Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Cents of Style & coupon code

All For Love Event
At Home Date Night


One of the things I love most about going on dates with Loverboy is that I get a chance to dress up.  I like to look cute, and let's face it, stay at home mom's don't always have the time to dress up.  

Cents of Style has a great variety of really cute accessories to help you spruce up for your at home date (or a night out if you prefer).  Their prices are fantastic and the quality is wonderful! 
(Don't miss out on a coupon code at the end of this post). 

A bit of goofiness with my Padd boots from Cents of Style

Cents of Style wants to help one of o my readers to spruce up for their loved one.  OR - if you ARE the loved one - you can get a really great gift for your love!  They are going to give the package winner a $20 gift code!

They are also offering a gift for all of my readers, a coupon code for 10% off your order!  Just use the code LIFE101 when checking out.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sponsor Spotlight: Little Toader

All For Love Event
Sleep Tight Package

Do you love zipper pajamas as much as I do?  My boys love them too.  If one has zipper pajamas on, both of the big boys have to.  Little Toader has offered to help your little one get to sleep on Valentine's Day so you can have a date night.

Read the sweet book, Adventures in Dreams, to your little one and point out the characters on the matching pajamas while you read it.  (Sizing is limited 6m - 2T).  The package winner will have a selection of sizes based on current available stock.

This giveaway is open to residents of the US. It will close at 12:01 AM on 2/8/12. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Sponsor Spotlight: Ozeri Electric Wine Opener

All for Love Event
At Home Date Night
Sponsor Spotlight: Ozeri

Can you imagine it?  Your kids are snugly in their beds for the night.  You've enjoyed a fantastic, healthy meal with your love.  Now you settle in by the fire place.  Your love pulls out a bottle of wine and...

oh no! where is the wine opener?  I can never find these things when I want them.  I wonder if I could open it with a paring knife...
Good news.  I have a bright red Ozeri Electric Wine Opener!  This is not easy to lose - it's big and bright red.  It's got a foil cutter attached at the top, it's convenient and easy to use.  It also comes with a wine stopper that is easily used as a pouring spout!

Good news!  This great wine opener is part of the At Home Date Night Package!  You can win it to share with your love on Valentines Day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 28, 2012

3 Amigos

The first somewhat decent picture with all 3 boys

Friday, January 27, 2012

Murphy USA Superbowl Snacks #smrterdriver

The challenge?
Visit Murphy USA and purchase $25 in snacks for your Superbowl Party.

My thoughts?
"No way.  Gas station snacks are super expensive." 
"Do they even have snacks at that station?"
"I'll probably just have to get a bunch of small chip bags and a few 20 oz soda bottles."

What we found at our Murphy USA store:
Large bags of chips: $3 each!
Wall of Candy: 2 for $1 or 2 for $1.50
Monkey found a lot of things he liked.  We couldn't leave without a package of candies
Pepsi 12 packs: $3.99 or 3 for $10.99

What we got:
4 bags of chips, 3 12 packs of soda, 2 bags of candy.

My Thoughts Now:
We had a great time shopping at Murphy USA.  I was really pleasantly surprised at how much we were able to get for $25.  We enjoyed looking through the store and discovering what all they had, even in a limited space.  I did not expect to find so much variety at our local Murphy USA.  

How did we do?
$25.34!  I went over, just a tiny bit.  I think we met our challenge well!

Check out my Google + Story.

Disclaimer: I have received payment for this post.  All opinions about this experience are my own.
Thank you to Murphy USA for providing our family with this fun shopping experience.

Food on Friday: Vegan Black Bean Salad

My boys love salad.  They love it when I set out a variety of vegetables on the table and let them tell me what they want in their salad.  Unfortunately, that tends to take up a lot of table space.  
This week I've been working on putting together some pre-mixed salads.  Here is the one from last night.

1 can black beans
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 avacado, diced
1/8 cup cilantro, torn
2 handfulls turnip greens
1 cup salsa

I don't actually measure anything, just throw it into the bowl and mix. This salad was a big hit with Monkey (my pickiest eater).

Over the Roof Sweet Potato Lasagna from Forks Over Knives
Vegan Black Bean Salad from.. ME

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: Zoobie

All For Love Event
Sleep Tight Package

Every little one should have a snuggle animal and soft blanket for sleep time.  Zoobie's animals are perfect for taking anywhere for a good snooze.  

