Tuesday, July 24, 2007

LLLI Intimate Apparel Fashion Show

At the Founders' Tea, we saw the debut of the new LLLI Intimate Apparel line. Our very own Tech Room volunteer Cathy Theys and baby Al were models. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

It's what time?!!!

I just realized that it is already Sunday and I haven't posted for a while. I do have some great pictures to share as well as some wonderful things to tell you, but I don't have time right now.

The tech room is busy with Leaders learning about the new database system and claming their LLLID. We have had many indivuals posting on the community blog including moms, dads, and even some of the children!

If I don't get the photos up in the next day, I'll be working fast and furiously to get them up when I get home!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Here it is - new TSA guidelines


Karen Smith

Updating the website

This is Karen Smith posting (one of these days I'll get my own account hooked up. Something about the cobbler's kids not having any shoes...)

At any rate, today we got great news that the Transportation Security Administration in the United States (the governmental agency that oversees all air travel security) has changed/augmented their policies for allowing breastmilk on airplanes. At La Leche League, we often receive calls from concerned mothers who are going to be travelling with and without their breastfed babies, wondering what the U.S. policies are for travel with breastmilk. With this new information, there is better clarity to the policies. This should be great news for moms and their breastfed babies, whether they are travelling with mom or not. Of particular note is this line from the TSA's website: "Breast milk is in the same category as liquid medications."

Now I am going to our LLLI website to post a press release to this effect, and to try to update any other resources that reference this policy.

Stay tuned - the changes should be up momentarily.

Karen Smith
Tech Room Staff/Website Team

Opening Night Photos

When Deanna's not blogging, she's taking pictures:

The Parade of Nations

The Founders were in the cake!
Our keynote speaker, Michael Brandwein.

Nikki and Valen, fighting over Valen's shoe.

Our main photographer...

...is Deanna Jurkowski. She is doing a *fabulous* job capturing conference moments. She's even doing impromptu podcast interviews in the hallways! All this while mothering her adorable little Valen (18 months.)

~Shelly, so appreciative of all the Tech Room Volunteers!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Demo, Demo, Demo

Today the Tech Room opened and we had immediate interest in learning about the new LLLI Organizational Database. I sat down at the computer attached to the large screen we've got and started with the first Leader who came in, who was joined by another and another. It was fun to show the new system to this group of Leaders and new Area Data Administrators -- they were so excited to see what we can do *now*, as well as learn about what's coming. I had a lot of fun doing the demo.

Today we were only open for 3 1/2 hours, which was good, because it was kind of just a warm-up for tomorrow when we'll be open for 6 hours, and then Sunday when we'll be open for 8 hours. After 2 straight hours of doing the demos, I was *tired*! I really needed to take a short break. Then I was better. :)


Tech Room Opens

The tech room has officially opened. Right from the start we had interested individuals in the room! From uploading photos to the CN to learning about the LLLI website and mother-to-mother forums we are excited to be up and running!


Featured Blogger Podcast

One of our featured bloggers, Abigail, was caught in the hall outside of the technology room by Deanna. Listen in. Photo is of Abigail, her son Stefan, and her mother Bonnie.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Chat schedule and blogs!!!

Greetings from Chicago!

I put an updated Chat schedule on the LLLI website. Check it out and plan to join us for chats with 2007 LLLI Conference speakers.


Our LLLI Conference Community bLLLog is active and multilingual. Many Leaders (and their kids!) who are here for the Global Strategic Planning Summit have stopped by the Tech Room to publish a post. Take a look and have fun reading!!!




The Tech Room Opens Tomorrow

We are so excited about the Tech Room opening tomorrow! We are having such a good time preparing the room and getting all set up. At this moment, some of the team is relaxing, some of them are still hard at work. Fortunately, the Tech Room must be locked up by Security by midnight, so we'll get at least a few hours of sleep tonight. :)

Even though we aren't officially open yet, we've had many "customers" come in to blog and check their email as well as view the new LLLI Organizational Database. We'll also have a guestbook to sign this year so we can get a sense of how many people are visiting us.

Take a minute to visit us in person or online. We look forward to connecting with you during our 50th Anniversary Conference.


