posted on: Monday, April 30, 2012

Well, today is actually the start of 38 weeks and this baby has no desire to come out. Lots of lifting, up and down the stairs, jumping jacks, spicy foods, and a few unnamed activities have still warranted no need to enter this world. She's comfy--I'm not.
We're hoping to have her here before we move. Did I mention we finally found a place to rent?!
 Halle-freaking-lujah, my friends.
The camp trailer and motel room were becoming alarming real as places to live. Hunk did a lot of house tours and dare I say "he did good" finding a place that not only has plenty of room, but is clean.

Who knew that "cleanliness" would be our number one obstacle in finding a home.

By the way, I've been in a cooking slump lately, any suggestions for easy dinner ideas?!

I feel guilty feeding my family fast food four days in a row...


Kam and Joel's Home

My little sister and I have a lot in common. We often  buy the same clothes, we're addicted to the same television shows, and our styles are mirror images of each other.

We also have many differences too. For instance when Hunk and I were looking at buying our first home we wanted something new that wouldn't require maintenance, Kambrie and Joel on the other hand wanted a place they could fix up and make their own. 

I wish I had pictures of their house from the beginning--it was rough looking, but they saw past the circa 1950 decor and structure and had a vision of something classic and quaint.
Some of the improvements to their home required as little as a paint job and a new set of pillows, while other projects throughout the house involved a full-fledge makeover.

Their living room is a perfect example of simple touches making a huge difference.

The original furniture in the living room was big and bulky giving the room a dark and cluttered feeling. To lighten the room Kambrie added a simple cream slip cover to one of the couches and replaced the other sofa with a set of chairs centered around a "fake" fireplace.

To make the ceiling feel higher she added curtains to the windows that went to the ground thus elongating the wall and giving the illusion of the walls being taller.
She then added simple pops of color throughout the room which gave the room a warm feel while still providing a open and inviting space. 

The kitchen has also drastically improved. ;)

Kambrie and Joel painted the cabinets, replaced the hardware and lighting, while also putting up a sophisticated tiled backsplash. Kambrie also painted the Formica counter tops with a kit from Lowe's to give the illusion of granite.

With simple, yet classic decorations from Michaels and Hobby Lobby she was able to make their was once dark and out-dated kitchen more modern and open.

I'm telling ya, with small spaces LESS is MORE. remember. remember. remember.

There are still a few remnants of their "old" home that help to give character to the area such as the built in toaster (there are also built in clocks and Kleenex boxes throughout the house as well).

The guest bedroom used to be a graveyard of random decorations and boxes. By removing the twin bed and replacing it with a queen, Kambrie was able to make the space more useful while also having a place for guests to stay. 

To make the space feel larger a mirror was added to the dresser to help reflect light and brighten the space.
The basement involved the largest amount of time and effort.

Because the space had never been finished it required carpeting, painting, custom wood planked ceilings, lighting, and multiple structural projects.

While the rest of the house has a very open and bright feeling, this space was meant to be cozy while not feeling as though it was a dingy basement space.

Soft lightning, subtly darker walls, and warmer tones helped to make this space perfect for movie watching and resting.

My favorite "small" touch to their basement theatre area is the beautiful collage Kambrie assembled. Simple, sleek and during the day the glass provides enough reflective light to also help lighten the space.

The basement has also become home to the master bedroom and bath.

Both spaces, while small, seem to be utilized well with the help of lots of storage, strategically placed furniture, and minimal crap.

Yes, we are a family that collects lots of crap so to become minimalists has been a learning experience.

 And did you notice we also have the same bedding?

Kambrie and Joel are currently on a cruise for their one year anniversary. Can you believe it's already been a year???

But when she gets home I will have her write a post on the paint colors and finishes that they used to make their house look less like the Brady Bunch and more like Martha Stewart Living.

