Monday, September 10, 2012

Bucket List Report Card

This spring I took my cue from nearly every mother on Pinterest and came up with a bucket list to guide us through the long, summer days of June, July, and August.

Here's what we accomplished, along with proof (when I had it) in the form of either the blog post I wrote about the activity or the pictures we snapped:
  • Go bowling
  • Go to the movies
  • Visit the zoo
  • Make traveling information bracelets
  • Too bad we forgot to wear them when we traveled.
  • Roast hot dogs and marshmallows
  • Visit a splash pad
  • Build a sandcastle at the beach
  • Make popsicles
  • Participate in the library summer reading program
  • Ride bikes to the swimming pool
  • Watch 4th of July fireworks
  • Perform a science experiment
  • I'm not really sure what we learned, but it was cool
    to watch the liquid travel from the higher glass to
    the lower glass.  (Anyone know why the blue separated
    itself out and traveled ahead of the purple?)
  • Shower in the backyard
  • Catch a fish
  • Play in the rain
  • Puffy paint t-shirts
  • Hold a garage sale
  • Take swimming lessons
  • Eat ice cream for dinner
  • Bake cookies
  • Play jacks
  • Make salt dough necklaces
  • Visit the children's museum
  • The view from the "crow's nest" on the roof of the
    Madison Children's Museum - not too shabby!
  • Eat breakfast at the Farmers' Market
  • Listen to live music
  • Watch the Olympics
  • Build a fort
  • Have a tea party
Then there were the activities we attempted, or accomplished some version of:
  • Visit Schlitterbahn Waterpark.  We didn't make it to Schlitterbahn, but we did have a blast at Mt. Olympus Amusement and Waterpark in Wisconsin Dells.
  • Play with water balloons.  I failed to recognize ahead of time that the kids wouldn't be able to play with water balloons - because they can't tie balloons - without me.  Will would have played with them every day, but since Hallie had a meltdown as soon as she realized she would be Will's target and it wasnt much fun for me to stand next to the faucet and tie balloons for hours on end, we really only threw a couple of balloons before we called it a day. 
  • Water ski.  Will started learning how to water ski but hasn't yet made it UP on his skis.
  • Volunteer.  It was tougher than I thought it would be to find a volunteer activity for Will, Hallie, and me to do together; the best I could come up with was shopping for and then donating school supplies for the Stuff the Bus school supply collection drive.  I gave both Will and Hallie a small amount of money and then let them choose supplies they thought kids their ages would really enjoy.
  • Let the kids make dinner.  I assumed Will would stick to foods and drinks he KNOWS how to prepare (hotdogs, pretzels, toast, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, and whole fruit and veggies).  I was wrong.  I bit my tongue when he decided he was going to boil an egg, but one glimpse of Will trying to slice an apple with a butter knife was enough to draw this bucket list activity to a close.  I'm grateful we avoided a trip to the ER.
  • Play the license plate game.  I'm a HUGE fan of this game and have no idea why I let it slide this year.  Next year I'm going to knock all 50 out of the park.  (I did see both Alaska and Hawaii this year though, which is a victory in and of itself.)
  • Finger paint.  As it turns out, neither Will nor Hallie is at all interested in painting with their hands.  Something about getting dirty.  Which is funny, because they have no problem covering themselves in dirt and grass, or coloring on themselves with markers.  Instead, Hallie painted enough water color pictures to wallpaper her bedroom. 
And finally, a few of the activities we didn't even get close to:
  • Ice skate.  I really thought we'd hit the indoor ice rink at least a couple of times this summer - what better way to cool off on a sultry summer afternoon than going ice skating?!  I didn't realize until about halfway through the summer that taking two kids who'd never even worn ice skates (I'm an embarrassment to my Wisconsin roots) would require two adults.  Hopefully Tom and I can take the kids skating this fall.
  • Fly kites.  Broke the kite.  Didn't buy another one.  Oh well.
  • Play miniature golf.  While there are no miniature golf courses in our area, there is an incredible course in Madison that both kids have played previously and LOVE.  Sadly, 30 days in Madison wasn't enough for us to fit in a trip to this course.
  • Photograph Hallie in my wedding dress.  I completely forgot about this, but am still committed to setting up this photo shoot while Hallie is still a little girl.
  • Hold a lemonade stand.  Lemonade stands are best on warm, sunny days.  So far - both in Wisconsin and in Texas - we've only experienced HOT, HOTTER, and HOTTEST days.  Maybe we'll have a lemonade stand in November.
  • Count the stars.  This was bad planning on my part because ohmygosh the mosquitoes, people.  I can't go outside after the sun sets.
  • Catch fireflies.  See previous explanation.
  • Sail toy boats in the street streams.  Other than the rain we played in at the beginning of the summer (see the picture of Hallie in a pink leotard and carrying a yellow umbrella above) and my two Hunger Games nights, it didn't rain this summer.  Seriously, it's like the heat and drought follow me wherever I go.
I enjoyed creating and working our way through a summer bucket list, but I expected to actually complete the list and when we didn't, I felt a little like we'd "failed summer".  If we make a bucket list again next year I'll make a couple of adjustments: fewer crafts, fewer weather-dependent activities, and fewer activities overall.  I'll also come up with a more interesting way to display the items on the list - perhaps something more tactile that the kids can play with, organize, and have a part in scheduling by rearranging the pieces, cards, clothespins, etc.  And by golly, we are going to make it to Schlitterbahn.  Someone hold me to that.  

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