Mothering the Mama
Aside from your birth plan, one of the most important pre-baby arrival decisions you can make is choosing your baby's pediatrician. 

Let's face it, you discuss just about everything with your partner before the birth; nursery furniture, safest car seat, strollers, birth plan, etc. Many families forget to talk about one of the most important decisions: Who's going to be your baby's pediatrician? Before your baby is born you are expected to have their doctor chosen and one year of appointments already scheduled. For us personally, we were a little behind the ball. So once I got home after delivery — the race to find a pediatrician was on. Luckily, I had all the right tools that lead me to be very successful when choosing baby boy's pediatrician.

Think it all through

When making the final decision on your child's pediatrician, make sure you sit and truly think of all the things that are important to you in a doctor. 

  • Education:  How important is your doctor's education to you? For me, this wasn't that important. Being a nurse I know how important it is to be fresh out of school and needing the experience but having no one trust you. Yes, it takes a little more trust since these physicians don't have a ton of background experience, but hey they have to start somewhere. Plus, check-ups are pretty routine, how much could they mess up?
  • Accolades:  Is the pediatrician you are considering featured in any magazines or well-known published articles? Have they spoken at any conferences? Any top ranking in the state? Many providers have a lot of accomplishments under their belt, but it's up to you to decide if any of that stuff is important to you. When choosing a pediatrician for my child, I definitely was impressed by any mentions of accolades for a certain provider, but it was not anything that helped in my final decision making. Instead, it was like icing on top of the cake. (Though icing is absolutely my favorite part of a cake.)
  • History:  The same way you have a job history, so does a provider. It's important to decide if having knowledge of your provider’s history is important for you. In my search, this was very important. I wanted to know any medical errors/malpractices, any fires/not eligible for rehires or any blemishes the pediatrician had on their work history. Which leads me to my next point. 

Do your research

Similar to every other major decision in life, you really shouldn't make a big decision like finding your child's doctor without first doing some research. There are a few ways to get this research done.

  • Internet:  Yes, you very well can throw your potential pediatrician's name in google and see what comes up. But more than likely it won't bring up the real facts you want to know. There are websites such as Health Grades, as well as Vitals, that help you find out specific information about each provider. Information including: work history, medical practice history (i.e. any blemishes on their record), their education, their age, their gender, any accolades and more. These websites are trusted websites with accurate and specific information that will give you more of the type of information you need before choosing the right doctor for your child. I most definitely ran my son's doctor's name through sites like these a time or two. 
  • Word of mouth:  We all know that sometimes the best advice you need, comes from straight from the source. The best information you can get about a pediatrician is going to come from another trusted family, and them discussing their decision on why they chose that pediatrician. SO... go ahead! Ask your friend that just had a baby who their pediatrician is. Ask your family members with young children their reasoning for choosing their pediatrician.  
  • Your doctor:  And my biggest recommendation is ask YOUR doctor! They've counseled plenty of women on choosing their baby's doctor within those last few prenatal visits and if anyone is going to have a vast knowledge on doctors in the area — they will. And even if they can't tell you local doctors, they can at least give you a place to start.

My Top 4 Reasons for Choosing My Son's Pediatrician

When choosing my pediatrician it came down to 5 main points and these were what I used each time we moved and had to find a new pediatrician. 

  1. Proximity:  If you know me, you know I'm always late... so my doctor being close was a must. It's hard enough getting myself out the house on time, but add in a newborn and it was basically setting me up for failure. Having my doctor close to our house was necessary for those "flying out of the house 10 minutes before the appointment was supposed to start" moments.
  2. Insurance:  If I don't have to spend extra money, I don't want to. Having a physician that was covered by our insurance was another must. I didn't mind paying a co-pay, but helping a provider pay off their Benz payment for the month was not in my intentions.
  3. Family/Friend Recommendation:  Similar to when I said word of mouth, I needed to personally know someone whose child went to my physician's office. The best form of advice is true experience. I value my friend's and family's opinion, so getting feedback on their pediatricians was very important to me. 
  4. Likability:  If it's one thing my son's father will tell you about me (aside from me being amazing), is that I am very picky. Whether it is food, homes, cars, clothes; I have my opinions and they are very strong. I felt the same way when it came to my son's doctor. If I had to sit in an office with them every month for 30 minutes plus... I had to be able to like them. Might sound superficial but this was important to me. And not only that I liked them — but that Tate did, too. During our meet and greets I watched how the pediatricians interacted with both Tate and us as his parents.

