Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recap of the month of March [MARCH MADNESS!]

Ok, so I know I've been pretty quiet this month, but it's only because I am crazy busy up and down like a mad woman. A lot of cool stuff has happened [ and yet to happen this month] and I'm eager to finally sit down and share it with you all.

Official Seminar from Pro Lechi Mama Foundation : "The New legislation on breastfeeding - a win win for both employer and employee"
Stefan Kleintjes
This seminar will take place May 5th and is going to be huge-mongous. It is geared toward all the major employers on Aruba, and the little ones too. Mostly towards the ones who employ a great deal of women. We found it imperative that this seminar take place because of all the negative feedback there's been in connection with the law. Employers are confused and thus [sometimes unwittingly] hesitate to cooperate, some female employees see the law as a ticket for 9 months of fun and long breaks [not the point] and there is general confusion as to the interpretation and implementation of this life-sustaining law. We've decided to go all out on the venue and the evening. It is a short seminar, but jam packed with the latest information on laws, clarifications of such and ramifications for those who set themselves against it. On the program there will be 3 speakers, one from Holland, namely Stefan Kleintjes, a children's dietician and breastfeeding guru. Monica Kock, a local lawyer and former parliamentarian who also endorsed this law to make it a reality. And a member of Pro Lechi Mama, namely, yours truly.

Yes. You read correct. Me. I am going to give a discourse [the first and opening one to be exact] and I am to the point of fright. I've been on symposiums on stages, sang in front of crowds, given lectures and classes..but I don't know about this gig. This is a SEMINAR. With a lot of respected business men and women. People are going to be watching me, listening to me, examining me and my every word and while this thought scares the daylights out of me, it's also empowering. How many women, how many young women, receive the opportunity to say something that may potentially impact someones view, especially someone's view on something so important to our society in so many aspects, our mentality on breastfeeding. I am deeply privileged and honored [to say the least!] to be granted a chance to speak on the foundation's behalf about the plight that working mothers face. The difficulty and hardships they go through when their employer refuses to cooperate with the law. What an honor to be able to speak directly to these people, to their minds and hearts [because breastfeeding stems from the heart really, whether it is loved or hated] and possibly challenge them to change a mistaken view to be able to improve the lives of our babies and our mothers. I am deeply humbled.

Oh, and freakin' terrified too!

Besides all the terror with having to make a powerpoint [I'm so procrastinating] I've also had to spearhead the whole thing because [DUH] I keep forgetting, I am now President Elect of the Foundation. We've set up a petite committee to handle the majority of the decisions and tasks and like little ants that spotted crumbs on the floor, we're rushing and squirming around trying to get things done.

Breastfeeding and Babywearing class hosted by Prana

March 21st, this past Monday, I gave my quarterly class and the audience was the biggest it ever was [25 people in total!]. The class compromised of many people including a midwife, a couple expecting triplets and a parliamentarian and his significant other. I was nervous as I saw so many people rolling in, but, after setting up, I hurried to the back room, took some deep breaths, told myself I was ready and walked back in. The beginning of the class is always the toughest because there's so many people and it's difficult to command the attention of the room. I speak with conviction but the reality of the matter is that I dread if someone has to vehemently oppose something I say and cast doubt on my credibility. Confrontation scares me. Haha. But, in essence, everything went smoothly. After the first ten minutes of almost silence [except for me talking] the class became more involved. Throwing in a joke here and there is my way of keeping the mood light and from it getting too lecture-ish. I revise my powerpoint each time and in the babywearing part, I did a part especially dedicated to the claim that carrying your baby in a carriers that keeps their legs open and spread apart is detrimental to the proper development of the hips and legs. This part kept them awake, and I had fun observing the class come to life when we went into that direction. God, I love this job.

The best part of the class? The set-up. When I was setting up, there were already some couples there. Once I was nearly finished, 3/4 of the class were in place and as I pulled out the pink watersling to put on the mannequin, everyone who had been chattering and chit-chatting all of a sudden became silent. It was as if a silence had dropped over the classroom and I could swear I heard a tiny gasp of awe at the stunning hot pink ringsling. I smiled to myself and carried on as if nothing was different. AWESOME.

Bella Sophia's glamorous babywearing photoshoots
This was the most time consuming but also most rewarding. It's not easy doing shoots with babies and carriers, so I appreciate all the models glamming up and getting their diva on for these shots. There were some at the beach, others at other stunning locations that will be revealed soon in a grand fashion.

Local maternity boutique, Mommies & Bellies by Noraima and Tamara to be first Official Retailer of Bella Sophia Carriers
Holy moly. Did you see this coming? I sure didn't. I mean, well, I dreamed about it, but did I expect it to materialize so quickly and so passionately, NEVER! The owners of Mommies and Bellies were beyond thrilled at the thought of selling something so unique, so cool and natural but also locally made. Bella Sophia is taking off and I'm holding on tight because it's gonna be a wild ride this year! Craving more info on Bella Sophia? Visit our sister site here! 

Bella Sophia, although still in its infancy, is proving to be a formidable brand in the market of carriers sold here on Aruba. Whether imported from abroad or made locally as well, Bella Sophia stands out in a league of its own known for its stylishness, workmanship, safety, and the sheer diversity and selection of carriers. Despite the negativity surrounding the beginning of Bella Sophia from the nay-sayers, it's taken off and shook things up by offering yet another choice for the modern day natural parent. You don't have to believe me, take a look for yourself!

Once monthly sling stand at Prana's postnatal class

My most recent invitation came from my dear friend Shanti, a certified prenatal yoga instructor teaching at Prana prenatal and postnatal health centrum. We've already been doing the classes together for a year and now she's invited me to set up a sling stand in her postnatal class for the moms who may have found renewed interest in babywearing, or who may have bought a carrier but are still unsure about their abilities. Since the launching of Bella Sophia, it was very convenient for her to have the same person giving babywearing classes, to also set up a sling stand in the class there after, so it was only natural that we combine forces again. I must admit, I am very excited for Monday's first stand, March 28th, at 12 noon. I'm still working on making/finding a rack to display the slings on, but so far I'm still missing a stand-type thing to hang/attach the rack to. Have any ideas for me?

Many times, the pictures are awed and gawked at, but often time the photographer gets left in the background. So I want to take this opportunity to thank Bella Sophia's personal photographer, Angelo Flanegin, for always being available, even at the last minute, to capture the true beauty of the slings with your stunning Nikon D200 and D300 and amazing Sigma Lens. Thank you.

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