Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Thank you - Ripplewood Foundation Scholarships

I would like to thank the Ripplewood Foundation for the scholarship that I received towards the LLLI International 50th Anniversary 2007 conference fees.

I met the incredible Dr. Jack Newman in the elevator, the awesome Teresa Pitman in the registration line, and one of our very own dynamic founders of La Leche League Canada, Margaret Bennet-Alder, waving our flag proudly ahead of 44 Canadians at the Parade of Nations. I was eager to meet as many as I could of the very many amazing women and men dedicated to creatively alleviating the incredible challenges of breastfeeding world wide, including the bold Martha Sears family and the tireless team from WABA.

I cannot begin to describe the memories and inspiration I have experienced over this very short weekend. You can only imagine the emotion of sitting in a ballroom of over 2500 like-minded people, your tribe, from your very own planet earth, as hundred's of candle lit 50th Anniversary Baked Alaskas were marched in.

As I absorb the whirlwind of experiences, I am only disappointed that I was unable to attend ALL the sessions and I look forward to listening to a copy of the Conference CD and re-listening to sessions 116 "The Soul of Discipline" and 221 "The Mothering Art of Making Relationships".

It was exciting to see the birth buds of LatchOn projects that have a potential to reach billions of breastfeeding mothers such as lone leader of China, Ivy Makelin's "ID #2659 - Chinese Translation of LLL Leaders Handbook" and Canadian Leader, Karen Grace Clark's "HealthCare Bridging" proposal. All worthy and affordable pioneer projects requiring less than $3000. - $10,000. to launch. Remember to see www.LatchOn.org to contribute and even let your not so wealthy friends know about it ;-)

As to what to share with my co-leaders, leader applicants, group helpers, and mothers at home, I'm sorry to say that unfortunately, there was no secret to face the challenges for the next 50 years. I do come back with refreshing ways to describe what we all know in our hearts to be true, and with renewed conviction that our work is extremely important, affecting issues beginning with basic breastfeeding and going beyond, from our very own backyards to backyards around the world.

I have to also thank the tireless conference organizers, the courteous staff of the Chicago Hilton Towers, and the kind helpful people of super green, clean and safe Chicago for making a perfect experience.

Blessings to my roomates, Jo-Anne Elder Gomes from the Maritimes, Margaret Bickmore from Colorado, Valerie Morris, my dear neighbor and kindred spirit from Brampton, for making my home away from home. To my joy luck "sisters", Tara Leigh Vandermeulen with the best tatoo in town (and I want one too ;-) and Ruth McAlister, Goddess of Hearts Delight ... you're the best! Like old friends, fathers, children, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, I thank you all!

And finally, with bitter sweetness in my heart, I admit that I was too fearsomely awestruck to visit The Founder's Lounge, the revolutionaries who wore pearls, the six out of seven women who began La Leche League 50 years ago, to be so close as to catch their gaze, eye to eye, firm and friendly, like angel-mothers to us all, as they get ready to pass the torch on for the next 50 years...

"You can do it ... just do it!"

Monday, July 23, 2007

閉会しました。

今日、お祝いのディナーを持って、すべての行事が終了しました。
今朝も朝から夕方まで4つのセッションがあり、その後表彰と演奏つきでのディナーでした。
いつもより時間が遅いので、子どもたちにはちょっとしんどかったかもしれません。
明日は早朝にこちらをたち、25日のお昼過ぎに成田に到着予定です。

Hilton

What an awesome place for a conference. Everything we need has been right here!

Lunch

Had such a nice lady at lunch who helped me out. Thanks Debbie from Illinois and happy birthday to your daughter. I love meeting new people from all over!!

What made this conference worth it

It is day four and I have flitted from presentation to presentation. Some were good and some were.....
Well anyway, the one that stands out , the one that could have gone on forever was Dr. Gentile's "Psychology of Advertising and Brain Development in Children". It answered the question I have struggled with for years, which was "With all of the information we know about breastfeeding, why are mother's not continuing the nursing relationship past the first few weeks and months? Dr. Gentile put his finger on the answer and it is through Madison Ave. We are not advertising the message in a way so that mothers can make the decision to nurse and think it was themselves that thought of that idea. HMMMM....... an article in the making.

Ellen Johansen
East Hampton, NY

Un'italiana a Chicago - terza puntata

Ciao a tutte, sono Carla da Chicago

Loving it here

Hi all....I have come to Chicago from New Zealand with my wee daughter, and we are having a great time! In fact, I think my daughter (8mths) is having a better time than me! She has met so many babies and children who are all so happy to play with her.

I have learned heaps and its been a wonderful opportunity to listen to many wonderful speakers, to browse (and buy at!) the great bookstall, and best of all to connect with Leaders and members from around the world all in one spot!

Thanks for a great experience!

Donna Henderson
LLL Leader and ACPL Auckland, New Zealand - from Chicago!

LLL Photography

I am at this amazing conference and photography the most beautiful families. The nursing mom and baby pictures make me cry! The tea was lovely. When the Billy Dean video was played I cried again! If you have a chance look at the video online. It is called, " Let Them Be Little." Many of the photographs will be posted to my website. If you need information contact mitzvahphoto@aol.com or mommilk1@aol.com. 100% of the profit will go back to LLLI. This is a volunteer position that I fully enjoyed this weeked. I have been a leader since 1991. Marian Thompson (founder) helped my mom in the 60's with breastfeeding information when my mom gave birth to me! Take care, Annette

Strategic Planning

Thanks to the LLLI board for getting up so early in the morning to meet with delegates today. Even with the time confusion and room confusion, I had my question answered about strategic planning. Great handout!
- Joanna
Another fun day! Going out to brave the city bus one more time!

teen staff

i am a member of teen staff and i personally think that without the teens this confrence would be near impossible to run. not to brag or anything but whenever or whereever there is work to be done ou will find one of us in our blue shirts workin it out. we had a geat time at this confrence and we hope that there are many more to come

the teens

Experiencia magica

Hola!!!!!!!
Este taller en Chicago, realmente ha sido una experiencia magica, el hecho de tener la oportunidad de obtener estas platicas tan interesantes, y saber que me llevo informacion nueva para Mexico.
LO mismo sucede con la gente es tan lindo conocer gente de todo el mundo, comentar de como solucionan tal o cual caso, comparar paramentos y claro dado que somos seres humanos pues todo puede resultar distinto, teniendo la misma base adaptandola a diferentes entornos.
Lastima que ya hoy se acaba o sobre todo me quedo triste con la idea de que este es el ultimo taller internacional.

besos a todas
Rosy

Great Conferrence

Hi from the LLLI 50th anniversary conference! This has been the BEST conference ever. This is my 3rd international conference.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

ワールドフェアとファウンダーズティ

昨日はワールドフェアでした。日本ではおなまえを漢字にしてお習字でかくということをしました。たいへんな人気でした。子どもたちもスタンプラリーのスタンプ押しや缶バッチ、折り紙つくりにお手伝いしてくれました。

今日はラ・レーチェ・リーグの創設者とのお茶会でした。7人のうちお一方が病気で今回は欠席されているのが残念です。ぜひ早い回復を祈っています。

もちろん、昨日も今日もセッションがたくさんあります。母乳育児の最新の情報をしっかり学んでいます。

子どもたちは、お母さんとセッション会場で静かに遊んだり、ときにはおもちゃがたくさんのプレイルームにいって遊んだりしてすごしています。頑張る子どもたちにも感謝です。

Actually at the conference!

I've been here since Friday. It is now Sunday and I have finally found the Tech. room. There is so much to do that it boggles the mind. I can't believe how much can be squeezed into a few days.

So far I've attended talks by Dr. Robert Sears, Ina May Gaskin, Linda Smith....

I know I won't be able to process everything until I get back home. My brain is currently on overload.

I'd like to publicly thank the Ripplewood Foundation, LLL of MA/RI/VT and LL of Greater Springfield for getting me here.

A Nurturing Moment

Despite our long drive from good ole Alabama, we are having a blast!!! I feel so "at home" here, with all of these wonderful people who are such strong advocates of breastfeeding. This experience has given us an opportunity to branch out with other businesses, and search for new and innovative products to support breastfeeding and attachment parenting. And what better place to be than Chicago!!! Very glad we came : )

Michele

Half way there

On Thursday afternoon, I had no idea how I was going to make here on time. I was sure I was going to miss my flight. Luckily, things came together somehow and I even managed a decent amount of sleep. My mom met us at the gate at Midway and we've been wrangling my two kids since.

Yesterday I was able to go to Jim McKenna's session on sleep which was amazing. There are so many layers and factors to co-sleeping and I was inspired to spread the gospel about safe co-sleeping.

For lunch, I heard Nils Bergman talk about mother/baby contact and how the environment determines the behavior in the infant. Quite interesting stuff.

I met back up with my mom and thought I would have my 2 year old, but when she heard the words "aquarium" and "animals" she was ready to go. So, I had some nice time with my five year old while she got her face painted and we went to the demo on chocolate truffle making. I managed about 10 minutes in a session with her, but she had had enough.

We had a nice evening together and ordered Thai food in. What decadence. The five year old was asleep by 9; alas, the two year old was not. I decided that it was going to take her forever and I wanted to go downstairs for the World Faire, so I put her in the crib and left. Apparently she cried for 10 minutes until my mom had a chat with her, but then she did stop crying and fell asleep standing up! I, on the other hand, had a wonderful time meeting leaders from around the US and even some from foreign countries. I climbed into bed around 11:30 and fell asleep in minutes.

This morning I tried to go to Ruth Lawrence's session on breastfeeding management, but I had my 2 year old and I was getting nothing out of it, so I went to the session on Hirkani's daughters. I was really struck by how important role models are. We are essential as we go out with our babies and show the world that breastfeeeding is normal.

Then I went to the session on feeding solids and it was interesting. People had interesting comments about allergies, iron (and vit supplements in general) and cultural things. One woman was shocked to learn that there were alternatives to spoon feeding! Someone else (Susan from WABA, I think) was commenting on the commercialization of all-things-baby and how influenced we are by these ads. And the presenter was saying that Nils Bergman (I believe), said that if junk food was normal and natural, there wouldn't need to be ads for it! Good point.

Time's up.

Joni Seidenstein from Vienna VA

First conference

I can only say how in awe I am of this whole experience. Being here and witnessing these celebrations is certainly humbling. The sessions I have attended have all been very wonderful. And, as a Ripplewood scholarship recipient, I'm so grateful to have had this opportunity given to me.

I've had the chance to meet so many wonderful new people here in Chicago. Nearly everyone I meet is a new person for me. Being from an isolated group as a lone Leader, this support and encouragement keeps me going! Thank you to Carol for making this amazing experience possible.

I had the opportunity to attend the Raising Your Spirited Child session this morning. Which was wonderfully refreshing for me as my son is definately more, as she puts it. The exercises she did with us and the information about how to cope, and help your child cope, was wonderfully put.

