Never Switching To Decaf

Ramblings about life, family, cooking and photography.

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day May 9, 2012

Filed under: Kids — travit @ 9:15 pm
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This post is dedicated to all of the teachers who spend countless hours prepping for the 8 hour school days. To all the teachers that help our children discover who they are and what they want to be be.

Teachers work hard every day.  The job isn’t just 8 hours a day. 5 days a week. 9 months a year.  Every single teacher I know puts in many hours at home grading papers, preparing exercises, and cutting displays so that their students will have a wonderful 8 hours in school.  Both of my children have been graced with wonderful teachers this year who have had to deal with different types of adversity in their classrooms and they have dealt with it with humor, compassion, and grace.  I will always be grateful for the examples they have given my children.

One more thing I’m thankful for is that they give assignments that let my children bring home works of art like the one below.  This is a few years old, but it’s definitely going in her scrapbook or wedding video, or something equally as embarrassing.


Is it a pan? Really?



Holding On and Letting Go May 3, 2012

Filed under: Kids — travit @ 9:16 pm
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The post I had planned for today changed after receiving a phone call from my daughter’s school late this afternoon.  On the other end was the school social worker with the sad news that a little boy in my daughter’s class had lost his long battle with cancer.  A third grade boy and a friend of my daughter had passed away.  My sympathies are with his family and I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that they are going through at this time.

Breaking the news to my daughter was difficult.  She ran through so many emotions in just a few minutes.  As the realization of the finality of what I had said began to sink in, she became very sad and began to cry.  At first she questioned how it was possible for a child to die.  A question that I wish I had a better answer for.  Then she began to worry that she would die.  From cancer or her own form of epilepsy. I assured her that that wouldn’t happen and that she was safe and healthy.  Very quickly, the pain of losing her friend brought back up the pain of losing her grandfather three years ago.  He also had died of cancer and this brought up the feelings she experienced then.  I was well into my teens before I suffered a major loss and here I was consoling my nine year old daughter over two in her young life.  We talked about how important it is to carry those who you miss and love in your mind and heart but that we have to let them go to a better place free of pain and suffering.

Earlier this year, the school where I work suffered a terrible loss when a first grade student was killed in an accident.  Counselors were brought in and talked about how young children cope with this type of loss.  She mentioned that often the loss of a friend will bring up other losses and here I was experiencing the same emotions with my own child only a few weeks later.  The counselor recommended a book called Where Do Balloons Go by Jamie Lee Curtis to read to children who experience the death of someone they know.  I will be getting that book and reading it to my daughter tomorrow.  We will hold on to the memories while letting go.


A little white lie with red and blue sprinkles July 21, 2009

Filed under: Family,Kids — travit @ 10:34 am
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Riley's Doughnuts

Riley's Doughnuts

My husband is a district manager for a large retail store chain that sells food and convenience items.  Often Carson and Riley will come up with snack suggestions that they feel their dad should begin to market in his stores.  As the 4th of July approached, Riley told him that they should make a white doughnut with red and blue sprinkles to celebrate the holiday.  He began to tell her that one was already in the works but I quickly stopped him and gave him a look.  A silent look from wife to husband that meant “lie to your young innocent child.”   At that point he told her that he would give the big bosses her idea.  For the next several days she would ask about it and he assured her that it was in development.   A few days later he came home with a box of “Riley’s doughnuts.”

I typically don’t like telling lies to my kids, but this one made a 6 year old girls week.  Now, I must figure out what to do about the book she wrote that she expects to be published and available for checkout at my library.


Absence Seizure Update July 2, 2009

Filed under: Kids — travit @ 5:04 pm
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We had the follow-up with the neurologist today and things are going really well.  Riley has been almost completely seizure free since staring the Zarontin a month ago.  The side effects have been minimal and she is responding well.  We’re still waiting for the results of one blood test, but everything is looking good.  The neuro wants her to have another EEG before starting school in August but we’re confidant that this is going to be the right medication for her.    Thanks to everyone for your support, thoughts and prayers over the last couple of months.  We appreciate it all!


Absence Seizure Epilepsy June 10, 2009

Filed under: Family,Kids,life,Uncategorized — travit @ 4:06 pm
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Absence Seizures are episodes that I didn’t even know existed 3 months ago.  I had never heard of them and thought most seizures were of the grand mal variety, I knew of other types of smaller seizures but really didn’t know much about them.  Things can change so quickly.

A few months back, most often after picking her up from kindergarten, I began to notice that Riley would often stop talking mid-sentance and begin to stare off.  She would often swallow and look like she was about to be sick.  I would call her name and she wouldn’t respond for a period of 10-15 seconds. I wondered what was causing this but decided it must be a combination of stomach nausea and the attention span of a six year old.

