We did it! We made it through the conference!
I don't know how I would have been able to do it without Andrew, who was my cheerleader over the past year and helped me through more than one emotional breakdown. It's not every day you commit to working a new job and taking more than a full load of graduate-level courses in addition to homeschooling your already-handful of kids and then find out you're pregnant. But it was one day.
At least, it was for me. We're coming up on the one-year anniversary of that day.
That day wasn't pretty. Not exactly.
But we made it through it!
And now, here's Phoebe being a beautiful (tired) baby at a beautifully coordinated conference:
Taking a baby to a conference in the middle of a pandemic was...not on my list of Things I'd Like to Do. But Phoebe is still very much a nursling (she's shown zero interest in food so far) and so...she came to the conference. Andrew came, too, so that he could tend her between feedings. They mostly stayed out of the way of things.
I was originally going to have Rachel come to the conference with me to tend Phoebe, but then Grandpa moved out here (another support person I wouldn't have made it through this conference without), so we had him stay with the older five and Andrew came with me (see?!—Grandpa was a lifesaver). And it's probably a good thing it worked out that way because the first day of the conference was long and Phoebe was not confident about her survival skills without Mommy.
Andrew clocked fourteen miles of walking with Phoebe. They walked all over campus in the morning and then—when a ginormous window-rattling, make-sure-you-know-where-the-tornado-shelter-is storm rolled through—all over the conference center in the afternoon.
Luckily, it's a fairly small conference so they were able to avoid people (though many people did ooh and ahh at her from a distance).
My advisor and I had a meeting just a few days before the conference and she asked me about my plans for Phoebe, so I explained that Andrew was fortuitously on spring break and would be coming along and she mused that that would probably be a fun little getaway.
Now, I admit that we did have a relaxing evening on Thursday when we arrived. I had a few things to do to get ready to go. We stopped by my building—Aderhold Hall, which is funny because Aderhold is also the name of Andrew's building, only his building is in downtown Atlanta at GSU and my building is on UGA campus in Athens—so that I could grab some supplies and things. These cute masked bulldogs are all over campus.