I've heard a lot about Calgary, Alberta, Canada having a conference in 2009 and I really hope this happens because I would love to attend. Especially in such a beautiful area!

First Confence

This is my first conference - attending with my 5 month old! What a special and exciting few days it has been. We got to see some of Chicago - the Art Institute, dancing in the park and now that the conference has started, I'm learning so much!

a saturday at the conference

The weather in Chicago has been lovely, and not to warm. A few leaders and I walked a few blocks to a local italian restaurant for dinner. On the way, we came a accross several families that had done the same thing.



My favorite session was the Welcome open session on Saturday morning when MaryAnne Thompson spoke about the first time they met in the now famous park in Chicago.

It moved us all to tears.
The playroom is awesome! I love it!
hhhaley

22.07.07

Salve tutte... brevemente perche' devo anche LLLlavorare per smistare gli HF,.... bella giornata! la Fiera (World Faire) e' stata bellissima, e ho preso tante spille, ecc. per il nostro convegno. Oggi vado anche al Bookstore (LLLLibreria) per altre cose... purtroppo solo pocche pezzi per articolo a causa del prezzo e peso.
Nils Bergman e' stato interessante come sempre... aspetto la sessione di Jack Newman. Le Fondatrici sono simpaticissime e almeno 3 di loro firmeranno le nostre manuali.... la difficolta' sara' farli arrivare di nuovo a casa :-) ma ci arrangeremmo.
altro... sto ancora smistando gli HF e ringrazio chi risponde.
L'energia e' tangibile, il luogo e la compania piacevole e mando baci a tutte!

un'italiana a Chicago (seconda puntata)

ok, girls,
un'altra puntata della saga chicaghiana.
Forzatamente meno precisa della precedente perche' sono arrivate un sacco di consulenti che reclamano i turni al pc e quindi devo correre.
Siamo circa 2500 consulenti e piu' di mille bambini. Potete immaginare? Bambini ovunque, moltissime fasce, e un servizio di affitto delle fasce solo per il convegno che dobbiamo copiare anche noi per il convegno Italiano, Mauri prendi nota!
L'Hilton regge, i camerieri sono rodati, la camera un sogno anche se avendo quelle odiose chiavi elettroniche per entrare in camera cambiamo chiave circa tre volte al giorno e restiamo regolarmente chiuse fuori.
Posso dirvi solo che il primo giorno, che eravamo in tre e la camera era per otto (come siamo invece adesso) Martina ha detto al mattino: quale dei 56 bagni posso usare? No, scherzo, ma sono per davvero quattro !
Sto seguendo diciotto sessioni per volta, capisco piu' o meno due terzi di quello che ascolto, ma vi assicuro che basta e avanza.
Nelle sessioni piccole si lavora bene, posso chiedere di parlare piano, in quelle gigantesche pazienza. Qualche volta uso le cuffie con la traduzione in spagnolo.
Ieri il pranzo in una sala enorme con Niels Bergman che mentre noi mangiavamo faceva la sua relazione, la stessa del convegno dell'anno scorso da noi a Viterbo. Emozionante.
Poi cosa posso raccontarvi (ho due consulenti qui dietro in coda che mi guardano male perche' sto superando il mio quarto d'ora...)?
La festa delle nazioni, con la parata, noi tutte agghindate come sceme con le bandierine in testa, i palloncini blu di Nicoletta Boero? Tutte le nazioni con i loro costumi, le giapponesi, le austriache, le cinesi...
La festa con le sette fondatrici, mi ero ripromessa di non commuovermi, ma come fai? Appena scese dal palco quelle di loro che sono in gamba si sono vestite da clown e hano fatto ridere tutta la platea... e le cose che dicono...
L'altro ieri sera una festa nella suite irlandese (camera, non suite) dove ci si poteva stare solo in cinque... (non vi dico quante eravao senno' le arrestano!) Ogni tanto si apriva la porta ed entrava qualcuno, e una volta erano due fondatrici, elegantissime, una col bastone e l'altra senza!! con il loro bicchiere di Baileys in mano e il formaggio cheddar nell'altra... e ognuna aveva qualcosa da raccontare, esperienze esilaranti sull'allatttamento, su LLL, sulla loro-nostra storia...
Vabbe' si vede che sono entusiasta?
Il lavoro procede, ho seguito le sessioni su Hirkani's daugthers, le donne e lavoro, i casi difficili di capezzolo dolente, l'aiuto alle donne in difficolta', un lavoro su legge e allattamento, che chiaramente e' diversa dall'Italia ma mi ha dato l'idea di cosa potrebe succedere anche da noi fra qualche anno...
insomma, non ci si ferma mai.
Sono arrivate Maria Assunta, Francesca Greco, Christine, e Micaela con marito e figli. Ludmilla credevamo di essercela persa invece c'e' pure lei e siamo al completo. Ieri sera dovevamo andare (dopo 4 ore di fiera ed esposizione di cose di tutto il mondo... non vi dico quante cose ho comprato da 2/3/5 dollari per sostenere altre LLL) in un jazz club con Abou Dakn, e siamo arrivate con un'ora di ritardo quando questo jazz club diventa (a mezzanotte) una discoteca. Che figura!!! Ora devo andare alla sua sessione e non ho il coraggio di incontrarlo..
Ma questo ve lo racconto dall'Italia senno' qui mi ammazzano. e anche perche' sembra che passiamo il tempo a divertirci... In realta' mi sono gasata di un progetto di una rivista che fa l'Olanda pagata dal ministero della salute che viene consegnata da ogni ostetrica ad OGNI madre che partorisce ed e' solo di gossip, pettegolezzi e moda sull'allattamento.. fantastica, come messaggio. da copiare, e sto cercando di inventarmi COME.
Ci sono un sacco di cose allo shop de LLL, ma come faccio a comprarvele? Se volete qualche pins, spillina, dei 50 anni, costa mi pare 3 dollari, ditemelo a carla@scarsi.name entro stasera che ve le prendo o mandatemi un messaggino sullo +39 340 9126893 che accendo una volta al giorno.
Non posso inviare foto (anche se ne ho centinaia) perche' avrei dovuto chiedere il permesso scritto a TUTTI quelli che compaiono nelle foto ed e' impossibile. Ve le faro' vedere al prossimo convegno.
Ciao, mi ributto nella mischia.
ciao a tutte in Italia e fuori!
Carla

A World of Difference

I have been to other conferences and this is different. It is wonderful to be with like-minded parents, attend sessions and have the ability to still parent my child closely. The separation is very minimal because of all the ways that the conference is child friendly. It makes a world of difference in the whole family enjoying the time away from home.
Hola a todas como estan, quiero decirles que no ha sido facil conectarnos desde aqui y es por eso que este ano no hemos estando tan comunicadas, pero las estamos pensando todo el tiempo, y nos encantaria que estuvieran aqui!!!!!!!


nos vemos pronto!!!!!

Alejandra

Heard some LLLove last night

A group of friends from the LLL mother-to-mother support boards went out for dinner on Saturday night. We ended up at a chain Italian restaurant at least 2 miles from the hotel -- not at all in the neighborhood of the conference.

When I ordered my meal, the cashier (observing the babies in slings and recognizing my LLL logo pin) asked, "Are you all with La Leche League?"

I answered "Yes!" and she responded, "You all SAVED MY LIFE with my first baby. I wanted to breastfeed so bad, but ... you know ... my mother, and the hospital, and the formula ... I never could have done it without La Leche League."

We chatted for another minute, and she shared with me that she had gone on to breastfeed all four of her children. This was an African-American woman, perhaps around the age of forty, who now works in the service industry in an urban center. I was immensely grateful that she took the time to share her story with us; it was the high point of a weekend that was already a fantastic experience.

--Rebecca (LLL of NC)
hi!
i'm from kobe in japan.
i can't speake english very well but i enjoy this confrence!!!!

Using Kintera

It was nice to be able to sit down with Shelly and Andrew to gather information about the new system and express concerns that administrators have concerning its use and flexibility. Our 1/2 hour together was very useful and informative.

Lenora Mesibov,AFC,NYE,USA

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Winded in the Windy City

Morning came much earlier than planned today when I was awakened by my 36-month-old who was a bit disoriented in her new living quarters. Nothing that a little reassurance through mommy's milk couldn't solve though. Once my eyes were open, I knew there was no chance of getting them closed again any time soon. I suddenly remembered that the Alumnae had planned a walk around Chicago every morning at 6:00 am so I thought, "Well, I'm up...why not join them?!"

After quickly slipping out of my pj's and into some yoga pants, WBW tee, and sneakers, I was off to find what I thought to be a small gathering of weary eyed walkers. To my surprise (and delight!), I found a large clan of about 40 perky ladies who were stretching and preparing for their journey. I found a place in the pack, did a few quick yoga moves, and followed the crowd out onto the streets of Chicago.

The morning was sunny but crisp. I immediately regretted leaving my jacket back in my room; however, I assumed I would warm up quickly once I got my heart pumping. We crossed over to Millennium Park, which is just across the street from the Hilton. We headed north on Michigan Avenue, enjoying the sight and scent of the gorgeous flower gardens along the way. After rounding a large amphitheater that resembled enormous playground equipment, we mounted a winding, metallic bridge that led us closer to Lake Ontario. After crossing another major thoroughfare, we turned south again so we had a marina on our left and the Chicago skyline on our right. Forget my jacket, I was now REALLY regretting leaving my CAMERA in my room!!!

I met several lovely ladies along the way: one from Charlotte, NC and another all the way from Iceland. I learned that there are only 300,000 people in that entire country; that really blew my mind! This dedicated mom/nurse/Leader Applicant was one of two attendees from Iceland; the other was the only accredited Leader that Iceland has. Wow!

As we turned yet another corner, I overheard someone saying that "we are right on time." Hmm, I thought, I wonder what time that is? I had a business breakfast meeting at 7:00 am on the 16th floor and I still needed to shower and iron some clothing. I polled a passing walker and was mortified to discover that it was already 6:45 am! Where had the time gone?! I saw the Hilton ahead so I broke into a sprint and expressed my salutations to my new friends as I ran by.

I didn't stop running until I reached the main doors of the hotel. I used my "indoor pace" to get me to the stairs and then I bounded up, two at a time, to the sixth floor. My heart was racing, my hair was sticking every which way, and my breathing was louder than a racehorse. I took a minute to "get the wind out" and collect myself before tiptoeing back into my room.

Somehow (I honestly don't know how), I managed to shower, do my hair and minimal makeup, iron my pants, nurse my littlest one back to sleep again (who, no doubt, awoke from my heavy breathing), and then arrive at my meeting by 7:10 am!

After exchanging pleasantries with everyone and taking my seat, a colleague says to me, "Gosh, I wish I looked that good so early in the morning." I gave a hearty laugh and replied, "If only you saw me a half hour ago!"

