Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The week from hell

I love to travel and I love going to conferences, but it always seems as though my life gets more...interesting...the week before I have to leave. Add a baby into the mix and watch the fun ensue.

So here is what I need to get done before I leave for the next conference:

  • Finish the slides for my talk.

  • Submit my annual report.

  • Figure out if any of my decent work pants fit me yet.

  • Go shopping for a couple of button-down shirts and, depending on the previous bullet, pants, so that I look presentable and not schlumpy for the conference.

  • Pack (for me and for the baby).

  • Figure out how much expressed breast milk one can carry on a plane, and figure out how to keep it cold (enough) in transit, just in case pumping does not go well while we're in Conference City.

And here's what's happened so far this week:

  • Toilet overflows at 4am a few days ago. I mean seriously overflows.

  • Simultaneously, Baby Jane pees all over herself and me while I'm trying to feed her. Apparently in my sleep-deprived haze, I failed to put her diaper on correctly.

  • Much swearing and yelling ensues as a result of the two previous bullets. Nobody gets much sleep.

  • I get about 2/3 of my slides done, at least in a rough-draft sense. One positive thing!

  • I start my annual report. I make the mistake of starting my annual report on a day in which Baby Jane decides she must be cranky for most of the day and that she must also snack every hour and a half. And did I mention that I only got 4 hours sleep the night before? I get two sentences written.

  • I find out that I have to deal with a time-sensitive issue before I leave town. Not a huge deal, but given everything else I have to deal with this week, ...

  • I go to a meeting which takes 3 times as long as I think it will, and accomplishes about a third of what it should have accomplished. At least the baby sleeps through the whole thing.

  • We decide that this week is the perfect time to institute a regular bedtime for Baby Jane and to move her to her own room/crib. (This actually has gone rather well, considering. But it's a bit time-consuming.)

  • We find out that Mr. Jane has to go to Nearby City while we're in Conference City, for business, on one of the days we're there. We dodge the "oh sh*t, we need child care!" bullet when I realize that I can skip the conference that day. However, this means that it will be just me and Baby Jane for an entire day, which is a first. I'm a bit panicked by this.

I am so exhausted. Even though I'm looking forward to the trip and to presenting my paper, part of me can't wait until this trip is over. At least then we'll have some relative calm (and no more pressing deadlines!) for the rest of the summer.


Erin said...

Ah, the joys of research and children combined. One request - if you figure out how to carry breastmilk on a plane, will you post how? Most things I've read say that you can do 8 hours or so in a cooler, but not longer. I worry it'd go bad while traveling, depending on length of the trip, and I can't figure out how to transport frozen breastmilk while keeping it frozen. (I'm also trying to deal with this logistical problem for an upcoming workshop.)

Also, a shopping tip. Motherhood Maternity has very nice nursing tops, which can be good for variety from button-down shirts. They're opening a lot of stores in malls, so there might be one near you. Various places online also make nice nursing shirts. I've had luck at You can only wear button-down shirts for so long before they get a bit boring, and I find these are a bit more discrete when I need to feed my daughter in public.

Jane said...

Thanks for the tips, Erin! I have quite a few tops from Motherhood Maternity---they have some cute stuff. I'll be sure to check out the online place, too. As for the breastmilk dilemma, we decided to bring one bottle on the plane and feed it to her sometime after we arrive that day (while I simultaneously pump). So we'll have one bottle on hand, and cross our fingers that the morning pumping goes well enough that we get an extra backup bottle out of the deal. It is ironic, though, that we have a freezer full of milk but can't use it when we really need it! :)