::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


His eyes

I'm sorry it's been so quiet around here this month.  I've been very busy up until a few days ago.   January is rarely busy and I can't believe it's almost over.

Yesterday my brother sent us a couple 2 minute videos that he'd taped of Colum while he was on life support in Primary Children's Hospital.  I recently found out my brother was the first person to get to him.  He'd been alone for hours, my dove who was being kept alive by machines.  Somebody had read we were in a horrible accident on Facebook and probably called my Sister or her husband to give their condolences.   Unbeknownst to them no one in my family had any idea.  I'm sure most of them heard of the accident, my other brother's family passed us without recognizing our car.  Some went around to avoid traffic.  They'd gotten home safely and tucked their families into bed.  I imagine my sister frantically calling family members.  Nobody had any information.  Nobody knew which hospital we were even at.  So they split up.  It was Scott who'd gotten to him first.  My Sister-in-law Bobbi who found Finn at a completely different hospital.  He was all by himself, scared out of his mind.  

They asked Ryan what his Mom's phone number was during the 2 hours of trying to cut him out of the car.  They didn't think to ask for my family's number.  They didn't tell Ryan's poor Mom that any one else had been in the car, only her son.  She'd just buried her Husband a few months prior and I'm sure the shock and horror of getting that kind of phone call would make it hard to think of anything else except to grab your keys and just drive to your son.  Bobbi was on her way to spend Christmas Eve with her Mom that night so she wouldn't have to spend her first one alone without Dale, her husband.  I guess they passed on the road and somehow that is how Bobbi found out.  

These little details I'm still learning.  Both our families hearing the news at different times.  Why didn't the social worker tell my Mother-In-Law that their were 3 other people in the car & that she needed to notify them?, maybe it's against the law.  I couldn't breathe.  I couldn't talk.  I wish my family would've found out sooner; just so Colum wouldn't have been alone.  I know he was in great care.  In one of the videos a nurse's hand is gently rubbing the top of his head over and over with her hand ever so softly, just like I would have done.  His eyes are open.  They follow a nurse who is inserting another tube down his throat and then he looks the other way.  His eyes following noises and movement all the while blinking slowly...almost like...nothing was wrong.  I love those videos even though they make me cry.  I cry just thinking about them.  

I love watching his eyes move back and forth.  I love watching his beautiful eyelids open and close.  I love that his juicy bottom lip is hanging down extra low from being taped down to hold the breathing tube, I could kiss it.  If I would have been in there I would have a million times.  I kiss my kids on the lips.  I've never been a kiss on the lips kind of person, until my kids were born.  I just couldn't help it.  I just wish it was me in there talking to him.  It KILLS ME to think about.  In a way, these videos make me feel like we were.

I miss his eyes more than anything!  

I miss his soft skin.  His juicy lips.  His chubby hands and feet.  His cute little teeth.  His cuddles.  His whines and cries.  The noise he made when he drank his bottles.  His heavy breathing.  It's nice to have something familiar to watch of him even if it is painful.  

Still doing really good though.  I'm laughing again.  Really laughing, on a regular basis.  I feel more like myself and I'm in a really good place.

Have a good week everyone!!!


these boots were made for running...

Alright all you party people!  

The 5k is officially going to be on Colum's Birthday June, 29!  

If you are local I hope you can come.  I have LOVED seeing comments of people that aren't local that want to run where they live, register, & heck YES we will send you a t-shirt!  It made me tear up.  It made me feel like this can be even bigger than I ever dreamed!  

Here's the amateur Facebook page I created.  If you can, please like it.  I hear all the cool kids are doing it.  There's going to be a website soon, probably in a couple of weeks.  It's going to be the real deal!

If you have never done a 5k now is the perfect time to start training.  Also, a lot of people (half or more) just walk the whole way.  If you want to try running/jogging below is an email I sent an old friend a while back on how I started.  The real reason I started was because I have huge calves!  None of the cute boots would ever fit over my calves and I wanted some cute boots dangit!  So I decided I would try the hardest thing I could think of (running) and I bought my Frye boots (that they cut off me with scissors).  If they didn't zip over my calves by Fall, they were going back.  Usually, you do this with a pair of jeans but in my case it was the boots.   

