This content has been compensated as part of a promotion for the Pittsburgh Parenting Expo. However, all opinions remain my own. All photos courtesy of Parenting Expo. #parentingexpo

I graduated high school with honors. I went on to obtain a journalism degree from Michigan State University. And after spending more than a decade working as a television reporter, I headed back to class and received a teaching certification. But no matter how many diplomas and degrees hang on the wall, one piece of paper continues to illustrate my need to become more knowledgeable–my baby’s birth certificate. That’s one reason I blog. I share stories and give advice to help other first time moms navigate their ways through dirty diapers, jump through teething rings and survive sleepless nights. Sometimes I learn from my family and friends. And other time I turn to the experts, which is what I’ll do in two weeks. On March 8-9, 2014, I’ll head to the Parenting Expo Pittsburgh at the Monroeville Convention Center. Here are four reasons why every expecting or first time mom should attend the Parenting Expo Pittsburgh.


You’re a Mom-to-be /First Time Mom

Are you Googling every baby subject from A-Z or ordering every infant item under the sun? I know did, especially when I went past my due date.  On Saturday,  Carolyn Stulberg, Founder & Executive Director of Alexandria School for Nannies, will tell you the three things you need to know when you bring your baby home.  And if you’re getting ready for your second child, the folks at Magee – Women’s Hospital of UPMC will share how to prepare your first born for a second sibling. There are also safety checks. I remember car seat installation nightmare! Even the folks at the police station couldn’t figure it out! Professionals from the police department, fire department, poison control center and other agencies will be available to answer your questions on how to install car seats properly to fingerprinting your kids for their own safety and much more.

Getty Images:iStockphoto

You’re a Wonder Mom

Ever compare your baby to another bundle of joy in your family or circle of friends? Do you wonder why you’re little one isn’t walking or talking at the same time as those other kids? You’re not alone! But you should stress out. Instead, attend Saturday’s session entitled 3 Paths to Early Intervention. The workshop, led by Brooke Dorsch, Director of Community Outreach at Pediatric Therapy Professionals, Inc., will inform parents why developmental milestones happen at different times for each child.

Monkey Business Images

You’re an Activity Mom

There’s food, fun and lots of laughs! I’m going for Mike the Balloon guy alone. He once made Caitlynn a butterfly costume with wings and antennas. Other activities include magic shows, dancing with Radio Disney, face painting and juggling.


You’re a Couponing Mom

Attendees will walkaway with extreme coupons, show specials and free samples. There are also fab door prizes and hot giveaways, including three 55″ TVs. But note, that’s what I want to win! We have one television, and one show lineup–cartoons! To find out even more reasons to attend the Parenting Expo Pittsburgh and to purchase tickets to attend, log on to Use the Diary of a First Time Mom promo code BLUEPITPM and get  your tickets here for only $7/person. Select the BLUE promotional code, and note that this code is only good through March 5. After that date, the ticket will jump to ten bucks.  If you are a social media mom, help me promote the Expo and I’ll pay you with free tickets! Just share this blog link on your Facebook and Twitter pages. Make sure you tag me! Then email the link to  I have ten tickets up for grabs! Meanwhile, let me know what other reasons you have for wanting to attend the Parenting Expo Pittsburgh.

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

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