Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Used Cloth Diapers: Protecting Your Investment

Eeew, gross, you might say, when thinking of buying used cloth diapers, and I can honestly say that I've seen some really disgusting used diapers for sale. HOWEVER, when each brand new diaper sells for up to $45 each and you have no idea which brand of cloth diaper will fit your baby and cover your needs, you may have to try a few out to find the right ones. Used cloth diapers come in very handy when you need to try out new brands and styles. You can save yourself up to 60% of the cost if you're willing to slap a used diaper on your baby's bum. I would, however, recommend disinfecting any used diaper you buy BEFORE using it. A little bleach in the wash, a bit of extra hot water in the wash, a spin in the drier on high, or a few hours in the sun will all do the trick.

The flip side to buying used diapers is that you can SELL your diapers after you're done with them. No one buys cloth diapers with the intent to make money on them when you're done using them, but let's face it, cloth diapers are a commodity and you can often recoup 40-75% of their initial cost when you sell them to the right buyer.

However, in order to be successful in your reselling of your diapers, there are a few things to keep in mind. Buyers want an item that looks like it has been used as little as possible and NO ONE wants to buy a diaper that looks like you baked brownies in it and then forgot to wash it. Keep them clean and keep them looking fresh and you'll have a lot more success in recouping your costs. With that in mind, I offer you the following 10 tips:

1. Have enough diapers to go for about twice as many days as your wash cycle. This allows you to both have some flexibility in your washing routine and also allows your diapers to see less wear-time. The key is to keep them from looking careworn.

2. Deal with poop as soon as possible. If you can't deal with it as soon as you take it off your baby's bottom, then set it somewhere that it will remain unsquished and somewhat moist. Dealing wit poop is much easier when it's moist than when it's dried and hard.

3. Deal with poop properly. If you don't have a mind to dunk and swish, then use either liners or a diaper sprayer or both. Don't expect your washing machine to act like a septic tank. The less poop you put into your washer the less poop remains in your diapers after the cycle is through.

4 Don't hold onto anything other than prefolds and flats for more than 18 months. There are two reasons for this. First, elastic and stretchy materials deteriorate over time. Second, styles and brands change over time and diapers are nothing if not fad-ish. Your pocket diapers might be as good as the day you bought them 4 years ago but if the big fad is for some other brand, you won't be able to sell.

5. Close ALL velcro tabs as securely as you can before washing. Better yet, don't buy velcro diapers or bibs. Velcro may be faster and allow for more size possibilities, but it eats up EVERYTHING it comes into contact with in your washer and drier. It's better to minimize that sort of damage if possible.

6. Line dry your covers. The high heat from the drier may not immediately damage your PUL, but over time, the polyurethane lining will separate from the polyester knit. The more you dry it, the sooner this happens.

7. Hand wash poo out of covers, treat leg binding with stain stuff as needed, machine wash with regular laundry on COLD. Prevent stains before they start.

8. Use appropriate diaper rash creams. Some diaper creams may be great for the skin but leave permanent stains on your diapers. Even worse, some may cause the fabric of your diapers to no longer be absorbent.

9. Wash on a regular schedule (2-3 days MAX) even if you don't have a full load. The longer you postpone washing, the more likely you are to have stink issues. No one buys stinky diapers. Do yourself and your buyer a favor and don't let stinkies even start.

10. Don't let your baby hang out in just a diaper if they 're mobile or eating solids. Cover that diaper to prevent food and dirt stains.

Good luck!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


A: Say, "Big dumb Mama." Say, "Big dumb Abby."

M: You're not dumb. You're sweet, smart Abby.

A: No, I'm... I'm... I'm Tootie-Pants!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Morning Chatter with the Toddler

Mama: I heard you go potty by yourself this morning. Good girl!

A: But I don't have any undies on.

Mama: That's okay. YOu still did a great job!

A: But I do have pumpkin pie and cookies.

Mama: Where? In your pockets?

A: NO, my butt. You want some?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chocolate Medicine

A few nights ago, I was having a rough evening. Through a mismanagement of time and resources, my baby ended up only having one meal during the hours I was at work. After I got home, she was absolutely miserable. She was clinging to me like a little monkey. She wouldn't let me sit down, wouldn't let me put her down, wouldn't let me cook, wouldn't let me do any of the many things I need to do in the hour between arriving home and getting dinner on the table.

I finally got so frustrated that I set her down in the excersaucer, sat next to her, and just said, "Look. You need to calm down for a few minutes! I can't handle this!"

My soon to be three-year-old came up to me with a Kit Kat bar in her hand and said, "This will make you feel better." She then proceded to occupy and entertain the baby for 10 minutes while I took a break. I relaxed, the baby calmed down and started giggling, and in fact, I did feel better.

How many toddlers do you know of that can prescribe chocolate medicine when needed?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pasta Bake

Another recipe for moms:

Pasta Bake
1lb ground sausage
1 onion
2 carrots
1tsp Italian seasonings
salt and pepper to taste
12 oz pasta
1.5-2 jars basil and tomato pasta sauce
4 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Brown the sausage in a pan with the onion and carrots. Add seasonings and salt and pepper to taste.

Boil pasta to al dente texture. Do not over-boil as it will continue to cook in the oven.

Mix sausage, vegetables, sauce, and pasta together in a large pot or bowl. I used my pasta boiling pot for this.

In a 9x19" pan, lay down a layer of pasta mixture, top with half the cheese, lay down a second layer of pasta. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes, covered with foil. Remove foil, add remaining 2 C of cheese and return to oven for 10 minutes.

One of THOSE Moms

I swore I would never be one of those moms who:

goes out in public:

  • on day three without a shower
  • with a toddler with uncombed hair and chocolate smeared across her face
  • carrying a baby whose nose is so runny it's crusted over
  • wearing her slippers
  • in a mis-matched outfit
  • with snot on both shoulders and sleeves

BUT, yesterday, there I was, toting the baby, dragging the toddler, unwashed and uncombed. It's amazing what being a parent of two under age 3 will do to your personal-hygiene standards.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

GroBaby Revisited

I posted a few months back about wanting to try the new GroBaby bio inserts on our littlest daughter. I figured it was time for an update!

