Please note: "Next blog" button will load a random, non-LLL blog. Click at your own risk.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

the fat lady sang

Well, it's all over. We checked out of the hotel this morning and we're now visiting my brother. I wanted to make one last post, even though I don't know if anyone is still reading! Of course, in typical pregnant lady fashion, I've forgotten the key things I wanted to blog about.

I really enjoyed the conference as a whole. I am not sure I could handle three days of three sessions each even when not pregnant. It's a lot of sitting and paying attention, which gets exhausting, somehow. Especially considering that the lunches also include talks with sitting and listening. I think that for the next conference I attend I have to make sure not to lump my CE sessions so close together. I need the fun parenting energizing ones in the middle to break it up.

I am looking forward to the area conference in October, even though I managed to volunteer myself to "work" on it.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

bad thing, more rita, LC thoughts

I did a bad thing this morning. I bought a sling! I did get a "last day of conference discount," and I didn't have to pay shipping, and I got a sling I've been wanting for a while (a stretch cotton Zolowear) in a fabric I like (the Hamptons fabric), and she's only going to have it for about a month. Is that enough reasons? Plus, Darien also said that if I find a buyer for the other Zolowear slings I have that I can send them to her for new rings and she will send it to the buyer. Hopefully that will encourage someone to buy it. We'll see, right? Erik won't kill me.

I went to another Rita talk this morning. She was great. She was talking about making time (and giving yourself permission) to take care of yourself. I think I do a fairly good job of treating myself to things (see the sling, above), but I don't always make time for myself to relax, and I think I need to do that and I will!

I talked to someone from IBLCE today and got clarification about the CEUs. I did need to buy the book and pay for the units so that I would get attendance certificates from the conference. Each session gives me two CEUs (for the two hour sessions), and I assume one for the luncheon sessions, since the talk part was only one hour. Also, the other prerequisite classes are available online, and those don't expire, so I should start doing those soon. Maybe I can do a couple before the baby comes. Once the baby comes, this is going to have to take a backseat for a while, for sure.

I am not sure if I will get a chance to post again. I'm about to go off to the last luncheon and I think I'm going to skip my CE session this afternoon because I'm feeling a bit too stressed running from room to room for CEUs that might expire before I need them. I want to shop in the bookstore a bit and maybe get to come back and post another blog entry that isn't a list of things that I did, but is thoughts on my conference experience!

Maybe I'll "talk" to you later!

Monday, July 04, 2005

more about yesterday, procrastination, sleep, ABM marketing

Yesterday afternoon I attended a CE session called, "The Risks of Not Breastfeeding." I am learning so much here about the wonder of human milk and the many ways in which artificial baby milk just doesn't measure up. I did not know, for example, that the central nervous system is not mature until puberty, but that it has its most significant growth in the first two years, when a child should be nursing and should be receiving the good fats in human milk for proper myelinization of the neurons. I also didn't know that all the baby teeth are formed in utero and that once a baby is born it is using the calcium in human milk to form the permenant teeth. The second half of the session was about strategies for promoting exclusive nursing for six months. If we keep having large numbers of pregnant moms come to our group, I will have a chance to practice this!

Yesterday evening was the World Faire. Niels liked collecting the stamps for his "passport" and he really liked the music and dancing. He danced around and made friends with other kids while I bought some souvenirs and pins for our group workers. It was amazingly crowded there!

This morning I attended a session on co-sleeping with Dr. Paul Fleiss. I learned a few tips on how to ensure a better night's sleep but it mostly reinforced the necessity of sleeping with my babies. I'm very glad that I do!

The luncheon session was on overcoming procrastination. I certainly need help with that. The speaker was Rita Emmett, and she was very entertaining. I signed up for her tip sheet so maybe I can incorporate her strategies into my life and stop staring at the clutter in my house and wishing that I had taken the time to clean it up!

This afternoon's session was another CE session, this time about counteracting the marketing of infant formula. I am not going to have that many chances as a leader to do much about it, but I did learn a lot of the ways that the marketing is being done, and ways that I could complain to the FTC about the marketing that is misleading and to the FDA about the health claims that they make. DHA and ARA are not proven to make a baby smarter! On a side note, did you know that DHA is made from fermented microalgae and ARA from soil fungus and ARA is extracted with hexane. HEXANE! I did not know that and I am pretty sure that I wouldn't want anything with hexane anywhere near one of my babies. Would you? I didn't think so.

