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2008-07-17 - 9:34 a.m.

...punch me in the stomach so I can forget this headache! Plus dealing with conferences...

One word solution to baby's late-night waking pattern:


TONS of oatmeal. Oatmeal makes the baby sleep like a Rock made out of lumpy baby oatmeal. It's great.

Two word problem that comes from giving baby oatmeal, and screws up baby-oatmeal-rock-sleeping gift:


Oatmeal is, uh, kinda binding, apparently. Poor thing is getting kinda cranky...and mom and dad are just waiting for the big day when, well, the oatmeal revisits us.

Now if THAT isn't too much information...


Today is the 4th day of the conference, and I'm skipping out. I was just too tired after yesterday to go another full day. It's kind of frustrating because this conference costs a lot of money.

Interestingly, there were two women with babies in the session. What are you going to do if you need to keep up with your career and there is no alternative that presents itself? The babes didn't seem to mind at all, and neither did the participants. Maybe I should have brought Susi - it would have been a lot easier for me than pumping all the time. Plus, three babes in a room is perhaps a critical mass to inspire some thoughts from the organizers about better daycare.

I've mentioned to Bluey before that I always get depressed at conferences. It happened this time, too. I went to grad school where perhaps the hugest name in the field was a prof, and he certainly knows me, but I've never been one of his darlings. (he's the kind of person who latches onto certain brilliant young scientists and then launches their careers to the moon. I was not launched.)

When I saw him yesterday, I cheerfully exchanged a few words with him ... before he walked away from me, mid-sentence. Now, no matter how much you KNOW that this is someone's personality, and no matter how much you KNOW that your self-worth is not based on recognition from this person, and no matter no matter - if you are already in a delicate state of insecurity - this is enough to topple you into the predicted what-have-I-done-that-is-worthy self-wallowing depression. And it did.

It's funny because I recognize the feeling before it comes, now, because it is so predictable. I came home and relayed the story to K, and he was wonderful about it. First of all, he knew EXACTLY what I was talking about, both with regards to feeling depressed, and with regards to dealing with such Names in The Field. But he went one step further and advised me to go out there the next day and meet someone new - Someone whose paper I've read and liked, but never had the chance to meet. It will make both of us feel good. (I did this, and it worked). And finally K said that, in the end, I have him and Susi, and ultimately that is most important. Hugs all around.

So today I will have a nanny here, but I will spend the day working on my own things - amazingly I went from a practically dry publication situation to possibilities for 3-4, with Bandy offering to help me throw out another one as a quick collaboration. And then on top of that, an invitation to participate in an NSF proposal. This will truly help me get out of this amazing dry spell, although I know from experience that not all of this will pan out.

ooo. Mary is here to watch Susi - they are sitting on the chair across from me. Susi is grinning from ear to ear as Mary blows air on her face. What a happy, lucky baby.

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