I Cried At The Park

It was just a normal day for my son and I. We went to the gym where he played in the child care center with other toddlers while I worked out. After, I stopped by Sephora for some goodies and then Prince and I ate on the patio at Yard House.  

After eating, we walked to the park. He climbed, went down the slide multiple times, laughed his little heart out at the splash pad. Then he climbed into a tree house where two little white girls played in the "bakery" with fake cakes and other desserts. 

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Prince was just passing through. He was friendly. Surpringly, he's great at sharing and is excited to play with other kids, especially those older. As the two little girls (guessing they were four and five) looked on at my curly haired boy, Prince says, "Wow, cake!" I smiled because I always enjoy hearing him speak with such excitement, identifing objects. He then went down the slide and says, "Again!"

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As he climbs up the stairs and enters the "bakery" the oldest girl says playfully, "Oh no, a robber! Don't steal our cakes!" I observe everything. The little girls reaction caught Prince off guard as he read her facial expressions. He was confused, wondering why she was hovering over the cakes with her arms and hands. The other little girl was also confused but was told to play along. "See, a robber! Get away from our cakes!" 

The expression on my son's faces made my heart drop. He looks at the two of them then leaves down the slide. I ask him if he's ready to go and he shakes he head no and says, "Again!" He smiles and climbs back up to the "bakery." The oldest little girl playfully screams, "Here comes the robber! Lets get out of here!" And she pulls the other little girl along with her and they escape down the slide. Prince, completely unaware as to why they're running, chases the girls thinking they're playing with him just as his mom and dad often does.

But after the girls climb back up into the bakery, they decide to chase my son. "He took our cake, let's get him!" I lost sight of them, but the next thing I see, the oldest little girl is trying to pull my son's hands behind his back to "handcuff" him and that's when I lost it.  

"Let him go, don't touch him!" The girls take off and Prince is sitting there confused. I pick my baby up and walk out of the park as tears began to run down my face.  

Girls running away after putting Prince's hands behind his back. 

Girls running away after putting Prince's hands behind his back. 

You can call me "dramatic" or "extra." But as an adult that is very aware of the social climate in this country and in the world, watching my son be called a robber because he simply entered a "bakery" made my skin crawl. Was this my son's reality? Yes, right now everyone thinks Prince is the cutest and happiest kid ever but as I've told his dad, this is just a phase.  

As my son grows big and tall (his dad is 7'3"), he will be judged solely on the way he looks. He will walk into a store looking to make a purchase but will be watched closely as if he has ill intent. I will not always be around to chaperone and shoo people away and I believe that is what broke my heart.

I hear it often from my non-black friends when they describe a black male teen or adult. They judge them on their walk, the way they dress, the way they dance or even their hairstyle. Black boys and girls are often robbed of their childhood. Black boys are often made out to be older than they are just because of their size and black girls are often sexualized because they may develop a bit "early."  I think of a twelve year old Tamir Rice who was killed for just being a kid playing in his own neighborhood, somehow mistaken for a grown man with a gun.

Hearing terms like "ghetto" or "thug" makes me shudder. Judging a person based on appearance alone is incredibly ignorant and says more about the person judging than it does the person that's simply being themselves.  

I walked with my son back to our car and drove home. I stared at him through the rear view mirror. He's so innocent and unaware of this cruel world but I'll do anything to prepare him to face it.

Ain't No Party

 

I had to give myself an intervention.

I planned my son’s entire 3rd birthday party on Pinterest.  From the theme to the invitations to the dessert bar.  I decided to make my son’s cake topper and added party favors to my cart on Amazon.  I bought streamers, decor and glow sticks and found snack recipes.  I was STOKED about celebrating my son becoming a “threenager.” 

But something happened.  I began worrying about the children we planned to invite. Would they actually have fun? Would the older kids feel out of place and bored at a “baby” party? What if Prince has a complete meltdown or is overwhelmed by so many children being there? I also began thinking about the likelihood of people not showing up.  Then I realized that only I would have these thoughts, not Prince.  He would barely have any recollection of a party, so why stress it? Why give myself such a headache on such a special day?

