Friday, May 22, 2009

my "nice list"

The OT appt went well today. Our OT is super wonderful, and I'm so thankful we have her in our lives. A lot of today was paper work and discussing goals, possible obstacles etc., but I did unwrap one of his hands so she could take a look. She agrees that it would be good to begin leaving them unwrapped sometime in the next few weeks. However, she says she was happy with his hand, finger, and wrist movement. His thumbs being pulled in and the tops of his fingers being curved are not irreparable, she said. One thing she wants me to start doing right away (if I need a baby step before completely unwrapping his fingers) is to start wrapping his thumb separately, cutting a little hole in the tubifast, letting his thumb be outside the fist (but still wrapped). That will encourage him to keep his hand open some, and will promote his learning to push up on his hands (one of the things he should be working on). We also discussed my fear/obstacles with tummy time, and she suggested that we begin doing it on a boppy first. That sounds like a great idea! As far as the videos you guys are sending me of wrapping all his fingers separately, yes, they are great. But there is NO WAY Jonah will keep his hand open enough long enough or be patient enough to let me do that. One of those videos is like a 7-year-old. Jonah's hands are way too tiny and way too clamped into a fist to be able to do that... although I'd love to and may do that when his fingers are a little bigger and he's a little less wiggly. Thanks for the suggestions though!
Now to something different...

There are some days when you just need to uplift and encourage someone. And some days that person you need to uplift is... well, yourself.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my English teacher had us write down each person's name in the class (except our own) on a sheet of paper. Then, beside each person, she had us write one compliment or one thing we liked about the person. She encouraged us to be creative and thoughtful about what we were writing.

She then typed all of the compliments the other students gave us on one small strip of paper for us to keep in our wallets. I STILL have mine (11 years later) and pulled it out today to give myself a little boost.

Here is what mine says:

Patrice - brilliant orator for students' rights with cute hair clips and maroon pants, strong and independent, one of the strongest people I know, mature, beautiful, my best friend (that was Kathryn's), upstart, very funny and nice, has a great smile, awesome complainer, great listener, good friend, shows Christ in her life in all that she does, the voice of the class, not afraid to ask the teacher for a favor that everyone else silently wants, confident, caring, brings life to the class, keeps me in line, always friendly to all, absolutely charming, makes me laugh, good breakfast person, great determination, sticks up for what she believes in, good listener, I love your laugh, strong in your views, won't back down, pretty nose, easy to get along with

See? Don't you feel better about me already?

Maybe a few of these need explanation -

- As you can see, there is a recurring theme of standing up for rights, awesome complaining, asking for favors everybody else secretly wants, not backing down, the voice of the class etc. This translates to: Must have annoyed the crap out of my teachers. Because of my good grades and strong relationships with my teachers, I did tend to speak up for us when we were overworked or felt there was an injustice. It was usually well received, but having been a teacher myself, I would have hated me. I apologize to any of my high school teachers who may be reading this... especially Ms. Hottinger and Mr. Cochrane... you guys were just too nice for your own good. I couldn't help it. It was the Roseanne in me.

- Maroon pants: They were really cute pants, if I do say so myself. I got them at a thrift store and they were this maroon velvet material. They made my tooshy (I hope tooshy really means tooshy in Australia and not something bad like fanny) look good too. And I didn't have much of a tooshy at the time, so that's saying a lot. I don't have them anymore. Believe me, they would no longer look attractive on me. It's funny how after you have a couple kids, your body seems to redistribute itself.

- Good breakfast person: This one was written by my friend Justin Vernon. EVERY day he would ask me what I had for breakfast, because it was always something really disgusting excellent like pizza, steak, spaghetti, vegetable soup etc. I would pretend that I eat normal, grown up foods now for breakfast, but that would be a lie. Nothing has changed. This morning I ate this chicken enchilada type casserole. Yesterday it was chicken and rice soup. The day before that it was Hershey's Kisses. Don't judge me. I am what I am.

(And apparently, you guys don't care what I had for lunch, but do have to care what I had for breakfast. So, there!)

