Thursday, December 31, 2009

Interior. It's snowing out side and there is a boy whining with both legs in one leg hole.
Chris: (Whining) I can't put my pants on!
Me:  When you're ready to pay attention, I'll help you.
Chris: You sound like a teacher.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Chris dropped off his Christmas presents for his teachers, including the soap for Miss Lynn, on Thursday. She put him back in the car at pickup and said that she, in fact, did need the soap and that was her favorite brand. She wasn't clear on how Chris knew that.

Not long after I posted Wednesday about the boys in their new beds, Alex was up and inconsolable. He ended up spending the night in our bed. I think the problem was that he was congested and couldn't breathe with his pacifier in his mouth. His nose was clearer last night and he made it through the night in the big bed. He still sleeps with the pacifier though. I'm not going to pick both those fights at once.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

First night in their new beds

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
The new bunk bed was delivered today. Chris is still too young, so we've set them up as twins for now. The boys spent most of the afternoon wrestling and playing on the beds. One was Santa's sleigh, the other was the science museum. This is a picture of them asleep in their beds. You can't actually see them, but they are in there somewhere.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Originally uploaded by mandy&john
We've been trying to figure out what to give Chris's teacher for Christmas. We couldn't come up with anything, so we asked him. He said, "Soap, to dip things in." This didn't help us at all, so we let him pick it out.

Big bed

Alex is napping in Christopher's bed. On Saturday, we were in Lexington and the pack-n-play was in the car and it was cold out there, so we just put him down in Oliver's, our host, bed. We found him playing on the floor a few minutes later. WE put him back to bed and he stayed there and got a good, 2-hour nap.

Yesterday, he slept in the car and today, Chris offered up his bed and Alex accepted.

Time to go mattress shopping.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Boys on the farm

boys on the farm
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
I haven't posted much here lately. Sorry. The photos are still getting up on Flickr, but I just haven't made time to update the blog. This is one of our favorite recent pictures. Hopefully it will hold you over until I have time to post more.

Boys on the farm

boys on the farm
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
I haven't posted much here lately. Sorry. The photos are still getting up on Flickr, but I just haven't made time to update the blog. This is one of our favorite recent pictures. Hopefully it will hold you over until I have time to post more.

Monday, September 28, 2009

On Stage at Drumlin Farm

On Stage at Drumlin Farm
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Chris has been fascinated with music performances since watching a little American Idol last spring. He always wants us to find Kris Allen or Heartless on YouTube. A trip to Ithaca got him interested in Billy Jean. Lately though, it has started to translate into performances.

We went to Drumlin Farm on Saturday, and among the hawks and goats and chickens and cows and hay ride, the boys spent the most time on a little wooden platform that they decided was a stage.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interview with Nemo's Doctor

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Apparently, Nemo had an accident and had to be rushed to the hospital. Fortunately, Dr. Chris was there, and now Nemo is all set to play ultimate frisbee.

Monday, August 10, 2009

copying his brother

copying his brother
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Alex has taken to sitting on the potty when Chris is on the big toilet. I wonder if he knows what is going on...

Chris the Lion

Chris has been a lion all weekend. On the drive home from Ithaca, he declared that the lion wanted to go back to zoo. We eventually figured out he was talking about the Oneonta town park where we stopped to let the boys run around.

Trip to Molnarvia

We just spent a long weekend in Ithaca with Monkey, Chickpea, and their caretakers. Friday morning was spent on the Cornell campus.

We picked blueberries.

We checked out the Ithaca farmers' market and had some good food.

We hiked Buttermilk Falls and tired out everyone.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Concert Time

concert time
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
The last few days, Chris has taken to using a maraca and an old toy vacuum as a microphone and stand. His favorite song to sing is Heartless, but he'll also do the standards.

Famous among cupcake lovers

Someone liked the photo of Chris and the cupcakes.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Waiting for cupcakes

There were chocolate cupcakes in the freezer, but we had to wait for them to thaw...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Little walker

alex on the table
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Where Chris was walking by 9 months, Alex was still on all fours at 13. Granted, he's more of a climber than Chris ever was. He'l climb up anything, but despite taking many single steps over the last couple months and being able to stand pretty comfortably, he still wouldn't walk.

Last night, though, he stood up in the doorway of the play room and walked (very slowly and carefully) to the shelves on the other side of the room. He's still not running around the house, but he will be soon.

