Bedroom Design: Trundle Beds

Post by Stephanie Noble.

A few weeks ago, I was settling into the couch after putting our almost two year old to bed. I was listening for the squeak of the mattress as the little man did his nightly trampoline routine that he did to wind down at the end of the night. He would generally jump for a few minutes while talking to himself, then go to sleep. I waited for the jumping, but it never came.

Instead, I heard a knock from his door, “Mamma, Daddy, Mamma, Daddy?” Our wee one had jumped out of the protection of his crib straight into the toddler sleep transition.

I went into his room, put him back into his crib and asked him to show me how he got out. He said, “One” and put his first leg over the railing. “Two” brought both legs over and my baby was suddenly dangling over the side of his crib. “Three” he jumped down and yelled “Hurray.”

His latest milestone was not greeted with the same enthusiasm that his previous accomplishments have been met with, so he kept yelling “Hurray” until I finally agreed with him with a hollow, “Yeah.”

We borrowed his cousin’s big boy bed and assembled it. I’m now going to share the parenting secret that nobody filled us in on. “Toddler sleep transition is so much worse than new born sleep deprivation.” Two years ago there was a schedule to the waking up, it was dependable and once the little man was full he’d go back to sleep.

Our toddler wakes up and thinks because he can get out of bed and wander that it must be time to get up and get started with the day.

The past month has seen us readjusting how we live to teach him how to sleep again. Currently, we alternate nights of responsibility so we know that even if we only get four hours of sleep one night, we’ll get a full night the next. That helps, but it’s still hard to go back to being mentally fuzzy most of the time.

When the call comes for parental attention, the responsible parent take the comforter off the bed in our room, throws it down on the floor in our son’s room and then sleep on the floor for the rest of the night with the boy. It’s like camping every other night. A joy at two, aching joints for the over forty crowd.

We decided that the whole camping out thing is getting old and have started looking for a trundle bed. It would be helpful not only during this time of transition, but also when he wants to have friends stay over later on. Everything in a small living space has to pull its multiple duty weight.

I was looking at the Charles P. Rogers website to get some ideas.

Here is my favorite.


I like the Chambord because it looks sturdy and would transition well from toddler to kid. It would also work later on in a library/guest room if we ever live in a bigger space. It also looks a lot more comfy than a comforter on the floor.

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Movies in Bed: Godzilla (and Godzooky)

Post by Mark T. Locker.

Under great protest, I am writing to tell you all about the late 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon Godzilla. As I struggled to come up with a movie to share with you, kind readers, my son came running up and begged—BEGGED—me to write about this cartoon.

Like so many Hanna-Barbera shows of this era, everyone looks and sounds like members of the Scooby-Doo gang, but with far less plausible plot lines. If you listen, you will even hear the voice of Scooby-Doo, although in this he is the voice of Godzilla’s hapless, clumsy little buddy, Godzooky, who is a tenth the size of Godzilla and is clearly there as the unnecessary laughable misadventurer. Think Glomer from the Punky Brewster cartoon. Or—worse—Scrappy-Doo.

The premise of the shows is this: a team of scientists accompanied by the child of one of the scientists, always comes across some bizarre phenomenon. The phenomenon leads to a creature who can only be defeated by Godzilla. Also, Godzilla is friendly and dutifully comes when called. Godzooky, inexplicably, lives with the scientists.

Personally, I do not care for this show, though my son has watched them dozens of times. Maybe your kid will love it too. Though I recommend you bring something to read.

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Things We Like: Underwater Hotels, Pt. 2

Post by Kyle St. Romain.

A while back, I wrote an article highlighting several underwater hotels that provide a lucky few with an unforgettable experience. While many of these sub-sea accommodations are well outside the budgets of even the privileged classes, underwater hotels are still something I expect to become more popular (and hopefully more affordable) in the future.

Home to some of the world’s most luxurious places to sleep*, Dubai looks to be leading the way in the underwater hospitality market as well. Specifically, Polish company Deep Ocean Technology (a recurring name when it comes to underwater construction projects) recently announced its plan to construct the Water Discus Hotel beneath the Persian Gulf, off the coast of Dubai.

