A Great Homeschool Day

 

Happy Tuesday!! I hope all of you are having a good week so far.

Chloe had a wonderful day yesterday. She worked so hard on her homeschool work. Her focus was a bit off at first, but once you got her on task she took off!! We worked a lot on phonics activities and she loved using her letter stamps to spell out words from The Nativity Story. She is now able to do addition and subtraction facts in her head from 0 to 10. She blew me away!

We spent an hour outside playing bubbles and chalk. It was 41 degrees, but didn’t feel so cold as the day before. She had so much fun. We checked on our bird feeders to see if the birds had eaten any. Yes they had.

During the afternoon she made a fingerprint candy cane card and 2 tree ornaments for her tree.  We read a lot of books together and sang tons of Christmas songs.

What a wonderful day!

 

How We Celebrate Christmas

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Good morning everyone. Today I want to share how we celebrate Christmas. I know some of what I say may seem strange, but it is what I choose to do.

I grew up celebrating Christmas in the traditional way. Santa, presents, lights movies, food, reindeer, the tree and all of the other stuff. My Mom made sure our Christmas morning was magical.  When I became a Mom myself I tried to recreate that magic. All I created is stress for myself! I was a single mom for 10 1/2 years and I felt I had to really step it up. My kids were happy, so it didn’t matter if I was.

Fast forward to 2007 I remarried and we combined 4 teens and 1 adult kiddo. Then 1 1/2 years later Chloe was here. So big family means  BIG CHRISTMAS!! What we got was a lot of debt. We had fun moments, but after it was over everyone was down. Now fast forward another 9 years and its just Brett, Chloe and myself at home. I decided things must change. Chloe, being Autistic, can’t handle all of the “traditional” things of Christmas. She doesn’t ask for much, but I usually tried to give her all of the experiences. She was not a fan of Santa when she was little. Fear is an understatement. Now she sees him like she sees Mickey Mouse. He is fun to see, but she has no idea what his role in Christmas is. If you ask her what is Christmas about she will say “It’s Jesus Birthday”. So this is the first year we have not seen Santa. She hasn’t asked once to go see him. If we happen to be at the mall and she wants to go up and see him that’s ok.

So how have I changed Christmas in our home.

*I have minimal décor. I use to feel I had to decorate every inch of my home. Now I have a small tree, stockings, a few special candles and the Nativity. Outside I have a wooden sign that says “Unto us a child is born”. No more outside lights.

*I want our focus to be on Jesus. We do watch movies with Santa, like The Polar Express, but like I said she sees him like she does Mickey Mouse. We watch and read a lot about the birth of Jesus.

* Less presents. Chloe asked for 4 presents from us and a few from her grandparents. I had her siblings get her 1 simple gift, like a book or a game.

* No making tons of sweets. I used to spend days in the kitchen making fudge, cookies and other treats for gifts. I am only making a few things this year.

*I AM NOT GOING TO STRESS!!! I have been so less stressed this year. If I get around grumpy people at the store I start humming Christmas songs. LOL. I really do.

* I do buy gifts for our 1 yr old grandson. I also buy a gift for my parents. They tell me not to, but If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today. It is more to honor and thank them.

* Brett and I don’t exchange gifts. The adult kids and we don’t exchange gifts. I think the gifts are for the little kids.

 

I just felt the need to take control of what is suppose to be a joyous time of year, not a time of stress, debt and depression. I do not judge anyone who enjoys all of the bells and whistles. If you do everything with joy in your heart then that’s wonderful. We had to make changes because of our daughter and because I was tired of feeling like I was letting her down by not giving her a bunch of traditions that she didn’t even want to do. I hope I wasn’t a downer. This has been on my heart for a few weeks and I needed to share. I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season so far.

Have a blessed day.

Errands With Mom and Snow Dough

 

Friday was a busy day for Chloe and I. I had a lot of errands to run yesterday morning. I’m always concerned how Chloe will do when I take her out. I gave her the usual rundown of the rules and off we went.

The first stop was Walmart. Oh how I wish they had one of the Caroline carts there. She gets so anxious I have to put her in the cart. Remember she is almost 5 ft tall and 98 lbs at 8 yrs old. Putting her in a cart is NOT an easy task for me. She rides until we get to the toy dept. Then she wants out, again NOT easy for me. She looks around at the same 6 toys she always does and then announces she is ready to leave. I was very proud of her behavior. She use to cry in Walmart a lot, but now she just needs that cart ride. We can’t do it much longer though.

The next 2 stops were Aldi and the Dollar General. Aldi is always so hard for her too, but she was wonderful. She helped me get vegetables and count the can goods. We worked on Math and Reading. It was actually fun! The Dollar General was a quick stop and she got her reward for her good behavior. Suckers are this kids life. LOL

During the afternoon we made Snow Dough and filmed it for Vlogmas for our YouTube channel. She was quite a clown on video. She was nervous about playing with it…..maybe later.

