Sunday, June 29, 2008


this is what I get when I start trying to mess around with my template.

(and download something and watch the kids and eat at the same time)

pardon the bare-ness. I'll get shit up and running again soon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

of June and June

so it just occurred to me that June is almost over. seriously. see what happens when you're gone for three weeks? time warp, people.. time warp, I tell ya!

anyways... being that I HAVE been gone for so long, and this last week was spent mostly inside on lock-down trying to keep the kids from going crazy and/or getting any sicker than they might possibly be from this year's round of highly contagious don't-even-look-at-me-for-3-to-10-days-cause-your-ass-is-gonna-catch-this-itis.

the house got messy. that happens when you.. you know.. LIVE in your house.

so with troy gone this weekend playing house with a bunch of coding nerds in Atlanta, I decided to take on another June. that's right... slap my ass and call me June Cleaver.... momma Carrie busted a moved and did some cleaning this weekend.

baseboards! hardwoods! toilets! showers! kids' bathroom! laundry! beds stripped! I even detailed the wood trim on both stair cases. next up is vacuuming and furniture polish.

what?? did I really just say FURNITURE polish???? eeeek; someone stop me before I start setting new standards for myself!

actually, I think it's that post-scrub-love-frenzy I'm in right now. I really did just work up a sweat doing the hardwoods this past hour and a half. now, sitting on the couch and catching my breath while the second half of my coffee cup kicks in, I'm looking in the other room and seriously... my floors look like long rectangles of melted caramel. delicious. you know.. without the sticky.

anyways; I believe there's more laundry to be folded or closets to be organized or sidewalks to be swept or or or.... the list goes on.

peace out and happy weekend, people.


Friday, June 27, 2008


so every day I run across a series of choices to make. inevitably, each choice I make has some impact on the flow and outcome of the rest of my day. I'm sure you're saying "well no SHIT, sherlock.. that's how it is for EVERYONE."

True... that is how it is for everyone. and anyone that has a child knows that the IMPACT of said choices gets exponentially more impactful on a day depending on how many children you have. If you don't believe me.. try choosing to go out to lunch with a friend you haven't seen in a while with a sick child or one that needs a nap. go ahead and make that choice and tell me how things work out.

ANYWAYS... I'm VERY cognizant of my imaginary project timeline and how every milestone is linked to previous actions. take something as small as stopping by a starbucks drive-through for a coffee for myself at 12:20pm. That 5 (if you're lucky) to 10 minutes in the drive through may make or break my entire day. on ONE hand, it will give ME the energy and kill my appetite long enough to drive home, change a diaper, get lunch prepared and served and get everyone down for naps by 1:30 so they get in enough rest (so they're not completely melting down at dinnertime) before they have to wake up by 4pm (no later!) otherwise they'll be up too far past their bedtime (and be completely cranky the next day cause they still get up at 6-6:30am regardless of when they went to bed.)

on the OTHER HAND.. if the drive through DOES take closer to 10 minutes, the kids could fall asleep in the car on the 20 minute ride home and wake up in the driveway THINKING that they've had enough sleep and they refuse to nap which would result in a complete emotional breakdown for everyone under our roof by dinnertime, OR they will be dead to the world upon arrival and then not GET to eat lunch thus waking up from said nap too early from hunger and being completely cranky until bedtime finally arrives..

perhaps my kids and I are just cranky by nature. either way... it's a big balancing act here at the fever, and every decision made is with timelines and personalities in mind. and pooping. we revolve our day around poop a lot, too. but I suppose that could be another post.

Troy, after being at this now for 3 1/2 years, is JUST beginning to understand the BIG PICTURE SCHEDULE. but he's still got a long way to go. I say this because he regularly offers chocolate to rhena AFTER she's brushed her teeth and is already up past her bedtime (= sugar rush = longer to settle for bed = extra time to re-brush the teeth = overtime for momma and did I MENTION I don't get paid overtime???) and many other cases that I'll not get into now.

my point is that every day, choices are made, and consequences are had.

now every once in a while, you get to make those choices that don't necessarily impact the day-to-day flow. Like right now... I'm debating on getting my foot checked, or getting my hair done.

I know... sounds dumb, but I've been mentally listing the pros and cons of each, and I'm kind of at a tie.

if you recall, I dropped that big assed shower door on my foot a few weeks ago. it took well-over a week for the bruise to even APPEAR, but whatever. it finally came and has finally left. The thing is, aside from a slight dent on my foot, it looks and feels better. (DEFINITELY a faster recovery than the big toe debacle, FYI) the problem is... it HURTS like a motherfuckingholyasscrackerBASTARD if you so much as even TOUCH my foot. hmmmm. now, I'm not so sure just HOW LONG the recovery is for a foot that has had a shower door dropped on it, and have been too lazy to google it. (ok, strike that.. I just did. nada, except for this story about another very klutzy person...)

