Wed, Oct 2
CP needed to take Dominic to the doctor for a 4:20 p.m. appointment. Dominic has had cold-like symptoms for a few days. Catherine dropped Gabbie off at our house, shortly after 4:00 p.m.
When CP arrived, parked in our driveway, opened the van side door on Gabbie's side, and Gabbie saw me walk down the sidewalk, Gabbie said "Baw-buh", and she gave me the thumbs up sign from her car seat.
I carried Gabbie inside while CP left. About the first thing that Gabbie did was to start pulling books of our living room bookshelf. The books were mainly art and nature related with a few kids books mixed in.
In typical fashion, Gabbie sat on the floor, pulled a book off the shelf, flipped through the page briefly, and then closed the book, and either handed the book to me with a "Here you go" or she smacked the book down on our wood floor for me to pick up and add to the growing stack or stacks of books on the floor that Gabbie removed from the shelf.
The book removal process lasted for a while, and then Gabbie got up to explore some more. We played the open and close door game or whatever it's called with the door connecting the living room to the computer room. Gabbie closes the door, she knocks or I knock, and then she opens the door, and I give a welcome message, maybe followed by a handshake, rinse and repeat.
Gabbie walked upstairs. She likes to open and close the laundry shoot door, located at the top of the steps. The door has a spring attached that slams shut when the open door is let go.
I dug out a bag of Gabbie toys from the closet in CP's old bedroom. We went back downstairs to the living room and dumped out the toys. We played with the set of numerous small percussion toys. We did this for a good while too. Gabbie enjoyed banging on the many percussion instruments. We made good loud music.
Then Gabbie was on the move again, exploring the first floor, climbing the steps again to play with the laundry shoot, and then she wanted to go outside through the backdoor because we have done that in the past. But it had rained some, and it was drizzling rain, which normally is not an issue with neither Gabbie nor me, but I knew Catherine would be coming by soon, and I didn't want Gabbie to get dirty. I don't know what we would have done, except explore. I should have let her out. I let Barney out back. We could have explored the blooming Sawtooth Sunflowers and the tomatoes. She might picked tomatoes. She likes doing that.
Gabbie grabbed one of my hands and placed my hand on the backdoor knob. She really wanted me to open the door. She kept saying, "I stuck" when she tried to open door. I had the door locked.
Then I pretended to try to open door and struggle to open it and give up and say, "I stuck." I pretended to struggle, and I grunted and groaned, trying to open the door. And then I would pretend to let my hands slip off the door knob, and I would fall away. Gabbie laughed.
Then Gabbie imitated me. She grabbed the knob, made grunting noises, and then she would let go, like she slipped off the knob. Then I would be my turn. We took turns. Even Gabbie pretended to open the door. Maybe she knew that I was faking. She laughed often at my pretending, and I laughed at her fake grunts and pretend struggle with the door. We did this for several minutes.
I let Gabbie give Barney a treat, Pupperoni, and she took the treat and broke it into several small pieces like I have been doing with Barney since February. She saw me do this in Barnesville over the weekend, and when I let Gabbie give Barney at treat in B'ville, she broke it into small pieces, even though I never told her nor showed her how to do it.
I did not expect her to break the treat into pieces today, but she did. And it was not two or three large pieces. She broke it into five or six small pieces like I do. She observes and learns when we don't expect it.
Fri, Oct 11 through Sun, Oct 13
Deb's parents arrived around 6:00 p.m. We went to CP and Brad's house to see the kids. Deb's sister arrived later at CP and Brad's house.
We arrived at church in Sylvania for funeral service for CP's Grandad on her Dad's side. We arrived at about 10:30 a.m. The service began at 11:00 a.m. Gabs was restless.
G and I spent the service in the kids play area that contained a lot of toys that pleased Gabbie. We entered the play area a little before 11:00 a.m. Deb joined us around 11:40 a.m.
The service ended around Noon. Then the group went to the cemetery for the burial service. Several of us stayed back in the kids play area to watch Gabbie and Dominic.
At 1:00 p.m., we left the kids play area to another area of the church for a meal. Gabs ate okay, but she wanted to move around in the large room. She and Deb "ran" around a lot, playing.
We arrived home at mid-afternoon.
In the evening, we went back up to CP and Brad's.
In the morning, back to CP and Brad's. Professional photographer was present to take family photos. Gabs went down the backyard playground slide numerous times on her own. She stuck the landing too sometimes. That was new to me. Apparently, she started doing that recently for Brad and CP. Now she loves going down the slide.
Deb's parents left from CP and Brad's. We led them west to Route 23. Deb and I visited the Quilt Foundry in Maumee around 12:30 p.m. Then we arrived home a little before 1:00 p.m.
I watched the Browns lose a tough one to the Seahawks. After the game, Deb and I went to CP and Brad's to watch the kids while CP and Brad went out for dinner.
On Friday eve, Saturday eve, and Sunday eve, Gabs and I engaged in the relatively new ritual of moving a lot of her toys from the play area into her bedroom. I think that we do this because Gabs enjoys bossing me around. She tells me, "Come on." She hands me items to carry. She points out items to pick up. We took the tea table and the four chairs to her room on all three occasions. We took other big toys to her room. And we took a lot of little toys too. It takes a while to remove everything from her room.
