The Real World.

Jaywalker has a series of posts that never fails to speak to me. Once a month-ish, she confesses her (secular) sins, and invites her readers to do the same. Nearly all of her transgressions are ones I have been guilty of myself, and I find it comforting to know that there is another person as peculiarly incapable of opening bills/canceling unused services/dealing with parking tickets before they become Warrants For Arrest as I am. We are like one disgraceful soul in two soiled, poorly cared for bodies, she and I.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago, I took some pictures of my slovenly apartment, with the intent of posting them as a confession of my own. These pictures then languished on my camera, for Simone began “cruising” (not the sort that requires chaps and a large supply of recreational drugs, you understand) and I was busy flinging foam mats behind my tottering daughter.

But Friday, Her Bad Mother posted pictures of HER not-camera-ready house, inspiring me to unearth mine, and so I am sharing them with you today as a public service, in the hope that one day we will all be free from the tyranny of Dwell photo spreads featuring artfully arranged modern furniture and prune stain-less children playing with a single wooden toy in the foreground. Let’s begin!
Ordinary People
The above shot was taken from the hallway, looking into the large main room of the apartment, which we have split into living room/playroom areas. By “split,” of course, I mean we have arbitrarily designated the space in front of the couch as “living room” and the space in back of the couch as “playroom.” The piece of foam mat propped up near the red cabinet is meant to cordon off a particularly deadly powerstrip.

At the end of the hallway is the bathroom:
Not very illustrative, I know. I tried to get a good picture of the laundry pile that spills from the meager and laughably insufficient laundry basket to fill the space behind the door, but the fact that my bathroom is the size of a Post-it Note made this impossible. I could not back up without running into the toilet or falling into the tub, as you can see from the next picture:
Bathroom, redux
The bathroom is easily the cleanest room in the house, probably due to its aforementioned paltry size. Though I am realizing, looking at these pictures, that I neglected to photograph any of the most damning areas–the grimy window, the toothpaste-spattered mirror, the beard hairs clinging stubbornly to the faucet. I would go back and photograph them now, but if I had that kind of time I wouldn’t be living in these conditions in the first place.

{Ed. Note: I would so.}

Next up, the place where we retreat each evening to refresh and recharge, to gird our loins for the next day:
Scott would like me to amend the record to reflect that the television on top of the armoire IS functional, in that we could move it to the living room where we have cable and it would perform admirably. “I don’t want people to think we have a bunch of broken appliances lying around,” he said, frowning. Noted. (I suppose this means I am not to mention the two ancient, broken computers housed until recently in our bedroom closet).
Please also be advised that I have since changed Simone’s crib sheet (when we moved the mattress down because she was able to stand up and contemplate escape) though I feel obligated to tell you that the new one has a spit-up stain as well.

Next up, my favorite room of all:
Simone's room
Doesn’t it scream WHIMSY? What could be more whimsical, after all, than a basket of laundry that may be clean, or may be dirty, but is more likely a combination of the two? Just out of sight on the left is a playful stack of empty diaper boxes.

Speaking of playful rubbish:
It isn’t evident, but no matter how many times I spray them with the Water Bottle of Discipline, the cats will not stop using the mats to sharpen their claws, and as a result said mats are in appalling condition. On the other hand, 55% of the toys in our house belong to Simone’s Early Intervention therapists, who bring them so that she may work on certain skills, or possibly to conduct an experiment re: how many times I will let that *#@!$^! motion-activated caterpillar wake the sleeping baby as I carry her past before I smash it forcibly to pieces. Either way, some of the clutter is THEIR fault.

Most of my time is spent in the living room:
"Living" room
It looks bigger than it feels, somehow. Possibly because you can’t see into the hallway from this angle (additional suitcase, abandoned stroller missing vital nut, box of framed and unhung pictures, toolbox). Neither can you see the cat hair tumbleweeds in the corners, or the plate, socks, and assortment of toys under the couch. The arms of the couch, naturally, are festooned with milk rings from the bottoms of the bottles we set there. And I neglected to photograph the lone living room closet, which houses our litter box.
The small blue laptop table in front of the couch is where I do much of my writing. This is where the magic happens! Or doesn’t.

Finally, the kitchen:
Not pictured: pile of unopened mail, pile of opened mail, cat-food-strewn area by the stove, closeup of food-coat on high chair.

This is the most variable of the rooms in our apartment, going through cycles of messy-filthy-spotless and back three or four times a week. And when the kitchen is filthy…well, the part of the floor around the high chair alone would be enough to kill Martha Stewart dead, and she’s a tough old girl.
Since this photograph was taken, our kitchen has been both much worse, and much better, and I suppose that holds true for the rest of our home as well.

I hope you have enjoyed this little tour. Now I must go, because about five minutes after this posts I’m expecting a phone call from my mother.


