Saturday, October 27, 2012

beer-battered fish

One time quite recently we made beer-battered fried fish. I sent Tim to the liquor store to buy some beer for the project. This is the golden year in which he gets to buy alcohol for the first time, even though he's been legal for a while. When we drive by the liquor store he usually points it out and says something like "I bought alcohol there."

We don't drink; I think that fact is probably highly manifest at this point. But I have also purchased spirits from the state liquor store. I think I used white whine for a sauce I was cooking when we lived in Provo. I wonder how many people liquor store employees see coming in to buy stuff for cooking and know nothing about alcohol. When I went in, I basically said, "Help! I am totally ignorant and I need a good wine for a white sauce I'm making for my chicken! Just pick a bottle, and I'll pay for it."

Friday, October 26, 2012

bodies bodies everywhere!

I did most of Tim's custodial duties at the funeral home today. Normally I stay mostly in the apartment and don't have much contact with the mortuary proper, but I have noticed it's been oddly busy lately. I mentioned this to my friend and co-worker Heather earlier, and she suggested it could be in response to the cold weather. Like some sort of fatal seasonal affective disorder. I think that makes sense, because I had noticed that increase in activity at the funeral home seemed to correlate with the decrease in temperatures outside. . .

Basically it's like a party round the clock here. I think I saw about 10 bodies today. It's a little unnerving to open a door and not know if there's a body behind it. (The answer is yes.) I know I saw at least 5 bodies in various states. I even got a look at the preservation room! I asked to see it, out of curiosity. There were 3 bodies in there at the time. 4 actually. The funeral directors showed me the machine that replaces the blood and told me a bit about the preservation process. Neato.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

6 months

Shepherd is 6 months old now (has been for two whole days now) and I feel strongly convinced that he is on the cusp of transitioning into that grand phase of babydom that involves a tiny body moving rapidly and unassisted (hopefully not unobserved) to one part of the house where he quickly commits some senseless act of violence and destruction on a nearby innocent piece of furniture or organized kitchen cupboard or neatly folded pile of laundry only then to more quickly relocate to another part of the house to perpetrate similar destructive acts before his mother and I can discover to our horror the havoc he has caused in the absolute cutest way possible. He is not to this point yet, thankfully. But he is very close and while I (half) joke about being terrified by the prospect of baby mobility, I am very excited to see him grow and develop.

When we brought Shep home for the first time six months ago, I felt like he was so amazing and cute and fragile. I looked forward to when he and I could play and wrestle around. Finally, Shep is entering the realm of roughhousing! He really loves being thrown up in the air and he loves being dropped . . . from short heights . . . and on soft surfaces like the bed, of course. And hanging upside down makes him smile profusely. And, as evidence of his impending mobility, the other morning he rolled over from his back to his stomach and then back on to his back. Then he did it again, just to prove that he meant to do it the first time. Furniture and piles of folded laundry, beware!

An other somewhat unrelated but quite interesting development: Whenever I play guitar, I have Shep's complete attention. He just stares, totally absorbed. He also likes it when I beat box and singing has always made him smile and often soothed him when he is upset. Maybe we are seeing the inchoate signs of a master musician?

Amanda adds a few more things about Shep right now:
  • He started babbling and makes d/t sounds a lot now. He also whispers, especially in the morning when he first wakes up, and it's terrifically adorable.
  • He can sit up on his own for small periods of time. 
  • He loves, loves, loves water bottles! Anytime we are drinking out of a water bottle with him nearby, he tries to grab it for himself.
  • He has had water a few times and just barely started showing an interest in eating real food. We fed him a little bran muffin pureed with rice milk and fruit smoothie and it was quite amusing. 
  • He still nurses to sleep most often and doesn't seem to know how to settle down and fall asleep without it. Also he wakes up about as often as he always did, 3-4 times a night, but hardly stays awake for long during the night.
  • He loves splashing in the bath but only if he's being held at the same time.
  • He generally hates being alone. He recently started moving his head and whole body to see us when we walk out of his range of vision.
  • He is starting to enjoy being surprised and a little scared, whereas before it just scared him and made him cry. 
  • He still hates his car seat most of the time. We rarely venture out with him unless someone's in the back to entertain him.
  • He plays with his feet, mostly when he's diaper-free. And though he plays with them, he doesn't usually suck on his feet.
  • He loves to ham it up when he gets a lot of attention from other people. As long as he's not screaming, he will smile so much for people who talk to him. You should come talk to him sometime.

Friday, October 12, 2012


We moved. Into a mortuary. Don't be too jealous.

It's actually been a couple of weeks since we moved, and yes, we have dealt with some dead bodies, if you were wondering. Now that we're settling in and getting used to making a living off others dying, let me tell you about it.

This might require some background information, though, because, dear blog, I don't think you know about our lives recently. Here's a run-down, in outline form:

  • Tim got a bunch of rejection letters from PhD programs that he applied for. :(
  • Baby Shepherd made his appearance as a living human outside my womb. (You knew about that one, I think.)
  • Tim graduated with his master's degree. :)
  • We were given a move-out date (late-September) for our student apartment. Apparently you can't live in student housing if you're not a student. Sounds like discrimination to me.
  • My 12-week maternity leave ended and I resumed full-time work at the beginning of July. (I am totally remote, though, so I get to stay home with the baby. And we can live wherever.)
  • On the 4th of July I was afflicted with some sort of gastrointestinal infection and stayed most of the night in the ER because other healthcare facilities were closed. Some Independence Day.
  • Tim started looking for a job.
  • Tim wasn't getting anywhere in his job search.
  • Our dear bishop's wife helped Tim find a job teaching at our local community college. He's not teaching English, as he would hope (that is what his BA and MA are in). But he's teaching! It's a great start because teaching factors heavily into his career goals.
  • Tim decided to take a class as a non-student at the U. He wishes they would've offered this class when he was a student because it fits in so nicely with his research interests (it's about border spaces, if you wanted to know, but let's not get too erudite here . . .), and it's awesome.
  • We found out a funeral home near Tim's job lets apartments to poor, young married couples. We called about it and "interviewed."
  • Close to our move-out date, we were offered the apartment and job.
  • We moved to a funeral home.
  • We didn't have internet so I took some forced vacation time.
  • Tim started working at the funeral home in order to earn our keep. Custodial/maintenance-type things, mainly. He washes their cars a lot, and thus he sometimes drives a hearse.
  • Also we sometimes answer the phones when the office is closed. People sometimes call when other people die.
  • Tim sometimes goes and picks up the bodies of the dead.
  • I watched an eye bank employee "recover" the eyes from a recently deceased man who was being stored in a freezer. A freezer for dead bodies.
We weren't really sure what to think at first. At first, we were thinking about death a lot, and we weren't sure about it. Were we cursing ourselves by willingly inviting the grim reaper to be our roommate? But we think we are gonna like it here. We sure love cheap rent!

Friday, October 5, 2012

now that I can sit without help (temporarily) . . .

I need to work on getting there without help.