Is there a better place to be than at Grandma’s kitchen table with your cousins, dogs, and McDonald’s? For Alan, probably not.
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!
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. 🙂
Thanksgiving was highlighted today by Alan bringing his Thunderhollow criss-cross race track to share with his cousins. They loved crashing cars on the race track. The kids also enjoyed a game of hide and seek with Grandma Debbie!
When we got back home, Alan decorated his new, much taller Christmas tree. After realizing one string of lights wasn’t enough for the new tree, we went to Target to get another set. We also picked up some Cars 3 ornaments, as the year of Cars 3 continues on!
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).
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!
Last night Alan’s summer fun continued with a sleepover with Tyler at Grandma Debbie’s. The highlight of the night for the duo was seeing the movie Cars 3 at the Aurora movie theater. It was Alan’s first trip to the theater at night and Tyler’s first trip overall. Alan’s always been a fan of the Cars series, and he enjoyed the new character, Jackson Storm, too.
Today the kids went to an elementary school playground and McDonald’s. They also played some computer games together. Alan usually doesn’t like to go more than two weeks without seeing Tyler, and they’d play together all day if it was up to Alan.
7/15/17 Update: Alan picked out a new Cars 3 backpack to use in first grade! Both Lightning McQueen and Jackson Storm are featured on it.
Alan had been asking to go to Sky Zone ever since Paige’s birthday party last February. Once I heard Dominick was a big fan too, it seemed like the perfect place to hold a cousins gathering!
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!
Today Alan celebrated Thanksgiving with Tyler, Carleigh, and the rest of the family! He loves seeing his cousins and playing tag with them. Tomorrow they’ll be back for more, as the cousins are having a sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s!
Today was a rainy Thanksgiving, so we couldn’t play baseball like we did last year. But we did continue our tradition of decorating our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving. Alan was in charge of putting up all of the decorations around the apartment as well. 🙂
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!
The birthday festivities continued today for Alan, as he celebrated his 6th birthday with family!
A joint, Blaze-themed party was held at Grandma Debbie’s for both Alan and Tyler. Alan’s cousins Mariah, Dominic, and Carleigh also came over to celebrate, and they even posed for a nice picture (below).
The highlight of Alan’s day — and mine too when I saw Alan’s reaction — was receiving the Stellosphere (Miles From Tomorrowland). Alan had been asking for the Stellosphere for months and could barely contain his excitement when he opened it. That’s not to say he was surprised, though — he knew exactly what the gift was after examining it and shaking it days before. 🙂
At the party, the kids also had ice cream cake, put together a Lego boat (Alan’s gift), and played inside a tent (Tyler’s gift). And of course they chased each other around the living room!
Alan fell asleep on the way home, which was expected after 1) the excitement of the party and 2) probably not sleeping much during his sleepover with Tyler the night before. The two admitted today to pretending to sleep when Grandma Debbie checked on them. 🙂
It was a great day for both boys. With Tyler now living in the area, it probably won’t be the last time those two celebrate together!
Alan’s fun continued through the weekend as he got to do all of his favorite things. He got into more “trouble” with Tyler, showed his new Paw Patroller to Tyler, put together Legos with my friend “Uncle” Luke (Legos were this year’s gift after Tinker Toys were last year’s), and played his favorite parking garage rescue game with Robbie and hide-out game with Jill.
Due to the mild winter we’ve been having, Alan and I also got to play baseball at the park on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day(!). Figuring this luck won’t last forever, Alan and I did buy a soft football this weekend to play with outside when it does eventually start snowing. Alan is getting more comfortable with playing catch!
Alan is as happy as can be with Tyler and Carleigh in town for the holidays! Today the family met to open gifts on Christmas Eve. Alan even got to see Mariah and Dominic. The group of cousins had fun playing a modified game of pool (video).
Today Alan and Tyler got together and had a blast as usual. They played with a ball, played trains in the closet, shared chips while watching TV, and jumped on the bed!
Look how big Carleigh is getting!
This week Bobby and Meghan visited from Virginia with Tyler and 3-week-old Carleigh. Alan was thrilled to see his cousins, and when speaking of Tyler and himself, Alan proudly declared to me with a big grin:
Throughout their week together, the two ‘troublemakers’ shared plenty of laughs, chases, bags of chips, and yes, arguments over toys (fortunately nothing as severe as the “Shopping Cart Brawl of 2012” though).
They explored cars together as well — and this time I mean real cars, as Bobby, Meghan, Grandma Debbie, and Papa took the kids car shopping with them on Thursday and Friday. While Bobby and Meghan picked out their new ride, the boys sat in the front seats of showroom models and “test drove” them.
Then on Sunday, Alan and Tyler teamed up again at a party to introduce Carleigh to the extended family. Alan kept a close eye on Tyler throughout the afternoon. He not only wanted to make sure Tyler was staying out of harm’s way, but also Alan wanted to make sure his toys were accounted for. 😉
Joking aside though, Alan takes his job as the protective older cousin very seriously and he loves Tyler very much.
All-in-all it was a great week for the two cousins, and it ended with a hug and a high five. Below are some images from the week.
P.S. Alan enjoyed meeting Carleigh (as did the whole family), but Alan will probably be more interested in Carleigh when she learns how to run with the boys. 🙂