  1. Jaywalker says:

    I did. I enjoyed it more than you can imagine. I love you. Her Bad Mother’s was way too clean. Yours, while not as bad as mine, at least makes me feel we may indeed be sharing a soiled soul, albeit one with robust gastric fauna (souls don’t have gastric fauna, do they? You see, this is why Confessional is secular).

    Now. In “Shabby Cheek”, is that the Water Bottle of Discipline on the back of the couch? I am rather in love with the Water Bottle of Discipline and dream of having one of my own.

  2. Casey says:

    That all looks totally normal to me. Which may or may not cheer you up. I’m sure you’ll hear this from many corners, said in many ways, but the important thing is taking care of Simone. The rest is just bullshit. Aggravating, never-ending bullshit, of course, but do you seriously think you can fight entropy? Me neither. (Meaning, I can’t fight it in my dwelling either.) So thanks for sharing, and again…totally normal.

  3. Orange says:

    That reminds me of my place, only more spartan and less cluttered. We have nearly nine years of accumulated kid stuff now. Our unused TV is much bigger than your unused TV. It sits on the TV stand beside the big coffee table, which bears the 50″ plasma TV. And the old one isn’t a digital set, so who wants it? I think we might use it annually to view photos or video from our camera. Your laundry piles are better contained than mine. I have two clean stacks of folded stuff, and there are unbasketed dirty clothes to be found. On the plus side, we have no spit-up stains.

  4. Jaywalker: MINE WAS CLEAN??? Dude. There was no clean there. And I didn’t even share the worst of it.

    Unrelatedly: am so glad to see that others have similar phone bill filing systems.

  5. Laura says:

    This made me very happy. Your apartment looks much like mine, except that mine is far filthier. We even have the same blue-foam playmats, and my cat too has kicked their ass into shreds.

    I cringe every time I pick up a baby-mag…every parent in the country seems to live in a five-bedroom ranch house with a huge yard, an attic, and a basement. Or some giant Soho loft through which the children can rollerskate.

  6. Di says:

    Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you!
    Thank you for helping me see I’m not alone. We are slightly better around here, but only because I have a tiny wardrobe these days – early 2nd trimester and can count on one hand the number of shirts that fit me… so the wash is done.

  7. Martha says:

    Oh thank you, thank you, thank you! My mother constantly asks me about the tidiness of my house (which resembles yours, in that it isn’t FILTHY like those houses on “How clean is your house” but still not tidy) and she considers it a personal failure that I seem to be utterly incapable of keeping my house clean, my dishes done, etc. etc. She tells me that my landlords/ladys will never like me because I don’t keep a clean house. It wasn’t for lack of her trying, either. I know how to clean! I just….don’t.

  8. Jaywalker says:

    HerBadMother – Sorry to trashtalk your filth. I am sure it is very good filth, just not as good as mine. Be glad you don’t live at mine. Yours just looked lightly scattered with stuff. Today the dog shredded a used one of those puppy training mats all over the house. Urine stained chemically sodden cotton wool everywhere. Nice. Very Architectural Digest.

  9. Beth says:

    It was hard for me to focus on anything but your BEAUTIFUL natural light. At least it’s a light, bright hovel. Mine is a dark, dreary hovel.

  10. Oh Alexa, I enjoyed this so very much. But if I had the radiators and the clawfoot tub and the LIGHT OH THE LIGHT that you have, I would never, ever, ever bother cleaning my house. I’d be all “You see these radiators, bitches? I don’t NEED a clean house when I have these bad boys. You will come over ANYWAY. And you will ENJOY IT. My house is AWESOME. Whoops, don’t step on that Triscuit there. Yup, the one on the floor.”

  11. Erica says:

    But the pretty floors! And the cabinet/countertop combo! And the use of those newfangled baskets to hold your laundry, instead of just using clothes to stand in for wall-to-wall carpeting! Besides, you are giving Simone visual stimulation and the change to problem-solve while developing gross motor skills — she will thank you for this someday.

  12. beyond says:

    ha! “bag once used as impromptu spit-up rag” is my favorite.
    what a delightful post. our place looks very much like yours, only yours may be a tad neater. i always say (to myself) that i like cleaning more than i like tidying up, do i usually just clean. oh, also, we don’t have a baby (or a cat) as an excuse for the mess, which makes my clutter a bit sad…
    you have a very pretty and bright apartment.

  13. eden says:

    And this is why I frickin’ love you.

    Thank you for making me feel better about choosing a crust from underneath the highchair and passing it to the baby. Along with an old mobile phone.

    And once he had an IMPRINT of him on his cot sheet … a big, BROWN imprint. I did change his sheets … eventually.

  14. eden says:

    ps I linked you. Because this post rocked, but also because I’m too lazy to write my own post today. Too busy staring in awe at my OWN Mt. Laundry.

  15. Sonya says:

    First, kids who grow up in a less-than-immaculate home have been proven by research to have fewer allergies, so there – you’re doing Simone a favor. Second, I have had a smelly peed-in pull-up next to the door (in the kitchen – the KITCHEN). It’s 6:00PM – it’s been there all day! In my defense, it’s freakin’ cold in Montana today.

