Bye Bye Bunny

It was a Monday just like any other Monday. I was running around the house looking for my cel phone, my keys, matching mittens for the kids and yelling at them to turn the T.V off because we were going to be late. On this particular Monday Mr. Liberty Dee had left the house a bit earlier than usual and I was feeling the angst of a usual unorganized Monday morning.

I finally asked my boys to go on ahead and get in the car while a corralled baby girl into her coat. The boys went out and within a minute were back in. The Plan simply said ” We have a problem”. Then he continued ” There’s a dead Bunny on the drive way”

Ever since we moved into this neighbourhood over a year ago I have been in awe of the amount of rabbits in the area. I am not well versed in all things rabbit so I don’t know what kind of rabbits they are. All I know is that they hop, wiggle their nose, have longs ears and are just so darn cute. I see a at least one or two a day and I just love them and  so does Baby Girl. So when I heard The Plan state there was a dead bunny on the drive way my mind automatically went to how I was going to protect my baby girl from the trauma of seeing a dead bunny.

I then proceeded to ask a slew of stupid questions like:

  1. What do you mean a dead bunny?
  2. Like dead dead?
  3. Are you sure its dead?
  4. Where is it dead?

As I write this I have realized that there was probably a very simple solution to the problem I was faced with. I am now thinking I should have left the kids in the house, gone out to find the bunny and removed the body. However hind sight is 20 / 20 because that is not at all what I did.

What I did do is come up with plan. I would hold Baby Girls hand and keep her close to me. I would shuffle along side ways to shield her from seeing the dead bunny, I would quickly get her in the car and quickly drive away before she saw anything. At the time it seemed like a logical plan, I realize now that I was under the influence of Monday morning, I am late, I  should not have stayed up watching Netflix.

I set out the front door with baby Girl in hand and as soon as I could see the drive way,  I saw the bunny. Well, not the whole bunny it looked more like an episode of Bugs Bunny when he pretends to die and stiffens his legs up in the air because that is all I could see in the snow., Two bunny feet up in the air. I turned sideways and began to shuffle along talking to Baby Girl trying to keep her busy. I made it to the car and as I was putting her in she caught a glimpse of the bunny with her peripheral vision. “Look Mommy, its a bunny”  ” Yeah sweetie it’s a bunny, we are late get in the car” I repositioned myself so that I would block her view. As I started to put her buckle on she turned her head toward the bunny and waved ” Bye, Bye Bunny”.

I finished bucking her in and slid the door closed.  I turned and finally got a good look at the bunny on the driveway. The poor thing had been run over. Mr.Liberty Dee had obviously been the cause of death as I could quite literally see the tire track where the bunny’s head had once been.  Usually the sight of this would have brought me to tears but as you moms know ,having kids gives us the ability to “suck it up” and act in the kids best interests (Or what we think is their best interest) In that moment I realized that I couldn’t simply drive away and leave the bunny there. Our house  is right by a path that the neighbourhood kids go by on their way to school and back. I couldn’t leave a squished bunny body there for the kids to see, I didn’t want to be known as the Bunny Killer house. I started looking around for a way to dispose of the body. I thought about getting a recycling bin from the side of the house to put it in but the snow was so high I couldn’t get around. As a matter of fact, as I looked around all I could see was snow. Then I spotted it. Our shovel had been left leaning against the wall by our front door. I went over, I grabbed the shovel and scrapped the bunny off the floor and onto the shovel. Then I thought “Now what?. I have the bunny on the shovel but what do I do with it”.  I had a bright idea. I dug a hole in the snow, dropped the bunny in and covered it with more snow. I finally exhaled and thought Mr Libertydee could figure out what to do with it that evening but for now the neighbourhood would never now what had happened.

I proudly put the shovel back, feeling pretty good that I had been able to handle the situation on my own and that I had managed to protect my baby girl from the terrible truth that is life and death. Or so I thought. I am not sure what I was thinking, as you may have already figured out on your own, my car has windows and so when I entered the car and sat down. My baby girl’s voice came from the back “Mommy? Why were you shoveling the bunny?”

