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The Monday List – How I Know its Spring

1.  The scent of a thunderstorm at dusk last night.

2.  A carpet of daffodils lining lucky sections of earth along the interstate.

3.  Bradford pear trees everywhere, exploding with snowy blossoms.


4.  Tiny, bright green shoots optimistically breaking through the ground to replace last year’s spent, brown branches.

5.  Daylight until 8pm, automatically giving off extra evening energy, spurring me on to get more done.

6.  A sense of promise, optimism, and unlimited potential for the upcoming season.


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The Monday List

I don’t want this blog to become an infertility blog, but then infertility is part of who I am now and so it spills out here from time to time.  Its a disease most people don’t know a lot about and I would be included in “most people” if it hadn’t happened to me.

Things You May Not Know about Infertility

1.  Studies have shown that infertility depression levels can rival those of cancer.

2.  Infertility affects 7.3 million people in the U.S. This figure represents 12% of women of childbearing age, or 1 in 8 couples. (2002 National Survey of Family Growth).

3.  91% of companies polled offering infertility treatment have not experienced an increase in their medical costs as a result of providing this coverage. Offering a comprehensive infertility treatment benefit with appropriate utilization controls may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes by eliminating the inappropriate use of costly covered procedures and allowing specialists to use the most effective, efficient treatment for a specific type of infertility. (Infertility As A Covered Benefit, William M. Mercer, 1997)

4.  Infertility is NOT an inconvenience; it is a disease of the reproductive system that impairs the body’s ability to perform the basic function of reproduction. (American Society of Reproductive Medicine)

5.  While vital for some patients, in vitro fertilization and similar treatments account for less than 3% of infertility services, and about (or approximately) seven hundredths of one percent (0.07%) of U.S. health care costs.

6.  The latest IVF Success Rate Reports from the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART)  show the percentage of births with triplets or more is now below 2%.  Non-IVF treatments with simple fertility drugs actually pose a much higher risk of multiples.

7.  The stress level for women coping with infertility has been compared to dealing with life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and heart disease. One common myth about infertility is that it is caused by stress. While the process of infertility itself is a stressful experience, there is little evidence indicating stress causes infertility. Comments such as, “don’t worry about it” and “just relax” can be very hurtful to an infertile couple. Most health care providers would not tell a patient with cancer not to worry about their disease process or chemotherapy treatments.  (Advance for LPNs)

8. There are battles going on every day in state legislatures that aim to reduce or restrict Assisted Reproductive Technology (infertility treatment).  You don’t have to look too hard to find people such as Fr. Thomas Berg, L.C., Ph.D  who say things like the following in support of a proposed Georgia Senate bill which would devastate infertility treatment in that state:

“As one who has studied extensively and written about artificial reproductive technology (ART)1, I am familiar with the multitude of moral evils associated with this pernicious industry – an industry that thrives on creating human life in a Petri dish for commercial gain.”

9.  Many people with infertile friends or family members don’t know what to say or how to help.  Here are a few websites with good ideas:

         –Empty Arms Video – we didn’t create this but we could have

         –The Do’s and Don’ts of Support – a straight-forward, practical guide with tips

10.  To find out more or take civic action to protect and advance assisted reproduction, visit RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.

Pet Peeves

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  1. People who walk slowly down the middle of the (grocery store aisle, parking lot aisle, church aisle, road, hallway, etc), sometimes even when they know you are behind them.  Because nobody matters but you, buddy. 
  2. People in front of me in line who pay via check.  Get a check card – it comes out of your checking account, just like a check.  Except it DOESN’T TAKE A THOUSAND YEARS. 
  3. Carelessly discarded cigarette butts several layers thick lining the curbs at intersections.  So what…that littering doesn’t count?  The world is your ashtray?  You choose to smoke but your car is too good to be dirtied up by your own refuse, so the environment is a suitable alternative? 
  4. Suped-up Dodge Neons……NEONS.  My neighborhood is littered with them (speaking of litter).  That’s one I just don’t get……Neons. 
  5. People who hang up on my answering machine.
  6. People who make unnecessary noises in the bathroom stall next to me.  Especially: humming, a running commentary (“ugh, no more seat liners!” or “it always smells nasty in here”) or grunts and sighs. 
  7. “In Memory Of” decals on the back windows of cars (aka “In Memory of Travis James Smith 1978 – 2006”).  What, exactly, is in memory of them?  The Ford F150 on which the decal is placed?  Can you dedicate a truck to the memory of someone?  Would the deceased want a truck dedicated to them? I’m fine with memorials but I also like boundaries.
  8. Zipper.  Because she is both a pet and a peeve.  And the cats, too. 


