Saturday, August 27, 2016

Win some Shakeology!

Don't miss out! As I stated in my live Facebook video (you can watch below!), I'm giving away 2 Shakeology sample packs! Each pack includes a Shakeology bottle, and a vanilla, chocolate, and cafe latte shake packet! Visit the linked site to learn about all the awesome benefits of Shakeology. Contest is open to anyone in the U.S. who is not already a Beachbody customer. Contest runs now through midnight on September 3rd. Two winners will be selected to each win one Shakeology pack. Good luck!! :)

Just follow the prompts on the Rafflecopter widget to enter. You can enter daily by sharing my new Facebook page, Coaching by Kristy!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ethan's {Lego Star Wars Themed} 7th Birthday Party

I'm starting to fall behind here, but figured what better day than "May the Fourth be with You" Day to share about Ethan's Star Wars Lego themed birthday parties this year! I haven't updated you about Ethan's 7th year yet either (hopefully I will soon!), but here are the details (finally) from his parties 2 months ago. Better late than never, right??

He had a Lego Movie theme last year, and Star Wars the year before that, so I guess this was a good mix of the two. ;) Definitely two of his most favorite things anyway! First on the agenda, the invitations. Ethan ended up having three different parties (and I wonder why my boys are spoiled?!?) this year, so I had to make several versions of the invite. The first party was with his classmates from school. We had it at a local bowling alley/laser tag venue. The kids loved it and it was super easy for me! I just showed up with cupcakes and favors and that was it. The kids ate pizza, bowled for awhile, played arcade games, then played a game of laser tag. Tons of fun.

His next party was at our house with my family. My niece, Hannah, had just turned 4 a couple weeks before Ethan's birthday, so we had a fun combined party for the two of them. Luckily, they both love Star Wars and legos, so it made for a fun dark side/light side theme. :) I just printed on both sides of the invite. And yes, as you can see, I have entirely too much fun putting the kids' faces on invites (like I did with Noah and the firetruck a couple years ago). Haha! I used their favorite characters and made them each into tiny legos as well. His final party was with Josh's parents the following weekend. We were all partied out by mid-March, and still recovering a bit now. ;)

To decorate the house,  I made a custom banner that read "Happy 7th Birthday Ethan" using the same theme from the invites. Ethan and I worked together to create the banner, selecting characters for each letter - i.e., Han Solo for H, Admiral Ackbar for A, etc. You can see all the characters below. I strung the pendants together with black yarn and used black glittery cardstock for the spacers. It worked well and looked great! For Hannah, I made one that said "Hannah is 4!" :)
For the party favors, I lucked out and found huge bubble wands that were red and blue light sabers at the dollar spot at Target. Perfect! I made little tags to tie to the handles. Amos was a big fan of those, so I'll let him model them. ;)

This year, I made simple cupcakes for his party with friends. Half had black wrappers and half had silver. The frosting was decorated with edible spray-on color in silver or black. For his party with my family, I made death star cake pops. I hadn't made cake pops in a looooong time, and they are something I still need to work on. :/ They still tasted great though, so no one seemed to mind their lumpiness. :)

The following week, I went back to cupcakes. I had finally received some molds I ordered, so I used candy melts to make Darth Vader and stormtrooper heads to decorate the cupcakes. Yay sugar!

I made light sabers out of the napkins, forks and spoons again. I had done this for his other Star Wars party as well. I found cute Star Wars plates (simple black with silver writing) at Target, as well as the coordinating tablecloth. Unfortunately, most of the pictures I took didn't turn out great because we had just purchased our new camera and I was apparently having focusing issues. Sigh. 

I love a good pun, so for the dinner menu, Ethan and I chose:
  • Pizza the HUTT (Jabba the Hutt)
    • CHEWIE'S cheese pizza (Chewbacca)
    • SITH 'shroom pizza (a sith)
    • HAN'S Hawaiian pizza (Han Solo)
    • VADER'S veggie pizza (Darth Vader)
  • BOBA-que chips (Boba Fett)
  • PRINCESS Lays (Princess Leia)
  • FALCON fruit (Millenium falcon)
  • g-REY-pe sabers (Rey)
  • DROIDIKA dip (a droidika)
  • DEATH STAR cake pops (the death star)
  • JAR JAR drinks (Jar Jar Binks) - drinks were served in mason jars
    • Milk in a JAR JAR
    • JANGO mango juice (Jango Fett)
    • LUKE skywater (Luke Skywalker)

Here are some pics of the birthday boy enjoying his THREE parties!! :)

The final item to take care of was the thank you notes. I made a simple flat 4" x 6" card for his friends and added his pic with the present since he opened them at home instead of at his party. :)

Happy 7th Birthday to our biggest little man!

