Thursday, August 30, 2012

Feed Me Friday

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Strawberry Crunch Icebox Cake

I have been seeing these pop up all over Pinterest, so I thought I'd give it a try.

Here is the original post if you'd like to check it out:

Strawberry Crunch Icebox Cake

Here is the link to the recipe (it is not on the original post):

Strawberry Icebox Cake Recipe

1 box Nature Valley Granola Bars
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1  lemon
4 ounces cream cheese
1 1/2 cups freshly chopped strawberries


Put the Nature Valley granola bars in a food processor and process until you achieve a course crumb. In a large bowl, add the crumbs, brown sugar, flour and melted butter and mix together. Then spread into an 8x8" pan that has been covered with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let cool. Then divide in half and set aside.  In a mixing bowl, combine eggs whites and sugar and mix on high. Add the heavy cream and continue mixing for another five minutes.  Continue to add the fresh squeezed lemon juice and softened cream cheese. Mix on low speed until incorporated.  Fold the fresh strawberries into the cream mixture.  In a buttered glass cake pan, press half of the crumb crust mixture on the bottom. Top with strawberry mix and then add the remaining crumbs to the top.  Cover and freeze for three hours or more and enjoy!

Cost for ingredients we did not have on hand:
Nature Valley Granola Bars: $2.98
Heavy Whipping Cream: $1.98
Total: $4.96

Total prep, mixing, and freezing time:
35 minutes + 5 hours to freeze

I did not chop the strawberries, instead I put them in the food processor so they were a little more squishy for me.  I think it worked awesome and took less time than hand chopping them. 

I also did not use parchment paper.  We have wax paper on hand and it does the same thing for this process as the parchment paper would have.  But, considering the crumbs stayed super crumbly I don't know that you'd need a liner at all.  Use one though - just in case!
Here are photos documenting the process:

Taste and evaluation:

This is a very light and summery flavored cake.  So refreshing that it is cold!  We ate it out of the freezer the first time, but after that we cut small pieces and put them in the fridge for about an hour to soften them up.  I liked the very subtle flavor the lemon added to the cake.  The amount of available crumb for the crust was almost a perfect fit.   

Though this cake was quite tasty I do have to point out that the crumbs did not solidify at all for me.  I'm not sure if more butter should be added to half of the mixture and the bottom layer be baked separate so that it hardens in to a crust or if there is another alternative.  The bottom for me stayed crumbly, which made a mess getting it out of the pan and usually meant that they weren't any left on the filling by the time it got to my mouth.  I would have preferred it to have been solid so when you take a bite with your fork it doesn't fall apart.  The crumbs on the top of the cake were great and seemed to be just the right consistency.  This is the only thing I would change when making it in the future.

I could see adding any kind of berry or fruit to this recipe.  I will try it later on (with a different bottom layer) and let you know how it turns out!

This recipe is so super easy I would let kids help.  It would be fun for them to break up the granola bars, stir in the strawberries and put it all together.   

Monday, August 27, 2012

Good Morning!

Is thoroughly impressed by all of the wonderful people that said "Good Morning" on our walk this morning, which was every single person we passed!!!  What a difference a friendly hello makes :)

Do you say "Hello" or greet people on a regular basis?  Why or why not?

Mom Blog Monday

As a new blogger I'm very excited to be linked up with other fabulous Mommy Blogging sites!  Check them out and add yours to the linky!!

The 3 Co-hosts are:

Check them out, then follow the links in the hop :)

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Half a year already!

My oh my how time does fly!!

Six months ago today we went out looking for a clock.  My husband and I realized how much we really just needed to have one in the living room.  One of those fancy looking, hang on the wall as art types of clock.  We drove around to a few places and cruised the typical big stores in hopes of finding something either of us liked.  By the end of the trip we were tired, hungry and empty handed.  We had lunch at a great place called Red Robin (anyone else a fan??).  Then it was back home to relax and put my swollen feet up!

