Category Archives: Video

Tribe Game No. 8 of 2017

The magical season for Alan and the Indians came to a close today in style, with yet another win on a beautiful day for baseball.  Alan concluded his perfect regular season at Progressive Field at a sparkling 8-0!

On our way to the ballpark we walked with many Browns fans, who opted for the Browns-Tribe doubleheader.  The walk was also highlighted for Alan by seeing and hearing a firetruck go down Superior.  As the sound of the siren echoed off the buildings, Alan remarked that he’d for sure have to tell Xavier about it tomorrow at school (Xavier’s a big fan of firetrucks).

At the ballpark, Alan checked in at the Tribe Town MVP table and headed for the nearby souvenirs to buy an Indians fidget spinner (he’s got a Cavs one too — four in all that he has in his backpack to share with friends).

We then entered the Kids Clubhouse, where Alan got a beach ball from the Cleveland Clinic Children’s table that we played with.

He also spent time on the big glove and baseball bat-balance beam – his favorite climbing and jumping activities within the Kids Clubhouse in 2017.

      

On the way out, Alan took a picture at the Kids Clubhouse lockers, showing off his 2017 Tribe Town MVP badge.

Next up we went down to The Corner so Alan could see the Indians’ mini team balls on display.  Alan was glad to see Ramirez and Lindor, and he accurately identified the Francona ball.

Then we returned to the family deck I got Alan some popcorn while he ran the simulated race.  He set a new personal best time of 6.60 seconds!

Alan ate his popcorn while we watched the bottom of the 8th from seats in the lower deck between home and first.  An usher actually offered us to enter his section and sit in two empty seats – first time I’ve ever had that happen.

We watched the top of the 9th standing near section 168, where we met with the group set to participate in Catch on the Field (Alan had been selected at random, we think, from the list of Tribe Town MVPs.  We were originally selected for Sept 17th, but that was rescheduled for today due to the Indians clinching that weekend.  We had tickets for both dates anyway).

We helped salute the Indians as they walked off the field after celebrating the win.  Alan enjoyed watching the high five line in person.  He’s stayed up to see it on TV on Friday nights, but had never seen it in person on a Sunday, since we’re normally under the stadium waiting to run the bases).

After the Indians left the field, our most fun began.  We entered the field down the third base line and walked across the warning track all the way to right field.  On the walk there, Alan commented that he was passing the scoreboard where they showed the flames he saw when Andrew Miller entered the game in the 8th inning.

When we got out to right field, the Indians handed us a specially-marked, soft core baseball to play catch with.  And play catch we did.  We had a blast throwing the ball around.  Alan and I took selfies and also had an Indians employee take our picture (shown at the beginning of the post).

We also wrote Alan’s name in the warning track dirt.  After all it’s Alan’s ballpark; the Indians just play in it!

We’re sad to see the regular season end, but hopefully Alan can at least get back during October for another playoff watch party.  In the meantime, how’s this for an impressive season in review, for both Alan and the Indians:

Alan finished the season with a perfect 8-0 record.  It started with his MLB debut in the Kids Starting Lineup in April and ended with Catch on the Field in October.  In between, there were personal bests set all throughout the family deck.

Meanwhile the Indians won 22 games in a row on the way to 102 overall, won the AL Central by 17 games, led MLB in ERA, had five all-stars – including two MVP candidates in Ramirez and Lindor and the likely AL Cy Young winner in Kluber…and the list goes on!

Let’s go Tribe this postseason!

Cars 3 Speedway

The summer of Cars 3 has turned into the fall of Cars 3 as well.  Alan got an awesome new battery-powered Cars 3 Speedway this weekend!  He loves how it shoots cars around the criss-cross track that causes crashes. 🙂

We picked up the new toy at Target today after leaving Grandma Debbie’s.  We assembled it afterwards at Tata’s.  Alan contributed his tooth fairy money to the purchase.  He had just lost a tooth (the one next to his left front tooth) early in the morning on Saturday while still in bed.  The tooth fairy then found him at Grandma Debbie’s on Saturday night!

Tribe Game No. 7 of 2017

Alan’s perfect record continued at Progressive Field today, as Alan moved to 7-0 on the season.  Alan & Corey Kluber continue to be an unstoppable combination, dating back to Alan’s very first Indians game in 2013, when Kluber shut-out the Nationals 2-0.

There was a lot to celebrate at the ballpark today following the recent 22-game win streak and the Indians clinching of the AL Central late last night (not to mention it was Alan’s annual birthday game!).  Alan and I enjoyed watching the Indians raise the AL Central Division Championship Flag during pregame while the fans applauded the team.  Alan is aware of what has been going on this week, as he watched the recording of the walk-off for win #22, as well as the ovation after the win streak ended.