  16. beebles says:

    Ah! Alexa it is bright and cheerful and totally lived in…I would show you the layers of cat and dog hair in my house…but I don’t think a picture could do justice…

  17. Kelsey says:

    Oh thank you – could you hear the sigh from Ohio when I saw the pictures? It’s not just me! Our spaces go through similar fluctuations. I usually let the filth accumulate until someone is coming over or I just can stand it any more, but mostly I try not to fret. The children won’t keep and all that.

  18. caro says:

    Hooray for the sisterhood of filthy photos! I post shots (way grosser than this) of household messes that seem particularly beautiful. (Click on “Welcome to our lovely home.”)

  19. Maritsa says:

    I laughed so hard I cried. My house is worse, I promise you. With much more mail (unopened and opened). We once had to frantically dig concert tickets out of a bag of unopened “to be shredded” mail.

    Also glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t cancel unused services.

  20. a says:

    My husband (who is a neat freak and despises my clutter, but works out of state, so I get to have my clutter for a few weeks at a time) keeps trying to move to a smaller house. Your apartment is what my house would look like if I didn’t have 2000 square feet to spread the crap out in. It’s good to live in the suburbs…things look more organized! Of course, my husband is also on a constant divesting of belongings kick…

  21. Ferunk says:

    Alexa, I’m delurking to say that this is one of my favourite blog posts from one of my favourite blogs. It cheered me up in ways I don’t even understand, but just wanted to say, please, write on! Reading your posts has helped save my sanity on many a grumpy baby day.

    ps: I love your apartment, it’s kinda like an alternative IKEA brochure for real people!

  22. Marie says:

    You know, before today I would not have been able to choose a favorite post from your blog (too many fabulous ones to narrow it down). Now I can. This is brilliant because it makes me feel a whole lot less alone as I try to ignore the piles of: laundry, clean / laundry, dirty / toys / shoes / sand / papers / dishes / musical instruments / mystery crumbs / etc / ad nauseum.

    So….Thank You.

    And….I Love You.

  23. Becca says:

    Dude, I have zero children and zero pets, and I don’t think this looks bad at all. I’m sure the second I get a pup or babe, my place will be toast.

  24. Beth says:

    Seriously… I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard in days… your post and comments are ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. I sooo wish I knew you in-real-life… you might possibly be one of the funniest people I’ve ever (not) met. Anyway, thanks for sharing these photos. I can relate all too well… believe me. It’s funny that my MIL is the cleanest person EVER so, of course, our house is spotless when they visit (every 2 to 3 months — the only time the place is spotless, of course) and she thinks it’s a mess. My husband and I get a laugh thinking if she saw it right now. I think she would seriously have a heart attack right then & there!

    By the way, I love your style/decor… the vintage bathtub, cool crib, etc. :o)

  25. Steph says:

    I would be thrilled if I could get my clutter down to that amount. And I don’t even have a spouse or kids to blame. (But, um, cats! Large ones! With lots of fur!)

    I’m actually just realizing the extent of it, as I stare an Ingles box full of stuff. Ingles is in North Carolina. I moved away from NC in 2001. It is now 2009, and I have since lived in Washington DC, Virginia, and California. Why is it still here…? Mystery. Sigh.

  26. Jenny says:

    Alexa, Thank you for “opening” your house and being so honest (and funny) about the state of your apartment. I loved this post. Made me feel like I’m not the only one who has a messy house. :)

  27. Tea says:

    Your photo captions are hilarious and your home is lovely! Honestly! I could only dream of being able to keep a place that clean! I would probably be carted away if someone actually saw inside my hovel. I think my mother dies a little every time she’s here.

  28. akeeyu says:

    I…I…I think I love you. May I carry you away and make sweet perverted weasel love to you on a pile of filthy laundry*, or is that still illegal in your state?

    Not sure.

    *…in a strictly platonic way, of course.

  29. Amy says:

    I love this. Thanks for sharing and letting me know that other people do live like me (except yours is slightly cleaner since you don’t have 3! dogs in addition to the cat like I do).

    Our unloved and abandoned TV is currently sitting in the hallway (no idea why) and I do not have one single picture of the kid in her highchair that doesn’t have a pile of clutter on the counter behind her. In-laws are coming this weekend so we’ll be spotless for about 4 days soon.

  30. OrchidLover says:

    Thank you for this post. Our babies are the same age (adjusted, I guess) and it seems like they must be doing the same shit. I am inspired by your playmat cord blocking system and just as soon as I go out and buy some of that convenient blue stuff myself (which certainly won’t happen before July), I will copy you. I hope my daughter doesn’t electrocute herself in the mean time.

