Tonight Alan attended the Millridge Spring Fling Carnival for the first time. The event was held at Mayfield Middle School, which has a bigger gym than Millridge and, therefore, more space for the event. Alan had a blast playing games and collecting points, which he redeemed for a “Nerf Nitro Sparksmash” toy (pictured by Alan’s knee above) at the end of the night.
He crossed paths with many friends, including De’Onta, Noah, Collin, Luca, and Ella. He also entered raffle tickets for a few prizes — one of which included a package for Fun ‘N’ Stuff! On the way out, Alan was happy to find his entry into the Carnival’s coloring contest hanging near the entrance. He just had to take a picture with it!
Millridge was back in the spotlight again today, this time thanks to the Cavaliers! The Cavaliers declared Millridge the ‘Straight “A” All-Stars’ winning school for the second grading period. Ahmaad, Sir CC, Moondog, and the Scream Team came to Millridge to present a check for $1,000 and lead the kids in a dance off!
This is the second time Alan’s school found itself all over social media this year, with the first being when Fox 8 declared it as a “Cool School.”
Smencils are all the rage in 2nd Grade this year. They were being sold before school the week right before Spring Break, and Alan used his money to buy one. While he was in Mexico, I bought him the whole pack. Our favorites are Bubble Gum, Orange, and Grape Jelly!
Tonight Alan was back at United Skates for a Millridge PTG Skating Party. After the fun he had roller skating at De’Onta’s birthday party in January, Alan couldn’t wait to return to the rink. He saw fellow Blue House friends Gabriella and Nicki at the event, plus some other 2nd graders he knew. He had a great night skating and playing the arcade games!
Tonight Alan participated in the 9th Annual K-12 Districtwide Science Showcase at Mayfield High School! He set up his project in the 2nd grade classroom next to De’Onta and near Xavier. He got to demonstrate his experiment for a large group of onlookers that happened to include the district’s superintendent.
His favorite part of the night, though, was watching the high schoolers see if they could paddle across the pool in self-made boats during the Cardboard Boat Regatta. Some boats sank, but others — including the Batman boat — did not!
Second grade — Part IV — edition of the Top 10:
-Puzzles with Tata and Jill! The one pictured was 300 pieces.
-Playing with a parachuting lion & tiger picked up at United Skates during De’Onta’s birthday party and a parachute picked up at the Cavs game back in November. Tyler and Carleigh have enjoyed them too!
-Throwing [soft] balls down the long hallway at home.
-Skiing at Alpine on Sunday afternoons, even though lessons are over. Alan’s lessons came with a pass for the whole season, and he often still sees his favorite instructor Jen!
-Making a fort at home.
-Making a fort at Grandma Debbie’s.
-Playing Cribbage — which Alan first learned on the plane to New Orleans in December, then perfected with help from Jill. He plays on my phone regularly now and taught me how to play. Below are the results of his first and largest wins.
-Friday nights and Sunday afternoons at the Wildcat Fitness Center.
-Drawing cars and other forms of transportation during indoor recess. And at home too — especially when making birthday cards for family and friends!
-Learning on the Chromebook at school!
Alan and I attended the PTG’s annual Bingo Night for the first time tonight. It was the makeup night from January 25th, which ended up being a snow day. We bought two bingo cards, and Alan won on the first game! He picked out a “stackable spinner” for his prize, which he loves. Each child could only collect a prize once, so Alan had to play for fun for the rest of the night. Alan sat with Xavier, De’Onta, and Grady and had a great time.
Alan presented his science experiment, “Baggie and Pencil Magic,” to his class today. He demonstrated sticking a pencil through a Ziploc bag full of water, while explaining how polymers formed a seal around the hole and prevented the water from spilling out. Alan — with Noah as his volunteer bag-holder — did great and earned a 15 out of 16 for his grade! Alan’s practice last night (pictured above) helped, but so did all the work he put in with Grandma Debbie over the past few weekends. 🙂
Alan will also be presenting his experiment at the District Science Showcase at Mayfield High School on March 14th!