Anyway, it was fun for Deb's parents to visit Dominic for the first time and to see Gabbie again. It was fun to spend time with Deb's sister. It was sad for CP and the funeral of her Granddad. I played a lot with Gabbie, of course.
As usual, Gabbie was not interested in the photo session. But the photographer did a great job of making Gabbie interested in taking photos with her camera and with snapping action shots of Gabbie on the playground equipment in the backyard.
Tue, Oct 15
Arrived at 1:50 p.m. Left around 7:35 p.m.
D was awake when I arrived. Actually, he awoke when I arrived because of the dogs. D rested on CP. G was napping.
D and I played in the living room and in the play area. Gabs awoke at about 4:25 p.m. We all played in the play area.
G wanted to go outside without eating dinner.
G had a meltdown around 6:00 p.m. that went on for a long time. She did not want to eat dinner. C gave G a timeout, which meant G had to go to her room. G wailed and banged on her door. Hilarious.
During G's lenghty protest period when she was outside of her bedroom, I gave up trying to please her and convince her to eat and I went to the play area and played with toys. Gabbie sprawled on the floor by the deck door in the living room.
Eventually, G sat at the dining room table and ate a tiny bit of dinner.
Outside at 6:35 to 6:40 p.m. We played at the sand table on the deck. Sat in chairs.
At 7:00 p.m., we went down the steps to the backyard and played on the playground equipment. Gabbie went down the slide a lot. She made me climb up the rock wall to the second level. "C'mon." She was down the slide before I got up to the second level.
The dew formed quickly, and we tore the grass up a little at the bottom of the slide. Occasionally, Gabbie got mud and grass on her hands. She would hold her hands up toward me before I got down the slide. She wanted me to clean her hands off. We did this several times too. Up and down a lot and wiping off Gabbie's hands.
Back inside by 7:25 p.m.
I left a little after 7:30 p.m. Gabbie was happy. She said, "Bye bye."
Wed, Oct 16
On the drive up, we stopped at Kroger's for cake, ice cream, a gift card, and a birthday card. I bought a big box of fish crackers, since I knew that they were out.
Deb and I arrived at CP's house at 2:45 p.m. Rhonda was at CP's house too. Brad was at work.
When we arrived, I was surprised to see Gab up, since it was her nap time. She did not take a nap.
Gabs quickly demanded that I remove my shoes by saying "Shoes." And she says "Off" now too because I'm wearing flannel shirts more often, due to the cooler weather. Gabbie must think that a flannel shirt is like a coat. She tells me to remove my flannel shirt.
Gabs and I started playing, shortly after we arrived. As has been the case recently, we moved many toys from the play area into her bedroom. She loves to say, "Come on" to me and she usually grabs my hand too to lead me.
In the play area, she will pick up a random toy or item and hand it to me to carry back to her bedroom. Many times, it's one small item. Sometimes, she points out something for me to carry back.
Today, we did not take the tea table back to her room. We did carry two chairs to her room. When we do take the table back, we both help carry the table.
Gabbie and I ate some fish crackers. Then we left the house a little after 4:00 p.m., headed to a pumpkin farm.
During the 30-plus minute drive, Gabbie snacked on pretzel sticks for a while, and she liked to hand individual pretzel sticks behind to me, since I sat behind her. She likes to share her snacks and meals with me even when I don't want to eat them. I ate several pretzel sticks, but I also stored several in a cup holder, since I did not want anymore. She would not say anything when handing me a pretzel stick. She would reach her arm back behind her and wait for me to take the pretzel.
Dominic fell asleep during the drive.
At 4:45 p.m., we arrived at Gust Bros. Pumpkin Farm, located southeast of Blissfield. Deb, Rhonda, CP, Dominic, Gabbie, and me.
The area was located in large, flat, wide, open location. It's our version of big sky country. Of course, everywhere around here is flat, but sometimes, enough small woodlots exist to make the area seem less open. But sometimes, huge farm fields exist, creating large open spaces.
Since I live in the city with a lot of large oak trees and a limited view of the sky, it's always impressive to be in open, flat farm country and to be able to see near the horizon in all directions.
The weather was chilly. Temps were around 50 degrees. It was windy. The sky was cloudy with low clouds. Occasional drizzle fell. None of that bothered Gabbie. I was bundled up better than Gabs, but Gabbie did not notice the weather. It was open space for Gabbie to move around.
The farm area for the public consisted of several small to large buildings, grouped in a small area. We started with the barn that contained cows.
Deb and CP bought food to feed the cows. Gabbie held out a small block of hay or something for the cow to eat. The big cow's long, large tongue freaked Gabbie out. She tried a couple times to feed the cow, but then she gave up. She watched Deb feed the cow. Gabbie like viewing the cows, including the small ones. Gabbie said, "Moo" and "Hi" and "Cow." She was excited. CP held Dominic with front-facing harness deal. Dominic was covered up well.
