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Post-BlogHer letdown, or, I’m feeling a little scattered right now

As y’all might have heard, there was a teeny-tiny women’s blogging conference this past weekend in San Diego. You know, just 3000 or so of the most amazing, dedicated, accepting, collaborative, FUN women you’ve ever met. The typical weekend.

I think just about everyone else I know has already written their BlogHer11 recaps. That’s okay, I’m always late with these things. And I prefer to mull and chew on things a bit. I’m hoping to do a little now and some more in-depth stuff later.

I was terribly excited last August when I heard that BlogHer ’11 was going to be in San Diego. I had missed ’10 due to my pregnancy and the expense of traveling to NYC. It’s the first one that I’ve missed since 2006, so I wasn’t about to miss a second.

BlogHer carved into Ivory soap

Sometimes I go into things like this with a little trepidation. I always get nervous in new situations. The unknown. But since I’ve been to the convention center so many times, and BlogHer so many times, I knew where I was going. And I already knew a bunch of people–both locally and those traveling–who were coming to the conference. I was super relaxed and ready to just go with the flow. I think it made for a much more enjoyable experience.

Peggy & Becky up to no good

So unlike a lot of people who worried about what they’d wear, where they’d go and what they’d see, I was chill. For once. Whether I ran around with a bunch of friends or just went to sessions on my own, it was all good. I would have been happy either way. As it turns out, though, my friend Peggy was new to the conference and I wanted to make sure she was set up. So we wound up spending a lot of time together. And it was a blast. (I may have just found a new partner in crime. Watch out, y’all.)

Becky & Peggy trying to be Greek

I went to some panels, went to some sponsor suites, hung out on the Expo floor. Hopefully I made some new connections and I definitely ran into some old friends. I honestly don’t think I can fit it all into one post. I’d like to talk about some individual companies that I saw on the floor, some of the products we got or saw demoed, and how everything is working now that we’re back home. I always have good intentions, though, so we’ll see. :D

I will tell you that I took the clothes I took — they were what they were. Not sponsored. Not fancy. Jeans and t-shirts. I wore a dress to one party and jeans with a nice top at a different party. That’s it. No one shunned me or made fun of me (that I know of). But I’ve *never* been a fashionista, so there’s no pressure there. Ha! (Although I did stop at the Dr. Scholl’s booth before one of the parties and got some inserts for high heels and they made a huge difference. They also gave me some ballet flats that fold up in your purse and I put those suckers on later that night. Everyone should have a pair. Really.)

Becky relaxing at Dr. Scholl's booth

The sessions I went to? Really enjoyable. There wasn’t enough time to go to everything I wanted, especially when you are still breastfeeding an 8 month old baby. I ran back to the hotel quite a few times to get in a feeding.

What’s really cool, though, is that ALL of the sessions recaps are on the BlogHer site. So although I didn’t get to attend everything, I can go back and read the transcripts. And that, my friends, is awesome.

And drama? There wasn’t any. Unless you count that Mommy Needs Coffee chick getting all up in my face. Something about trying to throw me into a hot tub. And (re)starting a tradition or something. I have NO idea what that’s about. ;)

What was your favorite part? What would you do differently? Are you going to BlogHer12 in NYC?

(PS – buy your tix before 8/31 and use the code AugustHoliday for 20% off. Cheapest price you’ll get!)

The good and bad of conferencing with a baby

Traveling with a baby sucks donkey balls. I’m just sayin’. There’s really no easy way to go about it, especially when you’re flying solo and your child is too big to carry in a sling for more than 5 minutes.

And babies need a lot of crap, so you pack twice as much – maybe three times as much – crap and then have to lug around said crap.

Yet I am so grateful that I get to go to a conference that is so baby-friendly. I would have missed my little guy terribly had I gone without him. I will do things differently next year, that is certain.

I found I needed child care MORE during the evenings. I didn’t have a backup person with me (like, ahem, some people). I wanted to go to the cocktail parties to see people that I didn’t get to see during the day. Visit a little. Schmooze, if you will. more…

Conferencing can be exhausting

I cannot believe how tired I am right now. I think I’m more exhausted this year than I was last — and I was pregnant then!

Baby was awesome at daycare. He totally rocked it. I checked in several times during the day, and the ladies there just loved him. Said he was golden. He hit a wall around 4.15 or so, which I totally expected. I had stopped in just before that, so I was ready. I fed him then took him out. So I would say that was a successful first day at daycare. Yay!

No way I could do that every day. I missed him too much. It was a nice break, but at the same time, I was constantly thinking about him and worrying about him. He was fine, though. I was the crazy one.

There’s a lot going on. Different vibe this year. I think my favorite year was San Jose, because there was an outdoor area near the pool where everyone could hang out. There’s just not a central hang-out spot here. It makes it a little harder to network and find the people you were hoping to meet. It’s tough to find the perfect venue – the one in San Jose had its own issues, too. more…

Something BlogHer this way comes

It’s getting close. BlogHer happens next week. As it approaches, I’m inexplicably nervous.

I’m excited about seeing friends and representing Ask Patty. Juggling the kid and luggage and a stroller by myself and trying to take BART will be interesting, but I left myself plenty of time to handle it.

It’s the social thing. I don’t know if I can adequately explain it without sounding stupid or whiny or any more of a dork than I already am. I love to socialize with people I know. If I see an old friend, I’m more than happy to chat with them. It’s comfortable, to know people. And I will see plenty of people I know. I’m excited about that part. more…