Hayden and Layla's Place

Disney! April 12, 2012

Filed under: Mommy — karagoodwin @ 3:07 pm
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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.


Sleeping in Mexico April 13, 2010

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 3:29 pm
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We didn’t really have a good plan for sleeping arrangements in Mexico.  Sleep – or lack thereof – can make such a difference in a person’s mood, particularly when that person is 2 years old.  So we were very pleasantly surprised that things worked out so well in that department.  First, we couldn’t decide if we should get a room with two double beds or one king.  We decided that it would be pretty cramped for John and I in a double bed with my rather large belly, so we went with the king.  Next decision – does Hayden sleep with us or do we try a roll away bed?  I was nervous about the roll away bed because it is the size of a twin/single (or maybe smaller), and obviously does not have any sides to it to keep him rolling off, whereas his bed at home is a double with little sides on it.  We decided to give it a try anyway, and he was brilliant with it!  We shoved the bed all the way against the wall and wedged one of the decorative pillows between the bed and the wall to keep him from falling that way, then put a duvet on the floor to protect him in case he rolled off that way.  I think he was so tired each night that he really didn’t move much once he was asleep.  He seemed to love having his own little bed, too, and when we were in the room he would spend a lot of time climbing up onto it.  Sometimes if John or I were on the bed with him he would tell us he wanted us to go to our own bed.  We brought his “owl blanket” (a blanket I made for him when he was a baby that he likes), curious George and Elmo stuffed animals, and as long as he could cuddle with those three things when it was time to sleep he was pretty happy.

We also didn’t know what to expect with naps.  At home he’s pretty good about napping (or was at the time of our vacation anyway – last week he was not napping well) but doesn’t always, but with the complete upset of routine that goes with vacationing I wondered if naps would be out the window.  Well, he actually ended up doing a great job of napping.  Most days we would go up to the room after a long morning at the pool and lunch, draw the curtains, he’d lay down in his bed and eventually drift off.  John and I would have to be sure to go to our beds and be still so he didn’t have anything distracting him, of course.

For me, the most interesting sleep-related thing to come out of the trip was that he eventually adapted to sleeping outside of a bed.  “The experts” say that the highest quality sleep is achieved in bed, in the quiet, in the dark, so we have always tried to give that to Hayden when it’s time to sleep and thus he has not had a lot of opportunities to sleep on-the-go.  However, he fell asleep on the plane, then during an evening “beach party” that was put on by the hotel after dinner one night, and he even fell asleep on the bus during our one excursion out of the resort, and continued sleeping as he was carried through the hotel and out onto a sun lounger in the shade where he slept for a long while laying on me.


I want to swim to the bar and get grape juice April 9, 2010

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 7:49 pm
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Our main pool in Cancun at swim up bars at both ends.  Both fully staffed and fully stocked.  Perfect for me to get Cancun tropical, pina colada, mojito, Miami vice, or whatever else the barmen would conduct for me.  But of course this blog isn’t about me.  I wasn’t the only one that was interested in swimming to the bars…

Hayden loved the swimming pool.  He probably spent about 3 to 4 hours a day in it!   Of course his idea of swimming is daddy carrying him around, but it’s only 2 so I’ll let that ride.  He loved doing jumps off the edge, playing with the “waterfall” (where one pool overlapped into the other), and of course swimming to the bar to get grape juice!  We’d be swimming and I’d ask him what he wants to do, and give him some choices.  He nearly always chose swim to the bar and get grape juice.  He even had his favorite bars based off the barmen and the quality (and quantity) of grape juice!

The swim up bars had these giant stools that had a brown, black and Grey pattern.  Hayden quick pointed out that they looked like giant cookies and he wanted to sit on the giant cookie!    There was nothing about the bar he didn’t like!  Also gave me chance to grab a quick drink while he was sipping his grape juice!  He got to know the barmen and they would get his grape juice ready for him the minute they saw him coming!

There is just one thing to think about if you ever go swimming at the Cancun Palace – Hayden drunk a lot of grape juice and everything that goes in, I guess has to come out?


My Cranberry Juice April 3, 2010

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 1:46 am

There will be a bunch of holiday stories that will show on this blog as we try to catch up.  It’s been almost a month since I’ve blogged!  But I’m starting with this one..

