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Winners!

 Thank you all for your wonderful comments. As many of you said, it is important to trust your gut and take unsolicited advice with a grain of salt. Momma knows best! Making informed choices about your birth, baby and family will leave you feeling good! 

And the winners are…. 

1.  Erin W. who said: “The best piece of advice I have been given is when all else fails, stick ‘em in the tub :) This is so true with my girls, if I can’t get my baby to calm down or if my 5 year old is just having a rough day, I put them in the bath and it’s like instant happiness. This is also the best time to listen to your child, my oldest loves to talk about her day, share silly little stories, just have that one on one (well plus baby) time.”

2. Kelly S.  who said: ” The best and I wish I had listened was do not have any vistors the first two weeks. Give mom and dad time to bond with your new baby. “

3. Tracey A. who said: “Cherish these moments, because the days may seem long but years go by fast”. I take that with me now where ever i go.” 

4. Megan M. ” My “best” parenting advice came from my four year old cousi who informed me that babies are not born potty trained and that it would take me at least a couple weeks after my daughter was born to teach her! “

5. Lindsay May: “The best advice I ever received was not to compare your child to others, or let others do the comparing. “

(***Winners will be contacted via email this week!*** )
 
Didn’t win? Not to worry! There are lots of other opportunites to shop:

Consign My Closet

March 16th • 10am – 8pm (public sale)
March 17th • 10am – 5pm (public sale)
March 18th • 10am – 5pm (most items 50% off)

Marlboro, MA next to DSW (former Border’s Bookstore)
739 Donald Lynch Blvd, Marlborough, MA

 
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An important letter to the MoCo Community…

As you know, each new year brings changes, challenges and opportunities.

We’ve realized that our strength is in our classes and support groups and that having a retail store and just one location is limiting our flexibility to serve our community in as many ways as we would like.  Therefore, we’re making some big changes and giving MoCo, so to speak, to you–our community.

What this means is …

  • Our West Boylston location is closing effective Sunday, January 29, 2012. HOWEVER, we will continue to provide our most popular classes and groups at various locations in Worcester and Central Massachusetts but through a new Mothers & Company, which will be a non-profit organization.
  • We are excited to announce that we have a group of committed community members who have agreed to sit on the board of directors of this new organization. Transitioning to a nonprofit organization with the same mission will allow us to continue to provide the classes and groups that you care about in locations that may be more convenient to you. It will also allow us to provide some of the services and activities you have requested and nonprofit status will provide YOU with the opportunity to get involved.
  • The current schedule will continue for now and we will announce later this month what our January schedule will be (as far as classes and groups in our current location). There are some classes already scheduled for early 2012 and they will most likely run as scheduled, just in other locations in Worcester and other towns. We’ll have a firmer plan and schedule for the future soon, so stay tuned and please continue to refer your friends to MoCo for classes and support via our website, mothersandcompany.com or mothersandcompany.org or have them call us at (508) 835-6666.
  • Of course, in order to close our store, we’ll have a big sale. We encourage you to come visit our shop before the holidays to benefit from big discounts on items that are perfect as holiday/birthday/shower gifts for expectant parents, new parents, babies and small children. (Details coming soon.)

We know this may come as a surprise to most of you and please know it was an extremely difficult decision to make but we are excited for this new adventure.   All of us at Mothers & Company have enjoyed getting to know you and we look forward to continuing our mission of providing information and support to families in Central Massachusetts in a non-profit capacity in 2012 and beyond.

 

Warmly,

The MoCo Mommas

 

Have questions?  See our Frequently Asked Questions page!

Want to leave a comment here, please do!

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Did you ever want to take an art class yourself?  Or have time on Friday mornings and you’d like your child to take an art class? Now you can do both at Mothers and Company!  A local mom and artist, Suzanne Hauerstein, will be teaching a few classes that might interest you:  Moms’ Studio Art Time (an evening class for five weeks, just for moms…hey, BYOB if you’d like!) and Little Budding Artists (a weekly class on Friday mornings for four weeks, for children aged 2 and 3 years, with an adult).  We’re also working scheduling some other classes with her as well, on Saturdays!!!  Read on to learn more about Suzanne and consider registering for her classes by clicking on the class names above.

Suzanne Hauerstein

What was your background, before you were a mom?

I lived in Rhode Island and worked at the Newport Art Museum where I taught ceramics and multi-media classes and workshops to students of all ages and abilities for almost two decades.   I was a studio artist and designed and created tile murals and ceramic sculptures of sea life and insects.

What brought you to art?

My mother is an interior designer and watercolorist and my grandfather was a commercial lithographer and painter so I have been exposed to art since I was a small child.  I grew up in New Jersey so my parents made frequent excursions with my sister and me to New York City.  They would take us to see exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, Museum of Natural History and many other great museums.

When you’re working with parents and kids, what do you find helps them connect with their inner creativity?

A relaxed and fun atmosphere!  I believe a class environment that encourages experimentation is integral to a good experience.   I like to have students do a little warm up exercise before we do an actual art project.  It can help loosen the hand and mind from self-imposed restrictions.