Elevator Conversations

Hi - Karen Smith here posting because Deanna's so tired she can't quite see straight. :)

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation on the elevator at the hotel. If you don't know this already, the LLLI 2007 Conference is in a very large hotel. Big. Large. Super-sized. When we arrived earlier this week, there were several other groups meeting here, including a School Food Services group.

So I met a woman on the elevator, she asked what we were here for. I explained who we were, and she excitedly told me about her daughter who is still breastfeeding her 6 month old son. I then asked her what organization she was with, she told me she was with the school food services group. "Yeah," she said and smiled, "we feed a lot of kids."

"Yeah," I said as the doors began to close when she got off the elevator, "so do we, in our own way."

I heard her laugh for two more floors. :)

Karen Smith

Thursday already?!

Wow, I can't believe it is already Thursday. The time has gone by so quickly! I am already starting to feel the sleep deprivation and may need to get to be at a more normal time tonite. It's important to start the actual conference well rested so I can get the most out of the experience!

No pictures yet today, as I am trying to help get the finishing touches done on the tech room set-up. Watch for more later.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

First Podcast!

Lynn Carter has complied a booklet of birth stories. Listen in!

Open Space

I must say that I absolutely love Open Space. No fear about walking into the wrong session topic, because you are allowed to leave at anytime! Want to go to multiple session topics at the same time? DO IT! You are encouraged to go where you want to or where you feel you need to be! Topics are decided by the Group and individuals break out to go talk about the topic they choose! Below is a wall with topics the USWD ACLs came up with for discussion. I had to leave early, but like I said before, NO GUILT!

Isn't it the truth!

Said Michael Brandwein at the AM General Session of the GSPS, "There's children here! They move at high speeds close to the ground!"
I couldn't help but giggle at the truth of it!


I'm here! I'm here! I'm here!
I am so excited to be here. Nikki and I carpooled in my husband's brand new car. Odin's a little on edge that his car is here and he's at home with the mommy mobile, but the gas mileage is much better in the car. Can you believe I only spent $16 in gas for the 500 mile trip?! The trip was uneventful, yet interesting all the same. We got a little punchy after about 7 hours into the trip and started taking silly pictures to document our adventure. Check us out!

Nikki and her daugter, Malone (staying with Mema)
and Deanna with Valen (6:30 am)

Valen's happy for a while dancing to the beat!

We parked the car at my in-laws house in Oak Park. Below, in this picture I am playing with Valen at the El station while we wait for the train. Public transportation is relatively easy and painless with kids.

Monday, July 16, 2007

See y'all soon!

I'm getting ready to power down and pack it up! Last minute checks to make sure all emails are answered and up to date reveal 5 requests for information about my Group and meetings. I'll answer quickly and route any remaining questions to my co-Leader and we are off. I'm heading out at 3:30 AM tomorrow and am planning to spend my evening with the ones that are staying behind.

In an interview with my older kids, ages 3-11, I asked what the best part of Mom being gone would be. The oldest said, "Cha-ching! I'm going to get paid for babysitting!" The 9 y/o said he is looking forward to lots of extra TV, computer, and video games. The 7 1/2 y/o is looking forward to having a babysitter who will bring her younger sister (Acacia's best friend), and little Cordelia gets to go to friends' homes a couple of days.

On the other hand, my husband is a little nervous. He wants everything written down and set for the week. He also isn't quite sure about Nikki and I traipsing cross country on our own. I think he is forgetting about when I went to school downtown at IIT, and not to mention that we spent our first year of marriage living 10 minutes from the loop.

While I am nervous about having the baby at the hotel, those left behind will have their own issues to deal with. I'll be happy as long as I come home to the same number of children I left behind!



Sunday, July 15, 2007

Toddler on the run!

Two days until we leave! I'm working frantically trying to makes sure everything is ready and packed. Since I am leaving my husband and 4 older children at home, I am working on the extremely detailed schedule my husband needs to function both at home and at work.

Here's the back view of Valen as he runs away! This is an image that I will be seeing often as he will try to escape at any chance. If you see him heading down the hall wearing his "Return to Tech Room" sign, it's ok to chuckle as you watch me chase after him!


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Conference Countdown!!!

Can you believe the Conference is only a couple of weeks away? There is a flurry of activity among Tech Room workers and other Conference workers as we get ready for the 2007 LLLI Conference.

