In honor of my son’s birthday, a throwback to 2012 when he turned two.
My oldest daughter, Meagan, shared this picture on Facebook of her and three of her siblings in 2010 with this comment:
currently my favorite picture of all time. i wish jack was old enough at the time to get in on this, its just so darn cute. me and my lifelong friends. so thankful that i get to live and grow with my best friends
August 2010–we had just moved to this house a week before after a five-day, cross-country trek. In the back: Brenna (7 1/2) and Meagan (10). In the front: Owen (8 1/2) and Nora (4). Jack was a month old.
And here’s the most recent pic I have of all five of them together at Owen’s 8th grade graduation in June.
From left to right: Nora (1o), Owen (14), Jack (almost 6), Meagan (almost 16) and Brenna (13).
Here’s what else Meagan had to say about her siblings:
ive been around these kiddos forever. no matter who walks in n out of my life, these fuckers are the ones who will always stick. i dont even want to think of us all starting our own lives and separating. its scary. ive lived with them my whole life, i hate to think one day i might have a hard time getting ahold of them because we let distance or time get in the way
This from a girl that has always said she hates being at home because there are too many people in the house and she can’t stand any of us. I guess she’s getting wise in her “old” age.
I look at the second picture and can hardly believe these are my kids. Three teenagers–two of them in high school in the fall. Am I old enough to have a sixteen-year-old? When I think about them, I still picture those little kids in the first picture.
Or like this:
Brenna (15 months), Meagan (3 1/2) and Owen (2). So little.
I just need to vent.
We’ve lived in this house for a year and a half. A few months after we moved in this lady moved in next door to us. I’ve had issues with her since last summer. First she cut down the trees in the front yard. Fine, that’s her right but they were such beautiful trees, they blocked the sun from the front of our house (where the kids’ bedrooms are) and they were great for climbing. Oh, but she banned the kids from climbing first because, you know, they might fall and get hurt.
Meagan as a nerd.
Owen as a zombie
Brenna as a zombie
Nora as a hippie (all clothes the girls own, I love that top)
Jack as Tigger (wearing the same costume the other 4 kids wore their first time out trick or treating)
The kids: Owen (10), Jack (15 months), Brenna (almost 9–next week) and Nora (5 1/2). Meagan took off with her friends before I could get one of all 5 kids.
OMG, I forgot how much I LOVE the toddler stage. Jack’s starting to talk and it’s just so freaking cute. I missed his first words because I didn’t realize he was saying words. They just sounded like his regular grunts and noises and then one day I realized he was actually trying to say something. Over the last month or so I’ve started to hear more and more distinguishable noises that are obviously words. And some of those are actually starting to sound like real words that other people will recognize.
His first word (that I recall actually recognizing as a word) was mine. It sounds more like “MY” but with the vowel cut short.
He also says dog, up, ball, mama (and now he means me when he says it, YAY), dada, out (occasionally), uh-oh, boo, more, and my personal favorite, night-night (sounds like ny-ny). Forgot another one: hot. And he knows what it means. If I tell him something is hot he’ll stop trying to touch it right away and will point at it and tell me “ha”. (He cuts all his vowels short and doesn’t say the last syllable which is why I didn’t realize his mumblings were actual words at first.)
Now when I put him to bed and say, night-night, he repeats it back. It’s so cute. I think I’ve heard him say his own name, too. He only did it the one day. He doesn’t say much but he understands everything which is hilarious, too. Yesterday he was playing by me and I told him, “I’m gonna get you,” and he started laughing and making “tickle hands” (flexing his fingers like he was tickling) because that’s what I say right before I tickle him. I was cracking up.
He also knows “diapey change” means to go over to the corner where we keep his diaper stuff. Sometimes he’ll just go over there and wait or sometimes he’ll take off running because he doesn’t want his diaper changed. But he understand what it means and what to do. One day he was just kind of hovering around the box and pulled all the diapers out. I’m like, “do you want your diaper changed?” and he plopped down on the floor and waited, lol. Then last night I actually got him to throw something away. I’ve been working with him off and on about throwing stuff away. So I used one of his wipes to clean his face and told him to go throw it away and he walked right over to the trash can, checked to make sure I was watching and tossed it in. I was so proud.
