Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cream of the crop.

There are hundreds of written accounts about faeries and their lust for cream and milk. A faerie may clean a house or mend shoes or tend the garden for a home that leaves a saucer of the thickest cream or the freshest milk on the door step.
Many a farmer has gone to his barn at the crack of dawn, only to find that his best milk cow has been sucked dry by a greedy bunch of pixies. The only way to stop such thievery is to hang a horseshoe made of iron above the door to the barn. I have a brother who manifests this faerie problem impeccably. Belt buckles, watches, and other such jewelry give him major rashes that leave his skin blistered and red before it fades to leave the skin without any pigment at all.
My husband, having learned all the effective techniques for keeping a faerie wife happy and able to resist the call of her embedded wander lust, has perfected the art of a proper offering.
One of the most delicious things in the world is a plain old half and half coffee creamer. I do not drink coffee, but I can't help myself whenever I am at a McDonald's or other restaurant where they serve coffee. I have to take a handful of creamers and savor every drop.
All Hollows Eve is yet days away, but just a few nights ago, my husband brought me a gallon of thick, spiced, creamy liquid gold known as Egg Nog. Mixed with just a little milk to thin it up, the smooth taste just tickles my mouth and gives me the most satisfying feeling.
With snow already frosting the leaf laden ground, pumpkins perched like bulbous orange owls along sidewalks, and my young changelings unable to contain their excitement for up coming trick-or-treating, the arrival of Egg Nog, for me, symbolizes the official beginning of the holiday season.
I adore Halloween. I can not wait to assist my little "Dark Vader" and "Princess Giselle" to their preschool party or see my youngest toddle up the stairs dressed like a gleaming red and blue super girl and say "twick-tweet" and ever so carefully choose her piece of candy. But already I drive down the wet road picturing the decorations that will be hung on the lamp post along main street, and the lights that will twinkle in the dark, decking every house that is a home.
My autumn was short, but I had it. And I devoured it. Now, on to even better things!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I do believe in Faeries! I do! I do!!

My son, while at the zoo today, informed me that he does NOT beleive in faeries. ~Wry look~

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol." ~steve Martin

I don't drink alcohol. Though, I'm almost always up for a good root beer.

My, my, the things that have been swirling around in my thick head lately. I had a whole essay planned for the Autumn Equinox that happened to be both inspiringly thought provoking and hilariously funny. However, that day happened to be a very intensely horrible day, and I wasn't around to write it.

This year, 2009, has been the absolute worst year of my life. I think that I can very safely and honestly say that.

The end of 2008 was blissful at worst. That sounds cliche, but I was happy. My life had rounded itself out to be very pleasant, and the end of the year is my domain anyway. Autumn lasted longer than normal, leading into a fresh and cool Halloween. For my anniversary, I got to see "Into the Woods"- one of my favorite productions, and had a glorious evening at The Melting Pot wrapped in an authentic Chinese style silk dress. On Thanksgiving, we spent the day snowed in at my mother's house, the smell of baking and turkey with all the trimmings warmed the house faster than any glowing fire could have. My husband teased my youngest brother and sister, while I got to know my soon-to-be sister in law over a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle. They were married in early December, and Christmas was much the same with presents until noon, a storm to die for (in the GOOD way) and dozens of friends and family.

I should have known back then, that 2009 was going to be horrible. We ushered the new year in with a masked ball. I was a swan in a silver ball gown adorned with white feathers and wings, and a black feathered mask, my hair in solid ringlets about my neck and chin. And I was severely depressed.

In high school, my crowning achievement was that I was an editor of my high school literary magazine. It is a spectacular magazine called Chasms, and it was 3rd in the nation for best high school published works. It goes without saying that we were good writers. And not just for being kids. We had a stellar teacher who understood us (or at least tried), who accepted us (without fail), and who pushed us to always be better. This man is my hero to this day. How he managed to put up with so much whining, desks affixed to the ceiling, Latin words written in white out across his walls, dirty jokes about classic nude art, and flat Dr.Pepper in place of his usual morning coffee is beyond me. I would have never made it. Oh, how intense those days were. How invigorating. How lonely. How exhausting. How numb. My mother on several occasions refused to proof read my poetry because she didn't want to read about sex, drugs or death. Well, as I mentioned before, I was a 'good Mormon girl' and had never experienced sex, drugs, or, obviously, death...but who didn't WANT to? And so we wrote about it. I still to this day haven't experienced drugs, just for the record, but sex and death...well, I have 3 children, so that solves the sex question, and I have witnessed death being cheated twice this year. But I digress. My point is: how numb.

On December 31, 2008-January 1 2009, I was numb. Numb enough that it brought back those waves of memories. The intense highs of teenage angst. The lows so low that you felt like dying. Around me, the music raged. My friends embraced, scandals were started when a girl and a boy who didn't 'belong' together kissed at midnight. And I wanted to be sucked into a dark closet and stay there. I was so numb, that I couldn't feel the air sucked into my mouth, even with wet lips. I never wanted to cut myself. But I could see why people do it. Because they just want to FEEL something.

My own depression and numbness was fairly short lived. We received our tax return early in January because we filed as soon as was humanly possible. We bought a house last year, so our 7500.00 went directly to our financial advisers and they invested it.

But darkness fell when I found my mother and father unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning in mid-January. My youngest brother and my sister were awake, but sick. They all recovered quickly in the ambulance, but my mother was intubated at the hospital. She was in a coma for nearly a week after that. ( for the whole story) She recovered quickly from there on out, but it took months for everything to be sorted out and back to normal. I was able to be strong because everyone needed me to be. But it was absolutely the opposite when my child, not my mother, was in a life threatening situation.