Alphabetical Order

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The Monday List                                                                                    

One particular manifestation of my increasingly obsessive nature is my desire to number or alphabetize everything, especially at work.  The plan for today’s post was a numbered list of my pet peeves because I was feeling really cranky yesterday.  But today’s sunshine and 60 degree warmth has improved my attitude to the pet peeves will have to wait for a rainy day.  Today deserves an alphabetized list of little things I love right now…

Applesauce with added fiber from Motts – Zero Weight Watchers Points!

Blanket my mom knitted before I was born that keeps me warm every evening on the couch

Cat licking my hair while I sit on the couch – he thinks my current style is all wrong for me

Dogs!…..oops, Zipper got ahold of the keyboard for a minute there

Electric fireplace – so I can feel cozy even though I have no chimney

Facebook – yep, getting kind of addicted

Green purse from Target – first non-black/brown purse I’ve had in forever

Handy Randy 🙂

Italian food – I always love that!

Jorge Garcia’s (from Lost) blog – so funny and refreshing

Kara’s text to me today: “OMG this Rice Crispy Treat is so good I think Jesus may have made it Himself!”

Little Caesar’s $5 large pizza from the drive-thru with no call-ahead

Making snarky comments on Facebook while watching American Idol

Noodles and Company – so many noodles, so many low-cal choices

Owls – didn’t used to care for them but suddenly this year – love

Ponytails – been living in them since my hair recently grew long enough

Quilting fabric I just bought with elephants blowing hearts out of their trunks!  Eeeeeep!

Randy (of course!  what else would I put here?)

Sven, my Civic – feels like my first “grown-up” car, lap of luxury (for me)

Track suit I wear almost every day to the gym – so comfy

Umbrellas on rainy days – I so love staying dry

Vacations – I need one right now!

Work – that one’s for you, Kara!

Xylophones – come on, what am I really going to put for “X”?

Your mom

Zipper crawling underneath Randy’s shirt (while he’s wearing it) to curl up in coziness

Conversations I’ve Actually Had This Week

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Wild-card Wednesday

Phone conversation with employee of a certain restaurant special to us.

Me: Do you have any reservations available for Valentine’s Day?

Her: NO

Me: Ah, oh…you’re full?

Her: No, we don’t take reservations.

Me: Oh, well do you anticipate being extra busy that night?

Her: Well, there’s no way to tell.  Wait.  Hold on, let me get my crystal ball so I can look into the future and let you know.


Conversation with a second-grader

Her: Miss Kim, your teeth look just like my sister’s!

Me: Oh yeah?  How old is she?

Her: One


Conversation with a third-grader.  She was looking for my boss who had been with the class earlier.

Her: Where’s the other girl?

Me: Who?

Her: The other teacher, you know, the skinny one.

Me: Oh, the skinny one. 


“Conversation” with my GPS (who’s name is Geepus)

GPS: Continue 1.2 miles, then navigate off-road.

Me: For real, Geepus?

Name Game

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The Monday List

Names have always fascinated me.  When I was 11 I had a bookstore gift certificate which I spent on a baby name book and my old journals are rife with lists of the ever-changing names I wanted to bestow upon my future children.  So its no surprise to me that I never get tired of telling people about the interesting names I come across by working with around 400 girls a week.  Here are some of the most memorable ones.

Bizarre – Some of the girls’ names are just so unusual and complicated its hard to remember them and almost impossible to pronounce them correctly the first time you read them off the roster.


Ke’ Xhya (pronounced Keeshya)









Daddy – Sometimes when I hear a girl’s name I immediately think, “I know what your daddy’s name is!”





Gregoryona (my personal favorite)


Spell Check– One naming trend I have noticed is packing as many unnecessary letters (especially vowels and “h’s”) into the name as possible or spelling a more common name in a way that, on paper, doesn’t add up at all.

