a REAL house tour with Amber of Crappy Pictures

I love design blogs. 

But whenever I see a house tour of someone with young children I smile, knowingly. Where is the cereal on the floor? Where is the toy clutter?

I'm an insider, you see. I have a house with young children. Their house doesn't really look like that. Ever.

Below, you can tour my home. The "design tour" version and the "real life with kids" version. Welcome!

Have you seen those hand painted or stenciled stairways on house tours? We have those. We have a unique wrought iron railing too.

Only this is what the staircase actually looks like:

Tan baby gate at the bottom. Green poultry netting tied to the wrought iron railing. Oh yes.

Custom design requires custom babyproofing. Remember that. It sucks.


Next up is the ubiquitous bookshelf. Every house tour has one. Sometimes they are built-ins. Sometimes not. But they always have a color coordinated display of books interspersed with art, frames, vintage globes and cool stuff like that.

We totally have one of those artsy bookshelves. Vintage globe and all. 

Only this is what it actually looks like:

The bookshelf display changed some when the little guy started getting mobile. And ripping pages. And throwing vintage things.

But all the cool stuff is still there.

Dining room next!

Why yes I have an antique china hutch that I painted turquoise and distressed. And of course I have a funky tablecloth and a teak wooden bowl in the center to showcase fresh fruit from the trees in my yard. And see the lovely wall color? It is Benjamin Moore in sweet honeydew melon. Don't you love the vintage maps of wine regions on the wall? Not to mention my vintage milk glass collection by Hazel Atlas.

Totally design blog worthy, yes?

Only this is what the dining room actually looks like:  

My kids added their own finish to the china hutch with permanent markers. The tablecloth had to be removed because they like to pull it off magician style. The walls are splattered with spaghetti sauce. And also squash. 


So why don't we move on and see the bedroom! 

Handmade, modern quilt on the bed. Handpainted headboard. Minimalist. Clean. Fresh. Don't you feel relaxed just looking at this room? 

Only this is what the bedroom actually looks like:

The bed was moved to make way for a diaper changing area so the headboard doesn't line up. Piles of diapers on the dresser and wipes on the floor. Bed rail. Um. 

Wait! Don't go! There is one more room to see!

My living room is also amazing. It is the most used room in the house so it is the most important.

I've saved the best for last.

See the mid-century modern style I've got going on? Oh yeah, baby. Those design blogs are knocking at my door. 

Only this is what it really looks like:

Most used room? Yeah, this doesn't even need an explanation. 


So next time you see a house tour where the owners have young children, just smile knowingly.

They are stepping on cereal just like the rest of us.  

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269 Responses to a REAL house tour with Amber of Crappy Pictures

  1. Angie says:

    LOL a thousand times over!!! The bookshelf is the same in our house as is everything else. I love looking at decorating magazines and this should be in one.

  2. melia says:

    agree! seriously you should submit this to style at home

  3. Michelle J says:

    Yes! We all know the house looks like that for all of five minutes when the kids were out in the yard while they took the pictures!

  4. Kristi says:

    Hysterical! I love it and I love your blog!!

  5. Beth says:

    yep…dead on.

  6. Tracey says:

    Oh i’m crying!!!! Love this !!

  7. Audrey Ma says:

    Bags of recycling in the corner of the dining room. Chunks of play-doh everywhere, looking a little like lumpy confetti. Sheets and quilt stripped off bed, draped over chairs from dining room to make fort. Fancy paper napkins cut into “snowflakes”, scotch-taped to every window and sliding glass door. Tiny socks and underwear strewn everywhere.
    Well, it’s cozy.

  8. Erin says:

    this is so true…I love your blog. I have yet to read a post that doesn’t scream “that’s our house”! keep it up, you put a smile on my face with each blog.

  9. Johi says:

    Yep. My favorite is when the featured home has children and all of the toys in the pictures are either sock monkeys or wooden and painted with low-emission paint.
    No Dora, no Cars, no Toy Story, no giant hunks of garish plastic with battery operated “awesome” siren noises…. yeah, I believe that reality. Sure.
    Great post.

  10. Julie says:

    THANK YOU!!!! thank you thank you thank you!!!! You made me feel so much better! I have 5 kids (15, 6,5,2 and 10 mos) and every time my mother comes over she makes comments how my house looks. The day before my daughters birthday party last week, she texted me telling me that I better start cleaning so its done in time for the party the next day! I feel like I’m the only mom who can’t keep the toys and mess up! You made me feel better!

    • Juls says:

      Same here! So stressed out sometimes by all the mess! I hate people saying to me that I’m not an organized person or that I don’t care. I really really do care and would love an organized house! I just can’t seem to keep up!

    • Christine says:

      Julie, tell you mom that she can come clean your house if she’s so worried about it. I can come over there and throw down on her for being ridiculous if you need an enforcer. I PROMISE you, every one of us feels like we can’t live up to other people’s clean-house-internet-pictures, and I am here to affirm that all of our houses are disasters. A lot of bloggers are liars. If your kids are alive, GOOD JOB. Houses will always be there, childhood is fleeting and kids don’t care about your awesome reclaimed midcentury fixtures. Enjoy the dirt and yogurt fingerprints, sister.

      • AmberC says:

        “kids donโ€™t care about your awesome reclaimed midcentury fixtures. Enjoy the dirt and yogurt fingerprints, sister.”

        this should be embroidered on a pillow..

  11. Crystal says:

    I love the headboard not lining up!

  12. Amanda E says:

    Love the bookcase! Sooo been there. For awhile we just wedged the books in sooo tight that DS couldn’t get them off the shelf. That worked until he just started ripping off the binding, lol.

  13. Meghatron says:

    I feel so much better now.

  14. Khadra says:

    this is awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Erica says:

    So awesome. It gets better.

  16. Angela says:

    That is spot on!!! You just forgot to add the diaper that your child takes off and leaves in the middle of the living room floor…

    I love your blog. I just finished cleaning my entire house on Sunday…and today you’d never notice. I even sent the kids away to Grandma’s so I could get the walls clean (which I did accomplish) and this morning I come down the stairs and it looks like the linen closet, the laundry room, and the toy box all threw up during the night. LOL

    • Jessica C says:


    • Janae says:

      Exactly! And we have the bonus of the wet pull ups that our still not night trained four year olds drop wherever they change into underwear. Or that I usually drop over the railing to the downstairs because I don’t want to waste time taking them all the way out to the garage. It’s a nice touch to our entry way. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  17. Mishka B says:

    i adore design blogs. we are in the middle of remodeling and decorating our house. i’ve decided not to buy/recover/reupholster anything until both kids are old enough to realize they have food on their faces and that walls are not canvas. i love your blog – it’s such good comic relief!

  18. Sandi says:

    The bookshelf also made me LOL!!!

  19. Melissa says:

    OH, this is one of my favorite ones yet!! I heart your crappy pictures so much! ๐Ÿ˜€

  20. Kristal says:

    Love this ๐Ÿ™‚ However, you forgot the wonderful letters that are pulled off the fridge and always manage to be underfoot when carrying something hot in the kitchen!

    I love your blog and get the best laughs from it!

  21. Julie says:

    You know what I love about this blog, Amber? *Every* time I come hear I am laughing and saying to myself, EXACTLY!!

