Mon, Sep 2
Deb and I arrived around 3:15 p.m. Gabbie was excited to see us. After hugs and Gabbie saying "shoes" to instruct us to remove our shoes, we began playing.
We played in the upstairs play area. Deb and I sat on the small chairs at Gabbie's small tea table. We "ate" the play food that Gabbie served us.
Then we played in her bedroom and eventually downstairs and on the steps. Gabbie wanted the balls, which were downstairs. We played with the balls on the steps. Gabbie still likes to enter the downstairs office, looking for something new to dig out.
Around 4:00 p.m., we all piled into the van. CP, Brad, Dominic, Gabbie, Deb, and me. We drove to Blissfield to view nine acres of land that's for sale for around $47K. The land is located at the west edge of town, barely within the corporation limit. The paved road turns to gravel at that location.
The land would have city water. It's a rectangle-like shape. The land contains a decent sized woodlot at the southwest corner of the lot, which could remain. The house building could occur elsewhere on the land, which contains a small number of small to mid-sized trees, scattered. It's interesting. We all took turns walking the land. Then we drove home.
We arrived home after 5:00 p.m. Gabbie went out onto the deck to play in the water. I joined her. Then Gabbie wanted to go into the backyard. She said, "Swing."
We went to the playground equipment. I climbed up the rock wall to the second level. Gabbie climbed up too and joined me, but she did not want to go down the slide. She started to climb back down the rock wall. I went down the slide and helped her down. She climbs up well on ladders and that rock wall thing, but she does not go back down as easily.
Gabbie did not want to swing, and she did not like it when I sat on the swing. We moved on from the playground equipment.
We stayed outside from approx 5:20 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. Gabbie likes to stroll and explore. Gabbie pointed out the numerous Cabbage White butterflies in the backyard, and she went after them.
We walked to the northwest corner of the backyard where a cluster of blooming flowers existed. Numerous Cabbage Whites and bumblebees worked the flowers. I pointed out the butterflies and bees to Gabbie, and she got close to the non-aggressive bumblebees, touching the flowers.
Gabbie wanted out through the north gate of the fenced-in backyard. I obliged. We strolled on the edge of the farm field, walking east two house lots, and then walking back. Gabbie likes to walk in the farm field, which was suppose to grow soybeans this year, but due to the wet spring and early summer conditions, this farmer never planted that field.
But in August, the farmer plowed and planted some kind of crap that is now several inches tall. The green leaves are lobed. I'm unsure what's growing. I picked a couple leaves to show Deb. Gabbie saw me pick the leaves, and then Gabbie picked many more leaves, even though we did not need them. She would pick a leave and give it to me to hold. This went on for a while.
We walked along the west side of the lot on the outside of the fence. Then we walked into the front yard and wandered around, returning to the farm field. We walked all over repeatedly, strolling the farm field, the west side of the outside of the fence, the front yard.
Once or twice while in the front yard, we entered the fence gate by the garage to enter the backyard. Then later we exited the north fence gate again to enter the farm field.
The dogs were in the backyard during the entire time that we were out. At one point, Logan was spazzing along the north side of property while we were on the farm field edge. I thought Logan wanted to be out with us. Then I looked out over the farm field and well to the north in the field were two deer running fast toward the north. I showed Gabbie the deer, and she took off walking to the north. I did not say anything until Gabbie was about 50 yards out into the farm field. I made her come back. The nine acre lot of land in Blissfield might be two small for Gabbie.
Later while in the backyard, we played on the playground equipment again. I climbed the rock wall to the second level and Gabbie climbed up too. We stayed on the second level for a bit. Gabbie looked around. Then we went back down, me on the slide and me helping Gabbie down the rock wall.
Then we played on the swings. I sat on the swing normally while Gabbie laid on the swing face down with her stomach on the swing. I'm positive that I swung on the swings that way as a kid too. I pushed Gabbie while I sat on my swing. Gabbie lifted her feet, which allowed her to swing back and forth while she laid on the swing face down. We did this for at at least 10 minutes.
Then I sat down on one of the plastic Adirondack-style chairs. I directed Gabbie to sit down on the other chair, which she did. I laid back in the chair. The weather was great. Partly to mostly cloudy sky. Storm clouds in the distant east-northeast. Sunshine in the west. Comfortable brisk breeze. It was great weather to be outside.
