Archive for the ‘Life with Boys’ Category


Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

send them love at camp | Where is June?

Summer in our house means putting together care packages to send to the boys at camp.  I can only imagine how happy they are to receive a box at mail time.  It is tough to find just the right things to include in care mail packages.

Here are ideas for three different care packages in case you are in need of some inspiration:

care package 1 | Where is June?

Care Package #1 {Camp does not allow food in care mail.}

1.  Pillow Case and sharpies for cabin mates to sign.  This is Big W’s package so I am sending him his pillow case that has been signed year after year.

2. Powerade Zero drops.

3.  A new suit.

4.  A bundle of bracelets to share.

5.  A memo book to write down email addresses or Instagram handles.

6.  Would You Rather? card game.

7.  LEGO mini-pack.

8.  Glow-in-the Dark bouncy balls.


care package 2 | Where is June?

Care Package #2 {Camp does not allow food in care mail.}

1.  Bright socks.

2.  Splash Flying Disc.

3.  LEGO mini pack

4. NEW pillow case and sharpies for a first time camper.

5. Powerade Zero Drops

6.  Memo book and a Hangman Game Pad.

7.  Mini-flashlight.

8.  Yo Yo.


care package 3

Care Package #3 {Camp does allow food and candy!}

1.  Wind up toy.

2.  Glow-in-the-Dark Bouncy Balls

3.  Gummy Bears.

4.  Nutella & Go!

5.  Spoons Card Game.

6.  LEGO mini pack

7.  NEW pillow case and sharpies for a first time camper.

8.  Hangman Game Pad and Powerade Zero drops


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Monday, June 29th, 2015

pitch a tent | Where is June?

Summer fun does not have to be expensive or elaborate.  You don’t even need to leave your back yard!   Pitch a tent and sleep outside.  Kids of all ages love camping out and it becomes a club house of sorts. You can crash with them or let them sleep on their own.  My boys have have a lantern they keep on low during the night.   I love seeing the tent glow from my kitchen windows.

Isn’t summer the best?!


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Monday, May 4th, 2015


It is said that baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than adult snakes because they haven’t learned to control the amount of venom they inject when they bite.  They just release all their venom in one swift, deadly release.  Now, this little fact is mostly likely not scientifically sound-but for the sake of my argument let’s say it is.

I am raising a baby rattlesnake.

Little Man is a tightly wound ball of emotions.  He can go from a kind, sweet boy to door-slamming, venomous creature in a matter of seconds.  What can set him off?  His iPad not responding, losing or not performing well in a game, a change in schedule, his socks.  It is my job to teach him how to control is venom.  He 100% got it from me.  {I 100% believe it is the Italian blood coursing through our veins. While I was not as volatile or stubborn, I was a master door slammer and screamer.}  Navigating this as a family can be difficult and challenging.  In public, it can be frustrating and embarrassing.

What have I learned {and continue to learn}:

1.  Acknowledge his feelings. 

Often he is verbalizing exactly how most of us feel.  Software glitches, a strike out, traffic, homework, Mondays.  No one likes these things.   I find myself saying, “I understand it is super frustrating.”  I say it over and over.  I am not sure if it super helpful, but I  want him to know that I recognize what he is feeling.

2.  Set him up for success.  Be flexible.

I try to be ready with a preemptive strike.  I know him well enough now to foresee certain situations.  Before a our LEGOLand visit, we talked about lines and how there is likely to be long waits for rides.  We checked out the interactive online map and plotted a course to a coveted ride.  I sat out with him when he didn’t want to ride the BIG roller coaster.  Instead we wandered around {just the two of us} and found an exhibit where he could build a robot.  Sometimes he just needs down time.

3.  Let him be.

He knows what he likes and wants. When he was really young, I used to coax him or force him to do something he didn’t want to do.  Jump in jumpy houses, go on a merry-go-round, pet a dog. The list goes on and on.  Then one day it dawned on me.  If he doesn’t want to, don’t make him.  Let him be.  Well, let him be, unless it involves his education, safety or being polite.

4.  There is a limit!

He needs to know that while we do have control of many things, life is a series of readjustments and compromises.  I serve him no good, if I smooth every path for him.  And honestly, I am just not that patient.  There comes a time where enough is enough.  Time alone in his room often does the trick, for both of us.  I’d like to say I am always the calm, serene role model he needs.  Uh, nope.  I do yell and I do lose it.  {I am saving for his future therapy!}  My challenge is being consistent.

From my own experience, the outbursts decrease with age and maturity.  However, as the parent, I will just need to survive and come out on the other side of this. Thankfully, we have wonderful friends and family that care about Little Man and show great love toward him.  I appreciate their willingness to help him navigate the world and continually support me in return.  He is endearing and has a lovely soul.  I so want the world to see that!