Thanks for dropping in lovelies!


baby shower and ramblings...

posted on: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A dear friend, my sisters, and Mom threw me a lovely shower last weekend. Kambrie never seems to disappoint with decorating and the occasion was small enough that socializing didn't seem to be strained by trying to run from one group to the next (with this belly any attempt at running resembles more of a waddling duck) so being able to sit and relax was a surprising relief.

And did I mention my feet?

Holy Hosanna. They resemble watermelons. It feels as though I am walking on balloons. Sadly, all my summer shoes has been put away and replaced with flip flops and slippers--I can't bring myself to wear Crocs though (but I will admit that I just threw away a pair that I bought when they were a fad) Were they ever really a fad?
My neighbor gave us some lemon and almond oil and instructed John to rub my feet every night for ten days to relieve the pressure--I guess there is one good thing to come out of having feet three times there normal size...

Yesterday, as I sat on an exam table I pined to my doctor about how I just wanted to sleep again and how I would love to be able to wear a cute pair of sandals. She was sweet and reassured me that I'll get to wear sandals again, but I probably won't get to sleep for a long time. Truth hurts, right?

When I got back from my appointment a sweet friend and I met up and I told her about my conversation with my doctor and we both agreed that we were so naive before children. Oh the things I use to complain about back then--little did I know how easy life really was.

Here's to the days of sleeping in, perfect hair, ideal weight, date nights, eating food without interruption, impromptu vacations, and long showers...

any advice for swollen feet and legs that have now turned into "cankles?"

Instagram photos...

posted on: Monday, April 23, 2012

Another week has come and gone and Instagram has helped chronicle our little life.
 //sick baby ate entire can of soup all.by.himself
//bath crayons are now a necessity
//IPad and Shrek can contain him for hours
/we may be homeless but at least we have blueprints for a new home...

//MNG Mango chandeliers
//Not a happy shopper and, yes, there is a watermelon in my stomach ;)
//Sephora=Heaven, right?
//Bought this cute little lovely for the bebe

//Softies ice cream. you may die when you eat one. Must try if you are ever in Billings, Montana 
//Brecken would agree--not about the dying. ;)

 //snap shot of the decorations for the baby shower
//left over balloons from the baby shower that are now stuck up in the highest and farthest corner of our vaulted ceilings.

//There's a lot of sidewalk drawings going on around here.
//And a lot of etch-a-sketch drawings with Aunt Kelty
//New work bench for the Punk, he's been pounding and pounding...

Don't have Instagram? You can find all our instagram photos here!



posted on: Sunday, April 22, 2012


Educational Apps (kinda)

 So it's simple. I like free and I like cheap--not necessarily in that order and not when it comes to shoes, toilet paper, or diapers--might I add.

But I don't feel as though I should pay $4.99 for a children's IPad app, especially, when there are a plethora of free apps or apps for .99 cents that seem to be floating around out there.

Now, Brecken, as I would assume with most children love to play Angry Birds, or as he would say "chicky." I often succumb to his relentless torment and allow him to play it on occasion, but I've found he is also drawn to a number of fun learning or somewhat educational apps too.

Here's our faves:

1//abc lite lots of writing, word recognition, drawing, and sounds
2//abc alphabet phonics simple. teaches phonics. A+ in my book.
3//piano pals Is like a piano but you can change what the piano does--i.e. play music, learn animal sounds, numbers, and colors. It has a variety of scenarios that cost 1.99, but the barnyard scene is FREE.
4//I like books This app is a 1.99 but is totally worth it. There are over 39 books attached to this app--you have the option of having the IPad read it to your child, or the child can follow the highlighted words and read it themselves, OR they can simply read it on their own once they have reached that level.
5//coloring May be one of my favorites--this app is a coloring book with lots of pictures that can  be saved to your device.
6//Fisher Price shapes & colors learn shapes, learn colors, lots of noises (which can get annoying) but will entertain you child for hours.
7//Fisher Price lets count Learn how to count with catchy music, while also learning about animals.
8//abc phonics Kids will learn animal sounds, how to write, and trace letters through this fun app.
9//kids doodle May be one of the coolest apps ever--lots of drawing with fun color options that allow you to playback your fun creations.
10//read me stories lots and lots of sample books.