Want peace and quiet so you can have a date on Valentines?  Try a new Zoobie blanket pet for your little one.  Check out the Zoobie website and look at all of their adorable stuffed animals.  Monkey picked the horse, Patch the Pinto, for Crackers - it was an excellent choice.

I love the way the blanket folds up and zips into the animal.  It's got a double zip system - it zips to attach to the animal, then once it is folded, it zips inside the animal.  

Zoobie is adding one Zoobie blanket pet to the Sleep Tight Package!  For early entries, leave a blog comment telling me which blanket pet is your favorite.

Sponsor Spotlight: Forks Over Knives

All For Love Event
At Home Date Night Package

Forks Over Knives is contributing a copy of their book to the At Home Date Night prize package!  

This is perfect for the couple concerned with healthy living.  The Forks Over Knives book has 125 amazing whole food - plant based recipes (we've only tried a few so far).  

If you don't win this book, I strongly urge you to get it and read it - and watch the documentary.  Join their Facebook page.  These are great people with a powerful message about health.  

Over The Roof Sweet Potato - Vegetable Lasagna

Frozen Chocolate Banana Balls

I have never been one to "experiment" when it comes to food.  I'm learning to expand my food horizons and Forks Over Knives has been very helpful for our family when it comes to trying out new, healthy foods.

Enter to win the Forks Over Knives book and wow your lover with a fantastic meal on Valentine's Day!

What I wish I knew

3.5 years ago, Monkey was born.  

He wanted to be held all of the time - ALL of the time.  I couldn't get him to sleep unless I was holding him, and as soon as I put him down he would wake up and cry until he was held again.
That is tiring for a new mama.  

2 years ago, Crackers was born.

He loved to be swaddled.  I could swaddle him in a blanket, put a pacifier in his mouth, and pat his chest for a minute or two, and he was out cold.  

This just amazed me.  I never swaddled Monkey, I tried it a few times and it just didn't work.  I don't think I knew how to do it well enough that it would stay tight on him.  

3 months ago, Baby was born.

We swaddled him from the start.  I knew how to do it and he learned very quickly to love it.  Now he doesn't like to sleep unless he is swaddled.

I wish that when Monkey was giving me so many difficulties, I had known how to swaddle and done it.  I wish I had done it from the start.  I wish that someone had taught me how to swaddle effectively.
I highly recommend that all new mamas learn to swaddle a baby and try it with their babies.  It takes practice, and it might take baby some time to learn to love it - but it will make sleep time SO much easier.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: babyamberteething.com

All For Love Event
Sleep Tight Package

Yes, a necklace for the sleep tight package!

Baltic amber is known to help with soothing pains - everything from teething pains to knee pains caused by M.S.  We love using them in our home to help with teething pains - all 3 of our boys have them.  Baby is wearing a sweet "multicolored" olive shaped teething necklace.  Yes, it helps with sleep too - when babies get fussy from teething pains, you better believe it's hard for them to sleep.  A teething necklace can help soothe teething pains, thus allowing babies to sleep more soundly.

Older children can also wear them for fashion or for other aches and pains.  Monkey wears one because his brothers have them and he thinks they are neat.

babyamberteething.com has generously offered to add winner's choice of a baby amber necklace to this fantastic package.

See Baby Amber Teething on Facebook or Twitter.

For an early entry, head over to babyamberteething.com and leave a comment telling me what you would choose.

Wordless Wednesday: Big Boy Bed

Sponsor Spotlight: i like book


The first prize for our At Home Date Night Package is:
i like book - for couples

My sister told me about the i like book a while back.  She badly wanted to get one to use with her daughter, Little Lou.  After she got one to use with Little Lou, she ended up buying 3 more - one for each of her sons, and one to use with her husband.  She recommended I do the same.

Why is this in a prize package for an At Home Date Night?  Here's why.  This is a fantastic Valentines gift and activity.  It is a great tool for helping you appreciate your spouse.  Why not start working on that as soon as possible?

Here's my testimonial about the book:
I love my husband, but sometimes I don't like him.  I get irritated about little things that he does - or doesn't do.  It's easy for me to let those irritations rule my thoughts about my husband.  Letting that happen is not a good way to build a positive, loving relationship.  I dove into the i like book as soon as it was in my hands.  I wrote my first "i like" statement before he even got to see the book.  I try to write a new statement every morning first thing.  I end up spending hours thinking about my husband each day and trying to figure out which thing I will write down about him tomorrow morning.  I don't end up wondering if I can find just one good thing about him, I have to narrow it down - and yes, I am banking those things in my memory so that when I have a bad day and feeling cross - I'll still have something good to say.

