Friday, December 26, 2008
Finished her clinical fellowship and earned a few more letters behind her name (CCC-SLP).
Focused her speech-pathology skills on trying to master the Louisiana dialect.
Joined the fabulous world of bloggers (see below for our blog address).
Got pregnant, survived the first trimester, loved the second, enjoyed the third.
Devoted many days to “nesting” projects (e.g. painting furniture, organizing the house compulsively, etc.).
Became a mommy.
Graduated from medical school and is now officially “Dr. Ludlow.”
Wrote his first prescription.
Shopped for, selected, bought, and single-handedly moved in to our new home in Louisiana before Jenny had ever even seen the place.
Started five- year residency program in Otolaryngology (a.k.a. Earn, Nose, and Throat) at Louisiana State University.
Was introduced to his new best friend…the dreaded pager!
Rode his first mechanical bull at the Louisiana State Fair without breaking any bones.
Became a daddy.
Sold our first home in Reno (a miracle to say the least).
Took an awesome pre-residency vacation to Mexico.
Moved to Louisiana and were introduced to many southern delicacies including, but not limited to, the following: fried pickles, fried oreos, fried snickers, fried alligator on a stick, fried Thanksgiving turkey (notice a trend?), gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish.
Welcomed Caleb to our family
It has been a wonderful year full of adventures and blessings. Thank you for your interest in our lives and for your love and support.
David and Jenny
Monday, December 22, 2008
I have a hungry baby who needs some TLC (and a boob) at the moment, so this will be brief. Fear not, I will send an extensive overview of the events leading up to the arrival of our little Joe Cypress "soon," which is a relative term that in this instance means as soon as I've found a moment between feedings (Caleb's), diaper changes (Caleb's), and naps (mine).
In the meantime, here are a few pictures of our gorgeous little man (whose real name is Caleb, by the way:) Thank you for the emails, phone calls and prayers. We are all doing well (due in large part to my mom being here with us) and are so grateful for this little miracle that has entered our lives.
"Now this is a change of scenery."
After his first sponge bath.
Hand rubs from mommy.
The look of contentment.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
He has put up with quite a bit over the last 9 months and the list is ever-increasing in recent weeks. Despite this, he has maintained a sense of humor while still being sensitive to my volatile and ever-fluctuating emotions.
One of the inconveniences is sleep related. People tell me that the scarcity of sleep before a baby is born is merely preparation for when the baby arrives. Those who know David well know that he was converted to the gospel of good sleep habits while at Stanford and strives to minimize his "sleep debt." He has had to come to terms with the fact that between being a slave at the hospital and a soon-to-be father, his debt is going to accumulate despite his best efforts, but he doesn't complain about it. Here is a typical night at our house:
10pm-David slips into a fatigue-induced coma and Jenny's manic nesting begins
1am-Jenny gets in bed and tosses and turns to position her numerous pillows
1:30am-Jenny gets up to pee then tosses and turns to reposition her numerous pillows
2:30am-Jenny gets up to pee then tosses and turns to reposition her numerous pillows
3:30am-Jenny gets up to pee then tosses and turns to reposition her numerous pillows
4:00am-David's alarm goes off and he selects which shade of blue scrubs he will be wearing that day.
*Occasionally he comes home from the hospital wearing his latest bit of equipment which makes me laugh.
*He looks good riding a bull!
So, here's to you my baby daddy. I sure love you!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The doctor informed me that I have started to dilate and "soften" (those who have paved this road know the term well) and little Joe's head is really low so I should be ready "any day." Subsequent to receiving this news, I requested a few of those lovely absorbent mats they put under you on the hospital beds and have been sleeping on those because I'm paranoid about my water breaking in bed and ruining our mattress. It makes a lovely crinkling sound every time I move (which is quite frequent since I have discovered NO comfortable sleeping position... hence why I'm writing this post at 4:45am), but I feel a little better having taken this precautionary measure.
However, despite the doctor's admonition, all I've been feeling the last few days is the most uncomfortable unilateral sciatica that has developed and I'm starting to think that having little Joe here soon wouldn't be a bad thing. Up until precisely four days ago, I strategically avoided the pregnant waddle, but it is now inevitable and with each stride, I'm not sure if I move farther forward or side to side. I dare say, my next post may very well include pictures of our first born son as long as our efforts to free Joe Cypress from his captivity are successful:)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
This is closer to the homeostatic shape of my belly nowadays:
My cousin Noel takes weekly bare belly shots when she's pregnant. It's taken me 37 weeks to build up the courage, but here's the result. It is pretty fascinating, I have to admit.