And I just copied and pasted it, so you will hear of the boots again and again :).  Sorry, gotta go.  Wrote this at 4am when I woke up gonna go grab a piece of cheese to snack on...got a book to write!

Here is my tips for running. And you have to be very strict and selfish about 1 thing... you, Melissa get 1 hour a day to take care of yourself. Just you, just 1 hour. Let everybody know, Carl, your oldest child, everyone. Set a time AM/PM and stick with it. It's yours... all yours! For me, Colum would wake up pretty early and I'd make him a bottle get a sugar-free rockstar out of the fridge and drink it throughout the morning. After changing bums, feeding everybody breakfast, and slowly putting on my running clothes it would be Colum's nap time and my rockstar would be gone. I wouldn't schedule anything or any clients and I have a treadmill downstairs. I saved ALL my favorite dirty, secret pleasure shows for when I ran. It was my time. I'd put Colum down, Finn would watch whatever he wanted and Mom went downstairs for 1 hour. I had bought very expensive tall leather Frye boots last year at Anniversary sale (Nordstrom) last summer (the sale is on again soon). My calves have always been huge and I told myself I was gonna try and run. If I could fit into them by Fall I could keep them.
I also bought new Asic Kayano running shoes $100 at the sale. They never go on sale. They are normally about $140. I promised myself I was going to use them. This all was on my Nordstrom card...CHARGED. But I didn't care. I was tired with how I looked. I was too busy to go to the gym, I had a treadmill, I was going to make it work. Oh, and I'm so funny... I also CHARGED some very cute and still my favorites running pants. Zella live in leggings. They are running pants but you can wear them as leggings and with boots in the winter. They make me feel skinnier when I wear them and double as cute pants as well as workout pants. Good quality, comfy and last forever!
I started out walking on an incline. Then, I slowly started running really slow for 10-30 seconds at a time. Every week I would push myself to beat my last weeks record. Even if it's 10 seconds longer. (I'm totally doing this now). Before you know it you are running 1/2 mile in a row. Then a mile, 2, 3, 4, ....then 5. When you consistently are running and beating last weeks goals you start to look forward to it. When I got to 4 I couldn't believe it. People like me didn't run 4 miles in a row. When I got to 5... I decided I was officially a runner!
My days were happier. I felt healthy. I was a better Mom. My body was totally changing which just fueled my fire. I went down a few cup sizes in the chest. My legs... Melissa my legs were the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. Ryan and I would sit downstairs and just talk about my legs for 10 minutes every night. While you're running you ask yourself "why am I doing this?", but after you build up strength you stop asking yourself. You literally get high from it. Like a better than anything high. It gets easier to be selfish, your kids get used to it. They like the new you. It's just one hour, a good sports bra, Zella leggings, Sugar free rockstars, and a good pair of shoes...(but you actually need 2 pairs of shoes, switch every other day).
When you start out, listen to your body. If you injure yourself you can't run/walk while you recover. And just run really really slow. Don't over-do it, just push yourself a little harder than you did the week before. One day a week is considered your long run. So maybe do your "long run" on Saturdays and go just as long or 10,30,60 seconds longer than the week before. In just a few short months you will be able to run 1-3 miles in a row.
My boots fit before Fall came, and w/skinny jeans tucked into them btw. I was wearing them the night of the accident. They cut them off with scissors in the ER. CUT THEM OFF WITH SCISSORS. The boots, I'd never let myself buy that changed me. Those boots taught me to take care of myself again.
P.S. I should turn this into a blog post... I just might! 



I apologize for the lack of posts lately.  There's a lot going on around here.  But today, I admit there's been a whole lot of nothing going on...I LOVE when there's nothing going on.  I love lazy Sundays and staying in my pajamas all day.  It's cold outside and we plan on lighting a fire in the basement and watching movies starting in a couple of hours.