And he knows that, “wanna go bye-bye,” means he needs to get his shoes on and go to the door. Usually he skips the shoe part, lol. As soon as my husband says bye-bye Jack runs for the garage door. Heck, if he sees us putting our shoes on he runs for the door hoping he gets to go, too.
Now if only he would learn to say eat or milk or something to that effect so the other people in the house will remember to feed him. Yesterday I ran to the store. Jack was napping when I left and when I got back an hour or so later (I walked) he was screaming his head off and hubby and all the kids insisted he just wanted me and nothing else would do. I picked him up and asked him what was wrong. When he calmed down some I started asking him all the regular things that are wrong with him (starting with the fact that he’s getting 2 molars and a 3rd tooth all at the same time… OUCH). Then I’m like, “are you hungry, want to eat-eat.” And he immediately threw his hands toward the kitchen like, “YES, finally someone understands.”
My little history post got me thinking about Halloween and how I can still pretty easily remember what the kids wore each year thanks mostly to the pictures. It’s a lot to remember, though. Five kids over 11 years of costumes. So this post is to put those memories to words and pictures.
And to show off my awesome costume making skills. Enjoy.
Halloween 2000: Meagan was only 4 months old and I was so sick with the flu I couldn’t talk. But the weather in Chicago was GORGEOUS. I mean I don’t recall ever having weather like that when I was a kid. Heck, when I was growing up you bought or made costumes 4 sizes too big because you had to fit your heavy winter coat (and, sometimes snowpants) under it. But in 2000 it was in the upper 60s and my neighbors were passing out candy so I dressed Meagan in this orange shirt we bought her at the GAP. Yes, I remember the shirt exactly (it had little pictures of pumpkins printed on the front with one square made of that ridged material that creates the illusion of movement…or, in this case, makes the scratchy noise that entertained her for hours as a baby). I remember this because Jack still wears that shirt. We bought it earlier that month on the sales racks for like $4 along with a yellow one (it had a duck on the front). I regret with all my heart we were too broke to buy more because 11 years and 4 kids later they are still being worn. The printed pictures have worn off but the fabric is in perfect condition. Anyway, we sat outside with the neighbors for an hour or so.
Halloween 2001: Meagan had just turned 16 months and Owen was turning 1 month the next day. We got Meagan the Tigger costume. One of those cheesy one piece outfits that has a picture of the character on the stomach. But it was cute and cheap and Meagan was only one so what would she care, lol. Hubby had to work so I pulled out our brand new double stroller and dressed Meagan up as the cutest Tigger ever and put the orange shirt on Owen (and, to show how much bigger he is than the girls–the 6-12 month size shirt fit him at 1 month the way it fit Meagan at 4 months, lol). We just walked up and down our block and a neighbor girl took Meagan up and down the stairs to get her candy. Then we went home. I was exhausted just with that.
Halloween 2002: Meagan was 2 and Owen was 13 months (minus 1 day). This was the most hilarious Halloween ever. Initially I had no plans to take the kids out, what with me being 9 months pregnant with Brenna and all, but hubby happened to get off work early and was kind of upset that we weren’t going since he missed the year before. Then I remembered a costume that my mom had made me as a kid and dug it out of the box in the basement. Owen had to squeeze into the Tigger costume which is a 12 month size. At 13 months he was already wearing mostly 24month clothes so it didn’t fit. He was not amused. We went around the block with me carrying my 26lbs toddler and trying to help Meagan up and down steps. The stares we got were priceless. I’m sure some people wondered if my gigantic belly was a costume, especially with 2 toddlers in tow. It was kind of cool and I couldn’t even zip my coat up I was so huge. Brenna was born 8 days later.