Monday, November 17, 2008
With just a few more weeks to go, I think I've officially entered the nesting stage and wanted to post some pictures of my endeavors.
No, I was not TRYING to be immodest, but I have a "paint shirt" from my pre-pregnancy days that's already ruined and didn't want to ruin another shirt. Unfortunately, the fabric does not stretch, so my only resort was to let it all hang out.
All lit up:
Now that we have a fireplace, I hung our stockings and put up our fake tree which is the only Christmas tree we've ever had during our 7 years of marriage (also courtesy of my mother-in-law).
Now to tackle organizing the guest room so it's ready for my mom when she comes to do new-mommy-boot camp with me. We are so excited for this big change and appreciate all of your support.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
"No, Mormon, actually."
"You don't say. I've only known one other Mormon in my life and he was the workingest man I ever knew." He then went on to tell us about how hard this man worked to support his large family and how much respect he had for him.
Aside from the fact that I don't think "workingest" is actually a word, his comment got me thinking about what kind of "est" I might be if I was the only Mormon someone knew. Also, with election mania going on I've wondered a bit what role one person plays in all of this. This man's comment led me to the conclusion that, religion aside, we each can be the "est" at something whether it be kind-est, loyal-est, faithful-est, friendli-est, funni-est, reliabl-est (just go with it), etc. So as food for thought: if someone were to describe you, what "est" word do you think they would use?
Thursday, October 30, 2008
In our continued effort to experience all things Louisiana, we ventured to the state fair last weekend. We went in the back entrance and had the honor of walking past the 4-H livestock holding area. There's nothing quite like the aroma of fresh cow dung to get you in the fair spirit.
There were some definite highlights from our fair excursion:
-Funnel cake (I've had more funnel cake in the last four months than in the previous 27 years of my life combined!)
-Great weather. Two months ago I would've told you this place is forsaken when it comes to weather (I think I did actually say that in a couple of posts) but apparently the pay-off of extreme summer heat is a gorgeous October.
-Rigged fair "games." We avoided most of the games due to exorbitant prices, but when we came to the toss-the-ping-pong-ball-in-the-tiny-fish-bowl-to-win-a-goldfish game and it was only 25 cents a ball, we had to try. David made an arrangement (notice how I'm avoiding the word 'bet?') with our friend Jeff that if he made it in, Jeff would eat the goldfish. As a side note, Jeff is also an ENT intern at LSU so prior to entering into the above mentioned arrangement they had to discuss the likelihood of contracting any incurable diseases from eating a goldfish that had been kept in a nasty cooler for who knows how long.
We had a 50 cent budget for this game, so immediate success was crucial. Attempt #1-unsuccessful, attempt #2-unsuccessful. We started to walk away, but the carny in charge, said, "Wait a mint! I got a quata and I wanna see 'im eat dat fish." She handed David one last ping pong ball and he casually tossed it at the bowls. I am kicking myself for not video taping what happened next, but based on the complete failure of his first two attempts I was sure this one would miss too. Wrong! It didn't even hit the rim of the bowl, but landed right in the center. The look on Jeff's face was priceless. I still have to get a copy of the video clip from Heather and then I'll post it, but Jeff made good on his part of the arrangement and swallowed that little fishy down making our day as well as the carny's.
-The final highlight came from David's first attempt ever at mechanical bull-riding. I was reluctant to approve this adventure, not so much because of the risk of head injury or breaking something, but rather because of the "$7 for one attempt" sign posted at the booth. Here is the footage of the ordeal. At the end of his every-so-brief ride, you'll hear me say, "Hey, hang on!" Translation: we just paid $7, so you better get a few more seconds in!
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Captain Jack Sparrow also attended the event and claimed to be the father of both of our unborn children to anyone who would listen while this shot was being taken.
Then last weekend we drove to Dallas for some bonding with friends and family. My 7-yr-old niece, Lorin, accompanied us to Ikea for a furniture run on Sat morning. Those of you who are seasoned Ikea shoppers may be asking yourself, "Why would you go to Ikea on a Sat morning? Are you crazy?" The answer: yes!
Lorin was quite the trooper despite having to stand in line for one hour while waiting to check out. Fortunately, she found one of those paper tape measures (she named it Sneaky Snake) and managed to pass the time without a single complaint, which is more than I can say for myself. Here we are with the Ikea shelf loaded in the back of the Civic and Sneaky Snake being displayed tenderly for the camera.
