Longtime readers will recognize the heading of this post. I'm expecting another baby, a second daughter, due in about eight weeks (on May 7). Since I returned from my first maternity leave I've been combining baby care with part-time work writing this blog. It's sometimes been a challenge to do both. But I'm grateful that I get to do both -- to be involved in my daughter's upbringing while continuing to participate in the joy and excitement of exploring our solar system. I get to work almost entirely from home, yet on a daily basis I connect with people all over the globe. It's a great gig. When baby #2 arrives, though, I'll need to shut out that outside world, devoting my full attention to being a mom, for three months.
Don't fear: the blog will go on in my absence. As I did before Anahita's birth, I'm now calling on friends in the space business, asking them to commit to contributing their viewpoints as guest bloggers for a week apiece while I'm out for the months of May through July. I'm still filling in a couple of gaps in the schedule, but will hopefully have the list of guests posted some time this month. Until the end of April, I hope to carry on my usual level of posting, though circumstances might occasionally interfere with the regularity of my posting (hopefully no more than my recent home move did). And, of course, babies have their own ideas about when to be born, so it's always possible that my entries will stop rather abruptly.
This announcement will, I hope, explain why I'm not making it to the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference this year (it starts in a week). I hope fervently that some of you reading this are planning on attending LPSC and might think of me, restricted from traveling but terribly curious about the latest news and science results, and send me an email with anything interesting you hear in the sessions or in the hallways!