Friday, February 29, 2008

YOUR child

Walking Home From FAMILY FRIDAY This Morning

KIP: Why does Jesse do That Thing at the end of every presentation for parents?
ME: What thing?
KIP: That semi-epileptic fit thing.
ME: You mean where he flails his arms, makes weird facial expressions and takes 20 bows?
KIP: Yes, That Thing.
ME: I don't know. Maybe he takes after his father and is a Relentless Attention Seeker.
KIP: Or maybe he just likes to mimic his mother after a shot of tequila.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


I was recently reading an article about how many of today's parents do everything they can to shield their child from life's natural disappointments. Then I Came to My Senses and re-read last month's issue of PEOPLE, which made me feel much better since I AM NOT LYNN SPEARS.

I am an INDULGENT PARENT. I know this, I accept this, and I spoil my children even MORE in an effort to MAKE UP FOR IT.

The other day Annie greeted me at the door sobbing. It seems that during school, she had been chatting instead of listening during a very Important game of Pre K Bingo, and as a result the entire class was given cupcakes while she was not.

Well this just CHAFFED MY ASS. In my mind, the punishment for not listening during Bingo should be....NOT WINNING BINGO. She is 4. Withholding sugar from a 4 year old is like telling someone like me that the liquor store is closed: IT'S JUST NOT FAIR. And so I did what any self respecting parent who wants their child to learn a lesson does: I offered to buy her CASES OF CUPCAKES. But that didn't stop the tears, the sniffles, the PAIN, THE AGONY, and she only settled down after I agreed to buy her a car. And of course--Talk To The Teacher.

I marched into school with her hand in hand the next day, prepared to tell her teacher What's What and How Dare You Not Give My Baby Girl A Cupcake and What's The Big Deal About Listening In School Anyway. The teacher met us at the door. I could tell she had powered up her light saber and her phasers were set to stun. We both took 10 paces backwards.

"Life is HARD" were the first words she said--spoken to Annie but directed at me; "It is HARD, sometimes you will be DISAPPOINTED." I ducked, faked left--the words "Cupcake Police" poised on the tip of my tongue. Then she got down at Annie's level, took her by the arms and said "But TODAY...TODAY you will EARN a cupcake. I know that Today you will be a really great listener, and will be having a cupcake this afternoon."

At this, Annie had an epiphany of sorts; "IS TODAY TOMORROW???" She asked--as if she COULD NOT BELIEVE THAT THIS BRAND NEW SPANKING DAY WAS FULL OF HOPE AND THE POSSIBILITY OF PINK FROSTING. And she put her tiny hand into the hand of the teacher and they went into the classroom together, into the realm of endless possibilities and what could turn out to be a Really Great Day.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Random Thoughts for a Wednesday

Many of you have asked how I balance a demanding position with a Ginormous company and mothering two small children. One of the ways I do it is by making REALLY SMART CHOICES; like becoming President of the PTA. Because if you just keep piling the stress on, at some point it Holds You Together. I'm sure a good pair of Spanx would do the same thing, but I like to think I am a solid bundle of contracted nerves...with the occasional jiggle.

This morning I had a PTA meeting which means I spend about 40 minutes trying everything on in my closet in an effort to find THE MAGICAL OUTFIT THAT WILL MAKE ME APPEAR LIKE I AM NOT FAT. I keep thinking I have found it everytime I visit Talbots-but in the harsh light of the morning before speaking in front of a group of people, it appears that: NO I HAVE NOT.

I don't blog about the PTA because 1) many of my secret readers are members (Hi Susan! Hi Robin!) and also because 2) if I told you what Really went on, I would have to kill you. So while the story of the bi-polar mom who HECKLED ME LIKE I WAS DOING STANDUP AT CAROLINES would have made a really great blog.....I must move on.