    May I suggest a dog for you? I don’t know where we would be without ours. He cleans up the area around the high chair very well, almost as well as an illegal immigrant maid might. And then, when the baby is done eating, we just put the high chair tray on the floor for the dog to clean. There was a while where we’d wipe it off before using it again (sometimes even with an antibacterial wipe!), and then some time where we pretended to wipe it off, and now we just use it again unapologetically because there was some article in the NYTimes about how children who get worms from dogs have better immune systems.

  31. Jeanne says:

    Oh for the love of God, thank you. I have a crawler/cruiser like Simone and a preschooler and the whole house looks like a bomb went off. The clutter, the laundry, the DISHES.
    The dishes really kill me. Why can’t everyone eat in the kitchen standing up, with their hands and no plate like me? Just recycle the diet pepsi can and off I go…

  32. babelbabe says:

    nonono, no dog. Because then your yard (if you had a yard – ours is teenytiny) would also approach this level of clutter, only with big piles of dog poop you keep meaning to clear up. Ask me how I know. Or, maybe, don’t. I might be too embarrassed to tell you. I WILL say that when we had a dog? My kitchen floor was consistently and considerably cleaner.

  33. Marcie says:

    First off: STOP, not everybody is Martha Stewart, and I certainly didn’t see any real “dirt” or “filth” around that would be harboring bacteria, making anybody sick. It’s just stuff lying around, easy enough to pick up. I also didn’t see food on the walls or crap flung on the ceilings. LOL I’d love to add that your apartment is very cool, I love the bathroom, those tiles are awesome, the hardwood floors are beautiful, and the dark cherry cabinets with the black counter tops are very sleek. And don’t feel bad, our house has PLENTY of pet hair around, it’s just unescapable no matter how much you vacuum. Cheers!

  34. maya says:

    Thank you for this. Makes me feel good that I am not alone. Eden sent me here, and I am glad she did!

    Your daughter is beautiful and happy belated! no one more than a fellow NICU survivor mom understands!

  35. Decemberbaby says:

    All of the house & home magazines I’ve been reading are predicting that “laundry” is the hottest thing in nursery decor schemes. Once again, you’re ahead of the curve!

  36. bethany says:

    LOL!!! Sorry–but I have to be the one–my house looks great compared to this. 2 babies, full time job that doesn’t entail going to star*yucks for “work” and no housekeeper (kids have tag team parents–no nanny either!)

    I feel like I finally won something! Thank you!

    Enjoy the sidecar and I’ll see you on twitter!


  37. Kirsten says:

    I would like to add to the chorus of ThankYous from other mommies with similar vistas in their homes! I can’t tell you how many times I have said to my husband, “I should take a picture of this and send it to my childless self…she would never believe it!” Our house is clean for about 2 hours every two weeks, right after our cleaner comes.

  38. Heather says:

    I would add my photos if I could bother to find a camera. Multiply your apartment by three floors and one more kid. Exponential. Add in the stacks of poopy sheets and barf clothes from the weekend’s stomach flu-fest which are only now being taken care of.

  39. Andrea says:

    Hey! That looks like my house! Except my kids are older and have more junk and my furniture is markedly less fashionable. Wait, I have more junk, too, it’s not just the kids.

    Well. Actually, my house is messier, dirtier, and darker. Sigh. But you still made me feel better.

  40. Penny says:

    Wow, I feel so incredibly anal right now. It’s not that your photos make you look messy; I regard them as probably normal, which makes my relatively more clean house abnormal.

    Although, when we lived in a considerably smaller apartment, the clutter was much more rampant.

  41. CJ says:

    Ditto everyone who said thank you for showing us we are NOT ALONE! See my site for photos… we have 3 kids (age 20m, 6y and 9y) in a 1000-ish SF NYC apartment and there are days we cannot even clear a path through the mess and clutter… easier to step ON it than around it… I love your writing… thanks for sharing the pics.

  42. Nico says:

    I think you’ve just started a new meme :-) I’m so going to post my pics too. How liberating!

    (Of course it will take me weeks to get to this!)

  43. KLTTX says:

    Thank you for sharing. I often think I am the only one with “clutter” (my affectionate term for my mess). I recently cleaned off the desk in my kitchen and found receipts from 2001. We too, live with laundry everywhere. If we have guests, I usually have to clear off both couches of laundry so people can sit.

  44. nicole says:

    This is quite possibly the best post I have ever read. You are awesome for posting these pictures. Also, maybe you didn’t know that when laundry piles get together they mate and spawn even more laundry. I found this out the hard way. Thank you so much, you made my day.

  45. Val says:

    Dear Alexa thank you SOOOOO much for braving the wrath and posting these images. I feel much better knowing real people really have homes like this. you know what that says to me? Lived in. That’s all. It’s lived in. It’s not a damn museum. Am I right?!!! /fists in the air!/

  46. stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for this. I’m constantly struggling with feeling like my house is the most filthy/ disorganized/ messy house ever, and this post is a much needed reality check for me. Thank you again—really, really thank you.