After a fun filled weekend with cousins — and an impromptu trip to Niagara Falls — Alan and I finished reading The Enormous Egg yesterday. And we were just in time for the school party tonight.
After gladly skipping the reptile show in the gym, Alan and I went to the classrooms to learn about dinosaurs. Then we made our way to the cafeteria for fun and games. We did ring toss together first, then after Xavier arrived, the boys played bean bag toss. Alan saw a few other second grade friends, and they hung out together in the cafeteria the rest of the night.
Alan went home with a blue dinosaur — and of course an egg! Alan picked a green egg, which also had a mini dinosaur inside.
Today Alan played at Zero Gravity in Eastlake, where he attended Joshua’s birthday party. Brady, Xavier, and Liam were there too. Alan had lots and lots of fun on the inflatable slides. He played for three hours and easily could have stayed longer!
Alan has made the most of indoor recess during the winter months by practicing his drawing skills. He loves drawing cars, trucks, planes, and trains and he teaches Brady how to make them too. This week, Alan drew a continuous train on several sheets of paper. Mrs. Harris took note of it and posted it online. Alan said I could have it for my birthday present. 🙂
A last minute cancellation by a room parent allowed Alan and I to be together for the second straight Valentine’s Day party at Millridge. The kids passed out valentines, ate cupcakes, and made bead art! Alan’s bead art was a cactus, and he assembled it without help.
Alan gave out spaceship valentines to his friends, and his favorite valentine received contained a paper football that he and Noah got very excited about! Alan’s valentines bag of course had a car drawn on it. 🙂
Today Alan found out year two of the “One School, One Book” program will feature The Enormous Egg. The highly-anticipated reveal occurred this morning at an all-school assembly in the gym. Alan wishes the main character would have been a dog once again, but he’s excited to get started reading!
The 2nd grade birthday party circuit rolled through a new venue today, as Paige invited Mrs. Harris’ class to Playground World. Alan played on various playground equipment for 2 hours straight. His favorite activity was shooting baskets while jumping on a trampoline. I set him up with passes and he made layups and long distance shots!
Today Veronica gave a presentation to Mrs. Harris’ class about Chinese New Year. This was the third straight year Alan’s been able to have Mom as a guest speaker. He looks forward to it every year!
Skis or skates, it doesn’t matter — Alan has it covered. Solid footing is boring for Alan, so he took to the roller rink today for classmate De’Onta’s birthday party at United Skates in Wickliffe. He took a little time to warm up, but before long Alan found his rhythm and skated smoothly. Alan also enjoyed the arcade games with his friends.
For the first time, Alan’s a published author. After the success of last year’s private showing of his Alphabet Book prototype, he designed and published the true first edition. It received 5 stars today upon its release!
Alan returned to Wickliffe Lanes today for a joint birthday party for Cassidy and Xavier. The party date was picked to be in between Cassidy’s birthday (November) and Xavier’s (February). Alan picked up one spare on the day and had a great time seeing his friends, who he’s missed while on winter break. That includes Brady, who Alan set a play date with on January 2nd.
The kids took one serious and one funny photo before eating cake and the famous “giant donut” that is always a part of Xavier’s party. The Browns’ final game of the season was on TV during the party, and Alan celebrated when he saw the Browns score their first TD of the game. Alan will miss football this winter for sure.
Alan wasn’t the only one who found gifts in his stocking tonight. I also had a couple Winter Workshop gifts from Alan waiting for me! This year he made me an ornament and a wooden snowman. I absolutely love both!
Grandma Debbie’s gift from Alan, which she received last week at the family party, was a set of four charms that Alan designed himself. Grandma Debbie put them to good use on two of her purses.
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.
-Science experiments at school. Gravity and motion have been two recent subjects.
