Moss & Marsh

Mom of the Month: Gigi

Candace Brodmann
Three generations in one photo; my sister (Marie), my mom (Geory), Ettalee, and myself. Photos by Sarah Kohut Photography.

Three generations in one photo; my sister (Marie), my mom (Geory), Ettalee, and myself. Photos by Sarah Kohut Photography.

For a Mother's Day and birthday present my sister and I got our mom a girls photoshoot with her daughters and granddaughter from the lovely Sarah Kohut Photography (aren't these photos gorgeous!?). Plus we took my mom to get hair and makeup done at 40 Volume Salon followed by a delicious brunch at Collins Quarter (definitely the best brunch in the city). It was a wonderful day and I highly recommend this gift idea ;)

We've skipped a few months since our last "Mom of the Month" post because this mom and grandmother deserves more than just one month. My mom not only raised me, but my sister who is sixteen years older than me, and now she is helping to raise my daughter Ettalee. I'm so blessed to have her and my dad here to help with Ettalee a few days a week so I can make this business happen. Not to mention she is the one who initially taught me how to sew when I was just a child! Hopefully this interview with Gigi (as Ettalee calls her) who has parented through multiple eras will be inspiring and encouraging to all the new moms in my generation.

1.  What is the best thing about being a grandmother?

My first thought when I think of the word "grandmother" is it's grand to be a mother, but it's even more grand to be a grandmother. It's just really neat to watch your child have a child and witness love in a whole new way.

2.  What are the biggest differences in raising children and helping to raise grandchildren?

I'd say the main difference is it's a little more relaxed, because I only watch Ettalee a few days a week. Basically I get to enjoy her without all the constant responsibilities of being a mother.

3.  How has parenting changed since you became a mother for the first time (1971)?

Oh goodness, there's so many things that have changed. However, when it comes down to it the fundamentals of raising children are the same; they need boundaries, a little discipline, and they need love. While the new technologies do add convenience for parents, you don't really need them. 

4.  Are there any products you wish you had with your children?

Cloth diapers. Everyone was quick to choose disposable in back then because the cloth diapers were such a nightmare and now the cloth ones are more user friendly with the snaps. After being introduced to them with Ettalee, I think I would've used them with my children if they were available. (We used BumGenious!)

The conveniences of some of the products now can make a big difference. Something as simple as spill-proof sippy cups - that's a big one in my book!  ( Playtex Sipsters are our favorite!) Or even the video monitors, we only had sound on ours, the new ones are so neat.

And last, I would definitely have wanted an electric breast pump, what a game changer.

(And breast pumps have even advanced since I had Ettalee. How cool is this wearable one from Willow?!)

5.  What is your favorite thing to do with Ettalee?

I've always liked to expose her to new things and I enjoy seeing her experience things. She's either happy-go-lucky or she's really intense, but when she's really excited she can't contain her excitement. 

6.  What are some of the best activities you’ve found to do with your granddaughter?

I'm always looking up to see what's going on in the community to do. I love taking her to the different events at the library or places like Henny Penny. She and I both love outdoor/nature things so we often take her to playgrounds or to feed the ducks, go to the UGA Marine Science Center, or Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Just get her outside if I can.

7.  Do you have a favorite memory with Ettalee?

The first time I saw her she was laying on your chest in the hospital and the first time I held her were both of course very special. The face she made when she tried a pickle for the first time was priceless. But one of my favorites is of her in her dress-up heals, in a diaper, dancing and shaking maracas to "The Little Mermaid" song - I have a video of that and it still makes me laugh every time.

8.  Finally, what is the best tip you would give a new grandmother?

Learn to respect your children as parents. Feel out a situation before saying too much, you can give advice, but don't push it if it's not warranted. Basically, establish boundaries so everyone is happy and you can continue a healthy loving relationship.

Mom of the Month: Kelley Hagemes

Candace Brodmann
Kelley drawing a new piece with her youngest daughter in arm and two older daughters photos hung nearby on the wall.

Kelley drawing a new piece with her youngest daughter in arm and two older daughters photos hung nearby on the wall.

Kelley of Claw and Bone Art is not only a philanthropic Savannah artist, but she is a wife and mom of three; Fiona (10 weeks), Ava (6), Madilynn (8). Not to mention we've been fortunate enough to have her sweet family as neighbors for the last four years!

1.  In one word how would you describe your mothering style?

That is a hard one. Probably “improvisational” – things change so fast at any given moment.