When I laid back in the chair, I said "Aahhh" with emphasis. Very relaxing. Gabbie did not sit long. She got up from the chair, went to the swing, swung on the swing by herself with the stomach-face-down method. She swung briefly, and then she returned to the chair beside me, laid back in the chair, and she said, "Aahhh." She sat in the chair for only a few seconds. Then she got up, went to the swing, and swung briefly with the stomach-face-down method. Then she came back to the chair, relaxed in the chair and said, "Aahhh." Hilarious. After a few seconds in the chair, she got up and went to the swing and repeated the above over and over, several times.
At one point earlier when we were in the farm field, a nice rainbow formed in the northeast. I showed Gabbie. She said, "Wow" but I'm unsure if she actually saw the rainbow, or if she was trying to act impressed about something Baw-buh showed her. She looked toward a different location than the rainbow when she said "Wow."
I think that was about it for our outdoor adventure.
- fenced-in backyard: chasing and observing butterflies and bees, lounging in chairs.
- playground equipment: rock wall, second level, swings.
- outside the fenced-in backyard: farm field, west neighbor's yard, Gabbie's front yard.
CP and Brad went out for dinner to celebrate the 8th anniversary of their first date. While Gabs and I were outside, CP and Brad left, and Deb watched Dominic.
After coming back inside, Gabbie ate her late dinner at her drawing table in the living room.
We played some more, and we relaxed, snuggled beside each other on the couch.
Gabbie was still up with CP and Brad returned home. Gabbie went to bed easily at 8:30 p.m., saying "Bye." I held Dominic for a bit.
Brad took Deb and me to see a five acre square-ish lot, located a little east of Telegraph Rd. We all liked this lot better even though it cost $50K and it was smaller than the Blissfield lot, and the Blissfield lot was only about 3/4-mile from downtown Blissfield.
We left CP and Brad's home around 9:30 to 10:00 p.m.
Thu, Sep 5
Deb and I arrived at 6:02 p.m. at CP and Brad's house. Catherine and Brad needed to attend a parents' meeting at Gabbie's pre-school. Gabbie starts school on Mon, Sep 9.
When we pulled into the drive and exited our car, I saw Gabbie at the south-facing upstairs playroom area window, looking out at us.
After entering the house and going through the usual greetings, Gabbie said, "shoes," which is her way of instructing us to remove our shoes and stay a while.
Gabbie led us into the playroom area upstairs. She said, "On" to tell me to turn on the ceiling light. Gabbie found a ball in the playroom area, and she said, "Ball!" She knows that I like to play ball with her.
Gabbie instructed us to sit at the small tea table. But that lasted briefly. Gabbie wanted to go downstairs.
At 6:05 p.m., we played on the steps with the giant tennis ball.
At 6:08 p.m., Gabbie and I were outside in the backyard. Gabbie moves fast from one thing to another.
At 6:10 p.m., we both climbed up to the second level of the backyard playground equipment. The second level feels like a small tree house with it's walls and roof. The second level has small openings for the rock wall area, the slide area, and for hanging on the bars in the back. The second level has 1.5 walls.
As usual, it's nearly impossible to get Gabbie to go down the slide. She prefers to climb down the rock wall from the second level. And while she easily climbs up the rock wall to get to the second level, she struggles on climbing down. I help her down after I slide down the slide. At 6:12 p.m., we we back down on the ground from the second level.
Gabbie launched into a stream of conscience chatter. She explained something to me. I didn't understand her, but it's always enjoyable to hear Gabbie talk excitedly.
At 6:13 p.m., we both sat in the two blue, plastic Adirondack chairs in the backyard.
At 6:14 p.m., we were up out of the chairs, and we wandered around the backyard. Daisy and Logan ran around in the backyard. Daisy likes it when someone else besides Logan is in the backyard too.
At 6:16 p.m., Gabbie talked loudly to "Nee-Naw" (Deb) who was at the living room window (2nd story). Deb watched Dominic. Deb and Gabbie spoke through the screen window. Since it was the second story, and we were away from the house, Gabbie had to yell at Nana.