I was sitting on the couch (playing Bejeweled, which is so not normal for us) when I had some tightening across my belly - the time was 4:45 pm.  I didn't think anything of it because I had Braxton Hicks contractions in the past.  Well, the longer I sat there the more I had.  I still didn't think much of it, but told the Hubby just so he knew what was going on.  My good friend Jen called to have a friendly chat during which I realized I couldn't talk through the contractions.  I knew this was an indicator that things were progressing so I did what any smart woman would do.  I called my Mom.  She, of course, told me to call the doctor, but I was hesitant because the contractions were not regular (6-12 minutes apart) and lasted less than a minute.  I didn't want to end up in the hospital just to be sent home, so I figured we'd wait.  Not too long after I was really feeling some pressure during the contractions.  I called the doctor.  The nurse I spoke with was concerned because I had gone in to early labor at 24 weeks and insisted I get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Well, we had other ideas.  The bag was not packed (I was only 36 weeks).  The swing was not put together.  We had no clothes ready for the baby when she came home.  My husband set to work putting the swing together while I packed the bag and did some laundry between contractions.  We had literally only been busy about 30 minutes when we put our shoes on to walk out of the door.  I had to stop twice walking to the truck.  The Bradley Birthing classes we attended had taught us that about the time you NEED to be going to the vehicle is when you least want to be going to the vehicle.  This was very true in my case.  The thought of sitting in that confined space was not at all appealing to me.  We realized that the contractions had sped up to every 3 minutes and were lasting about a minute each.  They were intense, but nothing I couldn't handle.  My Husband started making the necessary phone calls to our parents letting them know we were headed in to the hospital.  The ride was 20 minutes though it felt like an hour and a half.  I kept yelling at him to drive faster because I did not want to have the baby in the truck!

We got to the hospital, signed in and were shown to our room.  The nurse was great and asked questions about our preferences.  We were easy:

-No drugs.
-No pacifier.
-No formula.
-I didn't want to know numbers (like centimeters dilated or length of time between contractions) because I tend to focus on numbers and did not want to do that here since those numbers can slow down or speed up without notice or reason.
-Dad would be with baby if she needed to leave Mom
-We wanted to wait to cut the cord.

Other than that, nothing major.  We just basically wanted to know what was going on. The nurse checked, said that the baby was coming and went to call the doctor.  We had only been there about 15 minutes!  I couldn't believe they were already calling.  The nurse came back to check on us and ended up staying in our room.  We joked that it was so she could catch the baby if need be.  She didn't see it as a joke, more like a possibility.  Soon our doctor walked in the room.  Checked things out herself then told the second nurse to go ahead and set things up.  She put on the awesome Doctor Cape, a smile and asked if we were ready to do this :)

Four sets of pushes later we were holding our daughter!  The time was 10:38 pm.  We were fortunate our birth plan was able to be carried out according to our wishes.  I can say first hand that it wasn't too bad going through labor and delivery without any medications.  I had the amazing support of my Husband, a wonderful staff of nurses and our awesome doctor!!  Plus, I have a lot of faith in the idea that our bodies are made to have babies no medications necessary.  ***TMI ALERT***There was some serious pain for me afterwards though while the doctor was stitching my woman parts back together.

Holding that little 5 pound 7 ounce baby girl I was in awe!  I couldn't believe after 9 months I was finally able to see her, touch her and snuggle her.  I couldn't believe our daughter was in our arms and lives from that moment forward.

It has now been six months since that amazing experience.  I am sitting her now, with my feet up, remembering all of the sweet - and tiring - moments we have had up to this point.  We have both learned so much about our baby as well as what it takes to take care of a little one.  It is life changing and not for the faint of heart!  You learn very quickly what priorities actually are and how to properly go about getting them done.  You also learn that the love you feel for that teeny bundle of joy is more different than any love you've ever felt before.

