Monday, December 19, 2011

Wyatt = Amazing, Sweet, Smart, Strong, Handsome, Incredible Little Boy

When I see how long it has been since my last post, I almost end up in tears.  My lifelong goal of keeping a journal was finally realized, and now I feel like it has gone down the toilet.  However, I refuse to give up.  I am hoping that when things calm down (ha ha) that I can get back on track.  I have, however, been keeping notes of journal worthy things so that I don't forget them and will be blogging about them all in good time.

As you may have noticed, I have always worn too many hats, but lately it is insane.  I am trying to be a mother, a wife, a project manager on a construction site, an interior designer, a business owner, an employer, a chef, etc. etc.  I absolutely love to be busy and wouldn't have it any other way.  However, when I put this much on myself, I spend my time thinking about how I am failing at all of the above listed jobs.  I know I am not actually "failing" and things are actually going really well.  But I feel like I am falling... always falling behind.  I still accomplish so many things and am so excited about the direction my life is going.   But I am so hard on myself because I set such high expectations and when I don't reach them (since they are unattainable!) then I beat myself up.  Why do I do this?  If anyone has an answer please let me know.

So since I couldn't stand to listen to me beat myself up anymore, I am here writing a blog when I have a list with 2000 things on it - literally.  So here we go.

Wyatt = amazing, sweet, smart, strong, handsome, incredible little boy.

Brain Balance= The amazing program that continues to help said little boy grow, change, learn, mature, improve and become what I know he was meant to become.

Let me just share a few stories from the last couple of months.  Some of these things may seem small to some of you and may seem huge to others.  For me, each time these things happen, I am in complete awe and shock, yet at the same time I am not surprised at all.  I make a lot of sense don't I? :)

I just went over the notes that I have and realized how many I have!  I would be up for days blogging if I wrote about them all.  So for tonight I am just going to touch on a few and then hopefully I will be back soon.

Overall Wyatt has just been communicating more.  Before Brain Balance, every word and every phrase he said was memorized.  Now, he comes up with things on his own and communicates spontaneously.  He came in the other day and said "Thomas snow movie".  I had never taught him that phrase before, nor had I ever said it.  It is so amazing to see him now be able to take that information that is in his head and use it and express himself effectively.  He would have just said "movie" before and I would have had no idea what movie he wanted.  He also says "James and the red balloon" which is another movie title and a long one at that!

Wyatt can tell me he is hungry - he says "eat food" or just says "I want cookie" or "hamburgurgur". (Yes, he says it like that and it is so darn cute!)  He also tells me "car".  He used to say that and we would drive around trying to figure out where he wanted to go.  Now if I asked him where he wants to go he will reply with "park" or "wal mart" or "library", etc.  

There are many, MANY more examples I could give you, but we must move on.  Let me just say that
I LOVE that he is able to actually tell me things and express his wants and needs.  I have been guessing for so many years.  Then I think of Wyatt.  How AMAZING AND WONDERFUL it must be for HIM to be able to FINALLY tell his mama that he is hungry, thirsty or that he wants to go to the park.  Such simply little things that children as young as 18 months can express, but they mean the world to our family.

Now lets talk about something even more amazing - receptive language and auditory processing.  What is that you may ask?  The ability for Wyatt to actually process and understand what is said to him.  He has improved at this somewhat over the years, but the improvements were so small.  We could ask him to "touch cat" and he could touch a picture of a cat.  He could do this with letters, numbers, objects, etc.  However, if the phrase was more like "Wyatt can you show me where the cat is?" then he was completely lost.  Not only because he couldn't process that many words and that much information, but also because it was not the EXACT phrase he had been taught and had memorized. 

So what is going on now?  I have a child that I can talk to and he UNDERSTANDS me and actually FOLLOWS directions.  Don't get me wrong, he could do a few before like "get shoes", etc.  But it is so different now.  Example:  Wyatt came to me and said "cereal".  (That alone is great!) So I said to him "go get me a bowl".  He quickly went to the drawer and got me a bowl.  Then I asked him to get me the cereal (which was sitting on the counter).  He went and got the cereal and brought it to me!  Then I said "go put this back on the counter" and he ran it back to the counter!  What was so amazing about that is that I was talking to him like he was a "typical child"... If that makes sense.  I wasn't using one word phrases or phrases I had taught over and over so that he would understand the meaning.  I just spoke to him like I would my other children and he listened, understood and followed.  Amazing. 

He has done this in many other instances now, but one is my absolute favorite because it combined the above mentioned skill plus some great self help skills....

A few weeks ago Wyatt came to me and asked to watch a movie.  I responded like I was responding to any typical child again and said "You can have a movie if you go potty and get in your pajamas first."  When I say these things to Wyatt they just come out.  I find myself not really expecting him to do any of the things I say at all.  However, when he does them I am SO amazed and surprised, but then I have also come to expect it as "normal" now which is truly a miracle.  So I went on cleaning the kitchen and next thing I know Wyatt is taking his clothes off and running to the bathroom!  Shortly after that, he runs into the pantry (where we keep all of our clothes and not our food - strange I know) and so I follow him of course.  I peak in the door to see him putting on his own underpants, and getting his own pajamas out of the drawer and putting them on!  I couldn't believe my eyes!  Now he has gotten pretty good at dressing himself, but usually we get his clothes and set them out for him and then keep redirecting him to stop jumping on the couch and to get dressed.  But this time was different.  He had heard those instructions that I gave him and he IMMEDIATELY followed them.  On top of that, he didn't put on normal clothes but he put on PAJAMAS like I had asked him to and he did it all by himself.  He came out of the pantry all dressed and asked me for the movie I had promised him.   Really was one of the happiest moments I have ever had. :)

There are so many more things I could write about.  So many more amazing changes that I have seen in the kids since we ended our Brain Balance sessions.  This is just more living proof that the program works and works like they say it will.  Functions are first, development follows.  Since the Brain Balance program improved the actual functions of Wyatt's brain, he is now able to develop and grow like he needs to.  So although he has been behind in some areas of his brain, he is catching up and will continue to do so.  He will continue in the Brain Balance program until all of his functions are where they need to be and then he will continue to develop even more over time.

Seeing all of this first hand has given me so much hope for my own children and the future that they now have, as well as so much hope for all of the other children out there who are struggling.  They too can and will grow, change, learn, mature, improve and become what they were meant to become.  And their mothers will cry tears of happiness just like I do.

