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.

March Break Instalment of Things My Kids Say


We were driving home from Newmarket, after a semi-satisfying lunch at Costco, (for the kids, I behaved and stuck to sipping my Diet Pepsi and pretended not to be hungry) and as usual, we listened to the radio during the drive. “An Angel in Blue Jeans” by Train came on. The kids were listening to the music, talking to each other, singing along, picking their noses, covertly poking each other in the eye – you know, all the usual stuff kids do when you’re powerless to stop them because you’re stuck driving the car. Anyway, all of a sudden, Mason bursts out:

“Miranda! Miranda! Did you hear that? Did you hear what the song said?”

“Nooooo. What’d it say?”

“It said ‘Life is but a dream, I was shot down by Olaf, my angel in blue jeans.’ ”

“Whaaaaat?!?” Miranda says in horror.

*I die laughing, but somehow don’t ditch the van in the process*

“No, guys, it’s ‘I was shot down by your love‘ not ‘shot down by Olaf!” I had to tell them. Because letting Miranda believe that Olaf was a) shooting people and b) an angel in blue jeans just seemed wrong beyond reason. Mas is still skeptical that I am right about the lyrics, but out of his love for his sister and her love for Olaf, he isn’t pushing it. Thanks God. (Also, I should add, that Miranda pronounces ‘Olaf” as ‘O-Love’ which makes me smile every time she utters his name).


“I know what your favourite thing is Mummy.”

“What’s that, hon?”

“US! Your favourite thing is us.”

*Heart fills with happiness and explodes. Heart too happy.*


As the kids were heading outside to play, two JW’s came walking up our porch.

“MUMMY! People are here!”


“I dunno. People!” (I know, this makes us sound like a remote mountain family, but I promise you, my kids are used to seeing people, almost everyday, in fact).

I open the door, still clad in my classy polar fleece jammie pants and over-sized beat-up house sweater, as two J.W.’s are approaching, literature in hand.

Smiling sweetly (I think) “Oh! Hello.” Then, noticing the literature in the first woman’s hand, I quickly add “Oh, no thank you!”

Looking confused while their eyes take in my homeless housewife-chic attire, one of them says “It’s only an invitation.” (‘because clearly you are in desperate need of help and saving, if not for you, then think of these poor misguided children!’ – This bit remained unspoken and was conveyed in the look of disbelief in their eyes)

“Oh, we’ve had those before. We don’t go. But thank you so much again!” Closing the door slowly as they started to turn and leave.

Mason: “Oh, sure Mom, like you really meant that!”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Mason turns on the falsetto and big smile ” ‘Oh, thank you so much! No thank you!’ Yeah, you didn’t mean that at all, did you?”

Busted again. Oh well. I’m sure the J.W.’s will return and I’ll have another chance to try to decline indoctrination and being saved with more sincerity next time.


Deacon: “Pineapple, coconut, BIG BANANA!” At the breakfast table while doing a dance indicating which body part is which. I’ll leave that with your and your imagination to sort out. Me? I just tried to pretend that I did not just hear and see my eight-year-old gyrating and gesturing thusly. Focus on his beautiful smile, I told myself. That didn’t really work, no. I’m still traumatized.


Paxton informed me that he was “practicing kindness” today and that he hoped that he didn’t forget to be good while we were out and about this afternoon. He didn’t forget to be good. He did a great job listening and cooperating. Driving home though, he grabbed a book out of his sister’s hand. She objected. LOUDLY. She was not letting him get away with it. I thought I would help, honestly more to stop the yelling than anything else, but whatever my motivation, I was trying to help.

“Pax, remember you told me that you were practicing kindness today?”

“Oh yeah. I forgot.”

“Well, was it kind to grab that book out of your sister’s hand?”


“It sounds like she’s pretty upset.”


“So, do you think that maybe you should give it back to her and apologize? Would that be the kind thing to do?”

“I guess so. Here you go, Miranda. So-rry.”

“That’s okay, Paxton. Hey, when we get home, you wanna play spies?”

So, just moments before, Ms. M was screaming and yelling at hearing-damage-gonna-happen volumes because her brother took a book (well, really a free pamphlet about outdoor accessories from Lowes) out of her hand without asking. And so I intervened and did the calm and guiding parent thing and lead Pax to do the right thing, and she’s already over it before he finished saying ‘sorry’? It is times like that when I wonder if I should just let them figure it out on their own. But then I remember the very real feeling of wanting to rip my own ears off to stop the pain of being trapped in a vehicle listening to them bicker, yell, whine and cry, over essentially, nothing, and decide no. Left to their own devices, they will keep that fight alive ALL DAY LONG. It is only when they drag Mom into it that the fight loses all of its shiny new-car appeal. So, by jumping into the middle of these seemingly meaningless arguments I am assuring my own sanity and survival. It’s just like wrestling a crocodile, only different.

For all the arguing, crying, fighting, there's also so much hugging, laughing and loving. That I love my kids is never in question. That they love each other, I often wonder, but they always let me know in little ways that they really do love each other.

For all the arguing, crying, and fighting that goes on around here on any given day, there’s also so much hugging, playing, laughing and loving. That I love my kids is never in question. That they love each other, well I often wonder, but they always find ways to reassure me and each other that they really do love one another.