MommyConChicago

7 Reasons to Attend MommyCon Chicago This Year!

Happy New Year! Can you believe it’s already 2017?! I have been gearing up and chatting about MommyCon 2017 since mid-2016 and it’s finally here!

I am so excited to be a part of MommyCon’s media team this year. I am extremely passionate about MommyCon and what it has to offer, not only mom’s, but the entire family. I have been TWICE! Once while pregnant, in Chicago and once with little Miss Amelia (who met TheBabyGuyNYC!!!) in Minneapolis. Whether you are planning a family, expecting, have multiple kiddos running around, MommyCon is for every family.

MommyCon Chicago is going to be extra special this year. Check out my top 7 reasons why you should attend!

MommyCon Chicago + WEAR Conference. For the first time ever, these two amazing conferences are coming together during the same weekend in Chicago. This means three amazing days filled with all things natural parenting AND babywearing!

Great place to research! If you are planning a family, expecting, or already have children, parents are always researching! “What is the best car seat? Should I go with a home birth or hospital birth? Should I use cloth diapers or disposables? WHICH cloth diapers should I use?” All of these questions and so much more can be answered for you at MommyCon. You can ask whatever questions you may have and get the facts before making your own decisions!

Shop, Shop & Shop! You could pretty much go to MommyCon and purchase everything you may need for your baby, toddler, and yourself 🙂 Just kidding. But, really …. SO MANY VENDORS, with so much to offer. Make a list of things you may want to look at while you are there (such as cloth diapers, baby carriers, car seats, cribs, postpartum items, etc.)

Meet other moms & families. The idea of natural parenting is growing and becoming more popular, but sometimes it’s hard to find other families that think and parent the same way as you do. MommyCon is a great place to come together and make connections. Parenting is hard and sometimes much harder when you are doing things a bit different then the norm, but MommyCon is a very welcoming place!

Everyone is invited! The term “natural parenting” can sometimes scare new parents, but MommyCon is for everyone. You don’t have to baby wear, use cloth diapers, not vaccinate and have a home birth to be included. These are all topics that may be talked about, but as a parent you make your final decisions. MommyCon is a place to become educated and make the best decision for you and your family.

Educated & knowledgeable speakers. They don’t just grab the average “Joe” off the street to speak 🙂 Although, the schedule has not been released yet, some speakers you may be able to hear include Abby Theuring – The Badass Breastfeeder, Dr. Bob Sears – Very well-known pediatrician, Jamie Grayson – Baby Gear Expert, and more!

BABYWEARING! Everything you want or need to know about babywearing! Ask questions, learn about different carriers, actually see and feel different baby carriers before buying and much more! Just the WEAR Conference alone, consists of 48 sessions, 24 speakers and 3 days filled of everything babywearing.

Okay, have I convinced you yet?! How about if you won 2 tickets to MommyCon Chicago? Lucky you, I am giving away 2-FREE tickets! Enter below.

 Enter here!

Disclosure: These tickets are only good for General Admission for MommyCon only. WEAR Conference tickets will need to be purchase separately!
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Hike it Baby: One Year Anniversary!

Have you heard about Hike it Baby? For those of you who haven’t, we are an organization dedicated to developing communities that get families outside with children from birth to school age. There are branches in cities all over the world! Iowa has four branches: Des Moines, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and Davenport. An Ames branch will be starting soon, too!

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Come celebrate Des Moines’ one year anniversary with us! We went from an inspiration to an entire branch with over 800 Facebook members and hundreds of hikes on the calendar in a year! We have some fun things planned, including an amazing giveaway filled with donations from local businesses.

When: Sunday, June 5th at 2:30pm at the Ewing Park Children’s Forest and Nature Trail. We will meet at the Ashley Okland Star Playground and hike the Nature Trail at 3pm then have time to play on this AMAZING playground. Bring your own chairs, a picnic basket, and join us!

More information can be found on our Facebook page under Events, and here: https://hikeitbaby.com/hike/hike-it-baby-des-moines-1-year-anniversary-hike-and-event/ 

Check out more information about Katy Severe, leader of Des Moines’ local chapter here!

