9 years old!

I still cannot believe that Alex is 9 years old! He is now shoulder height to me!

Normally for birthdays, we would go out somewhere like a museum or aquarium and invite friends. With COVID19 still going strong, we had to do things a bit differently. Alex had the idea to have a virtual birthday party. So we set up a virtual room for a day and people were coming in and out all day, hanging out and talking, or playing with their toys as Alex played with his. He requested a dinosaur themed event so we got him a dinosaur birthday shirt, a dinosaur figure, and dinosaur books. He loved it. We even got cupcakes so he could blow out the candle. He says he loved it so I think we made the best of a tough situation.

This future paleontologist digs being 9!

He’s going to be starting 3rd grade this year. Everyone will be starting virtual, but we had already signed him up to be attending virtually for the first half of the year anyway. Back in Spring when we went virtual rather abruptly, he did really well. He completed all of his assignments and only struggled with the reading and comprehension. His teacher suggested he attend summer school to help him further his reading, and he did and again did very well with it. We are interested to see what this year brings. I am hoping he does just as well with the virtual learning this year.

His reading continues to improve. He still fights us when reading books, but he will read random signs and read the title screen on shows. We also used his interest in a video game to encourage his reading! He wanted to play a ship building game that Bryan plays, so we set him up on it but he had to do the tutorial first. That required a lot of reading. But he did it!

He has started sword fighting late last year with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA). They have a youth combat division that uses foam style weapons. They also have extensive rules regarding protective gear (helmets, gorget or neck protection, elbow pads, knee pads, groin protection, padded gloves, etc). His pediatrician was quite interested and happy to see what they are required to wear, and approved. It keeps him active and requires him to focus. We still struggle a bit with the focus part, but he loves it and everyone is encouraging of him. He has made some friends with the other youth fighters too. And we will continue to encourage him and work with him to get better for as long as he wants to sword fight.

Alex had some minor surgery earlier this year (he is ok!)
Alex practicing embroidery
Boxes are fun!

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