All items you see above are available for customization and purchase through my Etsy shop. You can also visit my website, or find me on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Beachbody Update!

I haven't been very good about blogging lately. I still need to post about Ethan's 7th birthday...that was over a month ago now!! It's been pretty busy around here lately. I'm hoping to get caught up soon though.

So I recently took the plunge and signed up to be a Beachbody coach!! I figured that I love the products so much that I should go ahead and do it, getting myself the coach's discounts, and creating the opportunity to help others find health & fitness again like I have. I truly believe that if I can do this, anyone can do this. Before starting last October, I hadn't done a "workout" since college. And yeah, I'm not 23 anymore! ;) It wasn't easy at first (I had to drag myself up and down stairs for a week or so), but now that I've found a routine, it's kind of like second nature to get up and do my workout before starting my day. I've found that it helps wake me up, gets me moving, instead of feeling like I am dragging all day, and puts me in a better mood. Add on top of that the fact that I'm burning calories, and I'd say it's a win. I love that most of the workouts are just 30 minutes or so. While getting up at 5:30 am is fun and all, I don't want to have to drag my booty out of bed any earlier than that! Some people love going to the gym, the social aspect of it all. Me, not so much. I'm an introvert at heart, and frankly, I prefer to sweat in the privacy of my own home. These workouts are perfect for me. I prefer to have Autumn push me through the TV screen than have a trainer breathing down my neck.

Now that I'm 6 months in to my journey, I've completed 3 rounds of the 21 day fix, 3 rounds of the 21 day fix extreme, an 8-week round of PiYo, and another couple weeks of the 21 day fix extreme. I also did a Beachbody 3-Day Refresh at the beginning of the year, and I continue to drink Shakeology every day. I'm in better shape than I've been since I was rowing my freshman/ sophomore years of college, and I now weigh less than I did both before kids and before I got married!! Things are distributed a little differently than they used to be, but I'm working on that. ;) As you can see, a huge change from where I was 6 months ago. I'm down 23 pounds and 11 inches (measuring shoulder, chest, waist, hips, one thigh, and one calf). I still have some problem areas to work on, but the proof is in the pics. This "diet" and exercise routine works. That's what I love most about it - it's not a diet. It's eating a portioned amount of healthy, real foods. I don't feel hungry at the end of the day, or like I'm starving throughout the day. By spreading my meals/snacks out throughout the day, I keep blood sugar stable and energy levels up. I'm still working on the little cheats I keep finding on the weekends (my sweet tooth is a force to be reckoned with!!), but overall, I do a great job throughout the week at least.

As you can see, it's possible to lose weight without eating salads every day. I actually don't really even like salad that much. It's ok, and I'll eat it if I have to, but I've found that if I cook/roast my veggies, I actually love them, and I don't have to force them down.

With the 21-day fix, you're provided color-coded containers and you figure out how many calories you should eat based on your current weight. I'm currently in the 1500-1799 range (for a little bit longer at least!). Based on your calorie range, you are given a certain number of each container to eat. I get 4 green containers (veggies), 3 purple containers (fruits), 4 red containers (protein), 3 yellow containers (carbs), 1 blue container (healthy fats), 1 orange container (seeds/dressings), and 4 teaspoons (oils and such). I'm not very good about getting my orange containers in, but I normally get all of the others. This sample meal plan from my day one contains all of my containers for the day except the orange. As you can see, it is a TON of food!! No starving myself here! Here's my detailed meal plan for the day:

  • Breakfast (344 calories)
    • GREEN: sautéed bell peppers, onion, spinach
    • RED: 2 eggs, over easy
    • YELLOW: 1 slice whole grain toast
    • PURPLE: 2 clementines
    • TEASPOON: 1 tsp EVOO
  • Morning snack (176 calories)
    • GREEN: spinach
    • RED: 1 scoop vanilla Shakeology
    • FREE: 2 espresso ice cubes
  • Lunch (413 calories)
    • GREEN: roasted Brussels sprouts
    • YELLOW (2): quinoa
    • PURPLE: mixed fruit (grapes, raspberries, clementine)
    • TEASPOON: 1 tsp EVOO
  • Afternoon snack (436 calories)
    • PURPLE: Granny Smith apple
    • RED: vanilla Greek yogurt
    • BLUE: chopped walnuts
  • Dinner (225 calories)
    • GREEN: roasted broccoli
    • RED: Cajun sautéed shrimp
    • TEASPOON: 2 tsp EVOO
  • TOTAL: 4 green, 4 red, 3 yellow, 3 purple, 1 blue, 4 tsp; 1594 calories

