GUEST BLOGGER RENEE – MY TRANSGENDER CHILD

On June 14, 1996 I had my first child, he was the perfect boy you can ever meet. Well raised by me only. I knew he was special at the age of 5. When they say mothers know first, yes they do. I knew at that age he was different but kept it to myself. 


His father only donated his sperm, he hated me because when I was pregnant I wouldn’t get an abortion. I remember going to a clinic doing an ultrasound and the doctor telling me I’m at the weeks where we need to talk about the procedure that will be done in 2 days, and you have to take 2 pills. One pill will open the cervix and the other pill will push the fetus down enough so the doctor can perform the procedure. I looked at my cousin and said, “I’m out of here.”  From that day on forward he never took care of his son financially, never given him a talk, never took him to a ball game, or hugged him. 


At the age of 6, I lost a custody battle to the father. He took me through hell and back. At age 11, I regained full custody. From this incident he refused to see or be a part of his life. During my son’s high school years he became more comfortable with himself, his father really stopped acknowledging him because he was gay. When my son was sent off to his prom, his father never came to see him off or attend his graduation. For some reason, I think that hurt me more than my son. After high school my son began taking hormone pills. It was hard for me at first, but I still stood by him. A year after my son graduated, his brother by another woman graduated from high school. My son and I went to see him off to the prom and their father was there as well. I watched and overheard their father discuss how expensive the prom was that he paid for it.  At that moment I was so hurt knowing he helped the other mother but not me. My son for the past 14-16 years will still go over his father’s family house but the father will never speak or acknowledge him. 
As of today, his father still doesn’t  accept the fact his son is a transgender and now he won’t acknowledge his other son who happens to be gay.  I’m doing my best to make this long story short, my life is like a book with my son. It has been a journey. Some times I beat myself up, and I still don’t know why it hurts me so bad that my son’s father won’t accept my son. He’s really a great person and I love him unconditionally.

MYSTERY SCIENCE

Mystery Science Halloween Project

As a homeschool momma, I love all the free resources I can find. Mystery Science gave us a year subscription for free. Mystery Science is used in 50% of elementary schools. They took 150 of the most asked questions to teachers by students ages 5-10 and turned them into science open and go lessons. 

We currently use it as a supplemental source of learning for my daughter and not primary. They send me cute emails of videos and projects on Sundays, so I plan it into her week. I find she enjoys the videos because it’s a nice way to break up bookwork during the week and something different than her hands-on science experiments.  I wanted to share an extension project that was offered by them because the skull is a perfect symbol of Halloween. It’s amazing how kids can be entertained by a simple piece of paper. 

(She was able to use scissors and tape, so she was happy. Science and Art all together. What’s better than that?)

If you are looking for something to boost your child’s knowledge of the world around them, check out www.Mystery.org

“TAKE THAT MAKEUP OFF, GIVE THE HORSE BACK ITS HAIR! “

I was told by men I looked up to and adore, “TAKE THAT MAKEUP OFFGIVE THE HORSE BACK ITS HAIR! “

I grew up in a time when men invested time loving women they weren’t trying to sleep with! I feel really sorry for a whole generation of young girls. Men no longer do that. They won’t tell you they aren’t into the lacefronts and fake eyelashes, instead they laugh at these young women behind their backs but pump them up in their faces and make them think they look good. They try to play hard and act like they don’t care but low-key get they’re dissing young girls after they use them at their convenience. 

I am very lucky and blessed. Men took time out of their day to let me know I was beautiful and “perfectly imperfect, but just the way GOD made me.” I was enough. They made sure I loved myself before I was thrown to the wolves of the dating pool where boys play on girls’ self-esteem every chance they get. I was told by men who supposedly loved me I needed my ass done and another offered to pay for me to have a boob job. But these fake loves were too late! I was already warned about their kind.

My first boyfriend, Victor Carrillo told me, “Stop flat ironing your hair, your curls are beautiful. Thank you, Mookie.

I already had a platonic, successful male friend who wrote me a 4-page letter about how I never needed to alter my body because I was perfect. Thank you, Najeh Davenport! It was a small gesture of love to him, but I’ve carried it with me through life!

