Turtles and Snails

They are both slow, but eventually, they reach their destinations. They both have protective shells to hide in, and are highly sensitive.

This week we were turtles and snails. We made it through our school week, but it has been a slower pace, and with more sensitivity.

I have been renewing my energy, and that continues. When the mama doesn’t feel good, the whole house slows down. It is an interesting rythm to observe. Thus, the blog is late this week, and may be put on hold until I am completely centered and mended. Self care first, then the ability to share your energy with others.

Bella is making good progress with a new math unit, and has been super enthusiastic about getting married this week. She says that she will marry a boy named Jackson, and have a baby named Jannis. I love her dreams and listen to them with loving heart. I have explained that some things are a mystery and we will see what the future brings. Here’s one of Bella’s drawings that illustrates her current thought process about what will be…

I note how influenced Bella is by Hotel Transylvania. She wants to be like Mavis when she grows up. Note the likeness of Bella with vampire fangs and her boyfriend, and baby both have red hair. 😉 Bella also announced that she will be Mavis next Halloween! How exciting!🎃

And now, ..back to my turtle crawl and snails pace. Staying quiet and tucking in until I feel better. See you after that.

Peace. x

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Clouds Roll In

The clouds roll in, the clouds roll out, and sometimes they overstay their welcome. Today was one of those days.

Bella was able to make it through her school work and seemed okay during lunch, but in the afternoon, there were overhanging clouds of heightened sound sensitivity, and accompanying noise (made by Bella) to let me know how she felt about it.

One of the most puzzling aspects of Bella’s sound sensitivity and autism, is the impressive amount of noise she can generate even though she cannot stand various sounds.

Something I observe is that Bella will make noise just to avoid the eventuality, or possibility of sound. She abhors unpredictable sound.

Watching her closely, assisting her through rough spots, and managing my own energy along the way. Tomorrow is another day.

In more cheerful news, Bella and I went to see a 2D animated movie last weekend called, “Pachamama.” It was artistically beautiful and Bella seemed to enjoy it.

Bella’s fairy, arts and crafts project from last week is still brightening up a little corner in our kitchen. Every time I look at it, I think of the magic I believed in as a child, and how that magic is still with me deep at heart. It is the very thing that keeps me going on days like today.

Bella’s grandmother sent us a picture of the photo of Bella that we sent her for Christmas. She has framed it beautifully and attached a little accoutrement charm to the frame that says, “love.” Oh, how Bella loves her grandma!

Love indeed. Love is where all magic is born, and where all manner of unbelievable good can be felt and experienced.

Love sustains, and bring sunshine to the heart, even on cloudy days.

Wishing you all a bright hearted week!

…And a Happy New Year!

Even though we’ve had a sweet Christmas, and family here to help us ring in the new year, the house feels comfortably quiet and peacefully still.

I am unapologetically late with the blog this week as a symptom of burnout. Anyone relate? Renewing energy is primordial, especially for those actively caring for special needs children. So, here I am, …battery is charging.

Bella typically has very little interest in the world outside of her routine, with the exception of our adventures to the cinema a few times per month. However, I sense this is slowly shifting.

Bella made the cutest posters to welcome her cousin’s visit for the New Year holiday (..see below).

Unfortunately, her cousin wasn’t completely enthusiastic about connecting, and Bella has been disappointed. Still, they did share some good moments. They had a makeup party, made crafts together, and we all went to a movie together downtown. Bella was grateful for the interaction, and it was wonderful for me to witness.

Here is a picture of Bella with her cousin and friend, Coline.

And the lovely butterfly makeup kit they used for their makeup party!

We took down the Christmas tree and declarations yesterday. All that remains are the memories made, and the sweet feeling of promise in the new year ahead.

Bella has found joy in doing some small mosaic, art projects the last few days after finishing some glitter fairies with her cousin. Here is one of the sticker mosaics she has completed.

Now then, I hereby give you all permission to unashamedly charge your energetic, soul batteries, and to celebrate every moment! Even when you are asked to go it alone, or you are disappointed with outcomes you held fixed expectations about. I observe that kids (..on the spectrum or not) can teach us how to roll with the punches.

By all means, have a wonder filled 2019!

Bella Cooks

Hello! We are up to our ears in projects at the moment. One of them has been the making of our favorite, gluten-free sugar cookies! I’ve posted a little video and a link to the recipe below. We also attempted a fall leaf, hodgepodge project that turned out pretty sweet. You can see a picture of that project at the very bottom of the page. 🙂
We’ve had a challenging week, but we keep plugging along. Hope all of you out there are having a beautiful fall experience. See you next week!