I received inserts in size 1, which is the smaller of two sizes, as M is on the middle setting of her Grobaby shells and is around 15 pounds. These seemed to fit very nicely into the shells and I was very eager to use them.

After trying them out on short day trips, I decided that I liked them. they're a bit more complex than the Gdiaper inserts (which were my other option for disposable inserts in cloth covers.) They have nice elastic leg edges and adhesive pads on the backside to keep them in place. They never leaked on us which was impressive as at the time, M was EBF and her poo was like explosive gravy. Standard disposables NEVER held it all. Way to go, Grobaby!

Flushing them was an entirely different experience, however, than what I expected. I was hoping that they would be as easy as the directions made it out to be. "Tear open one edge and dump the absorbant inner material into the toilet." Um, yeah. Tearing the edge was a challenge when the biosoaker was drenched. Getting the innards out was yet another challenge! HOWEVER, when compared to the 500 years in a landfill that disposables take to decompose or scrubbing poop off cloth diapers by hand, really, it wasn't much of a chore.

I did give the biosoakers a longer test-run while on a road trip. Compared to travelling with cloth diapers, it was a cinch. No diapers to wash, no dirties to store until we reached a washing machine, and best yet, less bulk in the baggage.

Overall, biosoakers are a great option for those of us who choose to use as few disposables as possible.

Info on Grobaby and biosoakers can be found here:


Also of note, the original biosoakers I tried were donated to me as part of a pre-production trial run. I did not pay for them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pork Tenderloin Recipe Success

I'm always trying to find new ways to cook pork tenderloin. It's always a favorite cut of meat in our household because it comes vacuum packed, giving me a few extra days to get around to cooking it before it goes bad.

I can't take credit for this one, but can't find the link either, so here it is, without me taking any credit.

Maple Pork Tenderloin
1 tenderloin
splash of oil for pan
1 tsp sage
salt, pepper

3T maple syrup
3T vinegar (apple cider or in a pinch rice wine)
1t dijon mustard

Rub the tenderloin with the sage, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown the tenderloin in a pan with a splash of oil to keep it from sticking. This should take about 6 minutes on med-hi. Lower the heat to med-low and cover. Cook an additional 10 min or so until temp is 150F. Remove from pan and keep warm.

Wisk together 2T maple syrup, 2T vinegar, and dijon. Place 1T vinegar in pan and heat until bubble, scraping the pan to bring up brown spots.

Add maple mix to pan and heat until it thickens, return pork and turn for an additional 2 min.

Remove pork from pan. Add the additional 1T maple syrup, heat, and pour the juices over pieces of pork.

I served it with polenta and butternut squash and was tempted to make a cranberry sauce for it. Maybe next time.

Friday, October 9, 2009

An 8 Months Pictorial Comparison

While posting pictures in one of my diapering forums, I posted the following two pictures of my girls, taken at roughly the same age. Despite their differences in appearance, these two pictures really struck me as showing their similarities. I think it's the smile that does it for me. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings, Adapted for Moms.

Here is a chicken and dumplings recipe that I adapted for moms. I say that I adapted it because the original recipe called for cooked chicken to be put in to the crock pot, along with fresh vegetables and I say, "what mom has time for that?"

Chicken and Dumplings:
4+ frozen chicken breasts
1 bag of frozen green beans or other vegetable
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans of water
1T chicken boulion granules
4T flour
1/2tsp pepper
1 can Pillsbury biscuits

Pour the bag of frozen vegetables into the crock pot. Layer on frozen chicken breasts. Use 4 or more because they don't go far. Sprinkle on pepper and flour. Pour cans of soup on top, pour on water, and sprinkle with granules.

Cook on high for about an hour, then turn to low. Cook on low until 1 hour before dinner. Cut up the biscuits into pieces and mix into the stew. Allow to steam for an hour.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cloth Diapers 101, as promised

Okay, so please understand that I'm writing this for those of you who have already decided to cloth diaper. I'm not going to spend any time trying to convince you that cloth diapers are better for the environment, better for the baby, better for you, etc. You already know this.

In this post, I hope to cover some basic definitions for the types of cloth diapers and covers that are available as well as some places to purchase them and some online resources for more information. Please let me know if there are any glaring omissions, or if you'd like to add something. I plan to lay out a basic outline and then fill in the slots as I have time, so if it looks half-written, that's because it is. Please be patient with me. I have two children and work part time, so this is going to have to be piecemeal.

aplix (velcro)
prefold belts

These are your grandma's cloth diapers. Literally. They are cotton squares of birdseye, muslin, or flannel that have either finished edges or pinked edges. They come in bleached, unbleached, dyed, tie-dyed, embellished, you name it. They are inexpensive, wash well and dry easily. They do, however, require folding to use. The folding can be as easy as making a multilayered rectangle or as complicated as an origami sculpture. It all depends on what sort of performance you want out of them. They can be folded specifically for boys or girls, doubled for toddlers or left singly for newborns. You can add a doubler (multilayered single-unit sewn piece) to add absorbancy exactly where you need it. They must be closed with either pins or a snappi or a tight-fitting wrap-style cover. These can truly be a one-sized diaper that you use from birth to potty.

Flats are sold singly for approximately $1.25 each or in dozens for $15 or so.

Prefolds are similar to flats in that they are generally comprised of a cotton birdseye. The name prefold comes from the fact that prefolds are sewn to resemble one of the most basic flat-diaper folding techniques, thus saving the parent the time they would need to fold a flat. The are rectangular and have usually 2-4 layers on the outside edges and 6-8 layers in a strip down the center. This provides absorbancy where you need it and less bulk at the hips where you don't need it.

Prefolds come in:
  • bleached cotton
  • unbleached cotton
  • hemp
  • bamboo
  • dyed
  • tie-dyed
Prefolds come in the following traditional sizes and also additional "gourmet" sizes that are more square than rectangular:
  • preemie
  • infant
  • regular
  • premium
  • toddler
You will have to buy several sizes as your baby grows, but at around $20 for a dozen, it's still a very affordable diaper. You will also find many other uses for prefolds both while your babies are young and afterwards. They are truly a useful item to have on-hand.

