Snow Day (Part 2)

We got another 10 centimeters of snow a few days ago. Loving the sight of it, but it is already melting.

The day it snowed, Bella enjoyed time outside, …mainly throwing snowballs! Here are a couple of pictures of her in action!

As an aside: The structure in the background (behind Bella) is an old outbuilding from about 1614. I think it was used as a barn and stable for horses way back then. We use it for our horse (…erm…car) and storage. I love the old stone structures here in France! 😍

We made it to see How to Train Your Dragon 3 and we all loved it! Beautiful scenery, gorgeous animation!

Bella has had a good week so far and we are steady on with school activities. We have plans to do a little cooking show next week. It’s going to be all pink, hearts and roses over here!

Until next time, wishing you all a big hearted, first week of February! ❤

Advertisements

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!

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! 🙂

Building Blocks

This week we built fall themed, silly story and sentence blocks to keep our homeschool, writing practice a bit more creative and fun. We built five separate boxes; 1 box each for adjectives, subjects, settings, nouns and verbs. Once the boxes are made, you roll each one, write down the words each box shows on the top after it lands, and then build a sentence, or story from the words. It is nonsensical and silly most of the time which provides a bit of thinking “outside the box” as to what would actually make sense.

Here is a video and a picture of Bella preparing the boxes.

20180925_121941127263399497095189.jpg

We’ve been enjoying some fall roses and other happy, yellow flowers from the garden. We know their days are numbered, and are cherishing their beauty.

Rose Close Up
Rose Close Up
Happy Yellow Flowers in the Garden
Happy Yellow Flowers in the Garden

We are simultaneously in a review time and a step forward time regarding math. This week Bella has been reviewing counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s, and is also continuing forward with her daily multiplication work sheets. She is doing very well with this, and is steady on with her daily reading, reading comprehension, and time ordering (..putting pictures in order based on the story she reads). This is in addition to the silly stories and sentences activity we’ve added for fall, which is primarily for learning sentence structure and practicing handwriting.

Here is Bella working on her math and language arts sheets.

20180925_1209064365721658156325452.jpg
2, 4, 6, 8, ..who do we appreciate.
20180925_120426184195853578320696.jpg
Yay! I’m finished! 🙂

If this blog makes life on the spectrum and facilitating homeschool look easy peasy, please know it isn’t. It is a choice to focus on the good, without giving too much reality to difficult situations that arise. They roll in and they roll out as the clouds that roll by. I see Bella’s effort, her heart and baby steps of progress. Somehow, that is enough to keep me rolling forward, and ready to face each day, whatever comes.

It isn’t all about silly stories and fun, but it is about building blocks and keeping things interesting. It is also about staying open, curious and allowing creative answers to emerge from present moment awareness.

Rose
Rose

Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

As I mentioned last week, the change of season has been challenging for Bella. This week we’ve observed additional rough edges. The change of season has brought up past pain for  Bella to process, and therefore, additional energy and presence on the part of Phil and I to help her manage.

We are assisting Bella to review social stories that reinforce good breathing and relaxation techniques, we continue to do yoga each morning, and we continue to help Bella review her behavioral green choice vs. red choice list. Our Noodle Jar (I’ll be blogging about the Noodle Jar soon) hasn’t been needed for a while, but we’ve added that back into the mix as well.

After a few days of choppy waters, Bella is self regulating more smoothly today, and seems much happier. Way to go Bella!

Last night, she wanted to see Ferdinand. She has found it challenging to say the titles of books, movies and brands lately. So, ..we’ve made a deal with Bella. If she can say the title, she can watch the movie. Here is a short clip of her finally saying, “Let’s watch Ferdinand!” Woot!

It was a cute movie. Bella enjoyed it immensely, even without the sound.

–<3

Today, while Bella was finishing her sight word papers, I was sitting at the end of the table making curtains for her bedroom. Bella loves the little, multi-colored heart print. It’s a work in progress…we’ll be adding some pink touches, a bit of magic glitter sparkle here and there, and some loo roll unicorns per Bella’s request. I’ve suggested these, and Bella likes these.

lrm_export_808118876816367_20180912_1843010839007624104801733935.jpeg

lrm_export_807855024257863_20180912_1838372308929439038918492553.jpeg

–<3

After tea party today (..a daily ritual here in France..ours is at 5:30pm), we walked down the path to the letter box. Bella has been less than excited to do so the past several days for the reasons I’ve explained above. However, she made it happen today. She did hold onto her headphones halfway down the path, but hey! She made it outside! We praised her for her effort.

lrm_export_805944961848114_20180912_1806471688165809087891467920.jpeg

lrm_export_807622443525491_20180912_1834446507273925968209767921.jpeg

–<3

While Bella is needing additional support, I am staying centered and rested with meditation and morning walks before the day begins…

Until next week…Happy trails…<3

Paper Roses

Hello again…we have been busy as usual. There is a definite buzz in the air with back to school everything, everywhere! Grateful to be homeschooling Bella which puts us in a different rhythm. Even still, Bella has been a bit more triggered this week. I observe that she is super sensitive to the change of seasons. All of her sensitivities are heightened right now. Observing this, we have made yoga a top priority. We now start our school day with Rodney Yee’s a.m. yoga and we’ve tried his beginner yoga class as well. Gaia is an amazing resource for us (…thank you aunt Donna for this beautiful gift to us). We have lots and lots of yoga teachers to choose from.

Yoga seems to take the edge off Bella’s anxiety. We’ll keep on with it and see how things evolve. Here is a picture of Bella and I doing yoga yesterday in our pj’s!

Hippobellamus blog picture - Bella and Mommy do yoga!
Bella and Mommy do a.m. yoga!

We decided to change things up a bit this week with our Monday watercolor painting. We painted white paper towels with watercolor paint and took on the challenge of making paper roses. We found this lovely idea here if you want to try it with your kids.

I’ve posted a little slide show below so that you can see each phase of this paper towel, rose making adventure! It took two days to complete these cute paper roses, but they really turned out great! Bella decided to put the roses on the desk in her bedroom. Nice bits of playful color to cheer things up during the fall and winter months.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

All else is reading, math, writing practice, types of sentences (a unit we just finished today), sight words, spelling, speech therapy, and French lessons. Our plates runneth over. Still, we’re taking time to smell the roses.