Anyway, I was thinking about this list today and know that many of you are either teachers or work with the youth at your churches. I think this is a GREAT idea to unite your kids, and teach them to build each other up rather than tear each other down (which tends to be their instinct sometimes). Give it a shot! I'd love to hear your feedback on how it worked. Like I said, I STILL have mine, so obviously it made an impact on me. Kathryn and Jamie, do you guys still have yours?

Matt's parents and Kim will be here this weekend, and then Peyton, Amy, and the kids are visiting on Monday. Woo-hoo!

The basement is finished, although still empty. Gina says she is going to do an Extreme Home Makeover down there and decorate it for me. I told her she could do whatever she wants as long as I get to scream, "MOVE THAT BUS!" at the end. I'll take pictures when it's all done. I didn't take before pictures, but I think one of the men from church who worked on it took some, so I'm going to see if he can email me those, so you have a comparison. It looks great, and we'll be working on getting things ready to start dressing changes down there over the weekend.

Don't know how much time I'll have to post with all our company this weekend, so if I don't "see" you, have a great holiday weekend. Enjoy the pool!


The Wade's said...

I'm glad things went good with the OT. I'm praying for your little man!

Reina Danielle said...

Yay. Happy for great news :) Have a great weekend and take lots of Jonah pics!

Charity said...

I had taco bake the other morning for breakfast! Glad I am not the only one who strays away from normal breakfast food... this morning it was chocolate cake :)!

RLR said...

I was going to ask if you could unwrap them one at a time... The thumb idea sounds good (from my very un-initiated, learned-what-I-know-from-your-blog perspective). Sounds like the OT is really going to be willing to work with you.

Just love the list you shared. I've heard of these lists before - and that folks carry them for YEARS. How great that you still have it, and that your classmates recognized such specific details about you.

I'm not a 'traditional' breakfast food person either - unless it's biscuits, bacon and eggs, etc - the whole smorgasbord. I don't crave cereal or stuff like that. I want something warm and savory, and I don't want it until around 8:30 or so - after I've been up a couple of hours.

Have a great weekend - can't wait to see the basement! I know you'll be glad to have your dining table back :)

Kathryn said...

I do still have my list of compliments...I've been keeping it in my wallet ever since, just like Ms. Hottinger suggested! It had been forever since I'd read it, until just now. Pretty funny. I agree that it's a great idea for high school kids who sometimes put each other down without thinking (like we all do, really). It's a neat keepsake.

Lil' K said...

I am a high school English teacher with the end of the year fast approaching. You can BET I will do that "assignment" before we leave for summer!!! LOVE IT - thanks!!!!

Mandy and Russel said...

Sounds like a great and encouraging OT appt! Have a wonderful holiday and visit with family. Oh, and by the way, I haven't stopped thinking about burritos since your post the other day! We are going to MOe's for dinner because I simply CAN'T stand it anymore!! :)

Just a little place said...

Just wanted to let you know we are still praying for you guys in Wilkes County. What school did you work at in Pitt? I was at W H Robinson for 7 years. For some reason, I want to think you started there the same year I stopped.

Michelle said...


You don't know me, but I've been following your story and praying for Jonah since he was born. I think I found your blog from MckMama's blog. Anyway, if you haven't heard of it, the Lamaze Spin & Explore Garden Gym might be helpful with Jonah's tummy time. I've never used one myself, but it looks like it would keep his limbs and face from hitting the floor too much--plus I think it just looks fun. I should've got one for my son, because he would bop his face into the floor a lot when he first started tummy time. You can find it on tons of web sites if you google it.

Oh, and I had leftover Mexican rice and beans for breakfast! ha!

take care,

Brooke said...

Glad things went well with OT. Hope you guys have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend :)

And FTR, tooshy means the same thing in Australia as it does over here... unlike fanny. Which I can still not bring myself to say despite living in the States for almost 6 years ;)

Wanda Wilkinson said...

