Summer 2015 Bucket List – The Final Update or The post in which I come clean about all of my shortcomings.

I’ve put off this final update as long as I could. My babes go back to school in five days (insert this mama’s tears here) and while I’m working on cramming as much as I can into those five days, I think we all know me well enough by now to know it’s just not going to happen.

So, here’s the final update of my Summer 2015 Bucket List – my triumphs, my failures and my in-betweens:

1. Go for daily walks (not strolls) for a minimum of 45 minutes.
FAIL. I’m a slug.

2. Organize and declutter the linen closet.
FAIL – But nothing is falling out of it, so maybe just a tiny bit of a win?

3. Go for a bike ride with the kids three times a week (at least).
FAIL – One family bike ride does not 30 planned bike rides make.

4. Go to the library weekly.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner! We SLAYED this one, my friends. Oh yes.

I'm so incredibly proud of how all four of my smalls worked so hard to improve their reading. And how the slightly bigger smalls helped the smaller smalls.

I’m so incredibly proud of how all four of my smalls worked so hard to improve their reading. And how the slightly bigger smalls helped the smaller smalls.

5. Do a family field trip to see a Blue Jays game.
Ha ha! Another one deserving of a poultry dinner. We’re going to see the Jays play Baltimore on Saturday!

6. Paint the laundry/powder room, including refinishing the cabinets.
In progress. Walls are painted, trim is installed in the laundry area and the cabinets are primed. Also, the door is back on, so privacy is possible again – yay for not seeing that which you cannot unsee!

7. Take my minion army to a splash pad at least once a week.
Splash pads have been a tad disappointing this year. The smalls didn’t have as much fun and I expected, so we changed it up. They played in the sprinkler and earlier this week we hit De La Salle beach for the morning. So, overall, the water play goal isn’t a total loss.

8. Deal with ‘Draft’ blog posts once and for all.
This one is a bit of a draw. I dealt with quite a few ‘draft’ posts, but, of course, I also created more. The scales may be tipped a little bit towards having fewer ‘draft’ posts than I started with so my beaten and bruised ego demands that I call this one a non-failure.

9. Do a big field trip to the ROM, complete with GO Train rides.
Done! Except we skipped the GO train and drove to my mum’s house and parked at the subway station. But we’ll do the GO another time, so giving myself a pass on that one. And bonus points for everyone surviving and having lots of fun! Yay, us! I didn’t lose a single small (for longer than five minutes) the whole time. And the kids LOVED taking the subway. Granted, we didn’t ride during rush hour, so they weren’t privy to the whole aromatic experience that summer on the TTC is famous for. Baby steps. 🙂

This is a good summary of our trip to and our day at the ROM ;)

This is a good summary of our trip to and our day at the ROM 😉

10. Go and visit with Nana once a week.
Except for this week and the weeks that we were out-of-town, we have done pretty well with this one. Happy all around.

11. Create, frame, and hang individual chore lists for each of my minions.
FAIL. I did buy the frames for the project though. That counts, doesn’t it? No? Ugh. Slug.

12. Go for one lunch and one dinner picnic each week.
FAIL. Just did not happen. But we had lots of yummy dinners and lunches, and a couple of my smalls now love eating tomatoes and cucumbers right out of the garden, which is just almost exactly like having a picnic. But alone. And with fewer picnic table splinters and less work for me.

13. Blog twice a week.
I fell down a bit of this one as of late. I have been updating the blog’s Instagram and Facebook pages but putting together actual BLOG posts has eluded me the past few weeks.

14. Set up a new bed for Pax, re-arrange the furniture all the minion’s rooms to optimize their spaces.
FAIL. Pax remains slumbering in his old bed and the furniture all remains as is. This does need to happen, so it’s still on my ‘to do’ list for September.

15. Make sure we get some family time at the cottage.
Done! I haven’t gotten around to blogging about it yet, but our time there included lots of sunshine, thunderstorms, swimming, fishing, roofing, plumbing, repairs, and destruction. There were books read, puzzles built and wild raspberries consumed on a daily basis. There were bites, stings, and a quiet afternoon spent in the ER (everyone is fine!). All in all, we packed a\lot into our cottage time and can’t wait to do it again (perhaps this time skipping the destruction, stings, and ER 😉 )

16. Read one book a week (for myself, no pictures, no large font 😉 ).
I’m working on this one, I’m nowhere near a book a week, but I’m still pleased that I’ve made a bit of time to get through a few books.

Bad Monkey at the beach. I just can't get enough of Hiaasen's writing - it just never gets old.

Bad Monkey at the beach. I just can’t get enough of Hiaasen’s writing – it just never gets old.

17. Go for nature walks weekly.
FAIL. No excuse. I may have previously mentioned that I’m a slug.

18. Wash the car with the kids twice a month.
FAIL. Mr. K.B. washed it that one time and it looked so good for quite a while. Until the kids and I drove home up Warden Avenue, which is all torn apart and a big water trunk drove past us while wetting the dirt road to keep the dust down. The state of the van was pretty much written off at that point.