Tomorrow is the last day. On one hand each day seems very long, and on the other hand I can't believe that it's all almost over.

so much to blog about, so little time

I haven't had enough chances to get to the tech room and blog, I have so much that I want to write about. I hope I can get it all down before it's time for the luncheon session.

First of all, I want to mention that I got some great ideas from the LLLIConf email list. The ladies there suggested the following that have been incredibly helpful: using a soft-sided cooler as a carry-on bag to bring snacks on the plane, calling the hotel to request a fridge for our room and packing small clothing like underpants (and toddler clothes) in 2.5 gallon ziploc bags. Pure genius.

My clothing solutions have worked. I have some less casual than usual maternity pants, so I have been wearing those with longer shirts or a couple of maternity shirts. I feel presentable and not too hot (or too cold).

Yesterday's luncheon session was wonderful. It was presented by an immunologist about all the things that breastmilk does for baby besides providing nutrition. The one thing that I found most interesting was that there is a chemosignal put out by breastfeeding mothers causes increased libido in women with a regular partner, or increased sexual fantasy in women without a regular partner. He then mentioned that certain famous people seated on an airplane near a nursing mother might get these signals and not know what to do with them. That might make them uncomfortable, fearful and angry, and then they might go on TV and say strange things about breastfeeding. Really, we shouldn't be angry at those people, we should feel bad for them. So there, Barbara!

I need to run down to get to the luncheon, later today I will come back and post about my afternoon session: The Risks of Not Breastfeeding, the World Faire and this morning's session: Sweet Dreams, helping your child sleep better.

Busy, busy!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

things I forgot from yesterday, opening session

I forgot to mention that Maya Wrap also has a new sling with a padded shoulder, which looks really comfortable to me. I don't like a fully padded sling, but a padded shoulder can be very comfortable. It also sits much more easily on the shoulder than the shoulder cap, it's more intuitive to put on, I think it will make slings easier to "get" for a lot of moms.

I can tell that I am truly sling obsessed. I laid awake last night thinking about how many of my personal slings I'd like to sell (three cotton Zolos, two Maya Wraps, perhaps my two MamaBabys) and what I'd like to replace them with (a stretch cotton Zolowear, a padded shoulder MayaWrap and maybe a Maya mei tai). I feel like I should try the Maya mei tai because I think our group should sell them along with the slings, and if I like it better, I might sell my Kozy. Of course, my Kozy hasn't been used much, since Niels went on a sling strike shortly after I got it. See? Obsessed.

This morning I attended the opening general session, "From Head to Toe: Breastfeeding Makes a Difference." The speaker was Ros Escott, an IBCLC from Australia who is the Regional Administrator of the Australian Office for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. The first thing she said was that she wanted to change the title to, "Artificially babies are different from Head to Toe." I need to continue to remind myself to use that language, that breastfeeding is the norm and that babies fed artificial milk are the ones who are different. She listed ways in which breastfed and artificially fed babies differ in each system of the body. It was really interesting. One thing that stuck out at me was the fact that breastfed babies tend to be taller, and in particular, they tend to have longer legs rather than a longer torso. I always tell people that Niels didn't get his height from me, in particular his long legs, but maybe he did!

Since I am signed up for continuing education credits I tried to take thorough notes from the session, but there was just so much information! Luckily, when you get the CE credits they give you a syllabus for all the CE sessions, so the studies that Escott cited in her talk are listed there, so I can read more about the studies that interest me.

My next CE session is the luncheon. The title is, "Human Milk: It's More Than Just Food." I am looking forward to it!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

first official day

After we slept ourselves out last night, I attended my first pre-conference workshop. I attended "Career Paths in Lactation." I learned a bit about what I would need to do to become an IBCLC. One important piece of information I picked up was that it is going to take me five years to meet the eligibility requirement of 2500 hours of breastfeeding consultancy, I get 500 per year as an LLLL. I thought I could buy some down with more CEs, which I can, but it's a lot, so I don't know if that is feasible.

I ended up leaving the workshop early to go to the exhibit hall. I met Darien from Zolowear and fell in love with the new Hamptons stretch cotton sling. She didn't have any here, so I didn't buy one, but I am going to try to sell my other cotton slings to get one, I think. It's fabulous! I also met Kelley of Kozy Carrier. She had some gorgeous prints too, but I love my Kozy so I'm not trading it in. Darien also had a gorgeous black solarveil sling with a print pocket that I really liked. I wanted to buy it, but Erik thought it was too early to be buying a sling to use next summer with the baby that isn't here yet. Silly Erik.