Maykaylaia (pronounced Michaela)

Niaya (pronounced Nya)


Destini (pronounced Destiny but every time I see it I want to pronounce the last two syllables like the word “martini”)

AmAnda (Amanda)



Sounds Like… – I come across all kinds of names that are also regular words

Journey (or one time spelled Jurnee)

Precious (I always feel bad for these girls because it sounds like a dog name to me)

Princess (don’t get me started…)





Surprise (no joke, and she HATED the name and insisted we call her Donna)

Shynin’ Starr (this year she goes only by Starr)







Jennifer Lopez – yes, we have a 3rd grader named Jennifer Lopez


Actually Kind of Nice – Some of the names I wouldn’t use myself but I kind of like the way they sound

Sarabi (pronounced Saraabi with the accent on the second syllable)



Samaria (mar pronounced like car)

Calia (pronounced Caleea)

Kalijah (with a long “i”)


When I Grow Up

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The many careers I once aspired to and why the dream is no longer alive:

  • Farmer – At age 3 my love of overalls lead me to believe I was fated to be a farmer.  This all ended when we drove through miles of pig farms in Iowa and I caught a whiff of what that future would smell like.


  • Swing Set Fixer – Before I realized that the market for a repair-woman specializing only in swing sets might be a tad narrow, I learned that I hate reading instructions.


  • Orthodontist – I think I was drawn to this profession because the word orthodontist was long and important sounding to my 8-year-old brain.  Then I realized that that word required 8 years of school to achieve and an education totaling the entire sum of my existence on earth was out of the question.


  • Famous Singer – well….that dream crashes and burns for most of us…


  • Olympic Swimmer – At 12 years old I got caught up in the glamorous world of the local swim club’s summer swim team – it can happen to the best of us.  The fact that I never won above 4th place in any big race (and even that victory only happened because most of my competitors were missing) and the fact that I thought that our 1.5 hours of practice a day was excessive lead to the eventual demise of that career goal.


  • Journalist- The first of my three majors in college was journalism.  That only lasted for one semester, though, because I learned very quickly in News-writing 100 that creativity and imagination are not exactly encouraged when reporting the news…

These are just a few of my former career dreams – the few I can remember.  I never remember wanting to be a professional Girl Scout or work at a construction company but I managed to find my way there despite myself.  Maybe when I retire I can take up swing-set fixing…

Cop Out

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I’m here.  I’m posting.  Even though I can’t breathe through my nose, my brain is very fuzzy, and my head feels like it weighs 100o pounds.  I wanted to fulfil my 2 posts a day for a week commitment and finalize the new theme schedule.  Doug from This Salesman’s Life made some very good suggestions for my schedule in the comments yesterday.  So here it is:

  • The Monday List
  • Time Travel Tuesday (thanks for the title, Doug!)
  • WildCard Wednesday (will sometimes morph to WeinerDog Wednesday)
  • Thursday Crafternoons (sometimes featuring a mini sub-section with my thoughts about the previous night’s episode of Lost)
  • Eye Candy Friday
  • Saturday Story Time
  • Secret Sunday

And here comes the cop out.  The above serves as the first of my two List themed posts for today: The Monday List.  I know….I disappoint myself.  But its sort of a miracle that I can even type somewhat coherent sentences today so I’ll settle.

25 Random Things….Finally

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So there’s this relentless chain note going around on Facebook where you have to post 25 random things about yourself and tag 25 others to do the same.  I decided to post mine here and not tag anyone because basically everyone I know has already been tagged.  It spread like Chicken Pox at a day care. 

