August 22, 2014

Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up

Not sure if I heard that little ditty somewhere or if I made it up. But whenever it's time to clean up, you can hear me sing "clean up, clean up, everybody clean up" over and over to Hudson. He's started to sing it too...but basically in toddler speaks comes out as "cleeeaaaan, cleeeeaaaan, cleeeaaaan!" Hello adorable.

It's totally my duty as a blogger to tell my readers when I stumble upon a new must-have.....and today's must-have item is........Viva Vantage paper towels!

 photo IMG_8322.jpg
I recently broke up with my old paper towels. They just weren't holding up to the big time messes that we Hudson leaves in his wake. And honestly? These paper towels rock my socks off. Seriously, they are now a necessity it my home. 

We get pretty messy up in here. Especially when eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich...and not contained in the high chair.

Viva Vantage paper towels are like my new favorite thing ever. And I'm serious. It's like I never knew how awesome a paper towel could be until now. 

And I may or may not have started singing "Viva Las Paper Towels!" to Hudson over and over last night. He thinks mama is so funny. 

Totally made clean up a breeze and they stretch so they scrub counters (and sticky hands!) really well. Perfect for the everyday messes we always have in our home. You can find out more info about Viva Vantage paper towels here.

 photo IMG_8322.jpg This post was sponsored by Viva® Vantage and Walmart but my love for these paper towels is all my own. 



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August 20, 2014

The Breastfeeding Diaries: Chelsea from Play. Wash. Rinse. Repeat

 I sat here thinking about where to begin with my story. I think about my daughter’s birth and how everything went so not according to plan that I’m shocked this actually worked out for us. But let me begin with her birth, because I feel this is an important part to our story. 

I was 40 weeks and 6 days and at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City at 6:00am March 13th, 2013 being induced. I wasn’t dilated. I wasn’t having contractions. Everything was normal and wonderful, except for that I was overdue. They induced with Pitocin, then Cervadil, and still, no dilation. My contractions were at a minimum, even on the highest dose of everything. I was armed with my perfectly typed birth plan, which, at a minimum, said to deliver her and nothing else. 

36 hours later and my birth plan completely out the window, I delivered Ava via c-section. In all honesty, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I was walking the next day. I began trying to get Ava to latch to breastfeed around very 4-6 hours…because that’s how often they told me to offer. We went to two of the breastfeeding classes offered in the hospital and the nurse said I had plenty of milk to go around. Great! This was the first thing I felt in control of. 

By Sunday, we were ready to go home, I was adjusting the car seat to fit her and she went for her vitals. She had a fever of over 101. I was called and told she was in the NICU. Just like that, I wasn’t in control of my own child. This was my baby, not theirs, so how could they just take her there without letting me know? She was immediately started on antibiotics. We freaked out…this was not our choice. How could we go home and leave her? 

Needless to say, I cried for the two days that she was in there. I know two days isn’t a lot…especially after you realize a lot of other babies are in there for a lot longer. But it doesn’t hurt any less knowing you can’t have her. 

In the interim, I began pumping. I was told to pump, even after nursing Ava, which only made my oversupply even worse. I was at the hospital every three hours with her and she was getting better and better at nursing and on the last day, I knew we were finally going to go home and be just fine. I was determined to make this work, and no one was going to tell me that this wasn’t possible. 

 When I look back at everything that happened in the hospital, I realize I should have been nursing her much more often than every 4-6 hours. For this reason, I highly suggest a doula or midwife and attending La Leche League while pregnant. I didn’t do any of those things. We live and learn, right? 

Those first few months are so confusing. You question everything, wonder what’s next and learn more than you ever thought you needed to know. I felt like all I did was sit on the couch and nurse, mainly because I did! Every 2-3 hours, and forget about growth spurts. I smelled of spit up and had milk in places that milk shouldn’t be. Those times can be trying, because all you want to do is feel like yourself and step out for two seconds of your life! But these moments won’t last forever. To make my time well spent, I started making jewelry and began following a lot of great social media accounts (like The Leaky Boob). 

I realized when Ava was spitting up a lot and choking that I had a pretty forceful letdown. I quickly learned to express into a burp cloth at the beginning of each feeding to help Ava be able to more comfortably feed. By the time she was two months old I had cut dairy out of my diet due to severe colic symptoms at night. I also immersed myself in La Leche League meetings and online support forums and found such comfort, normalcy and amazement in what I was providing for my daughter that I wanted to shout it to the world: “BREASTFEED YOUR BABES! Let me help you! I’m here for you!”

I went back to work at four months and my pumping schedule was three times a day within an eight hour period. I was racking up milk like a hoarder and found HMBANA and the Mothers Milk Bank Northeast, where I donated over 400oz. of milk to premature babies in need. This made me feel so great that I could give back, especially after I saw first-hand so many of these fragile babies in the NICU. 

 At a year breastfeeding, we went down to pumping once a day and that’s currently where I stand as Ava is 16 months old and we continue our breastfeeding journey. We’re not sure how we will continue at this point. Some days I’d like to go until she is two years old, and on others I’d rather begin the weaning process. We currently take it day by day.