It's a small world..

I have met moms from Ireland, Mexico, Cosa Rico, Finland, and many more. It is amazing that we are all connect in wanting the best for our children. That connection truly has the power to make it a small world after all!

La necesidad del recien nacido de estar cerca de su madre

Acabo de tener la oportunidad de asistir a una conferencia del Dr. Nils Bergman, en la que elocuentemente, con hermosas ilustraciones y fotos de madres con bebes recien nacidos, hablo de la importantisima necesidad de los prematuros de estar en contacto constante con su madre, que les ayuda en estas primera horas tan criticas, a regular su temperatura, a organizar su cerebro y a alimetarse con el mejor alimento para un bebe que nacio antes de tiempo: la leche materna.
Una de las cosas que mas me llamo la atencion durante esta platica, es la enorme cantidad de informacion referente a las ventajas del contacto constante entre la madre y su bebe. Estamos acostumbrados a considerar que el recien nacido debe llorar, cuando lo que plantea el Dr, Nils, es que los recien nacidos no lloran si estan sobre el pecho de su madre, ya que todas sus necesidades estan resueltas en ese lugar, el mejor lugar del mundo: el regazo materno.

Tambien hablo del beneficio que es a niver neurologico, de que los bebes succionen el pecho de su madre. El seno materno no solo es fuente de alimento, sino de amor, seguridad y calor.

Ana Charfen
LLL Mexico

Evaluating & Solving Difficult Breastfeeding Problems

I went to this great session this morning presented by Karin Cadwell, author of the book Case Studies in Breastfeeding. She shared "The 8-Level Lactation Consulting Process" developed by herself and Cindy Turner-Maffei, which I found very logical and intuitive as an LLL Leader, but which was very helpful to put into practice. During the session we had a chance to actually put the process to work!

We watched two role plays concerning breastfeeding difficulties then discussed the questions and possibilities at our tables. Two microphones were provided on either side of the room for representatives from each table to go up and ask questions of the presenter (Karin), who pretended to be the breastfeeding mother in answering our questions. We then further discussed the issues until we came to clear understandings of the problems using the recommended process. It was really useful!

One thing that really stood out to me after doing the first role play session/discussion was Karin's reminder that it's so important to ask mothers, "What have you already done for this problem?" If you don't do that first, you can spend a LOT more time searching for the answer. You might get to the possible solutions in the end, but the road there can be lot longer!

Chicago

Chicago is such a beautiful city! I love the Chicago bean, where kids touch their reflections in it and look as if they are hanging upside down. Not just kids. I went dancing on the street. There is a wonderful open-air stage where we listened to an orchestra and choir rehearse. And I saw a real Renoir in the art gallery! All in just a few blocks.

My first conference

I am having a great time. I love being here. I am so amazed at all the difference cultures that are here.

James McKenna's Co-sleeping Session

I just finished an awesome session on "Breastfeeding and Safe Mother-Infant Co-sleeping" with Dr. James McKenna. He was a great speaker and his session was very informative.

He gave a list of "What Every Health Professional Should Know about Co-Sleeping." I will summarize it here:
1. Co-sleeping is normative/biological behavior
2. Sleeping recommendations need to make sense to the people for whom they were intended.
3. Where infants sleep is often unplanned.
4. Infants often encounter more than one sleep environment.
5. Co-sleeping is biologically interdependant with breastfeeding.
6. The context of co-sleeping is critical.
7. The issue of co-sleeping is the not the same issue as that of prone sleep. (prone sleep is not a natural occurance.)
8. Parents should be the final arbitrators of where their baby sleeps-not the health professional.
9. Where baby sleeps is a social issue-not a medical issue.
10. No one-size fits all approach to infant sleep will work.
11. Co-sleeping is not illegal, abusive, neglectful, or immoral.

Saturday Morning Talk with Marian Thompson

Hi everyone,

It has been a busy morning! We were inspired by Marian's talk this morning at our General Session that kicked off the day with some great words of wisdom. She acknowledged the Power of Breastfeeding and the many changes happening in the world of breastfeeding.

My favorite part was her encouraging all of us to "keep the peace" this weekend (and always!), but especially among the many differences that exist within this organization especially in these times of changes--to be respectful to EVERYONE here this weekend even though we may not always agree. After all, the Founders didn't always agree either! :-)

Take care and know that all of us will have much knowledge and energy to bring back home.

WarmLLLy,

Barb Barrett
LLL of Minnesota and the Dakotas
USA
My name is Haley and I am 3. I came to Chicago a long way in the car from NC with mommy and Grandma and Aunt Bonnie and my baby sister Hannah. We are having lots of fun! Today we will go see a big turtle at the Aquarium! :)

First-Timer

This is my first LLLI conference and so far it has been really fun. I'm part of the conference team working in the bookstore and it has been interesting to see all of the different people from all over the world. The thing that I have noticed most are the values of the people here. I love the family-oriented atmosphere and how involved everyone is with their children. I've heard so much about the world fair too and I can't wait to go!

What a great conference for families to attend!

Friday, July 20, 2007

とうとう始まりました。

今日は午前でGSPSが終わり、夜にオープニングナイトがありました。恒例の各国のパレードがあり、日本も浴衣で参加しました。2200人の方がきてらっしゃり、さらに子どもは1000人、ティーンは100人だそうです。
本当に世界中からで感激しています!

GSPS--thank you EUS

Hi, all

Ijust wanted to thank the EUS staff for all their hard work in planning the department meetings during the GSPS. We got an incredible amount of work done!

Thank you!

a conference attendee

5 hours late and still excited!

Our train from St. Louis was 5 hours late yesterday! I am happy to say my 4 year old was so excited to ride the train that he was still happy entire time. I haven't attend a session yet but this first day has been so much fun that I can't wait for the rest.

Hi from Idaho

Learning tons about Working Agreements. Wonderful outside for lunch in the sunshine.

It's just great to be here!

I'm happy to be here! Chicago is a great city, I feel well taken care by the hotel!
It is so wonderful and interesting to meet women from all over the world and work together on the same goals.
Regula Meier
Switzerland

hi to everyone

hi to everyone and have a great time

Opening Day

This is my third LLLI conference. I have been here for three days attending the GSPS. I have most enjoyed getting to know my fellow professional liaison leaders and experiencing the globalises of LLL. Being here and experiencing the conference helps me appreciate the needs of our organization for becoming more global. I also have many things to think in how I can contribute to implementing the new LLLI strategic plan. I am looking forward to the opening ceremony tonight.
Mary Marine
APL LLL of N CA/HI
United States

Saludos de Paraguay en Chicago!!!

Es mi primera conferencia. Soy del Paraguay. El lugar es muy lindo y es increible ver tantas mamas con bellisimos hijos. Estoy desde el 17 y lo estoy viviendo intensamente. Espero continuar aprovechando lo maximo. Estaria fantastico si hubiese mas traduccion en espanol para realmente aprovechar mas!!! y nos podamos entender entre mas gente! Sallludos.

Anticipating Opening Ceremonies

We are looking forward to the Opening Ceremonies this evening and the Parade of Nations. Can't wait to see the Founders and what the Pazzazz team has planned for our enjoyment.

More later.

Taking the Conference Experience Home

I am so glad to be here, live at the 50th Anniversary Conference! Watching mothers and babies carries me back to Conferences when my little Becci or Jon were with me...wonderful, sometimes challenging, memories!

Could I ask a favor? Writers are needed to help bring the Conference home through Leaven. I would love to hear your conference experiences, and possibly summaries of the sessions you attend. Perhaps a speaker will inspire further exploration of a topic--exploration which will easily develop to a piece to share with other Leaders.

What from the Conference would you like to see in Leaven?


Thanks!
--Carole Wrede

Friday/venerdi' 20/07/07

Oggi e' sabato e sono arrivate altre 4 consulenti ieri sera mentre chi c'erano gia' sono andati (a spesi propri) alla cena/crociera su Lago Michigan. Carla e Martina hanno fatto dei bei foto che saranno caricato su uno dei nostri siti etro poco... Oggi abbiamo superato i piccoli inconvenienti della registrazione e mentre i membri del CDA hanno continuato a lavorare, le nuove arrivate sono andati a fare qualche giro per la citta'. Il tempo e' bello e areggiato (ventoso!) ma almeno non piove come l'altro giorno e non fa tanto caldo quanto l'hanno predetto la settimana scorsa. Stasera il convegno vero e proprio inizia e tutte le consulenti italiane presenti + la famiglia di Michaela parteciperano alla parata delle Nazioni. Che emozione! Mi ricordo la mia prima volta ad una Conference International e spero che sia una bella esperienza anche per loro.
Oggi ho partecipato alla chiusura del Global Summit. Spero che i membri di LLL cominciano ad implimentare i suggerimenti e che LLL diventa davvero un'organizazione globale.
Adesso chiudo per smistare gli HF da LLL Italia. Non smettiamo mai di lllavorare per voi!

Sophie Yang

This is my second Conference. I am still very excited to meet so many Leaders from all over the world. I know that I would learn wisdom and get a lot of strength again from this conference.

I Finally Made It!

Well, I am finally here--my first time at an LLLI Conference! It took a bit longer than expected because my first flight was delayed so I missed my connection. Once in the air the flights were mostly fine; although I did pray 8 Rosaries during the 3.5 hours of flight time--have I mentioned I don't enjoy flying?



I had a lovely chat with the driver who brought me to the hotel. His wife breastfed all their children. He was very interested in and supportive of what we do in LLL. However, the best part of our conversation was when he told me that I had the least amount of luggage of all the women he had so far transported from the airport to the conference. I can't wait to tell my husband--he was giving me such a hard time about all I was packing. He simply didn't understand why I needed to take 40 squares of material (for the quilt square swap), face paint, or a wizard hat (both for the Harry Potter gathering). I didn't mention I already had a quilt packed. And even my friends laughed when I mentioned I brought my own hangers.



I also have Scruffy, one of my oldest son's Web kinz pets. "He wants to see Chicago, Mommy. Don't forget to take his picture in Chicago" When my second son heard Scruffy was going he decided that Oreo (one of his Web kinz) wanted to go also. I told him "OK, put himn in my bag. On the way back to his bed, I heard him talking to himself, "one week, that's a long time" pause "Mommy, Oreo changed his mind. He wants to stay with me." "That's fine sweetie, you go get him out of my bag."



So here I am at the LLLI Conference with just one bag.



For the past couple of days, I have been attending departmental sessions. They have been great. Division support has been so helpful. I have learned new things and will be going back home with some great new ideas to help me better serve the Area. It has been so fun to finally put faces to the names of members of my department from other Areas. I have exchanged emails with so many of them but meeting face-to-face will make future communications more personal and more fun.

Bobbie
Eastern PA, USA

KONNITIHA

Konnitiha!
kyou kara hajimarimasu.kyouha pare-do ga ari kimono wo kiru yotei desu.
takusan no sekai juu no ri-da- to atte kouryu wo fukamete imasu.
kodomo tatti mo ganbatte masu.

