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).




Trains May 17, 2012

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 4:50 pm

(Note I wrote this before the Trains vs Robots blog – but it’s all still valid based on his actions!)  My son is obsessed by trains. If you ask him if he loves something or somebody he will respond with “no, I love trains”. He loves trains more than anything and they rule his world.

A little while back we took him to a train fair at the local state fairgrounds. He was very excited and loved it, although of course he was stressed out by being over whelmed with all the motorized trains. We have spent years buying him wooden trains but I sense he wants to upgrade and move to the motorized stuff already. More on that later. We actually think it’s great he has something he is so interested in right now, but just hope he grows out of it by the time he is a teenager!

The train fair also provided the opportunity to pick up some train catalogs and magazines from the main vendors. I swear that he spent the whole day Sunday until abut 5 o’clock reading this catalog. I even wanted to go down our basement on the rowing machine and he just sat there for 30 minutes reading the catalogue while I rowed. When I finished he was excited to show me the pages I had missed. The whole time he had kept his finger on the page where we had started when I started rowing! He wanted to make sure I didn’t miss a single train engine! Two months later these books are still in heavy circulation.

When I told him I was going to England back in January the only thing that concerned him was that I might ride on trains without him! I had to send him pictures of all the trains I was on and promise not to have any fun on them!

So a couple of months back great grandpa Dave gave Hayden an old Lionel steam engine as well as some carriages (O-27 scale). These are pretty big and serious trains, not what I would call toys! I’ve been picking up the pieces like track and a transformer, etc and then recently we put it together in the basement and he absolutely loves it. He would just watch it for hours! He was talking about it for ages before we put it together and would want me to get the trains out just so he could see them before we even got them moving. When I was adding the carriages on he was giving me the appropriate feedback telling me which way all the coaches went, in particular he pointed out that I had out the caboose the wrong way around and implied I was a complete fool!


Trains vs Robots May 16, 2012

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 7:22 pm
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Hayden is obsessed by trains.  Has been for a long time.  So imagine our surprise when he said to John a couple of weeks ago that he doesn’t love trains anymore.  He clarified that he still liked trains, but now he loves robots.  Yes, robots.  I have no idea where that came from.  A couple of days later I realized he was talking about Transformers, but I still don’t know how the pieces fit together because I haven’t seen him play with Transformers in a very long time, or take any interest in any robots apart from Bot in the cartoon Team Umizoomi (about which he is also obsessed), and he made it clear when I asked that Bot was not the kind of robot he loved.

Well, since this declaration I have seen very little real interest in robots or transformers, and the same amount of interest in trains.  He has a very thick catalog book on model trains which we got at a model train show, and he can sit for hours looking at each train in that book and talking about what it does.  This is a book that just has tons of pictures of model trains and gives the model number so you can order it, and he looks through it like it holds the answers to life’s most complex problems.  In fact, I have had some nice cuddle time with him the last few days reading the names of the trains to them as he points them out.  So, I think the train love is in full effect, whether he chooses to accept it or not. 🙂


All aboard the Hayden train June 8, 2011

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 2:31 am

I think we’ve talked about Hayden’s train obsession.  We he thinks everything is a train.  We’ll get in the car and he’ll want to know where the train is going.  He’ll be playing with his trains, and then he will shout at me, and ask “DADDY are you on the TRAIN”.  There is only one acceptable answer to this – “yes” – he will scream until he gets a response.  Then once I admit I am on the train, I’ll get more repeated shouts of “are you still on the train DADDY?”, “Do you have a ticket!” and so on…

He has train tables in his room and the basement.  He has geotrax sets all over the house.  He lives, eats, breathes Trains.   Trains are not a matter of life or death – they are far more important than that!!