Mama Goose customers are an incredible bunch.  When they’re not combing our racks for awesome deals, they’re off in the community doing interesting and amazing work.  This week, a particular customer project came to our attention.

Mamas for Peace is an organization committed to making Mother’s Day about something more than cards and flowers.  By going back to the original roots of the holiday, these mamas are declaring today a time to celebrate the political engagement of women with society.

What a thing to celebrate  — as women, we’ve all been part of conversations in which, flippantly or not, someone remarked on how much better the world would run if controlled by our gender.  Just this week, after averting a crisis together with two of my favorite mamas (Happy Mother’s Day, Dawn & Heather!)  one of them declared, “That’s right!  With us around, stuff [she may have used a more colorful word with one less letter] gets DONE!”

I relish the chance to celebrate the positive impact women have on our community and society at large, and I urge you to do the same.  While words like “political engagement” and “activism” may feel like terms that don’t apply to the day-to-day business of maintaining a family, I believe that mothering well IS activism.  Nurturing is activism.  Raising a generation of people who are going to treat each other and our planet with respect is activism of the highest order, and I’d like to thank Mamas for Peace for reminding us to embrace that.

Happy Mother’s Day.

-Meryl at the Goose


Four amazing local teachers, clockwise from top-left: Chris Bell of Fall Creek Elementary, Becca Rodomsky-Bish of New Roots, Kathleen Holton of Fall Creek and Anne Modlin of South Hill

It’s the week of February vacation, and that means different things for different folks.  Some jet off to warmer climates, others hunker down and try to make some creative childcare arrangements for the week.  Thanks to the Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau, though, everyone can use this school vacation as an opportunity to think about the people taking a hard-earned break this week: our teachers.

With the members of my brood distributed among three different schools, we have wonderful educators touching our lives on a daily basis, and I know we’re not alone.  The teachers pictured above are just a few of the many doing incredible things for children.  Geneva Moreland, daughter of Kelly Goose, recently participated in the School of Rock band led by Chris Bell, pictured above. Becca Rodomsky-Bish, having recently completed a unit on composting, has my eighteen-year-old convinced that he’s going to be a millionaire worm farmer.

Teachers can make a difference in ways no one else can, and that’s the motivation behind Ithaca Loves Teachers week.  Teachers and other school personnel can register for a V.I.T.  (Very Important Teacher) pass to display at local businesses and events throughout the week to obtain special teacher-only deals and promotions.

At Mimi’s Attic, a V.I.T. pass will get you a handmade piece of chocolate from Life’s So Sweet.

At Mama Goose, V.I.T. pass-holders who spend $15 will receive a free children’s book of his or her choice.

Those are just two of the many, many, many extra special things available to teachers this week.   I, for one, am grateful that the entire town is taking this week to say thank you all together.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

In the midst of this official Teacher Appreciation event, is there a specific teacher you’d like to thank?  Please do so in the comments below.

-Meryl at the Goose

Get Foodie

January 31, 2011

Mama Goose has a new credit to our name — wardrobe designer!  When Get Foodie-creator and Goose customer Carisa Fallon told us about her new localvore cooking television show, we jumped at the chance to provide costumes for Carisa’s co-stars (who happen to be her daughters, Ema and Rebecca.)  Now, we get to be a part of this exciting new venture all about local food and sustainable living.  Plus, our clothes look super cute on camera.

Get Foodie is sponsored by Greenstar and airs locally on cable access television and all the time on YouTube. Check it out — local food?  Cute kids and clothes?  Fun recipes?  What’s not to like?

Ema and Carisa looking for potential on-screen outfits.

Rebecca gets ready to audition her outfits in the dressing room

Ema ponders some ingredients

Rebecca gets silly in the kitchen

Go on.  Get Foodie!

-Meryl at the Goose

If you’ve shopped at the Goose on a Monday in the past 4+ years, chances are you’ve met Gina.  You know Gina, right?  Here she is:

Until recently, Gina was Queen of the Goose on Mondays.  She’d been known to do a whole Monday double shift, by herself, while standing on her head and serving customers who only spoke Bulgarian.  She was a sight to behold.  Unfortunately for the Goose, but fortunately for all of you, Gina had alternate plans brewing in her head, and those plans are finally coming to fruition.

Gina and Laura (more on her in a bit) are launching Teach and Song, an educational child care program designed for children ages 3 through 6 and organized in a series of 6-week sessions.  Derived from Laura and Gina’s backgrounds in Waldorf education, the program will be held on Mondays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and will include hearty snacks, nature walks, and beautiful Waldorf-inspired crafts.

Laura with a young friend.

How did this all come about, you ask?  Well, Gina likes to say that Laura came with their duplex (which also happens to be the Teach and Song location)— Laura is their tenant, and was already in the middle of a lease when Gina and her partner Pat bought their house.   Four leases later, after running a small, successful summer camp program on her own, Laura finally convinced Gina that the time had come for a joint childcare venture. Plus, Gina’s 6-year-old homeschooled son Drew had made a request:  on Mondays, he wanted to be able to work with his mom, instead of going elsewhere while she went off to work at the Goose.  Laura and Drew had Gina convinced, and Teach and Song was born!