  47. Meghan says:

    Bethany: Yeah, maybe so. But your kids also have a hateful, pissy blogtroll for a mother. It’s hard to clean up around THAT.

    Or did Alexa invent you? You’re almost too scary to be real.

  48. Carmen says:

    This is my house! This is what my apartment looks like twenty-four hours out of everyday… except for the delightfully sunny and happy lighting; no, I cannot claim to have such lighting, as my windows face neither North, South, East, or West, but in the dark and gloomy direction of Hell. In our light, everything has a dingy, dead gray cast.

    I laughed so hard at each of these photos because I recognized all of them! It surely is my house through your photographic eyes.

  49. Ye gods, woman, you live like a damned animal! No, scratch that. Even animals have the sense not to live in their own filth. You raise kids there? You’re just begging for a visit from CPS, aren’t you?

    Real world, my ass. I don’t live that way, and I don’t know any sane person who does.

    I wouldn’t sentence a dog to live in that disgusting hell hole you call a home. I’d hate to see what your kitchen looks like!

  50. Libby says:

    Before we all freak out, please read AngryReptileKeeper’s profile and you’ll see that she is clearly psycho. Alexa, it’s not you. Your post is tres brilliant!

  51. Rebekah says:

    What a great post – I do have one suggestion for you though: get a dog. This will take care of any spilled food or any other kind of spillage for that matter. We have six dogs and there is never a speck of food on the floor. On the other hand, we appear to have hideous brown shag carpet throughout the house which may or may not have been here when we moved in – it could just be dog hair.

  52. Kate says:

    I don’t think that I have ever commented here before. Thank you, really thank you. I thought my house was the only one that had random phone bills on the floor and piles of clothes behind the bathroom door.

  53. bethany says:

    Meghan–what about geenag? Where is your wrath for her? I think there were others who weren’t as filled with admiration for Alexa’s housekeeping skills and they got off easy, didn’t they? but you are right. I’m sorry. If I admit that I am “hateful, pissy blogtroll” (lol!!!) will everyone rally around me to make me feel fabulous about my bad habits? O, yeah, I need a drink.

  54. Kerri Anne says:

    I totally remember pictures of my sister and I surrounded by Saltines. We loved! those things. Also, we were entirely incapable of not making a mess when we ate them. I think I’m still that way, actually.

  55. Laura says:

    Alexis, you are a breath of fresh air. Our daughters are about the same age and you’ve bolstered me on many a difficult day. Thank you for all your brilliant posts. Also? In the words of my ten year old son, Bethany needs to GET. OVER. IT. Honey, in this economy I don’t think you should be commenting on a blog at 10 a.m. while AT WORK. How would your employer feel about that Princess Perfect?

  56. d says:

    I love you; you are hilarious!! My apartment looks like this too — on a good day. And can I say — you do have a gorgeous apartment. The bathtub alone is something I dream about.

  57. Jane says:

    Just remember, our houses can wait to be cleaned, but our kids are only this age once. Enjoy Simone and the fleeting baby-years and clean later (like when she’s in college).

  58. Meghan says:

    @ Bethany “If I admit that I am ‘hateful, pissy blogtroll’ (lol!!!) will everyone rally around me to make me feel fabulous about my bad habits?”

    Sadly, no. Commiseration and respect are things you have to earn. Which is why you’re so lonely, and apparently so envious. Which is why you’re on some stranger’s blog, sobbing for attention.

  59. Chris says:

    Do you have any idea how much joy and laughter you bring to countless numbers of people?? You’ve made me laugh until I cry on more days than I can count, days that otherwise would not have contained much laughter at all. So seriously, all the good karma you put out into the world heavily outweighs any amount of dirty laundry you may have.

  60. Tina says:

    Thank you SO much for this post! My husband keeps trying to reassure me that our house “isn’t THAT bad” (his words), while I ask myself what the mystery lump behind the couch is. (We strongly suspect it is a hairball, but that couch is a heavy fucker, so it may be a while before we get to that.)

    I would rather have a lived-in HOME than a clean HOUSE any day, thanks.

  61. Lynn says:

    Oh, oh, oh, I’m wiping the tears away, laughing so hard I can’t even tell my husband what is so damn funny. The cell phone we tossed in desperation at our bored child is lying on the floor at my feet. Your casa is my casa. Although, honestly, we have a bigger place now; when we had our first child, we were living in a 900 square foot apartment with an 80 lb slobbery dog, and it was much worse. Anyway, thanks for making my day — I haven’t laughed this hard in quite a while.

  62. e says:

    “Bethany” you are pathetic. You have no life. You have no friends. You have to live with yourself 24/7. You try to tear people down but you can’t. Most people will ignore you, as you’re not worth the time of day. Jealousy’s a curse, sweetheart. XOXOX

  63. Rachel says:

    Oh thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! Seeing someone else’s house look like mine, makes me feel better. (And I don’t even have kids!)

