Tag Archives: Traditions

The one where we buried the placenta…

My husband is a scientist. He labels everything. He once asked me if we could talk about keeping the refrigerator more organized. He volunteered to make labels. Dairy. Vegetables. Condiments. We had only just moved in together so I bit a hole in my lip and smiled and said “if you’d like to take on that project I will try really hard to put things back.”

It was never mentioned again.

That having been said there is  no placenta shelf in our freezer. Just a ziplock bag with the tell tale biohazard bag inside crammed in the back of the freezer.

For four months and nineteen days. Lucy is four months and twenty one days old. The nurse practitioner that stopped at our house to see us when Lucy was two says old brought it to us. We left it on the counter when we headed home four hours after Lucy’s birth.

Some people leave their purse. Or their cell phone charger. We forgot our placenta.

I was lucky. I did not experience post-partum depression after Emily was born. So I elected not to dehydrate and encapsulate my placenta. But I liked the idea of doing something with it.

Different cultures do different things. We decided we would bury it under a plant or shrub (I can’t bring myself to say bush, although the comedic possibility is enticing.)

We decided to plant a gardenia. When we were picking out flowers for our wedding we considered gardenias. I imagine opening my front door next spring and smelling them for the first time of the season. Lucy will be walking by then.

Emily chose a hydrangea for her plant. I am hopeful that our soil will produce blue flowers as that was what helped her make up her mind. The September birth stone is the sapphire and she favors the blue sapphire. Not to be confused with her mother’s favorite gin, Bombay Blue Sapphire.

I’ve said it before. I am smitten with my husband. Married a little over fourteen months and he still makes me smile. He hollers up to me as I stand on the deck out of the rain “get a picture! You’ll never see your home again, Lucy!!”

I hope our plants survive. But the benefit of being a mom the second time around? Our kids will make it. Of this much I am certain.

Word to the Wise: “call before you dig” is no joke. We spent our first weekday of summer without cable television or the Internet. MQD wisely elected to not put the plants or the placenta in the hole until after the cable guy came lest he accidentally dig it back up.

It meant we put our plants in during a gentle rain shower on Monday evening instead of on Sunday afternoon. And MQD looks totally hot in wet blue jeans and a tshirt, I mean… our plants were well hydrated and the rain had some kind of poetic symbolism and…. Yeah.

Lucy and I supervised.  And Emily?  Well, the cable guy came about thirty minutes before MQD got home from work.  She established that a placenta looks like a brain and then she decided she’d had enough.  There was tv to watch.  It’s Summertime.


Here’s to tradition!  We ate a slice from the top of our wedding cake tonight.  I hope our marriage holds up better than a vanilla cake with cannoli filling.  But then again we should probably not put our marriage in the back of the freezer for a year.


Christmas Shoes

I am a wee bit of a sap.  I cry at the drop of a hat.  At Hallmark commercials and baby pictures. Disney World.  Perfect pancakes.  Songs.

But if you thought this was going to be the part where I confess that I just can’t get enough of  The Christmas Shoes song (the song about the young boy whose mother is dying and all he wants is to buy her a pair of shoes for Christmas before she passes) you will be disappointed.  That song makes me want to put a knitting needle in my eye and twirl it around.

In fact, most things designed to bring out the sap in a person don’t do it for me.  If it has chimes or a xylophone the chances are good it will bring out the very best (or the very worst ) in my sense of humor.  That all depends on how you feel about mockery and sarcasm.

That having been said… I do have Christmas Shoes.  Released in the fall of 2005, my Candy Cane Chuck Taylor’s fucking rule.  Every year I wear them the week after Thanksgiving.  Before I put my tree up or drag out the Christmas decorations.  Out come my Chuck’s.  I wish I had worn them a bit more in later November, early December.  Because it seems I can barely see them this week.

Silver teacups and Princess Parties

In case you are still staring at my words from yesterday morning in disbelief… I am back again to blow your mind.  I don’t just love my mother-in-law.

I love my ex mother-in-law, too.

It will rain on my car every time I wash it for the rest of ever because nobody gets this lucky.  I didn’t get one great mother-in-law.  I got two.

