First, before I get into my challenge recap, let me just say that being a mom is the absolute best thing ever! I am so in love with Garrity and absolutely treasure every moment that we have here at home together. I couldn’t ask for a more perfect little girl!

So here we go, challenge number 5: go to the grocery store for just one thing. This turned out to be an incredibly easy challenge and I’m happy to report that it was completely uneventful which might not be the most interesting thing to read about, but it’s exactly what this new mama hoped for.

We’re on an approximately every 3 hour feeding routine so I made sure to time our outing right after she nursed so as soon as she’d eaten and I’d gotten a good burp out of her I got her into her car seat and made sure her diaper bag was ready to go.

I know I didn’t need the whole bag for just the grocery store but it’s much easier to toss my wallet into the diaper bag and sling that over my shoulder than to try and carry the car seat plus the wallet. I haven’t yet ventured out with the stroller on any of our outings because I feel like that would be way more work than just carrying her in her seat. Plus I like the arm workout!

The first time taking my baby (and dog) to the grocery store #rookiemoms challenge complete!

So I’ve got Garrity in her seat, the bag ready to go and then Chance (our 100 pound dog) starts getting excited. Probably one of the hardest parts of our new-baby transition has been giving less attention to Chance. He was been our baby for 6 years and the guy is totally use to being with us all the time so it’s hard to balance he and Garrity. To help ease some of his anxiety we’ve been trying to include him as much as possible which means anytime I go anywhere with her, I try to bring him along.

The first time taking my baby (and dog) to the grocery store #rookiemoms challenge complete!

…and my other baby…

The first time taking my baby (and dog) to the grocery store #rookiemoms challenge complete!

So I take Chance out first while Garrity stays in the house. Get him in and then go back for her. We have her car seat base installed in the middle seat because I read it was the safest so I have to hop up into the 4 Runner and do some maneuvering to get that installed all while Chance is breathing down my neck (and drooling all over the seat) from the back. Then I toss the diaper bag in, go back and lock the house and we’re off (like a herd of turtles).

The first time taking my baby (and dog) to the grocery store #rookiemoms challenge complete!

After all of that the grocery story is literally a 5 minute drive from my house so we get there and I toss the diaper bag on me and grab Garrity (who is now asleep) out of the car and put her seat and all into one of the carts and we’re off.

The first time taking my baby (and dog) to the grocery store #rookiemoms challenge complete!


I only came to the store for a mailing envelope but while I was there I tossed in some extra D batteries (can’t let the swing stop working!) and some Aleve for Chris (who was dealing with a foot injury which happened during labor) and some Shout (hello baby spit-up). So I get all my goods and check out with no issues. Garrity didn’t make a peep through the entire thing. I get everything/one loaded back into the car and head home. Phew. Easy. Although I may or may not have worked up a sweat :-)

The first time taking my baby (and dog) to the grocery store #rookiemoms challenge complete!

Even though this challenge went off without a hitch, I am so glad I did it and so glad that I just went for a couple things. I’ve now realized that there is no way I could do my regular grocery shopping with the baby in the cart. There would be no room!

How do you moms do it? Am I missing something?

Since this challenge I’ve made quite a few more outings to the store, Target being my go-to spot and while I still can’t figure out how to get more space in my cart I have figured out how to utilize the cart handle for hangers so at least I can still go clothes shopping :-)

[All photos taken by Whitney Mattocks. All rights reserved]

Rookie Moms Challenges -- weekly adventures for moms and babiesFind more baby activities with the 52 weekly rookie mom challenges.

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Take care of yourself: VIsit a doctor from your couch with this online system.

Thanks to American Well for sponsoring this Rookie Moms post.Tracking Pixel

Waking up and realizing you have pink-eye/strep throat/a bladder infection is immediate license for a pity party, right? Not only am I suffering from some horrendous malady, but seeking treatment looms as an obstacle that will derail my whole day. That’s the first scenario in which the existence of online doctor’s appointments is better than sliced bread with Nutella spread on it; the second is when I am plagued by a physical issue that’s less urgent, and therefore easy to ignore.

Procrastination, I know you well.

For a couple of months my fingers have been bothering me. Not exactly Emergency-Room-worthy. Stiffness, aches, and even a touch of numbness in my fingertips made me wonder if smart phone overuse is actually hurting my body. But it has been easy to spend 99% of my time ignoring it and 1% of my time worrying that I’ve got arthritis (even though I don’t totally know what arthritis is) and that I’m allowing it to fester in a way that will produce more serious long-term effects. In other words, I’m not only sore, but possibly lazy and stupid.

This morning, I took action. I went to and signed up. It’s a website with on-call doctors including internists, nutritionists, pediatricians, and family doctors. I used the code ROOKIEMOMS (which you are welcome to use as well) for one free visit, and I connected with a doctor via a webcam session.

That was an hour ago, and now I’m about to go pick up a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and have a list of self-care instructions in a PDF that was sent to me after the doctor visit. Yay, me!

How does it work?
After signing up, you can browse doctors who are immediately available or schedule a particular physician at a convenient time. I picked a RIGHT NOW visit with a doctor whose profile I liked best. It was pretty cool, like having a doctor’s visit on The Jetsons. After I requested to connect with her, my screen showed a quick animation of what to expect next, and then we were connected.

These visits can be held by webcam or even telephone — when seeing is not part of the diagnosis.

I used the website from my laptop, but my friend Sammy used her cell phone to have a doctor’s visit. She told me that when she was recently sick (her throat was coated in white and she felt like she was swallowing knives) and was on vacation in New York City, she initially panicked, “How am I going to find a doctor here?” Then she remembered American Well. She literally held the phone camera up to her mouth so that the doctor on the other end could see her symptoms. She was able to get an antibiotic prescribed and felt better in two days. (The app is available for both iPhone and Android users.)