The plan calls for an 11,000 square footdisc, or chamber, that will house 21 guest rooms some 33 feet underwater. The structure will also utilize a second disc located above the surface for added amenities. Together, the teo disc structure will offer a diving center (complete with air locks and a decompression chamber), a spa, gardens, and a helipad above the surface for guests arriving by air. The structures are also movable, which allows the hotel to relocate as environmental policies and economies change.

If you’d like to read more about the plans for the Water Discus Hotel, check out Deep Ocean Technology online @ http://www.deep-ocean-technology.com.

I’m still fascinated with the idea underwater hotels, and can’t wait for the opportunity to experience one – even if only for a quick day tour! Are underwater hotels something you’d like to experience? Let us know in the comments below.

*Did you know each suite at the Burj Al Arab (often credited as the most luxurious hotel the entire world) comes with a gold iPad? You don’t get to keep it, but you’re free to use it as a sort of personal concierge throughout your stay. Dubai is also home to one of the tallest buildings in the world, the largest shopping mall, and the biggest man-made island. Yeah, everything’s a bit over the top there.

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Breakfast in Bed: Hush Puppies

Post by Alison Hein.

Nearly 20 years ago, I took a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. I was quite taken by the stately, historic homes, tucked sideways to the street and blanketed by lush, secret gardens. The marketplace was a plethora of sights, scents and sounds – local artisans weaving sweet grass baskets, aromas of intricate spice blends, and faint lingering chords of street musicians. But most of all, I was entranced by the deep-fried mini-cornmeal cakes playfully called hush puppies. And at every restaurant we visited, I was rewarded with a steaming basket of these little babies before even seeing a menu.

Last month, I returned to Charleston, and was disappointed with the evident lack of hush puppies. When I inquired where they had gone, I was reminded that Charleston is now THE food destination in the US, and weren’t hush puppies just a tad passé?

Upon returning home, I decided to make my house THE food destination for breakfast in bed, starting with a basketful of hot, crisped hush puppies and a side of homemade honey butter. Yumm.

Hush Puppies
Oil for frying (4 to 6 cups)
2 cups corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 large egg

Equipment
Deep-fry or candy thermometer

Preparation
Pour oil at least 2 inches deep into a small, heavy pan. Heat over medium heat to approximately 360°.
In a large bowl, combine corn meal, baking powder, sugar and salt, stirring to mix. Add milk, cider vinegar and egg and mix well. Batter should be slightly thicker than pancake batter.

Use a teaspoon to measure batter. Carefully drop a teaspoon of batter into the hot oil for each hush puppy. Dip spoon into clean water after each hush puppy. This helps the batter to drop off the spoon easily. Cook about eight to ten hush puppies at a time, allowing oil to retain its temperature.

Fry the hush puppies until they have reached a deep golden brown color, about 2 to 3 minutes. They tend to flip over on their own, but give them a little push with a spoon if they don’t so they cook evenly. Remove hush puppies from pan and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with honey butter.

Honey Butter
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey

Preparation
Add softened butter to small bowl. Stir in honey and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

NOTE: Monitor oil with candy thermometer to maintain stable temperature.

Makes about 4 dozen.

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Bedtime Stories: The Adventures of Awesome Man!

The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man by Michael Chabon.

It is pretty awesome being a superhero. You get to shoot positronic lasers out of your eyes, and wear an awersom red cape and black mask. You get to have special Awesome powers and save the world! But it can be pretty exhausting work too. When you’re so busy shooting lasers and fighting Flaming Eyeball, you can forget to slow down and remember to eat. But who is Awesome Man? What could be his secret identity?

The clever writing of this book gives you clues. Like when he says “All this evil-fighting can make a superhero really tired. Pooped. (I love saying ‘pooped.’)” and, “I’m going to tell my mo—I mean, I’m going to use my beams to make a positronic force shield!”

I’ve never known Michael Chabon to write children’s books before. But his skills in writing come through nicely in a picture-book format. It’s funny, it’s got lots of big bright colors. Definitely worth a look, and more suited to little kids than The Yiddish Policeman’s Union.

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