I went to the Maya Wrap booth to introduce myself to Susan. I found out that they are working on not one, but two Mei Tai like carriers! One will be from the Maya Wrap fabrics and will have wide, unpadded straps which felt very comfortable to me when I tried it on. The other is smaller, and better for a newborn baby. It made partially from a thick cotton, like the Kozy, partially from a stretchy interlock like the MamaBaby (the woman designing it is the same that created the MamamBaby). The other thing Maya had was some new solids. A gorgeous bright orange (that was a mistake, supposed to be red) and bright yellow, a burnt orange and a grass green. I loved them all and was pleased to see more colors. I'm even tempted to replace my plain one for a bright new color! I think I'll sell some of my old slings first, to make sure Erik's head doesn't explode.

So far I am really enjoying the conference. Erik and Niels spent two hours in the playroom. Erik says they have trains, so Niels was in heaven. Speaking of trains, I gave him his Douglas (the Scottish twin engine from Thomas) to go with the Donald that mom had given him a couple of days ago. He was very pleased. He's almost gotten good at holding up three fingers. Happy Birthday, Niels!

Friday, July 01, 2005

arrived an all checked in

We arrived in DC last night after a long but uneventful day of travel. There was a brief moment of thinking that we weren't going to get on the plane because of overbooking, but we got on and we got three seats together, which is always a good thing.

Slightly panicking seems to be the theme of this trip so far. I just checked in and at first they said they couldn't find my registration in the computer. He did though, and I'll all checked in. My first preconference session is tomorrow afternoon, so I just have to find a way to survive the unbearable DC heat until then.

We went to the Zoo today, which isn't the best way to deal with the heat, unless you stay in one of the lovely air-conditioned buildings, but we didn't. Luckily, Amazonia was crowded, because Erik wanted to go in, and I couldn't stand the thought. Whew.

arrived an all checked in

We arrived in DC last night after a long but uneventful day of travel. There was a brief moment of thinking that we weren't going to get on the plane because of overbooking, but we got on and we got three seats together, which is always a good thing.

Slightly panicking seems to be the theme of this trip so far. I just checked in and at first they said they couldn't find my registration in the computer. He did though, and I'll all checked in. My first preconference session is tomorrow afternoon, so I just have to find a way to survive the unbearable DC heat until then.

We went to the Zoo today, which isn't the best way to deal with the heat, unless you stay in one of the lovely air-conditioned buildings, but we didn't. Luckily, Amazonia was crowded, because Erik wanted to go in, and I couldn't stand the thought. Whew.

Monday, June 27, 2005

a wrench in the clothing issue

I didn't tell you in the last post, but another reason that clothing is going to be problematic is that I am 11 weeks pregnant. I have sorted through some maternity stuff that one of my co-leaders loaned me and various "transition" items that I've purchased, and I think I can remain presentable through the three days I am attending conference sessions (the 2nd through the 4th). Whew.

I have even started packing. Someone on the LLLIConf Yahoo! group suggested packing small clothing items in 2 gallon ziploc bags. I can't believe that I never discovered 2 gallon ziploc bags before! I think I am in love. I feel much better about the TSA folks pawing through my suitcase if my undies are safely contained.

I found and then lost again my conference registration, so I can't tell you what sessions I'm registered for. It doesn't matter though, I'm very excited about the whole experience. Well, other than the heat in DC. It's never humid here in the Bay Area and it's supposed to be 90 degrees and very humid in DC when we arrive. Yuck. I might even have to bring an umbrella! The horrors. You can hardly tell that I lived in DC for six years, can you? (My husband is suggesting that I petition for the next conference to be in Hawaii in January. I'll get right on that, dear.)

This will be my last post before leaving. We fly out on Thursday morning, so I will post on Friday, if possible, or Saturday after my pre-conference workshop. See you there!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

what to wear!?

The leaders on the CN are worrying about what to wear to the conference. I was a bit worried about the heat, but other than that I was just going to wear what I always wear. (Read: VERY casual clothing.) Now I'm feeling like I should be dressing up! Oh NO! Just what I need!

