{bits & pieces}


Well, we did a bit of bouncing around these past weeks! As the answer to many prayers, our travels went well.


First we were off at the Behold Conference (and by “we” I mean Finnabee and me). I met so many good and faithful women (oh my word you Midwesterners are just so nice!) and was basically pampered by all the kind ladies who run Behold. It occurred to me that there was a risk that, during the keynote, I might accidentally speak in baby talk, given the company I keep most of the time — but then I figured that most of the women in attendance were probably fluent anyway. In the end, if I did speak in gibberish at all, either the audience didn’t notice (because of their baby-talk fluency) or I just didn’t notice because they were going easy on me and doing a great job of pretending that I was making sense.

If you are or can be in the Peoria, IL area in 2016, you should definitely check out Behold!

(Sorry – I didn’t bring a camera. No relevant photos to offer!)

Cheese board


Then, rather than returning home to an empty Side Pocket (the Artist was away for a few days), we headed on to visit Rosie, Capt. Pepper, Pippo, and Molly in OK. It was good to have some quality sister/cousin time.

And I am grateful to my little girl for being a champ through six flights in the space of nine days! I was amazed at how kind everyone – all the staff of the airline and all our fellow passengers, random folks in the airport, etc. – was to me. It made me think I should do airline travel solo with a baby more often!


Cheese board


But then, on the other hand, no. Because I’m definitely done with that for a while.
As lovely as it all was, it is good to settle down again.


This week’s links!


  • And another blog is born! Our Habou has started up a space in which to share her thoughts on art and some of her art itself: Corner Art Studio! She is just getting it going and there will be more to come! 



  • There’s some buzz surrounding this Ohio State U study about breastfeeding. I found Modern Alternative Mama’s take helpful: New Study on Is Breast Really Best? A Response. I like her perspective that “there is enormous pressure to breastfeed, yet quite a lack of support for it.” To me, that is the issue to focus on: how to support mamas and their bonding with their babies!


  • This was an interesting read on traditional methods used in the classroom: A Silicon Valley School that Doesn’t Compute. Unlike other schools that eschew contemporary electronic devices in the classroom, this school is interesting in that its students come from families who comprise some of the top dogs of the tech world!




  • I got a kick out of this list of 11 French tips for Visiting America. It’s hilarious to see another culture’s perspective on our own. Admittedly, much of the humor is in the (intentionally?) poor translation.





To do:




From the Archives:



  • I just wanted to note that this past week’s {phfr} was the 150th edition of the {pretty, happy, funny, real} link-up (unless we’ve failed to count a few)! Thanks to everyone who has linked up with us along the way! If you have never done a {phfr}, consider putting one together this week – all you need are a few photos and a few moments to reflect on the contentment in your life.



Tomorrow is the Seventh Sunday of Saint Joseph! Are you planning a little (or big) something to celebrate his Solemnity on the 19th?


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  1. Jenny says

    I am not at all surprised that the school in Silicon Valley does not use computers. You will find that computer professionals (I am one) are the most vocal about the lack of the need for technology in education. We actually understand how the computer works and that it is not a magic box, but most end users experience technology as magic. To truly master a subject, the less reliant on the magic box, the better.

    Interesting link to the write up about the breastfeeding study. I couldn’t believe how widely it was heralded. Although it looked at long-term benefits, it was mostly reported as saying breastfeeding didn’t matter. It has been proven repeatedly that there are dramatic short-term benefits in spite of the cloudier picture in the long term. So while it may be true that there are no long term benefits to nursing (I doubt it), why would you want to deny your child the myriad of short term benefits if you could help it. Then I saw where your link says that it has strong language about working women and breastfeeding and understood.

    I have not run into this attitude personally, but out on the wider web, there is strong hostility around the issue of nursing and working. Many professional women are out to convince others that it is impossible to nurse and work, to attempt it is to be oppressed, and to suggest nursing is better than formula is to suggest they quit their jobs. I suspect this study is in that same vein.

    Well I’m here to tell you, it’s not impossible! I have four kids, have worked full-time for most of it, and have never mixed one bottle of formula. Every bottle they have ever taken has had my breastmilk in it. Now I admit I am lucky in that my letdown responds well to the pump, I have a job that allows me to conveniently pump, and I’m pretty sure my foremothers were wetnurses. Pumping is not a lot of fun and takes determination to see through, but it IS possible and worth doing if it can be done.

    I suspect the authors of these types of articles and studies are trying to a) assuage their guilt for not nursing their own children and b) trying to discourage other mothers from trying it out of fear they will become more attached to their children than their job (likely). So they say “It’s impossible!”

  2. Betsy M says

    Thanks for the great links Deirdre. I am jealous of all of those ladies who were able to attend and hear you talk at the Behold conference. What fun. Oh and I had to comment on the French tips for visiting America – how funny!

  3. Patty says

    I just moved to a town 1 hour from Peoria. Like, 2 days before you were at this conference. I think we were still living out of the hotel on Saturday. :P

    I cannot believe one of the LMLD clan was this close and I could not come meet you. Please come back in 2016, because we plan to still be 1 hour away! :)

  4. Joana says

    I really enjoyed the link on Natural Play Spaces because it reaffirmed what I already knew by experience to be true.
    I now have a concept to attach to kids being kids outside – the loose parts playground.
    However, though I’m all for a good concept (and I suppose in this day and age, this concept is also of use), again it seems like something for the adults to manage, rather than for the kids to manage themselves. Just the beautiful pictures I’m sure at the same time delight and scare off parents who already have so much to do. And, really, it’s just not necessary, is it? My kids have by themselves built all sorts of things in the yard that really astound me and my intervention was merely honest praise in the end. And really I can’t tell you how surprised I was when my kids first built a 3D structure with stuff they found on the beach (mostly sticks and old fishing ropes). To me, it was just a bare beach…
    I think this ties in with what Leila was saying in the last post (or comment) about parents leaving kids to their own devices more and not obsessing so much (you know, like our parents did).
    If we forget about the design loose parts playgrounds and stick with the essence of it, I really feel like telling everyone I meet that we should lobby against traditional and boring playgrounds.
    Anyway, sorry for the rant! Really enjoy bits and pieces!

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