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Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Lessons from a Strike Out | WHERE IS JUNE?

Big W had a Little League baseball game last night.  I could tell he was going to have a great game when he struck out swinging during his first at-bat.  And I was right!  Two more turns at the plate brought swings, foul tips, and a throw out at first.  He gave a top-notch effort and had his best game of the season.  I know you are probably wondering if I am being serious, right?  I am 100% serious and seriously proud!

While I cheered wildly for his strike out, many parents looked over their shoulders-wondering if I had lost my mind.  You see, W has probably been up to bat fifteen times this season and had not swung the bat once.  Not once.  {This is actually a carry over from last season as well.}  Only he knows why.  But last night he stepped up to the plate and swung at the first pitch.

What have I learned?  Be patient with your kids.  They are not on all on the same trajectory.  It is difficult to watch your child struggle.  But, struggle teaches resiliency.  Be a great team parent.  Get to know the kids on your child’s team.  Scream madly when the kid that never gets a hit, suddenly ends up on first.  Tell those babies that you love to watch them play.  Cheer on every success, even if that success is a strike out!  Find the lessons in the game outside of being an all-star.  Encourage them to grow as person and as a teammate.  Tell them to have fun and be great.

I can’t wait to watch him play next.  Who knows, he may even get a hit!


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Monday, January 26th, 2015

Classroom Valentines

The holiday filled with paper hearts, delicious candy, and love notes is right around the corner.  Everyone loves Valentine’s Day, right?  Well, kids do at least.

It is Big W’s last year in elementary school, so this is his grand finale for classroom Valentine exchanges.  If he gives a Valentine next year, that will be a different story entirely!  {Oh, the joys of middle school.  Do you remember?} Kid’s Valentine’s Day Cards are hard to find once you have grown beyond Batman and Disney Princesses.  Last year, we were lucky to find Pear Tree Greetings!  Their classroom valentine cards are simple, easy to personalize, and fun to exchange.

It took Big W and Little Man a total of 1 second to choose this year’s Valentine card.  Fake mustaches.  BOOM!  These darling mustaches have a pre-punched hole for a lollipop or sucker.  The kids unwrap the pop and it looks like they have a stache while they are eating it.  Personalize it with your child’s name and you are done!  There are no envelopes to address, so the kids just have to add the lollipop and pass one to each classmate.  Wouldn’t a class photo with fake mustaches be amazing?!?

Today, I have partnered with Pear Tree Greetings for a $25 {shipping not included} giveaway.  Use it to buy your kid’s Valentine’s Day cards and cross that off of your list.  To enter, simply visit Pear Tree Greetings and leave a comment here telling me your favorite Valentine card design.  Receive an additional entry if you share this post on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.  For social media entries, be sure to tag me or use hashtag #whereisjunevalentine.   Entries close this Wednesday, January 28 @ 11:59 PST.  The winner will be announced on Facebook and by direct email.  {Be sure to like the Where is June? Facebook page!}


I chose a few more that I think are awesome!

fun classroom valentines

Clockwise from top left:

Heart Day Lollipop//Super Powers//Monster Lollipop//Colorful Macarons

Also, all of the personalized cards the boys picked last year are still available!

Use BEMINE15 promo code and receive 15% off your order -plus Free Shipping.  Expires 2/7/2015

{Mustache valentine cards c/o Pear Tree Greetings. Photo by Where is June?}


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Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

wing man

In the last few weeks, I have been missing my Wing Man.  For 5.5 years, Little Man was my partner in crime.  We did everything together.  While big brother was away at school and Daddy was working, it was just the two of us.  I will freely admit that from the moment I became a full-time housewife, I dreamed of the day when both of my boys were in school.  My sanity hung in the balance most of the time.  I longed for adult interaction and interesting outings.  Most activities centered around him.  The park, the aquarium, indoor play, soccer class-you name it.  Carving out time for myself was nearly impossible.

When Little Man was three we found Barre 3.  The studio provided child care during the 1 hour workout.  The workout out was amazing, I didn’t have to find a sitter, and it was a perfect outing.  He loved it too. Usually bringing his own pack with snacks and a few toys.  After class, we would walk to the nearby public library, jumping in puddles on the way.  We would read a few books and spend time playing on the computer.  I would drop him off at our local play center to eat lunch and play with friends- leaving me with a quiet afternoon alone.  Tuesday and Thursdays quickly became our favorite days.   It saved me in many ways.

