Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Lactation Cookie Recipe

If you are a new mother (as I was) and are having a difficult time increasing your milk supply like I did, I would strongly recommend this lactation cookie recipe. Not only are they absolutely delicious, but they definitely help boosting milk supply. Based on what I researched, oatmeal (they have to be real not instant! learned the hard way..), flax seed, and brewer’s yeast are the three key ingredients in producing an abundant milk supply. One article that I read even proved this by mentioning one of their family member’s award winning “milkiest cow”. The reason for their win every year was because the owner put oats in their food, which helped them produce more milk. I also read several other articles describing the same ingredients with the same effects, so I have no reason to doubt this recipe. These cookies were so good, my mom and boyfriend even ate them and would not stop! Seriously, they’re not that hard to make and don’t take that much time. I think it’s well worth making a couple of batches of these cookies if you’re going to make them, especially if there are other members in your house. Now, don’t think that just eating these cookies is going to make you start producing milk. You still have to nurse your baby regularly, pump, eat right, all of the things that are essential for breastfeeding moms to keep up their milk supply are still necessary. This is just to help “boost” it if you are having a hard time like I was. It worked wonders for me at the very beginning, but now it doesn’t make much of a difference. I imagine that it probably works different with different women, but it doesn’t hurt to try! Regardless of whether it boosts your supply or not, at least you have a delicious treat to snack on!. (:

IMG_20130509_190045_052  Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 c. oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 c. almond butter or peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 1 c. flax
  • 3 T brewer’s yeast
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 c. (12oz) chocolate chips
  • 1 c. chopped nuts of your choice

IMG_20130509_193101_596Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat almond butter, butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, brewer’s yeast, flax and water until creamy.
  4. Mix in eggs.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Mix in nuts and chocolate chips.
  7. Add oats slowly, mixing along the way.
  8. Place balls of dough onto greased baking sheets or baking stones.
  9. Press down each ball lightly with a fork.
  10. Bake 12 minutes.

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Baked or Fried Mozzarella Sticks

One of my favorite appetizers in the entire world, besides stuffed mushrooms, would have to be mozzarella cheese sticks. I absolutely LOVE anything with cheese. In fact, the more cheese, the better. I found a recipe a little while ago on Pinterest that had simple directions on how to make them. The recipe DID NOT WORK so please don’t try it. But just so you know which recipe it was, it pretty much said cut cheese sticks in half, dip them in milk and then in the bread crumbs and then bake them for 15 minutes. All that did for me was give me a baking sheet covered in melted cheese mixed with breadcrumbs. It was a huge disaster and a big mess to clean, not to mention the fact that I couldn’t even eat the stuff! It was such a waste. Well this time, I found a better recipe using an ingredient that made a little more sense for me to use, egg roll wraps. They turned out DELICIOUS. Even though they weren’t breaded, it was still a tasteful replacement. Here’s the recipe:

IMG_20130518_194102_390 IMG_20130518_194615_935 IMG_20130518_195249_494 IMG_20130518_195332_975 IMG_20130518_200055_462 IMG_20130518_200411_969 IMG_20130518_201745_229Ingredients:

  • 12 Wonton or Egg-Roll Wraps, at room temperature
  • 12 Mozzarella String Cheese
  • Marinara Sauce for Dipping
  • Small bowl with water, optional

Baked Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Take one of your room-temperature wraps (less likely to break and ooze cheese all over if room-temp and slightly wet) and lay on flat surface in front of you, like a diamond.  Put cheese stick in middle, corner to corner (or slightly below).
  3. Take the bottom corner and fold it up over the cheese stick and stick to other side of wrap tightly.  You can add a few drops of the water here to make the wrap stick better.
  4. Carefully (here is the part where the wrap can break), fold over the right and left corners of the wrap onto the cheese stick to completely cover the cheese.
  5. Roll up the wrap.
  6. Bake at 400 for 10-12 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.

“Fried” Directions:
Alternatively, you can make this on the stovetop.