“Take that dead puppy off your head!”, said Antwon Tanner about my fake bangs before we left the house. Thank you, Brother! LOL  

“You look like a geisha girl, take that shit off your face!” said Dr. Dre. LOL, I did have on a lot of makeup. I just got off work, LOL. Mel-Man then told me to go put some real clothes on. LOL, I was young and had too much hanging out, LOL. But I thought I was doing it. My body was banging.

Just thinking back at it makes me giggle! I love these men and hold them close to my heart. 

Luther Campbell confessed to me one night when I was about 18 years old that he wasn’t attracted to what he has built his character around. Look who he married, a conservative, beautiful lawyer…. I’m not name dropping, instead I’m sharing names of men who helped me become the woman I am now, who many of you admire as well. These men were real friends to me. Along with many others, they helped teach me I WAS ENOUGH. Once you love yourself, nobody can take that from you or have you thinking less of yourself and you damn sure won’t settle for less.

I hope some young men who read this are encouraged to take some young girls under their wings and show them genuine love before fake love is all in their faces.

This is what MEN LEAD THEIR FAMILIES means. It’s a man’s duty to PROVIDE, PROFESS and PROTECT! Provide isn’t always about money, it’s a safe place, it’s providing confidence and it’s about providing security of one’s heart! Profess that young men have some knowledge to offer. Protect isn’t about fighting but also about teaching to protect the heart. Love enough to protect women from you and themselves.

56% of women are dissatisfied with their overall appearance! That’s over half the women in this world. Ladies stop looking towards your female friends for advice and ask a male homie. If you don’t have platonic friendships with straight men, GO GET YOU A MANISH GAY BESTIE, he will get you right!

Advice I’ve gotten from women about my appearance was: change it up, get some tracks or a full weave, I should get a nose job, I should botox or laser the winkles in my forehead, my laugh lines should be filled in and put stuff in my hair to loosen my curls or make it straight chemically so it won’t curl anymore. I always was too skinny or too thick. (Imagine if I’da listened) This was advice from family members and people who supposedly love me! Not random friends.

We have to teach our daughters to LOVE THEMSELVES the way they are! I pray my daughter is surrounded with the genuine love and friendship I was blessed to encounter growing up. That positive male energy is needed! Mom & Dad’s word isn’t enough, it takes a village! I feel sad for every woman who didn’t grow up with it. It shows…

BEDTIME STORIES

Tonight, our bedtime stories were all about powerful, beautiful girls. My daughter’s first pick is a book called, Rad Girl Revolution. It features inspiring stories and gorgeous photographs of real girls in 30 different careers where women are often underrepresented. The book is beautiful, powerful and inspiring and teaches young girls to have courage. It was well thought out and is beautifully diverse. Every girl is able to see themselves in this book. The best part about Rad Girl Revolution is I homeschool and they have a great book unit that goes along with it. Thank you, Sharita Manickam & Jennifer Elliot Bruno, this book is truly magical! If you have a daughter, please check out this Girl Power Pack Impressive Book, says my Lil Cherie! 

The book is available on Amazon now

SHE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, STRAWBERRY

It was a sad day in our house today! My little girl and I walked to the park and had a great time. She saw beautiful butterflies and talked about how she loved nature. When we got home, she went to feed her fish. First, she fed Molly then went to Strawberry. Strawberry was at the bottom of her bowl not moving. My heart skipped a beat. She started screaming into the bowl. Strawberry was dead! As a parent, I could either take this time to talk about the facts of life or lie. I picked the hard choice. I looked in the bowl and said Strawberry is dead. There was no easy was to say it. I held her and let her cry…. she screamed and cried. It broke my heart. She was hysterical and I was heartbroken for her knowing unfortunately, it was the first of many heartbreaks. 

When she settled down, I asked her if she wanted me to flush him or bury him. She wanted to bury him. So, we picked a bush she could see through her bedroom window. I dug a hole and put Strawberry in. She wanted to cover him, so I handed her my little hand shovel and let her. I said a prayer and she said, “Amen.” 

She couldn’t concentrate on school, didn’t want to go to Taekwondo. When she didn’t stop crying and didn’t want to go to Taekwondo, that’s when it came to me this was just gonna be a hard day. So, we snuggled in bed and talked. I asked her to tell me how she felt, I allowed her to talk and cry. We turned on YouTube and watched a couple of videos about children grieving over their pets, so she knew she was not alone. We snuggled and talked. I know it’s a long road ahead, I explained to her the pain will always be there but will dissipate over time. 