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WEAR Conference 2016

I am so excited to help spread the word of this year’s first babywearing, WEAR conference held by MommyCon!

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I have attended MommyCon a few times and I know the WEAR conference will NOT disappoint! This 3-day conference will be held in Chicago, over Memorial Day weekend. It will be full of speakers, seminars, over 30 exhibitors, classes, and much more! ALL related to babywearing!

Friday, May 27th – Sunday, May 29th

 

Some fun things you can look forward to attending are:

  • Babywearing Yoga presented by KIND
  • Babywearing Belly Dance
  • The Babywearing Lounge – where you can touch and try-on lots of carriers!
  • Using Wraps, Ring Slings, and Exploring American Babywearing Subculture from a Man’s Perspective
  • Wrapping 101
  • An introduction to the Mei Tai
  • And so much more!

Check out the entire WEAR schedule here!

Whether you are new to babywearing or a novice, there will be something for everyone!

Prices

Singe Day Pass – $40 

3-Day Pass – $100

Ultimate Educator Package – $500

There are rooms available at the Westin Michigan Avenue hotel, at a discounted rate. When booking your room, make sure to mention WEAR! Find more details here!

All children under the age of 16 years are FREE to attend with a paid adult.

If you are interested in attending make sure to use discount code: Midwest16 at checkout to receive $5 off your ticket price!

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If purchasing tickets make sure to use my code for $5 off!

MommyCon 2016

I am so honor to be a MommyCon Sisterhood Blogger, again!

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I have been to this amazing conference two years in a row and truly believe this is the best conference for expecting mothers, new mothers, or moms with toddlers! AND it’s not just for moms! Spouses can learn so much too! The focus of MommyCon is to focus on natural parenting methods. Whether it be babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, or car seat safety there is a topic you can learn more about.

There are five main components to a MommyCon Conference:

  1. VIP events are hosted the Friday before most of the MommyCon Conferences. For an additional amount of money (amounts vary) you can attend a smaller, more intimate seminar to learn more about a company or topic. You will also receive another awesome swag bag! 🙂 Check out when I attended the VIP event with Jenn Labit from Cottonbabies last year!
  2. The swag bag. This is just one of the many ways you can receive amazing freebies! There have been blankets, cloth diapers, full size samples, and so much more. A swag bag is included with every MommyCon ticket!
  3. There are awesome seminars to attend through out the day that may include Cloth Diapering 101 with Jenn Labit (love her!), Babywearing 101 with Beco and Ergobaby, The In’s and Out’s of Natural Birthing, and more. Each conference location differ with seminars and guest speakers!
  4. The shopping is fun! Throughout the day, there are booths set-up that may include cloth diapers, babywearing carriers and accessories, bottles, clothes, games and toys, breastfeeding support, breast pumps, car seats, and much, much more. A lot of the booths giveaway freebies and it’s a great place to touch, ask questions, and test out products before you buy!
  5. At the end of the day is a massive giveaway to all attendees for the conference! EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is free game! You could win an entire car seat travel system, crib, breast pump, gift certificates, and so much more. It is so much fun!

You have several chance to attend a conference AND maybe you can attend two 🙂 Check out the dates and locations below! Check out specific details about each event here!

  • MommyCon Atlanta: Saturday, February 6th
  • MommyCon Chicago: Saturday, March 5th
  • MommyCon Seattle: Saturday, April 2nd
  • MommyCon Austin: Saturday, June 25th
  • MommyCon DC: Saturday, July 23rd
  • MommyCon Orange County: Saturday, August 20th
  • MommyCon Orlando: Saturday, September 3rd
  • MommyCon San Jose: Saturday, October 29th

This year there are two additional conferences that focus on infant feeding and babywearing! You will NOT want to miss these either!

  • WEAR: Babywearing Conference in Chicago: May 27th – 29th
  • MILK: An Infant Feeding Conference in Orange County: Nov 11th – Nov 12th

If you are planning to attend, make sure you use the discount code Midwest16 to receive $5 off your ticket for any conference!