ANYWAYS.. not sure what's normal for the foot. Foot "post-dropping-a-shower-door-on-it", that is. SO. I COULD go to the doctor's. I probably SHOULD go to the doctors'. but the problem is that my foot LOOKS fine. and it IS fine, except, you know... when you TOUCH it. so what will they say? probably tell me to go to the ER and get x-rays. now, up front, that all sounds normal... but you have to remember who I'm married to.

Troy, AKA "I change jobs every 6 months cause I'm a contractor and like finding new places to code my ass off", is, as stated, a contractor, so we're usually in some form of insurance change. in fact, we change insurance policies ON AVERAGE of three times a year. which means that we are ALWAYS starting over when it comes to the deductibles. bottom line.. if I get x-rays, I'm going to have to pay for them. maybe not right away, but I WILL get the bill for $200 dollars or so at THE most inconvenient time.. like right after I've ordered favors for rhena's 4th birthday party. or when her preschool tuition is due. or you know.. mortgage.

and $200 isn't so bad.. it really isn't. but that's a haircut and color for me, people. now.. before y'all judge.. I KNOW I can go out and buy a box of color for MUCH cheaper and do it myself... but I HAVE done that in the past, and believe me.. it does NOT look good on me. my ears always end up a tinted color and I burn my scalp and I miss spots... ugg. just not good. I'd rather grow the roots and pray that my grey (I mean PLATINUM BLONDE) hair stars to come in to make it look like highlights.

so what's my point, what's my point. I suppose nothing, really... just that I'm hemming and hawing on whether to go get my foot professionally looked at or get my hair done.

I know! shallow! dumb! get the foot taken care of, you freakin knucklehead!

but.. the foot. if it IS broken; they can't really do anything for me. At least I don't think they can? and if it ISN'T, then I just wasted the money on getting xrays. and the hair... well... getting my hair done will certainly make me feel better. and not just for the physical appearance upgrade... seriously.. getting out of the house sans kids for a few hours is like ordering a dish of SANITY.

oh, who the hell am I kidding? I know I'm going to get my hair done. seriously-- troy's gone this whole weekend, and after being home all week on lock-down cause we were afraid we might be contagious... momma NEEDS a slice of sanity.

I guess I'm wondering if I bother with the foot. I mean.. I would KNOW if it was broken, right? (hmmm... that's the third time I recall saying that this year for different reasons. I may just be a bit more clumsy than I thought I was.) hmmm. I'll think on it some more.

speaking of thinking.... I was looking at the back of my tongue the other day, and saw these weird spots... But there's this really cool DRESS I was looking at, too.... what's that? oh yeah.. nevermind. I'll be quiet now.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Slum Lord

Nothing like starting your day by kicking two expectant parents out of their home.

I am officially the worst landlord around. ok, maybe tied with troy.

So yeah. turns out two birds were building a nest. IN our grill.

I'm all about letting birds be birds and having the kids excited about seeing eggs and nests and all that 'nature' shit....

but I HAVE to believe the guilt I feel now for kicking them out of and burning their home would be FAR less than what guilt I would feel the next time we do up a steak and get a side of fried eggs.

just saying.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"Miss" Communication

I'm not sure if I've blogged about this before.. so if I HAVE.. just stop reading and leave me a comment to let it go already.

ANYWAYS. y'all know we live in the south. There's many things about the south that I love (lower cost of living, mild winters, slower pace.. to name a few) and y'all KNOW there's things I DON'T like (that whole rebel-flag-the-south-will-rise-again mentality, general accepted belief of women's places, subtle and unspoken prejudice (as well as NOT so subtle) towards people not male, white, christian, and of certain pedigrees... to name a few)

But the south I live in is a self-proclaimed NEW SOUTH. One where 'that' kind of behavior is no longer acceptable and one of a melting pot which welcomes northern transplants for reasons extending beyond culture and economic infusions. Still.. some old habits die hard.

One habit in particular (that I thought was once a VERY southern tradition) seems to be popping up all over the place in our society. and it irks me.

Hi. My name is Carrie Johnson. I'm married, so I ALSO go by Mrs. Carrie Johnson. but apparently, to any child under the age of 20, it has been deemed socially correct to call me MISS Carrie.

not Mrs. Johnson... not Ms. Johnson... MISS Carrie. (and let's not even get me started about how creepy "MR. Troy" sounds to me. seriously.)

again.. I GET the whole nod to southern culture and the Driving Miss Daisy and that really, it IS a way of showing respect... but still. enough already!

