Amani starts kindergarten!

by Bryan on August 27, 2012 · 0 comments

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Amani’s first day of kindergarten seems like a good an occasion as any to rouse this blog from its extended slumber.

The photo above was snapped in our backyard about 7:15 this morning, just before Stella and I drove Amani to school.

A few notes from today:

  • Getting Amani to school at 7:30 every day will mean starting his whole morning routine an hour earlier than we have been (his start times at preschool and camp over the last year were 8:30).  All things considered, this morning’s first attempt with the new schedule went well!
  • Amani was sporting a brand-new Super Mario backpack for the occasion (this shot offers a better view). It was was extra heavy, because it contained all of the supplies (glue, markers, scissors, folders, pencils, notebooks) that the school had asked us to buy. In spite of the extra weight, Amani insisted on carrying the backpack himself!
  • It was quite the scene walking into the school with eager kids and parents trying to find their way around. Once inside the classroom — just like with the backpack — Amani wanted to unload all of the supplies on his own. We had just a few hectic minutes to help him get organized, before the principal’s voice boomed over the loudspeaker with a welcome message, marking our time to go.
  • We picked up only bits and pieces of how Amani spent his actual day. He did say his new teacher was “great,” but noted that some of the first graders were trying to bully him in the playground.  The teacher also called me late this afternoon to say that Amani had had some behavioral issue in the first half of the day, but that he improved after lunch.
  • I published a photoset from Amani’s big morning.

All in all, an exciting day, perhaps as much for the parents (many of them, like me, with cameras in hand to document the milestones) as for their children.

I can’t wait to see how much Amani will learn and grow over the coming year, and I plan to chime in with some of tales of his progress right here on this blog.

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Amani wearing his Doodlebug T-shirt

An audio conversation with Amani as our action-packed, father/son weekend kicked off in grand fashion on Friday night (Stella has taken Viola to Dallas for a dance conference).

Among our discussion topics:

  • Amani’s Doodlebug T-shirt (that’s what he’s sporting in the photo above)
  • Amani’s books
  • The excitement around our weekend “hang” time.

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Video and photos from First Night Austin

by Bryan on January 2, 2010 · 0 comments

Some quick takes from the First Night Austin activities, which Stella, Amani, and I ventured into town for on New Year’s Eve:

Windy New Year's Eve

* We were chilly! Temps were in low 60s when we arrived and low 50s by the time we left a couple of hours later, but the high winds made it feel much cooler. As you can see in the photo above from the 1st Street Bridge, Amani was all bundled up.

Amani and Daddy at Auditorium Shores

* We were early! We’re hanging out along Auditorium Shores at sunset in the picture above, but most of the action hadn’t yet started while we were there. Things felt slow.

A determined Amani

* We have a stubborn little boy. Amani insisted on pushing his own carriage around, including back across the 1st Street Bridge, uphill. A few oncoming passersby were startled to see what appeared to be an unmanned carriage moving toward them, but their expressions softened once they caught wind of the 3-year-old at the controls! They were clearly impressed (as were we, of course).

* The official “grand procession” along W. Caesar Chavez St. that we took in just before heading home certainly reinforced our city’s “Keep Austin Weird” slogan. Mixed among the marching church groups and local nonprofits were ragtag musicians, a unicyclist, an insect-like accordion vehicle of some kind, and other assorted colorful characters.  The video clip I’ve posted just above doesn’t capture much of the weirdness, but these three photos from the Austin Statesman certainly do!

Final verdict? We probably won’t be regular First Nighters in the coming years, but glad we checked it out this time!

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Amani's toy goggles

Had plenty of fun playing with Amani today, and this audio conversation from the late afternoon (click above to listen or download; note: quality is a little funky) captures some of the highlights. Among them:

* Amani talks about his goggles and other toys he’s playing with.

* Amani explains why he wasn’t happy when he woke up from his nap.

* Amani and I recount part of a story we made up earlier in the day using the picture cards that Grandma and Grandpa sent him as a Christmas gift.

* We take turns asking each other to name “tres cosas” (three things) that we like in the room.  (This is a little game I started with Amani about a week ago.)

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Progress

by Bryan on January 1, 2010 · 0 comments

Will the new year, and new decade, quickly bring about a potty-trained Amani?

That’s certainly what we’re thinking–and hoping–after today’s exciting developments.

While out for a late lunch/early dinner at Texas Land & Cattle Steak House, Amani twice asked us to take him to the bathroom. Now in both instances, he’d already done the deed, but this was, undeniably, progress. With a little more encouragement, he’ll soon be asking to go to the potty ahead of time!

A big-time step forward on New Year’s Day.

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Video: Snow at church on Christmas Eve

by Bryan on December 29, 2009 · 0 comments

For the second straight year, we took in a lovely Christmas Eve service at our church, Hill Country Bible Church Northwest

There’s no childcare provided on Christmas Eve, so we were treated with Amani’s presence, too! The snow at the end of the service brought a big smile to his face.

Christmas Eve 2009 at HCBC NW from Bryan Person on Vimeo.

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Scatological humor

by Bryan on December 23, 2009 · 0 comments

Amani still doesn’t warn us when he needs to use the potty, but that doesn’t stop him from speaking about “pee-pee” and “poo-poo”–along with other, creative scatological variations–on a regular basis (Stella tells me this is normal for kids his age).

In fact, “Poo-Poo Butt” is one of his favorite nicknames for me these days. I, in turn, call him “Doodle Bug.”

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Amani and his dinosaur shirt

In a fun conversation with Amani from earlier this week (Monday, December 21), we kick around a number of topics. Among them:

* Jesus’ birthday

* His moment of hoops glory at the park

* His new favorite dinosaur shirt

* All his trucks

To listen to our talk, click the play button below. 

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Talking with a teenager

by Bryan on December 7, 2009 · 1 comment

Here’s how the conversation went when Viola returned from her small-group class tonight.

Me: What’d you talk about tonight?

Her: Stuff.

Me: What kind of stuff?

Her: Stuff.

Sometimes our talks go like this, but sometimes–such as after last week’s class–she’ll share more. So I’ll be patient :)

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Amani and Stella flew out to Orlando this afternoon to spend a few days with Faith. I can’t help but notice how quiet our house is in the little guy’s absence.

So I’m missing him, and reflecting on the joys and challenges of being a dad. These two audio clips that I recorded last night hammer home both angles.

The first: Amani “reading” a book to me on the chair in his room, just before I put him in his bed to sleep.

Amani reading before going to sleep

Listen!

The second: a silly conversation with Amani while unsuccessfully trying to get him to poop in his potty. (One of his daycare teachers says some boys aren’t even potty trained by age 4; I certainly hope Amani isn’t one of them!)

Amani on the potty

Listen!

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