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Exploring the Lisbon airport in his finest dinosaur pjs.

One of these days, when we travel to a faraway land, I’m going to dress all nice and cute and let Cheikh be the one who dresses like the nanny. (Manny?) Right now that day seems very far away, especially since I needed all the comfy casualness possible for flying back from Budapest with Pape.

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A sweet moment flying over the Alps that looks deceptively calm.

I don’t mean to imply in any way that Cheikh doesn’t do his part in helping out with the wee one, but rather than he’s one of those people who makes it to the end of the day with maybe a tiny drop of espresso spilled on his shirt cuff while I’ve got playdough in my hair, mashed banana on my shirt, flour handprints on my pants and can’t find my left shoe.

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He is the Action Blur. This photo pretty much captures the emotion of our travels.
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Holly gave him this battery-operated fan with foam blades and he LOVES it. Best distraction we’ve found yet. Plus, it tastes delicious. And no one gives you judging glances when you let your kid stick his tongue in a fan…

So where was I? Oh, yeah. We made it home! Three pieces of us + 5 checked bags + 1 carry-on + 1 overstuffed diaper bag arrived safely at the joyful hour of 2am sometime last week. It’s kind of a blur, but I do remember several choice moments from the trip.

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Apparently I am really, really good at finger puppets. Several people on the flight were tuning in for the show. Fortunately, Pape was one of them.
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The other passengers were thrilled when he learned how to play fuss-until-Dad-lets-you-turn-the-lights-on-and-off.

It’s always a bit shocking for us to go to Hungary and not see many (if any) Africans. So it wasn’t too surprising that on our first leg back this way, Pape found the only African on the flight and did not want to leave his side. He just kept looking at the man with wide eyes and patting his arm. The guy was actually from Dakar and thought it was cute, so it was cool.

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Visiting with the neighbors while Dad catches a couple Zzzs… and then a foot to the stomach.
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Filling out his flight certificate which the pilot signed. We’ll either frame it or throw it away.

When we boarded the shuttle out to catch our second flight, it was mostly Senegalese people. Pape was in heaven. He was grinning, singing, waving, dancing and stomping.

It was hard to leave Budapest, hard to say goodbye to family, hard to come back period. But somewhere on that shuttle ride from the Lisbon airport to the plane, I knew we were truly headed home and that felt really good.

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Snack o’clock.
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Don’t forget to give Mom a snack. She loooves half-chewed anything.
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Feeling a bit parched after that non-perishable airplane bread.

Facebook status updates had prepared me for the fact that there had been tons and tons of dust blowing in while we were away. I developed a plan of attack and when we arrived at 2am I plugged in the little handheld vacuum cleaner so that it would be charged when we woke up.

Bright and early, I vacuumed the living room rug and furniture, then dusted right in that area. I put Pape in lightweight footie pjs and tried to contain him in the dust-free zone while we cleaned the rest of the apartment. It worked… well, no I guess it didn’t really. But hey – that’s why God invented baths!

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For the record, we know nothing about bite marks on seat 14D.

It’s been a couple days now and we’ve seen JB and fam, Jenn & Shawn, Demba, Dorothée, Diami and others that help make Dakar home for us. We’ve unpacked and settled back in. Pape has reconnected with his long-lost toys. Cheikh started back to work seven hours after we landed. I decided I needed another long weekend first. And then a good part of a Monday.

It’s good to be back.

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Okay guys, where to next?
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