N and JM will be coming with me to RSA in Minneapolis this weekend. (JM was an easy bribe--all it took was a pair of Twins tickets and a post-semester conference date.) Just today I got my two papers into near-final form, but for the tinkering after I practice delivering them. Getting the papers finished with a 3.5 month old was probably a good preview of what it will be like to conference with a 3.5 month old: it took lots of advance planning and work, and it is a bit more challenging. No more seat-of-pantsing it. I have to know exactly what sort of transportation we're going to take, where N will sleep, and we have to make sure we can carry our bags in addition to the kiddio. Jada, N and I test-rode N's new reclining umbrella stroller around the neighborhood today with minimal crying (she can put up quite a fuss in her sedan-sized baby jogger, so this was good).
By necessity, I've even started packing, an astonishing development. Pre-baby, that would wait until the day before or the day of my flight. I can't afford to do that now, so I have laid out some of the clothes I'm taking and have done exactly one shitload of laundry (am washing a couple of key blankets and toys for N right now). I bought a huge bag at TJ Maxx this past weekend that is so ugly it's almost cute, and it should fit said blankets and toys as well as my conference folders and shit. I'll probably leave the laptop behind (a first) and rely on my phone for email, facebook, and (less likely) blogging. I'm making extra (ahem) food this week so that N will have plenty on Saturday, my busy conference day, with back-to-back panels that afternoon. Having JM and The Bean (as we call her) in the conference hotel will be nice, though, because I'll be able to pop up and spell JM if need be.
After traveling with N alone a couple weekends ago (back to Urbana for graduation), I feel a bit more confident than I would were this our first trip. Besides, there will be two of us, and I will be able to shower without worrying that Nora will suddenly learn how to roll over, and that she will roll over 10 times, over the edge of the King-sized bed and land on the floor. And of course I bought a book about traveling with babies that I have not managed to find time to read--maybe I'll bring it along to my hair appointment tomorrow.
Saturday will be devoted to the conference and meetings, and apart from the luncheon, I'm hoping to spend most of Sunday with JM and N. N likes to look at paintings, so we're thinking a museum might be a good idea, and I discovered in our stopoff in Columbus she also likes being carried on city sidewalks, so the baby carrier will get some action too. I look forward to introducing the Bean to a big Midwestern city and JM and I are excited to see more of downtown Minneapolis ourselves. That is if we can bring ourselves to breathe.