2.  What is your biggest struggle as a mom?

The struggles seem to change as soon as you adjust to one. I think the struggle that stays constant through every phase is staying present; not worrying about your internal to-do list and staying off your phone. For example, I want to do another art show and I catch myself planning it in my head instead of watching the girls in those little moments.

3.  What is the highlight of your day?

Right now it’s when Fiona wakes up before the kids go to school and she’s super smiley. And then the kids are like “Good Morning!” and that’s going to be the happiest they are for the whole day, it’s all downhill from there. (laughter)

Her husband, Kyle, and the girls.

Her husband, Kyle, and the girls.

4.  What is your favorite thing about being a mom?

Watching them learn. Seeing them experience things for the first time. It makes you realize the things you take for granted when they see something so simple and think “this is so wonderful” and I’m like “wow, you’re right!”.

5.  As an artist, how has your work changed since becoming a mother?

My art has always been about drawing from experience. So, inevitably it changed when I had kids because my experience changed so drastically. But having children has also opened me up and made me more emotionally vulnerable than ever before. My subject matter changed to focus not just on my children, but on children in general. I had to change my medium because I needed something more portable, I no longer had 8-10 hours to sit in a room and paint with oils. Now I use graphite because I can take it anywhere.

Some of Kelley's beautifully ornate artwork:

6.  With two older children, is there anything that is different this time around with a newborn?

Every one of them has been so different. When I was pregnant with Fiona I thought “this is going to be a breeze because I’ve done this twice”, but with everything that happened it was night and day. But now that she’s here it’s a lot easier. When we had madeline I was going from being a kid myself to well, the end of my childhood essentially. You would think a third kid would be overwhelming, but since we’ve been in parent mode already for so long, it has been easier. You’re already getting up early every morning and you know the feeling of devoting all your time to someone else.

7.   What's your favorite rainy day activity?

We are big tent builders. As soon as it even gets cloudy the kids are like “It’s tent time!” and we build forts in the living room. We actually used to have eyelets that were screwed into the walls where we would just tie ropes in so it was just automatic on rainy days.

Get ready for the next rainy day with your kids and study up on 25 DIY Forts to Build!

8.  Favorite "mom hack"?

I probably have a lot over the course of three kids, but they’re so ingrained it’s hard to think of one. The only thing that I can think of is having the older girls read to Fiona. They have to read for homework anyway and the baby loves it so I can listen but do other things. It’s more of a time saving hack I guess.

9.   Favorite lifesaving parenting product?

Any sort of swaddle and a noise machine has been a necessity every go-round.

Check out the 8 best baby sound machines of 2017!

10.  What's your go-to weekday meal?

I’m Italian so it’s going to be some sort of pasta product with some sort of sauce and cheese. It’s always ready in the pantry so I don’t have to think about it.

Check out this article on "What to always keep in your pantry" - pasta is definitely on it along with other good ideas to be ready for the unplanned dinner!

11. Finally, what is the best tip or insight you would give a new mom?

Oh, a first timer – that’s a hard one to think of because I always try to think back to when I was a new mom. I think I would tell them to ignore most advice you get because you get so wrapped up in trying to prepare yourself for things and you just can’t. When I had my first kid I remember thinking “this is not what you said it would be at all”. You can’t explain it and you feel worse if you listen to too many things. I think “mom advice” as a whole has gotten too invasive. Is your kid fed? Is your kid alive? Then you’re doing great.

Fiona July sporting her Moss & Marsh Bandana Bib! 

Fiona July sporting her Moss & Marsh Bandana Bib

Moss & Marsh Anniversary Party!

Candace Brodmann

Come celebrate Moss & Marsh's one year anniversary! 
Not only can you check out the brand new Henny Penny Art Space & Cafe, but there will be lots of fun for the whole family including:

*Free "Under the Sea" kids craft! 

*Block print your own T-shirt & onesie with Moss & Marsh characters! 
Shirts (2T, 3T, 4T) and onesies (NB, 6mo, 18mo) available for $10. Or bring your own shirt with a $5 suggested donation. Printing profits go to St. Jude Children's Hospital.

*View our full product line up and meet the owner/designer of Moss & Marsh!

*And of course stop buy the in-house bakery for your caffine and snacks! (for purchase)

We can't wait to see you there! Visit our facebook event for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/119947098548574/

Mom of the Month: Nan Whitney

Mom of the MonthChloe Minick
Nan has an incredible smile and is a positive light to those around her. Pictured: Diaper Clutch

Nan has an incredible smile and is a positive light to those around her. Pictured: Diaper Clutch

Soft instrumental music plays in the background as I sit down to interview Nan Whitney, Moss & Marsh’s first Mom of the Month.  Her three children play together in the next room: Brynn (4), and the twins, Sadie and Landon (22 Months). She is currently 14 weeks pregnant with her next baby! Add all that comes with being a mom to three plus being a pastor's wife and you've got a super-mom.

