Sunday, July 13, 2008

a different kind of Creative Friday

Jill offered to take Eva & Bella on Friday so that Jessie and I could enjoy some quality toddler-free time. We debated about taking her up on her generous offer, especially after the morning we had, replete with yelling (by the girls) and time-outs. Ultimately, we were powerless to refuse.

I dropped the girls and Lucas off at Jill's house at 11:30 and they all ran off happily to play. I picked up Cafe Rio for lunch on the way home.


Hannah came over and we all worked on various creative pursuits.

Jessie made several more of her creative genius layouts. At one point she was feeling stagnant and then had a breakthrough when she started making 6" x 12" layouts. I just watched in awe. Hannah made a book and then some layouts. I worked on Eva's baby book, which I had never finished and has sat on a shelf untouched for over 2 years...

a bird's-eye view of some of the chaos that was my kitchen table

a self-portrait we took before Hannah had to leave

Time seemed to lengthen that day and it felt like we had even more time to enjoy the peace. I checked in with Jill around 5:30 about picking up the kids and she said, "oh heavens no! They're doing so great -- why don't you wait until it's closer to bedtime so you can just take them home and put them to bed?" Now I ask you, who could resist an offer like that?

When we did finally go to retrieve them, this is what we saw:

now that is a happy and relaxed little girl!

We didn't recognize the dress Bella was wearing -- she had gotten her clothes wet and so Jill dug out a 3T dress for her! Talk about comprehensive service...

As Jill said, she was able to channel Mary Poppins for the day! She set up a base camp and just hung out with them all day. No wonder they were so happy.

This photo cracks me up. Apparently they found the soccer cones and Bella declared that they were their hats for going to the country. A country with rice paddies, perhaps? Whitney rigged up a tie for Eva's so it wouldn't keep falling off.

a shot of the pool, just a small part of the royal mess they made

I love it when Jill takes self-portraits with Eva. It just underscores for me the fact that she is there for my kids, she helps me mother them, she loves them, and just generally plays an important role in my life and theirs.

She gave us such a gift that day! Both Jessie and I were amazed by how restorative those hours were, how we felt like *us* -- not just mothers and referees. We were amazed, too, by how quickly we could lose patience with the little girls just in the 15 minutes it took us to get them ready for bed, ha!

And here's something cool: on Saturday when we were running around town, Bella spontaneously said, "I love Jill!". Me, too.



15 comments:

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

I think their hats are the funniest things, too, "A country with rice paddies, perhaps?" places it perfect.

I've just started seeing 6x12 layouts...and they are so attractive.

I'm glad you had such a great day.

rmt said...

How nice is that? Jill is such a great friend to do that for you.

I hope Jessie posts her layouts! I'm very excited to see the genius things I know she came up with.

Cute picture of the 3 or you. I'm glad that you all got to have time to reconnect with yourself-I think that's really important.

lelly said...

what a gift! i'm sure those precious hours you had did wonders for your souls!

jill is a blessing, for sure.

wende said...

oh man, jill is golden! i have a girlfriend that i can just leave my kids with and know that they're having a ton of fun and she's not going crazy either. what a blessing.

Rin said...

I am in love with that picture of Bella in the pretty blue dress! Bella and Eva really compliment eachother in attitudes. I love it.

melanie said...

I love feeling like myself again. I'm so glad you guys were able to have a good time with no toddler distractions. Spending time at home kid free is one of my favorite things!

Jill, you're amazing!

Liz said...

What a great gift Jill gave to you and Jessie. It sounds like you had a very productive time and that the girls had a great time with Jill. I can so relate to the losing patience with them after not having them all day. Isn't that weird? I wish it wasn't so.

Kim Sue said...

what a gift from a dear friend!

crystal said...

I think Bella is channelling her inner Pride & Prejudice...

And just look at those 3 pairs of Diva Eyes! Bee-yoo-tiful.

patsy said...

what a great day!
what a great friend!!
I bet Eva is going to really miss bella when she goes home...

Jill said...

It was such a good day for me and the girls, I really hope it was as restorative for you and Jessie as you say. I know how time away from the kids never quite feels like enough, especially when they return to you tired and grumpy.

Hannah said...

It was such a great day. I still can't believe how many layouts she gets done when she is at your house with or without kids! I feel in such a scrappy mood now and have been doing layouts here and there- so the effects of the day are lasting for me. Thanks for having me there to share in the indulgence!

Mother said...

Well said, Bella! Who wouldn't love a person who loves and cares for your grandchildren and your children!

I love Jill!

Claudissima said...

how fun to have a day for yourselves. I often think it is a necessity to recharge batteries and go for it again, kids are just experts at pushing limits. I am soo sweet at taking them to bed, but after like 3 tries, I end up frustrated, with a hot flash, and just snappy! why is it?

everything pink said...

me three.

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