Found the camera

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
In addition to finally putting up some old videos, I found the camera after it spent a week in my dresser with lots of photos on it. Here's my favorite from the bunch.

Potty break!

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Here is another good video of Chris. With the rare string of sunny days, we spent as much time outside as possible this weekend. Since Chris is learning to go without diapers, we brought a potty seat outside to help his chances.

We started about a week and a half ago. He was most of the way there by the middle of last week, but we keep pushing our luck and he'd have an accident every couple of days. But he's on a pretty good run lately.

He's still in an overnight diaper, but they've been dry most nights. We're just chicken.

Videos galore

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
I went through a back log of photos and videos last night and uploaded them this morning. The videos go back to May. Here is one from Sunday when the cousins were over. The four boys played really well together all day.

Alex and Liam went down for naps first, and when Chris finally did, he asked if Kevin was going to be playing with his toys.
"Will Kevin play with my Legos?"
"Will Kevin watch George?"

Finally, he came to:
"Will Kevin be here when I wake up?"
With that, he went right to sleep.

Even more videos

Monday, June 22, 2009

Toe Food?

to-food scramble
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
It has been raining for nearly two weeks now and all we're getting from our farm share is greens. Thursday, we didn't get a single thing that wasn't a leaf of some sort. Apparently nothing is ripening. We went strawberry picking on Saturday, and the berries just were not that sweet.

In an effort to get rid of some vegetation from the fridge, we had a tofu scramble with beet greens and pak choi for breakfast this morning.

Chris: "What kind of food is this?"

Mandy: " It's a tofu scramble."

Chris: "Toe-food? OK."

He dug right in. At some point he stopped, held up some pak choi, and asked what it was. When he had his answer, he continued eating.

When he was an infant, we started him on baby food a couple months before it was recommended. Maybe it contributed to his allergies and maybe it's made him a more adventurous eater. Then again, maybe not. But I am thrilled that I can put a plate of something totally new in front of him and all he needs is a name for it and he's good to go.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Raspberries and Ice Cream

We had an early dinner yesterday and the weather was nice, so we went to get ice cream at the local shop. We picked some berries up for Alex on the way, since dairy is out for the moment. He seemed pretty happy with the deal. The biggest problem was keep Chris from stealing them all.

Alex is 1!

alex in the barn
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Alex turned one last Thursday. Kristen (who shares his birthday) made a cake for Thursday playgroup. The official party was Satruday, although there were more kids on Thursday. We reserved the picnic tables at Sweetwilliam farm in Upton.

It was a pretty low key affair. The farm offered homemade ice cream and a tour of the stables and chicken yard. This is a picture of Alex with (or at least, near) Sweet William himself.

All the grandparents came and Mandy made great carrot cake cupcakes that everyone could eat. It was a nice day. The few pictures I took are up on Flickr.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sit n sit n stand

After work Thursday, I met Mandy and the boys in Arlington and we walked from playgroup to Mr. Sushi with Oliver and his mom. The boys enjoyed themselves.

sushi with oliver

alex eats another avocado roll

On the way out, everyone wanted to ride in the stroller.

the sit n sit n stand

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pushing a walker

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Alex is getting pretty stable on his feet these days. Mandy found this outdoor walking/riding toy on the side of the road this weekend and brought it home for our budding toddler. Of course Chris dominated it for the first day it was around. He started losing interest today and Alex finally got a chance to enjoy it.

He made it pretty far on one foray before I thought to go get the camera. On this clip he spends half the time being proud of himself. He'll be walking soon, but unlike Chris, he's going to wait until he knows he can keep his balance.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Now that our little parrot is starting to branch out and try different phrases, he's saying some funny stuff.

Everyone is "sweetheart." Mom, Dad, Alex (especially after Chris has knocked him over, stepped on him, etc), the dog down the street that bares his teeth at us, the firetruck, the train, the worm, etc.

Three little boys fishing at the pond today got a "Look! So sweet!" from Chris.

Tonight as we put him to bed he said "Chris and the giraffe are tired. We had a rough day."

The "rough day" was a day spent outside in the sun. At one point he mistakenly decapitated a worm he had been holding. He ran over to us and said "Uh-oh, the worm is broken. He needs to go home to his mommy so she can fix him." Then proceeded to put both halves of the dried up worm on the dirt and dump water on it to send it home.