Patrice, when is your b'day? You & have a lot of the same traits, speaking up for others, opening my mouth & saying things others believe/want, but afraid to say, etc. Maybe it has a lot to do with being moms or could you be a Leo?????

Glad the OT went well, I had minor surgery this am & as they were putting me under I was praying for Jonah's OT. I did not need to pray for myself, I knew others had that covered.

I hope you & the family have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend...Enjoy your family (not company).

Give the sweet, adorable, cutie pie boy a lot of hugs, kisses, & snuggles from me. By the way, both of my children had small heads, but like Jonah they looked well porportioned(sp) & you can see Jonah is growing into a big boy & looks so healthy.

Do not worry about posting, enjoy your family & time. But is will be ok if you take lots & lots of pictures of a certain cutie pie to post later on (ha)

I promise I am still checking into the medical supplies & am on very of SPEAKING up.

Take care & enjoy you weekend...sounds like Jonah likes to check out what is going on around him when you take him...since he got quiet when he could set on you knee & look around. He wants to know what is happening & he wants everyone around him to see how awesome he is.

Love, prayers to all

Anonymous said...

I am so glad that you are on an "up" right now. I am so pleased to hear YOU coming through. We all have those ups and downs. I did that list with a 4th grade class several years ago (most have graduated college....) and that was so much fun. I wonder if they have theirs still. Jonah is a doll! I am so glad that you have baby steps (wrapping thumb separate, boppy pillow) to work with. That is what it is all about (baby steps, one at a time). Those are huge mountains and ones to strive for. We plan to hit the beach this weekend but things have been cool around here (for us!) so I doubt I will make it into the water! Have a great weekend and enjoy! Jennifer in Southeast, NC

shaina said...

i'm good at complaining too! must have gotten it from you.

first complaint: our pool isn't opening until june 1st or something like that! :( kinda ruins the excitement of memorial day... oh well.

i love you.... and matt.... and jonah :)

Mom of 2 said...

When I had my younger son-
who is now 14 years old-
the experts suddenly told us all that babies should sleep on their backs- even though our older kids didn't-
So being a good Mom- I only put
my second baby on his back to sleep- but tummy time was never discussed! So all the young
teens out there slept on their backs but never had tummy time!

Mike and Molly Spivey said...

Glad the appointment went well and that some things will be progressing. In 9th grade my teacher did that too and I still have mine!!!

Mike and Molly Spivey said...

oh btw, my mom is one of your kind as well - she eats the WEIRDEST things for breakfast!

Jane said...

So glad to hear all went well with the OT and you like her, that means a lot. Sounds like she had some good suggestions. Looking forward to seeing the finished project of the basement, that was such a blessing for your church group to take that on. I am not a regular breakfast food person in the morning either, I have all sorts of things, other than the traditional stuff. LOL Have a great Memorial Day and enjoy your visitors. Looking forward to seeing more pictures of Jonah. Oh by the way, if and when you ever get down this way, I would love to see all of you, especially sweet adorable Jonah. (((Hugs)))

Muriel and Jerry said...

so glad it went well today. My daughter Sophie has a wonderful OT too! I think the thumb thing sounds great. Can't wait to see the basement.

Laura A said...

The list idea is a great one! When I was in the 5th grade, our teacher had a "person of the week." When it was your week, each classmate wrote something nice about you on a strip of paper and it was posted on the bulletin board. I found my strips of paper not too long ago (I won't embarass myself by saying how old they are!) - it was definitely an encouragement.

So glad things went well with the OT - will be praying for successful alternative bandaging on the thumb!

Hope you, Matt and sweet Jonah have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!


Marie said...

Yes tooshy means butt here in Australia too, don't worry. We also generally get it when an American says fanny, it's not the "other place."

OMG I'm eating Hersheys Kisses right now and you just mentioned it. Freaky.

Someone should seriously come out with some EB products. Like special gloves or something. I blister really easily on my feet and I found these things call party feet, little rubber inserts for your shoes. Maybe when Jonah is ready to crawl you can put them on his hands and knees.

Precious 3 said...