A recent picture from the park.  Wyatt was cold (he never used to even notice) so a friend gave him her coat.  Doesn't he look so cute!?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


After 6 months of lease negotiations, plan design, engineering and city approval, we are finally starting construction!  That was the hard part, this will be the easy part :) Things should be able to move along very quickly!

Here are some "before" photos.  I am so excited to track the progress along the way and document with photos.  I think it is always important to be able to look back at the road you traveled so that you can see how you got to where you are.  

Tomorrow we start cutting the concrete floor so that we can put in additional plumbing for our 2nd bathroom, drinking fountain, etc.  Then we will be patching the concrete and starting framing!  

This truly is so exciting for me for many reasons.  I am obviously SO happy to get Brody and Wyatt back into the Brain Balance Program so that they can continue to progress and grow into the smart, happy BALANCED little boys I know they can be.  Also - I can't wait for other families to start experiencing what we have.  I have already talked with so many wonderful parents that have been doing everything they can to help their children.  I feel blessed and honored to be able to work with these amazing parents and children.  I know how much they have been through and how much they are going through - because I have lived it.   But because of the Brain Balance Program, our life gets better and better and easier and easier every day and so will theirs. 

I have some GREAT updates about the kids and my goal is to post them by this weekend!  Enjoy the photos! (Okay they probably are really are not that exciting to you - but they are to me!)
We LOVE our contractors - Lucky 13 Construction! They are good, honest and are working hard to get this center open to help the children in our community.

Our Empty space! (Not for long!)

Snapping lines for framing!

Our coming soon sign!  Looks like we may need a few more of them and maybe bigger! 

Friday, October 28, 2011


You are invited to our FREE PARENT PRESENTATION! Come learn more about how the Brain Balance Program has helped thousands of children reach their social, behavioral and academic potential.  Please see the flyer below for details.  Feel free to contact us for more information via phone or email.   Also, make sure to RSVP to reserve your spot.  Share this post with others you think may be interested in attending!

See you there!

Friday, October 21, 2011


Tomorrow is our FIRST big event!  We will be at the..... 

What Women Want Expo!

Dixie Center - St. George, Utah.  It goes for two days:

Friday from 10-8  and Saturday from 10-6.

I have posted a few photos of our booth below.  You can't see behind the table well, but there is a couch, a mini trampoline and a little table and toys for kids to play with.  We will also have balloons, organic suckers and lots of drawings where we will be giving away Brain Balance t-shirts, copies of Disconnected Kids and even a FREE ASSESSMENT!

I am on NO sleep this week after a quick jaunt to California! (Post to come later...)    Not to mention all the work we have been doing to get ready for this event!  My staff has been amazing and is exhausted too, but we are all so excited for this weekend!  If you or someone you know will be in the area, send them over to our booth.  Just for coming by to say "Hi", you will receive $50 off an assessment which you can use for your own child or pass on to someone that may need it. 

We are seriously SO excited to start sharing the Brain Balance program with our community.  This program has changed my life forever and our children have a future because of it.  I really can't wait to see other families experience what I have.  If you would like to read more about the improvements our boys  have made, please feel free to browse this blog - there are a ton of posts with amazing stories.  You can also "Like" Brain Balance of St. George for great information, articles and to follow our progress!

I have a list a mile long of posts I am dying to do!  Hopefully after the event this weekend I can share some fun stories.  So many wonderful and amazing things are going on around here :)  The kids are doing very well and loving school.  We are moving right along with getting the center opened.  We start construction next week and I will be posting pictures and updates along the way!

If you know a child who could benefit from the Brain Balance Program, please refer them to their nearest center by going to The Center Locator  -  I PROMISE it will be worth it :)

See you soon!

Our homey Booth :)

Book Display, pens, DVDs, etc!

Closer view of our Left Brain and Right Brain symptoms.


Friday, October 14, 2011


We have a big women's event coming up next weekend and we are so excited to start sharing Brain Balance with the families in our community.  

I want to thank my amazing staff for all of their hard work lately.  Also thanks to our family members who have helped so much and have been so supportive!

What do you think??

I know I have been gone awhile and it actually makes me so sad.  I have so many posts in the works, but with getting this center running, taking care of my children, etc. there is just not a lot of time!  I will be back soon :)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I LOVE my children, my amazingly supportive husband and my family!

I LOVE my amazing Brain Balance Employees!

I LOVE Brain Balance and what it has done for my family and I LOVE that I get to share that with other children and families!

I could go on, but you get the picture :)

So - I know I have been gone awhile and I apologize.  Since school started, life has gotten even crazier! 

We have to leave by 6 am to get the kids to school.  I work all day getting things going for the center and then pick them up, head home only to go to bed and start again the next day! 

I have so much to write and can't wait to do it - maybe this weekend! 

BUT FIRST.......!!!!!!


We are headed out of town tomorrow just in time for a Thursday wedding.  Maybe once we get back things will calm down - Ha ha... they will only get worse :)  But by worse I don't mean bad, just crazier!  Construction should be starting soon and we have a to do list 3 miles long but I won't bore you with the details. 

So for a little light entertainment, please enjoy the cutest Engagement video I have ever seen!  I must be really old because these didn't exist when I got married :)

Aren't they the most beautiful couple!??

Talk to you soon!

Amanda + Booker {Date Video} from Jesse Felter on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Angels on their First Day of School!

Besides Brody's 6 month jaunt to a Pre-K program at a private school, none of my children have ever been to school.  (Okay, Brody and Haze did go to preschool, but I am talking REAL school).   So this day was HUGE!

Before Brain Balance my husband and I literally wondered if the boys would EVER be able to go to school.  As you have read before, it is not because of a lack of intelligence :)   They are both very smart and even above average in a lot of academic areas.  Where they have fallen short are the areas of focus, attention, hyperactivity, distractiblity, impulsivity, as well as multiple sensory and processing problems.  **Otherwise known as a right hemispheric delay** 

After only ONE session at Brain Balance, we knew Brody was ready to go to school.  He still has a few things that we will be addressing in an additional session once our center opens.  However, he is SO DRASTICALLY FAR from where he was only a few short months ago.  His teacher says he will do great!  However, after he went to meet her she told me what he said and it gave me quite a laugh.  She showed him around the room and at one point showed him some crossword puzzles (which we have eliminated due to their strengthening of the left hemisphere...).  He promptly said "I can't do crossword puzzles - they are bad for my brain".  :)  He has also been known to tell other friends that the pretzels they are eating will hurt their brain, etc.  He is quite funny.  Needless to say, we have had many conversations about how each family is different.  I also ensured him that his wonderful Montessori school was doing enough things for his right brain that it would balance out a crossword puzzle here and there :) 

Brody absolutely LOVES school and said he is having so much fun.  I know he loves the social aspect for sure.  I also know he is so much more confident now because he is not worried that he won't do well, that he will get into trouble, etc.