  1. Wrap cheese as described above.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Working in batches, add in half of the cheese sticks.  Roll/stir sticks around for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, and remove from heat.

Serve with Marinara (seasoned with oregano/basil/garlic for more flavor) and Enjoy!

This recipe was borrowed from a fellow blogger who’s link is in the opening paragraph. I didn’t bake my cheese sticks, I fried them because I felt that frying them would cook the wrap on the inside better than if I would bake them.

Homemade Churros

Per a request from a favorite facebook friend, I would like to share this homemade churro recipe. I actually copied it from a fellow blogger, but unfortunately I can’t find the link to her blog. But here’s my version based on what i can remember since i made these weeks ago.

2013-04-20_22-34-56_506Ingredients

  • Loaf of white bread
  • Rolling pin
  • 8 oz. Cream cheese
  • 1 cup confectioner sugar
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

  1. Whip a thick icing using the cream cheese and confectioner sugar.
  2. Using the rolling pin, flatten all the pieces of bread excluding the ends.
  3. Spread the desired amount of cream cheese on the entire pieces of bread.
  4. Roll the bread up like a burrito.
  5. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl evenly.
  6. Dip the rolled churros in the butter and then roll them in the sugar.
  7. Bake on nonstick baking sheet at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme Remixed

IMG_20130520_191047_713 IMG_20130520_192616_192 IMG_20130520_194415_804 IMG_20130520_194750_361 IMG_20130520_195028_480 IMG_20130520_194406_707 IMG_20130520_201811_002 IMG_20130520_201908_007As tasteful as fast food can be at times, I really REALLY dislike it for several reasons of which I don’t have too much time time to explain. But every now and then I do crave something, fast, fattening and cheap! I’m a huge fan of Mexican food so my first pick is always Taco Bell. They have a delicious menu item called the crunchwrap supreme and it is literally heaven in your mouth-seriously, it’s that good. Well I always prefer to learn how to make my own dishes from scratch so that I know what is actually being put into my food and make sure nothing is dropped on the floor and then put back on my sandwich/taco (I have witnessed this when I worked at Wendy’s, by a manager at that!). Anyways, I found the perfect recipe to make an exact replica of the delicious meal! I even added my own favorable ingredient to make it even more uniquely delicious. Here’s the recipe for you to try:
Ingredients:

  • Large Flour Tortillas burrito style
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • sour cream
  • guacamole (optional)
  • shredded cheese or nacho cheese
  • tortilla chips (you could use use a corn tortilla)
  • tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • corn (optional)

Directions:

  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, add the packet of taco seasoning and stir until mixed well. Cook for another minute or so. For those of you who would like to add corn, boil the corn for ten minutes, let cool, cut kernels off cob with knife, separate kernels using a fork and mix with your ground beef.
  2. Microwave the tortillas for a few seconds just to warm them up, it will make the wrapping easier.
  3. Take a tortilla, spread some sour cream in the center.Top with ground beef.
  4. Top with shredded cheese or a few scoops of nacho cheese.
  5. Next add a layer of tortilla chips or at this point you would add a small corn tortilla like a tostada size.
  6. Top with lettuce and tomato and then starting on the bottom, fold up the tortilla toward the center, continue all the way around until it is all folded over, it WON’T cover it completely.
  7. Carefully lift it up and set it fold side down on a non stick pan. Press with a spatula and cook until nice and brown, flip it over and cook the other side. It won’t take long at all.
  8. Serve with extra sour cream and guac if you rock! ;D

Related Articles: http://fullbelliesmakehappykids.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/homemade-crunchwrap-supreme/

My First Mother’s Day

102Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mom’s out there! But especially to my mom because I wouldn’t be who I am today without her ♥
096This is my very first Mother’s Day and I must say it was nothing short of amazing. I woke up to a bunch of mothers day wishes from several of my facebook friends. Jacob completely surprised my mom and I by coming to our house in Lake City all the way from Jacksonville with flowers and cards for each of us. I was so happy to see him and to get the biggest bouquet of flowers EVER in my life! IMG_20130512_135333He gave my mom beautiful peach tulips that open during the day and close at night. We got dressed up a little bit and took some picture. My mom made a delicious shrimp sauce over white rice for our special dinner and I made cream cheese pull apart monkey bread or dessert. Also, we finally opened Jacobs beer cake and had a couple drinks. It was the first alcoholic beverage I’ve had in over a year which I’m proud to say, so a couple is all I needed. I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect way to spend my first mother’s day. Especially because I didn’t expect anything on this holiday.

