Last Day of 2nd Grade

Today Alan wrapped up his 2nd grade year at Millridge.  And I took off work to share the day with him.

The morning started with the end of year photo at the bus stop.  But breaking from tradition, Alan was not still chewing his breakfast when I took his photo. 😉

From 11am -12, I joined Alan for the end of year picnic on the playground.  Fortunately the kids dodged the rain long enough to have lunch outside.  Just like last year, Alan, De’Onta and I had hot dogs and chips at Alan’s favorite playground spot – the “speed rover.”  Noah and Brady came by as well, and eventually Alan chased Brady for fun.

De’Onta took a photo of Alan and I after lunch that turned out great, and I got a nice one of Alan.

He passed on ice cream and had more chips instead, since it was a chilly morning.

The Highland Heights Fire Department did the grilling for the kids lunch once again this year.  They also brought a fire truck and ambulance for the kids to check out.  Alan and Brady made sure to take advantage.

After the picnic, I went back home while Alan’s class watched DuckTales: Treasure of the Lost Lamp to wrap up the school day.  Then I met him at the bus stop so we could go to McDonald’s together for a rare mid-day hangout on a weekday.  Alan told me about the certificate he got from Mrs. Harris and the memory book that he made in school and had signed by his classmates.  But the fun still didn’t end there — it continued at the Highland Heights Park, where Alan was happy to run into his friend Stephen from ice skating!

By this time of day, the sun came out and the temperature warmed up.  These two would’ve played together all day, but Alan had to settle for a good 90 minutes. 🙂

ABC – Countdown Week 5

Here’s the recap from this past week:

Monday was “Year End Cleanup Day.”  Alan brought in an extra bag to take home items from his desk — including his Dog Man books that he shared with his friends throughout the year.

Tuesday was “Zip Up & Zoom Out of School Day.”  Alan wrapped up another great year at Millridge, but not before getting a certificate, sunglasses, and a note from Mrs. Harris.  The class heads into summer in style!

Indians Game No. 2 of 2019

Today Tyler joined us at the ballpark for the first time this year and second time ever.  It was a rainy day downtown, but a little rain wasn’t going to stop these two from having fun together.

We arrived at the ballpark early and walked Tyler down for a field level view.  We also introduced him to Jim Thome.

Up in the Kids Clubhouse, the boys played on the slide and took a joint photo impersonating big leaguers.  Tyler also tried out the “Hot Corner” game (Alan can be heard in the background providing assistance).  Tyler played this game repeatedly until he reached the “Pro” level!

Out on the Family Deck, the kids tried to top their personal bests at each event.  Both set personal records for highest pitch speed (Alan – 28 MPH, Tyler – 24 MPH).  Alan set a new record in the sprint, recording a run of 5.68 seconds, and Tyler ran a great race too.  Tyler also drove in Alan at Little League Park!

When it came time for souvenirs, Alan opted for an Indians Lego set and Tyler went with a Father’s Day edition Indians hat.  Though the Indians didn’t win the game today, they did give Alan and Tyler something to cheer about with three runs in the 8th and 9th, which they watched from back inside the Kids Clubhouse.  After the game, we got ice cream to cap off a busy 24 hours for the boys.

Last night they went to the Chagrin Falls Blossom Time Festival together and had a sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s.  The carnival excitement, highlighted by riding the big Ferris Wheel, helped them fall asleep by 11 last night.  That gave them just enough energy for a full 5-hour day at the ballpark.

ABC Countdown – Week 4

Here’s the recap from this past week:

Monday was “Quiet and Read-In Day.”  Alan chose to read one of his Dog Man books during the read-in: Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild.

Tuesday was “Show and Tell Day.”  Alan brought in his new “pin art” toy that he got at Target last weekend.

Wednesday was “Unhealthy Snack Day.”  Alan went with Doritos (Cool Ranch) of course!  He walked to school with Veronica as part of the annual Mother Figure Walk to begin the day, and he teased her about being allowed to eat an unhealthy snack this time.

Thursday was “Vegetable Day.”  Carrots were Alan’s selection this time.  He said he ate every one that I packed for him.

Friday was “Wow!  X-tra Fun Day.”  The first through fifth grades had their Field Day!  Alan competed with Blue House / Team Wajibu (pictured above).  The weather was absolutely perfect for the event!

Opening Night

The Highland Heights Mighty Mites baseball season started off with bang tonight!

In the field, Alan — wearing #3 for this 3rd year as a pro — played two innings in right field and two innings in center field.

At the plate, Alan provided a spark for the Marlins, going 2-for-2 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.  In his second at-bat, he recorded the first double of his career on an RBI hit down the left field line! (pictured below).  The clutch performance earned Alan the game ball!

Alan was presented with the game ball during a meeting on the bench.  He later said he was not expecting to be the first recipient, but he’ll gladly take the honor.  The Cardinals may have defeated the Marlins, but it was definitely an Opening Night to remember.  We were both incredibly proud of Alan’s performance!

Note:  This year I’m the bench coach.  I’ll be keeping score for the Marlins at-bats in a scorebook, even though the games are considered exhibitions until the playoffs start in July.