Annie has named all of her stuffed animals. Which is cute, but problematic when she says things to me like: "Where is Kapooch? Please bring me Kapooch." And when I hold up the stuffed penguin and she says "KAPOOCH DAMN YOU MOTHER I SAID KAPOOCH, KAPOOOOOOOOOCH, KAPOOOOOOOOOCH" the only thing I can do is frantically paw through hundreds of beanie babies wondering if Kapooch could be the pink poodle or the silver terrier or the "chi-wow-wa." It gets even harder when she asks me to bring her BOB.

Annie has also taken to watching Boomerang in Spanish for half and hour before bed. Boomerang is a cartoon network that plays retro toons; Flintstones, Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo. The problem is that she asks me to sit beside her and WATCH WITH ME MOMMY which would be hard enough in English, but when you are listening to Yogi Bear hablo with his amigos, it is almost unbearable. Maybe I am just not smarter than the average bear. I knew I should not have taken French. It's not even helpful when Pepe Le Peu is on BECAUSE SHE IS WATCHING IT IN SPANISH.

Pawing through the stuffed dogs, finding Yogi unbearable: I guess blondes really do have more puns.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Breast of Times

Also: please go to to click for free mamogrammies for everyone.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Resting In Peace

Actual conversation at our house this morning.

Two children tussle over a wii console.

JESSE: MOM! Annie just ruined my game!
ANNIE: I did not!
JESSE: She clicked on HOME in the middle of my game Mom! I AM NEVER PLAYING WITH YOU AGAIN ANNIE.
ANNIE: I'm sorry. (pause) Do you still love me Jesse?
(Long uncomfortable pause in which I realize I should probably step in)

ME: OF COURSE your brother still loves you Annie-he will ALWAYS love you--that's what sisters and brothers do. THEY LOVE EACH OTHER FOREVER, no matter what. They are your family. In fact--one day when we get very old-Mommy and Daddy will die, but it will be ok because you will still have each other.

ANNIE: And we'll be able to do WHATEVER we want! (Jumps excitedly on couch)
JESSE: Can I have your room then, Mom?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Kip says not to let you know that I will be away until Friday,
or to tell you my flight number,
or to cartoon my street address
and let you know when my children will be vulnerable,
as well as inform you of the location
of my good jewelry and
my family silver.

HOWEVER, he says, if you want the cat-
he's here at the offices.
He will make you a good pet
if you don't mind that he scratches the heck
out of any piece of furniture you own,
is a cat nip addict and will meow for hours,
and likes to sleep on a computer keyboard.
His name is Lenny
and if you steal him
we really won't be mad.

More REAL Mail

Got this Email this morning:
The following message was sent from by Emanuele:
Hi i'm italian boy ,can i have the cup with the picture where there's written PRINCESS??

Dear Emanuele,
I don't know about Italy, but here in Chelsea you MOST CERTAINLY CAN--although I have a few friends who do prefer the word 'Queen." Would you like that in pink?

Saturday, February 16, 2008

We've Got Mail

It's time to roll out the old mailbag at OUR NAME IS MUD.

This month's theme seems to be SHAMELESS BEGGING. Witness the following REAL Email from JL:

i'm desperately seeking your "Feline Groovy" cat platter (the one with all the lavendar paisleys on it)'s the story...YES i know it's been discontinued however i would call just about anywhere and do just about anything to REPLACE 12 year old daugther bought that for me 2 years ago for my's one of my FAVORITE things on this earth!....NOT ONLY because she picked it out and bought it for me but ALSO because it's just one of the DAMN COOLEST and FUNNIEST things i own (right up there with my "Poodle with a Mohawk" poster).... the other day a friend ran into the wall on which it hung right in the center of my diningroom and broke mine....i have spent AT LEAST 18 hours the last 3 days trying to find it ANYWHERE ....from ebay to phoning all the stores i could find that carry the original "our name is mud" pieces.... i'm not rich, i'm on social security disability after a wonderful life as a college professor...and my daughter and i decorate our house with things that make us laugh and smile every time we see them to keep our spirits up... i am DESPERATE to replace this WONDERFUL and SO HIGHLY ADORED platter!!!! do you have ANY suggestions or ANY help for me???..
my daughter is chipping in her ENTIRE piggy bank to help me replace this funny wonderful piece in our home...
can you help?
thank you SO much for your time and consideration!
i am SO hoping to hear from you!!!
(Name withheld because despite what most people say i am a nice person)

I get an Email like this Every Week. Last week, someone's son accidentally broke a dog bowl and DID NOT SLEEP FOR THREE DAYS because they could not find a replacement. Everyone who writes me USES CAPITAL LETTERS SO I KNOW HOW VERY VERY URGENT IT IS.