You know what else this book does for me?  It makes me feel loved.  When Lover write a note to me, I feel special.  I know that he has been thinking about me and has identified something in me that he likes.

Talk about a way to draw a couple together!  This is fantastic.  It's also SUPER easy.  I just have to think of one thing a day to write about my husband.  

Want one?  i like book has offered to give away 1 copy of the i like book for couples in our At Home Date Night Package.  The All For Love Event starts on February 1, but you can get some early entries RIGHT NOW.

Just take a look at their website and leave a blog comment telling me something you like about it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: ElJay Plushie

Be Mine Pillow & Monkey
Sleep Tight, Little One

What makes date night at home better?  Sleeping children!
Leah, at ElJay Plushie is going to help one of my readers get their little ones to sleep on Valentine's Day with this adorable pillow & stuffed monkey set!  

Her animals are SUPER soft and cuddly.  My Crackers is completely in love with his stuffed giraffe. (Click link to see the giraffe review).  ElJay Plushie animals are quality handmade products.  Please take some time to check out the ElJay Plushie Etsy Shop.

Back View
Be Mine Pillow is approximately 8x9 inches.

See his sweet heart.
Adorable stuffed monkey is 17 inches tall when standing, 10.5 inches seated, and 15 inches around his belly.

The End
Check out the ElJay Plushie Shop on Etsy to earn an extra entry for the All For Love Event, Sleep Tight package.  Add your entry to the Rafflecopter form below.
All For Love Event runs from February 1-7.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Valentine's Day is coming soon.

Love is in the air.
I'm typing in pink.

The All For Love Event starts in just a little over a week.  That's right, February 1-7 is the big event.  During this, over 50 bloggers will be sharing product reviews and hosting giveaways for "love" related items.  Some are giving away things to help you love yourself, others your spouse, even children!  I am looking forward to seeing some of the creative packages that other bloggers have developed!  

Here at Life With My Boys, we will be reviewing items from several excellent companies and giving away 2 prize packages.  The reviews will start this week with the chance at earning extra entries!

Here's what you have to look forward to:

Package 1: At Home Date Night.
This is for you and your favorite loved one.  It includes a great book with 125 excellent recipes to help you plan for your date, a gift code to a fantastic shop that will give you the opportunity to spruce yourself up, or buy a gift for a loved one, a cool wine opener, and a book that is great for bonding!

Package 2: Sleep Tight
This is for your favorite little ones to encourage them to go to sleep while the adults have a date.  It includes: a sweet handmade pillow, a teething necklace, a pair of pajamas and book, and a stuffed animal with a blanket nicely hidden inside.

Reviews and extra entries will start tomorrow.  Keep your eyes open for these great opportunities!

The Color of Security

In our house, security comes in the color green!

I recognize that this is a somewhat odd statement, but oh so true right now.  
See, a lot of kids have a security object.  A blanket, a toy, a rock...
Monkey's security item is money, coins to be specific.

"Coins are not green".  I know that's what you're telling me right now.  But did you know that when a tight fisted preschooler carries a hand full of coins around all day, his palms turn green?  It's true.  If you don't believe me, try it yourself sometime.

I'm not sure what it's about, maybe Monkey has overheard us talking about money issues, or maybe it's just a hobby that has gone over the edge, but he loves money.  He doesn't feel right if there is not at least one coin in his hand.  Monkey collects money everywhere.  He has a special money jar, but good luck convincing him to keep his money in it.  He is absolutely fascinated by the stuff.

Right now I'm looking at this little guy as he naps, both hands in fists.  I'm positive that at least one of his fists contains a quarter - if not more money.  One night I took his money just before he fell asleep and put it on his dresser.  The first thing he said to me when he woke up: Where's my money?

What color is security in your house?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"You a bad mommy" What's behind the words?

Today my sweet Monkey looked at me and said, "You a bad mommy".



No.  I am not.  Monkey was looking for a way to tell me that I had made a mistake.  He was not angry with me as far as I could tell, but startled a little and trying to make sense of what he had just witnessed.