19. Re-vamp the basement space.
Mostly a big, juicy FAIL. Maybe once I get Pax’s new bed set up and out of the basement I’ll be all inspired to get the rest of it overhauled. But probably not. More likely than not, I’ll get as far as creating a hiding spot for myself under the stairs…

20. Crochet blankets (lapghan or better) and/or scarves for my minion army.
FAILY, MCFAIL, FAIL. It’s just so stinkin’ hot! But, excuses aside, this also needs to happen, so on the September ‘to do’ list it goes.

So, at the end of it all, I may not have pulled off “Supermum, Superwife, SuperHomemaker, SuperBlogger, SuperCrafter, SuperFitness, Superwoman” status, but I know that my smalls had a good summer, I know that we had some really, wonderful family times, mum-child times, and summer times. So, in my whole touchy-feely, itchy-bitchy, be-nicer-to-myself way, I’m going to forgo the mental and emotional self-flagellation and instead make myself some brownies for managing to keep everyone happy, healthy and alive for another whole summer.

Can we have just six more months of this, please???

Can we have just six more months of this, please???

Now, to start my Autumn 2015 Bucket List, because my winter bucket list is easy. It consists of one thing. Just SURVIVE IT.

Almost three weeks in, time for a 2015 Summer Bucket List Check-In

I thought today may be a good time check in with my Summer 2015 Bucket List and take stock of how I’m doing, where I’m winning and where I’m tanking.

1. Go for daily walks (not strolls) for a minimum of 45 minutes.
I’m calling is a partial – 50/50 win/tank. Room for improvement, so a good walk is on tap for later today. Get ready for it feet!

Keswick sunsets are simply breathtaking. I love walking in the evening, even if I am a mosquito magnet.

Keswick sunsets are simply breathtaking. I love walking in the evening, even if I am a mosquito magnet.

2. Organize and declutter the linen closet.
Not yet. Although I did get the suitcase put away in there again, but organized and decluttered the closet is not.

3. Go for a bike ride with the kids three times a week (at least).
The kids have ridden their bikes almost daily. My bike is still hiding in the shed. Probably terrified at the thought of having to cart me around the block a time or two. But I did buy a helmet, so I’m on the right track on this one.

4. Go to the library weekly.
We are rocking this one! The smalls are loving the summer reading club and have been reading like mad. Once or twice a week to the library is our norm so far. Yay, us!

Miranda's rocking her library swag! The kids want to wear these bags everywhere now - LOL!

Miranda’s rocking her library swag! The kids want to wear these bags everywhere now – LOL!

5. Do a family field trip to see a Blue Jays game.
Not yet. Am thinking this will be an August event.

6. Paint the laundry/powder room, including refinishing the cabinets.
Not even close. I still need to empty the cabinets, take everything off the walls and as Mr. K.B. to sort out the baseboard situation behind the washer and dryer before any real painting can start. So, am thinking this will end up being an August project as well.

7. Take my minion army to a splash pad at least once a week.
We went to the Whipper Watson splash pad. But it was one of the colder days of summer, so it wasn’t quite the fun we were anticipating. Running through the sprinkler the following week was a much bigger hit though!

8. Deal with ‘Draft’ blog posts once and for all.
I’ve been hammering on this one left and right. I think that I have either finished writing, trashed or published eight posts, previously known as ‘Drafts’ since deciding to make doing so a priority.

9. Do a big family field trip to the ROM, complete with GO Train rides.
Another August event, methinks.

10. Go and visit with Nana once a week.
We’ve done well with this one. And we’ll see her later this week as well. So far, so good.

11. Create, frame, and hang individual chore lists for each of my minions.
Need to get on this one. Chores are one of those slow, agonizing things around here unless there’s a great deal of crying and whining involved and I really want to bring the volume down around here. And regain some of my dignity. My children are beginning to think that I’m just a big baby with all of my whining.

12. Go for one lunch and one dinner picnic each week.
We’ve done well picnicking on the weekends, but so far, all of our weekday lunches have been at home. I’ll need to start setting up picnics in the backyard for them.

13. Blog twice a week.
This has been happening. At least twice a week. Plus I’ve been miles better about posting regularly to the  blog’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. 🙂

14. Set up a new bed for Pax, re-arrange the furniture all the minion’s rooms to optimize their spaces.
Have not yet set up the bed but some furniture has been re-arranged and we have done a preliminary clean out and purge of some high-risk areas (desks and closets).

15. Make sure we get some family time at the cottage.
Hoping to get some cottage time later this month, but we shall see.

16. Read one book a week (for myself, sans pictures and large font).
I’m working my way through a book at a snail’s pace, but I’m reading, so I’m claiming this one as a quasi-win. It’s hard to take/make time to read for myself, but I do so enjoy it.

17. Go for nature walks weekly.
We have yet to get into our forest, it’s been buggy as heck lately, but we’re exploring nature on our regular daily and weekend outings.
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18. Wash the car with the kids twice a month.
Hasn’t happened yet. Maybe a fun Friday activity. We shall see.

