We just got home from BlogHer ’12 in NYC, and I wanted to write a post abut the experience. The thing is, I’m too exhausted to write a “real” post, so I’ll sum it up in bullet points.
Here we go!
1.- Avery might just be the most easy going baby on the planet. I can count on one hand the number of times she cried. She was super chill, fine with about 30 women (many drunk) taking pictures of her throughout the weekend. Didn’t cry when one lady literally stuck her finger in Avery’s mouth after asking me if she was teething yet. (I swear to god this happened and I was in total shock)
2.- On the first night I spent an hour in the security office, (thank you Cira’s Lyrics, for hanging out with me!) trying to get in to our room so I could get Avery’s formula (roommates had the key and were on the other side of the city and my phone was dead so I couldn’t call them) They wouldn’t let me in because I wasn’t on the reservation, nothing I told them “added up” and I could be someone’s “jealous lover” Eventually, the head of security (who was very nice) went to the room and got the formula for me) The best part of this story is that two days later, a friend of my roommate was let in to our room, no questions asked…
3.- I was actually surprised at the lack of swag. Not because that was my whole reason for going, but because of the stories I had heard of people bringing home “mountains of swag” from previous years. I brought home one duffel bag of swag, and 95% of it came from The Big Toy Book’s Sweet Suite party.
4.- A baby is a great ice breaker, and they help get the attention of brand reps. Many people thought I was nuts for bringing her, but I am so glad I did! She seemed to have fun, I had fun with her, and she really helped me talk to people that I may have been intimidated by otherwise. She didn’t impact my trip in any of the negative ways people “warned” me about.
5.-The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, is very nice and thinks Avery is very cute. I loved that I randomly bumped into her coming up the escalator. It was much more personal than waiting in line with hundreds of obsessed fangirls to meet her (as I had considered doing, but decided against.)
6.-If I go next year, I’d love to go with a buddy. I had fantastic roommates (Becca of Mama B, Beth of Me As a Mommy, and Emily of Baby Dickey) and we did quite a bit together, but they all had a bunch of private events to go to. (Events that I wasn’t invited to) So I had a lot of “alone time” I did get to meet a bunch of new people, which was nice, but It would have been better to have a friend to hang out with.
7.-Some women are super nasty and rude. Pushing Avery in her stroller through lunch, I got quite a few nasty looks and one woman said, quite loudly, “I can’t believe she has a stroller here!” Sorry, didnt realize that ME pushing MY stroller was such a burden on YOU. I’m the one being inconvenienced here. Suck in your giant belly, move your chair in, and let me by. I can’t imagine how bothered she’d have been by a person in a wheelchair! *eye roll*
8.-Some women are super kind and caring. I had so many people coming up to tell me that Avery was the most beautiful baby ever (besides their own, of course) offer to hold doors, hold Avery, give me “baby swag” get me food, etc. It was awesome!
9.-I missed out on all the sessions I wanted to go to, because they always fell when Avery was napping (and I didn’t have the heart to wake her, or when she was having a cranky moment and i didn’t want to bring her in and risk her having a meltdown (though she never really did) But it’s a-ok because they record them and now I can watch them at home!
10.-I have a few complaints about BlogHer. The hotel was great, but not really equipped to hold 4,500 (or something like that) women. I heard there wasn’t enough seating at the lunches and keynotes, or at the sessions. This is truly unacceptable, and makes me think that I’d only get an expo pass if I go next year. How horrible to pay for meals, then not be able to go to them because there isn’t room. This MAY also be because nobody was checking badges to verify if you had a full conference pass. I think the BlogHer folks should consider what many other conferences do, and have people sign up for sessions. They should also only register the number of people who can COMFORTABLY fit at the venue.
I feel like I had another story to tell from the weekend….hmmm….what was it?
Avery pooped on Martha Stewart.
Ok, maybe she didn’t poop ON her, but she did poop while in line to meet her. Martha was the keynote speaker at lunch. We were waiting for her to speak and it was then, that Avery decided she had to go. Of course. Avery hadn’t gone #2 in 2 days, and she chose THIS moment to go? Great. I checked her out, subtly as we were at a table with 8 other ladies, eating lunch. and it wasn’t that bad. Just a little one, so I thought we’d be ok until AFTER meeting Martha. Avery didn’t stink, so I didn’t think Martha would notice. After finishing our food we rushed out of the lunch to wait in line for the meet & greet.
We waited, and waited and waited. Everything seemed fine. Then I saw Avery’s face. It was turning red. She was holding her breath. She was grunting. “Faaaaaaantastic” twice in one day….Maybe it was nerves, you know we all get a little “icky” feeling when we’re anxious, or maybe she just does NOT like Martha, but this was a big one. The kind you read about in Mommy forums. The kind that require 57 wipes, an two changes of clothes (for baby AND mommy) I knew I couldn’t wait, I had to change her NOW. I don’t think Martha likes babies in general, and I KNOW she doesn’t like smelly ones. I had visions of her walking out and asking in her boarding school accent “What is that putrid odor?!” and everyone turning around, looking at me with judgement in their eyes, then two security guards in salmon polos and searsucker shorts escorting me and my odiferous infant out of the room.
I asked my friends to hold my spot as we rushed out to find a bathroom. Thankfully there was one directly across the hall. Thank god I went when I did because we were meer millimeters away from DEFCON 1
I depleted my wipes supply, got Avery changed and we headed back to the line. A few moments later, Martha appeared, and her super obnoxious, rude, PR staff herded us minions, through the signing like cattle to slaughter. “No pictures, we don’t have time for that!” “She can’t take your questions, stop talking, move along, next, next, NEXT!!!!” When it was our turn, I was truly hopeful that she’d be nice. I’ve always thought she was mean, but was holding out hope that she’d prove me wrong. There is good in everyone, even snobbish, crafty, white collar criminals, right? Wrong. Unlike every other person I met at the conference, there was no “Cute baby” When she spoke, she spoke coldly, asking “How old?” and glancing at Avery as she signed my book. “4 months” I responded with a smile, still hoping for a kind response. The next thing she said, sounded like “And they let your bring her?” Yes, of course….she’s a BABY not a velociraptor! Why wouldn’t they “let me bring her”? I took my book, and said with a smile, Yes, we’re both having a wonderful time, thank you” and off I went. So The moral of the story is. Martha Stewart doesn’t care if a baby is smelly, or fresh. She doesn’t care. Period. She is cold as ice. And As crafty as she is, I’m glad I never have to see her again! But at least now, I can say for certain that she a bit of a jerk, and when people who worship her say “oh, I think she’s AMAZING! And how would you know?” I can show them this blurry photo that probably wasn’t allowed to be taken, and say, “I met the ice queen!”