You should know that spills happen at our house.  We have a 2 year old and a 3 year old.  We don't make a big deal about spills, but Monkey gets kind of panicked about them.  We have never figured out why he gets worked up about spills, but it's a reality with him.  Spills upset him.

Today while making lunch I was digging through a cabinet to find some pasta.  (I was certain that we had some but we rarely use it to it took some work).  The boys came in to watch me prepare lunch.  These guys are kind of funny, they love to watch and help in the kitchen.  While pulling things out of the cabinet, I knocked down a glass bottle of balsamic vinegar.  It made a big mess - vinegar everywhere.

Monkey looked at me and said, "You a bad mommy."  I (again) told him that sometimes people spill and that is okay.  I cleaned it up and went on with my day.

BUT - sometimes say things like this when they ARE angry.  Sometimes they say things like, "I hate you" or "You're ruining my life."  It is easy to take that personally.  Shoot, a lot of times it is MEANT personally.  Do you remember being upset with your parents when something happened that made you feel like life was unjust?  How did you respond?  When young children say these things they are looking for a way to express a feeling.  They are repeating something they have heard.  They might even be trying to find a way to make you feel the way they do so you can understand them.

So how do we help the child that hurts our feelings with what he says?

First, evaluate the situation.  Are you making a decision that leads the child to feel threatened?  Are you making rules about safety, social order, family health?  What is upsetting the child?

Then, try to put words to the feelings.  "Monkey, you were scared when the bottle fell."  or "You get very angry when you have to go to bed before the end of the show."  Help him connect words and feelings.  This will help you be more understanding and help your child learn his or her emotions.

Next, try to help the child solve the problem if at all possible.  "Monkey, you were scared when the bottle fell, weren't you?  Can we work together to clean it up?"  or "You get very angry when you have to go to bed before the end of the show, do you think we can finish it in the morning?"  Very young children will need you to help solve it.  As they get older you can begin to give them more freedom to come up with the solution on their own.  "What can we do to work on this together?"  or "How can we do it differently next time?"  (Please note that the question is related to WE, not pointing at the child.  Learning how to deal with emotions is a group task.  Blaming the child for having feelings is hurtful and unproductive).

Be flexible if you can.  "You are angry when you have to go to bed before the end of the show.  Why don't we watch ten more minutes?"  Not only does this show some willingness on your part to work with him, it also gives him some warning about what to expect.

Try to work on feeling words when children are feeling calm and collected.  No one wants a lecture when they're upset.  You can play games that focus on understanding feelings; or talk about what feelings look like.  You can take pictures of your child making facial expressions for different feelings.  You can also talk about a situation that occurred in the past, as preparation for future events, "Who can think of 3 things to do when you are angry that someone broke your toys?"

Truth?  I strongly believe that learning to understand our own emotions and deal with them in a productive manner is the foundation for teaching our children how to manage their emotions, and their behaviors.  I believe that a child who is able to identify and express his emotions is likely to be in better health and uphold better behavior than one who is incapable of doing these things.

It starts with me.

How about you? How do you deal with mean words from your children?  Do you teach emotions?  What are you teaching? 

Wordless Wednesday: Being 2 is hard work

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I'm pretty sure my sister hates me

My Photo

That's her, my sister, Elizabeth of My This N That Life.  I'm pretty sure she has it out for me.

Sure, she looks innocent, even loving in this photo with Stinky.  But she's secretly vicious. 

Here's my story.

A few months ago our old vacuum mysteriously lost its filter.  By lost I mean it is NOT in our house, anywhere, I've cleaned, I know.
It's hard to use a vaccuum without a filter.  My guess is that Elizabeth snuck into my house and stole it while I was away.  She's like that you know.  She would drive an hour and a quarter just to make my house messier.

The only place we use our vacuum is in the boy's bedroom.  The entire upstairs is their bedroom.  That might sound like a big area, but really it isn't so huge - it's about 1/3 the size of our entire downstairs - it's a converted attic space, and the only place in the house where I haven't pulled the carpet up yet.

Being used by a toddler and a preschooler, their floor gets pretty dirty - play dough, paper, stickers, urine, dirt, and whatever else they happen to drag around up there.  I needed a vacuum something fierce.

Good news: both Target and Walmart had stick vacs for sale on Black Friday for $9!  Incredible.  I was positive I wanted to get one.  