From 6:17 to 6:19 p.m., Gabbie swung on the swing in her way, which is by lying face down with her belly on the swing seat. Gabbie does a good job swinging like this on her own. She enjoys it. I didn't help her.
At 6:21 p.m., we stood next to the backyard flower bed that contained some blooming flowers, which attracted bees and butterflies. Gabbie said, "Bee." The flower bed is located near the northwest corner of the backyard. It's a nice, small, mound-like setup.
At 6:22 p.m., we walked through the gate, located along the north side of the backyard fence. Gabbie unlocked the gate herself, which surprised me. She managed to undo both bolt action locks. She fiddled with the locks, but she go them undone. She enjoys figuring out how to operate mechanical things. Physical objects.
After walking through the gate, we entered the farm field that's growing an unidentified plant. Gabbie picked plant leaves. She gave the leaves to me. She remembered us doing this earlier in the week.
While in the farm field, Gabbie also picked up rocks and/or dirt clumps. For her outdoor wear, Gabbie wore jammies and reddish-pink sandals. Styling.
At 6:26 p.m., Gabbie grabbed one of my hands and led me to the front yard and into the driveway. We walked on the outside of the fence, along the west side of the backyard. It's all similar to Monday.
I always enjoy that moment when Gabbie takes my hand to lead me somewhere. Some day, that will end as Gabbie gets older.
We strolled around the front yard area, and then at 6:32 p.m., we were back at the gate, located at the north side of the backyard fence. Gabbie tried to unlock the gate to enter the backyard. I had to lock it to keep the dogs from escaping.
Gabbie fiddled with the locks, but she did not get them both undone. I helped.
At 6:33 p.m., Gabbie chatted to Nana through the screen window of the living room with Gabbie two stories below on the backyard. Gabbie is talker even if we cannot always understand her.
Then Deb came out on the deck, holding Dominic. The deck is off the Living room, which means the deck is at the second story level.
Gabbie and I went up the steps to the deck. Dominic intently watched her sister play with the water toy on the deck.
At 7:03 p.m., Gabbie still payed with the water toy on the deck. I played in the water too. I filled the fish jug by using water from the kitchen sink. Gabbie like to pour the water or I would pour the water while Gabbie played in the stream. She got wet. Soaked probably. She didn't care. The weather was pleasant but not hot. The sky was sunny with temps ranging from 70 to 74 degrees.
The water toy is a round table-like setup with columns to pour water into. It contains other gadgets that are attached to the table. And then Gabbie has toys in the water too. Lots of splashing and playing in the water by both of us. Dominic focused on Gabbie's playing.
At 7:04 p.m., we went down the deck steps and around the east side of the house, which is the garage area, and we went through the gate at that location. We walked through the front yard and through the west neighbor's yard, along the outside of the west side of the backyard fence. We walked through or along the farm field on the north side of the fence.
At 7:09 p.m., we were at the gate, located at the north side of the backyard fence by the farm field. Once again, Gabbie tried to open the gate herself to enter the backyard, but once again, she needed my help.
At 7:11 p.m., we both swung on the swings. Sometimes, I helped Gabbie with her swinging to make her go a little higher and wilder. Sometimes, she starts to spin her swing herself.
At 7:15 p.m., Gabbie was done swinging. She sat down in the Adirondack chair, and I did the same. But that lasted for about one second, and Gabbie was back up and headed to the playground equipment.
Gabbie climbed the rock wall to get to the second level. At 7:20 p.m., we climbed down from the second level. At 7:22 p.m., we climbed back up to the second level. At 7:24 p.m., we were back down on the ground and on the swings. Gabbie won't collect dusty by staying in one spot for too long.
At 7:27 p.m., we were done swinging, or Gabbie was done. I could swing longer.
At 7:28 p.m., Gabbie climbed the rock wall again to reach the second level of the playground. She seemed to sing a little while on the second level.
At 7:32 p.m., we climbed back down from the second level. We wandered around a bit outside, but since it was getting late for Gabbie, I encouraged her to go inside, which she did not want to do. Finally, at 7:38 p.m., I carried Gabbie inside to some protest.
But we went right to playing. I wrapped Gabbie up in her bedtime blanket, and I hoisted her up, stork style, and I swung Gabbie some in this manner. Gabbie enjoyed it.
