More questions than answers

Two weeks ago I had bloodwork and an ultrasound of my thyroid done. Today I saw my regular doctor to talk about the results. Unfortunately, the answer is we don’t know what the answer is.

The bloodwork came back perfect. My cholesterol is “phenomenal” and my thyroid levels are fine. The ultrasound wasn’t so perfect, though.

I have a very large cyst on my thyroid. The part the doctor really didn’t like was that it is a big one with smaller ones around it. He said that it is soft so the odds of it being cancer are very extremely low, but that can’t be ruled out completely yet.

So next Thursday I see a surgeon. She will decide whether to do a needle biopsy or wait three months and repeat the ultrasound or something else.

Pioneer Day

Friday was pioneer day. That’s when the Saints arrival in Utah is celebrated. It’s a real holiday with parades and a day off and everything in Utah. Here the day passes without much thought.


I do not have any pioneer ancestry. My ancestors came from the Scotland and Wales as early as the 1600s and from Germany in the 1800s. They were mostly Catholic on one side, and who knows what religion on the other. My parents joined The Church in 1973.

Jamie, oddly enough, does have pioneer ancestry. I say oddly enough because HE is the convert in his family. He joined The Church in 1997. But he’s got some pioneers in his background anyway.


This year, for the first time, we actually did a little something for Pioneer Day. Actually we did it the day before, but they made a lovely centerpiece at our dinner table Friday. I found instructions to make little handcarts using tissue boxes. The big kids made those while the babies fingerpainted their version of handcarts.

Thyroid Testing

I saw a doctor last week and she discovered that my thyroid is enlarged. She asked if I am tired. Ummm… I have four kids! So today I have to get bloodwork and a thyroid ultrasound done. In two weeks I’ll see my regular doctor. Of course, for us, this is a little scarier than it might otherwise be because my mom’s very close friend has thyroid cancer right now.

Harry Potter at Midnight

Last night (or I suppose I should say early this morning) we watched Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Price. We had debated for a couple weeks as to what time to see it. Jamie and I have been to every Harry Potter movie on opening day so there was no question we’d be seeing it on July 15th, but what time. We’ve been to morning, afternoon, and evening showings (in three different states!), but never have we done a 12:01 am showing before.

At first we thought we’d have to do the 12:01 or 9:40 am because Jamie was supposed to head to Ireland on a business trip this evening, but that has been pushed back a bit so we could go at any time. The big kids really, really wanted to both see the movie (we’ve spent the last several weeks watching the first five movies, one per week, in preparation for the sixth one) and to see it at midnight. I wasn’t so sure they would stay awake if we went in the middle of the night so we were planning on going at 4:30.

Yesterday afternoon I remembered that Ani has Activity Days at church tonight and if we went to see Harry Potter at 4:30 she couldn’t go to her activity. She thought long and hard and finally decided she’d rather go to Harry Potter, but she was disappointed at the idea of missing her activity. So Jamie and I talked and he ran by the movie theater on his way home from work and got tickets for two adults and two children to see the movie at 12:01 am.


The big kids did a total happy dance when I told them the tickets had been purchased. And so began the long wait from 8 until 11 when we’d leave. Three hours is an eternity to children more excited about something that I think I have ever seen them. They watched the 1998 version of The Parent Trap. We read our scriptures. I read several chapters in our family read aloud. And, finally, it was time to go.

But we hit a big snag. Fritz was not going with us. After seeing the movie and knowing how he has been watching earlier (and scarier) installments, I know he’d be fine with the movie. Just not a midnight. He almost definitely would have fallen asleep early on. He had gone to sleep while watching The Parent Trap, then woken up briefly and fallen asleep again during our read aloud. A few minutes before 11 I took him into my parents’ room. We figured that was the best place for him in case he woke up and we weren’t there.