To make things, easy, I actually eat these same items every Mon/Wed/Fri, only changing up the dinners for the rest of my family's sake. :) I do normally cook a carb for them to eat with dinner, but I try to eat all of my fruits and carbs before 6 pm, which means before dinner for me. Sometimes I will have a carb with dinner, but not as often.

Beachbody is currently doing a #summerstrong challenge through the end of May. I am completing the 21-day fix extreme for this, but there are other exercise program options as well. Once I finish this, I'm planning to start either the T-25 program with Shaun T (the P90X guy), or the Master's Hammer & Chisel with Autumn and Sagi. There are so many great options depending on the type of workout you're wanting. I'm so happy I made the decision last fall to let Coach Fraley start me off on my journey and I can't wait to start helping others in my situation, too!! Contact me, visit my Beachbody website, or comment below, if you'd like more info! I'm getting my body beach-ready, are you?? ;)

October 2015                        March 2016

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Start of My Journey and What I'm Drinking Now {recipe}

I love Starbucks' fancy sugary drinks. I'll admit it. I actually prefer to find local coffee shops to get my drinks, but let's face it. I have 3 young boys and a peaceful afternoon, spent relaxing at a local coffee shop just doesn't happen often for me anymore. Enter Starbucks. All of my local Target stores have one. Super convenient. I can get the little ones some cake pops to keep them happy quiet for a minute, then indulge in my favorite Starbucks beverage, along with a cake pop of my own (who am I kidding? They were a favorite of mine as well!). And since I like visiting Target 1-2 times a week at a minimum, my Starbucks consumption was starting to get a bit out of hand. I definitely contribute part of my recent balloon in weight gain to them. That plus a nightly glass of moscato, or riesling, and desserts as I pleased, and I was soon staring at a number on the scale that I had never before seen. Ouch. Enter Beachbody.

I've tried other things in the past for losing weight. It's a constant battle. I haven't been a skinny girl since I was probably 9 years old, despite staying active playing sports in Jr. High and High School, then also in college, too! They're usually fairly successful, but committing to them long term has always been a problem for me. The being preggo 3 times didn't help either though these past 7 years. I'm usually able to lose the baby weight fairly quickly, but after weaning my youngest this spring, and not being preggo for a change, I found my weight climbing regardless. It was time to do something. Looking back at what I'd learned in college/grad school, using the stages of change theory, I was there. I was finally ready to commit to a lifestyle change. I was ready for action. So I contacted my friend, Angela, a Beachbody coach, and told her I was ready to try the 21-day fix. And so began my journey.

I'm currently part of a 90-day challenge to challenge myself to lose weight this holiday season vs putting on another 10-15 lbs of holiday weight, because there was no way my body could take any more weight! I'm getting rid of the #excessbaggage. I'm now a month into my journey (in the middle of my 2nd round of Beachbody's 21-day fix). I've lost 10 lbs and I am so much stronger already than where I started. My measurements are down and I'm feeling good. Some days, it is still rough to wake up and workout at 5:30 am before the kids gets up, but I always feel better if I do. I love that I can workout in the comfort of my own home. Gyms have never really been my thing and with Josh traveling quite a bit, the opportunity for me to conveniently visit one regularly is just not possible. The 21-day fix workouts are challenging, but have the ability to be modified, if needed. It's a range of workouts from total body cardio, to upper body or lower body focuses, pilates, and even yoga. I love it. Well, not always (some mornings I still yell at Autumn), but for the most part I do. ;) For me, I would much rather do the workouts than go out and run a few miles. That's just not my cup of tea. The meal plan is easy to follow, too. You just figure out your target number of calories, which corresponds to the number of containers you get for the day. I still get to eat plenty of food and I never feel like I'm starving. I'm fueling my body with awesome, wholesome foods, which makes a difference in how I feel. I no longer feel lethargic all day, with killer heartburn in the evenings. I feel good. It shows, too. My skin has been looking great as well! The saying "you are what you eat" really is so true.

Before pics on left, after pics on right - these were my results after just 21 days!

