Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Hours

Happy holidays, everyone! Hope you have a chance to relax and enjoy with those you love. We here at Mothersville will be taking some time off to be with our families, so here are the hours of operation for the weeks ahead ...

Tuesday 12/19 - Friday 12/22: normal hours
Saturday 12/23: 12pm-3pm
Sunday 12/24 - Monday 1/1: Closed
Tuesday 1/2: open as usual

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Unfriendly Skies

The plight of the breastfeeding mom thrown off her flight for refusing to cover up with a nasty old airline blanket has come up a lot around here lately. Most moms who find themselves within these four walls support the mom and are outraged by what happened to her, so it's all the more surprising to me when I hear a dissenting opinion. But I know that the number of people who think she should have just covered up is larger than I care to admit. Never mind that she was in the back of the plane, in a window seat, flanked by her husband. I've nursed when flying solo and sitting in an aisle seat over the wing, and that doesn't give anyone else the right to refuse my child her right to eat, or be comforted in a strange and potentially stressful situation. I understand that some people don't want to see mothers nursing. I also understand that most of those people are equipped with eyelids and functioning vertebrae. Don't want to see it? Look away.

I of course resisted saying that to a group of customers talking about the situation, but I couldn't resist the impulse to condemn the airline employee for such ridiculous action. I again quelled the urge to editorialize when a mother came in looking for a nursing drape/poncho because she was about to fly with her baby. But it killed me to think that one mamaphobic flight attendant has now scared a generation of new moms into thinking that stepping onto an airplane puts their nursing rights into question. For me, flying was always one of those times when I was 100% happy to be a nursing mother - no bottles to carry, no water to run out of during a three-hour delay, and now, no mixed formula to dump out at the security checkpoint - so I can't tolerate the idea that anyone could consider an airplane to be a boob-free zone.

I know there are nurse-ins being staged at airports around the country, but I've got a better idea. Next time you fly, grab the iPod and upload a few minutes of your baby at her very unhappiest, squalling and fussing and ramping up into a full tantrum. Plug in some external speakers and let the whole plane enjoy the noise. And when someone asks you to turn it off, say, "I'm sorry, the Off button is in my bra, and I'd hate to accidentally flash someone trying to make it stop."

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Next Chapter

As the fourth year of Mothersville's presence in Memphis comes to a close, I'm filled with so much happiness when I see the community of parents who have found a place here. It is my daily privilege to help your families find the products or resources you might need to make these first hectic years of parenting at least a little bit easier.

The primary mission of Mothersville is to support mothers in their efforts toward peaceful, natural parenting. In order to reach this goal for myself, I have decided that it is time for me to turn Mothersville over to the next mothers who believe in this mission as well.

The ownership of Mothersville has taken a non-traditional path to this point, but that path has worked well for the women who have kept the store running. Kristy Dallas Alley conceived of Mothersville and opened the store at its first location in January, 2003. When she decided to return to teaching, Uele Siebert and I formed a partnership and took over the business in January, 2005. Uele left the partnership to pursue her own passion, Groovy Foods, at the end of 2005, and I have been operating Mothersville solely since that time. And now, due to a combination of my own personal and professional factors (namely, a baby on the way and the unexpected success of my side business), I feel that I can no longer give the store the full-time attention it, and the Mothersville community, deserve.

I am not in an urgent rush to leave - in fact, it's still hard for me to seriously consider not being here every day - but I wanted to get this message out as early as possible so that any of you who may be interested in pursuing ownership have some time to think over your options. For those who may consider continuing the store as a for-profit business, I'd highly recommend a partnership or group ownership scenario, which would enable a more manageable division of time, financial investment and responsibility. There's also the option of converting Mothersville into a non-profit entity, which would require a board of dedicated mothers to take the lead in this new direction.

The start of a new year is always a good time to begin new endeavors, but if that's not possible, I am able to stay with the business through a later transition. If, however, there is no expressed interest in buying Mothersville before the end of our current lease term (in mid-2007), my most likely course of action will be to close the store permanently at that time. This is the absolute last thing I would like to see happen, so I deeply hope that there are optimistic, community-minded entrepreneurs among you who are willing to see Mothersville through this next stage of its service to Memphis.

I've included some links below that may inspire thought and planning. I'm of course willing to discuss the finer details of the business and its current situation with anyone seeking more information. Thank you all for your support of Mothersville.