Please, share your story with me!  What were your thoughts and feelings during labor and delivery?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Eclair Cake

Since our kitchen was dismantled while my Husband laid down our amazing tile floor I had to opt for a non-cooked dessert this week.  We both love anything involving chocolate and peanut butter so the Peanut Butter Eclair Cake from Plain Chicken fit our desires perfectly!

Here's the original post if you'd like to check it out:

Plain Chicken: Peanut Butter Eclair Cake

The recipe is so simple and very low cost!

1 box chocolate graham crackers (there will be a few graham crackers left over)
2 (3 1/4-ounce) boxes vanilla instant pudding
1 cup peanut butter
3 1/2 cups milk
1 (8-ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 can chocolate frosting

Spray the bottom of a 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with whole graham crackers. In bowl of an electric mixer, mix pudding with milk and peanut butter; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Pour half the pudding mixture over graham crackers. Place another layer of whole graham crackers on top of pudding layer. Pour over remaining half of pudding mixture and cover with another layer of graham crackers.

Heat the container of prepared frosting, uncovered in the microwave for 1 minute. Pour over the top of the cake. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours before serving.

Cost for ingredients we did not have on hand:
Chocolate Graham Crackers: $2.58
Creamy Peanut Butter: $2.98
Vanilla Pudding: $1.18
Chocolate Frosting: $1.28
Whipped Topping: $1.98
Total: $10.00

Total prep, mixing, and  time: 25 minutes

Our daughter did not take as long of a nap as usual so I had an assistant making this cake.  I bundled her up in the Moby and let her help me make a mess in the kitchen.  This recipe was super easy.  I love that only two things need to be measured. 

I did two things the differently on this recipe.  We do not use cooking spray so I substituted by coating the bottom with a very thin layer of Crisco.  We also do not have a microwave so I melted the icing in a pan in the toaster oven (the regular stove was unplugged and in the dining room during our renovation).  It worked out perfect!

Here are photos documenting the process:

Taste and evaluation:

Again, my Husband will be helping to evaluate.

My Husband:  This particular dessert was delightfully scrumptious!! Initial impression was that it would be likened to the ordinary "Graham cracker crust, Jello pudding filled" pie. That certainly is not the case. The multiple layers give the cake a solidarity that is missing from a lot of pudding filled desserts. The combination of flavors is exquisite. The peanut butter is present, but not overpowering, and the cool whip lends it's fluffy texture well to the entire dessert. This dessert must be served to a group of people though to avoid devouring the entire dish by one's self.

Me:  I adore how simple this recipe is and how tasty is was!  The cake was fluffy, but sweet enough that I couldn't eat too much at once.  The peanut butter was so subtle in this dish.  It was amazing how the ingredients complimented each other.  This would be the perfect picnic treat!


This recipe is a keeper!  I could easily whip this dish up in a very short period of time for any type of event.  I love how inexpensive it is and how many it would actually serve for the cost.  I definitely recommend the Plain Chicken's Peanut Butter Eclair Cake!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wrapped up Tight

Our daughter has loved to be swaddled from the time she was born.  I'm sure she loves the feeling of being hugged and secure.  She has slept soundly this way for almost six months now.  We tried for a little while about two months ago to break the swaddle and allow her arms to be free (her legs have been since she was about a month old).  Her little arms just kept waking her up by hitting her head or knocking our her binky.

Up until this point we have kept her by our bedside in an inclined sleeper but are hoping to move her in to her own room, and her crib, soon (since she now has one!!).  Our little lady sleeps very well whether we are in the room with her or not, so I am not at all worried that she will feel lonely or abandoned in her crib. 

I have been vigilant recently that during two of her naps throughout the day she is not swaddled.  During those two naps she sleeps for about 20 minutes to an hour.  She is usually woken up because she spit out the binky or knocked it out with one of her arms.  I have tried to not swaddle her while she is in her sleeper for her long nap in the middle of the day, but she does not sleep well.  She wakes up repeatedly and is generally very cranky after that nap.

