Monday, August 6, 2007

Conference Memories

Hello all,
can't believe it has come and gone. I wish I could have blogged more when I was at the conference. One of the difficulties was that I was attending CE sessions and often didn't get to the blog/computer room before it closed!! And it always seemed to open after a session started!!
There are so many great memories of the conference. Personally it was reconnecting with old friends from around the world. There is so much happening in La Leche League internationally. Lots of great area conferences in Asia - Japan is gearing up for a 2ned conference next year, there is talk of one in Hong Kong and a bigger one in New Zealand!!!
I really enjoyed meeting with my two roommates Kathryn and Sheryl - now with faces to names I am sure we will keep in touch via email.
As for sessions they all were great. The CE luncheons with speakers such as Nils Bergman,Linda Smith and Peter Hartmann were wonderful. It was also fun to sit with strangers. I was lucky as I know some people were ill after the conference. I never had a problem with the food. I was glad I went to both the tea and the Gala Awards. There was a great slide presentation of mothers around the world and it was very inspiring to acknowledge leaders who had founded groups around the world over the last 50 years!
The Celebration dinner was an interesting mix of Country music with Billy Dean and more classical songs. It was inspiring to hear all about Chele Marmet who was honoured for her work.
Lastly it was empowering just to be with other mothers and families who believe so much in the power of breastfeeding.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Finally at the Conference

July 21st - Chicago - Finally at the conference and finally in the tech room! Flew from Vancouver on the 19th and was lucky to catch an earlier flight than I had booked. Still it was about 5 p.m. by the time I got in. The first thing i did when I was in my room was to call Carol Miranda, a leader from the US. We had been leaders together in Hong Kong and she needed a room for one night. It was great to spend a few hours with her catching up. Great Thai food at the Tamarind just across from the Hilton.Chicago really is a windy city. We sat outside as it was a warm evening. We both went up to a special gathering of the Asia, south pacific zone. It was great to see old friends and hear about the great things happening in Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong and feast on snacks several different countries. I also met my roommate Kathryn Oliver - Garrett who has been in Japan for 4 years and is now moving back to the Us.
By the time we went to bed it was after midnight.
In the morning (couldn't sleep and woke at 5) met up at 7 with Sarah Hung, my leader/friend from Hong Kong, Ruth McCallister from Victoria and Carol and had a huge breakfast at the Bongo room.
About this time my ears started to hurt and slowly go worse throught out the day. Still I finally got to see some of Chicago meet up with my sister, brother in law and niece. We got back to the hotel just in time to collect my Canadian tshirt. Walking in red with the other 45+ Canadians was great and of course seeing the founders was very emotional. Unfortunately my ears by this time were extremely painful so in the end I left before Michael Brandwein had finished and called a doctor via the hotel. Lovely woman who gave me a lovely expensive prescription. Thank goodness for insurance.
Today I feel much better. I have attended my first CE session listening to James McKenna - a wonderful speaker talking about co-sleeping. From there it was a rush to the CE luncheon. I sat at a table with strangers (I enjoy meeting people) but by the end had met friends. Finally caught up with another ex Hong Kong leader Tanja Knutson. Lovely to see her.While we had lunch Dr. Nils Bergman gave a very enjoyable talk on Mother Baby togetherness. Now I am off to listen to another session. I will check in again soon.
I am hoping to see more of the exhibits and book shop. It 's great to be here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday July 16th - Nearly there

Hello again,
in 3 days I will be on my way to Chicago. This past Friday the 13th (it's our lucky number) Rob and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. Friends looked after the girls and they didn't come back till yesterday. We went to a great B&B on Pender Island. Anyhow I realized how much I missed having the kids around. The boys have been at Sea Cadet Camp for a week now so it was very strange for us to return home on Saturday night to an empty house. It will be hard to leave on Wednesday night especially to go to a La Leche conference where I have always had a child with me.
I just found out that my sister is driving from Ottawa to Chicago to pick up her daughter so I may be able to see some of my family. I am just trying to figure out when. It may have to be in the middle of the night looking at my conference planner! Luckily I have most of the 20th free.
I started to pack .... can't decide what to wear for the final night so have two outfits! Also lots of tshirts from past conferences. Can't wait to see the exhibit hall and book store.
Not sure if I will have time to post agian before I leave so the next time you hear from me it may be at the conference!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