The day we found out Emily was going to be a Girl I think the Carter’s outlet in Williamsburg got a phone call.  Ready the pink clothes!!!  Pam is on on her way!!  Em’s dad is one of three boys.  And one of many male cousins. And finally the Worthys would have a GIRL!

Like many first time moms I had all kinds of ideas about how I was going to dress my little girl.  She didn’t need to wear pink just because she was a girl.  She would have a yellow bedroom.  And I would never velcro a bow to her head, even if she looked like Charlie Brown.  I stuck to my guns on a few things.  She had a yellow bedroom.  And she never did have a velcro bow.

But there was  a day in the early fall when I was nesting something fierce and doing baby laundry, preparing my home for this little girl that would change my world.  I opened the lint trap in my dryer and I laughed.  I called Pam and I said “You win!!  There is PINK lint in my lint trap.”

I had a beautiful baby girl.  That wore a lot of pink.  And it didn’t kill me.  Or her.

Merry Christmas, Pam.  Since your retirement and move to Arizona we see less of you but your presence in our life is strong.  We had Grandmama Pam’s Sweet Potato Casserole for Thanksgiving.  And I think I will have to master your Chocolate Delight here pretty soon.  Through the magic of Skype we got to see your Santa dance and sing and I was reminded of the first Christmas that Em could walk.  It was cute the first hundred times she pressed the button.

A silver cup engraved with Emily’s name hangs from our tree.  It was a gift from your father, Pop-Pop, when Em was born.  It was too sweet to put away in a box of baby memorabilia, too precious to leave out all the time. So I put it in with the Christmas decorations.  Every year it reminds me of your grace.  You loved me and your son enough to encourage us both to love ourselves and each other enough to move on and let go.  I am forever grateful that I didn’t have to let go of you, too.

Grandmama Pam's Princess Party. Just a year after Em was born Pam got another Princess, Lily!!

In Laws & Tradition

If you blog or put yourself out there on the internet in any way at all you are quite likely aware of the way that you appear to a reader, be they casual or committed.  Often bloggers are criticized for being one-dimensional, only putting certain parts of their personalities out on display, some only the very best, some only the trainwreck that is their “personal” life.

I do my best to give a pretty well-rounded view of me, of who I am.  Not so much for a reader, but because my primary purpose in keeping this record is for my own benefit.  I will be able to look back and see what I hope is a realistic picture of the past.  Even if I do choose the images, the words, the stories to remember.   I make an effort to focus on both the good times and the bad.

The last year has held more good times than any year previous, in spite of the fact that I have led a pretty charmed existence all things considered.  But I try not to make bold statements about the greatness of my life, lest they bite me in the ass.

But I can say this was confidence.

My mother-in-law is better than your mother-in-law.  Without any grandstanding or superlatives I can likely convince you that I am right with one sentence.  I really like the little gifts she has surprised us with.  You know how your in-laws come to visit or you go to see them and they say “Oh, I picked these up for you” and you smile and make a mental note  – Every time they come to see me I will use these atrocious potholders.

But not me.  Nope.  MQD’s mother has been generous all while understanding that he did not marry a 20 year old bright eyed college girl.   I have opinions on things, some of them steadfast.  For chrissake she asked me what kind of toilet paper we like before she grabbed some the last time she ran out to the store.

She asked me if I was a Wreath Person before placing an order for a Holiday Wreath.  I am so totally  a Wreath Person and anxiously awaiting its arrival.

When we were in Boston this summer Ginger said “Oh, this is for you guys, you can put it anywhere, maybe your mantle.”  Gasp.  My mantle?  A girl’s holiday mantle is like the centerpiece to her holiday decorating. She can’t be serious?!

And I LOVE it.  Five months I waited to take it out of the plastic.  14 letters spelling out MERRY CHRISTMAS.  There was no way for her to know that I kind of love anything resembling vintage type set letters.  Or that I prefer colored decorations to brass.  And yet it is perfect.

