You My Brown Eyed Girl

I may be biased but I believe Anna's eyes are her best feature. I don't think that I'm the only one who believes this either. We get comments often like "Wow, her eyes!" "They're so big!" "They're beautiful!" and "You could get lost in those things"...oh boy, do I ever! Seriously, they're like falling into a rabbit's hole without the possibility of ever getting out, and who would want to? They suck you in. (Thank you for letting me take that too far for a moment.) but never did I ever think I'd be singing "My Brown Eyed Girl" to my little girl. With Travis having blue eyes and me with green we're still in awe with the fact that Anna's eyes are brown. He swears he's not the father (only kidding, of course!), but based on baby pictures of little Travis, Anna is most definitely his daughter! It reminds me of 9th grade biology and learning about genes. My mind starts reeling and begins to hurt because of all that I can't remember!

Anna was born with deep blue eyes. They began changing after her first few months into an almost blueish, greenish, brownish color, and have since settled on brown with green flecks. So maybe it'd be more appropriate to call them hazel? After brown seemed to be the permanent hue we began asking our family members who shares this same trait with Anna. We knew none of our siblings nor parents do. Both sets of parents and all 4 siblings (Travis' brother and my three siblings) all have blue or green eyes. So we just assumed Anna could only have either blue or green eyes since we figured one or the other is dominant and no where in our immediate families is there a dominant brown. How is it possible she has brown eyes?! But, hold up. We found out my uncle (my mother's brother) and Travis's grandma (his father's mother) have brown eyes. Interesting! I still proceeded to google how it could be possible that Anna has brown eyes with parents having blue and green eyes (even with brown being in our extended family). And lo and behold I came to this site that again had my mind spinning with talks of genes, recessive and dominant traits, and lots of "BB's, bb's, and Bb's". After reading and reading and then taking a break to eat a bowl of cereal because my mind couldn't contain all that was being said and reading some more I finally figured out it is very possible (but very rare) that Anna has been passed down a dominant brown gene. It could also be a number of other reasons as to why she has brown eyes (such as environmental effects and DNA changes) but the most important fact that I discovered is that Anna is an anomaly, she's unique, remarkable, exceptional, ONE-OF-A-KIND! I find this so amazing and beautiful, so amazingly beautiful! I already knew our little girl was special in so many ways, but this small feature just makes her that much more.

And there's your biology lesson for the day, brought to you by this sweet, little gem ;)


Snowed In

We were snowed in for three days--well as snowed in as you can get in the south. We got a whopping 8 inches! That's a big deal down here. And I laughed. A lot. Until I tried to drive and saw what a complete mess the roads were without a snow plow truck on every street like you get in the midwest. After I laughed a lot, I cried because I dislike the snow very, very much. I didn't mind it too much growing up but for some reason in recent years I've begun to despise it. It's cold, wet, and anything you drop into it becomes cold and wet and most likely ruined. Plus, living in the south the mention of flurries shuts the whole city down, which for this busy body who always has a plan (grocery day on Monday, bible study on Tuesday, YMCA on Wednesday...you get the idea, we have a schedule to keep!) it throws the whole day into a kink. And most likely the subsequent days because this city can't just have one "snow day".

With all that said, we had to keep busy for three days last week lest we go insane! I collected a few ideas from friends who have had toddlers during the winter months, and away we went at keeping ourselves busy!

The first snow day we barely got an inch of snow. Grass was poking out of the top, and yet the kids still were out of school. So what do you do when there is less than an inch of snow and no school? You sled, of course! And what do you sled on? A piece of cardboard, of course!

Our friend Stephanie taking advantage of her snow day.

Anna and I stayed warm inside dancing to music and reading books while Travis spent 3 hours throwing snowballs at kids. After insistent grunts towards the back door Anna and I finally ventured out into the bitter cold. It lasted only a few minutes because I'm a wussy Anna has a cold.

The next day I put my friends' suggestions to good use. I looked up an easy peasy recipe for making homemade play-do. However, I had to improvise because I ran out of salt. Apparently you have to follow the recipe to a "T" because ours came out a little sticky. I added a lot more flour and it helped some. But Anna's first play-do experience only lasted about 2 minutes before she wanted to eat it.

This was right after she put some in her mouth. See the little piece hanging from her lips. Yum.

Although it is edible I really didn't want her overdosing on salt and flour. So we moved on...

I laid out a towel, put a few cups of rice into a tupperware container, threw down a few measuring cups and Anna was satisfied for an hour! This child won't sit still for 3 minutes, but for rice it's a different story.

After lunch and a nap (from all of us!) we decided to brave the 8 inches and walk to the nearest Redbox. It's about a quarter of a mile (which seems a lot farther when you're trudging through the snow!) so we put Anna in her hiking carrier, strapped her onto Travis' back, and away we went.

Although I hate the snow, it wasn't too cold outside and it was nice to just get out of the house. When we returned kids were still sledding (do they ever stop?!) so Travis decided to try taking Anna down our little hill.