Yes, having a solar system themed birthday party would be fun for him and of course I believe he is deserving of the world, but he’s a pretty relaxed kid. Jumping through a sprinkler or going to the park is exciting for him.  He is not in daycare/school so there are not many children to invite.  His best friends are Mama and Daddy.  

Whenever I brought up his birthday, he would say, “Balloons! Birthday cake!” So guess what he had for his birthday?  A gluten-free, egg-free, cow’s milk-free, almond milk-free birthday cake.  I still made a special cake-topper just for him.  I picked up a bouquet of red and blue balloons. I played music, we took plenty of  photos and video and had a dance party to his favorite songs. We sang the happy birthday song and opened gifts from his Pops, MiMi and GiGi (grandparents) then we had a fun dinner at Benihana. Now THAT sounds like a proper toddler birthday celebration!

I'm not sure when such extravagant birthday parties became the normal but I am so glad I changed my mind. Watching him light up as we performed our rendition of the Happy Birthday song let me know I made the right decision. 

 

Happy 3rd Birthday, Prince! 

 

Special thanks to Vegan Bites (www.vegan-bites.com) for the delicious cake!  

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A Whole New World

When Prince was a tiny baby, I would daydream about him.  What will he look like as a toddler?  How tall will he be?  What will he be interested in?  I thought it would be animals or cars, or a character like Mickey Mouse.

Boy was I wrong.  Now, don't get me wrong, Prince absolutely had his moments where he was obsessed with Lightening McQueen from the movie Cars and it was a must that he had his "95" with him when we left the house.  He even had a moment where he memorized Toy Story and played with his Buzz Lightyear for hours at a time.

I never thought my 2-year old son would be fixated with the solar system.  He can name every planet, he knows their order from the sun, and he can tell you a few fun facts about them all.  He will tell you that the asteroid belt is between Mars and Jupiter and he will also correct you if you say there are nine planets when there are actually eight. When we leave the house, the first thing Prince looks for is the moon in the sky.  His enthusiasm with the universe has taught me so much.  One, I am no science buff.  It's one of my least favorite subjects (math is my least favorite).  Two, the idea of leaving this planet is terrifying so I've had the Milky Way pushed to the back of my brain.

However, I am now also fascinated.  After searching YouTube for interesting solar system videos to show my son, I am amazed at what I've been missing out on for all these years.  How beautiful is Mother Earth?  I'm now thankful for our atmosphere that protects us from harmful sun exposure.  I'm interested in Mars and how humans may one day call it home if we continue to mistreat our planet.

Having a child has changed my life in a way I never imagined.  Prince has blessed me with new eyes, a new perspective on the world and beyond.  When he's asleep, I step out onto my balcony and look up at the moon and stars.  Looking up at the night sky makes me feel so tiny.  It makes my "problems" seem so minuscule.  Thinking about how incredibly large our galaxy is...I realized that the opinion of people I do not know and those that do not care about me no longer matter.  I feel free to live my best life (cliche on the way) and reach for the stars.  I have one life to live (sorry, another cliche) and I will go out satisfied with my choices. And possibly a son that's a rocket scientist.

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Prince's Favorite Meal

Using flavorful marinara sauce along with ground beef, ground turkey or ground chicken, this meat sauce is incredibly delicious. With a cup of uncooked blended spinach, the little one is unaware of his leafy green intake with each bite. Paired with steamed rice or gluten-free noodles, this meal fills that tummy up with the perfect amount of protein, veggies and carbs. 

*I feel it is important to let you know how this is an incredible meal to help keep your child regular. * 

This meal is super simple and fast to make. If stored properly, will last up to four days or more in the refrigerator. 

Ingredients

Ground Turkey/Ground Beef/Ground Chicken

1 jar of Marinara sauce of choice

Two large carrots, diced and steamed

One cup of baby spinach

Tablespoon of olive oil  

Salt to taste (optional) 

Directions:  

Completely brown your meat on medium. Add salt (optional). Drain excess fat then add marinara sauce. Simmer on low. 

Dice two carrots and steam until soft and add to simmering sauce. 

Blend a cup of baby spinach with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add to the simmering sauce.  