Memphis Business Opportunity Fund

The Business Enterprise Resource Office (BERO) provides technical, financial and management information assistance to small, minority and women owned businesses.

Links to Resources for Small, Minority- and Women-Owned Businesses.

Tennessee Small Business Development Center

SCORE: Counselors to Small Business
provide free advice, in-person counseling, business templates and many other valuable resources from the Small Business Association

Starting a Non-Profit Organization

The Non-Profit Start-Up Resource List

Friday, October 20, 2006

Under The Nile and Through The Woods

They're finally here! I've been waiting two months for my shipment of new Under The Nile organic cotton toys and accessories. Now we've got the perfect gifts for the earth-conscious infant in your life. Match up a "born organic" or "itsy bitsy teeny greenie" flannel bib with an organically grown, fluff-free teething bear or baby buddy. And while you're at it, throw in a hand-knit cardigan from MobyWear or one of our adorable San Diego Hats. We're here for you mamas, but we want those babies looking (and feeling!) good, too.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

1 + 1 = Lunch

A new study has come out that refutes previous research about breastfed babies being smarter than non-nursed babies. Apparently, previous studies had failed to factor in the mother's IQ as a contributing influence on the child's intelligence. I'm sure there are many lactivist groups lamenting this new finding, but I think we need to look on the bright side. What this says to me is that breastfeeding moms are so smart that we threw the curve.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Work It Out

Our neighbors at Inbalance Fitness (794 Cooper St.) have just started up "Fit Momma," a 60-minute cardio and strength training class for new moms and their little ones (from 6 weeks to 3 years old). This indoor/outdoor class is designed to help mamas find time to take care of themselves even during the most demanding stage of motherhood, with modifications for each exercise to accomodate all levels and abilities. (And of course, be sure to get the okay from your doctor before beginning a post-partum exercise regimen.) Classes are $15 for drop-in, or $42/3-classes, $75/6-classes. The schedule is as follows:

Tuesdays 12:30-1:30pm (right after our Breastfeeding Group!)
Thursdays 12:30-1:30pm
Saturdays 11:30-12:30pm

For more details, including a list of needed items, contact Star Ritchey (ph: 901.461.2049) or Laura Charbonnet (ph: 901.726.5166).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Resource Page: In 3-D!

As much as I enjoy spouting off information and pretending I know what I'm talking about, I have to admit that at least 50% of my knowledge on pregnancy, childbirth and all things parental comes from my voracious consumption of literature during my own pregnancy. (The other 50% comes from y'all, of course.) So in the interest of sharing some of my favorite and most trusted resources, I've compiled a suggested reading list. Even better, the folks at Amazon have let me build my own little mini-bookstore with these top picks, so you can scoop them all up and bring them home without ever leaving your nest. The link to the store will be prominently displayed on the Resources Page, so stop by anytime and browse.

Lost and Found

After many unsuccessful trips through anywho.com, and even a couple phone calls to possible relatives, I have been unable to locate the owner of a well-loved bear that was left at the store a couple weeks ago. It is a blue bear, with noticeable signs of affection on his ears and paws. The bear owner's mother was kind enough to make a purchase while here, so I know that her name is Lauren W. If you're out there, Lauren, and wish to bring the bear back home, just let me know. Of course, if you're happy that it was "accidentally" left behind, I understand that, too.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Gonna Be A Hot Fall

Hotslings not only makes some of the prettiest slings out there, they're also constantly looking for ways to improve on their accessible, no-fuss design. Two of these improved pouches are now here at Mothersville: the reversible Hotsling (shown here in Kaleidoscope) and the fleece Hotsling! The reversible pouch lets you enjoy the best of both worlds by having both a gorgeous, fashion-forward, designer fabric side as well as a basic neutral side. The fleece pouch is a soft and cuddly option that will work especially well as the weather gets cooler - no need to stuff tiny little arms into bulky jackets! Just layer them into the fleece pouch and you're all set! The fleece Hotsling also features a handy little iPod pocket for rockin' mamas on the go.

We also have one adorable child-size Hotsling left, also in the kaleidoscope fabric, so your little one can have a sling just like yours! (We did have two, but they're just so dang cute I'm taking one home.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

What about the moon?

Warning: shameless exhortations of cuteness ahead.

When I was putting M to bed tonight, she spent her last few conscious minutes saying goodnight to ... well, everything. It went as follows ...

"Good night, mama."

"Good night, door."

"Good night, back of the door."

