My Mom, Mornings and Dressing Up

My Mom, Mornings and Dressing Up, Stories cover the first couple of weeks of another September.

Two years ago this week, I hugged my Mom for the last time. For the last time, I told her I loved her and although she did not respond in words, in her eyes I saw that she loved me too. I talked about that day in my “Mom” blog, if you wanted to read it, but I can say now, that time does make things a little easier. Still, just about everyday I am reminded of her in one way or another and I love that I can still hear her laugh whenever I want to if I just close my eyes and think of her.

A few years ago, I talked about me being “the hub” when it came to mornings in the Carr house and described the fact that if it was not for me, my girls would all sleep in ‘til noon. In that same post, I also talked about me making the girls lunches in the morning. One thought (among many I had this summer) was that I wanted the girls to take more control over their own morning rituals and included in this blue-sky notion, was making them making their own lunches. Jump to Tuesday of last week, the first day of school, and by some miracle that is exactly what happened and more. You see the girls must have been so excited about the return to academia, that they both got up before 6, got dressed, proceeded to make their own lunches (including healthy snacks) and they both packed their own back packs – all before my alarm even made a sound.

So 8 days later, and out of the 7 mornings requiring lunches and a wake up call, they matched their day one feat exactly one more time. It could have been worse, I guess. For the most part, they did wake when I called them and they helped grab things I asked of them, and we where only late one day for school, and at that, it was only a minute or two. Maybe, just maybe, I set my sights a little high. For now, I will keep working on them getting up earlier and perhaps by December, they will be able to make their own lunches a couple days a week.

Dressing Up
I am sure I have talked about Julia and her incredible fashion sense before. This week, she got a chance to spend an old gift card she had kicking around in her purse at one of her favourite stores – Claire’s. Watching both girls, prance around the spinning display cases and sparkling jewelry something akin to a kid in a candy store, but Julia is the smart shopper. Taking after her Mom, always looking for the best deals and spending wisely. When I make faces, while watching this happen, I am sure I look frustrated, but the truth is, I find it quite entertaining.

This trip, it was a hat that caught her eye, almost as fast as they all enter and a single glove that is reminiscent of the King of Pop, especially if worn together with the fedora and Beat It playing in the background. The one item purchased that kind of surprised me was of a bracelet. Remember a few weeks ago, talking about passing the truck on the 401 with the piggies in it? Why I laugh, and felt it worthy of a blog mention was the caption. Thick, black with bold white lettering and a dark red heart in the middle, proclaiming “I Love Bacon”!

In Closing
I am, for the most part, good with getting older. I accept the greying hair, forgetting things, and sounds and aches. I make getting up in the morning. I may be over dramatizing aging a bit, but I am only trying to illustrate a point that became a little more, painfully obvious to me today.

My wife gets emails for some of best 50% off of the lowest price sales around, and for a great reason to get out of the house today, we dropped in on one such clearance outlet. The girls, willing oblige for the most part and enjoy the “shopping” part. What hit me like a ton of bricks was Jordyn coming out of the dressing room today, in a dress that looking like it could be for someone twice her age? It fit her. She looked wonderful, and maybe just a little too old, and in turn that made me feel old.

Off to find some young hip clothes to shave a few years of my own.

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week!

I’m back, Work, a Little Attitude, the Crazy House and some 9-year old Fashion Advice

I’m back, Work, a Little Attitude, the Crazy House and some 9-year old Fashion Advice, story’s and laughs from the Carr’s for another week.

Just the other week, I was chatting with a friend online, and I had used the past-tense-statement, “I used to write weekly blog” as if I was waxing poetically about growing up in the old days and walking 2 miles to work.  It struck me odd and I forgot all about it until I received an email tonight, notifying me of a “new” blog comment.  It would seem that one of my regular readers, just wanted to remind me that it has been almost a year since I posted the comings and goings of the Carr family.

This will never catch us up on the missing months, but over the next little while, if I can keep at it, and you continue to enjoy reading it, I will try to get you caught up on other exciting things that have happened with us, but for now, I present the first crack at a blog in almost a year!