Then we went into another barn or into a different area of the same barn to see the pigs. The pig area contained two sections. One area contained a lot of small pigs that fed on their own. The other area contained a large sow that laid on its left side with 8 to 10 piglets feeding. Gabbie spent most of the time watching the piglets. We saw a mouse scurry on a beam in the area that contained the small pigs. The pig area smells differently than the cow area, but that did not bother Gabbie.
Then we visited an area that contained numerous small, friendly goats. Gabbie walked up to the fence and petted the goats, which stuck their heads through the fence railings. None of us had change to get food from the machine to feed the goats. Rats.
We entered a small building that contained a framed area of dried corn kernels. Gabbie and I entered the corn that was a few inches deep. Gabbie drug in the tricycle that existed. It was hard to move the tricycle in the corn than on the concrete area outside of the framed corn kernel pin. I placed Gabbie and the tricycle outside of the corn area and Gabbie liked to move around on the bike. She's too tall to place her feet on the tricycle pedals now.
I played in the corn. Two, metal Tonka trucks existed: a front-end loader and a dump truck. We had toys like this. I worked the loader like I had 45 years ago. The loaded functioned exactly as I remembered. Either these were antique toys or as Rhonda said, new releases of the old metal versions. Anyway, I enjoyed working the loader and dump truck. Gabbie "rode" the tricycle.
After playing, we entered a pole barn that was used as their "Donut Barn." They had a small food area that sold donuts, cider, and other items. And the barn had a large sit-down area with numerous picnic tables. Quilts hung on the walls.
I ordered a cinnamon-sugar donut and a cup of hot cider. CP got Gabs a cup of chilled cider. It might have been the first time that Gabbie drank cider. She liked it. I reduced the length of Gabbie's straw to make it easier for Gabbie to use.
At 5:25 p.m., Gabbie and I sat at a table inside the Donut Barn. The rest of the crew wandered around. Gabbie ate some donut and drank her cider.
Then we moved on and explored other areas, including a pen that contained hens and another pen that contained large roosters.
We entered a small building that contained a few small rabbits. We could enter the area with the rabbits and hold the rabbits. Gabbie loved the rabbits. Nana held a rabbit for Gabbie to pet.
I was most interested in the small enclosed outdoor area that held four sheep. I patted that the sheep's thick fleece. One of the sheep made its loud "baaa" sound at me. Apparently, that startled and surprised Gabbie who stood by the sheep fence area at a different location than where I stood.
Gabbie makes these basic animal sounds at home when viewing books and when watching videos, but now she got to see and hear the animals for real up close.
A pile of timothy hay-like grass existed outside of the fencing, too far away from the sheep. Maybe the wind blew it. I placed the hay in the little trough for the sheep to eat.
After the sheep, we decided to move on and head somewhere for dinner. As we walked toward the car, we passed the big barn that contained the cows and pigs. Gabbie took off and headed into the barn. She wanted to say goodbye to the cows. Then she walked toward the pig area. She said bye to the pigs too. I think that Gabs wanted to visit the animals some more.
It was a fun place to visit. We need to return yet again this fall. Maybe in a couple weekends.
The place got a lot busier while we were at the farm. The parking lot got a lot more jammed with vehicles. The farm sells pumpkins, and it had a building that sold other items that I wanted to walk through, but I did not get a chance to do it.
We left the farm at 5:43 p.m. We drove to downtown Monroe, MI to eat dinner at Public House, which is wear we ate one year ago for CP's birthday dinner.
We arrived at Public House at 6:25 p.m. During the drive, Dominic got fussy. He was ready to eat and/or he wanted his diaper changed. Deb tried to entertain Dominic for most of the drive. The "House of Cards" Radiohead video calmed Dominic down some, but he got mad.
We could tell that Gabbie got tired of hearing Dominic cry out in anger. Sometimes, Gabbie would engage in fake crying or whining, which I think was in protest to Dominic's long fussy bout. At one point, Gabbie ridiculed Dominic when Gabbie sarcastically said, "Waah, waah, waah." Catherine scolded Gabbie for making fun of Dominic. Of course, I thought that was hilarious in addition to being surprising.
During the drive to Monroe, Dominic would get quiet, and then he would start his build-up to loud crying. We could see that he was about the "blow" with anger.
Deb, Gabbie, and I entered the restaurant while CP and Rhonda stayed back in the vehicle to assist Dominic who was quite happy when he entered the restaurant.
We had great service at the restaurant. Brad joined us, not long after we arrived. The server brought out Gabbie's meal of mac-and-cheese and chicken tenders, shortly after we arrived and before Brad arrived.
Gabbie was well-behaved, especially with no nap, unlike a year earlier when we had our meals boxed immediately after being served and we ate back at the house because Gabbie melted down at the restaurant because she would not nap for me earlier in the day. I watched Gabbie that day. At the restaurant a year ago, Deb gave Gabbie Deb's phone, but Gabbie threw the phone behind her. She whipped the phone backwards. The phone landed near several feet away, near a booth where people sat.
