Category Archives: Books

Christmas 2018

Alan’s Christmas resumed in the early hours of Saturday morning after returning home from New Orleans.  Alan’s plane landed just before midnight and he made it back to Mayfield at about 12:30am.  After sleeping on the plane, though, Alan was wide awake and ready to see what Santa left for him — a Cars 3 Super Mack Truck!!  Super Mack, which transforms into a motorized race track, was exactly what Alan told Elfie he wanted, keeping Elfie’s stellar track record as a messenger alive.

Alan also received gifts from me in his stocking, including the 6th book in the Dog Man series: Brawl of the Wild, an Ohio State book for kids called Buckeyes A to Z, a Hot Wheels monster truck ornament, a gingerbread man ornament, a pack of Topps baseball cards (Alan was excited to get a Cody Allen card!), a Buckeyes mini jet, a Cavaliers car, and three “C” baseballs (including a green one that Alan placed in the living room next to his favorite baseballs from 2018).  Alan stayed up until about 2:30am reading his new book and then telling me about his New Orleans trip (more on that in a separate post) before finally calling it a night. 🙂

Alan’s Favorite Activities

Second grade – Part III – edition of the Top 10:

-Reading Dog Man books!  After Alan was so excited to buy one of the books at the winter book fair, we ordered the other four books in the series.  They arrived tonight and Alan couldn’t wait to start reading them!  Some are being kept in his reading box at school, and others are being kept at home.

-Decorating the apartment for Christmas.

-Setting NFL match-ups with mini-helmets.  Similar to what Alan did with baseball bats, he’s now pairing up football helmets to reflect weekly match-ups.  He’s learned all the teams this year.

-Finding Elfie every morning.

-Drawing pictures of race cars.  Alan also recently bought “emoji” markers that he took to school to use with Brady to label race cars.  He loves them.  Both the Dog Man books and the new markers are a hit with his classmates!

-Browns games.  Alan has enjoyed following the Browns in addition to Ohio State this season.  The Browns played this past Saturday night against the Broncos in Denver for a special Saturday night game.  Alan followed on Gamecast as we drove from Luke’s house to Grandma Debbie’s.  After the game ended on a Jabrill Peppers 4th-and-10 sack, Alan called me to celebrate.  I loved getting that call from him!

-“Lexia” sessions.  Alan is up to Level 14 now.

-Swimming at the Wildcat Fitness Center.  I’ve been meeting Alan at the pool more frequently lately.

-Christmas crafts!

-Science experiments at school.  Gravity and motion have been two recent subjects.

Winter Book Fair

Alan and I braved some bad weather this evening to stop by Millridge for the winter book fair.  The snow wasn’t going to keep Alan from one of his favorite after school events.  Alan was very excited to buy the book Dog Man Unleashed, as well as Let’s Go, Rescue Trucks!  I was happy to learn that Alan loves the Dog Man series and reads it at school regularly.  I think someone is going to get a few more books in the series this Christmas!

Alan read some of Dog Man Unleashed at his desk, before we went home to light candles on the 5th night of Hanukkah.  While at school, I also got an up-close look at “Baseball Land” – Alan’s creation from the November 1st trip to the Innovation Center.

Fall Weekends

Alan’s weekends this fall go something like the following:  Friday night hangouts with Daddy, followed by Saturday lessons and Sunday fun.

On Fridays we’re likely to play one of our board games together (Sorry!, Mouse Trap) and arrange baseball bats by match-ups.  Saturday lessons kick off with swimming at Hawken and are followed by piano and violin lessons back-to-back at the Music Settlement.  On Saturday nights, Alan heads to Grandma Debbie’s to see his cousins and sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s house!

Sundays involve taking Tata to Giant Eagle for shopping and then stopping by the apartment to have lunch and play.  We also usually play baseball or tennis too.  Occasionally we stop by the Wildcat Fitness Center as well.

There’s not too much schoolwork to do on weekends this fall.  Alan does do practice math problems though.  And we participated in Millridge’s Read-a-thon for the first time!  Alan logged 480 minutes while reading 22 books this month.

2nd Annual ‘Guys Only’ Week

For the second October in a row, Alan and I had extra ‘buddy time’ while Veronica went traveling for a week!

Together we had quite a week+, starting on the night of 9/27 and lasting through tonight.  There was a lot of math homework (50 problems a day), music (in the car on the way to school), books (it was Millridge Read-a-thon week), and even dad jokes (written on notes placed in Alan’s lunch bag).  There was also The Great Coffee Spill of 2018 mixed in, which fortunately we overcame.  🙂

We devoted a day (last Sunday) to board games.  Then midweek we went to Party City and bought a new one, Mouse Trap.  Alan loved it!

There was also sports (& creations).  Alan watched OSU beat Penn State while building the Lego Coast Guard set, then watched OSU beat Indians while building a new Tinker Toy 16-wheeler.  We watched the Browns upset the Ravens on a last second field goal in OT(!).  And we hit baseballs at the park, two days after Indians day at school in honor of the ALDS.

Fortunately Alan had some meditation time with this classmates after all the excitement at home.  🙂

Summer Sleepover

With his traveling behind him, Alan could finally get what he’s been waiting for this summer – a sleepover with Tyler and Carleigh at Grandma’s house!  In fact it was a true summer weekend from start to finish for Alan.

