Hayden and Layla's Place

Having a Whale of a Time! April 10, 2014

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 7:06 am
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Our first full day in Kauai did not disappoint!  It started by watching the sunrise from our lanai, when I spotted a whale’s fin just out of the IMG_2988water.  We watched amazed as the whale worked his way through the water, eventually out of sight.  The kids were being kids – requesting breakfast and anything else they could think of to (unintentionally) distract us from this amazing site (from our rental, no less!), but we still managed to keep track of it until it was out of sight.  Now that I IMG_3011saw a whale so early on in the trip, I am addicted to looking out onto the water to try to spot one – it was so easy the first time! 😉

John went out for an early run and scoped out the local nature scene, so we went on a little family excursion in the morning.  Hayden in particular LOVED the little hike IMG_3016through the nearby volcanic rocks.  Poipu is just incredibly picturesque.

Next we went to the pool in our little resort.  It’s an OK pool but really nothing special, with a little hot tub.  Of course, it’s been a highlight for the kids.  Kids and pools – I’m sure I’m not the first parent who has realized the kids could be just as satisfied going to a hotel nearby with a tiny, crappy indoor pool as going on a proper vacation!  But, whatever, they like what they like.  Luckily John is such a trooper about water that’s not just the right level of warm so they had a grown up to play with in the pool – I was not keen to go in!

After some swimming we went to Kilohana plantation.  What beautiful grounds they have!  They have train rides every hour, and when we got there the 2:00 had just left so we had an hour to scope things out.  We went toIMG_3045 the sweet shop first, and they kids were really excited to get a bag of bulk candy, while I got some vanilla ice cream (flavored with vanilla they grow on the plantation), as well as some locally made soaps that smell delicious.  When the time came for the train, we were in the middle of a large tour group.  We had hoped to get in the second car which was open air, but they filled it before we got our turn so we were directed to the first car, where the kids decided to go to the very front.  Fantastic idea, as the engineer asked them if they’d like to help drive the train!  So John went with them both to stand up with the driver for the duration of the ride, and they got to blow the whistle several times and Hayden was able to drive it for a while!

The tour was really good, the tour guide was really knowledgeable with a fun IMG_3038personality.  We stopped halfway through to feed the goats, pigs, and chickens (they provided bread).  That was really fun and sweet.  I definitely recommend doing Kilohana for kids (I think I would have liked it even if they weren’t there, but particularly with kids it was fun).  I had read positive reviews before we got here but it was even better than I expected.  Only downside was we missed the last rum tasting!  There is rum tasting throughout the day but it finished right when our train ride finished – that would have been an amazing end to our visit there! 🙂

It was soon time for dinner so we headed to Pizzeta in Old Koloa.  We really enjoyed our food and the atmosphere, but the kids were just completely wiped out so we tried to wrap it up quicker than we would have liked.  Hayden was nearly falling asleep on our laps as we waited for our bill, bless him (very unusual for him – he hardly ever falls asleep in the car even anymore).




First Day in Hawai’i April 9, 2014

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 2:47 am
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By the time we got our rental car, dropped our stuff off in our condo, changed into some warm weather clothes, etc, it was well past IMG_2949lunch time but we hadn’t had a proper meal since breakfast LA time which would have been around 5 am local time.  So our first mission was to find some grub.  Since we’re staying in Poipu we went to a nearby shopping center and ate at Poipu Tropical Burgers.  Hayden was in a bad mood because he’d seen a Starbucks and wanted to eat there, so we tried desperately to sympathize with his empty belly/tired eyes and not let him spoil our first outing.  The food was ok – lots to IMG_2956choose from and tasted fine.  They had an aquarium which was fun for Layla, and we were just happy to be eating outside after the bitterly cold, long winter we’ve endured.

After lunch we back to the condo to get ready for our first beach trip of the holiday.  We were thrilled to find lots of beach paraphernalia in a closet so we didn’t have to worry about buying sand toys and boogie boards.  We went to Poipu beach and were so excited to find a giant turtle resting on shore!  They had him roped off with signs asking not to disturb him which I was glad about (equally glad everyone was respecting the signs).  After we were there a while and they tide started coming in he headed back out to sea.  IMG_2959

The kids had a great time swimming (mostly with Daddy – he’s much less of a chicken about being in water that’s not the exact right temperature than me!) and playing in the sand.  The water was just gorgeous, and there was a rock barrier which kept it pretty calm where we were.

After the beach we hit the grocery store (Big Save, in Old Koloa) to stock up on breakfast and lunch stuff.  We’d heard everything is so expensive in Hawai’i, so we were prepared that prices would be higher and maybe that’s why I didn’t find them totally outrageous compared to what I was afraid of.  We came back to the hotel for a quick dinner which Hayden didn’t really even finish due to his exhaustion.


