Friday, July 20, 2012

My Week with Mom

My mom stayed an extra week after my dad left to spend some extra time with Charlie and me, as well as watch him over the weekend so Brad and I could go to Paris. Charlie was back in school that week after his mid-term break, so we took him to school in the morning and did something fun each day without him! Well, except for the morning we tried to find me some clothes that fit over my cheeseburger baby gut that I could wear in Paris. Not fun.

I finally got to do one thing I'd been dying to do - tour Westminster Abbey. It is a GREAT tour and not one I would take a small child to, so good to go without Charlie. Admission includes a audio tour guide so you can amble around at your own pace. I have read several books about Henry VIII, his wives and kids (some biography, some "historical fiction"), so anything involving that crew of crazies is fun to go see.
There was also an additional free exhibit in honor of the Queen's Jubilee, which included photographs from throughout the Queen's life. It was very enjoyable.

We visited another interesting spot in London I hadn't been to - The Wallace Collection. It is a large home once owned by some wealthy person/family, but the collection has been managed and extended by a trust for many years and is now very impressive. I think they had more battle armor than is at the Tower of London! You could walk through each of the bedrooms upstairs and read about what they were used for and what pieces of the collection were kept there.

There is also a lovely atrium restaurant in the middle, where we got some late breakfast. That is the top photo on this post.

One afternoon I got a sitter and my mom and I went for tea and a massage. Well, I had a facial since I was still first trimester. But it was fun to get away and have a relaxing break. Charlie ended up napping that day so we weren't in too much hot water with him. I hadn't yet been to tea in London and it turns out it is full of delicious goodies! Best meal of the day here!
We did some fun things after preschool pick-up as well. One pretty day (the only pretty day?) we took Charlie to the Princess Diana Memorial Playground in Hyde Park and had a picnic. Charlie is ALL about picnics these days. He played and played until he got a scraped knee and threw a fit in the first aid center. 
We walked around Kensington Gardens after that, which are all in bloom. No Kate Middleton sightings, sadly. She had been seen in that area of the park (near Kensington Palace) a few days beforehand, walking her dog, Lupo. Mom almost hyperventilated when she read that on  
I also got to show my mom a lot of the Notting Hill area, since that is where Charlie went to school and I would spend my mornings. We went to see the market and do a little shopping. Mom really liked Daylesford Organic Market, where we had lunch at one day.
Charlie became good friends with the mannequin at Cath Kidston.
We took it easy sometimes, too, since the defining characteristic of this pregnancy has been exhaustion. It was so nice having my mom around to help with Charlie when I was at my most tired. It was also nice to just show her where we have been living and where we go in normal everyday life here. We fed the ducks in the canal and walked around while Charlie rode his scooter. Just normal stuff. 

Charlie had so much fun with Nana. We were all a mess when she left. I can't even recap it. Charlie will bring me my iPad periodically and say he wants to talk to Nana (on Facetime) and that he wants to go to Nana's house. He loves his Nana! We were sad to see her go. It was a really fun week, which I will always remember.


Amy L said...

Love the Westminster Abbey tour! That is one of my most memorable events from my post college Europe trip. Hope I'm able to go back before too long.

Sounds like a wonderful week. It's so nice to have a little extra help from the Nana (my mom is "Nana", too)!

Sheaffer, Chris, Scout, and baby Carter said...

My name is Sheaffer, and I work with your mom. I just LOVE her! She shared your blog with me and it is so much fun to read! I laughed at the picture of your little guy with the mannequin. I have an almost 4 year old, and he will walk up, shake a mannequin's hand, and say "Nice to meet you!" :)