On the Autumn Equinox, which, by the way, was a spectacularly cool day, and I could see the red leaves starting to bleed onto the mountain side. The air was crisp, and the wind was sharp. I spent most of the day euphoric and mostly pretty patient with my children because my excitement made for high moods.

After dinner, my children, dressed in pajamas, retreated into our basement to their playroom. I stayed in the kitchen to clean up dinner. And I heard a deafening crash a few minutes later. I knew what it was before I got there. My youngest little one, had pulled a television and a dresser down on herself.

Obviously, I panicked, and I picked her up. There was no blood at first, and so I thought she was just out of breath. But then a crimson stream came pouring from her right ear and her nose. 911 was dialed, the bishopric was called and Priesthood blessings were given.

This is Scarlet Serafina Estelle Craig BEFORE her accident at the Great Salt Lake in September. The paramedics rushed Scarlet to the hospital, reassuring me over her screams that she was going to be fine. Obviously, I didn't think so. I was already panicking at the thought of losing my little girl. My other two children went home with a neighbor.

From the ER, they life flighted my baby to Primary Children's hospital. My husband was already there, as he was in class at the University of Utah when it happened. But I couldn't get on the helicopter with her. The hour drive to the hospital, was excruciating. I called my mother and asked her to come. One of my muses escorted me there, driving so that I didn't have to.

Upon arrival, I found my baby in the midst of a CT scan, screaming for her momma. I could have vomited. She did. Mostly blood, and her undigested dinner. I blamed myself, of course.

Later, while being poked and prodded with IVs and lights and blood pressure cuffs, my little daughter was given a teddy bear, who she promptly named "Pink" (and no surprises there. She has a bunny, 2 kitty cats, and several more assorted bears by the same name) and a blue blanket that she called "soft". One doctor let her curl her little fingers around his, and winked at her. She giggled at him, and tried to mimic.

We learned from the CT scan that she had a fracture that went from around her left eye bone, around her head and through her right ear. She had a broken bone in that right ear, and she was leaking spinal fluid from it. She also had a nerve that was damaged so she had some paralysis on the right side of her face. She also had an artery in her neck that was corrugated by the impact and pinched. Blood was still getting to the brain, but they worried about a stroke.

We spent the night in sleepless tears in her room. But upon waking, we heard a tiny voice say "Pink fish. Blue fish." On her ceiling, above her crib, was painted a pink fish and a blue fish. That day, she went in for another CT scan and some x-rays of her neck and back. She kicked and screamed and bit at the nurses until they were done with her, and then jumped off the table into my arms. One of the doctors said "Well, I guess she doesn't have a neck or back injury."

My girl is a fighter. She had to be.

This is Scarlet on the second day, coloring in her Strawberry Shortcake coloring book with markers. Primary Children's hospital is the best there is, and they know how to treat children. At this point, she was wearing the neck brace because she hadn't officially been cleared by the doctor for lack of back and neck injuries.

Over the next few days, she improved phenomenally. We were moved to a new room, where she didn't need to be on wires, and she didn't need the brace. She liked to take rides in her wagon with all her baby dolls the nurses brought. Every day she received a new Priesthood blessing from my husband and her grandpa or uncles. Heavenly Father was ever present.
On Wednesday night, September 23rd, I spent the night in her room in a state of only semi-unconsciousness. Neither asleep nor awake. Scarlet had come through almost every single one of her worrisome hurdles just fine. I was finished blaming myself, because it didn't help her get any better because I felt that it was my fault. And I couldn't be an effective mother if I kept trying to do so. I knew my baby was going to live, so I was past praying for her survival. She was completely herself. She was as sass-mouthy and attention demanding as she had always been, and she proved that her nickname "Trouble" (which is what we call her at home) was well earned when she tried to climb a television stand to push play for the 40th time on Monsters Inc. Obviously, she hadn't learned her lesson. But her nerve was still obviously having trouble.
So that night, in my unconsciousness, I begged and begged and begged the Lord for just one more miracle after thanking him for all the ones that had already happened. If he would just give Scarlet ONE MORE, I would NEVER. EVER. ask for another miracle again. The Lord told me in both a sense of genuine understanding, and of Fatherly reprimand, that that idea was ridiculous because 1. It's a false promise. Of COURSE I was going to ask for another miracle. This is not likely the last time one of my children has a serious accident. And 2. Why in the world would my Father, who wants everything GOOD for me and my children actually WANT me to STOP asking for miracles? He told me to ask away and let my faith prove him true.

We were able to bring our little Scarlet home on that Thursday night. The night after my personal revelation. We have been home for over a week now. And this child is going to be the death of me. She thinks she is invincible now. This is a picture of her, taken yesterday, with her brother going on a "Date". He's driving. Her nerve is doing so much better. She almost has a full smile now, though when she cries, that side still doesn't show much emotion. But the docs expect her to fully recover. It can take up to 6 months for a nerve to be completely healed.
I took Scarlet down stairs the day after we came home. I asked her "Scarlet, do you remember what happened over there?" She looked at it, pursed her lips, and said "It broked." Yes, baby, it did.
My husband has been out of a job for the last two months. We don't really have any idea how we've survived this far. I feel in my heart that it was so that he would be able to have the time to spend with his family while our baby recovered. We needed him there. He still needs a job, but we feel calm. We feel peace. Most of the time. The life flight itself cost $9000.00. It's going to take us a decade to pay the hospital bills. But each of my babies is priceless. And Scarlet is perfect. She's worth it.