The problem, too, is that I'm seeing it happen in other states as well. I guess I just don't understand why.. if you CAN teach a child to say Miss or Mister... followed by a first name... why can't you teach them a last name? and MRS? what's so DAMN hard about Mrs.???

Don't get me wrong.. I've allowed Rhena to use Miss So-and-So when addressing someone. and we have our own little system that we call certain friends "Aunt" and "Uncle" when they are every bit as close as family. Let's face it.. if you buy my kids better presents than *I* do most times, chances are they call you their aunt or uncle. but that's another subject.

I DID begin rhena's playgroups with allowing her to call people by Miss or Mr. "First Name Here". but that was when she was Danny's age and understanding words but not saying them. However, when she began school, THANKFULLY, her teachers and the staff at the preschool go by Mrs. or Ms. "Last Name Here". It opened the door for me to start teaching Rhena the proper way to address adults.

Now that the door is open, I'm keeping it open, and have been teaching Danny from the get-go to use Mr., Mrs. and Ms. "Last Name Here". and SURE there are certain names that a child just simply can NOT pronounce or come close to being able to remember. I should know! My last name was Czernikowski! In those cases, a "Mrs. C." would suffice.

Of course.. it's tough when a dance class uses Miss "first name here" and our friends have their children call us Miss Carrie and Mr. Troy. (cringe!) but given the chance and choice.. I present myself and insist my children use last name addressing.

I suppose my big question is WHY? WHY do we as a society find it necessary to drop the formality? Are we as adults trying that hard to be more approachable to children? Are we afraid to command respect AS adults? Maybe it's just me?

Again.. it doesn't bother me AS much when a 2 or 3 year old who is barely understanding sentence structure calls me Miss Carrie. but a 5 year old? 7 year old? 13 year old? I'm not your friend, kid. I'm your neighbor, your teacher, your babysitter, and quite possible a stranger. Without a DOUBT I'm at least 2 decades your senior, so how about you treat me with some respect? I really do think I at least deserve that.

One final note for my stepford lurkers... if your kids call me Miss Carrie.... that's fine. well, I mean.. I'll still cringe inside a little... but chance are if I didn't think you were raising your child to understand what respect is, your kid wouldn't GET many chances to call me "Miss Carrie". So don't take it personal. I'm just talking about a pet peeve of mine, ok? in other words.. we're still good. oh, and one more thing? just, uh.. don't get mad at me if I correct your kid in a year or two. ;)


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Open Letter

To the woman with the two daughters at Harris Teeter today?

THANK YOU. Thank you for teaching your daughters to be KIND to little girls who like to dress themselves because they truly believe they are ballerina princesses. Even when that self-proclaimed famous ballerina princess outfit means a turquoise dress, orange socks, pink glittery shoes and a pointy fair-maiden hat.

Your daughters smiling at Rhena and telling her she's "a beautiful princess indeed" was heartwarming and kind. I hope to teach my children to be as encouraging to others as they get older.


and to the OTHER woman with two daughters at Harris Teeter today?

SHAME ON YOU. watching your girls huddle, whisper,and POINT at a child younger than them sends a message of endorsement. Perhaps if YOU smiled more and taught your children some manners you wouldn't have to tell your girls to stop touching the food on display in the salad bar, and you would have to maybe threaten to 'straighten them out' one or two less times a day.

Now perhaps I'm just as bad judging you anonymously online... so for that I'll stop now... but the pointing?? NOT NICE.

oh and by the way? I hope that the turkey you insisted to the deli clerk be MUCH THINNER gives you GAS, bitch! BIG, stinky GAS!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer of Love

so it's either a GOOD thing or a BAD thing that I haven't blogged in so long.

BAD, cause I've been doing a lot of stuff that I should have blogged about.... but GOOD, I suppose, cause I've been doing a lot of stuff and haven't had time/energy to blog.

either way.

here at the fever, we have been experiencing the summer of LOVE. love love love, I tell you! We spent a good three weeks up in jersey, in which time we were able to see a large number of friends and family.

Each trip/visit was good in its own right. how VALIDATING to be surrounded by people you love and love you right back. When I was at susie's, the best term I can think of to describe how I felt was 'unplugged'. no tensions, no stress... (ok, maybe a TEENY bit when my kids were screaming and when we allowed our 3 year olds to sleep in the same room "cause you know what, momma? I've never sweeped in We-um's room before and we are just good friends and I am going to sweep in his wittle bed and we are going to have so much fun cause I've never sweeped over his house before..." (and so on and so on) and that first night took a TEENY bit longer than normal to get the kids actually settled and sleeping.) but seriously. no stress. there were comfortable silences, there was no urge for hoopla. ok, maybe an ass-grab here and there... but it was just a coming home of sorts. ODD, as I had actually never been IN that particular house of theirs, nor had I actually met their youngest in person... but it was that kind of home that only your heart can speak to.