During the game, Alan enjoyed the big slide in the Kids Clubhouse and recorded his second career sub-7 seconds time in the simulated race.

Alan didn’t get to run the bases postgame (it was cancelled so the Indians players could salute the crowd), but that was okay for Alan.  He wanted to get home and put together the lego seaplane that he received from Grandma Debbie at yesterday’s party!

Before we left, we bought an’ AL Central Champs’ pin to go along with the Indians poker chip magnets I bought while attending game #20 of the streak.  Alan plus good luck charms could spell doom for the Indians competition during the playoffs…

Party for Alan & Tyler

Alan and Tyler celebrated their 6th and 7th birthdays, respectively, at a family party today at Grandma Debbie’s house!  This year they had a Cars 3-themed cookie cake.

Alan’s favorite moment of the party was unwrapping the Paw Patrol Sea Patroller.  He could barely contain his excitement.  The cousins had a blast playing with it, as well as the other new toys.

After the party, Alan and Tyler took some photos together, and then they had their annual birthday party sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s!

  

Tribe Game No. 5 of 2017

Alan continued his perfect season at Progressive Field today, as the Indians improved to 5-0 with Alan in attendance following a 12-0 victory over the Royals. To Alan’s delight, we opted to take the transit downtown, and Robbie and Jill — our generous season-long ticket providers — came to the game with us.

Alan was showing off his balancing skills on the large wooden bat in the Kids Clubhouse while the Indians scored a season-high nine runs in the 2nd inning. The scoring came via a 2-run HR by Lindor, a 3-run HR by Santana, and finally a Grand Slam by Gomes — with the latter drawing quite a few families out of the Clubhouse and onto the balcony to join in the cheering!

Out on the family deck, more records were set as Alan beat his personal best race time of 6.89 seconds!  Alan was thrilled to see his first sub-7 seconds time and excitedly reported the news to Robbie.  The new record time must’ve been due to the pre-race popcorn he requested beforehand.

We didn’t have time to hit today as lines were extra long (due to a standing room only crowd at Progressive Field) and the game went fast (no scoring after the 2nd inning).  So we opted not to risk losing our place at the front of the MVP line for running the bases, and lined up during the 8th inning.

I ran with Alan today, while Robbie and Jill watched from the stands.  You could tell which one of us was the record setter, as I quickly fell behind Alan and never caught up, despite the usual log-jam between 3rd base and home plate.   After running, Alan took the camera for selfies and photos from his perspective, including this close-up of Robbie, Jill, and I.

Alan was in a silly mood with the camera out, as evidenced by the following photo that we took behind the dugout.

For the Tribe, today’s win capped a weekend in which the Indians outscored the Royals 20-0 over three games.  It was the first time since 1956 that the Indians shut-out a team for an entire series.

For Alan, it was another great Sunday afternoon at the ballpark with his family!

2017 Chicago Trip

This weekend Alan and I traveled to Chicago for our annual trip.  Below are the highlights.

Friday, August 4th, 2017:

Alan and I flew together for the first time, arriving at O’Hare airport a little after 9:00pm CST on Friday night.  After a quick stop at Target for Alan’s food (and a Peppa Pig train that somehow got in the shopping cart), we arrived at the house.  Alan’s first request was to bring out the Lincoln Logs – a favorite from our last trip!

Saturday, August 5th, 2017:

As soon as Alan woke up on Saturday, he got to work building with the Lincoln Logs.  Together with Robbie, he built the barn and pig-sty pictured below.  Tragically, though, the pig sty was destroyed by a tornado shortly after this photo was taken. 😉

Afterwards we headed to the Chicago Botantic Garden to see the train display.  Alan waited all year to see his favorite model trains again, and he was in train heaven once he arrived.  He told me his favorite train this time was the passenger train (shown below).  However, he certainly got a kick out of the engine that got separated from the rest of its cars too.

   

When we went looking for the butterfly train car – a favorite from last year – we were surprised to find a lady bug train car in its place.  We later learned that the butterfly car rotates with both a lady bug car and a caterpillar car!  Alan requested that we see the other two that were in storage.  He ultimately kept the butterfly at the top of his rankings.

     

Following the Garden, we headed to the Deerfield Public Library, where Alan played with more trains!  He also checked out a book on transportation-related songs and poems and bought two other books involving transportation.

After lunch at Rhapsody Café, it was on to mini-golf at Highland Park with Robbie. Alan started off on fire — scoring 2’s four times on the front nine!  He led me by 1 stroke after nine (while trailing Robbie by just 1) and was hanging in through twelve holes, but then requested that we stop keeping score for the rest of the day.

At the conclusion of golf, Alan called a ‘do-again’ of sorts.  He had so much fun in the morning that he requested a second visit to the Garden (our tickets were good for the whole day) and a second round of mini-golf.  We obliged, and Alan got to experience the fun all over again!

