Mama Gracie’s Sunday Reflection – 1st Birthday

The awe that an entire year has passed with Mama Gracie’s Pregnancy Shop & Spa leaves me speechless. Below are some of the highlights in a photo gallery.

 

This story isn’t over…Happy Birthday Mama Gracie’s!

 

The next year we are excited to launch new products and services. Stay tuned!

 

Mama Gracie’s Sunday Reflection – Love Life

I can’t believe it has been over a month since I left Mama Gracie’s to return to an office setting down in the cities. It was fun hosting lunch in my new office with a window. I ordered BiteSquad and had our favorite food delivered to my office.

Oscar celebrated his second birthday by delivering cupcakes to all the staff. I got a taste of Mama Gracie’s at my new job! 🙂

Back at Mama Gracie’s there have been so many fun things happening.

My cousin started this pay it forward ice cream phenomenon at the local Santa Lucia’s Ice Cream Shop and I continued it by buying ice cream for the Mama Gracie’s staff and Little Miss Mama Gracie’s.

April is a local high school student who is our interior decorator and also our eBay store manager. She has done a fantastic job being creative for our windows and sidewalk presence.

We have a local baby who has loved hanging out with her mom who is a Doula and Photographer at the shop. Amanda, the shop’s manager and I had a meeting via Google Hangout.

Princeton’s Block Party Friday, July 29, 2016 was truly the highlight of our summer as the girls of Mama Gracie’s all gathered at the shop at 12:00 pm and started to prepare for our booth, fashion show and kids duck game.

Enjoy our fashion show and videos of the fake water-breaking videos.
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Mama Gracie’s Sunday Reflection – New Season

We just finished the first week of a new season for Mama Gracie’s Pregnancy Shop & Spa.

 

Amanda started as Manager/Yoga Teacher for Mama Gracie’s Pregnancy Shop & Spa with launching new hours Monday – Friday 10:00 am – 7:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Massage appointments are by appointment with a 2 hour lead time.

 

 

Team Mama Gracie’s also includes Emma, Monday Manager/Certified Massage Therapist and April, eBay Mama Gracie’s Closet Manager/Child Care Assistant.

Week 1 – Mama Gracie’s Photography was launched to showcase the products of the shop with local mamas and their babies. It has now become a new service BOOK NOW.

 

 

Emily, Mama Gracie’s Photographer is the photographer for Inspiring Birth Essence Doula Services.

Where is Mama Gracie?

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Mama Gracie’s @ Northstar Station

Team CS & E on-boarded me with huge success this week by signing a card and giving me some promotional items! ♥

 

 

 

 

Mama Gracie’s Sunday Reflection – Rum River Festival

The 160th Anniversary of the Princeton Rum River Festival was an exciting week!

On Thursday, June 9, 2016 we arrived on a hot Minnesota summer day to watch Jenna, KBOB Cafe and Mama Gracie’s Princeton Ambassador candidate compete to represent Princeton as an Ambassador. Jenna didn’t win, but she will always be considered royalty in our family. Her courage to continue in the process even after her sister’s boyfriend unexpectedly died a few weeks earlier was admirable. Jenna said that he had indicated she would be a good ambassador and she let his legacy live in her through the competition.

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Little Miss Princeton contestant Kelsy is our favorite 8 year old entrepreneur. Although she didn’t win Little Miss Princeton, she will always be Little Miss Mama Gracie’s.

 

On Thursday, June 9, 2016 evening, Mama Gracie’s participated in her first BIG parade as #73 of 100 floats including 10 marching bands. Thanks to April and her boyfriend Ben we were successful at handing our animal crackers and saying “Hi” to hundreds that lined the streets of Princeton.

 

On Saturday, June 11, 2016 Princeton hosted a Street Fair and Mama Gracie’s was all over town.We gave tours of Mama Gracie’s Spa and we had two local birth professionals host our booth on the street.

 

Our Little Free Library is LIVE and on the WORLD MAP charter number 29427. We had our first customers. ♥

 

We have made our final decision on which Princeton Middle School clocks will remain at the shop and will blog about each of them in the future.

 

 

 

Princeton Rum River Festival – 160 Years

Today starts the celebration of 160 years of the Princeton Rum River Festival. We have some great things planned at Mama Gracie’s to celebrate.

On Thursday, June 9, 2016 we will attend the Princeton Ambassador Coronation and support Jenna, Mama Gracies & KBOB Cafe’s sponsored Ambassador.