Unfortunately, he woke up and started screaming when I tried to lay him down. He didn’t want to have a slumber party with Mommis and Daddis. He wanted to be with me. So we moved him to our couch, turned on WETAKids and left. Later my mom said she dozed until he got up and headed for our bedroom at midnight. She went with him and slept in our bed until we got home. Thank goodness for a grandmother willing to do that!

About 11, we were off and headed to the movie theater. We were concerned about Fritz keeping my mother awake, but our attention was quickly turned to the movie. We counted 138 other cars on the road in the few miles between our house and the theater. And then we were there.


Ani and Cameron were beside themselves with excitement. Adrian woke up in the van and was wide awake when we got to the theater. Ani, Adrian, and I went to get seats while Jamie and Cameron waited in line for popcorn, candy, and soda. The movie was playing on three screens. One was sold out before we got our tickets. The one we were in was close to sold out and from the looks of how many people were going into the third theater, that one was, too. After looking a bit we found four seats together. I think we had a total of 3 options and it was only 11:20! The theater was packed mostly with older teenagers and college students, but there were some older couples including at least one gray-haired set, too. We only saw one other family with a child, about 12 years old. Yes, we are the crazy ones who bring a 7 and 9 year old (and a 1 year old!) to a midnight movie.

(I must interject a comment here about the bathroom at the movie theater. I remember when this theater was built. It was NICE. Now, it’s just… not. The floors are sticky. The whole thing looks a little dirty. Cameron wonders if they have a mouse problem. But the bathroom. It seriously smelled like an outhouse and the trash can was majorly overflowing. Gross.)


After watching what AMC Theaters considers before show entertainment (ads, basically), the movie finally started at 12:01 am. And so we sat through 5 or 6 more ads for movies. My sister used to say that you can tell how good a movie is based on how many trailers for other movies they run beforehand. A bad movie often just has a couple while a really good movie will have 5 or 6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is definitely a good movie.

I was a little concerned about having Adrian with us. He’s been to movies before and done just fine, but you never know, especially when it is being shown right when he’s usually sound asleep. When the ads started he fussed a little because it was so very loud. He quickly adjusted and started nursing (my secret weapon for babies at movies). By the end of the fourth trailer he was done nursing. He fussed some more because I tried to get him to nurse longer, but he was having none of that. He also wanted to see the screen. So I gave him his pacifier and turned him around. Then something magical happened. The WB symbol appeared on the screen and Adrian fell asleep. He slept through the entire movie in spite of almost being woken up twice by me laughing and once by me jumping. He woke up when we left the theater, fell back to sleep on the ride home, and slept until about 9 this morning. (Interestingly, the fifth movie came out on Fritz’s first birthday and he, too, slept through the whole thing.)


The movie was incredible. The kids’ acting has improved so much over the last few years and you can just tell that they are comfortable with each other and really friends. The first 2/3 of the movie was quite funny and had us laughing a lot. It turns serious when Harry and Dumbledore get to the cave. If you’ve read the book, you know about the inferi. That was probably the scariest part of the movie. Everyone in the theater jumped and some people screamed. If you’ve read the book, you also know what happens to Dumbledore. That part was very sad. I really liked the pace of this movie. Order of the Phoenix always leaves me a bit breathless. The action is so non-stop that I feel like I can’t breathe. The pace of Half-Blood Prince was much better.

I was somewhat surprised that the big kids, or at least Cameron, stayed awake for the whole movie. Ani is not so much of a surprise because she has been known to stay up until dawn at sleepovers. She’s the one the other girls tell to just go to sleep. Total night owl. Cameron, on the other hand, is a morning lark and goes to sleep quickly, easily, and anywhere he happens to be when he gets tired. He stayed wide awake through the whole movie, though. He loved it. The kids both went right to sleep when we got home, though, and Cameron didn’t get up until 10:30 and Ani until 11:30 this morning.