Our blogs are in full swing. We have a variety of people posting on their own individual blogs. Our new LLLI Conference Community bLLLog has attracted some bloggers who want to contribute to a blog, including some bloggers in Spanish and French, and has allowed us to give more Conference attendees an opportunity to blog. You can find the link to the Community bLLLog on the right hand side of this page, if you scroll down a bit.

We are also going to ask visitors to the Tech Room to contribute to the Community bLLLog. If you will be at the Conference, stop by and make a post. Whether you are reading from home or from the Conference, leave a comment for the bloggers - bloggers love to know people are reading. :-)

We are planning to offer podcasts again this year. A list of the speakers who have agreed to do a podcast are listed on the Conference Podcasts. Personally, I am planning to listen to the podcasts of speakers I don't get to hear at the Conference - I got so intrigued looking at the list of speakers and topics.

Online chats with Conference speakers will also be available. The schedule is still being worked out, but you can find a list of speakers who have agreed to do chats on the Conference Chats page.

I am so excited to be going to the LLLI Conference. I hope to meet many friends old and new, both in Chicago and from the Virtual Conference.


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Deirdre's Introduction

Hi, I'm Deirdre. I've been around LLL for a long time and around computers even longer, but this is my first attempt at blogging! I have five grown children and three beautiful grandchildren; I am a CSI and work with the USW Division staff on the Publications/Online workgroup. I love to learn and to teach, and LLL has given me so many opportunities to do both over the years!

I've always enjoyed technology and particularly like to find ways to help it serve people and relationships. I've attended a number of conferences and come away renewed, informed and inspired from each one. And now we have a wonderful set of tools collected by the Tech Room team to make the information and inspiration gathered at the conference available to so many more people beyond those able to attend physically! How exciting!

I'm delighted to be working with the Tech Room team! LLL Leaders who are techies--what a great fun combination!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Podcasts and Chats

Hi aLLL,

My name is Sherry, I am a LLLeader in Aurora, IL. I have lived in the Chicago suburbs for 5 years. Before that we lived in New Hampshire where both my children were born. My husband, Mike, and I are both Canadian citizen so the boys are American and Canadian. My children are nine and six - and boy are we are looking foward to summer break!

I am so excited to be a part of the Tech Room team! What a great bunch of ladies I get to work with. I am looking foward to actually meeting everyone in person.

My role on this team so far has been to contact all presenters at the 2007 conference to schedule podcasts and chats. At first it was just a task, but as I was actually sending the communications out to each presenter I started to get excited! I was actually communicating with some of the ROCK STARS in the breastfeeding/parenting world! I was so thrilled when I received my first reply! Every time I check my inbox I get a rush just thinking about who's contacting me. I almost feel like a little preteen just about to meet Justin Timberlake (or whoever is hot right now *LOL*)

Greetings to all Blog Readers

Well, Shelly inspired me to introduce myself, also.

My name is Judie and I am the person who set up all the LLLI Conference Blogs. Believe it or not, I have never blogged before in my life! It was just never my thing - though I am starting to find that it is growing on me. :) To get started, I set up an experimental blog so that I could test all the features of Blogger. That helped me to write instructions to all the Conference bloggers, some of whom were also brand new to blogging, explaining to them how to sign in to their blogs and get started. It has been a lot of fun setting up the blogs and getting to know the bloggers. I hope everyone will read all the blogs and leave lots of comments. Bloggers love to know that people are reading!

I have been involved with La Leche League for 21 years. I started attending meetings in New Jersey while pregnant with my daughter, who just celebrated her 21st birthday! I also have a son who will be 19 next month. Both are home from college for a visit and I am very happy to have a full house again. :) When my daughter was 5 and my son was 3, we moved to Miami Beach, Florida, where we have lived ever since.

I became a Leader almost 14 years ago and have loved every minute of it. I lead a meeting in the Coral Gables/South Miami area with my new co-Leader, Tamara. I went to several LLLI International Conferences when my kids were much younger. We started running out of money for that sort of thing when the kids were in middle and high school, so I am very excited to be attending this year's Conference.

If you will be at the Conference, please stop by the Tech Room and say hi. I love meeting people. Even if you are not going to be at the Conference, be sure to take advantage of our Virtual Conference (linked on the right side of this page). We have lots of fun activities going on. I participated in the Virtual Conference in 2005 and loved every minute of it - podcasts, chats, and blogs.