    • AmberLouise says:

      Me too!!!

      The bookshelves made me laugh so much. My bookshelves used to be organised by genre, then alphabetised. Now they’re just a mish mash of piles of books on the high shelves and “sacrificial” books on the lower shelves.

      Also love the headboard – oh the furniture configurations that happen to fit in bub as and their stuff!

  22. One of my co-workers has 3 young children, works full-time, and her husband’s job requires that he travel about 75% of the time. But her house is spotless and her kids’ rooms look like Pottery Barn. I’m convinced she is a witch.

    • Robin says:

      Nope – she has a cleaning person!! That’s the only way that could happen. Or she requires less than 5 hours of sleep every night and spends every minute cleaning after her kids go to bed.

  23. Lisa says:

    My sister came up to stay with me for a few days, and I took 2 days off work and sent the kids to daycare so I could clean before she got there.

  24. Heather says:

    I’m sitting her laughing my ass off nodding, just like I do with every single one of your posts. I’m a design blog quitter though I just can’t even look at them anymore until my kids are a little bit older and less messy.

  25. jamye says:

    Like others, I would so send this to housekeeping magazine and others of the like, everyone with kids can totally relate! ha

  26. foxes_garden says:

    Oh no! Don’t let her get to you! I’ve figured out that even if I DO spend all day cleaning, for every 10 minutes I spend cleaning the kids are making another 15 minutes-worth of mess behind my back.

  27. Shannon says:

    This was such a great idea for a post! I always go to my friends houses and feel so much better about mine (not that mine is spotless, far from it, it’s just that theirs are usually worse!) Also, don’t forget that the people featured in those design blogs and magazines usually have $$$$$ so they can afford a housekeeper. My aunt lives in Boca Raton and they can afford a housekeeper, her house is always spotless, I’m so jealous!

    And that part about how custom stairs require custom babyproofing is totally true. We have this awesome house with a loft and open stairs and another set of stairs (my husband picked the house out before our son was walking, go figure) and yeah, it is all covered in random gates and we are still figuring out solutions for the loft. ๐Ÿ™

    Glad to hear your Marimekko survived!


  28. foxes_garden says:

    My godmother was one of those people. Her kids didn’t speak to her for several years after moving out of the house.

  29. Hehehe… My house to a “T.” Only my living room has bottles everywhere. And the kitchen is mostly spotless… mostly.

  30. Mombazen says:

    Can you show a pic of the bathroom next?!! I have 5 children ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Luuuv it!! pimp(pee in my pants)

  31. foxes_garden says:

    This was one of the funniests posts yet.

    Our bookcase also has all the interesting stuff moved to the top shelves. I compensate by putting the kids’ books on the bottom shelves, and displays of toy dinosaurs on the intermediate shelves.

    You didn’t show how every surface in the house is covered with a stack of children’s artwork and school papers. (Stick-figure drawings and face prints, for instance…) Maybe that’s just my problem. (Sad inability to relegate it all to the trash…)

  32. Amber Dusick says:

    No, I couldn’t admit to my bathroom even in just a drawing! Ha ha

  33. Carrie says:

    Thank you for this! Every time I look at a design magazine I get so inspired and then my son wakes up and I realize how silly I’ve been. It’s great to know there are others out there with the exact same reaction.

  34. Elisabeth says:

    as always – you are dead on! the bookshelf is my favorite as I too had a beautiful display bookshelf before kids and now everything is stacked at the top and the other shelves are covered with kiddie toys. ahhhh parenthood…

  35. Dena says:

    Are you serious?!? Your house isn’t picture perfect? Well, mine is. I mean….if you don’t count the pack and play that I have blocking the hallway so my 1 year old can’t go down and rip my curtains off my sidelight windows -again- or get to the bookshelf in the front room that already has had every shelf that he can reach unloaded onto the desk. Or maybe if you ignore the high chair trays that I currently have all over my kitchen – one with last nights dinner, and one with today’s lunch still on it…or the rugs that I finally got to cleaning (on monday) hanging over said pack and play and the other draped over a kitchen chair….we won’t talk about the *lawn chair* that I’ve set up as a baby gate (classy touch, I know!) around the base of the computer so he can’t get into the wires, or the masking tape that keeps the fireplace shut as he’s realized that if you push it, it opens…and there is all kinds of dirty nasty “fun” stuff in there to play with– including the place in which you light it (it’s gas).

    Yeah…being a mommy is glamorous, isn’t it? I love you, you are amazing and funny. Keep doing that. :o)

  36. hahaha. I was laughing hard enough at the post, but then I read this comment. I know a few people like that too. It amazes me how they do it, because I could sit and relax and enjoy my day or follow behind my kids 24/7 and pick up everything they drop. Either way the house is still TRASHED. Witches, all of them.

  37. Misty says:

    I’ve been reading Kelle Hampton’s Blog “Enjoying the Small Things” and was recently drooling over the room she just redecorated for her daughter. Maybe there are cheerios on the floor, but man, I couldn’t even START to design a room like that! Soooo jealous! :o)

  38. Tarina says:

    LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!! I keep sharing your posts with my friends, who Im sure by now read your blog anyway, but I cant help it!! You are comic GOLD, because every single thing you write is so relatable!
    also, @ Ingrid Griffin — lmao! I know right?? I have friends who have 1 or two kids who keep their houses immaculate, and still somehow manage time to do things like cook dinner and occasionally even watch a movie – where as I feel like I am swimming in one of those machines with the water current where you never actually GO anywhere? *Sigh* fml. I need to learn witchcraft too. (no offense to any actual Wiccans out there of course~!)

  39. Tarina says:

    aww I have the same problem! I have a full on plastic tote with nothing but my oldest’s school work. I have managed to get it down to my favorites from each year, as far as like “Aww this is when Dameon learned to write his letters!”, “This is dameons’ first 100% on his addition! Awww!” — and every single art project the boy has ever made. I just cant part with those. (which becomes difficult as he gets older and they get more intricate and 3-d) – My husband thinks I am crazy, but I just cant help it!

  40. Teresa says:

    This is so true and made me feel sooo much better!

    @Dena – we have a piece of plywood over our fireplace b/c my twin boys wouldn’t stay out of it. Lol

  41. You and your blog are going to take over the world! Loved every bit of this.

  42. Tarina says:

    ^ this!!!!!! haha Couldnt have said it better myself, foxes! People need to realize that parents of multiple kids (and even parents of only 1!) just dont have the time to keep things up to someone else’s standards. When people make remarks about “Man! The kids must have really shaken that box of cheerios! It looks like you missed a few!” I cheerily thank them for offering to come over and watch my children while I get out the vacuum attachments and shampooer to get things up to snuff. Or better yet, why dont I take my kids to the park and THEY can come do it for me? Id hate to disappoint them ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes they just dont get it.

  43. Myssie says:

    Oh yes! I also love the blogs with child fashion updates, complete with where the clothing was purchased! You know, very tidy looking toddlers with sparkly shoes and white (WHITE!!!)pants.
    I have my own version on my Facebook page…it’s all the shit my toddler puts on that is hysterical. Brother’s underwear over two pairs of PJ’s, cowboy hat, and goggles. Beautiful. Hmmm, i smell a blog being born.