"Good night, open."

"Good night, closed."

"Good night, centerpiece."

(Huh? Can't laugh, it'll wake her up ...)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rock and roll, baby!

Look out, people! Here comes the 3rd installment of Memphis Rock'n'Romp! It's the only local concert series for families - and no, we don't mean that it features giant trademarked characters or people desparately trying to rock out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." It's an afternoon show with full-fledged, professional musicians - some of the finest in Memphis, as it happens - playing a casual show that appeals to parents and little ones alike. For just a $5 donation each, parents can enjoy great music, cold beer, and a chance to let their kids listen to real live music. Kids get in free, plus they get all the temporary tattoos, bubble wands and air guitar practice they can handle. The line-up for this Saturday, Sept, 23rd features Sidewalk Talk, Jeffrey James and The Haul, DJ Key Lime, and my boy Cory Branan. For more information and to get the official evite with location details (it is in someone's backyard, so attendance is invitation-only and kids are required for entry), check out the link above.

And yes, Mothersville will be closing early on Saturday so I can get my rock fix without asking anyone else to miss out on the fun. I'll be here 11:30-1:30, if you need to stop by for some sunblock or bugspray before the festivities begin.

This just in: there is a rain plan, so get on the evite list to find out all the details!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sling Shift

Well, another Cooper-Young Festival has come and gone - the 3rd one that Mothersville has experienced as a CY business and the first one where we've actually had our own booth as well. The expansion of the festival definitely brought a lot more people by the store and I had a great time meeting so many new new mamas and their families. And of course, it's always a twisted sort of fun to hear people walk by and see the sling-wearing mannequin and proclaim things like, "Oh, that baby's gonna fall out!" or "I wish they'd had those when I'd had babies!" Maybe some year I'll make a sign that says "It's worked for the whole of human evolution, it'll work for you, too!"

And just in case you were worried that all the festival fun was over, come on in an enjoy the post-fest clearance sale. I was hoping we'd move a lot more clothing (instead, most folks wanted one of those fancy slings), so now I've got a whole gigantic rack full of summer and fall mama clothes all steamed up and ready to go. At 40% off! It's mostly nursing and transitional clothing (pregnant now? plan ahead!), but I have an entire rack of maternity suits and tops as well, all marked from $5-20.

So come on now, I need to make room for the shipment of organic baby clothes and toys, and the unbearably pretty new Petunia Picklebottom bags.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Best Fest

(sniff, sniff)

Can you smell that? The combined aroma of corndogs, face paint and hemp? It can only mean one thing: the Cooper Young Festival is this Saturday!

We're very excited this year, because the festival is branching all the way down to the trestle at York and Cooper. That means we're now in the festival proper, instead of just the high-traffic overflow. It also means that we've got an actual, factual booth, which will be jam-packed with super-duper clearance sale items (40% off sunscreen, bug spray, nursing tops and swimsuits!) and some great deals on fall/winter apparel for mamas and little ones alike (come early to grab one of the $30 maternity suits!).

As a new mom, I know that I was a little reluctant to schlep out to CY Fest with my wee one. It's crowded, hot and doesn't really cater to the pre-pre-school crowd. But that's where we come in! Come join us for our own BabyFest, where you'll find a clean changing area, a comfortable place to nurse, indoor toys for the tiny ones and close proximity to a new stage featuring some of the finest acoustic musicians in Memphis (like Kim Richardson @ 2:30!). We'll also have a babywearing workshop (time TBA), a bevy of new literature in the resource area and FREE COLD WATER (doesn't sound like a big deal, but just wait until that noontime suns starts bouncing off Cooper and the line for Coletta's is stretching toward Meda).

So come by to check out the new stuff and chill out the little stuff. It's our neighborhood party, and y'all are the best neighbors ever!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sneak(er) Preview

I was going to wait until Cooper Young for the grand unveiling, but they're just too cute and I can't wait anymore. The new fall Robeez are here! We have a whole bunch of brand new styles in stock, and have even brought in a few 2-3 and 3-4-year-old sizes for toddlers and pre-schoolers who still love rockin' their Robeez. Not only are they the only shoes that will keep tiny newborn socks on baby feet, they're also great for bigger kids that like to climb all over playgrounds without getting big, rubbery shoe soles stuck on the equipment. Robeez has also added a newborn line, with sweet designs specifically for the tiniest tootsies.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

And We're Back ...