Deb changed Gabbie's diaper while I got Gabbie's milk and a snack. We snuggled on the couch while Gabbie drank her milk and ate cheese. We watched the animated movie called "Rio," which contains a lot of tropical birds.
As usual now when watching a movie, Gabbie knows the parts, and she acts out parts of the movie either with phsycial movements and/or by saying the words. It's hilarious, and she knows the movies well, including tiny moments that most people overlook.
Gabbie went to bed at 8:08 p.m. with no protest. Deb had an enjoyable evening with Mister Chill Dominic. CP and Brad arrived home around 8:30 p.m., and we left around 9:00 p.m. or 9:30 p.m.
Sat, Sep 7
Today was Gabbie's third birthday. Wow. Three-years-old already.
At 10:30 a.m., Deb and I met Catherine, Brad, Gabbie, and Dominic at an eight acre lot that was for sale. CP and Brad's realtor friend Ben also met us at the lot. Ben had nice things to say about the lot.
Anyway, while the adults and Dominic talked shop, Gabbie and I wandered over much of the lot. Gabbie picked up sticks and branches. I used a large branch as a walking stick. Gabbie used a smaller branch for her walking stick, mimicking how I used the walking stick.
The west end of the lot contains an acre or more of trees, shrubs, and prairie flowers. Gabbie liked to pull up the flowers, saying, "I stuck," which caused me to intervene to cut the flower stalk.
We walked to the south edge that contains a wall of tall, mature pine trees. The lot used to be farmed. Now it contained grass about six inches tall. Someone must mow it occasionally. They mowed down some of the prairie plants recently.
Once again, Gabbie enjoyed strolling, walking, wandering, meandering, and exploring. That big lot would be no match for Gabbie.
We spent a little over one hour on the lot. Then we ate lunch at Erie Restaurant, located in downtown Erie, which was only about a seven-minute drive away from the lot.
I ordered the Lake Erie yellow perch sandwich plain. It came with their homemade potato chips. I sat next to Gabbie. She ate her hamburger slider, fries, and applesauce.
At point at the table while Deb held Dominic, and the two faced each other, Dominic let out a loud, brief, yelling screech of delight. At first, I did not know where the sound came from. Dominic gets loud when he's excited and having fun.
After eating and while still inside the bar/restaurant, Gabbie wanted to stroll. Two big mounted buffalo heads hang on the walls. We got up close to those giants. Then Gabbie wanted to play pool. I wondered if she remembered playing with the pool stick, whacking billiard balls on the pool table at the Air BnB house in Tennessee last September.
She could see the billiard balls, stored inside the pool table on the side. She tried to use the coin machine. I did not have any change. She tried to get me to release the billiard balls.
After leaving the restaurant, CP and Brad went home. Deb and I briefly browsed the Bay Creek store, since it was open for the weekend.
A small gathering for Gabbie's birthday was held at Rhonda and Jody's house. It was us six adults and Dominic and Gabbie. Deb and I arrived a little after 4:30 p.m. We went inside the house.
Gabbie took me to her bedroom to show me her cool room, setup, and toys. We played in her bedroom, and she took toys to the living room. Then we moved outside to eat. Jody smoked salmon and chicken, which tasted great.
After eating, Gabbie took me to the front yard to run around. Gabbie explored, pulling bark off oak trees, poking sticks into small holes, left by either cicadas or something else. Regardless, Gabbie explored.
We played a little hide and seek among the several oak trees in the front yard. I would hide behind a tree, and Gabbie would search for me, and then run fast toward me. I picked her up and swung her.
I was surprised at how fast Gabbie ran. Her speed has increased, and her coordination has improved.
Gabbie liked to climb up onto the front porch landing and climb back down even though three or four steps existed. Obviously, climbing was preferred.
At one point when we sat on the porch, I got my notebook out to draw birds. It seemed that Gabbie said the word "bird" twice, which would be a first.
After playing out front for a long time, we sat back down at the table outside to eat the doughnut cake, which came from Bakery Unlimited in West Toledo. Then we moved inside.
We played some inside, but we also relaxed, watching a Gabbie movie before CP and Brad took the kids home around 8:00 p.m. Deb and I left too. It was a pleasant, fun, food-delicious gathering for Gabbie's third birthday.