    • Megan says:

      @Myssie: I mentioned to one of the parents at my school once that he was brave (read: crazy) to let his toddler wear such a beautiful white dress to school. His response? “I actually like the solid white better than other light colors because I can just bleach it.” And you know, I never thought of it that way!

  44. wendy says:

    brilliant. as always. we have a couple of shattered glass windows that have yet to be repaired. the boys busted through a screen window that they, and the dogs, now use as a doggy door. p.s. our house was featured on a design blog… not a crumb, or child, in sight when the photos were taken, but when they returned home…

  45. shawn says:


  46. Pamela says:

    SPOT on! This IS my house.

    LOVE the boppy on the couch, and couch pillows ON THE FLOOR of course!

    Love the nice stuff on the top shelves.

    The bed rail! No tablecloth! Yes and YES!

    SO glad it’s not just my home.

    When we first moved in I had a nice video tour and pictures of our home ready for the “housewarming and open house tour”…. It will NEVER look like that again I fear ๐Ÿ™

  47. This is almost like a support group for those of us who’ve grown into our maturity and over the little things. Realizing life is just life and only those that have had kids REALLY understand this. Glad I’m not alone. My son just turned five and I’m thinking of bringing back from storage my wrought iron scrolls with tiny glass votive holders that used to decorate our fireplace front…. eh, maybe when he goes off to college.

  48. Heather says:

    LOVE IT! The only thing different here is that my bed is actually taken apart. Headboard and foot board leaning on the wall (blocked by the dresser of course)and mattress on floor so that when ds(9mo) climbs out we won’t need a trip to the ER! (yep bed rail is still in place because he is roller)

    LOVE the green mesh on stair case!!! Love your posts! good luck with funniest mom blogger!

  49. Mendie says:

    I almost peed my pants with the second bookshelf picture…genius! Girl, you are hilarious and have such a great way of portraying what we’re all going through!

  50. Melissa says:

    oh, the ever present cereal on the floor!!! I had three weekends of company in a row this month, and I gave up on cleaning for the last set besides putting the couch cushions back on the sofa and taking down the “kitty house” fort and I tried to find all the cereal on the floor, but of course, as soon as they walked in I saw a cheerio smack dab under the table. Greeted m-i-l with “Don’t pull out the white gloves today, please. I just couldn’t do it anymore!”

  51. omg my house is JUST like that! (only maybe minus all the befores and actual nice things and *ahem* with more mystery stains on the area rugs.)

  52. That cracks me up. I was just wandering through our house, figuring out new ways to declutter, as I have run out of places to stack things that are taller than the toddler. And there is a hierarchy to it, too. Really important things are stacked taller than a toddler on a chair. Chairs are frequently stacked on the table.

  53. Emily B says:

    Can I mail this to my MIL who walks into my house and takes my 3 year old around showing her the toys she hasn’t picked up? My husband and I even picked up once and she found two books on the floor of my child’s bedroom and gave her a lecture.

  54. Emily B says:

    Which after that, I decided to toss as many toys as I could around the house.

  55. K says:

    Weeeeell, my kids mostly have handmade soft toys and wooden things, with some matchbox cars and a few stray plastic animals. Nothing with batteries, no tv or movie themed toys.

    Doesn’t stop them scattering everything through the house, drawing on the walls, or smooshing plasticine into the carpet though. Don’t get me started on the crusty bits of dried up cereal that have become part of the tabletop…

  56. Alison says:

    HOLY CRAP! My bookshelves used to look EXACTLY like that when DD was a toddler! Bottom two rows empty, top rows crowded with everything! Hahahahaha!

  57. valleygirl says:

    I swear I strive for my house to look at least picked up by the end of the day. And somewhere in the middle I might succeed. For 5 minutes. By the time my poor hubby comes home it looks no different than it did when he left in the morning…little does he know how hard I worked all day! Sometimes I wonder if it’s even worth it?

  58. I think we live in the same house ๐Ÿ™‚

  59. Courtney G. says:

    My first born is about to be mobile. I am excited to see what I have to look forward to. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We actually considered one of those children’s area rugs with the roadways on them to replace our fancy, overdesigned one in our living room. While we didn’t take it that far, I have placed a foam mat down. At least it has colors complementary to the rest of the room. For now.

  60. As a design blogger who really does try to keep it real….OMG this is sooooo my house. = )

  61. Myrnie says:

    You make me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. My living room was actually saved. We moved the two Pit Bulls from our bedroom to the living room when the first kid was born, so now the living room is basically the dogs’ room. No toys. You come to the house and have no idea kids live there.

  63. Tonia says:

    have always rolled my eyes at the “all white” houses, the owner explains how “kid friendly” it is because you can just throw the cotton furniture cover off and throw them in the wash………somehow I’m not a believer

  64. CanCan says:

    You are amazing!

  65. Dee says:

    Love the nursing pillow!! LOL

  66. Tara Fly says:

    Her children are probably in daycare or school all day…. and when they come home, they will be tired from the day’s activities ….and less likely to destroy the house. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Before I decided to become a SAHM after our 3rd, our house (with two young kids) looked rarely lived in!! ๐Ÿ˜›

  67. Christina says:

    Teeeheee, LOVE this! My Dh is always complaining about how cluttered our house is, like it’s sooooo easy to keep the house clean with a four-year-old running around and undoing any of our futile efforts to tidy up. Reassurring to know that it’s not just OUR house that looks like this ๐Ÿ˜‰

  68. Tara Fly says:

    This is EXACTLY what runs through my head whenever I read a design blog! Our house is never spotless for longer than 15 minutes.

    I actually wrote a similar blog post, called “An Artist’s Anti-Home Tour” ~ http://taraflyart.com/2010/06/artist-anti-home-tour/

    But obviously without the *awesome* drawings and humor that makes your blog so special!

    The people who are featured in magazines must send their children to summer camp or boarding schools… or at least pack them off to Grandma’s house for a few days before the photo-shoot. ๐Ÿ˜›

  69. Cynthia says:

    Apparently, your kids don’t have grandparents. Or maybe they just understand better than my folks.

  70. Cynthia says:

    So, so true.

  71. Cynthia says:

    YES! I was going to ask Amber to write about the way kids always manage to dive onto the couch or run into the wall with their yogurt/peanut butter/mud covered hands and face, a split second before you can grab them.

  72. julie says:

    love the tiny hand print on the sofa!! I am looking at the exact same one right now, almost in the same spot (even with a white fabric, you can see it must have been some kind of cheese remnant)… my kid seems to think the futon-couch is her personal, huge, handkerchief or all-purpose wipe, and she will leave snail-like traces of mucus…

  73. Oh, you make me feel SO much better.

  74. Ash says:

    My parents just have a crazy, stick-in-the mud daughter who frequents the Goodwill trailer. ๐Ÿ˜›

  75. Ash says:

    The tight book-wedging move! ๐Ÿ˜€ So glad I’m the only one who can’t even yank my own books out of the case, LOL!

  76. Tessa says:

    OMGoodness….same thing here!!! I have to start cleaning a few days ahead of time to get it all gone.

  77. Tessa says:

    Yep…that’s my life to a tee. I HATE pop over visitors who doesn’t have kids because they get to see all that mess. UGH!