Sorry for the unexplained hiatus, there, folks. Apparently something about this blog got the Blogger spam-bots all worked up and they locked us down while they could complete a review and verify that it is in fact a human being spitting out these random blurbs. I guess maybe that 600% spike in traffic that we got after being linked to MemphisBlogger may have looked suspicious.

In other news, today is my daughter's 3rd birthday! At this time, three years ago, I was ... well, I'm not sure. Napping, probably. And wishing the nurses would stop asking me if I'd peed yet. And thinking that I would never, ever, ever have another child ever. Ev. Er.

I never tell other parents how fast the time flies. They'll find that out on their own, once they start getting more than 19 minutes of REM sleep a week. Besides, it's not all fast. There are many long, long moments along the way. The mantra I frequently tell new moms is "the days are slow but the months are quick," and they look at me with this flash of agreement and relief. There are so many days that stretch out in front of you like a Navy SEAL obstacle course, with every rope bridge suspended over a moat of bodily fluids. But then you suddenly look at a calendar and realize that you're halfway to having a one-year-old. Or a kindergartener. Or another driver on your car insurance.

And then, for no very good reason at all, you start sort of wanting another one. Not with the abject desire and naive delusions of a childless adult, but with the wariness and stubbornness and cut-wide-open heart that only a parent can bear.

Or so I hear.

Happy birthday to us, Miss M. I love you. And since you can't read, I'll tell you that later, too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hug Your Belly!

As we prepare for fall and get all gussied up for The Cooper-Young Festival, there will be lots of cool new stuff at the store. First off, we just received The Belly Hugger, a very nifty little product that really and truly works for both pregnant and nursing moms. During pregnancy, it holds up unbuttoned pants before maternity clothes are needed and helps bridge the gap between your regular shirts and pants. Post-pregnancy, it covers & keeps your belly and back warm while nursing. It turns every top into a nursing top! Now available in white, black and pink in a variety of sizes designed to fit moms of all shapes. It's one of those "I wish I'd thought of that!" products, and now it can be an "I'm so glad I have that!" product, too.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

All A-Bored!

The Parent Guilt Train is all fired up and chugging toward a media outlet near you! It seems to have gotten on track a few weeks ago, when the Internet was all a-twitter with Helen Kirwan-Taylor, the American-born British mom (er, mum) who made headlines by saying that she was "bored" by her children. Or more accurately, with her childrens' activities. You could practically hear the message boards crackle and smoke as the media followed the story by dividing us into sides: the selfish, distant mothers who have their own interests outside the home and the saintly, self-sacrificing but somewhat pathetic mothers whose lives revolve around their children. A lot of vitriol was tossed in the direction of the writer, too, for daring to assert that mothering isn't an especially stimulating experience. Frankly, I agree with her. Mothering, and especially mothering a very young child, can feel like a tremendous drain of mental energy. What I found offensive, however, was her self-centered idea that the rest of us are thrilled to drive to soccer practices or pick Play-Doh out of our hair. Does she never talk to other moms? Heck yeah, it's boring, but it's part of the gig. Whether we're home full-time, work when we can, or commute 100 miles a day, being a mom is a tough job and yes, it does get in the way of the fun stuff we would like to do with our free time.

Speaking of jobs, Linda Hirshman says all women should have one. Based on what I could glean from The Colbert Report (yes, I get all my news from Comedy Central), Hirshman argues that all women should work in order to balance their economic position and therefore their power in society at large. And what about the kids these women might have? Who takes care of them? Hirshman says parents should divide childcare evenly. Well, okay. Yeah. That would be great. Equal contribution from both parents without fiscal penalty to either. In the meantime, before the Grand Restructuring Of Our Entire Social System is complete, what do we do? Feel bad, that's what.

So it looks like we just can't win - working mothers are too interested in their own needs and are depriving their children of crucial bonding time, and at-home mothers are child-obsessed doormats who are causing the inevitable destruction of feminism. Oh, and don't forget - anything negative our kids do once they're adults is all our fault, too.

Sigh. Exhausted maternal sigh.

I think it's about time for me to publish my long-in-the-works parenting treatise, called Get Off Our Freakin' Backs, We're Doing The Best We Can. Book signings will be held at spas across the country, all at least 100 yards from crying babies, ringing cell phones and 24-hour news stations.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Signs of the Times

Based on community requests to have a sign language class available to working parents and in a convenient one-shot package, we'll be offering monthly sign language workshops taught by Tori Hayes, an instructor at Memphis' school for the deaf. This workshop will utilize American Sign Language - not a modified "baby sign" - so you will both be learning a second language.