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Excuse the “ghetto” baking dish. I had to improvise. (:

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Spinach Lasagna Roll Ups

Right before I delivered Natalia, Me & the baby daddy made these DELICIOUS Lasagna Roll Ups that I pinned on Pinterest. Actually let me correct myself: IIIIIII made them, Jacob watched ans taste tested lol. Well he did help me roll half of them up, but I did the rest (:
Also, I made enough to have plenty of left overs so I wouldn’t have to cook for a few nights in case Natalia decided to come.

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Here is the recipe that I followed, although it doesn’t include ground beef, I took initiative to add that in there for extra protein!

My Labor Experience

Well here’s the post everyone’s been waiting for. I’m going to start from the very beginning:

At 41 weeks, Jacob and I started doing everything, literally EVERYTHING, to induce my labor. From eating spicy food, going on bumpy rides every single day, walking until my feet felt like they would fall off (BTW I didn’t swell during my entire pregnancy because I drank plenty of water), doing the dirty, acupressure, massages, bananas, yoga, stripping my membranes (twice!), whatever you can think of, we did it, and NOTHING WORKED. So my conclusion on inducing labor based on my personal experience is that nothing can induce labor, your baby comes whenever he/she decides to come.

I was scheduled to be induced Monday morning, and as much as I was opting not to be induced, I was going to let them because one, it would be safer for the baby not to exceed 42 weeks in utero, and two I would be more than ready at that point for Natalia to be here. Fortunately my water finally broke the Friday afternoon prior to my induction date. At first I wasn’t sure if it broke or not, so I asked my mom what it felt like. She said it feels like you’re uncontrollably peeing on yourself. Soon after that, about 15 minutes, I was confirmed of my water breaking because liquid started pouring out, lol. I didn’t call the Doctor nor did I go to the hospital. I waited until I started having contractions 5-10 apart for an hour like my doctors instructed, which didn’t happen until 18 hours later. Bad idea for me to not go in right away because of the risk of infection, but how was I supposed to know? This is my first time having a baby, and BOTH of my GYN’s told me not to come in until I started having contractions. There was no mention of my water breaking. And since I’m totally healthy, I didn’t think there was any reason for me or my baby to develop an “infection”. According to what I researched, the vaginal exams are what cause infections in the first place, which makes complete sense to me.

So the next morning around 6am I started having mild contractions, then they increased in pain and decreased in time apart, so by 8 am Jacob and I were on our way to the hospital. When we got there the nurses asked me if my water broke & I told them yes it did, yesterday afternoon. They all looked at me like I was crazy and asked why I waited so long to come in. I told them that I didn’t feel the need to come in because everything seemed fine and that my Doctor told me not to come in until I was having contractions, so I was simply following instructions. Well, when they started my IV they told me they were going to start me on antibiotics. In shock I asked “for what?” And the nurse said “the GBS that you’re positive for”. I was in total disbelief and said “excuse me, but what in the world are you talking about?” She explained to me that I was positive for Group B Strep, (the test they give you when you’re 36 weeks) and that the baby has been swimming in infected amniotic fluid for the entire time since my water broke. GBS (Group B Strep) is a bacteria that is carried by both men and women, that does not affect adults but can be very harmful for unborn babies, which is why pregnant women ate tested for it at 36 weeks. Men will never know if they have it or not because they will never be tested for it since they obviously can’t get pregnant. Well when I took the test, nothing was ever mentioned about it after that, so I assumed I was negative. I would expect a Doctor to tell you the results of your tests, ESPECIALLY if you’re positive for it, don’t you?! So yeah, I was carrying this infection and had no idea about it. I was infuriated by this new found information because now my baby is at risk. If I would’ve known about this infection, I would’ve been at the hospital the day before when my water broke.

