I receive messages and emails from readers (thanks, by the way, to those that emerge from lurkdom to comment or email!) asking various questions about what we use or how we did something. A few have mentioned how organized and tidy we keep things. And if that’s what you think, then you want me on your Balderdash team.

We are far from orderly (you should see the piles on our dining room table), a fact I become especially aware of in instances like last Thursday when I went to a family’s home in the neighborhood. Until then, I’ve always been skeptical that anyone could actually have the home pictured in a Pottery Barn catalog. But they made me a believer. Everything Had A Place. And a label. And for those of you who know me, you know very well that I was like Pavlov’s dog in there.

In my reality, however, organization and cleanliness is a work in progress for me now, particularly since our home is in constant transformation, as illustrated in the following photos.

This shot was taken in December, 2007. Our home used to be this tidy. Because I was pregnant, and because I hand-string all those lights, we used our “little” Christmas tree and kept the rest of the decorations to a minimum. Mostly because I was tired. Notice my beloved piano.

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Fast forward seven months to July, 2008. The kids were around three months old and we were around..EXHAUSTED. Both babies had been diagnosed with reflux. Something we kinda figured what with all the projectile vomiting and all. Hence, the towels. Notice the coffee table made of glass and iron. And that the piano is there. But that the orange chair and ottoman are not. The chair is now in the nursery because the second of us needed some back support when feeding babies at bedtime. The ottoman is all jacked up in a closet somewhere.

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Four months later and it was November, 2008. The reflux was gone by now, so there were less towels around. What? No coffee table? That moved to the garage. I always tsk tsked those people who had so much shit in their garages that they couldn’t park the cars in there. And while I’ve yet to succumb entirely, I have a soft spot for those families now. It all makes sense. We had also moved the sofa to the center of the room, something our real estate agent suggested we do, you know, so that a prospective buyer might have the feeling that this could very well be their home. Uh, yeah, doubtful. And yes, those are their halloween costumes splayed across the brown leather chair. In November.

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Moving into March, 2009. With experienced crawlers in the house and with the kids at home with a nanny, we had to chose to make some changes for what we perceive to be their benefit. Yep, no piano – sold in January 2009. Teensy living rooms and baby grands don’t mix with exponentially mobile toddler-approaching-babies. The sofa is now against the wall. The brown leather chair pushed up against the opposite wall to create a barrier between chew-on-everything-ers and the iPod docking station and stereo subwoofer. There’s a black interlocking foam mat at the bottom of the stairs to cushion the inevitable falls near the stairs. We also moved the red bookcase upstairs, strategically placed in front of the fireplace. It sits upon a black workout mat which covers the hard slate and it is cut to accommodate the the mantle molding.

Not A Fan Of Baby Einstein

Incidentally, you see Harper’s face? She hated Baby Einstein. I don’t know if was because they’ve been subjected to maybe a combined 4 hours of television in their lives, or if it was that creepy monkey hand puppet. Either way, I won’t force the television on them anymore, particularly since Mateo was disinterested altogether.

I’ll have to take an After-Kids photos to provide a stark contrast to the Before-Kids photos of the nursery and play area.

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