Posts Tagged events

Weathering through the working woes

From beginning to end, this week marked one of the most tumultuous, yet fulfilling weeks I’ve ever had.

Our guy turned 2 on Sunday.  We traveled way more than we could physically handle for the sake of others.  We welcomed another month of crazy, busy activities and events.  I attended a lovely event, but my experience was clouded by Jack’s awful, AWFUL  separation anxiety issues.  I checked out some of the hottest, coolest toys EVER and connected with so many interesting people (more on this to come and lots more info. can be read on NKT!) But best of all, my guys got to bond one on one for a change.

By the middle of the week, I was so blinded by exhaustion and frustration. After the event where Jack bawled uncontrollably for practically 2 hours in a swanky restaurant that I’d been dying to try and finally had the chance, much thanks to the luncheon I was invited to, I felt so defeated.  Instead of mingling with people, all of whom were just as passionate or interested in this brand of products, my job as a mom came first.

Jack, for some reason, can’t shake this separation anxiety spell.  He cries his little eyes out, his nose runs, his little round face gets all red and he hyperventilates…until I come back.  I know it’s a temporary phase, but it certainly doesn’t make the present any less painful.

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As a family who tries to juggle life without any family nearby, surviving on one predictable salary while I build the foundation for another, when I’m invited to a media or blogger event, I have no choice but to be selective.  It’s always an honor to be invited to events, though we can’t always swallow the expense of babysitters, plus the cabs and trains.  (Let’s put it this way, most nannies and babysitters make just as much as I did when I was still working as an editor; hence one of the reasons why I went freelance.)  So this particular event, because it was a brand that our family loves, was one event that I couldn’t wait to attend.  The fact that they offered childcare was an added perk.  Awesome right?

Yeah, not so much when your kid insists on being attached to your leg, for fear of being abandoned.

Is this separation anxiety my fault for choosing to work from home?  Are we to blame for visiting Va. more often than our bodies and emotions can handle (and saying goodbye way too enough, thus disrupting his normal routines?)

I choose to believe that it’s just another phase that we’ll weather through…

Whatever the reason might be, Jack’s crying and outbursts made another little boy cry, too.  Frickin’ fabulous, I thought.  Jack’s just barely on the cusp of understanding cause and effect, but he most certainly did not grasp why mommy wanted to leave him in a strange room filled with little kids with 2 unfamiliar adults.

Jack cried loud enough for a room full of executives, members of the press and bloggers, like me to hear.  I can’t say I was embarrassed—he’s my kid for crying out loud.  I will say that I was annoyed at the people who rolled their eyes or mouthed snarky comments about the crying kid.  MY kid.  It was then that I second-guessed myself for even attending, what I thought was, an event celebrating one of the best companies that embrace greener lifestyles and raising organic kids.

It was almost surreal that my mostly organically and green-grown child was like a misfit because he couldn’t stand being away from me.

At one point, understandably, I was asked to go tend to him because he was So LOUD.  Perhaps, they couldn’t hear the taping of speeches or hear the slideshow in the midst of his terror-filled cries?

And so, I spent most of my afternoon in the childcare room feeling isolated, bitter and left out.

As a friend later told me, I was being harder on myself and more critical of the situation than others were.  eh…maybe.  But from the glares that I felt that I was getting, it definitely felt much different.

My kid was crying a lot.  I should have left altogether.  Problem was, the base of our stroller was on the OTHER side of the room, like the side I couldn’t access because there was a podium and audience separating us.  So, I spent most of the event in the childcare room, missing a majority of what I trekked there for in the first place.

Lesson learned.

My feelings, experiences and thoughts in NO WAY reflect the company or publicists.  I’m quite appreciative for the aforementioned, but honestly, hurt by a few of my peers who made me feel uncomfortable for being a mother that day.  My friends who kept me company that afternoon?  Yeah, they rocked…especially when I couldn’t get our giant stroller in and out of yet another logistically impossible and stroller-unfriendly establishment.