You can learn more tomorrow, January 24th, at the Teach and Song Open House, from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at 164-166 Crescent Place in Ithaca, or you can call Gina with questions:  (607) 272-2512.

We at the Goose know that anything Gina touches turns to gold, and I’m certain that Teach and Song is no exception.  Enrollment for the first session is just wrapping up, so you still have some time to get in on the magic from the very beginning.  The Goose’s loss is your family’s gain.

-Meryl at the Goose

Light in Winter

January 21, 2011

A light in winter

You know how Ithaca is like the third cloudiest city in the country or something, and it’s the everlasting grayness that makes winter feel so long?  (Actually, I think that’s a myth… at least, my extensive 10 minute search of cyberspace has turned up no credible evidence to back up the claim.)  True or not, the annual Light in Winter Festival is a shining beacon hope in this endless season.  With this month’s Gallery Night coinciding with the Festival, Mimi’s Attic and several other local businesses have decided to celebrate.

Mimi’s Attic will be staying open until 8 pm tonight (Friday!)  Mimi’s will be illuminating the evening with a 10% off sale on all lamps, light fixtures, candle holders and votives, plus double top trader points on all purchases.

Ithacamade will be open until 8 pm as well, marking the occasion with new artist vendors and lines of merchandise.  Silk Oak will be having an “Out With the Old, In with the New” sale.

The Kitchen Theatre’s Gallery Night events include an art show from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and a preview performance of their new show Bed and Sofa at 8:00 pm.

Finally, Felicia’s Atomic Lounge will be mixing up a special Gallery Night cocktail to go with the evening’s live music.

Come on — spend tonight in the West End.  It’ll light up your winter.

-Meryl at the Goose.

Happy National Adoption Day

November 21, 2010

Yesterday was National Adoption Day, an annual event that began in 2000 and is designed to raise awareness of the 114,000 children currently in the foster care system waiting to be adopted.  Each year on this day, thousands 0f adoptions are finalized across the country and families everywhere celebrate the magical combination of joy and relief that comes with permanency.  Tompkins County held its own festivities on Friday, and our county gained ten new forever families.

Many of you know that I am a foster and adoptive mom.  Corrina, our littlest, came home with us when she was days old, and was adopted two days before her first birthday.  Her two fosters brothers are 4 and 17.  Both have been with us for over a year, and we just found out that our 4-year-old will be with us forever.

These three kids are the best thing that has ever happened to me, and they are worth every bit of red tape-bound bureaucratic bit of nonsense the foster care system can throw at us, but being a foster parent brought something else as well … a community of people I hold so dear that I don’t even know how to describe them.  We’re more than friends; we’re like combat veterans from the same war, brought together by shared experience, held together with love.  We’re a family of families.

On Friday afternoon, we attended the National Adoption Day event to cheer on one of these families.  The legal finalization of an adoption is a proceeding that runs under five minutes (you can watch Corrina’s at the bottom of the post) but the brevity doesn’t matter.  Sitting in a courtroom, a place usually reserved for people and families in the midst of falling apart, and watching a family being built is a wonderful, beautiful thing.  Plus, there was cake.  Everyone loves cake.

Below are some of my favorite children and families on their Adoption Days.  If you have any photos of adopted kids you love to send in, please do — we’ll add them to our Mama Goose Flickr page.

-Meryl at the Goose

First Day of School

September 12, 2010

My middle child has his first day of school tomorrow, although, as “firsts” go, this one is pretty anti-climatic.  It’s his second year in the same pre-school program (ICSD pre-k, HOLLA!) and he did summer school in between.   Some of his classmates will be the same, some of his teachers will be the same, some of his many, many, many, many service providers will be the same.   Plus, we’re totally dumb, so we’d been prepping him to go back to school last Tuesday, assuming he was on the same schedule as his older brother.  We were wrong, and boy did that suck, child-care wise. 

The point is, we haven’t exactly geared up for this momentous return to school.  I haven’t even picked an outfit yet!  (Honestly, I’m not even sure I’ve washed a pair of matching socks yet.)  I’m going to go do a quick load of laundry and try to pick out an ensemble befitting my handsome little man, but before I do, I want to know:

What did your kids wear on the First Day of School? 

-Meryl at the Goose

P.S.  Notice anything funny about this post?  The lack of photo perhaps?  That’s because NOT ONE OF YOU responded to my Facebook post asking for First-Day-of-School pictures.  I’m hurt, but you can redeem yourself by sending pictures now to Better late than never.  Extra points of love and adoration if the children pictured wore Goose gear to school.

P.P.S.  Just in case you were wondering, on my first day of school, I wore what we called the hamburger dress, which was red and covered in pictures of hamburgers.  It was awesome, though not as awesome as this.