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!

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.

A Letter From Santa, Music and Party, Party Party

A letter from Santa, Music and Party, Party Party, the week 17 Carr family blog is in the books.

Phantom of the Opera
Music of the night
I am not what you would call a huge fan of classical music. I should clarify, I can certainly appreciate the harmonic game that is played by each individual instrument, and the magic that occurs when notes and sounds are woven together to form melodies and counter melodies in this orchestrational style, but it is one of the musical genres that I have to confess I know very little about. I am sure true classical musical fans, would say that the music in modern musicals, although played on the same instruments, is just not quite the same thing. The reason I bring it up is that I am a fan of the music from the Phantom of the Opera.

When Nathalie and I first started dating, at some point in the first couple of years, we went to see the live performance of the Phantom, and our love for the words and music of the show were cemented in our hearts, and still to this day, we both have selections from the play on our respective iPods. Since then, we have seen the play another 3 times and plan on another couple of time for sure. When I am alone in my car, I will often put in the CD and listen to as loud as I can, and I am catapulted back to that first performance, and the shared experience of falling in love with not only the music but the person I was with.

Mushy stuff aside, this week, it was fun listening to the CD in the car again with the girls, who have seen and enjoyed the movie and know the music quite well, but do have some questions about the plot. Jordyn, talking about the movie, says, “I like the whole movie, except that part when he is yelling!” Never turning down an opportunity to wrap a life lesson into a response, I say, “Well Jordyn, the Phantom is so in love with Christina, that when he realizes it is a love that he can not have, he shows us how mad he is by getting that upset and yelling. But the amazing thing is that he shows us how sad he is to loose her, but in the end, he lets her go, because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes, in life you have to let something go that you love and it hurts.” Confident in my response, I sit back with pride to have her reply, “Well whatever, I just don’t like him yelling!” I tried!

Santa letter

Well I guess I have to be proud of the honesty flowing from my little Buglia over the last little while. I only know of this newfound trait, because of the return letter she received from Santa this week. At first, she was a little unsure of sharing it with us, but after she finally did, we discovered that at one point in the letter she sent to the big man himself, she must have just laid it all out on the line and made some kind of confession. “I heard that you have been a little naughty at school and at your babysitters, but don’t worry there is a lot of time to get back on the nice list”, he tells her, and we are sure glad he did. That must not have been easy for an 8 year old, thinking that this year her chance of a nice gift was a lost cause. Thanks also for the confirmation of a somewhat mystery with respect to what it is she wanted for Christmas. Santa acknowledged in his letter, that she had asked him for a “surprise gift”, so that makes us a little more confident that we should be able to meet all the needs of all on our lists, naughty OR nice.

I love this time of year for so many reasons, but certainly one of the biggies is the number of times you are invited to visit and make the rounds of cheer and joy at gatherings of like-minded individuals. One little such gathering, I look forward to each year, is a party to celebrate Christmas, the end of a semester, or as the invitation says, the “Winter Solstice Gathering” at our friends house. This is the 10th annual event of its kind, and although we have not been to all of them, we have been to more then half and the one thing that is always clear is that these friends, have the most dynamic group of friends we have ever seen, and by sheer luck, we must be included in that list, because we were there too. The stories, and laughing and dancing make for a very interesting evening, and thanks to great hosts, the food is wonderful too.

In Closing
Often to pass time during car rides, the girls play word games, and sing and in most cases just laugh. This week, we had a serious case of the giggles, and at the time I looked at Nathalie and said I have to remember to write about it. The art of the knock knock joke is just that, an art and not everyone can either get it, or more importantly give it. I totally get that! Jordyn is a big fan, and when the girls start to giggle and tell each other riddles or stories, inevitably, it is Jordyn that throws in a knock knock joke or two. They, quite often are the same ones, but we still laugh.

This particular time, Jordyn was doing the famous, “Orange you glad I didn’t say Banana” joke, but the only thing was, that she was NOT saying it right. Now it starts by answering the knock knock part with, “Banana” 3 or 4 times, and the funny lies in the fact that FINAL time you are asked, “who’s there?” you don’t say banana, you say orange instead. Now, you can use any fruit you want in the joke, but of course you MUST use “orange” as the last one. This is either lost on Jordyn, OR she knows more then me, and figured arguing the point with me was way more funny then even the line it self. We laughed and laughed, and it sounded like an Abbott and Costello routine with all the back and forth in the car and at one point, the girls both had tears in their eyes, from laughing so much and I think, “It doesn’t get much better then that.”

Orange you glad I didn’t drive off the road?

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week