Sunday, September 29, 2013

After School Adventures

Now the semester is fully underway, we're busier than ever. On Mondays Rich is home with the boys and then on Tues, Weds, and Thurs, Raf is in school. Most days Rich goes to his internship once I get home from work and each day I try to do something with the boys, especially since the evenings are relatively light still and the weather is warmish. On Mondays, though, Rich brings the boys up to see me at lunch time! It's such a treat. Here they are crawling into the corridor.  

Charlie and I enjoy a bit of mummy and Charlie time before we collect Rafi. He loves being outside.

We also took the dogs to the beach for a quick walk.

One favourite thing to do is to go to the park. Rich's internship is just up the road so he sometimes joins us, too. Charlie LOVES the swing.

And the play structure.

Raf loves the slide - though I will update in another post how that might not be the case now... especially this slide pictured below.

On really special days we bump into good friends like Rowan and his mum, Anne!

As I make dinner the boys play.. and fight, and Charlie tries to climb the stairs.

Sometimes we just hang out in the garden.

Last week we bought Charlie a new bike seat that goes on my bike. I installed it and Raf, Charlie, and I headed out for our inaugural ride!

Charlie wasn't sure about this at first, though mostly it was putting the helmet on that proved to be most difficult.

On one of our rides up to the cemetery, Raf was very sad that we didn't have time to look around, so after school last week I picked him up and we headed to the cemetery (a really beautiful one), to look around. Raf said he missed everyone there, and said they missed him, too! At one point he hugged a gravestone - someone born in 1844 and called Enoch - and Raf exclaimed that he missed him a great deal.

Another trip to the park the following evening.

And another one the next day...

Alas, this trip didn't go so well. 30 mins after this photo was taken Raf fell from this very slide and broke his arm. Another post on our ER adventure to follow!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Charlie's trip to the UK

Charlie and I returned home from the UK last Sunday. It really was a crazy trip. When I submitted a paper to present at a conference last March, it seemed like a decent idea. Take Charlie to the UK, have my mum fly over from Spain to look after him whilst I attended the conference, and a quick trip to see my sisters. But taking an almost 11 month old to Europe, solo, is actually no joke! They're too young to be interested in media, they're too old to want to nurse and nap the entire way, and really, all they want to do is to practice emerging skills - such as standing and walking. So you can imagine the fun of the flights :)

As it happens the flight out wasn't too awful, except Charlie was in the midst of cutting a tooth (which I didn't realize until mid flight when everyone around me was asleep and his medicine was in the overhead). He was mostly asleep but would wake every 30 mins or so, sort of screaming for a few seconds. The woman next to me vacated her seat :)

Here are the boys saying goodbye... it was very sad to say goodbye to Rafio. 

Preflight, Charlie was in good form. I have to say that British Airways was really, really kid friendly and everyone was super helpful.

As soon as we boarded Charlie fell asleep. I thought - stupidly - that I was going to enjoy a very peaceful flight.

He woke up and was awake for a couple of hours but he then fell back to sleep, waking up with a new tooth.

When we landed he was out cold. I transferred him to his buggy and he was out cold again.

My brother in law picked me up and when we got to my sister's house I went up for a nap and Charlie and my mum played until Charlie was out cold again, too!

Lots of catching up to do... Zzzzzzz!

He was soon up and about, though, and he did amazingly well adjusting to new people and environments.

Rory and Freya were so happy to see him! They had lots of cousin fun!

Um, Jenga and an 11 month old don't necessarily mix.

The next morning I picked up a very tiny hire car and me, Charlie, and my mum scooted up to York. It's not a short trip but Charlie was a complete trooper and slept much of the way.  York is such a beautiful place, though sadly it was mostly raining!

The next morning I scooted off to the conference and gave my paper, which went really, really well.

Back to Cheltenham we went, stopping off 100 times at service stations along the way.

More cousin fun for Chas at my sister's house, and a lorry that he loved.

The next morning I met up with an old school friend of mine, Sara, who happens to live around the corner from my sister. It was so wonderful to see her! She has 2 boys similar in age to Rafi and Charlie, too.

The next day, Saturday, my other sisters came to visit. It was the first time we'd been together since my dad died, and the first time the cousins had met Charlie. Of course Rafi was missing, but it was still a really lovely day.

Aunty Bex.

Freya, Grace, and Charlie.

We walked into town for a pub lunch.

Managed to catch some of the cousins together - including Archie Bear who currently doesn't enjoy having his photo taken!

So much like his mum... loving the chips!

We have a photo of Fi holding Raf and me holding Grace from 2010! We recreated the photo but with Charlie this time :)

Aunty Fiona cuddles with the kids.

Lots of selfies!

SISTERS!! <3 p="">

Me and Bex.

And back we go...  I will say that the flight back was 100 times worse because it was a day flight and nearly 8 hours onboard. Charlie is a grabber and thrower and so we lost many toys, I was covered in food (cous cous is a lousy meal to eat when you're trying to ward off a kiddo who loves to grab, smoosh and throw.