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. 🙂

Cavaliers Game No. 2 of 2017-18

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!

 

Hands-On Learning

  

March was a great month for learning through technology for Alan and the rest of Mrs. Russo’s first grade class.  On March 5th Alan went to the Mayfield Innovation Center for the long-awaited first field trip of the year (picture on left).  Then today Alan experienced Google Augmented Reality (AR) for the first time (picture on right; Alan, in green, is visible on the small screen).

MBBL Year 2

   

Alan kicked off year 2 of his Mayfield Boys Baseball League (MBBL) career today at the Wildcat Fitness Center.  This season Alan has moved up to the Mighty Mite division (7-8 year olds), after playing in the Instructional division (5-6 year olds) last season.  It’s still a coach-pitch division, but it’s a step up in competition.

Today Alan came in for a talent evaluation.  He started off by fielding grounders, throwing to a coach, and catching pop-ups.

Afterwards, Alan took some batting practice in the batting cages.  He did pretty well for his first swings of the season.

Alan was thrilled to see first grade classmates Logan and Jonah at the Fitness Center.  He also saw two teammates from last season – Chris and Connor.  It figures to be another fun summer on the diamond!

Xavier’s Birthday Party

Alan was back at Wickliffe Lanes today for the first time since his 7th birthday party.  The gang got together for the second weekend in a row – this time to celebrate Xavier’s birthday.  There was plenty of bowling again, but this time the kids found a fun arcade game that really grabbed their attention (I believe they were fighting aliens).  Once Xavier came over with a few dollars, they enjoyed that game more than anything else.  While bowling though, Alan picked up a spare!

 

LBJ League Play – Season Finale

The LBJ Basketball season came to a close today following the season finale vs. the Celtics.  For this game the kids were on their own, as coaches had to stay on the sidelines.  And stealing was allowed and the score was kept.  But the team was ready.  And I finally the opportunity to record some game action.

Alan played confidently, making good passes and taking strong shot attempts.

He hustled back on defense too, like he always does.

Alan closed out the scoring for the Heat’s season by converting on his best-looking and highest-arcing shot attempt of the season with about half of a minute remaining on the game clock (Note: He scored the team’s first basket of the season, too).  Fortunately I was able to capture Alan’s successful bank shot – his 13th made field goal of the season — as I shouted “Yes!” in the background. Look at the joy in Alan’s reaction!  🙂

After the final buzzer sounded, the Heat huddled up one last time for their “Go Heat!” battle cry.  Then it was off to a postgame subs-and-juice party for the team, where the coach passed out certificates and photos.  It was a well-earned reward for the kids.

The backstory to the game included Alan battling a fever since Friday night.  He stayed inside all day on Saturday to rest up to help his chances of being able to play.  He needed Tylenol to get through the game, but he wasn’t going to miss it for anything.  He loves playing basketball.

It’s incredible to think how far Alan has come from the first practice in November through now.  He worked through early nerves and uncertainty that he could ever make a basket and transformed into a confident player able to knock down shots during competition.  It’s been so rewarding to see him grow!  I tell him every week he’s my favorite player to watch play.  LeBron’s got nothing on Alan.