Owen as Tigger, 13 months; and Meagan as Raggedy Ann, 2
Halloween 2003: Meagan was 3, Owen was 2 and Brenna was almost 1. This was another gorgeous Halloween. The weather was spectacular and I think it got into the 70s. We dressed the kids up and took them to Brookfield Zoo for the day. It was a blast but we missed the candy they hand out when it gets dark. Instead we went home and took the kids trick or treating around the neighborhood. Meagan was Raggedy Ann again because I didn’t have the time or energy or money to make her a new costume. She didn’t seem to care. Owen was Bob the Builder wearing his own overalls and his little tool kit and hard hat he got for his birthday earlier in the month. Brenna wore the Tigger costume which was a little big on her since at 12 months she was still wearing 9 month clothes (my kids are so very different it’s funny).
Meagan as Raggedy Ann (again), 3; Brenna as Tigger, 1; and Owen as Bob the Builder, 2
Halloween 2004: Meagan was 4, Owen was 3 and Brenna was going on 2. This was the year I decided to sew my own costumes. Yeah, somehow I managed to do that with 2 toddlers and a preschooler at home. I started by making Brenna a cute little clown costume but as soon as I got it done Meagan wanted one, too. So back to the fabric store I went for more fabric because it absolutely had to match, lol. Owen was a cowboy and I made him the duster to wear over his jeans and flannel shirt. His cousin happened to give him a pair of cowboy boots. I found the cowboy hat at Wal-mart. I spent a lot more on fabric and stuff to make the costumes than it would have cost to buy crappy ones at the store. But I wanted to be able to pass the costumes (and memories) down to my grandkids like the costume my mom made me when I was little. I got so many compliments on the costumes. Especially the duster. People were surprised to find out I made it. I was so proud. The weather also turned out fantastic again. We took the kids to the zoo in the morning and then trick or treating around the neighborhood when it got dark.
Meagan as a clown, 4; Owen as a cowboy, 3 and Brenna as a clown, almost 2
Halloween 2005: Meagan was 5, Owen was 4, Brenna was almost 3. We actually didn’t go out this year. We had moved to Pennsylvania and we were so broke. I started making Meagan a witch costume but I got sick. It ended up not being an issue because the town we lived in did trick or treating the Thursday before Halloween. That night it was like 40F and raining. And all three kids were sick (not as sick as me but were coughing and had runny noses). So we didn’t go out. They didn’t really seem to notice.
Halloween 2006: Meagan was 6, Owen was 5, Brenna was almost 4 and Nora was almost 7 months. This was our 2nd year in PA and the weather turned out much better on trick or treat night. The first year I thought the town’s celebration was screwy but it turned out so nice. At 6pm on the Thursday before Halloween the sirens went off and everyone came out. For 2 hours everyone trick or treated then at 8pm the sirens went off again and everyone went home. The police and volunteer fire department were out with lights flashing to keep order. I don’t remember being on any street that didn’t have a cop car going by. The weather was great and it was a lot of fun. On Halloween they did a little parade and costume contest for the kids. On Thursday it was like in the upper 60s that night. On Halloween it was only like 50F so it worked out great. I made the kids costumes again this year and got a lot of compliments along with stares and comments about me being out alone with 4 small kids, lol. Meagan was a witch, Owen was Batman, Brenna was a clown and Nora wore the Tigger costume.
Meagan as a witch, 6 years old
Halloween 2007: Meagan was 7, Owen was 6, Brenna was almost 5 and Nora was 18 months. We were back in Chicago this year. The weather was awful. I remember this was the year hubby took off work and it was freaking FREEZING. We had our winter coats and hats on and only made it a few blocks before everyone was miserable. There were barely any people out. So we headed home and were surprised to find my dad had ordered pizza. It was awesome to come home shivering to find our favorite steaming hot pizza waiting. Meagan designed her own costume and I made it. She was a devil. Owen wore this cheap-o Darth Vader costume. The kind of things you buy in a store. But someone had given it to us and it fit. Using the cape from his Batman costume and a plastic lightsaber he looked pretty good (he refused to get the mask). Brenna was a cowgirl wearing one of her own dresses and her cowboy boots. And Nora wore the clown costume I made for Brenna in 2003.