  78. Amanda E says:

    : )

  79. Amanda E says:

    I have a friend like that! Found out a year later she secretly had a housekeeper come out 2 -3 times a week. I had way too much fun “busting” her on that one, lol.

  80. Karen says:

    This is our house!!!

  81. Cynthia says:

    You don’t believe it because you’d have to wash them Every. Stinkin’. Day. and have at least four back-up for when they kids mess them up five minutes before someone’s about to show up- and do it again as soon as you change it.

  82. Haha! LOVE THIS!

    I have to say – your drawings are not crappy at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. Veronica says:

    LOL!!! Stepping on cereal. Oh I totally wear shoes in my house! I love this blog.

  84. Kelly says:

    Laughed so much at the bookshelf – beyond true! ๐Ÿ˜€ (As is the rest of it, of course…)

  85. Nope. House is worse than that. My current clean-up for today involves a child who only radomly uses the potty including leaving her “leavings” on the persian rug, an entire bag of dog biscuits has been upended, finding all of the seats for the couch, which seem to be a never ending prop for games, 3 days worth of food & crumbs, clothes strewn everywhere because the children refuse to keep clothes on (even though its dead winter here) the “Baby Gate” is missing the gate part, as my children ripped it full force from its hinges. And so much more that I could take up a day to write it, let alone clean it up.

    Every single cabinet in our kitchen has a maglock on it, requiring a pencil circle on the outside of the door, so we know we’re to put the magnet, both fridge and freezer have locks (including an extra broken one that they broke a couple of months ago). Despite all this, there is only one cabinet that is “safe” from them, and I myself have to climb on a chair and step on one of the pantry shelves to reach it. My children are monkeys and secretly have sticky spider hands to climb doors and undo top locks.

  86. Carol Gardens says:

    If you have to pick up or clean for anyone, they are not worth having over to your home(okay, that’s my rule….neighbors do not even get over the threshhold, unless I know they do not ‘measure ‘ people by the order in their home.) Try tellin’ your mom,’Yep…we are making joyful memories , together as a family,but when the kids grow up and move out, you can come over and we can clean house just for the exercise!Doesn’t that sound like fun?’

  87. Carol Gardens says:

    Your crappy pictures are toooooooo funny! I used to take the tp off the rolling spindle and leave it on the counter, so the youngest couldn’t unroll the whole thing for fun….oddly, everyone that came by to visit, put the paper back onto the roller!!!!! I finally had to hide the darn thing so my guests couldn’t ‘fix’ it when I wasn’t looking!

  88. Carol Gardens says:

    True…..I wish I could see your crappy pictures in my morning newspaper…that is what I would look for, first!

  89. Carol Gardens says:

    Great idea! Don’t give her any place to walk around the house and find things out of place!!! Tell her,’You just sit right there, I don’t want you to hurt yourself!’ I have an image of you in my head: throwing toys everywhere…and your 3-year-old -laughing!!!

  90. heather says:

    We have grandparents who understand about our preference for non-licenced, wooden, natural toys. And they MOSTLY comply. I wouldn’t say that we have NO plastic junk, but we do have a very minimal amount.

    And yes, we have sock monkeys.

    Fortunately, the plastic junk usually doesn’t get crazy emotional attachments so it’s easy for the kids to part with when we do Value Village donation purges!

    And since they don’t watch much TV (we don’t have cable), they only kind of know who those licensed characters are. DD has some Dora hand-me-down clothes and likes them, and knows her name, but has never seen the show and that’s where the interest ends.

    So it’s not *entirely* impossible, when it’s a priority for the family. ๐Ÿ™‚

  91. Carol Gardens says:

    Ha Ha ha…I had one all-white room…..people would say, a white living room( yep, white upholstered furniture, walls, and drapes) and six kids? I would answer…’Oh, I am an optimist!’ But truthfully…I kept a gate at the door…that was a place for me to go and breathe….a space where nothing in view needed for me to ‘do’ something..it was so calming! Later on, when anyone needed a calm space to read or do something, they would ask if they could use’my room.’ and I shared it.

  92. Golden Amber! Love it! I’m slowly getting my head around the fact that my house is turning into that… though it was never as gorgeously stylish as yours! Very glad we start with babies and work our way up to that level of mayhem!!!

  93. Meg M. says:

    Oh, yeah. That is my bedroom exactly, right down to the mysterious wet spot on the bed. Pee? Puke? Boob leakage? Best not to investigate too closely. The sheets will get washed … someday.

  94. Jenny says:

    Hilarious! We use oor pack-n-play to block the fireplace and all of the curtains are thrown up and over the rods so they can’t be pulled down anymore! All of our nice things are off the lower shelves and I’m currently using tension curtain rods to thwart book-throwing tendencies… though he’s getting strong enough and smart enough that he’s about to render them useless and force me to remove the books entirely. I love sitting down to read new entries after the kiddo is in bed. It makes me feel normal – keep it up!

  95. I seriously need to deal with the bookshelves before the crawling starts!

    • S says:

      We have a play pen blockading our book nook. Atilla has his books on the ex-changing table trolley. It’s worked ever since turned one.

  96. madmum2 says:

    Laughing hysterically at the ‘pencil circle on the outside of the door’ to locate the magnetic child-lock spot – we have those too! We have our house for sale and home opens are the pits!Have to go round and rub off all the fingerprints, take the circles off the doors, unstick the dried weet-bix off the underside of the kitchen bench..

  97. Jocye says:

    Freaking hilarious. I love it! That is exactly what my house looks like. ๐Ÿ™‚ You go girl!

  98. Gina says:

    Lol. As I was reading this my 11 months old daughter grabbed a plastic fork from god knows where and started stabbing my couch. I of course took it away like a good parent.. And proceeded to shove it further into the couch (where dh most likely lost it) simply because it is way too much work to jump over all the barricades we have set up to keep her out of non babiefied forbidden rooms. Amazing how kids alter your perception of clean…

  99. Dawn says:

    LOL oh man I am so laughing hysterically. Of course, it’s my quiet time, after everyone else is in bed, and I’m really up too late but I have to decompress from a day of potty training my 3 yr old, keeping on top of the dishes for once and the lovely, pleasant banter between my tween and I. I am so ready for a good laugh, thanks so much!! I love your blog, the crappy pictures are wonderful!

  100. You forgot the clutter of unpaid bills and newspapers and all kinds of mail that have taken over my table. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And the newspaper and artist’s canvas that is currently drying on my coffee table. lol (Note to self – put away permanent paint before children wake up.) I’ve managed to reclaim some sort of clean house by insisting toys get picked up before bed and having a fabulous husband who washes the dishes they dirty when I’m at work (I do the same at night when he’s at work). But yeah, my carpet is trashed. There’s cereal everywhere and I don’t even want to KNOW what’s in the couch cushions. I LOVE your blog!

  101. Jennifer says:

    Where have you been my whole life? You are my new blogland hero!!

  102. Carrisa says:

    Me Three!! Definitely my favorite!! LOL

  103. Karee says:

    You are brilliant!

  104. danielle says:

    Where you at my house today?

  105. hummm says:

    not a witch, she has a helper that cleans up at dinner time. we used to have someone that used to clean everything up when the kids eat dinner and take their bath.