 

What I’ve Gained is Much Greater than What I’ve Lost

I kind of fell of the map. I was blogging daily and then suddenly stopped. What happened you ask?
I lost 24lbs.
I initially started blogging to document my journey as I tried to get healthier and tried to take my family on the journey with me. I thought that if I could write about it and feel I was accountable to my readers that it would be easier to lose the weight and remain committed. But after weeks of blogging I was no further along in my weight loss and if you look back at my post you’ll notice I avoided the issue all together, Thank goodness that my kids offer up enough material that no one seemed to notice.
I started seeing a trainer on August 24th and as of today November 1 I have managed to lose 24lbs. I have never been able to lose so much weight so quickly and the best part is that I have never felt better. I’m not hungry, I’m not grumpy and my cravings are almost non existent…almost. I have complete eliminated refined sugar from my diet which is challenging especially f you refer back to my post: Why Work is making me Fat. In order to get around all the cake eating at work I now don’t sit at events and instead stand very close to the door. I stay for the presentation and necessary speeches but as soon as the cake starts being cut I make my exit. 

I weight train twice a week with my trainer, do cardio classes three times a week and have recently taken up hot yoga on Saturday mornings. (That experience is a blog all to itself. Stay tuned) It is amazing how far I have come physically in such a short time. I can keep up during the cardio classes and have moved up to some of the more challenging options in order to keep my heart rate up. I can feel muscle definition in my arms and sometimes when I pass a mirror I don’t even recognize the person on the other side.  Then this last Friday I checked my blood pressure and it turn out my heart rate has been reduced by 18 beats per minute.

But enough about the weight loss, something completely unexpected has happened, my kids are showing an interest in exercising. The boys have always been active in sports but now they want to do push ups and burpees. They like to grab my arms and feel my muscles. My Baby girl has even put on her shorts and joined me doing squats. MrLibertyDee is eating much better and has set up a gym in the garage and is using it.

I have spent years trying to get my family to eat better; I have spent endless hours telling the boys how important exercise is. I have spent the last 11 years taking care of the kids, the household and working full time but in all that time I was actually using these things as an excuse to not eat well myself ( “I have to eat on the go” ) I was making excuses to not go to the gym “ I cant’s just leave the kids” “I have laundry to do” “I need to spend sometime with my husband” “I’m too tired from work” “ I haven’t spent time with the dog” .

Then on August 24th I left the house to go meet my trainer. The kids lined up at the door like I was going off to war to say their goodbyes, MrLibertyDee made a face as I went out the door, but I left. I put it all behind me and I left. When I got back I was exhausted. I had not been physically challenged like that ever and I felt great. The next couple of visits to my trainer were pretty much the same but I kept going. Then one day, I left for the gym and everyone just said: “see you later mom” My excuses have stopped. There have been times I have to be at the gym at 6:00pm and I’m exhausted on the train and I stat thinking” maybe I’ll just go straight home” but then I force myself to go anyway and guess what I feel more energized by the time I get home. I caught a cold and again I thought maybe I shouldn’t work out but I pushed through and once at the gym I felt fine.

I have stopped telling everyone what they should eat. I have stopped telling them about the importance of exercise. I stopped worrying about them in that way and instead changed myself. Guess what’s happened?  I had been raising the kids in a “do as I say not as I do manner” without any success but now the kids see what I’m doing, see the results and want to do the same.

And so although I have lost 24 lbs, lost 2 dress sizes, and lost my excuses what I have gained is so much greater than what I have lost.

Turns Out I’m the Problem

It has been 7 days since I last raised my voice (in anger) to any of my kids. It turns out that they are perfect little angels and that I am the one with the problem. Who would have thought? All this time I’ve been placing the blame on them. THEY are driving me crazy. THEY are too loud. THEY are too demanding. THEY never do what they are told. THEY complain about everything.

Turns out that THEY are not the problem at all. THEY are kids. Perfect, fragile, kids. I, LibertyDee, I am the problem.

It’s only been seven days but what I have learned in that short time about the kids and more importantly about myself is tremendous. Let me break it down:

What I have learned about my kids:

  1. They will get in the car if I get in and turn it on.
  2. Just because they roll their eyes doesn’t mean they are not going to help anyway.
  3. They will yell less at each other if I am not yelling at them.
  4. They are willing to listen and are even more attentive when I explain something in a normal tone.
  5. They really, truly appreciate that I’m trying not to yell. My boys actually thanked me!

What I have learned about myself

  1. I’m a control freak. I didn’t know this about myself but when I have caught myself getting angry with the kids it has been because I’m not getting what I want, when I want it, how I want it.
  2. I’m more likely to snap when I’m tired. I find the most challenging times have been right after dinner when all I really want is some peace and quiet but there’s none in sight.
  3.  I am capable of dealing with issues without raising my voice.
  4.  Being respected and being feared are two very different things. By yelling I am teaching the kids to fear me.
  5. Yelling had become habit. I was yelling without even thinking about it. Now that I am aware of it, it seems unreasonable to raise my voice in the daily scenarios I find myself in with the kids.

