I cannot believe we just passed 26 weeks of this crazy stay-at-home situation. Amazing. On the bright side, we’re healthy and (mostly) happy, so there’s that!

In our quest to make our house a home(school), we took a huge step forward last week. Zoe has a floor:

She literally said that. “Mom, look at all that floor! What am I going to do with it?!” I let her know that people are SUPPOSED to have a floor and begged her to simply keep it clean. Guess how that’s going?

But she is SUPER happy with her new space. There’s a spring in her step when she heads into “school”, and she couldn’t wait to tell her classmates. Now we just have to get the other one setup with a bed (and a floor) and teach her how to focus so she can be alone in her room for school. Her bed is arriving this week, on or around her birthday, so that’s something.

What Ella’s REALLY excited about is her wiggly tooth.

We’re working on big and little letters, and I remember distinctly when Zoe started writing phonetically. I was afraid she got her dad’s spelling skills, but thank goodness she’s turned out to be an ace speller. So there’s hope.

Anyway, having a “los” (loose) tooth that hasn’t fallen out yet hasn’t stopped Ella from planning her next step. I mean, she’s “ABAWT to BE SIX”. A girl has needs. And so, she preemptively wrote this sweet and thoughtful little note for the Tooth Fairy:

You read that right: FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. Here’s how that happened. On Sunday mornings Bart likes to read the LA Times, his “paper” (I married a grandpa). To entertain Ella, he made the HUGE mistake of handing her an American Girl circular. Thankfully, we’re on their mailing list since we were dumb enough to let these kids buy fancy dolls to ease the guilt of parenting during a pandemic.

She instantly picked out the bunk bed. It’s understandable. Zoe got a bed. Ella’s getting a bed. Clearly the dolls need one, too. Of course, the American Girl bed is $125 (not a typo). ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!

Irritated that Bart hadn’t thought through giving her the catalog, I instantly pulled up Target’s “Our Generation” knockoff bed, which is quite nice and only $36 (which, by the way is still a lot for a freaking doll bed). Undeterred, Ella kept shopping, because guess what? She wants ALL the sleepover stuff. Oh, and the kitchen.

Seeing this as a teaching moment, Bart helped her add up the cost of all the items she “needed”. That was roughly $400. I think he must have thought it would shut her down. Nope. She sat down on her own initiative and wrote a letter to the Tooth Fairy.

When asked the MOST the Tooth Fairy had ever given her sister, Zoe let her know it was $10 (and by the way, that was also pandemic guilt money when Zoe lost a tooth near her recent birthday, and we forgot to leave her money, again). Usually she gets a couple of dollars, when we remember.

Still undeterred, Ella cut out and glued the photos onto her letter and took it to her room, in anticipation of losing her tooth and needing it. She still hasn’t lost her tooth. I have no idea how Bart is going to explain this one to her. I’m out.

Back to Zoe’s bed. to celebrate her new space, Zoe hosted a movie night for herself and Ella, going so far as to draw the backs of movie seats on a piece of easel paper and taping it behind their beanbag to simulate the movie experience:

On another note, most of my flowers were burned to a crisp during the 100+ degree weather. Unsure how to go beyond the “full sun” plants I had already chosen (that really meant “full sun, as long as it’s not over 100 degrees”, I guess), I upped my game:

Yep, that’s a Prickly Pear cactus over there. And an ice plant. And some other succulent thing. They say they’re drought tolerant and love the sun. If they can handle the desert, surely they can handle our deck. Though, who knows? We are surrounded by fires:

That’s a picture of our TV, so forgive the closed captioning. Want to cure any desire to move to California? Read this article. Want to sleep well at night? Don’t. So far over 3.2 million acres have burned in California, and they’re still burning. At this point, we’re fortunate to not be very near an active fire, but the smoke is disgusting. As though COVID weren’t enough to make you want to stay inside!

Speaking of inside, I must say we’ve had some fun. When’s the last time you did THIS?


But you want to, don’t ya? Just don’t go jumping on your sister’s piece… And we just finished another puzzle (yes, it’s been a while):


And so, we’re hanging in there. In some ways we’re getting used to things as they are, though we’d much prefer to be as they WERE, hanging out with friends, hugging, and going, well, anywhere.

Speaking of which, TOMORROW (September 16) is Ella’s birthday! And we ARE going somewhere this weekend to celebrate her. If all goes well, we’ll enjoy a one-night getaway filled with LEGOs at the Legoland Hotel. I can hardly wait (true, not true, but thankful for something to look forward to).

Stay safe out there!

2 thoughts on “Half.A.Year.

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