Valentine’s Day: A Poll

February 14, 2011

You know how Law and Order is often “ripped from the headlines?”  Well, my blog posts are often ripped from Facebook, and this post is one of them.

My wonderful friend Keli lamented this evening about her hatred for the tradition of exchanging valentines in school.  She (and the subsequent commenters) made some valid points:  generally, that the exercise is a waste of paper that kids don’t care about anyway.  Still, I stayed up late preparing two classes worth of the valentines pictured above, and I even liked doing it.  Maybe somewhere I have an inner romantic I’ve never met, or, more likely, this kind of activity is great for my obsessive compulsive need to craft.  Either way, I’m kind of on board with Valentine’s Day.

How about you all?  Vote in the poll below and tell us all about our V-Day plans in the comments.


-Meryl at the Goose


So, someone (a kid-sized someone, not a grown-up … that would be a different post) bit Corrina at school yesterday.  Someone bit Corrina at school yesterday THREE TIMES.  I know this, because she has three distinct bite marks on her arm, and because the teacher kindly counted them for me as I signed the incident report.  I also found out that Rina was out of sight when it happened, that she cried, and that this was atypical behavior for the biting aggressor, who admitted her actions and was held accountable. 

I’m a little turned around here, because normally, I’m the mom of the biter.  My kids are hardcore.  They’re intense.  They take people out.  I’m completely used to phone calls and notes reporting the most recent thing one of my kids has done wrong, and I’ve grown quite graceful at handling those situations.  Being the mom of the victim, however, is a totally new experience.   

So, help.  Tell me how I feel. 


On a related note,  there is a pertinent Yo Gabba Gabba song for this post.  You may view the video below, and if you need more explanation regarding all things Gabba, I promise to provide such an explanation some day in the near future.  For now, check it out:

-Meryl at the Goose

A beautiful piece of artwork crafted at IACC, Ithaca's Downtown Daycare Center, and currently on display at Mama Goose.

At the Goose, we see all types of mamas:  vegetarian and carnivorous mamas, working and stay-at-home mamas, home-schooling and public/private schooling mamas.  This last mama difference – the school issue — can sometimes seem divisive, especially in these challenging financial times.  Some customers are devoted to their home schooling cooperatives, while others are enraged about the potential elimination of funding for universal pre-K.  (That’s where the title of this post came from: one of our lovely teacher customers recently came into the store wearing an “Ithaca is Pre-K” t-shirt, to show her support for the ICSD pre-k program.)   I, personally, am a huge devotee of South Hill Elementary and New Roots Charter School, and could talk your ear off about the virtues of both.   The point is, with all of this love out there, it’s impossible for Mama Goose to be supportive of just one educational option.

This is where the blog, and you, lovely readers, come in.   All along, we’ve wanted to use this space as an open forum on all of the issues which interest our clientele, and education is definitely on that list.   If you have a schooling option about which you feel passionate, we’d like to invite you to submit a testimonial piece for our Educational Profiles series, which I will be officially launching in, say, one paragraph from now.   Just e-mail your thoughts on your child’s school/daycare/home-school experience to and, if possible, include some pictures of your shiny, happy children, you know, learning stuff.  If the timing is right, you can also utilize our back hallway art gallery and show off some school-inspired kiddie creations, to go with your words. 

I’m going to get this school-lovin’ party started, since I’m the one typing, and therefore get first dibs.  If you’ve heard me blabbering at the Goose lately, you may have heard that my littlest one has just started daycare full-time.  Huge shout-outs of thanks to the people who have looked at me kindly and asked not, “How is she liking it?” but “Oh… how are you doing?”  because, in truth, I’m not doing so hot.  I feel guilty, and paranoid, and I miss her, and when I forget to miss her, I feel guilty, and then paranoid, etc…  (Corrina appears to be handling daycare fine, although I worry that she’s lying awake at night planning my eventual and well-deserved demise since I obviously don’t love her enough to be with her every minute of the day.) 

The daycare program itself, IACC, is what has made this whole transition bearable.  Coming highly recommended by Mama Goslings Barb and Julie, and having the added advantage of being around the corner from our house, IACC was the perfect place for us even before we walked through the door.  Now that Rina’s there five days a week, and we know her wonderful teachers and adorable classmates, we’re even happier.  There’s only one wrinkle:  due to a variety of factors, IACC is under some serious financial pressure right now, and there was even talk of the 40-year-old program being forced to close.  Though there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel, IACC is still in the midst of a big push to raise funds and increase enrollment.  If you want to come out and show your support, or if you’re looking into daycare options, or even if you just want to catch a glimpse of my adorable family, you can do so this Saturday, May 1st, from 2 to 5 pm in Dewitt Park.  IACC is holding a benefit with music, magic, munchies, and much much more.  All are welcome. 

