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Becca Beasley is the owner and operator of Becca Bee Events, a wedding planning business thriving in Central Virginia. With twelve years of event experience in the tourism industry and a solid background in literature, Becca contributes her talents to travel blogs in the Mid-Atlantic region. Her FredParent blog relates the adventures she and her two young children, Maggie and Brendan, embark on in Fredericksburg with a focus on the area’s family-friendly locales. This September, Becca and her husband, Mark, are expecting their third child.

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Childhood is Calling

Sprelly in our Bellies!

Now that preschool is out for the summer, my children and I operate on a much more relaxed schedule. Waking up, getting dressed and eating breakfast at our own pace is so enjoyable, especially when compared to school day mornings when I have to repeat myself over and over…and over…just to get my two young children to put their clothes on and find their shoes! One such recent blissful morning we enjoyed our weekly trip to Snead’s Farm to pick up our CSA bounty (more on those adventures to come!) followed by an impromptu trip to Kenmore Park… but first, lunch! Where can I take the kids in downtown Fredericksburg for a yummy, inexpensive and quick lunch on a random weekday? Sprelly!

Sprelly

In the words of owners Adrian and Casey Silversmith, Sprelly is a brick-and-mortar eatery specializing in gourmet PB&J sandwiches and French crepes. Sprelly opened their doors at 920 Caroline Street in April of 2016. Their menu offers sandwiches, crepes, coffee and a plethora of “nutterly delicious” freshly ground gourmet nut butters. Check out their website at sprelly.com for more information and to purchase the nut butters directly.

Sprelly Customer

My daughter, son and I found Adrian behind the counter of Sprelly during the Wednesday lunch hour. Sprelly is open six days a week, closed only on Tuesdays. They share a space with the Made in Virginia store and have a convenient walk-up window for those who are looking for a really, really quick bite or late night snack. My daughter and son each selected a Nutella and marshmellow fluff sandwich with a side of chips and carrots. They loved their sandwiches so much that my daughter declared “we need to eat here all the time!” High marks coming from my normally selective five-year-old! My son concurred whole-heartedly. I ordered the “Apple-ation Trail” sandwich, one of the gourmet options. It features Sprelly’s honey roasted peanut butter, granny smith apples, apple butter, fresh sliced Virginia ham and sharp cheddar cheese on whole wheat bread. Lots of flavors (!!) and yet they marry together smoothly. The crispness of the apples and apple butter balances nicely against the sweetness of the peanut butter and warm ham and cheese.  

Sprelly Customer  

After more pleasant conversation with “Mr. Adrian,” as my children call him, the kids and I hopped on down to Kenmore Park. I wish I had some funny anecdotes spurred by disastrous events to sprinkle in, but really we had such a great day! I highly recommend visiting Sprelly with your loved ones. If you are taking young children, I would advise making the trip on a weekday if you can, simply because parking on weekends can be tricky and make things a bit more laborious. Tell Mr. Adrian that Maggie and Brendan sent you!

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Girls Day Out

My first born, my five-year-old daughter, is in preschool five mornings a week. My three-year-old son, Brendan, is now my good buddy, but this leaves me missing time with Maggie. (As a stay-at-home mom, I never thought I’d lament the day that one of my children was more independent, but I do!) So last Saturday I decided to somewhat remedy the situation by taking her out for a day date! I am so excited that she’s finally at the age that we can do mutually fun “girl stuff” together; I filled the afternoon with a haircut for her, manicures, shoe shopping and lunch.  

Fredericksburg has many viable options for hair and nails, but I chose Tulip Salon & Spa located at 1 Towne Centre Boulevard, in the Spotsylvania Town Center. Tulip is an Aveda salon, which gives it name recognition for many people.  A friend actually recommended it to me because she takes her young son there for haircuts, and seeing as this was Maggie’s first “big girl” haircut complete with shampoo and blow dry, I actively sought a vetted kid-friendly location. Tulip is open 9 am until 9 pm every day of the week, except Sundays when it is open 12 pm until 6 pm. You can make an appointment by calling 540.785.4004.

Maggie began her appointment with her haircut. The stylist led her back to the shampoo bowl and hiked Maggie up on a booster seat so her head would reach the curve of the bowl. Maggie found the entire experience hilarious!  She couldn’t get over the water, which apparently literally tickled her. She giggled so much that I didn’t think the stylist would achieve the desired result! Being the five-year-old that she is, Maggie asked a lot of questions at each juncture (“What is that? Why are you putting it on? Where did you get it from?”), and I was thoroughly amused. Maggie even exclaimed, “Mama! This is funny! We should do girls days more often!”

hair salon

Following the shampoo, we made our way to the stylist chair for the cut and blow dry. I should brief you: My daughter has a lot of thick hair. It’s genetic. My aunt has breast cancer and she didn’t even lose her hair at the appointed time. No joke. So Maggie’s chair experience was not as pleasant as the shampoo experience, simply because it took forever to cut and blow dry her mane. I did my best to distract her and tell stories, but her only questions during this portion of the day were, “Are we done yet?” and “When can she be done?”