5/25/19 update: Alan showed off the game ball to Tata, Papa, Robbie, Jill, Debbie, Papa, Bobby, Tyler, and Carleigh today as the ball came along with us on our Saturday stops.

ABC Countdown – Week 3

Here’s the recap from this past week:

Monday was “Interesting Fact Day.”  Alan told the class that China has the most people of any country in the world (1.3 billion).  We had researched facts about China the night before and Alan liked this fact the best.

Tuesday was “Joke Day & Kick off your Shoes Day.”  Alan came prepared with the following joke, which he picked from a book of jokes we have at home (purchased last fall when I put notes with jokes on them in Alan’s lunch bag).  He also didn’t have to wear shoes in the classroom.

Q:  Where do elephants pack their vacation clothes?

A:  In their trunks.

Wednesday was “Letter and Lollipop Day.”  Alan enjoyed a cotton-candy-and-bubble-gum-flavored lollipop while writing a letter to a first grader about what to expect in second grade (pictured above).  Before school on Wednesday, Alan also got to enjoy “Muffins with Mom.”

Thursday was “Mismatch and Necktie or Necklace Day.”  The class wore mismatched clothes and neckwear.  Alan opted to wear mismatched socks his Indians necklace!

Friday was “Outside of the Classroom and Popsicle Day.”  Alan’s class actually had popsicles on Thursday because Mrs. Harris was out on Friday.  The class did still go ‘outside the classroom’ on Friday to watch the Annual Millridge Talent Show.  Alan shared that he’d like to enter the competition next year, which is for third, fourth, and fifth grade students.

Alan’s Favorite Activities

Second grade — Part V — edition of the Top 10:

-Playing with Lulu & Rosie, of course.

-Drawing with chalk on the driveway after school with Cassady, Xavier, and TJ (who also lives on Iroquois).

-Bringing the green turtle stuffed animal into school whenever Blue House wins the weekly competition!  Alan says that Noah and Kennedy especially love seeing it and playing with it.

-“Free swim” at Saturday swimming lessons this spring, which usually involves breaking out the fins.

-Lexia sessions.  Alan officially finished all the levels on 5/6/19!  Alan, Gabriella, Madeleine, Alyson, and TJ were the first to get certificates of completion.

-Playing at the Highland Heights Park.  Alan convinced me to climb up to the slide on the 3rd level and slide down with him.  He loves seeing me in agony on the way down. 😉

-Summer baseball.  When we were practicing hitting at our favorite field (Dragga Field at the Mayfield Community Park), Alan told me he’s glad that outdoor sports season is back!

-Attempting to solve a Rubik’s cube.  After we bought one, Alan now knows it’s harder than it looks.

-Ice cream parties.  We bought an ice cream scooper, vanilla ice cream, and cones and we’re ready for ice cream and Indians games this summer.

-Marble run!

ABC Countdown – Week 2

Here’s the recap from this past week:

Monday was “Colorful Creative Day.”  Alan wore one of his bright red Lightning McQueen shirts.  On what was a beautiful day, the class also went outside and took shots on the basketball court as part of a fractions review game (pictured above).

Tuesday was “Dance and Exercise Day.”  The class got some exercise by dancing along to “Go Noodle” songs in the classroom after taking the fractions test.  We found out later in the week that Alan got 100%!

Wednesday was “Fun Free Time Day.”  When we were at the book fair after school, Alan told me the class was given extra long recess earlier that afternoon.

Thursday was “Game Day.”  Alan brought in a deck of playing cards and taught Brady how to play his favorite card game.  Alan only knows the Chinese name, but I know it as “Rich Man, Poor Man.”

Friday was “Hat Day.”  Alan brought in his new favorite Monsters hat that he got last weekend at the Monsters game.  He wore it for the “Miles for Millridge” fundraiser (and class photo – shown below), which involved the kids walking laps around Millridge after gaining sponsorship the past few weeks.  The school is raising money for new robotics technology.

Spring Book Fair

Alan and I had some great weather tonight at the spring book fair.  Alan picked out two Pete the Cat books, showed me the newest changes in his classroom, and played on the playground.  There he found Logan and Brady and watched a scout group set off bottle rockets!  He also showed me his favorite playground equipment, including the new pole that he likes to slide down.


Baseball Practice

Alan’s summer baseball season is now underway!

Alan met his teammates on April 22nd and was thrilled to discover De’Onta is on his team!  Then tonight the boys had their first organized practice.  After a seemingly endless string of rained-out practices, it was great to see the sun again and hear the ping of Alan’s bat!

This year Alan is playing in the Highland Heights Mighty Mite League after transferring over from the Mayfield League.  Xavier made the switch with Alan, and they’ll reunite with other Millridge kids in the league, including Grady, Noah, De’Onta, and others.

Alan’s team this year will be the Marlins.  Play ball!

First Monsters Game

One of our busiest weekends on record concluded with Alan and I taking in Monsters playoff hockey today at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse!