Prefolds can be folded further by methods such as: (links to come later)
  • diva fold
  • newspaper fold
  • angel fold
  • jelly roll
  • bikini twist
Prefolds are usually fastened with either pins or a snappi, but can be trifolded and lain in a tight-fitting wrap-style cover to hold them in place.


Preflats are very similar to prefolds. They are rectangular hemmed fabric with a thicker strip down the center. The main difference between preflats and prefolds is the material they are made of. Prefolds are made from cotton and preflats are usually rayon made from bamboo. Because bamboo fabrics are more absorbant than cotton, the preflat usually has fewer layers both on the edges and in the center than a standard prefold does. The use of prefolds is generally identical to that of prefolds.

Because bamboo rayon is a more expensive fabric to purchase, preflats are usually about $15-20 per diaper. Examples of preflats include PB&E, Cake, and Buckaww.

Contoured diapers are similar to fitted diapers except that they do not have elastic at the waist or leg openings. They are generally pinned or snappied to fit and worn under a cover. Contours are usually made of cotton. Contures are usually priced in the $6-10 range.

Kissaluvs brand makes contour diapers.

Fitted diapers are much like a reusable version of a disposable diaper. They are shaped to fit your baby with elastic at the waist and leg openings and usually have some sort of closure system built in. Closures are usually aplix (velcro) or snaps but can sometimes be ties, buckles, or some other system. Some fitteds are without closures to allow the parent to use pins or a snappi for a perfect fit.

Fitted diapers can be made from:
  • cotton
  • hemp
  • rayon from bamboo

and may include other types of man-made fibers as soakers (absorbancy boosters.)
The inner layer of some fitted diapers is microfleece or suedecloth to create a layer that allows water to pass through to the absorbant materials but not feel wet on the baby's bottom. This is a nice feature, but introduces non-organic fibers, which some parents do not care for. Also, some babies have shown a sensitivity to suedecloth.

The outer layer of fitteds is usually a printed fabric. Some mothers become collectors of a particular brand of fitteds and try to own all of the prints available. A stack of fitted diapers on a shelf can be quite colorful, if you have an eye for prints, and some mothers use them as decor in the child's room. For this and other reasons, fitted diapers can be the most expensive type to build your stash with. Fitted diapers generally range from $10-$40 per diaper when purchased new.

Fitted diapers can have either internal soakers or external soakers, meaning that sometimes the soaker materials are sew into the layers of the diaper and sometimes they are attached to the body of the diaper by snaps or stitches. Diapers with internal soakers can be easier to put on a baby, especially in the night, but diapers with external soakers dry faster after laundering. A third, less common, style is the pocket fitted. A pocket fitted has an opening at the back edge of the diaper for the parent to insert whatever absorbant pieces they choose.

Fitted diapers do not have a waterproof layer and must be used with a cover or wool/fleece pants.

Examples of fitted diapers include Goodmamas, Sandys (by Motherease), and Bagshot Row Bamboo diapers.

All-in-ones, or AIOs as they are referred to, are the closest to a disposable diaper that you can come without actually disposing of anything but solid waste during the cleaning process. They are shaped like a fitted with elastic and a closure system, but also have a waterproof outer layer to hold the contents and moisture in.

The absorbant layers are permanently attached to the waterproof layer and the whole diaper is washed after a single use. Most AIOs have internally sewn soakers but a few have external, flappy soakers to aid it drying time. AIOs tend to take the longest to dry as the waterproof layer also prevents the warm air in the dryer from blowing through the absorbant layers and drying them.

AIOs are often a good choice for newborns, grandparents, babysitters, and daycares as they require the least amount of thinking and preparation for use.

AIOs range in price from $15-$30 per diaper.

All-in-two, or AI2s as they are called, are very similar to AIOs except that the absorbant layers are removable. There are two advantages to an AI2 system over an AIO:

  • the waterproof shell can be reused multiple times if it does not get pooped on. You simply snap in a new soaker and reuse the shell.
  • the AI2 soakers often dry faster than an AIO as the lack of a waterproof/windprood barrier allows the warm air to do its work more quickly.
The first of these advantages my be negated when diapering a very tiny baby as the poop of a breast-fed baby is often both liquid and explosively expelled. This means that chances are very good that the baby will poop on the shell with every use, not allowing you to simply snap a wet soaker out of a clean shell.

AI2s generally cost $20-25 for one shell and one soaker, with additional soakers costing $6-$15 each. An example of an AI2 diaper is Grobaby.

Pocket diapers are very similar to AI2s and AIOs. They involve a waterproof outer later and usually a stay-dry inner layer, elastic, and closures. However, instead of snapping soakers in or having a sewn-in absorbant soaker, pocket diapers have an opening along the back or front edge that allows the parent to insert absorbant materials. After use, the insert is removed and washed along with the pocket. After drying, the inserts must be repacked for the next use, much like an AI2.

Pockets have the advantages of being quick to dry and easy to put on as a single piece diaper. The disadvantage is mainly in the initial prep-time.

Pocket diapers are usually $15-$20 per diaper and often come with an insert. The most common insert materials are:
  • microfiber
  • hemp
  • bamboo
  • cotton prefold diapers, tri-folded
Examples of pocket diapers include Fuzzi Bunz, Rocky Mountain Diapers, BumGenius, and Knickernappies.

With most cloth diapers, you will need some sort of waterproof barrier to keep your baby's clothes and your lap dry. There are many more options today than there were 30 years ago when my parents were diapering me. Thankfully, there are so many good ones that it's difficult to pick just one favorite style!

pull on nylon taffeta:
Nylon taffeta pull-on pants are the style of cover that most closely resembles what our parents used on us. They are a simple shower cap style pant with elastic at the legs and waist. They pull on and off like undies.