Jenna and Faith

Jenna & Faith 

On the evening of Thursday, June 9, 2016 Mama Gracie’s will host a float in the parade and will be handing out animal crackers to the kids. Don’t throw away the wrapper because it is worth a FREE GIFT if you bring it into the shop.

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Animal Crackers

On Saturday, June 11, 2016 during the Rum River Festival Street Fair Mama Gracie’s will be hosting a public viewing of Princeton Middle School STEAM Clocks that were engineered and designed in Mrs. Brown’s class for Mama Gracie’s.

We will continue the 160 years of Rum River Festival celebration with the unveiling of the first of many Little Free Libraries in Princeton. Zachary has been approved to build the Little Free Libraries in Princeton, Minnesota for his Eagle Scout project. The building of the other libraries has been funded by the Initiative FoundationLeave a book and Take a book.

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Zachary, Future Eagle Scout

MAMA GRACIE’S 50% OFF STREET SALE

Last year the Rum River Festival Street Fair 2015 was the first time we introduced Mama Gracie’s to the community. We hope to see you again both on the street and in the shop & spa.♥

Mama Gracie’s Sunday Reflection -Women Love

There are so many stories that happen at Mama Gracie’s each week and it is hard to decide what to write about. Women Love is from a statement that a 19-year old Doula-in-training made this week at a meeting of birth minds at Perkins.

The new Doula said that as she researched the role of a Doula (a support role for expectant families) she saw a true opportunity for woman to be a support for another woman with love. Not back-stabbing, competing or being mean.

All summer we are hosting Women/Moms Morning & Night Outs and our heart is to show WOMEN LOVE and allow women to join a community where we love on each other where we are at. Next Saturday 5/28/16 we welcome New Moms Morning Out.

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Happy National Nurses Week!

Happy National Nurses Week to all the Labor & Delivery & Midwife Nurses! We are all grateful for your role in childbirth.

We would like to RECOGNIZE & THANK a special nurse to Mama Gracie’s.

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Becky Cooper, RN Prenatal Yoga Teacher

Becky Cooper, RN started her journey at Mama Gracie’s Pregnancy Shop leading Family Yoga at the Grand Opening on Labor Day 2015. She has been teaching prenatal yoga almost every week even though she is a working mom and studying for her Master’s Degree. Every expectant mama who has attended her class is forever changed by the flow of her prenatal yoga class. She spends time getting to know every mama and available for questions they might have about their pregnancy and/or labor/delivery.

One story we have is that a mama had an 11 and 10 year old who she didn’t breastfeed. In talking to Becky at prenatal yoga class she was encouraged to let the nurses know that although it was her 3rd child she would like education on breastfeeding. This mama is now nursing and pumping for her baby! We truly believe it is because of Becky’s encouragement and support that this mama chose to give breastfeeding a try.

Thank you Becky for all you do as a Labor & Delivery Nurse and prenatal yoga teacher! ♥

 

Babies & Crafts Update

This week our Babies & Crafts class at Elim Rehab and Care Center made Emma’s Sugar Scrub.

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This concept of sugar scrub was new to the women of the group and only one took us up on the offer to use it. They are a generous group and we donated our scrubs to staff at the facility.

Prior to us putting together our scrub I read them the following ‘funnies’ that were shared at the Mother’s Day Luncheon.

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Babies & Crafts Update

Two weeks ago I met the group of ladies at Elim Care & Rehab Center for our Monday morning Babies & Crafts class. Since we still haven’t found our crochet needles I wasn’t sure what we would do but I had some ideas. It was either making bookmarks for Mama Gracie’s Little Free Library books or paper bag puppets. They chose paper bag puppets.

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Aren’t they cute? We already had the cut-out clothing and materials left over from hosting a booth at the local ECFE fair. The ladies made me laugh as some of them didn’t like the idea of mismatched eyes, needed brown hair color and all made women puppets except for one lady who made a man.

We had 2 ladies who wanted to do a hair-do with their yarn so I found myself serving as the beautician at the end trimming bangs and giving another one a hair cut around her face.

All of them gave their puppets a name and most decided to donate them to the local daycare that visits. Some kept theirs for their own grandchildren.

The interactions of this session made me realize how much the elderly still desire to be creative, thoughtful and productive. Sometimes I think our society is missing this and am so grateful that we have an opportunity to cultivate it.

