Hayden and Layla's Place

Birthday Boy August 29, 2011

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 1:18 am

Hayden is four! I almost typed finally four – in fact Kara was saying just the other day that she can’t believe that our little boy is four already, and my response is that I can’t believe he isn’t four already – we’ve been talking about his birthday since Christmas!! He has been so excited about it that it’s been “when I’m four …” and “for my birthday” etc, that it seems like it’s been a bit of a build up to the big day!!   I can certainly remember back before May when we were laying out the sequence of birthdays so he knew where his fell.  Also he knew in line with coming back from England it was his birthday. He just missed the bit that said there was going to be three weeks in between coming back and his actual birthday!

We were going to just do a low key birthday, but of course Hayden had other ideas and basically planned his own birthday party at Chuckie Cheese, with a cake and presents… so you’ll hear more about that later I’m sure.

Three was an interesting year for Hayden. He was a really good two year old, but when he hit three, he certainly become a but of a threeager.   He started to question why he had to do things, rather than just doing them. Started to learn the power of the tantrum in public and realize that while threats of having toys taken away wasn’t great, it wasn’t enough to sway whatever his particular argument was at the time. He also become a big daddy’s boy, to the point though that it’s a bit ridiculous at times, and certainly hard on Layla and Kara. Small example would be if I’m there, Hayden won’t let anyone else but me put him in and out of his car seat.  If it’s just me and Layla, then he’ll throw a fit if I try to do anything with Layla first. If I carry Layla he will suddenly need carrying. If I play with Layla, he will get himself in between us and insist I play with him. So he certainly became pretty testy. Certainly his relationship with Kara has gone under some good test as he loves to push her buttons and draw out her patience!  Luckily for him she has plenty!!

Of course, all of that is always instantly forgotten because he is also the sweetest and funniest little boy. He gives out hugs and kisses. He loves being tickled and just loves any play time with me or Kara. In fact I think he just loves attention. More than anything of course he loves Trains. His obsession about trains bleeds into everything he does, but it’s a healthy obsession as things like that go, and he gets so much joy out of just pushing his trains around we just leave him to it.

He still loves his routines.  Two books at bed time is just as important now as it’s every been.   He gets very upset if he can’t get his books, or songs, or even his bath.  These are the things he does, and he wants to know why if things are going to change.

I couldn’t imagine life without my little guy and can’t believe how fast he is growing.   But it is so much fun watching him grow up.  Love you Hayden!!


Happy birthday, Hayden! August 8, 2011

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 7:15 pm
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Hayden turned 4!  As John has written, he had big plans for what it would be like to be four, and I really have noticed a change in him.  He is already doing a better job of doing things by himself (eating, going potty, etc).  He also seems to be a little more agreeable.  Age three was a challenging age for us with Hayden.  He got to the natural developmental stage where he started testing his limits, so there was a lot of navigating to try to keep him from throwing a tantrum in public (sometimes we successfully navigated those waters, and other times we had to go into ABORT! mode).  He had a greater understanding that for any one scenario there were multiple options, and he did his best to protest if he didn’t like the option we chose.  But, already, I feel like we are not having to “talk him down” as much now that he is four.  I’m sure I just sealed my fate for a huge tantrum at some point today.

Here are some of the things about Hayden at three:

  • Started out at three loving cars.  Toy cars, race cars, cars on the road, Cars the movie, anything to do with cars.
  • The last few months his new thing is trains.  He is loving trains.  He was so excited when we went to England and he got to ride on real trains, as well as when we went to Colorado and we did various train-oriented things.  He got a bazillion train-related things for his birthday.
  • He does not like preschool.  He is always happy when I pick him up, but he never wants to go in the morning.  I remember never wanting to go to my babysitter when I was little.  Even though I liked her I would have rather stayed home.  So I understand, but it is sad, too.
  • He’s not hugely into sports at this stage.  He will kick a soccer ball around for a while with John, but hardly ever initiates it on his own.  He shows an interest in basketball, but hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to play.  He likes to play around with these toy golf clubs we have.  He’s taken gymnastics classes and swimming lessons and always been lukewarm about them.  He is going to be on a soccer team in the fall which John will coach, and I can’t WAIT for that!  It will be cool to see if he likes the element of a team sport.  We also plan to sign him up for basketball in the winter because whenever he sees people playing he wants to play.  And swim lessons start next week – not because he is interested but because John and I really feel it is time he learned how to swim, considering that he is around water a fair amount.
  • He loves to sing.  He often sings absentmindedly while he is playing.  My nephew asked me the other day while we were all at a water park why he sings so much.  I hadn’t even noticed, since I’m so used to it!
  • He loves macaroni and cheese.
  • He really loves his daddy.  He loves me, too, I think, but he has a really special bond with his daddy.  For the record, for the first 2 1/2 years he was a big mommy’s boy! 🙂
  • He loves Team Umizoomi.
  • Sometimes he can’t do things because his “hands are busy” (his hands are full).
  • He says “smorrow” instead of “tomorrow.”
  • He loves wearing shirts that have some sort of picture or cartoon on them.  It’s hard to get him to wear a regular shirt.