The workshop will include:
The benefits of learning sign language
Language development
Sign placement
Learn over 50 signs
Learn songs and activities to do with your child in sign language
And more...

Cost for the 2-hour workshop is $50. Tori recommends that participating babies be between 6-24 months, but we're always flexible. The first class will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 10am-12pm and will be held on the 4th Saturday of the month through the fall. To register or get more information, please email Tori or call the store - 272-0081.

Monday, August 14, 2006

As The World Turns

At the risk of posting two preachy entries in a row, I have to start off the week by saying, "CHECK YOUR CHILD SAFETY SEATS AND USE THEM ALL THE TIME!"

We were on our way back from a picture-perfect Sunday outing - kayaking and swimming at the lake, a lovely drive home, followed by a stop for ice cream - when our whole world turned upside down. Literally. I didn't see the other car coming, didn't even hear the crash. The only thing I was aware of was the windshield caving in as our car rolled over. And the total feeling of helplessness as I thought about my daughter in the back seat. Our sturdy ol' truck did a complete 360-degree flip, landing back on the tires. As soon as we were still, I jumped into the back seat to check on M. She was screaming at the top of her lungs - jarring, but reassuring - and demanding to get out of the car. Her car seat was nudged a little to one side, but otherwise intact. I swept her up and took her inside the nearest building to look her over. Once we determined that the only blood on her had come from me, I could hardly believe it. There wasn't a scratch on her. Nor a bruise, nor a bump. She was perfect. Scared, but unscathed.

Amazingly, everyone involved in the accident - me, my husband, M, and the mother and son in the other vehicle - walked away, with the most severe injury being a little glass-infused road rash from where my arm hit the pavement during our roll. But it's impossible to stop thinking about what could have happened. The firefighters who responded to the accident said they were stunned that the injuries weren't more severe. They took one look at the scene and fully expected to be wheeling someone away. If we hadn't all been buckled up, and M hadn't been safely secured in her car seat, the outcome would have surely been much, much worse.

Thanks to everyone - friends, medical professionals and compassionate strangers - who helped us out yesterday. And thanks Graco.

Saturday, August 12, 2006


It's hard for me to lift my hands to the keyboard after the total relaxation of this morning's Spa Escape. Just having ten new moms get together to talk and relax without their little ones for an hour was extraordinary enough, but then add in the exfoliation, moisturization, meditation and massage and it was downright indulgent. In a good way. We all need some indulgence once in a while, as our personal pre-spa "stress surveys" indicated. I ticked off 19 out of the 21 stress symptoms, and I still wasn't the highest scorer of the bunch. We're a hard-working group, us moms, and it's okay for us to acknowledge that. Proclaim it, even. If we try to act like it's all under control, we're denying ourselves the chance to recuperate and the stress just keeps piling up. And we're also giving the wrong impression to other moms, especially brand-new moms, by acting like the constant juggling act of motherhood is no big deal. It is a big deal, perhaps the biggest deal there is. It's an excrutiatingly tough job with rare and usually intangible benefits.

When I had my daughter, everyone - from Oprah to my dad - told me to take time for myself. And I didn't listen. I couldn't listen. I had a baby screaming in my ear. So instead of exhorting new moms to add one more task to their infinite to-do lists (right between taking a shower and keeping a small human alive until it's old enough to read Salinger and glare at her all the time), I'll direct this to the dads, grandparents, friends and otherwise concerned parties who have a new mom in their midst: give mama some time to herself. Take the baby out of her arms and hand her the car keys. Or grab the toddler and have an adventure at least 50 yards away from the house. Or just let her sleep. As we learned today, it doesn't take $500, a plushy robe and a room full of candles to have a "spa escape." All it takes is someone thoughtful enough to take a little care of someone else.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

New Line (and curves) From Bravado!

This just in: the Bravado Lifestyle Nursing Bra!

Many of you love the comfort of Bravado bras, but have wished that they came in a more smooth-fitting and figure-flattering style. Your wish has just been granted! Created to take you from work, to home, to play; The Lifestyle Microfiber Nursing Bra is ideal for when you have established breastfeeding and are adjusting to your ‘new normal’. The Lifestyle Microfiber Nursing Bra has silky smooth microfiber on the outside for a seamless and supported shape, and Bravado CottonFlex™ fabric on the inside so the softness of cotton is against your skin.

