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Archive for May, 2007

Insert Nelson laugh here

Friday we took Autumn to the doctor for her 18-month checkup. She’s 95th percentile for weight and 90th percentile for height. She’ll probably end up being taller than me seeing as her father is nearly a foot taller than me. The doctor said we didn’t have to keep Autumn on whole milk and that she can drink what ever we drink (skim). Thank God for that because we frequently have to empty expired milk into the sink because the girl cannot possibly drink an entire gallon before it goes bad.

After the appointment we ate at our favorite Chinese buffet and then I brought Autumn home to give her a much needed bath. Since we had driven separately, Nathan decided to stop off at the store to pick up a few things.

“Guess who I saw at Family Fare?” he asked later when he got home.

“Who?” I asked

“My ex,” he said.

Hmm. That was not who I thought he was going to say. A neighbor most likely, a former co-worker perhaps, but not his ex wife. They had been married briefly in the early ’90s and were separated when Nathan and I started going out. I was curious as to what she was doing in our neck of the woods. Last we knew she was living on the other side of the state.

“Did you say anything to her? I asked.

He said that he didn’t have an opportunity because she was already checking out as he was getting in line. When I asked if he would have tried to get her attention if Autumn had been with him he said, “Oh hell yeah.” He pointed to Autumn and said, “Bitch, your babies could have looked like that!”

Um, not exactly, but I know where he was coming from. Things did not end well between them. She left him, and although I didn’t know her at all, Ryan and Marla did. Ryan and Marla and Nathan and the ex hung out like Ryan and Marla and Nathan and I do now. Needless to say those first few years of my relationship with Nathan, even after our marriage, were awkward when it came to spending time with Ryan and Marla.

Marla used to talk about the ex a lot. To this day it still irks me that she didn’t realize how inappropriate that was, but I think she was not-so-subtly trying to warm me off Nathan. She had an idea of what kind of man he was, but her information came from the ex and was tainted at best. I’ve known Marla since high school, but I could never muster up the courage to tell her to put a sock in it. Thankfully she quieted down on her own. Maturity…it’s a good thing.

Maturity has made us somewhat responsible human beings and I’m sure the ex would be quite surprised to see where Nathan is now, seeing as she was so quick to discard him when he apparently didn’t live up to her expectations. Oh well. Her loss is my gain, and judging from her purchases at the supermarket, which according to Nathan included a fifth of Captain Morgan, a 2-liter of Coke and a TV dinner, she has nothing like this waiting for her at home:

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Time and again

Last night my parents came over to see Autumn. They drop by every Sunday evening to get their weekly granddaughter fix and stay about a half hour to an hour. Shortly after they walked in the door my mother announced that they could only stay until 6:30 because they had to get home to let their dog out.

We were eating dinner at the time so my parents pulled up chairs and sat at the table with us. My parents talked to Autumn while she ate, or rather while she sat on her high chair and her food got cold. My mother likes to talk to Autumn a lot. Most of the conversations are one sided and involve what she and Autumn are going to do together, so during the dinner my mother laid out the schedule.

“After you eat, Grammy and Grampa are going downstairs and wait for you while Mommy gives you your bath. But we can only stay until 6:30 because we have to get home to Miss Daisy.”

Again with the deadline.

I bathed Autumn after dinner just as my mother said I would and brought her downstairs. Again my mother verbalized their 6:30 exit time and I just snapped. “Yes we know you have to leave at 6:30, Mother. You’ve told us that three times since you’ve been here.”

My mother got quiet and I could tell what I had just said stung her a little bit. I apologized, but the guilt was setting in quick. Here I was snapping at Autumn’s only grandma. How can I talk to my mother like that?

Of course the irritation didn’t stop with my mother. My attempts to talk to my father were impeded, as usual, by the presence of a TV. I made another snarky comment about him being more interested in TV than family and decided to just shut up for the rest of the night.

That’s kind of the way things have been going around here lately. Tension, tension and more tension. Nathan’s been directing his anger over his mother’s death at me. His patience with Autumn has evaporated and my irritation with my own parents has spiked. I guess we’re both looking for the rest of the world to stop while we catch our breath and work through the grieving process. Unfortunately life goes on for everyone else.

Sadly, my parents only saw Nathan’s mom a handful of times since we got married. The last time was at Autumn’s birthday party in November. I guess I was thinking Pam’s death would have more of an impact on my parents, but my mother still has her schedules and my father still ignores people in favor of whatever is on TV.

I guess I just need to be patient and give it time. Time is a gift we can’t take for granted.

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Yesterday was bittersweet, all too soon to be celebrating Mother’s Day with one less mother.

Our week was extremely busy. It was supposed to be a week of vacation for me, my week to relax, but I did very little of that. Tuesday night was the visitation at the funeral home. Never in my life have I seen so many people pay their respects to one person. It was wonderful and sad at the same time. We saw a lot of people we hadn’t seen in ages. The funeral home director had to put out another guest book to divert traffic because the line was long and out the door.

Autumn didn’t attend the funeral. It was a difficult decision for us, but in the end we thought it would be best for everyone if she had as normal a day as possible. Her schedule had been thrown out of whack Saturday night with the phone call from Nathan’s father telling us we needed to get to the hospital. She stayed with Ryan and Marla and ended up getting to bed two hours later than normal. She was still horribly cranky when we picked her up from daycare Wednesday afternoon after the funeral, so we knew we had made the right decision even though everyone would have loved to see her.

We spent the bulk of the day yesterday with Nathan’s family.  We tried to assemble a Mother’s Day lunch with each of us making one of his mother’s recipes.  It wasn’t the same.  The potatoes in the potato salad were a little soft, the German chocolate cake was over-baked on the edges and soft in the middle and the blue Jell-O dish just didn’t look right.  We at it all though.

We brought home some of his mother’s jewelry.  She had a list of where she wanted the really important pieces to go.  Since Autumn will never remember her grandma I think most of what I have will be hers when she’s old enough to appreciate it.  I, however, now have a nice stock of Partylite candles.  Apparently Nathan’s mom had a bit of a Partylite addiction.  We cleaned out one corner of a closet and found boxes upon boxes of candles in all different scents and sizes.  Nathan’s dad just about choked after viewing the pile and said, “Someone better call Partylite and tell them they’re about to go out of business.”

In spite of his grief, Nathan tried to make my Mother’s Day as nice as possible.  I received a wonderful breakfast and a pass for a diaper-free day.  That was better than anything he could have bought me at the store.

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I’ll be away for awhile

Nathan’s mom died last night. She’d been in the hospital for about a month following a kidney transplant. We got the call to come the to hospital just before 8:00 pm and drove as fast as we could to Ann Arbor, a drive that normally takes us two hours. She was gone by the time we got there. We’re all kind of in shock right now. There’s just this huge hole in our hearts and I’m so sad that Autumn will grow up without any memories of her grandma.

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