Challenge # 18: Check out the Library is one of 52 challenges for new moms on this site.

Baby's first outing to the library #rookiemoms

Easy peasy. After our previous Cruise Director meltdown, I felt sure that checking out the library would prove to be a walk in the park, literally.

I am really lucky to live in a town with an AWESOME library. A couple of years ago they tore down an old dingy thing with a sign out front reading “Public Library” (much like the library I would frequent as a kid, smells and all) and replaced it with the type of building I have regularly argued devours small town character and turns America into one big strip mall. But in this case, they did it right. All that glass and chrome results in a library that glimmers like a shrine. The city built it and the people have come! This library is hoppin’. It’s got the triple f’s covered; fancy, free, and fun.

The Gear

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby buggy
  • Library card

Baby's first outing to the library #rookiemoms

Riley and I pulled it together and headed out the door in record time. After having my face re-arranged during the last challenge, I decided not to over think this one.

The library is just a 15-minute walk from my house. It is also located right on our civic park. I’m not really ready to take this babe to play at the park, but I am guessing he’ll want to go at some point. For now, he can’t sit up and I don’t really feel like listening to other kids scream and run amok. Plus there is the germ factor.

I am a serious germaphobe, a quality much challenged in my years spent traveling abroad on a budget. Exposure and necessity will cure you of a great many things, but hand sanitizer is still my friend. My best friend, actually.

Riley and I trolled the perimeter of the playground at the far end of the park where, to my surprise, there was a whole ring of mothers, on their own, away from the screams, shaking tiny bottles of hand-sani and wiping down everything in sight. My people. We hang out on the fringes. Now I know where to come to hit on a (germ-free) new mama!

But I digress. On to the library. Piece of cake. Strolled right in, and even checked out a little light reading. Things were going so well I decided we’d take the grand tour and check out all the facilities. Changing stations in the clean bathrooms – check. Private conference/study rooms – sweet. Café, yes, CAFÉ – ooh la la.  This is my kind of place.

I should mention: Riley is such a quiet baby, sometimes I forget he can wail with the best of them. I guess he thought the far corner of our tour would be a good time to remind me. So we strolled in and we screamed out.  I guess a little noise was all he needed, that and a high-five.

Rookie Moms Challenge #18, we SO checked you out.

Dusty Sleeves

  • Aside from the germiness of any public place, especially those where children roam, I dealt with it. Checked out a copy of The Vaccine Book, by Dr.Sears while I was dealing.
  • Riley’s squealing at the end took me totally be surprise. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that he might cry. There is only one thing to do when your baby starts screaming in the library: Run! Fast!

 Best Sellers

  •  I’m glad I had a chance to scope out the park, it was great to see some mamas, like me, hanging out on the fringe.
  • The library was totally do-able. A quick walk, some fresh air, and an environment to stimulate both of our developing brains. I give it an A+.

 Baby's first outing to the library #rookiemoms

[Photo credit: Suzanne Curletto -- all rights reserved]

Rookie Moms Challenges -- weekly adventures for moms and babies

Editor’s Note: We recommend the library as an outing for new moms because the children’s sections feature places to read and snuggle with baby; schedules for baby circle times are posted; and there may be other free resources to discover. Make sure to put a library visit on your maternity leave bucket list. Find more baby activities in the 52 weekly rookie mom challenges.

If you’re already participating, use hashtag #rookiemoms on instagram or twitter so we can cheer each other on.

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I have tried many things to make mornings run smoother in my house — especially school days — like reconfiguring my kitchen so kids can make their own breakfasts, making lunches the night before, and choosing clothes a week in advance.

One of our more successful family hacks is an alarm set to kid-approved music that tells us when it’s time to leave the house. We use a SONOS speaker that alerts us ten minutes before we need to leave, but any cheap musical alarm clock will work for this. When the music plays, we all drop what we’re doing and report to the backpacks and shoes area get ready to leave.

How to get shoes on and kids out the door with no yelling

This trick radically improves the need to remind or raise my voice to get action because the music just keeps on playing without me saying a word. (For kids upstairs, we will often yell “SHOE TIME” once but after that, they know the drill.)

Music plays for about 15 minutes and if we’re still home, then I raise my voice and act crazy. But that only happens about 2% of the time so I’d say we’ve found a good trick.

Would this work in your house?

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Activity #25: Host an ugly baby (clothes) contest

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Dress up your baby in the worst, ugliest gift outfit and invite over some other poorly dressed babies for a costume party and ugly-clothing contest. Dorky gifts, ratty hand-me-downs, and hopeless mismatches can finally have their day. Try not to be offended if your idea of cutest-outfit-ever winds up on one of the other models. […]

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Star Wars birthday party ideas on a budget

July 25, 2014

What’s the difference between a third child and a first child? The first child has a “Star Wars fourth birthday party” and he’s never seen Star Wars. The third child can hum along the Clone Wars theme song before he can even speak. With a new Star Wars movie on the horizon and Clone Wars […]

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Two kids in a room. Or not.

July 24, 2014

We are at a conference for the rest of the weekend, so I am re-posting this one from a couple years ago. Heather and I both live in Berkeley where houses are small, and expensive nonetheless. Our neighboring city Oakland is pretty much the same.  If you’ve seen the show Parenthood, which is set here, […]

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Get kids to listen without yelling {FREE class}

July 23, 2014

We are so happy to tell you that we have partnered with Amy McCready’s company Positive Parenting Solutions to bring a free webinar to you guys on the topic of getting kids to listen – without nagging or yelling. The format includes Amy presenting material and a live chat session where we can all ask […]

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Going all Mary Poppins on my bedroom {Rookie Moms Challenge #29}

July 22, 2014

When school was cancelled for a snow day this Spring (argh!), the first thing I did was jump to the list of Rookie Mom challenges and see if there were any I could complete while home with the boy all day long. There was a perfect one: Challenge# 29, Refresh your bedroom. I took Weston […]

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Activity #24: Be a tourist in your own town

July 21, 2014

Today’s challenge is to strap on your fanny pack and be a tourist in your own town with your little sidekick. Ok, I’m kidding about the fanny pack. But how about you two go somewhere only the visitors ever enjoy? If you’ve never taken the time to see your hometown’s greatest hits, choose a destination […]

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What Not To Wear: Baby Edition

July 18, 2014

Poor Winnie the Pooh. Such a nice guy, but moms are not into him these days. We asked our Facebook page about what types of clothing they refuse to put on their children. While this is a very subjective topic, and I don’t imagine we all share the same opinions on these styles, here are […]

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Bikini at 3.5 months post-partum? Yep! {Rookie Moms Challenge #35}

July 17, 2014

The Rookie Moms Challenge #35 is Buy some new jeans but I switched it up because I needed a swim suit. I should also probably claim credit for taking a baby swimming, but I’ll tell you more about that later. Ok so I confess, I headed out to Old Navy about week 2 postpartum because […]

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What I wish I could do over: Introducing my kid to food

July 16, 2014

My nine-year old son is a very picky eater. I was the same way. The world will not end over this, and he is certainly not lacking in the nutrition department — red bell pepper, raw spinach leaves, and hummus are on his limited list of approved foods. More than anything, it’s inconvenient. Going to […]

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STITCH FIX delivers current clothing to lazy moms

July 15, 2014

I’m pretty sure that STITCH FIX was invented just for me. Since it started in the Bay Area, it is highly possible that someone overheard my weird clothes-shopping peculiarities in some coffee shop and launched it into a startup. That really happens out here. The deal is that real-life human stylists create a box of 5 items […]

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