The advantages to these covers are:

  • inexpensive
  • easy to use (no confusing closures)
  • difficult for toddlers to remove
  • compress easily under clothing
They are inexpensive ($2.50-$6 per cover) and are available from a number of companies. They are usually sold in white but can easily be dyed by soaking them in unsweetened Kool Aid. Companies that sell these types of covers include Dappi, Bummis and Basic Connection.

pouf-style pull-on, snap-off:
This style of cover, often called POSO, is a hybrid of the pull-on cover and the wrap style cover. It can be either pulled on and off or snapped on and off, or any combination of the two. This comes in handy when the baby poops and you'd rather not slide the slimy cover down their legs.

These covers are more expensive than pull-on styles and are comparable in price to wrap style covers. Prices are typically $12-15. Examples of POSOs are Mother-Ease Airflow (MEAF) and Blue Penguin POSO.

wrap style (snap or aplix)
gussets and why you might like them
WAHM style
wool (wraps, soakers, shorties, capris, longies, skirties)

STORES that I can personally recommend:


Monday, September 28, 2009

Homemade Bread

Yogurt Bread
2 pkg yeast
1.5 C warm water
1C yogurt
1Tbsp salt
5-6 C flour

I made this in my Kitchenaide mixer. I put the yeast and warm water in the bowl and let it get fizzy. Ass yogurt and salt. Mix on 2 and add flour slowly. Allw mixer to kneed the bread for 5-10 min on speed 2-3.

Allow the dough to rest for 30-60 minutes.

Use the mixer to punch down the dough for 5-10 seconds.

Kneed the dough on speed 1-2 for less than 60 seconds.

Shape the dough and place it on a greased sheet. Allow the bread to rise 40 minutes. Make three slashes on the dough and brush with water. Bake for 35-40 min at 400F. Brush with water every 15 minutes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cloth Diapers: a peek at upcoming posts

At the request of both my husband and my friend J, I am about to embark on a little writing challenge. Both have requested that I take time to write up some of the useful tidbits of diapering knowlege that I have gained over the past three years. For those of you who are diapering experts, this is probably old news. For those of you, like J, who are just embarking on your cloth diapering adventures, I hope this helps you out!

In the upcoming posts, I hope to include topics such as:

  1. Diapering 101: basic definitions
  2. Diapering 102: building your stash
  3. Diapering 201: beyond the basics
  4. Night time diapering
  5. Troubleshooting the wash and Stain removal tips
  6. What to save for the next baby, what to sell
  7. Getting a return on your investment
Is there anything that YOU'D like to pick my brain about? Let me know and I'll try to include a post about your topic of choice.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another Round of Toddler Interpretation

Compluter= computer
Compliano= piano
Bastik= basket
Kunt-Arr= guitar

And yes, I did struggle with how to spell that last one.... ideally, it would be a rude word with arrr at the end.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Little Red

My great grandfather had a running bounty with a $100 prize. He wanted a red-headed grandchild. And while he had many grandchildren and is still gaining great-grandchildren, it wasn't until our second daughter, M, was born that he achieved his goal of a red-headed grandchild. As my great grandfather had already passed away, my grandmother was the one to cut the prize check for our little M.

The other day I was speaking on the phone with my grandmother and she asked, "Is her hair still coming in red?" So today I will answer that question for you all with a picture: (click on the images to see them larger.)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I LOVE Fishnoodles. What are Fishnoodles? They're a brand of diaper covers and cloth diapers. Here's their website: www.fishnoodles.com. I recently purchased two covers on the advice of a friend and found the love. I had been searching all over for a snapping cover with gussets. The Fishnoodles cover was exactly what I was looking for. I had tried a few other brands from Hyenacart.com but the quality of the materials and selection of colors and prints is far better at Fishnoodles.

Recently, we were asked by the mama behind Fishnoodles to test a new closure style she is working on for her fitted diapers. She didn't have to twist my arm at all. I'm happy to try out something new on my baby.

The tester diaper arrived yesterday and I am already in love. It's so soft, so pretty, and the closure is really ingenious. I won't detail it here as it's not my intellectual property. I've seen something similar elsewhere, but I like the small differences the way Dawn did hers.

I have only had the time to prewash the diaper once, so I haven't been able to give it a full test run. I'm sad about that, but since it's my day at work, I wouldn't have the chance to put it on her and also be the one to take it off afterwards anyhow. I'll try to get it prewashed for the weekend so I can really test it out.

I'm thinking the Fishnoodles will be a good Night Diaper, as it's fairly comparable to the BSRBs (http://hyenacart.com/BagshotRowBamboo/) which I am already using successfully as a night diaper. The drawback to the BRSBs in the night has always been the need to use pins to close them. For daytime use I love pins but at 4am in the dark, no way. With snaps, the Fishnoodles could very well solve that problem all-together. Granted, I do own a snap press so I could add snaps to my BSRBs, but something in me wants to maintain the purity of the original diaper. Sheesh, what a nut I am.

Wool Wool Wool!

I have knit so many pairs of longies, shorties, soakers, etc. in the past 5 months. It's GREAT. And I have a huge queue lined up. I've taken on custom work, I've participated in a yarn for knitting efforts swap. I've knitted for friends, for family, and for both of my girls.

On the list for this fall:

1. Longies for Val's daughter, in Laines Magnifique's Retro Metro yarn. Yum.
2. Hudson Hat for Stacey's son.
3. Two sweaters, one pair of shorties (or another sweater) and three pairs of longies for M.
4. Fish hat for my nephew (80% done)
5. Sweater for A (60% done, it's HUGE.)
6. Longies for Erin's daughter in exchange for some interlock pants for M. Maybe I'll ask for bloomers for next summer instead.

I'm so excited to work on each and every one of these projects that it's driving me nuts. All I want to do is knit knit knit.

Note to self: For YYMN slots:

Medium longies is base rate, adjust to accommodate smaller or larger sizes, shorties, and capris.

$40 base
ruffles $5
cables $5-10
stripes $5
scrappies $10
non-seed cuffs $3
non-seed, non-standard rib waist $5
pocket $5
I cord waistband FREE

Wedgie Wars

My almost-3 year old daughter is convinced that she has a wedgie. Every morning, every potty break, every nap, every bedtime, every random moment elicits the commet, "I have a wedgie" followed by some pretty fierce digging.