Meagan as a she-devil (designed by her), 7 years old
Halloween 2008: Meagan was 8, Owen was 7, Brenna was almost 6 and Nora was 2 1/2. All of the good weather we had those first years went away. It wasn’t super cold this year but chilly enough that the kids needed jackets. I went out with my friend and her three girls (who were 9, 7 1/2 and 20 months old). She really knew the best routes to go and we got so much freaking candy I didn’t know what to do with it all, lol (I ate most of it). Meagan threw a huge fit about wearing her costume to school and ended up not dressing up. She was like the only kid in uniform all because she was afraid they would make fun of her hippie costume. She looked absolutely adorable and my dad thought it was pretty good (that coming from someone that lived through the era) but I don’t have pictures because she refused to get dressed and stand for the photoshoot. She threw one of her patented tantrums and almost didn’t get to go trick or treating. Owen wore his Darth Vader costume again, Brenna wore the witch costume I made Meagan in 2006 and Nora was a mummy. I just made strips from some muslin I had and wrapped her up. She looked really cute but I didn’t have time to sew the strips together so it all fell apart by the time we got home.
Brenna as a witch, almost 6; Owen as Darth Vader, 7; and Nora as a mummy, 2 1/2
Halloween 2009: Meagan was 9, Owen was 8, Brenna was almost 7 and Nora was 3 1/2. Another cold year. I remember this year because I took the kids out along with my friend’s older two girls (who were 10 and 8 1/2) because her youngest (3) had swine flu. It wouldn’t have been bad but her oldest daughter has a mouth. We got about 3 blocks from their house and I almost took her back home because she made fun of Brenna repeatedly for her speech problems. Poor Brenna is just the sweetest, most caring kid ever and she can’t help the way she talks. She couldn’t understand why an older kid was making fun of her. A 10yo making fun of a 6yo. That’s just wrong. But we kept going despite how annoying this kid is. I love my friend and her kids but she can be so annoying. Owen didn’t go with us because an hour after he got to school I got a call that he wasn’t feeling well. When I went to pick him up he was white as a sheet and shaking like crazy. It was our first case of the flu for one of the kids. Poor kid. He ended up passing out candy on Halloween because he was feeling a little better but not well enough to be out in the cold all night. And that was after I worked really hard on his costume. He was going to be a SWAT guy. I made the vest for him and it turned out really good. Meagan was a rock star, I believe, using her own clothes. But she threw a huge fit so I have no pictures of her again. Brenna wore the hippie costume (with a slight change from what Meagan chose) and Nora wore the clown costume I made Brenna in 2006.
Brenna as a hippie, almost 7
Halloween 2010: Meagan was 10, Owen was 9, Brenna was almost 8, Nora was 4 1/2 and Jack was 3 1/2 months. It was our first year in Washington so I didn’t know how things were going to go but everything turned out great. Our neighborhood is so friendly and quiet. There were tons of kids out. Meagan opted to go out with her friend, Jamie, and her sister and cousin. It’s the first year I allowed one of the kids to go on their own (they went sans parents). The rest of us started out with Owen’s friend Connor and his dad and sister (Teagan, Nora’s friend). But the kids were getting too far ahead for Nora so Owen and Brenna went off with them. Me, hubby, Nora and Jack in the stroller took our time just walking around our loop. That was enough for me. Meagan was a rock star. Her friend did up her hair and makeup (it was crazy). Owen was an old man wearing some clothes I picked up at the Salvation Army when I was in college. Brenna wore the devil costume with some stretch pants underneath. She looked really cute. Nora wore the witch costume from 2006 and Jack had on this cute Halloween jammies my niece found him at a yard sale and a pumpkin hat I knitted him up real quick the night before.
