Gold Medal Moms

February 28, 2010

I’ve been crying off and on for the past two and a half weeks.  Stop your worrying — everything’s fine.  It’s just that the Olympic Games, especially the winter ones, turn me into a weepy, emotional mess.  Quite possibly the least athletic person who has ever lived, I, nevertheless, savor every moment of Olympic coverage, and often find myself teary-eyed, muttering absurd things like, “Oh!  That German girl asked that American girl if she’s okay!  That’s so nice!” 

I know I’m not the only who feels this way about the Olympics, and it makes sense.  In a worldwide climate that makes it incredibly difficult to maintain anything but cautious cynicism, the Olympics manages a simplistic blend of patriotism and universality that creates a catharsis — a seventeen-day collective sigh of relief, in which we can feel inspired by the outrageous potential each one of us contains as a human being.

It is this mindset that leaves me wide open for willing manipulation by corporate America, and it is from this place that I share the following videos with you.   It turns out that colossal capitalist conglomerates have a soft side when it comes to the Olympics, as is evidenced by the Proctor & Gamble “Thank you Mom” campaign.   As I watched the videos below, sadly preparing for tonight’s closing ceremonies and the end to my daily dose of joyous tears, I realized that there is one other thing that provides me the same comfort and joy that I find in the Olympic games — the  lovingkindness of good parenting.  With these videos, I can seek solace in both, over and over.

-Meryl at the Goose


Well, golly, Mamas —  we got ourselves a celebrity customer!  The lovely Katherine Center, creator of the inspiring video above, is also the author of two novels, the mama of two kids, and a customer at the Goose when she visits Ithaca every summer!  She was kind enough to take time out from writing and parenting to fill out our CPQ, and is planning on stopping by the store this summer to share some more wit and wisdom with us.  For those who can’t wait ’til summer, read more about Katherine below.

How long have you been a Mama Goose customer and how did you hear about us?

My parents-in-law live right near the old location.  We spend at least two weeks in Ithaca every summer, and we always make a point of visiting Mama Goose.

How many kids do you shop for and how old are they?

Our kids are 4 and 6 now.  But we’ve been shopping at Mama Goose since before our littlest was born.

What are your favorite kinds of purchases at MG? Your biggest “score”?

The summer I was pregnant with our son, I came in one time looking for boys’ clothes.  I had saved all his big sister’s clothes very carefully—certain, for some reason, that our next baby would be a girl.  So when it was time for boy clothes, I made a trip to Mama Goose and found so many cute things I practically needed a wheelbarrow to haul my finds home.

Why are you in/do you come to Ithaca?

My parents-in-law have lived there for about the past ten years.  We have always loved Ithaca—it’s a perfect change of pace from our lives in Houston.   And now that we have kids, we are very committed to making it up every single summer.  The weather’s so great in the summer in Ithaca, and there are so many amazing things to do.   We look forward to it all year.

When I get a minute to myself, the first thing I want to do is ….

sleep.  Or read.  Or check my email.  But mostly sleep.

On a typical day, when I’m not with my kids, I can usually be found .…

writing!  I spend almost every spare minute that I’m not parenting writing.  As the dishes in our sink will confirm.

The scariest thing about being a parent is .…

the distinct possibility of worrying myself to death.

One of my child’s favorite book or toy is ….

Legos.  And Harry Potter.

I have to admit, I love my .…

Internet connection!

Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

One of our favorite Toddler Finger Foods is to take a little lump of cream cheese and put a bunch of straight pretzels in it and call it a birthday cake.  Then the kids eat the “candles.”  Always a crowd-pleaser!

Can you name one grocery item that can always be found in your kitchen?


What is your favorite business in Ithaca other than MG?

We are huge, crazy fans of Silk Oak!

Are you on Facebook and/or do you Tweet?

Yes!  I’m on Facebook, and I Tweet, too!  @katherinecenter

Do you have a group, club, organization, blog or business that you’d like us to introduce and link to?

Well, I’m a novelist, and I write bittersweet comedies about love and family and motherhood.  My first novel is The Bright Side of Disaster, my second is Everyone Is Beautiful, and I have a third, Get Lucky, coming out in April.

I’d love for folks to visit my website at

I have a blog there, too that I update at least once or twice a week.

And that’s Katherine, just another fabulous Goose customer.  Her Mom 2.0 video was so inspiring to us, that we’ve launched a Mama Goose YouTube Channel with Katherine’s video at the helm.  I’ll be adding all sorts of other videos in days to come, so if you have something you’d like to share, leave it in the comments below and/or e-mail me at

-Meryl at the Goose

Fashion is Fun

October 27, 2009

Last winter, Mama Goose participated in a fashion show at the Ithaca mall. The fashion show was part of a philanthropic event called “The Crayon Carnival” that sought to raise public awareness about “Going Green”.  Mama Goose was invited to be a part of the event to demonstrate the sustainability of buying second-hand kids’ clothes and locally-made items.  We shared the stage with one of our favorite stores (and West End neighbor) Tuff Soul. Tuff Soul utilized Cornell student as their models and we used children of staff members and customers.

Mama Goose staffers, Julie and Sandy, coordinated the clothes for the kids which turned out to be a huge job.  Each outfit (including shoes and accessories) was assembled straight off the racks and a lot of effort was put into representing the wide variety of styles that can be achieved by shopping at Mama Goose.  The kids were amazing and brave, and put on a great show for a crowd of beaming onlookers.  After the high of the performance, the kids were happy to shed their carefully ironed outfits and take a stroll up the mall where Kelly was heard ordering twenty-two ice cream cones!

-The Geese at The Goose

The Geese Visit Wild Apples

October 15, 2009

On a windy October day in Central NY, 2 Geese from Mama Goose followed the Art Trail up the West side of Cayuga Lake to visit Wild Apples, the studio of master crafter, Gunther Keil.

We love Gunther’s wooden toys, and we know you will too! Mama Goose sells most of his toys, including pull toys, banks, puzzles, play sets and the ever-popular “opportunity bags”.  We just put in a big order for the upcoming holiday season which Gunther should be delivering to the store any day. Wild Apples is on the Ithaca Art Trail and participated in Open Studio Weekend this past weekend. If you missed it, his studio is open all year round by appointment.

Bunny pull toy

Bunny pull toy

Dragon pull toy

Dragon pull toy

-The Geese From The Goose