What are the doctors like?
When I logged on, about 10 doctors were available on-the-spot and many many more were available for future appointments. The one I chose was fantastic: knowledgeable, empathetic, solutions-oriented, plus, she was both competent and patient with the technology that linked us. She even said, “If you were my daughter, I would tell you…” which made me feel confident and secure with her advice.

How to have an online doctor's appointment

A system with safety nets
When my laptop started acting a little flaky and I couldn’t hear some of what Dr. Mia was saying via our webcam connection, we were able to use an included chat window. I let her know I couldn’t hear some of her words (and I didn’t want to miss anything!), and she quickly routed the session to our cell phones to continue the conversation. This transition was seamless as it was still part of the American Well appointment system. Since she didn’t need to see me with her eyes anymore, and could tell I wasn’t in serious distress, we could just talk on the phone, she told me.

Let’s just say that it was smoother than many of my conference calls with Heather and leave it at that.

Is it the same as a real-life doctor’s visit?
Of course not. In some important ways, it’s even better.

  1. At no time are you left sitting alone on a table in a paper robe wondering how long this waiting will go on.
  2. I received the doctor’s notes from our conversation in an emailed PDF at the end. I love that, because I didn’t want to forget anything she suggested! (Note to self: Try to use non-dominant hand for tooth-brushing and other manual tasks to give overused hand a break.)
  3. The appointment was on my timeline, in my house, and could not have been more convenient. No more excuses.

And there’s nothing to feel weird about. Your experience is totally private and HIPAA-compliant, but if you want to share information with your Primary Care Provider later, you can. He or she will certainly not blame you for pro-actively securing medical care on a Saturday night if you need to.  And Mamas, you are totally worth it.

The good news is I have mild beginnings of carpal-tunnel syndrome and by making changes now I can take care of it. I will not be buying a cane anytime soon.

When I told Heather about my experience, she said, “I love any service that lets moms do their errands without leaving the house. If I could visit the doctor during my child’s nap rather than securing childcare or bringing along a screamer, I’d TOTALLY do it.”

How much does it cost?
A visit is $49 with a physician and $25 with a nutritionist. Some insurance plans cover online medical visits, so find out if yours does. (Use our code for one free visit.)

This is a sponsored post written by me about my real experience with American Well. If you want to try it, set up your account now so you are ready to go. The code ROOKIEMOMS for one free visit will be good until 4/30/2014. Seriously, take care of your self and head over to American Well instead of reading one more blog post.


Activity #10: Plan a mom’s night out

April 14, 2014

This week’s challenge is to organize a Mom’s Night Out with some girlfriends. Go somewhere you used to enjoy in your old life. Book the time on your calendar and try to make it a recurring event (like every third Thursday or second Tuesday) so you and your pals (and all your respective partners) can […]

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My amazing post-baby manicure {Rookie Moms Challenge #8}

April 11, 2014

Is it wrong that painting Riley’s feet had me skipping ahead directly to the mama-deserves-a-pedicure paint my own toes challenge? Well, it was truly out of my hands. It just happened to be my birthday and I was kidnapped by a friend who must be a mind reader. She treated me to a pedi AND […]

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How to have the best day ever with my two-year-old

April 10, 2014

If you ever find yourself saying, “Look there’s a choo choo!” whenever you see a train — even to an empty car, then I’d bet good money that you have a toddler with a train fixation. Or is it just me who points out large vehicles to only myself? I’ve noticed that Sawyer’s passions are […]

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Frozen birthday party ideas

April 9, 2014

Last night I made the possible mistake of inviting my kids to help me brainstorm what a Frozen-themed birthday party might look like. This morning I learned that Scarlett took that as a cue to start making her guest list — and her birthday is not for three months. Though I may have signed up for […]

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Yeah, I brought a BABY to music class {Rookie Moms Challenge #41}

April 8, 2014

Today’s challenge: Test-drive some free music and movement classes. A friend recently mentioned to me that there are music class for babies to which I responded with judgy eyes. “Really? Take your baby to a music class?” I said. “Can’t they be stimulated by a rock at this age? Is that really necessary?” But upon further […]

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Activity #9: Go to the theater where crying is allowed

April 7, 2014

Baby-friendly theaters? Yes, please. We sure love our DVRs and Netflix, but refuse to give up on going to the theater. Did you know some theaters also have special showings for new parents? These showings have different names in different cities, but the idea that yours will not (most likely) be the loudest baby in […]

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Bring my baby to the indoor farmer’s market {Rookie Moms Challenge #20}

April 4, 2014

The Challenge: Visit a farmer’s market with my baby One of the words I teach my students is extemporaneously; coming from the Latin tempus, meaning time, it is defined as doing things on the spur-of-the-moment. Know what goes out of your life when you have a baby? The idea of doing anything extemporaneously. Which is […]

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Five things I can’t wait to do on maternity leave

April 3, 2014

Rachel is our newest contributor. She and her partner Heather are expecting their first baby. We asked her to introduce herself by way of reflecting on the countdown before her maternity leave begins. Here is her first post. I have a stressful job, and it’s no one’s fault but my own. I’m pretty sure there […]

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How I taught my children to go to bed and stay there

April 2, 2014

If you’re a new babysitter or the generous host of a sleepover, I might sneak over and give you a tip for managing my sons at bedtime: remind them of their Sleep Rules. Apparently, the ritual in my house is not the norm in every house, so Whitney asked me to explain the what, how, […]

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Activity #8: Get a pedicure

March 31, 2014

Your challenge this week is to enjoy a pedicure and report back. This is your eighth challenge. While your baby is still small enough for the infant carrier, take advantage of your relative “freedom” to get your toenails done. We’ve experimented with many places and techniques and find this to be a favorite outing with […]

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