Every time this happens I have to explain to her yet again that, "no, you don't have a wedgie. A wedgie is when your undies are riding up to high. Yours are sitting down where they belong." She doesn't buy it.

We have tried:

2 brands of briefs
1 brand of bikini
boy cut girls' undies
boys' briefs

all in two different sizes.

They ALL give her wedgies. I keep looking up to find a toddler streaking through my living room. It's kind of funny, but really annoying, too.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Little Willis

We ate dinner at Culver's the other night. The toddler's meal came with a free scoop of frozen custard and my husband when to the counter to pick it up for us to share.

A: "Where Daddy go?"

me: "To get our ice cream."

A: "ooo!"

Daddy returns and as he approaches A says: "Super ice cream!"

Daddy: "It's all for me!"

A: "What you said?!"

As if she didn't hear him the first time. It was the cutest thing. I don't know who taught her that kind of attitude, but boy.... don't you mess with that girl's ice cream!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Toddler Wants to Bake Pie UPDATED

For two days now, A has been begging me to make a pie. I have no pie fruit, no cans of pie filling. What to do?! I scrounged around in the cupboard and found two boxes of instant pudding. Can you make a decent pie out of INSTANT chocolate pudding? We'll find out!

Without further ado, the "Toddler wants to bake pie and the cupboard is bare" Pie recipe:

A's Chocolate Pie
10 graham crackers, crushed
1/3 C butter (or whatever's left in the tub in this case)
2 Tbs sugar
2 boxes chocolate pudding
2 squares of baker's chocolate, melted
2 cups milk

Melt the butter in the pie pan in the microwave.

Add grahams and sugar and press into the pie pan to make a crust.

Blend pudding mix with 2 cups of milk with an electric mixer.

Fold in melted chocolate and scoop into the pie crust.

Refridgerate for an hour.

It's cooling right now so we don't know if it's any good, but the spatula tasted wonderful! A went through three clean shirts while licking various chocolate-covered tools, so it will probably be a hit.

UPDATE: Served chilled with cool whip on top, this pie is definitely a repeatable experience. It disappeared and the adults fought over the last two pieces.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finally a Favorite

When our older daughter was 4 months old, we tried to introduce to her the lovey of our choosing. It was a white lamb head on a blanket with nubs. We had bought two of them, based on the old piece of advice that you should never have only one of the child's favorite sleep item. A was kind enough to take to "Wooboo" as she calls it with no problems, but she has always been very flexible about it. She never behaved in a way that required us to have a backup Wooboo so that she could go to sleep.

Hooray, we thought.

Introduce to the scene Lulu, a Build-A-Bear dog. A went to BAB with her friend B for B's birthday and picked out Lulu. I really liked Lulu, and thought she made an excellent choice. So maybe it's my fault that she likes her so much, as I encouraged A to play with Lulu those first few weeks we had her.

Lulu is missing her underwear, pants, and ear bows, but still retains her shirt and collar. Lulu is well-loved and sleeps with A every single night. She'll sleep without Lulu, but not without compaining.

Here are some of the places that Lulu has been showing up:

And my personal favorite, On the Potty:

The only real drawback to this situation, well, okay, the only TWO real drawbacks are as follows:

1. Lulu was not inexpensive, and to have TWO Lulus would not be advisable, despite the advice.
2. Lulu has a voice box in her paw. She is not machine washable. Oh dear.

Overall, I have to say, though, that I am pleased with A's choice. Lulu is small enough to travel well, and cute enough to not be an embarrassment now or later when she comes along for the ride. Good Job, A!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

The toddler informed me, upon picking her up from daycare, that she wanted to make cookies. So, we went home and put together some peanut butter chocolate cookies with dark and milk chips. They're in the oven now and I can only imagine that they'll be delicious. The original Dark Chocolate and Chip cookie recipe has been easy to adapt to a number of different variations over the years and all have been fabulous. 8 minutes until we know!

The Chocolate Cookie
1/2 C butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 eggs
2tsp vanilla
2C flour
1/2 C cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1-2 C chocolate chips, mixed milk and dark
1/2 C peanut butter

Beat butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Add cocoa, baking powder, salt and flour, mix.

Fold in chocolate chips and peanut butter.

Bake at 350F for 11 min.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Road Trip

We recently went on a road trip to MI to visit my mother. When we returned, I had a ton of ideas of what I was going to blog about and was very excited to get my chance to sit at the computer. Unfortunately, Mommy-Brain has struck and I can't for the life of me remember what I was finding so humorous! Eee gads.

SO, the short of the story is that we all had a great time, even the baby who had a spotty rash from head to toe. We saw lots of family and had a pretty decent time traveling, too. On the way home, we stopped at Indiana Dunes State Park and walked on the beach for a bit. A loved it. M couldn't stand being in the baby carrier, and I was feeling a bit like a camel. I had the baby carrier, the baby, the toddler's shoes, the toddler's wet pants, the diaper rag, the ring-sling, the camera, etc. And as my husband pointed out, I was also carrying the milk. Ha ha.

All in all, it was a good trip. My mom spoiled Abby rotten and definitely got her fill of baby girls. Miss Abby had a few days of pure sassyness after we returned, but quickly turned herself around again.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Knit Soaker Pattern

Now that I'm on a knitting binge, I thought I'd take time to write up my soaker pattern for anyone who wanted it. Be warned that this is not a set of notes that I took a long time writing up. There will be a lot of knitter participation required. This is great because it allows for customization both in fit and artistic design. THis may be bad, however, for the novice knitter who does not have another knitter to help them interpret it.

I've knitted this pattern for newborn, small, medium, and large, but never wrote it down. Doh. So, since I'm currently knitting a size Medium and have it on the brain, I will write it down. I'll come back later with the other sizes if I can find time. If not, simply adjust your numbers for each section down a bit until it looks about right.

For worsted weight yarn, I use size 6 needles, for DK weight yarn, use size 4 needles and the pattern size up one or two.


