Monday, March 28, 2011

Jenny Lomax-Hammond Ch 2 Married Amour Fou

(Story continued from the Jenny Lomax Story – Ch 1 Amour Fou)

After his daughter was born Lonnie did stay the next day and the day after that. The third day was when he proposed to Jenny. She asked him if he’d considered it carefully—she could hardly believe that he was prepared to give up his playboy life. Wondering if he did this because of Loni Faye alone or if he truly loved her, she hesitated. Lonnie knew what she was thinking.

“I don’t care about that life anymore, Jenny. I won’t be happy unless I’m with you AND Loni Faye. I know that’s hard to believe, but I hope to prove it to you. I’m going to sell my old place.”

That was the clincher and Jenny said “yes”—he was willing to give up his beloved bachelor pad. She loved him so much and had given up on the thought they would be together. She’d thought she would have Loni Faye and that was all the happiness she could expect.

They both enjoyed life with their daughter. Jenny was surprised at how Lonnie took to parenting. He really was amazing; joining right in with the bottles, diapers, burping and baths.

It was not many weeks after that when Lonnie and Jenny married. Jenny now had the life she never thought she’d experience with Lonnie. Truthfully, she did not think she deserved to be so happy after the way she’d treated Larry Max. It had taken her a long time to fully realize just how much she’d hurt him and the children. Now she was a little superstitious that she would pay at some point. She was already paying in one way because her daughter Chelsea had not talked to her in six years. But Jenny was afraid that she would lose Lonnie and the baby somehow now as retribution for what she’d done. She didn’t tell anyone this but it often bothered her.

Lonnie was working hard at his culinary career and advancing quickly.  Jenny found it ironic that her first marriage had been to a man who wanted to become a celebrity chef and now Lonnie, who never cared to work that much at his slacker jobs, was suddenly career minded in the same field. She would guess that it was all for his daughter and to make money for her future, but Lonnie said he had discovered a hobby, besides his piano and music, that was not work, but fun, and that was cooking. Why not make money while enjoying it? Whenever he fixed a special dish at home it was apparent to Jenny that he now exceeded her own, quite decent, abilities as a cook.

Life was good with their infant daughter and all too soon it was time for her birthday.

Loni Faye had been an exceptionally happy baby and followed that as a toddler as well. It was more and more apparent every day who her father was, she looked just like him. She was very smart and learned quickly all the little things a toddler needs to learn, the first being potty training. When she finally aced that subject, Jenny proudly told Lonnie of her successful training. It was incredible to Jenny that he was eager to hear the news, rather than bored or even grossed out as some men might be by the subject. Of course, he had helped with the training, too.

Jenny had been hoping to paint a masterpiece but she first wanted to finish her portrait of Lonnie. And no way would she sell family portraits. But after that was finished, framed and hung on the wall, she went back to painting still life that she hoped would qualify.  She didn’t have much time to paint, though, because her day was pretty much consumed with cleaning the house, sewing and, of course, caring for Loni Faye. The little girl woke early and in a rather bad mood, but quickly became her lovable self once Jenny got her out of the crib. Then it was lessons in walking which she learned as quickly as she had learned to potty. Now she could walk to the potty on her own, making Jenny’s job much easier. At the end of the day it was bath time; a time with their child that both Jenny and Lonnie enjoyed. 

Jenny had begun dressing Loni Faye proudly in the beautiful antique blue silk dress that they’d received as a gift from the Cullens before Loni Faye was born. At first she’d kept it wrapped up for  a “special occasions”, then realized there was only so long a time that Loni Faye would fit in it, so she began letting her wear it for every day. It was definitely the toddler’s favorite dress.

On the days that Lonnie had off (which were increasingly often now that he had received another promotion) he liked to be the one who started Loni Faye’s day. Lonnie was the one who taught her to talk. While he was still working at this chore he admitted to Jenny,

“I don’t know how you trained her to walk without pulling out your hair! I get so frustrated.”

“Patience and plenty of practice,” Jenny told him, “Don’t get discouraged, babe, you’re doing well and suddenly it will click and she’ll learn a new word every day. I know it took a long time to get her to say Daddy and Mama, but now she’ll move right along; you’ll see.”

She was right, Lonnie found out, and soon Loni Faye was talking to them all the time; in a cute little voice with frequent mispronunciations. Jenny loved most the evenings Lonnie was off when they watched TV or cuddled in the living room while Loni Faye played with her favorite toy and jibber-jabbered to herself. Lonnie was just sure that Loni Faye’s love of the xylophone meant she had real musical talent and would love the piano just as much as he did.