In our second round of golf – this time with Jill as the third player – Alan drained his second career hole-in-one!  One thing is for sure: when golfing in Chicago, Alan will hit at least one perfect shot.  So I asked him to pose for his customary hole-in-one photo again. 🙂

   

During the evening we also took our annual photo at the famous backyard tree (see photo at beginning of post).

Sunday, August 6th, 2017:

Sunday started with a real train ride for Alan!  He rode with Jill from Deerfield to North Glenview.  Alan requested riding on the 2nd level of the 2nd car.  That was important to him after riding on the 1st level last year.  He loved the ride, of course.

We returned home by mid-morning and Alan continued building with Lincoln Logs.  This time he and Jill built one house, one barn, and two garages.  Then he played Monopoly Junior for the first time with Jill.  They played with modified rules, but it was a great first exposure to the game for Alan.

Then it was off to lunch at the Deerfield Square.  After our outdoor lunch, Alan called for a second visit to the Deerfield Public Library.  There, Alan played with his trains, as well as the word game pictured below.

Afterwards, Alan and I unfortunately had to catch our 4:30PM CST flight home.  But not before we snapped the photo below at O’Hare.  While waiting in line for the plane, Alan made a friend named Ashlyn.  She had her Lady (from Lady and the Tramp) stuffed animal chase the Lightning McQueen car that Alan had just purchased, to the delight of several onlookers.

Thanks to Robbie and Jill for hosting us for another fantastic weekend.  Alan’s already looking forward to returning next Memorial Day!

Fun ‘N’ Stuff Round 2

I promised Alan a return trip to Fun ‘N’ Stuff before the summer ended, and today Alan cashed in.  With Alan slated for trips the next two weekends to Chicago and Orlando (actually a Disney Cruise), this is actually his last weekend of summer vacation in Mayfield.

At Fun ‘N’ Stuff, Alan started at mini golf and continued with air hockey, skee-ball, and other arcade games.  Before the afternoon was out, we played four games of air hockey and three rounds of mini golf – Alan’s top two favorites!

He cashed in his tickets earned for the day on twizzlers (for Daddy), lollipops (for himself), and three cars.  That’s my Alan.

  

Fireworks Night 2017

Alan and I spent the evening and night at Mayfield Heights Unity Days — one of our favorite summer traditions.

We followed a similar path as last year, starting with the playground and inflatable games, until Alan found a balloon artist!  He asked for and got the Donatello pictured above, which came with Alan’s special twist: Michaelangelo’s nunchecks.

After that we went to Alan’s absolute favorite activity of the night:  bubble-chasing.  Alan spent a good hour running to and from bubbles with a sizable group of kids (including Mike and Joe from his baseball team and Grace from Millridge).  He loved it so much, he just kept going back for more and more. 🙂

After some more time on the playground, it was about time to get ready to watch the fireworks from our usual spot across from City Hall / in front of Party Place.  But first we purchased a lightsaber and light-wand at the park and then walked to McDonald’s for some fries.  We watched the first part of the fireworks from our car, before Alan [excitedly] spotted his classmate Sam.  We watched the second part with Sam and her parents.

Tribe Game No. 2 of 2017

Today Alan and I kicked off the summer season of Sunday afternoon Indians games.  We came straight from Alan’s baseball practice, so we didn’t arrive until midway through the game.  Alan had only enough time for his favorite activities, which he decided were batting and sprinting.

We did stop inside the Kids Clubhouse for the quick photo opp below (Alan’s idea), two trips down the slide, and popcorn — which seems to have replaced the soft pretzel as Alan’s go-to ballpark food item.

Before long it was time to run the bases!  Alan also took the photo below outside the Indians dugout.

In addition to getting our fill of baseball on this hot, sunny day, we also turned our attention to the Cavaliers.  Both before and after the game we stopped for a few pictures with the NBA Finals signage.  Go Cavaliers!

Note 1: Upon our arrival at the ballpark, we were greeted by a 443-foot foul ball off the bat of Encarnacion that landed about 15 feet from us outside the left field gate.  We watched it sail overhead and land outside the ballpark.

Note 2: The NBA Finals games have been on too late for Alan to watch, but he’s aware the Cavs have reached the championship round once again.  During the Eastern Conference Finals, Alan did watch the Game 2 massacre in Boston with me when the Cavs won 130-86 over the Celtics on May 19th.

Alan’s First Piano Recital

Alan rocked his piano recital today, playing the best version of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” I’ve ever heard.  Grandma Debbie & Papa and Tata & Papa were there to see Alan’s debut performance, along with Veronica and I.

Afterwards we stayed for the Music Settlement’s annual picnic.  Alan would later take home a certificate and a music note trophy to commemorate the completion of his first full year at the Music Settlement.  Way to go, Alan!

