the stage that we are in right now with bedtime is unknown to us. trey and claire are (mostly) staying in their beds for a full 12 hours, and brigs is also sleeping through the night (cue the chorus of angels)!!
because of the spacing of our children we...lets be honest, I, didn't get many uniterrupted nights for almost 5 years. bedtime wasn't really atime for me to go sleep in my bed...so it feel a bit strange to say, but it has become one of my favorite parts of the day! we start "the process" around 6:30, they get pj's on and go the the bathroom and brush teeth, then they each pick out a book (which has evolved into them wrapping it up in their blankies for me to open) we read scriptures and say prayers and then read the stories they picked out. then we all kiss and hug brigs and he goes to bed, I take him to his room and he points to the chair and says "baby cry" which means he wants me to sing the song "baby mine". after the song i get another kiss and lay him down. then i go back into trey and claire's room and take turns laying by them and asking them about their day...and this is the time i just wish i could bottle up and keep forever! they tell me the sweetest things, things that made them happy and sad that day, and things they are worried about. then they usually have a few song requests and i will sing to them until they are alseep. so many times i've left their bedroom with tears becuase i know i might have missed out on those precious conversations if i had been rushing.
i don't see it as just "hurry and get them sleeping as fast as possible" i have learned to treasure this time when my children and i can unwind and reflect on the day together. there is usually a few apologies, mostly from me, and i just try to soak up their littleness and innocence as I rock them and sing to them and as they talk to me about their day. no matter what kind of crazy day we have had, my heart is happy when i know they are falling asleep knowing how special they are to me, and feeling safe and loved.