I hadn’t been to Barre 3 in quite sometime, but returned just recently.  I felt odd not having him with me. My boys are still not BIG in relative terms, but they certainly aren’t little anymore.  I found myself thinking nostalgically of our time together.  With enough distance, I now see how special and precious it really was!  I used to roll my eyes and grimace every time a woman would say to me, “Oh, treasure this time.  It goes by so fast.”  The thought that popped into my head {other than punching the nice woman in the face} was, “How many hours until bedtime?”  BUT now I get it.  For those of you in the middle of the preschool years, I feel your pain. I am not going to be the obnoxious girl who tells you how wonderful your life is.  I know that it is hard, unforgiving, and thankless most days.

But there are moments being written onto your heart that will be there forever.  And a few years from now, you will be driving to workout and tear up.  You will remember that little body in the back, chattering at you about cranes and semi-trucks.  Your heart will be sick that the little hand that reached for yours is now holding onto handle bars riding to school on his own.  Those darling, little rain boots are packed away in the garage as a keepsake.

So for now, I am holding onto him tightly when he will let me and reminding myself to enjoy him.  I have learned that the stress and angst of every phase will fade and what is left is wonderful, sweet memories.


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Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

sleeping babes

We all of have extremely busy lives, for better or worse.  So it got me thinking.  What is your favorite moment during the day?   Maybe it is an early morning run or a mid-day coffee break by yourself.  For me, it’s the moments just before I tuck myself into bed.  I check in on my boys before I head to my room.  Pull up covers, take off glasses, place books on the floor, and turn out the lights.  I sneak a peck on the cheek and run my fingers through their hair.  And then I just look at them.

In those moments I can see all that is good in them.  There is no frustration or angst.   No homework to be done, no arguments about screen time, no practice to rush off to, no battle to wage.  My worries, that seem to live just beneath the surface, settle.  I got them through another day and they are safely sleeping.  They are wonderfully perfect.  I smile.

Do you feel the same about watching your kids sleep?

I really would love to know…..  What is your favorite time of the day?


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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Guys Read Squish

Little Man adores graphic novels.  His first love is Lunch Lady.  He has read all 10 and we are patiently waiting for a new book in the series!  Hoping to find a new series for him to devour, I recently purchased Squish #1, Super Amoeba.  To my delight, he took it to school and finished it-cover to cover- in one day!   It’s simple with most young boys- get them laughing and you get them reading!

This brother-sister {illustrator/writer} team combine simple a simple color palette and a reader friendly-lay out with story lines focused on navigating school, life and bullies!  That is a one, two punch.   Books that kids want read and parents are happy to buy!

Give Squish a try! There are 6 titles in this series and counting.

For more great resources on how to get your guy to read, pop on over to Guys Read.  It is a web-based literacy program for boys, founded by author and First National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature -Jon Scieszka, with a mission to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers.  Good stuff!!

Need more titles??





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Wednesday, October 8th, 2014


While this shot is lovely, don’t be fooled.  My life does not always look like this.  Yesterday morning our selfie would have been one, very unflattering snapshot.

Little Man decided to take a quick spin down the driveway and around the cul de sac on his scooter-just before I drove him to school.  I was inside grabbing my cup of coffee and keys.  He came in whimpering and moaning.  His left knee had a huge abrasion and was oozing blood.  After a quick patch job with the materials I had on hand, I decided it would be best if we stopped by the nurse’s office before sending him to class.  And this is where the morning took a sharp and embarrassing turn for mom.  {My dear friend jokes with me that my stories would make great sitcom episodes.  Yesterday that was TOTALLY true!}

As I was holding his hand and walking into the school, I took a quick assessment of my appearance.  I had not changed my clothes and was wearing the clothes in which I had slept.  A pair of cropped sweats smeared with blood, a white ribbed tank top, a ratty sweatshirt that should not be allowed out of my house, and NO BRA.  Ok, let me stop for a moment.  I was not wearing a bra.  I am a girl that should never go braless.  Never.  Top that off with a pair of black Crocs, no makeup and morning breath and I was quite a sight!

To make it even more fantastic, Little Man asked if I could please walk with him to his class since he was so late.  I didn’t have the heart to say no.  There was no avoiding how horrible I looked, so I decided to just go with it.  I helped him get settled, greeted his teacher, and chatted with a few friends.

While telling the story last night at dinner, Aaron and I joked about looking my worst in public.  Little Man chimed in with an astute observation that I could look worse.  “Mom, you could have had messy hair, no clothes on, and been sick.”

Well, there’s that.



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Friday, June 27th, 2014

ready for summer

slip and slide fun

sliding in to summer

Yep.  After a great kick off last week, birthday celebrations x 2, and one major dental procedure under general anesthesia- we are all in!  Summer, be warned because this crew is ready for anything and everything.  After too much time off, I am picking up my camera, brainstorming like crazy and eager to get back to being creative.

Have a great weekend!  What are you up to?  We are busy packing and will be dropping off both of our little guys at sleep-away camp.  BIG!  Huge, actually.  Is Little Man up for the challenge?



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Where is June?


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