Mama Gracie’s Editorial – Infertility

This past week April 24 – 30, 2016 has been the National Infertility Awareness Week.

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For years I have met couples struggling with infertility as colleagues, family and/or friends and it was through this experience that birthed Mama Gracie’s. It is such a difficult season for both partners and I noticed there wasn’t ‘space’ for this conversation in our society. There are online groups but where do you go in your community to discuss this topic?

Most of the couples I met were in the workplace and you could see the impact on their daily quality of life. It can be difficult if someone isn’t fully aware of infertility and how it is affecting their colleagues, family and/or friends to show support when presented with this information. The National Infertility Awareness Week allows us to take a moment and find out how to provide in-person support.

25 Things to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Living with Infertility

To Say:

  1.  

    Let them know that you care. The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care.

  2. Do your research. Read up about infertility, and possibly treatments or other family building options your friend is considering, so that you are informed when your friend needs to talk.
  3. Act interested. Some people don’t want to talk about infertility, but some do. Let them know you’re available if they want to talk.
  4. Ask them what they need. They may also appreciate if you ask them what the most helpful things to say are.
  5. Provide extra outreach to your male friends. Infertility is not a woman’s-centric issue; your male friends are most likely grieving silently. Don’t push, but let them know you’re available.
  6. When appropriate, encourage therapy. If you feel your friend could benefit from talking to a professional to handle his or her grief, suggest therapy gently. If you go to therapy regularly, or ever have, share your personal story.
  7. Support their decision to stop treatment. No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief.
  8. Remember them on Mother’s and Father’s Day. With all of the activity on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, people tend to forget about those who cannot become mothers and fathers. Remember your infertile friends on these days; they will appreciate knowing that you haven’t forgotten them.
  9. Attend difficult appointments with them. You can offer to stay in the waiting room or come into the appointment with them. But the offer lets them know how committed you are to supporting them.
  10. Watch their older kids. Attending appointments may be difficult if they have older kids at home.
  11. Offer to be an exercise buddy. Sometimes losing weight is necessary to make treatments more effective. If you know they are trying to lose weight, you could offer to join them because it would help you achieve your personal fitness goals as well.
  12. Let them know about your pregnancy. But deliver the news in a way that lets them handle their initial reaction privately – email is best.

Not To Say:

  1. Don’t tell them to relax. Comments such as “just relax” create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.
  2. Don’t minimize the problem. Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Comments like, “Just enjoy being able to sleep late . . . .travel . . etc.,” do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain.
  3. Don’t say there are worse things that could happen. Who is the final authority on what is the “worst” thing that could happen to someone? Different people react to different life experiences in different ways.
  4. Don’t say they are not meant to be parents. “One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, ‘Maybe God doesn’t intend for you to be a mother.’” Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.
  5. Don’t ask why they are not trying IVF. Because most insurance plans do not cover IVF treatment, many are unable to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses. Infertility stress is physical, emotional, and financial.
  6. Don’t push adoption or another solution. So often infertile couples are asked, “Why don’t you just adopt?” The couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision or chose another family building option.
  7. Don’t say, “You’re young, you have plenty of time to get pregnant.” Know the facts. It’s recommended that women under 35 see a fertility specialist after being unable to conceive for one year. Being young increases your chance of fertility treatments working, but it does not guarantee success.
  8. Don’t gossip about your friend’s condition. For some, infertility treatments are a very private matter, which is why you should respect your friend’s privacy.
  9. Don’t be crude. Don’t make crude jokes about your friend’s vulnerable position. Crude comments like, “I’ll donate the sperm” or “Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination” are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.
  10. Don’t complain about your pregnancy. For many facing infertility, it can be hard to be around other women who are pregnant. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Not complaining can make things a little easier for your friend.
  11. Don’t question their sadness about being unable to conceive a second child. Having one child does not mean a couple feels they have completed their family. Also, a couple may have had their first child naturally and easily but are now experiencing secondary infertility – infertility that comes after you’ve already had a child.
  12. Don’t ask whose “fault” it is. Male or female factor. Just because a friend has told you he or she is experiencing infertility as a couple, does not mean he or she wants to discuss the details.
  13. On the other hand, don’t assume the infertility is female factor. 1/3 of infertility is female factor, 1/3 is male factor, and 1/3 is unexplained.

Thank you! ♥