The whole family! Photo taken by Stefani Ashley Photography in October 2015.

The whole family! Photo taken by Stefani Ashley Photography in October 2015.

In one word how would you describe your mothering style?

(she laughs) Oh goodness… that’s really difficult… semi-structured.

What is your biggest struggle as a mom?

Discipline. It’s the hardest, hands down.

On a smaller scale, what are the daily struggles?

Keeping the kids alive— just kidding. Probably finding activities for them everyday, so they’re not just watching TV all the time.

What is the highlight of your day?

Bedtime! (she laughs) No, nap-time. It’s nice to have some downtime when the kids are asleep.

What keeps you focused and energized?

Exercise, prayer and time with Jesus, spending time with other moms.

What is something you didn’t expect about having twins?

That’s hard— I read a lot about it before I had them. It was probably keeping them both on the same schedule. I didn’t expect it to be so difficult.

What’s your favorite rainy day activity?

Besides TV and movies? (she laughs) I like to try and get the children to participate in little craft projects like make your own PlayDough- that's a great project that the kids can keep playing with too.

Favorite “Mom Hack”?

Pyrex dish microwave eggs. Instructions here!

What’s your go-to weekday meal?

Frozen fish sticks or chicken tenders, veggies, sweet potato fries. I love making casseroles too.

Finally, what is the best tip you would give a new mom?

Make sure to take time for yourself to re-energize. It helps you be a better mom when you take a break.

Sadie relaxing in the triple stroller. Pictured: Swaddle Blanket

Sadie relaxing in the triple stroller. Pictured: Swaddle Blanket

Did you learn something from Nan? Or somehow feel like you're not alone in this #momlife thing? Let us know what you think! Thanks for reading and check back next month for another super-mom!

Moss & Marsh Team Search!!

Candace Brodmann

Do you love Moss & Marsh products? Want to be part of the Moss & Marsh team? And get free products?! Oh, and a 30% discount?! If you answered "YES! YES! YES! YES!" you're in luck...We're searching for a team of Moss & Marsh Brand Representatives. We need babies & toddlers, NB-3 years! And because we make parenting products, we need parents too!! This search is OPEN from now until 3/20!

Our Team Members will get 3 free products and in return we ask that you post (and tag us!) 4 photos of each product over a 3 month period (roughly 1 photo a week). And help us by sharing and promoting any sales, giveaways, or promotions as well. 

HOW TO ENTER ON INSTAGRAM:

  1. Follow us @mossandmarsh.co
  2. Repost this picture and tag @mossandmarsh.co (please also tag us IN the photo) and use  hashtag #mossandmarshteam2017
  3. Tag at least 2 friends below that you think would be great candidates!
  4. Comment below and tell us a little bit about your parenting style & child and why you'd be a great addition to our team.
  5. Tag at least one photo of your little one with our hashtag #mossandmarshteam2017 so we can check out your feed & kiddo!

A FEW RULES:

  • Instagram Accounts must be PUBLIC until reps are announced so that we can see your entries. If your account is private we will NOT be able to see your entries. *If you don't want to make your account public please ask us to follow you. • You MUST have over 500 Instagram followers to be considered for a Brand Rep position.
  • This search is open to USA only and ends at 11:59 pm EST on 3/20/17
  • By entering this search if you are accepting all Brand Rep position duties as listed above and consenting to our usage of your photos on our website, social media, and advertising. In submitting an application, you are agreeing to the following terms stated in this Photo Release:

I hereby authorize Moss & Marsh LLC to publish the photographs and videos taken of me, my family, and/or the aforementioned minor children, for use for promotional/advertising purposes in both print and electronic format when used lawfully for, but not limited to, promotional purposes, publicity, advertising, social media, and web content. 

I release Moss & Marsh LLC from any expectation of confidentiality for the aforementioned minor children and myself and/or my family and attest that I am the parent or legal guardian of the children listed above and that I have the authority to authorize Moss & Marsh to use their photographs, videos and names.

I acknowledge that since participation in publications and websites produced by Moss & Marsh LLC is voluntary, neither the minor children nor I will receive financial compensation. 

I further agree that participation in any publication and website produced by Moss & Marsh LLC confers no rights of ownership whatsoever. I release Moss & Marsh LLC, its contractors and its employees from liability for any claims by me or any third party in connection with my participation or the participation of the aforementioned minor children, myself and/or my family.