Kauai – Travel Day April 8, 2014

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 7:05 am
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IMG_2944 We have been soooo looking forward to going on Spring Break to Kauai!  We knew it was going to be a long journey – 3 flights – but we were ready with movies packed on the iPads, snacks, and activities for the kids.  So, in short, we were really disappointed when the first leg of our flight was delayed 3 hours, then another 2 hours, and then another 2.  John was on it with the customer service number for United, who did their best to help us but eventually had us going to Newark (the complete wrong side of the country) to stay overnight and then take a God-knows-how-long flight to Kauai.  Fortunately, we went to a ticketing agent in the airport who helped soften that blow a little by routing us through LA via a different airline where we could stay overnight and get a 9 am flight to Kauai the next day.  After how long those 2 flights took I cannot imagine having gone the Newark route – I think we might still be in the air now.

We felt badly having had the kids in the airport since about 7 am, knowing our flight wasn’t going to leave until 7:30 pm in the end.  My dad had graciously driven us to the airport, but that meant we didn’t have a car to give us an option to kill time somewhere else.  We decided to take a taxi to the Children’s Museum for 2 1/2 hours instead of trying to figure out how to keep a 6 and 3 year old entertained for 12 hours in one airport.  Unfortunately, we underestimated the time it would take to get to the museum – round trip it cost about the same as a trip to the grocery store (with wine) – and we didn’t think about the fact that it was a Friday which overlapped the spring breakers who were ending and starting their breaks, making it super crowded.  The kids also just wanted to get moving and didn’t seem to understand what we were trying to do but IMG_2947thought we were delaying them from getting on the plane.  Good intentions, but not a great execution in the end.

The flight was fine, but when we got to LA we had to work out the hotel with the airline which took quite a bit of time, and the shuttle to our hotel took a good 40 minutes with 2 very tired kiddos (at that point it was 1 or 2 am according to their body clocks).   The flight the next morning was all good – I saw Tim Allen at the airport which was cool (funnily enough, we had also seen Jeff Saturday (former Indy Colts’ center) at the Indy airport.  The kids were good on the flight, but I was shocked that Hayden had enough of movies all on his own.  Good for controlling screen time, but a little confusing as I tried to think of what might fill that void.  🙂

And, as you can see from the first picture I took in Hawai’i, all that travel plus a 6 hour time difference really took it out of little Layla!


Music March 13, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — karagoodwin @ 5:39 pm

Layla loves playing “music class”.  We have a portable CD player she carries around (shaped like Lightning McQeen), and she puts in her CD which has the music from the music class she has at school.  She talks to her “class”, pauses the music to set the class straight, hands out props, etc.  It’s fun to watch her be the class instructor – you can see her teachers coming through in the things she says, like, “Ok, friends!  Now we’re going to…”  She uses the word “friends” a lot which must be something she hears at Primrose a lot.  Luckily the things I hear when she is channeling her teachers are funny or sweet.  


Lego Club

Filed under: Uncategorized — karagoodwin @ 5:28 pm
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Hayden was selected to be in the Lego Club at school (so many kids want to do it they have to have a lottery system).  He’s been loving that.  It’s 5 weeks, and it’s once a week after school.  He can make anything he wants along with the other kids, and he’s always so excited afterwards, describing what he made.  They keep the constructions up in the library for a week so parents can come see what they made.  He’s made some fun things – a “police trap” (yes, that’s a trap for the bad guys to catch the police), a helicopter (with no propellers), a “spooky entrance”, and a space ship.  The last one is next week and I’ll be a parent volunteer for that one which will be fun.

Hayden also loves Lego Club days because he goes to ESE, which is the after school care where you stay at school instead of going to Primrose which is what he normally does.  He seems to love ESE, which is probably because he’s only done it a few times and hasn’t had a chance to get bored of it yet. 🙂



Filed under: Uncategorized — karagoodwin @ 5:21 pm
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Hayden has learned soooo much in Kindergarten, and I think the area which stands out the most is reading.  Math has always come really naturally to Hayden – he hasn’t needed to be taught it as much as to talk it through so he can figure it out.  Reading however has been something he has had to spend time learning, and it’s been incredible to watch him get better and better at it.  It’s really exciting to read with him before bed and have him be the one reading.  He’s enjoying it more as well.  When he was first starting to learn to read he would protest a little about wanting to try it at bedtime.  He’s definitely more open now about reading to us.  They have a “100 book club” at school where the parents track the books which are read at home (either by or to the child), and after 10 books they get a little treat like wearing socks in the classroom, choosing their job, choosing who they sit by at lunch, etc.  Hayden’s been really into that and it’s been a great incentive to keep him reading (although both kids always love bedtime books regardless).  