But today, Gabbie ate, she played with the crayons and paper that the server brought her, and Gabbie watched educational videos on a phone. Dominic did well too. I held Dominic for a while after we first arrived. He sat on my lap. Several times, he reached for the small flowers that resided on the table. He moves fast and he likes to grab things. He liked the menu. He liked to pound on the menu.
I handed Dominic to Rhonda when Dominic wanted a change of scenery. Deb ordered appetizers: cowboy caviar, which I did not eat. I ate some of the olive tapenade, which tasted great. It was served with tasty flatbread or a pita-like bread.
For my meal, I ordered a roasted eggplant sandwich, and I requested no cheese. I ordered the steak fries and a glass of water. The sandwich contained eggplant, peppers, and onions, and it was served on ciabatta bread. Tasty meal.
We had a pleasant experience. The food and service were great. Dominic got chatty and loud at times in a happy way. We left at about 7:45 p.m. We arrived back at CP and Brad's house at 8:00 p.m.
Rhonda went home after we arrived back at the house. Deb decorated the cake with candles. We sang. CP and Gabbie blew out the candles. Gabbie was excited to eat cake and ice cream. I passed on both. I assisted Gabs with cutting the cake on her plate and with cleanup. She sat down at her little table in the living room.
After eating treats, Gabs hung out beside me on the couch, watching TV. Then Gabs snuggled next to Brad. It was obvious that she was getting tired. We mentioned night-night or bedtime, and Gabbie quietly got up and started off for bed. She was done.
Deb and I left about 9:00 p.m.
Sat, Oct 19
Gabs and Dominic were not feeling 100 percent. Brad had drill with the 180th Fighter Wing. I arrived to help at 12:10 p.m. Gabbie sucked on an orange Popsicle. It appeared that she wore as much of the popsicle on her shirt as she managed to consume. She lounged on the couch, sucking on the cold treat.
Gabbie did not eat any of her lunch. She had non interest in goldfish crackers, which told me that she definitely did not feel well. She was fussy. We did not play any before nap. We hung out in the living room. CP put Gabbie in her room for a nap at 1:00 p.m., and Gabbie protested strongly. She wailed and pounded on the door. After 10 or 15 minutes, she quieted down and went to sleep.
Around 1:40 to 1:50 p.m., I took over watching Dominic. At 2:00 p.m., we went outside on the deck for 15 minutes and watched a couple hundred Turkey Vultures migrate through.
It was a good day for migrating TUVUs. On the drive up, I saw about 200 TUVUs. One kettle probably contained around 100 vultures. Most kettles contained between 10 and 30 during the afternoon that I saw the vultures. It seemed that the activity around CP and Brad's home had slowed down around 2:30 p.m. The TUVU's moved from the northeast to the south-southwest. The sky was sunny with about 40 to 60 percent cloud cover. The clouds were high level clouds. The sky was a mix of the clear blue portions and the high white clouds. But vultures are a lot easier to spot than Broadwinged Hawks. The vultures today were migrating low to mid heights. It was enjoyable watching the vultures kettle and stream. I have not seen that many vultures since I hawkwatched in the spring along the lakeshore back in the aught years. Afternoon temps were in the mid to upper 60s today.
Anyway, Dominic and I went back inside at 2:15 p.m. We played in the play area. Dominic likes to grab anything. He likes the board toy that contains six different locking mechanisms that would be used on doors. We played with other toys. We walked around a lot. He laid on this back on the floor and on the trampoline. He laughed when I bounced him on the trampoline while he laid on his back. He likes to sit up on the floor or on my lap when I sit on the floor and play with toys.
Dominic enjoys "standing" in the round device that allows him to push himself along on the wood floor in the dining room area. He gets excited. He mostly uses his legs to push himself backwards though, but he enjoys it.
At 3:15 p.m., Gabbie woke up. I went to Gabbie's room to let her out while I held Dominic. We all played in the play area for a while. Then around 3:30 p.m. or so, maybe earlier than that, I gave Dominic to CP.
Gabbie and I played in the play area. We also engaged in the fall ritual of carrying and moving a lot of toys from the play area into Gabbie's bedroom. Sometimes, I was ordered to go with Gabbie to the play area to pick something up with her "C'mon." Sometimes, Gabbie made me stay in the bedroom, and Gabbie would say "Bye, bye" and she would close her bedroom door. Then Gabbie would return with another toy, knock on the door, and then she would give me the toy. And she would either order me to go with her or she would close the door and say "Bye" or "Bye, bye."
We had a lot of toys scattered in Gabbie's bedroom. She does not play with the toys much. Sometimes she does. And it continues to be random things that we move to her bedroom.
We then went downstairs to play. I kicked the balls around while Gabbie opened and closed the large Barbie RV. Gabbie does not play with dolls. She likes to operate the mechanical aspects of toys that have buttons and doors, etc.
While downstairs, we played music. We took turns playing the small, toy drums and the small, toy piano. I would play the drums while Gabs played the piano, and then we would switch. We make good, loud, musical noise together. We have been doing this on my recent visits this fall.