Costley nieces. We love you Lolo, Izzy, and Ryan (you, too, Cory and Kerri:)
David, me, Izzy, Kerri, and Ryan on a hayride; Izzy (aka Snow White) and David building with blocks
Note: Although I'm wearing the same shirt in all of these pictures, the photo montage spans several days. My wardrobe is becoming more limited as my girth increases (assisted by such nutritious snacks as fried pickles:)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
1) Although they look like regular nylon knee-highs, they are made from MUCH thicker fabric which does NOT breath or allow for adequate ventilation. As such, you can expect your core temperature to increase by approximately 20 degrees the instant you put them on.
2) Actually getting them on poses quite a challenge when you have a big ol' belly preventing you from bending over adequately. So if you're going to wait to put them on until after you are in your cramped seat on an airplane, you may want to warn the poor lady sitting next to you that you're going to need to lean into her personal space for a few moments while you contort your legs in an effort to get them close enough so you can hook one end of the sock over your big toe and then pull and shimmy with all your might.
3) These socks squeeze your legs and ankles (they should be called "tourniquet socks" in my opinion) so if you are anything like me and have claustrophobic tendencies this can make you quite uncomfortable after an hour or so. Just take deep breaths and try to remain calm while periodically wiping the sweat from your brow (see reference to changes in core temperature under #1).
4) If you are planning on wearing flip flops on your travels, try to find the open-toe variety of compression socks (not available at the Shreveport Walgreen's). Otherwise, you will be confined to your seat on the airplane despite the fact that your baby is dancing on your bladder because you can't get your sandals on and you would hate to contract a fatal fungus by walking into the airplane bathroom with only a thin layer of tourniquet fabric between you and who-knows-what.
5) Since you will be confined to your seat anyway, it may be better to sit closest to the window as this will enable only the person sitting next to you to cast sideways inquisitive glances about your fashion statement rather than every person who walks down the aisle.
6) After wearing these socks for several hours, large indentations are left on your skin just below the knee. Capris would be a better option than shorts so people don't wonder what happened to your legs. Definitely DON'T go for long pants as your ability to maintain a healthy body temperature for your fetus would be nearly impossible under such conditions!
Those are all things I learned during the Reno trip. Well, we drove to Dallas this weekend and I knew the responsible thing would be to wear my blessed tourniquet socks on the drive. Just before we left, David heard me huffing and puffing in the front room and came in to see what was going on. I indulged him by posing for a picture, but he'd already missed the worst of it (the very difficult toe-hook and shimmy)
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
In any case, I survived the waiting, the drinking of a substance that I hope doesn’t cause fetal damage, more waiting, 4 blood draws, and more waiting all to be told, “Uh, I think you passed.” That’s what the receptionist said after looking up my results. When I asked if she could check with someone to make sure I passed, she got up, walked over to two other receptionists (not exactly the professionals I had in mind), said, “Do this mean she passed o’ she ain’t passed?” The other two receptionists looked at her baffled and then one said, “Yeah, I think she passed.” “You fine,” said the original receptionist in a dismissive manner. I left the clinic with very little confidence in the results, but heard from my doctor later that I did in fact pass “with flying colors.” Phew!
What did I do to celebrate? Well, there’s an art Festival going on downtown that I’ve been wanting to check out so I went and perused the snack booths. The deep fried pickle was tempting, but I opted for a funnel cake topped with powdered sugar instead. Man, was it good! Thank you to all those who were sending good anti-diabetes vibes:)
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Jump ahead to hour 3 of sitting at the LSU Women’s Clinic this morning…I was feeling slightly inconvenienced that all of my appointments at this place take such a long time, but was confident that I would pass with flying colors. The nurse pricked my finger, took the blood sample, inserted it into the machine and then said, “You failed.”
Instantly I was cursing the brownie and gelato concoction that tasted so divine the night before. Now I get to go back in 2 weeks for the “full length” glucose tolerance test to see if I really do have gestational diabetes. They say it’s a 3 hour test, but the one today was supposed to be a 1 hour test so according to my calculations, I’m likely going to be at the clinic the entire day. If only I could find a copy of Breaking Dawn at the library, it might not be so bad! David is already making arrangements to eliminate all sugar from my diet for the three days prior to the blood draw. Wish us luck.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
There were so many others who helped, too, with games, making food, coordinating a group gift, set-up, clean-up, etc. and I SO appreciate everyone’s efforts. I know there were many who had to arrange babysitters so they could be there and others whose lives are super busy, but still made the time to come. I called David afterward and told him how I was totally overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and friendship I felt. On behalf of all three of us: thank you, thank you, thank you!
I don’t have many pictures, but here are a few (thanks KK for your photography).
