Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category


Another conference

May 27, 2010

Months ago I agreed to go to a conference at the beginning of June and give a presentation. I’m a professor, presenting data and ongoing work is part of the job. I knew that I would have a new child at the end of April and that at most, that child would be 6 weeks old during the conference.  I would not have agreed to go except that this conference is related to my regional specialty — the Himalaya and Tibet. It is a yearly conference but not often held in the United States, so I feel obligated to go. I summitted an abstract months ago and unearthed it yesterday to figure out what I said that I was going to talk about.  After reading it, I’m not enthusiastic about putting together a presentation.  I think my new little one, sleeping here in the office, has taken possession of my brain. Everytime I think I can work on it a little bit, I just can’t think. My brain is cloudy and my body is tired. I’ve been drinking a bunch of caffeine to compensate for my brain but that isn’t working either. It just makes my little one grumpy. I said I wasn’t going to drink any caffeine today and I’ve already given in. I have time to do the work; I’m sitting at my desk but I can not get motivated.

It is always hard to get back to work after having a baby but I’m having a particularly rough time this time. Maybe because it is summer….but honestly I have so much work that needs to get done this summer that it may just be work paralysis — you know, you have so much work that it is too intimidating to begin and it is just easier to ignore it. I’ve been doing that with home projects for years (and it is starting to catch up to me). Usually I combat the paralysis by just doing something and scratching it off my list. But…I don’t feel like it. But…I have to do something for this conference so my peers do not laugh at me. Yes, I do plan on taking the littlest one with me and into the talks and meetings. I hope it will work out. He is kind of quiet until he gets hungry. He starts to grunt in his sleep when he is hungry and trying to wake up. Then, he is noisy. I’ve traveled internationally with little ones and take them into meetings here at my office but I’ve never tried to take one to a conference before. And I’m procrastinating with this blog. I was sitting here staring at a blank screen on my computer and then thought, Oh, I could update my blog. I’m supposed to be doing some serious critical thinking and I can’t really get to step one.

What are you doing? Are you procrastinating?



February 14, 2010

Today I received an email for a conference at the beginning of June. “Congrats, you’ve been accepted for the ……”. I feel a little naughty even thinking beyond the birth of this baby. I had to a lot of field work shuffling this summer because I had 3 international trips scheduled and needed to nix them all. I say things like, “Once this baby is here safely, I can do….”   With my last one I had a mental block and could not think beyond the birth but for this one, I have to or else….or else what really?  My students will not get any work done. My work will grind to a screeching halt. My family will go the summer without seeing family. There are worse things (as we all know). The point being is that I have been thinking beyond and accommodating the birth of a child. I will have to get a passport and visa for this baby. I need to check on flights to make sure I pay the taxes for a baby in the lab?  How do I give a talk at a conference with a baby wrapped to me?  I am enjoying the challenge of thinking up solutions but I’m really amazed that I can think beyond. Is it optimism or is it just being naive?  I know what can happen; I just pray that it doesn’t happen again.

I also scheduled a conference 3 weeks before my due date. Why? Because I promised colleagues that I would do it before I knew I was pregnant. In fact, 7 weeks before I am due, I’m chairing another conference in Baltimore. Why?  I thought it was a good idea. Now, all the conferences and committments I made before I was pregnant are piling up. So, I will do it. I’m going to take the train to the one where I’m 37 weeks pregnant so I don’t have to drive. I can sit and do work and get up and walk. I’ve never taken an Amtrak train. I’ve traveled all over Europe on the train but never in the US. I’m looking forward to the experience.


Back Again

July 24, 2009

Tonight DD, who is 6.5 years said “Mom, if you had a million dollars, you would keep it in your closet, so it wouldn’t blow away.”  Hmmm, I guess that is one place to keep it, if I had a million dollars. I think she gets this from the offhanded comments they say “I want ____ and ____” and I say, when you earn a million dollars you can buy that. She also wants to have a car without a roof (a convertible) and live in Hollywood. If that is not the influence of T.V. I don’t know what is. I monitor their T.V. watching but it is the commercials that are dangerous. That makes a good argument for getting Tivo.