Three fingers for 3rd grade :) 

Wyatt - darling, darling Wyatt.  You are so much fun and so much work at the same time! The first day of school Wyatt did amazingly well.  His aide has been taking very good care of him and making sure he does what he needs to do. 

Today when I went to get him from his room (at 5:30 am!) He jumped right out of bed and I asked him if he wanted to go to school and he smiled and said "school!"  He LOVES it there which is awesome.  After 3 years of being one-on-one in his room for ABA therapy, he is loving being around other kids, being out of the house and in a different learning environment. 

However, today was not as good as the first day.  For some reason he got off on the wrong foot at school and it seemed to stay that way.  He was more loud and disruptive and had to be taken out a few times.  

All children take awhile to adjust to going to school so I know that means the process is even longer for Wyatt.  It is only day 2 so I am not going to worry!  However, a few months ago I would not have even considered putting him in any type of school program.  Since Brain Balance, he follows directions so much better, he is more calm and more focused, he is more mature, etc. 

Prayers will be said tonight to help us have a better day tomorrow. 

So happy and excited to go to school. 

And then there is little Hazel...  She loves school as well.  She behaves very well and does exactly what her teacher asks her to do.  I will have to get some lessons from the teacher...  She seems to do great all day, but as soon as I pick her up she starts the whining.  She is SO exhausted and hungry.  Yesterday she fell asleep in the car on the way home and today she just cried and whined for what seemed like an hour...  We will have to make sure she gets enough rest so she is not so tired and also bring food to give her for after school! 

I am very happy that she is starting off her school career in a Montessori school.  I love their methods and know she will do very well there. 

 Some random shots of them together!


All three in the same photo??!!

Hazel is not in 4th grade folks - she is holding up 4 fingers for how old she is.  Brody was a little confused as to why Hazel was saying that she was older than him.. :)
I am so grateful and amazed that our boys are able attend school.  Brody LOVED his teacher Mrs. Tony (as did we!) and said he wanted her to teach him forever and he never wanted to go to school.   I was shocked that in such a short period his feelings totally changed and now he is so excited to go to school. 

Although Wyatt still has a long way to go, he is continually improving and is more connected to the people and the world around him.  I am excited to see how he excels in this new environment.

Thank you Brain Balance for allowing these sweet, smart boys to experience what it is like to go to school.  It may seem small to some, but it is not small to us. 


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Brain Balance Brings True Miracles

For those of you who haven't heard me say this yet: 



The science is there.  The real life examples, stories and testimonials are there.  It works.

Brain Balance brings PERMANENT CHANGE.  It is not just another "therapy" that "might" help your child.  It WILL help your child.  How do I know this?  Because I have watched miracles happen before my eyes.  True miracles.  Today I am just going to talk about one of them but there are many MANY more. 

Let's talk about Food.  For those of you who are new, you can read this earlier blog:
Picky Is an Understatement  This was written only 3 weeks into the Brain Balance Program.  Amazing.

It gives all the background on Wyatt, his HORRIBLE picky eating habits, his many different dietary interventions and restrictions, etc.  It then shows a video of the first time EVER eating off of a spoon (since his regression at 18 months that is..) and he is eating applesauce!  This was a HUGE miracle because he had not EATEN OR EVEN TRIED a new food for 4 years.   

This is an excerpt from a post in May:
  1. In the last week he has now tried/eaten the following new foods: ONE WEEK!
  2. Homemade applesauce
  3. Chili
  4. Split pea soup
  5. Apple
  6. Grapes
  7. Pineapple
  8. Kiwi
  9. Strawberry
  10. Raspberry
  11. Steak
  12. Shredded Beef
  13. Shrimp
  14. Green bean
  15. Broccoli
  16. He has been loving Freeze dried Pears and asks for them non-stop and now they are gone! (HUGE CAN!)
  17. I gave him the freeze dried apples (that we tried for 2 years to give him in ABA, etc. and he had even thrown up on more than one of his therapists trying them) and he ate those great!
  18. Today he tried a bite of a mushroom! 
  19. Today he tried a bite of an apple!
  20. In FOUR YEARS I could not get him to touch ANYTHING new.  I was able to switch him from round waffles to square, but that was about the extent of the change.  For FOUR years he has only eaten the following items:  Waffles, chicken nuggets, pumpkin muffins (that was actually a big change, even though it is essentially same taste/texture as waffles), turkey burgers, homemade crackers.  That really was pretty much all he ate.  (During the GFCF time he was allowed to have things like Fritos, Lays chips and french fries which of course he ate and were terrible for him) But otherwise NO other food was allowed near him even with hours of Behavioral therapy, heavy reinforcement, etc.  THIS IS A MIRACLE!  HUGE!   I had gotten to the point in my life (before Brain Balance) that I started thinking that this would never happen and that he would eat the same 4 foods for the rest of his life.  I truly did not think it was possible to get him to eat anything different.  THANK YOU BRAIN BALANCE!
Now let's talk about what is going on now.  I must say that we are still living in a bit of chaos since moving home.  There have been birthdays, family gatherings, 2 week jaunts to New York for training, etc!  We just still don't seem to be settled and into a good schedule.  I am only telling you this to make excuses as to why I have not been great at offering Wyatt new foods.  He has been kind of just stuck in eating the same old things again.  When I got home from New York, I knew this had to change - so I have started offering Wyatt new and different foods.  When I used to say that, it was that I would try to offer something a TINY bit different, but basically the same color and texture.  Even when doing that, it NEVER worked.  We would spend HOURS with every reinforcement possible to get him to even TOUCH a new food with his finger, and if we waited him out for an hour we might get him to touch it to his lips.  

So ..............  A couple of days ago I was eating some delicious spaghetti squash from my Dad's garden.  I decided to get Wyatt to try it.  It is squash and it is stringy....  didn't think he was going to go for it at all.  I had to use some reinforcement but he tried it very quickly and even let me finish feeding him the whole bowl.  When it was gone we asked him if he wanted more squash and he said "squash" so we gave him more and he ate it all!  WOW! 