Previously we tried to take her less active arm (which is her right) out of the swaddle.  It seemed ok for a short while, but eventually she started moving it around and waking herself up.  I attempted, at one point, to try the "cold turkey" method and leave both arms out but wrap up her torso.  This attempt was an awful failure.  Now we are at a point where we would like to try again but are at a loss on where to start. 

Should we just repeat what we've already done?  Do you have any advice on how to break a swaddle or transition to a crib?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Birthday Gifts for Meegs

Meegs from A New Day is celebrating her 30th Birthday this week! And she's decided to give you the presents.

How generous and exciting!

Check out her blog for all sorts of interesting information and great reviews.

Here's the link for her Birthday Giveaway:

Good Luck!


Monday, August 13, 2012

Too Big Too Fast

Our daughter was born at 36 weeks according to the doctor's calculated due date.  When the nurse assessed her she determined she was actually 38 weeks gestational age.  Either way you look at it, she was a little bit early.  Considering she tried to join the world at 24 weeks, I was not a bit surprised she didn't make it to full term.  She was a tiny baby weighing in at 5 pounds 7 ounces.  Her little arms and legs looked so small and frail.  Her fingers weren't long enough to wrap all the way around my thumb.  Her toes were the size of grains of rice. 

Our little lady did lose some weight, like most babies, in the first few days.  Once the weight started to come back her little parts began to grow and the newborn clothes she was swimming in begin to fit.  She donned to newborn sizes until she was just over a month old.  Then we moved up to 0-3 month sizes.  She outgrew them so fast she didn't even get to wear all of the adorable outfits she had been given.  The 3-6 month clothes lasted about the same amount of time.  Now she is in 6-9 month clothes.  However, if she keeps growing the way she has been she'll be out of them in no time!

It makes me pretty sad to know she won't be little for much longer, but it also makes me look forward to a future with a growing and healthy baby girl!

How much did your baby/babies weigh at birth?  Did they ever wear newborn clothes?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A change of tile

Since moving in to our new home a few weeks ago we have made some minor improvements.  The walls are painted in four of the rooms and we've installed blinds and/or curtains. We had bought a few tile samples to put up a back splash in our kitchen.  Hung them.  Stared at them.  Debated about them.  Then, finally chose one of them.

We thought we'd get fancy and were planning on using small 1/2 inch tiles to "frame" the larger 2 inch tiles we chose.  Thankfully those tiny tiles were on clearance so we bought as many as we'd need just in case those were the ones we picked (we could always return them later if we changed our minds).  The day had come to go get the supplies along with the rest of the tiles.

Now, I'm a fairly easily excited person so to me this was really exciting!  We head on out to our local Lowe's with the intent to spend some dough.  Of course, when we get to the isle we find that they don't have enough stock for our needs.  I find a very helpful lady who tells us to check out the next closest store for the rest.  We bought what we had found already.  Put the baby and our selves back in the truck and drove on over.

As we are getting closer to the shelf where our chosen tiles are I start seeing yellow.  For anyone who shops at Lowe's often you know this means CLEARANCE.  For anyone who doesn't you just learned something : )  I can't help but wander over.  The tiles are the exact size, shape and design we are planning on purchasing - just a different color spectrum.  I show my husband.  He is leery at first but when I point out that we could purchase the tiles needed for the back splash, the supplies and enough tiles to do the entire floor for the same price he starts to reconsider.  The major difference here is that the original selection is a soft beigey, peachy, greyish color while the new found ones have quite a bit of blue in them.  After another minute and some quick math we load up one of those monster carts then head to the checkout. 

I can't believe the amazing deal we are got on these tiles!  We saved over 80%!  We'll save even more on installation since my handsome Hubby is going to be tackling this project.