  106. Bonnie C says:

    Not knowing what your relationship is (good bad or indifferent) next time she suggests you need to start cleaning for a sindig invite her over to do it for you. I have a sign that my SIL gave me b/c I said this so much—it reads “If you”ve come to see me come any time, if you’ve come to see my house make an appointment.” Sounds like you could use this sign.

  107. Bonnie C says:


  108. Bonnie C says:

    lets try that one more time! *shindig

  109. HeatherB says:

    So cute and spot on. We have the same before/after bookshelf display (uncanny the resemblance). Also, glad to someone else’s couch is stained as much as ours. And the furniture rearranged to accommodate kids’ toys. And kid stuff. Everywhere. I don’t feel so bad anymore. It’s normal! ๐Ÿ™‚

  110. Liz says:

    Omg I m laughing so hard!!! I thought dinner outside was the best, omg this one tops it!!!

  111. My house used to look great. Before kids. So I totally get what you mean!
    And yes, we’re always stepping on things. Food related or not! lol!

  112. Dorothy says:

    Hilarious! I loved the bookshelf part because mine look just like yours! And I just love this blog, keep it up!

  113. Jill R. says:

    So funny! We’d be stepping in cereal (and who knows what else) if we didn’t have a dog.

    BTW, you forgot the basket of clean always-need-to-be-put-away clothes in the bedroom. But maybe you’re one step ahead of me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    LOVE your blog!

  114. It does make me sick to see all those immaculate houses. Your house is my house. No longer will I be ashamed of the cereal crumbs all over the floor! :0)

  115. Mala says:

    Umm… where’s your television and where’s your remote? Those are the monsters I want to kill. My almost 3 year old knows how to turn on the TV and nothing plays on it but Dora and Diego. I’ll go crazy to that theme music. He drives me nuts searching for the remote in all hidden corners of the living room. If not for the husband, I would have donated the TV by now.

  116. MamaBennie says:

    My house actually is quite clean, but the antique trunk in the living room houses the kids’ toys. They only ever play with the same dozen toys so it is never that big of a mess. I CONSTANTLY vacuum because the only room of my house without carpet is the bathroom (the huz really needs to get on peeling up the carpet and redoing the oak floors). The desk is the only area of the house that is a complete hot mess because my paperwork is always scattered across it. O yea, and we live on one floor so there are no stairs and we have no bookshelf. I hate knickknacks so we don’t have any really. Our couch is also a different color than the recliner. Classy.

  117. Jaclyn says:

    The bookshelf is my favorite… those little fuckers touch EVERYTHING, don’t they? If my daughter isn’t about to break it, she’s coating it in a layer of indeterminite slime that will absolutely stain.

  118. In our dining room are 6 bookcases (2 sets of 3 together) with upper & lower doors (Ikea Billy). The lower doors are held closed with a nylon ratcheting strap clamp that wraps around the block of 3 to keep our toddler out.

  119. Vanity_Mom says:

    sooo true, my husband and I bought a beautiful book shelf for our dvd’s (since we have a huge collection and didn’t like double stacking) it has since then turned into a childrens toy unit and the dvd’s now take up the highest 3 shevels (and are now double stacked in front of another)

  120. Liz says:

    I just came upon your blog and I swear, the yogurt thing happened to me last week and the flu thing, two weeks ago. Of course, since my husband is older than me EVERYTHING effects him worse and I should just wait until I’m his age to see how it feels. I’ll never win, he’ll always be older and always feel crappier ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love your work!!

  121. Julie says:

    Yeah, I’ve had a few of those. After me taking it back off the roll every time the in laws eventually seemed to realize it was an intended situation and not just being too lazy to put the roll on the spindle after changing it. If that doesn’t work, just make the fixer fix the first mess when the kids find the TP is within reach. ๐Ÿ™‚

  122. Lori says:

    I LOVE THIS! My still-at-home kids are 13 & 17 but our family still looks A LOT like your living room. Just with Lego’s and video games and BMX bike crap.

  123. Claire says:

    I had to cancel the catalogs & design magazines when I finally realized that they were making me feel AWFUL. No matter how much my brain *knew* that real houses with real children do not look like that, I felt super inadequate. Especially since my house has great concrete floors with funky FLOR tiles, beautiful chosen wall colors, but most of the furniture from Ikea, because damn it, I’m not going to spend money on something the kids (5 & 2 & almost born) are just going to destroy!

    And really, what home is complete without tiny, foot-destroying lego pieces?

  124. I love this! And I’m so glad I’m not the only one sleeping on cereal.

  125. Dori Sedano says:

    I love the bookshelf too, but in my house you would have to add the 3 yo climbing up it while changing the baby’s dipe. Maybe the 4 yo egging him to climb higher and come join her on top so they can throw the stuff off the top to make a fort.

  126. elaine says:

    well if she’s working full time, the kids are obviously not at home….so there’s no one there to make the mess! and with the hubby gone a lot – ha! they make quite a mess themselves! when i was in the Air Force (for 8 years) hubby and I both worked long hours, and our kids were in daycare….our house looked great and I NEVER understood why SAHM’s couldn’t keep their house looking nice…
    then I became one…with 3 kids….
    man, i was an idiot! LOL

  127. herselftheelf says:


  128. Thanks for the house tour! Your house is so cute. =)

  129. I have noticed that most of the feature home owners have only one child. That is an unfair advantage!

  130. YES!!!!! And apparently their relatives and grandmothers (chief toy-givers to all children, don’t you know) have really elevated yuppie taste! If only my mom had not introduced my daughter to the disney princesses via that cheap-o costco table 2 years ago. Now everything in our home is pink and plastic.

  131. Oh shoot. I better start playing with my kids more instead of tidying up. That would make me sad if they didn’t speak to me for several years.

  132. Totally true! I actually like it when my husband is out of town because my workload seems cut in half!

  133. Ahh! My daughter is currently obsessed with Rapunzel, and she likes to unroll the toilet paper and pretend it’s her long hair. She hangs it from the top bunk of her bunk bed so her friends can climb up!

  134. Three words to describe my ideal kid-proof sofa: brown leather craigslist.

  135. Noelle says:

    bless you. I needed to read this today!

  136. This was so awesome! And your pictures are fantastic. I love your blog!

  137. Michael says:

    Lol, this so very creative. I love your blogs! thanks

  138. Belle says:

    I sitting here with my two year old who is screaming like an banshee and tossing his breakfast overboard because he’s decided he doesn’t like oatmeal today. I am also laughing my butt off!

    Thanks for keepin’ it real!

  139. j rose says:

    stop blogging and clean up after your kids.

  140. Jenn says:

    We just took the furniture out of our living room (to make room for new) but in the few days of empty room we’ve joked that we should just leave it empty. There is so much more room for toys and now there is a racetrack around the coffee table. Think the blogs might see that as innovative and minimalist? hahah

  141. Tracey says:

    Just had to write and let you know how fabulous this is! We have been “updating” some of the rooms in our home and they sure don’t stay design worthy for long! Much better to expect the second- real- version of each room.

  142. a says:

    Or “Make yourself at home and clean this house.”

