We’re Fine in Week Nine

EllaAHHHHHWell, I just accidentally published an unfinished draft of this blog, so maybe we’re NOT fine? Let’s just say I feel a lot like Ella’s face looks, for totally different reasons. See, that face is one of many sweet Ella is capturing on her OMG-HOW-LONG-CAN-I-BE-ON-AN-IPAD!!!! learning spree during “home school” (quotation marks intended). I literally had to turn off Messages on my iPad because she started texting people (like Bart, above).

Instead of being in school all day long with minimal device time, she is device dependent for 90% of her school learning right now, which would be 100% if I weren’t a completely obsessed mother who refuses to do 100% online learning. I frantically print worksheets, use her workbooks, find drawing classes – and while those are also online, she is doing the work offline. Turns out I inspired some creativity this week. It started with a blueprint:


After taking a “cartoon drawing” class, Ella got so excited she started drawing one cartoon after another, then wanted to make a cartoon store. I asked her to sketch it out (above), then she made it with her sister (below):


Those tissue boxes on the front are for the “dollars and the pennies” (one for each) for all the folks who buy her cartoons (the one with the cat in it is Nat the Robot from an earlier craft project. You can see a stack of her finished cartoon characters on the upper left shelf, and all the supplies needed to run the store, right here:


This is probably the most organized, well, anything that Ella has ever had. She’s a mess. Maybe she just needed the possibility of financial gain? What you cannot see is a small (messy) pile of stuffies in front of her store. Here’s why: “After the parents buy the cartoons, these are for the kids to buy. Kids love stuffies.”

Unlike this inspirational moment, Ella struggled to stay focused on her actual schoolwork for most of the week. We had a few moments on Thursday when she had posted responses to all three of her activities that were not on target. One of them was to watch a Sesame Street video then “Make a dance with the letters of your name and record it.” After I got frustrated with her off-target video, her dad jumped in, and together they made this unforgettable tune:


Bart still has no idea that the letters were backwards… Also inspired this week? Reading! As I mentioned, my mom has been teaching Ella to read for the past couple of weeks. I should say, she’s INSPIRED her to read! So much so that when Ella had a social Zoom call with one of her classmates, she READ her a book!


And hot this week: MORE PUZZLING! Yes, you’d think we’d have a more original idea by now, but nope. In fact, my sister gifted me a new light for my super early morning roundtables, which works great for late night jigsaw puzzles:


That puzzle ended up like THIS:


Then the girls put together a new puzzle of their own, with Zoe kicking off the border and Ella pretty much putting the rest together by herself. She left the last piece for Zoe to put in (wow?!). The finale looked like this:


We kicked the weekend off with another World Premiere movie on Friday night: SCOOB! If you liked Scooby Doo, you’ll probably like this; however, unlike the Trolls World Tour movie premiere we watched, which the girls watched 4 times in 48 hours AND learned all the words to every song, Scoob! only got one viewing…

Then on Saturday we drove out to Stunt Road in Calabasas, at the recommendation of my friend who grew up near there and learned to drive on this aptly named street. With twists and turns that keep you on our toes, Stunt Road offered amazing vistas and connected to a road that took us all the way to the ocean in Malibu.

Here’s Ella’s take on what she saw (and her finger):


It was pretty wonderful to get out of the house, even without a destination. We did make a quick stop in Malibu for ice cream, but overall, it’s just weird out there in LA. You see masks, no masks, social distancing or lack of it, and the worst part of getting outside is the unpredictable nature of what you’ll find. Regardless, we did find some beautiful views – including this first one from up in the Santa Monica Mountains near Calabasas, where it’s hard to tell where the ocean ends and the sky begins:


We got a chance to discuss a topic of interest for Zoe as well: EROSION. Though she’s never mentioned it before, it was apparently a hot topic around Earth Day, and she swears her teacher will be thrilled to see actual pictures of it:


It’s times like these that I’m extra thankful to live in such a gorgeous part of the world. Sure, we’re limited right now (especially when parks/venues are opening to crowds that make “social distancing” look like a crowded party), but we’re surrounded by lovely scenery. Hopefully we can work more adventures into the weeks ahead.

Anyway, on the bright side of things. our mailman came on Sunday while Ella and Zoe were drawing on the driveway with chalk and asked if he could join in. Here’s the lovely, fast message he left for us:


And on that note, BE WELL, BE SAFE!

I’ll attempt to “repost” this blog post now, though I’ve never done that, so who knows what will happen next!

2 thoughts on “We’re Fine in Week Nine

  1. I love Ella’s cartoon store – super creative and organized! And how nice that your mailman got in on the chalk action. People really are craving connection.

    1. Is this your way of saying you want to buy a cartoon? Not to worry – she doesn’t actually GIVE you the cartoon, and she uses her own money for you to “buy” it… I’d say yes if she asks. And really cool about the mailman :)

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