Next, two nights ago for dinner I made gluten free pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce.  Noodles with a chewy texture, red sauce all over them..... didn't think he was going to go for it at all.  Again I used reinforcement, but very quickly he took a bite!  He gagged a little with the different texture, but still ate it.  He ended up eating a small bowl of spaghetti!  THIS IS AMAZING!

Then, this morning, I made some gluten free oatmeal with a little bit of honey on it.  Again a strange food with a strange texture and my sweet little Wyatt ate it!!!!  By the end he actually seemed like he liked it because when some dropped off of the spoon he picked it up off of his pants and put it in his mouth! 

Again, I know that eating food may seem like nothing to get excited about, but I assure you, it is.  When your child has eaten the same handful of foods for 4 years, isn't gaining weight, is deficient in vitamins and minerals, etc, eating new foods is a huge breakthrough.  Especially considering how hard we have tried in EVERY POSSIBLE WAY to get him to try new foods. 

So, When someone like me starts the Brain Balance program and within 3 weeks their son who is the pickiest eater on the planet all of the sudden starts eating applesauce from a spoon - that is a miracle.  A miracle that without a doubt happened because of the Brain Balance Program.  

To those of you who are struggling with their children on any level:   Behaviorally, developmentally, academically, emotionally, physically, socially, etc.  (regardless if they have any type of label or not)    I URGE YOU to take your child to the nearest Brain Balance Center and have them assessed.  They do a 1200 point assessment to make sure your child's brain is functioning and developing properly.  If it is not, then Brain Balance can change that.  It is such a small price to pay to ensure that your child's brain is developing properly and that your child will be able to reach their full potential.  So many of us don't even realize that the problems we are facing with our children are beyond their control.  They literally can't help some of the things they do, the way they act, the way they feel, etc.  They are not bad kids and we are not bad parents.  There is help. 

The people who have researched and developed this program over the last 15 years are inspired.  They are so amazing and truly have created this program to help all of the struggling children and families.  They are not in this for the money and neither are the people opening centers all over the nation.

So to wrap up, I would just like to say that I am so grateful to the amazing people at Brain Balance that have changed my life and my family's life forever.  Through their hard work, effort, love, sacrifice and determination they have given our family a future and for that I can never repay them.  What I can do is pay it forward :)  When our center opens and I can hear even ONE mom tell me that their child called them "mama" for the first time or that they ate spaghetti for the first time, it will be worth all of the effort, time and money that we have invested. 


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

I am back from training and it was absolutely amazing!  I missed my family SO much and I think they missed me too :)  I really wish I would have posted everyday while I was gone because I am afraid I might forget so many feelings and thoughts that I had.  That being said, I have a thousand pages of notes so I know I got all of the important details!!!  

I LOVED meeting all of the other trainees and Brain Balance corporate staff.   I can't believe how many amazing people were there and I feel so privileged to be a part of this amazing team. 

Now that I am home, you wouldn't even believe how much longer my list has gotten!  Here is a VERY short summary of what is on my mind right now! (In no particular order...)

  • Finish reviewing my lease so we can sign it!
  • Meet with my contractor to finalize the bid
  • Finalize my floor plan
  • Get architect to finalize plans and get them to the city!
  • Make 1000 decisions of what I want for my center!
  • Start building!
  • Start my marketing plan - HUGE! So many things involved in this.
  • Start purchasing the supplies on my inventory lists
  • Purchase furnishings, etc. for center
  • Hire and train the perfect employees :)
  • Get my kids ready to start school next week!
  • Hopefully see my husband at nights for 5 minutes before we both crash :)
  • Continue doing Brain Balance with my boys at home - they are still doing so well!
  • Keep my house organized and running including keeping up on dishes, laundry, etc.
  • Sleep at least 2 hours a night? (optional)
  • Get ready and find clothes for all of us for my sister's wedding in less than a month!
Okay, that is not even the tip of the iceberg, so I am going to stop.  I am sure you get the idea.

I am going to keep posting (hopefully still daily) because this has been my journal.  It has been a lifelong goal of mine to keep a journal and I have finally done it!  I know I have been behind the last couple weeks, but I am back! 

As for now, we are off to the new school to meet the teachers today and then run 100 errands!



Saturday, August 13, 2011

Brain Balance Training is Awesome!

After today we will have completed one week of training and there will be one more to go!  I would love to update you on every detail but we are off to observe some children in the program today! 

I have had the most amazing experience here and I LOVE learning as much as I can about this program and how to help the children and families that are suffering so much from these disorders. 

The other owners and employees that are attending the training as well as the trainers and corporate staff are amazing.  Wow - I have never been in a room with so many amazing people at the same time.  These people all truly care about these children as if they were their own children (as do I).  This is not about the money for any of us - really.  It is about the children.  In fact - the Brain Balance motto describes exactly why we are all here.  I know I have posted it before, but it is so powerful and brings me to tears almost every time and I believe it to be so true:

We believe that within every child resides......

The Body of an Olympic Athlete,
The Brain of a Scientist,
The Mind of a Poet,
The Hands of an Artist,
The Ear of a Composer,
The Heart of a Saint...

Never stop believing that your child has Unlimited Potential!

I hope to update more this weekend!  (That is if I get over the horrible sickness that I have come down with the last 2 days...)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday Hazel!

Hazel in her Belle dress ready for her Belle Birthday Party
I can't believe my beautiful girl is 4 years old.  She talks more like she is 10....  She is a sweet, special little girl and we love her very  much!

She had a wonderful birthday party yesterday along with all of our other festivities.  I have about 500 pictures (not kidding) from this weekend to sort through and then I will post photos and updates. 

I wish I had time to catch up right now but I have to leave in exactly 12 hours for New York!  I have to pack what I will need for 2 weeks, do laundry, go to church, say goodbye to all my family that came to town for the weekend, clean the house, tie up loose ends, pay bills, etc.! 

It has been a crazy few days but we survived and had a great time being together as a family. 

Talk to you soon!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Am I Insane?

I think we all know the answer to that question by now, however I seem to get even crazier by the day.  That being said, I like it this way.  The times in my life when I had nothing to do, nothing going on and no challenges were the most boring, depressing and unfulfilling times in my life.  I am not AT ALL saying that is like that for anyone else!  Because of my personality I like to stay very busy and I tend to take on WAY more than anyone should.  However, I seem to just function better that way.  I do more, I accomplish more and I am happier.  Backwards huh?