Last Day of Kindergarten

Alan’s school year is now in the books!  This morning I photographed Alan getting on the bus one last time as a Kindergartner.  He was still chewing his breakfast as we waited for the bus. 🙂

At school, the kids had an all-grades awards assembly in the morning.  There the kids also recorded a “Let’s Go Cavs” chant on video for the Cavs!  The photo below was taken just before the chant by the assistant principal (and posted to Twitter).  Alan appears on the very left edge of the photo in a gray shirt in approximately the 5th row.

Note: The Cavs went on to clinch their third straight Eastern Conference title by beating the Celtics tonight!

Later on in the morning, I stopped by the school to have lunch with Alan.  Parents were invited in for a hot dog lunch on the last day.

Before I left for work, I watched the kids dance and play in the gym during indoor recess.  It looked like they were having a blast.

Later in the evening Alan told me that he and his friends didn’t want summer to come because they like school too much.  Good news for them is that first grade is just under 12 weeks away!

Tribe Game No. 1 of 2017 – Kids Starting Lineup

On April 30th, 2017 Alan made his major league debut at Progressive Field, playing third base and batting 4th in the Kids Starting Lineup!  Here’s the timeline and recap of Alan’s eventful day:

11:09 –11:39 – Alan and his traveling party ride to the ballpark aboard the RTA Green Line. When Alan arrives at Tower City, he eats his pregame meal: A soft pretzel (his favorite baseball food).

12:10 – Alan enters the ballpark and meets up with the other 7 kids in the starting lineup at the Terrace Club elevators.  A few minutes later, the kids (and parents) head down to the field level and set up on the track behind home plate.

12:20 – Mickey Calloway rolls baseballs to the kids from the Indians dugout.

12:30 – Alan’s cheering section finds him behind home plate; many photos are taken.

12:53 – The kids line up in order and head down the left field line for the National Anthem.  Alan’s cheering section shifts with him.

12:57 – The Hot Dogs and Slider greet the kids while they wait to take the field.

1:03 – The Kids Starting Lineup is announced by Sara Shookman of Channel 3 News and Alan runs out to third base!  Video of the action was captured from the third base seats and from behind home plate (Jumbotron in view).

1:08 – The Indians take the field, and Alan meets Jose Ramirez!  Alan gets an autographed ball from Ramirez before heading off the field.

1:10 – Josh Tomlin throws the first pitch and the Indians game is underway.  The temperature at first pitch is 76 degrees, though it feels much warmer in the sun.

1:20 – Alan and I are reunited under the stadium, and we return to the main concourse to meet up with the family.

1:35 – Now on the family deck, Alan picks up his 2017 Tribe Town MVP souvenirs and enters the Kids Clubhouse.

2:00 – The Indians begin an 8-run rally in the bottom of the 3rd inning – their highest scoring inning since May 2015.

2:10 – Jose Ramirez, likely inspired by Alan, tags and scores on a shallow pop-fly to RF with an incredible tag-avoiding slide.

2:15 – Alan orders the largest box of popcorn either of us has ever seen.

2:20 – Brantley caps the Indians’ 8-run outburst with a 2-run HR to right field.

2:40 – Alan returns to the family deck activities after eating lunch.  He climbs the Lofton wall and hits at Little League Park.

3:10 – Alan beats [simulated] Slider in a footrace and tests his pitching accuracy.

3:40 – This picture is taken:  🙂

4:00– Alan enters the “Kids Run the Bases” line and moves towards the front with his Tribe Town MVP badge.

4:08 – Indians record the final out and beat the Mariners 12-4.

4:15 – Alan circles the bases in record time!  He also coaxes me out of retirement, and I struggle to keep up.  Later a photo of Alan appears on the Indians website in their game recap photo gallery. 🙂

4:20 – Alan stops for some finals photos. He also plays photographer and takes a few photos of his traveling party – plus some selfies – to wrap up the day at the ballpark.

5:04 – 5:32 – We return home on RTA.  Afterwards, Alan wants to watch the train until it leaves the station, which we do because it’s his day.

Hitting Drills

Alan worked on his hitting skills in more depth tonight at baseball practice.  The class started with a race to get warm, then moved to hitting soft toss with a whiffle bat into a screen.  Alan was first in line to hit, then he helped Daddy (the soft tosser) gather the whiffle balls while the other kids took their turns.

At the next station, Alan went first again when the class instructor held out the training stick.  This drill required an aluminum bat, and  Alan was proud to volunteer his personal bat for the class to use.

Fielding Grounders

Tonight Alan put in work [smoothly] fielding grounders, catching pop-ups, and hitting some soft toss at baseball practice.  He made me really proud when he volunteered to hit in front of the class with the instructor at the start of batting practice!

