Sunday, July 13, 2014

April & May Moments


APRIL 11-One of the more exciting moments of April happened when Zak's car died under an overpass on the way home from a meeting in Sugarland.  Oh, how we love that car.  The kids refer to it as "The Wreck." A well deserved name.

APRIL 14-Jakson wanted to eat at "the place where people do tricks" for his birthday dinner. It took us two weeks to figure out he meant a hibachi grill.

APRIL 18-The Easter bunny brought a birthday-present-that-arrived-late for him and a Mary Poppins-esque umbrella for her.   Oh, and the movie Frozen.  Storey wrote a letter to the Easter bunny asking for it because she "knew mom and dad weren't going to buy it."

The kids are also already writing Christmas lists.  Jakson told me that he's going to ask for an iPad.  I told him that Santa doesn't usually bring such expensive gifts.  He said, "That's okay.  I'll just ask for $1000 instead."  Big expectations.  

APRIL 19-While we were cleaning out the garage, I found a box of old cards.  And inside one of them was a five dollar bill in a birthday card from my grandma.  It's been in there for, oh....FOURTEEN YEARS.  Well, thanks Grandma!

MAY 6-Storey's school hosted Moms and Muffins.  This year they did not have iced tea that I inadvertently drank thinking it was Kool-aid.  So that was a positive.  I think Storey ate 5 muffins.   We are so glad that we made the decision to keep her at Cornerstone this year instead of moving on to Kindergarten.  It was a much better fit for her.  She will be going into first grade in the fall at our the local elementary school and I am hoping it's a better public school experience than the one we had with Jakson.  My main concern with Storey is boredom.  And nonstop talking/questions as a result. 

MAY 18- I can't begin to tell you how happy this picture makes me.  I did something right as a parent!!

MAY 22-Jakson was able to start Cub Scouts after he turned eight. I think he is going to be the most dedicated Scout of all time. Less than a month into scouting and he earned his Bobcat. He was so proud.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Not dead


So much has happened since I wrote last--and I will eventually catch up on it because I want to document everything for our annual Blurb book.   We celebrated our 10th anniversary with a cruise, Storey finished up her last year of preschool and had her first dance recital, Jakson earned his Bobcat, and....we bought a house!  And moved!   It's been a little bit crazy to say the least.

We finally have the internet in our new home, so I have no excuse (well, besides time) not to get the posts written.  

Jakson came home from school one day with this new, awesome hat.  He was so proud.  My cute boy.  I just can't believe sometimes how big he has gotten.  Not my little puppy anymore...

Storey informed me that you must have hand sanitizer to "be a lady."   She saved and finally earned enough from chores to be able to buy her very own hand sanitizer.  What a thrill.  Not only did she choose sanitizer at the store, but also a package of travel tissues.    Watch out world.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Eight is Great


Jakson was baptized on May 10th.  He wanted to invite everyone that he'd ever met-all of his therapists, everyone at school, all of the was awesome.  In fact, he invited Great Grandma Blair when we were in Snowflake a couple of months ago and she ended up being able to come, thanks to Grandma Criddle.   Uncle Tyler, Aunt Melissa, and Aunt Megan also flew in for the weekend.   Grandpa and Grandma Vermillion were able to join us via the computer (which was pretty entertaining).  It was a full house!  We were so grateful for the enormous support he received.


For a long time, Jakson was scared to go under the water without goggles on.  Apparently goggles equal invincibility.  I bought some clear goggles but wanted to try and get him to the point where he could be immersed without them (kind of like the least restrictive environment at school).  We brought them as a backup, but Jak was able to get baptized without them, much to the disappointment of several attendees (it really would have been cute).


Storey exclaimed as Jak came out of the water, "Mom, I'm so proud of Jakson." Those two.  Melt my heart. She sang When I Am Baptized and did a fabulous job. She had practiced a lot and remembered all of the things that Sister Cook taught her about Italian vowels in choir.  :)


Piano: Jonathan Criddle (Uncle Jon)
Chorister: Clyde Criddle (Grandpa)

Opening Song: I Love To See The Temple
Opening Prayer: Crystal Criddle (Aunt Crystal)

Baptism Talk: Anne Criddle (Grandma)
Baptism: Zak Vermillion (Dad)
Witnesses: Clyde Criddle (Grandpa) and Tyler Vermillion (Uncle Tyler)

Holy Ghost Talk: Melissa Vermillion (Aunt Melissa)
Special Musical Number: When I Am Baptized sung by Storey Vermillion (sister) and accompanied by Anne Criddle (Grandma)
Confirmation: Zak Vermillion (Dad), Clyde Criddle (Grandpa), Tyler Vermillion (Uncle Tyler), Jonathan Criddle (Uncle Jon), Nate Kolbaba (family friend), Chris Crawford (Bishop)

Welcome To The Ward: Bishop Crawford

Closing Song: Families Can Be Together Forever
Closing Prayer: Bethany Vermillion (Mom)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Valentine's 2014


This year was a special Valentine's Day for Zak and I because it marked ten years since our relationship began.  Ten years ago on February 14th, Zak kissed me for the first time (after being rejected a couple of times.  He is nothing if not persistent) and then we dated for two whole weeks before getting engaged.   I called my mom to tell her that I was thinking about getting engaged and she paused for a moment and then asked, "to who???"   It was definitely a whirlwind and not something I'd recommend to everyone, but it was right for us (though I understand if you think we are crazy).