As you can see from the list above, They did not need to change, it was not them that was the problem, it was I who needed to make a change and it was I who was the problem.

I know that this does not mean that I have been miraculously cured from yelling and that this doesn’t mean that I will never raise my voice ever again. But if I can do it for seven days why not do it for seven more?

Nothing-you-do-for

I’m Being Tested – The Orange Rhino

I came across the Orange Rhino Challenge and decided to join in on the “fun”.

The Challenge is to not yell at the kids for 365 days. Crazy I know. I’m a yeller. Actually I come from a long line of yellers. Yelling is in my genes. This might come as surprise to some people who know me because I tend to come across as a pretty calm and collected person and I am. Just not with my kids. My kids have a way of knowing exactly how to push my buttons and I lose my patience on a regular basis.

I have taken the challenge in a bid to become a better mom and a better person overall. The yelling never feels good and in reality, whatever the kids are doing or not doing for that matter, is not because they can’t hear me. So in really, yelling is not logical.

I woke up on my first official first day of not yelling and did a little affirmation ” Today, I will be patient. I will not yell at my kids and less yelling equals more love” I even called in a special favour ” Dear God, please shower me with patience today”

I think asking God for help was my mistake though. I don’t remember where it was, but I remember seeing it or reading it somewhere that when you ask God for things he cannot simply give them to you but what he can do is give you opportunities to practice. So on this very day when I asked for patience I think he heard me and showered my with opportunities to practice patience through the following tests:

Let me set the stage. I am supposed to leave the house at 7:30am so that I can drop the kids off and catch a train at 8:05. In reality, I never catch that train. I always end up catching the very last train that leaves at 8:20am.

Test #1 @ 6:50am – I had left a hamper full of clean, folded clothes in the boys bedroom and gone to get dressed in my own room. I heard some arguing (which I ignored) and then a “MOM, MOM, MOM”. I ran over because it sounded terribly urgent. When I got there I found that the boys had managed to empty the hamper (one was blaming the other) and then had stuffed everything back in. They were now arguing because The Life had not helped stuff place things back and The Plan had threatened to punch The Life in the face.

Test #2 7:10am  – It has been very hot around here so I have been dressing my baby girl in her summer dresses to keep her as cool as I can. On this day, she decided she wanted to wear a long sleeve shirt and her winter boots.   I pleaded with her to let me get her dress on but she crossed her arms in front of her and wouldn’t budge.

Test#3 7:30am– I finally bribed Baby Girl into putting the dress on by offering her a freezie but then I tried to brush her hair. How can a girl who is so concerned about what she wears be happy to leave the house with a bird’s nest on her head. I ended up having to chase her around the dining table with a brush in my hand while she ran with both hands over her head singing ” No, no, no don’t brush my beautiful hair”

Test#4 7:50am  As I’m leaving the house The Life says he has to go get something from upstairs and he promises to be just 1 minute. I tell him I’ll wait in the car. I gather our things, walk to the car, buckle Baby Girl into her seat, promise The Plan that he will not die of heat if he gets into the car while we wait for The Life, and tune the radio to my favorite radio station. Still no sign of  The Life.

Test #5 8:00am – The Life is finally in the car as I’m pulling out of the driveway I notice that he has left the front door wide open. AUGHHH!

Test # 6 8:15am – As I’m leaving Baby Girl’s daycare I realize my wallet is not is not in the car. I was positive I had left it in the car the night before and forgotten to go back and get it.  I tell the boys to get out of the car and help me look for it.  The Plan starts complaining about how hot it is and how he doesn’t want to get out of the car.

Test #7 8:25 am- (yup my train is far gone, I’ll have to take a bus) We are back home to find my wallet. I stress the importance that they help me look everywhere. The Plan runs upstairs, The Life goes over to the computer area. (all good signs) The Life stands in front of the computer for a minute or two then turns to me and says ” I can’t find it anywhere”.  The Plan runs down the stairs and says ” Where do you want me to look?” Too which I respond ” So you didn’t see it upstairs?” He reaches into his pocket, pulls out some candy and says ” I haven’t looked. I went to get my Push Pop!”