My personal favorite:
Chris was pulling on the outside of a fire door at a restaurant. It didn't open. After a while he came over to us, whining. We said "Stop whining and say what's wrong." He said "I want to open the door, because I can't!" We're thinking that's the story of his life these days. I want it... because I can't have it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The boys have been sharing a room for a few months now. It's gone very well, and they both seem to sleep better when they're together. Last week we started having some issues, though. Naptimes became play times. They'd be up there for hours, laughing instead of sleeping. it's cute, and we're happy they're getting along, but they need to sleep. We've been pulling Alex out of the room until Chris falls asleep, which is not a long term solution, but we thought Chris was the ringleader, and if we took his new toy (Alex) away, he'd go to sleep.

Last night we figured it out a little more. We put them down, and Alex promptly throws his pacifier and elephant overboard and then cries for them. So Chris gets out of bed and gives them back. So Alex starts laughing. So Chris starts putting on a show for him. Pretty soon they forget how it started. When John went in to address them last night, Chris said "but Alexi needed his pacifier!' Then when John left, we heard it over the monitor "Uh-oh, Alexi, you lost it already!" Explaining the situation to Chris (don't get it for him or it becomes a game and he needs to sleep) worked for last night. Maybe he's just trying to help? It's unclear. Regardless, we're happy they're enjoying each other, and hoping the going to sleep thing gets straightened out really soon.

Fun with Fractions

Last night as we were putting Chris to bed he jumped up with just his diaper on and said "Look! I'm half naked!"

I said, "Chris, I think you're a bit more than HALF naked."

He looked confused for a second and then said, "I'm five-halves naked!"

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's nap time!

I think Alex just demanded that I put him down for a nap.

Chris was already asleep, and Alex was sitting in my lap. He started wriggling, so I plopped him onto the kitchen floor. When I looked up he was leaving the room. Alex is at a stage where he does not want to be in a room by himself, so I thought this was a bit strange, but I figured as long as he was happy, it's fine. So he crawled into the living room and started crying. I assumed he realized he was alone. I went to get him. When I got there I found him climbing up the gate and shaking it and sobbing. I picked him up and he quieted down. Then I walked back toward the kitchen and he started crying again. So I opened the gate and he quieted down. I put him down in his crib and haven't heard a peep since (it's been an hour and a half).

So I guess he's figuring out how to communicate with me, even if he can't talk just yet!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Independence, or We Should Have Seen This Coming

Christopher went through a little phase a while back where he wanted to do everything for himself. I think it was tied to learning the language for it, but just about anytime we tried to do anything for him, he'd protest with either "No, I do!" or "No, Chris do!" This is typical of toddlers from what I hear and has faded now that the novelty of the words have worn off.

His little brother, on the other hand, has taken this theme to it's logical extreme. Where Chris couldn't (or just wouldn't, by the end) hold his own bottle until he was a year old or so, Alex has been feeding himself for months now. He obviously can't mix up a bottle of formula, but hand him a bottle and put him down on a blanket and he'll happily drink it by himself. Now that he can crawl he'll even come back to a bottle later and pick it up himself.

Now, as he is learning to eat solid food (He now has at least 5 teeth) we're seeing hi independent steak assert itself again. For a few weeks, he was happy to let us feed him while he played with a spoon. A few days back, though, he started screaming at every meal. This was not long after he had forsworn the jarred stuff, and he was still having some trouble chewing (even soft pasta). After a few meals of trying different kind of foods and lots of screaming from Alex, we just piled a couple things in front of him and let him choose. He loved it.

We soon figured out that he'd eat anything if you stuck it to a spoon or fork and left the utensil on the table in his reach.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Maroon is my favorite color. It always has been.

Chris has been starting to figure out the basic colors.

Sunday morning I was walking downstairs, complaining that I couldn't find a sweatshirt that fit (common problem these days). John asked which one I was looking for. I said I had a maroon one and a green one and I couldn't find either.

Chris came chasing after me saying: "Mommy, I found maroon for you!" After I finished laughing I asked him where he found it. "In your drawer, Mommy," he answered. Who finds clothes in a drawer?

My son may not know "red," but at least he knows "maroon!" Success!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Excitement at the Ecotarium

We went to the Ecotarium a little while back. If you don't know, this is a cross between a zoo and a children's museum in Worcester. It also has one of those little trains that drives you around the perimeter. On this particular trip, we took the train ride. We saw the red fox, caught a glimpse of the polar bear, and headed through the tunnel before broad-siding a red Tercel.