Near the beginning of May I took a course to re-certify myself in First Aid and CPR.  During the First Aid section, the instructor discussed what to do if someone has a seizure.  He mentioned that all seizures are not the Grand Mal type that people often think, but in some cases they are first noticed because teachers think children aren’t paying attention in class.  What appears to be daydreaming is actually a type of seizure.  Hearing this was like a kick in the gut.  It instantly struck me that Riley was having seizures. 

I came home and immediately began to do research and quickly found information about Absence Seizures.  The description of the seizures fit Riley’s actions perfectly.  I talked to Matt and he found videos on YouTube.  The first video I watched was so hard because the little girl in the video had a seizure that looked exactly like one of Riley’s.  I watched the videos over and over again and cried because I didn’t know what the future would be like for Riley. 

On that Monday, I called the Dr. and they had her come in that same day.  They checked her out and agreed that Absence seizures were a possibility, but an EEG would need to be done to be certain.  We scheduled the EEG for early the next week.  Riley had at least 5 seizures during the EEG, which was hard to watch but beneficial in getting a diagnosis.  The EEG confirmed that she was having Absence Seizures.

Two weeks ago we saw her Pediatric Neurologist for the first time.  He feels that her seizures are treatable with the appropriate medication.  We started with a 1/2 dose and moved up to the full dose last week.  So far and we haven’t had any of the side effects that can be common with the antiepileptics.  She will have to have a blood test done later this month to be sure that the medication isn’t causing any liver or blood problems.  Since moving to the full dose the seizures seem to be under control.  We are very cautiously optimistic at this point, she is a trooper and handling all of this so well.  I couldn’t be more proud of her, she is such a great kid.  We are so lucky to be her parents.  She has been stronger than me through the test and diagnosis process and for that she is my hero.

We’ve had to make a few minor changes.  She can’t take a bath unless we are nearby, she is really starting to understand the joy of a nice warm shower.  We have to be even more vigilant about helmets for biking and constant supervision while swimming, which we were before the diagnosis but we talk to her about these precautions a lot more frequently now.  Since the seizures are a state of unconciousness, she doesn’t really understand that she is having them and has no memory of them after she has one.  It’s been a learning experience for the whole family.

So there’s the update.  Our one wish that the positive path we’re on now will continue progressing  forward.   We’re very lucky and she is one tough ballerina.

And in the midst of all this, she graduated from Kindergarten.  Yay Riley!

The graduate

The graduate


Back to the Blog

Filed under: Kids,life,Me — travit @ 11:19 am

Hello blog! I’ve missed you.

Summer vacation is finally here!

My goals:

1. Spend lots of time with the kids exploring.  Cheap is good, free is better!

2. Take more pictures.  I need to improve my skills and perhaps use them to help pay some bills.  If that fails, I go to back-up – beat poet.

3. Research going back to school and finishing my degree.  I would like to get all of my library certifications completed in a timely manner.  At least quicker than the 20 years I’ve taken so far to finish college.

4. Cook more, get take out less.  I want to restock my freezer with quick and healthy meals.  Do you have any favorite summer recipes?  I’d love to hear about them!

That’s all for now.  I would write more but it would take away from my busy schedule of repeatedly watching Bret Michaels get knocked over by the set piece at the Tony Awards.  I just hope that bad wig he’s hiding under the constant hat came out of it okay.


The light at the end of winter’s tunnel. February 7, 2009

Filed under: hiking,Kids,Photography — travit @ 11:02 pm
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dsc07435We had a beautiful day today.  Temperatures in the mid 50s and bright blue, sunny skies.  After all of the time we have spent below zero lately, the air felt downright balmy.

I had heard about the coming weekend warmup on Tuesday and at that point decided that I didn’t care how slushy and muddy it was going to be we were going to get out and enjoy it.  Riley, Carson and I headed for one of our favorite hiking spots, Waterfall Glen in Darien.  Camera in hand, of course.

Yes, it was muddy and slushy but worth it.  Because of all of the snow melt the waterfall was running stronger than we had ever seen it.  It was mostly a muddy mess, but still very relaxing.   We explored for a bit and managed to stay fairly clean.   Until on the way back to the car when Riley fell over into a giant mud puddle.  I knew that we weren’t going to get out of there clean and Riley wanted to make sure I was right about that.  Oh well, mud washes off easily.


This may be one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken of Carson.

This may be one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken of Carson.


She wasn't happy about the mud.

She wasn't happy about the mud.