SNOW DOUGH RECIPE

2  1/2 CUPS OF BAKING SODA

1/2 CUP OF WHITE HAIR CONDITIONER

** Mix the 2 together, adding more of each if needed, until you get the consistency you want. IT’S THAT EASY AND SO FUN TO PLAY WITH!!

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day.

 

 

 

It’s For The Birds!

Happy Friday !!

Yesterday we had quite the busy day. We had a great Advent activity, which was to make a treat for the birds. So Chloe and I made pine cone bird feeders. We spread peanut butter on pine cones I found in our yard, rolled them in oats (I checked online to make sure oats were safe for them), and hung them with green yarn. Chloe loved going out to her favorite tree and hanging them up. She kept saying “Tweet Tweet” so they would come to the tree. LOL

We spent about 45 minutes outside since it was above 40 degrees. She was very happy. Oh my outside girl. We sat on the swing and sang Christmas songs.

The afternoon was filled with homeschool activities. She is having a good week staying focused and completing her work. Teacherspayteachers has a lot of great holiday/winter activities to print. To top off our day Chloe put her gloves on all by herself. This is a huge deal in our autism world.  She was so proud of herself. We wrapped up our afternoon watching “When You Give A Mouse A Christmas Cookie” and “The Snowy Day”. Her 2 favorites right now.

Check out our YouTube channel with the same name: Autism With Grace

Have a wonderful and very blessed day.20181206_134624[1]

Library, Snow and Cards

Brrr it is so cold! We got a bit of snow Tuesday night. Chloe was a bit excited.

Today was library day and ever since her meltdown about a month ago there we talk a lot about expected behavior. I was very proud of her because her behavior was amazing!! There were about 7 kids that showed up after we were there about 15 minutes, but she handled it very well. She even picked a few books to take home.

After lunch we played outside for a bit. I lasted about 20 minutes and lucky for me she was ready to come in too. I noticed outside she was acting out the book The Snowy Day. I love this. Seeing her imagination bloom.

We finished up the day by making Christmas cards for her friends . We will drop them by the post office this weekend. She really enjoyed decorating them. She made little foam gingerbread people to put inside the cards as well. Then we completed a few more activities for homeschool.

I would call today a wonderful one, especially after Tuesdays meltdowns. I hope your week is going well. Have a blessed day.

Christmas Crafts and a 2 Hour Fit

 

Yesterday we rode Chloe’s emotional roller coaster from the moment she woke up until she fell asleep at 8 pm.

She woke up determined that it was Wednesday. I showed her the calendar in the kitchen and said ” See it’s Tuesday”. The screaming began and didn’t stop for 2 hours!! I had to give her the “emergency” medication that slows her down. It put her to sleep for a bit. From lunch to around 4 pm she was whiny and then quiet, but got whiny again. Then all of a sudden at 4 a rainbow rose above the our home and Chloe was happy as can be. She was cuddly and singing. I had laid out a craft for her to do earlier in the day. Chloe all of a sudden sat down at the table and had the best time making the little gingerbread people.  She even sat in my lap before bed and read to me. 

These are the days that wear me out. My ears hurt from the screaming and I just want her to calm down so her Dad can work in the other room. So as I am writing this I am in my bedroom watching National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. I need a good laugh and my comfy bed. Tomorrow will be a whole new day and hopefully a happier girl.

Thank you for stopping by today. I appreciate all of my subscribers and if you would like to see us on our YouTube channel it is under the same name (Autism With Grace). We are currently doing Vlogmas, so we do a video every day for 25 days!!

Have a wonderful and blessed day.

 

Chloe’s Sensory Stocking Stuffers

 

Good morning. Do you struggle with what to put in your autistic child’s stocking? Here are a few ideas for you to go a non candy way.

1) Play-Doh: I put my daughter’s favorite colors of Play-Doh in there which is Purple and Pink. You can add a new cookie cutter or two.

2) Anything she can squeeze. I love her squeezy fidgets. The Dollar Tree has great ones.

3) Small motions tubes. This is an awesome tool for calming. They are quite cheap on Amazon.

4) Slime or Flubber. They sell these at Walmart. You can make them, but Chloe loves the Neon colors Walmart carries.

5) Bumpy blocks or balls. I have a tough time finding small ones, but I believe Amazon has them.

6) Small container of bubbles.

7) Mini Magnadoodle

8) Fidget Spinner. I know these have gotten some flack, but Chloe uses her when she is stressed and it calms her down. Love them.

 

There are 8 things I am getting for my daughter’s stocking. What are your kids getting in their stocking this year?

Thank you to all of my subscribers. I so appreciate you. Have a wonderful, blessed day.