November 27, 2012

We Survived

The return flight home was much more enjoyable than our outbound flight.  The crew were very friendly and helpful when needed.  When the flight landed it was a sigh of relieve that we had survived our first big trip with Isaac and all things considered it went rather well.  He was one tired boy.

Isaac took a little snooze in the customs line.

Departure Pancakes

I think Frazer stated it best.....Experience: that thing you acquire 5 minutes after needing it.  #17: don't order blueberry pancakes for a 17-month old.  

I'll be honest, order the messiest breakfast possible before boarding a flight home was not one of my finer moments but clearly Isaac didn't care.  He thoroughly enjoyed his yummy breakfast.  :)

November 26, 2012

Saying Good-Bye

It's so hard to believe the week has already come to an end.  Today was our last day to visit and we certainly made the best of it.  Isaac had a full day of playing and we took as many pictures as we could to capture all of the precious moments. 

At least for me I could sense a heaviness in the air knowing the day was coming to an end especially as the time approached to leave.   

We stretched the time out as far as we could before we had to leave.  Visits certainly end too quickly and goodbyes are never easy.  Isaac shared one last cuddle with Grandma and Grandpa before we left to head back to Manchester for the night.  

We had a wonderful time in England and despite the jet lag Isaac was a champ.  I know this is a trip he's likely not to remember so I hope I've captured as much as possible for him to reflect back on one day.   To think, he's already earning airline miles at such a young age! We know we'll make another trip again and hope Grandma and Grandpa will be able to come and visit us soon as well. 


Isaac has had a lot of practice lately giving out high fives to people and he loves it.  If you raise your hand and say "high five" he'll run over and happily meet your request.  Well, this week Grandpa Middleton taught Isaac a new trick.

Grandpa raised his water bottle and taught Isaac to raise his water bottle and say "Cheers!".

It was super cute to see Isaac running around the living room to anyone that had a drink near by.  He'd raise his little water bottle and would say something that resembled cheers while grinning from ear to ear.  When his gesture was met it was as if his entire body smiled.  Cheers!

November 25, 2012

Memory Lane with Papa

One of the great things about Frazer going home with his son for the first time was the opportunity to reminisce and reacquaint himself with some childhood toys.  I can't speak for Frazer but Isaac throughly enjoyed opening the treasure trove of every little boy.  An entire box full of cars!

I won't go as far as to say these are antiques.  Honey, you're not that old.  ;)  However, I can attest to the fact these are the original Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars.  Far from the plastic ones that are made today.

There were all sorts of cars, trucks, jeeps and buses.  Isaac inspected everyone and Grandma taught him the concept of "crash-bang".  Isaac is just now becoming aware enough and interested in the "vroom-vroom's" of cars and the hours of fun I'm sure he'll soon have.

I have to admit that I also really enjoyed seeing all of these cars and trucks.  What I really loved was watching Frazer playing cars with Isaac and seeing the quiet joy wash over Frazer.  I absolutely loved it!

Yorkshire Pudding

I've heard Frazer talk forever about Yorkshire Pudding.  I have to be honest that I never really asked too many questions but just always assumed "pudding" meant something sweet.  Well, I love sweets so of course it was something I wanted to try.

On this trip Frazer mentioned he really wanted us to have a Yorkshire Pudding before we left and we should go for lunch or dinner.  He had a very particular place in mind too.  We had to go to the Half Moon pub.  Apparently they're know for their Yorkshire Pudding's.   When looking at the menu they're were few options and then it was explained to me this isn't a pudding as in something sweet.  There was a "beef" option, "mince", and something else.    Even the waitress knew I was struggling to understand the concept of this dish so she brought one out.  Oh my!  It was so far from any image I could conjure in my mind.  What was initially presented was the largest portion I'd ever seen.  That quickly help narrow my selection to the half order.  Then I decided on the beef option.  Knowing how large the portions were Frazer and I decided not to order anything for Isaac since there would be plenty to share.

To my amazement the dish that arrived was splendid!