  143. Too funny! Thanks for the laugh, if only it wasn’t all true!!!
    ~ joey ~

  144. Cheryl M. says:

    Oh! Em! Gee! This is SO my house right now! Thanks for the absolutely hysterical laughter…I really needed it because the state of our house makes me want to kill the person responsible for it – hubby! No – not the kids, I clean up after the kids pretty regularly, but hubby is the biggest slob ever and doesn’t contribute to keeping kid messes in kid rooms. Sometimes I just wanna grab the cast-iron frying pan and…

  145. Robin says:


  146. Hande says:

    Morning coffee out my nose. Thank you!

  147. Melinda says:

    You are the best! Thanks for the reality tour. My rooms are just like that too. My mother found a four month old poptart on the top of a desk and though it was a craft one of the kids made. I agreed and whisked it out of her hands pretending to put that in a keep box. Your tour made me feel better. Ty!

  148. Your bookshelf and my bookshelf look alike. Of course they do, we both have young kids.

    I always laugh at the design blogs that have one small fabric covered container for all of the kids toys. I have 20 containers and it’s still not enough to keep the toys contained.

  149. Kathryn says:

    haha I LOVE this!!

  150. anna says:

    She must have “help”. I was the help for a family that kept up all appearances until I got pregnant. They didn’t replace me, rather put their kids in preschool and hired a houscleaner once a week. Now when I visit, even with a house cleaner their house is a DISASTER!!!! It’s such a different thing to be the help/nanny. I could put the kids down keep the house straightened. gett hem to eat nutritious food. Now as a Breastfeeding cosleeping mama My house is crusty too ๐Ÿ™‚ I like it that way. Honest gunk!

  151. anna says:

    Keep the best, photograph the rest. ๐Ÿ™‚

  152. Heather says:

    I see I’m not the only one who keeps a Boppy in the living room on the couch! I don’t even move it when the singles come over for the Bible study my hubby leads in our house once a week! It has been known to flop down around their heads from time to time if they sit down just right!

  153. you are one of my favourite, favourite blogs. Do you have a book for sale, because I would buy that book. It would be so, so, sooooooo funny. Do you ever see something that you just love, and you want to do something like that, but you just give up because you know if you do it, it won’t be as good? yeah. I even think of some of my life scenarios now as drawn in crappy pictures style: ie; my trip to the beach with the kids the very day I get my red buddy.

  154. Vera says:

    Fantastic! I no longer have children living at home. I don’t even have very young grandchildren (9-19) but I SO REMEMBER the rooms and what they looked like: exactly as you’ve depicted.

    Can’t wait to see your rendition of the BATHROOM and the vehicle!

    Thanks for keeping it REALLY REAL!

  155. Hillary says:

    Tried arranging my son’s board books on the bottom shelf of our bookcase, till he would come along and knock them all down with one big swipe of his arm in about 2 seconds.

  156. I am loving your blog. You could well be illustrating my life….

  157. Danielle says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my entire life. Ever. It’s like looking in a mirror. Holy cow, did I mention I can’t stop laughing?

    Ok, I’ll stop creeping you out now.

    Thanks for the great post!

  158. Julie says:

    That’s my bookshelf too. Except the top shelf also has toys that are in “time out” because my girls can’t stop fighting over them.

  159. Marta says:

    Love it. I only wish I had as many nice things to hide from my children so they won’t break. I find that my dogs destroy more than my children. Like an entire futon.

  160. Dallasmom says:

    I love this blog!!! This totally describes our house. Of course, now that the kids are 9, 11 and 14, it looks a little different than it did when they were babies. Most of the babyproofing is gone now, but the kids still trash the house every day. Now that they are older, they throw balls in the house, knock ceramic things off the mantle and then glue them haphazardly together and hope I don’t notice. But the holes are still in the banister where the baby gate at the top of the stairs used to be. We used to have a big piece of cardboard duct-taped over our fireplace and squishy corners glued all over the sharp edges of the hearth. Even with all the babyproofing, my daughter still had a goose egg on her forehead all the time when she was a toddler. Our house looks SLIGHTLY better now, but I don’t think it will truly be mine again until all our kids leave for college. I always note how unrealistic the CSI shows are on TV when they walk into a spotless house and the only thing they find on the floor is one hair of the murderer. In my house, they wouldn’t even be able to tell if it was a crime scene (because it always looks that way), much less separate the bad guy’s fingerprints and hairs from all the stuff the kids track in every day. People who live in immaculate houses obviously don’t have real kids.

  161. I’m cracking up in an, “It’s funny ‘cuz it’s true!” kind of way. I read Better Homes & Gardens and am perpetually amazed at the spotless “child-friendly” homes with WHITE SLIPCOVERS that grace their pages. I’m sorry, but “child-friendly” and white slipcovers do NOT go together, no matter how washable said slipcovers might be. I used to feel slightly envious of these homes, but now I realize it’s all just smoke and mirrors. Hell, I could lock my 20-month-old in her room and make my home magazine-worthy, too, in the time it takes to do a photo shoot. Then I’d let her out and within minutes it would look like a tornado blew through.

    Smoke and mirrors.

  162. Leni says:

    Are you sure you didn’t visit my living room before posting this? Thanks for the laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚

  163. Liz says:

    Wow, you definitely have the funniest blog. I usually stalk forever before writing any comments, but you really make me laugh. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€

  164. Me says:

    Oh makes me feel SO much better. haha. Sometimes I worry we’re just slobs.

  165. Natalie says:

    The thing about our house-with-toddler that drives me nuts is how packed with CRAP our table surfaces have become (and high bookshelves) because it’s where everything the child can’t touch goes. I used to have neat(-ish) stacks of things. Electronics on shelves and in bags. Now everything is stacked precariously on the dining room table. Arrgggggggg.

    Love it. Glad I’m not alone!

  166. Becky says:

    Every marker, pen, crayon, glue stick, paint pen, etc lives up on top of our chic antique china cabinet too.

    The only things that you forgot to add in your wonderful illustration are the super uncool white nylon baby-proofing straps that bolt that tall bookcase to the wall!

    Wouldn’t want that crazy kid having that (or any other tall, top-heavy, or unstable thing) to come crashing down on them. Also handy if you live in earthquake country (which is why our furniture still has them).

  167. nessa says:

    OMG have you been spying on my loungeroom??!!!! Im just trying to get the stomped-on turquoise playdo out of the beige carpet now…

  168. Jube says:

    Thank you for posting over at Scary Mommy! I am your newest devotee. It’s like you’re saying the stuff I only think. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has to take 30 minutes before anyone comes over to get the Cheerios off the ground and stuff all the toys into a closet.

  169. Michelle says:

    My fourteen year old daughter just dragged me over so I could read this post – I don’t know if I should be scared that she gets it!

  170. Judy Bennett says:

    This is hysterical! My Son and Daughter are grown, but this sure brings back memories. There was not an easy “cleanup” job for “child proof” was my decor and there never was a week that did not go by that something still got broken. This includes my ceiling fan blades. Our fan remained with two blades until they both were grown. Thanks for the memories. ๐Ÿ™‚

  171. Laurie says:

    Hilarious! I’d love to see this in every “Beautiful Home” magazine out there! Thanks for the laugh.

  172. Erika says:

    Love it, awsome! Especially the living room!!