Some parents aren’t sure why an art class would be beneficial to a child..what do you say to that?

I am a strong believer that making art can help a child to focus and relax.  I choose projects that can be altered for any ability so that the child will be successful at what they are doing.  When a child is successful at something they get excited and usually want to do that activity again.  In this way it can help to build the child’s confidence.  Doing art projects enhances hand- eye coordination and fine motor skills in both children and adults.

What’s one thing that you can share about yourself that’s more unique and not related to motherhood, art or your past professional life…what’s your passion/guilty pleasure/favorite hobby or pasttime?

I really enjoy cooking.  I used to love to hang around my grandmother’s and my mother’s kitchens as a young girl and watch them preparing our huge Italian family meals.  Then of course I enjoyed eating the food!   My guilty pleasure is definitely chocolate.   I love to sing and read to my two year old daughter and take her for long walks.

If you had more time, is there another job or activity you’d love to do?

My most recent focus artistically has been working with encaustics; an ancient painting technique that involves using pigmented bees wax.   I would love to have an apiary and learn about bees and beekeeping and incorporate the bee’s wax into my artwork.

Interested in reading more about the classes Suzanne will be teaching?  Or interested in registering?  Click here.

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And the Winner is…..

It’s Wednesday! ( and my was it beautiful) Just came in from playing football!

Only  Thursday stands between us and Consign My Closet! (Get excited this year there is TWO floors of merchandise! )

Thank you all for the wonderful responses, we wish everyone could win!

And the winners are:

Jennifer Caron

Erin Baffuto

Woo hoo! Congrats!  Please email holly@mothersandcompany.com for details!

If you didn’t win don’t worry! Consign My Closet goes all weekend long:

2011 Fall/Winter Sale • Toddler to Teen • St. Anargyroi Church • 9 Cashman Street, Marlborough, MA
September 30th – Oct 2nd
Friday VIP Sale 10-12,
Open to the Public 12-8
Saturday 9-5
Sunday 9-1 (many items 50% off)

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It’s that magical time of year again. Cooler weather. Cider. Apples. Apple Crisp. Cider donuts! Ok, I am making myself hungry…

It’s also the time to start pulling out the fall/winter clothes, oh what’s that you say? Little Shawn is in need of a new fall wardobe since the growth spurt? Susie needs some winter boots? Looking for a new stroller for walks at the park? We have just the thing for you!

Consign My Closet – Fall/Winter Event 
Friday-Sunday, September 30th – October 2nd
St. Anargyroi Church Hall, 9 Central St., Marlborough, MA 01752

Shopping hours
Friday 10 am – 12 pm Exclusive VIP Pre-Sale Event for Consignors and Volunteers
Friday 12 pm – 8 pm Open to the public
Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 9 am – 1 pm (many items 50% off)

Consign My Closet is one of the area’s hottest event for gently used kids clothes and gear. Recyling at it’s best!  The events takes place twice a year and features everything from toddler to teen! Think fashionable name brand items – clothing, toys, gear and sporting goods : Gap, Abercrombie, Mini Boden, Gymboree, Hanna Andersson, Hollister, Ralph Lauren, Chicco, Playskool, Graco, Peg Perego, Pottery Barn and more.

If you aren’t in need of anything you can always consign too! Check out their information about consigning. It’s easy and helps clear out the closets. Print out some tags, hang your clothes and drop them off during drop off hours. At the end of the sale you can opt to pick the items up or have them donated. You receive a payment via check within two weeks of the end of the event. Pretty easy!

Heading out to the presale event early Friday morning has become a bit of a MoCo Staff tradition. How would you like to join us ? Consign My Closet has been generous enough to give us TWO presale tickets for some lucky MoCo Mamas! ( Last year we only had one ticket and over 30 people entered!- trust us, it’s that good.)

To enter our little giveaway  please tell us, what would you look for at the presale?

Leave your comment below (on the blog, not facebook ) and we will select a winner NEXT Wednesday by 5PM. Please only enter if you can attend Friday morning at 10AM to give everyone a chance!)

Want an extra chance to win? RE-POST this Blog post on facebook and let us know that you did.

Good luck!!!!

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Next week we start art classes for little ones (and their grown-ups!) with Aimee Ledwell of Red Shoe Arts.  You’ll love her energy, her style and how she engages your little one (and you) in creativity.  Learn more about Aimee and consider taking her class!

What is your background, before you were a mom?

I was, and still am, a teacher.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Massachusetts College of Art, and a Master’s in Art Education from Tufts/School of the Museum of Fine Arts.  I taught in public and private school art programs for 10 years before I had my son, and I’ve worked with all ages, from toddlers right on up to adults.  My mom will tell you I started teaching when I was 12 years old.  I used to bring this arts and crafts book called “Sticks and Stones and Ice Cream Cones” with me to babysitting.  I still have that book, too!

What brought you to art?

