Alaboutnothing Official Blog

May 26, 2009

Candy Land Marathon

Filed under: Family — alaboutnothing @ 10:42 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Candyland delux

 This Memorial Day weekend Discovery Channel had their “Deadliest Catch” marathon, History Channel had their “Band of Brothers” marathon and we have our 1st annual Candy Land marathon.

  A few months ago we purchased Candy Land for Gaba and she took to it immediately.  She not only wanted to play the game every waking moment, but after three days she wanted to change the rules. 

  The basic point of the game is to pick cards with color pictures and move your marker to the next matching color square on the path to the Candy Land Castle at the top of the game board.  If there are two colors on the card you pick, then you move to the first color square and then on to the next color square along the path. Then there are “gift” cards that have a picture that match strategically placed squares with the same picture on the path.  If you pick one of these then you move your marker either forward or backward to the matching square of the picture on the card.  The “gift” cards are Gaba’s favorite cards even if it means going backwards on the board.  As each card is used it is discarded in to the used stack and not used again unless s re-shuffle was required to continue the game.  Click here for full description.

  The rule change Gaba wanted was the “gift” cards went right back in to the “picking” stack and were not discarded.  So we tried a few games and we found that it increased the game completion time buy about 80%.

  The marathon however was played under the original Candy Land rules.

  Each of us picked our playing piece (marker) and I used the King Kandy, grandma used Mr. Mint, Gaba’s mom used Lolly and Gaba used the Princess Frostine.  We started Saturday morning at 9:00 AM and continued on until 8:00 PM.  Then started again Sunday morning about 9:00 AM and finished at 5:00 PM.  We played 96 full games, only stopping for food, potty, and sanity breaks.  Of the 96 games Gaba won 30, Gaba’s mom won 25, grandma won 23, and I won 18.

  A good time was had by all and first thing tomorrow morning we are teaching Gaba how to play the card game “war”.  With the fourth of July coming up soon another marathon may be in order and we want to keep it simple and numeric.

 I have nothing more to add except that I now have a craving for Gum Drops.

May 3, 2009

A Gaba Morning

Filed under: Family — alaboutnothing @ 7:25 pm
Tags: ,

 Almost every morning when I am starting my day I get a cup of coffee and sit at my P/C to read the news and check my email.  As I am sitting at my P/C focused on reading the events of the day I hear a voice say “Papa, are you busy?”  The voice is from Gaba (My 3 year old grand-daughter) and I think she knows that even if I was doing heart surgery I would put everything on hold to answer her question.  I turn to Gaba and say, “I am never too busy for you.”  Gaba the says, “Can we go see The Puppy of the day?”  I say, “Sure.”  Then I get up off my chair so Gaba can sit in it and kneel down next to her.  I minimize the screen I was just looking at and then bring up my “iGoogle” .


 The theme on my “iGoogle” is a park and Gaba likes to see what’s happening in the park.  This theme changes depending on what time of the day you are looking at it.  In the morning there are joggers, in the afternoon there are children playing, and at night the sky is dark and the park is empty.


 Then on my “iGoogle” I had three “Apps” just for Gaba.  The first one we visit is “The Daily Puppy”.  Gaba moves the mouse to the picture and clicks on it. (Sample click here) A new window opens and she maximizes the window and I tell he the name of the puppy and read the description to her.  We then scroll down looking at all the pictures.  The, on the same window, Gaba clicks on “Today’s grown up puppy” and we go through the same process.  When we are done, we close the window and return to the “iGoogle” screen where we visit the next two “Apps” “My Pony” and “My Pig”.  On both of these “apps” there is a little box at the top of each and when you click on the box it places a piece of food in that box.  The “Pony” trots over to the food and “eats” it and the “Pig” flies over to the food “eats” it.  Then we are done and we close the window.


 Now we move on to “Word” so Gaba can do some typing.  I set the document format to “Arial” and the size to 72.  Gaba then makes sure the “Caps Lock” is on because she likes only capital letters.  I must say that when we first started doing this she would randomly hit keys on the keyboard, but now Gaba will say “I want to spell my name, Gabrielle”.  I then say the letters out load and she types each one. When she is done I say “next line” and she hits the “Enter” key.  She will then ask for other words and we go though the same process.  Just before we are done, I point to some of the words she has typed and ask her what it spells.  She usually correctly answers on each word I ask about.  When she is done, she clicks on the “printer” icon and prints today’s entries.  She then goes over to the printer and gets the print out, then takes it and hangs up with the others.


 Gaba then will say “Thank you Papa.” and go about her day with her mom.


Nothing can replace this time I spend with Gaba.

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