After the music concert, Gabbie carried the two balls up the steps. She stood at the top of the steps and rolled the balls down the railing. And then she would intentionally throw or drop the balls off the side where I could not get them. I have to go all the way down the steps to retrieve the balls. She thinks its funny to throw the balls over the side that way. And in my recent visits, somehow we have made this a routine where I say, "Sit down." and Gabbie sits down at or near the top of the steps, and then Gabbie has recently added the option where she pretends to be asleep, lying over to one side and making fake snoring-like sounds while I retrieve the two balls.
Then I return to the front door landing and I say, "Wake up, wake up." Gabbie screams with a big smile. I hand her one of the balls, and she rolls the ball down the railing successfully multiple times and then she throws the ball over the side. Then I hand her the ball, and the same thing occurs. Then I tell her to sit down. She sits down and pretends to be asleep. I retrieve the balls. Rinse and repeat several times. Good step exercising for me.
Then in recent visits, Gabbie has enjoyed sitting near the top of the steps and rolling the balls down the steps. She likes to watch the balls go down step by step, like a Slinky. I think that she would enjoy a Slinky.
While we played on the steps, which is probably something that we should not do, Brad's parents arrived at about 4:30 p.m. They came over for dinner. I carried Gabs upstairs because she did not want to stop playing the steps.
Then I cleaned up Gabbie's room, and I went home around 4:35 p.m. Brad came home from drill around 4:00 p.m. or a little earlier.
Gabs felt and/or appeared much better health-wise after her nap. We played well. I held and played with Dominic for over 90 minutes. Good action packed into four hours.
Sun, Oct 20
I birdwatched for several hours along the lakeshore. I left home around 9:15 a.m., and I returned home at 4:20 p.m. Deb went to CP's house around Noon. Brad had drill again today until mid-afternoon. I arrived at CP and Brad's house around 5:30 p.m.
When I arrived, Gabbie stood on her small stool/seat that is meant for her drawing table. She likes to play in the water that streams from the kitchen faucet. She played for a while longer in the water, and then we played together while everyone else played and lounged in the living room.
This was another visit where Gabbie and I carried toys from the play area to Gabbie's bedroom. Gabbie did play with the matchboxes in her bedroom by rolling them on the bed railing after I showed her that action. I need to get Gabs a Hot Wheels track with the loops and ramps/jumps. Hot Wheels track and a Slinky.
We did not play downstairs. We mainly played in the play area and in her bedroom.
We celebrated Brad's birthday. Deb held Dominic and I held Gabbie while we sang Happy Birthday and Brad blew out the candles.
I broke from my vegan-like diet and ate a small amount of the chick pot pie that Deb bought at Costco. I liked that better than the tiramisu cake. I tried some of the tiramisu cake, eating a couple tiny bites. It tasted good, but it was way, way, WAY too rich for me. Yowzer. A year ago, I would have eaten a decent-sized piece. But now, I prefer a quinoa salad. The chicken pot pie, however, tasted good. I'm sure that vegan option probably exists.
Gabs sat down at her drawing table in the living room, which she uses more as a dining table. She sat down on her own. That means she wants to eat cake. She waited patiently. CP got her chocolate cake. Gabs wore a lot of the blue-green frosting on her face. She ate all of the cake.
Gabs was hungry. She must have been feeling better. Later, she sat on the couch next to Nana, eating tangerines. When she finished, she said, "More" to Nana, and then she tried to push Nana off the couch to encourage Nana to get more. It's funny, but we should be more disciplined. It's funny.
Gabs ate more of the fruit, and she said, "More" again. This went on three or four times. Then she ate some cheese.
Deb and I left around 7:40 p.m. before Gabbie went to sleep. Gabbie said, "Bye" to us.
When I arrived, CP held Dominic in the living room. Dominic turned his head toward me. He smiled and he reached his arms out. I held Dominic for a while when I sat at the tea table in the play area and Gabbie "made" cake and served it to us. Gabs used her two toy microwaves. Dominic chewed on toys. He played with toys too when I sat on the small chair at Gabbie's small tea table.
Fun, brief visit. Gabs and Dominic know how to pack in the action.
Wed, Oct 23
I arrived at 7:55 a.m. On the drive up along Telegraph Rd, I saw a kettle of at least 40 TUVU forming very low near the road at 7:50 a.m. The vultures may have lifted off at about that time.
The weather in the morning was clear with temps in the 40s and a light to moderate wind. The fall foliage was stunning at times along Telegraph Rd. A week earlier, the previous Tue and Wed, the local foliage was dull with mainly olive greens and some brownish-yellows. I saw some good foliage last Saturday while birdwatching along the lakeshore. On Sunday afternoon when I drove north on Telegraph Rd, I noticed some fall colors, but nothing significant. But today, the colors were amazing in spots. Vivid oranges, reds, and yellows of many different shades for each color. Grasses and shrubs have good color too.
Maybe the several mornings with temps in the 30s helped with the sudden burst of color. The changes between last Sunday afternoon and this morning were incredible.
When I arrived Gabs, was the usual happy camper. Rhonda dressed Gabbie well, also as usual. Gabbie wore candy corn tights. Dominic had the croup, and I came up to help because Dominic needed a lot of attention. He was not sleeping normally. Rhonda administered a steroid and an antibiotic. Dominic still ate well, but he was definitely not normal Dominic.