My sneaky sister generously offered to let me have their old vacuum that had just been sitting in a closet.  I'm sure she bought it just for this occasion, as she has been plotting it for quite some time now.  She convinced me that it was a good idea to save the $9 and use the old vac.  

I fell for it.
Euro Pro Ultra Shark 700 Watt Turbo Hand Vacuum
It's not a stick vac, but it can turn into one kind of.  It'll work just fine in their room.  I justified my decision.

Here's where I get to the part where she hates me... the way the vacuum is set up, there is so little suction by the time you get to the end of the "Stick" it won't even pick up play dough crumbles.  This means that her bigger, older sister is on her hands and knees with the little hand vac part of this in order to clean the floor. 

Okay, so it really doesn't take too long, but it's annoying.  I really do appreciate that she let me use this vacuum.  She probably doesn't hate me, but my knees aren't too fond of me after I use this.  I think I'll have to save up some cash and look for a stick vac - or something more powerful - soon!

Has anyone helped you save money and later you had to replace their fix?

Wordless Wednesday: Looking for answers

Project: Reclaim

That was the word of the year for 2012.
We certainly learned to "occupy" our home.  And you know what?  It looks occupied.  I'm glad that we're learning how to be at home better - it used to mostly be the place we slept.  Last year we learned to really use it, for playing, gardening, sleeping, being family.  At the end of the year it was a disaster.  I felt crazy because of the lack of organization - toys were in every room - and I do mean EVERY room of the house.  Clothes were scattered hap-hazardly around.  Dishes were dirty most of the time.  Floors were unswept (with 3 boys and 2 cats, that is really not good).  It looked bad and I felt worse.  A dirty house gets me irritable.  Oh boy have I been crazy irritable.  

My word for the house this year is "RECLAIM".  We will continue to occupy our house and use it well.  Here's the thing though - we can use it AND keep it clean.  I am going to reclaim the organization, the floors, the laundry piles, my house and my sanity.

I don't expect to have a perfectly clean house all of the time... after all, I have 3 young children, 2 old cats, and a husband.  We like to spend time outside - and the boys love to bring outside in.  Even though it will not be fully clean all of the time, there will be a sense of order.  We're getting there.  I feel much more at peace about our house today than I did even a week ago.  We're not there yet - but much closer.

My plan?  I started with the boy's rooms - because it's the room that gets ignored the most.  We took down the toddler bed and ordered a mattress for the bottom bunk.  Yes - we took down the toddler bed BEFORE the mattress arrived.  Crackers was starting to sleep on the bunkie board that is made to hold his big mattress - I just put the crib mattress on the bunkie board while we wait.  We bought dressers for the boys and put their clothes in them.  Okay, well - it's time to fold more laundry and put it away too now.  Then we sorted toys, completed a project that had been sitting in their room for a months, just waiting.  Put wall decals up.  Sat back, and enjoyed watching them play.

Next we attacked the livingroom/dining room (it's looking a tad messy again this morning, I'll need to do a bit of cleaning later).  We removed ALL toys that did not belong to the train table.  My brilliant sister recommended the use of a train table as a coffee table.  This makes a great space for my boys to play downstairs.  We cleared the dining room table and swept underneath it.  Crackers is an especially messy eater and mama hadHow do n't been doing well with keeping up after him.

Our bed frame broke on Christmas morning and we were using one of the boys stools to hold it up.  Last night we were able to get a new frame from some friends.  New frame in place, today is the day I clean/rearrange our bedroom for a fresh new feeling.  So far I think I like it - but my bed is piled with things that need to get put away - including more toys that haven't found their way upstairs yet.  I'm thankful for Monkey's help - any time he sees a toy in my room, he grabs it and lets me know that toys are supposed to be upstairs now, then promptly takes it up.

I still have some work in the kitchen - a few bags of groceries need to be emptied into the pantry (which is in the basement), more dishes have appeared - somehow we keep getting dirty dishes, I think we might stop eating for a few days so we don't make any new ones.

Then is my nemesis - laundry.  I've got a good sized pile of dirty clothes to get through the wash and a mountain of clean clothes to fold and put into dressers - or somewhere - I don't think my dresser is big enough for my clothes, we're still working on a solution there.

By the end of next week it should all be in order.  This weekend is Cracker's birthday party - I don't think it will all be done yet before the event, but I won't feel as embarrassed about the condition of my house, and I won't feel crazy as soon as I walk in the door.