Those are just a few of my favorites, if you have a favorite app for you children I would love to know.

Hope your Sunday is going well! Let's me again, same time-same place, tomorrow?


posted on: Saturday, April 21, 2012

Something truly amazing is happening in my house. right. now.

Hunk and my brother-in-law are off on another fishing excursion. Kambrie, Brecken, and my Mom are buying last minute items for my baby shower (which happens to be this afternoon). And dear sweet Kelty is probably still in bed, because when you are 23 and single you still have the luxury of sleeping in until mid-afternoon.

And I am at home, alone. I took a shower, brushed my teeth, and even managed to shave my legs--an endeavor that long ago was forgone because Brecken only allows me the bare necessities when it comes to pampering myself.

So now I sit here listening to the hum of one of the kitchen lights, which on most days drives me insane, but today it is a pleasant reminder of the peacefulness surrounding me. In only a few short weeks this serene environment will be replaced with a new addition and family galore, so for the moment I am taking in the hum of the computer, the clicking of the keys, and the thought of eating ice cream without having to share my spoon.

Join me if you wish, but bring your own utensils.



Learning the alphabet...

posted on: Wednesday, April 18, 2012

There is something to be said about a young child and their innate ability to soak up knowledge like a wet sponge. A few months ago I posted this cute little video on Facebook showcasing Brecken's alphabet skills. After the video was posted I got a number of questions on how he learned letter recognition out of sequential order.

Quite frankly, I can't take the credit. Brecken is obsessed with books and drawing so any knowledge that he has gained he has learned all on his own. His drive for knowledge makes this lady one proud Momma, I'm sure we can all agree that when our children finally master a skill or task it is kind of like having them win a Pulitzer Prize. I too, gush over my own child's achievements, which I think is an A+ perk of raising little hellions.


So here's the skinny with a small this disclaimer. This post is in no way meant to... dare I say brag? Because I really felt like I was entering no-man's land when it came helping my son. As parents we were so worried about Brecken's learning because of multiple factors working against him--premature, boy, high rate of autism, delayed hearing and speech, we knew we needed to be extra cautious and mindful about his learning. Because of his slow start with his verbal communication  we basically created a learning environment that was tailored around his specific needs--and hopefully our somewhat "tried and proven" method can work for you as well if your child is struggling to speak or learn their alphabet too.

Initially, Brecken was having a difficult time talking, in part to tubes being put in his ears when he turned one. Because of his difficulty in hearing during his first year his speech was delayed. Our initial reaction was to start speech therapy, but after hours of discussing our options we decided to give him until the age of two to catch up.

His second birthday came and went and his was still not speaking coherently to the depth that the doctors wanted. While speech therapy was still an option we decided to spend more time focusing on his speech at home, with the hope that a change would occur. During this time my cousin turned me on to a PBS cartoon called Super Why.

Not only did Super Why engage Brecken and catch his attention for a complete twenty minute period, but it also taught him the alphabet basics, sounds of letters, word recognition, and rhyming. It was a win-win for both of us--I was able to get household chores completed while Brecken watched a show that was actually educational.

After some point soon after his choice of books also began to change. We moved away from the hardbound cardboard baby books to beginning reader books such as Dr. Seuss's ABC's. Before I knew it I had bought additional copies to put in the car, my purse, and in his room. His toy of choice turned out to be a book which was great, but required me to be reading to him constantly. After a long day where it seemed like I had read for eight hours straight I decided that while I loved that his was learning I needed to get additional materials that would allow him to learn on his own as well.

Thus alphabet flashcards entered our world. In the beginning I would quiz him and go through each letter in chronological order, soon after I realized he would say the letter of the next card before I flipped it over. At this time I began to shuffle the cards and voila he began to recognize individual letters.