Hayden has taken a liking to Cranberry Juice (well every type of juice really).  So I was sitting out on our balcony watching the sun set and just waiting for everyone to get ready and go to dinner.  I had a glass of red wine (I was on holiday you know!) to keep me hydrated.    Something caught my attention, and I turn around and Hayden is grabbing my wine glass, I hear “My Cranberry Juice” before he starts to put it to his mouth.  Luckily pretty quickly he realized it wasn’t cranberry juice, pulled a funny face, and “i don’t like it” came out his mouth together with his token scrapping of his tongue when he doesn’t like something.


The Maine Event June 24, 2008

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 12:36 am
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So I celebrated the big 3-0 this month!  John planned a surprise trip for us to the coast of Maine!  I knew we were going somewhere for a week but he wouldn’t tell me where.  Hayden went too and we all had a fab time.  We stayed in three different towns – Portland, Boothbay Harbor, and Ogonquit.  They were all really cool but different from each other.  The highlight of the trip was our 4 hour whale watching cruise.  We saw minke, finback, and humpback whales.  We saw the minkes first.  They are quite shy apparently and we really only saw them from a distance.  The finbacks were amazing though.  We saw several of them, and there was a calf who circled our boat very closely two different times.  According to our guide, that was a once-in-a-lifetime sighting because the calf was very young and also the whales never come so close to the boat.  He wanted to check us out!  It was hard to believe that he was a baby because he was so darn big!  I guess they are born 20 feet long.  I couldn’t believe his mother had let him get so close to the boat.  She was off a ways away (I would have thought she would try to get in between the calf and the boat).  She called to him and he went running.  The guide pointed out this circular mark that was left on the water for quite a while that was caused by the whale using his tail to speed off toward her.  They call it the whale footprint.  And in no time he was back with her!  At the end of the cruise we saw a humpback.  We were really spoiled by the finbacks since we got to see so many of them and get such a good look at them.  We didn’t get as good of a view of the humpback.  I was able to make out its giant fins below the water though – amazing!

Since we went on safari in 2005, the ‘next thing’ I have been dying to do was see whales.  So I was very excited to have not only realized that dream but to have happened upon such a great day to see them!

Other than the whale watching, we spent our time eating lots of seafood – lots and lots of lobster – going to beaches, seeing various lighthouses, and walking around.  Hayden was really good and pretty flexible really.  We tried to give him opportunities for napping and made sure to be in the room at a reasonable time so he could try to get a decent night’s sleep.  He did NOT want to eat, though!  I guess I should be flattered since he eats my cooking so easily.  He was on the jarred baby food, and it was a constant battle to get him to eat any of it.  We found ways here and there that would work for a little while, like mixing the food with mashed banana (which in the past he has not been overly keen on, but saved many meal times on our trip!), and when that stopped working we could put a little food on top of a banana still sitting in its peel and he would eat that (he seemed to like the novelty of eating the banana like a big boy, and that soon wore off too and this stopped working).  We also had some success mixing the food with baby cereal.  The minute we got home though he was back to his usual rock-star self with regards to eating.  Go Mommy’s food! 🙂

I could go on and on about Maine, but we haven’t posted in so long and Hayden is doing so many new things I want to write about that I will just mention this last thing – the final B&B we stayed in, in Ogonquit – The Gazebo Inn.  John had really splashed out for that one, and the place was an old converted barn from the 1800s that had been gutted completely down to only the original wooden support beams.  Our room was GORGEOUS (the whole B&B was beautiful).  It had a kitchenette, the most comfortable bed ever, remote controlled blinds and air conditioner, satellite radio at the touch of a button on a wall switch, a steam room in the shower, 4 side jets in the shower, a two-person jacquzzi, flat screen hi-def TV, and a fire place you could view from the jacuzzi or sitting area.  And that was just in our room.  There were also amazing anemities in the common areas, like a beautiful bar stocked with wine, spirits, soft drinks, with indoor glasses and pool glasses.  Heated outdoor pool, an indoor hottub and outdoor hottub, huge lounge area with a massive TV (that we never saw anyone use!), computers, etc etc.  And the breakfast was fantastic as well.  I was completely spoiled rotten!  And since I really only turned 29 and not 30, I guess I should expect more of the same next year! 😛