  173. Tara says:

    Definitely! Did you know that dried up Rice Krispies are stronger than mortar?! One day I’m going to test that theory…

  174. HILARIOUS!!! LOVE this post! xo

  175. Karen DeMario says:

    These were wonderful and very funny. BUT, wait until you are waiting for your teenage kids to come home from a date or from a first-year driving expedition. The messy house is the easy part!!!

  176. Ruby says:

    Or has OCD. I have a friend whom I used to envy for her neatness (and not just neatness! It’s the whole, up to date photos in nice frames, coordinating guest towls in the downstairs bathroom to match the wall color, pretty table arrangement, the up to date photo albums, the cake decorating for every birthday & event, etc.!). Now she’s not doing so well, and I realized her cleaning & tidying and making everything PERFECT was her way of dealing with anxiety & other issues. Of course this is sad, but it also makes me happy – I enjoy my mess more now.

  177. Shreya says:

    Beyond hilarious!

  178. Caren says:

    This had me laughing so hard I was crying…and it makes me feel much better about the ghetto fabulous plywood and velcro baby gate contraptions in our staircase!

  179. Nathan says:

    This post definitely made me laugh more than once. Loved it. I was pointed here from HookedonHouses by the way.

  180. Sara says:

    I bet she gets home late, feeds everyone dinner, and puts them to bed. NO playtime, no mess! Of course, no “quality time” with the kids, either.

  181. mary says:

    my son is an interior decorator at the tender age of 6. He knows I love HGTV and even though he doesn’t like that channel, he has absorbed enough knowledge thru osmosis to:…drum roll please:

    draw a fireplace on a big piece of paper. This he then taped to the wall facing the living room, for all to see and enjoy.

    I think this room now is worthy to be posted on Dwell and House Beautiful.

    : )

  182. Oh my gosh, EXACTLY. Thank you for this!!

  183. Susan P. says:

    You are funny! Your votes on Parents.com are up to 488!

  184. Petra says:

    yup me too… and the rest of it. All so real. Would’ve liked to see the kitchen!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  185. Mrs. H says:

    This is bt far the BEST house tour I’ve seen! Love it!

  186. It is pretty and cute! I love it thanks for sharing this.


  187. Nicole says:

    You made my day!! AWESOME post!!

  188. Jen Allyson says:

    Please say this isn’t true. I’m about to have the house of my dreams, but somehow it coincides with my baby learning out to eat solid food and crawl…

  189. Some people may become homesick when they leave their home for an extended period of time. Sometimes nostalgia can make a person feel the actual symptoms of the disease.

  190. Love the staircase part – nice to know that im not the only one ๐Ÿ˜‰

  191. Drawing is a brilliant creative outlet, a fun hobby and a useful skill to have, and the more you do it, the better you get.

  192. Erin says:

    I am not sure this is a true statement. My house is always clean. I taught my son from and early age use a toy and clean it up before u get a new one. I didn’t change a thing in my house for my child except the plug outlet covers and at 3 he picks up his plate and takes it to the sink. He even likes to dust and sweep.

  193. LOL! Love this. I no longer feel guilty for the fact that my dining room floor looks like a family of hamsters has spent the night partying under our table.

  194. Plumbing says:

    An experienced server knows not to put spillable, sharp, fragile or hot things directly within the parameters of a cleared baby zone. I love this blog, it’s funny and it has crappy pictures.

  195. This is cute, I remember my daughter’s drawing with it.


  196. Maruti Ritz says:

    This is one wonderful work of art.You must have give so much time to dedicated this passion on those habit.It is always good to know that their are blogs so dedicated to providing information that is seriously concerned with the readerโ€™s needs.Thanks for sharing your insights with us through your blog.

  197. Eleanor says:

    This is great. I’m tired of all the self-aware hipness out there — this is so refreshing!

  198. I nearly peed my pants laughing so hard! Thank you for this, thank you, thank you, thank you. I feel so much better about my house because it’s the exact same way! This has made my whole year, lol!

  199. Heidi O says:

    BAHAHAHA!! My 4-year old is looking over my shoulder, and when she saw the last picture, said “why doesn’t he clean up?” I said maybe they were trying to make it look like our house…

  200. These stuff are cute. This can be display on kids bedroom.

  201. Chichiboulie says:

    Thank you SO much for this! Perfect. I wrote my version of the blog perfect world reality a while back (see here if you are interested http://www.boulieblog.com/search?q=blog+perfect+world) but it’s not nearly as visual as yours. Bravo!!

  202. Ray says:

    I love the pictures, not just because they are a cross between Gauguin, Cezanne and Sponge Bob, but because they represent several rooms in my house. My family room has a permanent super playard keeping my children from anywhere but the middle of the room. It looks awful, but it is effective. I was also very amused by the ending regarding the cereal. I actually had a piece in my archives about the subject: http://www.parenttipsonline.com/cheerio-land-mines/
    It brought back a lot of memories. I am still crunching cheerios to this day. if I had a dollar for every cheerio i have stepped on, i would almost have enough to send my kids to college!

  203. Tutor Finder says:

    A kiddie art. Is that what you call that? Personally I work as a tutor and seeing that type of drawings are not new to me, since most of my students love drawing.

  204. Ellen says:

    I don’t want to seem nitpicky or anything, but you seem to have forgotten the baby bouncer and/or swing that don’t really fit anywhere, so remain in the most inconvenient spot ever so as to create a tripping hazard. Also the piles of clothing & stuff (baby & otherwise) that has been outgrown waiting to find a new home. Your bed doesn’t seem to be covered in clean laundry just waiting (& waiting…) to be folded either. My husband will just crawl right in, laundry & all. Maybe your house SHOULD be in a design blog, it looks pretty clean compared to mine :).

    Seriously, what I was really going to say is that when I recently sold my house, we had a professional photographer come to do the listing photos. And what they did was to go room by room (with my help of course), moving boxes & random crap out of the way until the shot looked juuust right, then viola! turn the corner and repeat. So now whenever I look at a picture of a spotless house I KNOW there is a bunch of crap still there. It’s just behind the photographer.

  205. Jennifer says:

    oh my gosh *sigh of relief* thank you so much I thought I was the only one, the house we are renting is on the market and every once in a while they need to bring potential buyers to tour the home… I freak out about my 3 kids’ mess and MINE in the room. Thanks for making me feel so much better!

  206. The dining room with painting makes me laugh. I can relate with that.


  207. plumbing says:

    When it comes to building a house we are very particular in the style and interior.That’s why we are looking for the experts to have the perfect dream house.

  208. You should try using toothpaste on the permanent marker. My roommate’s 2 year old daughter took a sharpie to a piece of furniture her mom gave her and she was very upset. I found out on google that you can use toothpaste to get it off without harming the surface. You should test it on an out of the way section first, and don’t use the gel kind, but when I tried it, it worked perfectly at removing the permanent marker without removing or damaging the surface.

  209. In the spring, you need to have an new style Coach Wristlet, it is fashion and practical that you can own one in the coach factory outlet online store.

  210. Do not be disheartened just because you canโ€™t eat your favorite food.

  211. Alex says:

    This blog post is one of the reasons I started my blog and I am so going to do a tribute post to this to pass this on to as many bloggers as humanely possible. I haven’t laughed so hard in ages! I have a new rug that may as well be lining a hen house right now. And can totally relate to the spaghetti sauce. Effin’ brilliant post!

