Monday, June 30, 2008

The Pelican State

It’s official, we are now residents of the pelican state complete with Louisiana driver’s licenses, license plates and a constant “glow” about us (a sticky layer brought on by the humidity).

This part of the country has a very distinct feel to it and we’re trying to learn the ins-and-outs of daily life here. Part of that involves decoding the language. I actually started making my own “Louisianan” to Standard American English translation dictionary to assist in this process. Here are some of the more useful items:

*wudn’t – wasn’t; as in, “You wudn’t there?”
*yous - you was/ weez - we was
*fixin’ to - getting ready to; as in, “Weez fixin’ to go shopping.”
*shek - shack; as in, “ya’ll need to park yo’ ca’ under the shek” which we heard from the clerk at the Wal-mart auto desk when having our battery checked
*cheeburger - cheeseburger. I kid you not, there is a “restaurant” here called “cheeburger, cheeburger.”
*set – sit
*mit - minute; as in, “ya’ll set down a mit”
*mu - my/ yu - you
*hep - help; as in, “We’z hea to hep yu” which David heard from the orientation lady at the hospital
*twirly whirly - fan; as in, “Ya’ll wanna keep it cool in the garage, yu gotta open your attic door and let the twirly whirlys do their thang.”
*fo- before
*wichu-with you
*dun fell out- I passed out; which can frequently be heard at the hospital
*buggy wuggy- shopping cart

There’s a story for this last one. On my first solo outing in Shreveport, I went to the Wal-Mart in search of an FM receiver. The man working in the electronics department was very nice and showed me where to find one. Upon seeing that they were out of stock he said, “Wouldn’t yu know it? Thems all out.” “That’s OK. I’ll check back next week,” I responded. As I was walking away, I heard him yell, “Wait a mit (see above for translation), ma’m. I got two of ‘em right here in mu (see above for translation) buggy wuggy (see above for translation).” I turned to see if he was talking to me and sure enough, he had a shopping cart that was being used to restock with two FM receivers inside. “Look like it’s yo’ lucky day!” he said. How right he was!

During that same trip to Wal-Mart as I was standing in line, the woman in front of me was getting frustrated that her kids kept running off. To get one of them to come back, she hollered, “Liza, you get back here right now fo' (see above for translation) somebody run off wichu ‘cuz they need an extra little girl.” A few seconds elapsed wherein Liza returned to the line at which time her mom continued, “Course, they’d bring you right back soons they realized how high maitnence you is!”

Despite the occasional language barrier, the people here are incredibly nice and it doesn’t take long to get to know all about someone. We were at the bank opening a checking account last week and the nice woman helping us told us all about her kids and how long she’s been in Shreveport and where all of her relatives live and where to go for good crawfish, etc. When we left, I said to David, “We never would’ve had a conversation like that at any of our previous banks.” “Yeah, but we would’ve been out of there 45 minutes ago, too!” I couldn’t argue with that.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

iFly and Flowrider

We spent a few days in Utah with my family before leaving for Shreveport. My dad found this great place in Ogden where you can do 'iFly' and 'Flowrider.' iFly is for indoor skydiving and consists of a big Plexiglas tube with a HUGE fan at the bottom (protected by a cage, obviously). You jump into this thing and fly around. It was a riot to see.

Here is David in his sexy jump suit and goggles.

And here he is "flying." Notice the applause from the instructor...
or maybe he's praying that David won't die:)

After that, we headed to the Flowrider which is an indoor surfing wave. It basically shoots huge amounts of water out through big jets and you can surf or boogie board on the wave it makes. Well, that's assuming you don't get a concussion trying. The first few attempts for everyone were pretty funny, but after a while they got the hang of it.

Here's David shredding...

This picture gives a better view of the wave machine. That's my dad rocking the boogie board.

Neither of the two activities was compatible with pregnancy so I got to be photographer with my sister Tiffany who is due one week after me. It was still a blast. Thanks mom and dad!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Viva Mexico!

To help buffer the emotional blow of leaving Reno and moving to a world of the unknown (Louisiana), we headed to Cancun for a fantastic week-long adventure. Neither of us had been to Mexico before, so it was a great experience. Before we left, David bought a “Medical Spanish” book which he studied diligently on the plane in the hopes he could “espeaka da Spanish” to people once we arrived. His newly acquired phrases weren’t terribly useful while we were there (e.g. Where does it hurt? You’re going to feel some pressure), but he quickly picked up on some more relevant phrases such as, “How much for this?” and “Where are we going?” There were few funny things we read while there: Crepe topped with “wheeped cream,” “Go tru security” at the airport. Those kept us laughing. Here are some pictures highlighting a few of our favorite moments.