1 200yd ball of worsted wool yarn, not superwash for a soaker or shorts, more if you want pants
16" circular needles, size 6
12" circular needles, size 6 (optional for legs)
size 6 DPNs for legs and crotch panel
stitch markers
2 stitch holders (optional)
tapestry needle

cast on, bind off
increases (optional)
short rows
picking up stitches
kitchener graft

Cast on 90 stitches using long tail method. Cast on one bonus stitch and join the round knitting the first and bonus stitch together as one stitch. For the first three or four stitches of the first round, carry the loose tail along with the active yarn. This will tie it in securely and make weaving in the ends easier and more secure.

Knit in the round in either 2x2 ribbing or 1x1 ribbing, as you prefer, for 1 1/2". You may add an eyelet row halfway through, if you wish, or simply "find" holes to string your drawstring through later.

Mark the beginning of your round, mark also the midpoint. Switch to stockinette stitch (ie knit stitches only). Add 6 stitches over the course of the first half round (between your round marker and your midpoint marker.) You can do this with kfab or any other method you prefer as the increases will be nicely hidden in the transition from ribbing to stockinette stitch.

This next section is somewhat subjective, so please interpret it as you prefer to reach your desired shape. Knit in stockinette stitch to creat the body of the soaker. I like to add a single set of short rows every 1-1/14" as I work my way down the body. THis usually ends up being about 4 short row sets over the length of the body. Some people prefer to stack their short rows at the peak of the bum, right above the leg openings. Do this however you wish. Your end goal for this section is a tubular knit body piece, roughly 10" across and 7 3/4" from top of ribbing to top of leg openings, measured on the front, not the back. The back is usually about an inch longer due to short row additions.

Grab your stitch holders or your tapestry needle threaded with scrap yarn.

Knit to 7 stitches before the midpoint marker.

Place the next 14 stitches on a stitch holder or scrap yarn, tying it off in a knot.

Using a DPN, knit the next 34 stitches onto the DPN.

Place the next 14 stitches onto a stitch holder or scrap yarn.

You should now have 14 stitches on a holder, 34 stitches on a DPN, 14 more stitches on a second holder, and 34 stitches on either another DPN or hanging out on your circular needle.

Using the active stitches on the DPN, knit flat, back and forth, in either 2x2 rib or 1x1 rib, or another rib that you like. You may have to do some math to figure out what rib stitch works for the number of stitches you have on the DPN. I knit with a "rolled rib" stitch that required 3 stitches per rib, but any rib stitch would work as long as it fits the number of stitches. I set mine up so that I had a gutter column of purls, then multiple rounds of the rolled rib, then one more gutter column of purls.

Continue working a rib stitch untl your flat piece measures 9". Kitchener graft this active end to the 34 stitches that remain on the other DPN or your 16" circular. What you have off your needles now should resemble the finished soaker quite a bit. You will still have two stitch holders at the top of each leg opening.

Work your way around one leg opening, picking up stitches on DPNs or the 12" circular. One stitch per row of the rib-knit section, plus the 14 stitches from the holder should put you somewhere in the 50 stitch range. The exact number isn't too important as long as both legs are equal in number. I say that not to anger the purists out there, but as a real life tip for those who know that picking up stitches on the edge of a knit piece can be difficult and you may miss one or two rows on your way around. It's okay, it doesn't matter all that much, it will work out fine.

Knit one row of knit stitches all the way around to secure your leg. Switch to a rib knit and continue on until you have a length that you like. You can, and I have, contintued to knit these all the way out to full-length pants. Alternately, you could knit for 1/2" and then add a ruffle, knit for 1" and bind off, whatever look you're going for, you can add here. Bind off how you prefer. I am liking the double crochet bind off for a slight ruffle on girly soakers, but there are many ways to bind off. Check www.knittinghelp.com for videos.

Knit the second leg the same as the first. Be sure to write down EXACTLY what you did for the first one before you even start the second one. Believe me, you wouldn't think it would be so easy to forget what you did, but I do, even if I work them back to back. Sigh.

Weave in ends where-ever they are and tighten stitches as needed to repair the overall appearance.

Create a drawstring in your favorite method: braid, twist, knitty noddy, I cord, etc, and insert it into the waist ribbing if you desire.

The picture at the top is a pair that was knit with DK weight yarn, using the same numbers as above to create a size small, with full length legs, 1x1 waist ribbing, 2x2 crotch ribbing, and a mixed seed stitch and rolled cuff on the legs. I'll upload a pic of my current soaker when I finish it, along with the newborn soaker I have done in the past.

Please let me know if you find glaring omissions or mistakes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Husband Experiments in the Kitchen

We were watching PBS the other night when inspiration struck my husband. To be precise, we were watching a special called, "Sandwiches You'll Love." If you've never seen it, I'd recommend trying to catch it the next time they play it. It showcases some of the more interesting sandwiches offered by off-the-track restaurants around the US.

The restaurant we were viewing when inspiration struck was a peanut butter sandwich shop. (http://www.ilovepeanutbutter.com/sandwichshop)They sell all sorts of peanut butter sandwiches, from the expected to the unusual. They were showing the Elvis (peanut butter, banana, bacon, and grilled bread) when my husband says, "what about a bacon s'more?"

"Do you want to try one?"

"Do you have the stuff to make me one?"

"I think so..."

I did end up having to run to the store for marshmallows, tho. We had just bought a bag, but the cat seems to find them fascinating and had chewed holes in the bad, so they were tossed into the trash.

The husband's verdict of a bacon s'more: admirable and worth trying again!

The bacon seems to counteract the overpowering sweetness of the traditional smore while adding an understructure of protein and fat so that the overall treat feels more substantial. A real winner!

Friday, July 3, 2009

GroBaby Bio insert testing

I signed our family up to be a tester for GroBaby's bio inserts this week. I had NO idea what I was signing on for, but knew that I loved my GroBaby diapers and figured anything they were testing would a fun, if nothing else. $6 and two days later, and my inserts have arrived.

Regularly, GroBaby soakers are cotton and elastic diapers that snap into a cover. These new bio inserts are paper and elastic contraptions, similar in concept to the Gdiapers that have been out for a few years now. I don't know what I was expecting, but what I got was not it! What was in the bag was even better!!!