I immediately dug in then stopped myself to snap a photo.  I knew I would never be able to accurately describe the unique dish.  It was fabulous.  No exaggerations either.   This dish had Isaac's stamp of approval as well.  I've never seen Isaac eat so much so quickly.  I couldn't cut up pieces of roast beef with gravy quick enough to keep up with his demand.  He ate the beef, the carrots, some of the potatoes and even the cauliflower.  The dish came with brussels sprouts too.  This is a vegetable Frazer and I completely agree on that it will never be served in our home.  We both have a strong opposition to the little vegetable despite its nutritional value.  Well, I didn't want my unfavorable experience with this vegetable to cloud Isaac's experience so I sliced one up for him to try.  He picked it up and shoveled it in his little mouth.  His face puckered almost instantaneously as his tongue unrolled to eject this half chewed piece of veggie.  Perhaps we could say he came by this honestly but Isaac is on the same side of no brussels sprouts!  It was too funny to witness.

Anyway, I'm so glad we ventured out to the Half Moon pup for a Yorkshire Pudding.  It's something we'll definitely have to do again.

November 22, 2012

Music Time with Grandpa

Apparently a musical ability runs in the Middleton family.  Grandpa's father played the piano very well and Grandpa used to play the piano and took organ lessons.  He also used to play the organ for social clubs in Hull, England.  I also learned that Frazer taught himself to play the keyboard and has a natural music ability.  Who knows....Isaac may have a music ability too.  He certainly loves music.  We'll have to keep a close eye.  It's certainly something we'll nurture if he has an interest!

Before dinner this evening Grandpa shared a special moment with Isaac and he let Isaac have a go at the big boy keyboard.

Isaac had a fantastic time! He could have spent the entire evening pounding on those keys.  I was able to capture a bit of video while Frazer captured some photos.  This is Isaac and Grandpa's musical debut!

November 21, 2012

Catching Up With Old Friends

Frazer had a great time catching up with friends Julian and Carrie Hakes.

Three Generations of Fun

Grandpa Middleton had a rocking horse when he was a very young boy.  He then kept it and restored it for Frazer when he was young.  We have a picture of Frazer and the rocking horse.  Now, for the third generation Isaac had the opportunity to ride the horse. 

This rocking horse is one of kind and not something you'll ever find today.  It's absolutely beautiful and Grandpa did a fabulous job with the restoration down to the real horses mane.  

Isaac is still just a tad too small to get on and off by himself but he was delighted to ride the horse!  We look forward to the day this lovely horse makes its way to our home.  It's such a beautiful piece full of family history.  

Isaac and Auntie Fiona

Isaac had another day full of entertainment.  He loves to be the center of attention as every little boy should.  Today he got to meet Auntie Fiona!

It didn't take long for Isaac to show off his belly button! He loves to show his belly button to people.

Isaac had lots of fun with Auntie Fiona.  They spent lots of time playing.

Isaac of course found Auntie's purse and found her phone.  He was most intrigued and she was most patient. 

Then the little rascal ran off with her phone and hid behind grandma's chair to play peek-a-boo. 

It was a day full of giggles.....

and cuddles....

It was another great day.  It was lovely to meet Fiona.  Isaac loved having another full day of attention and fun.

Isaac and Jet Lag

Isaac woke up this morning and seemed to be full of energy.  We got up, dressed and headed downstairs to the restaurant for breakfast.  He made it half way through his bottle and while eating his breakfast his eyes were so heavy it was taking every ounce of energy to keep his little eyes open.  As soon as I moved his plate out of the way he was out.  Jet lag had officially caught up with him.

November 20, 2012

Cousin Time

Our morning started off with a bang.  While we were getting ready this morning Isaac was exploring the hotel room and thought he would help papa hold the door open to the cabinet.  Isaac underestimated his own strength and pushed the cabinet the wrong way.  Yep, Isaac broke the entire cabinet door off the hinge!

After that little debacle it was time to head to Grandma and Grandpas!  Today Isaac got to meet his cousin Oliver and his mama, Anna, and his Aunt Kirsty.