I can’t believe he is four already!  I still feel like he should be a newborn.  It’s been exciting watching him grow up, though.  Yesterday he was riding his bike that has training wheels, and he was so unsure at first.  John was helping him, and Hayden kept telling him be sure to hold him tight.  I was thinking it was so precious to see him learning to ride his bike, and it’s such a brief time in a person’s life that even as I was watching him I felt like I was already remembering it.  Time just goes too quickly.  I wish the kids could just stay my little people forever, but they keep getting older and bigger and I have to share them with more and more people.  Anyway, sure enough by the end of our walk with Hayden on his bike, he was zooming on up ahead of us, not worried about us holding on tight.

Love you, buddy.


When I’m FOUR! August 5, 2011

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 1:36 pm

We have been hearing about Hayden’s birthday for a long time now – from Hayden.  His mind is full of ideas of what is going to happen when he is four.   For a start he thinks he is going to break the house, because he is going to be so tall, that his head will bust through the roof.  He told me the other day that he was getting bigger already because it is almost four.    He will obviously be bigger than me when he is four.  He thinks that he can eat more ice cream, because – why not, he’s four!   He will start to use a grown up knife and fork, because that is what you do when you are four.   For about two years he hasn’t like Milk, he also told me that when he is four he is going to like Milk again.

We have also used this “when he is four” concept to tell him that there are a number of things that four years can’t do, and that he will have to do when he is four.  Some of them:

  • eat by himself (he has a very nice dad who seems to spoon feed him half of his meals!).
  • always go pee pee standing up (his potty will be confiscated on his fourth birthday!).
  • and go by himself
  • be a good boy.  bad boys aren’t allowed to be 4
  • dress himself
  • poop every day

I haven’t even mentioned the “i want this for my birthday”.  Every time he looks at a magazine or catalog he wants everything for his birthday.  He did this last year for Christmas and it’s been relentless since Christmas.  We just tell him to put it on his list.  The list is very long.  I think he will be disappointed at Birthday time!  And we start the count down to Christmas right now!


Happy 1st birthday, Lay! June 1, 2011

Filed under: Mommy on Layla — karagoodwin @ 7:27 pm
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Layla turned one!  The year really flew by – it’s hard to believe it was already a year ago that she was born.  We had a nice party for her, and it got to be on her actual birthday since it happened to be on a Saturday.  We had all her local family here – grandmas, grandpas, great-grandpa, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Even a special guest from London, Nanny, was here to celebrate!  We also had our neighbors over.  We had great weather so we were able to be comfortably outside for most of the party (which was noteworthy because of all the rain we have had, and it did rain when the party was over).   Layla got some fun presents including a few dolls which she gets excited over and likes to kiss, and plenty of food-related gifts to go with her big present from Mommy and Daddy of a play kitchen.  It has been fun watching her and big brother play with that.  Hayden has been good about the fact that the new toys are her presents and trying to get her to play with them when he wants play so they are sharing.

It’s been a great year.  Layla is a really sweet baby.  She has never been much of a crier.  We know something really is wrong when we hear her cry.  She is getting more and more communicative.  She still only says Mama, but she jabbers a lot and seems to really be wanting to be heard when she does that.  The other day it was so funny because John came home and she just started jabbering so loudly!  She seemed very excited to be seeing him and had all sorts of things to tell him! I am pretty sure she won’t crawl.  She’s got her scooting down pat and she can get everywhere that way, so why make the lateral move to crawling?  She pulls herself up onto her knees, but hasn’t worked up to a standing position yet.  We are working on that with her.  She loves the animals.  She will often be seen leaning over to give the dogs or cat kisses.  She has six teeth now; two on the bottom and four up top.   She is a great eater.  I call her my bottomless pit at least once a day.  Before she goes to sleep I will stand by her crib and bounce her a little, and she will lay her head on my shoulder and it melts my bones.  She is a very special little person; I couldn’t be happier!


Layla is One – somehow! May 26, 2011

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Layla — JDG @ 1:12 am

There is no doubt in my mind that the things go quicker with the second child. My logic is that you only spend about half as much attention on the second one as you obviously have to share your affection. Particularly in this family where Hayden is a big daddy’s boy and Layla has been a mummy’s girl so I haven’t spent anywhere near as much time with Layla as I had  Hayden by this age.  I just can’t believe she is one already!!

So Layla as a one year old……

She is very laid back. Se rarely cries, and if she does its because it’s late or she is hungry or everyone left her alone! She doesn’t even cry if you take toys away from her which Hayden is prone to from time to time. She can entertain herself pretty well. Leave her with some toys and as long as she can still see Kara or I, she’s good. She is really like Hayden in many of her ways. She seems to like cars. Not sure if tha is just because they are Hayden’s toys or if she really prefers cars over dolls!   Her birthday brought many dolls so we will see how that works out.