Elaine's Elations

Friday, July 20, 2007
Art Institute of Chicago

It seems so strange for me to post about yesterday’s events, but I was just too tired to try to get Thursday’s events posted on Thursday, etc. I’m doing my best to get things posted for the day before, so stick with me!!

This morning (actually on Friday!) started with the hotel wake-up service. Rachel had it set for 6:15 AM since she had to be down at the registration booth bright and early. Since I had stayed up so late last night, I just slept on. (It’s so nice to have this luxury!)

My roommate, Colleen, has already gone to breakfast and I am getting ready for my day. Colleen and I will rendezvous to walk over to the Art Institute of Chicago on S. Michigan Avenue. We are two of the fortunate souls to be able to attend the private viewing of the Mother-Baby print art. Once, again, the Alumnae Association has been involved to set up an extraordinary experience for us. The art we are scheduled to see – at no cost, I might add – is in the archives and being pulled out solely for the La Leche League viewings (there is one at 10:30 AM and one at 11:00 AM). What a treat!

I truly do hope to help set up the Alumnae Room today! Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

LLLove, Elaine

Elaine's Elations

Friday, July 20, 2007

Good morning!

Well, as I promised yesterday, I’m going to tell you about my Thursday.

I woke up with the hotel phone ringing at 7:30 AM. It was a good way to start the day. (I wonder why the phone is always such a better alarm than an alarm clock?)

I really had no plans – I had hoped to go volunteer at the registration booth again and I wanted to help Edna set up the Alumnae Rooms. It turns out that I didn’t do either of those things!!

It seems that now I am not only in the “roommate coordinator” business, but also in the “help people with banquet tickets and cruise tickets” business. Too funny. It seems that I’ve found my niche. For some reason it is very easy for me to remember who needs what and find who has what – I helped 2 people sell their cruise tickets because they couldn’t use them. (One of these people was a LLL Leader from Kansas whose flight was canceled and rescheduled for Friday. It’s a shame that she couldn’t be here for the cruise, but at least she got some of her money back!)

To start the day, around 8:30 AM my good friend Mary and her daughter got in from Cleveland and called our room. Mary had brought me a box of instant oatmeal so that my daughter would have her standard breakfast here at the hotel. Of course, I hadn’t gotten dressed yet and was still in my jammies! We chatted for a while – I wasn’t worried about the time because Rachel didn’t have to be at work until 12:30 PM today. All of a sudden, I realized that the time had flown by and it was after 10:00 AM! Aaargh!

People started hopping in the showers (we are lucky enough to have a room with 2 double beds and 2 bathrooms). Mary and I continued to chat for a bit. Then my roommate (and co-Leader and friend) left to go to breakfast. I realized that I was supposed to be finished showering and dressing by the time Rachel got out of the shower, so Mary had to scoot. I scurried around, getting all the junk together that I seemed to need to carry around (notebook, conference bag, Spicy Scarf – story to follow, camera). I hit the shower (and, no, I didn’t make it before Rachel was finished), got dressed and went to make my DD her breakfast. I had planned to use the hot water from the coffee maker to make the instant oatmeal. It was hot, all right, but it smelled like coffee! There was no way I’d make oatmeal for her with that! So off we went down to the local restaurant.

Right about now, I bet you’re thinking that we went to eat breakfast, but you’d be wrong! I had taken a Styrofoam cup (the size needed for making the oatmeal) and asked for some boiling hot water. I explained what had happened and they were very nice and gave me water without any hesitation. Yea! We went down to Registration and Rachel proceeded to make her own breakfast and eat it. The reason we did all this down at Registration was because it was not after 12:OO PM!! Where did the morning go??

While I was in the registration area, many of my friends seemed to magically appear! I belong to an e-mail list called “Spice of La Leche Life” or SOLLL. It is a list of approximately 36 members, all who have children roughly the same ages. We’ve become very good friends over the years (I believe I joined back in 1997) and a good portion (well, not really – a good portion would have been ALL!) of us are at this conference.

One of our SOLLL (Spicey Sisters) is from the Southern California/Nevada Area. They are having a huge fundraiser and are promoting a LLLI book “The Revolutionaries Wore Pearls” by selling real, freshwater pearl necklaces for only $20!!! These necklaces are such high quality it isn’t even funny! I love pearls. I’d say that these are probably worth at least $50 to $80 for each necklace. (I got five as Christmas presents for my sisters-in-law. They’re going to think I hit the lottery, being able to give them all high quality pearl necklaces like these!) I tell you, if you want to take advantage of this fundraiser just contact someone from the SC/NE Area. You won’t regret it! In the picture of me on the cruise, you can see a fine specimen of these pearls! I bought another strand and gave it to my daughter so you can see hers in the picture of her, too.

While I was schmoozing with my SOLLL friends, a few people found me to ask about the banquet tickets my roommate had for sale. I took care of getting the right tickets to the right people. Then some people came up to me and asked about cruise tickets. Did the same thing for them. All the while, visiting, meeting new friends, chatting, and getting many, many hugs from wonderful people! What an exhilarating morning! Oops … I did it again. I kept saying, “Good morning!” when it was already afternoon!!

I then wandered back up to my room with a friend to allow her use of my computer. I checked the quilt square boxes to see how the quilt swap fabric drop-off was coming along. (OH! This is a whole ‘nuther topic! About 70 of us are exchanging 10”X10” fabric squares with either a blue or gold theme. Many of us actually get some of them made into quilts! Our sorting party is scheduled for tomorrow night – here in my hotel room!)

I ran some more errands and then headed back to my room to change for the cruise. The Alumnae Association set this up for us. It was to cruise around the lake on the Spirit of Chicago ship. The ship left the pier at 7:00PM. There were 2 levels devoted to La Leche League. There were entertainers singing and dancing, and a DJ who worked the crowd trying to announce where everyone was from. We had a lovely dinner with an excellent dessert! It was incredibly fun to go out on the bow of the ship. I can’t believe how windy it was!! I had to hold my dress down for fear that I would start para-sailing without any safety tether!! It was so fun – gentle swells made it even more interesting because we had to be very careful of our footing. After a while, we all got cold, so we went back inside (it was time for dessert, anyway.)

After dessert was more entertainment and dancing. As the sunset, the Chicago skyline became even more dramatic. The Ferris wheel and the carousel on the Navy Pier were lit up and seemed to jump out at us through the night. When it was time to leave, we had the option to buy a picture that was taken as we entered the ship (touristy stuff, I know, but I so rarely do it that I went ahead and got suckered in!) We walked off of the pier to the street corner to hail a taxicab. It took about 10 minutes before one came along and we were in the wind the entire time. Poor Colleen – she was cold! I rather enjoyed the temperature and the “breeze.”

The taxi ride back to the hotel was uneventful. We went straight up to our room and started getting ready for bed. I did make one phone call to a lady who wanted my roommate’s last 2 banquet tickets. She came to our room and picked them up and we all proceeded to hop into bed (or type this blog, depending on which person we’re talking about.) ;0)

Tomorrow’s going to be a busy day. I’m going to the Art Institute of Chicago to see a special viewing of Mother & Nursing Baby art. The are showing us paper art from their archives. What a special treat. This, too, has been arranged by someone in the Alumnae Association. I think I’ll dream about this trip tonight.

Good night, all!

LLLove, Elaine

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Un'italiana a Chicago

Ciao a tutte,
scrivo contemporaneamente per il blog de La Leche League International e per Salllotto (lista italiana), cosi' se vedete che spiego cose ovvie per l'Italia, non prendetemi per matta.
Sono Carla, vostro agente all'Avana. NO, scherzo a Chicago. Sono Responsabile delle relazioni esterne de La Leche League Italia, per la prima volta ad una conferenza internazionale LLL.
Sto cercando di guadagnarmi il viaggio, e siccome non e' che capisca al cento per cento l'inglese, quando ho sentito che la testa era completamente vuota ho cercato di rilassarmi in altro modo, alcuni sarebbero andati a dormire, ma siccome il jet lag colpisce, quando avresti sonno e' ora di lavorare e quando e' ora di dormire sei sveglia come un grillo.
Quindi eccomi qui a raccontarvi. Sono le cinque del pomeriggio e da noi e' mezzanotte (+7).
Intanto il volo ha presentato non poche complicazioni, a Montreal il nostro bagaglio e' sceso per ULTIMO dalla pancia dell'aereo e chiaramente abbiamo perso la coincindenza per Chicago. Dopo tre ore (DICO TRE) di coda abbiamo saputo che il volo dopo era gia' pieno e fino al mattino seguente non ce n'erano piu. Quindi: o dormire a Montreal, o provare (provare ha detto la signorina) ad andare a Ottawa e prendere da li' una coincidenza per Chicago dopo un'ora, tempo comunque minimo ma l'aeroporto era piu' piccolo per cui ce la potevamo fare.
Cosi' abbiamo preso un ROTTAME tipo a sedici posti che per loro fa da autobus e siamo atterrate a Ottawa e da li' ce l'abbiamo fatta a salire sulla coincidenza che ci ha pertate dopo un'ora di balli a non finire nella tempesta di Chicago. Cioe', proprio tempesta no, pero' insomma, la chiamano windy city (citta' ventosa) mica per niente.
Ad aspettarci all'aeroporto c'era Michelle (la nostra AACL) che si e' fatta tutto il giorno di avanti e indietro, tipo Sherlock Holmes a cercare di capire dove fossimo finite (ovvviamente nessuno dei nostri cellulari era triband o come si dice, e le carte di credito all'aeroporto di Montreal non prendevano...) per cui non eravamo riuscite ad avvertirla del ritardo.
Metropolitana fino all'hotel e a quel punto erano circa 27-28 ore che non dormivamo. Potete immaginare? Uno spettacolo PIETOSO! Peccato che non ho il cavetto della macchina fotografica, senno’ potrei allegare delle foto simpaticamente spaventose!
L'Hilton e' immenso, immenso e imponente. Andate in rete, cercate Hilton Chicago e ammiratelo. Di fronte al lago, con quattro torri altissime e quattro alte la meta'... con tutto quello che e' giusto che abbia un Hilton, duecento fattorini che ti aprono la porta del taxi e pianista nella hall che suona frank sinatra... Solo che la gente e’ mista, c’e’ quella coi tacchi altissimi e il vestito nero con le spalline di brillanti e nel tavolino vicino la coppia di turisti in calzettoni e Birkenstock con sei figli tutti con la maglietta rossa uguale…
Comunque, fino a qui niente di strano se non che Cenerentola (io) e' arrivata a Chicago dalla Leche League. E sei subito a casa. La Leche League e' La Leche League dappertutto. Stessa atmosfera, stessi sorrisi che ci sono da noi, avete presente tutte la sensazione del primo convegno da tirocinanti? Ok. uguale. "Hy Carla how are you?" "Sorry, my english is not so good..." "Noooo, it's perfect, don't worry"... e sempre continuano tutte a chiedermi e a chiedere alle altre straniere: "Hai capito? Vuoi che parliamo piu' piano?"