Isaac had a great time with Oliver, who's almost 3.  Isaac followed him everywhere and they played very well together.

They shared lots of cuddles. :-)

Isaac spent lots of time with Grandma and Grandpa and kept a close eye on everyone that left a room.  He's great at keeping tabs on everything.

He shared cuddles with papa and mama too.

Isaac was a bit worn out at the end of the day but he had a great day full of fun and giggles.

Nite Time Events

Sharing a hotel room with a toddler is a challenge.  Isaac had his own cot that was set up with a soft blanket in the bottom, his own Winnie-the-Pooh blanket, puppy and binky.  Regardless of the comforts provided he wanted no part of sleeping in a crib.  We knew it was a long trip.  I have a hard enough time adjusting from jet lag and the time change so I knew Isaac may struggle to adjust.  Despite keeping the bedtime routine the same, even bringing the same bedtime books, Isaac wanted no part of the lights being out and him being in a crib in a strange room.  Now, he's been in hotel rooms before and typically has settled down on his own once the lights were out and everyone's in bed.  Not this time.    He was in a full blown melt down!  All methods in my arseneal of soothing tricks didn't even scratch the surface.

So after a few failed attempts and for the sake of all hotel guests on our floor I decided to "try" putting Isaac in bed with us.  This is something I've never, ever attempted before.  I'm not a fan of co-sleeping. I love my sleep and knowing Isaac's sleep patterns he's a washing machine in the bed.  But, I wanted to ease Isaac's anxiety and at first he snuggled up on my chest and settled down enough that I could eventually lay him down in the middle of the bed.  Of course, I couldn't relax or sleep.

There are times I would love to see directly in to this boys mind and see what he's thinking and the chain of events.  Isaac decided he wanted to play with the light switches that are conveniently place in the middle of the headboard.  At this point, Frazer is asleep, it's the middle of the night and Isaac turned all the lights on!

In a state of disbelief and my love of documenting all of Isaac's milestones and funny moments I had to grab my phone to capture Isaac and his inquisitive nature in action.

Stinker was barely awake himself but at this point we were laughing and I mean, tears streaming, belly laughing.  What in the world prompts an exhausted little boy, who's too distraught to go to sleep in his own crib right next to mama and papa, to the point of needing to be held to be playing with light switches!  I'm sure on some level it was perfectly logically to him.

A think a good laugh was exactly what we all needed.  Isaac finally settled enough to sleep.  It was a restless night for all of us but some sleep is so much better than none.   :-)

November 19, 2012

Isaac Meets Grandma and Grandpa Middleton

After such a long journey Isaac met his Grandma and Grandpa Middleton for the first time.  I wasn't sure how Isaac would do given it can take him a bit of time to warm up to unfamiliar places and people.  On the trip over I was talking to Frazer and mentioned that Isaac might actually adjust fairly well given Grandma and Grandpa would sound similar to papa.  Either way it didn't matter and we all knew to give Isaac some space so he could adjust at his own pace.  Isaac stuck with me in the beginning but after only 15 minutes or so he was down and off exploring.

Isaac was so excited to be out of a carseat and in an environment where he could roam free.   Isaac was full of giggles and smiles, playing peek-a-boo, and handing out high fives.

He even shared a cuddle with Grandpa!

Planes, Buses, and Cars....

We survived the flight to Manchester and all the planning paid off.  I had packed plenty of snacks and diapers.  All of which came in handy.  Isaac slept for about 4 hours and Frazer and I got a couple hours of sleep.  We were on an older plane and in the bulkhead row so the television/movie screen was right in front of us and I think the glow kept Isaac up a lot longer than I would have preferred.

Once we arrived at the airport, we stopped so I could change Isaac and get him dressed.  I changed out of my comfy clothes too and this actually worked to our advantage.  By the time we were freshened up the line for passports was empty and all of our bags had arrived in the baggage area so we had very little waiting.  Next up was waiting for the bus to car rental.

