Hayden and Layla's Place

We moved – and new blog! August 26, 2014

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 8:33 pm
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Big changes in our household – we have moved to Italy!  We’re trying to keep current with a new blog focused on the changes we are experiencing as a family, which can be found at ourbolognalife.wordpress.com.  Hayden and Layla’s Place has been pretty dormant while we prepared for the move and will likely remain so at least until ourbolognalife is no longer relevant. 🙂  We hope you’ll pop over to the new blog and check it out!


Layla’s 20 Questions August 25, 2014

Filed under: Mommy on Layla — karagoodwin @ 12:43 pm
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Ok I am way, way behind capturing Layla’s 20 questions for her 4th birthday.  She is 4 1/4 now, but it’s still fun to see what her answers are each year.  She is growing so fast!  She loves school (she is chomping at the bit for it to start up – one more week to go), she’s very loving, can be stubborn, playful, funny, loves Frozen and animals, and is a pretty good eater.

1) What is your favorite color? GreenIMG_3518

2) What is your favorite toy? Markers

3) What is your favorite fruit? Grapes and kiwi

4) What is your favorite TV show? Paw Patrol and Team Umizumi

5) What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Babybel

6) What is your favorite outfit? Frozen shirt

7) What is your favorite game? My Little Pony matching game

8) What is your favorite snack? Babybel

9) What is your favorite animal?  Dolphin

10) What is your favorite song? Baa Baa Black Sheep

11) What is your favorite book? Her Frozen Olaf book and a Minnie book

12) Who is your best friend? Avery

13) What is your favorite cereal? Cheerios (I’m not sure I would agree with that – I think she just answered with a cereal she could think of)

14) What is your favorite thing to do outside? Mow

15) What is your favorite drink?  Sprite

16) What is your favorite holiday? Halloween

17) What do you like to take with you to bed at night? Elsa

18) What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Croissant

19) What do you want for dinner for your birthday? Q’Doba

20) What do you want to be when you grow up? A mommy


20 Questions for Hayden

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 12:28 pm
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Somehow Hayden is 7 already!  He has had a great year being 6, and I’m sure it’s all IMG_4492upwards from here.  He loved Kindergarten and really flourished.  He’s got a big year ahead with starting a new school at the International School of Bologna, which he is excited about!  It’s fun watching him mature more and more every year.  He says things now like, “Mommy, do you think I could do [x]?  I don’t think I’ll be allowed to because [y] but I’m just asking.” 🙂

His birthday fell during our move, so we had his birthday party in July to make sure we had time for a party.  He really wanted it at the Monon Center water park, but it got rained out so we did a last minute switch to Dave and Busters.  His actual birthday was the day we flew to Italy.  We asked him if he would rather be in Indiana for his birthday, be in Italy already, or be flying on his birthday (in case we had flexibility to choose when), and he wanted to be on airplanes and in airports for his birthday – and that’s what he got!  We also got to fly first class due using points to upgrade, so that made it extra special!  Although, we got ice cream sundaes on the flight and for some reason Hayden didn’t want any…?  I just can’t figure that one out.

1) What is your favorite color? Black

2) What is your favorite toy? Wii

3) What is your favorite fruit? Peaches and apricots

4) What is your favorite TV show? The show with the bear and the girl – something new we’ve watched in Italy but don’t know what it’s called.

5) What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Bread he’s been eating here with butter (making essentially an empty sandwich).

6) What is your favorite outfit? Lego Star Wars shirt

7) What is your favorite game? Mine Craft

8) What is your favorite snack? Chocolate granola bar

9) What is your favorite animal?  Dolphin

10) What is your favorite song? “The robot song” – I think this is called “Party Rock Anthem”

11) What is your favorite book? These Aren’t the Droids You’re Looking For (Star Wars)

12) Who is your best friend? Drew

13) What is your favorite cereal? Cocoa Krispies (“but I don’t eat it anymore”)

14) What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play in the big playground in Hawaii

15) What is your favorite drink?  Peach tea (cold)

16) What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

17) What do you like to take with you to bed at night? Bunny and fox

18) What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Waffle and fruit yogurt

19) What do you want for dinner for your birthday? McDonald’s

20) What do you want to be when you grow up? Nascar driver


Abbey August 24, 2014

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 8:27 pm
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We’ve had a lot going on in our household, which accounts for the lack of attention we’ve given to this blog.  We’ve been preparing for andIMG_2909 executing on a huge international move, and that’s left little time for many things, including writing which I know I will regret when things slow down.  One part of the massive move was determining what we would do with our pets.  Having moved Abbey and Jude 8 years ago, John and I were realistic about how complicated and difficult it is to move a pet.  We remembered the enormous stress put on them when they were put into a cage in the cargo hold of the plane for hours and hours, not capable of understanding what was happening to them and that it was for the greater good.  The move this time is for a set period of time – 2-3 years – and obviously would involve not only one move but another (back) when the assignment was over.