Layla’s Sleeping Buddy

Filed under: Mommy on Layla — karagoodwin @ 5:13 pm
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Abbey has been sleeping in Layla’s room at night, which is soooo cute.  We had trouble for a while with Layla getting out of bed before she fell asleep, thinking of a million excuses ranging from needing to potty to something hurting to being thirsty.  Abbey started cuddling up during reading time before bed, and we started encouraging Layla to be quiet and still after the book was over so as not to disturb Abbey.  Low and behold, Abbey stayed and that really helped to break that bad habit of Layla’s of getting out of bed.  Even when Abbey doesn’t come straight in (Layla accepts that sometimes Abbey is having dinner at bedtime), Layla is still pretty good at staying in bed now – waiting for her. 🙂

It’s really sweet to go check on her later in the evening and see Abbey curled up next to Layla, with Layla’s hand still on her where she’d fallen asleep petting her.


No Training Wheels! September 26, 2013

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 8:09 pm

Hayden has learned to ride his bike without training wheels.  We’d been casually talking about taking them off for a while, and he assured us that once he was 6 he would.  Well, he turned 6 and sure enough he was willing to give it a try!  One weekend John took them off and guided Hayden around the sidewalks as we walked to a neighborhood party.  Later that weekend we took the bike into the grass (he insisted on being in the grass in case he fell) and he started to get the hang of it.  He actually really enjoyed it once he learned to keep his balance.  It took a bit of convincing to get him to go onto the cement.  We kept telling him how much easier his bike would be to maneuver on cement, and eventually he gave it a try.  Now he’s really confident and zipping around on it all the time.  In fact, he’ll be a good partner to run with as he cycles along – it sure is difficult to keep up with him while just walking!



Hayden is Six! Twenty Questions August 30, 2013

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 7:37 pm
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Hayden turned six this month!  He’s getting bigger all the time (still 90th percentile in height).  He’s starting Kindergarten at the big school, he’s been taking loads of field trips at day care this summer (and riding the bus to those), and he’s doing more and more things for himself (begrudgingly).

1) What is your favorite color? Black

2) What is your favorite toy? Lego police station (but he says he wants another lego police station at Christmas – sigh!)

3) What is your favorite fruit? Raspberries

4) What is your favorite TV show? Paw Patrol (recently changed from Curious George)

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

6) What is your favorite outfit? Nothing – says he doesn’t really have something like that 😉

7) What is your favorite game? He says he doesn’t have one, but I’d say it’s Rush Hour Jr

8) What is your favorite snack? Rocket snack (Trader Joe’s version of Goldfish)

9) What is your favorite animal?  Lizard he says (news to me)

10) What is your favorite song? Bad Boys (Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come For You)

11) What is your favorite book? Star Wars

12) Who is your best friend? Jesse and Robby, and Drew

13) What is your favorite cereal? Cocoa Krispies

14) What is your favorite thing to do outside? Ride my bike

15) What is your favorite drink? Lemonade

16) What is your favorite holiday? Christmas

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

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

19) What do you want for dinner for your birthday? Red Robin

20) What do you want to be when you grow up? Construction worker or something else – lol

He had his birthday party at Ben and Ari’s this year.  The kids got tokens and played arcade games for a while, then we went to the party room and ate pizza and cake.  Afterwards most kids left except Jesse and Robby and the 3 of them played two rounds of mini golf.  Hayden was soooo excited about his party and had an absolute ball.  After that we went home and played with some of his presents before swimming for a while in the neighborhood pool.  We rounded off the day with dinner at Red Robin with the Carter’s.  The staff sang Happy Birthday to Hayden and he got a little ice cream sundae.

We are lucky to have such a fun, sweet little boy!  It’s been great fun to watch him grow and change.


“You Forgot to Spray!” and other happenings August 14, 2013

Filed under: Mommy on Layla — karagoodwin @ 7:03 pm
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We went through a phase for a while where we’d put the kids to bed and they’d get up several times before falling asleep, needing to go potty or have a drink or tell us something – typical stall tactics.  I’ve been able to reign this in quite a bit recently, and it’s now not unusual for them to stay in bed once put down (Hayden is particularly fantastic at this anymore – although he does take try it on with John pretty regularly).  One thing that has helped with Layla is my monster and dinosaur spray.  Every night for the last couple of months I have “sprayed” all around her bed with my two sprays.  Even though we can’t see the spray, it has kept all the monsters and dinosaurs away while she is sleeping.  Every night we spray (sometimes she has to come out of her room to tell me I forgot to spray!), and every night while I’m spraying she asks me if it will “last all day night”.

Another silly thing we are doing is pretending the food that she hasn’t eaten wants to go into her belly to see its friends who she has already eaten.  She’ll be eating, say, cereal and leave half a bowl.  I’ll scoop up some on a spoon and put on a funny voice to ask her to please let me in so I can go see my friend/mommy/daddy/sister/brother/cousin.  Today she was even having me give each spoonful a name (rejecting most of the names until I got to the ones she liked).  It can certainly slow down a meal, but it’s worth it to know she’s had a good amount of food, and over time it seems to have gotten her to start off eating a good amount on her own before I have to do the show.