For my birthday this year, David flew out Jill and her two girls, Ellie (3 1/2) and Ari (13 months) to stay with us for a week. Honestly, that may be the best birthday present I have ever received. We had so much fun and truly never got sick of each other OR our kids.
Jill is the type of person who you just always want to be around. She is such a caring, thoughtful person and seeing her with her girls is nothing short of inspirational.
Most days we were able to complete one or two tasks and if we got out of the house before 1:00 it was a miracle. Her girls almost always woke up before Olivia, so Ari would go down for a nap while Olivia was freshly awake. About halfway through Ari's nap, Olivia would take hers and we would have to wait for her to wake up before we could leave. Inevitably, by the time both babies were up, Ellie would need her nap and would either crash out in the car seat or do without. They were all troopers though and we had an absolute blast together each day.
Some mornings looked like this...
...Ellie would be snuggled up on the couch with Magnum (there's hope!!!), Jill would be drinking her 7th cup of coffee and our two girls would be making a food mess in their high chairs. Or, they would be snuggled up in David's arms!
Jill and I took the girls on a really cool hike through Poly Canyon up in SLO one day. She took her camera and got a lot of fun shots, so hopefully some day she will blog about it and post the pictures. We played Juggle the Kiddos where I carried Olivia and sometimes Ellie, Ellie carried Magnum and sometimes rode in the stroller, and Jill carried Ari or sometimes pushed both girls. There was also a brief encounter with a flock of sheep, including two beauties Sarah and Lois, and Magnum realized his dream of one day becoming a sheep herder! No joke.
Nighttime was fun too. Thank goodness I only had to make dinner for us one night because it seems like the evening time was always full of craziness and great conversation. She was able to sample Firestone's Tri-Tip sandwich (TWICE, thankyouverymuch), Jocko's, SLO's Farmers' Market and lots of local wines via the Michelson cellar.
None of the kids ever went to bed on time, which made for some slap happiness and occasional tears. I'm forever thankful for our portable dvd player and snack cups full of blueberries and puffs. Here's a look at bath time:
My favorite is Jill's (absolutely necessary) glass of wine placed strategically on top of the toilet!
My friend Cole ordered Olivia the purple version of this robe from Land's End and I just had to get the girls matching ones for their trip. Unfortunately, we never got a good picture of the 3 of them with them on. Next year.
Sunday was Father's Day and David chose to go to the Santa Barbara Zoo to spend the day (err, afternoon). The zoo is small, but it is absolutely beautiful with views of the ocean from several locations. We stood in a relatively short line and were able to feed a giraffe at one point too. David had fun sliding with the babies down a green styrofoam mound. I honestly think we spent more time in the play area, the food court and the gift shop than checking out the animals. We will definitely be making a return trip soon.
Jill and I must be big losers because we passed up the opportunity to have a babysitter come and watch our kids and go out for a little Mommy Solo Time to stay home and rock out to the iPod and, wait for it, reorganize my laundry room! It looks great though and I'm working really hard at keeping it OCD clean!
Also, picture, if you will, a wall with brooms and mops hanging up in an organizer. It just needs to be hung (THAT'S WHAT SHE SAID!).
The week literally flew by and before we knew it, the girls' last full day was upon us and we hadn't made it to the beach. Of course, it was probably the most overcast day we had, but it was still beautiful on the warm sand.
None of them complained that there was a little fog in the air!
It's a Brady Bunch of Ari! She's such a ham for the camera!
Check out Olivia stealing Ari's toy. Poor thing - she's such a good sport about it.
Sea salt turns Ellie's hair into one big beautiful curl and Olivia's into a mullet.
I know it was rough for Jill to travel with the two girls, especially considering they had some horrible luck on the way back home, but it meant so much to me (and David & Olivia too) to have them come out and visit. I have never met anyone like Jill and, Lord knows, I probably never will. Her friendship is something I will always cherish.
See you girls out here next year!
Happy Tuesday from the Central Coast!
*I know I have left out quite a few things, like a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, a shopping excursion in SLO, and tales of The Littlest Pet Unicorn and Mister E so I'm hoping that Jill touches on those if and when she ever blogs again. Hint. Hint. Hint.