Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our two houses

This is what our house would look like if no one lived in it.  Chairs pushed in, nothing but a nice smelling candle on the table, a cleared off desk with just a notepad and pens, tape and a stapler ready for you to take notes, wing-back chairs sitting all tidy and inviting you to come rest a bit ...

003 005004 And this is reality.  Yes, those are toys on the mantle.  And in front of the fireplace.  Yes we live in Florida so no, we don't light the fireplace often!  And there's dishes in the sink, mostly sippy cups and bottles from last night and this morning.  Then the 'playroom' complete with slide and swings and the toys the kids dumped in the last 20 minutes... and two of the culprits minus their shirts because it's not as cool out as I was expecting and I'd pulled out long sleeves.  No worries, they're not cold!

001 002 006 007

It's not that I don't like a clean house (though, admit it, the first photos look like a museum and there NEEDS to be SOMETHING out, how boring!!).  It simply isn't "real" to expect that the kitchen, family room, and playroom are going to be pristine when there are four little monkeys running around the house being little destroyers...  Maybe clean is the wrong word here.  Because everything IS clean.  Just not always picked up.  For long.  If the kids are home. :)


So tell me, what parts of your house MUST stay picked up and tidy, and which ones do you let your kids go wild in?  Does your company expect to find an empty sink and sparkling windows?  Mine have spit on the bottom 6" of them.  Emma LIKES windows...  Do you feel like you have to apologize for the way your house looks or are you proud of it?   I like to think I'm over the pride  of a pristine home and I just invite people in.  If they wait for it to be 'ready' then we might not ever get there.  I'm curious what other people think :)


  1. Thanks! I love it! I once posted pics of my bedroom on my blog to force myself to lighten up.

    I'd love it if my bedroom was a sanctuary that was always clean, but it really never is... usually about 4 loads of wash to fold, sometime that climbs to 10. I'm horrible at putting my own stuff away, but a sticker about the older kids taking care of theirs. Horrible I know!

    I like my living room to look nice cause it's the first room people see. Our family room looks lived in 90% of the time!

    BY THE WAY, I am slightly jealous of your sunny play room. KC just doesn't allow for such things! I am thinking though we may need to convert the garage into 1/2 storage, 1/2 finished off play room.

  2. Meredith I was soooo happy to see pics of your house looking like mine! When Mike brought the crib back yesterday I was thinking to myself did Bob bring him in????? it's a mess but our messes are very similar! Carter had a great time playing with his "new friend" and he asked several time "what's my new friends name?" It really cracked me up. Tell Mike thanks again for delivering.


  3. Thanks Meredith for keeping it real. My house looks like that too most of the time.


  4. As a mom of 4 also, I there comes a time when you just surrender and stop apologizing for the mess, the friends, family and therapists all know how many kids we all have. My bed room, I wish Icould say was mine resting place...but it is more like my supply room for everything, before parties especially, all the extras just get put in there. I do like to have the foyer and living room straight b/c that is what you see when you walk in. I do make an appoint to keep my sink clean, but that is just something I do for myself....the rest of the kitchen well...again...4 kiddos LOL
    I also have french doors that lead from my dining room to my foyer and they sound like yours with marking from mouth high down. William has smeared all sorts of things...he blows on the windows and what ever he has just eaten sticks too..cheese, crackers, chocolate...anything LOL..there are also lots of finger prints on my windows. My TV used to be covered but now our tv is hanging onthe wall...oh what a difference. So there you go you asked LOL

  5. I have to say that I have a tv room that the kids are not really "allowed" in! They can watch tv on the big screen, but no food or toys,etc are to be in there! It is the ONE room that stays neat!
    The rest... welllll... I leave it up to the kids on how clean they keep their rooms... twice a week or so they need to neaten their closets and pick up toys.. they know if I step on something while waking them up in the morning that its too messy! I try to keep the rest fairly presentable! Paper is my biggest nightmare! I have piles everywhere! UGH! Oh, and books! We probably have 2000 books in our house - and not always picked up!
    I wish that I had a sunroom or toyroom where all the toys lived... that would be nice!

    Take care!

  6. you mean to tell me everyone's house looks like this?
    WOW! Thanks for making me feel...normal.

  7. We live in a small townhouse, 1457 sq feet. It is a 2 story so downstairs looks reaaaallly small for a family our size. I like to keep the kitchen as clean as possible, the rest is a losing battle LOL
    The only thing I am a bit embarrassed about is that it is so tiny. But I am grateful we have it.

