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.
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.