Making life decisions is hard; making them for your children is even harder. From cold remediesskin care and more there is so much we just aren't sure on as parents, and the right pediatrician can prove to be a big help. But don't forget life is all about trial and error. If you choose the first provider and they don't work out, move on! Go on meet and greets where you sit and meet with different doctors, voice your expectations and then go from there. If you don't find the right doctor the first, second or even third time remember it is okay! Eventually there will be one you love. Don't stress yourself, just take the time and you'll come to the right decision. Also, just like all other parts of motherhood — allow no one to sway your decision (except for Dad of course haha). You know what's best for your baby, trust yourself on making the right decision. 

As a nurse, my son's doctor was very important to me. By following these steps listed above I was able to choose the right pediatrician that worked for my family without too much added stress!

Take care of you too mama,

Aysia B. 

This past weekend I took Tate to his FIRST professional sporting event. If you know my family, then you know it was only right that baseball was it. And when I tell you he rocked it, he couldn’t have done a better job! Literally no crying, no tantrums and he stayed awake the entire time! Baby boy was a champ and this mama is proud.

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while then you know that Tate’s dad is a professional athlete. Once we got pregnant I knew that baby boy going to games was going to be a part of his culture. Home games, away games, scrimmages, practices, walk throughs; you talk about it I’ve lived it for 10 years +; the only difference this time around, was I was expected to have a baby in tow.

In the past 3 years I have traveled to plenty of different NFL stadiums. Some ultra nice ones have daycare or child care places in them our stadium for the last 3 years however, did not. So baby boy being amongst the sea of fans was something I was just going to have to get used to.

Keeping a baby entertained at home is no easy task, so imagine trying to entertain a baby in a cramped, over stimulated, loud space- yea pretty much impossible. But not quite. As all things in life, it’s all about finding the right tools for the trade.

Here’s how I kept baby boy entertained at his first professional sporting event:

 1. Dancing. If you’re baby is anything like mine then music is his favorite past time. If you yourself have never been to a professional sports game, let me give you a little tid- bit on what it’s like. There’s lots of noise, booze, music; sounds like a high school party right ?! Trust me it’s better. They play music, tell a fun fact or play little field games every time out or dead moment of the game. For me this worked in my favor. Instead of having baby boy sit the entire time, when they played music I would stand and dance with him or let him stand and dance in between the seats. He had a blast and it helped keep him from feeling bored or stagnant.
 2. Food. Tate would eat all day if you’d let him. A little snack here, meal there, and boom you have a full on baby gazelle just grazing along. One suggestion I’d have is pack the snacks! Crackers, yogurts, fruit everything. And of course you cannot go to a professional sports stadium and not have a hotdog! That’s literally my favorite thing on the menu. P.s. if you’re going in the hot summer months like we did yesterday stock up on water and fluids!
3. The game. I mean duhhh that’s what you’re there for! Now it depends how old your baby is, but for Tate he’s at the stage where he understands the look and point. Every time they threw the ball I would point in that direction so he could look. Anytime the fans cheered I’d pick him up and make him cheer too! It’s important to me that he not only attends the games but that he eventually gets into and understands the entire culture around the games.
4. Free play. Just like when we work a 9-5 we need a little break every now and then, they’re babies and they for sure need a break more than us. Taking them up with you while you go grab that food and letting them just run wild and free is always a good time. It’s exercise for you and them and helps them burn a little extra energy. Plus, after they get done they’ll be so tired they’ll sit still, at least for a few extra minutes anyways.
5. Backup plan. And just all things in life with a baby, you have to have a plan B. Now I know some mamas are going to cringe at this, but we are an iPad loving family. With the right shows and programs you can totally entertain and teach at the same time. Our back up plan is always a quick Netflix or youtube moment. Around about the 6th inning Tater tot started to get a little restless and started fussing. He asked for a show I whipped it out and he barely watched until the end of that inning then got right back into the game. It was just enough to distract him and give him time to enjoy something else for a little. If this is not for your family, try something else! Like coloring, physical toys or even a book to read! Check out my restaurant activity toolkit here and maybe even bring it along to your sporting events!