We get home, unload, put the babe to bed then discuss a timeline.  We decided it would be best not to wait too long (me because I'd want it done before our little lady starts walking, him because he loves new projects) so we are planning on completing the installation by the end of the week.  Well, last night my Husband decided to start peeling up the current floor (which is vinyl).  What a mess that is going to be!  And what a lot of work, too!  Though it's going to be quite a bit of elbow grease for him, I know it is going to look outstanding when it is complete!

What home improvement projects are you working/planning on? 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Roley Poley Oley!

We have hit a major milestone for our little lady these past few days!  She is rolling over fully - back to front then front to back - and moving her little self all over the place!  It is so fascinating to watch her as she tumbles across the floor.  She hasn't yet figured out how to make herself go in the direction she wants so there is usually a meltdown at some point, like when she sees her toy and she just keeps getting further and further away. 

A few weeks ago I was with some other Moms doing what Moms do when they all have little ones to watch over.  One of the children there was the same age as our daughter, only a couple of days older.  I came home almost in tears because of the things that baby girl could do.  Now, I know that all babies develop at different rates.  All babies will have things that they do ahead of schedule and behind schedule.  The milestones are just an average.  I know this.  But I was still as upset as a Mom could be that our little one was no where near as advanced as that other beautiful little girl.  Of course my Husband (being the sweet man that he is) reassured me over and over again that our daughter is perfect and developing just like she should.  I knew he was right.  I knew that!  I knew how many skills she had mastered up to this point.  I knew how hard she was trying to move on to the next one.  But, I was still upset.  Well, not anymore because there is no stopping her rolling all over the house!

I am very much looking forward to what is coming next.  She is already pushing herself up to stand when we're holding her.  And just yesterday she started to fall forward when I was holding her between my legs.  She reached out an stopped herself by putting her hands on her legs.  She sat there for another minute or so, fully supporting herself!  She's so strong and healthy!  It makes me a very, very proud Momma!!

What has your little one accomplished recently?  What was the most amazing accomplishment for you to watch your little one do?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Rootbeer Float Cookies

Here it is!  My first Pinterest review.  What better way to start than with something that sounds like it's too good to be true?!?!

Here's the original post if you'd like to check it out:

 The recipe is a pretty straight forward cookie and icing combination.

Cookie Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk*
1 tsp. root beer extract or concentrate
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

 Frosting Ingredients:
4 cups powdered sugar (or icing sugar)
3/4 cup butter, softened
3 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. root beer extract or concentrate

Preheat oven to 375º.
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in buttermilk and root beer extract. 
Combine dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture. 
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375º for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. 
In a mixing bowl, combine all frosting ingredients. Beat until smooth. 
Frost cooled cookies.

Cost for the ingredients we did not have on hand:
Rootbeer concentrate: $3.28
Baking Soda: $0.58
Butter: $1.68
Total: $5.54

*I do not buy buttermilk.  I make it by adding 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Stir and let stand for 10 minutes (in the fridge).

Total prep, mixing and baking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

I feel that this recipe is very simple.  Mix butter and sugar first - typical of cookies.  Add wet ingredients, then dry.  Mix until well blended.  I used a large soup spoon for dropping the cookies on to the cookie tray, so they were bigger than suggested.  The icing was a great confectioner's sugar blend!  I used to be pretty bad at making frosting this way, but this exact recipe would work with any flavoring.  The top of the icing gets firm but stays soft underneath, which is perfect!

A few things I would like to note are that I made these cookies pretty big and still ended up with 44 cookies.  You could easily cut the recipe in half to end up with only a couple dozen.  My baking time was a little longer than suggested.  I baked two full cookie sheets, one on each rack in the oven.  The bottom rack finished in 12 minutes, the top finished just over 13 minutes.  Also, the amount of icing is the perfect amount for this many cookies.  If you are too generous in the beginning when icing your cookies, you may run out!  Finally, my cookies turned out light in color, not brown like the original picture leads you to believe. 

