Going to the old town tomorrow to show my students the instrumentation we are using for our project. As always I am utterly convinced that something terrible is going to happen while I am away, but it's only two nights (she says resolutely while inhaling on a ten count).
Couple of things... I only have one pair, possibly two of maternity pants that I actually enjoy wearing and that fit. I've been rocking the same two black maxi skirts pretty much every day since the beginning of May. Which is fine most of the time, but doesn't exactly scream "working in a dirty warehouse, crawling around, and sitting on the floor." So I guess two days and two pairs of pants isn't exactly that big of a problem, though both are of the highly professional cargo-capri variety. And pants do make me look like an oompaloompa. So that's an issue.
The students and I are staying in the hotel where my family stayed (and almost got kicked out) when Ryan and I got married. It is also the hotel where I stayed during my defense, which means it is the hotel in which I tried to finish up my powerpoints in the bathroom while Ryan got the kids to sleep, the hotel where Ryan and I ate a spaghetti dinner sitting on the floor in the six inch wide shaft of light coming in through the curtains after the kids finally went to sleep, and also the hotel where I had to line my bed with towels after missing three baby-Wes feedings (he had formula) due to my post-defense activities (ahem) and then laid awake until four AM when he woke up mercifully hungry (always travel with your breastpump valves, friends!!). So many memories!
And also, the students have done an excellent job preparing for the research meeting we will have while we are there. *I* have not finished my contribution yet because the freaking computer won't work the way I need it to. Isn't that the story of my post-graduate life? I have warned the rest of the team via email, but I have a feeling that I will feel just as stupid in front of Dr. Advisor now as I did five years ago when in a similar situation.
And then there is the whole absentee mother thing that is bothering me a LOT. I just missed a week of their lives! Every time I sit down James and Wes crawl into my lap, heads down, thumbs engaged, for a cuddle. This has been the toughest part of the summer. Charlie is pretty unhappy (and highly verbal!) about the situation and I really REALLY want to take him with me, but Ryan doesn't think it would work. We will all be in Maine together a week from today and I think individual ice cream cone dates with me and each kid are on the agenda.