She is a great eater. I don’t think I have ever seen a baby like her in terms of what and how much she eats. She eats quickly and in huge volumes. Since she realized that she could grab food and put it in her mouth on her own she has never looked back with “baby foods”. Often she uses both hands and that way you can get more food in! And sometimes the plate ends up on her head when she is all done! But she is One and related to Nanny Mad so what do you expect! Back to the point of hands, I am still not convinced if she is a lefty or a righty.

Overall she is just the nicest baby. She is so kind natured, she is funny (just watch her play her own game of peek-a-boo, and you’ll see what I mean), she is happy but also pretty serious about things too. She loves Hayden. She just adores him and watches everything he does and he can get her to laugh all the time. When you hold her sometimes she will lean into you and nuzzle. That is also adorable.

One of my other favorite Laylaisms is every time I enter the room she will do a little scream and her legs and arms kick and wiggle. She also seems to love dancing. I should probably say boogieing. If there is some music in the background she will often do this little up and down bogie dance. I am expecting her to be a dancer when she’s older!

My little girl is one already!


Dear Hayden – My Three Year Old August 4, 2010

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 2:26 am
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Dear Hayden,

You have just turned three, despite you telling me in the weeks leading up to your birthday that you are going to turn five.  I think in the last few days we have decided to agree on the fact you were two and now you’ll be three.  You have of course been asking what will you turn after you are three.   I’ve just tried to change the subject so you don’t get too confused!  Otherwise you’ll expect a birthday and presents every week!!

You are the most amazing little boy, and I cherish every moment I get to spend with you.  I look forward so much to the weekends (or “it’s not a daddy work day”) when I get to play with you. I feel like we do a lot at weekend, and I feel that you always want to be doing things with me.   You always want to know exactly what we are doing.  In the morning you’ll ask where we going, and then “what we doing after” that, and “what we doing after”… etc.  Typically you wait for us to tell you, but just this Sunday morning, you made up your own mind and asked to go on a “Bike ride with daddy”.  Of course we did, because I’m a sucker and will do whatever you want!!!   And the bike ride was great!!  In fact I took you past the local golf course and pointed it out to you, as I like to make sure you see all the important things on our rides.  You then told me; “I want to play golf with you daddy when I’m older!!” – Music to my ears.  At the end of the ride you turned and told me that you “want to go to the golf show, colts game and a baseball game!”

I feel right now you really enjoy spending time with me, I feel you really look up to me, and I feel that you really love me.  I hope those things never ever change.  I asked tonight who you loved and you immediately said Daddy.  I did ask who else you love and you told me Mummy and Layla – so I know it’s not isolated to me, you know you have a fantastic mummy too, and a beautiful little sister that you are doing so well adapting to.

You are such a boy!  You love anything on wheels and anything involving a ball.  I think you take after me in some of that, but you get your good cute looks from your mummy.  You have a ridiculous amount of toy cars for a three year old, you are so good, and you always seem to do what we tell you, that we can’t help giving you rewards for your good behavior.  Also we just love your reaction to getting something.  You are so grateful, you always say thank you, and then you play with your latest toy for hours and always want to take it upstairs to be with your.  Somehow you are only three but you’ve been two about 6/7 baseball games, 2 Pacers games, 4 Colts games, the Speedway 3/4 times, etc.   I’ve never shied away from exposing you to these things and every time you react so positively and well behaved that we have been able to take to more things like this than many people experience in their lifetime.

You are a great sleeper and a great eater.  Green beans and broccoli might be a push, but you eat veggie burgers (lucy burgers!) and hummus which keeps your mum happy, and you love chicken nuggets and steak, which keeps me happy.  You love fruit and home grown tomatoes which keeps everyone happy!

You have a fabulous sense of humor.  You might be a little guy, but you already know how to be funny.  Occasionally we’ll read a book and you’ll know exactly what the different pictures are, but you’ll make up something else just to get a reaction of us (e.g. it’ll be a Turtle and you’ll tell me it’s a Giraffe!!)

You are tough.  If you fall over, or knock something, you don’t really care.  If you cry we know you’ve actually hurt yourself.  Even if you hurt yourself you just ask us to kiss where it hurts, and then everything is OK.    That works fine except for when you hurt you bottom!!

I could write for hours on how special you are, and how much you mean to me, but I think you get the idea.

Happy Birthday Hayden!

Love Daddy


In Love With A Fire Truck August 4, 2009

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 1:43 am
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Granddad wanted to give Hayden’s his birthday presents before he left so he could enjoy Hayden opening them.  Well he bought him this big toy fire truck.  Well I’ve never see someone so in love with a piece of plastic (no rude comments here please).   From the moment he got it out of the wrapping paper he got excited and then just hugged this thing to death.  It has three buttons that make all these lights and sounds come on so that made a nice background to the symphony (we were at symphony at the Prairie).  I think Granddad hit the spot with this present!