Mon, Sep 9
I did not see Gabbie, but today was Gabbie's first day of preschool. We learned that when CP left Gabbie, that Gabbie cried for a few minutes, but then she was fine. The school texted a photo of Gabbie playing with toys and a photo of Gabbie holding hands with two kids as they strolled the playground. I'm guessing that Gabbie grabbed their hands and led from the middle.
When Gabbie got home from school, she wanted to chat with me or CP called me for Gabbie who had a lot to say. I think that she was wound up with excitement, and she wanted to discuss her experience. I could not understand what she said. Preschool lasts three or four hours, and Gabbie goes two days per week.
Wed, Sep 11
When CP took Gabbie to preschool, Gabbie walked off toward the school without saying goodbye to Catherine. It was obvious that Gabbie was excited to be back to school, and she enjoys it.
Mon, Sep 16
In the late afternoon, Gabbie wanted to call me. Maybe she wanted to tell me about school. The conversation started with a normal phone call. When she heard my voice, she gave her slow, delighted giggle-laugh. We chatted. Well, she talked, and I listened. Gabbie launched into a stream of conscience chat that I could not understand, but it was fun to hear. Then we got disconnected.
Gabbie/CP called back, this time as Facetime. For next 30 minutes or so, Gabbie carried the phone around, talking and giving me a tour of the house, mainly the ceilings. I think the rocky, wavy motion of the Facetime call started to make me nauseous.
At one point, Gabbie played with the Fisher Price Little People with the phone facing upward. Whenever Catherine took the phone to ensure that we were still connected, Gabbie would emphatically say, "Mine!"
The conversation ended unexpectedly, although maybe Gabbie was ready to be done. During one of the times when she looked into the camera, I blew her a kiss, which we do often when she lies down for a nap or for bedtime or when we leave the house. She must associated the action with goodbye because she said, "Bye."
I tried to say no bye, but Gabbie said "Bye" again, and she handed the phone to CP, and that was the end of the call.
Fri, Sep 20
We have not see Gabbie and Dominic in person since Sat, Sep 7. Jeesh.
Sat, Sep 21
Deb and I arrived at CP and Brad's house at 5:25 p.m. Gabbie had a big smile, and she laughed and made other gleeful noises. She said, "Shoes," which means take our shoes off and stay a while.
Gabbie launched into taking our hands and leading us into the upstairs play area and her tea table. She served us food for a bit. Then she picked up the crochet ball and the small soccer ball, and she threw the balls around.
Then Gabbie directed me to go downstairs. We played in the basement for a little while, and then we came back upstairs.
We spent most of the remaining play time in Gabbie's room. Deb joined us. Sometimes, Catherine came into the room too.
Gabbie leads me around by grabbing the fingers of one of my hands. She has a strong grip, and sometimes it feels like my fingers will get dislocated with the way that she pulls my hand. It's funny.
Gabbie and I made numerous back and forth trips between the play area and her bedroom, hauling toys into her bedroom. Gabbie is in this phase of bringing a ton of toys into her bedroom, at least when I'm present. She brings in toys even when she does not play with those toys in her bedroom.
Sometimes, when we haul a container of toys, we both have to hold onto the container, even if Gabbie can easily carry the toy or the container herself. Gabbie likes to have us both carry the item, one one each end, like it's super heavy.
While playing in Gabbie's room, at one point, Gabbie stood on the north end of her bed, facing her large mirror, and she blew a ton of slobbery raspberries, which cracked up Debbie and me. She liked to watch herself in the mirror.
We settled down before bedtime in the living room. Gabbie likes Oreo cookies. I sat on the floor. Gabbie sat down next to me. For some reason, her hands and face were a mess with the Oreo cookie. Rather than crunching down on them, she seemed to suck on the Oreo's, making them rather melting and messy, but she was happy.
Brad took Gabbie to bed at about 8:00 p.m. with no protest. She said, "Bye" to us. Deb and I left around 9:30 p.m. We did not see Dominic much because it was during his nap time. He will sleep for one to two hours.
Tue, Sep 24
Arrived at 5:00 a.m. Left at about 7:40 p.m. Watched D and G myself until Brad returned home after 4:00 p.m. Busy, fun day.