Burr rabbit it's cold!  While standing outside the wind whipped around and boy did have a bite.  I had Isaac bundled in his monster hat.  We only waited on the bus for five minutes but I was so glad I packed a warm coat.  Once the bus arrived Isaac was full of excitement.  He didn't have to sit in a car seat! He had so much fun looking around, sitting on my lap, standing on my lap, sitting in the seat beside me....I had a good grip on him but I knew better than to expect him to sit still given he'd been strapped in a car seat for the last 10 hours!

The adventure continued once we were at the car rental place.  Frazer waited in line patiently and once everything was processed he walked outside to the car only to return. They had given him a 2-door tiny something that wouldn't accommodate the carseat.  So, he waited a bit longer while they continued to search for a 4-door something.  This delay worked in our favor since he got upgraded as a result of the original reservation being wrong. Frazer didn't mind driving a Mercedes....I have to say I didn't mind riding in one either.

Once we were loaded up it was time to hit the road for the two plus hour drive to Grandma and Grandpa Middleton's.  Isaac slept most of the way until we stopped for a break and some breakfast.  Then it was back on the road and I couldn't resist a quick nap myself for the rest of the ride.  Then we were there.....

This was not the average Over the river and through the woods to get to the grandparents house.  That was a long trip....especially for a little guy....but he was a trooper!

November 18, 2012

The England Adventure Begins!

The day of our big trip is finally here! Wohoo!  Isaac had a good nights sleep and a full nap this morning to make sure we set off on the right foot.  I've also spent the past few days attempting to explain to Isaac that he would be going on a big plane in a few days.  Since he knows a few basic sign language signs he's been learning airplane and makes the sign every time he hears a plane go by.  I know he has a basic understanding of planes but actually getting on one for the first time is an entirely different experience.

When we got to the airport Isaac arrived in style in his carseat.  Papa got a Roll 'n Go Car Seat Transporter.

This was the best investment ever!  Talk about ease! Isaac was comfortable in his own seat and it was super easy to push/pull and maneuver through the airport.   Airport security was a breeze too.  Knowing how terrible security can be this was the first hurdle with potential to be difficult.  But, we had a plan.  Frazer had all of the electronics in his bag and we both had our travel liquids easily accessible.  All of our jackets and belts were packed in our carryon bag so we didn't have to deal with them either.  Slip on shoes helped too!  Isaac got to keep his shoes on and he held my hand when we walked through the security check point.  The biggest obstacle Frazer and one of the security agents had was explaining to other agents that a hand check was needed for the car seat.  A couple of them kept saying to just put it on the belt to put through the scanner and they weren't getting that it was too big!  There was no waiting in line either.  It all worked out and we were on our way in minutes.

The next adventure was the tram to our terminal.  Isaac was having a great time until the tram started.  It  was a quick ride but very jerky and the look on Isaac's face said it all.  He lost his appetite for his snacks, his eyes were super wide but Frazer and I both reassured him he was okay and the ride would be over soon.

Next up was some dinner!  We all needed to have full tummies before boarding the flight and you never know what the food is going to be like on the plane so its always better to be prepared.  We stopped at Fridays since it was the only sit down option aside from fast food.  Isaac kept himself entertained with a calculator while we waited.

Once we had full tummies we made our way to the lounge to stretch our legs, let Isaac burn some energy and freshen up before the long flight.  We sat by the window so Isaac could watch the big planes.  He, however, was more interested in the tables with lights and outlets.  Then it was time to change him into his pajama's so he was comfy for the flight.

We took advantage of the early boarding to make sure we had plenty of time to get the car seat installed, all of our carryon bags stowed away and I pulled the essential items out to make sure they were handy.

Once Isaac was strapped in he enjoyed his bedtime snack....a nice cup of milk.  He really seemed like he was having a great time.  He smiled and waved as passengers boarded and walked by to their seats.  Before we knew it was time to close the doors and get ready for take off!  Let's hope little man sleeps!