Here in the south you either sled on cardboard (see first picture) or on a boogie board. Travis and Anna chose the latter.

I could only take the cold and snow for so long before I used the excuse again that Anna has a cold so we went inside, snuggled up on the couch, invited a few kids over, and watched our Redbox movie Turbo--cute movie, by the way!

Now that the snow and cold are behind us (well, at least for this week) I'm already thinking about all the fun things we'll get to do outdoors. I'm so ready to have our front door wide open with the spring breeze and scent of flowers drifting through our house. I'm ready to feel the sun's warmth and take Anna to the park to run around. I'm ready for shorts and flip flops. I can't wait for Spring and another new adventure with a toddler!


Little He or Little She?

The butterflies began fluttering as soon as I arrived at Abby and Amanda's house. I couldn't believe the day had finally arrived. We were going to find out the gender! Wait, who's baby is this? Certainly not mine, but for a second I had to remind myself I'm not the one who's pregnant here. Gender reveal parties are where it's at! The suspense, the excitement, the waiting, and then...the REVEAL! It's a big deal. And only those who have participated can truly understand the joy + eager anticipation that are involved.

We had a small get together Saturday night to celebrate our good friends Stephen and Heather Jackson and the newest addition to their already precious family of three.

Little Kiah came running into the living room clueless as to what we were all doing. All she cared about were the pink and blue m&m's set on display. As we took pictures voting on what we thought the Jackson's baby gender is, Kiah was not to be left out.

"Pick blue or pink, Kiah. Do you think you'll have a baby brother or baby sister?"

She chose pink!
The rest of the votes...

We enjoyed a delicious meal together but not without our conversations centering on that cake and what color would be seen once it was cut. We just couldn't wait!!! Dishes were cleaned just as quickly as the food was devoured and the time had come to pop open the champagne (sparkling grape juice for Heather!) and let the Jackson's slice into that cake! Shrills from the ladies and woooo's from the guys led up to that last moment and then...

IT'S A BOY!!!!   

Everyone was so excited! Heather really wanted a boy and Stephen got his mini-me. And once again, I was wrong! Note to self and others: when asking what I think a baby's gender will be know that it'll always be the opposite of what I guess. I've never been right, not even once.

We immediately checked the gender reveal picture just to be sure. Because, you know, we're ultrasound technicians and know exactly what we're looking for.

The cake ended up tasting better than we had thought it would and the pop of blue made it that much better!

Seriously, gender reveal parties are the best! I loved every moment spending it with my friends and eagerly waiting to see what color was inside that cake. How blessed that little boy is to have such wonderful and God-fearing parents in Stephen and Heather and a sweet and loving big sister in Kiah! Now the next reveal will be when we get to finally meet the little guy--I can't wait! Here's to great friends, a new baby boy, and being a great big sister!

"You mean I have to share my mommy and daddy now?" 


Cabin Fever

Ok, before I get shot by all my midwestern friends and family, can I just say we're getting cabin fever down here too? I'm tired of this winter, I'm tired of this weather, I'm tired of being cooped up in our house with no where to go because anything fun indoors costs money. Just the other day Travis and I agreed they need to make an indoor place that's fun for kids (i.e. playground) that doesn't cost money. Who's with me?! I know I can get an "AMEN" from my fellow SAHMs! I mean, you can only get one free hour of childcare at the YMCA a day, and you can only go to the pet store so often before employees are like "Oh, you again? So you're still not going to buy anything, right?" We tried the library for their story hour last week and that was an epic fail. Anna just wanted to pound type on the computer keyboards the whole time. So we may wait a few months before returning.

We've been trying to get creative around the house since we've been stuck inside. Like wash our hands, because it's fun and it keeps someone busy for 5 minutes. Anna's new favorite game is putting a piece of clothing or blanket or towel over her head and pretending like she's a ghost. I have no idea where she got that from because I don't remember doing it. So she must be watching way to many scary movies. I should talk to someone about that, she's way to young. She loves hats--for about 2 seconds. She'd rather you wear the hat than her, but if you insist that you really don't want to wear the Columbus Blue Jackets Stinger hat for the umpteenth time then she'll relent and wear it herself. Her new favorite hat is this one:

Ok, this is super horrible quality because it's from my dumb phone (aka not a smart phone) but I want you to see that what she's wearing is, in fact, not a hat but a skirt. I repeat, the thing on her head is a skirt but she adamantly thinks it's a hat and tries to wear it all the time. Is that not the cutest thing ever?! At least she hasn't tried to leave the house in it. And here she finally agrees to wear the Blue Jackets hat, although it usually adorns Travis' head:

Again, horrible quality, but you get the idea.

So what have you been doing to fight the chilling temperatures and snow? Any suggestions for a desperate mother? I've been thinking of trying the 'no poo' regiment everyone's posting about on Facebook since I don't have anywhere to go and no one to see for the next six weeks. Might as well let my hair get nasty and greasy while we're trying to stay warm inside!