Now we spend less time with the flashcards and more time writing. During the day I will often roll out butcher paper across the counter top where we will draw letters, number, shapes, and random objects for Brecken to name. Not only we were practice on the counter, but bath time has also turned into "picture time" where I will draw helicopters, balloons, kites, shapes, cakes--you name he has asked me to draw it.

Today, he has now mastered the entire alphabet to the point the "V" is no longer "movie" and "W" while no longer "double woo woo" has now become its own sentence..."double woo wooo woo woo woo." Yeah, he really likes "W." Colors, shapes, numbers, and object recognition have all been mastered through the same process---which has turned out to be constant repetition. We practice learning in the grocery store, in the car, during bath time, on the IPad, and at home--we've basically turned Brecken's entire world into an environment where he is constantly learning.

As a parent I've found that by cultivating learning into our lifestyle we've enabled Brecken to find within himself a desire to learn--a quality I hope he will continue to exhibit throughout his life. My best suggestion to anyone who is wanting to start to learn the alphabet is create an environment where they are hearing, seeing, and writing the letters constantly--whether it be through an educational television or flash cards an environment needs to cultivated that allows them to learn through multiple avenues.

Thanks for stopping in and if you have any tried and proven methods that have worked I would love to hear about them as well!

As a special treat here are a few of our favorite learning tools. And make sure to come back tomorrow to see my favorite IPad learning apps for toddlers.


instagram photos...

posted on: Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Isn't it funny that as mothers we are usually the ones behind the camera so are faces remain absent from most of the day-to-day family pictures?

It seems that way in our home, asking Hunk to take a picture is like asking him to whip up a creme brulee for dessert--it just doesn't happen.

Pic 1//IPad at the doctor's office. best babysitter in the world.
Pic 2//Hanging with my sisters at Big Sky Resort
Pic 3// Most amazing breadsticks in. the. world. at the Blue Moon Bakery.
Pic 4//Baby Daddy bonding time? hmmm...

 Pic 5//We eat lots of sprinkle-covered donuts.
Pic 6//Punk's method of choice is to eat just the frosting.

 Pic 7//Park time
Pic 8//Daddy time
Pic 9//All the newborn clothes are washed and folded.
Pic 10//Enjoying every minute I have left with Punk before my team of two becomes three.

We've been battling a bug around here and when that happens Punk transforms from a rough and tough two-year-old into a sweet and cuddly love bug. If only every day could be a sick day--he lets me rock his fever infested body, cuddle with him late at night, and scratch his weary head until his falls asleep in my arms. It's kind of like heaven for me, even though I am sure he would prefer to be running around the house.

With both boys sick and weary we have been laying low, while consuming large amounts of Vitamin C and Sour Patch Kids. Didn't you hear? Sour Patch Kids are the cure all for any sickness. :)

This afternoon we are going to take the plunge and go out into public. Today, I find out if the peanut is still in breech position--if that is the case she'll get manually turned around by the doctors later this week. Let's hope she figured it out on her own. 

Thanks for stopping by.  

Also, if you follow me on Instagram then you have already seen most of these pictures...if you're not following make sure to catch up @spunkyjunky. We'd love to meet see ya!


Candy-Like Pancakes...

posted on: Saturday, April 14, 2012

Happy Saturday friends.

It's kind of like Groundhogs Day around here--Hunk is fishing (as usual) and we're meandering around the house watching Shrek, reading books, and eating lots of healthy food. 

Punk kept asking for cake for breakfast. I obliged and gave him sprinkle/powder sugar/syrup/chocolate chip red n' blue pancakes. It may actually be less healthy than cake...

He didn't object.

Any big weekend plans in your neck of the woods?
The sun is out and not a cloud in the sky so we're thinking the sprinkler and a pack of popsicles will be in our future, come by and join us if you want


Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.



posted on: Friday, April 13, 2012

Is it obvious I am going stir crazy?

 At this stage with Brecken I was already a Momma to a tiny 6-week-old and I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight (that seems like a distance memory).


All you ladies that go full-term, well I am sending a special blessing your direction because you are angels. saints. a-mazing.

Really, you're amazing.

bless your hearts.


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