  8. I live in Mexico.
    houses here are different, and so do rooms, we dont have play rooms. And houses in my city arent really big so it really are supposed to be in some kind of of order, and the toys are only suppose to be in the respective kid room

    In our house in the first floor we have a living room, a dinning room half bathroom, and kitchen. in the second floor, we have 3 rooms and one bathroom.

    we moved here almost a year ago, and we really havent buy many stuff or done many changes, so the living room is an "empty" room, first when we moved, i thought it was a cool room to use as a playing room, but apparently Elias didnt liked it that much, still he use it for playing soccer, or golf lol, or just running in circles.

    most of the time we spend it in Elias room or in our room.

    the dinning room is the only room where visits can sit, lol, so yeah that area and kitchen must be presentable... other than that they know a kid lives here so, toys could be anywhere.

    mm i should take pictures.... maybe tomorrow

  9. oh forgot to add that i like to wash dishes almost instantly, is harder to wash them later, specially when is involved some kind of chile or cheese.

  10. Mine looks like that too. Not to mention the spots on the wornout carpets. I clean carpets about every 2 months. The next day, more spots. The carpet needs replacing but hey, why until the kids are older. I used to keep the living room clean. Now, I can't even say that. I usually invite folks over for a party just so we'll get some things cleaned up. However, we kill ourselves because we have to wait til the last moment to clean (or it'd just be a mess again) and then we're too tired to enjoy the party. I've never been one to keep a super spotless, everything in it's place house. Now I have 4 reasons/excuses as to why.


  11. You have a lovely house with or without evidence of kids LOL... my bedroom is like a shrine to laundry or something, that's probably my least dealt-with room because I rarely get the chance to go upstairs during the day... I try to keep the front room and the kitchen presentable but it is shocking how the stuff piles up on the counters!! I have four kids too (8, 6, 4, 1) and it is certainly a struggle to keep things together (in every sense LOL) but you are doing a great job!! Kids look great! And that's what's important! (And your house isn't bad at all...)


  12. I don't have anything clean in my house right now, not even me, as I still need to take my shower.

  13. I have come to the conclusion that when you love someone you will let them mess up your house. LOL. Some people do not want to deal with messes (and I admit I get upset when it is out of control messes), but we have 3 adopted girls from China and I believe that a test of love is letting people come in and mess up your house.

  14. Hey Meredith,
    This is so our house. Our bedroom is immaculate...because we haven't slept or been in it in over a week. We have moved upstairs to try and acclimate Ethan to his own bed (we are living in our guest room upstairs so we can be close by). Our bedroom is the only tidy room in the house. Their are fingerprints on windows and mirrors, little spilled sticky juice spots on the floor that I always find when I am bare foot. Food spillage in some spot or another where Ethan is not supposed to be eating, but somehow the food makes it way there. Hmmm? So, if anyone ever comes over and our house is tidy-it's because the kids are not home and/or my daughter has just come by to clean to earn some extra money and there hasn't been ten minutes to destroy it yet. :-) This is all daily reality for us.
    Good times as they say.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Martha Spahr

  15. Hey, it's real. My kids are grown and gone and my house still looks like this. How can 2 adults and 1 dog make such a mess. I usually get it somewhat straightened up before my college son and his friends come for a weekend because otherwise I would be cleaning our mess plus theirs!

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. I keep my living that you see as you first come in clean and almost toy free and My bathroom is clean at all times but other than that It is mostly toys and clean laundry that needs folding everywhere. I always say I'll clean like I have OCD when they are grown and I'm lonely.

    oops deleted by accident

  18. Wow, your kids have a tunnel? We want a tunnel, too! ;o)

  19. Loved this post! This is the same at our house... But please don't ever mention to anyone in my family if you ever come across them about putting toys on the mantle! LOL

  20. my mantle holds the toys that go into timeout when the kids can't work out their sharing and taking turns... paper is my nemesis.. who woulda thunk that the little innocent mailbox would be such a big part of bringing the mess into the house.. now i have to make a quick stop to the recycling trashcan even before i bring in the rest of the mail... here's to lovely broken in, lived in houses full of babies and love and fun! :)

  21. Is that Miss Emma sitting up all by herself in the playroom!

    Sorry, that happy sight blinded me to the charmingly relaxed and colorful decor of the rooms themselves.

    I much prefer the lived in look. Besides, when the kids get older, it is the lived in houses where they always go to hang out.