Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Salt Lake Comic Con 2014

I (Jamie) feel like I'm still recovering from one of the most incredible weekends of my life.  Where do I even begin?  

Imagine somebody called you up for your dream job and somehow all aspects of your life worked out so you could do it.   That is exactly what happened to me.  

I was asked by the Producer/Owner of Salt Lake Comic Con, Dan Farr, to help be his assistant during Comic Con the other weekend.  

What?  That was my reaction to the message I received from his office a few days before CC. 

If Batman asked you to be his sidekick, you don't say no!  I had no idea what I was about to walk into, but I knew it would be awesome.   The other crazy part is that I only have about 3 pictures from the entire weekend (yes, unusual for this photographer) but it really made me take in all the memories first hand.  
Ron Perlman (below) was so awesome to take a minute with me and snap a quick selfie. 

Sheena was great and took all the pictures (below) at the panels.  If you haven't experienced Salt Lake Comic Con, you should.  I'm not sure where else you can meet 40+ celebs first hand, but SLCC brings all the best right to you.

When going to Con, you have a couple different ways you can get a celeb experience.  
Panels- most of the panels are no cost other than your ticket price.  You will want to get in line early, even if you have a VIP pass.  Almost every celeb that comes to CC will sit down with a moderator and answer questions, talk about previous or upcoming work, and often share behind the scenes stories.   
Eliza Dushku (pictured below) talks about growing up in Utah. 

Alan Tudyk (below) answers audience questions and hands out signed memorabilia. 

Patrick Warburton (below) does impressions of all his most famous characters including Cronk, The Tick, Putty, and Family Guy's Joe. 

Simon Helburg (below) talks about his work on 
The Big Bang Theory.

Stephen Amell (below) answers questions about being the leading man on "Arrow."

John Barrowman (below) talks politics, Arrow, and all things funny with the panel.

The legendary cast of "I dream of Jeannie" paid a visit to Salt Lake.  Barbara Eden and Bill Daily.

At the age of 91, Stan Lee still draws the biggest crowd and declares Salt Lake "The Best Comic Con in the World!"

Meet and Greets are another fantastic way to get close to your favorite star.  Salt Lake CC lines all the celebs up on "Celeb Row."  
Celeb Row Tips
  • Know the schedule for the person you want to meet (varies per person and some celebs are only there for 1 of the 3 days
  • Get in line early: if you want to get time with him or her you might have to wait up to 2 hours before the signing begins.  Lines form quick
  • Prices may vary- each celeb has their own price for autographs and photos.  Some will not let you take a photo.  I've seen pricing as much as $80+ for a selfie and autograph.  
  • BRING CASH!!  Very few offer the credit card option. 
The dashing Manu Bennett (pictured below) was dashing and sweet with each fan he met. 

Lou Ferrigno gives his fierce "Hulk" look!

Celeb Photo Op is the other great option for a meet and greet.  Again, there is a fee and the photo literally takes 5 seconds.  Totally worth it if you want the perfect pic!  My sis-in-law, Missy snuggled up to Steven Amell!

The other amazing part of Comic Con is the Cosplay or Costume Play.  Many Cosplayers spend weeks, months, or years putting their perfect costumes together.  
Check out some of the stellar looks and other CC highlights below.  Maybe one day Sheena and I will actually dress up!

Well folks, we hope you enjoyed the photos and tips!  Until next year!

Jamie & Sheena

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A Miracle + Window Safety Awareness

Nearly 5,000 children, mostly toddlers, fall out of windows; 28% require a
hospital stay and on average 20 die.
We tend to think of children falling down the stairs, off playground equipment, or using a
bike or skates. Babies and toddlers in wheeled-walkers are prone to falls, and young
children often fall off furniture. These can result in serious injuries, but window falls are
especially dangerous because of the heights and hard landing surfaces. A child who falls 10
feet can suffer spinal injury, paralysis, and fatal head injury.

Thank the Lord we were among the 28%.

Our day started out just like everyone else's first day back to school. This was Kamden (3yrs) September 7th, 2011 right before he left to preschool.

This was what my bedroom looked like when RC Willey's arrived with our furniture. There was dust all over the floor so I had put Kamden down for his nap and shut the door. I immediately began to pick everything up and start vacuuming so the room was ready.