Now, I can't seem to find a picture of the flushable inserts from Gdiapers, but I am assuming that they're diaper-sized piddle pads.

More reveiw later after we've tried them!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Red and Green or White and Red

This week's recipe: Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn. We liked it so much, we had it twice! The first time, we used white quinoa with a red pepper, and the second time we used red quinoa and a green pepper. You wouldn't think it would make a difference, but it does! I picked this gem up from the babyfit.com website.

Quinoa Salad
1 1/2 C raw quinoa
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of sweet kernel corn, drained
1 1/2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 bell pepper, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4C cilantro, chopped
1/3 C lime juice
1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/3 C olive oil

Prepare the quinoa as directed on package.

Mix beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

Add beans, corn, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, cayenne, and cumin to quinoa and mix well.

Whisk together lime juice, salt, cumin, and add oil while whisking. Add to the salad and salt and pepper to taste.

This tastes even better as leftovers.

The husband requested an immediate repeat, while the toddler turned her nose up the second time I served it. I think that's more about her being 2 years old than her not liking it, though.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Toddler Fashion

Toddler fashion is the best. When was the last time you felt this good about your outfit?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Toddler-Adult Translation

"Feek, Mama!" Speaks, Mama! as in Martha Speaks.

"you fink." you think and tell me the answer.

"I need foon." I need a spoon.

"Fwirrel!" squirrel!

"I'm so cold!" Pick me up and snuggle me. I don't care if it's 90F out.

"I need tension." Come sit next to me while I poop on the toilet.

"Here you go! I got the momter!" Here's the baby monitor, I brought it up from downstairs, even though you don't need it up here.

"Next time I listen." Please stop lecturing me. I already had my time out and want to go play.

"I only wub you foh much." I always love you so much.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend "Progress"

What a weekend! Between Friday and Monday we packed in a whole lot of life. It was the first weekend in over a month that we'd all been healthy. On Friday, I attacked the living room with a vengeance and while it's still somewhat less than presentable, I can at least see my floor and walls again!

Other items worthy of note:

The toddler swore at me for the first time. More accurately, she swore in front of me. For all that I was not looking forward to the event, I was suitably impressed that she used the word correctly. As in, "Oh, damn, Maggie dropped her nookie again."

The baby rolled over for the first time. She rolled from her front to her back with a resounding THUD as her head hit the floor. She didn't seem too upset by it. She also didn't see too excited by the achievement. She just stared up at me blankly while I praised her.

Culver's snack pack meal is over 1400 calories, ya'll. If you're dieting, don't eat one unless you plan on not eating ANYTHING else all day. Culver's concrete shake makes up 742 of those calories. YIKES!

AND one final note, the toddler likes to go hiking. We took the family to Devil's Lake State Park and headed up the East Bluff trail. The 2 year old decided to walk instead of ride and she made it all the way up and partway down by herself. That's over an hour of rocky uphill climbing! Go BabyGirl!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sloppy Garden Joes

Another husband-approved dish! This one comes originally from www.babyfit.com. I have made a few small alterations to it, with great success. It has officially been placed on the "make again" list with a recommendation to try it out with various types of BBQ sauces.

Sloppy Garden Joe's Chili
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can stewed tomatoes, not drained
  • 1 8oz. can mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Sauté onions, green pepper and ground turkey in a pan over medium-high heat until turkey is cooked through. I added a little canola oil to the pan to keep the turkey from sticking since I was not using a non-stick pan.

2. Add tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, garlic, oregano, liquid smoke, barbecue sauce and seasonings and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and simmer until the children are down for the night, stirring occasionally.

4. Serve with cheese, if desired.

Serves 8.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Sisters Comparison

Here is Abby at 4 months old.
Abby was wearing size 12 mos clothing at this point.

Here is Maggie at 4 months old.
Maggie is wearing size 3 mos clothing.

Despite their obvious differences, I do see some similarities in their faces. They have a similar jawline, although it's hard to see through the double chins! They're both wonderful girls and I"m so happy to have them.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nightly Prayer by A

"Dear God,
thank you for Papa, Nonna, Micky, Minnie. Once upon time I hurt elbow in the morning. Once upon time, once time. Daddy, Mama, Maggie.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Garage Sales Part 2

I just love what $64 and a morning's garage saling can do for a girl... or rather two very special little girls! I think I may have done even better today than on my last adventure. I found all of the stuff listed below PLUS a nearly new double stroller! (pics of that to come later)

a lavender bumbo (my friend S bought this for me at a sale she was at this morning and some lady tried to buy it from her before she even left the sale!)

two short-sleeve Bumkins bibs, a bike helmet, a cashmere sweater for M, two knit tops for A (Children's Place and Oshkosh), jeans for A, and a swimsuit for A.


A Baby Gap dress for A, with tights, a bottle bag, a wooden teething toy, 5 bibs for M, Robeez for A and M, a Sesame Street DVD, sandals for A, milk bags, breast pads, 4 undershirts for A.


Fridge Phonics, Word Jammer, two pairs of play shoes, Bear figurines, a bib and burp-rag boutique set (unused), a diaper pad cover, two pairs of mittens for A, a nursing bra for me, four pairs of socks for M, 3 onesies for M, and a Haba toy for M.

And the double stroller, Jeep brand, with two little steering wheels for the girls to "drive" with.

It was SOOO much fun. I can't believe how well I did!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Diapers!

I'm going to try out some new diapers! I am SO geeked! With M being our second child, I thought for sure I was done playing with new diapers. But not so! As it turns out, no two children are alike... and along that vein, the diapers that worked well for A do not work well for M. They're just shaped differently.

So you can imagine my joy when I won the photo contest and my prize was three new brands of pocket diaper to try out. Yay!

THEN I found a very long discussion about Grobaby diapers on Diaperswappers.com. It seemed that everyone who had tried them liked them! Since my biggest pocket issue right now is the size of the leg openings, I decided that Grobaby might be a good solution. Since it's one-size, it ought to have leg openings that go small enough for M's little legs... SO, I did something I never do. I bought new diapers. I mean, brand spankin' new diapers! Here's the link to them so you can see: Grobaby diapers. ( http://www.thenaturalbabyco.com/grobaby%E2%84%A2-ic-11_16.html )

I had recently sold a bunch of covers from A that I knew wouldn't fit M, so I had a little cash. It wasn't much but it was enough! Good thing the Grobaby diapers weren't that expensive!

