It’s Genetic

DNA Overview2 Its Genetic

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I can remember sitting in high school biology and being fascinated by genetics.  All the weird traits that are inherited from one of your parents.

Did you know being able to roll your tongue is a genetic trait?  So is having dimples.

That second toe that you have that’s longer than your big toe?  You can blame that on your parents too.

Part of the interest, for me, came from being adopted.  These little dominant and recessive genes gave me a peak at two people who were, at that time, unknown to me.

Now that I’m a parent myself, genetic has taken on a whole new level of interest.

It’s fun to sit there and stare at Vista and catalog all the things that are ‘mine’ and all the things that are from her dad.

Blonde hair – definitely from Bil.

Blue eyes – well both of us have blue eyes, so it’s hard to say who her eyes look more like.

Her chin is definitely mine.  And so are her ears.

Since she’s been born, though, we’ve also been exploring genetics on a different level.  Scientists sit in a lab somewhere, combing through her DNA strand by strand, trying to find that one little piece of code that’s not just right.  If they ever find it, then it’s becomes Bil and my turn to have our DNA examined to see if the uniqueness that is Vista comes from one of us in particular.

As she gets older, though, we discover more and more, on our own, that has been passed on to her.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that V’s not been totally well lately and no one’s been able to figure out why.  She’s had a rash on and off, she stopped eating, has lost a lot of weight, and had one ER visit for fluids because she’d become so dehydrated.  The big discussion has been – are her new anti-seizure meds to blame.

The answer?  Maybe. Depends on who you talk to.  The ER doc says probably, the neuro says no, family doc say perhaps, and the allergist we saw today says probably not, but it is a possibility. Unless we take her off of them there’s no way to know for sure.  They’re working right now, though, so there’s no way we want to do that.  Taking her off means looking at brain surgery and we’re just not ready to face that yet.

More than likely she has some sort of virus that her body is fighting that’s caused her to lose her appetite.

And the rash?  Well she can thank genetics for that.

We found out today that Vista has chronic urticaria.  That’s a fancy way of saying that she’s super susceptible to hives.  Anything could make her react.  Being too hot, too cold, eating something that her body reacts too (not to be confused with an actual food allergy).  Or, like in this case, simply coming down with a cold, flu, or other virus, can cause her to have hives on and off for weeks or even months as her overwhelmed system tries to fight it off.

She can thank both Bil and I for this.  We both were like this as kids too.  I still quite often get hives on my arms from eating strawberries (not that a little thing like hives will keep me away from a bowl of strawberry shortcake).  And anyone who has ever had a drink with me has seen the ‘allergic flush’ that turns my skin red as soon as I have liquor (doesn’t keep me from drinking either.  heh)

The good news is that it’s more a pain in the ass than anything else.  And? It gives her another thing to blame us for, years from now, in therapy.

Rather than ask for donations to her therapy fund, I’d rather know – what’s your favorite trait that you’ve passed on to your kids? Or better yet…  which one are you going to get blamed for years from now?

 Its Genetic
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19 Responses to It’s Genetic

  • Ashlee says:

    I’m so glad it’s not the meds. I’m sorry she inherited your rashiness. I have done the same thing to my kids. All kinds of soaps, lotions, shampoos, grasses, make me break out and while they don’t have it as bad as I do they definitely have my genetic curse. Trav even calls me Rashlee. I hope her rash goes away and she gets to feeling better soon. Sending you so many bewbie hugs and love!

    Jenn Reply:


    Rashlee? OMG. That is so horrible and awful (in a hysterically funny kinda way).

  • I have passed on to my daughter her terribly picky eating and intense imagination and storytelling. I have passed on to my son my crazy long eyelashes and love of sports.

    Hope you find more answers for V in the coming weeks. Hang in there, Mama.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Melissa Wardy,

    Oh the long eyelashes. V has them. I covet them. I wonder if there’s such a thing as eyelash transplants….

  • Dre says:

    Alison is my clone, not only in how she looks but in temperament. I both love AND hate this, for a million reasons, but let’s just say, I am not looking forward to the teenage years if she continues to be exactly like me in every way.