Fortunately nails were next and she was amped up to pick “sparkly” polish. The stylist ushered us back to the nail area, which is more private. I was thankful that there wasn’t a massage in-session because keeping a five-year-old quiet (or at least my overly friendly five-year-old!) is nearly impossible. Maggie quickly selected sparkly gold and I chose a more neutral pink. I can’t say that the manicure was relaxing, but as someone who washes hands (mine and theirs) a million times a day, it was necessary and much appreciated!

nails

We left Tulip on a mission for a balloon per my date’s request, so I sought shoes from the neighboring Saxon Shoes where they give balloons in the children’s department. She needed spring sandals, so I thought “two birds with one stone,” perfect! Maggie chose plastic, jelly-like Jack Rogers’ sandals, much to my chagrin because I truly doubt the between-the-toe stiff plastic will be comfortable for my active child. But man, they are cute!  I wish I dressed myself even half as well as I dress my children!

We rounded out our day with a quick lunch at Salsarita’s because Maggie was craving quesadillas. I admit, I wanted more of a sit-down experience; after all, this was my girl’s day out too! But as a mom the name of the game is always “adjusted expectations.” What I envision is never quite what I end up with, and we certainly had a few bumps and necessary attitude adjustments, but overall I really loved my day with my little girl! Next time you have some time to spend with your loved one(s), I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for in Fredericksburg!

mom and daughter

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My Life as "Mama"

Hi there.  Allow me to introduce myself.  The name I most frequently answer to is “Mama.”  At first, I admit, I struggled with this identity.  You see, the majority of my life I haven’t been “Mama.”  I identified myself as a daughter, a sister, a scholar, an athlete, a traveler, a young professional, a Maryland native, a Virginia Tech graduate, a wife… I’d been called many, many things up until the birth of my daughter in January of 2011.  

Even after she was born, I didn’t feel like “Mama” right away.  I remember looking at my daughter and thinking, “Who are you?” shortly after she was born.  Birth is no cake walk—it’s a pretty traumatic experience—so understandably I had a similar reaction when my son was plopped on my chest after he was born the following year.  And just like that, I’m “Mama” to two young children.  Some days I look at them and think, “The joke is on you two!  Why are you trusting me with all of this responsibility??” but most days (let’s be real), the joke is on me.  

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In my daily life, words come out of my mouth that I never thought I’d say.  Just today, I caught myself saying “Take your penis out of the microwave” to my three-year-old son.  “Turn on your ears” and “Keep your hands to yourself” are uttered so frequently that I don’t even notice how easily they roll off my tongue.  I’ve had to address issues like putting trucks in toilets, peeing in trash cans, knotting electric trains in hair, and touching the dog’s private parts.  

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Likewise, I do things I never thought I’d do.  I loathe… no, I hate frogs and toads, and yet I patiently watch, feign interest, and miraculously hold back disgust as my son picks up a toad and shoves it in my face for closer examination.  Similarly, pink is not my color (and it never has been).  But I painstakingly sanded, primed and painted vintage shutters a lovely shade of Annie Sloan pink to accent my daughter’s bedroom.  I listen to The Lion Guard soundtrack on every car ride (long or short), allow popsicles on my furniture, supervise messy morning painting sessions, and even tolerate it when Playdoh finds its way into someone’s mouth.  

Going from career woman to stay-at-home mom has been a shock to my system, for sure.  It took me three years before I finally realized that clinging to my former self was like fighting a losing battle.  It wasn’t my children who needed to change to accommodate me, it was the other way around.  Our crazy little life got a whole lot more enjoyable for me after I adjusted my expectations.  Now I’m able to find and appreciate the humor in our everyday adventures.  I even find it slightly funny that my husband and I are expecting our third child this September.  It’s a boy, so I look forward to saying “keep your penis in your pants” frequently for the next twenty-five years.  And I look forward to being “Mama” for the rest of my life.  It’s nice to meet you.

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Pouches' Community Corner

Bikers Against Child Abuse, Inc. (BACA) exists to create a safer environment for abused children by empowering children to not feel afraid of their world. Imagine how an abused child feels when a group of large bikers rides up to their house, inducts them into their club and then escorts them to court to testify against their abuser.

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