Sunday, October 6, 2013

Million Dollar Quartet

The husband and I went out on a date Friday night - I think our third since Nugget was born.  We were given tickets to see Million Dollar Quartet at the Kennedy Center.

In December 1956, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins met at Sun Records in Memphis for what has to be the greatest jam session of all time.  Million Dollar Quartet tells the story of that night and features so many great songs - Blue Suede Shoes, Folsom Prison Blues, Great Balls of Fire and Sixteen Tons just for starters.  

If you get a chance to see this show, don't miss it.  It's on a national tour now and has a permanent home in Chicago and Las Vegas.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Movie Review

Actually, I'm going to review the theater, the special program and the movie.

On Monday, Rachel and I went to the movies.  That's right, I took a seven week old baby to the movies.  The Angelika Film Center is a boutique theater and cafe that shows a combination of smaller independent movies and the bigger studio releases.  The theater is located in Merrifield at the new Mosaic District complex.  There is a lot of free parking at Mosaic and many stores and restaurants for a meal before or after the show.  There are eight auditoriums with stadium seating.  You pick your seat when you buy your ticket, which is kind of neat and this is the only theater where I have seen this.

One of the special events they hold at the Angelika is the the Crybaby matinee.  Every Monday at 11:00, they have a screening of a movie for parents and kids.  They keep the volume down and the lights up a bit and no one gives you the stink eye if your kid cries or you whip out a boob to nurse.  Tickets are a special matinee price of $6 for adults and kids under 5 don't pay.  Just so you know, the movies are for the adults.  These are not kid movies.

Monday's movie was The Way, Way Back.  This is a wonderful coming of age story.  14 year old Duncan is forced to spend the summer with his mother, her boyfriend (Steve Carell) and his daughter in a small beach town.  Duncan is an awkward teen and has a hard time fitting in until he meets Owen, the manage of Water Wizz water park.  Liam James, the actor who plays Duncan, gives a fantastic performance, as did Allison Janney, who plays the quirky neighbor and provides a comic foil to Duncan's mom, Pam (played by Toni Collette)  I found the characters played by Carell and Collette both to be flat and I could not connect with them.  This was vastly different from every character that worked at Water Wizz.  These characters, even the ones with minimal screen time, were vibrant and interesting people.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and think that it and Liam James will probably earn lots of award nominations.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Want to see something cute?

Let's see, what have we been doing in the month and a half since my last post? Oh, yeah, we had a baby.

In an effort not to irritate folks with an overwhelming amount of baby stuff, I created a new blog called The Daily Nugget.  I'll keep this blog to prove that I can, occasionally, talk about something other than Rachel.

The new blog is my sister's fault (hi Aunt Sara).  She insists on a daily picture since she can't be here as much as either of us would like.  I decided it would be great to save all those pictures somewhere we could look back on them.  I already have a hard time remembering how little she was when she was born.

So, if you want see something cute every day or check in once in a while to see the changes, check out my other blog.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Breakfast Burritos

There are about two weeks left until what my sister has dubbed The NatiNugget.  I recently had a burst of energy and decided that this would be an excellent time to prep some food for the freezer so that we don't starve to death in our first few weeks as a family of three.

Over the weekend, I make taco meat, meatballs, honey garlic chicken, balsamic chicken, island chicken, ranch pork chops and pulled pork, most of which can be dumped in the slow cooker and forgotten about for several hours.

Tonight, I finished up my freezer cooking (because I ran out of room) with these breakfast burritos.  I first found this recipe on Pinterest when I was looking for something for my sister to take to a new mom friend of hers.  This is half the original recipe (more or less) and I ended up with 8 big burritos.

Breakfast Burritos

10 eggs, scrambled with a little water
4 cups of cooked hash browns
9 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
shredded cheddar
burrito sized flour tortillas

I used 1/4 c. potatoes, 1/2 c. eggs, about 2T of bacon and a handful of cheese in each burrito.  Roll each tortilla up, then wrap in plastic wrap and place in a gallon freezer bag to store.  To reheat, just unwrap them and microwave for 2 - 3 minutes.