Alan used a brand new 10.5 inch Rawlings glove for the first time tonight, after I surprised him with it earlier this week.  We did our best to break it in as soon as possible, and even put it through a steaming process, which was new to me.

We retired his 9 inch Rawlings glove, which Alan picked out back in early 2014 when he was 3 years old.  Back then Alan didn’t know yet what baseball was, but he knew he wanted that glove when he tried it on for the first time.

Tribe Fest 2017

Today Alan attended Tribe Fest for the first time!  We went straight for the kids activities — Lego building, a pitching accuracy game, and balloons!

At the Lego table, Alan built an awesome airplane with his imagination. At the pitching activity, Alan picked up 2 bullseyes and many more strikes! Once we finally found the balloon station, Alan requested a baseball hat and a sword…and he played with them all night long afterwards.

Can’t wait for the return of baseball season!

11/17/17 Update: When Robbie went to purchase tickets for Tribe Fest 2018, he found a photo of Alan playing with Legos in last year’s gallery! Turns out this photo was actually Alan’s debut appearance on the Indians website.

Fall Weekends

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I think it’s safe to say that no one has more fun on weekends this fall than Alan.

Friday nights involve parties with me.  Saturdays are all about Chinese class at the Cleveland Public Library and music lessons at the Musical Settlement.  Alan’s still going strong practicing the piano and he’s been observing violin performances too!  Saturday nights involve sleepovers at Grandma Debbie’s house (and being silly).

Sundays can involve either playing with Tyler (now that he’s moved to Streetsboro!) or visiting Tata….and they usually end with swimming with Mom at the MHS pool.  Just recently Alan floated on his own for the first time and put his face under water!

Whenever we can find time, Alan also gets some swings in with his new metal bat, which he got when turning six.  October is also the perfect time to collect buckeyes that have fallen from our favorite neighborhood buckeye tree!

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Tribe Game No. 8 of 2016

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Tonight Alan closed out his 2016 MVP season with his first ever night game!  Someone is very happy that 6-year olds are allowed to stay out later. 🙂

Alan found out the best part about being a big kid and going to a night game was the shorter lines for kids activities. Alan barely had to wait to hit, throw, jump, and run!  It was a short night at the ballpark, though, as Alan was in a hurry to meet up with Tyler at Grandma Debbie’s for their sleepover (tomorrow is the big family party!).

Before leaving we tossed a ball around for a bit and said our goodbyes to Progressive Field.  Sadly, tonight was our last game of the season.

Thanks to Robbie and Jill for supplying our tickets this year!  The 2016 season was our favorite at the ballpark yet.  Can’t wait for spring 2017!

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Happy 6th Birthday Alan!!

This little guy is now 6 years old!

The birthday boy decided to celebrate his birthday at the MHS pool this evening, as it’s easily one of his favorite places. He particularly enjoyed swimming the length of the pool with his paddleboard and showing me the new tricks he’s learned in the water recently. He’s been daring enough lately to try swimming without a paddleboard too.

Alan got to sleep in today, since there was no school due to a teacher workday (he wore the birthday crown yesterday at school though, and received a birthday drawing from each of his classmates).  Then he played at home all day until Mom and Dad got off work and brought cake. Just before going swimming, Alan got a long-awaited call from Blaze (from Blaze and the Monster Machines) to wish him a happy birthday!

Not a bad way to celebrate a 6th birthday!  But there’s still more fun to be had this weekend!  To be continued…

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Tribe Game No. 7 of 2016

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Today Alan set a new career high by attending his 7th Tribe game of the season (17th overall).  All went according to plan: The skies were clear, the temperature was comfortable, and the Tribe won the rubber match with the Blue Jays by a score of 3-2 — thanks to a late 2-run Home Run by Jose Ramirez in the 8th!

Alan played his usual activities inside the clubhouse, then surprised me by asking to watch some of the game.  He was mainly interested in seeing the Hot Dog race, but I’ll take it.  We caught the whole 5th inning from the Kids Clubhouse viewing deck, before watching Mustard (Alan’s favorite) win today’s race.

Afterwards, Alan went to the family deck to practice hitting, running, and throwing.  I took a video of today’s sprint from a new angle.

Then it was time to run the bases and take pictures with Robbie and Jill, who drove down to the ballpark with us.  Alan was extra excited to have Robbie and Jill there, and he asked all three of us to run the bases with him.  We did our best to keep up, though Alan was ahead of the pack the whole time!

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Tribe Game No. 6 of 2016

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Another Sunday; another fun day at the ballpark.  A pregame rain delay gave Alan an extra 35 minutes or so at the train table inside the Kids Clubhouse. In addition to playing with his usual toys inside the Clubhouse, Alan also posed for the pictures above and below for the first time — something I had been trying to get him to do all season. I thought they turned out pretty well!

