This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Babies in Bloom Baby Fest in Northern California, about an hour from San Diego. The entire experience was wonderful and I was having so much fun and living in the moment so intensely that I found myself forgetting to use my camera or my phone to take any pictures! I’m so thankful that Rochelle, the owner of Babies in Bloom, thought enough of me and the work I do here on Dirty Diaper Laundry to invite me. It was a very fast weekend but I squeezed in a ton! Baby Fest was a huge success and raised a lot of money for March of Dimes so it was great to play a tiny part in that.
On Saturday my first hour in California was spent chatting with the owner of a local diaper service at the airport! Next I met January of Birth Without Fear for the first time, though I’ve been a fan of the blog for many years. We rode together to our hotel and I discovered what everyone else already knew- she is the nicest person on Earth. At one point this weekend I had to tell her to stop being so January, and if you’ve ever met her or seen her speak you would know what I mean. We had a Starbucks moment together, one we needed after both traveling much of the day.
The next adventure was to play tourists! Rochelle and the most amazing team from a retail store ever invited us to dinner at a tourist destination that was situated on the pier. The scenery was beautiful. Mrs. and Mr. Spray-Pal joined us so yes, it was a fun filled evening! After a night cap I returned to the hotel. It had been a 20 hour day for me so even though I was turning in “early” by PST time, I was exhausted and possibly delirious.
After what I will just say was a “fun” night related to my body hating me for traveling and a not so restful sleep, it was the big day! January and I met with Rochelle that morning to see the venue and it was stunning and so thoughtfully laid out. There were over 50 vendors relating to pregnancy, birth, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, breastfeeding, and natural parenting for the day! The schedule was packed full of information sessions and panels on birth, cloth diapering (me!), babywearing, and more. I was lucky enough to attend the Birth Without Fear VIP Meet-UP early in the day. If BWF comes to your town you have to make it; it was almost making me cry to be with these amazing women and listening to January’s birth stories. Due to time, the other moms weren’t able to share their own stories but at her meet-ups they are and I’m sure it is a healing experience for women who’ve gone through traumatic births and inspiring to those hoping to heal with VBACs or HBACS.
Soon I was on, I did a condensed cloth diapering informational session and 30 minutes isn’t quite enough to cover this topic (I’ve been blogging for 5 years and I still haven’t covered each topic!) but I stayed after to answer specific questions from attendees. I loved watching the looks on everyone’s faces when I described how easily you could DIY a t-shirt flat for .25, it may be my favorite moment of the show. Cloth diapering doesn’t have to be expensive, see?! Soon enough I’ll post these cards above in another post since so many of you loved them the preview on Instagram.
I was able to get around to a few booths during the day, not all of them though, and chatted with Spray-Pal, Moraki, and the San Diego RDA.
The parking lot had food trucks, which is what I believe is the smartest move the Baby Fest organizers made! I grabbed a burrito for lunch and made it in time to hear January’s open session. It was a full house, standing room only, and women around me remarked over and over at how much they loved January and Birth Without Fear. My next session was a bit different, and I was totally afraid no butts would be in the seats after January brought the house down.
The “Cloth Diapering in Depth” session was more about how DDL began and my perspective watching the industry grow rapidly in the last 5 years. I also went over the evolution of the cloth diaper and the history, touching on the disposable diaper’s role in how we now consume and market cloth, and how they marketed their own products to compete with cloth in the 70’s up to now. This is the stuff that I live for, that I research often (History major, remember?) and find so interesting. I enjoyed sharing some information that most people have never heard, especially since a few of the items shared are not found or shared on any other websites (not even mine, yet). I even brought along some of the treasures I’ve collected, included vintage 1950’s era covers.
Once the expo wrapped the amazing staff of Babies in Bloom plus January and I posed for a group photo. Someone thought putting me in front was a good idea, then they decided squatting was also a good idea. My face says otherwise.
After the long day at the expo I had the BEST Pad See Ew of my life with friends from Moraki. Upon returning to my hotel, I promptly removed the gorgeous shoes I’d been wearing all day and crawled under the covers to call my husband. I don’t leave my family very often, so I was missing them quite a bit already!
Monday I spent 11 hours either in a hotel or an airplane before reuniting with the family and devouring a late night Gyro on the ride home.
I met so many people that I will never forget last weekend that radiate kindness and positive energy. Not only that, but I got the chance to connect with several DDL readers and parents who weren’t readers yet but who hopefully will be as they continue their cloth diaper research. The next big event I’m attending will be right here in the Tampa area on April 26th- the Pinellas County Great Cloth Diaper Change!