I am going to start with the most recent updates and work backwards.
Thursday, Storey turned five. My friend Mandy said that her sister (who has many children) described four as the age that a child cries for an entire year. That testimony is true. So far I haven't seen a huge decrease in tantrums the age difference, but I'm hoping that will come in the next week or so??? If only that were the case.
We have decided recently that Storey does not just take after her Vermillion side, she is THE Vermillion. If the family ever needs a spokesperson, you've got your woman.
Already she has this amazing bond and love for Jakson that I am hopeful will last throughout their lives. They still fight and she still cries if he looks at her wrong, but she is his best therapist and best friend. Every time she gets a prize at school or a sticker at the grocery store or dentist, she asks for one to give to her brother. This may have something to do with her need to have equality/fairness in all things, but I like to think it's because she is extremely giving. In fact, at a birthday party she went to recently she somehow swindled herself an extra goodie bag to give to her brother (who was not an invited guest).
Storey has been planning her fifth birthday for literally the last 364 days. It was a birthday adventure year (no party), and she told us last August that we would be going to the beach. She knows the date of her birthday but has a really hard time with the concept of time in general (may have inherited this trait from me) and so keeps track of when her birthday is coming by checking off other family member's birthdays. A couple of weeks ago was her Aunt Megan's birthday, so Storey knew hers was coming quickly. Every day she would ask if her birthday was in a year or in a week (mistakenly, she believes a week is longer than a year).
Last weekend we headed to Galveston to celebrate. We were able to score a deal on Priceline for a hotel right across the street from a very quiet and clean beach. After spending a few minutes jumping on the hotel beds and a few more attempting to take a decent family picture on the beach with a tripod and timer (Zak is a patient man) we headed to a mediocre Italian dinner (where we discovered that Yelpers in Galveston are very generous in their reviews). Following dinner, we went down to the beach with our flashlights to look for crabs. In their enthusiasm (and armed with buckets), the kids succeeded in terrifying most of the creatures we encountered. Mainly we came across very tiny and very fast crabs. And a couple of jellyfish that had been washed up in the tide. Storey and Jak found the whole experience thrilling, despite the fact that large sea life was lacking.
The next day we had breakfast at Miller's on the SeaWalk (I only mention because it was fairly good) and then spent the rest of the day on the beach. I wasn't quite sure how Jakson would like the ocean, but he LOVED it. Storey walked out pretty far with Zak initially, but after getting some salt water in her mouth (and screaming about it so much that another family asked me if she'd been stung by a jellyfish), she entertained herself by building a sand castle on the beach. Jakson kept trying to ride the waves, so I ran up to a gift shop on the beach and bought him a boogie board. He spent a good two hours learning to boogie board with Zak and playing in the water.
As we left, Storey informed that it was her best day ever and that she loved the beach. Birthday adventure success.