On two separate Saturdays this month, Alan has been invited to work on crafts at the apartment main office. First he made a snowman out of two plastic pumpkins (check out the batman hat!) on December 1st. Then today he mixed together paint to decorate an ornament.
The snowman has been sitting outside our door all month, under the sign that Alan picked out to decorate the front door, while the ornament is hanging on our tree. We look forward to holiday arts & crafts like these all year long!
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.
Today Alan made holiday gifts for the family at the annual Millridge Winter Workshop. This year I opted to attend Winter Workshop instead of the Holiday Party and got to follow Alan & the rest of Mrs. Harris’ class through all 4 workstations. Alan made a couple ornaments, designed some charms, and made a wooden snowman. I might know what the gifts are, but he hasn’t yet told me which one will be for me!
On Tuesday of this week, Alan’s class held a Thanksgiving Parade at Millridge. Alan’s float featured an elephant, which is the mascot of Blue House!
Then, today, Alan saw the Ohio State Marching Band perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He liked that they were followed by a Chase (from Paw Patrol) float. 🙂
Second grade – Part II – edition of the Top 10:
-Sunday visits to the Mayfield Library – for playing and checking out books.
-Collecting on a new weekly allowance of $1! Alan’s actually gotten to put his NASA wallet to good use holding his dollar bills, library card, McDonald’s card, and photo ID (2018 summer baseball card).
-“Lexia” sessions (online learning for 2nd grade).
-Ice skating lessons at Gilmour.
-Playing basketball on our Ohio State mini-hoop! Alan sets the phone alarm and we play 3-minute quarters.
-Playing the dreidel game on the computer!
-Building racetracks, airports, and cities on Grandma Debbie’s coffee table.
-Doing crossword puzzles for kids with Tata.
-Constructing & playing, “Mouse Trap.”
-Setting postseason mini bat matchups!
Mrs. Harris’ class went on its first field trip of the year today — to the Mayfield Innovation Center. Alan loves the annual field trip there. This year the learning activity was “creating maps with Ozobots.” Alan said he and Brady partnered to create “baseball land” (A bat and glove can be seen in the picture below). Alan told me the Ozobot will navigate along the black lines that they drew on their map by itself.
Today The Flash made an appearance at the Halloween party for Mrs. Harris’ class. The Flash won a sticky-spider-toss game, after getting two bullseyes. He also took part in the Millridge Halloween parade, which was held in the gym due to rain.
It was still raining during trick-or-treating, but that did not stop The Flash from going the full two hours! This year Alan was also brave enough to approach the neighborhood house where the owner answers the door with a chainsaw. The brave souls who dare knock on the door receive a treat better than candy — a toy sword that lights up in the dark. When he came home, Alan proudly ran over to show me the evidence of his great triumph!
Note: The Flash was the costume of choice this year following Alan’s summer of being the fastest member of the Yankees. Alan’s scary classmate pictured with him above is De’Onta.
The Year of the Sky Zone Birthday Party continued today with Noah taking his turn as host and birthday boy. The usual suspects – Alan, Noah, Brady, Xavier and Grady – were together again, along with a few other Millridge second graders. After jumping and playing dodgeball, the kids played “Heads Up, Seven Up” while waiting for cake. It was Alan’s first time playing, and he loved it. Turns out he has a pretty good poker face!
Today Alan and I shared a moment before school and work together at Donuts with Dad! After going with Ohio State and Cavaliers shirts last year for our photo together, we opted for Browns and Indians shirts this year. It’s always a fun time at Donuts with Dad!
Today Alan appeared on FOX 8 News during the 6am and 4pm hours! He was representing Millridge–this week’s FOX 8 “Cool School of the Week.” This was his third time on television — first time not related to the Indians or Cavs. 🙂
Millridge earned the featured spot of the week by earning 53% of the vote in last week’s online voting competition against Forestlawn Elementary School in Sheffield (40%) and Watson Elementary School in Massillon (7%). Voting ran between Oct. 8 and 11, and Millridge was announced as the winner during the 6am hour of FOX 8 News on Oct. 11.