  64. I noticed that you removed my comment, you damn coward. So I’ll repeat myself.

    Even animals have the sense not to live in their own filth. You’re begging to have CPS called. I feel badly for your children, that they’re forced to live in utter squalor. Or are they old enough to do chores? If so, it’s obvious that you’ve taught them so modicum of responsibility. Not surprising, since you seem to posses no sense of it, yourself.

    You should be ashamed of yourself. All of you should be. I’ve not met a sane person who lives the way you do. Do you know what kinds of people live the way you do? People with mental problems and lazy scumbags.

  65. Jennifer C. says:

    You need to HAND THAT BABY A RAG. And show her how to use the vacuum already, dammit. She might be a little small for the upright, but surely you have a Dustbuster – she can push that while she crawls.

    Oh, and dogs are awesome for cleaning up after kids. Ours loves Cheerios and mac’n’cheese, and wasn’t *that* just the nicest bonus ever.

    CPS? This reptile person has obviously led a very sheltered life, because CPS would laugh and laugh and laugh if someone called them on you for that “mess.” Ha ha ha. Just like that.

  66. Mary says:

    Wow, this ARK person really needs attention. Also, s/he’s better than you… maybe that’s why your blog is actually read (and commented upon), and his/hers has no comments, and only people who are trying to find the reason for the anger go there.

    People have kids. If you don’t want to read blogs about people who have kids (and obviously you don’t!), go away.

    Our house, while not normally quite like the one pictured (because J-man goes to school, so we have some time to clear away the stuff for at least 6 hours), is often very messy. Wev.

  67. PiquantMolly says:

    Cat hair tumbleweeds. YES. And, even better, the sandbox that has developed on the carpet outside the bathroom with the litter box.

    Each time I vacuum, the bagless-bin gets so full I lose suction. CATS.

  68. babelbabe says:

    I fail to see filth or animal-like squalor.
    I see a cluttered, messy, probably too small apartment of the mom of a baby, who, among other things, probably isn’t getting enough sleep. Who was it that said CPS would laugh at you? They would FALL ON THE FLOOR, pee in their pants, laugh. Get a grip, trollies.

  69. Meredith says:

    We have triplets plus one. You should see our house. It would make you feel soooo much better!

    Okay, so out of curiousity, I clicked on AngryReptileKeeper’s profile and was connected to her blog. From there, I clicked on a link to a childfree forum that she posted. She has written ANOTHER post about Alexa on that forum!! Psycho!!

  70. Lisa Marie says:

    This was a work of brilliance and compassion. You have healed a deep and long-held shame of mine – you, and your commenters. Seriously.

    so good to know I’m somewhat normal. Thank you.

  71. Suzanne says:

    Alexa, Scott, Simone, and cats,

    Let’s be BFF.


    P.S. AngryReptileKeeper is cracking me up! If babies make you so mad, STOP READING BLOGS ABOUT PEOPLE WITH BABIES. Not a hard problem to solve. Really, it’s not.

  72. PK says:

    So what exactly do you do all day as a SAHM? Sit around in your own filth and watch TV? You obviously don’t clean your house whatsoever. Disgusting. Shameful.

    All of you moms who posted “thank you for making me feel better about my own petri dish of filth”– You should be ashamed of yourselves too. Staying at home and keeping it clean is your JOB. You don’t do a damn thing else, so what possible excuse do you have for living in squalor? Put your kid down for a nap, and CLEAN YOUR FILTH.

  73. Alexa, sweetheart, you’re simply going to have to knuckle down (in that steaming dungheap of slightly untidy possessions you call an apartment) and try to attract a slightly higher class of troll. Your current swarm do you great credit, but they simply aren’t funny enough.

  74. MsPrufrock says:

    I think I shall now adopt the phrase, “petri dish of filth” for a variety of uses. I bet PK was so, so pleased with him/herself to come up with that witticism.

    I have a mildewed bathroom PK. I decided to let it just take over the place since you know, my kid was created in a petri dish, why not just carry on with the theme and raise her in a proper petri dish of FILTH!

    Also, Staryucks. Giggle.

  75. Susanna says:

    Oh goodness, somehow I’m still shocked by the occasional commenting WACKOS!

    Whew! (Brushing it off.)

    So, when I saw your pictures, I quickly did a mental de-clutter on your apartment, and found that it is actually not bad; in fact, much better than mine. How did I reach this scientific conclusion? You have STUFF – true – but it clutters CLEAN surfaces.

    Plus, I see a little rosy-cheeked cherub that looks quite content amongst it all.

  76. Chris says:

    Why is it that people who do not want children, do not like children, and cannot stand the sight or mention of other people’s children, feel the need to read (AND, MOREOVER, NASTILY COMMENT ON??) blogs written by people who do?

    Don’t want to get upset about what you see and read here? Then don’t come here anymore. It’s just that easy. It’s one thing to have your opinion; you are entitled to it. But it is quite another to be deliberately horrible to another person while you air it.

