My two sons are 14mon apart. Joshua just turned three, Noah is 22mo. My house is crazy all day long, and most days I jsut want to run and hide in the bathroom, except they always find me! (Also dh works 70+ hours a week, not to mention swing shifts so he is usually sleep deprived or just plain grouchY!)
What I have found to be very helpful is to have
*a double stroller---major lifesaver, I would go nowhere as we only have one care! We love our graco due glide, and we have test drove lots of them.
* find a smaller less used park. For us we live in a small town and we live downtown so I walk everywhere with our stroller. I have found that many churches/preschools don't mind people using their playgrounds after hours. (Kind of a don't ask don't tell type policy) I have meny of the preschool playgrounds to be more age appropiate and almaost always enclosed. (For me I have found a wonderful preschool playground that is specifically geared for five and under, and it is completely enclosed, so I can sit and watch my kids play. We go to the park almost everynight that my dh works!
*Make friends with kids near same age...their parents totolly understand what is going on with you and your kids.
*If possible find a great church or gym where you can get an occassional break. This is huge for me to go to church and know that my kids are well cared for while I am feeding my spirit and mind. Also my 3yold gets along with my 22mo wonderfully when they have had a break from each other.
* Maybe consider preschool or mom's morning out if you need a break. I never though I would send my kids to preschool, b/c I trhought and still do think this-parents are the best teachers. But I need a break. So Joshua will be going two days a week, like 3hours each day to preschool. I am so excited, b/c I will be the first time I have reaaly ever been ALONE with Noah. So I think it will be very helpful for everyone. (Also many preschools and churches often have a coop for parent's night out. REally nice my only night out with spouse!)
*MOPS, mothers of preschoolers...wonderful support group that also provides wonderful childcare while you mingle with other moms. You can locate a group near you at MOPS.org
If this is to religious for you try the MOMS club organization.
sorry to be rambling, and yes I know many of my ideas seem very non-AP, but I think until you have kids this close You can't really say what is AP or not. For me I can focus better on my kdis when I get regular breaks.