It was decided that I would take Gabbie to school. I went to the car and pulled the car seat from the trunk, and I installed it.
Gabbie and I left the house at 8:26 a.m. It was a 17-minute drive to her school. Gabbie had a book bag that contained water and I don't know what else, probably diapers.
I went to the wrong door at the front. When we got to the proper door, Gabbie reached up to touch the button that unlocks the door. She could not reach the button, but she knew the process. After I pressed the button, she tried to open the door.
I checked in at the office. Then we wormed our way to the room that was not open yet. We stood by the window, looking out over the small courtyard. I spotted robins that I showed Gabbie.
A small table located outside the classroom contained another sign-in sheet for adults to sign. Gabbie grabbed a pen and made scribble lines. Then she started a routine. She went to the courtyard window, looked out the window briefly, and then she went to the sign-in table and used the pen to make a scribble line. Then she went back to the window and back to the table to draw a line. She repeated this several times.
Gabbie had a locker in the hallway, near the classroom door. The locker had her name on it. We placed her coat and book bag into the locker. We also had a folder that we needed to give to the teacher.
Around 8:55 a.m., the teacher opened the door to let the kids inside. Gabbie said, "Bye" to me and she went off easily without hesitation. She likes school.
- pre-school ends at 11:30 a.m.
- left home shortly after 11am
- waited for G outside classroom
- teacher announced each of the kids names one at a time. the kid would come up and receive the folder from the teacher and then the kid exited the classroom.
- G moved fast, walking briskly or slightly running as she exited the room. she had a big smile.
- some foliage on the school grounds looked fantastic against the vivid blue clear sky. most of the landscape is still green, but it's peak color for many hardwoods, such as maples.
- stopped at park in temperance along lewis ave. played from 11:43 to 12:45. G protested leaving but she was fine when eating snacks in the car. ate her baggie of meat and cheese on the way to the playground. ate a baggie of fruit and a baggie of veggies on the drive home. Good strategy by Rhonda to create G's lunch meal like this.
- at the playground:
- small double slide. G made me go down the one side. "C'mon." did this several times.
- steering wheel near the double slide. G turned the wheel. I made noise, like Vroom, Vroom when she turned the wheel. When she pressed the middle of the wheel, I said, "Beep, Beep." Then G said, "Beep, Beep" and then she went to the double slide. I would slide down first and wait for her to slide down, grabbing her right arm to keep her upright after exiting the slide. She was fine with me taking her arm. anyway, we repeated this over and over. Climb up on the the playground, go to the steering wheel area, play with the wheel, G said, "Beep beep", then we went down the double slide.
- G saw a small boy climb something that G has never tried at this park. But she decided to follow. The climbing "thingy" was green and arched and it seemed like the back of a caterpillar with raised sections for hand to crab and rectangle-shaped holes for small feet. It was meant to be crawled up, and Gabbie did that. She shimmied up easily. When she desires, she has no fear. I followed because I hover too much and G wanted me to come up, but it was a bit difficult for me because my hiking shoes were too big to dig into the hole sections. Anyway, G climbed this two or three times during our time at the playground and I followed each time.
- music area, metal "teeth", sheet music for Mary had a Little Lamb and Row, Row Your Boat. Gabbie liked to press down the metal teeth that made musical notes. G made me do it too. G liked to take a finger to touch the letters on the sheet music. G would prounounce some letters correctly. She touched a letter and then she would press the metal key. She repeated this over and over. The setup was low. G sat down on her knees to play with this. G wore a white, zip-up coat that was soft and fleece-like on the outside. No gloves. No hat. It was breezy but comfy cool. Not cold. Not hot. With the running round and climbing that G did, she got warm. Some of the trees at the playground also had vivid fall colors of reds, yellows, and oranges. The scene looked great with the bright fall colors against at the bright blue clear sky when looking north.
- G climbed the tallest area of the playground but she always turned around near the top because she did not want to go down the tall, twisting tube slide. She did not go down any of the other bigger slides. The small double slide is not as tall as the slide in G's backyard. G did not want to go on any of the springy sit-down rides like the alligator and fire truck.
- G did not want to go onto the swings, but she let me sit down on a swing and then G pushed me.
- at one point, i pointed out a fox squirrel that was on the lawn near the playground area. G saw it and she took off running toward it. When G got close, the squirrel scurried up the side of a nearby oak tree. I went to G who walked around the oak tree, watching the squirrel climb it. Then G stood at the base of the oak tree and reached her arms up and lifted up on her toes. She wanted to climb the oak tree too. She made grunting or straining noises, a bit fakey. She then asked me in her own way to help her up the tree. I picked her up and i tried to tell her that i could not go up the tree either. While holding G, we walked around the tree to watch the squirrel climb higher and higher. then we went back to playing on the playground.