  77. Carm says:

    Really, I’m just awed that your sofa is not in tatters. 3 cats you say? Or maybe I’m imagining that, but we have three, use Softpaws, the Water Bottle of Discipline and still, I’m forced to wince every time I look at our sofa. If you have any tips, do not feel obligated to keep them to yourself!

    Long live Ikea! (Their pasta Alfredo is excellent, btw).

  78. Kathy says:

    I envision AngryReptile sitting by herself in her obsessively clean apartment searching the internet all night for something, anything to make her feel better about herself. Poor AngryReptile. May she find peace. And a life.

  79. kara says:

    True story:
    I once bought a reptile (ball python)and a beautiful clean aquarium with a lid and put him in my sparkling clean bathroom so I could shut the door and keep the dog away from him.
    It didn’t matter, the dog went through the door knocked the aquarium on the floor took off the lid and ripped the reptile into three parts distributing the pieces through the apartment.
    I am just saying that my dogs animal instincts were pretty right on about reptiles and too clean apartments.

  80. Elizabeth says:

    I’m just thankful that ARK has sense enough not to reproduce…hate breeds hate and she’s full of it. The fewer we have like that, the better.

    Alexa, I’d prefer your “filth” any day.

  81. Deborah says:

    I think if Angry Reptile Keeper has never seen a sane person whose house looked like that, she now has about 100 people whose houses she could go visit. I really didn’t think your place looked that bad.

  82. sarah says:

    I love this site most of the time. AND I love that baby–she is adorable. But I really have to wonder why you posted these pictures. Was it to make us feel better? Make you feel better? Pit women against women in the “whose house is the dirtiest” contest? Attract more readers/commenters? I really think you should think about some of these comments. I mean, why exactly is your house like this? And why did you feel the need to show it off? This is just weird. Please post more of Simone and less of this.

  83. Jeepers says:

    Christ, Sarah. Don’t mindfuck this to death. It was a joke. A humorous photo-essay. And it’s her blog, and she can post whatever she likes, and if you don’t like her content, you can always stay away.

  84. Kristen says:

    Wow, Alexa, Bravo, this is better than daytime TV! You’ve done a better job than Jerry Springer at bringing out the crazies.

    Let’s all have a nice hearty laugh in our, you know “filth”. It’s the best way to piss off ARK.

  85. Linda says:

    I wanted to add to the chorus of we parents who live in the REALITY of messy houses but I first had to move a dirty plate so I could get to my keyboard. I also have photo evidence of my house that I’d be happy to share if you want to collect them. What I’m trying to say is that I LOVED this post.

  86. Suzanne says:

    PK – Raising babies that will become intelligent, contributing, delightful, capable human beings with SENSES OF HUMOR is their JOB. Additionally, Alexa also works/freelances from home. Duh.

    Sarah – Because it’s funny. Double duh.

  87. Oh my lands, what drama in the comments!

    Alexa: Love your style and your purty things. You’ve actually managed to amass far fewer toys, etc. than most people I know. Kudos.

    And I don’t want to scare you, but the electrical sockets/power cords will be the least of your worries soon. BOLT that living room bookcase to the wall STAT. Looks like a mighty fun climber to me. :)

  88. Kim says:

    This was wonderful and, needless to say, my house is in a similar state much of the time. I have 2 kids and I prioritize playing with them over putting the toys away for the 10 thousandth time only to have them all taken out again immediately. Sometimes I prioritize reading or writing or Burn Notice over straightening too. And I am unashamed. I don’t look back on any time in life and wish I’d spent more time at that point cleaning.

  89. Trifolia says:

    Um, I guess I don’t quite understand the point of this post. To brag about the mess? My mom raised 2 girls and had a part-time job and the house was always neat. I have a 2- and 4-y.o. and my house is also neat, plus I work as a freelance writer. I would be ashamed if my house looked like this. It’s nothing to be proud of.

  90. ginger says:

    Having a neater house than this doesn’t mean you don’t play with and enjoy your kids. It also doesn’t mean you have bad priorities. Lots of people find that living in an organized way makes life easier and less stressful. Not having mommy have a breakdown because she can’t find her keys for the 5th day in a row can’t be bad for children. Also, once you get organized it’s easier to stay organized. There are lots of helpful, free websites about the benefits of an organized lifestyle. It’s kind of like yoga–you do it because it makes you feel good and allows you to be more flexible.

  91. Quilly says:

    DO NOT feed your dog table scraps people. That is a terrible idea. Dogs do not tolerate human food very well and will eventually develop pancreas issues if you keep letting them pick up your mess. Stop being lazy and pick up your own food messes if you value your pet’s life.

    Get some baskets for your clothes mess and some other containers to put the toys in. There are plenty of ways to not be spot clean, but have things off the floor and reduce tripping hazards. What if there was a fire in the middle of the night?

  92. kara says:

    I would never find my freaking kitchen floor with out my dog…
    Oh, and he just had a check up from the vet and he is perfectly healthy.
    Do some research before you go spouting off and calling people lazy.
    Just saying.