Ed e' davvero come mi diceva Martina (la nostra ACL) qualche anno fa: riunioni SEMPRE, gruppi di lavoro, open space... la gente si ferma a parlare di tutto, ovunque, e l’albergo e’ immenso, pieno di sale e salette sempre con qualcuno che discute, che condivide, che mostra quello che fa e chiede… “tu da dove vieni, ah si' mi ricordo il tuo nome dalla mail, che buffo ti facevo diversa...”
Io mi sono occupata in questi tre giorni di lavoro serrato soprattutto di pubblicazioni, e di sito web. E’ stato uno shock arrivare qui e scoprire la prima serata, (durante la fiera delle pubblicazioni in cui tutte avevamo un tavolo per esporre la produzione nazionale e confrontarla... non vi dico che quantita' di poster, deplianti, traduzioni ... ) beh la prima sera ho scoperto che il sito E' CAMBIATO!!! non e' piu' blu, e' verde. VERDE!!! Andate a controllare!! Non ci sarebbe niente di male, anzi e' bellissimo, ma noi stiamo rifacendo quello de LLLItalia tutto sul blu... come il "vecchio" de LLLInternational... Ero sconvolta. Mamma mia, tutto da rifare?? Poi per fortuna abbiamo deciso di no.
Quindi: gruppo di lavoro sul sito, gruppo di lavoro sul cambiamento, gruppo di lavoro sulla globalizzazione, con domandine semplici semplici tipo "Secondo voi che differenza c'e' fra internazionale e globale?" Roba che uno ci deve pensare una settimana per trovare qualcosa di intelligente da dire, per fortuna non lo chiedevano direttamente a me... Pero' intanto qualcosa da dire lo avevo anche io, sul sito, sulla rete che si puo' costruire per le pubblicazioni, per esempio.
Abbiamo deciso di creare un UNICO archivio fotografico nella Community Network (che e' il futuro di tutte noi, finiremo tutte li', chi non c'e' ancora si prepari) di modo che da tutto il mondo si possa accedere e prendere quello che serve.
Oppure abbiamo capito che per tradurre, preparare e stampare le pubblicazioni (e questo interessa ad Antonella, la nostra APA) non ha piu' senso creare gruppio di yahoo. Basta mettere il materiale da lavorare su CN e tirarlo giu' una per volta a turno, e lo si lascia li' fisicamente non c'e' piu' una di noi che ha il file giusto, il file giusto e' sempre su CN, mi spiego? Cosi' non esistono piu' le mille versioni a,b,c,d, di uno stesso file che poi si perde e si manda in stampa quello vecchio...
E poi la gente che incontri... a parte Abu Dakn (la versione piu' simile a George Clooney, l'attore di ER, che esista sulla faccia della terra) che voleva andare in un jazz club, ieri sera eravamo a cena con Chele Marmet, quella del "metodo Marmet". Roba da stare con la faccia per terra, strisciando... Ha raccontato cose esilaranti sui suoi colleghi, tipo "il vero e il falso" e ci ha dato un sacco di spunti...
Durante i lavori in questi due giorni c'era uno specialista in comunicazione per grandi aziende che ci ha fatto ridere da morire ma nel frattempo ha lavorato sodo. Una delle cose che mi hanno colpita di piu' e' che, per farci capire come si possono vincere le resistenze al cambiamento, ci ha fatto fare un esercizio su noi stesse, provando a definirci ognuna di noi con tre aggettivi positivi, e chiedendoci quando ci ricordiamo per la prima volta di esserci definite da sole con il primo. Io con il mio aggettivo che ovviamente non vi dico, sono arrivata a decidere che avevo nove anni.
E poi ci ha chiesto: Siete sicure che da allora siete rimaste cosi' DAVVERO?
No, aveva perfettamente ragione! Sono 36 anni che uso quell’aggettivo per autodefinirmi e SBAGLIO! Cosi’ in parallelo (dopo tre ore di lavoro) il cambiamento nelle associazioni.
Stasera (fra un’ora) c’e’ una gita che ognuna di noi si e’ pagata per fare un pezzetto di giro del lago di Chicago ma c’e’ vento e mare grosso (cioe’, no, lago grosso) :-D
Vedremo.
Sheri, Michelle e Martina corrono sempre da un posto all’altro, da un appuntamento a un altro, non smettono mai di decidere e discutere qualcosa. Per fortuna ora e’arrivata Francesca, fra poco le altre italiane.
Per ora i lavori di questi due giorni (riservati alle amministratrici di area) hanno portato ad una serie di documenti dei vari gruppi di lavoro con moltissimi suggerimenti su come migliorare le pubblicazioni, il LAD, la comunicazione, i conflitti… Insomma, le cose che facciamo al nostro convegno in piccolo, ma tutto MOLTO piu’ grande.
Barbara Emmanuel, la presidente de LLLI, e’ una signora bionda con gli stessi occhi gentili che a quanto pare fanno parte del look LLL; quasi tutte abbiamo addosso qualcosa di azzurro, anche piccoli particolari. E poi ci sono un sacco di consulenti anziane che fanno un po’ soggezione, perche’ ti esaminano gentilmente fino dentro al cuore.
Nella enorme sala dove domani sera c’e’ il gala di inaugurazione (sempre sul sito dell’hilton cercatevi international ballroom) ci sono attaccati tutti i copricuscini che noi di tutti i paesi abbiamo realizzato, ho fatto le foto, tredici pannelli con circa venti cuscini ciascuno.. meravigliosi. Ognuno con un messaggio per i 50 anni de LLL. Anche questo e’ emozionante da brivido.
Mi fermo qui perche’ reclamano il computer.
Per oggi e’ tutto. Grazie di avermi dato questa opportunita'.
Un bacino stanco ma felice da
Carla

LLLiefs uit Chicago

Maandag 16 juli vertrokken we vanaf Schiphol. Om half vier stond Lydia al naast haar bedje :-) Om half vijf Evelyne opgehaald en op naar het vliegveld. Daar troffen we Marleen en na een langdurige incheck kwamen we dan toch in ons vliegtuig aan. Na een voorspoedige reis landden we om drie uur plaatselijke tijd (= 22.00 uur jullie tijd) in Chicago aan. Het Hilton had nog geen plaats voor ons, dus hebben we de eerste twee nachten in een ander hotel gezeten.
Dinsdag hebben we een beetje uitgerust en zijn we naar het Art Institute of Chicago geweest.
' s Avonds hebben we ons geregistreerd voor de conferentie en zijn we naar de Resource Fair geweest.
Woensdag 19 juli begon het Global Strategic Planning Summit en begon dus het echte werk. De summit is net zoiets als het Europese EMS, voor alle leidsters met een staffunctie. Dit jaar is het helemaal gewijd aan de toekomst van LLL International. We hebben uitleg gekregen over alle werkgroepen die er zijn en wat ze tot nu toe gedaan hebben, wat is er een hoop werk verricht! De eerste spreker was Michael Brandwein, de Amerikaanse Emiel Ratelband :-)) We hebben erg moeten lachen om de manier waarop hij zijn boodschap overbracht, maar als je daar even doorheen kijkt, zei hij erg nuttige dingen.
Vandaag is het donderdag en waren we al om half negen present voor de uitleg over de Open Space sessies. We hebben twee sessies over internationale publicaties bijgewoond, zijn toen begonnen aan een ACL-sessie over time management, maar hebben besloten dat het tijd-management-technisch gezien beter was deze sessie te verlaten :-) De overgebleven tijd hebben we in een lekkere lunch en een heerlijke shopping-sessie gestoken. Morgen weer een drukke dag, dus een beetje ontspanning mocht best.
Meiden, tot later!
Lydia en Evelyne

Elaine's Elations

I wrote this last night before I went to bed:

Hi! This is Elaine Shirron, a La Leche League Leader from Acton, MA. My husband, daughter and dog left Massachusetts with us on Sunday morning. We drove to Mars, PA and spent the night at my BIL’s house. The next morning, Rachel and I continued west toward Chicago, leaving Stephen and Fireball to visit for the week.

The drive out was fine. Light to medium traffic the whole way, good speed, no unnecessary stops. We arrived in Streamwood, IL at the home of one of my LLL Leader friends, Amy. It was only an 8 hour drive, so we had plenty of time to visit, eat dinner, visit some more, hang out and play games, (did I mention visit???), and sleep.

On Tuesday morning, Amy drove us to the Hilton Towers Hotel in Chicago. We were fortunate to have her daughter along with us! Amy dropped us off with all of our luggage. One of the cool things about having friends nearby is that I left my car parked at her house so I didn’t have to incur the parking charges. That was very nice, especially for my pocketbook! Melanie (her eldest daughter) was meeting up with her grandmother at the Hilton (who is a retired LLL Leader and works for LLLI), but her grandmother was busy in a session with the Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program so … I kept Melanie!

Rachel, Melanie and I all went out to a wonderful little Thai restaurant not even 2 blocks away called the Thai Spoon. Fantastic food!

Around 4:00 PM on Tuesday we wandered down to the registration area. Since my DD had to be there to work at 5, we thought we’d check to see if they needed any help. Melanie and I ended up stuffing conference tote bags with the booklets and evaluation forms. It was fun – not only did we help out, but I got to see friends as they showed up to register!!

I did a bunch of gophering (you know -- go for this, go for that) for various people and I found the Spanish versions of the booklet which seemed to have disappeared right under the noses of the conference staff. (They were in a box on the counter the entire time, but everyone thought everyone else had already looked inside!)

I've had some wonderful lunches -- inexpensive and tasty -- at a Thai restaurant not even 2 full blocks from the hotel called the Thai Spoon (on Wabash Ave.) I've been able to do about 1 1/2 hours of water aerobics exercises, too. The pool is wonderful -- warm (the way I like it), not crowded, not too overly chlorinated and very clean. There was even a little hot tub with lots of jets to stretch and relax in after swimming. Very nice.

The majority of my time has been spent matching people with rooms -- so many mishaps and misunderstandings! I've tried to help people stop worrying by keeping a list whenever anyone posted about having an extra room or what was needed. So far, so good! Yippee!

I'm going down to the reservation desk right now (12:30 AM) to help someone in transit extend their stay by one day. As they reviewed their paperwork, they noticed that they were checking out on the 23rd, not the 24th. --oops

Good night to all.

I'll try to keep in touch up until Friday night. After that -- all bets are off!

LLLove, Elaine
I am happy to find the tech room. It is a pleasure to be able to check e-mail and remain connected with those back home.
Hi it is Chris Again!
I worked 18 hours in bookstore yesterday, maybe today it could be 20...

