Peanutbutter and Jelly Lip Sync

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

On Friday, the youth did a lip sync at church for the ward potluck. Each group picked a song and provided the props. An hour before the potluck each group drew the song they would preform that night and would have an hour to practice. It turned out well. Matthew wanted to hang out with his sister and her friends and they were kind enough to let him participate. I think he makes a pretty good sign holder.

These girls were lucky enough to be the only group to draw their own song. So they did Peanut butter and Jelly. As you can see there in the middle is chunky peanut butter and two jellies on either side. They got their YW leader to be the announcer in the beginning and the bread the rest of the time. They all had a great time and it was fun to watch. All the youth groups were terrific.


Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation

I know every one is dying to see pictures from Shaun's procedure he had last week. The first one is from the latest procedure. Yes those are needles in the picture. I will write about more about this procedure at the end.

He has had two actual procedures and two pre-procedures to test if he was a candidate for the actually procedure. The actual procedure is not too far more painful than the pre-procedures, but the healing is much more difficult. After all, they all involve a needle in your spinal area. I will explain each of the procedures and if you really are that interested or have nothing better to do just read along.

This is from the first procedure. It is called the Cervical Facet injection with steroid. I guess the picture is of blood vessels. Not sure what we are even looking at, but hey they gave us the picture, why not blog it.
Any way the first one was to see if he responded to the treatment. They took a needle to the branch of nerves located in the C 2 and C 3 area. This area is known to trigger headaches in some people. It is a last resort of things doctors recommend to those who have not responded to other treatments. This time they did not do anything long lasting. They used some lidocane and a steroid. He was told to keep activity levels down for the first 24 hrs and most of the next 24 hrs. We found he had pain in the area for about 5 days and his daily headache was gone immediately and did not return until day 8. We had to record daily pain levels for the first week. Every one found this to be good and so we proceeded to the next step.

This one was done by the same doctor. There are three pictures. The first one shows the needle really well and the other two have pen marks pointing to the area they targeted. This one was more of a targeted nerve block. The goal was to target the actual branch of nerves that was causing the headaches. They used lidocane to isolate the area and see how long relief lasted in a temporary state. This time no bed rest, but was asked to moderately do activities that would normally increase his headache. We had to record every half hour starting just prior to the procedure and for the following six hours. It was different from the other procedures in the fact that his headache was still present following the procedure. Went from an level 8 out of 10 down to a 3 out of 10. It continued to decease until 2 hours after the procedure it was gone and then returned slightly at 5 hrs post and maintained that level for the duration of our recording. It was nice that he was finally able to do some household things during that time and still felt fine. (Any Exertion activities normally caused a more severe headache to the headache that was always present, such as mowing lawn, running, lifting items that require a bit more effort, and sudden adrenaline response (like braking quickly in the car). This time he was sore after the injection for about 24 hrs.

Now the third one was done on Christmas Eve. It is called Cervical Radiofrequency Ablation. It was to be the last step to end all headaches. At least so we hoped. It was done by a different DR, he gave us only one picture, but a bigger version of it. Yes that is two needles. The goal was to add a little steriod and lidocane, additionally the needle would heat to a high tempeture to cauterize the nerve. The headache was gone immediately. Recover was hard. It required him to be in bed and use of ice and regular use of pain meds. This came with episodes of vertigo. He was told to take it really easy the first week, and that it sometimes takes a couple weeks for the pain to go away, but things are usually pretty good by day 10. Well, Shaun took off from work from Christmas Eve on until New Year's Eve, which he needed to work, so others could have the day off, since he got Christmas Eve off. He was lucky to be able to come home early that day. Friday was Jan 2nd and was day 10, his first full day back at work. I remember him coming home after working the full day and seeing he was in excreciating pain. He described the pain felt like a severe burn. We later found out why he felt that, but thought that was strange at the time. We made it through the weekend with no improvement and were able to call the doctor's office first thing on Monday. He was told that he had inflamation of the nerve. It is a rare side affect that can happen occationally. He was told to lay down as much as possible, use ice to reduce swelling and use pain medications. One thing we noticed as the swelling increased so did the vertigo. If we could keep the swelling down then he would be fine with his balance. He was told to not lay on this side at all and that in time the pain would go away. It took another week for the pain to noticable decease and from there it went away quickly. All in all, about 4 weeks to get back to feeling normal.