- Around 12:30, i mentioned that we should go and G started to protest. She started walking north away from the playground, across an empty parking lot and too a small building that had a side door. i don't know what the building is for. G tried to open a door. i have no idea what she planned. maybe to do something different to keep from leaving. she flopped down onto the parking lot. three-year-old protest. I scooped her up and set her down on the playground. G protested some more. eventually i carried her to the car. G made fake crying sounds. it was funny, but i did not laugh at her.
- G was fine when she had her food. she was quiet, eating on the drive home.
Rhonda put G to bed for a nap around 1:15 p.m. G protested loudly. But G was tired. I saw her being tired at the playground.
G slept for about two hours. We did the usual playing in the play area, moved a lot of toys to her bedroom, played in the basement, played ball on the steps.
While in the basement, we took turns playing the drums and the piano. we played at the same time and then we changed instruments. while in the basement, D went through a major crying period. G mocked D's crying with "Wah, wah, wah" which we realized exists in the "Wheels on the Bus" video by Cocomelon. G gets perturbed and then upset when D cries too much.
On the steps with the balls, she rolled the soccer ball down the railing and threw the crocheted ball over the side. eventually she threw the soccer ball over the side too. then she sat down on a step. i pretend to order her forcefully to sit down. she smiles. Rinse and repeat. Then G likes to roll the soccer ball down the steps, gently at times, trying to make the ball hit each step, Slinky-style, as the ball bounces down the steps.
At one point in the late afternoon or early evening, G had a meltdown for no reason. Again, she seemed bothered by Dominic's crying because D did not feel well. G snuggled with me in the tee-pee in her bedroom and cried. She also snuggled and cried with Rhonda in the living room. It was like she needed a reason to be upset. She tried to find some reason to be upset. Odd.
Brad came home around 6:30 p.m. Rhonda left shortly thereafter. I stayed for a while longer. G wanted to watch the Boss Baby TV show, which is actually funny. It's a series on Netflix. I don't know if it's Netflix original, but it's probably G's first TV series that she has watched. G started snuggling with me and then she snuggled with Daddy. I left while G was up watching TV. G said, "Bye."
Thu, Oct 24
Arrived around 10:00 a.m. to watch Dominic while Rhonda took Gabbie to her speech therapy class. Gabbie's new therapist started this week. The previous therapist took another job elsewhere.
Brad was at work. CP was at school. She came home in the mid-afternoon. Rhonda left to help Doug with his furniture shopping before he moves into his new place.
Late in the afternoon, Gabbie, unprovoked, left the upstairs play area and grabbed my coat and shoes because she wanted me to put them on. I don't know what triggered Gabbie to want to go outside. Maybe I mistakenly said something. It was an abrupt change by Gabbie to go from sitting atop the tea table to wanting to outside.
I put shoes and a coat on Gabbie. I assumed that we would go into the backyard and play on the playground, but Gabbie wanted out the front door.
We went outside into the front. I still did not know what Gabbie wanted. She walked around my car to the backseat passenger's side of the car where I have her car seat installed. She tried to open the car door, but it was locked.
We went back to the front door. My keys were near the front door. I got my keys, unlocked the doors, and Gabbie climbed into the car. She wanted in her car seat. I obliged. Strapped her in. Went back inside the house and told CP that we were going for a drive.
We drove for 45 minutes from 5:15 to 6:00 p.m. We watched a train. We visited the animals along Dunlop Rd. A young couple had pulled over and fed the animals cucumber slices. A large pot belly pig ambled around outside the fenced area. I came up to us. Gabbie got nervous and wanted me to pick her up. The young couple gave us a cucumber slice, but Gabbie did not want to feed the animals. Many different animals were up by the fence near us. Gabbie liked to watch them and call out their names and/or make their animal noises.
I left CP and Brad's house in the early evening.
Fri, Oct 25 - Sun, Oct 27
CP and Brad went away to attend a wedding. Rhonda and Jody took in Dominic and Daisy.
I arrived at CP and Brad's house at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, shortly after Gabbie was put into her room for a nap, but she was still awake.
I spent Friday and Saturday nights at CP and Brad's house, watching Logan, Roo, Tilly, and Gabbie.
Deb joined us in the early afternoon on Saturday, and she spent Saturday night at the house.
On Saturday evening, Deb, Gabbie, and I went to our house to get Barney who spent the night with us at CP and Brad's.
CP and Brad arrived home in the early to mid-afternoon.
Deb, Barney, and I left soon after.
We arrived back at our house around 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Late Friday afternoon, Gabbie and I spent 90 minutes at the playground park, located along Lewis Ave in Temperance.
Then we visited our home so that I could check on Barney, let him outside, and feed home. While at our house, Gabbie played with the small, toy-like musical toys, blowing horns and whistles, shaking things, and banging on percussion instruments.
On Saturday morning, Gabbie would not let me put a shirt on her around 10:00 a.m. We were going to leave to play outside somewhere, such as Wildwood Metropark before the rain moved in by early afternoon. But Gabbie would not let me put a t-shirt, sweatshirt, nor a flannel shirt on her. I tried different shirts to see if anything was acceptable. I finally gave up and let her sit on the floor in the dining room area, fussing. I sat down in the living room to watch sewing videos on YouTube on the TV. After I sat down, Gabbie ran over to me and climbed up into the chair with me. We got her blanky. Gabbie said, "Dory?" so we watched Dory and stayed in.