I was so happy that as a part of this challenge, I don't have to give up coffee. But, I'm not a huge fan of drinking it black, with just a little sweetener. Enter Shakeology. I am still enjoying my coffee, my much needed source of caffeine (hello, I have 3 little, high-energy boys, remember?!?), and I'm not feeling a bit guilty about it. Why is that? Because by adding it to my shake, which is an amazing nutrient-dense drink, it's like drinking a frappuccino, but without all the extra calories and sugar. And mine includes an amazing amount of nutrients, too. Take a look...

To make my shake, I use 8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 scoop shakeology, 1/2 tsp Pure Via turbinado raw cane sugar/stevia blend, 2 espresso ice cubes, and 4 regular ice cubes. Blend and enjoy!

To make espresso ice cubes, simply take 1 shot of espresso and put it in an ice cube tray and freeze! It's really that simple. I recently had a Starbucks free reward to redeem (you get one after every 12 purchases), so you guessed it - I had them fill a venti-sized cup with straight espresso. That's 20 ounces, or 20 shots, of espresso! What a steal! ;) And that will last me for 10 shakes. :) I love how when you freeze it, it doesn't dilute at all. It's an almost buttery little cube of caffeine when you get it out of the tray. Yum. It keeps the drink nice and strong like an actual frappuccino vs using just brewed coffee.

My Vanilla Espresso Shake has just 171 calories vs the 370 in the Caffe Vanilla Frappuccino (which is one of the lowest in calories of their frozen drinks by using nonfat milk and no whipped cream). It also has just 9 g sugar vs the 86 g in the frappuccino. Yes, you read that correctly 86 GRAMS!! Mine also offers 4 g of fiber and 17 g of protein! That doesn't even touch on the plethora of vitamins and minerals it has as well. It is truly a meal in a glass. And it's what I'm drinking now!

I still have a long, long way to go before I'm at where I want to be. Where I need to be. But at least I'm moving in the right direction now.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

21-Day Fix Printables and Homemade Taco Seasoning Recipe

As most of you know, I started the Beachbody 21-Day Fix (an exercise and eating plan) last Monday. I'm about halfway through now and I am feeling great. I can tell that I am getting stronger, as I'm finally able to start following Autumn more and more during the workouts vs. Kat, the 'modified exercise' girl. I'm also feeling much better eating a portioned 'container' diet of real, wholesome foods. We normally eat pretty well, but I have a weakness for sweets, fancy coffee drinks, and wine. Unfortunately, I think those things really started to add up and I was packing on more pounds than ever, and feeling awful most of the time. Something had to give. Enter my friend, Angela. She got me started on the 21-day fix plan. I'm part of a group of women doing a 90-day challenge to keep us accountable through the holiday season, which I knew would be disastrous for me if I didn't do something. So, while I may soon be done with my 21-day fix, I'm going to keep repeating it through the end of the year. While everyone starts their New Year diet and exercise resolutions, I'm hoping that I'll already be looking great! ;) Hopefully, by the end of this 90 days, it will have become a habit for me to get up early and exercise, and I will continue to do so daily. I don't want to swear off desserts forever, but I do need to work on that 'in moderation' part of it. A little bit every now and then will hopefully be all I need. Fingers crossed!

One thing that has been a huge help for me, in addition to prepping veggies on Sunday, is planning my entire week out before it starts. There's no guessing how many containers I have left for the day - it's all right there planned out for me. I wanted something pretty (since I'd be staring at it all week) to hang on my fridge, so I created a planner, of course. I also put together a grocery list that lists the suggested foods, by container type, a measurements form to track progress, and another tally sheet if you don't want to, or can't, plan all at once. If you're interested in checking the package out, I offer it in my Etsy shop. You can find links to each specific caloric range at the bottom of this post. :)

When I started the plan, 'Taco Tuesday' was something that I still wanted to incorporate into our week. While Josh and the boys have tortillas, or taco boats, with their meal, I have a simple taco salad - spinach, seasoned ground beef, diced tomato, and a bit of shredded cheddar cheese. It's delicious, and I actually haven't even missed the tortilla (gasp!!). In the past, I bought the little packages of Taco Bell taco seasoning because we liked the taste. But, I decided I needed to start making my own seasoning. Not only is it cheaper that way, but I know exactly what I'm putting in, and it doesn't contain any unnecessary ingredients. This recipe is simple and easy to make. It has the perfect balance of spice. Depending on how hot you like it, you can either use, decrease or omit the red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Taco Seasoning

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Add to 1-2 pounds of browned, crumbled meat (lean beef or turkey). I also add a little water (~1/2 cup) to help make it saucier.