Here are photos documenting the process:

 Taste and evaluation:

I have solicited the input of my husband on how this baking expedition turned out (he says he doesn't like all sorts of sweet stuff, but he sure does like to help make it disappear!).   We tried them with and without the icing, because sometimes things are pretty good both ways.

Without icing:

My Husband: I can taste the rootbeer, but the texture is somewhat alarming because it is incredibly similar to a pancake.  The cookie does not have the desired cookie crunch that I feel it should.

Me:  Rootbeer flavor is definitely present in the cookie itself. They are a soft, chewy texture and moist. Without icing I feel they would be best paired with a glass of milk or maybe a scoop of ice cream!

With Icing:

My Husband: I do not feel that the icing compliments the cookie very well. Depending on how the cookie is eaten (icing to the tongue or vice versa) one always overpowers the other. I also feel that the icing required for this type of cookie should be a much creamier type of icing, more similar to a cake frosting. The Confectioner sugar icing can feel somewhat gritty at times, and overpowered the amount of rootbeer extract that was used.

Me: I think the cookies are surprisingly light, which may cause you to eat many more than you would if they were very sugary or heavy!  The icing is quite sweet, so be careful how much you put on top!  Too much would completely overpower the subtle cookie.  These would be a good addition to a themed party (a 50’s sock hop, perhaps) or for something different than your average chocolate chip cookie.


This recipe is easy to follow and most of the ingredients are common kitchen staples so it would be low cost to prepare.  The cookies turn out to be a generous size with plenty to hand out.  Since there is milk in the recipe I stored them in the refrigerator, and I have got to say that they are absolutely delightful cold!  I would recommend the Six Sisters' Stuff Rootbeer Float cookies.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Are you a pinner or a maker?

I haven't been on Pinterest for very long.  I guess you could say it was because I didn't understand what all of the buzz was about.  I am not one to surf the internet without a purpose, and to me, that's what Pinterest was.  However, after my older sister found a really cute pattern for a Spring Wreath I decided to check it out.  I waited almost a week for an invitation!  This of course made me feel more annoyed than special to be joining. 

Well, it took some time, but I have grown to very much enjoy the Pinterest boards!  I love to see what others are posting and get cooking and crafting ideas.  I kept pinning and pinning with visions of spiced pumpkin dip and little ruffly dresses dancing in my head. 

After seeing all of those cute pictures and seemingly simple recipes and instructions I decided to dive in - head first.  I've gathered bits and pieces of crafting supplies for some of the projects, but have not yet completed anything.  So here is the next step in my blogging life.  I will take those mouth watering and eye oogling projects, complete them, then report back here on cost (as close as possible), time, difficulty, pictured steps and actual end result.  Keep an eye out for the weekend posts.  I hope that you read along for the duration!!

P.S.  If there are any pins you'd like to see completed, but are just not sure how hard they'd actually be send them my way.  I'll see what I can do : )

Thursday, August 2, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week 2012

I am a breastfeeding Momma.  Before I even knew I wanted to have a child I knew I wanted to breastfeed.  To me we make milk for a reason.  The reason is that little life that we produce.  Our milk is the healthiest treat that we can give to them.  And boy, do they want it!!

I understand it is not every mother's desire to breastfeed.  I understand that medically a small number of people cannot breastfeed.  I do, however, wish every woman would give it a try before ruling it out. 

I am one of those people that will scour the internet or read a bunch of books to get all of the information on a topic that I possibly can.  I read (and my Husband did as well) a number of books on breastfeeding.  I searched through many sites to find every possible ounce of knowledge I could on the subject.  I attended La Leche League meetings and Bradley Birthing classes (with Hubby) from the time I was 4 months pregnant.  I felt like I had a pretty solid foundation to get the process started. Not to mention a very strong and supportive group of women (and a Husband) who were very willing to help. 