What most people don't realize is that when they write me Emails like this: I OBSESS ABOUT THEM! THE GUILT!! THE ANGST!! THE SORROW!! Good Lord, God gave me some minimal talent and I am going to use it to make you folks happy. Except now I have a Boss. And Deadines. But forget about that...someone is DESPERATE FOR POTTERY! I MUST HEED THE CALL.

On the one hand: I am so Blessed, because even though they don't Comment On My Blog--MUD does have some true die hard fans who, for example, hang their pottery on the wall instead of using it. On the other hand, I do sometimes wish people saw the Ephemeral Nature of My Work. Don't they realize that breaking pots is part of the whole Cosmic Deal: Otherwise, WHAT WILL THOSE ARCHEOLOGISTS DIG UP? Those guys love SHARDS.

If you are wondering what I do when i get an email like this--here's the truth--I usually make the item for the person, especially when children are involved. Unless they don't say PLEASE. Pottery Breakers who don't use the Magic Word get a Whole Lot of Nothin. This is not the "Returns Dept." of Lands End, ya know.

Fashion with Annie

At least her tootsies are extra warm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Angels in the Snow

We took the children
to the park
to play by moonlight
in the newly
fallen snow
Crunching through
the layers
in pink fur lined boots
Annie asks
"What makes the snow
sparkle Mommy?"
She reaches down to
try to capture
the flecks of silver
in a handful of ice.
I tell her:
"The Angels were making
then God cleared off the table:
Everyone likes glitter
Until you are the one
who has to clean it up."

Friday, February 08, 2008

Monday, February 04, 2008

Jesse's Arm

I've gotten a lot of Email asking how Jesse's arm is doing since THE THIRD SURGERY. The answer is; much better, thanks. He can do many things, including type on a keyboard. Unfortunately, he still cannot turn his arm over-which rules out dancing the Macarena and playing golf. He is going to make some lucky lady a FINE HUSBAND one day.

We went for another doctor's appointment and found that he had some free floating calcium deposits in the elbow despite every bargain I tried to make with the Man Upstairs. The Good News is that these do not appear to be bone spurs, so until we get word that they have attached themselves to the radius, no more surgery for now.

The doctor did say Jesse would have to "Go back into the brace." Which was news to us, as HE HAD NEVER HAD A BRACE IN THE FIRST PLACE. Might have been a little medical "oops" there, but we did not pursue it--being all wrapped up in gratitude in the words "Not Yet" which were given in response to "Does He Need Another Surgery?"

So Brace Guy came in and fit Jesse for a custom made cast like thing which will slowly rotate the arm and also attract a lot of attention from the chicks at the same time. Life is Good.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

More New Product

I would tell you a really funny story about the inspiration for this frame.........ummmmm............ummmmmm.......shoot, what was it now?

Friday, February 01, 2008

New Product

Personally, I'm not big on desk clutter. It might be that I don't have a lot of room for it on my own desk--what with the jars of peanut butter, empty yogurt cups and dirty spoons. But I am a fan of personal expression at the workplace-so I made these desk signs for like minded people. When we first printed the Enesco version of our catalog, they labeled the picture Desk "Plagues" which of course hurt their initial sales--the average person not wanting to place a little Bubonic beside their Mac.

I myself have several signs in my office including the "Work With Me People" pictured here. My others are:

Go To Your Studio and Make Stuff.

No Matter How Hard You Try You Can't Baptize Cats.

Easy to Please....Sometimes


Nobody Likes A Smartass.