Out on the Family Deck, Alan beat ketchup in a simulated race, hit in the Little League Park (pictured below from a new vantage point this time), and climbed the Lofton wall (which I caught on video for the first time). Alan finished off the afternoon by circling the bases!

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Tribe Game No. 5 of 2016

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Today Alan and I watched the Indians close out the unofficial first half of the season at Progressive Field.  Alan had a surprisingly quick stay inside the clubhouse, as he was in a hurry to get to the big kid activities on the Family Deck!  Alan got to pitch to simulated batters, hit in the Little League Park (pictured above), jump at the Lofton wall, and run a simulated race (pictured below).

Thanks to a 46-minute 5th inning, Alan was finished with his activities well before the game was over.  So we sat and ate in the Right Field District, then got in line early to run the bases.  Alan was first in line and got to lead all the kids onto the field.  Alan loved being the line leader!  He brought me out of retirement to circle the bases with him this time. 🙂

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Just look at that form!!

Alan’s Favorite Activities

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New List:

-Rock climbing! (Picture above was taken at the Mayfield Unity Days festival)

-Hitting baseballs and circling a pretend field at the apartment

-Participating in the summer reading program at the library

-Building with Legos at the Lego Store at Beachwood Place

-Watching movies in the theater (he recently saw Finding Dory with Debbie, after they had previously watched Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip)

-Reading the train book we bought in Chicago

-Riding Escalators at Beachwood Place (by himself, with Daddy waiting on the first floor)

-Swimming!

-Celebrating the Cavaliers’ championship!

-Wearing his new PJ Masks green mask

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Bonus videos: Alan’s solar system and homemade tunnel!

Tribe Game No. 4 of 2016 / Father’s Day 2016

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Father’s Day 2016 was simply perfect.  It featured great moments with Alan and it may very well go down as the best day in Cleveland sports history.

The day started with Alan giving me a card and making me coffee, and it continued with Alan accompanying me to an Indians game.  As we approached the ballpark with other Indians fans, we passed Browns Backers who were tailgating on surface lots (just because). We also saw Cavaliers fans already claiming their Watch Party seats for Cavaliers-Warriors Game 7 in the parking garage across from the Q.  There was definitely a festive Cleveland sports atmosphere that encompassed all of our teams.  I had to stop and take a picture of Alan in the Cavaliers fan zone outside the Q (pictured below).

On the way into the ballpark, I took a picture of Alan next to the Jim Thome statue (pictured below).  Once in the Kids Clubhouse, Alan played with his usual favorite red car, the trains, and the roller coaster toy — which he rode approximately 15 times. But he also added a new green tractor to the playing rotation (pictured below).

We had some extra time to play because not only did we arrive early, but also the game went into extra innings.  So Alan ventured back to the big kids area of the Family Deck, after getting his feet wet there last time.  Alan took swings in the caged mini-field and hit a double in his only at-bat (pictured below).  He also ran a simulated race four times.  The fourth run came immediately after the ballpark erupted on Jose Ramirez’s GW single in the bottom of the 10th, which gave the Indians a 3-2 win.

After the exciting finish to the game – and the customary playing of “Cleveland Rocks” – Alan ran the bases on his own.  Afterwards, we stopped for our annual Father’s Day photo/seflie (pictured above). Alan was his happy and silly self as usual.  🙂

On the way home we made a quick stop to see Robbie, Tata, and Papa so that Alan could play his rescue game. After exchanging some well wishes for the Cavaliers, Alan and I went back home to watch our team in Game 7 of the NBA Finals (How awesome is that to write!).  With Alan watching and cheering by my side, of course the Cavaliers delivered a long-awaited World Championship back to Cleveland!

What a day and night with Alan – the best kid a dad could ever ask for and the true reason I got to celebrate today. Father’s Day is my favorite day of the year, and this one may very well go down as the best I’ll ever have.

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Little Sluggers Part II

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Tonight Alan’s first season of baseball came to a close after a very successful six weeks.  Alan really showed improvement in hitting (both with and without a tee), throwing, and – most especially – catching balls in his glove.  He also learned the “ready position” for fielding and started to pick up the rules of the game.

Most importantly, his interest and enthusiasm for the game has continued to grow.  Alan got to hit leadoff the past two games because he was the quickest to get in line to hit.  He also got to pick his position in the field by always being the first one to run out of the dugout.

I personally loved getting to play the field and run the bases with Alan during games.  We’ll continue to practice together this summer, but I already can’t wait for next season!

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Note 1: Just over Alan’s shoulder you can see his fan club: Debbie, Papa, Tata, Papa, and Lulu.

Note 2: Pictures were taken 6/9/16; Video of handshake line recorded 6/2/16.