Everyday feels better.  I feel better.  I've been so scared about feeling sad for the rest of my life.  Living each day broken hearted as my dark cloud follows me wherever I go.  But, I'm happy!  I'm okay.  I'm absolutely dumbfounded when I think about where I was just one year ago and how far I/we've come.  The darkness that surrounded me from all the gloominess of grief and mourning has suddenly diminished.  My grieving process is changing seasons.  Spring is here.  The ice is melting and new flowers are blooming.   I now can appreciate the beauty in the little things for I have survived the longest and coldest winter of my life.  The path ahead of me is beautiful and I know where I'm going now.  

I didn't expect this to ever happen.  But, I'm so happy it did.  The worst and most horrible life experiences can turn into the most beautiful; if you listen to your heart.  I still have bad days, and moments where the sadness takes over me.  But there's a difference now, the future doesn't feel hopeless. 

 I'm hopeful.  I'm a survivor.  I'm okay.

I don't compromise my heart.  This horrible experience has taught me to respect myself and know my worth.  I'm still learning how, but I've found that protecting myself and following my intuition is key for my happiness.  When I'm not protecting myself, I'm betraying myself.  I don't have tolerance for betrayal.  It's not about bitterness or hate; it's about being healthy.  It's about trusting yourself because you know who you are.  I survived this year, and I am only going to be stronger.  

Thank you all for reading and all of your kind comments over this past year.  I hope you all are finding yourselves in a good place surrounded by people you love.  You have taught me so much and I thank you!

P.S. We will find out in a few days the exact date of the 'I heart Colum 5k'.  Colum's Birthday happens to land on a Saturday this year (6/29) & we are shooting for that date.  I will be announcing more details later this week.  I'm so so excited about this!  We will be needing lots of volunteers and I hope every one who's local can come.  It's so nice to be excited about his Birthday and actually be looking forward to it.  I hope it is HUGE!  



Just a quick note to say the dates that were scheduled for the trial this month have been canceled.....or postponed.  

The defense is calling an expert witness to the stand to talk about the difference of driving under the influence of meth with or without a prescription.

This is funny because you can't get a prescription for meth because it's illegal.  So it should be entertaining.  

Will keep you updated on when it gets rescheduled.

And more importantly I will post details about the I Heart Colum 5k hopefully next week!

Happy Weekend!


New Year

Happy New Year!  We rang in the new year with some good friends and it was wonderful.  

After we got back from Florida we were exhausted.  But on the plane ride home I asked Ryan if he could remember last year's New Year.  I can vaguely remember him telling me that he thinks it's the New Year because he just heard a Nurse in the hallway say Happy New Year.  I'm pretty sure I was in & out a lot.  I preferred being out because the pain was so excruciating.  I had no idea it was New Years & vaguely remember not caring at all that it was, and wondering what we would have done to celebrate...if?

So, this year last minute we decided to pull some friends together and just laugh (and dance to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch Pandora station in my kitchen(two thumbs up)). Ryan lit off his thunder mug twice to ring in the New Year.  Don't get me started on the thunder mug, I guess it's a guy thing.  If you'd like to see what a thunder mug does please click here.  (Ryan, is all pissed cause this video made me laugh cause it's a little stupid and I'm like peeing my pants).

Florida was fun...but it was freezing!  I packed all my swimsuit cover-ups and beach wear a week before when the weather called for sunshine and 75-85 degrees.  Good thing I wore my North Face to the airport, cause that's what I wore for more than half the trip...what I wore to the airport.  We went to Universal because I'm a diehard Harry Potter Nerd, and Universal was big enough for a couple handi-capable parents to handle.  I bought Finn (cough myself) all the Harry Potter movies at Costco for Christmas and he watched the entire first one and didn't move once, which is a really good sign that he's mine.  I like almost cried when we went to Harry Potter Wizarding Land and really wanted but couldn't bring myself to buy a $110 wizarding robe and an overpriced Gryfinndor (sp?) scarf.  And I would've worn it that day around the park, like a few other fellow wizards.  And I would wear it to the grocery store and to pick up Finn from preschool and laugh to myself secretly but try so hard to act serious, but in a way I'm totally seriously Hermione.  But they had the cutest candy store and I loved the Hogwarts castle etc.  Finn's favorite ride was Despicable Me and I'm so glad he was tall enough, he wasn't in October at Disneyland, I think it's all about the shoes ;).