A roundabout route, actually.  I’ve always loved art, and took a bunch of courses in high school, but I thought I wanted to be a marine biologist from the time I was 9 years old.  I had been inspired by a book about Eugenie Clark, “Shark Lady,” and I wanted to work as an interpreter at the tide pool exhibit at the New England Aquarium.  I didn’t change my mind until I took a college-level physics class (eek!).  I realized in college that I was more interested in the alternative learning experience provided by the aquarium, and that my strength was as a teacher, not as a scientist.  At the same time I had always loved to create things, so I transferred to art school, and then went to grad school to learn to teach art to others.  The art classroom is definitely a place for alternative learning experiences!

When you’re working with parents and kids, what do you find helps them connect with their inner creativity?

Don’t be afraid to get messy.  Put on your jeans and a t-shirt and dig right in.  Art is very forgiving, and if it doesn’t look how you expected, well that’s just fine!  People often tell me “I can’t draw a straight line!” or similar clichés.  Drawing is a learned skill that takes lots of practice, just like learning to read.  Lots of great artists can’t draw!  There are so many other art areas where you can find strength: maybe you are good at building things, or shaping with clay, or at choosing colors for a room, or at taking a photograph.  This is just one reason why I do a lot of abstract art with my students, because taking away the need to have it look “real” frees us up to simply have fun with the materials.

Some parents aren’t sure why an art class would be beneficial to a child..what do you say to that?

In addition to improving fine motor skills, pattern recognition, and observational skills and more, art teaches us in ways that other subjects can’t: to express ourselves, to solve unique problems and think in less predictable ways.  Art has no right answers, only the answers that you decide are right for your purposes.  Art is never “messed up” because you can always change your mind about what you want it to be.  We live in a world that increasingly needs original thinkers, where jobs are quickly being consumed by computers, robots, and a global workforce.  Our children need to keep coming up with new ideas, and what else builds imagination like the arts do?

What’s one thing that you can share about yourself that’s more unique and not related to motherhood, art or your past professional life…what’s your passion/guilty pleasure/favorite hobby or pasttime?

This summer I took up running for the first time.  I’m running my first 5k in a few weeks, and I’m very excited.  I want to be a good example for my son in many ways, and fitness is a huge part of that.  Eventually I’d like to do a sprint triathlon or something similar, but I still have a long way to go!

If you had more time, is there another job or activity you’d love to do?

I want to grow up to be a jazz singer.  I love to sing, and one of these days I’ll take voice lessons.  For now, lullabies for CJ and singing along with my iPod will have to do.

Register now for classes with Aimee…her Paper, Paint and Play classes start on Wednesday, September 21!

An interactive and fun art class for kids aged 1.5 – 6 years old called Paper, Paint and Play.  Aimee will guide you and your child through 2-3 different art stations each week where kids will be creative using many different types of arts and crafts supplies. Make collages, create water color masterpieces, paint with tempera paint and more. We’ll be inspired by nature in colors and themes. We’ll also enjoy reading books and sing songs about each art theme! Come and get creative!  This 10-week class series costs $145 (10% less for members). Siblings attend for 15% less than the first child.

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Swimming is a wonderful activity to do with your child at any age. It can increase learning ability later in life and enhance fine motor development. Frequent swimming can help your child form a healthy relationship with water early on. It is important to keep in mind safety this summer when taking our little ones out to pools, lakes and oceans. Here are a few tips compiled from the American Academy of Pediatrics The Injury Prevention Program and  our swim instructor Holly Johnson for Mothers & Company: 

• Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment. (AAP)

• Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security. (Source: http://www.aap.org/ family/tipppool.htm)

• If you are interested in using the foam bubbles we have used in MoCo swim class they can be purchased on SwimOutlet.com or your local YMCA. Keep in mind MOST public pools and lakes will not allow these, or any other swim aids. They are best suited for personal pools.  Bubbles provide important core and back support for young swimmers unlike floaties that hold just arms ( Holly Johnson) Remember that they are not a substitute for parental supervision.

• Keeping the AAP guidelines in mind, life vests should NOT be used as swim aids for children in a pool as they provide a false sense of security. The best place for your child (if they cannot swim on their own) is in the arms of a parent or caregiver in the water. ( Swim Instructor, Holly Johnson Mothers & Company) Also, life jackets and life preservers should never be substitutes for adult supervision. (AAP)

• Life jackets are designed to turn most people who are unconscious in the water from the face- down position to an upright and slightly backward position. This jacket helps the person to stay in that position for a long time. It is to be used in open water and oceans.( AAP)

• Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.” (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm)

• Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats. (Source: http://www.aap.org/ family/tipppool.htm)

• Children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age. (Source: http:// http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm)

• Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should not be used as life jackets or personal flotation devices.Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example. (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm) Swim suits with built in flotation should also be avoided. ( Holly Johnson)

• The decision to enroll a 1- to 4-year-old child in swimming lessons should be made by the parent and based on the child’s developmental readiness, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age. (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/ tipppool.htm)

• Large inflatable above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access. (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm)

• Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren’t tempted to reach for them. (AAP)

We still have room in our upcoming swim classes for our last summer session starting July 9th! If you cannot commit to weekly lessons do take advantage of our Midday Open Swim to keep your child swimming during the week. 

 

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