This blog started as a weekly recap of what was happening at my work back in January 2009, so it would seem like a good idea to start with what’s going on work wise.  I had an amazing semester, with a great group of hardworking and smart students.  A great reminder of what I truly love about my job.  Add a new supportive Boss and a new-realigned school of programs, so all is well for me.

Over the last bunch of months, I kept sending myself email “nuggets” with blog ideas, based on things the girls would say, or things I would see.  And this story comes from a weekend if I remember correctly, a weekend that was filled with some cleaning and us (the parents) arguing with them (the kids).  Julia possesses an interesting attribute of mine, and I say interesting, others might call it annoying, but why quibble.  Julia will show her displeasure with a situation, not with words so much, but with body language and facial expression.

Imagine having two parents, totally on your case about your room, and picking up stuff and always giving you a hard time about the way you leave it.  This is nothing new for any 9-year old I would think, so I only bring it up, by way of painting a picture of her frame of mind, when I called a flustered little girl to see me to talk about her seemingly bad mode.  After a short conversation I ask her, “What’s with the attitude Julia?”  Without missing a beat, she says, “What attitude?  You mean YOUR attitude that I have?”  I did what any parent, worth their salt would do… I walked away!

When we are “ON” we are very fun.  The crazy house.  The place that I think, all the kids’ friends love to hang around.  On one such day, with music on, and our door seemingly open to whomever.  There was some dancing going on in the kitchen, some conversations going on and of course laughing.  Everyone was enjoying themselve.

Now Jordyn is an old soul, and although she is not always willing to be in the center of things, or performing, she has such a great awareness of things. And with me, sitting back, a little proud of the mayhem, my eyes lock with hers and we share a knowing moment. And with a big smile, she says, “Our family is better than cable!”  I love it!

As is the case with so many of my stories, this next one takes place in the car. Well, I guess it started about 30 minutes, before we jumped in the car for the trip to the girl’s school, when I was selecting what pair of shorts to put on for my workday.  The cleaner ones of course!  So, just as I pull out of the driveway, my phone goes bing, and a reminder of a more formal meeting after work today.  Looking at my clothing choice, I decided to go back home and change, informing the girls of my mistake and telling them I need a nicer shirt.

Inside the house, upstairs, change and run back downstairs.  Out of breath, I jump in the still running car, only to hear Julia ask a question, in typical Julia style.  “Dad, is your nice shirt under that one?”  Oof that hurts!

In closing
For the last couple of weeks, we have been watching a 5 and a 7 year old for a couple of hours a day for friends of ours.  Having a little one around the house is fun in a bunch of ways, not the least of which is it’s a great reminder of the “out of the mouths of babes” syndrome that comes with the innocents of youth.  This week, after telling everyone, including the 5 year old, that I was running out to Tim’s for a tea!  It would seem that she totally gets me, and understands that I need guidance and reminding of this often.  “Don’t do anything crazy James!”  Of course, I love that she calls me James, but I also that she feels the need to remind me to keep my cool!

Trying hard not to do anything too crazy!

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week!


It’s a Time Warp, Clever Girl, and a Web We Weave

It’s a time warp, clever girl, and a web we weave, the stories from in and around the Carr house for the last weeks of the summer and the first of the fall.

I don’t know why a lyric from the popular Rocky Horror Picture song, “Time Warp” jumped into my head today, other than I suppose I was thinking about getting older and life in general. The line is, “Time is Fleeting”, and although the sentiment is somewhat true and the next line sums up lots about my life, (madness takes its toll), the truth is, if time is fleeting, I think it’s only fleeting with a little f.

This may seem contrary to some of my blog posts in the past, when I have complained about how fast time travels, especially during a vacation or the a hot summer day, but I think life gives us a natural mechanism that helps with perspective, and I never realized it until this week. You know when sometimes the clock will take what seems days to reach 5 o’clock, the kettle will take forever to produce a couple of dribbles of hot water or don’t forget about the pot you are watching that never boils. This yang to the time moving to fast yin, is what gives our life balance.