Good luck to parents since explaining death and grieving to little ones is never easy. There are many wonderful books I read to her about children whose pets have passed away.  One of my favorites was Up in Heaven by Emma Chichester Clark.

Strawberry 

July 21, 2019- October 15, 2019

BOOKS ARE TRULY MAGICAL

I just read a post by our homeschool advisor, Andrea. It said if you read a book to your child everyday by the time they are 5 years old, they would have read 1,825 books by the age of 5. I wish I would have kept count! My daughter has a love affair with books. In fact, one of her favorite hiding places is in a hallway linen closet that I have turned into her personal library. LOL. The comforter bags at the bottom have become her couches that she lines up and lays on as she reads, LOL. From a very early age, she has had an infatuation with getting lost in stories. She reads them, then plays them out, as if she is those characters.

Books are truly magical when you help your child find the magic in them. Parents that read have children that read. It’s really that simple. There’s no better way to broaden their vocabulary and tantalize young imaginations. 

My daughter surprised us when she started reading at 2 years old. Now at 5, I still read to her daily and point out the words as I am reading, which helps her read along and sound words out with me. So, every day she’s getting at least 2 books in. 1 book with me and 1 book she reads on her own. 

Books do get expensive, so the library is one of our best friends. I admit we spend hours in Barnes and Noble where we read many books for free and end up buying one we didn’t read while sitting there. Books can take you anywhere you want to be! 

Happy Travels!

IT’S PUMPKIN SPICE SEASON

I had to be ashamed of myself but I’m not. I walked into Walmart and begin laughing hysterically. They had pumpkin spice everywhere. Now I’m a give you a little backstory: my friend, Shawn despises pumpkin spice, pumpkin spice season and everyone who loves the taste of pumpkin. He thinks it’s the most ridiculous thing in the whole world. And because I pictured his face when I walked into the store, I began laughing so hard I was crying.

Let me explain this pumpkin spice thing to my white friends. Never bring a pumpkin pie to the cookout. Black people’s thing is sweet potato. Sweet potato pie is like our national apple pie. And it doesn’t matter how good you think your pumpkin pie is, it’s never going to measure up to a sweet potato or bean pie. 

Oh, this Walmart haul is ridiculous. They got pumpkin cupcakes, cookies, rice crispy treats and ice cream. I even bought pumpkin hand soap. (So far, the ice cream is my favorite.) 

My initial reaction was to call you for something stupid and ask you to come over. Then, I realized I moved to a whole different state so in the middle of trying to annoy you, I have a whole bunch of pumpkin spice stuff that baby girl and I are going to be eating in honor of you because nobody else in the house will eat it. They all looked at me like I was crazy and turned up their noses.

Just the image embedded in my head of your turned up face brought me so much joy. I love you with all my heart. Let me go drink this latte…Pumpkin Spice Latte, that is. LMFAO 

(I hope the kids at soccer will eat some of this pumpkin stuff I bought.) Lmfao

LIL CHERIE DRESSES HERSELF NOW HAS A UNIT TO GO WITH THE BOOK!

I wrote Lil Cherie Dresses Herself because I wanted my daughter to be able to see her own likeness in a book. Being a homeschooling momma, of course we don’t just read books, we turn them into adventures and units. With the book being bilingual, it’s full of lessons. So, about a year ago, after my daughter and I played with the book for a while I got the bright idea to develop some worksheets and make a unit around some of the ways I had used the book to teach my own daughter. Only thing is, I am not a certified teacher and wasn’t 100% sure if what I had taught was correct. Also, computers are not my thing, so the project was basically put on the back burner until one day I was having a conversation with a lifelong friend and confidant who just so happens to be a teacher! DUHHHHHH, Cherie! The teacher overseeing my daughter’s homeschool education.

It started with a casual question. “Do you know how to make worksheets?” Cherie asked me, almost hesitantly. I laughed to myself as I answered because as a teacher for over 15 years, I’ve made a lot of worksheets. To make sure we were on the same page, I emailed some old worksheets to Cherie.  Her next question was more specific, “Can you make boxes on worksheets?” she asked. After some sketching of ideas and a chat, we felt we were talking about the same idea and I started on the worksheet that required boxes. I quickly emailed the rough draft to Cherie, who confirmed that those were, indeed, the type of boxes she had been picturing. One idea at a time, one page at a time, with each chat and every ongoing email, we began to create a noticeable pile of worksheets to go with Cherie’s children’s book, Lil Cherie Dresses Herself. Suddenly, we had something to share! 