I did finally find my wallet (in the car) and dropped the boys off with my mom, and got in to work just after 10:00am. But I didn’t yell. Not once. It was nice to do that final 10 minute drive to the station feeling good that I had held my composure instead of feeling guilty about whatever I had yelled about that morning.  I have now officially completed three days of no yelling  and at 8:00am of Day 4 I’m still doing well. Don’t think that  just because it ‘s early doesn’t mean I haven’t been tested. Please refer to above.

Lots and Lots of Letters

I have a box full of letters written to me back in high school. Some are from friends (these were the days before email and texting) some are from ex boyfriends (before they were ex’s of course), there’s one from an admirer who I never saw again after he gave me the letter, and some are even from MrLibertyDee back when we were “just friends”.
It’s been years since I actually read any of them and as I came across the box recently, I considered throwing them out. (I have become a bit paranoid since I started watching hoarders)

My box of letters
My box of letters

I have decided however, to hold on to them solely because I want to share them with my daughter when the time comes. Not only will they be piece of ancient history when people communicated with a paper and pen, but I think there are lessons to be learned from those letters. Some of the letters are  written by people who are still in my life today, some are from people who I simply lost touch with and some are from …well…just people I went to school with.

Here are the lessons I hope I can teach my daughter in her teen years by sharing these letters and telling her the stories behind them ( I hope the letters will act as proof of real events)

1. Your first love will break your heart but you’ll move on and you will love again.

2. Your second love will break your heart even worse than your first but again you will live, the world will not end and you will go on to live a full and productive life.

3. Gossip is just gossip. Take it for what it is and nothing more. Never judge people based on what others have to say about them.

4. As a follow up to the above, don’t let gossip define who you are either.

5. A boy will promise you the world but will rarely deliver.

6. Your best friend will be the one who tells you things  you don’t want to hear.

7.Be careful what you put in writing  as someone may blog about it 20 years later.

Do you keep old letters?

Worst Mom….Ever!

The Worst Mom Ever is a title I wear proudly. I earned it. I had to dig deep into my values and sense of purpose to even be considered for the title. After years of hard work I have finally been bestowed the honour of being called The Worst Mom Ever.
I didn’t get a certificate or a medal or anything like that, which is too bad because if I had, I would hang it on the wall for all to see. The privilege of calling me The Worst Mom Ever is currently held by my two boys. They don’t call me by my “title” everyday, but when they do, I am validated as a mother because it serves as confirmation that I am doing the right thing as a parent.
Now, you should know that although I love the spotlight, I enjoy it even more when I can share it with others. Below, I will share with you some of the things that have helped earn me this coveted title so that you too can become The Worst Mom/Dad Ever.

  1. Tell your 9 year old that it doesn’t matter if little Johnny’s parents let him play Call of Duty. He still can’t play.
  2. Tell your kids they can’t stay up to watch Ultimate Fighting
  3. Have your kids finish doing their homework before turning on the TV although there is a Phineas and Ferb marathon on.
  4. Make the kids play outside on a beautiful sunny day even though there are only 2 days left until that Xbox game they took out from the library is due back.
  5. Have them clean their room in hopes they find what’s causing that foul and mysterious smell.

This is just a small sample,  but these definitely have played a huge part in obtaining my title. Feel free to try them too.

I am embracing it so wholeheartedly that I have even created a T-Shirt.

Introducing….

I had set a goal for myself to come up with some “blog names” for my kids this week ( you can read that post here) and I have.  I wanted names that capture their personalities somehow or helped paint a picture of who they are. So without any further ado, let me introduce you to three little beings I have been blessed with. Starting from oldest to youngest:

  1. The Plan – My first-born was two years in the making. Just when Mr.LibertyDee and I started considering adopting I was sent on a three-week business trip but I was flying home on the weekends.  Turns out I got pregnant on one of these visits! Thank goodness the The Plan looks a lot like my husband or else that would have been a bit fishy. The Plan has an amazing memory which makes school a breeze for him. He loves to analyze everything, he’s a thinker has a quick witt ( that gets him in trouble) and he believes rules are there for a reason and should be followed at all times.
  2. The Life – Our second son was born 360 days after The Plan. We knew we wanted more kids but since it took so long the first time, we were completely surprised when we found out I was pregnant again. I always say I was pregnant for two years because I never got a chance to not feel pregnant before I was expecting again. He gave us quite a scare and had to be delivered via emergency C-Section weighing only 5lbs 9oz at 37 weeks. The Life is the total opposite of  The Plan. School is challenging but he would easily survive if left home alone for weeks because he’s resourceful. He doesn’t over think things which makes him a risk taker, he’s care free and just enjoys life. He believes rules are just guidelines that can be changed an altered depending on the situation.
  3. Baby Girl – She is 7 years younger that The Life and completely unexpected. She is a complete terror  angel. She is wise beyond her years and loves “girly” things. She’s opinionated and brave. She adores her brothers whom she refers to as “The Brothers” but terrorizes them but taking control of the TV or taking their stuff. I have realized that no matter what she will always be my baby girl. Although, for the first 6 months of her life we lovingly referred to her as The Kraken