Anyways, once your water breaks you have 24 hours to get the baby out or it can become something serious. So I had 6 hours to deliver my daughter and I was only 2 cm dilated (and have been for two weeks!). They started me on pitocin right away. 2 hours later they checked my cervix to find that I was still only 2 cm dilated, so a c-section was the final decision. At first I wanted to cry because I felt cheated out of my wanting for a natural delivery since I was never informed about this infection that could be potentially fatal to my unborn daughter. I also was not so phsyched about having such a dramatic surgery, especially since I’ve never had surgery of any kind. I asked the nurses if they had c-sections and even asked if I could see their scars because I also wasn’t very excited about having such a large scar on my belly. One of the young nurses showed me not her scar because it was so low, but pulled her shirt up just to show me that the scar was below her panty line. I couldn’t even see it! And she was so skinny you wouldn’t even be able to tell that she had a baby, and she had 2! So that made me feel A LOT better about it. So on we went with the procedure.

They had me fill out all kinds of forms and explained to Jacob and I what would be happening. He had to change into scrubs so he could be there with me while the doctors carried me into the operation room so they could numb me from the waist down. They gave me a spinal anesthetic that literally took 5 seconds to kick in. I felt a rush of a numbing sensation that actually felt really good, lol! I felt very shaky though shortly afterwards which I didn’t like too much. Also, the shot they gave me was a MUCH smaller needle than that of the epidural, which I was very happy about because that was the very reason I had decided I wasn’t going to have an epidural if this would’ve happened naturally.

They cut me open and tugged, pushed and pulled (which I could feel a lot of although it didn’t hurt, it was just a lot of pressure) and then out came the baby, 7lbs. and 14oz. of her. About a minute later I heard her first cry and was in tears at the amazing sound that I had waited 9 long months to hear. Jacob cried with me and we were both very happy. However, because she was infected, they took her from us right away. I got to see her and kiss her cheek before she left and dad asked to see her hair because she was wearing a cap. When they took it off, we were amazed to see a head full of dark hair, just like I dreamed about!

So they took me to the recovery room while we waited to hear from the doctor’s what was going on with Natalia. Now there are a lot of details to what was happening between the surgery and the end, so I’m just going to make the long story short: The doctors were concerned about her breathing patterns. They ran blood tests and white blood cell tests which came back triple the amount of what was normal, meaning that her body was already building white blood cells to fight off whatever infection she had. They were also concerned about some “seizure-like episodes” that she was supposedly having which made the nurses decide to transfer her to Wolfson Children’s Hospital in Jacksonville because they were a small town hospital that did not have all the tools needed to run the tests they wanted her to have. They weren’t sure what she was doing because she’s a  newborn, hence their wanting to run tests just to make sure she was acting normal. I was completely devastated because the doctors made it seem like she was having all these problems, they even mentioned a possibility of meningitis. I cried so hard and asked “what are they going to do to my baby?!” Jacob tried his hardest to keep his composure because I was so upset about everything and then he broke down and started crying with me.

Natalia went through so much in the first days of her life in the outside world. She IV’s since she was born, she had all kinds of tests run on her, she had MRI’s she had her spine tapped, all kinds of bullshit. I know that they were just trying to be on the safe side, but what new mom wants to see her first baby go through all this trauma?! Anyways, in the end Natalia was completely fine. They ran all these tests just to find nothing wrong with her. She just had an infection and the antibiotics they started me on before the surgery killed it just in time. So we went through all this heartache for nothing. It was very crazy. We ended up being in the hospital for 5 days before finally bringing her home.I was in the hospital for 3 days recovering from the surgery. They transferred Natalia on my second day of recovery so I couldn’t even go to the hospital to be with my baby until the next day. Jacob had to drive from Lake City to Jacksonville, back to Lake City to pick me up, back to Jacksonville so we could be at the hospital every day and then finally back to Lake City so we could come home, and then he had to drive back so he could go home, lol! Lots and lots of driving.