Hope all enjoy!

Playroom!

Barbara Heaney and Theresa Himes and I have been wildly unpacking toys and putting the playroom together --with occasional help from some enthusiastic and brilliant children. At the moment Barbara is repairing a gorgeous magnetic crane and Theresa is (puff, puff!!) blowing up an inflatable boat (our pump seems to have disappeared between conferences!)
I'm trying to track down various missing items --such as our new kareoke cds and a small forest of artificial trees for our "camping" area.
By tomorrow it will all be complete and ready for hundreds of happy children!
joyfullly,
Terry Stafford (aka The Playroom Lady)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Agreements Workshop

Many Leaders are excited about working via agreements in their Areas and with LLLI. There are also a good many questions about what an agreement might look like, how it's different from what we already do (That varies by Area!), IF it's different from what we already do (also varies by Area), where do we start, etc.

The good news from this workshop is that there will be a new CN discussion called "Agreements" that will have a library of helpful resources including possible templates for agreements.

Make some popcorn, put up your feet, and enjoy reading the library items. See which is the best fit for you, which needs some tweaking to make it work for you, which describes the way you'd like to move toward working, or which sparks some totally new ideas your Area would like to include in your own agreement. (All Area agreements need the final okay by the Executive Director, so you''ll also find in the library a list of the "bare bones" each agreement must contain.)

Misc. Ramblings

Greetings from Chicago. This is my first experience at a LLLI Conference, first time in a big city (not just Chicago) I'm finding myself walking around in amazement. I look up at the tall buildings and at the site out of my hotel window, which is on the 18th floor. The tallest building I'm used to is grain elevators and one building in my town that is around 10 stories (most are no more than 2). I've seen people from all over the world. Its a lot to take in for a "country mouse". This is only day 1, I can't wait to see what else is to come.

Conferencia Internacional Chicago 2007

Hola:

Ya estoy en Chicago, y estoy participando en el GSPS. Justo ahora hemos terminado con una ponencia sensacional acerca de la nueva base de datos de la Liga y llegando a mi pais la pondremos en pratica lo mas rapido que podamos.

Estoy encontrando a muy queridas amigas aqui que hace tiempo que no veo y eso me tiene muy emocionada, porque son de diferentes paises, muy lejanos al mio y nos conocemos de algunos anios atras.

July 17, 2007

Well, Conference is underway and as usual, it's great! This is my 4th LLLI Conference! Per tutte le Italiane... Stiamo aspettando le nostre colleghe domani... spero che i loro viaggi vanno meglio del viaggio di Martina, Sheri e Carla... Hanno perso una connezione a Montreal e sono arrivate con 6 ore di ritardo. Ma siamo nello suite e stiamo bene E stiamo programando una festa Italiana! Mandiano un abbraccio a tutte!
baci!

I am here !!!!!

Es la primera vez que escribo en un blog, asi que es toda una extra;a experiencia ,.))
Estoy muy feliz de estar en la Confe de LLL, y m'as a'un de encontrarme con tatas amigas !!!
A seguir juntas....
Besos
Silvia Barco

Kiwi in Chicago

Jethro and I made it to Conference! Our Monday lasted for 38 hours all the way from Auckland to Chicago! We'll pay for the Monday by losing all of Wednesday next week. We've had some sleep now, but Jethro doesn't appreciate having to get up at 2am NZ time to start the day. Chicago is a beautiful city with lovely parks.

the wwe

some day batista won vs edge for the heavi whigt championchip and rob van dan broke his neck and triple h is oing to return to the wwe.

what I whant to do today

I want to have a room and in this hotel and to go to swiming also I want to buy my ipod here in chicago and I also want to buy a playstation3 with some of the games I want and I think thats all.

Organizational Database demo

I'm at the Summit, about to demonstrate the organizational database system to a group of Leaders. I'm so excited to be able to share this new tool with Leaders from around the world.

LaJuana Oswalt
Sherwood, AR USA

Empieza la experiencia

Este es mi primer blog... el primero de mi vida. El precio por tener acceso a internet, y un precio que se paga con gusto.

Ayer llegue a Chicago, despues de un viaje accidentanto y laaaargo, con perdida de valija incluida (que por suerte ya aparecio). Hoy empezamos con las reuniones del Global Strategic Planning Summit.

Lo mejor es compartir la energia que se percibe en el ambiente, tantas mujeres juntas con objetivos comunes y ganas de hacer tantas cosas. Y conocer las caras detras de los nombres que ya conocia a traves de internet.

Manhana empieza el trabajo por departamentos, y ahora mejor me voy a terminar de preparar la charla que tengo que dar.

Hi from LLLI Funding Development Department!

Hi to all Conference Attendees!
We welcome all donors to LLLI, past, present, and future. Your support makes it possible for us to support mother and babies worldwide.
With much gratitude,
Pam Oselka, Major Gifts Officer and Linda Ensley, Funding Development Director

LLLA en las conferencias de Chicago!!!!

Estamos felices de estar aqui, nos sentimos con mucha responsabilidad frente a todas ustedes. nos vamos a comunicar por aqui y las invitamos a que nos contesten tambien!!!!.
El equipo de Lideres de Argentina Monica, Silvia, Vero, Ale, Silvia, Virginia, Carla.

Chris Hull

HI there, I am here as an exhibitor for LLL as an Arbonne Consultant RN!!

Lynn Carter #1

La Leche League of Kirksville, MO, USA has just published a book called Birthing Babies: A Collection of Birth Stories from the Heartland. Originally intended to help local women navigate the birth community in Northeast Missouri, Birthing Babies has grown to encompass every birth setting imaginable. 24 stories cover situations from unassisted birth to emergency caesarian. Several moms tell the stories of each of their children and share changes they made in their choices along the way.

We are selling Birthing Babies for only $5 at the World Faire. If we run out (or if you are reading from afar!), shipping within the US is only $1, and worldwide $3. You may email Lynn@kjsl.com for order details.

Lynn Carter #2

So here I am in the Tech Room while my three-year-old daughter runs around. I had expected her to do the museum thing with her father and seven-year-old brother, but this morning she followed me out the door. We made it through the opening remarks of GSPS, and most of Michael Brandwein’s heartening presentation. It helps that no one here is bothered by a three-year-old nursing. Rosie? She’s in heaven! What could be better than sitting in a stationary lap and nursing endlessly? Mom doesn’t do that at home anymore!

Later this morning I sat down with a day planning grid and my conference booklet. I plotted out all my sessions and the Alumni stuff I wanted to do. CE sessions get priority, and lunches are mandatory, since they are paid for. My husband gets to take off without us for a few days at a time for his conferences, so I’m trying to remember that it’s okay for me to call dibs on the things that are important to me. And that there is still lots to be gained here outside of the meeting rooms and official sessions.

Jane's analogy

Jane Tuttle, Chairman of the Board, likened LLL work to a duck seemingly floating effortlessly on the water. However, that duck is paddling furiously beneath the water to make the progress she's making. And sometimes she runs into a patch of lake where there's a lot of branches to paddle through.

While we paddling through the smooth waters and the bumpier waters, the goal is to

CREATE SAFE SPACE. . . for mothers to breastfeed their babies. . . for Leaders to support mothers in breastfeeding their babies. . . .for Leaders to work together to support each other in supporting mothers and babies.

Our Second Blogger!

LLL conference is fun:] like whoa!
:D
-Rachel

Thanks for Tiredness

I went to bed at 7:30 pm last night. What?! Why am I so exhausted, I thought, as I plunged quickly into the depths of deep sleep, the children sent off to finish reading quietly on their own. Wait, I've got things to do ... yes, I did pack 4 sets of clean hole-less underwear four weeks ago ... but that was it! I could end up at the Gala Dinner in bare feet if I don't pack shoes and stockings, stockings? who has stockings? ... my chocolates will be melted if I don't get up now, get dressed, run out to Canadian Tire to pick up a disposable ice pack, do they sell stockings at Canadian Tire? ... and what about getting back down to the computer to figure out how all those wonderful sessions fit into even more empty slots on the Conference Planner ?

At the last local conference the LLLadies and I, legs draped over hotel chair arms, chatted all night it seemed, in a glow of mutual catharsis and discovery ... how can I show up like a virtual rag doll ? Get up ... old body ...get up .... zz zzzzZ ...

Getting ready for the conference is not what I expected. We have even sadly lost one of our co-leaders on this venture in the hullabaloo. It hasn't been chatting and planning with my co-leader Valerie about conference plans like girlfriends going away to summer camp. No doubt in the same situation, from the very beginning of this adventure, Valerie and I have had a handful of 60 second breathless phone calls or emails stolen between busy schedules of juggling children, family, work... family. The calls not about the conference but about such things as last minute fundraising for the group, or putting out fires such as the disaster of our World Breastfeeding Celebration invitation cards being printed, yes in time this year, but with all our partners name on them except for our dear "La Leche League Canada"! Aaarrgghh!

My lack of sleep could be due to my 10 year old's growing pains, squeezing into the King sized family bed for warm hugs and massages in the middle of the night, it could be my 8 year old too exhausted from a day of play in the hot sun falling asleep before the evening bathroom duty was completed and also napping after a long year of school days, then waking up in the middle of the night to read "Gold Quest", and my little nearly five year old doing the bedtime shuffle between his twin bunk bed and Daddy's bed.

DH, bless his heart was not born to LLL, but rather has evolved over the years from a "six month" family bed-der to a nearly "five year limit each, 10 year total" to the family bed-der. Although it doesn't seem that we are lacking too many hours of sleep, somehow we are all walking the baggy eyes zombie walk.

Each day, my house is filled with anywhere from 3 to 8 children before guests.

Yesterday (nine children ages 2 to12) the 2 year old adjourned our World Breastfeeding Celebration Planning Meeting.

Today, over the summer holiday while my co-leaders are on holiday, we conveniently host our #4 Series Meeting "Kid Snacks" at home instead of the usual Mississauga Life Centre. I am so proud of the children, they've each picked or invented a kid snack recipe, purchased their ingredients at the local grocers, and today the show is theirs as they make and bring their kid snack (bugs on a log, peanut butter and banana rolls, cucumber & mozzarella salad, mini pizzas, Asian salad) to the table for our informal LLL Series Meeting.

Tomorrow is birthday day for all the children who have birthdays over the summer while we are away on holiday. They are making their own cupcake mountain and will be very proud to present their masterpiece to their guests.

At 8:30 am on Friday July 20th Valerie and I will sleep in the car while dear hubby drives us all up to Niagara-on-the-Lake to drop my 3 children off at Grandma and Grandpa's house and then off to Buffalo Airport. Valerie and I will catch up on the 1 1/2 hour flight to Chicago ... and I promise after we navigate the train (not down for construction) to the Chicago Hilton, we will arrive fresh and un-melted, totally hyped to meet our dear LLL sisters ... and with shoes to boot!