  212. Iris says:

    I love the boppy on the couch…in the very same position and place as mine! Kids aren’t small for long. I think of the day I say, “I miss when my kids were that small.” Hindsight is NOT 20/20!

  213. playmobil says:

    You know what, I just remember my childhood with this photos. I used to draw my dream house when I was a child.

  214. michelle says:

    Awesome!! This makes me feel like a normal mom (3 kids). I’m always getting down on myself for not being able to keep up, hubby tells me good moms have messy houses!!

  215. Sandra Langstaff says:

    Cleaning the house
    while the children are growing
    is like shoveling snow…
    while it’s STILL SNOWING!
    : )
    Love your blog, so true and and so funny!

  216. Diane Dawson says:

    Headboard. Not. Lined. Up. *Picking self up of floor* I love you, Crappy Mama.

  217. Kristie C says:

    The bookshelf drawing reminded me of Christmas when DS was 14 months and freshly walking. The day after Thanksgiving, our tree was gorgeously decorated, literally something out of a magazine. Days later the bottom half of the tree was totally bare because DS kept grabbing ornaments. He’d either hide them or break them. The ones we found or fixed or got before disaster struck, we’d put up higher on the tree. Finally, our tree just consisted of the topper, the lights, and ornaments on the top 2 feet….oh and a bright orange rope used to anchor the tree to the wall after DS narrowly escaped being pancaked by the tree. Parenting has taught me so much about letting go and learning to appreciate the small stuff.

  218. Vivian Bouza says:

    This makes me feel so much better about my sticky and yucky couch. My daughter must imagine it as a big paper towel! I hate it with all my heart but won’t buy a new one until we are done with children… In a few years!

  219. DianeMargaret says:

    You should SEE my white suede recliner that I bought when I was eight months pregnant…soooo comfy!!!
    Two years later…I look at the poor juice stained, pen marked, slobber covered thing and shake my head saying “What the HELL was I thinking!!!”. (btw – scotch guard does help a LITTLE but not on ballpoint pen!)
    It’s still comfy though!

  220. Kelsey says:

    I heard this the other day and laughed: Cleaning a house with kids in it is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.

  221. Jean Luca says:

    Elle, Glad you got value from the post. I think itโ€™s great too. And, I think people often underestimate the curiosity and adventurous spirit in these age groups!
    best seo

  222. Jill says:

    I think this is my favorite post of yours! I really enjoyed it and I can relate which is sad considering my youngest is 8.

  223. April says:

    Have you ever watched the show “Whatever, Martha”? It’s Martha Stewart’s daughter watching old Martha Stewart show episodes and discussing them with her friend. In many of the episodes, she talks about what it was like growing up with Martha Stewart as her mom.
    Like having an antique blanket as a decorative cover on her bed and not being allowed to sit on it.
    This made me think of it.

  224. JessiePearl says:

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  225. Kelly says:

    Hilarious! My kids are 28 and 25 and we’ve lived in the same house for 30 years. I still find evidence of those early childhood days: crayon marks on the fireplace bricks that won’t wash off, permanent markers on the back of a bathroom door and stickers on the kids bedroom doors that I don’t have the heart to peel them off now that they are all grown up. You will actually cherish those early days, believe it or not. Love your blog!

  226. Stephy says:

    Wow so true!!

  227. Aune Rantala says:

    Not really so crappy very nice one.I imagine this house really look awesome.In Finland i seen some house that focusing more on his interior design and it interior door which make me feel interested to do.Many of people use to have door for the room and entrance of the house but i seen a home that has a door in their living room a two door that feel me amaze.Well thanks for sharing your article.

  228. PatsyLynn says:

    Here I Collect a Wonderful collections of Crappy Pictures!! And i Spent plenty of times to read your blog!! Because your blog impressed me Very Much!!


  229. Kit says:

    Thank you. I have a disability, and I’m also a single stay at home mom of a toddler. That should say it all. Just thank you.

  230. Mei says:

    So true! But then I think about the Zero Waste mom.

  231. awesome me says:

    This is awesome! when are you going to make some new ones?

  232. Katie Yeung says:

    HA HA HA! I feel the exact same way. A while ago I wrote a blog about it where I tried to pass off all the crap being left around as little people modern art installations. Artsy photography included.

  233. Sharon H says:

    My Dad, who lives in a house that belongs on a decorating blog, once asked me how I could stand to live with so much “clutter” (meaning cheerios on the floor, toys everywhere, diaper bag laying in the hallway where my son dragged it, etc.) And I replied, “You don’t have small children anymore, Dad.”

    So true!

  234. Dawn says:

    LOVE your blog!! Thanks for making me smile!!

  235. Matilda says:

    I totally hear you on this one. I used to have an antique china hutch and table and chairs. No longer! I now have those plastic folding table and chairs from Costco LOL. It’s the only thing that can outlast these kids

  236. Oh my goodness! I followed you here from Censational Girl and I am over here laughing! This is so true. I grew up in family of 6 kids and now have my own little toddler. You have a new follower for sure. Love it!

  237. rachel says:


    So true. I love decorating blogs but I always feel like such a flipping slob because I imagine their houses to always look like the pictures. You are so right. They do a major cleanup, shoot pictures fast, get back to real life.


  238. Brittany says:

    Too funny! I am familiar with the ‘clean super fast and take pictures’ method since we sold our house a couple of years ago. Sometimes being a mom includes toning down (to say the least) our dead-on design skills! : ) I just blogged a ‘You Know You’re a SAHM’ you might enjoy. Thanks for the laugh!!

  239. Heather says:

    I LOVE your blog it is my new favorite! This is so my house! Love my kids.

  240. Mim says:

    Poultry netting? Genius.

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  242. Lavinia says:

    Loved it! So true! “they are stepping on cereals just like the rest of us!”…it is so comforting knowing that! :))

  243. Danielle says:

    Thank you for this…. I have been breaking my neck the past month following behind my children cleaning up every little mess. Due to nosy neighbors peeking in my windows and making comments on my home… Normal homes of children have toys on the floor sometimes…

  244. Crystal says:

    I went to New York recently and visited some family members, some who I haven’t met before…
    On my last day I went to visit an aunt and uncle who were staying at their son and daughter in-laws house, while their own home was repaired post Hurricane Sandy.
    Before I forget to mention it, cousin Erin has 3 kids. An 8 year old, a 6 year old, and an 18-month old. Who are all adorable.
    When entered said home, I was awestruck and immediately thought of this blog post. It was immaculate!
    Not a single toy was out of place, nor a wall scribbled on. Holy cow. I was blown away and I had to tell you that I have seen the imagined house with kids. It DOES exist!!!

  245. nicki says:

    This is only so true!! Love it. Portrays a normal lived in home with children. This should be published in a magazine. I agree!!

  246. Rebecca says:

    Isn’t it great when people want to drop by suddenly and you only have a couple minutes to pick a room to straighten up? Which room do you pick? Whichever is the grossest. When they arrive, for a split second you want to explain the condition of your home but being exhausted from the whirlwind semi-clean up, you finally tell yourself “screw it”. You just don’t care what they think anymore.

  247. Cyn says:

    I love you.

    That is all.

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  250. Ilse says:

    You just TOTALLY convinced me not to have kids.

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