  93. kara says:

    I thought this was appropriate for all the nay sayers out there:

    Song for a Fifth Child

    by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

    Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
    Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
    Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
    Sew on a button and make up a bed.
    Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
    She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

    Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
    Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
    (Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
    The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
    And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
    But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
    Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
    (Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

    The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
    For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
    So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
    I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

  94. sippy says:

    o for crying out loud–it’s not a zero sum proposition. My house is clean or dirty because of the amount of time I spend with my kids. I know plenty of SAHMs who have a nasty house AND don’t play with their kids. A clean house is not a sign of neglectful childrearing just as a dirty house is not a sign of wonderful, hands on parenting. Sometimes we are just slobs.

  95. Alexicographer says:

    Oh, hoot! Alexa I’ve been laughing and laughing over “playful stack of empty diaper boxes” ever since I read your post but now I see from your updated post that I needed to come back and read the comments, too. Wowza!

  96. Sonya says:

    What is wrong with people? Having a clean versus messy house is not a moral issue. Sheeesh! I work with kids in the mental health field, and I agree, they would ROFL over a call over a house such as this.

  97. suz says:

    The self-regenerating dirty laundry pile in our bathroom is a sisyphean nightmare that threatens my sanity. Truly. This is how I feel about housecleaning and especially laundry. A recent battle with simultaneous earn infection and stomach virus has cut a swath of destruction through our victorian fixer-upper and, of course, doubled the size of our already tsunami-sized laundry pile. Jesus god I hate laundry. Thank you for this post.

  98. Jill says:

    I’m horrified. How can you stand to live in such filth?
    Ha ha! J/K!
    Your problem is you need more space. You’ve amassed a pantload of stuff and you need more storage space.
    My house is immaculate and I’ll share my secret as to how it stays that way: my MIL. My MIL is a dreadful, gossiping, evil beast of a woman. Her house is foul because nobody ever taught her how to clean because she was a spoiled Southern debutante when she got married at nineteen and spoiled Southern debutantes don’t clean. Period. End of story. They pay other people to clean, but in my MIL’s case, she’s such a bleeding heart clueless liberal nutcase that when she hires cleaning people her upper-class guilt forces her to entertain them with crackers and wine rather than let them do wheat she pays them for, which is clean.
    I have actually witnessed her refilling Maria or Tanisha’s wineglass and murmuring about how oppressed they are as the cleaner stares at her like she’s lost her mind.
    Which she has.
    Her inability to keep her surroundings clean makes her simmer with jealousy when she comes to my house and sees how gleaming and sweet-scented everything is. it’s a sweet feeling to see her purse her lips and peer angrily at my beautiful clean home.
    I don’t suppose your MIL is a similar bitch hag from hell so I guess I’m out of suggestions for keeping your place clean.

  99. tash says:

    OMG, laughing uncontrollably and trying hard not to piss myself on my couch lest one of these commenters call the clean police on my ass and abscond with my child and pets.

    Who knew you could wash bathmats? And cats were unsanitary?

    If I ever posted a photo diary like this I’d feel compelled to point out just who made what mess. Using the coffee table as a dirty sock repository is just not my fault, I’m just saying.

  100. Peggy says:

    I heart you. I just feel bad for my kid…Am I setting her up to carry on with the messy gene? I rarely photograph her at home for fear of background evidence…

  101. mumof4 says:

    Great post- that is life kid! And so cool to see someone being HONEST. your apartment is way cool – even with piles of laundry – so what! Favourite bits included the phone bill on the floor and the broken case…..

  102. Read this post smiling and nodding and uh-huhing. Liking your couch, envying the crib, recognizing the piles. Then I read the comments and I’m just kinda sitting here like this:


    That is all I have to say, other than Clearly, You Are An Excellent Mother, Far Too Excellent To Be Distracted By Petty Anti-Bacterial Matters.

    (pats self on back for soothing self as well as sycophanting you at the same time)
    (pats self on back for having a sense of humour as well as a brain, which, when rubbed together, produce a most delicious sensation)

  103. caoilinn says:

    Thank you SO much. As I commented to Jaywalker, I live in a crazy, crazy part of the world where my messy house is an anomaly — which really messes with my sanity. Which is, of course, already in question.

  104. Olivia says:

    Been reading thru your archives and just came to this post. Thank you for showing these pics. I feel so much better about my house now.

    My big problem is with the carpet. It’s beige so it shows EVERYTHING, and it’s cheap so it stains easily. With two cats and a dog, I’m constantly picking pet hair off my baby. But I do manage to keep the laundry under control by designating Sunday as Laundry Day. Clothes get washed on that day no matter what. Gives me a false sense of control ;)

  105. Pingback: How I Do Run On.
  106. Chesa says:

    I was directed to this post from a more recent posting and it made me giggle! You are not a bad mother! :) Houses get messy when you have kids! :)

Leave a Reply