We got home about 3 am. It’s funny, but we were leaving the theater having already watched the movie before it even opened on the west coast. Thinking about time zones always is interesting to me. Seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at midnight was truly quite an experience. Many in the audience cheered and clapped when it was over. Beforehand strangers were talking to each other about the books and movies. I heard several young men unashamedly talk about how they cried when they read Dumbledore’s death scene. Everyone was unified by the common thread of being not just Harry Potter fans, but Harry Potter fans crazy enough to go to the first possible showing in the middle of the night. I’m glad I let my husband and big kids talk me into going at 12:01 am. It was really fun!

No 5 year old

I have four kids and the first two are a little over a year and a half apart and the second two are just under two years apart. But the second and third are nearly 5 years apart. Until October, they are 9, 7, 3, and 1. It’s like I’m missing a 5 year old.

I am asked more often than you might think why I have such a big space between numbers two and three. Some people assume we either had secondary (tertiary?) infertility or we lost a baby in there.

Nope. I actually had Lyme Disease when Cameron was 9 months old and was advised to wait at least two years before conceiving the next baby. We ended up waiting about 3 years and so we have a really big space in there.

I like that big space a lot. I have my big kids and my little boys and love the spacing I have between all of them from the 19 1/2 months to the 4 3/4 years.

Happy Birthday, Fritz!

3 years ago Fritz was born weighing 7 pounds 13 ounces and measuring 20″ long. Today he is 36″ tall (10th percentile) and 30 pounds (30th percentile). When I got him dressed this morning, I took him out of the shirt he wore yesterday and I realized it is the shirt he wore a year ago today, on his second birthday.

Fritz is an amazing little boy. We all just adore him and sure do love having him around. He’s a very cheerful kid. His personality is one of those that people just can’t help but be drawn to. He has incredible bright blue eyes that everyone always comments about. I’m so glad I get to be the one to raise him!


A Tea Party

On the Fourth of July, we attended the Tea Party in Washington DC. It was really cool being around about 2,000 other people who feel the same way we do (we’re 9/12ers) about the out of control spending and crazy actions going on inside the Beltway. The speakers were very inspiring.

Steny Hoyer, the House Majority Leader, is the representative in the House for the district in which we live. He’s been in there since I was barely 3 years old. None of us have ever voted for him (my parents have voted against him every 2 years since 1981), but we’re committed to working to get him out, not just with our votes, in 2010. (That’s my mom holding the sign.)

Ani was so excited about getting to go and hold up signs. She’s a little political activist.

Cameron holding his sign.

Fritz playing with a little American flag. I totally stole what I wrote on the sign my dad is holding from Glenn Beck.

Adrian fell asleep on the way to the park so I covered his face with his sign to keep the sun off him. As soon as he woke up he grabbed onto the sign and held it for quite a while.

We packed a picnic lunch and ate it to the side of where the tea partiers were. After lunch Ani picked up Glenn Beck’s Common Sense for a little light reading.

Adrian liked waving the flags we had with us. My dad bought the Don’t Tread on Me flag at the Tea Party.

Some views of the crowd from where we were standing.



The Dr. Mudd House

On July 1st, my brother, sister-in-law, their three older girls, Ani, Cameron, and I went on a tour of the Dr. Mudd House. I grew up less than a mile down the road from it, but I’ve only toured it once or twice before and the kids had never been there.

Dr. Samuel Alexander Mudd (they called him Sam and his initials spell SAM, too) set John Wilkes Booth’s leg after Booth had shot President Lincoln. Dr. Mudd was sent to jail for his “part” in the conspiracy. Whether he knew anything about it beforehand is unknown (and unlikely), but he was a southern sympathizer (like most in southern Maryland) and that alone was enough to convict anyone in 1865.

In addition to growing up very near the house (and no doubt many of my ancestors knew the Mudds and I’m probably distantly related in many ways), Dr. Mudd is buried in the same graveyard at St. Mary’s Bryantown Catholic Church as my grandparents and other relatives and my great-grandparents’ outhouse is on display at the Mudd house/museum. The original Mudd outhouse went to pieces and was replaced with Pop-pop’s.

No pictures are allowed to be taken in the museum, so I only have this one of the outside of the house.