21-Day Fix Printables

Friday, September 25, 2015

Amos's Nautical Themed 2nd Birthday Party

Now that I've updated you about Amos's 2nd year, it's time to talk about the party!! Having a pool at our new house, I thought it might be fun to throw a nautical-themed pool party, so that's what we did for Amos's 2nd birthday earlier this month. I decided to go with classic shades of blue and red for the colors. First on the agenda, the invitations.

I also like to add a little something to the invites to make them unique. This time, I used Amos's favorite - Lifesaver mints! Yes, he loves these things! They were the perfect touch to add to his invites. I also created coordinating 2" round stickers to seal the envelopes when I mailed the invites.

After the invitations were mailed, I started brainstorming ideas for the party. To decorate the house, I bought some light blue, navy and red latex balloons at the local grocery store. I made a custom banner that read "Happy 2nd Birthday Amos!" using the same nautical/color theme.

Here's an example of the banner letters, close-up. I threaded jute rope through the pendant pieces to hang it. It worked well and looked great! I also made a "Welcome Aboard" sign for the front door to greet guests as they arrived.

For the party favors, I made little bags of goldfish crackers labeled as Amos's Catch of the Day. I also made personalized sailor hats for each of the little party guests. I ordered these from Amazon, then stapled on the name tags I made. Unfortunately, the hats didn't look as nice in person as they did online, but they served their purpose. I also bought the fun fishing net on Amazon as well. It was the perfect size for covering our entire table! After reading reviews on some of the other nets I found on Amazon, I decided to go with this one to be sure it would be big enough. I'm glad I did - it was perfect!

Amos shared his party with my side of the family this year with his cousin, Jacob, who turned 8 a couple weeks before he turned 2. :)

I made cupcakes for the party instead of cake. What better way to decorate than to turn the cupcakes into little sailboats!

I stuck these toppers in some delicious caramel cupcakes. These cupcakes definitely deserve a post of their own. Topped with a "sea" salted caramel frosting, they are my new favorite. You can find the recipe, from Sally's Baking Addiction, here. They are simply amazing, and super easy, too! Be sure you let the frosting cool longer than I did. ;) I waited 15 minutes like the recipe said, but it was still really warm, so you can see that the piping didn't hold up very well. The next weekend I made them, it worked much better giving it longer to cool first. :) You also don't want to wait too long though, because the frosting will stiffen and become hard to pipe/spread if it gets too cool.

I bought red napkins and used jute to secure the utensils in the napkins. I added another mint here, perfect for each guest to enjoy after dinner. They looked super cute in the anchor bucket that I scored from the dollar section at Target! ;) I also bought the red and white striped plates and navy plates at Target. They were perfect for the theme! An additional jar of mints was the perfect touch to the display.

I bought red and white striped paper straws on Amazon, and added some cute navy AHOY! straw flags to complete the look. These adorable mason jars (with lids that had cutouts for straws) were on sale at Target, so I couldn't pass them up. No more buying disposable cups for parties - I can re-use these for years to come. And decorate them to go with the theme, of course! ;)

I think these may have been my favorite part.

It was surprisingly difficult to find nautical-themed food ideas online! Fish-themed items were more common, but I wanted to try and keep it more nautical, if I could. I finally resorted to scouring a nautical glossary for ideas. So, no, "cog" and "helm" didn't just pop in my head. ;) For the dinner menu, I finally decided on the following:

  • WATER-melon: seedless watermelon wedges
  • Caprese SCHOONERS (skewers): grape tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella and balsamic glaze
  • BATTLEships (chips) & CRAB dip: Maryland crab dip and pita chips
  • Corn on the COG (cob): oven-roasted corn on the cob
  • HELM (ham) sandwiches: toasted ham and Dijon mustard on Hawaiian sweet rolls
  • ANCHORS away parfaits: layered cornbread, shredded BBQ pork, and coleslaw
  • SEA-salted caramel cupcakes: caramel cupcakes with salted caramel frosting
  • Chocolate chips AHOY!: cookies
  • 'Lil SAILOR'S punch: cran-pomegranate juice with Sprite, frozen blueberries
I love creating themed party food items. Seriously. It's so fun! It was a yummy spread, too!