No one can prepare you for a tragedy with your child. No amount of classes, no amount of training. Nothing. When Fred ran inside and told me my child fell out the window I went deaf. When I watched Lee carry my wimpering son into the house I went blind. I remember sub-consciencely thinking
I can hear him wimpier, that means he is still alive
He put him in my arms and all I could do is stare at him blankly and ask, "What do I do?!!"
My brain literally shut down and everything was tunnel vision.
I managed to dial 911 and then call my husband.
 My sweet neighbor ran in my house and took my youngest, Hudson (he was about 6 months at the time), to her house. She was another Angel that day. I don't know if I ever told her that? So Carrie, if you are reading this, thank you. Thank you for being a God sent in a time where I was helpless.  
I watched as the paramedics cut Kamden out of his clothes. I later realized I was holding my breath in fear of what I was going to see under them. 

The first ambulance ride was terrible. He was screaming bloody murder for them to let him go and that he was in pain. He was already confused and scared and with being strapped down just sent him over the edge. The blood pressure cuff was going to kill him. He was sure of it. As a mother you are supposed to protect your child. Not only had I failed at that, but I had a ring side seat to watch him in complete terror.
Complete helplessness was all I felt. That with a big heaping side of guilt. 

About a week prior I was standing in his room looking out his window. I had a fleeting thought of 
What if Kamden fell out this window? 
No. That is crazy. There is no way he could unlock this thing. Maybe I should put a stick in it? I'll have to add that to the list…
I never thought about it again until it was too late. From that moment on I told myself that every thought, no matter how morbid, I would take better care to analyze it. I 100% know that the Spirit gave me a warning that day. I just wish I would have listened to it. The Spirit, Mother's Intuition, call it whatever you want to call it but it was given to you for a reason. Don't ignore that.

When the Ambulance got about a block away from Ogden Regional Hospital it died. No joke. It just stopped. So everyone jumped out of the ambulance and wheeled Kamden up a hill to the Emergency room with me running after them .
The whole time I was numb. It felt like a complete out of body experience. I felt like I was floating above the room just watching every test, every nurse, Doctor, CAT scan, X-Ray, while my child lay there completely silent and pale as a ghost. 
Once they got him calm he fell asleep. 
I lost it. 
At that moment my hearing, my vision, and coherence all came back at once hitting me like a ton of bricks. 
I felt every emotion that ever existed in that one day. Everything from fear that he was going to die, (not knowing what the internal damage was) complete joy that he was a survivor, and everything in-between. 
The entire ORMC ER staff was calling him the miracle child because rarely ever do they see this outcome from this sort of accident. 

The next ambulance ride from ORMC to Primary Children's was much more calm. The Paramedics that drove us down were very kind. With no filters. Bless their hearts, the whole ride down they kept telling me how lucky he was and about all the injuries that he should have sustained from a 20+ ft. fall. I was glad that he was okay.. but hearing all of the "what if's" and "what should have been's" were absolutely terrifying. 

If you are ever wondering what you can donate to hospitals for children, there are two things. (among other's of course)
1. Blankets
It was better than any toy. He latched onto that monkey blanket immediately and has a special bond with it to this very day. So to whomever made and donated this blanket, Thank You!
2. DVD's
While waiting in the ER rooms they have Tv's for the kids to watch and they were mostly made up of free DVD's that you would get from a kids lunch or free in the mail. So any movies or kids shows they would certainly appreciate it. 

This was it. This was the only visible evidence that he had fallen out of a 2nd story window. Slight cranial abrasions and a small pneumothorax at the top of his left lung that was about the size of a pencil eraser. It would heal on its own. 
pneumothorax (pneumo- + thorax; plural pneumothoraces) is an abnormal collection of air or gas in the pleural space that separates the lung from the chest wall. Like pleural effusion (liquid buildup in that space), pneumothorax may interfere with normal breathing.

The circle-like bruises are from the rocks that were at the bottom of our window well.

We had to stay over night at Primary's and wake him hourly to make sure there was nurological damage. The next morning we came home and the first thing he did was try to get his bike out of the garage to go for a ride. It was like the previous day had never happened. While he quickly resumed life as normal, is was a slightly longer road for myself. Six moths later I was diagnosed with PTSD. I developed severe anxiety and would cry at the drop of a hat for no good reason. PTSD doesn't just affect our courageous soldiers. I guess I had just assumed that because that is what we associate it with in most cases. Should you ever have the misfortune of a 2nd hand traumatic experience, please make sure to also consider your own health. Listen to your body and if something doesn't feel right please do not be afraid to ask your Doctor. I was a better mother because I asked for help. 