We still need to get the garland for the mantle.  And hooks for the stockings. But I couldn’t wait any longer.  So much of Christmas to me is about unboxing the things that I have loved for years and years, the traditions.  It is a pleasure to put up a new decoration. One I will unwrap joyfully each year and remember, this was from our first married Christmas, in our new house.

Merry Christmas, Ginger. May I never have a box in my hall closet labeled Crap To Take Out When the In-Laws Visit.  Cheers!

Honest you do…

In our wedding ceremony I included a bit about how I knew that MQD was “the one.”  I said it was our first Christmas together.

She realized that Mike listened to her. All of you that know Kelly know that this is no small task.   As you can imagine this was both exciting and terrifying.  She opened her Christmas presents and saw that each item was chosen because Mike had heard her.   A big bottle of Delirium Tremens, her all time favorite beer, a package of Nutter Butters, her all time favorite cookie, and an ee cummings compilation.  Her all time favorite poet.
He did it again.
The listening.
He was late coming home from work this evening and I asked him where he’d been.  He smiled that sly Christmas-y smile and wouldn’t tell me.  I assumed he’d been Christmas shopping.
With both hands behind his back he told both Emily and I to pick a hand.   She chose first and he said “Nope, wrong hand.”
I’ll cop to getting slightly more intrigued.  These were specific surprises, one for each of us.
Mine was a  key.  An ornament.  Many years from now it will be the ornament that MQD gave to me the year we bought our house.  The year that we were married.  It is perfect.
We don’t always talk about what I write here.  Sometimes I am not even sure he has read it.  But tonight I had one of those Sam Cooke moments… the moments where he sends me.  He is reading.  He is listening.  Message received.  Loud and clear.  Ornaments are important to his girl.
And he found me the perfect one.
Merry Christmas, MQD.  It was only three years ago that I knew.  When I “found myself wanting to, marry you and take you home.”
And now here we are.  Home.

Nassau and The Worst Day Ever

An ornament we brought back from our honeymoon for Emily

On our honeymoon we were going to go para sailing.   MQD was excited.  So was I.  It was a very honeymoon thing to do.  I had a picture in my head, of the day, of us, holding hands high above a beautiful beach and crystal blue water.  The sun on our faces, smiling.

Only it was windy that day.  And they canceled our excursion.  There was a temptation to try and “do” something else.  Something special.  We strolled around Nassau, hand in hand.  Looking for something “to do.” We went in and out of a few shops, we thought about buying a watch.   And we laughed about how this was “the worst day ever.”  And that our honeymoon was the pits. We bought a Christmas ornament that says “Nassau” for Emily.

The dates that MQD and I plan have a way of not working out.  We have abandoned more concerts halfway through, or not gone at all, choosing instead to stay at dinner an hour or two longer, just talking.   He likes me.  And I like him.  It’s easy to have fun when you’re with your best friend.  I hope I look at him just like this for many, many years to come.

Honeymoon, May 2011

Disco, the ornament not the music or the nap

I have a tendency to attach a tremendous amount of meaning to the most trivial of things.  I remember where I got them, who I was with, how I felt.  This item, a lighter, a tshirt, a coffee cup, it becomes a touchstone to that moment in time.

It is only very occasionally that I have had something for a long time and I don’t have any recollection of where it came from.

I know I have had this disco ball ornament for a long time.  I know I bought it for myself. I can vaguely recall taking it out of the box.  I am not much of an impulse buyer of things like ornaments.  Again, always so sentimental, my ornament collection is largely made up of memories.

I know it hung on my Christmas Tree after Em and I moved to Chapel Hill and then hung from a teeny hook in my living room for the remainder of the time we lived in that apartment.  I remember it hanging on my first big Christmas Tree in our house at the beach.  And I am fairly sure it graced the tree in my dinky little duplex the first year I lived in Kill Devil Hills.

Going back in time to Williamsburg and the Christmas Trees I had in college, I don’t think I had it then.  Those years were full of disco naps and a tree decorated in Happy Meal toys.  But I don’t think I had a disco ball.

 Strangely, I can’t be sure.

Merry Christmas to you, mysterious Disco Ball.  And thanks very much to the Kelly of Christmas Past that had the good sense to snag you off the shelf.