Friday, May 11, 2012

Sibling Rivalry- Brotherly Love

Welcoming new baby sister Elyse
I remember the moment very well.  It was less than an hour after Elyse was born and a 2.5 year old Kieran came into the hospital room.  He climbed up in the bed next to me and looked at his new baby sister.  He smiled at her and whispered, "I just love her."  It was the perfect moment, and I had dreams of these two always being the best of friends.  Well, fast forward 3.5 years.  Now we have an active 6 year old who loves playing with Legos and defending the neighborhood with his gang of boys.  On the other side of the spectrum we have an active 3 year old who plans to grow up to be a princess and a fairy, and, frankly, expects to be treated that way now!  She loves her brother and knows him so well that she know just which button to push to drive him absolutely CRAZY.  She wants to play with the boys, but comes in crying if they "shoot" her or attack her with a sword (seriously, what princess wants to be attacked?).  She pulls apart his Lego creations and jumps on top of him at random moments throughout the day.  He is rarely amused by her attention.  Sometimes they are at each others' throats all day.  I don't have any brothers so this sister-brother thing is new territory for me!

Elyse before she could get into his toys!
Every now and then, God sends me a reminder that my kids do love each other, and that He created them for each other.  Recently, we were in Whitney, TX visiting some new friends and (surprise, surprise) Elyse fell face first on a rocky, dirt road.  Of course, she got a small pebble lodged in her head.  Despite all our attempts, we could not get it out, and ended up taking her to a med center to have it removed.  Kris, our host, and Elyse headed to the doctor, and I stayed at the house with Kieran.  Soon after they left, I could tell that Kieran was upset.  He asked if we could go for a walk.  As we headed out of the house, he said, "Mommy, is Elyse going to be okay?  I don't know what life would be like without a sister.  She's the only sister I've got!  She isn't going to die, is she?"  I assured him that Elyse was going to be fine and we spent the next 20 minutes or so walking and praying for his sister. 

Thankfully, Elyse did survive the rock removal.  As expected, less than 24 hours later, they were fighting over sitting in my lap and trying to get on each other's last nerve, but I knew that deep down inside there was a lot of love between that little sister and her big brother. 
 Kieran and Elyse

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Remember the Alamo...and other fun things in San Antonio!

To say that life is busy for the Toler family right now would be a huge understatement!  Date night has turn into late nights of grammar analysis and play dates have turned into "can your child come over and play with mine so that we can get some homework done?!"  The fact is, I don’t have time to sit down and write this blog, but as I turned the calendar over to May, I realized it had been a whole months since I’d written anything.  I decided that time goes by way too fast not to make a note of the memories that we’ve shared recently.  
 In between our 3rd and 4th session of classes, we had a 3 day break and decided to take off for a mini-family vacation.  The reality is that we will probably not be able to take off for a week to go to the beach or Disney anytime in the near future, but that is okay.  We had been wanting to visit San Antonio, which is about a 4 hour drive from Dallas and decided that it would be a doable trip for this amount of time.  I went on Travelocity and decided to be brave and try one of their “mystery deals” (kind of like name your own price on Priceline) where you don’t know the name of the hotel until after you make the reservations.  We ended up getting a 4 star hotel 3 blocks from the Alamo and the Riverwalk for less than $50 a night!  Woo hoo!  We had such a nice time cruising the Riverwalk, visiting the Alamo, exploring the Natural Bridge Caverns, and eating the biggest cinnamon roll ever!  Kieran said it was the best trip he has ever taken!  I’m so glad we took this time to relax and enjoy some good family time. 

We found a little piece of Oaxaca right across from our hotel.  Unfortunately, it was closed down :(! 

Yep!  That is one big cinnamon roll!
I'm not sure that knife is big enough.

Nothing like a nutritious breakfast to start the day! 
Little House on the Prairie
Still no basement in the Alamo.
This one needs a Texas sized nap!  She did fall asleep on his head.
Nothing says vacation like a hotel swimming pool.  It was a bit too cold for Elyse and mommy!
Dinner at the Magic Time Machine.  We had our own little house to eat in!
And our waitress was Daphne with her friend Scooby Doo!
We ended out trip at the Natural Bridge Caverns and saw the amazing caves and rock formations.