So - that being said, let's look at the schedule for the next 4 days shall we?

Tomorrow:  Leaving by 10 to drive 5 hours to arrive just in time for my baby sister's bridal shower!  My whole family will be there and I am so excited! Go to sleep and then....

Friday:  Leave by 7 a.m. to drive 5 hours back home to prepare for my baby sister's second bridal shower at my home!  My whole family arrives hours later as well as a few family member's from Bo's side!  We will have 22 people staying in our house!

Saturday:  Hazel's Birthday party is at 10!
                 Brody's Birthday Party is at 12! (He missed having one with while we were gone)
                 Brody's baptism is at 5!
                 Dinner following baptism is at 7!

Sunday:  Hang out with family and then take the red eye to NYC where I will stay for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!  I will be attending the Brain Balance training and I am so excited.  I will be learning so much more than I already have.  I can't wait to be able to learn what I need to know to effectively treat children and help them and their families!

So - What do I have to do in between these above listed items over the next 4 days? 

  • Pack for Bridal Shower
  • Finish reading training manuals and books! 
  • Clean my house and get ready for another shower!
  • Shopping to get food for shower, parties and baptism dinner
  • Preparing food for shower and doing a few decorations
  • Figure out what we are even doing at the birthday parties!
  • Get balloons/decor for birthday parties and figure out what to do since they can't have cake!
  • Pack to live in New York for 2 weeks!
  • Work on getting our Lease signed for our center space
  • Work on the floor plan layout to get it finalized
  • Spend time with my family!
  • Sleep! (ha!)
  • Go even more insane!
  • There are hundreds more but I won't bore you with my "to do"list.. :)
I am going to post as much as I can over the next 2 weeks and I am excited to share things I learn at training.  

Center update:  We are hoping to sign our lease this week and start construction very soon!  After that will be hiring, training, marketing and then opening!  Sounds easy right? :)


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sweet Rewards

Well, I am not going to lie to you it is really hard to be a mom. (Not a shocker to all of you moms out there)  It is even harder to be a mom of kids with special needs or disabilities.  Its even harder to try to still be a wife, a sister, a friend, a homemaker, a daughter, and a business owner.  But this is not a gripe session.  Life is hard for everyone and we all have trials that we are given and they are all at different times in our lives. 

The last couple of days have been a bit hard for me and I have been COMPLETELY overwhelmed (way more than usual).   It seems as though whenever this happens, I am given "sweet rewards" to remind me of why I do what I do and that it is all worth it.  :)

These things may be little to you, but they are big to me!
  • Brody is awesome. I can't even begin to describe how different he is.  Over the last few days I have noticed even more growth and maturity.  I ask him to do something, he does it right away.  Not only is a good boy for not whining or complaining, but he actually immediately does the task and doesn't get off track.  I can even send him up the stairs to do something and he actually comes back!  He used to go upstairs, get distracted, and I would find him an hour later playing Legos.   
  • I also observed him in school and watched him do an entire math worksheet without moving, wiggling or needing his teacher to cover all the problems on the page besides the one he was working on.. 
  • He LOVES to read and it is so cute to see him reading and reading and reading.  He reads in the car, during meals, in bed and everything in between.  Don't worry - he still does plenty of other things. :)
  • He uses his words.  Rather than just yelling or screaming when a problem arises with his sister, he comes to me and talks to me about it. 
  • This morning something happened that just amazed me.  I was still mostly asleep but I heard Brody and Hazel come into the room and talk to Bo.  Then I heard Brody say "Sorry Papa".  And Bo said "for what?" Brody then said "I stepped on your clothes that were on the floor - I didn't see them there".  Bo told him that was okay and he walked out of the room.  I was SHOCKED!  Before Brain Balance if there was ANYTHING on the floor in Brody's road he just stepped right on it.  A book, a puzzle, clothes, toys, my foot, etc.  Most of the time he didn't even notice it.  It was as if it was just part of the floor.  I don't know how many times I had told him not to step or stand on things that were not the floor.  And now all of the sudden he didn't only notice that he stepped on clothes but he stopped and apologized for it.  This truly is amazing and made my whole day. 

There are probably more things, but that is all I can think of right now.

Oh wait - this one is HUGE!  Today we were outside and the kids were riding bikes and scooters.  Brody was on his Razor scooter and had a little crash.  I was preparing myself for the crying and freaking out over the tiniest little scratch.  But instead, Brody said he had an owie and ran in the house.  He wasn't crying or too upset and Bo and I were discussing something outside, so I didn't follow him in.  When I went in a little bit later I found Brody with a band aid on his leg.  I asked him what happened and he said that there was blood running a bit down his leg from his owie.  I told him I could clean it off and he said he already had washed it off, put antibiotic ointment on it and a band aid!  I could NOT believe that he was so self sufficient and just took care of himself like that! That has NEVER happened before.  What was even more amazing was that he wasn't crying, screaming and freaking out over a a scratch and some blood.  The band aid was actually already bloody and he had blood on his shorts so I know it wasn't just a tiny cut.  However, he handled himself so well and just took care of it. 

  • Wyatt is communicating so much!  The best part is that he is using words or phrases that were NOT previously taught during ABA therapy.  He had learned to say a ton of words, but NEVER used them.  Now he is using them so much AS WELL as talking and using words that we have never heard him say.  He also puts phrases together that were never taught.  That tells me that he is thinking for himself!  He is taking the knowledge in his head and the things he has been taught or has been observing and using them all on his own!
  • Yesterday he came to me and said "piggy back" so he got on my back and we started walking.  He then said "couch, lay down".  I LOVED it!  I love that he can tell me what he wants to do and where he wants to go and that I didn't teach him to do it.  He is learning it on his own. 
  • Today he was in my room and I kept trying to get him to go out.  He kept saying "train" so I told him we would go find his train.  He wouldn't come out and kept looking around the room and under the bed.  I asked Bo if he had seen a train and he said no.  Wyatt then said "white train".  It is so great that he is just putting words together and describing things like that!  So sure enough I kept looking and found a gray and white train under the bed.  That is all he wanted so he grabbed it and was on his way!
  • He also says things like "blue shirt", etc.  :)
  • He is understanding body language/non-verbal communication more.  He sees me move towards him like I am going to chase him and he smiles and turns and runs (even with his cast on!)
  • When asking for bacon he now says things like " one two bacon" or "three bacon".  It is so cute that he is telling us how many he wants!
  • Yesterday, I gave Wyatt a muffin which he calls "toast".  He always wants us to cut it up and won't just take bites of it (yet...)  This time I put it on his plate and tried to get him to take a bite of it and he wouldn't.  I was doing the dishes or something so I just left it there and walked away.  The next thing I knew, Wyatt had gotten a knife out of the drawer and went to sit back down.  Then he proceeded to cut his own muffin!  He used to just say "knife" or "cutting" so that we could cut it (which was also amazing!) But this is even better!  
Isn't he cute?!
  • Overall he just is at a higher cognitive level.  He understands what we say, he follows directions and he communicates back with us.  
Wyatt still has a long way to go, but seeing these kinds of things on a daily basis gives me the strength to continue on this journey for as long as it takes!

