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.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Karen's LLLI 2007 Conference Blog


Well! I'm overwhelmed! The butterflies are churning, and that's a good thing, I suppose, because I'm trying something new, all the while trying to keep that bubbling stew of challenge from going over the edge of the pot.

Blogging, Ripplewood Scholarship responsibilities, like a mother hen (read control freak) gathering my co-leaders together to travel and room together or if not, feel a part of it all, imagining fundraising opportunities, collecting souvenirs for our Canadian Parade and Table, planning to stuff everything and the kitchen sink into a carry on luggage, not to mention the dubious discount travel via Buffalo. And one of these wee hours in the morning, soon, before July 20th, I will read my enormous collection of conference emails to find out more about all the wonderful activities planned for our LLLI 50th Anniversary.

This is just what's in my head. I haven't actually done anything yet.

This year seems to be quite the milestone for me. It is my 15th wedding anniversary with Mark, whom I first met in Grade 7 French Immersion on the South Shore of Montreal where we grew up. He loves the mini machine of old analog watches and I have to convince him that the traditional 15 year anniversary gift of "time piece" is bad Chinese luck to give your partner - it hints "your time is up". Not that I am so superstitious, just that I doubt a watch will be much help for my incorrigible time management skills.

It is my 10th anniversary of being Mom to other than my 4 legged furry babies, and I suppose we are winding down on the 10 years of nursing too (Sam 10, Kate 8, Ethan 4). And finally, it is my 5th anniversary as a La Leche League Leader.

I am so looking forward to meeting you all. I'll be the very calm and quiet one. You won't see the run-on sentences and cacophony that spins in my head here ;-)

Happy Victoria Day!


May 21st, 2007, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Welcome to the Group Blog!

Hi to everyone reading this blog!

You may be asking: What on earth is a "shared group blog"?

Well, we Technology Room workers thought it would be fun to have a communal, informal blog. That way, anyone attending the Conference will be able to drop by the Tech Room to make a quick entry telling their Conference stories and reflections - that interesting Conference session, encounters with old friends and new, greetings to family at home, or whatever comes to mind. You get the idea. :)

In exchange for posting in our shared blog, we will allow drop-in bloggers to use an allotted time period on a Tech Room computer to check email, post to their personal blog, and the like. (I am not sure if we have decided yet how much time will be allotted to each blogger.)

We had a great response to our announcements requesting Conference bloggers. Some are already blogging in their individual LLLI Conference blogs, which are linked to this page - or will be, when I finish typing up the links. :)

We are inviting others who expressed an interest in blogging about the Conference to start blogging here, since we had too many potential bloggers to make individual blogs for each of them. If you will be attending the Conference and would like to join in the blogging fun, send an email to us:

If you will be reading from home and enjoying our Virtual Conference, please leave comments for us and all the bloggers. Bloggers love to know that you are reading. :)

Finally, it is my personal feeling that we need a better name for this blog than "Shared Group Blog." If you have a good suggestion for a name for this blog, please leave us a comment, telling us your idea.

Hope to read lots of blog posts and comments from all of you!

~Judie, on behalf of the 2007 LLLI Conference Technology Room Team