Category Archives: Legos

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.  🙂

Best Saturday Ever

Today’s excitement included swimming lessons during the day and putting together Legos at night.

Alan had one-on-one attention at the pool this afternoon due to some absences in his swim class.  He swam back-and-forth and back-and-forth, compiling quite a few practice laps.

In the evening, Alan put his entire Coast Guard Lego set together!  The set, which he got at his family birthday party, came in 8 separate bags.  Alan just kept going and going and assembled the entire set while we watched the Ohio State football game.  Not only did Alan enjoy his Legos, but he also got to see Ohio State rally to make up a 12-point deficit in the 4th quarter at Penn State to win 27-26!

The first OSU game that Alan watched portions of was against Penn State in 2015.  This game was the first that Alan watched the majority of the game.  We were both ecstatic by the end of the night.  🙂

Alan’s Favorite Activities

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

-Attending Indians games at Progressive Field!

-Batting practice at the Mayfield Community Park and racing Daddy around the bases on every 5th hit.

-The Cleveland National Air Show!

-2nd grade birthday parties at Sky Zone.  (Noah’s up next in October after Grady and Alan!)

-Making Lego and train cities.

-Playing with Tyler and Carleigh Saturday nights at Grandma Debbie’s!

-Following Indians games on Gamecast. 🙂

-Setting mini bat “matchups” of MLB teams every Monday and Friday nights during baseball season.

-Playing cards and “Sorry!”

-Playing badminton and tennis with our new rackets.

Birthday Party for Alan & Tyler

 

Alan and Tyler celebrated their 8th and 7th birthdays at a family party today at Grandma Debbie’s house!  The party was at the same time as the Browns’ season opener, so Alan and I were dressed accordingly.

Alan was in charge of setting up the candles on the boys’ vanilla cake.  When the boys blew out the candles, Alan took the top row and Tyler took the bottom row.

Alan got a lot of great gifts, including the one he really wanted!  It’s almost as if people knew he really likes Legos.

As always, Alan was so glad to have his cousins there!  He was also very proud to show off his new violin, after having his very first lesson yesterday.  He showed it off to the whole family.

Surgery

Yesterday Alan had his first surgery — the removal of his tonsils and adenoids.  He braved through it and hopefully is now well on his way to having three fewer bouts with strep throat next winter as compared with last.

He was brave in the pre-op room, where he played with Dinosaur stickers, as well as on his walk to the operating room alone with the surgeon and nurses.  Alan’s Cavs doggy, which we got at the Cavs v. Suns game in March, was with him in the operating room, wearing  a ‘good luck’ necklace for Alan.  The gold coin on the necklace was a gift from Alan to me on last St. Patrick’s Day.

It was a very tough first 24 hours after the surgery with Alan unable to swallow as much medicine and water as he was supposed to (actually barely any at all).  But following a long night, a visit from Lulu and Rosie helped get things going in the right direction again.  They helped him overcome his fear of swallowing and Alan was able to get down medicine, water, and even a donut!  Later on in the evening, he resumed drinking milk and eating ice cream too.

7/22/18 Update:  Alan continues to get a little better each day.  He still has to take Tylenol for the pain and soreness, and nights have been especially tough for him.  But on the brightside he’s spent the last six days with Daddy or Grandma Debbie playing Chess, Checkers, Go Fish, and Legos.  Alan was excited to at least get the Lego Police Station out of this ordeal!  There have also been a lot of McDonald’s Happy Meals with The Incredibles 2 toys and popsicles/ice cream cones.

7/24/18 Update:  Alan built his Lego Police Station and took a photo for me.  What an awesome Lego city!

7/28/18 Update:  By Day 9 Alan was able to sleep through the night without waking up in pain.  By Day 10 Alan starting using his voice again.  By Day 11 Alan stopped having to take Tylenol.  Today, Day 12, Alan is now back to full strength and will get to see his cousins tonight! 

Last Day of 1st Grade

This morning I continued the tradition of taking a photo of Alan at the bus stop on the last day of the school year.  And Alan continued the tradition of not finishing chewing his breakfast in time. 🙂

At school, the kids had an all-grades awards assembly in the morning.  Alan received the “WOW” (What an Oustanding Worker) award for his class, which went to the student that “best demonstrates a positive work ethic in the classroom and always gives 110%.”  Alan’s name was called during the assembly and he came to the front of the gym.  There he took a photo with the other first grade recipients.

From 11am-12, the school had an outdoor picnic for the kids featuring hot dogs and chips.  Parents were invited, so I was there too.  Alan ate his lunch with me on the playground equipment that he named the “speed rover” (shown in the Spring Book Fair post).  De’Onta, Ella, and Brooklyn later came over to join us.

When Alan was eating a popsicle on the swings, Ella — who has tended to make her way into my photos of Alan this year — invited Alan to play with her.  Alan described it as “nice, but also annoying” that she wanted to play with Alan the whole time and didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.

After the picnic I went home, but then met Alan at the bus stop.  I waited for him while he finished building the Lego fire station that he bought with a $140 piano scholarship that he just received at the Music Settlement.

Then we hung out at McDonald’s and talked about his last day of school.  He told me about the 5th grade “clap out” ceremony and commented that it’s always a little sad when school ends.  He’d probably be fine going to school year-round if that was possible.

ABC Countdown – Week 5

“ABC Countdown” recap from the past week:

Monday was “Rock Star Day.”  Mrs. Russo was absent, so this activity actually got moved to Tuesday.  Alan’s class listened to their favorite Kidz Bop songs!