 Not to say that our journey wasn’t without the occasional bite or minor nursing strike, but for me, this is the one and only thing that worked out as planned and gave me the empowerment that I lacked after my birth. 

 I am a mom who, like most of us, is trying to do what is best for my daughter and my family. Without support, I would have had a much harder time keeping up with nursing, nursing past a year and feeling comfortable nursing in public. Stories of success, failure, honesty, comedy and sadness are what brings us together and empowers us all. I hope that this story makes everyone realize that whatever path you choose or end up on, you can always change directions and push forward. My birth was the last thing anyone on this planet would ever want, but here I am…and I learned about what I will do differently the second time around and what made me who I am now. 

Chelsea Vassi is owner and blogger at play. wash. rinse. repeat. She is a Michigan native and currently lives in New York City with her husband Steve, daughter Ava and two dogs. To learn more about Chelsea and follow her adventures in breastfeeding past a year, among other topics, visit her blog and social media accounts.

Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar. 


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August 19, 2014

If you really knew me...

Hello my friends and happy Tuesday! Let's do another little round of "if you really knew me" since there seem to be a few new faces around these parts.

If you really knew me, you'd know.....

I love books written for teenagers. Huger Games, Twilight, Harry Potter, Divergent....bring it on.

I was born and raised in Long Beach, California but now live in Michigan. 

In my dvr right now: Pretty Little Liars, The Office, Project Runway, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Making the Team, Big Bang Theory, Paw Patrol, Aladin, Despicable Me, Toy Story 3, Winnie the Pooh and too many Disney movies to count. 

I have a goal of painting my nails every week, but it never happens.

I'm married to this handsome guy, and his name is Jon, but usually I just call him "my husband"...but now you know he has a name. Shocker.

I'm mostly an only child. I have two half-sisters on my dad's side but they are 12 and 14 years younger than me and live in Alabama. 

This boy has my heart...but you probably already knew that.

I cry every time at the end of Toy Story 3 even though I've seen it 25 times. 

How much the TSwift video below makes me happy. I danced around to this song all morning and if you don't like this we can't be friends....



What would I know about you if we were friends?

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August 18, 2014

Little Moments

As I mom, I would say that the gazillion photos I've taken of Hudson are probably some of my most valuable possessions. 

See what I mean? I'm sure all moms feel this way, right?

My iphone does most of our day-to-day memory capturing and I hate it when I run out of space on my phone....that seems to be happening to me a lot lately! Which is why I'm so excited about today's GIVEAWAY!!!!!

I would be absolutely devastated if these photos were lost, so it's important to me to have a device that I can count on to protect my precious photos. Enter LyveHome. Now I can capture my favorite moments knowing all of my photos AND videos are automatically protected on my LyveHome, no matter where I am. And I don't have to hunt around for a picture in a folder on my computer either....they are all stored seamlessly on the LyveHome. I'm obsessed. Lyve allows you to have one view of your collection, even photos and videos posted on Facebook, or those kept in cloud storage services, regardless of the space you have available on your mobile device. Hello awesome.

Your collection can be brought together, regardless of where it was originally saved. Use the USB port or SD card slot to import all of your old memories stored on old phones, external hard drives, flash drives, memory cards, smart cameras and more.

Once you add the app to your phone it's really easy to use. It automatically syncs with your photos and the LyveHome device. And you can easily find the memory you’re looking for, sorted within the Lyve app by date. This is what the app looks like on my phone. Super easy and super cute. 

All I have to do is focus on capturing the moment. Lyve keeps my photos safe, sorted, and always accessible.

And it scrolls through your photos when it's on....love taking a little walk down memory lane! Want to win a LyveHome? Then today's your lucky day! Just visit LyveHome and click on the “watch product video” and then leave a comment on this post, letting me know what you enjoyed most about the video. I'll randomly pick a winner on September 3rd. US residents only please.

You can enjoy free shipping on your order of Lyve with the code: LyveUnleashed

Today's post is sponsored by LyveHome but all opinions are my own.

Good luck!




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August 15, 2014

Oh Hey Friday!

Yesterday was a good day after a very LONG week. Hoping for another awesome day today! Let's do this!

{one} Please tell me you didn't miss this. We are all enough

{two} Time for this week's edition of bloggers telling me what to wear....this shirt (size down a whole size) and this necklace (you need to click on the necklace...it's cut off in my photo) pretty much rocked my world this week. Sheaffer said they were amazing and she was right. Always listen to Sheaffer.

{three} We've been rocking out and getting funky all week to Hudson's new VeggieTales "Celery Night Fever" movie. It's kind of awesome. See what I mean here.

{four} Hudson's feet have been growing like crazy lately, so I'm on the hunt for cute comfortable shoes. I picked up this pair during Nordstrom's sale and this pair at the Gap. They are both a good size and a half too big right now but Hudson is already smitten.

{five} Actual words that have come out of my mouth might just have to become a link up. What do you think? I mean "thank you for peeing on the rug and not the carpet" moments are just too good not to share, right?

Have a great weekend!



Today I'm linking up with September Farm and The Farmer's Wife!

Momfessionals


And I'm also linking up with A Little Bit of EverythingGrace and Love, and Momfessionals

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