I ALSO got to see a dear friend of mine from college. It had been a few years since I last saw Little Girl; collectively three children had been born since our last meeting. Marilyn is one of those people that I lost touch with during my year of puking and subsequent darkness while trying to survive Danny's first year on the outside. Actually, we had lost touch during the move to NC process; me puking and being sleep deprived just compounded the fear of rejection and lack of energy I felt in trying to reconnect.

BUT, like any good love story; we got back together, and even had the reunion hug in a parking lot to boot. Seeing HER and her children was another wave of emotion for my soul. To know and see that a friendship can withstand that much time and space without a drop of love lost... well... how can I not feel blessed?

Back in jersey, more visiting was had. we saw my brother, his wife and the kids. unfortunately not as much as I would have liked to, but the kids were still in school, which meant their incessant schedule of practices and games and meetings and homeworks were still at full blast. (side note holy CRAP I'm so glad we only have 2 kids cause the school years and coordinating schedules scare and TIRE the living bejeezus out of me)

I saw my cousin Rachel. This was one of the most conflicting visits I had while in jersey, and I'm almost glad it was one of the last ones. Rachel, as you know if you've been around here for a while, has cancer. Rachel is 3 months older than me, and by every right of our upbringing, is the closest blood-relation I have that could very well be my sister. Rachel looked like SHIT. which, in saying that.. I say with no ill will... just calling it like it is. cancer SUCKS, people. and it does NOT look good on my cousin.

She is bruised and has a yellow tone to her skin. Her hair is gone again due to this current regime of chemicals. She is weak, and walks worse than our 90+ yr old grandmother. yet.. amidst all her frailty, I saw the strongest person I could ever meet. I could never possibly encapsulate another person's will to live with words, but the mere fact I have personally witnessed it makes me re-think how I view things. Seeing Rachel reminds me how precious life and relationships are, and it really reminds me to choose my battles, especially when the relationship is worth fighting FOR.

being gone for so long made me realize how much I missed home, too. and this time I mean home as in Stepford. sure, I make fun of stepford all the time.. but this is our HOME now. and Troy was still home. now... I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I really didn't miss troy that much at first. I mean.. being in jersey was NICE. no laundry, no cooking, no cleaning... no errands. I really got a break! but by the time week 3 rolled around, I knew it was time to get back. we are truly a team of FOUR, and when anyone is out of the picture too long.. well... things just don't level out.

But the time gone was good. my parents did their usual bending over backwards to accommodate us in every fashion. speaking of bending over; I'm sure they were happy to give the knees and backs a rest after we left. not saying the kids gave them a run for their money... but they did. oh, and my coming home drunk that one night probably didn't help much either. HAH! (and we won't talk about danny's meltdown at the picnic or him throwing up all over my mom or me dropping the shower door on my foot.... that shit's just par for the course, right?)

eventually I'll sign up for the upgraded version of flickr, and I'll get all of our pictures up. that's on my list of things to do this week.

but we're back. (speaking of back; I'll go back over this post later today during naps and update with appropriate links and pictures.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

I just can't make this stuff up

I hurt my foot again.

I KNOW!!!!

the GOOD news is that the injured foot to which I'm currently referring to is NOT the foot that sustained the broken toe. no... I'm an equal-opportunity klutz, and jacked up my LEFT foot last night.

so it goes like this....

last night the kids and I went out to eat with my folks. being that Danny was a bit skoodgey the whole day... it seemed like a good idea to bring the kids home, toss their asses in the bath and put him down for the night. He's a happy boy in general.. but when the happy boy does not get enough sleep or naps too early or doesn't poop for a day or so (or even worse.. ALL of the above!) well... happy he AIN'T.

so blabbity blah... baths are done. awesome. their daddy is called, messages are left, kids are donned in their pjs, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I bring the kids downstairs so my mom can watch them while I assemble the bathroom back to its original pre-bath condition. To do so requires mopping up the water that had been splashed around, collecting the bath toys, removing the bath mat, then putting the shower doors back on their tracks.

so whatever.. I mop, I collect, then I get one door on. crap. forgot the bath mat. ok. remove the bath mat, time for the final door.