Bella Cooks from Hippobellamus on Vimeo.

Click here for the recipe! 🙂

Hodgepodge Leaf Project

All the Comforts of Fall

More fall crafts, fall comfort food baking, and overall good days. We enjoyed our first gathering around the fireplace a couple of nights ago. It was just the right amount of heat to take the edge off the chill in the air. It still isn’t cold enough to use our winter, pellet heat during the day. Fall is mild for now.

Today we glitter painted the fall leaves we gathered up a few days ago. Now we are trying to decide how to display them, what to do with them. We had a good time, and think that they turned out kind of pretty. What do you think? Here are several pictures of the gathering, painting, and scattering.

Morning sun...
Morning sun…
Gathering fallen leaves
Bella…triggered by the outside sounds, but gathering leaves and walking with mom.
Autumn leaves...
Autumn leaves…
Glitter painting autumn leaves...
Bella glitter painting the dried leaves…
Scattered autumn leaves
Glitter painted leaves, scattered and drying…

Bella has decided to enter a couple of coloring / art contests. Here is a picture she is submitting to Sylvanian Families. It is already a winner in my book! 🙂

Coloring Contest
Bella’s coloring contest picture!

We’ve been ambitious with our baking this week! We tried our hand at making apple turnovers! We did cheat and use pre-made, puff pastry, but I did it with a clear conscience. It is organic and much better than I could’ve made as an inexperienced pastry maker.

I made my own alterations to the recipe as I felt it asked for too much sugar. I cut the sugar in half, and it was still almost too sweet for us. The apples are very sweet all on their own. Next go round, I will simply sprinkle about a Tbsp. of sugar on the apples. I feel that will be enough sweet.

The turnovers turned out absolutely delicious! Next time, we plan to make the pastry dough from scratch. I’ve found a pretty good source for gluten free, puff pastry. If it turns out, I’ll share the recipe. Here are pictures of our baking adventure this week.

Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
Bella staring down the apple. 🙂
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
All ready for the skillet!
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
2 Tbsp. of butter… in go the apple slices!
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
Cheat sheet! Bio (organic), puff pastry sheet!
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
The end result…delicious!

Bella is already listening to Christmas music, and making her Christmas list! She has made several Christmas cards, and some adorable Christmas pictures as well. Here’s an example.

Merry Christmas in October!
Merry Christmas in October!

I am sorry to say that our bats are still hanging around, but they are not exactly hanging where we intend them to be. So, …we cannot show you the end result today. That will be forwarded to next week’s blog.

Wishing you all the comforts of fall! See you again next week!

Sunshine through trees...
Sunshine through trees…

Bella’s First Time-Lapse Art Video

We’ve had a great week so far! And you? We’ve stayed very content with projects which we will share below. Bella is doing great with her homeschool studies. Our yoga has dwindled, but we will roll out the mats again this week. Bella continues to do the Macarena every chance she gets! :^)

Bella and I have done something extra special for you today. I recorded Bella drawing the bat you see in the featured image above, and created a time-lapse video! Woot! (Thank you Papa Christian for the suggestion). Here is the time-lapse video, set to the epic music of Bella’s step dad, Phil, featuring the voice of her mama (moi). Enjoy!

1st Time-Lapse Art Video – October, 2018 from Hippo on Vimeo.

Phil came home from the market with marshmallows a few days ago, and had a plan to help Bella with a little game / project of connecting marshmallows with spaghetti. Bella loved this! She was able to build quite a structure. When pieces broke, it was an easy fix with additional spaghetti sticks. Fun! 🙂 Here are a few pictures from this cool project.

Another highlight for Bella this week has been the traditional makings of homemade spiders, bats and other creepy things for Halloween. We’ll show you the final results next week, but for now, here is a quick snippet of Bella painting, and some pictures of our progress.

See you next week with more from the Hippobellamus camp! 🙂

Happy October!

The witch costume arrived this week! Woot! 🎃 As you can see, Bella was very excited to try it on. Looks extra Halloween-ish with our groovy, light therapy in the background doesn’t it? The costume fits perfectly, and will work a treat with a black turtleneck underneath.

Bella’s little Halloween toys should arrive this week as well, and will be a nice addition to her already enormous collection of Calico Critters, or Sylvanian Friends as they are called here in Europe.

All else with school and life is steady on with its usual bumps in road. I keep on keeping on, and repeat my favorite mantra, I’ve got this.

Happy October everyone!