By 7:20, Noah needs to have finished eating, because we're now in the "countdown to bus" time. Between 7:20-7:30, he needs to get dressed, brush teeth, and get shoes and backpack, etc. I don't bother dressing Lucy and Quinn unless somehow a window of opportunity has presented itself and there was a little extra time. I try to be out of my pajamas for the bus stop walk, but I don't mind that my younger kiddos are still bed-head-y scrappers.
So we walk in the door and I make sure both Lucy and Quinn get fed and dressed for the day. (Lucy: cereal or Nutrigrain bar or fruit and yogurt, or eggs; Quinn: nursing and possibly a formula supplement). I get myself presentable. And we play a bit, trying to stave off Quinn's morning nap til 9:00 if we can. At 9:00 I prepare a bottle for Quinn, making it nice and warm to help him get drowsy, and I put Sesame Street on for Lucy. She has already learned to stay downstairs while I put Quinn down. I'll sometimes find her sitting on the bottom step when I come back out of his room, but she is so sweet and good, waiting for me at the bottom instead of coming up to hover and whine and fuss while I attend to her baby brother. And lately, there are even days where she'll stay in the tv room and watch Sesame Street, getting more and more trusting that even if I'm not near, I'll be back soon. Meanwhile, I take Quinn up to his room and turn on his sound machine and settle into the glider with him and his bottle. I sing to him as he eats, and I love to see him get drowsy and sleepy at the end of the bottle. I burp him and sing him "Twinkle, Twinkle" as I lay him down. He has chosen his orange taggie lovey above his raccoon loveys, so I drape it over him and he rolls to his side and nearly always go right to sleep without a fuss or a peep.
After lunch, around noon, we'll sometimes go outside, or sometimes go up to Noah and Lucy's room to play... or I'll put on a short cartoon of Noah's choice. By 1:00pm, it is Lucy's naptime and time for Quinn's second nap. I take them both up, Noah trailing behind, and I put Lucy down first. She LOVES her nap, and is usually eager to get right to it, so we don't really read stories or do any kind of lengthy bedtime routine. She has been napping on her crib mattress on the floor like a big girl (but still in a pack and play for nighttimes), so she'll run right over to it, lay down, and I'll tuck her in with her Bunny Bunny and Daddy, put her soft blanket over her, and she'll roll to her side and be ready to sleep. I sing her two songs and the boys and I leave her in her room alone and head to Quinn's room. Quinn gets a diaper change and a small bottle, sound machine and songs, and he's ready for a nap as well.
Once dinner is over, it's time for Quinn to get a bath and go to bed. We try to have him in bed by 7:00pm. The other two kids will play while Dad gives Quinn a bath and I clean up dinner (or vice versa), and I usually put Quinn to bed since he gets to nurse before he goes to sleep. Joe winds down the evening with the kids and they clean up messes around 7:30. If it's a bath night, he helps them get baths (Noah gets a shower) and gets them in jammies, teeth brushed, etc. I will help out if they need me. Then one of us will read books and sing songs. We've been getting both of them in bed by 8:00pm. With them sharing a room, it works better to have them have the same bedtime so that one isn't disrupting the other with a later bedtime. They chatter a bit before they fall asleep. When they first started sharing a room 2 months ago, I worried they'd NEVER be able to work it out and get to sleep... their laughs and hollers would go on and on and on and it would take two or three visits from Joe or I before they'd finally settle down and go to sleep. But its gotten better and they still enjoy each other, but in a much more reasonable span of time.
(all photos are iPhone snaps from the month of August... I loved looking for ones that kind of illustrated this post.)