Case in point, I was thinking just this week, that it seems like forever ago, that I started teaching and that how a simple conversation so long ago, changed my direction in life – the yang. And yesterday morning a pop up reminder of a yearly calendar entry, announcing my God Child’s birthday. It was 18 years ago that Brett was born, and I remember it like yesterday – the yin. Happy Birthday to Brett-Man, and I am so proud, of the strong, confident and smart talented man you have become.

Duck off
When I was in my teens, I will admit I learned how and when to swear. I don’t remember ever getting in trouble for doing so, but I am sure I must have. We used to cleverly reverse the first letters of a two-word statement, as in, “Too mucking Futch” and sometimes get away with inappropriate statements at certain times. I remember hanging out with a good friend and his aunt and uncle having a conversation about that, and his aunt jumping into the conversation, attempting to pull off the reversal, and blowing it in front of us impressionable teens, and us just laughing about it for days.

Jump to an evening a couple of weeks ago, with Nathalie and I sitting on the couch downstairs, and the girls upstairs fighting about something. Having witnessed a number of these types of exchanges up close, both of us, from our comfortable seats watching TV, did nothing to interject. They ALWAYS sort it out themselves. That is until we heard the little one, get increasingly upset, and end with a very loud and clear, “Don’t touch me, just F@#$ OFF!”

Now, never ones to hide our own language around the house, it is clear that we are both somewhat to blame for Julia’s choice in words, but of course, this was the wrong way for a 9 year old to express her displeasure with her sister, so up goes Nathalie. After the top stair announces Mommy’s appearance with a little creak, the scream from Jordyn says it all, “She’s coming!” The next very important parental question has to be, how do you yell at a child that is trying hard to make you laugh? With her head burried under her pillow, and her butt straight up in the air, like an ostrich in the sand she says’, “Please don’t hurt me Mumma!” Well, maybe next time we will discipline.

Itsy Bitsy
Time for another true confession from me; although I am crowned Daddy super spider killer around these parts, the truth is, I only kill the spiders that the girls actually see. I have wished, and shooed and talked many arachnids into leaving on their own accord, without the need to inflict any harm, and have never been caught.

Being the first to awake most mornings, means I am the first in the shower, and one morning the other week, I ran into a little buddy I named Sam, in the shower. I felt giving him a name and an identity would cause him to listen and I pleaded with him to leave the shower before Nathalie found him. I explained that if he were to just scoot around the corner, he would likely remain unseen and therefore keep safe. Other than dropping down an inch or two a couple of times (scaring me a little), and moving around in a little circle, he seemed to not want to heed my warning.

I kind of forgot about Sam, until I was having a talk with Nathalie that night. I asked, how her shower was in the morning. Puzzled, she said, “fine”, then followed it with, “all but the spider that scared the crap of me, but it’s OK I killed him!” I make a shucks face, and she says, “What?” So I say, “I told him to leave and I was so hoping he was going to listen to me”. After the punch I got, I will re-think my approach in the future. RIP Sam.

In closing
We have always been generally positive people around the Carr house. Never had the need to make dally chants or in mirror affirmations, but this week I discovered that at least one of us, has felt the need to make some posters. Some of what is posted, in the way of positive messages, are lyrics from Justin Bieber songs, like, “Never Say Never”, or a simple, “I love my family!” but the statement that first worried me and later warmed my heart, was not from a song or a movie. I am guessing it was inspired by a news report she heard at some point.

Moom's Room
The Writing on the wall

“Never kill yourself just because you think you are not pretty”. I was concerned obviously with the statement at first because it worried me that a 12 year old would even use the words, “kill yourself”. However, in context the fact that she is telling herself, and all who enter her room, that it is not right to allow anyone any power over your feelings, and for that, I have to shed a tear of pride, because my little girl, thinks like an adult.

Off to start my own, I am good enough chant!

Thanks, for reading and have a great and safe week.