Hayden and Layla's Place

England Trip October 31, 2012

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 8:01 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

We went to England at the beginning of the month for just shy of 2 weeks.  It was such a wonderful trip.  The primary purpose of the trip was to celebrate John’s mom’s 70th and our new baby niece’s Christening, for which we were honored to be named Godparents.  We did so much that I don’t really know where to start.

We decided not to rent a car, since Michelle and James would be off work as well and we figured two cars would be enough between all of us since we’d normally be going places together.  That meant poor James was chauffeuring us here, there, and everywhere – but always with a smile, even when he was knocked out by a nasty ear and sinus infection, bless his heart.

We were fortunate that even though we were not that mobile, our friends from when we lived in Basingstoke – the Carters, Gemma, and the Roberts – were able to drive up to see us one day.  We have 5 kids + one on the way between us all, so it was a lot of fun seeing each other and the kids and catching up on everything with them.  The Carters are actually moving to Indy with Rich’s work in January, so we are so excited to be able to see them a lot more soon!  Layla was funny, because she was not too bothered about me holding Maddie most of the time, but as soon as these friends showed up with their kids she got pretty protective, not wanting Mommy to hold anyone but her.  Compounding the problem was apparently Rich and Anita’s daughter loves dark haired women (oddly, since they are all fair (I’m thinking something to do with her previous life)), so she kept wanting me to hold her.  Layla would insist on being held, too, and try to push Sophie away, but it didn’t deter Sophie.  I tried to tell them they were going to have to sort it out because they are going to be spending a lot of time together soon!

The big Christening/70th birthday party (M&M party! – Madeline and Maddie) was a great success.  Maddie was Christened in the same church we had Hayden and Layla Christened in last year, which we found out later was the church where John’s dad’s grandparents were married!  That blew my mind.  I guess it’s not AS shocking considering it’s England and they have many more historic structures than we do in America, but it’s a fairly modest sized church and I consider it an unfathomable coincidence that Hayden and Layla’s (and Maddie’s) great-great-grandparents were married there.  Anyway, Maddie did very well in the limelight, and our kids were also well behaved which we were happy about.  There were plenty of M&Ms being consumed by one Mr. Hayden, as well as cake, so by the end of the night he was literally running/dancing around in circles with some balloons on a sugar high, but I’ll take that over a meltdown, right!

We did some other fun things which I will mention but try not to go into too much detail for fear this post will be too long.  We went to a zoo with some of John’s college friends and their families, went to London with Granddad (unfortunate, rainy weather but Hayden got to see Big Ben which he has been waiting months for since it’s featured in Cars 2 which he was obsessed by all summer, and Mommy and Daddy got Pizza Express which they were happy about, plus London is so great that even if the weather doesn’t cooperate, the sites are still amazing, and last thing about it, it was Maddie’s first time out in the city and she did AMAZING – she only woke briefly to feed while we were eating and we didn’t hear a peep from her the rest of the time!), celebrated the evening of Madeline’s actual birthday in an Indian restaurant while an “Indian Elvis” entertained us, went on a grown-up night out with our friends while the kids spent the night at Camp Granddad’s (which they loved and we got glowing reports on them afterwards), went to Legoland twice (can I mention again what a trooper James is??), and sometimes in the midst of all this action, we even relaxed with MMM&J. 🙂

I think that’s enough for this post.  I left out so much stuff, I might do another one to try to capture a little more but you are released for now. 😉


Disney! April 12, 2012

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 3:07 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Wow, well I don’t even know where to start with this one.  We took a family trip down to Orlando to do Disney.  John’s mom and sister have a time share down there so we stayed with them and Michelle’s boyfriend, James.  It was such a great time!

We decided to drive the van down there.  We knew we would save money in the long run because apart from saving money on flights (somewhat offset by the price of gas and hotel rooms), we would not have to rent a car that sits 7 plus rent a car seat and booster seat.  Some people do the drive from Indiana to Florida in one day by waking up in the middle of the night and getting there late at night.  We didn’t think this would work for us with the kids’ ages – particularly Layla.  When Layla is asleep the person not driving can get some rest, but if she is awake there is no sleeping for the non driving person.  She wanted to be entertained.  I can’t blame her – it was a looooong old drive, and I’m sure her car seat was not the most comfortable for all day sitting.  We decided that we had a fantastic time on our trip and can’t wait to go back when Layla is old enough to appreciate it in a different way and Michelle’s (as yet unborn) baby can ride some rides, but we will fly next time and stay in a Disney resort for a number of reasons, mostly because we can get to and from the airport, resort, and Disney parks with no need for a car!