Great for breastfeeding and pumping whenever and wherever, The Lifestyle Microfiber Nursing Bra is available in sizes 32B - 38E (DD), 34A, 40B-D. As we introduce this new product, we will have only a limited inventory available, so come in and get yours now!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Paging Dr. Sears

The strange physical effects of motherhood never stop. Over the last six months or so, I've noticed a new propensity for break-outs along my jawline. I thought this might be due to changing hormone levels when I cut back and then eventually stopped nursing, but it kept happening even months later. Then just this week, I was lying in bed cuddled up with M. and realized that my daughter's head was resting in the exact place that I was experiencing the most dermal rebellion. This is something the attachment parenting books never warned me about. The top of her noggin was tucked right up under my chin, and as I smelled the sunblock, detangling spray and plain old oil in her curly locks, I knew what was causing these mysterious spots. And I didn't move an inch.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Breast is Best ... To De-Stress

One more in the ongoing list of reasons to breastfeed ... a UK study recently found that breastfed babies were better able to cope with childhood stress. Read all about it.

Footloose and Tax-free

Put on your festive IRS-issued party hat and come enjoy the Sales Tax Holiday! From Aug. 4-6, Tennessee residents can enjoy an exemption from sales tax on items such as clothing, school supplies and computers under $1500. We here at Mothersville don't have Trapper Keepers or iMacs sitting around, but you can get all your nursing apparel, transitional clothing, organic baby clothes and Robeez shoes sales-tax-free. That 9.25% might not seem like much, but it adds up fast - it's like $10 off your purchase of, say, two nursing bras and a tank.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

National Nurse Out: Wednesday, Aug. 2nd, 2006

Happy World Breastfeeding Week, everybody! In the spirit of celebration and education, ProMoM has organized a National Nurse-Out. We don't mean your regular routine; we mean go out specifically to nurse in public! ProMoM hopes that by promoting the image of breastfeeding in this way, more people will accept breastfeeding as a natural everyday occurrence and the normal way to feed infants and young children. We also want to encourage expecting mothers by showing them that it is possible to breastfeed in public without anyone being embarrassed.

Come and join us! Meet up at the Wolfchase mall play area over by Sears at 3pm on Wednesday Aug. 2nd to support breastfeeding. (Or if that's too hectic for you, plop down on a bench outside Motherhood or Mimi Maternity.)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Pamper is a verb

For those of you who now exclusively associate the word "pamper" with a wet baby bottom, I'm very excited to let you know about two chances to treat yourself to a little rest and relaxation.

First off, Alissa Hawker, LMT, of Midtown Chiropractic (204 N. Evergreen, just north of Poplar in midtown) stopped by with discount vouchers for one hour and half-hour massages, so come and get 'em! She's trained in pre-natal massage, too, so you don't even have to wait until full-fledged mamahood to take advantage.

Next, we're working with Spa Escape to bring you an hour of pampering and relaxation where you will be indulged with ...

Heated Lavender and Peppermint Herbal Neck Wrap
Relaxing Head Tingling Scalp Massage
Lip Masque Exfoliation and Moisture Replenishment
Herbal Green Tea Warming Facial Masque
Nourishing and Comforting Cucumber Eye Pads
Soothing and Healing Hand and Cuticle Treatment
Renewing Aromatherapy Foot Treatment
Also Learn Breathing and Relaxation Techniques

This free mini-spa experience, utilizing natural, cruelty-free products, will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 11 am. Space is limited, so call the store at 901-272-0081 or drop an email to info at mothersville dot com to reserve your spot. (To keep the experience as tranquil as possible, we do ask that the babies stay home for this one.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Moby Play

New this week: a whole slew of Moby Wrap carriers, including new colors like Moss and Chocolate. We also got in the new Moby D carrier, which is as comfortable and versatile as the original Moby Wrap but features a beautiful cloth panel that makes it even easier to use.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

In The Immortal Words Of The Go-Gos ...

Vacation - all I ever wanted! I'll be out this week, but Mothersville will remain open with only slightly modified hours.

Tuesday, July 18: open 10am-5pm

Wednesday, July 19: open 10:30am-5pm

Thursday, July 20: open 10am-5pm

Friday, July 21: open 12pm-5pm

Saturday, July 22: open 12pm-5pm

Every mama helping out this week will be a volunteer, so be sure to tell them thanks!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Not So Quik ...