After careful consideration (and much, MUCH back-and-forth deliberation) we decided the best thing was to find foster homes for the pets while we were gone.  My dad quickly and kindly offered to take Lucy, as company for his dog Stella.  My neighbors agreed to take Mimi, which was perfect for her because she was very used to being at their house.  They have a lab which we take while they are on vacation and they take our dogs when we are away.  Our dear friends Tom and Tracy agreed to take Abbey.  They used to have a dog and cat, but both had passed of old age in the last couple of years.  Tracy worked from home.  It seemed an ideal match letting Abbey (at 12 years of age) have some peaceful time with kind human companions and no dogs or other pets to keep in line.

We dropped Abbey off 2 days before the movers were due to come, and about 12 days before our flight to Italy.  We thought it best for her to be out of the house so she didn’t have to experience the stress of seeing all the furniture go, strangers in the house, basically her world being turned upside down – in addition to a new home setting right around the corner.  She took a couple of days to settle in to their house, but then she was lounging on their laps, playing, and adapting to her new home.  I was getting sweet picture texts of her settling in.

So, I was shocked to get a call about 5 days into her placement that she had passed away over night.  Well, I say I was shocked.  I WAS shocked at the time, obviously devastated.  I had, however, thought something was wrong with her in the weeks before.  I took her to the vet because she was just not being herself, but we were in the midst of a lot of change and we weren’t sure if it was the stress of that or something more so we thought we’d give it time (we’d had blood work done less than 2 months before that visit and the vet said the numbers wouldn’t have changed much in that time and she should physically be ok), and then she’d seemed to have gotten a bit better.  In speaking with the (other, partner) vet later, he thinks the suddenness of it means it was a blood clot.

Abbey was a prized member of our household.  She slept with Layla nearly every night (shown in the picture above, from March).  She was incredibly patient with the children.  Small for her size, she kept the dogs in our home as well as any who came to play firmly in their place.  Our neighbor’s Lab, Macy, is a good 90 pounds.  If she decides to get on the couch I cannot physically move her off.  So it always made me laugh when she’d stay at our house and I’d notice she was hovering in the kitchen and not coming into the family room with us. I’d call for her and call for her and she wouldn’t come in.  It wouldn’t be until I’d get up to see what was going on that I’d notice Abbey was laying in wait on the path into the family room.  Macy knew the boundary and wouldn’t cross into Abbey’s path.  Once I would pick Abbey up and out of the way she would come into the room no problem.  Abbey was 6 pounds to Macy’s 90.  Just goes to show it’s not the physical size but the attitude and swagger that matters.

It’s also the first pet death that the kids have dealt with.  On the day of Abbey’s death Layla had a day camp, but Hayden was not scheduled to be anywhere.  I immediately made plans for him to be with my friend for the morning while I got Abbey and took care of getting her to the vet for her remains to be taken care of, but then I asked him if he’d rather go to my friend’s house or come with me to say goodbye.  Death is a part of life, and as much as we want to shield our children from the hardest parts of life it can be good to let them experience it and help them through the emotions.  He did want to come with me, and as busy as John was that week with his work he also asked me to pick him up on the way so he could say goodbye.  Only he knows for sure, but I think it was good for him to get to be a part of that, get to see her a last time and say goodbye, get to see how sad John and I were and that that’s a normal part of grieving.

We really miss her so much.  We talk about her several times a day still, and it’s been four weeks now.  I cried a lot the first couple of days, and Hayden was very curious about whether I would cry all the time from now on, whether I was still sad about it when I wasn’t crying, and why I would start crying again if I hadn’t cried for a little while.  Layla has talked a lot about how Abbey is in the clouds now and how she is with Jude (Jude passed away 3 years before Layla but we still talk about him and have his pictures around so she knows he was part of our family but died), and that we’ll see her again someday.