We did all the Disney parks – Magic Kingdom three times, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.  Hayden did the roller coasters!  I couldn’t believe it, because he is normally so cautious.  He started with space mountain.  It’s completely dark in there, so I’m not sure how much he really liked it.  He never wanted to go on it again, but he really didn’t show any emotion about the ride afterwards one way or the other.  At Animal Kingdom he went on Everest, which was very fast and goes backwards and in the dark and all sorts, and he seemed to really like that.  Everyone loved the Star Wars ride at Hollywood Studios, as well as the Buzz Lightyear ride there.  In fact, those were 2 of the group’s favorite rides, although overall Hollywood Studios was my personal 3rd favorite of the 4.  We did tons of rides, but we tried to have shorter days at the parks so we could also have some down time at the condo.  Michelle is pregnant, Madeline has a leg that gives her trouble, and the two kids – well, need some downtime!  So most days we had pool time as well.  One evening we drove down to my aunt’s house to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, their kids, etc.  My brother and his family were also in Orlando at the same time, so they went to my aunt’s as well.  We also ran into them at Magic Kingdom on the way to Tom Sawyer’s island!

I was really so proud of the kids.  Going into the trip, I thought for sure there would be at least one meltdown from each of them every day.  The parks are just so over stimulating, and there is so much potential for crying – heat (which wasn’t too bad while we were there), hunger, thirst, waiting – that I thought we would have a few battles.  But really, they were very patient and good.  Which is good – because they should be allowed back in. 😉

It was really such a great trip, we can’t wait to do it again sometime!  Madeline came back with us and is staying with us for 2 weeks, so for her and Hayden the vacation continues!  Madeline is watching Hayden on my work days.  She was going to watch Layla, too, but Layla couldn’t get her head around the idea of Mommy trying to work, so she went back to day care.  That’s good for her anyway, as she really has a good time there.


Strawberry picking June 27, 2011

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 5:13 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Over Memorial Day weekend we went strawberry picking.  I had wanted to do it last year, but I got to the farm too late for strawberries (I guess having a 1 week old cramped my style last year 🙂 ), so last year we picked blueberries instead.  Madeline (“Nanny”) was staying with us so she came along, and Grandma and Grandpa came, too.  I thought Hayden would enjoy picking the berries, but I was wrong.  There was a lot of whining and talk about wanting to “go back in my van.”  Even the promise of ice cream when we were done picking didn’t really intice him.  Apparently he was interested long enough for us to capture one picture of him. 🙂  We got just under 10 lbs of berries, and I made 2 batches of freezer jam (which equates to… lots of jars in my freezer).  There were still tons of berries after I made jam.  I had them in tupperware to last as long as possible, which really did keep them good for a long time.  I was bound and determined to eat every last one of the berries, and eventually we did.  Thank goodness the kids are fruit junkies!

And afterwards, we did all enjoy some ice cream.  Hayden was funny because as he and I were standing in line for ice cream, everyone else was outside.  I realized I didn’t have any money, so I asked Hayden to go outside and tell Daddy we need money.  He ran outside up to John and excitedly said, “We need money, Daddy!”  I don’t think it translates as cute in writing, but you’ll have to trust me that was (so I hear, again, I was inside).  It was also funny because it was sort of a test.  It’s relatively new that you can tell him to tell someone something and he will do it at all or convey the right message, and it’s not 100%.  There was an equally good chance that he would have gotten distracted along the way and never made it to John at all, or not remembered what he was supposed to tell him.


What Am I Going to Do Without My Hayden? May 12, 2011

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 1:32 pm
Tags: ,

John and Hayden have gone for a quick trip to England.  Hayden is going to stay with Nanny while John goes on to Barcelona for Steve Bulger’s bachelor party/stag do.  They left on Tuesday, and the reports I’ve heard are that Hayden was a really good boy on the trip over.  He was put off by the automatic flushing toilets (hey, who isn’t?) and so it sounds like they kept having to go to the bathroom because he couldn’t get the job done.  But he did get a little sleep on the main flight over and seemed to be generally a good boy.

He has been ever so excited about his trip to England.  He talked about it frequently before the time finally came to leave.  The day he left we were sitting reading books together.  I gave him a big hug while he was sitting on my lap and I said, “Oh, what am I going to do without my Hayden?”  His reply: “Well, sorry, once I get on the plane I’m going to be Daddy’s Hayden.”  He cracks me up!  Sorry Hayden, you’ll always be my Hayden, too!