If purchasing tickets make sure to use my code for $5 off!

Keep your eyes open! I will be giving away tickets to the MommyCon Chicago conference very soon! 🙂

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Babywearing Exercise Classes in Central Iowa

It is International Babywearing Week!

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Babywearing has been a blessing in my life. It has kept me sane as a parent with small children. I was introduced to it when I had Monte and fell in love even more when I had my daughter!

There are so many options with babywearing and living in Central Iowa, we are truly blessed with the amount of resources available to us, to learn. If you have not checked out our local Babywearing International of Central Iowa group, you NEED to. It is a great place to ask questions about wearing, certain carriers, support, and to just meet other like-minded parents! They offer several meetings in different locations in the metro area, so check out their Facebook page!

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Since the babywearing community has grown and lots of parents are wearing, there are fun exercise classes being created right here in Central Iowa! I am so excited to share information about these classes with you!

• BUDAPEST •

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Pied Piper Studios & ClubFit Studio

Created by Caeli Esser of ClubFit, she is bringing fitBaby to you at two different locations! You can check out her babywearing class at Pied Piper Studios or at the ClubFit studio. Baby wearing optional. Stayclose to your baby, while giving yourself some love. We’ll safely guide you through exercises to improve posture, give your metabolism a boost and leave you feeling energized and ready for anything (whether or not you got any sleep last night).

Locations:

  • Pied Piper Studios – 3892 NW Urbandale Drive
  • ClubFit Studio – 2614 Beaver Avenue, shared space with Livable

Times:

  • Pied Piper Studios – Sunday; 10 am – 10:45 am
  • ClubFit Studio – Monday; 5:15 pm – 5:50 pm

Prices: Check out here for details on pricing options!

Roots Healing Movement Class

The Family Tree Yoga & Massage

Enjoy great music and easy to follow moves and stretches in a supportive atmosphere. Open to all women and safe for pre/postnatal students. Baby wearing welcome.

Location: 3900 Ingersoll Avenue Suites 106 & 108

Dates & Times: 

  • 4-week session begins Wednesday 10/21 weekly thru 11/11 from 11 am – 11:45 am
  • Offered once monthly on Saturdays from 10:30 am – 11:15 am on 10/31, 11/21, and 12/12.
  • A minimum of 4 registered students are required to hold this class. You will receive an email the evening before if we do not have enough participants

Prices: $25/class for Saturday drop-ins (may be used with 4 week class pass and Monthly Unlimited Memberships), or $89 for the four-week class series. All participants receive a complimentary guest pass with purchase!

Check out other classes they offer and sign-up here!

Babywearing Dance

Uplift Fitness Studio

This class is a wonderful activity to help you be fit, give your metabolism a boost, and leave your body feeling energized all while having fun with your baby or toddler! Dancing to music is beneficial to your body, soul and your baby! Whether you have danced in the past or only dreamt of it, these 45 minute classes are open to everyone! Each class includes simple stretches and dance moves designed to give you and your tiny dancer a bonding connection and fun time together. This class is also great for expecting mothers.

Location:  300 SE Grimes Blvd.

Dates & Times: Saturdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am & Wednesdays; 10:30 am – 11:15 am

Prices: Check here for all pricing packages and to sign-up!

Make sure you keep an eye out! I will be checking out all three of these locations and doing a Featured Post, so you know what to expect!

 

 

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MommyCon Minneapolis Re-Cap

I went to MommyCon Minneapolis a little over a week ago and had so much fun! I am so excited to share some awesome things I learned, new products I saw, and some amazing people I met. To give you an idea of what is to come, here is a little re-cap …

1. VIP Session with Jennifer Labit from Cottonbabies! She is an amazing mother and business woman! I learned so much from her AND because of her, I am now a Share the Love host! More details to come 🙂

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2. Babyganics AWESOME products and I have a bunch to test out, share my thoughts and GIVEAWAY!

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3. The Great Cloth Diaper Change was an awesome experience!