Florida March 30, 2008

Filed under: Mummy On Hayden — karagoodwin @ 7:03 pm
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We went to Florida last week, Saturday through Wednesday.  It was such a nice trip!  Michelle and Madeline have a timeshare down there which has room for 10, so we stayed there and it was a really nice place.  It was a fun group – Madeline, Michelle, Deirdre, Michelle’s friend Kayleigh and Johnny, and Johnny’s 12 year old son Tyler.  (And John, Hayden, and me of course.)  We had mostly good weather.  It was raining when we got there but the other days were mostly sunny but a little cool.  When we got there we went to see my aunt and uncle, Jeaneen and Alvin.  We couldn’t get in to the timeshare until 4 pm, so they were kind enough to host us at their house.  We had some lunch and took a walk.  They live out in the country and a foal had been born in the last week so we walked about 1/4 of a mile to see that.  It started raining when we got there!  My uncle tried to hurry ahead to get the car to drive us home, but we were such fast walkers that by the time he picked us up we were about 100 yards from his house. ha!  Sunday we hung out around the pool in the complex where the timeshare is.  It was a beautiful day and probably the warmest one we had.  Hayden went in the pool briefly, but the water was not too warm so we couldn’t keep him in long.  We managed to keep him in the shade quite a bit since we brought a little UV-blocking tent with us that pops up really easily.  That night we met up with my aunt and uncle again as well as my cousin and her family for dinner.

Monday we went to Sea World!  We met Faith and Steph and their kids there, which was excellent!  John and I love Sea World, and it was the perfect place to take Hayden at his age.  We watched a couple of the shows, and Hayden was actually pretty interested in them.  During the first show we sat through, I was going ‘Ooooo’ whenever something cool would happen – as you do – but that would cause him to stick his lip out and start crying!!  So I had to curb that (although he seemed to get used to it as I accidentally did it a couple of more times that day and he seemed ok with it).  When we saw Shamu’s show, they have this little Shamu chant with arm motions that they have the crowd do and we were making his arms do the motions while we shouted ‘Shamu,’ and he loved that!  We have done it several times since then and he still gets a big smile.  Shamu!

Tuesday we played miniature golf until it warmed up a bit, then spent some time by the pool.  We left Wed night, but that day we went to the new Sea World water park.  We were going to do that on Tues, but it was too cold for a water park that day.  Wed it was still fairly cold out, but warmer.  It’s a nice little water park.  There is a slide that goes through a dolphin tank which looked pretty cool.  The line was really long for that one, though, and since we had a plane to catch we didn’t have time to wait for it.  Michelle, Johnny, Kayleigh, and I went on a group ride where we were all in a raft together, and it was quite fun because we picked up a lot of speed but at the end of the slide it stops very abruptly and we had been going so fast that we ended up crashing into each other.  Kayleigh and I knocked heads and now I have a big black eye!!  I look like I’ve been beaten up.  Makeup doesn’t even cover it.  😦

So as you can see it was a really fun trip!  Hayden did really well on the plane on the way there.  You wouldn’t have even known we had a baby with us, he was quiet as a mouse!  On the way back he was a little noisier (he discovered this screeching sound while we were in Florida which is quite loud and he was doing that a lot on the plane), but once he was fed and changed he settled down and eventually went to sleep.  Unfortunately Hayden was not himself on the trip.  I imagine it was a combination of being out of his routine, less sleep, unfamiliar surroundings, and so on but he was just very serious the whole time we were there.  Usually he is pretty happy-go-lucky and spends a lot of time laughing and smiling, but on the trip it was really hard to even get him to smile.  He was fussier than usual as well.  As soon as we got home and he got back on his schedule he got back to his old self.


Road Trip February 2, 2008

Filed under: Dad Blogs on Hayden — JDG @ 9:36 pm
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Hayden had his first road trip last weekend!! We had a 4 hour drive up to Michigan for a skiing weekend (not for Hayden yet but it won’t be long if I get my way!! :)) and stay two overnights at the Holidome. A holiday inn with a big indoor swimming pool so Kara and Hayden had somewhere cool to hang out during the day!

Hayden wasn’t over impressed with his new nighttime surroundings! We had taken his pack and play but the boy knew something was up so made enough noise that he talked himself into the grown up bed for the night. I think this was a hatched plan between mother and son if you ask me!!!! Flawlessly executed!

I got to go swimming with him for the first time. He has been on the Friday before but Kara said he just slept the whole time!! The water wasn’t as warm when I went with him so we didn’t hang around for too long. It was fun though!

The most impressive thing though was the drive back – took us about 3 and a half hours and he almost slept the whole trip!! I didn’t hear from him the whole time!! What a legend!