As soon as Alan got back from New Orleans, he made this card for Tata, who was in the hospital after injuring her pelvis in a fall. It traveled with Tata to her rehab center too, where this picture was taken. 🙂
Alan and I watched the Cavaliers beat the Rockets 117-108 tonight at the Q! Alan was excited to see Collin Sexton in person for the first time. And Sexton did not disappoint, as he scored a team-high 29 points in the win.
Upon our arrival at the Q, Alan measured up against the player he represented in the starting lineup during last June’s NBA Finals – Tristan Thompson!
Next Alan found our names on the floor of the Wine & Gold Headquarters. This year our entry reads “Scott & Alan Miller.”
Our next stop was the team shop. Alan bought a Cavaliers stuffed elephant and named him “Wajibu,” since Blue House (Team Wajibu) has an elephant as its mascot. Wajibu will fit well at home with “Lucky” (dog) and “Cav-ee” (duck).
On the way to our seats, Alan made another great sign! He came up with the idea of drawing a sword slashing the opponent (a rocket in this case) in half, just like the graphics he saw on the Humongotron during the Finals. He also used a stencil to draw the “C” logo.
After getting some popcorn at Alan’s request, we sat and watched the rest of the game from our seats. We had a blast watching Sexton lead the Cavaliers to victory. We shared a lot of giggles too, as Alan got a kick out of taking my phone and taking close up pictures of his face and my shirt. 🙂
All-in-all, we had a perfect day together. Earlier in the day, we watched Ohio State beat Michigan 62-39. We watched every second of the game and celebrated every Ohio State score together. Considering 62 points were scored (an all-time record for an opponent of Michigan), we tired ourselves out!
11/25/18 Update: The Browns capped a remarkable sports weekend by beating the Bengals in Cincinnati. The Cavaliers, Buckeyes, and Browns combined to go 4-0 over Thanksgiving weekend, and Alan and I watched almost all of the action together. If only this weekend could last forever…
The Spring session of Chinese (Mandarin) class at the Cleveland Public Library came to a close today. After missing most of the Fall session because of basketball, Alan returned this Spring without missing a beat. Alan paid attention very well and was one of the best students of the class. It was no easy task with class sandwiched between piano lessons and fun evenings with Grandma, Tyler and Carleigh.
Over the last 4 weeks, Alan learned….
Sports! (Alan is demonstrating basketball, or “lan qui”):
Alan learned a lot during language study time (first hour of class), but perhaps his biggest accomplishment of the Spring was how well he did with the martial arts portion (second hour of class).
Sometimes the class played games during the second hour.
Other times they were serious about learning martial arts.
After not wanting to participate initially, Alan later started to master the learned sequences. In the final session today, the class divided in half for a team competition. Alan was the leader of his half and led his team to victory! After class, Alan demonstrated his winning moves one more time. 🙂
Alan and I ventured to the Q tonight to watch the Cavaliers beat the Suns 120-95! Alan was excited to see LeBron, Love, and JR Smith, as well as learn about the new Cavaliers acquired at the trade deadline.
The first thing we did upon arriving at the arena was to buy popcorn and head to our seats to watch the players warm up. But after seeing fans on the Humongotron with signs, Alan wanted to make one too. So we went back out into the concourse and Alan went to work. He drew LeBron James making a basket at the buzzer to beat the Suns. 🙂
Afterwards we went back to our seats and watched the whole first half. We held up Alan’s awesome sign during all the breaks in the action hoping to get on the Humungotron. The Cavs built a big lead in the 2nd quarter so Alan was very pleased when updating his calculation of “the diff.”
At halftime Alan stopped at the team shop and bought a stuffed dog to go with the duck we bought last season and the bear we bought earlier this season. Alan also got a foam Cavaliers shield and a couple Cavalier balls – one soft and one bouncy.
Then it was back to our seats to watch the remainder of the game. Alan wanted to stay for the whole game, so we did. Towards the end, we went down to the lower level to get a better look at the court before leaving. It was an awesome Friday night hangout together!
The week of January 29th through Feb 2nd was Alan’s week to be the featured student of the week in Mrs. Russo’s class!
On Monday, Alan turned in his “Emojis About Me!” poster, in which he revealed his favorite subject (tie: gym and library), animal (Lulu), hobby (learning music), holiday (Christmas), food (Chinese bean sprouts), and sport (tie: baseball and basketball). Alan also worked in stickers/mentions of some of his other favorites, including parents, cousins, swimming, Cars 3, the Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage, and Tribe Fest!
On Tuesday, Alan brought in one of his “Lava Crawler” Lego vehicles (pictured on the far left below) for show-and-tell.
On Wednesday, Alan brought in one of the books we bought at last fall’s book fair – Ten Baby Bears – to share with his class.
On Thursday night, Alan compiled 100 loose Lego pieces as part of a homework assignment to collect and bring in 100 items in honor of the 100th day of school (Friday)!
On Friday, Alan’s big week culminated with his parents visiting class to help him present his poster. We shared pictures and told stories about Alan. I made sure to bring pictures of Tyler, Lulu & Rosie, the Super Ultimate Garage, Alan meeting Jose Ramirez, and Alan in his LeBron jersey. Then the class presented Alan with a “star student” book that they made. It was full of nice comments about Alan, which he loved to hear.
Alan was all smiles with his arm around either Mom or Dad the whole time. When I took out my camera, some of his friends, especially Ella, wanted in the pictures too!