Panic time?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

things to do and pack

I have lots to do and, of course, pack before our trip. I need to do mundane things like stop the mail and papers and reserve a rental car for driving from DC to visit my brother once the conference is over. I also need to make a packing list, or at least start piling stuff up. I don't feel like I can pack our clothes until it's much closer, since we can't exactly stop wearing everything. I have this horrible tendency to overpack. Hopefully I will find a way around it this time.

There are a few things I absolutely can not forget though:
  • Niels' quilt - he doesn't appear that attached to it, until we go somewhere without it.
  • Digital camera - what good is a vacation if not properly documented.
  • Camera charger - see above.
  • iPod and charger - entertainment for Niels and me too!
  • Notebook and pens for taking notes during sessions.
  • Non-dairy snacks for Niels for the airplane - in case the "vegan" airplane meal is inedible.
  • Knitting - little danger of me forgetting this, though.

    I'm sure there is something I should be adding to that list. I will perhaps add to this post later.

    The thing I can't figure out is if I have to find the paperwork I received when I registered for the conference. I am hoping they'll give me a list of my sessions and all that. I am assuming they will!

    For some reason I am getting very nervous about this trip. I used to be a good traveller, but I haven't been doing enough of it recently, I suppose.

  • Tuesday, May 31, 2005


    It has suddenly occurred to me that tomorrow is June 1st and we are leaving at the end of June for the conference. I feel like I should run upstairs and start packing now!

    Actually, I really want to pick out my knitting project for at the conference. I've been participating - okay, mostly just lurking - on a knitting discussion list on the LLL CN. I want to have something cool and fun to show off, but also portable. I bought Vivian Hoxbro's Domino Knitting in February and have yet to knit something from it. I think it will be the perfect sized project for the airplane. I can just bring some small circumference circular needles and cotton yarn. No fuss, no muss, nothing confiscated! Hopefully this time I won't leave my knitting accessories bag on an airplane headed for France. Oops.

    It's funny, isn't it. I start thinking about something productive like packing and my mind turns immediately to thoughts of knitting. I guess you all know what I do when I'm supposed to be doing other things now.

    Friday, May 27, 2005

    conference with a kid

    My husband and son are coming with me to the conference this year. My husband didn't want to sign up for any sessions, but we did get him a registration so that he will be able to use the playroom with my son. We may haved lived in the DC area for 6 (me) and 3 (him) years, but we have grown accustomed to the cooler, less humid summers in California and neither one of us are looking forward to experiencing it again.

    To avoid most of the heat I think Erik will be taking Niels to the national mall to visit the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. I am hoping that those two places will keep them occupied for at least two days. I am actually expecting that they will be able to spend two days in Air and Space alone, but that might be expecting much for a three year old.

    Niels' birthday conicides with the conference. He is allergic to dairy, so I have looked up where the closest Whole Foods is to the hotel. (Except I think it's actually a Fresh Fields.) At any rate, I will be walking over there to get food for Niels and I to eat, so I am hoping to be able to order a dairy free cake for his birthday too! I usually bake his cakes, and can substitute for the dairy. I'm feeling slightly guilty that I'll be distracted from him on his birthday, so I need to do something to make it special. Motherly guilt is a powerful thing.

    Monday, May 23, 2005


    I am really looking forward to attending the conference in DC. Part of the reason we are going is that we used to live there, and we were able to combine the trip with a visit to my brother's family near Philadelphia. I am going to have to come up with other reasons why we need to go to the 2007 conference in Chicago, since we don't know anyone there.

    We are arriving early and will be visiting friends a bit before the conference starts. I am also signed up for a preconference workshop on career paths to becoming an IBCLC. As of this moment, with my almost-three-year-old toddler, I can not imagine having a job again, but I think it will take me several years to make it down the path to where I feel comfortable taking the exam. Perhaps by the time I am ready to take the exam, I will also be ready to work outside of the home again. As they say, I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

    In April 2003 I attended our area conference. At that point I was stalled in my leader application process and feeling uncertain about whether I was going to be able to be an effective leader. The conference was such a wonderful experience that it convinced me that I had to become a leader, so that I could continue to be around people like the leaders I met at the conference, and so that I had a reason to continue to attend events such as our area conference. I expect that I will come back from the International Conference equally jazzed about LLL, if not more so. Who knows, maybe it will get me off my butt to do some of the fundraising I keep thinking we should do!