19. Re-vamp the basement space.
Have gotten some clearing done in the dance room and bar area, but I’m still miles from being able to call this accomplished.

20. Crochet blankets (lapghan or better) and/or scarves for my minions.
This one I haven’t touched yet, but really need to get on or else I am running the risk of not having them all completed in time (I crochet s-l-o-w-l-y).

Next Bucket List check in will be the first week in August. I’ll try to have some impressive results by then. I’m a slow starter, I suppose. Also, I need to remember to bring out my camera more often – I’ve just realized that I’m super light on July pictures this year. 😉

 

Summer Bucket List 2015 – Keeping it real and doing this in two parts. Part 2

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Last week, I posted Part One of my Summer 2015 Bucket list and wrote about how I’m a list maker. Well, now, a week later, I’m finally back with part two. Why a week later, you ask? Well, confession time. I broke my cardinal rule of list making. I deviated from my notebook method and wrote my very important bucket list on a couple of sticky notes. Sticky notes! What was I thinking? Those things are so stinkin’ small that it’s taken me until today to find them again. So, this time it didn’t end in disaster, but lesson learned. No more winging it and using scraps of paper to jot notes on, write lists or record anything else I may need to reference again. At any point in my life.

So now, with fewer than three days left in our school year, and again in no particular order, here the final 10 items on my Summer 2015 Bucket List:

1. Create, frame, and hang individual chore lists for each of my minions.
They all want to help. They all want to do things around the house. Then they all want to fight about who gets to do what until I toss them all out and do it myself. Clearly this system is lacking. And they are either absolute genuis’ and figured out how to get out of doing just about everything or else they just need a little bit more direction on how we’re going to divvy the fun up.

2. Go for one lunch and one dinner picnic each week.
This one needs no real explanation. The kids LOVE eating outside and we all love a good park BBQ, so I need to make this one happen. Lunches will be less fancy than dinners, consisting mostly of sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, and water. 😉

3. Blog twice a week.
This needs to happen. I feel better when I blog. It makes my heart happy. It makes me feel more productive and competent. I tend to over complicate my blog posts to the point that I write myself into a corner and then retreat and try to figure out how to bring it around again. I’m going to work on simplifying things and just getting the posts out there.

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4. Set up a new bed for Pax, re-arrange the furniture all the minion’s rooms to optimize their spaces.
It’s time to replace Pax’s bed and it’s also time to re-assess what each of them needs in their rooms vs. what is currently in their rooms. Everything may change or only a few things may change. Or not much more than a good purge and organization may happen, but either way, all good things.

5. Make sure we get some family time at the cottage.
This aims to be our main family vacation this year. Last year we took Cape Cod by storm, but the Canadian dollar is being an asshole this year and keeping us north of the border and away from my beloved Aldi’s, Big Lots, and L.L. Bean. BUT, the upside is that this means that we’ll be able to have a longer than normal block of time at the cottage (and the frites stand!), which we are all really looking forward to and really, really need after the busy year we’ve had since getting home from the Cape.

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6. Read one book a week (for myself, no pictures, no large font 😉 ).
I was always a voracious reader. I would read all day and night if I could. And then, once I had more than one child to care for, reading became a thing of the past. Unless there were pictures, rhyming phrases or tactile 3D images to feel, I all but stopped reading it. And I love books. I love turning the pages, I love having a story unfold in front of me and awaken my imagination. So, I’m going to make the effort to bring this back into my life, as my life is now – not as someone who can afford to read for 12 hours straight, but rather someone who is crazy busy, has eleventy-billion things to do at any given moment but who also realizes that part of raising readers to lead by example, and let them see me READ, quietly, to myself. Good example and self-care at the same time = one multi-tasking mama!

7. Go for nature walks weekly.
My smalls love the forest. They love nature and they love family walks. So we’re going to roll all of that love into one and start walking the forest paths. It’s so lovely in there and we usually take a plastic bag so that  we can pick up any trash we find and dispose of it properly.

8. Wash the car with the kids twice a month.
This is something that Mr. KB usually does with the kids, but this summer, I think the smalls and I will tackle this chore a couple of times a month, shine our ride and all that. And maybe have a bit of water play at the same time. 😉

9. Re-vamp the basement space.
The basement has become a catch-all. It houses the dance room, winter coat storage, a kids play area, the pantry, pellet stove, workroom, and more. And this space needs to be re-organized to make sense and to make it more useable.

10. Crochet blankets (lapghan or better) and/or scarves for my minions.
I have the wool in all of their favourite colours. I have the tools that I need (if not the skills, but that’s another post). I have the minions who want blankies and scarves and hats and whatever else I can figure out. So, it’s time to power through and get something made up for them. This is on my summer list, but in reality, I expect this one to take until December – just in time for Christmas?!?

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So, while there are so many things that I want to do and get done, if I accomplish these 20 things, I’ll consider it a summer well done 🙂