Monday, July 16, 2007

What am I forgetting?

So you know when you get closer to a trip you start making mental checklist of the things that you will need. I know I must be forgetting something.

My list:
- I have the receipt for my conference registration, which I don’t even look at because I get all excited.

- I have a room booked. I have one roommate and possibly two.

- I have a flight booked.

-I have my attire for the parade of nations. I think I march with the other Ripplewood scholarship recipients so that should be a great picture.

-That’s right I need to pack my camera!

-I wasn’t sure what I was going to do about Sunday so my initial plan was to skip out Sunday morning and find a church. (I have now found a convenient alternative-- contact me if interested.)

-I ordered the Harry Potter book for delivery on Friday at midnight.

- I’ve checked with experienced conference attendees about the “dress code” for gala night.

-I have my Chicago travel books with train and street maps.

-I have a light jacket because I usually get chilly sitting in conference rooms.

-I have to bring a bathing suit so that I can do water aerobics with the other LLL moms in the early morning. I should throw some flip flops in my bag too.

Seriously now---What am I forgetting?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

J-2

je m'appelle Ariane et j'ai 13 ans.

J'habite à Paris et il y a trois mois, j'ignorai encore si j'irai a chicago dans 2 jours.

C'était le jour de l'anniversaire de ma grand-mère et ma mère m'a dit qu'elle partait à Chicago pour une conférence de La Leche Ligue. Je lui est demandé si je pouvait aller avec elle et a ce moment là, je n'avais pas imaginé que trois mois après, je me retrouverais devant mon ordinateur à écire ceci. En fait c'est encore mieux que d'aller aux USA "normalement par-ce que mon frère ne vient pas, je n'y vait que avec ma mère, et ça, c'est trop cool.

Pendant que ma mère sera en conférence, je doit faire du baby-sitting. J'éspère quand même qu'il y aura des moment où je pourrai la voir pour faire quelque chose avec elle.

Enfin bref, je suis très exitée à l'idée d'aller au USA, étant donné que c'est la 1ere fois. J'ai peur que l'avion s'écrase mais a part ça je suis très contente.

Malheureusement, je suis du genre a préparer tout à la dernière minute (on se demande de qui je tient ça, quand on voit ma mère) et je n'ai même pas encore commencé ma valise et je n'ai aucune idée de ce que je vais emporter. Comme d'habitude, le dernier jour (demain), ça va être horrible, ma mère ne va pas retrouver les passeports, je vais me rendre compte que je n'ai pas la moitié des choses que je voulais emporter, mon père va crier qu'on est vraiment pénibles et pas organisée, ma mère va me crier dessus (juste pour le fun) et mon petit frère va juger utile de rajouter une bonne couche de stress en m'énervant pour que je crie, et que ma mère s'énerve encore plus. Le lendemain, avant de partir pour l'aéroport (où on arrivera environ 1h plus tard que ce ma mère avait décidé) ça va être la course par-ce que on est toujours, toujours, toujours, en retard pour tout, tout, tout. Une fois dans l'avion, je vais me rendre compte que j'ai oublié quelque chose de super important.

Mais c'est pas très grave par-ce que je sais que j'ai énormément de chance d'y aller et je suis super contente.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Dear LLLC-Mississauga Group

Dear LLLC-Mississauga Group,

Wish me luck! Valerie (from LLLC Brampton Group) and I are off to Chicago July 20—24th, 2007 for La Leche League’s 20th International Conference and 50th Anniversary Celebrations. Valerie and I are both lucky recipients of the Ripplewood Scholarship which has generously sponsored the conference fees for 50 LLL Leaders worldwide, 10 of us from Canada.

We are ready with our Canadian flag pins to give away and our red and white T-shirts that all of the Canadian Leaders (approximately 40-50 of us ?) will wear in the International Parade of Countries (I feel like a Breastfeeding Olympian!). I’ve got my formal cheong sam already rolled up and my throw away heels in my carry-on for the Founder’s Gala Dinner and I look forward to meeting the women who started La Leche League from their own backyard or park picnic, so to speak, 50 years ago.

Passports, hitch-hiking to Buffalo for the cheap flights, weekend at Grandma and Pa’s for the kid’s and Dad, Laura Secord maple chocolates for trading with my international co-leaders, reservations in a world class hotel with 3 amazing room mates from Brampton, Fredericton- Atlantic Canada, and Colorado, USA. Clean hole-less underwear. I’m all set!

We look forward to sharing with all of you all the up to date information, tips, and enthusiasm we pick up from all the mothers from around the world that we meet at the conference. Hopefully we will be able to share some wonderful “Enrichment Meetings” with you next season. No doubt we will feel that we are very lucky here in Canada … but that we have lots of work yet to do!

I will be taking all of you with me in my heart, as I look proudly upon our homemade quilt squares decorating the stage, and as I meet all the wonderful LLL mothers at the conference, sharing all the tips that all of you have taught me over the years. I thank you all for making our “tribe” here in Mississauga, Canada "rock!" making ripples from our own backyards to the world!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Two Weeks and Counting

Two weeks?! Surely there is some mistake with my calendar. Wasn’t it just yesterday that the conference was months away? Now, I have just fourteen days to get everything done. I woke up at 4:23 this morning (well, actually my son woke me up to tell me he had just had a good dream (that’s nice sweetie, thanks) I lay awake thinking of all the jobs that need to get done before I leave. I never did get back to sleep.

This is my first International Conference, and I am very excited. I’ve seen other Leaders come back glowing and gushing about them. I can’t wait to experience it for myself. I am looking forward to meeting some of the women with whom I have exchanged emails. I do look Leaders up on the CN to see if there is a picture available, a feature I love. But that just can't compare with a face-to-face meeting.

But I am also very nervous. I will be away from my family for a whole week. We decided that taking the family wasn’t going to work well for us. I know that they will be fine. My husband is importing Grandma for back-up for the week. The kids are very excited that they will spend a whole week with Grandma. But I have this nagging feeling in my gut that just won’t go away. I am really going to miss them. I have been making cards and letters for the kids so that they each have one to open each day I am gone. I even bought some Webkinz trading cards to put in the letters (insurance that letters from Mom would be exciting). I know they will make it through without me, I'm not sure I will do as well without them. Wish me luck.

Well, I need to go bake an apple pie (the ultimate American dessert for Independence Day) Besides, the kids want to get on the computer to water their Webkinz gardens.

Happy 4th of July to all my fellow Americans, happy Wednesday to everyone else!

Bobbie

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Good Eats

Good Eats …..

My family is really into food. We spend a lot of time talking about food, preparing it and best of all eating.

For his eighth birthday my son requested clams made by the chef down the street. If we have a carving for good Chinese food we’ll take the hour long trip to Boston. Got a craving for cornbread, just give me twenty-five minutes and it will be satisfied.

The fact that my family loves food strikes the non-LLL families we know as surprising. To a non-LLL person we seem very finicky. My kids won’t eat some of the snacks that are offered at school. We rarely eat fast food (mention going to McDonald’s and my kids pretend to dry heave.) Non-LLL people see this and think we must eat only nuts and berries.

LLL families know better so I’m sure that no one is surprised to know that I’m already thinking about what I’m going to eat in Chicago.

The last time I was in Chicago, which was ten years ago, I was helping a friend move. I still remember an awesome meal I had there in their Little Italy section in a restaurant that looked like they just moved tables into someone’s house right after they moved out. It was glazed in balsamic vinegar and so tender it fell of the bone.

So I have leads on a few good places to eat ……I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

**********************************************************************************

Comida buena…

A mi familia le gusta comer. Pasamos mucho tiempo hablando sobre la comida, preparando comida y comiendo.

Para su cumpleaños mi hijo pidío almejas preparadas por la vecina que es cocinera. Cuando queremos comer comida china buena hacemos el viaje a Boston, más de una hora. Si quieres pan de maiz, tel lo hago en viente-cinco minutos.

El hecho que nos gusta tanto la comida sorprende las familias que no son de la Liga de Leche. A una persona que no tiene afiliación con La Leche nuestra familia es demasiado exigente con la comida. Mis hijos no comen algunos de los bocadillos que sirven en la escuela. Casi nunca comemos la comida rapida. (A mencionar, “McDonald’s” mis hijos se hacen los enfermos.) La gente que no es de La Leche cree que solamente comemos nueces y bayas.

Las familias de La Leche saben comer bien y no se sorprenden cuando les digo que ya estoy pensando en lo que ya voy a comer en Chicago.

La última vez que viajé a Chicago, hace diez años, comí una comida sabrosa en la seccíon de “Little Italy.” El restaurante parecía una casa común. Pedí un pollo con vinagre balsámico. Era tan tierno que no se necesitaba cuchillo.

Yo ya tengo unas ideas en que restaurantes voy a visitar...Te digo donde voy a comer—si me dices donde vas a comer.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Getting there....

Getting there…

I’ve watched many of my Leaders come back from International conference floating on air. They are completely blissed out and they can’t say enough about the experience. I’ve always wanted to attend International but there has always been one thing stopping me---Money!!

I read articles on how Leaders raised the funds to attend International with much interest. I kept my eyes open for scholarship applications until I saw the Ripplewood Foundation scholarship. After a bit of scrambling, I managed to get the application in on time.

I got it!!! The only sad thing is that the scholarship was designed for those that would be traveling alone. No family trek to Chicago. I was going to be on my own for this one. Gulp. I haven’t been without my family --ever.

Even with the Ripplewood Scholarship, which generously pays for the conference registration, I still needed to figure out how to pay for room and board. I turned to my La Leche League Area, which is always so helpful, and they kicked in some cash. Still there was a deficit and I decided to take care of it the old fashioned way. I got a job. Actually, I got two.

One of my jobs, was a work at home position with very flexible part time hours. So for several months I sat at home and typed my little fingers raw for my friend’s transcription business. Then I had a dream part time job pretty much fall into my lap. I get to coordinate fitness clinics for a local non-profit. Get this—I get paid to exercise with children. Yes it really couldn’t get any better but it was only a few hours a season and the transcription job was what really made it possible for me to save money.

My husband helped me budget my earnings. Every week we would meet and figure out if I was staying on budget if I was saving enough. These weren’t fun meetings because even though I don’t usually have a lot of money, when I do have it I’m awfully good at spending it.

In a matter of months, I had earned enough to make it to Chicago. That was a pretty big load off my shoulders. It isn’t that I hate working but I have to admit that several hours of sitting on the computer was taking its toll on my household. I just baked muffins for the first time in months because I no longer have any deadlines hanging over my head.

Of course, none of this will matter in about a month when I’m in Chicago having a ball. Still I thought that it would be cool to share on how I got to attend International. I know I can’t be the only one working hard to get there.

To all you hard working mamas—BESOS!!!

**********************************************************************************

Yo he visto lideres regresar de la conferencia internacional flotando en las nubes. Vuelven felices y no puden describir la experiencia. ¡¡Yo siempre he querido asistir a la conferencia internacional pero siempre he tenido el mismo obstáculo—el dinero!!