In April, Alan told me he really wanted to go to a hockey game (his first ever) this year.  Fortunately the Monsters qualified for the Calder Cup Playoffs on the last day of the regular season, advanced past the Syracuse Crunch, and got to host Game 3 of the North Division Finals vs. the Toronto Marlies on a Sunday afternoon.  That gave us a perfect opportunity to attend today.

Alan enjoyed the pregame theatrics and happily wore the Monsters hat that he picked out at the team shop (along with a few souvenir pucks).  Side note:  He decided he’s going to wear this fantastic hat to Friday’s hat day at Millridge as part of the ABC Countdown after Grandma Debbie suggested it.

Although the Monsters lost 2-0, Alan had a great time.  We had seats 3 rows from the ice and Alan enjoyed when the players banged into the glass in front of us.  We also sat near the penalty box, so Alan learned about penalties and penalty kills today.

Other highlights for Alan included watching the Zamboni and “Ice Patrol” team work on the ice.  In the concourse, Alan met Monsters Center Zac Dalpe (kind of) and also drew another great sign that he used to cheer on the Monsters!

Captains Game No. 1 of 2019

A night after our first Indians game of the season, Alan and I took in our first Captains game of the season at Classic Park!  Alan received a free ticket to the game through the Captains Reading Program.  Alan also got to participate in a pregame parade around the warning track as a reward.

During the parade, Alan ran into Paige and Noah’s cousin Sean from Millridge.  He also happened to see his baseball coach and teammate Jake in the ballpark.

We had front row seats in Right Field for the game, but we didn’t stay long, as Alan wanted to have his regular Saturday night sleepover at Grandma Debbie’s house.  It was also pretty cold and rainy.  But Alan did have time to eat ballpark food – fries, popcorn, and even vanilla ice cream.  He also got me a hot dog with his food voucher and three Captains baseballs at the team shop with a merchandise voucher.

Before leaving, Alan took a picture of Skipper, who he had high-fived with earlier during the parade.  The Captains went on to beat Kane County 9-3.

Tribe Game No. 1 of 2019

To cap an eventful day, tonight Alan and I made our return to Progressive Field for the first time in 2019!  We stayed until the end and was treated to his very first walk-off victory when pinch hitter Tyler Naquin singled home Leonys Martin with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to beat the Mariners 2-1!

Alan started the night by picking up his Tribe Town MVP package for the season, which consisted of a membership badge and lanyard and a duffle bag, t-shirt, socks, and wall banner.  We spent some time in the Kids Clubhouse, where Alan climbed the baseballs and got his customary orange popsicle.

Alan realized that at his age the Kids Clubhouse is beginning to lose its appeal, so we spent a larger proportion of our time outside on the Family Deck.  After growing bigger and faster over the winter, Alan recorded his first set of sub-6 second times, with the fastest coming in at 5.82!

Alan also took advantage of short lines by getting a lot of hitting practice in at Little League Park, where he hit for the cycle and recorded the 2nd and 3rd home runs of his career.  His first home run of the night was hit just fair down the left field line.  At first it was ruled foul, but upon subsequent video review and slow motion analysis, I reversed the call on the field.  His second home run of the night was a no-doubt-about-it blast.  He rounded the bases with a big smile after that one.

Alan and I watched the 9th inning rally from the seats outside the Kids Clubhouse.  Naquin’s famous walk-off inside-the-park home run from 2016 was shown on the jumbotron right before Naquin’s game-winning hit tonight.  It was an exciting finish on a spooky, foggy night at the ballpark.

On our way out of the ballpark, Alan wanted to get on TV.  The ballpark staff had already ushered fans away from the STO set, but we snuck over anyway while STO was airing Francona’s post game comments.  I was able to hit record on my DVR through my phone while Francona spoke.  When STO went back live, I told Alan to look up at the monitor to see himself on TV. 🙂

If Francona, who recorded his 562nd win as Indians manager to break a 5th place tie with Eric Wedge, had spoken 10 seconds longer, we might not have been able to dodge the ballpark staff long enough.  But somehow I don’t think this will be the last time Alan’s tries to get on TV…


ABC Countdown – Week 1

“ABC Countdown” is back to wind down the school year.  Each day Mrs. Harris’ class will have a special activity that coincides with a letter (or two) of the alphabet.

Here’s the recap from this past week:

Thursday was “Appetite Day.”  The class brought their appetites and shared a pizza lunch together.  The pizza was from Zeppe’s and Alan liked it.

Friday was “Bus Ride Day.”  The class hopped on a bus and went to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo for the 2nd grade field trip!  But not before having donuts in honor of Miss Koniar’s last day (Alan’s student teacher).

Zoo Field Trip

Today I joined Alan on the 2nd grade field trip to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo!  We successfully dodged rain drops long enough to have a great afternoon.

Alan’s group included his good friends Brady and De’Onta.  Together the boys chose to see elephants, tigers, bears, zebras, fish, and giraffes — including a baby giraffe just born about a week ago.  But I think they enjoyed the tram ride the most. 🙂

Career Week TY Note

Alan’s class gave me a thank you card that I really enjoyed!  Alan even drew a hockey player for me, since we’ve been talking about the Blue Jackets and Monsters a lot during their great playoff runs this spring.  It’s been hockey mania for us for the first time. 🙂