Afterwards I got to take Alan to lunch. He picked McDonald’s of course – our favorite hang out spot!
For his Thanksgiving homework assignment, Alan disguised a turkey as a construction worker to avoid being spotted on Thanksgiving. It was a throwback to the same preschool homework assignment for Mrs. Davisson’s class, when Alan also disguised a turkey as a construction worker. Alan’s interests haven’t changed since then!
To Alan’s delight, fall weekends this year have been following a similar formula to last year.
Friday nights again involve parties with me. Saturday afternoons involve music lessons at the Musical Settlement and Chinese & Martial Arts class at the Cleveland Public Library. Best of all, Saturday nights involve visits to see Tyler and Carleigh and sleepovers at Grandma Debbie’s house!
Sundays can include trips to the Wildcat Fitness Center to practice basketball, visits to see Tata & Papa, or playing “Go Fish,” the Cars 3 Memory Game, or fidget spinner battles with Daddy.
On Monday mornings at school Alan has to write in his journal about what he did over the weekend. Alan said that he enjoys writing about playing with Tyler the most. 🙂
(Pictured is a Chinese lantern craft that Alan made for his Mom).
A behind the scenes look at Alan’s MLB debut:
The day was made possible by Robbie and Jill winning an auction that allowed Alan to be in the Kids Starting Lineup. We found out the great news on April 17th. Alan was thrilled when I told him over the phone that day. I can still hear the happy sound in his voice while saying “Whaat!?” when I told him the Indians need him on the field before the game.
On April 19th Alan created artwork which depicts his family driving to Progressive Field to see him on the field. In the drawing, there’s a Hyundai (Daddy), Honda (Robbie and Jill), and Mercedes (Grandma Debbie and Papa) clearly marked on Alan’s highway.
On April 22nd Alan wrote a thank you note to Robbie and Jill and a separate letter to the Indians (pictured above), which we mailed to Progressive Field that day. Also on the 22nd, we bought his very first Indians jersey for the occasion — which he wanted to model with Tyler!
On April 24th Alan and I practiced finding all 9 positions on a baseball field diagram. We also reviewed throughout the week.
On April 30th Alan’s big day went off without a hitch. It was warm and sunny at game time, despite a forecast calling for isolated thunderstorms. It had also rained for most of the previous two days. Alan’s cheering section saved the day, since I was not positioned as close to Alan as I thought I would be.
On May 1st I received the following email reply from Chris Antonetti, after having sent him a scan of Alan’s letter & artwork and a recent photo:
“Thanks for the note, the letter from Alan, and the picture. It’s cool to see Alan sporting his Tribe gear and be so engaged with the team. I hope Alan enjoyed the Kids Starting Lineup experience yesterday. All the best, Chris”
On May 2nd Mrs. Feldman shared the photo of Alan running the bases with Alan’s kindergarten class! When I asked Alan how he felt about that, he smiled and commented “the whole class was looking at me!” I asked if that made him proud and he said “yes.” We also joked together that Alan must’ve left a cloud of dust behind him because it looks like he’s running so fast (Alan loves when we say that).
-Alan received two complimentary tickets for the game, which he and I used to enter.
-Alan found out he was assigned to 3B and Jose Ramirez upon arriving at the Terrace Club (the designated meeting area). Alan was very excited to be assigned to 3B because it was a position he had played during spring baseball. He told me that 3B was the position he was hoping he’d get.
-Alan and I entered the field from the third base line seats next to the Indians dugout. I exited the field from the door directly behind home plate. The kids left the same way they came onto the field.
-Parents had to leave the field a little early (before the kids) so Tomlin could start his warm-up pitches on the mound. The Indians’ field team thought we were at risk of being hit by an errant throw. However, just before the National Anthem, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager played catch right next to us.
-After Alan’s photo reached the Indians website on Sunday evening, it was also posted to Indians Facebook and Twitter the next day.
-When I asked Alan to share how he felt about the Kids Starting Lineup experience overall, he said he was both nervous and excited. And, oh yeah, he’d like to do it again sometime. 🙂
Today was another centers day for Kindergarteners — the first after busy season at work for me — so I jumped at the opportunity to drive Alan to school and spend the morning with him and his classmates!
It also happened to be Sports Day at school, so Alan and I both went in Cavaliers attire. During bellwork, Alan had to write and answer the following questions in his journal:
- What is your favorite sport?
- What is your favorite team?
- Who is your favorite player?
Alan responded with “baseball,” “Indians,” and “LeBron James.” All very understandable answers!
When it was time for centers, I manned a station with a math game. The kids rotated through in groups of three or four. Alan was in a group with his best friends Xavier and Grady. I loved how all three kids combined to cover the Cavaliers, Indians, and Browns with their shirts.
Side note: Alan ended up winning the math game. Later in the day, when I called Alan after he got home from school, he revealed to me that he thought he won because he was wearing his Cavaliers championship shirt.
After the math game, Alan and his friends rotated through other tables that involved puzzles, coloring, and drawing. At one station Alan drew a plane and a truck (specifically a Target truck) that he gave to me to take home. Obviously I loved it.
At the conclusion of centers, I stayed with Alan as the kids ate their snacks, then left for work afterwards. I would’ve stayed for the whole day if I could have!
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. 🙂
Artwork from Chinese Class. Plus a video from martial arts.