July 11th - nearly there

Hi there everyone!
Are you getting excited!! It won't be long now. I leave Vancouver Island in a week and fly out from Vancouver on the morning of the 19th. My calendar of get togethers, sessions and meeting up with old friends is starting to fill up.
There will be over 40 Canadians attending the conference this year so look out for us!
It has been great fun receiving all the emails from all over - lots of suggestions of where to go to shop, eat and just get to the hotel. I am looking forward to so much I am not sure I will have time to sleep!
There was some discussion a while back about clothes to wear so I finally had a look in my closet. It looks like I will have to do some shopping when I first arrive as I don't have much to wear other than t-shirts and jeans and everything black.
La Leche League has been so much of my life these last 15 years that I ordered one of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding 50th Anniversary Commemorative Books and have go my postcard so I can get it at the conference. I am also planning to buy a few other books to bring back to our library. As I don't have much in my suitcase I should have plenty of room.
Have a great week.
Judi - sweltering in Sooke where we are having a heat wave of 30 Celsius weather!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

July and counting

Hello all,
I've just returned from a Canada Day Long weekend camping with my family. Happy 4th of July tomorrow to all American Leaders! This was the first camping experience of the summer. For my family it is still a new experience as up until 3 years ago my children had never experienced the great outdoors in a tent because they lived in Hong Kong.
My oldest child just turned 16 so we sat down and watched a video my mother had made of him at 3 months. Max was born in Brunei, Borneo and now that he is older he is much more interested in seeing where he lived for the first six months of his life. It's a long way from Sooke British Columbia. We do still live near the water though so that hasn't changed. He and his brother are in sea cadets so they are off to camp for six weeks on Saturday!! Seems like yesterday they were babies.
I am getting quited exited about meeting all the Canadian leaders. Sounds as though the red and white will really be on display on opening night!
I was thinking of how different this conference already is with all the internet traffic/ lists / blogs ... it makes everyone seem so much nearer.
Gotta run -

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Count down starting

Hello all. In 33 days I will be flying from Vancouver to Chicago. All the past conferences I had to fly 12+ hours or more so this will be short in comparison. It will also mean the first time flying on my own in years - my last flight was when we left Hong Kong in July 2004. There were 6 of us then, 12 suitcases, 6 carryons !!! This time I am bringing a lot less but am bound to return with a suitcase laden down with wonderful memories.
My baby Xayla turned 8 years old last week. She still remembers the San Fransisco conference because my Mom was able to come from Vancouver and look after her while I went to the sessions. May and June are always busy months because there are 3 birthdays .... down to the last one next week. Max turns 16!!! It seems like yesterday that I was a new nursing mom.
Just the other day I was sent a list of all the attendees coming from Asia. There are nearly 30 women plus family members. It is going to be so exciting to meet old friends and make new ones.
I can't wait to meet my two roomies. Still undecided as to how I will get from the airport to the hotel but there seem to be a lot of options.
More later .......Judi

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Judi's Blog

May 3rd, Sooke, B.C. Canada

Hi! I have finally found a few minutes to start this blog. I am new at blogging but here goes. I can't wait for the conference in July.I have been a Leader since July 1997 - in fact I was accredited at the Washington DC conference.
My history with La Leche League began with the birth of my first son Maxwell in Brunei Darussalam, Borneo in June 1991. My sister sent me the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and from then on I was hooked. When I was pregnant with my second son Saxon in 1993, I attended my first meeting in Vancouver B.C. Canada. I was still nursing Max and through LLL discovered tandem nursing. When Saxon was 3 months we left for Hong Kong for my husband's two year teaching contract. Two years turned into eleven years and two more children, Xanthe born in January 1997 and Xayla born in June 1999. So I have given birth around the globe.
When I first arrived in Hong Kong La Leche League was one of the first places I searched for. I was a member and leader there from 1993 until we moved to Canada in 2004. All my children were breastfed for extended periods .... I think I took a break for about 3 months but I was lucky enough to nurse for about 14 years in total!!
10 years ago my Leader in Hong Kong Sarah convinced me to come with her to the 1997 Washington Conference. Since then I have attended a conference in Chicago and San Fransisco. For me this will be a special conference not only for the knowlege to be gained from the wonderful speakers but also to reconnect with friends I have made in La Leche League from around the world. I know there are several Leaders attending from Asia. Be sure to check out the World Faire table of FAiA.
I booked my hotel room in January along with my sessions. I was able to find two Leaders to share with. It will be exciting to meet both as we have never met although we are all Canadian!I run La Leche League Sooke with Nicole - meetings here are quite different from Hong Kong. Sooke is a little town on Vancouver Island so very laid back after a city. As well as La Leche League I am involved with Beavers (Scouting) and work at a Children's Consignment Store.Hope to post more as the days go by.