In the end, I’m just another mom trying to make it work.  I got the information we needed, enjoyed bites of a lovely lunch and made it home unscathed.  This wasn’t the first stroller-schlepping and tear-filled outing.  My guess is that it won’t be the last.  It’s all in a day’s work of this blogging/writing/reporting mama.

Next time, I’ll rethink my choices. (Do I decline the childcare and get my own sitter?  Do I figure out a way to break this separation anxiety spell?) But today, even after all the tears and stroller-schleeping,  I’m glad I know how to handle (or NOT to handle) the next chaotic situation.  Seriously, the thought of multiple children in this city-living, event-attending realm gives me night tremors.  But that’s a whole different post.

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Next stop, 30 Rock

Exciting news!  Tomorrow, I’ll be at 30 Rock!  The address, not the show.

Why, you ask?  Well, that’s because I was tapped to be a part of the Today’s Moms Book Bash Breakfast and Diaper Drive.  When I say tapped, I mean I signed up and they selected the attendees for the event.  The event is being held by the authors of Today’s Moms.  Mary Ann Zoellner and Alicia Ybarbo, producers at NBC’s TODAY Show, have been promoting their book, Today’s Moms: Essentials for Surviving Baby’s First Year.

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This breakfast is another one of the book’s publicity events, but this time, it involves “real” moms and mom bloggers.  I might have survived the first year, but just barely!  I guess I met the requirements!  But still, I’m so excited to be a part of it!  Jeff volunteered to play Mr. Mom for the morning, so the childcare situation is all set!  However, I had the chance to bring a guest, only to realize that I don’t have any mom friends.  Okay, that’s a lie.  I do.  But the people that I wanted to bring have work or live so far away.  I have local mom friends, but not good friends, just acquaintances from playgroup, church and such. (I’m such the antithesis from the groups of moms that hang out and socialize with each other in the  park.)  And my other friends, the DINKs?  Yeah, I highly doubt you guys would even want to go to such an event.  (If my assumption is wrong, let me know if you want to go!)  So besides being friendless, I’m super-excited for tomorrow!

The event will broadcast live on their website.  So, tune in to check us out!  Because it’s a publicity event, they’re encouraging us to blog and tweet. I’ll have my MacBook w/ hot pink case–the one like in Shopaholic, but I got mine as a gift before the movie came out ;)   You can’t miss me!  Cool case, yet still friendless.

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Big City Moms Biggest Baby Shower and my new baby

Big City MomsEarlier this week, I had the chance to attend the Biggest Baby Shower, another really awesome event hosted by Big City Moms.  You’re probably wondering, baby shower?  Why a baby shower?  Well, that’s because I have a new baby.   First things first:  nope, it’s not that kind of baby.

In between picking Cheerios out of my hair and cushioning my daredevil toddler’s head dives from the couch, I’ve been working laboriously on my new website for the past few months.  I’ve been researching trends, finding and making contacts, figuring out website layouts, understanding demographics and really, everything else to make sense of this project.  I’m clearly no where near finished, but I am, however, ready to release the Beta version to share with all of you, my friends and family that have kept up with my adventures through this blog.

My new website is a product of many things, but most importantly, it’s driven by the things that I’m passionate about.  Many of you already “know” my story and how none of this particular career trajectory was not really planned.  In case you don’t remember, here’s a quick reminder:  as former magazine editor turned freelance writer, I sought, more than anything, a work-life balance. In October 2008, after countless interviews amidst the failing economy and troubled field of print journalism, I decided to end THAT chase and start a new one, on my own terms.

As I wrote my goodbyes to various colleagues, one simple reply changed everything. “Wishing you all the best on the Next Big Thing.” From that moment, I knew exactly what my next big thing was; it was this, the Next Kid Thing. With my professional background, coupled with my interests as a new mom, I strive for my new website, the Next Kid Thing to be a blog that follows the latest kid trends with a magazine-type flair. From babies to big kids, from books to apps, from features to reviews, the Next Kid Thing is your go-to source for all things kids and the modern-minded grownups that love them.