Pair this with rice or noodles of choice and enjoy!

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Back To Bee

Took me over two years but I'm finally feeling like my old self again. After having my son in 2014 I became, like a lot of mothers, socially awkward. I craved adult conversation but when I was around other adults, I felt as if I didn't have anything to offer except conversing about kids/pregnancy. I absolutely enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom but feeling like my social skills were on life support, I began praying.

My son's father was a big help. With him being away for work, he would send me flowers or funny videos just to remind me that I am more than a mother: I am still a beautiful, humorous, and intelligent woman. I became more specific in my prayers.  I needed to do something for myself.  And out of nowhere, I was contacted by my dance manager from years ago asking if I was available for dance gigs/shows. I panicked at the thought of being away from my son but for my emotional and mental health sake, I had to take her up on the offer. Socializing with 5 other beautiful women, dressing up in fabulous costumes, makeup and styling my hair, having a reason to be beautiful and active again was a liberating feeling. Sometimes I still have separation anxiety, but I have to remind myself that I am doing myself and my baby a favor by "working." It's not about the money, it's really about living a happy and balanced life.

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Potty Training

Six months ago, we decided to give potty training a try.  I took Prince into Walmart where he picked out a red potty that resembled a car (he's obsessed with red cars) for about $9.  He gladly sat on it, peed a few times but then decided that it was his worst enemy.  Every time I suggested that he have a seat on the potty, he would cry as if potty was a punishment, no matter what I gave him as entertainment.  I tried giving him his iPad, a book, juice, a toy, singing songs...nothing made him want to sit.

So, I decided that maybe he's simply just not ready and that's ok!  I realized that I allowed pressures from family and friends to prematurely give this a shot.  So, two weeks ago, I ordered him a urinal to potty train with.  After his dad showed him the ropes on standing up to pee, he would stand for several minutes with no pee landing in his urinal.  He was determined to push something out, and he succeeded a few times!  But the frustration set in again and he began to think of potty training as punishment.

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We are currently giving Prince a break and Monday, we will begin a diaper-free household.  I will have him diaper free and pants-free so that he will understand what he's been doing in those little Huggies of his.

 

Any suggestions of potty training boys?  Drop me a comment below!

Pumpkin Season

Fall is here and the closest thing I can get to a carnival out here is at our wonderful pumpkin patches across the Las Vegas Valley.

With my son being two and a half, he can participate more than last year.  The inflated jump houses, face painting, petting zoos, train rides and more.  His favorite was the huge inflated bounce slide and the cool merry go round. 

I was REALLY hoping to find a food truck inside that sold funnel cakes but I was highly disappointed.  Instead, they had an incredible taco truck which had a line too long for a wiggly toddler.

I cannot wait to go back, pick out a pumpkin and decorate it for our front porch.

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Mama Prince

Hello World!  

I'm Bee, a mom to a very bright, handsome and funny two-year old boy, Prince.  I am a stay-at-home mom, a work-from-home mom, a dance-a-few-gigs-on-occasion mom residing in Las Vegas.  

Don't ask me what I like to do for fun.  I have no idea anymore.  It's really the little things you know?  Like having a clean house, not having to rerun the washing machine again because I forgot to put the clothes in the dryer TWO days ago, or binge watching a new Netflix series without my son waking up at midnight asking for fruit snacks.

It's all good though because (cliche statement ahead) my son has completely changed my life for the better.  I love being his mom, I think I laugh more now than I ever have before.  I've learned so much about life and what really, truly matters.  Bethany as a mom is much better than childless Bethany.  I cook better, I'm more creative and resourceful, and most of all, nurturing.  I now have a better appreciation for small things: how beautiful the moon is, clean and fresh air, and eating a meal without keeping a child entertained.

When I created BeeAndersonBeauty.com in the summer of 2013, I had no idea that I was pregnant.  I had no clue how motherhood was about to shake up my life.  My perception of beauty changed drastically.  I feel like a have a new pair of eyes with motherhood, allowing me to be more appreciative of what true beauty really is.

I hope you all enjoy motherhood through my eyes.

 

Love,

Mama Prince

 

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