We stopped at some random truck stop that seemed like maybe we would end up in a ditch if we said the wrong thing but everyone there was so sweet and even gave Lennon a free sucker which of course became her lunch. We continued on, hitting the inevitable rough patch of the trip where Lennon wailed at us until she was able to get out and look around. It's a short journey so we all survived.
Vegas is a mad house. LA already feels like a madhouse, but Vegas is kind of like all of the outcasts go there to live. The ones who couldn't cut it in LA's richy suburbs and needed something a little weirder. It is full of tourists wearing clothing they would NEVER wear back in their hometowns but shit, its Vegas, baby, why not dress like a hooker? It was a sight to see. Lennon, of course, loved every minute of it. The lights, the people, all of the sound and the fountains. She thought she was at Disney Land and kept asking for Mickey. Understandable, considering Vegas is pretty much a giant theme park for adults. I could have used a little less smoke and a lot less stale alcohol smell over the two days but hey, that's what you get for going to Vegas when you are 7 months pregnant.
The highlight of the weekend was of course, Mommy Con. This convention was started by a group of fantastic and motivated women over at the blog The Mommy Dialogues. It focused on natural parenting methods. The day started nice and early which works well for mamas and babes. We got our wrist bands, met and chatted with a bunch of new faces and Lennon made many friends. First up was yoga. Of course Lennon was right in there, showing everyone her great downward dog and even challenging the instructor who was showing poses you can do with your little baby to do the poses with all thirty pounds of her toddler self. If anyone didn't know who Lennon was, they did after the first seminar.
Next we did a seminar all about breastfeeding. It was wonderful to be in a room where women all over the place were openly and happily nursing their babies and toddlers. And it was happening everywhere. We were educated about a wonderful brand of natural, organic skin products for babies and toddlers called Episencial and even walked away with a couple of free testers (nipple cream, oh how I will need you come April). We sat in on a wonderful seminar by Jessica from the Leaky Boob all about Sex, Lies and Parenting. She is hilarious and her open nature made me adore her even more than I have been since finding her blog and following her on instagram and facebook.
One of my favorites was a prenatal dance class by Menina Fortunata. It was so fun, a great workout (James told me to shower after) and he was sweet enough to buy me the video that I have been doing at home. There are many ways to take care of yourself during pregnancy and getting exercise, stretching and feel positive about yourself is such an important one to do! I was so glad to be introduced to this new program for keeping fit as my body expands and grows a new life.
There were car seat workshops, babywearing workshops, and even a wonderful appearance by the hilarious and knowledgable BabyGuyNYC. He planted a seed and now I want a Mountain Buggy Duet for when the new baby comes. Google it, it may change your double stroller ways forever! They gave away so many awesome things, although we won none of them because thats life. When it was all said and done, we were satisfied having met so many wonderful people and shared energy with all of them. But we were also exhausted. We went back to our room, ate some greasy take out food and then wandered over to the Bellagio fountains. Len loved this elaborate display of water and sound.
By the end of the weekend, I felt so inspired to continue finding and building community based around the ideals I practice with my own family. To continue to grow and flourish in this new, seemingly opposing city that I find myself in. Vegas showed me its inherent dichotomy: a core of crazy glitz, glam and substance abuse with an outlying community of natural parents who are pushing for better and stronger community. I need to be that driving force here in Santa Monica.
After a very happy journey home, me and Len were taken out by a nasty flu bug that spread all around the Mommy Con participants. But hey, I'm one of those that thinks getting minor illness and overcoming it is crucial to a strong system.
While I don't know that we will go back to Vegas anytime soon, wherever Mommy Con is, you can bet we will be there. You should probably come and join in the communal love too!