My friend Kristen made a request and I actually had to laugh because I had been thinking the EXACT same thing around the time when she emailed me. She wants me to post a picture of our living room from last year after the girls were born and also pictures of what it looks like now with toys and gates galore. So Kristen, your wish is granted. :)
Last year (I think it was in late March or early April), I posted this picture of Jeff sleeping on the couch and the girls all napping in their swings/papasan.
You can actually see that we have a fireplace (yes, it was covered by a pack n' play, but you could at least see half of it) and we had a nice coffee table and end tables. Yea, not anymore.....
The fireplace is now covered by our loveseat. The corner where one end table was is now our "reading nook" which I have to add is one of the girls' favorite all-time spots. It's their own romp room. Complete with high dives and belly flops...thus the need for floor pillows. ;)
And the other corner by the back door is now "toy central complete with foam flooring! heh, heh! :) We're so cool, I know you want your own primary-color-foam-block-flooring, go ahead, admit it! :)
And now for the gate of all gates. I love this thing! It is easy to use, the door swings either way and because we could configure it however we wanted to make it fit any shape, we can still use the entire first floor without going through gates. We only have to use the gate to go into the play area. So the front foyer hallway, kitchen, garage, laundry, bathroom and all stairs are on THIS side of the gate. YEA! small victories make our life easier. seriously.
The other entrance to this room through the kitchen is currently blocked by the ottoman (you can kinda see the corner of it in this above picture-top right by the couch) and we can just step over where the corners meet so we can get in the play room that way too. Not as triplet proof as the gate, and Jeff calls the ottoman the "complaint table" since that seems to be where the girls all go if they are crying or upset...especially if I am in the kitchen and they can see me over the counter. Eventually they will learn to go over the ottoman and we will have to decide whether to add a gate at that side of the kitchen or if we just let them rule the house. I guess time will tell.
We have a big basket of toys and then a few bigger toys get to sit out like the leap frog table, their grocery cart and their Fisher Price house. Otherwise, I like the rule of if it doesn't fit in the basket then something has to go. It's not like we need 3 of every toy....although this would settle some tugging battles that happen daily at our house. There is only one thing I can think of that we "had" to buy more of and that's their rubber duckies for bath time. They all want to hold the ducks and take them with them after they leave the tub but I couldn't let them since the duck also has a sensor to tell if the water was too hot. So I always liked to keep it in the tub for the other girls' baths. Needless to say, Grandma was kind and bought 2 more ducks. So now they all can hold and take a duck during and after baths. They seriously are obsessed with yellow ducks. bath toys or stuffed animals, that is one of their favorite things. It's pretty funny!
Well, I'm not sure how long our house will look like this so if any other mom's of multiples (or any moms for that matter) would like to comment on when you "got your house back" I would love to hear from you!