Owen as an old man, 9; Nora as a witch, 4 1/2; Brenna as a devil, almost 8; and Meagan as a rock star, 10
I’m not sure what the kids are going to be this year. The odds are nerd, hippie and baby are going to come up. They have to make do with what we have on hand and they’ve outgrown all the costumes I’ve made over the years. Jack is going to wear the Tigger costume just like all the other kids. Last year I was afraid it wouldn’t fit him but he ended up being small like the girls were so, even though he is 15 months, the 12 month costume will still fit him. Hopefully the weather will be nice this year like last year (the kids just wore light jackets).
So I haven’t been online much the last week. All my landcomms have kind of died down for the month. stargateland is doing a special Red Alert phase just this month which is mostly group stuff (fun, but I’m not much with the group participation) and fictionland ended phase 1 last week but we haven’t heard from the owner in a couple of weeks. Hope she’s okay.
It’s been kind of nice to have no pressing matters online. I started going through some older, unfinished stories but then I was having issues with concentration stemming from the fact that I’ve been averaging 5 hours of sleep a night since school started. Not good for my brain. Or my immune system. I caught the cold the kids brought home and was sick for several days and just avoided the computer all together.
I did get a bunch of TV watched and I’m now down to the last 5 episodes of Farscape.
But mostly I’ve been knitting. I’ve finished a whole bunch of small projects in the last week.
Fingerless mitts for the girls. They’ve been fighting over these things since I finished them. Luckily they’re a quick knit. It took me 2 days to do these while watching Farscape. About 3 episodes each (so 3 hours a piece). Not bad. So I had to make a 2nd pair.
Modeled by Meagan. These went quicker since I already knew the pattern. But they turned out slightly bigger despite being made out of the same brand yarn. I figure that’s because one is the striped kind and that always seems to throw the gauge off (I rarely ever knit test swatches, lol). I still have one set to make so they’ll stop fighting but I got bored with that pattern.
I moved on to some hats.
This little hat got all screwed up because my attention was split with the TV, lol. It turned out too shallow for an adult but the girls seem to like it. It’s made with super bulky yarn so it’s really thick and warm. Going to try the pattern again but pay more attention to what I’m doing.
This hat took me 2 days and is mostly what I did while I was sick. It’s done using this slip stitch pattern (because I can not knit with 2 colors in the same row). Because of all the slipping of stitches and the resulting carried yarn on the back it’s basically double thick in the colored area and, therefore, very warm. Jack seems to like it even though it’s a bit big for him still.
This one I didn’t knit this week. I finished last month some time and Jack’s actually worn it twice already but I had to show it off. There’s no real rhyme or reason to the stripe pattern other than certain colors are grouped together. This is the 3rd time I’ve used this pattern.
This is the 2nd one I did but used a smaller yarn. Jack was like 4 months old in the picture. He looked so cute in that sweater. The other one isn’t finished. I ran out of the main color of yarn with the sleeves still left. We don’t have the store here that I bought it at and I haven’t ever gotten around to ordering some online.
Jack decided to take his fist steps today. He’s 13 1/2 months old. We were all shocked and excited and Daddy was there to see it (he missed most of this stuff with the other kids).
See, up until today Jack refused to have anything to do with independent walking. He’d cruise the furniture and walk if he held your hands but if you even tried to let go of him he’d drop right to his knees. I could never get him to stand more than a second and then if you tried a second time he’d get mad and refuse to put his feet down.
Tonight my husband was lying on the couch teasing him with a toy and Jack actually let go of the couch to try and reach for the toy. That lead to use cheering which led to him being more daring. He’d let go and lean over for a second then fall down and laugh. Then he started taking a little half step before purposefully falling. Within a few minutes he escalated to a couple of steps.
The more we clapped the more excited he got and the more he wanted to try it. Then he just up and walked across the room. He went from refusing to even try to walk on his own to walking every where and standing up in the middle of the room without help or holding anything.
I’m so excited. By tomorrow night he’ll probably be running through the house. We are in so much trouble. He’s a mischievous little guy just like his namesake.