November 14, 2012

Christmas Tree Training

Frazer's travel has certainly picked up and he'll be traveling from now until almost the week before Christmas.  When I mentioned to Frazer that I wanted to put the tree up early he thought I was crazy.  My rationale....(1) Frazer was going to be traveling for the next several weeks and wouldn't be here anyway...(2) Traditionally we would put the tree up the day after Thanksgiving but since we leave for England on 11/18 and are essentially skipping Thanksgiving this year....why not put it up early?

So, that's what I did.  While Isaac was sleeping last night I put up the tree.  First I had it in the foyer.  I put all the lights on and the garland....stood back to take it all in.... and realized it looked a bit small.  This morning when Isaac came downstairs he didn't even notice the tree.  Then while he was napping I moved it into the family room.  It still looks a bit small.  It was perfect for our apartment but I think we might be getting a new tree for next year.

Anyway, when Isaac woke up and came back down he certainly noticed the tree this time! He immediately walked right over and gazed at all the sparkling lights.  He only reached to touch a couple of ornaments but after telling him "no touch" he left everything alone.  However, one of the ornaments caught his attention and he couldn't resist the temptation.  When I wasn't looking he taken one of the small angel ornaments.

I'm sure from his perspective he's thinking I put this tree that's at his level with shinny lights and little objects that fit perfectly in his hands but he's not supposed to touch them??  Last year he was too small to really understand the process of trees inside let alone reach any ornaments.  I guess were tree training this year!  After a brief explanation he helped me put the ornament back on the tree.

Isaac still getting some wear out of his Halloween pajama's :)

November 13, 2012

Big Boy Upgrade

Isaac has made the next transition in big boy status.  He's now using big boy plate with divided sections!  I had been using our regular dinner plates but Isaac kept insisting on putting his yogurt and sippy cup on the plate instead of the table.  I guess since he had been using the tray on the highchair this was his preference.  So I decided to buy a couple of divided plates to see how he would take to them and it was an instant hit!

He's even using his own, little guy sized, fork now too.  I must admit I kind of like the plates too.  I can make sure he's getting the correct portions and I don't like empty sections so it helps me to make sure he's getting all his food groups.  I'm never worried about his fruit consumption since I don't think there's a fruit he dislikes.

Since papa is away we made some spaghetti and Isaac had fun slurping it up!   I always have to get my fix of all things tomato based while Frazer is traveling and I added artichokes and mushrooms to the spaghetti and Isaac liked it.  It's another way to help him get his veggies in.

Love this kid!  He's growing so fast!

November 11, 2012

Neighborly Goods

Yesterday afternoon while we were outside playing and spending time with our neighbors Isaac was the recipient of neighborly generosity.  Christine, next door, has a seven year old son who is super sweet.  While we were all outside enjoying the sun she started to pull out a couple of old toys for Isaac to play with.  That led to her pulling out totes of son's clothes, shoes, books and toys.  After a couple of hours Isaac and I helped her clean out space in her basement and she provided us with an overwhelming amount of goods that we're so grateful for!

Isaac loves his new tool truck!  The truck speaks in spanish and english and comes with a little tool kit to keep the truck in working order.

With a full workbench in the back, he's full prepared to change the spark plugs and air filter along with the items in the bed of the truck such as the toaster, clock, fan and camera.

We have  a small cabinet in the family room to keep Isaac's toys in and the entire left side is now full of books!  There are so many great books that Isaac will enjoy not to mention to the blocks, the fire engine, vtech piano, trucks, etc.  I was truly overwhelmed by the generosity and I know these are items that Isaac will enjoy so much!

November 10, 2012

Fall Fun in the Leaves

Today papa had to leave for Sweden.  While Isaac and I were very sad to see papa leave again we spent some time outdoors with our neighbors.  I decided to rake some leaves into a pile for Isaac.  I wasn't sure what his reaction would be but I think it's just a natural instinct of childhood to be drawn to a big pile of leaves.

At first he just shuffled his feet to hear the crunching and rustling sounds. And then he took the plunge and flopped down right in the middle of the pile.

Instant giggles resulted from picking up and throwing leaves.

Pure joy.

There is nothing greater than the sound of his giggles and seeing him so happy and having fun!