Chichen Itza-I was prepared for a very hot day, but it rained pretty much the whole time we were there. I was thanking my lucky stars that I hadn’t worn a white t-shirt like one lady in our group who walked around the entire time with her arms crossed precariously across her chest…stumps for her! Here we are standing in front of the main building at the ruin site. What an amazing architectural undertaking.

David playing “Where’s Waldo” in the ruins. Don’t worry, he only had to hop two rope partitions for this shot.
Day at the beach-As you can see, the beaches in Cancun are out of this world: white sand that feels like walking in flour; crystal clear water that’s like climbing into the bathtub.

I’m in a really awkward stage of pregnancy where it looks like I’m just enjoying the all-inclusive meals a little too much. But as you can see, the baby bump is growing.
Cenotes-Cancun has a lot of underground rivers and caves (called cenotes) that you can explore. This was probably the best thing we did while we were there. Here we are in one of the caves. The water was a little cold for my liking, but baby Ludlow seemed to be OK with it! Do you like our oh-so-fashionable life jackets and snorkels?

David got to show off his mad zip-line skills. Gotta love the flexibility!

All-in-all it was a wonderful vacation full of sun, naps, togetherness, and adventures.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Hello to 28 and farewell to SSLG!

I celebrated my birthday last week and am officially knocking on 30's door:) My birthday was great as it started out with a haircut, then off to work with wonderful kids and parents, and finally to The Farm for dinner and celebration. Here is a picture leading up to me trying to blow out the candles (breath support isn't great nowadays as the pregnancy progresses). Fortunately, Danny, Devon, Luke, and Lia were close by to finish off the rest of the flames (and add a little something special to the icing...aka spit!).

This was also my last week of work. I've been at the Sierra Speech and Language Group (SSLG for short:) since last June and it's been an amazing year. I will miss my kids and their families as well as the wonderful people with whom I worked.

A funny picture with one of my favorite little guys at work. This is his response to "smile."

My "going away" dinner with Ryan, Shawna, Maiko, Eric, David, me
My "going away" lunch with me, Maiko, Christen, and Lisa

Does it seem like I had a lot of "going away" activities? :)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Dr. Dave

May 16th was a momentous occasion as David received his medical diploma officially recognizing him as a doctor. The school of medicine had their own ceremony so there were only 50-some graduates instead of the hundreds at a typical graduation (like mine last year). It was a wonderful ceremony, but the crowning moment was watching Dr. Ludlow (David’s dad) hood Dr. Ludlow (David). A tender moment! Unfortunately, David doesn’t have the number he needs to write prescriptions just yet (which, according to some, is the best part of having a doctor around). We’ll let you know when that happens!

The ceremonial hooding

The parents!

The obligatory pregnancy photo proving that baby Ludlow was at Daddy's graduation.

Farewell to our first home

I remember vividly when we moved to Reno from Palo Alto where we’d been living in 500 square foot apartments for three years paying WAY too much money in rent. Our 1300 square foot house in Reno was like a palace in comparison. It was the perfect place for us during the past four years. On May 10th, we officially vacated our first home. After having the house on the market for three weeks we received an offer. As many people said when we listed (at what some would call a not so opportune time to be selling a house) “it only takes one.” We recognize this as a huge blessing.

The moving company left a HUGE trailer in our driveway and since we were paying by the foot, we proceeded to play life-sized Tetris figuring out how to fill every cubic foot with boxes and furniture. It turns out our life's possessions can fit nicely into 14 feet of truck space. Thanks to all those who helped with loading the truck (and a huge thanks to their wives for letting them come).
Our last photo shoot in front of the house.

Since I have been busy with work and haven't been feeling great (quite an understatement) David did most of the packing. In the process he managed to separate the skin on the tip of his pointer finger from the nail bed, an injury that is much more inconvenient than you might imagine. As David informed me, the pointer finger is essential to many daily activities (flossing, typing, etc.). The injury was exacerbated the morning of the move and we couldn’t get it to stop bleeding. Unfortunately, all of our Band-Aids were packed. David made due for as long as possible, but before too long I heard him yell from the kitchen, “That’s it! I’m going to fashion my own bandage!” The next thing I knew, he had a paper towel folded into eighths wrapped around his finger tip with clear packing tape holding the “bandage” in place. You can’t say he isn’t creative. Here’s a photo of his genius.

A very "fashionable" bandage, don't you think?