Yesterday the kids were asked to wear their House shirts to school for the filming of the FOX 8 News segment. Mrs. Harris’ class took a photo with their Mayfield High School mentors, just prior to heading to the gym for filming.
Millridge’s 5th Grade ambassadors made and held the official FOX 8 welcome sign.
Students from each grade held signs representing each House. Alan got picked by his art teacher to hold the Blue sign! He was so happy that he got picked, which enabled him to get some air time!
At the end of the week, Alan proudly wrote about his good fortune in his weekly journal!
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.
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. 🙂
Today Alan and I walked to school together as part of Millridge’s 2nd Annual Father Figure Walk. The details were the same as last year — we parked at the Fitworks at the corner of Wilson Mills and Brainard and walked to school — but the weather was considerably nicer! And we passed Mrs. Harris, Mrs. Russo, and Mrs. Feldman in front of the school on our walk in (they were there to greet students and father figures). I was given a ‘thank you’ bag from Mr. Bradic again, with a water bottle, granola bar, and note inside. Then Alan played on the playground with Colin until the first morning bell rang. When I left, Alan thought it was funny that I still had a long walk back to my car. 🙂
Today Alan was proud to announce that Blue House (a.ka. Team “Wajibu,” or “House of Responsibility”) was this week’s winner in the school-wide competition for kindness and unity points! It was the first time that Blue won, and the news came on the same day that Alan picked up his team shirt. The second graders on Blue, plus Mrs. Harris, made sure to pose for a photo in their new shirts. 🙂
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 is 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.
Tonight Alan invited his closest friends to help him celebrate his birthday at Sky Zone — the hottest place going for 2nd grade birthday parties right now! The invitees included Brady, Noah, Xavier, Cassidy, Grady, Colin, De’Onta, and Kilian.
The kids jumped from 5:45pm to 7:15pm. Some jumped on the partitioned course, some jumped into the ball pit, and some jumped on the dodgeball court. As Alan predicted earlier in the night, they jumped until they tired themselves out. At 7:13pm, Alan’s birth minute, the announcement of his birthday was shared over the loudspeakers. The kids were then called into the party room for pizza and cake.
For the second year in a row, Alan had a baseball-themed, white marble cake from Giant Eagle. But this time we went all-out on the Indians theme. 🙂
Silliness ensued when Alan’s friends sang to him and he blew out his candles. After enjoying the cake, Alan requested my phone in order to follow the Indians-Red Sox game on Gamecast with Noah and Xavier. He also started a boo Red Sox chant in the room.
After the party, Alan handed out the treat bags we put together with prizes bought from Target and Browns/Buckeyes pencils. Kilian took home the “bonus bag” that Alan filled with extra cool prizes and a Cavaliers pencil.
But the fun didn’t stop there. When the party ended at 8pm, Alan and I drove up to Cleveland and traded in Gamecast for live action baseball at Progressive Field! During our drive, we listened on the radio as Josh Donaldson hit his first homerun as an Indian.
My best buddy turned 8 today!
Alan passed out Justice League pencils (featuring Green Lantern, Flash, Superman, and Batman) to his classmates at school today. He came home wearing a birthday sticker and slap bracelet (the same could easily have been said for me back in 1991). I surprised him at the bus stop, after leaving work early, and he was pretty shocked. Then we hung out for the afternoon during the lead up to his Sky Zone party!
Alan commented to me how his bus driver, teacher, and librarian were all celebrating the Browns’ big win and Baker Mayfield’s successful debut last night! This Browns fan didn’t need to wait to hear it from me — Cleveland was on fire!
Tonight Alan and I attended the 2nd Annual Millridge Movie Night for a showing of Peter Rabbit. Alan met up with Brady, Xavier, and De’Onta to watch the movie on the grass next to the Millridge playground. We did not attend last year’s showing of Boss Baby, so this was our first time attending movie night.
