Does this ExerSaucer Match the Sofa?

When Craig and I moved into this home, we carried fabric swatches to the store, painstakingly choosing our furniture and accessories.  We obsessed over every detail. Did our reds match?  Would the green in the chair pull out that hint of green in the pattern on the pillow?  Was that chair to scale?  We were so happy to be creating a space that would be our home, the place where we would build our family.

I look around now and my eyes don’t know where to rest.  This is what I see:

Bookshelves that were once decorated with crystal vases and photographs are now crammed to full capacity with board books and coloring books.

A sofa that was once was neat and tidy with carefully arranged pillows now holds a stash of Cheerios in its cushions and is covered with Katie’s stuffed animals.

Our dining room table, once clean and polished, now displays a kitty place mat (on top of which sits a princess purse this morning).  In the corner stands Katie’s play kitchen which took the place of a large ficus that we felt added life to the room.

The living room floor, once clear and easy to vacuum, is now occupied by an ExerSaucer, a baby bouncy seat, and a play mat.

The tray on the ottoman that once held a tidy stack of magazines now holds one of Katie’s babies and a handful of hair clips and ribbons.

One part of me feels that these toys, books, and miscellany are proof of the real home that we have built.  The children have taken over this space and it holds more happiness with all of their clutter than it did when pristine and carefully decorated.

Then there’s this other, nagging, persistent part of me that thinks that it looks like Toys “R” Us threw up all over our house.


  1. Megan (Best of Fates

    It still looks pretty neat to me – and so colorful!

  2. KLZ

    You definitely have me beat. Toys R Us got our car too.

  3. Janelle

    KJade has that same Princess purse (or snack purse, as she calls it.)! So, I look at your beautiful pictures and get envious because I KNOW how much more space (sq. footage) you have than us and then I realize, with sinking horror, that you can never come to visit. If you think Toys "R" Us threw up all over your lovely house (complete with white couch cover)…oh heavens to betsy…I cringe at what you may think spewed all over ours! Then again, sisters are supposed to love no matter what, right? right?!?

  4. Nichole

    That's called "careful photography." You'll see that I cropped in closely to omit the extra mess! :)

  5. Nichole

    Oh, don't misunderstand…I'm saving the car for another post. ;)

  6. Nichole

    More space = more junk, I promise.

    Before Matthew was born, we had what we called "the junk room." It was AWESOME. We abandoned everything that didn't have a home in there. It wasn't fun cleaning that out for his arrival!

    Your home is lovely…you have more courage than I will ever have to take chances (like painting)–chances that have turned out beautifully.

    And yes, you're right, sisters love unconditionally!

  7. Yeah, not me. I started having kids so young (I was 22 when I had Jacob) that I'd been a parent for several years before I could afford to buy some real furniture of my own and I bought it all with grimy hands and spilled cereal in mind.

    16 1/2 years of hand prints on the door frames and mysterious stickiness on…well, on anything at all! In 10 or so years, we have big plans to buy some pretty stuff.

  8. Kat

    Baby/kids clutter is better than adult clutter. We rent a single level home and is blessed with a basement I call my cave. It's a bedroom I share with my husband. Since our basement holds the same sq. footage upstairs, toys R us store is in our room (what a joy). I have managed to keep our front room livable & somewhat presentable for visitors, but every now and then they escape from their cages (lol). I am working on a blog for this one.
    It's warm & cozy to visit friends abode cluttered with kids toys, its homey. It's a house full of love and you know it belongs to a family. I'm very much OCD & my husband nags me about it everyday. I like to see things in order and in their places. It's not hard to put them where they belong? :)

  9. OMG, we must live in the same house complete with PotteryBarn pillows and matching Excersaucer! lol! I feel your pain. We had everything planed out and then the pink polka dotted floor mat and thousands of baby toys exploded everywhere! I recently put up the mat for company and now I don't want to put it back. I don't think it goes away until they're 18 and off to college. We have a long way to go.

  10. Nichole

    I'm jealous that you started having kids when you were younger. I swear, there are days when I have NO energy at all. Sometimes I feel like I am WAY too old for this.

    Frost comes to mind, "…and miles to go before I sleep…and miles to go before I sleep…"

  11. Nichole


    I do think that you're right about a home needing signs of life.

    I'm told that their things get smaller as they get older, please oh please, let this be true!

  12. Nichole

    How funny about the pillows! I saw them in the catalog and had to hunt all over for them because they had sold out so quickly. I LOVE them.

    Yes, I'm familiar with the 1000s of baby toys. As much as they make me crazy, I know that my heart will break when Matthew outgrows them.

    Before we know it, we'll be swapping out these baby toys for bikes, helmets, scooters, legos; I could go on and on.

    We'll hold each other's hands through it, okay? ;)

  13. Ana

    How I wish I could go back to those times, when toys, princess this and that was all over our living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, cars…Time was simple then, I could be wherever she was and do whatever with her next to me; and I worried about the toys all over our home, and now she is grown no more toys and I miss them.
    I guess what I am trying to say is don't worry about the mess, stuff not matching, and cherrios under the cushions, there will be a time when you wish you could have that all back. Life is fast and short as if you didn't know that. ;)

  14. Nichole

    If I could freeze time in this exact moment with her, Ana, I would. No question about it. I want the days to just slow down a bit so that I can enjoy her a little longer.

    If I have half the relationship with her as an adult as you have with Briana, I will be so grateful.

  15. i have a love/hate relationship with the 'stuff'. i'm trying not to add to it. and, at least yours is contained in an adult styled piece of furniture while mine is stored in a step 2 toy box. not very stylish :(

  16. Jennifer

    I love it! We just got an exersaucer for my six-month-old, and of course, her stuff is everywhere. In my opinion, it is the clutter that adds character to a home. It is what the children bring in or leave that makes it a place of love and reminds us of the blessings that they bring!

    God bless you!

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