She must have had some music blaring and the lady in the gate house should have warned her. She slowly drove right into our path as the engineer was leaning on the whistle. At the last second she saw us and stopped. We knocker her front end off the road, but in the end she drove away (to the parking lot) with not much more than a flat tire.

Later that day, back at home, Chris was playing with his Legos and crashed his Lego train into his Lego car.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some personality

got it
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
Chris loves to talk and be the center of attention and Alex can't talk and likes to sit and watch, so we really haven't seen much of Alex's personality yet. I suppose that's not really true, but we have a lot more pictures of Chris. Last month was the first where Alex's Flickr set had as many pictures as Chris's. More to the point, pictures of Alex just aren't that interesting.

Tonight was the first time that, as I was uploading pictures, I had to stop and laugh at the pictures of Alex. He was really cute today.

Alex is mobile

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
He's a little stuck in this photo, but a couple times today I looked up to see he had left the room. On Monday, I think, he figured out how to crawl, but still can't do more than a couple steps at a time and reverts to the commando crawl often.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Daddy get camera

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
After climbing onto the sofa and asking us to put Alex on his lap, Chris asked me to take their picture. Here it is.

Planning the menu

We were just discussing dinner options a moment ago and lamenting that the Sushi place at the top of the hill is closed on Mondays. Chris noticed that his mom was not happy.

"Momma, why you sad?"

"Because I want something for dinner that I can't have."


Sunday, February 1, 2009


Originally uploaded by mandy&john
We finally assembled all the animal cards that everyone made for Chris's birthday. We mounted them in a frame on his wall this afternoon. It only took 3 months.

Alex keeps growing

alex finds the hangers
Originally uploaded by mandy&john
This has been a busy week for the younger Eppley boy. He rolled over for the first time last month and soon figured out that he could wander around a room by rolling over and over. He has also been sliding backwards for a couple weeks now. Yesterday he figured out the commando crawl. Today he has been slithering all over the place.

He started eating real food yesterday. He'd had applesauce and teething biscuits before, but yesterday was the first time he successfully ate something that he had to chew. Today he had homemade lentil soup for lunch and dinner. Last month we made soup and canned it, but didn't realize just how much it was going to cook in the jars, so it came out on the mushy side. Voila, 3 jars of baby food.

He's also started babbling all the time. Yesterday he came out with "ma ma" and, a bit later, something that sounded like "Obama."

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Looking forward to tomorrow

We've made blueberry waffles every Sunday morning for the past couple
months. It's a nice little routine. Tonight, in saying goodnight to
every one, Chris added blueberry waffles to the list.

Goodnight, blueberry waffles!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Things that came out of Chris's mouth this morning

"Whee! What fun!"

"There goes Chris."

"What the heck!"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Originally uploaded by mandy&john
I just posted nine new videos to Flickr. These are mostly from the holidays with a couple more recent clips. This particular one is of Chris playing his brand new harmonica. He knows how to end a song.

Alex and Joey

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
In the second half of this clip, there is a great moment where Alex looks at Joey and you can almost see the gears turning as he decides to see what she tastes like.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Happy Song

Chris got a CD for Christmas with a song called "Snow Day". Nowhere in the song does the word happy appear, but he insists on calling it "Happy Song."

Diaper Swap

Alex is getting big. He's 23 pounds these days. Chris has almost made it to 30. The "little" one is so big around these days that the size 5 diapers we have for his big brother fit him better than his 4's. Chris, meanwhile, keeps getting skinnier, so Alex's 4's fit him better. So they've traded. Alex now wears a bigger diaper than Chris.


Chris walked into the other room this evening declaring: "Chris go check daddy's email." I must have been tired, because it took almost 30 seconds for my brain to kick in and think, "maybe I should go check on that..."

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Update on Alex

Originally uploaded by mandy&john
In early December, we took Alex to the emergency room thinking hey may be allergic to his formula. The next day, his pediatrician referred us to an allergist. She (the allergy doc) decided that the red stuff all over his body was just eczema and ran some tests for food and pet allergies. Turns out that she was right (not too surprising) and his blood shows no signs of allergen sensitivity.

Looking back, it looks like a formula change upset his already sensitive stomach around the same time that the start of cold, dry weather triggered his eczema. Moisturizer and trying not to overfeed him have solved most of his issues and he's been pretty happy for the first few days this year. This picture gives away that his stomach isn't perfect, but for the most part he's been happy.

Of course, he was screaming bloody murder at one this morning. In the end, OraGel solved his problem.