hmmm. hands are wet from the bath mat. I pause for a moment cause (here's the real kicker) I thought that since my hands were wet, by holding the shower doors on the sides like I normally do.. my wet hands would cause the door to slip. SO..... I look at the towel bar; debate its strength, lift it a few inches with a little shake... then figure it'll be ok, and begin to lift it the 2 feet needed to put it back on its track.

it wasn't strong enough.

faaaaaaaaaahck!!!! big plexi-glass-framed with metal door came sliding down on the bridge of my left foot. oh, I saw light; it just was different than that end-of-tunnel one. I also saw a LOT of curse words fly out of my mouth and fill the bathroom like speech bubbles on the old-school batman fights.

please do not think that I have missed the irony that I spent more time FALSELY debating the strength of the attachable towel rack to support the weight of the door than doing the SMART thing which would have been to just DRY my hands first. dumbass.

also not missed is that the jacked-up toe was finally starting to feel better (notice I did not say LOOK better) and I have been able to wear shoes for more than a few hours at a time without being in pain. and now I can't wear shoes again.

another funny point to ponder in my world of humor is that the reason why my hands were wet was from removing the BATHMAT... created, purchased and USED to make bathing the children more SAFE.

oh well. and so it goes. on a good note, the towel bar probably slowed the door enough such that I didn't actually dismember half of my foot. so yay for still having my foot. my bruised, swollen, sliced, and in-pain foot.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New York State of Mind

so yesterday the kids and I went to visit our friends in Brooklyn.

We weren't there LONG.... only a few hours. but it was a GOOD few hours. It's hard to put in to words the sense of happy and peace I get from seeing a friend that GETS ME and that I love so much. Even harder is when I only see that kind of friend once every other year or so (or longer).
Our children played well together. it was as if they were family.. just with less bickering.

Next week we continue the trip of never-ending-love and head up to see Susie and her boys. let the good times roll, I say!

to see more of the fun from yesterday... you can FINALLY check out my pictures on flickr. I know.. I'm slow. but I'm getting there.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

PLEASE sleep til... BROOKLYN!!!

we're off to Brooklyn today to visit some friends.

of COURSE the kids were up at the butt-crack of dawn....

I'm praying that the kids take a quick nap on the way.. otherwise I may have to take a detour at the Bronx Zoo and drop the kids off to be with their behavioral kind.

just sayin'.


Monday, June 02, 2008

In the name of Love

being here at my folks', I've actually had extra time to relax. I mean, sure.. I'm still being 'mommy' and such, and bedtimes have taken a bit longer to accomplish... but when the kids nap, I have time to veg. No guilt looming overhead that I should be cleaning instead of trolling the internet, no pressing need to do laundry, prep dinner, call insurance companies or plan appointments.

During this time of relaxing, I've taken naps. I've watched lots and lots of food network. and I've done some thinking.

Mostly I've been thinking about my family. (you know.. when in rome and all) I was thinking about the things I and they do, just in the name of love.

For example, just driving up here. Now... anyone in their right mind would not typically VOLUNTEER to drive 10+ hours with 2 kids in a car just for the sake of a drive. BUT... our family and friends are here, and out of love, we come. Out of love, my folks drove slower and took more stops than normal so they could be near me on such a drive in case I needed them.

Out of love, we might take our kids completely off their schedule to attend an important function where their attendance would be appreciated. Out of love, we show our children compassion when we would rather strangle them. We bite our tongues, we hold back, we plunge forward, or say the words no one else will.

We open ourselves up, and show a side of vulnerability. We wait; either for that phone call or for the sound of the front door. or for a ring. or for them to finally be ready, whatever capacity may be.

We do things we don't always like, despite our better judgment sometimes. and there's a fine line between doing something in the name of love and just plain allowing ourselves to be walked on... so fine that we're often WAY beyond the line before we even realize it.

but yet... love presses on. not always recognized, not always reciprocated, but valid and with good intentions, we do things in the name of love. From the big to the little (like drinking DECAF on a morning after very little sleep), when the root of our actions are entwined with love, why is it that we all BITCH so much?

Whether it's love for a person, a country, a job, a cause or a team... it's so easy to START OFF nobly, but often it ends with gripes, moans, snide remarks or boasting. Is that a symptom of our society? or is it just me who does it?

Recently a young man here in my parents' town passed away after battling cancer. He was only 29. It got me to thinking. If I knew NOW that Rhena and or Danny (or anyone I love for that matter) would die at the age of 29 or at any known point in the immediate future... would I think I'm doing enough? and of what I AM doing... well... perhaps I could make it a little less about me, and more reflective of its love-filled intentions.

What do YOU do out of love? how can you make it better?

Please take a minute and share; not only does it help to remember why and for who you do things, but you may inspire someone else in the process. Let's start this week off on a good note.