Leave me a comment so I know you're reading. :)

SmiLLLes, Judie

On a lazy Monday afternoon...

I thought I'd introduce myself. My name is Shelly Stanley. I've been attending LLL meetings since I was pregnant with my oldest daughter in 1997 in Germany. My husband is in the U.S. Army, so we move around a lot. From Germany, we moved to South Carolina for a few months, then on to Washington state. It was in Washington that my 2nd and then 3rd children were born and also where I was accredited as a Leader. A few months later, we moved to Stanford, California. Then two years later we moved to West Point, New York. We are now gearing up for a move this summer to Springfield, Virginia (near D.C.)

Moving seems to be my eternal conference theme. In 2003, I attended my first International Conference in San Francisco just a month before we moved. In 2005, I attended the Conference in Washington, D.C. We were actually in the middle of our move. We had driven from California to D.C. and then after the conference we continued on up to NY. For the 2007 Conference, we will move to Virginia just a few weeks before I leave the family amidst boxes in our new home to fly to Chicago for a fabulous week.

I noticed at the 2003 Conference that the Technology Room looked like a fun place to be. So, in 2005 when I saw that they were looking for volunteers to help at the D.C. conference, I jumped at the opportunity. This year, I'm the point person for the Tech Room Team and I'm still having a good time. :) I hope you'll all stop by and visit us. We have a lot to offer this year!


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kid's and the Tech Room!

As LLL Leaders, we know that it is important that mothers and babies are welcome. Our meetings and conferences are designed in a way that babies, toddlers and older children, whether nursing or not, are always welcome.

This year, I am working on trying to figure out ways that will make the technology room not only inviting for parents with children in tow, but safe for all involved. If other children are anything like mine, the 15 month old wants to bang on the computer, unplug cords, and even tries to eat the mouse. Instead of trying to keep the kids from hurting the equipment just by saying no, we are planning to set up a Kid Zone geared to little ones. We are hoping to provide two computer stations geared towards children in the Kid Zone.

While the Kid Zone won't be as exciting as the playroom, it will be an area set aside to help parents meet the needs of our younger attendees while still accessing the benefits of the tech room themselves.

I look forward to sharing more as the plans continue to come together.

P.S. Watch for my son Valen, the youngest tech room volunteer. He'll be 18 months old at the conference.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Technology Room Layout

This week I worked on the Tech Room's layout. The hotel has software that you can download and then it's fairly easy to add tables, chairs, etc. to your layout, moving them around however you like.

The hardest part about this for me was that the room is so large! I looked at the layout from the 2005 conference and noticed that this time the room is over twice as big as last time. What to do with all that space? I'm sure we'll be able to use it all up just fine. :)

The whole Tech Room Team gave me feedback about the layout and I made this area larger, that area smaller, moved those tables over there. I think we did a good job. I've submitted the layout and also our room needs (equipment and furniture) to the International Conference Team. Hopefully we'll be able to get everything we asked for!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tech Room Plans Are Underway!

The 2007 La Leche League International (LLLI) Conference Technology Room Team is busy planning lots of interesting and fun activities for our "virtual" LLLI Conference.

Here are some of the things you can look forward to seeing:

In addition to this Tech Room blog, we will be posting the blogs of a variety of LLLI Conference attendees who have been recruited to share their Conference experiences with the LLLI community. Virtual Conference attendees can enjoy and comment on the bloggers' personal stories.

We are also planning to have podcast interviews with some of our Conference speakers. Podcasts are recordings that are uploaded to the World Wide Web in MP3 format, a common type of file that is playable on most personal computers, as well as on portable listening devices such as iPods and the like.

We are in the process of contacting speakers to participate in both the podcast interviews and in online chats. Anyone will be able to participate in these chats by requesting a chat invitation from the LLL chat moderator. It will give us all an opportunity to ask questions and interact with some of our outstanding Conference speakers.

We are very excited about the Conference and the Tech Room and hope you will stop in and visit us at the Conference, if you are attending.

If you won't be in Chicago this summer, make sure to check out this blog and the LLLI Conference 2007 Technology Room webpage, coming soon.