August 25, 2011 03:00 PM

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She may be only 17 months old, but Billie Beatrice is already helping mom Rebecca Gayheart have a successful second pregnancy.

“What’s made it different is that I’m very focused on Billie … so I’m not very focused on [the pregnancy]. I’m not as neurotic,” the expectant mom, 40, told PEOPLE Thursday during friend Soleil Moon Frye‘s Target-sponsored Happy Chaos book launch party in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“[With Billie] I was micromanaging everything I was eating and every little symptom I was feeling. And this pregnancy I just know everything’s okay.”

Gayheart is planning to continue her stress-free streak once her second child with husband Eric Dane arrives this winter.

“Hopefully I’ll be like that with the second baby, as well,” she explains. “Because the first baby … you just want to do it all perfectly. And you can’t.”

However, despite her high hopes, Gayheart is well-aware of the obstacles that await the couple as they parent two kids under two!

“I’ve heard that’s very challenging. But I think I’m up for it,” she says. “Eventually it’s going to be great because they’re going to be very close in age and very close, hopefully.”

For now, Gayheart is investing all her time into Billie, particularly when it comes to teaching her toddler to try new foods.

“She doesn’t want to eat her vegetables right now,” she shares. “I’m sneaking it into food, so she doesn’t know she’s eating them, but she is!”

After demonstrating her dancing skills “for months,” Gayheart’s little girl has also started showing some toddler talent in the music department.

“She started singing lately,” the proud mama says. “Billie’s singing and it’s very sweet, her little, ‘La-la-la,’ [and] twirling. Oh my God. So cute.”

Thrilled to be completing her family — Gayheart reveals this pregnancy will likely be her last — the actress is equally as excited to once again take the stage in the near future.

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“I’ll probably wait until six months after this baby’s born. I am anxious to go back to work because it’s been awhile for me now,” she explains.

“I’ve been working my whole life, and I miss it. The last job I did, thankfully, was a Broadway play, Boeing-Boeing. That satiated a lot for me. So it’s lasted, but it’s worn off. I need a job!”

And although she’s eager to continue with her career, Gayheart admits her greatest joy will forever be her family.

“It’s so cliché, but it’s just the feelings you have for your kid. It’s like no one else on the planet,” she reveals.

“When I’m with [Billie] there’s nowhere else in the world I want to be. Because I’m where I’m supposed to be.”

– Anya Leon with reporting by Scott Huver

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