"Marketing practices that undermine breastfeeding are potentially hazardous wherever they are pursued: in the developing world, WHO estimates that some 1.5 million children die each year because they are not adequately breastfed. These facts are not in dispute." - UNICEF press release, 6/17/97

I've been boycotting Nestlé for several years now, ever since finding out about their unethical marketing of infant formula in the U.S. and abroad. At least, I thought I was. I just ran across a thorough list of Nestlé products and I realized that I've still got quite a few in my house right this moment, from Tidy Cat to PowerBar. Time to check the pantry (and freezer, and medicine cabinet ...) and make some different choices. At least now I've got an excuse to pick up some new (non-Maybelline) nail polish.

Today's Special

Hey, did you know that Mothersville takes special orders? It's true! If there's something we carry but you don't see your size, or the color you want, or we happen to be out of stock on a particular day, just let us know and whenever possible, we'll be happy to order what you need. This applies to slings, nursing bras, Medela parts and products, diapering supplies, most natural care products (Hylands, Weleda, etc.),Robeez shoes and more. So if you don't see what you need, please ask!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Pirates of the Carob-Bean

I wish my daughter were old enough to appreciate all of the pirate hype going on right now, because that would probably make it much easier to get her to wear her eye patch. After being diagnosed with a mild case of strabismus (or lazy eye, to use the relatively benign but nonetheless mama-irritating vernacular), M. was instructed to wear a patch over her stronger eye for 2-3 hours a day. Or more accurately, her parents were instructed to convince a headstrong two-year-old that putting a large sticker over her eye and leaving it on for extended periods of time would be fun fun fun.

So far, our success has been mixed. I followed some advice I read online and ordered a few different types of patches in patterns I thought she would like - namely: ladybugs, stars and princess crowns - so she can pick out what she wants to wear. If we can make it all the way to the patch-picking, we're pretty much set. The problem comes when we ask her to choose an "eye sticker" and she just flat out says no, she's not putting one on. If she's determined not to wear one, there's really nothing we can do. Even if we wanted to wrestle her to the floor, forcefully close her eye and accurately position a very sticky piece of medical adhesive to her face, she'd pull the little sucker off the minute we let her go.

I guess there are those who would argue that we need to assert our authority and superior judgment and just make her wear the dang thing regardless, employing harsh punishments and minor acts of torture as needed, but I'm really trying to avoid turning this into an Amnesty International case. Some days she wears the patch for 3 hours, some days she wears it for half an hour, some days not at all. I figure that the pediatric opthamologists factor this level of compliance into their recommendations in the first place, just like the dietitians who tell us to eat 5 servings of vegetables a day in the hopes that we'll manage 2-3. I'm trying to believe that we're teaching her about taking responsibility for her own health, that her body is a relevant source of information. And that girl pirates are super cool.

W lcom to Moth sville

I was going to write a post thanking my neighbors Andrew and Trey for trimming the gingko tree in front of the store, thus making it much easier to see the Mothersville sign, but that sign is getting harder to see by the hour. Thanks to an unfortunate combination of moisture and silicone caulking, the letters comprising our front sign have always been a bit unstable. So when I saw Andrew this morning and he said that he had my "r," I just sighed. I was a little more perturbed a short while later when an "e" fell from the sky right behind a customer (the letters are made out of feather-weight foam, but still, I try to avoid clocking new mamas whenever possible). So if you're out and about, looking for the store, keep an eye out for Moth sville, here for all your natural parenting - and nocturnal lepidoptera - needs.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Mid-Summer Week's Sale

The best way to cool off on a hot Memphis day is to imagine the cool fall days ahead, and we here at Mothersville are already trying to make room for next season. Take advantage of our restlessness by getting 20-40% off on summer items like nursing swimwear and t-shirts, sundresses, Robeez sandals, baby sunblock and more! There's still plenty of steamy weather ahead, so stock up and save big! Sale prices are posted in-store only, but feel free to call or email about online orders.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

The Official New Mom Shoe

Anyone walking by the front of the store lately may have noticed that, even though our mannequins don't have any feet, they now have some cool new shoes. Thanks to Diego, a local rep for The San Miguel Shoe Co., we are now featuring their line of "cocktail/combat sandals." I foolishly thought that a parenting store wouldn't have a need for footwear, but as Diego astutely pointed out, new moms experience a lot of changes in their feet and are perfectly suited for San Miguel's super-comfortable shoes. I was still a little skeptical, but because Diego was so darn nice (and apparently married to a customer - anyone want to claim him?), I agreed to put the shoes on display and see what happened. And of course, as soon as he left the store, I tried a pair on.