One of these special family nights Lonnie brought up a subject that startled Jenny as much as it intrigued her. He wanted to have another child.

“Lonnie, I’m not a 25 year old. I knew I was pushing it when I got pregnant with Loni Faye, but I just wanted her so much. Now, it’s three years later,” Jenny resisted.

“I guess I’m asking a lot; you’ll be the one who has to go through the pregnancy—and it will mean you have to deal with two kids, not just one. But, I don’t want her to be an only child. I was an only child; it’s lonesome. You came from a family of six and you miss them a lot now that you’re here and they’re still back in North Carolina.”

“But, Lonnie, we’d have to move, there’s not enough room here for another bedroom. We can’t put them both in the same room; the baby would wake up Loni Faye and vice versa.”

“I’m making really good money now and if we have to move; we will. I think, though, that we should call a contractor and see about adding on to this place.”

“We have no yard left except for that patch by our bedroom! I want at least some lawn for Loni Faye to play in.”

“Well, we could raise the roof,” Lonnie considered.

Jenny just bit her lip.

“Baby, it can’t hurt to get a builder’s opinion. You didn’t want to do that when we added on at the one end of the house, but we did and it turned out great.”

Jenny was still dubious; she was usual extremely practical, especially when it came to money. She was also strong-minded. But Lonnie had always been her soft spot and he continued to be so. He sweet-talked her that night and reminded her in the days and weeks ahead how good it would be for Loni Faye to have a little brother or sister. 

“How could I say to him, ‘I don’t want your baby’?” Jenny thought, “Besides, I really don’t want Loni Faye to be an only child; I’m just worried about the possible problems ahead.”

Pretty soon Lonnie wore her down and she agreed they could try for a baby.

Meanwhile, Lonnie was finally promoted to Celebrity Chef and only had to work three days a week. Jenny was sewing clothes for the new baby and for Loni Faye. One evening Lonnie brought home a fellow chef, Gary GilsCarbo—without letting Jenny know ahead of time. She’d sewed all day when she could have been preparing something special, now she had to scramble to make something quickly, which turned out to be spaghetti sauce she’d previously frozen; fortunately she made delicious spaghetti sauce. While she cooked the spaghetti, thawed the sauce, popped some packaged garlic bread into the oven and threw together a salad, Jenny griped to herself,

“Oh fine! Now I’m cooking not only for one famous chef, but two!” She planned on strangling Lonnie when their guest left.

Mr. Gilscarbo had his dinner, said it was magnificent and left shortly thereafter. Jenny said nothing to Lonnie but he was suddenly aware that she was perturbed with him. He began to help her clean up,

“I’m sorry, Baby, I just didn’t think. Frankly, Gary has been angling for a dinner invitation for a long time. But I should have called you. Will you forgive me?”
Of course she did forgive him by bedtime but for a while Lonnie thought she was never going to talk to him again. It gave him a little time to think about her side of it and he decided he would not make that mistake again; he’d keep her informed way ahead of time on guests.

One of the bad habits the Hammonds had fallen into, on the days Lonnie worked and it was fairly late when he came home, was keeping Loni Faye up to all hours so Lonnie had a little more time with her.  He might be right with her or end up playing a game to relax in the living room, but Loni Faye was not far away, playing with this or that.  Whenever she had not decided on which toy; Lonnie always made the xylophone available to her.

“Oh, brother, if that little girl doesn’t turn out to have musical talent, Lonnie will be devastated,” Jenny mentioned to Bobbi Jo Cooke with a chuckle.

Jenny was working on teaching Loni Faye a nursery rhyme these days. She was so adorable as she tried to follow the words and music and even the gestures.  On workdays Lonnie now spent time in the morning with his daughter so they could wean her off late nights. He fed her the cereal she always wanted and (when enough time had passed to keep her tummy from protesting) he tossed her around and up in the air. She always screamed with laughter and demanded more.

One day Jenny found herself vomiting several times for no apparent reason.  Then she realized there was definitely a reason. She had some news for Lonnie that should make him very happy. He came home from work a little earlier than usual and swaggered into the house. Having just received a bonus he was feeling proud and happy. His plan was to give Jenny a big kiss and then tell her the news. He kissed her all right, but he got a surprise himself before he could brag about his bonus.

“Okay, Handsome, the news you have been waiting to hear has arrived,” Jenny quickly told him with a smile, “We are preggers.”