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4. I learned lots about the Diva Cup, from who else? Dirty Diaper Laundry’s Kim Rosas.divacup

5. I met The Honest Toddler!! Bummi Laditan is hilarious! I am excited to read her new book and give away a signed copy by her!

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6. I listened to TheBabyGuyNYC talk about strollers and carseats AND Amelia got her picture taken with him.

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I had so much fun meeting awesome people, learning about new baby products, and so much more. Please keep your eyes open for my reviews and some great giveaways coming your way!

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Rhockett Retreat 2015

Have you heard of Rhockett Weaving or the Rhockett Retreat?

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If you are a babywearer you NEED to check it out. Rhockett Weaving is owned and operated by Rhonda Brackett. After she fell in love with babywearing and discovered it was a necessity in her life, she began creating her own signature style wraps. She also takes custom orders, if you are wanting something really special.

This April, is the very first Rhockett Retreat. This is a place where people come together, who love wrapping as much as you! There will be good food, henna from Alternative Artistry, babywearing yoga, babywearing art, campfires & s’mores, and MORE!

There will be classes through out the the three-day, two-night event including weaving, dyeing fabric and learning different wrapping instructions. You can also check out some awesome local vendors such as Finnabug Bags, Starbright Baby, and Alternative Artistry.

The Rhockett Retreat is being held …

Friday, April 24th through Sunday, April 26th

You can come by yourself, you can come with your little one OR you can bring the entire family. Not everyone needs to attend all the fun classes, but there will be no child supervision provided. There is also a charge for each additional person, to cover room and board.

This years Rhockett Retreat is being held in Ogden, Iowa. You can choose to stay the entire time or drive for only the day on Saturday and/or Sunday. You can register here for whatever option you choose! If you register for the entire retreat you will receive a FREE swag bag!

To help get everyone excited about this fun babywearing retreat, we are doing a GIVEAWAY!

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One lucky winner will win a waldorf inspired babywearing doll created from Rhockett Weaving scraps!

OUR BABY SHOWER

The contest begins TODAY and will end Friday, March 13th! I will post the winner on my Facebook page. Good luck!

8PPDoulaHelp

Awesome resource for YOU!

I am really excited to share something new I have added to the Midwest Mom & Wife blog! If you look at the tab options at the top, there is a new tab titled ‘Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond’. After a lot of time and compiling all my resources, I created this resource for YOU.

When I created Midwest Mom & Wife,  one of my many goals, was to share with you my experiences and passions about: pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babywearing, cloth diapering, co-sleeping, and attachment parenting. Every now and then, I blog and mention these categories. If you follow my Facebook page, you know that I have a passion for these topics! I did not become familiar with these topics until after I had my son, Monte. I sure wished that there was a resource, that compiled all of these articles, book titles, local groups, local resources, etc. in one spot.

Over the past three years, I have bookmarked favorite sites and articles that have helped me make decisions regarding my pregnancy, birthing, and parenting. I have broken down the ‘Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond’ tab into six topics:

  1. Pregnancy & Birth
  2. Breastfeeding
  3. Attachment Parenting
  4. Cloth Diapering
  5. Babywearing
  6. Co-Sleeping

In each of these topics I have compiled links and resources for you to learn more about the topic. Some may include my own blog posts, resources, memberships, services, articles and websites.

Please remember, that these articles and resources, are just information for you to gather your own opinions and decisions. When it comes to these topics there is no right or wrong. The most important thing is that you have done your research and you are informed. I hope these articles and resources, help you do that!

Please feel free to contact me if you provide a service, have a great article and/or resource you think should be included. I would love to add it! I will also be adding as I learn and read more 🙂

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8PPDoulaHelp

MommyCon Minneapolis 2015

I am so happy to be an official MommyCon Blogger of 2015!

I attended MommyCon in Chicago last year, while I was pregnant and had a lot of fun. This year, I will be attending MommyCon Minneapolis with Amelia in tow 🙂

For the next several weeks I will be doing a lot of blogging and talking about MommyCon. I will be offering FREE tickets and I will also be offering a discount code so you can receive $5 off your tickets!