Now, I'm used to product vendors making me a lot of promises, but when Diego said that these were the most comfortable shoes I'd ever try on, he was telling the truth. They're wonderful! The soft suede footbed makes you feel like you're putting on a velvet slipper and the wide, stretchy bands provide a custom fit (even when your feet and ankles are changing shape on an hourly basis). The shock-absorbing heels are easy on stressed-out joints like knees and hips. Plus they're stylish enough to dress up for date night. These shoes are great! And people have been asking about them ever since I put them out.

We currently have two styles on display, but San Miguel offers more than 20 styles and over 100 colors. We can get any size, style and color you'd like. Come by and see what your feet are missing!

Friday, July 07, 2006

The People In Your Neighborhood

At least once or twice a week, I have a customer come in who has been driving around Memphis in search of our old location. When Mothersville first opened, it was located in the Chicaksaw Oaks shopping plaza on Poplar Ave. This is a lovely, upscale retail center anchored by a Pier 1 and home to many small, tres fancy boutiques. It was a nice location and our prime spot next to La Baguette brought a lot of walk-in traffic, but somehow, it just wasn't quite right.

Even though it meant losing immediate access to fresh eclairs, the store moved to its current home in the Cooper-Young district of midtown. We've been here almost two years now, and my favorite part about the new space is having moms come in during their daily walks. That very rarely happened in the old location, especially since you don't have a lot of people cruising their strollers down Poplar. But now, I feel like we're part of the community, part of the neighborhood. Even for those mamas who drive from as far as Collierville, Lakeland, Olive Branch and West Memphis, this place offers a welcoming, familiar vibe. We're a stone's throw from a whole mess of wonderful restaurants and one-of-a-kind retailers, but we're also tucked in among parks, community centers, and of course, a bunch of great families.

And we're also just 30 seconds away from the lemon icebox pie at Buns on the Run - what, you thought we'd sign a lease without first checking the area for pastries?

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Book Clubbing

I guess it's about time to start what's sure to be a regular feature: The Most Recent Parenting-Related News Story To Get Me All Riled Up. Today's story is about summer learning loss, which is a fancy way of saying that kids forget some of their learnin' when school is out. The story itself isn't all that infuriating, although I feel like it leans a bit toward overscheduling an already maxed out group of American kids (send them to camp! and drama school! and a sports activity that somehow manages to sneak in trigonometry!). But it brought up my long-brewing resentment toward The Summer Reading List (which this article does not advocate).

I hate the summer reading list. And lest you think I'm anti-book, I'd like to point out that 1) my college degree is in literature, 2) I'm a semi-working writer, and 3) my favorite part of the movie Out of Sight is when Don Cheadle references the 1980's elementary school program, Reading Is FUNdamental. I'm a reader, and that's why I'm so opposed to forcing kids to spend their vacation time reading specific books. I know there's not enough time during the school year to cover every worthy book - heck, I specialized in American lit and I've still never read Moby Dick - but there's also not enough time for kids to pursue their own interests and read the books that may really speak to them. Some of my best summer memories are of wandering through a library, enjoying the cool stillness while picking out a stack of books based solely on my own tastes. No reports to write, no themes to analyze, just the pleasure of diving into a story that completely captured my imagination. My English teachers probably wouldn't have approved of every choice, especially during my Stephen King period, but like a toddler given free access to decent food options, my brain gravitated toward what it needed at the time.

Speaking of toddlers, I have a two-year-old, so I freely grant that my opinions might change as she starts reading and I do more of my own research on the subject. That seems to be the pattern with every other parenting topic I thought I knew so dang much about. But for now, I can't imagine wanting to take those library strolls away from her. Reading is fundamental, but it should also be fun.

Greetings from Mothersville

Hello and welcome to the first entry of The Mothersville Post: The Blog. It's been pointed out by several people (and blog addicts) that this would be a good way to let everyone know about new inventory, store events, interesting news, and of course, personal parenting blunders. So here I am, stepping out into the blogosphere with only a Dollar Store compass and sticky TrackPoint mouse to guide me. I hope you'll find this blog informative, useful and maybe even a wee little bit amusing.