Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Leaving A Legacy

La Leche League (www.lalecheleague.org) (LLLI) is a worldwide organization dedicated to helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding. I've been involved in it - in one capacity or another - for many years. I still am working with the Leader Accreditation Department, accrediting more Leaders to help more moms and babies here in my neck of the woods and throughout the world.

On Sunday, May 25th, Edwina Froehlich (one of the seven LLLI Founders) suffered a stroke. All of us who care deeply about her are waiting, watching, and praying - while we wait for more information. The last we heard, they are still doing some testing, but she is quite old (90+) so expectations are not high. In her honor, as well as the other six Founders (also old but not as old as Edwina), today I will share some breastfeeding and baby related thoughts.

From Your Amazing Newborn, by Klaus and Klaus (I met them - a husband/wife team - at an LLL Area Conference a few years ago.):
"...In addition, when the infant suckles from the breast, special cells in both the mother's and infant's brains secrete oxytocin (also known as the "cuddle hormone") into the brain. Increased brain oxytocin results in slight sleepiness, milk euphoria, a raised threshold for pain and, most appropriately, increased love for the baby."
Dr. Naomi Baumslag: "In many parts of the world, a woman would be considered guilt of neglect for weaning a child less than two years old."

And the rest of these are from Seven Voices, One Dream, a book about the history of La Leche League:

Marian Tompson said: "And then one day, as I was leaving Mary's, I was standing on the steps of her house and we were debating for the umpteenth time whether or not to do this. And I finally said, "You know, Mary, if we can help mothers nurse their babies, then we will be helping families, and if we are helping families, we will be helping society. So I think we ought to try it." So that's when we made the decision to go ahead with it."

"Along the way, Mary White became known as the "guardian angel" of the mother-baby relationship. Mary never hesitated to speak out. Circumstances might change, she'd remind the group, but a baby's needs do not."

About people who supported LLL from early on: "Oh, and Dr. Kimball - E. Robbins Kimball. We first heard of him as being very supportive of breastfeeding. We later found out that what had convinced him that breastfeeding was really special was when he was part of the Army liberating the prisoner-of-war camps in WWII. He said that while the adults might be skin and bones, the toddlers that were being breastfed were running around and were healthy. He realized that even if a mother was malnourished, she still could feed her baby very adequately."

I've met all seven Founders, several times. I've co-spoken with a few of them in Area Conference sessions over the years. I love each of them and the work they started. For the sake of my grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, I'm grateful La Leche League exists.

Enough for today. I'll find a picture of Edwina and I together from last year's International Conference to add to this post soon. (now added to the top)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cup Filling

From Playful Parenting, by Lawrence J. Cohen:

About times with kids when "He's just looking for attention" is uttered or thought:

For years, the standard advice has been to ignore such behavior. I don't get that. We don't say, "He keeps asking for food, but I just ignore him; he's only saying that because he's hungry." We don't say, "Your cup is empty, so I'll make sure you don't get a refill." If someone is looking for attention that bad, I figure they must need some attention! If we give them enough of the good kind, they won't be so desperate that they'll settle for the bad kind.

The Taint Of Sadness

I love Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events.

From The Grim Grotto:

The way sadness works is one of the strangest riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that happy things are tainted with sadness, the way smoke leaves its ashen colors and scents on everything it touches. And you may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.

What other author plays with words as much as Lemony Snicket? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

They're Not Real?

One of my favorite quotes:
Literature duplicates the experience of living in a way that nothing else can, drawing you so fully into another life that you temporarily forget you have one of your own.

That is why you read it, and might even sit up in bed till dawn, throwing your whole tomorrow out of whack, simply to find out what happens to some people who--you know perfectly well--are made up.
That's from bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver, from her book High Tide in Tucson. Hm. I've never read anything by her but I think maybe I'll go pick up that one. In looking online at an excerpt of that essay, I have no clue how that quote fits, but it looks like it would be great reading.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What's Love Got To Do With It?

Did you know that Kenny and Julia Loggins have a wonderful relationship? So wonderful that a few years ago they co-authored a book about it: how it came to be and how it has evolved. It's called The Unimaginable Life: Lessons Learned on the Way to Love.

I really liked this book, as it was wonderful to see how they've fostered such a wonderful relationship. That is the kind of love we can aspire to have. From it, I loved several quotes:

Kenny: They say we pray to God when the foundations of our world are shaking, only to discover it is God who is shaking them.

Kenny: It is not in your nature to live in pain. Pain is a mover, not a residence.

Julia: Trust is the key. Trust your highest selves to expand with infinite flexibility to the beloved's needs. There is no right or wrong, because all feelings and needs are real and valid...What are you biggest fears? What are each of your needs? Allow love and the spoken truth to transform all these tigers into toothless housecats. Remember: the undefended heart travels free of protective armor, and nothing is lighter. It takes years to gather up the weapons, the tools of war and wit that the protected heart needs to carry. The undefended heart can move in the blink of an eye from an unloving posture to a loving one. Trust that you are safe to travel light as angels.

Kenny: To me, being in your power is being who you came here to be. It's about feeling comfortable in your own skin, knowing who you really are, not who you think you're supposed to be. Power is living where fear isn't running your life.

Julia: I do need Kenny to make a decision. I can't stand living in this ambiguity. I'm jumping out of my skin. If I notice a shift in my breathing, a release, then five minutes later I feel panic again. Rather than moving form one complete feeling to the next, as if these hunks of pain are the soap and cereal on my grocery list, they will exist inside me simultaneously. Sometimes my anger seems more predominant than my grief, but I don't move cleanly from one tidy feeling to another - "Oh you're fixed, let's move on to this big, gaping hole over here!" They're all mixed up. When I hear myself saying, "Whatever happens will be perfect," I can't imagine that thirty minutes later I'll be enraged again.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Take Me Away!

From The Last Precinct, by Patricia Cornwell.
On the night in question he fell asleep while reading in bed. Not unusual, and it was my cue that I could have my own time now. I crave the silence, the absolute aloneness when the rest of the world is unconscious and not needing something from me.
Can you relate to that? I can! Life gets crazy, kids are busy, and chaos reigns supreme! Then, the night comes, the kids are in bed, I can take off my shoes, and start to really relax.

Makes me think of those old Calgon commercials.