If you’d rather get a glimpse of IACC from the Goose, of if you’re just generally more into symbolic representation, drop by the back hallway art gallery, where beautiful works of art from the IACC classrooms, like the one pictured above, are currently on display.  Once you’re feeling inspired, drop me a line about your child’s learning experiences, and we’ll work together on sharing it with the Mama Goose world! 

An IACC informational poster is currently hanging with the artwork on display. Check it out in person next time you come in.

-Meryl at the Goose

Corrina, in a Mama Goose snowsuit, slides down a ramp made from the boxspring mattress that has been in our backyard for the past year and a half.

As you may recall, I’m not winter’s biggest fan.  Right now, while the rest of my family is outside frolicking in our snow-covered backyard making noises that indicate merriment and joy, I’m hiding inside, sulking, wondering if there’s anything I can do to speed up global warming.  (That’s a joke.  I don’t mean it.  I completely appreciate the total catastrophe that is the issue of climate change and was merely making light of it for the entertainment value.  Please don’t picket my house.) 

I wasn’t always anti-Snow Day.  The young, single version of me was all about any excuse to take a break from regular life.  In fact, in college, I would happily try to force the cancellation of classes using the orange-in-the-freezer/pajamas-on-inside-out rituals that my friend Sarah, a native upstate New Yorker, swears by.  (We don’t do crazy things like that in the NYC metro area… we just harass our local school district officials until they give in to our whims.  Sorry, Superintendent Carol Harrington from my childhood.  That must have sucked for you.)

But, the tables have turned since I entered motherhood.  When my husband pokes me early in the morning to tell me the news, having groggily checked the school closings using the cell phone that is permanently implanted in his palm, I groan.  I love my children, but I love them even more when they’ve been at school for several hours.  Spending the day completely rearranging our already complicated schedules to accomodate activity cancellations, dangerous road conditions, and stir-crazy children, drives me batty.  By the end of the day, the only thing I can do is put the kids to sleep and then get in bed myself, fervently hoping that the next morning, all of the snow will be gone and we can get back to our regularly scheduled living.

What about you?  When it comes to Snow Days, are you for or against?  Vote in our very first Blogling poll below, and tell us your thoughts in the comments!

-Meryl at the Goose

From Laurel’s Kitchen. Try freezing these and throwing them in packed lunches. They’re so filling, your child may not come home starving! If you want to make everyone really happy, substitute chocolate chips for raisins.


  • ½ cup butter (1/4 lb)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup toasted wheat germ
  • ¾ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup raisins
  • ¾ cup chopped walnut or toasted sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.

Add egg, vanilla and salt and beat well.

Stir flour, baking powder, wheat germ and rolled oats together with a fork.

Blend well with other ingredients, adding a Tablespoon or more of water if necessary to hold the mixture together.

Place by Tablespoonful on greased cookie sheets. Flatten them slightly.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 24.

nov 1 2009 023

Oatmeal School Cookies


-The Geese at The Goose

First Day of School & more!

September 8, 2009

Back-to-School Tompkins County: Wednesday, September 9, 2009

BJM Elementary, Ithaca, NY

BJM Elementary, Ithaca, NY

The first day of school often brings up some reflection on milestones. The first year to ride their bike to school, the last year to share a hallway with a sibling until High School, the first upstairs classroom, and so on. As you reflect on your family’s milestones, get a snapshot of your milestone kid (wearing their  favorite school outfit from the Goose!)  and email it to We’d love to post it on our Facebook photo album. And, now you can follow @MamaGooseIthaca on Twitter, so tweet us your milestones!

We just started following @PBS after researching their great back-to-school pages here.

The First Annual Rhiner Festival is coming right up, Saturday, September 19, 2009. We are very excited to participate and will have a table set up at the event. Larkin (our very well-informed Store Manager) will be at the table all afternoon answering cloth diapering questions & demonstrating baby-wearing. We’ll have a sampling of other new items we carry, such as recycled fabric dolls and twig crayons. In addition to our table, we’re going to be hosting a pirate craft for the kids at 3PM (On the Greenspace behind Island Fitness) . If that’s not enough excitement for you, the store will be open our regular Saturday hours (9a-6p).



And, finally, the Fourth Annual Winter Coat Sale is Saturday, September 26, 2009. We share this big day with The State Theatre as they host Laurie Berkner and her band! There will be time before and after the show for coat (and Halloween) shopping, so make your plans today. We also invite you to enter our in-store drawing before September 13th to win four Laurie Berkner tickets. The odds are quite good. As of today, the fishbowl is not that full!

-The Geese at The Goose