This was great. No headaches and we were free to live life normal. (Finally after 10 months of very rough times.) Only thing was a spot on his neck that had no feeling.

Over time the spot gained feeling and then the headaches returned gradually. We knew then the nerve was growing back, but hoped the daily headache would not return. But then it did. We were told the procedure was expected to last 3 to 18 months and each time the nerve grows back slower. Even with the regrowth of the nerve, there was a chance he would never have those headaches again. So this time we got 4 1/2 months and we hoped this was his only time to need this procedure. So now we know we were wrong, but at least we know what we need to do to get on with life.

Today is day 5 from his latest procedure, and he is still in quite a bit of pain. He has to stay on the ice and not be up much in order to keep the swelling down, but we have great hope that in a matter of days he wil be feeling well and that recovery won't be quite as long as last time, but time will tell. This time he is not going back to work until day 11 (Monday) and if need be he will work half days for the first few days. I hope it is pretty much better by Monday for his sake. All in all we are lucky with the weekend schedule and Memorial day, he is only taking 5 actual days off from work.

*****UPDATE******7/9/2009 This last procedure healed much faster than the first. Back at work on day 11. Work almost a full day and then full days after that. Each day was better and he was not wiped out from work like the last time. For those wondering how long the pain last. Hang on. It does get better and your quality of life will improve hopefully. Best advice to give is ice will be your best friend until it stops hurting. The more ice he used, there was lessened inflammation and it helped with the pain. So stay on top of the ice.


needing coupons for Macy's

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

We are looking for a coupon for Macy's. Anna has really struggled finding a modest one piece swim suit this year. (Yes we know that some two pieces are more modest, but girls camp requires a one piece.) She has out grown her old ones and thankfully she has high standards. One reason we have had such a hard time finding a swim suit is that most women's one pieces have open backs, which she is uncomfortable with. So we finally found one at Macy's, then we saw the price tag. $88 all in the name of modesty. Well, I could not bring myself to buy it, but at the same time can one put a price on modesty? Anyway, we would like it to come on sale and hopefully use a coupon too, all before she has to go to girls camp, otherwise it looks like she will have a dry summer. If you see a coupon let me know or if you hear their swim suits are on sale, let me know. They seem to be the only store that has not put their swimwear on sale yet.


How to make lemonade, by a five year old

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Yesterday our five year old spent the day with her grandma. When we picked her up, there was a handwritten recipe of something she made during the day for grandma, while grandma was distracted taking care of her brother.

Here it is
Abigail's lemonade

Pour powder in pitcher
add water
stir lightly not all the way
serve with love

I have to say I had to chuckle a bit when I read not to stir the powder in all the way. I wonder if the first part of the pitcher taste better or the last.

* 3/18 Today Abigail again made her special mix. At first it was a bit watery, so I helped her add more powder. I began mixing and was corrected as she said, "Don't stir it all the way or it won't turn out." After we finished, she informed me it was her secret recipe and since she had now taught me how to do it, I can now make it in the future. Though she was fine that I am sharing this recipe on the blog.


Spring babies

Monday, May 11, 2009

The last couple of years we have had Starlings nest in our bathroom vent. Each year we say we will make sure it doesn't happen again, but then we forget until there is a new nest. We don't have the heart to do anything after they nest, so we just wait. We have never seen any of the chicks, since they 9 feet up and way in.
This year we had an unfortunate event, on Thursday, I went out to mow the lawn and found 4 baby birds had fallen out of the nest dropping nine feet to their death. They still had their feathers in quills instead of downy feathers like this picture. We were relieved to see the mother had not lost all her babies, as she still came and went from the nest with food and we could could hear the babies from time to time.