I am looking forward to reclaiming my house.

What are your messy places?
What will you reclaim this year?
Do you have any great tips on keeping your house organized?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Mama's Thoughts: Shooting

Mama Crum is a pacifist.  I believe that battles can be won by using words.  I want my boys to learn that fighting is not the way to solve disputes.  I think that when God gives the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," he probably means it.  I don't see him making exceptions in his command.  Yes, I know you can make biblical arguments to the contrary.  I'm not writing to debate about theology though.  I am certain that Jesus was serious when he stated the greatest command is "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself."  

So what's the problem?  I have boys.  Boys are fascinated by shooting.  Monkey learned about pointing at people and making shooting noises while he was in the church nursery.  Yep, I'm positive that's where he learned it.  Everything is a gun, everything is fun to shoot.

Anger, Frustration, Sadness Happen.  How do we teach our kids to deal with it?
I recognize that the boys have no concept about what shooting really is or what it means.  They don't know that it hurts people.  My boys don't understand fighting and war.  They do know that sometimes their friends shoot while playing, and sometimes they shoot while angry.  It scares me to see little boys pretend to shoot while they're angry with someone.  Why?  I've worked in an environment where young boys were learning how to cope with hurts.  When they were angry and pretended to shoot someone, they meant it.  They were practicing hurt in their hearts and with their hands and minds. 

My rule for my own boys is no shooting people.  I know they're going to play guns, even if they don't have any - they will make guns.  They are learning conflict resolution even now.  They are learning to express emotions, to talk about problems, to work things out, and to consult others when they cannot find a peaceable answer.  I wish they would stop play shooting, but I recognize that they are learning to make neat noises and exert power in their surroundings.

Funny Story:
One day while I was in a meeting at church I heard Monkey "shooting" at his brother while they played in the hallway.  I called him into the room to talk with me.  When I confronted him about what was going on, he said to me, "But.. he's a penguin".  Sheesh - he's already looking for ways around the rules!

What are your thoughts on shooting?  Do you allow it?  Do you teach it?  How do you teach conflict resolution?  How do you teach your boys to use their power?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday, Crackers

Dear Crackers,

2 years ago you came into our lives.  Dr. Wheeler assured us that we would "pick a day without too much snow" since we were going to be driving an hour and a half to deliver you.  We picked the wrong day.  There was a blizzard and it took us nearly 3 hours to get from our house in Goshen to the Dees' house in Fort Wayne, where we dropped your brother off with the plan of being home together in a couple of days.

Big brother, Monkey
When we arrived at the hospital, they told us that their records indicated I had delivered you earlier that week.  I hadn't, I was certain of that.  Less than 10 hours after we checked in, you came rushing into the world.  You were round and red.  You were beautiful.  We instantly knew your name (we had narrowed it down to 2 choices).  Your name means "empty" like a vessel waiting to be filled.  Daddy believes you are an empty vessel for God.

Things did not go as planned.  You did not eat well, but they discharged you anyhow.  The day after we got home you were yellow.  You were very yellow.  When Daddy took you to the doctor, they discovered that your body temperature was dangerously low.  We couldn't get you warm.  You ended up back in the hospital. After multiple tests and more than a week in the hospital, the neurologist came to us with devastating news.  

They told us that part of your brain was missing.  The part that helps the brain interpret movement to help you balance.  It would mean that learning skills like sitting and walking would be very difficult for you to accomplish.  They also told us that there was a lot of "white matter" on your brain.  It looked like you had a stroke some time before you were born.  The white matter is damage to your brain, that is unpredictable.  It could mean that he is mentally handicapped or that he struggles with motor function.  Life is going to be difficult.
Cross-eyed Crackers - before surgery
You were referred to First Steps for therapy at 11 days old.  You had visits from therapists every week for 20 months.  They worked on your motor skills.  You were behind for a long time - slightly behind.  You caught up and they released you before you even turned 2.

Now, at 2 years old, you speak in sentences, using 7 or more words.  You walk and run.  You are very independent.  You're stubborn - if you want to do something you will figure out how to do it.  You really want to use the potty by yourself.  You'll get there soon.

You are a blessing.  God is filling you already and using you to help fill us.  You are a miracle.  You're doing so many things that the doctors believed you would struggle with.  You are loved by so many people.

Happy Birthday Crackers.