Love your "breakfast" foods! It gave me a great laugh. I will eat pizza sometimes chinese, but that's about it. Love the list idea too! Hope you enjoy your weekend with family, and can't wait to see pics!

Anonymous said...


The Alger Family said...

Did Matt have one of those questionaires as well? What do you think it would have said?

Just'N Angel said...

Loved this post! We did that list thing when I was in seventh grade. I had it for a long time, but can't find it now. The only thing I remember from it is "looks graceful walking up and down stairs." Who knew! I think about that today everytime I go up or down stairs and wonder if people are thinking, "boy, is she graceful or what?" Ha!

Melissa said...

Your OT sounds like a dream! Praying she'll stay employed there for a long, long, long time!

I'm looking forward to hearing of Jonah's new adventures in tummy time and hands-free soon. You talking about the inability to wrap his fingers individually made me smile at the memory of myself trying to get my firstborn's handprint when he was a couple of months old. We had ink everywhere, but not on his palms!

And on a recent morning, I had green chile stew for breakfast. Today it was three different types of Chex cereal mixed, chased down with coffee and a graham cracker. See? You're completely normal!

Have a wonderful weekend with family!

Anonymous said...

I am so glad Jonah's OT appt went well and that his bones and muscles in his hands will be OK with therapy. Hope the little thumbs don't get too irritated. I am sure he will be fascinated once he figures out he can actually put them in his mouth and feel things! Sounds like you have a great OT person.

I loooove to have chocolate or gummy bears for breakfast. Also pizza and cold chinese food is always good too!

I hope you have a great weekend...and steps!

I am praying for all of you every day.
Loved your idea about writing the good things about people. It is awesome that you have yours!

I wish I could meet you. I need more people like you in my life! Can't wait to read your next post!

jenlar3 said...

Waaaaaaaay back when I was in high school, nobody had EVER heard of writing nice things for/about other people. However, because I was so brainless, I asked about 50 people if they would please write me a letter of recommendation for college applications. I do not believe I actually used any for that purpose, but I do enjoy re-reading those letters now and remembering all the adults in my life who were willing to write such nice things about me!

When my second daughter was born, my friend gave me a baby shower. She had the guests write the baby's name vertically on a piece of paper, and then come up with some kind of prayer for wish for her future. For example, "S" sweet, sincere, silly, etc. As a young mother, I enjoyed reading them. Now that she is grown-up, I should get them out of her baby book and share them with her!

Thanks for sharing your life with us. I feel blessed to know you and your family, especially your beautiful, sweet son!!!

summer... said...

i just started reading your sweet blog. you're truly inspiring. what an amazing testimony/ story is spectacular. i am glad that your day went well and that you were able to find encouragement in throughout your day.

Missy said...

Something I started when I was in HS was my "joy box". It's basically just a shoe box and I keep every single card, note or whatever has been an encouragement to me. Then when I'm having a bad day I'll get out my joy box and be reminded of the great blessings in my life and the many people that love me.

natalie said...

So funny! I teach second grade. This year, I took a GREAT class shot during one of our school wide activities. The picture was a perfect illustration of each child's personality. I couldn't decide how to give each child a picture in a way that they would really treasure it. Then, I decided to make them a card with each child's name on it. We passed the cards around and each child wrote their classmates a sweet note. They had more fun doing that and LOVED them when I handed them out yesterday. I got so tickled because they all knew they were getting a card, but acted shocked when I gave them their own. I know a second grader's memory of their classmates is different than a high schooler. I just hope they hang on to them for a while and enjoy looking back at the picture and their handwriting as little kids!

So glad about OT. I can't wait to hear about Jonah's progress as you begin to make those little changes for him!

jandkland said...

So nice to hear that the OT visit went well. And I think it's wonderful that you kept that piece of paper for 11 years. We all need that kind of encouragement from time to time. That was people recognizing the wonderful woman of God that you are, and sometimes that's easy to forget. Can't wait to see the basement! (And I DO care what you have for breakfast...and lunch...and dinner. The little details are fascinating to your readers, believe me!)