And then there is Hazel... What to say about Hazel?  :)  She is growing up so fast and will be 4 in ONE week!  I can't believe that my "baby" is that old.  She is doing so well overall.  However, she has been having a few tantrums here and there.  We have been working on using our words..  We are also working on cleaning up her own toys and things which she does NOT really like.  However, she is getting better.  Today the "toy monster" took some of her things which she will have to earn back. 

The other day she disappeared upstairs for awhile.  When she came downstairs it was obvious what she had been doing..

Eyes, lips hair combed and necklace and I didn't teach her any of it.  We are in trouble... :)
So much to tell you but so little time!  This is the latest I have been up probably since I moved home.  I have been so much more tired here and I can't figure out why.  I used to stay up until 3 am and get up at 6 or 7 and just keep on going.  But now I go to bed at 9:30 and get up at 6 and I am dragging all day.  What is going on?  My mother in law says I am just catching up on the last 5 years of sleep that I missed out on :) 


Thursday, July 28, 2011


 Does your child exhibit signs of a Right Brain Delay?

Please read this and pass it along.  Even if you think your child is perfect :) There may be something that you have missed.  I did for awhile and many other parents do.  When a child is more severe and non-verbal it is easy to see there is a problem.  But when they appear to be a typical child, often times we miss the fact that there may actually be something going on that we didn't realize.  I was actually SO relieved when I realized WHY Brody acted the way he did.  I had always known he was smart, but why did he still dart in front of cars or avoid homework like the plague?  Why couldn't he ride a bike?  Why did he have emotional outbursts as if he were 3 years old?  It changed the way I viewed and dealt with everything when it came to him. 

Note:  The majority of children suffering from a Functional Disconnection are right brain delayed.  Right brain delays are typically characterized as:  ADD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger's, OCD, non verbal learning disorder, and Pervasive developmental disorder.  There are still many children with left brain delays and I will try to go over those symptoms in another post.  However, because the majority of children, including my own, suffer from right brain delays, that is what this post will be focused on.

At Brain Balance, they don't use labels.  The typical labels out there like Autism, ADHD, etc. are just lists of symptoms.  These symptoms are better described as a right hemispheric delay.  In fact, there are many, many children out there that don't come near to meeting the typical criteria for Autism,  Aspergers or ADHD.  These labels create a situation where so many kids fall through the cracks just because they may not have all the symptoms of one of these disorders.  In fact, these children may have many of the symptoms and have significant issues or deficits in some areas but are not getting the help they need.  Sometimes this is because parents don't even realize what is going on and why their child is acting the way they are, why they are struggling in school or socially, etc.  On the other hand, if a parent does see that their child needs help, if they don't have an official diagnosis, they are not able to get services through the school or state. 

The very best thing to do is to get Disconnected Kids and read it!  Go through the checklists and see if things sound familiar when it comes to your child.  *The information and symptoms below came directly from the book.*

After reading this and/or the book if you are concerned about your child and even think they might benefit from the Brain Balance Program, take them to the nearest center and have them assessed.  It is totally worth the small price you pay for the VERY comprehensive assessment.  You will then sit down with the Center Director and they will explain to you exactly where your child is at developmentally, cognitively, etc.  They will tell you their strengths and their weaknesses and exactly what they can do to PERMANENTLY address those problems.  If any investment is worth it, this one is.  Especially where it can help you address problems before they get worse and/or may find problems that you didn't know existed yet - i.e. visual processing, auditory processing, sensory issues, etc.  For example:  Brody was a good reader, but he HATED to read.  He never read for fun.  However, he tested at a 7th grade reading level BEFORE entering Brain Balance.  They found that he had visual processing issues and other problems with eye muscles and with his eyes working together which made reading VERY laborious and not fun at all.  Now, he will NOT stop reading.  He reads during meals, in the car and in bed.  At summer school his teacher told me that he will ask "how many more math problems do I need to do before I can read".  I LOVE it!  It is so amazing to see him completely turn around like that. 

Okay, so here is the list of symptoms/red flags, warning signs or whatever you want to call them.   If you notice that your child has even some of these issues, it is worth looking into it.  The longer problems are left untreated the harder they are to correct.  Also, the heartache, stress, financial strain, etc. that goes along with trying to correct these issues in ways - that only make a dent - in treating the symptoms could be shortened or avoided.  I am so extremely grateful that there is a real solution to these problems and that it is safe, permanent and SO fast.  Even though some children with more severe imbalances could need multiple sessions, it is still SO much faster than the years and years or maybe lifetime of therapies that they would need and still never achieve these results.  Why? Because no other program actually CHANGES and "rewires" the brain.  

I tried to put these in categories, but it is a bit scattered.  There are also some things that are repeated...  I decided it was better to get it posted for you to read rather than worry about how organized it was :)

Final note:  This list applies to children of ALL ages.  In fact, I find things on this list that apply to me :)  Also, your child does not (and WILL not) have to have ALL of these symptoms.  You will read it and see many that don't apply to your child.  But, if you notice they do have some of them, or a lot of them, there is cause for concern.