Tuesday was “Show and Tell Day.”  Alan brought in his newest Lego – a coast guard rescue boat and jeep – which he just bought last Friday night (pictured above).

Wednesday was “Take a Break Day.”  Alan said his class took more study breaks than usual during the day.  During one break, the kids painted with their art docent (pictured below).

Thursday was “Unhealthy Snack Day.”  Alan brought in Cool Ranch-flavored Doritos.

Friday was “Video Day.”  Alan’s class watched Finding Dory and ate donuts that Mrs. Russo brought in for the class (the kids voted on a donut party for their latest class reward).  Alan ate a glazed donut.

One other note about Friday:  Alan delivered a card to Mrs. Russo that he made for her (pictured below).  He’s enjoyed first grade so much!

Toys “R” Us Goodbye

Following the news that Toys “R” Us was going out of business, Alan and I decided to make one last visit to the Mayfield Heights store – where Alan first fell in love with trains during his toddler years.

After we walked up and down all the aisles for one last memory, Alan picked out a Lego and a Hot Wheels car mat.  Then we took the photo above at the same train aisle where we used to spend many Saturdays playing with the Thomas the Train display table (see: http://alans-story.grilledshane.com/?p=57).

The Thomas display might no longer be around, but Alan did find an Imaginarium Train Table display with a whole train city that still captured his attention.  Alan told me he wished he was small enough to ride in the steam engine. 🙂

Student of the Week

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!

Christmas 2017

Alan woke up this morning to find the Hot Wheels Super Ultimate Garage under the Christmas tree!  It’s the largest gift he’s ever received – from Santa or from anyone else.  He talked about it for weeks and had Elfie deliver the request to Santa early in December.

After both Elife and Santa came through for Alan last night, we assembled the garage and parked Alan’s cars on it — including the Indians, Browns, Cavs, and Ohio State cars and trucks that Santa put in Alan’s stocking.

We played all morning until it was time to open presents with Tyler and Carleigh at Grandma Debbie’s.  The Hot Wheels theme continued there, as Alan received a Hot Wheels Roto Revolution toy from Grandma Debbie!  Alan and Tyler faced off and mastered the game in no time.  Grandma Debbie’s upstairs study is now home to the most [heavy duty] toys in one place that require D batteries.

Before the day was over, we took our annual photo on the stairs (after a one year hiatus when Josh wasn’t able to come home for Christmas).  Merry Christmas!

  

Family Party

Alan got to see all of his cousins today, as the whole family got together to welcome home Josh and Silke.  Two of Alan’s holiday gifts — a Lego jet and limousine set from Tata & Papa and the Cars 3 Florida Speedway track from Robbie & Jill — were a hit at the party amongst the cousins.  After playing indoor tag and hide-and-seek for the first portion of the day, the kids then worked on the Legos and put the racetrack to the test.  They had a blast, and played until the party broke up.

Fortunately for Alan and Tyler, their own party continued well into the night as they had a sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s!  Alan let Tyler fall asleep around 11pm, and when they woke up the next morning, they went right back to the racetrack. 🙂

Christmas 2016

For Alan, this Christmas weekend was a characterized by cousins, friends, fun times, and a straight haul of Paw Patrol, Miles From Tomorrowland, and Lego toys!

Friday, December 23rd:

Alan started the day on Friday by making his annual visit to see Luke in Streetsboro, where Alan’s first gifts of the weekend were Legos and books!  But I think Alan enjoyed playing with Luke more so than receiving the Legos. 🙂

Later in the night, Alan had a sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s.  We tried out the new Paw Patrol table we got for doing homework and played Alan’s favorite game: “Go Fish!”

Saturday, December 24th:

Alan and his cousins got together to open toys, chase each other around, and have a blast at the family party on Saturday.  Alan received all the toys pictured above thanks to his grandparents, Papa and Tata, and Robbie and Jill.  Included in the haul of toys was a Paw Patrol train set, various Miles from Tomorrowland vehicles, a Lego fire truck and police car, and an appropriately-timed John Glenn space shuttle toy from 1998 (one of Daddy’s favorites)!

Following the party, Alan went home and starting putting together his Legos.  He also made hot cocoa for Santa and put out carrots for the reindeer before going to sleep.  We kept the Christmas tree lights turned on so that Santa could find his way. 🙂

Sunday, December 25th:

This morning Alan woke up to find that Santa gave him an Indians car and an Indians van (as written on his Christmas wishlist at school), as well as the Paw Patrol race track pictured above.  He got everything that he wanted from Santa!  After assembling the race track, we finished putting together the remaining Legos from yesterday.  Then it was off to open presents with his Mom!

There will certainly be a lot of new toys for Alan, Tyler, and Carleigh to play with at Grandma Debbie’s house in the weeks and months ahead!

Highlights of Summer

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With kindergarten just two weeks away, here’s a look at the highlights of Alan’s summer!

Alan saw both of his uncles, including Uncle Josh and Uncle Bobby — plus Meghan, Tyler, and Carleigh — on separate visits this summer. Josh took the photo above, from down on the rocks at Chagrin Falls.

To prepare for kindergarten, Alan completed his first summer reading program at the Solon library.  And he graduated from Safety Town!

On the baseball field, Alan completed his first baseball season.  He made great strides in learning to catch a ball with his glove, and he successfully learned to hit a ball without the aid of a tee!

Alan also picked up a new hobby.  He loves building with legos, and he even learned how to follow the instructions on his own (when he’s not creating awesome wrecking ball trucks with his imagination).

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