You could change these up in an infinite number of ways - add veggies like spinach, mushrooms or green chiles, swap ham or sausage for the bacon, take out the bacon all together and make them vegetarian. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chubby Hubby Bars

Nearly every Sunday, we go to dinner at my sister-in-law's house and I am in charge of dessert.  This time, I think I might have made the most unhealthy delicious dessert on the planet.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and it led me to the blog Cookies and Cups.  You really need to make these; they are divine.

This bar cookie is like the Ben & Jerry's ice cream flavor of the same name.  The base is a pretty standard chocolate chip cookie dough, but with chocolate covered peanut butter cups and pretzels instead of chips.

After that is baked and cooled, you add a layer of caramel.

Once that sets, you add a layer of melted chocolate.

So, so bad for you, but oh so good.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Nugget's Story - Egg Transfer

On September 4, 2012, we went to the main office for Shady Grove in Rockville.  The fourth floor of their office there is the embryology lab and the surgery center and that is where they do all the egg retrievals and transfers.  I have been to the fourth floor before three times, but this was the first time I had been there for something good.

After waiting around for what felt like forever with a full bladder, we were called back for transfer.  We both got booties for our feet and I got undressed from the waist down.  I did wear a pair of lucky socks that a Nestie sent me for a secret pal gift.

Our doctor came in and talked to us about how many embryos to transfer back.  He recommended transferring two, and even though we were afraid of the possibility of twins, we went with his recommendation.  He then went to the lab to see if our babies were ready to go.

The room where the transfer was done had a monitor so we could see our two embryos on the screen before they were transferred to a catheter, which the embryologist brought to our doctor.  Then we could watch as the catheter was introduced and the embryos were transferred.  On the monitor, it looked like a little fireworks explosion as they came out of the catheter.

Our doctor told us that I should lay there for ten minutes or as long as my bladder would hold out and then we could go home, where I would spend 24 hours on couch rest.  That was it.  We were done and all we could do now was wait. 

Nugget's First Picture

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nugget's Story - Egg Retrieval and Fertilization

I have to start by saying how wonderful our nurse at Shady Grove was during this whole process.  Actually, all of the nurses we'd had over the three years we worked with the RE were great.  They do a fantastic job of keeping their patients informed about how their cycle is going and test results and were always available to answer whatever deranged questions I would come up with.

Once our donor began her stimulation medication on August 19, I talked to our nurse pretty much every day.  Each time the donor would go in for a check on how her ovaries were responding, Pam would call me in the afternoon with an update on the number of follicles they saw and the sizes of the ones they measured.

After eight days of stimulation medication we got the call that our donor was ready for egg retrieval on August 30.  We'd made an appointment the same day for Jim to drop off his sample so that it would be there and ready to go for fertilization.

Let's stop for a minute and talk about fertilization.  There are two ways that the embryology lab can do fertilization.  The first is a natural unassisted process.  They put the sperm and the eggs together and let the sperm fertilize the eggs the same way they would inside the body.  The other way, which is automatic with my clinic for donor egg cycles, is intracytoplasmic sperm injection.  In this method, an embryologist selects a healthy-looking, single sperm from the male's semen and injects it directly into the egg with a microscopic needle.  Shady Grove chooses to do ICSI because they want to ensure that as many eggs as possible have a chance to become embryos.  This was especially important to us, since we were sharing eggs with another couple and this would be our only chance at this.

Late in the day on August 30, Pam called to say that we had 11 eggs retrieved.  Of those 11, seven were mature eggs.  Of the seven, four fertilized with ICSI.  Now we just waited and watch the eggs develop.  Pam would call every day with an update on how many cells each egg had divided into and we planned for a three-day transfer on September 2.  At this point, the worry changed from will we have any eggs and will they fertilize, to will any of them keep growing to make it to transfer.

On September1, the on call nurse let us know that they were going to push the transfer to day 5.  The embryology lab wanted to give them two more days to see if they would differentiate more.  On a three day transfer, all the embryos look pretty much the same.  By day five, you can usually tell if some are better than others. 

Part VII - Egg Transfer