Here we go!

the brain is not developing properly some symptoms are:
  • Inappropriate laughing and giggling
  • lack of fear, especially in the face of danger
  • risk taking
  • an aversion to being cuddled or held
  • sustained unusual or repetitive play
  • avoiding eye contact
  • a preference to play alone
  • difficulty in expressing needs
  • making wild gestures
  • insistence on everything being the same
  • difficulty interacting with others
  • difficulty setting goals and prioritizing
  • difficulty controlling emotions
  • difficulty learning, remembering and paying attention
  • poor motor control
  • inability to monitor own actions
  • They have a poor sense of gravity and are not very good with balance. 
  • They are clumsy and walk into things
  • They can be physically awkward
  • walk oddly,
  • be unusually clumsy. 
  • lean to one side or 
  • be unable to ride a bike. 
  • Bad posture
  • Awkward gait 
  • Uncoordinated and have no sense of timing or rhythm 
  • May have crawled or walked late or crawled strange like scooting.  
  • They may have skipped crawling altogether and start walking earlier than usual. 
  • Clumsiness and odd posture
  • Poor coordination
  • Not athletically inclined and has no interests in popular childhood participation sports
  • Poor gross motor skills such as difficulty learning to ride a bike and/or runs and walks oddly
  • Repetitive stereotyped motor mannerisms
  • Fidgets excessively
  • Poor eye contact
  • Walks or walked on toes
  • They have a hard time manipulating their hands, fingers, toes and feet.  Often displayed later as poor handwriting
* Some kids have motor problems very subtle like a head or body tilt in one direction, a foot that turns in and legs that appear knock-kneed are other signs of improper postural muscle growth.


Very common and a significant problem.  Most of these kids are very friendly and motivated to have social relationships but they don’t know how to go about it and do it all wrong.

Normal development of social skills is dependent on the normal development of the area of the brain that controls nonverbal communication.  That is the ability to read body language and understand people’s emotions and intentions by observing their facial expression, tone of voice, etc.  This is not a skill that can be taught, it develops naturally.

  • Spontaneously cries and/or laughs and has sudden outbursts of anger or fear
  • Worries a lot and has several phobias
  • Holds on to past “hurts”
  • Has sudden emotional outbursts that appear over reactive and inappropriate to the situation
  • Experiences panic and/or anxiety attacks
  • Sometimes displays dark or violent thoughts
  • Face lacks expressions; doesn’t exhibit much body language
  • Too uptight; can’t seem to loosen up
  • Lacks empathy and feeling for others
  • Lacks emotional reciprocity
  • Often seems fearless and is a risk taker
  • Fussy eaters due to an under sensitive (or oversensitive) sense of taste and smell.  
  • Some children cover their ears because they cant stand a noise that sounds normal to everyone else.  
  • Some don’t like to be hugged. 
  • Poor spacial orientation, bumps into things often
  • Sensitivity to sound
  • Confusion when asked to point to different body parts
  • Poor sense of balance
  • High threshold for pain - doesn’t cry when gets cut
  • Likes to spin, go on rides, swing, etc. anything with motion
  • Touches things compulsively
  • A girl uninterested in makeup or jewelry
  • Does not like the feel of clothing on arms and legs, pulls off clothes
  • Doesn’t like being touched and doesn’t like to touch things
  • Incessantly smells everything
  • Prefers bland foods
  • Does not notice strong smells, such as burning wood, popcorn, or cookies
  • Avoids food because of the way it looks
  • Hates having to eat and is not even interested in sweets
  • Extremely picky eater
  • Poor oral and written expression
  • Poor reading and written comprehension
  • Poor writing skills
  • Inability to organize
  • Lack of focus
  • Reading and spelling problems
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Lack of concentration
  • Difficulty understanding cause and effect
  • Poor sequencing ability
  • Confusion when presented with multiple bits of information
  • Poor social skills
  • Cognitive symptoms
  • Logical thinker
  • Often misses the gist of a story
  • Always the last to get a joke
  • Gets stuck in set behavior; can’t let it go
  • Lacks social tact and or is antisocial and or/socially isolated
  • Poor time management; is always late
  • Disorganized
  • Has a problem paying attention
  • Is hyperactive and/or impulsive
  • Has obsessive thoughts or behaviors
  • Argues all the time and is generally uncooperative
  • Exhibits signs of an eating disorder
  • Failed to thrive as an infant
  • Mimics sounds or words repeatedly without really understanding the meaning
  • Appears bored, aloof, and abrupt
  • Considered strange by other children
  • Inability to form friendships
  • Has difficulty sharing enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people
  • Inappropriately giddy or silly
  • Acts inappropriately in social situations
  • Talks incessantly and asks the same question repetitively
  • Has no or little joint attention, such as the need to point to an object to get our attention
  • Didn’t look at self in mirror as a toddler
  • Poor math reasoning (word problems, geometry, algebra)
  • Poor reading comprehension and pragmatic skills
  • Misses the big pictures
  • Very analytical
  • Likes slapstick or obvious physical humor
  • Is very good at finding mistakes (spelling)
  • Takes everything literally
  • Doesn’t always reach a conclusion when speaking
  • Started speaking early
  • Has tested for a high IQ or is above normal in verbal ability and below average in performance abilities
  • Was an early word reader
  • Is interested in unusual topics
  • Learns in a rote (memorizing) manner
  • Learns extraordinary amounts of specific facts about a subject
  • Is impatient
  • Speaks in a monotone; has little voice inflection
  • Is a poor nonverbal communicator
  • Doesn’t like loud noises like fireworks
  • Speaks out loud regarding what he or she is thinking
  • Talks “in your face” - is a space invader
  • Good reader but does not enjoy reading
  • Analytical; led by logic
  • Follows rules without questioning them
  • Good at keeping track of time
  • Easily memorizes spelling and mathematical formulas
  • Enjoys observing rather than participating
  • Would rather read an instruction manual before trying something new
  • Math was often the first academic subject that became a problem
  • Has lots of allergies
  • Rarely gets colds and infections
  • Has or had eczema or asthma
  • Skin has little white bumps, especially on the back of the arms
  • Displays erratic behavior - good one day, bad the next
  • Craves certain foods, especially dairy and wheat products
  • Problems with bowels such as constipation or diarrhea
  • Has rapid heart rate and /or high blood pressure for age
  • Appears bloated, especially after meals, and often complains of stomach pains
  • Has body odor
  • Sweats a lot
  • Hands are always moist and clammy
I think that is it!

It is SO important that we are all aware of these symptoms for our own children, and for our friends and family.  The numbers of these disorders are rising at an incredibly terrible rate and those are only the ones that are diagnosed.  There are many, many children out there struggling and many parents who are trying to find answers.  For those of you looking, Brain Balance IS the answer.  I promise.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Still Improving!