Tribe Game No. 3 of 2016

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Alan and I went to the ballpark today for our third Indians game — and first win! — of 2016.  Alan followed his normal routine at first, as he drove his favorite red car and played with the trains for a couple hours.  But the routine changed as the afternoon went on thanks to a 3+ hour rain delay.

Alan took advantage of the extra time in the Kids Clubhouse — and diminishing attendance in the room — by repeatedly taking a turn on the slide (we’re talking 12-15 consecutive times) and racing on the mini roller coaster (probably 10-12 times).

But he didn’t stop there.  He also ventured outside the Kids Clubhouse to the area of the concourse where the older kids play.  There Alan tested his vertical jumping ability on the “Circus Catch” wall (think Kenny Lofton) and tracked his pitch speed (16 MPH) on the Pitching Simulator.   He was pretty good!

Alan told me that next time he’ll be ready to participate in a game with other kids on “Slider’s Field” (also located on the Family Deck).  He’s definitely become more confident in his abilities after being on a baseball team this spring.

Alan did not get a chance to run the bases postgame due to the lengthy rain delay, but that did not phase him.  He still had a blast with his car, trains, power tools, and interactive games!

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Next Stop: Kindergarten!

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Alan ended his preschool career today on a high note with a fun ceremony in Mrs. Jones’ classroom!

The day started off on a normal schedule for the kids, with the ceremony beginning at 10:00. Parents arrived while the kids were at recess, so we watched a year-in-review slideshow while we waited for them. When the kids returned from the playground, they marched in to the graduation song and took their seats.

After the kids sang three songs – one of which the parents were asked to sing along with (the “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes” song) — it was time to present certificates. The younger students went first, followed by the five kids moving on to kindergarten. Fortunately all five, which includes Alan, Natalee, Joshua, Ryleigh, and Meredith, will be back at Millridge together for kindergarten in the fall!

Once the ceremony was over, the parents of the five kids moving on to kindergarten were given 8 x 10 photos of their child wearing a cap and gown. I thought Alan’s photo turned out great!

It was so nice to watch Alan interact with his friends today. He gets along so well with his classmates and it’s a joy to see.

Can’t wait for kindergarten in the fall!

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Little Sluggers

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Tonight Alan kicked off his Little League baseball career at the first practice for Mayfield’s “Little Sluggers.”  Alan had a blast practicing hitting off a tee, catching pop-ups, taking grounders, running sprints, running more sprints, and ending practice with a cheer!

Alan is a member of the Tigers, which he got a kick out of since that’s his favorite animal.  His best friend from preschool, Joshua, is on the White Sox and his neighborhood friend, William, is on the Royals.  Alan was thrilled to find out they were playing in the league this summer!

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Alan’s Busy Week

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This week Alan did the following:

Built a wooden airplane (below) with highschoolers visiting Millridge on Monday.

Went to a real voting site for the Ohio Primary – and asked great questions about voting – on Tuesday.

Had me read all of his favorite books before bed on Wednesday.

Celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at school on Thursday.

Did an early easter egg hunt at Grandma Debbie’s house on Friday.

Made a bird feeder (below) and attended Chinese class and martial arts (where he also won this race) on Saturday.

Had a playdate with Joshua from preschool on Sunday.

What a great week!

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Dreams

Recently Alan shared some of his recurring dreams with me.

One involved him driving Mommy’s Nissan on his own (Note:  Alan’s no stranger to driving, as evidenced here).

Another was based on the Disney Junior show PJ Masks.  Alan, along with his friends from preschool Ella and Joshua, who take on the roles of Gecko, Owelette, and Catboy everyday at recess, were busy conquering villains like Luna Girl.

But the most unique dream he shared involved Alan and I as firefighters.  The two of us were at Mickey Mouse’s Clubhouse with Mickey and Jake (from Jake and the Neverland Pirates), when a fire alarm went off.  Alan and I then took Mickey’s train to the fire and put it out. 🙂

Alan’s Favorite Activities

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New List:

-Typing the numbers 1 through 100 in Microsoft Word (and admiring his work)

-Playing with/kicking a football at the park (as Alan and I wait for baseball season to return)

-Playing PJ Masks at school with Ella and [new student] Joshua

-Building with Legos

Bike-riding through the neighborhood (thanks to this mild winter!)

-Earning stickers at Chinese class

-Reading the Berenstain Bears Go to School

-Anything related to superheroes

-Weekly Sunday afternoon piano performances for Daddy

-Swimming!

Public Performance

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Today Alan played the piano for the first time in front of an audience!  Alan’s preschool class was studying the letter “P,” and Mrs. Jones asked Alan if he’d perform for the class and teachers in the music room.  Alan — as brave as he is — later told me he was happy, not scared, when he agreed to show his friends his new talent.

