Posts Tagged ‘life with boys’

SUMMER FUN: PITCH A TENT

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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MY BABY RATTLESNAKE

Monday, May 4th, 2015

MY BABY RATTLESNAKE

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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STRUCK OUT SWINGING

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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FUN CLASSROOM VALENTINES + A GIVEAWAY {CLOSED}

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!}

UPDATE:  GIVEAWAY CLOSED.  MEGAN IS THE LUCKY WINNER!

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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MISSING MY WING MAN

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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WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF DAY?

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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THEY ARE NOT ALL GLAMOUR SHOTS

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

IMG_1169

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.

#motheroftheyear

 

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A CALM START

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Get it Done | Where is June?

And so begins another school year.  After what can be described as THE BEST SUMMER EVER, my kids started school this week with really very little fanfare.  Team Thomas is in a lovely spot where nothing is new, it is the same old thing, and the kids know how it all goes.  Being a veteran mama, I know this moment of calm will not remain.   Stealing a line from Ms. Winfrey, this I know for sure.  In the past, I would worry about what is to come-but worry is futile.  Not sure I would call it wisdom, but it feels good to simply enjoy where we are RIGHT now.

After a couple days of spinning my wheels, I got some sh*t done yesterday.  I wrote a to do list and threw all I needed in a “run around” bag.  After a hard {mostly uphill} run, I finished my errands in an hour or so.  As a helpful friend, I thought I would share the info on a few items that ended up in my bag.

Amazingly awesome thank you cards from Rifle Paper Co.   I have long overdue thank you notes to write and these are just perfect.

Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny Rosenstrach.  This new cookbook is going to change my life.  That may be a stretch but I am totally excited about it.  It is a 30-day plan for mastering the art of the family meal. I will share more in the weeks to come.  My husband is more than thrilled that I am looking forward to cooking dinner after months of having no interest.

Instagram prints from Walgreens.  Using the mobile app I was able to make prints of Instagram photos for Little Man’s homework assignment.  I truly adore the 4×4 size of the prints.  You might say I am obsessed with Instagram and its prints!

Thanks for being patient for new blog posts.  Life as a full time mom-especially during the summer- is a juggling act.  I SO appreciate your support.  Remember to like Where is June? on Facebook, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and subscribe right here for new posts to be delivered to your inbox.

Have a great weekend!

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SUMMER: WE’RE ALL IN!

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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WORLD’S TOUGHEST JOB

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

out of the picture

Have you seen the video below?  It is so, so good!  Just hit play.

Oh my goodness, the comments!  How can you not smile?

A little intense.  That’s crazy.  A sick twisted joke.  Almost cruel.  No, that’s inhumane.  Insane.  No, nobody would do that for free.

For all you moms out there,  thank you for all you do to make this planet a beautiful place.  We are all in this together {but sometimes not in the picture}.  xoxo

 

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Where is June?

 

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