Never Switching To Decaf

Ramblings about life, family, cooking and photography.

31 is the Lonliest Number May 1, 2012

Filed under: life,Me — travit @ 8:08 pm
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Photo courtesy of jakeandlindsay via twitter

Here we are.  Day of 1 of Blogathon.  Day 1 of me getting back on the blogging horse.  Yesterday I wrote about how nervous I was coming into to this.  So today I thought I would write about 31 things I was looking forward to or excited about in the next month.  One for each day of Blogathon 2012.  Really this is just me trying to brainstorm ideas of things to write about. Don’t you judge me.  Don’t you dare judge me.

  1. I look forward to get back into the habit of writing.
  2. Taking pictures, editing pictures, and talking about pictures and photography.  Even if I am still firmly in the fauxtographer realm.
  3. Tackling my fear of math head-on once I start a new finite math course on Monday.
  4. Mother’s Day. Even though according to a commercial I saw today KFC thinks my family should get me KFC for Mother’s Day dinner.  They should not.
  5. Reading at least 2 books for fun and enjoyment, not for work or school.
  6. Speaking of work, the last day of school is this month and I’m very excited about starting my summer break in May this year for the first time.
  7. Watching my kids continue to get better at and participate in the things they love.
  8. Sunday morning at the hockey rink.  Even if 8:30 is way too early to even think about being awake must less sitting next to a big pool of frozen water on a Sunday morning.  Thankfully there are doughnuts and coffee nearby.
  9. Watching the NHL playoffs.  Both of my teams (the Blackhawks and the Penguins) are out of it but there is nothing better than race for Lord Stanley’s cup.  Don’t worry I won’t blog about hockey too much.  I save the swear words and caps for twitter.
  10. I will actually try a few (okay, maybe two) of those recipes that I’m always pinning on Pinterest.
  11. While I’m at it, I’ll also try at least one craft project.  I am very uncrafty. So expect me to blog about how this turned into a monumental and expensive disaster.
  12. All month, I will be completing my training for the Chicago Avon Walk for Breast Cancer which takes place the first week in June.  I’ll be walking one and half marathons over two days to raise money and awareness for the fight against breast Cancer.
  13. Because of #12, I’ll spend a lot of time this month trying to creatively fundraise.  I will also be on the search for underwear that doesn’t chafe.  These are unrelated, I assure you.
  14. Next weekend is a family party to celebrate a cousin’s first communion.  I love getting together with my husband’s family.  They are not nearly as crazy as my family.  (I’m kidding, Mom)
  15. I will continue to be obsessed with Draw Something.  All my pictures look the same.  They all look like penises if I’m being completely honest.
  16. I look forward to being more than half way finished with this list.  Hey, I did it! Woo Hoo!
  17. Thursday is Science Fair night and if you ask me if I’m looking forward to that I will just smile and nod politely.  That counts, right?
  18. Feeding my reality TV addiction. The American Idol finale and the return of So You Think You Can Dance make me giddy.
  19. Everyone tells me I need to read 50 Shades of Grey. If I do, I will likely be too busy blushing to blog about it.
  20. I can’t wait to get to know my fellow Blogathon bloggers and learning from all of you.
  21. I’m blog swapping with Tara at some point, and I hope not to destroy her blog in the matter of a day.
  22. I will have at least one meal at my favorite restaurant, Macarena Tapas in Naperville, Il.
  23. When the weather warms up, my friend and I open up the driveway drinking club which means sitting around the fire pit with a bottle (or two) of cheap Trader Joe’s wine.  Pretty much the perfect way to spend a beautiful evening.
  24. Getting through the Saturday that includes a girl scout event, a piano recital and a dance audition without losing my mind, my wallet, or my car keys.  The DDC will definitely be in order once that’s over.
  25. May will be a time of good news for lots of people in my life who can use good news. I can feel it.
  26. I plan to reconnect with friends that have slipped away while I’ve been so busy lately.
  27. I plan to find the bottom of my closet floor and the top of my bedside table.
  28. I will accomplish most of the things on this list.
  29. I will compliment more than I complain.
  30. I will still be snarky while I’m doing it.
  31. Finally, I will finish Blogathon.

Let’s do this thing! Good luck to everyone participating.  What are you looking forward to this month?


Blogathon 2012 April 30, 2012

Filed under: life,Me — travit @ 7:00 pm
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Oh dear, I just signed up to participate in Blogathon 2012.  I haven’t blogged regularly in over 2 years, so to remedy that I sign up to blog every day for a month?  What was I thinking?  And May has 31 days, it’s not one of those wimpy little 30 day months.  Ugh, I think I might throw up.  Well watch this space starting tomorrow to see if I make it through the month.  Better yet, join us in Blogathon 2012.  You can sign up here.


Oh crap, I have a blog! August 21, 2010

Filed under: life,Me — travit @ 9:14 pm

My husband kindly, well more snarkily than kindly, pointed out that I haven’t blogged in almost over a year.  Is there where I conjure up random excuses to explain the absence to my scores, um dozens, err several, okay fine 2 readers?  I can do that.