Lonnie broke into a grin from ear to ear; he forgot to even tell Jenny about his bonus until late that night.

Almost immediately Jenny began to tire much more easily. So she made sure that, if Loni Faye wasn’t napping herself and Lonnie was working, she was in the living room with a toy while Jenny caught a catnap on the couch. Lonnie would come home and, especially if Jenny was napping, he would attend to any needs Loni Faye had. Then he would make dinner and wake Jenny in time to eat.

Finally her pregnancy was far advanced. She toted her toddler daughter around, but when she sat down on the floor one night to sing a nursery rhyme with her; she couldn’t get up. Fortunately, Lonnie was home and had to come help her get to her feet.

“Okay I’m not getting on the floor again until after the baby,” Jenny laughed.

Lonnie took care of Loni Faye more often than not now that it was getting near to Jenny’s due date. He wanted to be prepared although he knew it was entirely possible the baby would be stubborn and take longer to come. Meanwhile, Jenny and Loni Faye said “goodbye” to her old nursery. They had built a new one on the second floor and all of her things had been moved upstairs along with everything from the master bedroom. Jenny was often weary during all of this and told Lonnie he could do the new master bedroom in the colors he had in his room at his bachelor apartment, if he wished. She’d seen that room and knew she could easily live with that. In fact, right now she would settle for any décor, just to have it over. She would miss her “purple enchantress lair” (as Lonnie used to call it) but it was no longer something she needed or wanted. Lonnie was not sorry to see it go; she knew that.

“Honest, Baby, it’s been giving me purple nightmares. I didn’t mind it when we were dating but now that I’m sleeping there every night, ugh. It doesn’t look like the bedroom of two married people either. Don’t you think we should have a more respectable room?” he asked seriously.

Jenny had to hide her laughter—sometimes Lonnie was just plain endearing--and replied, “Yes, I do, babe. We need to be downright upright.”

The Hammond home with first addition (made before Loni Faye was born) on the left side of the photo and the “enchantress' purple lair” on the right side.

Below is revised first floor; nursery converted to office for Lonnie, piano moved to former master bedroom, stairs added there, and Lonnie added a synthesizer.

New second floor, left to right, Loni Faye’s bedroom for when she moves out of her crib, the purple-floored bathroom is for her. Her current nursery has a bathroom off that, too. Master bedroom will be changed slightly to accommodate new baby’s crib and table until Loni Faye is ready for her "little girl's" room. Master bath is at far right.

(The photo immediately below is actually from later in the story. Lonnie and Jenny did not decorate Loni Faye's new bedroom until she had her birthday and could choose things herself)

The night before the new baby was born; Jenny took an especially long nap on the couch while Lonnie moved the wide awake Loni Faye to a corner of the exercise room where they had placed her downstairs play-station. While she played he worked on his blog in his new office next door. When Jenny woke up Lonnie was putting supper on the table. She was still tired so after the meal they put Loni Faye in her crib and climbed into their own bed. 

 The next morning Lonnie was putting Loni Faye in her high chair to have her breakfast. Jenny was already eating an omelet. Suddenly she stopped in mid-chew and stood up, walking (okay, waddling) to the center of the kitchen where she went into labor. Lonnie had been sure that this time he would stay calm and in control, but when Jenny howled, he thought he was going to actually pass out. Then he saw his daughter still sitting in her chair without a bite of food or bottle in sight. That straightened his brain out a bit. The baby turned out to be a beautiful baby girl and Lonnie was terribly excited all over again, but managed to keep his wits about him long enough to get a bottle for Loni Faye. Then he, again, looked at Jenny and the baby in amazement. His wife calmly handed the baby to him, “Meet your new daughter, Liara Kaye.”

Tenderly he cuddled Liara while Jenny plucked Loni Faye out of the high chair and took her to the bathroom to bathe her and put on a clean pair of pajamas. No one would have guessed that Jenny had just delivered a baby. Pleasantview mothers were just a breed apart; pioneer stock. 

Lonnie had recovered and fed Liara her bottle; put her in her crib upstairs then came back downstairs to see how his oldest daughter had survived the vivid experience. She was calmly coloring at her playstation again; apparently not traumatized at all. Jenny was sewing in her studio like it was no big deal. Lonnie felt like he’d survived a tornado. 

Next update: Brian Ottomas Ch. 3 In My Life Pt. 1

Next installment on the Jenny Lomax-Hamilton story HERE