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.