Tonight at parent orientation I learned what’s ahead for Alan in Mrs. Harris’ second grade class this school year! Alan came tonight and played on the playground with his grandparents while his parents were in class. Afterwards he met us in the classroom and showed off his desk (I had to hide the personal note written for him).
Alan sits at the table group that named themselves the “Number One Stars.” In the picture below of the group’s sign, Alan drew the green helicopter and red airplane in the lower right corner. 🙂
Alan also showed me his “friendship pie” hanging in the hallway.
Lastly, he showed me the picture he drew on his personal book holder by his cubby!
One theme of the evening was the introduction of the new “House” system. Alan is in the blue-colored “House of Responsibility.” I’m sure there will be more to come on that throughout the year!
The school year is officially underway now that we’ve had the ice cream social! Tonight Alan and I went to Millridge for the event, where Alan played with De’Onta and Collin on the swings and Grady on the monkey bars.
Rain throughout the day threatened the event, but the evening ended up being clear and comfortable. As a back-up plan, the school set up music and dancing in the gym too.
Alan kicked off his 2nd grade year at Millridge today, sporting his new Mayfield Wildcats shirt for the occasion! In addition to showing district spirit, Alan loves the color green!
At school he had a great day, highlighted by playing the ice breaker game “Find Someone Who…” Fortunately Mrs. Harris, like Mrs. Russo, is on Twitter, so I’ll be able to follow along with Alan all year long.
Out of the 21 other kids in the class, Alan knows five kids from his 1st Grade class (Luke, Logan H, De’Onta, Nikki, Giuliana) and three kids from his Kindergarten class (Brady, Noah, and Paige). That certainly helps the transition into the new year. It also represents a sharp contrast from last year, when Alan only knew two girls from his Kindergarten class (though he quickly made new friends).
The only bad news of the day was that Alan found out 2nd Grade only has one recess. But on the bright side, he learned that some weeks will feature “double specials,” meaning he’ll have weeks with two gym classes!
8/28/18 Update: At parent orientation, I found this photo of Mrs. Harris’ class taken on the first day of school.
Today Alan prepared for 2nd grade at the 2nd annual “Popsicles with the Principal.” Alan played on the playground and had two [orange] popsicles. He also met Mrs. Harris and dropped off his school supplies at his desk. He’s ready for 2nd grade, which starts tomorrow!
Alan also visited with Mrs. Russo. According to Mrs. Russo, she said Alan and Brady were put in the same class this year because they’re best friends and behave well when together. That was the second time she gave inside information about teacher assignments. During Alan’s parent-teacher conference last October, she said she specifically wanted Alan in her class based on his reputation from Kindergarten.
The big five “friends since Kindergarten” – Alan, Grady, Brady, Xavier, and Noah – got together today at Sky Zone for Grady’s birthday party. Alan had a great time jumping with Brady and seeing some other kids that he hadn’t seen since May. At the party we found out that Noah and Paige have Mrs. Harris with Alan and Brady too!
Tonight the lead-up to 2nd grade continued with Alan hanging out with Xavier, Cassidy, and Brady at the Mayfield Community Park for National Night Out 2018.
The kids got to go inside police cars/vans, fire trucks, and construction equipment, as well as turn on the sirens and beep the horns. They also got to watch officers ride their motorcycles through an obstacle course and watch a police dog demonstration on how to corral a bad guy. Alan had a great time!
Afterwards, the kids watched fireworks from the back of Brady’s van. After having missed Mayfield’s fireworks at Unity Days and on the 4th of July, it was nice for Alan to get to see a fireworks display in Mayfield before the end of summer. We had a great view of the show, almost looking directly up at the fireworks from a vantage point located just across from the baseball fields.
Note: Just yesterday Alan found out that his 2nd grade teacher will be Mrs. Harris and Brady will be in his class!