--Kelley in GA (

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments your fellow students made about you, there is no doubt in my mind that God knew exactly what He was doing when he placed Jonah in your family. He knew all about your character traits and chose to place His very special child, Jonah, in your family. He knows that you will fight for Jonah and be his best advocate. I know that Satan tries to beat you down sometimes, but isn't it neat to see God's hand in all of this. God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He has asked you, out of all the people in the world, to do a very special job for HIm!

Ebeling Family said...

Thanks for the encouragement to do that game with the class room...wonder if there's any way to make it a fun art project..hmmm....
And your breakfast sounds FANTASTIC!!! makes me want to have something lunch-worthy become breakfast-worthy.
Have a great, relaxing weekend!

Anonymous said...

I had a teacher do "the list" thing in high school, and I still have mine, too. I also used this as a camp counselor several times when the kids were just getting sick of each other and we needed to focus on the postive. I let them decorate a construction paper with their name on it, or decorate a "pocket" envelope for each person to tuck a nice thought into. Maybe they still have their lists, too!

Alisa said...

I'm glad your OT is so good. That has to be comforting to you. Also have to say, I love the way you write! It cracks me up.:) Have a good weekend.

Emily Kate said...

I was in a Christian Sorority at San Diego State and we did that list! I loved it! I still have mine too. I was amazed and the things that the girls had to say!
Glad OT went well. I work for a Speech Therapy, OT office and know that OT is incredible.
Do they know if Jonah will have issues with his speech from EB?

Praying for you guys and hope all is well!

mandi @ it's come to this said...

Breakfast choices - crazy!!! Basement - how exciting!!! How wonderful for your friends & church family to work on that for you ... can't wait to see pics:)

Anonymous said...

I've done that nice list before. It is pretty cool. Thanks for the reminder.
Hang in there !You're doing awesome!
daisy (alabama)

dragonflyz in June said...

I am so happy that the appointment with the OT went so well. My appologies, I am one of the ones who sent a link to most likely the same video. I cannot imagine having to wrap my Jonah the way you do, he has quite the temper and fights me just cutting his finger nails (I try to do it while he sleeps now), I cannot imagine wrapping his hands, let alone his body.

I am so happy everything is going so well. I have heard of that teachers' trick to lift the spirits of teens, it is an awesome idea.

God Bless, I will continue to pray

Miss Cook said...

i DO still have my list! i still cherish it :-) actually, i now make my students do this (and would never let them see me post on a blog without using proper captitalization, haha). thanks for reminding me of this!!! love you!

jpe said...

Whoa. I still have mine, too. Used to carry it in my wallet but didn't want to lose it... Funny how something so seemingly inconsequential at the time could become some a cherished keepsake.


Anonymous said...

Love the list idea! I just told my hubby (who's a 6th grade teacher) and he though it was great. He's gonna do it in the fall with his new class.
Nancy (Noah's mommy)
(for some reason, I can't log in on Dave's computer so I have to be anonymous!)

Lorraine-bo said...

Glad to hear the OT appt was good :)

We did a list like that in school and in youth-group - it's a good thing! Thanks for sharing yours! Some of your list items were quite obvious to me through your writing today :)

Anonymous said...

I don't think I have sent a comment to your blog before but have been following since Jonah's birth...I went back and have read it from the very beginning....I learned about you from one of my best friends, Amy Sweet who is friends with Peyton and Amy. I believe Peyton went to school with Jason Sweet, if I am not mistaken?? Anyway, Amy Sweet and I talk about you often and help remind each other to pray for you guys. We visit the Kville Target (one of our fav stores!!)...I think everytime we are in there we both think of you! Thank you for your faithful blogging, your faith and your honesty. I love seeing pictures of your beautiful Jonah. He is so adorable!!! What a true blessing from God! Stay strong and know that we are lifting you, Matt and Jonah up in prayer. In his love, Angela Petroff- Thomasville, NC

PS- you are an amazing writer!