Despite not preparing in advance, Alan put together a seemless, near two-minute free-style performance. Mrs. Jones even recorded the show so that I could watch it too!  It was a fantastic surprise to get at work today, and I listened to Alan play on a loop all afternoon.

This spontaneous performance comes at a time when Alan is just concluding his first piano class.  Since he enjoyed it so much, Alan is moving on to one-on-one piano lessons.  I’m so proud of him for developing his musical talents!

Here’s the full video from Mrs. Jones:

Sundays with Great-Grandparents

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Every other Sunday Alan goes to visit his Tata (Great-Grandma) and Papa (Great-Grandpa).  It’s a weekend tradition that goes back to when Alan was a baby and spans three different apartments.

Some of Alan’s favorite activities have been playing in the sink and laughing about it (pictured above), reading with Tata, eating corn and graham crackers, playing in his [original] hideout (pictured below over Papa’s left shoulder), maneuvering his body through a fish-shaped drying rack (pictured below over Papa’s right shoulder), and playing with trucks, trains, and construction equipment (pictured below).

When Robbie and Jill are in town, the activities expand to playing “rescue” on the parking garage with Robbie (where workers are rescued from the roof via crane) and the board game Chutes and Ladders with Jill.

It’s always a great time on the weekends at Great-Grandparents’ apartment!

Note: The pictures below were taken by Alan today.  He picked up my phone and just started snapping.  The photos are both artistic and unique to his perspective.  Nice job Alan!!!

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Tribe Game No. 6 of 2015

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Alan wrapped up another fun baseball season today at Progressive Field!  The Indians beat the Red Sox and improved to 4-2 with Alan in attendance this season.  Alan drove his favorite car (video) in the Kids Clubhouse and led the line again during the postgame run around the bases (video).  This was Alan’s 10th career run!

Thanks to the Indians, Alan had a summer to remember.  He looked forward to Sundays for the chance to see the Tribe and regretted when the team had a Sunday road game.  He told me several times, “the Indians need me,” since he was a Tribe Town MVP this year.

Hopefully the winter flies by so Alan can get back out on the field in 2016!

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Happy 5th Birthday Alan!!

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My favorite preschooler and little buddy turns 5 today!!

Alan had an action-packed weekend leading up to his big day today.  On Friday, the family got together for a birthday party at Great-Grandma’s apartment.  The living room looked great decked out in Paw Patrol-themed decorations!  Alan loved opening his gifts, blowing out candles, and running around and laughing with his cousin Brenton.  He was acting silly when I tried to take a picture of him with his Paw Patrol balloon (video).

On Saturday, Alan opened up gifts from Mommy and Daddy (and got a package from Luke!) after getting home from Chinese culture class.  We also hit baseballs at the Oakville park earlier in the day – a new favorite weekend activity for us.

On Sunday, Alan began the day at the Beachwood Municipal Service Center for the 16th annual “Hands-on Trucks” event, where Alan got to see many different transportation vehicles – and a traffic light – up close.  His favorite part was talking with rescue personnel while sitting inside an ambulance!

Then of course Sunday continued with an Indians game!  We met Aunt Jill at the ballpark and also saw Uncle Robbie and Uncle David after they walked over from the Browns’ home opening win.

All of it was an exciting lead-up to today, when I joined Alan at school for his class party.  I read his favorite books (Red Truck and Road Work) to the class while Alan sat next to me at the front of the class wearing his birthday crown and holding his toy red tow truck.  Afterwards the class sang happy birthday (video) to Alan!  Next we sang songs that Alan chose for the class – one of which involved signing all 26 letters of the alphabet (I learned that Alan really enjoys sign language!).  Finally, we passed out Paw Patrol gift bags, which the kids loved.

In the afternoon Alan received his birthday call from the Paw Patrol (a perk of the Nick Jr. Birthday Club).  And in the evening he attended a program at the Richmond Heights library with both Mommy & Daddy.  It was a perfect day. 🙂

Alan thanks everyone for the gifts and attention he received this week!!

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Tribe Game No. 1 of 2015

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You’re looking at the newest member of the Tribe Town MVP Club!

As a proud new MVP attending his first Indians game of 2015, Alan got a souvenir baseball, drawstring bag, jersey, and badge w/lanyard.  The badge allows Alan to move to the front of the line not only at the Kids Clubhouse, but also at the lineup for running the bases!

The first thing we did today after picking up Alan’s gear was head to the redesigned Kids Clubhouse.  Alan’s favorite addition was the two-story slide, which he tried out several times.  He loves it!

Video:  Kids Clubhouse Slide

In addition to playing on the slide, Alan drove his favorite cars and played in the walk-in houses.  After a couple hours in the Kids Clubhouse, Alan did his job, which he takes seriously as an MVP, and ran the bases!  I ran with him this time, but pretty soon he’s not going to need me out there anymore.

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