Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Cali!

We call her ZeeZee, Guppy, Chicos, and Doman pretty much only calls her... baby. I can't believe our sweet "baby" girl is TWO! We have adored and loved her to pieces... all of us! She has been the sweetest little addition to our crazy house of boys. It should also be commemorated that Cali being born is what really got us started on a blog two years ago, so just one more thing to thank Cali for!

These are the things she LOVES: her brothers, shoes, playing with dolls and Little People, Wow, Wow Wubbzy, and sitting on the potty. :) She isn't a huge talker, but definitely has a way of expressing herself. We especially love that she is so lovey and snugly.

Here are some pictures of her girly little birthday.

Opening her presents

After presents we went up to Tilden to take a ride on the Merry-Go-Round and have cotton candy.

Cake and Ice-cream. I just get lazier and lazier with being pregnant and kids having birthdays all the time. My new solution of just popping toys on a cake sure works well! And Cali loves Little People so she was happy. :)

Opening her package from Grandpa and Grandma Barlow:

Her pillowcase:

And her package from the Briggs:

Friday, August 21, 2009


We had a wild and very fun trip to Utah for July and part of August. I missed Dan a lot and learned a thing or two. For example, I do not want a huge house, I can't handle sick and cranky kids without Dan, but turns out I really can get them all to bed at night, and the Utah heat doesn't really bother me since I basically stay inside. My mom pretty much put her life on hold for a whole month to play and help me with the kids. I'm sure we wore her and my dad right out! Not to mention taking over their nice house... Max is still very sorry about the curio cabinet. :( But the boys and Cali had so much fun with their cousins and grandparents and I'm glad we could spend the time there before school starts up again.

Meanwhile... you don't even want to hear what Dan was doing while we were gone... working around the clock! He stayed in his lab 24/7 taking naps when he got tired and only going home on Sundays. He was able to squeeze in a trip to the temple, a good experience serving at the Berkeley Men's Shelter, and replacing our car's starter with a friend to save us some cash. We're so proud of him! He got months of work done and it was critical if he wants to be done this December... we'll still have to see how that goes!

Here are probably way too many pictures from our trip. I just can't get up the energy to figure out something new like collages or slideshows... oh well.

The Gateway Museum in SL with the Thurgoods and Tasha.

My mom and dad took the kids to the Ogden Nature Center. Birdhouses, a good walk out to a cool treehouse and then McDonalds Playplace afterwards... the kids had a blast.

My dad and mom took just Max and Kaden to a SL Buzz baseball game. They're making some pretty weird faces, but they loved it!

Another fun (hot) day my mom took the kids to a fun thing going on at a nearby park with the Cheshire cousins.

The kids couldn't get enough of the Clearfield Aquatic Center. Here is Max coming down the huge slide with Grandpa.

And Cali loved the little slide. I'd send her down from the top and Heidi would catch her... over and over again!

My mom took the kids on a great big outing in Salt Lake with Tasha one day. They first played at Tasha's, then ate at of course a McDonalds Playplace, and to top it off went to a big fun center. Here is a picture of Max and Tasha at the fun center.

We went to a new family fun center in Syracuse with the Briggs that the kids loved. Doman and Max liked the minature golf...

And Cali first went bowling, but really loved the little carousel.

The Ogden Raptors baseball game with Grandma and Grandpa and the Cheshires.

The boys enjoying the farm. The best thing about visiting in the summer is the boys get tractor rides, which they love. What we don't realize is how busy the farm keeps the whole family, so the kids only got to play with them for a couple days. Good thing we usually make winter visits. Here are all the boys getting their ride on the tractors.

Max with his cousin Kassidy in swim lessons for the first time. To say he loved it would be an understatement. I just wish he didn't think he could swim from taking only 8 lessons.

And just some random pictures with their cousins... their favorite part of Utah.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Us!

It sure seems like a whole lot longer than 8 years ago that we were married. Maybe because we started dating 12 years ago, but even more likely is the fact that we have just been through a whole lot together already! I was only 15 when a high school compatibility test said I was 98% compatible with a Daniel Briggs, who I had never heard of. After we had dated for a while, I knew I could easily marry him, but honestly, I didn't really know why. After 8 happy years I can say that I definitely know why now! He is such a good hubby to me and he is an awesome little Dad. I'm a lucky girl! Happy Anniversary to us!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

5 Years Today...

Five whole years ago we moved here and Dan started his Ph.D at UC Berkeley. It's gone by fast, and yet been the longest five years of my life. Crazy. Hopefully we'll be done soon!

This is the only picture I found. Dan and I drove the moving truck with just Doman who was only 2 1/2 months old. My nice mom came a few days later on a plane with Max who I can't believe was practically a baby himself... 17 months old. We've really started our family here, that is for sure!

A few days later when Max joined us. They were so little!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Two pieces of news...

First of all, we have finally gotten an ultrasound with a 100% BOY confirmation. Now we have a few months to officially prepare mentally for four boys! Thank goodness it takes a couple years before they're totally wild, right?

Secondly, Doman's doctor called last week with our genetic test results. No surprise that they were quite interesting results again. The doctor used the word "muddy." This is probably boring genetic info for some, but I think it's kind of interesting, so I'll try and explain it.

First, when Doman's tests came back they found that he actually had two mutations on the gene they were looking at. One mutation they could tell was for sure disease-causing, and the second mutation they could not tell. That is why the doctor wanted both me and Dan tested. So on my gene, there were no mutations... thank you very much, Dan, who thought I was for sure the one who'd pass on a muscle problem. :) On Dan's gene there was a mutation; it was the same mutation Doman has that they could not tell if it was disease causing or not. But that means the disease-causing mutation that Doman has is for sure a splice-site mutation (spontaneous mutation.) This is exactly what we were hoping for even though the doctor said it was a highly unlikely result to hope for. But because Dan passed the one random mutation on, even though it doesn't seem disease-causing, it still makes for an interesting case. Our doctor and the geneticist are going to try to figure things out some more. They're also going to see if they can figure out if it's recessive or dominant because that is what determines his specific diagnosis.

The bottom line: For whatever reason, Doman's gene mutated on it's own before birth. If he has kids, they will have a 50% chance of having Congenital Muscular Dystrophy. The good news is that there is no chance of our new little babe having CMD, or any other children we have in the future. Even though we're feeling pretty happy (overwhelmed might be a better word) with having the five kids, this is still a huge relief.

That's all for now! We'll have a big Utah post up soon!