21 February 2011

Sand Tales

Scrolling through these photos,
it looks like we had a weekend of pure fun,
but you will notice a conspicuous lack of Pearl photos.
Our hotandcold child was having a very frigid afternoon.
While Ryan dealt with her mood, the rest of us tried to enjoy ourselves.
Olive always makes friends immediately, our social butterfly.
Clover claimed she didn't want to go to the park, but I think she might have changed her mind, what do you think?
Azure was intent on sprinkling sand all along the edges of the whole playground.  She took her job very seriously and then tried to feed the birds the remainder of the sand.
Divine was content to be alone, but people are usually drawn to her, and she ends up entertaining anyway.

This photo might look incriminating, as I don't drink alcohol, but we stopped by the farmer's market and bought some homemade [non-alcoholic] ginger beer with money I borrowed from Pearl, who happened to have some cash.
Those curls, those cheeks, and those eyes: I'm a sucker.
  Sure, one more cookie, one more book, one more kiss.
By the time we left,
Pearl was back to her normal self,
We're not quite sure what to do with her.  Maybe more prayers?  She has a will of steel, that one, which she'll need as she gets older.  Dealing with it, in the meantime, will certainly temper her parents who love her dearly because she has a generous heart and a constant craving for cuddles.  I suppose that's what they call tender mercies.  If you walk next to her and your hand accidentally rubs against her, that little hand, like a magnet, will suddenly be in yours.  I'm glad it is, for holding little hands is one of my top ten things, right up there with really hot showers and late night bowls of strawberries and cream.


  1. I have a Pearl, too--you've named yours perfectly, as she can get under your skin and irritate, but your love and patience is surely coating her daily with what she needs to be a fabulous shining example of an adult. Are either you or your hubby possesors of some of her traits? Our littles come with personalities that make them unique; the trick is finding ways to help them excel with the skills they've got. And keep praying.
    We tell ourselves daily that our Pearl will be an amazing 21 year old--it's just the getting her there that is exhasting but oh so fulfilling.

  2. Love your blog! We have a hot and cold one too. I don t know if you ve read anything about Highly Sensitive Children (HSC) but it is a helpful lens for us. Dr Gordon Neufeld has a great series called The Power To Parent that is really great and addresses both The Highly Sensitive Child and an Alpha child which is the toughest combo to parent. It's been a deep breathe when we ve had some challenging moooody times!

  3. looks like you live in paradise to me!

  4. i'm seriously crying right now. you put into exact words what our little one is to a "T". i beat myself up on some days wondering if we've done something wrong. someday are SOOOOO good and others are just....well....not so good. prayers.

  5. At least she loves to cuddle. I have a 9 year old boy who is too cool for hugs, even though he needs them desperatly some times. Keep on praying and doing your best. (That's what I'm focusing on right now--hoping it will make a difference.)

  6. Beautiful photos - as usual! We are going through some hard stuff with our 4 year old daughter right now too. She's our first, so I often over the years just thought that "oh, this must be how 2/3/4 year olds are", but now that my other children are in those ages, and she is in preschool and has friends over I see how unique she is. Very polarizing. When she is happy she is HAPPY!!!!!, and when she is upset you better plug your ears and reinforce your floors (because of the stomping of course). She is smart, loving, kind, compassionate, a leader, and so many wonderful things. But many days are a trial, and I am often left drained from her fits of anger or frustration and left wondering what I am doing wrong and how I can help her and what life looks like through her eyes. It can be heartbreaking! She just has too much emotion for such a small girl. Thank you for sharing your pearl stories because they give me peace that I did not cause her to be like she is, that I'm not alone in my struggles, and that there isn't necessarily something "wrong" with her.

  7. I was a hotandcold child, too. And a hotandcold teenager and sometimes I'm a hotandcold mommy. It is in my nature. I like how you're named it (obviously.)

    What helped me - and everyone around me - was when my parents and siblings started to recognize that when I said "I want to be alone!" I wasn't being petulant, I was genuinely needing to decompress on my own. Some quiet time in my room on my own terms and everything was right as rain. Often with a snack.

    Even now - mommy needs time outs from now and then. Allowing myself to feel - genuinely- every emotion without trying to deny or direct it and they often run their course (some more quickly than others) and everything is fine.