We thank God for placing all of the angels in our lives that day. My only reality is that there were Angels softening the blow of his fall. That is why none of the children playing outside and the two delivery men did not see the actual fall. I have no other explanation. Our family was very fortunate that day, where as many are not so lucky. We are 100% aware of the fact that Kamden's case was out of the norm. That is why it is so important to me that we spread the word on Window Safety Awareness. The term "that would never happen to us" is a bad frame of mind. It absolutely could happen to you.

We thank God for placing all of the Angels in our lives that day. My only reality is that there were Angels with him softening the blow of his fall and that is why none of the children playing outside, or the two delivery men, did not see the actual fall. I have no other explanation. Our family was very fortunate that day where as many are not so lucky. There are stories all the time on the news that send chills down our spines as they report the critical condition of these children. We are 100% aware of the fact that Kamden's case was out of the norm. That is why it is so important to me that we spread the word on Window Safety Awareness. The term "that would never happen to us" is a bad frame of mind. It absolutely could happen to you. 

"We still are seeing over 5,000 children a year treated in hospital emergency departments across the country for injuries related to window falls, said Dr. Gary A. Smith, study author and director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. "That's 14 children a day. This continues to be a very common, important problem."

I am posting about this on the 3rd anniversary of his fall to create awareness. I had never thought this even a possibility. It just wasn't something that happened. Not to us. We don't live in a low income area where statistics say it is a problem. I thought our home was safe. Please take the time to check off the things on this list. Tell everyone you know about them. You never know whose life you could safe. It could be not only your own child's, but your children's friends.

Preventative Tips:
*Parents should consider using window safety devices such as window wedges or
braces, or removing the hand cranks on casement windows. The bottom line is to
ensure that windows do not open more than four inches. Toddlers have been known
to fall out of windows or get trapped in window openings as small as five
inches. Devices need to be able to be removed in a fire emergency.

*Take a moment to secure the curtain pulls or blind cords out of reach. Kids have
been strangled while playing with dangling cords. Install safety tassels on the ends of
the curtain pulls or cut the loops so a child is less likely to get trapped.

*Keep windows closed and locked when children are unattended. When opening a
window for ventilation, choose one that a child cannot reach. Keep furniture and
anything that a child can climb on away from windows to reduce the chances of a
child falling through a window.

*If you have double-hung windows — the kind that can open down from the top as
well as up from the bottom — it is generally safer to open the top pane, but growing
kids may have enough strength, dexterity, and curiosity to open the bottom pane.
Don’t assume an unlocked, or locked for that matter, window is childproof.

*Set and enforce rules that your child cannot play near windows, especially the
activity many kids love – jumping on the bed.

*Strategic landscaping may lessen the extent of injury sustained in the event of a fall.
Shrubs and soft edging such as wood chips or grass under a window can cushion
potential falls.

*And never try to move a child who appears to be seriously injured after a fall. Call
911 and let trained medical personnel move the child with proper precautions. Of
course, if a child is not breathing and you are trained in CPR – as all parents and
caregivers should be – follow CPR protocols.

You Can go here to read the full KSL story

And yes, We certainly do Love Lee.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Be Kind to Zombies, They Are People Too

Team Cosplay for the WIN! If you are any type of fan of people watching Salt Lake Comic Con is winning. Lagoon and Walmart watch out! Salt Lake Comic Con Cosplayers have gone above and beyond what they did for Fan X earlier in the year. We have literally seen everyone from Spiderman to Sharknado. Yes.. they were a tornado with sharks all over them… and it was amazing!  

Jamie and I are running around crazy doing all sorts of fun stuff but the internet connection on our phones has been so bogged down by all the traffic that nothing is posting. Sad emoji. So we will make up for it with a post overload next week :) 
Today's celebrity favorite awards go to:

Ron Perlman 
Alan Tudyk 

Stay tuned for our action packed weekend in the following days. 

This outfit was super comfy and chill. All the while supporting our fellow Comic Con zombie lovers. Enjoy :)

I said:
"Let's pretend I see a zombie!"
Terrifying… clearly there was no Zombie.

Zombies Crop Tee// Aero
Black Tank// Downeast Basics
Boyfriend Jeans// AE
Black Pumps// Rue 21 (In Store)