There's a lot and I mean a lot of big things going on this month!  One big thing I can say out loud is that the trial is scheduled, but I guess we find out tomorrow if it's a definite go, and if it is a go then other things (like plea bargains) could happen.  I've had a lot of emotions hit me over the last few days that I didn't expect to get about the trial.  

I'm scared.  I'm already disappointed.  I'm sad.  I'm anxious.  

These feeling are normal.  But I've been in street fighter karate Wonder Woman mode up until now.  And I'm sad and scared to be away from Finn so much.  I'm overwhelmed with emotions for what's ahead.  Good news is I can ride the Frontrunner to the Hospital now so I don't have to drive!  I took Finn yesterday and he got a huge kick out of it and he's free!  I cried the whole ride home on that train yesterday.  I'm scared.  I'm scared about this month.  I'm scared about the amount of pain my body is in.  I'm okay with being in pain for a little longer, but what about the next 5 years...10?  I'm scared about having physical limits.  I'm scared about being stressed out and angry in the upcoming weeks.

The other day I turned on the t.v. and to my pleasant surprise Sleepless in Seattle was on.  When Tom Hanks explains to the radio 'Dr Marsha Fieldstone' about how he copes with losing his wife I love what he says:   "Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while. "

Below are some pics in no particular order, actually totally out of order:

Watching Harry Potter 2 with all our wands, even Colum's.  It's probably a little too scary for Finn but the wands helped with that I think.

Finn & I right before we were turned into little Minnions on the Despicable Me ride.

"Happy Birthday Mommy"

Spiderman for life.

Hogwarts express

...just Diagon Alley, holding on tight to my Butter Beer mug

Finn was talking about getting his wand before we even got on the plane.  And yes, Harry Potter's wand chose him!

We went on an airboat tour.  It was totally bitchin'.

Really awesome shot of Finn & I on the airboat tour.

There was a sign "$3 to hold an alligater", but Finn's face takes the cake!

I mean, check out the skyline in Harry Potter Land... swoon.

Butter Beer.  Non-alcoholic of course.  I thought it was really gross, but I had to drink it because that's what wizards do.  And the foam on top is like straight cream, the bubbles don't move, it's pretty amazing!

This gator was like 14 feet long... Bubba, Hello Bubba!

The airboat tour was such a hit.  That thing that looks like a log is the only gator we saw, but it was so beautiful.  There were also houses along the river that were so cool to see.  Like swamp people are cool but I'd feel the gators were a little close for comfort.

Thank you for all the well wishes and support on the whole book idea!!!

Several months ago a kind and thoughtful blog reader sent me a book called 'Navigating your Mind'.  by Kristopher L. Walton.  This book had helped her out with something a great deal and she thoughtfully spent the money and took the time to send it to me.  At first I didn't pick it up.  I can't go into detail but I used to love to read but it's too overwhelming now.  But she bookmarked a place in the book that was about halfway through that she thought would help and as I began to read it made a lot of sense.  But then on page 232 there's a section that was just so profound to me where he asks; 

"What chair will you choose?
When confronted with a problem, whether it's in the present or a problem from your past, you have a choice how you decide to look at it.  A good analogy to use is to look at the problem as a chair.  Just as Goldilocks had the option to sit in the big, medium, or little chair and finally chose the chair that felt "just right,", you can do the same in your situation.  You can choose to react to it by choosing the emotional chair, the logical/rational chair, or the creative chair."

This makes perfect sense to me.  I've been sitting in all three chairs throughout our tragedy.  But every time I type, every time I write, I'm sitting in my creative chair.  I think all 3 chairs are very significant but the creative chair is a positive way of reacting to your pain.  He explains being creative can be painting, playing an instrument, starting a new business, going back to school, etc.  Redirecting your pain instead of reacting emotional. I want to write everyday.  I set a goal to start this month and I'm going to try really hard.  I cry when I write, but it's saved me.  I might need to lower my goal to a few hours a week because I think an hour a day is too much right now.  

Cheers to a New Year everyone!