  1. I’ve been busy with work.
  2. I started back at school and have been working hard towards getting my degree.
  3. I’ve spent the time reading all of the important books in my local library while purposefully ignoring all the fluffy “chick lit” type books and celebrity biographies.
  4. I was bit by a rabid badger and/or monkey pox stricken wolverine and spent the last year recovering in a darkened room without any contact with the outside world.
  5. I was just lazy and didn’t think I had anything interesting to share.
  6. I spend way too much time playing farmville and commenting on random stuff of facebook.
  7. I was spending lots of time with my family and taking many pictures that I should have been documenting here on my blog.

Well five of those things are true and two are false, I’ll let you decide which is which.  I better stop typing now and get back to fake farming and reading Sarah Silverman’s book.


It’s a Gas June 19, 2009

Filed under: life,Me — travit @ 9:24 am

Dear Jewel Gas Station,

I am a big fan.   I’m especially fond of your gas rewards program, where I earn a tiny percent of my grocery spending back in the form of savings when I buy gas from you too.  Just the other day I filled up my tank and used the 44 cents off per gallon that I had accumulated.  Let me tell you, it was like stepping into a time machine.  Back to three weeks ago, when gas was actually 44 cents less a gallon.

But I do have just one question.  What is  up with the “random” quotation marks on your gas pumps?

Is it a warning or not?

Is it a warning or not?

“Warning” in quotation marks takes away some of the intensity.  If the person that made the sign didn’t take the warning seriously, why should I?  Also, who exactly are the rules quoting?  Is there a gas station Czar and if so shouldn’t he or she be properly credited?  Perhaps with the use of an asterisk and footnote at the bottom of the sign.

I’m don’t even want to get into the random lettering of the rules.  Shouldn’t the one labeled “A” be the title (bolded, if you like) and rule “B” be labeled as rule “A”? Did you people learn nothing about outlining in middle school English class? Nothing about this sign makes sense!

I think I’m done now.  Thank you for your “attention” to this “matter.”  See! Now you have me doing it!




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.


Drowning my way to clear sinuses January 19, 2009

Filed under: life,Me,Uncategorized — travit @ 1:51 pm
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aka the first time I used a Neti Pot.

I’m very hip and modern.  Instead of just whining to family, friends and coworkers when I don’t feel well, I broadcast it to everyone on Twitter and Facebook. See? Very hip and modern.  Today I twittered about the beginnings of a sinus infection and Tracy over at IHMMB tweeted me back (at least that’s what I think she did) and recommended that I get myself a Neti Pot.  I had heard of these before but for some reason the thought of pouring hot liquid into my nostrils never appealed to me.  I thought about it and decided it couldn’t hurt and might even help if I gave one a try.  So I prepared to head off to my local CVS.

That didn’t go quite at smoothly as I had hoped.  Riley was dressed in her Halloween costume, which was a witch.  After some discussion on the issue, I realized that she was not going to change and it wasn’t a battle that I felt like fighting when I couldn’t breathe through my right nostril and I felt like my head might explode.  neti-potSo, myself, Carson and a witch headed off to CVS in search of a Neti Pot.

After some searching in the cold, allergy and sinus aisle, I found what I was looking for.  CVS had a choice of four different neti pots.  I would like to say that I compared features and made a decision based on knowledge and a desire to be an informed consumer.  No, I picked the one that had a giant sign advertising that it was on sale for $3 off.  Did I mention I was shopping with a witch?  I picked up my neti pot and a box of Sudafed (just in case) and headed up to the counter to pay.

When I returned home I read the instructions and grew increasingly nervous.  If you’ve never used a neti pot before, this is how it works.  You fill the small plastic teapot device with lukewarm water and a powered saline powder (isn’t that salt?), mix the solution until dissolved and then the real fun begins.  You hold the spout up to your nostril, tip your head and pour the water into one nostril and it drains out the other clearing out your nose in the process.  Fun, huh?  Repeat the process for the other nostril and hopefully begin breathing freely.  There were several warnings: do not use water that is too cold or too hot, do not snort, do not swallow, etc.  A few of these warning seemed beyond my control but since I had never heard of a neti related death, I went for it.
I filled the pot and mixed up the solution. I held it up to my right nostril, tipped my head and began to pour.  Almost instantly water began to stream out of my left nostril.  It was fascinating, gross but fascinating.  I started to feel like I was going to drown, but decided it was my imagination and kept pouring.  It seemed like it took minutes but likely only took 30 seconds to empty the container.  Time seems to slow down when your pouring a pot of tea into your nose.  I blew my nose as instructed and I already felt clearer.  I repeated on the left side and that added to the drowning sensation. I had a burning in the back of my throat and wanted to sniff but I remembered the warning from the instruction.  Is sniffing the same as snorting, I wasn’t sure and I didn’t want to find out the hard way.

The good news is that I did not die and my sinuses did clear up a bit.  The instructions say I can repeat the process every two hours, I think I’ll wait a wee bit longer than that.  And yes, I did take the Sudafed and think maybe I should go take a nap now.