Monday, July 18, 2016

London day two

My "must do" for this trip was to see highclere castle, the filming location for downton Abbey. Tickets were sold out, as were all the tours (except private ones that were astronomically priced). I was devastated but determined. After a little research I found that anyone in the historical homes society could just show up and get in so needless to say we joined! 
We took the train to Newbury and then a cab to the house. I was surprised to see hundreds of sheep on the grounds! 

When we approached the house it was all I could do not to make a complete fool of myself as I was squealing with delight. It's gorgeous!! 

We had a snack on the grounds before touring the house. 

Inside you couldn't take pictures but we got to see all the rooms from the show! 

We also got to tour the beautiful gardens. 
Everything was so beautiful and magical--I hated to leave! 

While we were there we learned that the Bombay sapphire distillery was nearby So we decided to check it out before we left town. 

We got back into London and decided to do a little sightseeing. 
Buckingham palace!

Fortnam and mason department store. W had a lovely snack and drink in their wine bar! 

Obligatory phone booth picture. 

Piccadilly Circus 

10 Downing Street. While we were there the new prime minister, Teresa may took over. 

Big Ben! 

Afterwards we met up with our friend Zach who was there on business. Such a small world! 

What a day!! On to the next! 

London day one!

Three years ago Forrest and I signed up for a British airways credit card simply for the bonus which amounted to two free round trip first class tickets to Europe. We were so excited to use them but of course life got in the way! It's not that easy for two professionals to take a week off of work (especially right after a couple beach trips that kept us from work for a few days), not to mention the fact that we have our precious girl whom we don't like to leave!! It was actually very hard for me to commit to the trip because I didn't want to leave Charlotte for too long but we didn't want to lose the tickets so I manned up and headed to London for a few days. We signed up for a Hyatt card and received 4 free nights at any Hyatt world wide, so not only were our first class flights free but so was our hotel! Who could resist a free European vacation?! 
I actually got really sad upon take off to be leaning my sweet girl but knew she was going to have a great time staying with momsie and pop. She actually loves riding in their car so when they picked her up she waved bye to us and was ready to go! That helped this sad mama! So did the lay flat seat, free new released movies, and champagne! 

We arrived in London on Sunday afternoon and went straight to the landmark London for brunch at their winter garden. 

Afterwards we ambled around town on the way to our hotel. My favorite stop was 221 Baker Street, address of Sherlock Holmes! 

We checked in to our hotel, the Hyatt andaz, and watched the end of the Wimbledon finals. It was pretty cool to be in London when Andy murray won! We celebrated in the neighborhood at the spitalfield market with a little snack. 

Next we had fish and chips in a local pub and watched the euro cup finals. How European were we?! 

That was about as much as my jet lag could take so it was off to bed on the first day. Next day, highclere castle! 

4th of July

This year for the 4th we took a big family trip to the beach, just like we did last year. Since c loves the beach I was excited to get back so quickly and watch her enjoy herself, plus it was extra special since our family would all be there. 
My sister actually wasn't going to come but she surprised my parents and showed up right before we left. That meant she would ride down with me, my mom and c. We all picked c up from school and she was beyond excited to see her favorite ladies in the car!! She was great on the ride down and we were at the beach before we knew it. 
We spent a couple of days just girls, then dad and Forrest got there on Friday, and then Roy and ann arrived on Sunday. Here are some pictures of our fabulous week! 
We loved the overcast days. They were a little cooler and c could stay out longer! 

Girls dinner at cafe grazzie

So excited about the beach!

Building sand castles with pop

This girl is a daredevil! 

In the afternoons this little sand bar would pop up. C loved that she could run around on it by herself. One day people put their chairs and umbrellas on it and c walked around giving people high fives and collecting seashells, which she tried to eat so now she is banned from playing with them. 

Lunch with daddy before he heads home. I'm so glad I caught this moment--c thinks she is rolling her tongue like daddy. 

Happy 4th! She loved the flag!! 

She was quite content in her little pool in he beach. 

Ariel and c love the beach! 

Until next time beach!! 

17 months

On the 24th of July we celebrated c turning 17 months old! Charlotte is definitely acting more and more like a big girl! She can tell you what she what's pretty well and expresses her pleasure and displeasure very well! She will tell you no no when she doesn't like something or doesn't want to do some thing. She now will tell you to "sit" down with her and that she wants "more more" of something. She can be quite demanding!! 
She loves playing in the baking supplies! 

 She also loves singing twinkle twinkle little star "cunkle cunkle" "uppa Ba". 
Another huge thing she did this month was use the potty! She had shown a little interest and had been waking up dry after her nap so I had the baby potty ready. One day after nap I stuck her on it and she went! We danced and sang and she got to eat m&m! She loved it. She has been several more times but we aren't being consistent or pushing it quite yet. She likes to sit on it with her clothes on, get up, and demand a candy. Sometimes she will put her babies on the potty or in the potty and then ask for a candy. She is too funny! 

She also has been very into her great grandmother Mimi this month. When the phone rings she always looks up and says "Mimi?" . She also "calls" Mimi on her play phone. Whenever she finds a phone she wants to call her. Now that Mimi has FaceTime Charlotte loves to call and see her! 

We continue to work on her using a utensil and it's going well although is so messy and slow. She gets so proud when she successfully stabs a bite with her fork and then gets it in her mouth. We have to clap every time too! 

She knows all the letters (so it seems), pretty much all the colors, and several shapes so we are starting numbers now. She really likes 8 and can pick it every time. She is also starting to put words together!! She says things like "M blub blub" meaning "auntie m rode the fish on the carousel" and "peas dada up" meaning "daddy please put me in mama B's wheel chair and ride me around".  Putting these words together just reinforces that our baby is not much of a baby any more! 
She thinks she is rolling her tongue here. She will come up to us and make that face and we have to roll our tongues! 

This month she finished her summer program at school and will start back in August in the toddlers class. She will have more structure and activities and I for one am so excited about that! She will miss the babies who stay behind in the nursery though. She would always talk about "cool"  (school) and "baby" when we talked about school. 
She fell asleep before we got home every day after school! 

She loves to play with Sonny
 ("ah-nee) and one night during a storm he went to her room to hide with her while she was trying to go to sleep. His birthday was also the 24th and he was 7 years old!! We love our boy and I have loved watching him become a big brother! 

She loves to eat just about anything. Her favorites now are "chee" (cheese), "wama" (watermelon), "bumber" (cucumber), "pe" (both pickles and peaches) "nana" (banana), and "take" (steak). 

My favorite thing c does is play pretend! She loves to feed her dolls and "change" them. She will also pretend to feed us. Right now she likes to have her mermaid baby sit with her and feed her as she feels herself. She will make a little smacking sound when she feeds her that is adorable. She is the sweetest little mama! 
Crashed out with baby shelia! 

This was a big month for c! She went to the beach and celebrated the Fourth of July with all of my family. She had the greatest time and got so much love!! 
She also spent a whole week with momsie and pop while Forrest and I went to London. She did great! She ate and slept well and didn't seem to mind that we were gone. She did run to me when I picked her up and was nervous to let me go for a few days. I didn't complain---I missed my baby so much!! 
I can't believe she will be a year and a half next month!! She has changed so much and I know more is to come. I want to hold on to her baby-ness as long as I can! 
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