During the months of our friendship leading up to dating and our engagement, Zak wrote me an email almost every day (he really really liked me).  He would compose it late at night so that I would receive it as I sat down to my desk in the morning.  It was one of the many things that finally convinced me that he was amazing.  All of the emails back and forth were still sitting in our accounts, so I compiled them all into a little book I had bound at Kinko's for his Valentine's present.   The collage above was the front cover and is made up of photos from our friendship/dating/engagement. 

Apparently I wasn't the only one with the idea of the "10 years ago today" theme.  Zak recreated the same gift he gave me that first Valentine's Day and our date that night (Jamba Juice and a viewing of My Fair Lady).  He even stole the exact bear that he got me from Storey's stuffed animal stash.  But we gave it back to her....

Storey's gift was equally thoughtful.  She found the most pink thing she could and made it into a card for me.  It was left, dripping wet with glue on my nightstand.

Miraculously, she let me do her hair for school. Normally, she complains about having braids but this took a lot longer (I'm not very experienced because she starts to scream when I come near her with a brush) and had to be redone a couple of times.  She loved the results though.  A new Valentine's tradition? 
Jakson isn't into mushy holidays, but he shared with us some some wicked bedhead that morning (kind of a daily tradition).

Thursday, May 08, 2014



Autism has turned me into a control freak.

The other day I was scrolling through Instagram, something I rarely do, and noticed that many of my friends seem very laid back and fun.

And then there's me.

Even things as small as taking all the kids to the doctor at the same time (something a friend recently posted a picture of) makes me want to roll into a ball and moan.  I'm way too uptight to do something like that.   It could possibly stem from the fact that last time I took both kids to an appointment, Storey starting crying about something the doctor was doing and Jakson bolted out of the room, covered his ears, and proceeded to scream for a solid twenty minutes.  Then he pooped all over himself.  I'm still experiencing post traumatic stress disorder from that ordeal.

But it's not just doctor visits.  I wish I could be spontaneous.   I learned early on that our little family just can't handle spur of the moment.  I want to surprise my kids by pulling them out of school and taking them to a movie like another friend did a couple of weeks ago.   Last time I tried "surprise" we picked Jakson up after school and took the kids on a staycation (stayed in a hotel here in town).  The result of springing an unexpected activity on Jak?  Meltdown during dinner (at a restaurant) that included throwing himself under the table while yelling.  Not something I want to repeat anytime soon.

So I've become an un-fun control freak.  What once was a minor personality trait in a list of personality traits has now become THE personality trait.   It sort of makes me sad.  I learned about six years ago that my life isn't going to look like everyone else's life because I have a child that has different needs.  And most days I'm okay with that.  But there are times where I'd love to throw my kids in the backseat and yell, "Today we're going to Disneyland!"  or heck, even "No school today, we're going around the corner to get ice cream!"

There are some positives with being very in touch with my control freak side.  I tend to be pretty organized (meltdowns about toy buckets not being in the right spot has made me this way),  because I do so much research, I am a Google master, I'm also fountain of useless information about Disney, and I think people have learned that they can count on me (though if it's not written on my calendar, it's probably not going to get done).  Autism has shaped me in a way that I didn't expect.

I love it and I hate it all at the same time.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Storey Lately


Storey has a huge personality.  HUGE.   She is loud and asks a million questions and sings all the time and asks a million more questions and wants to be the star of the show all.the.time.  Sometimes it's exhausting.

Which is why she naps every afternoon.

These are some of her shenanigans as of late:
Storey has been watching Zak and I do various exercise videos and decided she wanted to exercise too. So she put on her "sports bra" (which is actually a half tee), Can't exercise without the proper support! 

Last month I found a pair of cowboy boots at a consignment sale. They are about 3 sizes too big but Storey insists on clunking around in them almost every day.   Soon after the purchase came the much anticipated Rodeo Day at school.   This girl was in heaven.  She is really getting into the whole Texas pride thing!

Speaking of Texas, Storey had show and tell at school. Texas themed. Because we are in Texas and Texans are taught to be proud of Texas from a very young age. Storey took a paperweight with the shape of the Great State inside. I asked her what other kids showed. She said one brought a picture of bluebonnets, another one a brochure from Space Center Houston....oh, and then there was the kid that brought beef. BEEF.   I asked her what he said about it and she said, "Oh he hasn't been able to show it yet.  He just put it in his cubbie."   Um....

Storey is obsessed with the Berenstain Bear's books. She is constantly telling me that we need to change things in our home to meet Mama Bear's standards. A few nights ago, Storey sat us all down to review the "Family Politeness Plan" that she, er...Mama Bear, put together. It consisted of many rules and consequences that we have not, in fact, implemented since then.

Aunt Leanna mailed each of the kids a letter. Storey was SO EXCITED to get mail. She sat down right away and replied. And included the seeds from the apple that she had just eaten. Because, why not?

From her most recent class book:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Autism is a real thing.



While in Phoenix, we ate lunch at Cafe Rio (of course) and I overheard this conversation from the next table over where Jakson and Storey were sitting with their Aunt Megan.

Aunt Megan:  Storey, don't kick your brother under the table.
Storey: It's okay, he likes it.   He has autism.
Megan: Um, I don't think that's true.
Jakson: Oh, it's true.  Aunt Megan, autism is a real thing.
Megan: Not what I meant....


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