The Big Latch On (2013)

Hey there All! So today I’m sharing another Blast from the Past! But before I do, I want to share a few things. I have shared some personal stuff on the site, but those posts are far and few between. Although I have a lot happening in my life that I’d love to share with you, I know that the main reason people come to the site is for “Party Schtuff.” And this post will contain all that same party-hearty goodness, I promise. But I want to give a little back ground on the event and small disclaimer for any one feeling a tish negative today.

The Big Latch On

First, the event I’m sharing with you today is titled “The Big Latch On.” This was our local event which is part of a larger annual event that happens worldwide, where nursing mothers come together at the same exact time and all feed their babies. The actual “latch” and headcount only take about 60 seconds. The totals are tallied nation/worldwide and end up with record breaking numbers of women coming together, raising awareness, and normalizing the natural act of breastfeeding. You can find out a location near you for 2014, how to register a new location for your area, and learn lots more about this event by visiting the Big Latch On website

Before I continue, I am a mom (obviously), and I know that when discussing anything child related, especially in the regards of feeding, birthing, sleep habits, diapering, circumcising, vaccinating, and so on, can be super touchy, hot button topics. I, as a mother, have always made the decisions that I *thought/think* are best for me and my family, as do all mothers and parents. This DOES NOT mean, that if you or anyone else has made a different decision, I or anyone else is judging you negatively because of it, or at least they shouldn’t, As no one should do to me. (Not that I plan on really discussing anything “breastfeeding” related but the event itself, I feel the need for a semi-disclaimer)

As women, we should empower and praise one another, who else knows how hard it is to be a woman, wife and mother, but us. That being said, I made the decision to nurse my children. My son for just over 2 years, we eventually weaned about 10 weeks before I gave birth to my daughter (yes, I said 10 weeks). Well… she is just nearing 2 years old herself, and that totals almost 4 constant years of nursing. I am proud of it and am happy that I made that decision for my family. And just because I can, here are some gorgeous pictures that I was lucky enough to have Erica McCauley capture of my beautiful baby and I.

Nursing My Sweet

To some, nursing is “icky”, unnecessary, and “rude” to do, especially in public. To which I say, Namaste y’all.  I was bottle fed, and did indeed “turn out just fine.” But I believe that nursing is beautiful, natural, and am so lucky to have had the experience. Not to mention, when a baby needs to eat, it needs to eat, and I would not condemn anyone to the bathroom stall, vehicle, or other inconspicuous corner to eat their meal.

Me and Z
Photo Credits: Erica McCauley Birth Photography

No mean spiritedness will be tolerated. Only love here folks’. Okay. Disclaimer over. Carry on.

The Big Latch On

In 2012 I saw a flier in the “nursing mother’s room” at the state fair that summer. I checked it out online and knew I wanted to take part in it. Sure enough that August, I nervously showed up at the doorstep of a woman I didn’t know, ready to meet some moms, and participate in something that I was really proud to be a part of.  There were about 12 of us that year, many of the women were members of the local breastfeeding group and knew each other that way. The weather was crummy, so we relocated to a nearby home instead of a park, there were lots of snacks, and nice mommies to chat with. It was great. So when 2013 rolled around, attending the event was a no-brainer. When they started looking for sponsors and door prize donations I threw my hat in the ring which led to me taking on more of a role in the setup/aesthetic aspect of the event (Which was very fun)

The amazing Erica McCauley, an amazing woman and birth photographer and her friend Sara (who just happens to be a doula, which is totally rad) were the ones really heading up this whole thing and I was just there to lend assistance when they needed. We brainstormed some ideas and concepts and came up with a few things.

Erica Wanted to do some Mini-Sessions for nursing moms who wanted them done, We also needed something to provide a little shade if were really hot that day.  I ended up putting together a PVC enclosure and using sheer window drapings as walls. It however didn’t get used at the event, simply because we live in North Dakota and mother Nature hates me. The wind made it impossible to safely keep it up and not stress about it.

Planning for Big latch On

I covered water bottles, made lovely banners and buntings for the snack table, for sale items, sign in and more. 

For the large backdrop and signs I used foam board from the craft store, covered it with a craft paper and used basic white acrylic craft paint and letters I cut with my Cricut Mini.

The Big Latch On Minot 2013

Ultimately the turnout was astounding, More than we could ever have imagined. The year before it was literally less than 15 of us, all three of us expected maybe 30ish people this year. Over 100 people showed up (I think :/). Whatever the specific number was, It was awesome (until we ran out of food, but even then, still awesome)!!

The snack table was swarmed and ambushed the second families started arriving, leaving nothing but bare food stands and crumbs in their wake.
BLO Snack Table

There was a great door prize table filled with goodies for all ages.
Door Prizes at BLO
(I donated a homemade wood sign that I was quite pleased with!)
DIY Wooden Sign

There was a table where “boobie hats” knit by local crafters could be purchased.
For Sale Boobie Hats at BLO2013

I also set up a “craft/activity” table for the older kids. As usual, I had no real extra money to put into this little side project, so I cleared out my ribbon and other misc craft stashes and wound up with enough stuff to make puppets, picture frames and magic wands (which were the biggest hit of all) plus whatever random things the kids came up with.  The table ended up being a bigger hit than I expected and I was definitely thanking my lucky stars to have two amazing volunteers there to help out!
Craft Table at BLO event

Here is a shot of the mini photo session set up and our massive turn out during the official “latch” itself.
The BLO

Got Milk The Big Latch On

The Big Latch On - Keep Calm and Latch On

The Big Latch On 2013

Me and Z at BLO

What a fun day! I can’t wait to start working with these amazing ladies on this year’s Big Latch On! A big thank you to Erica McCauley, please find her on facebook or check out her web page, she is truly one of a kind.

Don’t forget to check out the Big Latch On even closest to you if you’d like to participate or visit their website for more information on how to register, donate, and more!

As always thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear from you, leave me a comment, find me on facebook or pinterest. Just connect with me in some way and let me know what you think of the site thus far. I love feedback!! And don’t forget you can check out how I made the tassel bunting you saw on the snack table here! Toodles party people!

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