    Blythe, on the other hand… spitting image of her father and fiesty as all get-out. We both claim she got that from the other, because neither of us wants to be responsible for it :).

    I hope V’s rash isn’t from the meds, especially because they ARE working well for her. That little one of yours is going to be written up in so many medical magazines in her lifetime. She’ll be famous! Good thing you gave her such an awesome name.

    Jenn Reply:


    I think we’re all in trouble if our daughters end up like us in their teenage years. I prefer to be in denial and assume they’ll all be angels

  • Lisa says:

    I hope she’s back to her old self soon. Poor V. Glad the allergist didn’t think it was the meds since they seems to be working for her.

    Maya got a lot from my genetic code. Some dad, but a lot from me. My favorite thing she got from me is my eyes. She is really big, beautiful brown eyes. She also got my attitude and temper which is definitely going to come back and bite me in the ass when she is a teenager.

  • Deidra23 says:

    Sadly I have to confess that A probably got her temper from me, although she’s taken it to a whole new level. It took me YEARS as an adult even to learn to control my temper. The older she gets, the more I worry about that damage she’ll inflict (I used to smash dishes when fighting with my BF as a teen) On the flipside? That cute nose of hers? Totally mine too!

    As for J, She definately inherited my Dr. Doolittle tendencies. Eventually as a team we’ll overpower my husband and have a whole zoo. The downside is that she also seems to have inherited my lack of patience, again, this is something I worked on for years as an adult, but I remember frequently chucking 1/2 finished projects across the room as a team, because i just didn’t have the patience to keep trying. I’ve seen J bawling because she cannot complete a super mario level on her DS.

    Jenn Reply:


    Ugh… the frustration gene. V inherited mine as well. I wish there was a way to do something about that.

    And you definitely have the cute nose going on.

  • what was interesting to me, reading this post, was to think about DNA and those scientists scoping out V’s strands of code… and then i thought, “that’s what jenn and bil do. they look at code all damn day long.”

    what’s awesome is that V is a fantastic combination of the both of you. what’s even better is that she has the two of you as her parents. the three of you are perfect for each other.

    to answer your question though… regarding the magoo… i have one word for ya… CRAZY.

    love and hugs and plane tickets abound. xo!

    Jenn Reply:

    @nic @mybottlesup,

    HAHAHAHAHA… are you going to start looking for therapist for him now, or wait til he’s 5?

  • Mandi Bone says:

    Out of my 3 kids only one shares DNA with me. But surprising that the 2 that don’t have my DNA have my temper.

    Michelle P. Reply:

    @Mandi Bone, Oh that’s funny. I was going to mention that while I see myself occasionally in my two biological kids, I see me much more regularly in my oldest, non-biological son. Hair, eyes, hopelessness with organization, edging into geekiness, borderline social skills, stubbornness. I can’t even blame nurture, he’s only been with us a year. I’m very happy however, that he’s cuter and sportier then I ever was.

    My middle son, he’s got my klutz DNA. And my littlest? I’d like to think she’s got my attitude towards life. But really I think I’m in awe of her.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Michelle P.,

    Your littlest is a spitfire. You are going to have your hands full with that one. She’s a big thing in a small package.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Mandi Bone,
    I love the whole nature vs nurture aspect of this. I’m a lot like my dad, even though I’m not related by blood. It’s funny what we learn by seeing

  • punkinmama says:

    Punkin did not get one iota of any physical traits from me. He is his daddy’s boy.

    However, unfortunately, I’m pretty sure he got my crankiness and stubbornness. Poor kid…

    Jenn Reply:


    LOL! But just remember… that stubbornness can be an asset sometimes, later on in life.

  • Crabby Mommy says:

    Little Dude has dimples. My husband and I both have dimples, but mine are bigger, so I’m taking credit for that one. Unfortunately, he also inherited my inability to wake up in the morning. It takes me at least a half hour to get out of bed after the alarm goes off and I’m usually cranky for a while after that. I’m so not looking forward to the teenage years. It will be the battle of wills between a cranky teenage boy and an even crankier mom.

  • I remember the day this topic was discussed in one of my college courses and the girl next to me realized there was no way genetically she could be related to both of her parents. The instructor quickly changed the topic.

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