We have been gone on vacation to the beach and visiting the inlaws. It is good to be home.


Tonight I was watching an episode on HGTV where this guy would come in and fix a house that contractors messed up. I have no idea what it is called. But I watched it because I was feeding the little one. The builder kept referring to all of the upgrades he put into the house because they were about to have a baby e.g. a hepa filter. The lady was nearly full term and was ripe with pregnancy. Of course, he did a very good job on the house. At the end when the sh0w was ending, a black screen came up that said “In Memory of Baby Emma, June 2007”. I cried. I thought HGTV would be safe. Then I lit a candle for Baby Emma which burned all evening. Why? Because I know the pain and sadness that couple experienced. I know they miss their baby Emma. So Baby Emma, I hope you are with the rest of the little babies who died too soon and are at peace.



July 1, 2009

6 weeks into the summer and I have done absolutely nothing at work. I’ve mostly been in the field or attempted to be in the field. This has left me extremely unfocused at work. I went in yesterday only to sit and try to figure out where I was when I left. I hate feeling this way. So, I end up wasting time surfing the internet. Yes, wasting time. I hate wasting time but it makes me feel productive….like I’m doing something. However, I’m not really doing anything…just bouncing from a loss blog to a friends blog to an interesting article and probably not retaining one word. Today, I promise to make lists and try to obtain some focus.

And I need a vacation, any last minute ideas on where to go?  My kids want to go to the beach. Does anyone know of deals on hotels or beach house on the southeast coast or around the Gulf of Mexico? See, I’m that unmotivated. I can’t even plan a vacation.



June 19, 2009

Nobody died. Nobody died. Nobody died.

I just keep telling myself that and trying to shake off the frustration that I am experiencing. The part for our work truck can in yesterday. They installed it and drove it. The truck still makes a noise. Diagnosis = the part is defective. They have to order another part, and that means another 4 days of waiting for the part to get to Colorado Springs. We have been delayed for 10 days and it will certainly be 4 or 5 more days before we leave. I look for the positives: nobody died, I’m visiting my sister, time with the kids.  It is just frustrating.

On our tour around Colordo we went to Cortez to see Mesa Verde and found a local fair. We went to Ouray because it is DH’s favorite town. And then to Gunnison because we both like it. The kids had a blast. We found some snow on the high passes and played. We are from the deep south so playing in the snow is a rare treat.


Also on a positive note, my little one got her first tooth on the 17th. She has been really whinny and waking up alot at night so I figured it had to come soon. I’m so proud. She is 6.5 months old. Sniff, my baby is getting older very quickly. I’m getting all the snuggles I can though before she starts wiggling away from me.

Another positive thing is that I have read two pleasure books. A rare treat for me. I don’t dare check out these novels from the library because I would read them instead of doing work. Ahhhh, so nice.



June 10, 2009

We traveled 3 days from AL to AR, AR to Amarillo, TX and then up to Colorado Springs where I have a sister. We stayed a day and then planned to set off but our truck started making very loud obnoxious noises. So, this morning DH took it to get looked at and something is broken. I don’t know, something about a flywheel. Anyway, we are here a day and a half longer than anticipated. Still 1.5 days up to MT….

The kids are traveling wonderfully and having a great time. Everything is an adventure with him. I’m having so much fun. They want to know about everything so we have had discussions ranging from why the Indians did not have electricity, to how boo boo heal, to why volcanoes go extinct. It is alot of work to travel with them but I really enjoy my kids.  Plus, I like for them to see the United States instead of just the little po-dunk town we live in.


Away Again

June 5, 2009

The family and I are leaving again. Tomorrow we are setting off to do field work in Montana. We will be driving across the country. I’m one of those people who don’t fear being in the car with the kids for 4 days straight. They all ride pretty good and we stop frequently. Maybe I will be writing differently when I get back but I look forward to the family time and building memories for the kids. It also means I get to talk to my husband more than 20 minutes at night. And catch up on talk radio….

I wish you all Peace and Strength, D.