DAY TWO, FRIDAY
Part One: I've Made A Huge Mistake Of Bluthian Proportions
The next morning Jodi texted me and offered to sneak the baby and I into the Club Level for the free breakfast. I wrote back that I wasn't showered yet, but then decided that I didn't really care, and went up anyway, only to immediately bump into a crew of immaculately coiffed and professionally dressed women from MomCentral. Stacy DeBroff fed Ezra a banana while I blearily caffeinated myself and by my third sip my brain suddenly turned on and I realized that I was out in public -- at a professional blogging conference, where people take pictures and blog and stuff -- in pajama bottoms and no makeup and gross oily hair.
And my nipples were showing through my nursing tank. I ate a croissant and fled.
Part Two: All Better
I started meeting people and recognizing people and being recognized by other people, reuniting with Linda, fangirling at Alexa, awkwardly screaming after Kate seconds after she'd stepped on an escalator, like NOOOO COME BACK I LOVE YOU. I met...a lot of people, and I hadn't even retrieved my conference badge yet. (They didn't have it under my real name, the name I registered with, but just my blog name, meaning all weekend people squinted at my badge and said "Ahhhhmala? Who the hell?)
I want to thank everybody who listened to my plea last week and came up and introduced themselves. It was beyond lovely meeting each and every one of you, and I'm glad you got to meet his Mighty Ezness in person. (He seems quite bored of me, now that we're home. He's all, "Where all my aunties at?") I know that feeling -- that panicked deer-in-the-headlights feeling -- of stepping off the elevator and walking into a crowded lobby and suddenly realizing that you know NO ONE THERE and you've left your conference agenda upstairs so you can't even PRETEND to study it while trying to figure out what to do next and the seconds are ticking by and you have NO ONE TO TALK TO AND WILL PROBABLY DIE ALONE MOMENTARILY.
You guys are all awesome, so I didn't die after all. Hooray!
(Photo by Carla Duharte Razura)
(Arm and half a head by Lori of Spinning Yellow)
(Nail biting due to overwhelming anxiety, deflated muffin gut courtesy of THAT KID RIGHT THERE.)
Part Three: In Which I Attempt To Learn Stuff
I made it through oh, about 15 minutes of the Transformational Blogging panel before Ezra decided noisily to work out that banana from breakfast. Good job, son.
Part Four: OMFG I LOST MY iPHONE AGAIN
It fell out of my pocket at lunch and was hidden under somebody's purse. I proceeded to panic for...oh, a good amount of time because I DIDN'T WANT TO TELL THE INTERNET I LOST MY iPHONE AGAIN, and pretty much everybody at the table remembered the time I dropped it in the toilet, which is still one of my top trafficked posts thanks to all the other people out there who turn to Google after dropping their own iPhones in their own toilets.
Part Five: "I Just Think You Need To Keep Things In Perspective"
Ezra and I retreated to the Lactation Lounge (yes, seriously) at some point in the afternoon for some downtime -- I realized I'd left my wipes container in there from the morning's diaper change and was kind of surprised it was still there, what with everybody kind of losing their minds over OMFG A FREE HUGGIES TRAVEL WIPES CONTAINER MINE MINE MINE. I nursed the baby and hummed to him and cuddled, feeling very calm and motherly and proud of what an amazingly good little trooper he'd been all day. He smiled at everybody (except for Mir, who made him cry) (but only one time, and they later bonded), took naps right in the carrier, and patiently indulged the approximately 6,429 people grabbing at his toes. (NOTE: I may have encouraged this. In fact, I believe I told at least one woman to "git in there an' git you sum.") After a rocky start, we were getting this thing down, we were both having fun, and I was cheesily treasuring this trip -- the most uninterrupted one-on-one time I'd had with my second child since our hospital stay.
Two women came in right as we were getting ready to leave. One was there with a four-and-a-half-week old. The other was there with a two-week-old.
I'd entered the room with a BABY and left with a goddamn freaking Godzilla child strapped to my back.
Part Six: Sponsorville
I've read quite a bit about the sponsored bloggers and whether people found them rude or amateurish or whatever. I only met two, and in case they're reading those posts as well and feeling embarrassed or worried that they came off that way: No, you did not. I'm not sure either of them actually knew who I was so they may never read this, but I met a lovely woman who was sponsored by Born Free and who let me get ugly and baby-elbowing over bottles and sippy cups and listening to my long and involved story about how I clogged the hotel room toilet with a gDiaper insert, and another (and I don't remember her name, I'm sorry!!) who simply admired Ezra for a bit before presenting him with an Eric Carle lizard from Kohl's.
I haven't been able to afford Blogher some years either -- this is actually the first time I went on my own dime, having been lucky enough to have employers who sent me in the past, and I've skipped the other years when that didn't happen -- so I totally understand desperately wanting to go but wanting to offset the cost. And I also understand that some sponsored bloggers did not necessarily do this in the most professional manner, or even realize that it was indeed, a professional arrangement and not a lottery ticket. Hell, there's a right and a wrong way to go about everything. As Kristen said, quite aptly: Not all bloggers are like that. Mommy or sponsored or otherwise.
(Also, I stupidly only packed one bottle for Ez and so I was REALLY REALLY GRATEFUL for the free bottle. Yay!)
Part Seven: Sparklecorn 2009
That was a ridiculous amount of fun, no?
(Unicorn cake by the CakeGirls. I was a little disappointed that it wasn't red velvet cake, but it was still a really nice piece of ass.)
I have no bragging rights to that party -- Tracey and Catherine planned it all, down to every last geektastic poster on the wall and the stand-up Edward (who vanished mysteriously at some point in the evening...I really earnestly hope someone out there tried to get him through an airport security line). My contribution was writing an entry once upon a time about talking deodorants, and one of those deodorant companies turned out to have an incredibly good sense of humor and agreed to help sponsor our party. The sole swag (besides, uh, booze) was a tube of Dove Clinical Strength, and for the record I did not get one. And I am pissed, because that's what I actually use and last time I went to Target I got so distracted by the new "deodorants as elaborate showpieces" trend in packaging that I FORGOT TO ACTUALLY BUY SOMETHING I WOULD USE.
(If you haven't seen the professional photos of the party, click here. I think I am dancing in that one photo, or possibly threatening to punch someone for not keepin' her hands offa mah damn man.)
After the Mamapop writers arrived but before we started letting people in, I had to take a moment and sit down on the dance floor to compose myself -- my laughing at the cake, the Edward, the posters soon turned to gaspy crying, because it was like the prom planning committee had been taken over by the nerds, by my people, by my friends, read my diary to plan my dream prom, and everybody got crowned prom queen just for showing up.
I kicked off my shoes and danced like a drunken moron to every song, I hugged everybody I could get my arms on and I wondered why I never did stuff like this anymore.
I woke up the next morning and was like, "Oh, right."
(Oh my God. Will I ever shut the fuck up about this? One more day to recap, I swear. Trust me, nothing else has happened since I got home, except that Ezra has suddenly become Mr. Professional Cruiser and is spending horrifying amounts of time upright on two legs and RUN IT'S GODZILLA BABY NOOO.)