Leave it to the Lynchs to find the best seats in the house!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
We got out our 72-hour kits on Thursday when it was announced that Gustav was projected to hit Louisiana. We had a few things that needed to be replaced so we went to Wal-Mart and it was a mad house with jugs of water in short supply. Fortunately, we were able to get the things we needed without too much trouble. People at church today were talking about trying to go to the grocery store last night (just 2 days after our shopping trip) and being told by the Fire Marshall that no more people were allowed in the building.
It looks Gustav should be a tropical storm by the time it hits us in northern Louisiana on Tuesday/Wednesday so we’ll only get 75 mph winds instead of 150mph…phew! We’re bracing ourselves for a lot of rain, flooding and potential power outages, but should be just fine. Thank you to those who have called, emailed, posted blog comments or just sent thoughts our way to see if we’re OK. We will be sure to keep you updated.
Does this mean we have to cross “Gustav” off our list of potential names for our first-born son?
By the way, when updating our 72-hour kits I came across the most delectable, high-calorie snack: those construction-zone orange crackers held together by highly processed cheddar cheese filling. David noticed the empty wrappers (yes, that is ‘wrappers’ with a plural ‘s’) on the coffee table and said, “What happened to the crackers?” I sheepishly replied, “The baby thought they looked good.”
PS-Yes, I did publish 3 posts in 24 hours. Can you tell that David is pretty busy at the hospital?:)
Tonight is David’s last night on the Emergency Room service. He has gleaned some valuable tidbits in the last month which I include for your reading pleasure.
- If you ever get in trouble with the law and the cops have a dog with them…don’t try to run away!
- When confronted by a paranoid schizophrenic who is high on cocaine, keep a safe distance in case he takes a swing at you.
- If you’re native language is Chinese and you’re learning English, stay away from telling the lady at the gambling hot line, “I want to start life ova” as this can land you in the ER on protective custody under a suicide watch regardless of what was intended by the comment.
- When conducting a rectal exam, reassure the patient by saying, “Trust me, this ain't fun for me either, buddy!”
My favorite text messages I received from David while in the ER:
- Great day…just got exposed to lice!!!
- If I have to look at one more vagina, I’m gonna scream!
Sounds like fun, don’t you think?
Saturday, August 30, 2008
*Start at 5am instead of 7am as there is no escaping the blistering rays of the sun after 7:30am.
*Apply a generous amount of bug spray prior to rummaging through flower beds to avoid the lovely appearance of red dots covering your calves, shins and ankles the next day.
*Bring one complete pair of gloves for each member of your party. If you only have one pair and are forced to split the gloves between two people, be sure that you are not both right-hand dominant. If this cannot be avoided, be prepared for spasms throughout the muscles surrounding your phalanges after 4 hours of intense, one-handed weed-pulling.
*Bring an endless supply of cool beverages; preferably a combination of water and electrolyte replacing sports drinks.
*Keep said beverages in a cooler and do not leave in direct sunlight as doing so will turn the beverages to the temperature of snake pee within a matter of minutes thereby decreasing the extent to which they will refresh you.
*Have access to a car bigger than a Civic to haul away the 9 huge trash bags full of weeds.
*Check intensity of neighborhood watch program in advance of your project to avoid having the cops called on you. If this reconnaissance is not available, stuff your belly with padding so you look like you’re 6 months pregnant. This will make you appear less menacing and therefore less likely to scale the wall to crawl through a second-story window.
*Reward yourself with an Icee afterward and ignore the woman working at the register when she looks you up and down and says, “Wow, ya’ll been…runnin’???”
Despite the things that didn’t go so smoothly, we were quite happy with our work at the end of our 4 hours. Now if we could just get the lactic acid buildup to drain from our back and finger muscles, we’d be in good shape!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Speaking of our hotter-than-the-surface-of-the-sun climate here in good ol’ Shreveport, David and I were doing yard work last week and it was so stinking hot that I feared the brain development of our unborn child was in jeopardy. The only way I could figure to cope was to douse myself with water from the hose every 3-5 minutes. I quickly learned that it’s not a good idea to point the hose directly at your flesh when you’re turning it on for the first time in several hours b/c the water is SCALDING! I had to let it run for a minute before getting to the luke-warm stuff that was cooler than the outside temp. Here’s the approach we found works best: Now another 7, related to baby gear. For a date night we thought it would be a good idea to start looking at baby stuff. I felt like Ariel from the “Little Mermaid” looking at the 7,000 + products in front of us (“A whole new world…”). We quickly realized we know NOTHING about this realm and were completely overwhelmed by the infinite models and brands of car seats, baby monitors, bathing gear, etc. Fortunately, we have wise friends and family who have gone before and are relying on them for input.
Our conclusion: they're all too heavy!