The kids are doing so well and they are continuing to progress (even though we aren't actually attending a "real" session of BB) We are doing as much as we can at home and it is working amazingly! The kids have started summer school and are doing great. They all love getting out of the house and interacting with other kids. Wyatt especially loves it he wakes up every morning saying SCHOOL!

The school is great and just what they need.... mostly right brain learning...Yahoo! They all do very well and are adapting to the school environment. They can't wait for the school year to start!

*Note* Today we got home from school and Wyatt ran in the door and I said "Wyatt" he replied with an "oh hi!!" Then I said did you have fun at school? Wyatt said NO! Little punk.....It's amazing that he is initiating the communication! 

Here are a couple pictures of them at school.....(I don't have any of Brody cause he is in the older class!)  Enjoy!


Must See!

I have a great post in the works, but it is not done yet -(It is quite time consuming...) 

But in the meantime, I realized that I hadn't posted Dr. Melillo's latest interviews.  These are great!  They are short, but VERY informational and all based on great science and recent studies. 

Please take the time to watch them and then share them with anyone you think could use the information - which is everyone!   We should all be educating ourselves and exercising our own brains too.  :)

Again, Dr. Melillo is the amazing man who founded the Brain Balance Centers and is also the author of "Disconnected Kids" and Reconnected Kids" which are both amazing books!  I truly think that EVERY parent should read them regardless if they feel their child has any issues at all.  It is so informative and can even help parents with things to help prevent a brain imbalance (or a worse imbalance) in their child. 


Saturday, July 23, 2011

We Are Going Green!

*Note:  Life is SO crazy and I will continue to post on this blog, but if you don't see one for a day or two, don't give up on me! :)

We have already taken a lot of steps to "Go Green" over the years, but here are a few recent ones just to make the blog fun :)

We have replaced these.....

Plastic (even BPA free) has other toxins that can leach into your food...
 With these....

Glass containers - Costco has great sets for a great price!
 And these.......

Not only are these not biodegradable, they also are still made of plastic!

With these.....

A good friend of mine is making these washable, reusable snack bags!  They have a Velcro closure and a great liner that is not made from plastic!  I will Put more information up later of how to order from her.  Her prices are great and way less than Etsy and other sites.  Also, some bags out there still use plastic liners... Email me or make a comment if you would like some info on how to contact her to make an order!
We also replaced this....

Our backyard has been dirt for almost 3 years!   My amazing husband was trying to surprise us with having at least part of the backyard landscaped when we got home.  We came home early and ruined his surprise :)

With this!

Our beautiful green grass!! Now the kids have somewhere to run and play complete with a bike path around it!  Thanks Papa!  Now only if it wasn't 110 degrees outside... :)

We also replaced this....  (not Wyatt!! - the cast!)

 With this new GREEN one..... :(

Yes, that is correct.  Wyatt got a new cast.  That was actually what I had really hoped to avoid and didn't think would happen.   So why did it?  Well let me tell you.  Wyatt had worn a hole in the bottom of his cast from dragging it around the first 2 weeks, but we had taped that up and it had been fine.  But then he overflowed the toilet during his new fun game of "unroll the entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet and try to flush it".   Most of the time I had caught it before it actually overflowed, but this time I found him standing in a pool of water...  After that the cast smelled worse and you could tell the structure was compromised so I had to take him in.  

I was hoping and really thought they would just tell me that it had been 4 1/2 weeks and that they could just take it off now and be done, but that was not so.  They said that either way it had to come off because of the water so they brought in their big saw and started cutting.  Wyatt actually did really well considering... They said that removing a cast is traumatic for ANY child because of the loud saw, the pressure it puts on your leg and the fact that you are watching a saw and hoping it doesn't cut you!  Wyatt was very scared and was crying pretty bad.   Here are a few videos of him getting the cast off.  Still so sad!



Trying to split open the VERY thick and hard cast.  The Dr. said it was HUGE when he saw it. 

The first moments without his cast on...

You can kind of see how red his leg is.  There were also a few little bleeding sores and so much dead skin.  We washed it as good as we could in the sink but it was still not looking great.  It was very interesting because he only had his cast off for a total of about 10 minutes, but he didn't even try to stand up, move, run around or anything.  When I picked him up to take him in for his X-ray, he grabbed onto his leg the way he used to before he got his cast as if to support it.  It seemed as though he still thought that it was broken or going to hurt him? 

Here is a picture of the X-ray.  As you can see, there is still a break in the bone... He said that it was healing up, but hadn't all the way.  He said that if I could ensure that Wyatt wouldn't run or jump, we could leave the cast off and just be careful.  Ha!  Obviously, the cast went back on!  He said that just jumping could re-break the leg and we were NOT going to risk that!

I tried to explain to Wyatt that we had to put his cast back on.  I know he understood me.  He started getting teary and his lip quivered a bit.  He was sad and scared.  When the doctor asked him if he wanted red or green, Wyatt said "car".  That was his way of saying, "I want neither, can we please leave now?!"

He was a very good boy as they put his cast back on.  He whined and whimpered, but sat still so they could do it.  The doctor said he could go ahead and walk on it now (which he was already doing!) but they put the cast on kind of strange and the poor guy is stuck in a "tip toe" position!  He is trying to walk all over like that and it is hard for him and looks so uncomfortable!  If taking the cast off wasn't so traumatic, I would go get a new one put on him.  But since he only has to wear this one for 2 weeks (we hope!) then we will just have to live with it the way it is.

Poor Little boy!
This little boy has been through just about everything in his life.  It seems like if something is going to happen, it happens to him.   However, he has always been so brave and does very well even considering his circumstances.  I truly wish I knew what was going on in his head during all of these trials he has had. 

He always has such a good attitude though.  We got home with his new cast and he adjusted to it quickly learning how to walk and run even with the strange shape of the cast.  He has also been playing games with everyone!  He initiates play with Hazel to tickle him, and with Brody to build pillow forts and then they destroy them.  He also comes running in the room and says "Mama - Potty!" and runs to the bathroom.  I follow him as he laughs all the way.  He sits on the potty and says "bye bye" and so I leave.  Then he comes and gets me again and wants me to chase him back there and he laughs so hard.  It is so cute to see him initiating play with all of us and calling us by name.  He is communicating SO well and telling us what he wants and it is amazing.  He is continually improving and  I know this is just the beginning.  This sweet little boy will someday be whatever he wants to be - something amazing - I am sure of it.
Happy Saturday!