Finally at about Noon, Gabbie was interested in leaving the house. She let me put the flannel shirt on her. After we got into the car, sprinkles of rain started falling. I had planned to take Gabbie to the Lewis Ave park, but the big rain area moved up from the south. We drove into more steady light rain. Obviously, no outdoor playing. We drove around for a while. We visited the Dunlop animals. We drove to Luna Pier. I got out to watch Lake Erie roiling in due to the brisk E-SE winds. Since it was raining, I did not get Gabbie out of the car. I stood outside my car briefly and then we drove on. Gabbie got upset because she did not get out.
When we arrived back at the house, Gabbie was still upset, especially since she did not get outside to play and move around. But Deb had arrived while we were driving around, and when Gabbie saw Nana ("Nee-naw" per Gabbie), Gabbie brightened up and was excited with joy.
On Friday night, Gabbie took herself to bed at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday afternoon, I could tell that Gabbie was not tired. We did not play hard enough in the morning. She went to nap around 3:30 p.m. She took herself to bed at 9:30 p.m.
Gabbie awoke on Saturday morning at 7:50 a.m. On Sunday, she awoke around 7:30 a.m. before I awoke. Gabbie woke up Nana. I awoke hearing Gabbie saying repeatedly loudly, "Bar-nay." Gabbie was playing with Barney or giving Barney a treat. But Gabs says Barney's name well. I don't remember her saying Barney's name until this weekend. She said Barney's name on Friday evening when we visited our house.
On Sunday while the three of us played in the living room on the floor, Nana taught Gabbie to tickle my knees. Of course, I faked that the knee-tickling bothered me, which made Gabbie laugh hard, belly-laugh style.
Tue, Oct 29
I met CP, Gabbie, and Dominic at the Indian Creek Zoo at 10:00 a.m. It was my first visit to this place. I did not know that it existed until CP mentioned it on Monday evening.
The weather was nice. The zoo was heavily wooded around it and throughout the grounds. Beautiful fall leaf color. The placed contained many fairly common animals.
We bought a bucket of sliced carrots. We fed the deer and the alpaca. One alpaca sneezed on me. I need to wash that flannel shirt.
Gabbie did not want to feed the animals, but she would direct CP and me to feed the animals.
We liked the one giraffe named Puzzles because it followed us along the fence, bending its long neck so that its head was only a foot or two from us. I had never been that close to a giraffe. It's easier access here than at the Toledo Zoo.
One of the workers permitted us to feed carrots to the giraffe that was obviously begging us for food. The zoo sells food in the store to feed to the giraffe. It's probably lettuce or something similar. That costs $25, I think. But this worker let us feed our carrots to the giraffe.
Even when I had tiny carrot pieces, the Giraffe was delicate and precise with its long tongue to snag only the little carrot piece without engulfing my fingers and hand. It was amazing for something that large.
We walked into the parakeet building with the birds flying around us. Gabbie laughed with joy.
In the beginning, Gabbie carried her small stuffed lady bug. I call it beetle, and Gabbie says something like beetle.
Gabs likes to move quickly, like at the Toledo Zoo. She doesn't dwell long at any exhibit. Gabs told me or us "C'mon" often. She visited Indian Creek Zoo once or twice before.
Gabbie was a bit defiant about walking around different places. We were at the zoo for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Dominic never complained. He was happy and relaxed the entire time.
It was an outdoor zoo. The weather: temp in the 50s, light to moderate wind, partly cloudy sky, sunny.
The animals we visited included:
- Chickens with multiple roosters crowing loudly. Gabbie liked to watch the crowing rooster.
- Reindeer. Gabbie said, "deer."
- Blackbuck Antelope
- Red-tailed Hawk
- Parakeet building
- White-tailed Deer. We fed them carrots.
- Bald Eagles - adult and juvenile
- Ducks and geese in a small pond
- Two Great-horned Owls
- Turkey Vulture
- American Kestrel
- Fallow Deer - more carrot feeding
- Timber Wolves that seemed different than the other wolves. Maybe not.
- American Bison
- Alpacas, covering many different colors
- East African Crowned Cranes
- American Black Bear
The monkeys and the bobcat were not visible.
After touring the animals, we spent a little time inside the store, which was nice too. Then we all left at about 11:50 a.m.
The place looked neat, well-maintained. The animals looked in good shape. The birds of prey were taken in because they were injured.
Late in the afternoon, I went to CP and Brad's house. I arrived around 4:00 to 4:30 p.m. CP needed to do schoolwork at home. I watched Dominic and Gabbie. I left when Gabbie went to bed at about 7:30 p.m.
In the living room when we played, Gabbie made me lie down and place my legs on her so that she could tickle my knees, like we did with Nana on Sunday.
Gabs enjoys watching educational videos made by Cocomelon and some other group that we watched. We did not watch Bounce Patrol today, but she likes those videos too. With Cocomelon, Gabbie enjoys saying the words and acting out the movements. She made me actively participate too.
I left after Gabs went to bed.