At the end of the day, there were a lot of lessons learned from this entire experience. Although it was scary, it was very worth it and I am happy to say that I am a new mom to a very happy and healthy baby girl. According to her pediatrician she eats better than the average baby for her size and is growing at a great rate. She is such a good baby, hardly ever cries unless she needs something. She is always very content and has such a well-developed personality already. She’s definitely mommy and daddy’s little diva girl!

I also would like to mention that my perspective about c-sections have dramatically changed since I underwent the surgery. I actually prefer to have the c-section because I didn’t have to feel any pain WHATSOEVER, everything went by so quick it was unbelievable. The entire procedure took a total of 55 minutes. No contractions, no pain, GREAT pain meds during and afterwards lol, and my little girls head did not get squished and my vagina didn’t rip! The scar is barely noticeable, looks like a pen line just below my bikini line and nobody will ever be able to see it unless I show them, which means I can still wear my bikini this summer! Best of all, this entire event brought me and Jacob closer together and he loves me more now than ever before since having to be there with me and watching me go through all of this craziness. I definitely want to share my story because I think it’s well worth mentioning to people. Always prepare for the worst because you never know what’s going to happen, and always be optimistic about negative things that you have no control over because they are not always as bad as they seem.

Today my baby girl is 2 weeks and 3 days old and she is making the cutest “ooh” and “ahh” sounds, she picks her head up all by herself to look around because she wants to see everything, she will NOT fall asleep without being held, so she’s already spoiled, lol! (Thanks Jacob!)

One more thing I want to add before I conclude my super long birth story; because Natalia was taken from me right from the beginning, we didn’t get to experience the first bonding of mother and baby to establish breastfeeding, which is essential! And I am completely against giving my baby formula for several reasons. One because I’m pro-natural, two because I don’t feel that formula gives babies everything they need like breast milk does, three because of all the side effects that come from formula fed babies that I’ve researched, such as being more prone to obesity and becoming sick with diseases, and four because although the formula feeds the baby for longer periods of time (formula fed babies eat 6-10 times a day vs. breastfed babies eat 8-12 times a day) which means the formula “sits” in their stomachs and that just reminds me of McDonald’s food which is totally gross in my opinion. I already decided I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. Well since I didn’t get to breastfeed for the first week, I didn’t establish a good milk supply, so I couldn’t produce enough milk to feed my baby. Not only that but the doctors shoved bottles and pacifiers in my newborn baby’s mouth which pissed me the **** off! If they needed to syringe feed her then okay, but I was not about the pacifiers or bottles because of nipple confusion. So Natalia had a difficult time latching on for the first week and a half of our being together. It was making me sore and I was to the point where I was about to just give up all together. But then I decided “screw that!” I’m not going to give up because I WANT this for my baby, so I’m going to MAKE SURE it happens, no matter what it takes. If I have to breastfeed her every half hour then so be it. I consulted with a lactation specialist who was so inspired by my determination and told me that that’s what it takes, you have to really want to breastfeed for it to work out, which is what I truly want, exclusively. I only will use formula if I have to supplement, but otherwise I want to strictly breastfeed my baby mostly because it’s the healthiest for her, but also because it does establish a bonding relationship with you and your baby that just feels like pure love, and I want that with me and Natalia. So I have a $700 hospital grade breast pump that I’m using FOR FREE for a week-2 weeks just because my lactation specialist wants to help me because she sees how bad I want this. Unfortunately Natalia and I had a rough start, but now that things are back to normal we are going to work this out to both of our benefits. My advice to anybody else out there with this problem is to never give up on the things that you truly want. I am proud to say that Natalia has gotten MUCH better about latching on (although she still needs some improvement) and I am finally being able to produce enough milk to catch up with her needs. (:

Bringing Natalia Home <3

Bringing Natalia Home ❤

Natalia & I Now (:

Natalia & I Now (: