Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm Bringing My Baby to Blogher

I'm taking my baby, who just turned a month old to NYC Thursday [insert gasps]. Visiting NYC was on my baby bucket list, and I was a little sad when I realized I wasn't going to be able to cross it off. But crossing it off with my month-old baby while meeting friends I've been connecting with online seems even better, and like a great way to hit several birds with one stone.
ma and baby
Meanwhile, it's finally hitting my husband that I'm leaving, with our child, and flying to a big city with no real plan. He's starting to freak out a little--As usual, so I'm trying to calm him down, and calm myself down at the same time.

My ONE Blogher '10 Sponsor--Piggies and Paws is awesome. I'm actually having breakfast with the owner today! Luckily it won't be like last year where I'm trying to unload pounds and pounds of swag from several different sponsors, while also collecting some of my own to bring home. I'll still have some goodies to hand out, but it won't be a stress this year.

Having Little J with me, who will be wearing an ADORABLE new line from Piggies and Paws will be an easy conversation starter, and will make it a natural way to spread the word about their artwork, and bring up my blog at the same time. I can focus more on making real connections versus exchanging swag.
Piggies and Paws
Last year was overwhelming at times, and this year will be just as overwhelming I'm sure, but in a different way.

At first I was thinking I'd just wing it, and meet who I meet and stumble into classes, but the more I think about it the more I'm realizing I need to have a loose plan, and I'll make what I can make, and if I have to miss something I wanted to hit up, that's ok too.

I just got back in town Monday after visiting some family, and need to unpack and re-pack my bags. It's quite a turnaround for a trip, but I can do this!! We now have two flights with a baby down and she did wonderfully. I can take the training wheels off and fly alone with her now right? My knees are shaking.

I didn't even have a stroller after I got screwed by a woman who owes me one. But luckily, Kolcraft stepped in and it shipping me an umbrella stroller that works for newborns on up to my hotel! How freaking sweet is that?

My friend Baby Dickey is a self-proclaimed organizational freak, and while I am at times too I've kinda let that go in my first few weeks of motherhood. She wrote a post a week or so ago about getting ready for Blogher and it made my armpits sweat--Yea, I got pretty anxious. She made her own itinerary according to the Blogher program. Program? What program? Heck, I don't even know what time my flight leaves! It's time I pull myself together a little bit, and get a tad bit organized about this trip.

So thanks for the push Emily, here's my loose plan:

2:50: Fly first class to NYC. (I had to throw that in there cause I've never flown first class before)
8pm: Arrive in an airport I had never heard of until today and hopefully get my shuttle plans figured out so I can safely get to my hotel. While carrying my baby, her carseat, are bags, and no stroller. Suggestions?
9-10pm: The People's Party (maybe, probably not).

The butt crack of dawn: Pack up our things and walk with our bags, carseat, and selves a block down to the Hilton and ask if they can hold our bags and/or if our room is ready.
8-9am: Newbie breakfast
9-9:30am: BlogHer Welcome
10-10:30am: If I haven't already, check into my hotel room, feed Little J (probably for the 5th time), and get ready to go to our first workshop.
10:30-11:45am: Workshop it was hard to decide but I want to go to:

Passions: ROYO - Gen Y Passionistas: Making Your Passion “Work” For You
11:45-1:15pm: LUNCH!
1:15-2:30pm: Probably: Geek Lab: Fight Spam and Hackers! Plugging Security Holes in Your Social Media Life
Change Agents: Creating Tangible Social Change: How to Move People to Action
2:45-4pm: I've always wanted to take a photography class so this may be fun: Geek Lab: ROYO - How to Take Great Pictures, Whether You Have a DSLR or Point-and-Shoot
4-4:45: Afternoon break aka NAP TIME!
4:45-6pm: Keynote address (or keep napping)
6-7pm: Reception aka DINNER!
7-9pm: Babble Project Party [invite only] (if I can sneak Lil' J in).

9-9:30am: Nap?
9:30am-10:30am: Keynote, which looks WAY GOOD! Hopefully I won't let my nap go through it.
10:45-12pm: Session. Either: Geek Lab: ROYO - How to Edit Your Pictures and Make Them 10x Better
Writing Lab: How to Use Your Blogging to Make You a Better Writer
I'm not a photographer but I'd like to get better where as I've been writing so long. I may see which one is less crowded and go to that one.
12-1:20pm: LUNCH
1:30-2:45: Skip session: NAP TIME! (pick up a swag bag I RSVPd for)
3pm-4:15: Session. Writing Lab: Humor Writing
4:20-5pm: Break... Meet up with people or nap if I missed it earlier. Or hunt for swag (though I'm forbidden to bring home too much junk).
5-6pm: Closing Keynote
6pm-midnight: PARTIES: I'm registered for two parties (that came with my ticket) but I REALLY just want to visit the Blogalicious party and maybe get a cheeseburger from the CheeseburgHer party.

If I'm not feeling up to the parties there's always the BlogHer Chill Space we can hang out in that night.

BEFORE the but crack of dawn: Get my booty to the airport by 7am so we can get on our first class flight home!
1pm: Church--Yes, I'm going to try to make it. How's that for dedication?

Last year I didn't go to any parties and I still had a blast. I'm not a party-goer anyway, and I really enjoyed hanging out in friend's hotel rooms more, so I'm hoping I'll make friends and we can do that. I'm not sure I'll even bring fancy party clothing since the lighter I pack the better. Plus I don't really want to bring Lil' J to the parties... Although we'd be the life of it (of course).

The meals are in all caps cause I can't miss them... Like a college student, I'm all about free food, and have a phobia of overpriced food.

It may seem like I'm planning to sleep the whole time but really... With this little one sucking the life out of me (literally, is it just me or does breastfeeding make me sleepy?) I am looking forward to squeezing in a few naps... Yes, even in NYC. But if we're up to it, maybe we'll stroll around the Hilton and just see who we meet. Want to meet? Fill this out!

I'm more excited now that I've thought about this a little. I even ordered more business cards with a new picture from our mother daughter shoot!
new business card front
Last year I didn't plan this much, I just followed The Blogrollers around, met new friends, and really just made it up as I went. I think with a baby this year I need a loose plan so I can pick it up and see what's going on while I'm there, but I'm also not expecting to make everything.

Any tips for a mom traveling alone for the first time with a one month old? Any tips about being in NYC? Tips about conferences? I'm all ears!

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