Here are some pics of the birthday boy enjoying his parties!! :) I bought him a cute navy and red striped shirt from Target (surprise! haha!) clearance to look cute with the theme.

The final item to take care of was the thank you notes. I made a simple flat 4" x 6" card with a picture of the birthday boy.

Because who doesn't love getting something sweet in the mail instead of bills? ;) We had a couple adorable, fun parties for our water-loving tiny man!

Happy 2nd Birthday to our tiniest little guy!

All items you see above are available for customization and purchase through my business page, kreations by kristy. You can also find me on Facebook and Etsy.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Amos is TWO!

Age of Child: 2 years

Size of Child:
  • Weight: 23 lbs 6 oz (up to the 4th percentile), +4 lb 13 oz from his 12-month visit and +2 lb 4 oz lb from his 18-month visit
  • Length: 33 inches (down to the 16th percentile), +3.25 in from his 12-month visit and +1.75 in from his 18-month visit
  • Height-to-Weight ratio: up to the 7th percentile
Amos is still wearing a size 3 diaper (but it's probably about time to move to a 4), and mostly 18-24 month, or 2T, clothes. He is wearing a size 6 shoe now!

  • None! He did need to get another finger prick to check lead levels. All was good there.
Doctor's Visit Summary:

His visit went well. The only concern we're dealing with is that his speech seems to be a bit delayed. I think he is ahead of where Ethan was at this age, but definitely behind where Noah was. He has recently started trying to say many more words than he was though, so I think we're ok. I guess when you have 2 big brothers who talk constantly, it's probably hard to get a word in! ;)

Accomplishments this Year:
  • First trip to a zoo and aquarium
  • Made his first big move
  • Took his first cruise
  • Weaned from nursing after 20 months
  • First night away from Mommy
Last September, not long after turning one, we made a trip to Ohio for our university's homecoming football game. While there, we decided the kids might like to check out the Cincinnati Zoo and the Newport Aquarium. It was a packed weekend of fun, but they had a blast!

We packed up the family and moved from Tennessee to North Carolina in February. While the big boys had made the move from Georgia to Tennessee, this was Amos's first move. Lucky for us, it didn't seem to phase him much. While he misses his best bud, Owen, he is pretty happy about gaining a pool in the back yard. This boy loves the water!

We took a family cruise to the Caribbean in April and Amos was the perfect tiny traveler! Though he was relegated to the baby pool since he wasn't potty-trained, he didn't let that stop him from having a wonderful time. His highlights of the trip were multiple desserts with each meal, ice cream cones on demand, nightly strolls around the ship, and beach time! He had all the ladies wrapped around his little finger all week. ;)

Amos continues to be our very adventurous eater. He will still try literally everything you put in front of him, but his favorites are probably pasta, rice, fruit, and pancakes. I weaned him at the beginning of May, after 20 months of nursing. He was doing a great job with whole milk and it just felt like the right time. He did fine with it and we still enjoy nightly cuddles in the rocking chair in his room. We tried to then wean the pacifier shortly after this, but it did not go nearly as well. So, we allowed him to have it again for naps and nighttime. About a month ago, we tried taking it away again and this time it went much better, so we're paci free now! Yay!

Amos is a great little sleeper. He is going to bed around 8 pm, and sleeping until 8 am. He is also still taking a 2-3 hour nap in the afternoon. Fortunately, he also did ok with his first night away from me. Josh and I escaped to Charleston to celebrate our 10-year wedding anniversary in July and the boys stayed behind with Grandpa and Grandma Frank. He did great!

Amos has discovered a love of all things Star Wars. Some of his first words were "Star Wars," and "Darth Vader." Oh yes. He even hums the Star Wars tune whenever he sees anything Star Wars. It's pretty adorable. He loves to grab the Star Wars books from the boys' room and sit and "read" them. It's also one of the only ways to get him to sit still - by watching one of the movies! I guess you know where you will find ALL of us when the new movie comes out in theaters this year! ;)

Amos has continued to be our crazy little guy. As the only one of the three that we really needed to baby-proof the house for, he continues to keep us on our toes! It's not uncommon to turn around and find him dancing on the dining room table, climbing as high as he can get on a piece of furniture, digging out snacks from the pantry, removing all of the DVDs from their cases, emptying the coffee grinds from k-cups all over the dining room floor, and unscrewing child-proof medicine bottles. Sigh. He's so very creative. He's lucky he's cute! ;)

And here is his final year two summary.

Happy 2nd Birthday, little Amos! We love you!