I am left speechless on a regular basis as two how three children conceived by the same parents, raised by the same parents and living in the same community can all be so different. Life with them is a constant horror comedy of events as they try to kill get along and live their lives with their crazy parents .

My Kids
My Kids

The F Word and the Meltdown

I had a brilliant idea today. Since I was going to pick my boys up from camp, and the community center is right across the street from the mall why not take them over for some frozen yogurt? I was so excited about this that I though hey I’ll even throw in some sprinkles.

Let’s just get this out of the way right now, this was NOT a good idea. I had my baby girl with me (she’s 3) and when we entered the mall it was right where they have those little carts you can rent to take you child around in. At this particular place the carts are shaped like fire trucks and cost $7.00 to rent.

$7! Doesn’t that sound a bit ridiculous to you? I’m willing to pay maybe $5 or even place a $20 deposit but to pay $7 to push my kid around? Nope it isn’t going to happen.  Now, maybe if it was Christmas and the mall was packed and I was going to be there a few hours the $7 may be worth it but on this particular occasion it was going to be straight to the Yogen Fruz and out.

It turns out that my daughter doesn’t quite feel the same way about the $7 than I do and ran straight for the fire truck carts as we walked in.( I wish she still used a stroller but she refused to sit in once since she was two.) I explained very rationally that we were not getting a fire truck today because we were just getting frozen yogurt. The crying started.

Most of you will recognize what happened next but I’ll outline it in 15 steps below:

  1. I say” oh sweetie, I know your upset because you want to ride in the Fire truck. Next time we come shopping we’ll get one.
  2. Crying gets louder.
  3. “Baby girl, come on lets go get frozen yogurt.
  4. “I don’t want yogurt! I WANT THE FIRETRUCK!”
  5. “let’s go”
  6. “NO!” and she sits on the floor
  7. “I’m going to count to three and then I’m leaving without you.”
  8. “NOOOO!!” Stomping feet.
  9. “One…..Twoooooo…..Thhhhhrreeeee?”
  10. Louder “NOOOO!!” Stomping feet.
  11. I begin to walk away with the boys. My younger one asks ‘We’re not going to leave her are we? The older ones says “you should leave her there.”
  12. I get a good distance away and look back, the crying has stopped and she is looking for a way to get into the truck.
  13. I wait.
  14. I wait.
  15. I stomp back over, grab her by the hand and pull her to the Yogen Fruz.
Trying to find a way in
Trying to find a way in

Once we are in front of the frozen yogurt display she looks up at me and simply sates. “I want sprinkles”. That was it. Melt down over just like that.

Who would have thought that the nastiest word of the day starting with F and ending in U.C.K would be Fire truck? AUGHHH!

I Almost Got Away With It

My three year old has realized that sleeping is just a big waste of time when there is never ending Caillou on Netflix. This has made bed time very challenging.  Last night she refused to put her pajamas on so I decided to “pick my battles” and let her sleep in her T shirt and shorts. This morning, I was running late (as usual) and of course she just wouldn’t wake up. I finally thought to myself, she’s technically dressed so what if it’s the same thing she wore yesterday?  Although I still felt kind guilty that I wouldn’t be changing her my stress level dropped as I now didn’t have to fight her and would probably be able to leave the house in ten minutes or so.

I scooped her up and brought her downstairs, I sat her down at the table as I had picked up some pancakes from McDonalds ( she loves pancakes) on my way back from the gym.  I stepped away for a moment and then heard her saying “mama open..mama open” I looked over and she was waiving the packet of maple syrup over head asking me to open it. But guess what? It was already open and seeping out the sides, down her arm, her shirt and her shorts. AUGHH!

Needless to say, she not only required a change of clothes but a complete wipe down with a wet towel. You don’t realize how sticky that stuff is until you are trying to remove it and trying to catch the train  to work at the same time.

Oh well I almost got away with it.