It’s nice living in these modern times, where they can be an ocean away and I still have access to them at the touch of a button.  They got in about 7:30 am UK time, and by about 7 am my time I was on a video chat with them.  Nanny had pulled down all these old legos and toy cars of John’s from the loft, and Hayden was very busy playing with them all.  She had also bought him some new presents that he was excited to show me.  Check out the bed she has set up for him!  I hear he was very excited to see this – I can only imagine!  I have also been able to keep in touch with John and Michelle via text.  Even though I haven’t spoken with any of them today I have already been sent pictures of him playing with trains at the London Transport Museum.  If it’s in London then he would have taken a train to get there, and I bet he was about to burst with excitement about that!

It’s been very strange having the boys gone.  John I’m used to being away since he sometimes has to travel with work, but it’s really weird having Hayden gone.  Yesterday was a workday, so during the day it seemed pretty normal because Layla went to day care and he would have been in preschool anyway, but I find the hardest time is late afternoon/early evening.  Even with Layla here, it just seems so empty.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy for him that he gets to have this adventure and spend special time with Nanny and Auntie Mich, but I miss him, too.

It’s nice to have time with my sweet little Layla.  We have some neighborhood garage sales I think we’re going to hit up in the next couple of days.  I see some shopping on the horizon, and maybe we’ll lunch, too.  🙂


Counting October 18, 2010

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 2:31 pm
Tags: , ,

Hayden’s newest passion is counting.  He likes to find any opportunity to count – Legos after he has stacked them on top of each other, slats on his bed’s headboard, cars, really anything that he can find.  He is a big fan of this cartoon called Team Umizoomi, and the focus on that cartoon is math.  They count (regular counting and by tens so they can get to high numbers), build things with shapes, do subtle addition, and find patterns.  With the patterns, they will notice that something has a pattern and they’ll talk the pattern out: “red, blue, yellow. red, blue, yellow. red, blue, what comes next?” “3, 5, 7. 3, 5, 7. 3, 5, what comes next?”  I’ll hear Hayden doing this, too, when he’s off counting something.  He’ll start saying, “12, 18, 17. 12, 18, 17,” in the same voice/enunciation as the character “Millie” who does the patterns in the cartoon.  It’s so cute!  Anyway, Hayden is very strong on counting his numbers 1 – 12.  Once he gets to 13 he needs a little help.  If left to his own devices his counting will go a little like, “10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 80, 40, 100!”  He’s getting better everyday, though.  John told me that a couple of days ago he counted up to 27!  I don’t know what help, if any, John gave him with that one.

He also loves reading numbers, and lately he’s getting distracted when reading books that have numbered pages because he just tries to figure out what the numbers are.  Once he gets to 20 and beyond he typically inverts the numbers, so he calls 28 “82,” for instance.  He was doing that last week but it is improving quickly.

Another favorite number-related thing he is doing right now is Nanny got him an easel for Christmas that had some magnetic letters and numbers with it, and he’ll go get two numbers from that and ask “what that number is?”  So, he’ll bring me a 4 and a 7 for example, and I’ll tell him it’s 47.  He’ll give an excited laugh and say, “yeah!” and go get another couple of numbers and ask what it is.


Nanny Mad is stinky! May 17, 2010

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 12:34 am

A couple of weeks back we were on the phone to Nanny Mad and Auntie Michelle. They were on speaker so Hayden, Kara and I could all hear them. Well Auntie Mich was calling Nanny Mad stinky and Hayden (and me) thought this was pretty funny, but didn’t really think much more of it.

Two weeks later (today) and I was on the phone to Nanny. I asked Hayden if he wanted to speak to Nanny and the first things out of his mouth, unprompted: “Nanny Mad is stinky! Nanny Mad is stinky!!” That boy is so funny! (He loves you really Nanny!!)


Nanny December 20, 2009

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 2:12 am

Nanny Mad come to stay with us for a couple of weeks over Thanksgiving.  Hayden was obviously really excited to have her hear as he loves her to bits and because she doesn’t see him that often, when she does see him she comes loaded with booty!!  Everyday Hayden was getting a new train, or a new car, or a new t-shirt, or candy, or books, or…..   I’m surprised he doesn’t call her Nanny Claus!!

One of the funniest stories is Nanny was sitting on the Love Seat we have. Hayden told her to go sit over on the other couch, presuming he wanted to sit with her over there or something. Once she had made her move, he just got all his toys and started to play with them right where she had been sitting!  Poor Nanny!