    I know it is not easy for the people around me, and it is not easy for me. Yoga, meditation, prayer, and just the firm knowledge that I am loved regardless of my mood keep us all on a happy plane.

    Good luck!

  8. Such pretty photos! What a gorgeous family. I wish I had some words of wisdom for you, but I don't... looking beyond myself for strength when I need it most is usually what helps me. You can only do your best, and I'm sure you are.

  9. My boy is hotandcold as well. I am reading this just as he's in his room after one of his episodes. It is comforting to know that there are other parents having the same struggles. If you land on any parenting gems that work for Pearl, please share as others could use the help!

  10. She has a will of steel, that one, which she'll need as she gets older.


    That shows pure wisdom!

    Give thanks for that will and continue to let it be molded and shaped.

  11. I think it's awesome when parents portray the unique behaviors of their different children. You did it beautifully.
    In response to your question... I have found through my time working in a day care setting that giving the ones that are more challenging -more responsibility, seems to make them feel like they're getting more attention and have more pride in themselves. Helping Daddy collect the trash, getting Mommy's favorite shoes from the closet and then following that with almost exagerated praise and pleasure.
    Every child is so different, and sometimes what works on one child doesn't work on another, so this may not be useful. But I think you both clearly do an amazing job with ALL of your children :)!

  12. Good counsel. You and Ryan are wonderful, patient parents for Pearl and her sibs.

  13. Raising your spirited child by M. Sheedy Kurcinka helped us understand our kiddo a bit. be well:)

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  15. Love the pictures! Your family is so beautiful!

  16. Oh what a lovely afternoon. I wish we lived in a warm climate. Le sigh. Hooray for ginger beer!

  17. Oh how I love you read your blog!

    For my parents, I was the "hot and cold child". Although I loved my parents dearly, I still recall being a 12 year old and screaming "I hate you" at my father, realizing now how much it must have killed him. Each time I screamed he softly replied "Well, I love you."
    You are clearly wonderful, patient, loving parents to your Pearl. Prayers work, and do does time.

  18. We have five beautiful children and one of them needs some extra care,she is passionate,caring and intelligent but she gets so angry at times!
    We love and tell her so,that we understand her frustration,we are here to help in any way we can,but we will not accept unkind behaviour.
    She is nearly 12 and we are getting there,with Gods good grace.
    You and your husband do a fine job,it is evident in your wonderful girls!

  19. Congratulations on your Project Run and Play win! I have watched the competition closely, and have so enjoyed your creations. As a former teacher (and mom), I am looking forward to participating in the March challenge.

  20. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka - Raising Your Spirited Child. This gets us through those days when you repeat the mantra, "She's MY child and I LOVE her... She's MY child and I LOVE her...". I have two of 'em!

  21. My hot-and-cold is now 10, going on 18. But, she is MUCH easier now than she was at 4. She was sort of born grown up and being little and not having much judgement and experience to guide her very adult spirit was a trial to us all.

    She also has a very strong sense of agency and at 4 a simple request like "please put on your shoes" was a battle worth planting her flag and dying over. Now, at 10, she is starting to see that shoes are sometimes necessary and not really an assult on her freedom.

    You have my sympathy, because I remember days that lasted FOREVER. But the years go by quickly and my daughter is a lovely, loving and happy (most of the time) young woman. With your love and support she is sure to turn out well.

    People used to watch us battle and say "helpful" things like, "There will be H*** to pay when she is a teenager." Even then I thought (or maybe just hoped), "I don't think so." And more and more I am convinced that, while I am certain things won't be perfect, they won't be bad. As you said, all that strength is there for a reason. And the reason is a good one.

    Best wishes and prayers.

  22. some {certain} children were sent to teach patience. And I must have needed to learn a lot. Beautiful girls, beautiful photos- all that blue green goodness!

  23. We have a "Pearl" of our own. They require a lot of extra love & patience, don't they? We say she was meant to be an only child. :) I didn't read any of the other comments & this post is quite old, so maybe Pearl is in a different phase, but I'd like to suggest, "How to Talk so Kids Will Listen & Listen so Kids Will Talk" by Faber & Malish. So, so so so good! I have the reminder sheets taped up around the house & when I use them, things go much more smoothly around here. :)Many blessings!!


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