Then today, our dog began to act weird (okay she is always doing that, but this was different). I could tell she was suddenly interested in something on the ground near the nest. So I jumped up to see another baby had fallen 9 feet (see the picture above) . It was still moving, but it looked as though it would die soon. I have watched this bird most of the day and the mother has faithful come with worm in beak. At first she had to peck at the baby to get it to eat, but as time went on it seemed to gain his appetite.
At one point the baby was moved about a foot to an area with some taller grass for it to hide in. I am not sure how that happened. Whether the mother moved the baby along or it got up on its own. All I know is that it has not left its secluded haven the rest of the day.
Our worst fear is, that it will not make it through the night. With no way to protect its self, from cats and other animals. In fact this evening, our dog alerted us that our cat was outside sniffing the bird. We got there in time and no harm was done, but minutes later the cat found herself back outside and then quickly ran to the backyard to explore the bird. This time Anna caught the cat just in time. The cat is now safely in the garage until bedtime. We can't stop the other cats from attacking, but we can sure try to stop ours.

It is very interesting to watch the mother bird approach her young. She is very careful to watch for any signs of danger. If she senses something she quickly moves away to another part of the yard, constantly looking around until she feels it is clear. It really is a rather touching thing to watch.

Starling facts here at this site. Cute blue eggs, too bad I didn't get to see them
Great, I just learned from the second website that, if they have feathers, they should learn to fly in a couple of days, meanwhile the parents will still care for them even on the ground. (our bird seems to only have a single parent). I am not sure the fuzz is enough to fly with, but we will just assume that if it is missing, that if flew away instead of the other options. Additionally, this baby is alot more developed than the ones that feel out of the nest on Thursday. Amazing what five days can do to a baby bird.
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2 lbs. free strawberries

Saturday, May 9, 2009

FYI everyone, now through Tuesday Safeway is offering BOGO free 1 lb strawberries. On there is a coupon for free 1 lb of strawberries. I used the coupon today and was able to get both specials. Best of all it cost me nothing. Here is the link to the safeway coupon site here.
Many of the coupons can be used at other stores, but Winco/Waremart does not take printed coupons.



Not so fried Ice Cream

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

On May 4th, we were not thinking and had taco salad. We have our ground beef in 1.5 lb lots, so we used half of it, but I saved the rest for something like spaghetti. Then I realized that today was cinco de Mayo, so we had to run to the store to get tacos. Shaun came up with the idea that we needed to have fried ice cream. We got it once from Los Dos Amigos. Yuck, it was so greasy, we ended up tossing it. So we tried it today the fake way. Corn flakes, sugar and cinnamon, and topped with chocolate syrup. The kids said it was okay, but preferred plain ice cream. Shaun and I thought it was a nice treat. Sorry the picture stinks.


Great deal at Safeway

Last week at Safeway they had some great deals, I had to take advantage of:

First, cookies were $1 a package, then I had two coupons for 55 cents off and a the Safeway double for another 50 cents off. Yahoo, I got $1.05 off a $1 package of cookies.

Then they had boxes of cereal for $1.99, I used a coupon for $1 off for each and the Safeway double for another 50 cents off each box. Each box cost only 49 cents.

I felt great walking out of Safeway with four treats for our family. The cookies for every one, especially Anna and Shaun. The Frost Flakes for Anna (no one else eats them), and the Raisin Bran for Matthew and me. All for a total price of $0.88. I later went back and got 2 more raisin Bran and 3 more Frosted Flakes each at 49 cents a box with the extra coupons I had on hand.

I don't usually buy cookies (we make them instead), but this was a nice treat for our family and I am glad that the sale ended today, least I be tempted to buy more.


I received this today from Good Clean Funnies. I thought it was fitting for the day and thought I would share it with everyone.
Most people don't know that back in 1912, Hellmann's
mayonnaise was manufactured in England. In fact, the Titanic
was carrying 12,000 jars of the condiment scheduled for
delivery on May 5th in Vera Cruz, Mexico, which was to be
the next port of call for the great ship after its stop in
New York.

This would have been the largest single shipment of
mayonnaise ever delivered to Mexico. But as we know, the
great ship did not make it to New York. The ship hit an
iceberg and sank, and the cargo was forever lost.

The people of Mexico, who were crazy about mayonnaise and
were eagerly awaiting its delivery, were disconsolate at the
loss. Their anguish was so great that they declared a
National Day of Mourning, which they still observe to this

The National Day of Mourning occurs each year on May 5th and
is known, of course, as Sinko De Mayo.

And now you know where the name originated!