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Which brings me to the baby shower…as a mom with a journalistic background, I have a sincere interest in finding and understanding the unique stories that relate to the kid business.  At events like the Biggest Baby Shower, I have the unique opportunity to learn about the “Next Kid Things,”  such as the latest new stroller, toddler tables and bottle designs and more.  As I continue to build this site and meet more contacts with the help of social media, it’s my hope to include fun interviews, reveal neat finds and of course, share the good stuff.

While I continue to tweak the website, I welcome any constructive criticism, ideas, suggestions and whatever else you have to say.  In the beginning, you may see some familiar stories that I originally posted here on Babyrific. In the future, I hope to keep the two websites separate, with minimal duplication.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to round up my ideas and new posts, specifically on the great products and companies I learned about at the Biggest Baby Shower.  And finally, As with any website’s success, your comments, frequent visits and spreading the word will help in more ways that you know!

And while you’re there, check out the latest review and great giveaway.  Thanks for checking out the new site :)   Official launch date and more giveaways will be announced soon!

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WW: Freeflowing chocolate goodness

I already  made it perfectly clear on my Facebook status and on Twitter, but I’d like to reiterate: I think all media functions should feature giant chocolate fountains.  Enough said.
Free-flowing chocolate goodness s'mores

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Sweet dreams are made of this

I had a pretty sweet day yesterday, and I mean that quite literally.  On behalf of Philips AVENT, the awesome baby products manufacturer, I had lunch at Dylan’s Candy Bar. (which, by the way, was my third trip within the last few weeks–yum!)

I dusted off my business attire, smooched my boys–one sick, the other whiny– and headed into the city.  This event was my first press function as a blogger and freelance writer.  Even though I have attended more press functions than I care to count, to be honest, I felt a bit out of practice. In this life, my day consists of singing about parties in my tummy, dancing with Bongo Bird, picking up foam alphabet letters, extinguishing meltdowns, in between researching several stories, then writing 3 words and then deleting 2 words—and all this before lunch and Y&R.  After 4 months out of the game, that magazine editor world seems like a lifetime away.
Dylan's
As soon as I approached the mecca of all that is sweet, I headed upstairs to the cafe area.  The lovely PR ladies greeted me and like most events where one is invited, they asked me who I was and who I was with.  I could barely say my name without stuttering, nevermind say “Babyrific” without feeling like a dork.

I’m sure I said something like, “Um, I’m Jen and I write” and left the rest for her to figure out.  She checked her spreadsheet with the expected attendees and couldn’t find my name.  Naturally, I couldn’t remember if I RSVP’ed with my hyphenated name or my professional/maiden name.  To make things easier, she asked for my business card.  Of course, I came unprepared. Several months ago, I’d have 658 business cards in my right pocket for easy synchronization with my introduction. Today, I had zero. And, I could barely speak the language in which I have a degree.

So she handed me the list so I could fill out my name and information.  And there I was, the second name on the list:  Jen with Babyrific.net. I felt so much validation at that very moment—and not because I’m on some list, but because I was back in the saddle on my own terms.  After all those fruitless interviews in ’08, dodging the awkward conversations with people who don’t “get” this whole new direction I’m taking and questioning my choice to take said direction, everything is finally starting to make sense.  The ideas, the research, the determination—all of it!

So besides my sweet dreams, today’s function was all about sweet dreams.  The renowned Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg, author of Good Kids, Bad Habits, gave a presentation to help Avent launch some new products.  I received so much great information,  multiple posts are in order. Product reviews, details and Dr. Jen’s helpful hints soon to come.

P.S.  Isn’t Annie Lenox awesome? I love that song.  Sweet dreams are made of this, indeed.

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