Con mucho interés, he leido los artículos sobre los lideres adquiriendo los fondos necesarios para asistir a la conferencia internacional con mucha interes. Me quedé alerta buscando aplicaciones de beca. Vi la informacion sobre la beca de “Ripplewood Foundation.” Y la pedí. Claro, que entregé a aplicación en los últimos momentos.

¡¡Gane la beca!! Lo triste fue que la beca Ripplewood es para los que viajan solos. No puede ser una exursion para la familia. Tengo que viajar sola. Imagínate--- yo que nunca estoy sin mi familia.

La beca paga por la registración pero todavía me tocaba buscar dinero para el hotel y los otros gastos. La Liga del Leche local me ayudó con un poco de dinero. Pero todavía tenía un déficit y yo arreglé el problema en una manera muy tradicional. Consegí trabajo. Acutalmente consegí dos trabajos.

Uno de los trabjaos, era en casa con unas horas muy flexibles. Por varios meses me maté trabjando en la computadora para la compañia de una amiga. Tambien me gané un trabajo ideal. Es un trabjo de coordinar clinicas de ejercicios y buen salud para una organización sin ánimo de lucro. Me pagan por ser ejercios con niños. Es un trabjao perfecto pero es de pocas horas. Por eso fue el trabjo de computadoras que me ayudo ahorar el dinero necesario.

Mi esposo me ayudó ahorar y presupuestar mi sueldo. Cada semana tuvimos reuniones para examinar el presopuesto y hacer cuentas. Estas reuniones eran difíciles. Para mi ahorrar el dinero es difícil, pero gastarlo me viene muy naturalmente.

En unos mesos de trabajo ahoré el dinero que me faltaba. ¡Que alivio! No es que no me gusta trabajar pero yo noté que las horas de trabajo estaban afectando mi familia. Hoy coci al horno para la primera vez en meses. Tengo más tiempo porque no tengo que preocuparme sobre el trabajo.

Claro que en un mes voy a estar disfrutarme en Chicago. Yo quería contar lo que me tocó hacer para llegar a Chicago porque yo sé que no soy la única trabajando duro.

Para todas las madres trabajando duro para llegar a Chicago---Besos!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sling-Boy

My nearly five year old son, Ethan, proudly went to Jr. Kindergarten today with Big Panda and Little Panda in his hot pink 60's paisley Heart to Heart sling... tandem.

My heart leapt.

With joy, initially...say if he were going off to a NiNi Meeting or a LLL Conference.

Then dread ... as I imagined the flack he might get from people who have never seen:

a) babies worn in a sling all morning long
b) a human daddy caring for his twin panda bears
c) one panda who loves dinosaurs and another who loves trucks riding in the same sling.
d) pink paisley from the 60's

I quickly gave him the junior low-down on the benefits of the baby carrying, and the who-does-it world wide, as ammunition against any baby-wearing doubters that might cross his path today. He nodded his head in agreement, satisfied that he was taking the best and easiest care of his babes.

My neighbor's nanny from Nepal agreed all her babies were carried that way and on the back too!

My heart leapt with joy again at the bus stop when Ethan's Sr. Kindergarten buddy, Ryan, came up lovingly to ask about his bears and administer the tenderest of hugs and kisses to them. None of the other grade 1-5 children at the bus stop did anything more than glance over at the proud Panda Dad who was hoping to convince his teacher to change his "Show and Tell" day to today.

That last little face peering out of the bus window waving good-bye happily ... sigh ...

Yes ... back to the lists ... the TO DO lists ... less than 5 weeks to go for my LLLI conference!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Cafe Con Leche

My co-leader Valerie and I love this concept, especially the name. Cafe con Leche. Coffee with Milk. Valerie speaks Spanish, I speak French. It has a good bite to it. The name sounds like it could be a worldly and cosy cousin to La Leche League. Part of this millennium's phenomenon.

Times have changed.

Even Bake Sales I've heard, can no longer sell home baked goods - only store bought goods. Not sure how people make money or enjoy community treasures that way, but apparently it is to maintain standards of quality, cleanliness, and maybe peanut free-ness. Having worked in both the food service industry and the food processing industry, and personally not being able to keep up even close to "Fly Lady" standards in my kitchen, I still beg to differ about store bought being better than home-made.

At my Ikenobo Ikebana (Japanese Fresh Flower Arranging) Sensei's 1st Arrangement of the Season Annual Potluck, my lady friends bring the best takeout in Mississauga. There is no time, no will, no know-how to whip something up homemade, and the takeout is remarkable and cheap. I appreciate sharing these "secret" finds of the best of the best takeout in town, sometimes we just don't have time to roll a hundred sashimi, which my son Sam could gobble down in five minutes, and to tell you the truth, my Godzilla sushi's just don't go over all that well. I am out of practice, after all, we are ladies busy enjoying our flowers.

Even at La Leche League gatherings in the city, rarer are the days of the homemade potluck dishes of old family recipes or new homemade experiments.

One of the reasons my co-leaders and myself appreciate conferences and leader days is the shot of adrenaline that you get from the ether that glows throughout LLL events. It helps boost our moral after years of dribbling memberships, enrichment and series meetings, the emergence of poorly copy cat breastfeeding buddies and clinics, etc. and wondering at the back of our minds if LLL is obsolete ... or rather, the way LLL reaches out to people is obsolete. The conference get togethers helps us to glean fresh ideas, and maintain the old ideas that are the key to what LLL is and what has held firm and true after all these years.

Not all things modern are better, as we well know, and it takes time for science to catch up to mother nature, but sometimes you have to step out of the box to find where your potential tribe is hanging out.

And I don't even drink coffee!

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

World Breastfeeding Celebration 2007

We had one of our World Breastfeeding Celebration Planning Meetings today (our LLLC WALK). LLLC Brampton Group and LLLC Mississauga Group have been working together with Peel Public Health for the last few years to make a bigger event (in a major mall this year), more awareness (where is that media?), and a working relationship with each other. One of the attractions at this event is the Quintessence record breaking "Latch-On". Alas, last year, my youngest (4 year old) spotted the cheese doodles, the 50th LLLI Anniversary Cake, in chocolate, and wanted nothing to do with latching on cue, luckily too for the sensitivities of the newbie mothers. DS is a slight boy compared to his nursing sister at that same age (who somewhat gave me the nursing EBGB's being just short of the size of a small adult) ... he on the other hand has this cowboy swagger like he's pulling up to the bar when he asks for his "ni-ni".

My two co-leaders from Brampton Group, Valerie (also a scholarship recipient) and Cheryl will be attending the conference and sharing a room with me. We were accredited around the same time and our three children each are all close in age. Between family, work, and volunteer work, we have all not had many moments to spare to catch up on conference e-mails or communicate with each other about the conference ... just these rush e-mail notes or whispers stolen to each other at monthly WBW planning meetings between needy bobbing heads, "The scholarship deadline is tomorrow!", "The airfare just jumped $20. overnight!", "I've booked us into the hotel with the two bathrooms!", "Have you picked your sessions?", "You've got to sign up for the Harry Potter!", "I've got my Canadian Flag pins and my Laura Secord Canadian maple leaf chocolates", "Fill this card out for customs for your camera", "Don't forget your red & white for the parade"... barely a moment to respond ... I say, we'll have an hour on the airplane to catch up!

I'm not sure how I can fulfill my scholarship requirements to share my experience with others (I can barely figure out how to make a living, or carve out my new "after children attend full day school" career). Valerie is a passionate global thinker and takes wonderful photographs. Cheryl is a calm, thoughtful, sensitive person who has a remarkably organized home and work life. I wonder how I can translate these chaotic mumbled thoughts up in my head that merely amuse myself no end into something useful ... take a picture, sing a song, tell a joke, write a story ... ? Such an introvert that I am, but it's true that from behind the scenes, I think that I like to make a good party. I guess that's why I'm on the World Breastfeeding Celebration Planning team.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Quilt Squares from Mississauga, Ontario

Hello gentle hearts,

There's so much I'd like to chat about with you all, I think I could get lost in it all. Imagine a whole conference full of awesome women like you! I would be hard pressed to come home again! It's been great reading everyone's BLOG's and getting to know everyone a wee bit.

I hear those of you who are already missing your children who will be left behind. I'm having a bit of anxiety over handing over duty from "the watchful mother's 3rd eye" myself. DH and the children will be visiting GM & GP in the beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake getting spoiled silly. I can already anticipate the aching let-down like tears welling up in my 'must be dry by now' breast when I see all the babes and mothers, my own arms light and fidgety as I fly free from my own nest for this short whirlwind visit with you.

Out of a thousand topics I could ramble on, I want to tell you about our Quilt Squares that the children, group mothers and leaders from LLLC-Mississauga Group made for the Conference backdrop. I thought it would be a very cool way to bring along the spirit of those dear ones who were not attending the conference in body. We've made over a dozen squares all flagged with the red maple leaf. I hope that enough squares were received to make up the back drop. I can't wait to see them all together!

My 10 year old son, Sam, decorated his quilt square with a breast like volcano erupting with mother's milk and a small joyful boy leaping in the air mouth open to catch the milk droplets spewing in the air.

My 8 year old daughter, Kate, drew a picture of a mother, babe in sling on top of the world with such a face of peace, pride, power and LLLove. And although originally her drawing was not a picture of me, but a Himalayan women atop a mountain, when I saw her drawing, I thought, that it looked like what I feel like, what LLL has given to me.

My 4 year old son, Ethan, inspired a quilt square dedicated to Stompin' Tom Connors, a true Canadian unsung hero and next to Santa Claus, number two in Ethan's books. What's not to love? Stompin Tom loves Canada, hockey, story time, a good party, potatoes, and he knows that no matter how poor and wretched you may be, it makes no difference if you've got your mom. He also has an amazing and gifted cognitive memory that extends back to when he was 9 months old. In his autobiography he puts into words his baby memory "...extension ... myself...she ...a nipple... need ...belonging... the most important feeling a child can have". I have shortened it to the essence to fit the quilt square ... but it rings true to my mother's heart.

Another quilt square was inspired by Sam's Canadian hero, Craig Kielburger, founder of Free the Children, advocate to educate and relieve the suffering of child labourers, and co-founder of the child led movement "Me to We" . The me to we, I thought was one of the great lessons my children have brought to light for me starting with our breastfeeding experience.

Another quilt square was inspired by another dear famous Canadian, Pierre Berton. Who was to know so many men would inspire a quilt square for a La Leche League International 50th Anniversary stage backdrop?! Pierre Berton's quote in his autobiography, My Times: 1947-1995 was "Babies are the easiest to manage - especially if they're breast-fed." Need I say more.

And my favourite quilt square made by my co-leaders 4 year old daughter, Hope, titled "Babies". It says it all.