Though Tate will probably go to many of his dads professionally games without me now, he still has plenty of games to go to with mama and it is an experience I truly enjoyed experiencing together for the first time. It’s important to make memories with your kids and it’s important for our mama sanity that we both enjoy them. Because let’s be honest, once baby’s unhappy, nobody’s happy!

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B.

I saw a picture the other day that Michael's already has their fall stuff out... I mean give me a break I haven't even done my summer self care list yet!  Even though fall is my favorite holiday, I still am not fully ready for the transition yet. As you know, both Fall and Spring self care list was jammed packed with a favorite seasonal scent and the self cafe activities you can do around them.  So this summer I'm sticking with the same vibes and bringing to you summer self care activities with the Mango infused scent!

Health benefits of mango are:

  • high in axioxidants
  • high in vitamin A (helps boost immune system)
  • high in vitamin C  (soooo good for your hair and nails!)
  • down right delicious 
I mean the taste alone is enough to make you add Mango to your summer routine! Here's 5 great ways to add it into your summer self care routine:
  1. Body Wash.  I am super picky about what goes on my skin.  Not only to prevent break outs but to prevent from drying me out too.  Raw Sugar Living is one of my favorite body washes to date.  It is soft, smells good and they even donate some of their proceeds as well bars of soap! My favorite scent just so happens to fit right into the summer mix; Raw Coconut+Mango.  
  2. DIY Mango Face Mask.  Now, this one I haven't tried yet but it is very high on my list of must haves for this summer.  This DIY face mask and exfoliator looks fairly simple and even spruces it up a bit using avacado.  Lots of that good ol vitamin C!
  3. Mango Nail Color.  Okay, getting a bit off track with this one but every girl knows the vibrant neon colors are in this summer and a splash of orange is perfect for a beach nail combo.  Here I'll tell you the color orange symbolizes warmth, joy, balance and freedom.  Sounds like the perfect recipe for a summer mood.  This orange "Where did Suzi's Mango Go" color from target is made by my favorite at home nail color brand O.P.I. 
  4. Mango Smoothie.  Not only on your nails or on your skin, but mango is also great ingested!  Here's a list of 25 smoothie mixes with mangos to try at home!  My favorite would have to be the strawberry mango.  I love anything with a good strawberry mix. 
  5. Mango Lip Scrub.  Let's be honest those lips get nice and dry in the summer almost just as much as the winter.  And who wouldn't like to give out a juicy mango kiss!  Another favorite from Raw Sugar Living is the Raw Coconut+Mango lip scrub!  Sure to leave your lips feeling soft and rejuvenated it is packed with mango seed oil and coconut seed oil.  
  6. Sunscreen.  Here's a bonus one because well, it is the joy of summer.  This organic mango scented sunscreen from Ulta!

Whatever your favorite self care activity for the summer is see if you can add a bit of Mango to spruce it up! As moms we tend to forget ourselves in the process of life but especially the summer.  The kids are home from school, and you have devoted your entire summer months to their ultimate summer bucket list.  But in the midst of all that craziness it's important to remember to fill your cup up too.  Because as it's always said, you just cannot pour from an empty cup.  So tell me, how are you adding Mango to your routine this summer?

Take care of you too mama,
Aysia B. 

Wow we're halfway through the summer and I am just getting around to this post.  If I just use the excuse that we are actually living the most epic summer ever is it believable? In actuality we have been so very busy this summer it's almost unbelievable.  Between Tate and I, I think we have traveled to at least 4-5 different states already.  But hey, that's what summers are for right?!

photos by: @shotbyjosh

One of the hardest things about summer now, is that Tate is getting older and everyone wants a piece of him. His dad, grandmothers, cousins, everyone!  So splitting up the summer fun is a must.  But you know mama has to always get a piece of her baby too.

Two months into summer and my little Tot is already three shades darker, I have brought one new pair of sandals and my car has been to the beach twice now... summer is officially in full effect.  So without further ado here is our epic summer bucket list for Summer 2019:

  1. Beach trip
  2. Staycation
  3. Amusement Park
  4. Carnival
  5. Gymboree outside play day
  6. YMCA outdoor pool
  7. Mommy and me cookout
  8. Backyard pool and sprinkler
  9. Zoo
  10. Water balloon fight (I know this sounds like a lot for a toddler, but my sons in a throwing stage, this is right up his alley)

photos by: @shotbyjosh

No, this list is not all-inclusive and we all know the best summer days are things that totally happen on accident.  But here's a list to get you started! 

