” section where you are given different scenarios and asked how you would respond. 

Reading Have a New Husband by Friday is a wonderful investment for your marriage and your family.  (The cost of the book is a lot less than counseling, divorce, or unhappy cohabitation!)  The best thing you can do for your kids is to love your husband and treat him like he is the cat’s meow, best thing since sliced bread, and the man of your dreams.  This book will help you feel like that again! 

Have a New Husband by Friday is available October 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Quinoa and Black Beans

quinoaQuinoa is supposed to be super healthy, so here’s a chance to give it a try in Monday’s Meal, courtesy


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned.
  • Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes,
  • Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro
  • No Cookies Mom!


    I was in the grocery store with my 5 and 2 year old.  Right as you walked in the door, there was a table full of cookies for 10 cents each from the bakery.  They were sold in packages of 18.  This was a no brainer for this pregnant momma!  18 cookies for $1.80 baked from the bakery – I was in! 

    There was only one question:  oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip?

    To my utter amazement, when I asked my 5 year old which one I should choose, he said with all seriousness, “I don’t think we should buy cookies mom.” 


    “We shouldn’t eat cookies mom.”

    I was so shocked (my kids are human and like treats too!) that I put the cookies right back.  Isn’t it funny when the positive influence comes from the kids and not the moms?  It was a crowning moment in the grocery store (although I have still been thinking about those cookies!).

    I May Be Smiling, But My Baby is Kicking My Abs!

    DSC_3870 - Copy

    Yes, I am happy that my baby is kicking a lot.  It’s a wonderful reassurance that she’s in there and doing well.  But ever since Labor Day (so appropriate!), she has been kicking HARD!  Not the “oooh, it’s so cute to feel her flutter in there.”  It’s the “OW!  Who punched me in the belly?”  She did it just now as I’m typing the little comedian!

    So when I went to the doctor and told her I had cramping on my left side toward the bottom of my belly, she explained the baby was probably stretching a particular ligament, and to try to lay on one side or just get in a more comfortable position when that happened.  She told me not to worry about the localized cramping, and to be more concerned with contractions. 

    It’s nice to have the reassurance that everything’s okay.  You would think I would remember from prior pregnancies, but this little one seems a lot more forceful than my others.  She must be ready to make her entrance into the world!

    Recipe from The Potluck Club Cookbook

    Potluck Cookbook

    As promised, here’s the recipe for Monday’s Meal from The Potluck Club Cookbook, a wonderful, easy cookbook I reviewed last week, authored by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson.  Enjoy! 

    Linda’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole

    •  2 ½ Tbsp.     chopped onions
    • ¼ cup              butter
    • 3 Tbsp.            flour
    • 1 ½ cups          milk
    • ¾ cup              chicken broth
    • 1 tsp.               salt
    • 3 Tbsp.            jalapeno peppers
    • 1 ½ cups          chopped canned tomatoes (stewed)
    • 3 cups              cubed chicken, cooked
    • ½ cup              shredded cheese
    • 12                    tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

    Sauté onions in butter, then add flour and cook until mixture is bubbly.  Stir in milk and broth gradually.  Stir in salt, peppers, and tomatoes.

    In casserole dish, layer chicken, cheese, then strips of tortillas.  Pour sauce over layers then sprinkle casserole with cheese.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Serve hot.

    Serves 6-8.

    What the author Linda says about the recipe:  “You can’t go wrong with this tasty dish. It’s a potluck crowd favorite.”

    The Potluck Club Cookbook is available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

    Book Review: The Potluck Club Cookbook

    Potluck Cookbook

    The Potluck Club Cookbook caught my eye because it has one of my favorite words on the cover:  EASY.  Nowadays, potlucks are a great way to enjoy socializing without breaking the bank, and this cookbook will help you bring a dish you can be proud of that didn’t take you 3 hours to make. 

    As it says on the back cover, “Eating In is the New Eating Out.”  And this (for the most part) will help you in losing weight after baby.  Even with all the yummy desserts brought over in most potlucks, you’ll probably fare better calorie-wise enjoying a potluck versus going out to a restaurant to eat.  That is – if you choose wisely and don’t load up your plate 3 times! 

    The authors Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson have done a wonderful job compiling their favorite recipes for:

    • Potluck Snack Attack – Appetizers
    • Potluck Kneads Dough – Breads
    • Potluck Cake Walk – Cakes, Cookies, and Icings
    • Potluck Crock Pots – Yup, Crock Pot Meals!
    • Potluck Lightens Up – Cooking Lite (this is your section for losing weight after baby!)
    • Potluck’s Just Desserts
    • Potluck Munches Brunch – Breakfast
    • Potluck Meets Meats – Meat Dishes
    • Plus Casseroles, Salads, Soups, Stews and Vegetables

    The recipes use common ingredients and are easy to follow.  No long paragraphs here, no crazy preparation, no stress – I love it!  

    The authors have put some pizazz and creativity into potlucks.  You’ll find suggestions for theme potlucks like a Book Club potluck, salad potlock, and even chocolate potlock!  Each recipe includes a short personal comment from one of the authors about the recipe.  Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson have authored the popular fictional series, Potluck Club and the Potluck Catering Club

    I tried making the Shrimp Scampi on page 71 and it turned out great!  Many times when I try a recipe, my husband doesn’t say a whole lot while I wait for his stamp of approval.  And I suppose I should be grateful since many times it wouldn’t be too complimentary – ha!  But this Shrimp Scampi we both LOVED and it truly was EASY! 

    I’ll be featuring a recipe from The Potluck Club Cookbook for a Monday Meal in the future, so be looking for “Linda’s Chicken Tortilla Casserole” soon! 

    The Potluck Club Cookbook is available September 2009 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.