When my little girl was born I was so overwhelmed with many feelings but was 100% determined to nurse her as soon as she was in my arms.  I tried.  She seemed interested, but I was distracted by what the doctor was doing.  I'll spare you the details.  I handed her to my Husband who went with the nurse to thoroughly check out our beautiful little lady. We were blessed to know that she was, in fact, given a perfect bill of health.  After I was all cleaned up and in the room that would be our home for the next two days I finally got to see that little bundle again!!

Of course I wanted to try nursing her again as soon as I had her near me.  We tried a few times.  She latched on and gave a few hearty sucks, then stopped.  I knew it would be a learning process for us both so I didn't want to push her too hard.  Plus the little one was so tired.  We tried to feed a number of more times.  Each time she seemed to get a little better, but just not as good as I had expected the process to go.  I gladly took the advice of the nursing staff when they asked if I needed help.  After showing them what we were doing they all said things were going well.  I felt so great about it all, thanks to their encouragement, that when the lactation consultant came to visit as we were getting discharged we talked about things not involving breastfeeding. 

The following day when we took our daughter to the pediatrician he showed concern for her color.  She was a little orange, but to us, jaundice is totally normal in breastfed babies.  She had been tested several times at the hospital before we left with no worries.  He wanted her tested again.  So, reluctantly, we did.  It is so hard to know your little one is going to really hate what you are about to allow happen to them. Well, the test came back a little high, but not alarming.  Either way the doctor wanted us to take her in and undergo light therapy.

When we got to the hospital they were planning on giving me a bed to sleep on so I could be there all night to nurse her.  My husband was permitted to stay as well.  The shortest version possible is that the "bed" I was given was a slab of wood with a sheet on it.  My Husband slept on the three feet of floor space we had available beside our daughter's bed.  We didn't even have a chair.  Our baby girl screamed through most of the night.  She hated having the protective coverings on her eyes.  Can't say that I blame her it had to be so scary.  We were not encouraged to pick her up and take her out from under the lights so for most of the night we just got to listen to her howl.  So much so that she eventually lost her voice.  The staff was concerned at how often we were feeding her so they told us we had to nurse her every two hours (she was on a consistent every three hours schedule for the first three days of her life).  After the first two feedings she refused to nurse.  The staff brought me a pump so that we could measure her milk intake.  I declined using the bottles that they brought us.  Instead we fed her with a dropper.  By the morning my Husband and I were completely exhausted and our daughter would not latch on to my breast at all.

After a very heated conversation with the head of the medical staff at the hospital a lactation consultant showed up in our "room."  She immediately handed me a nipple shield and showed me a different hold (I was extremely full and her little mouth didn't have much to grab on to).  Things worked exactly how they were supposed to instantly!  From that point on she ate like a champ (every three hours)!

The next seven weeks I tried very hard to get my daughter to latch on to my breast without the nipple shield.  It was frustrating for everyone.  She cried.  I cried.  My Husband tried intervening.  I called the leader of our La Leche League group about five times asking what I as doing wrong.  She continually encouraged me to keep trying.  She suggested trying to nurse her without the shield in between our regular feedings, starting with the shield and removing it halfway through the feeding and vice versa.  She relayed stories to me about past experiences of others and their trials with discontinuing the use of the nipple shield.  I tried harder and with more patience for the health of my daughter.  Finally, after weeks and weeks of struggle she took my breast without the shield!!!

During one of my first meetings at La Leche League one of the mothers told me, "You just have to get past your hardest day."  I am so thankful for that piece of advice.  I kept repeating it over and over during those very difficult times reminding myself how important breastfeeding was to all of us involved.  I have since had the opportunity to pass on that very wise information to other mothers who are going through problems of their own with nursing.

For us, breastfeeding has been a wonderful experience.  My daughter has almost tripled her birth weight at 5 months old all because of the milk I have produced for her!  I look forward to each feeding now and cherish those moments as the very special times that they are.  I hope to continue this beautiful act with my young one until she decides to stop.  At which point I may have "to get past the hardest day."

What have your experiences been with feeding your newborn?  Did you have difficult times?