Every night after I had washed Hayden and got his Pajamas on he would run to the top of the stairs and shout “Nanny Come Here!”. He knew that most nights he was getting a new book!!  He would then trick Nanny into reading books to him for the next 30 minutes or so. Poor Nanny didn’t always have her glasses so there was a lot of improvising!!  As usual I know who was the most tired every evening!


Thanksgiving December 8, 2009

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 7:48 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

We had a fun Thanksgiving holiday!  Hayden’s Grandma Goodwin (Nanny) was here with her friend Dave, and we did our usual routine of going to Grandpaman and Grandma G’s on Thanksgiving Day and Grandma and Grandpa’s on the following day.  Hayden was a pretty well behaved boy during both events, although he did find it hard to sit at the table for too long at Grandpaman’s house.  He was starving by the time we sat down to eat, so in order to keep him from going crazy we were feeding him as the dishes were still going around.  There were 19 people there (!), and by the time everyone’s plates had food piled high and we’d said our thanks and cheers, he was just about done eating.  Luckily, the way the room was arranged he could not get out of the dining room because people were blocking the exits, so he stayed near enough that we didn’t have to run after him too much.  My cousin Mandy and her parents, Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Bill, came down from Chicago as well as Grandma G’s brother and his family and her aunt and uncle.  Add to that the five of us and Grandma G’s parents, and it was certainly a full house!

Grandma’s was fun, too, and Hayden had a great time as always playing with his cousins.  There was a kid’s table set up, so he got to sit off with his cousins for dinner.  He did a good job with that.  Jesse and Robby actually finished their food much faster than Hayden, so John sat with him for a while as he felt badly he was sitting by himself. 😉


Mr. Men August 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — karagoodwin @ 4:21 pm
Tags: ,

Nanny (John’s mom) loves to send Hayden Mr. Men books.  He loves reading them, and he asks for them to be read to them multiple times a day.  He’s started to do a couple of funny things with these books the last few days. Nanny always signs the books on the back of the cover: To dear Hayden, lots of love Nanny Mad.  So before the story is started we read that to Hayden.  Now when he “reads” the books on his own he will open one up and say, “Dear Hayden.”  Also, he knows most of the characters names and it seems “Mr.” has become “me” to Hayden.  He will be “reading,” say, Mr. Bounce and he will say “Me Bounce” and then make up a bunch of words, then turn the page and say “Me Bounce” followed by incomprehensible words, and on and on.  If he is reading Mr. Bump then he will be saying “Me Bump” at the start of each page.  He is very animated when he reads and it is so sweet hearing the rise and fall of his voice as though he really is reading.


Nanny! July 1, 2009

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 1:10 am
Tags: ,

Hard to know where to start with the Nanny story (she’s stayed with us for a three week holiday!).  I guess I start at the beginning.  We had been prepping him for a while about her visit.  He would run around the house shouting “Nanny” and would run into the office (because he is used to seeing her on the web cam on the computer!) and point at the monitor.  It’s funny how he builds these associations.

As soon as Nanny arrived Hayden took to her straight away – probably because he remembered how much he gets spoiled!  Since he’s been talking he typically goes very shy if it’s not just Kara and me, but not with Nanny – he was chatting away to her straight away.

Her suitcase had a big heavy label on it …..- No wander it was full of toys and books for Hayden!!  Everyone day a new toy mysteriously appeared, a huge grin appeared on Hayden’s face, and Nanny was number one again!   Every night Nanny would come in when I was getting him ready for bed and I turned into chopped liver!  All he wants is Nanny and then he settles in for a night time reading session with Nanny before bed.  He makes her work though as he normally wants 2 or 3 books read to him!   Then he would give her a kiss and go to sleep immediately excited for the next day with his Nanny!!

We all went to an Indians game one night (local baseball team) and at the end of the game they had fireworks.  Hayden hadn’t really seen fireworks properly (well certainly not close up and loud like these were).  It was also about 9.30pm so it’s real late and these are loud and bright.  He started on Kara, after a while he got a little scared and scrambled across to me.  It was good for another 5 minutes or so and then he got spooked again and this time scrambled across to Nanny where he hung out for the rest of the show.  He looked very happy and obviously felt very safe!!    I suspect Nanny is telling everyone she meets about this story how she was the one he needed when he got scared!!

On her last day he was extra clingy to her.  It’s like he knew she was leaving!  At bath time he gave her the biggest cuddle and refused to be put in the bath as he just wanted Nanny cuddles!!  Her face was priceless!!   It’s such a shame she can’t see more of Hayden (and vice versa).  They clearly love each other very much!

Come back soon Nanny – we all love you!