We have created a homeschool curriculum pack designed to be used with Lil Cherie Dresses Herself, but flexible enough to change up and use in other ways and with others texts. The curriculum is primarily used by students in Pre-K to grade 2 and again it is flexible – we encourage families and educators to make any adjustments necessary for the curriculum to best fit your learners! 

If you want help with Lil Cherie Dresses Herself Curriculum or have other education related questions, please email us at Lilcheriehelps@gmail.com

If you would like to purchase the curriculum, please visit: https://adviceformysistas.com/product/lil-cherie-dresses-herself-educational-learning-unit/

TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS

We woke up at 7 o’clock in the morning. She jumped in the shower, brushed her teeth and got ready. Packed herself an apple, blueberry muffins and grabbed water. We got in the car. She was one of the first children to check in at her Taekwondo tournament.  She went down on the floor, looked at where the judges were sitting and immediately started practicing. She came back, went to the potty, put on her uniform, went back on the floor and practiced again. They called all the participants to ring number five so that they could go over the rules with them. I cannot sit with her but was comforted by the older children from her school surrounding her. Her master’s son was right next to her so that eased my mind since she loves him. I saw her lift her hand and ask a question. I saw the master answer her back, but I could not hear what she asked. My eyes started to swell but with tears… my mother looked at me and said, “Don’t worry she’s going to be OK.”

I’ve shared with you guys before that I suffer from anxiety. I just didn’t want my little girl to be disappointed in herself. After they read the rules, she came back and sat in my lap. She was happy and confident. I asked her, “Do you want to rehearse again?” She looked at me and said, “No, Mom, I’m good. I got this”.

A few minutes later, the lady with the microphone said, “Five and under to ring number five. My family got up and we moved to ring number five. We were right ring side in the front. They called her to come line up and my heart started pounding almost out of my chest… she was cool, calm and collected. She looked at me and gave me the thumbs up when she saw who she was competing against.

It was my little girl and three boys. There’s no way that one of those boys was five years old, he had to be eight easy. My daughter is tall for her age, but he was huge. Two seconds into the competition starting, my mind was eased. She had it in the bag and they could not hold her or outperform her. They gave her scores and all we heard was 9.9, 9.9, 9.9!  It’s the highest score you can get. Not only did she win a medal, she won a grand champion belt and a trophy bigger than her last trophy. Our baby brought it home. Grandma who was cool as a cucumber busted out crying.  She was so proud, trying to play it cool at first.

What an amazing way to spend our weekend. I’m telling you; Taekwondo is taking my baby to new heights. I am so excited to see where her future is going to go. She is one belt away from her black belt.  I know she’s going to get it. We will be sitting there, screaming right in the front all the way through her ride called life. I have never been so proud! Quoting her father, she is in Beast Mode!

24- Hour Handcuffed Challenge

I don’t do social media challenges, but I am all for challenges that make my child happy.

Be careful what you agree to. So, my daughter watches these YouTube shows, like probably many of the other children out there. She got this crazy idea that it would be fun to be handcuffed me for 24 hours. Stupidly, I told my daughter, “Fine with me, we can be handcuffed for 24 hours but you have to win a trophy at your Taekwondo tournament.

Not only did she win a trophy, she won a belt and a medal. So as soon as we left the competition, I drove to the dollar store. She was so excited to get home and handcuff herself to me.  At first, yes, it was an inconvenience. I couldn’t really use my phone. I was trying to cook dinner and guess who was attached to me. But then I gave myself a reality check how cool is it that my five-year-old wants to be handcuffed to me for 24 hours. I will never get this time back in her life. Pretty soon, she’ll be off with her friends and probably wanting very little to do with me. So, I looked down at her and smiled, thankful for this moment. In the end, it is our duty as parents to make great childhood memories with our children though she never sat still so that 24 hours was very challenging for me. I made the best out of it for her so it’ll always be something positive that she can remember. I know I’m thankful 24 hours is over. I’m sure, it’s something both of us will look back on and giggle.

I love my baby girl.