Some of you may be wondering, what is MommyCon? So, let’s start with the basic information and get you as excited as I am!

What is MommyCon?

MommyCon is a natural parenting style, influenced convention. The event is full of speakers, workshops, shopping and much more! It is a great event to attend whether you are about to become a parent or are already a parent, there is something for you. You can learn about cloth diapering, babywearing (even try on some awesome carriers), breastfeeding, bottle feeding, etc. There are so many different resources available to see and ask questions.

When is MommyCon Minneapolis?

It is Saturday, April 18th 9 am – 5 pm and will be located at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington.

How much are tickets?

Tickets are $35, but if you use the code MIDWESTMOM15  you will receive $5 off!

Can dads attend?

Of course! Last year, there were several dads that attended the event. They can learn just as much as you!

Can I bring my baby and do they need a ticket?

Yes! Bring your kiddos! Children who are 16 years or younger are FREE with their parent.

Can I bring a stroller to the event?

You are allowed to bring a stroller, but due to the high volume of traffic and attendees, it is recommended to wear your baby.

What if I need to feed my baby?

MommyCon is okay with however way you need to feed your baby and wherever you want to feed your baby. They do offer a special lounge area for just women also.

Are there special hotel accommodations?

There is a block of hotel rooms at the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington. The rate is $99 per night and you must book by March 18th.

 

As we get closer to the event I will be talking about LOTS of things to see and do, talking more about the speakers, and more. Of course, if you have any questions, please do NOT hesitate asking! You can post here or e-mail me!

I am looking forward to sharing this with you and I hope you ALL attend!

 

 

 

8PPDoulaHelp

Hike It Baby

I want to share an awesome group, I learned about these past couple of weeks …

Hike It Baby!

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I learned about Hike It Baby from another local babywearer in the Babywearing of Central Iowa group.

Hike It Baby all began in July of 2013 and has EXPLODED since then. It all started when one mother, Shanti Hodges, from Portland, Oregon, asked a group of other women if they wanted to go hiking with her. Week after week, more and more women joined. As the numbers increased, Shanti decided to create a website and newsletter to keep everyone in touch with each another.

Shanti created this group with the main focus to get moms (even dads) and babies out into nature. The hikes also help minimize postpartum depression, allows you to learn more about your city, meet other people who have the same interests as you, and give you some exercise.

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By word of mouth, and social media, several moms AND dads volunteered to lead hikes. The number of hikes that were lead weekly and daily, grew and grew! At this time, there are 40-80 Hike It Baby lead hikes across America. Each location has their own Facebook group, where leaders plan hikes and everyone who is in that area can talk and plan.

I absolutely love babywearing and to hear that an activity like Hike It Baby exists, makes me so happy!

Hike It Baby is completely free. It’s free to lead and it’s free to hike. It does not take much to become a leader. You can wear your baby, you can push them in a stroller, or if they want to hike along with you, they can do that too!

Right now, the Hike It Baby 30 challenge is taking place during the month of November. The challenge is to hike 30 miles in the month of November. Every 10 miles you hike, you are entered into a giveaway and there are some AWESOME prizes to be won! You can register for $10 to be officially part of the Hike It Baby 30 challenge and have a chance to win prizes OR  you can do it on your own, without registering, but you will not win prizes.

There are several levels of the challenge if you really want to challenge yourself even more. Such as hiking on only dirt trails all 30 miles, or you can walk around anywhere in your city as long as you hit the 30 miles. Amelia and I signed up for this challenge. Since it has been getting colder, it has been hard to get out and hike/walk, but there is still time! I know we can do it!

There is still time to sign up for the Hike It Baby 30 Challenge and if you belong to the Babywearing of Central Iowa Group, there are a group of women who are planning some hikes to meet this challenge. If you have not joined Babywearing of Central Iowa, read this to find out how!

As of now, there is no official Hike It Baby group in the Des Moines area. After the Hike It Baby 30 challenge, there has been talk of one being created! So, keep your eyes and ears open!