  1. I’m currently addicted to crime shows after recently discovering the Investigation Discovery network.  I have to watch most of my shows alone, though because Randy says he finds all the pillaging, rape, and murder to be a bit of a “downer”.
  2. I am also addicted to the book I am reading: The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs in which the author spends a year following, as closely as possible, every single rule he can find in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.  I just read about the rule that you must not mix fibers (such as wool and cotton) in your garments and was reminded of a girl in one of my Girl Scout sessions last year who refused to take the free t-shirt we tried to give her because it wasn’t “100%”.  We were all perplexed because she couldn’t tell us 100% of what.  Now I know that her family was adhering to this rule.
  3.  I recently discovered Pad Thai after a whole lifetime without it and have been eating it about once per week.  This week I had it twice.  I hope I don’t make myself sick of it…
  4. I think I’m going to start my spring cleaning next week.  The older I get the more obsessive about neatness I become and I find that it pretty much impossible for my house to actually be clean enough and tidy enough to satisfy me.
  5. I’m wearing giant knitted slipper/socks with felt monkeys stitched on them.
  6. 25?!?  Really?  I’m already tired of this and I bet anyone reading it is as well…
  7. I get so frustrated every time I go to the Wal-Mart near my house (I try not to go anymore if only to lower my own blood pressure) that I started taking digital photos of everything I find wrong when I’m there- in anticipation of a monumental customer complaint/unsolicited-secret-shopper report.  I haven’t actually worked on putting the report together but just taking the pictures seems to help me blow off some steam.  My biggest complaint?  When I’m there I often feel like I’m in a communist block country that can’t get in shipments of basic supplies because entire sections of shelves will be completely empty but for the price tag to show you what you can’t purchase.     
  8. I iron my pajamas.  (see number 4)
  9. One of my biggest worries about having a child is that Zipper will ruin everything.  She is not fond of strangers – especially children (she made a trick-or-treater cry this year).  While I think she will adjust just fine to our own child who she sees every day, I don’t foresee the same acceptance of other people’s children.  I imagine 10+ years of play dates and get-togethers only at other people’s houses.  10+ years of our child’s friends not wanting to come play at the house with the crazy dog.  Sigh.  I think we’ll spring for some personal dog training sessions whenever we finally do get pregnant.  Maybe we’ll find a miracle worker.  Or maybe we’ll have to build on a sound-proof room to put her crate in so she can hang out there and shriek her heart out all she wants when we have company.
  10.  I was the valedictorian at my high school.  So what that there were only 20 people in my class.
  11. But I also graduated as the highest ranked Communications student in college, where there were significantly more than 20 people, so that makes me feel a little better about it.
  12. My permanent teeth are the size of most people’s baby teeth.  Also I have no wisdom teeth and no roots for them which means they will never grow in my mouth.  Ha.
  13. My fingernails grow unusually fast and strong.  Which is generally a good thing because they rarely break and girls at my schools always ask if they are my “real nails”.  But the nails on my middle fingers grow faster than the others and also start to curve under when they get a bit too long and that drives me crazy.
  14. Thanks to a busted transmission in our former Saturn, I have a new (to me) Honda Civic (which I have wanted since I was 16).  He is white, his name is Sven, and he speaks with a Swedish accent and refers to Randy and me as Mr. and Mrs. Marksberrrry.
  15. Randy and I recently discovered that we’ve known each other for longer than we haven’t.  We met when we were 14 and have known each other for 15 years.  You can do the math to find out our ages.
  16. Speaking of age, Randy was born exactly one week before me.  I like to tease him for that one week per year that he robbed the cradle.
  17. When I was 10 I had two goldfish, named Fizz and Bubbles.  One of them committed suicide by jumping out of his bowl.
  18. I was on the swim team for 5 years as a child and spent about 80% of my waking hours at the pool during the summer.
  19. When I was in the fifth grade I took an after-school Spanish class and became enamored of the language.  I firmly decided I would name my future children (twin boy and girl, of course) Marecella and Rafael. 
  20. Leslie and I used to co-manage a program at Girl Scouts that taught girls about puberty and we wrote an 80’s sitcom-inspired theme song for it.  We never performed it for the girls though….
  21. I’ve never seen any of the Star Wars or James Bond movies and I never want to.
  22. I was born in Kansas City, Missouri and moved to NKY when I was 7.  When I told my class at school we were moving to Cincinnati, my best friend asked if they speak English there.
  23. I took piano lessons for 7 years and hated every second of it.  My Mom always told me I’d be sorry I quit but so far – nothing.
  24. I shave my legs every single day, even in the winter.  I hate leg prickles.
  25. I’m afraid of: wind chimes, modern wind mills, and oil derricks.  The latter reminds me of giant, evil, grasshoppers.