The sleepover took place on Friday night.  Alan brought the Sea Patroller (from Paw Patrol) as the featured toy of the night.  Highlights included the kids picking out donuts from Dunkin Donuts for their bedtime snack and going on a walk in their pajamas with flashlights.  On their walk, they met a woman with a white dog named Misty that Alan liked.  The kids were excited to explain that they were in their pajamas going on a “midnight” walk with their grandma!

On Saturday morning the kids went to the library to get new books (one of Alan’s favorites pictured below) and play with the kitchen set.  Alan’s doing the summer reading program again, and he earned a raffle ticket for reaching the halfway point on his game board.  The kids read and played some more until it was time to go home.

But the fun didn’t stop there for Alan.  Later on Saturday he went to Josh’s house to play with Josh and Killian.  The boys played outside, including in Josh’s backyard pool.   After I picked Alan up, we played two of Alan’s new favorite games – chess and checkers – on our brand new set.  We could have finished the night playing those games, but Alan wanted to run to the park to hit some baseballs until the sun went down.  We’ve been playing a new game when Alan hits a ball far where he tries to circle the bases before I can get the ball and track him down.  He likes showing off his speed ever since the coach told him he’s fast!

On Sunday Alan got to help Tata shop at Giant Eagle for the first time in several weeks due to his traveling.  He enjoys pushing the cart and helping out very much.  Afterwards we hit baseballs again at the park, despite the heat.  It was a full summer weekend for sure!

Spring Book Fair

This evening Alan and I went to the spring book fair at Millridge.  Alan wanted to get a book where he could practice telling time, so he picked out PJ Masks: It’s Time to Save the Day!  He also chose Ten Tiny Dinosaurs – another book in the counting series that he enjoyed from the previous book fair!

Afterwards, since the weather was so nice, Alan played out on the playground.  He showed me his “speed vehicle” that he pretend-drives with Xavier during recess (below, left) and went down the highest slide (below, right).

 

Winter Book Fair

This evening Alan and I went to the winter book fair at Millridge.  Alan read all about Legos, but ultimately we bought Ten Tiny Ninjas and Ten Baby Bears.  Before we left, Alan told me he wants to go to all the book fairs at Millridge (there are three per year).

While we were at the school, Alan showed me the first grade rock garden outside the drop-off/pick-up door!  Alan’s rock is the green one with black stripes.

‘Guys Only’ Week

Alan and I had extra quality time together this week with Veronica going out of town!

Throughout the week, we reviewed schoolwork together (Alan loves sharing his take-home folder contents), and we read Alan’s new library book, Zak’s Lunch.  We listened to Alan’s favorite CD in the car during every morning drive to school. And we certainly made time for fun, including playing our favorite games at home and playing with Alan’s glow-in-the-dark toys under the covers before bed.   It was both a fun and productive week!

Mrs. Russo posted the following picture from class on Tuesday.  Alan told me the class was playing a math game on their tablets.  Alan’s wearing his Cavs championship shirt in the photo, since it was Cavs Day at Millridge.  That night Alan and I watched the Cavs beat the Celtics at the Q to open the new season!

Library Tradition

Alan and I declared a new weekly tradition today: Sunday afternoon trips to the Mayfield Library.  Today was our second straight Sunday visit, and we have decided to make it a weekly occurrence.

Alan of course has a long history with libraries already.  His Mom also takes him to the Mayfield Library to read and check out toys.  In the years before he started Kindergarten, Alan went to the Solon Library weekly with Grandma Debbie.  And before that Alan and I would go to the old Mayfield Library on Saturday mornings when he was 1 and 2 years old.

Last weekend Alan checked out Troto and the Trucks.  Today Alan checked out Truck Stop.  Ever since he was little, he’s loved books about cars, trucks, trains and all other forms of transportation.  And now he’s able to read most of the words by himself.

We saw Noah at the library today too!

7/22/17 update: After we bumped into Noah at the library, we arranged for a play date at Noah’s house.  Alan went over today for a couple hours and stayed by himself.  He said they mainly played baseball (inside) and played with Noah’s hot wheels car launcher — no surprise that’s what Alan wanted to try out.  The boys were pretty riled up when I arrived.  They seemed to have a great time together!

Reading Prize; New Apartment

Alan wrapped up the Summer Reading Program today and got to pick out a free book at the Mayfield Library as a prize.  Alan chose The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day, which was fitting since we moved to a new apartment this weekend!

Alan has been a huge help this weekend — he even helped assemble the bedroom drawers.  We christened our new place by playing games of Go Fish, throwing [soft] balls down the apartment’s long corridor, and shooting hoops on our mini-hoop above the bedroom door all weekend long. I think we’re going to like the new place very much.

“Smartie” of the Week

This week at school it was Alan’s turn to be the featured “Smartie” of the week!  As part of the fun, he got to wear a crown, be the boys line leader, and lead calendar activities all week.  He also got to present his “All About Me” poster (see 12/5/16 post) to the class and have his parents come in and read to the class!

We came in to school this afternoon and read two of Alan’s favorites: Hot Rod Hamster and Ten on the Sled.  Alan turned the pages while we read. He also called on students during the interactive portion of Hot Rod Hamster.  Afterwards I shared facts about Alan — including his love for baseball and the Indians — to the rest of the kids.

It was quite an exciting day overall for Alan, since the kids wore their pajamas to school and watched Polar Express together. At the end of the day, I was presented with another Christmas gift from Alan: the Rudolph artwork pictured below. 🙂