None of them have shown up on my doorstep yet, but I'm hoping that this week I"ll have them. Then I will have to prewash them. THEN I can try them out!

Waiting for the mailman is hard.

Pizza Crust Nirvana

I finally found a pizza crust recipe worth repeating! I have been searching for 15 years for one that I liked! Oh, my, stars! It's grand. The whole family devoured it!

Here it is: pizza crust.

We topped it with:

Italian sausage (chicken, with mozzarella cheese in it)
red pepper
black olives

I used Ragu's jarred pizza sauce, gourmand that I am. LOL. It was divine. Seriously, the toddler ate three pieces all by herself! My husband did not complain about it being too doughy, and I did not complain about it being too hard/crunchy.

Next stop, grilled pizza...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nola Bar Update

Nola bars made with Virginia peanuts, m&ms, and raisins are delicious. Also, lowering the sugar content made a notable positive alteration to the flavor. Less cookie-like, more satisfying.

The Almost-Perfect Picture


This is the picture that won us 3 brand new pocket diapers! Hooray! The theme was "9 pins standing," meaning the almost perfect picture moment that was somehow spoiled. In this case, this was the third of three snapshots I tried to take with the girls. In the first one, I was not in the picture. In the second one, A was not smiling. In fact, she was so displeased with her picture that she insisted I take a third. This one was perfect! Until I noticed that M was not in the picture. Oops.

SO, I entered it and won! I won a OS BumGenius, a medium Knickernappies Disposanot diaper, a Rocky Mountain OS diaper, and a pin. Yay! I can't wait for them to arrive. I have had issues with the pocket diapers we used on A fitting M's different shape, so having three new brands to try will be great!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009


This is what $50 worth of other peoples' crap looks like:







It was the city-wide gatage sale for our community and both girls did really well. The clothes are mostly Gymboree brand or Carters. We even had TWO "holy crap" purchases! The cozy coupe that A has been in love with for over a year now and the dress for my $6 Samantha doll. I'm so geeked!

Not pictured are Elmo's DVD and a carseat toy for M. nak

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Time Out

Every now and then we have a rough evening where A pushes every button available while M is wailing in my ear. It doesn't happen too often, but when it coincides with me not getting a good afternoon snack, the results are disasterous.

These are, obviously, the evenings during which A ends up with a large number of time outs. Inevitably, these are also the nights when I am SO distracted that I can't remember WHY A earned a particular time out! Every time this happens I hope and pray that the standard post-time-out question of "Why did you earn this time out?" actually prompts an informative answer out of A so that I can figure out what to lecture her about...

I always feel bad when she's been sitting on a punishment (which she definitely earned or I wouldn't have sent her to it) and I can't remember why she's there. It's like I've experienced a failure in the chain of parenting events and got caught with my pants down or something. I should at the very least be able to remember WHY she's on time out!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Homemade 'Nola Bars

I tried a new recipe for granola/energy bars this weekend. I think I'm in love.

I got the recipe from Readers' Digest, of all places. Here it is.

I used walnuts, currants, and choc chips. Wowsa. I LOVE it. The sweetness comes largely from the chocolate chips, which surprised me. I think I could leave out the chocolate and then play with savory granola bars. Maybe do sesame and ginger? Craisin and orange zest?

YUM! The toddler approves, too.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Third Round of Parenting Tidbits

11. While it may be socially acceptable for Mom and Dad to wear the same clothes two days in a row, it's not a good policy with little babies. One very important consideration: day-old spit-up.

12. When you need a fresh pair of socks for your little one, there will be none in the sock drawer. When you arrive at work and are looking for your cell phone, you'll find children's socks in your bag, your pockets, your desk drawer, etc. I don't know how they get there, but they do. The same goes for hairbands if you have little girls.

13. If your child uses disposable products, he or she will always outgrow the size you JUST bought. This also applies to the whole family in many ways: disposable wipes if you decide to go to cloth wipes, maxi pads if you decide to go with tampons, and regular vitamins if you buy the mega bottle and then take a pregnancy test...

Monday, April 27, 2009

This is the Song that Never Ends...

Alternative Lyrics & Words

This the song that never ends,
it just goes on and on my friends,
Just when you think you have reached the end,
the songs begins again.

(Repeat from top)

Quoted from this site.

I have only heard this song once, but for some reason it stuck in the back corner of my mind. For the past week, it's been my theme song with one small variation:

This is the flu that never ends,
it just goes on and on my friends...

We've had the stomach flu or something approximating that experience running through our family for more than two weeks now. It started with our daycare provider, then hit her son and husbnad. Then my mother-in-law, then my sister-in-law picked it up. By last Sunday, our toddler was puking everywhere.

Thankfully, she seemed to mend after just one night of puking. Two days later, we were finally back to normal, only to hear from our daycare that the toddler needed to be picked up because she had diarrhea. Fast forward to the middle of the night: the toddler is well again, but Mama has it now.

Today is Monday, over two weeks (or is it three?) since the first sighting of the stomach bug and a full week since our small immediate family was struck. Daddy started feeling awful last night, JUST as Mama stopped running to the bathroom. We're still hoping that this skips the baby. That would be a small blessing.

As a side note, my brother-in-law called last week to inform us that his wife and our mother-in-law did not in fact have the stomach flu but had tested positive for cryptosporidia. After spending 30 minutes on hold with our doctor's office, we were told that they would not be treating us for crypto since we are not immuno-compromised individuals. We would simply ben letting it run its normal course of up to 2 weeks of diarrhea.

Oh joy!

This is the flu that never ends....

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chocolate Bunny

Easter was a rare treat this year. So was the chocolate bunny we allowed A to eat. Without further ado, may I present "The Chocolate Experience" starring our own Little A as herself?





Not to be outdone by her big sister, M made the most of the day as well, swapping from lap to lap to lap...