What do you have planned for the summer?

Take care of you too Mama,
Aysia B.

p.s. stay tuned next week for my mama self care summer list! (it is definitely needed after this toddler list of fun)

This shop has been compensated by Schwarzkopf. #ColorAndMoistureAtCVS #Sponsored

Alright, let’s take a trip.

You’re on your way to the hair salon, ALONE, and no kids in tow. You arrive, early, of course, I mean hello no kids remember! You lean back into a sink full of warm water flowing all over your scalp. You rise feeling clean and fresh. You head over to the chair and begin to laugh chat and hang with your hair dresser. Catching up on the latest shows, celebrity gossip, and reality TV. Before you know it, you’re spun around forward and facing a brand new dew feeling completely amazing!

Now you are awake. How amazing did that feel!? Now if you’re a mama, this day trip to the salon seems like a far fetched dream, but what if you could have the same type of feeling on in your own home or safe space?

Before I had Tate, dying my hair was just the thing to do. I loved changing my color every other month, coming up with a new style and just going with the flow of my emotions. But after Tate was born, things are a little different, not only physically with my hair, which we’ll get to a bit later, but also like with everything else in motherhood. 

I am in the process of writing a “how to make the most out of nap time” series, but coloring/doing my hair done at home is at the very top of my list. All of us mamas know just how hard it is to find and confirm a sitter, so we’re not wasting it when we get the chance. That’s why the new Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color + Moisture line from CVS is my favorite! It leaves your hair feeling nourished and moisturized giving you that fresh salon feeling right from home! Plus, being a curly ethnic girl it’s sometimes hard to find the right at-home products. But the Keratin Color + Moisture was specifically designed for women of color. The shades work on dark hair and complement all hair textures and skin tones. These professional quality formulas are salon tested & approved too.

As I said earlier, the physical structure of my hair changed after pregnancy and breast feeding. Once I stopped breast feeding Tate, my hormones must have hit a major drop because the texture of my hair changed immensely. It went from smooth and hydrated to dry and brittle. Here’s a tip mamas, do all you can to retain your moisture and be absolutely so very sensitive with your brand new luscious locks. Keratin Color + Moisture provides deep nourishment, a moisturizing conditioner, vibrant color results & damage hair protection. And for a mama like me who changes the color of her hair with the seasons, this added protection is a must have! The Keratin Color + Moisture is intense caring color that is formulated to help protect your hair from damage. The enhanced K-Bond Plex repairs inner hair structure and coats the hair surface after the colorations process for strong and healthy- looking hair. Aka, a complete mama makeover win!

Here are 3 simple tips for making the most out of nap time with dying your hair at home.

1. Plan.  Before you even put baby down for a nap, have a plan in place in your mind for what you are going to do once the baby is asleep.  Like, I will turn on Jane the Virgin, set up in front of the tv, grab the packaging from under the sink.   

2. Prepare. The second part of this process is to make sure it's all set up and ready to go.  From gloves unwrapped, bottle out of packaging, even down to having your mirror and phone ready for the next step.  Remember, you planned for these steps, so now it's just set up time.  You do not want to be wasting precious time fumbling around with the set up

3. Execute. Now it's time! Don't forget to step back and take a picture, mama!  You did it, your hair color is fabulous and now you can sit back and bask in how wonderfully you pulled off that task during nap time.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know my most recent hair color was jet black.  This time around, I went for a fun bun coloring, while leaving the darker hair up front. Y'all know how us mamas love a good #mombun, so I decided to spice it up a little.  As a mama, one of my absolute favorite self-care activities is the glamour days. Whether that’s hair or nails, I LOVE getting pampered! With my litte guy, it’s so much harder to get this done simultaneously throughout the regularly scheduled programs of our day. But since it is one of my favorites, it’s not something I skip out on. When I know it’s a hair or nails type of day, I pull out all the stops and make sure I get exactly what I need. And Schwarzkopf® Keratin Color + Moisture helped me get the job done just right! 

Take care of you too, mama.

Aysia B. 

Copyright © Mothering the MamaCREATED BY ThemeShine