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It’s a (Sometimes) Peaceful Life
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It’s a (Sometimes) Peaceful Life

When all my children were small bedtime had a much different feel at my house. First of all because there was an actual bedtime. One that was earlier than mine. Now with teenagers who play sports and have tons of homework, they are often up at night long after I have turned in. In fact, one day last week my oldest son arrived home at 10:45pm. He had been gone since early morning when he got on the bus to go to school. I had fully intended to stay awake so we could chat about his day when he got home. But then I thought I will just lay down on my bed, on top of all the covers, FULLY DRESSED! so it wouldn’t count as sleeping, and wait for him. We all know how that turned out.

The bedtime of years ago was a magical time when the house was dark and quiet. When freshly bathed, sweet smelling children would be tucked into their beds. Beds, which seemed impossibly large, contained their tiny bodies and a host of stuffed friends. Stories would be read. Secrets would be revealed in hushed whispers. There was a feeling that no matter how the day had gone that tomorrow would be a clean state, a chance to get it right, to try again. I clung to those peaceful moments.
*****

My house is loud and chaotic during the day. We are all busy. We all talk loudly. Many times during dinner I think I need to invest in a pair of earplugs and practice just nodding and smiling at everyone.

But once night time arrives and homework is completed, I turn all the extra lights off. I light candles and since it has been cooler here, I light the fireplace. We all just sit and relax. Television is not allowed on school nights, something my children would say is unfair, but secretly I don’t think that they mind.

My 9 and 10 year olds are at that age where they no longer cuddle or sit on my lap, mostly because they would crush me. But partly also because the are too “grown up” to do so. But at night, when the lights are low and we are reading aloud, they will rest their heads on my shoulders, or wrap their arms around mine. These days are numbered.

The conversations flow easier in the evening. Things are talked about and revealed that might not be under the bright glare of light. And often as they reveal their inner most thoughts I carefully chose my words in response. I notice the less I talk, the more they will. And so I bite my tongue. This time of day still holds that special magic of years ago, it just has changed as the kids have grown older.

*****

For the second year in a row I am partnering with the people at GoodNites as part of their campaign to make bedtime special.

GoodNites has created Bedtime Theater. A program that follows Iggy as he explores the world around him and conquers his fears. All while traveling on his Wiggy bed. The best part, for me, was working with a host of bloggers that I know and love to create the story.

Go on and read the ongoing story of Iggy and his Wiggy bed. It was fun to be a part of it and would be a nice story to share with your little ones at the end of the day.

(There is also a writing contest with a $2500 PRIZE. Yes, those are real American dollars, not Monopoly money. Write and enter your own Iggy Adventure story.)

Compliments of the nice people at GoodNites I am giving away three tote bags filled with wonderful stuff. To win one of the totes all you have to do is leave me a comment on this post and tell me how you create peace in your home in the evening. There will be three separate drawings– THREE CHANCES TO WIN! The first drawing will be Thursday, March 4.

Blogger_Giveaway_Kit_Photo[1]

An iPod shuffle, a pair of Logitech speakers, a $25 iTunes gift card, and a fabulous blanket, perfect for snuggling under and reading stories. All of it packed in a reusable Patagonia bag. I wish I were eligible to win.

Disclaimer: I have partnered with GoodNites® for this series of posts and giveaways; I am being compensated for my participation in the Bedtime Theater program and for hosting these giveaways, not for promoting a product. Just so we’re all clear.

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Comments

  1. Lauri says:

    Peace in our house means throwing the little ones in a big bubble bath and allowing them to play while winding down. Nothing like little ones all clean, in their pjs and ready for a story!

  2. mayhem says:

    We read books together, sometimes I can still fit my kiddos on my lap. They listen to a lullaby CD most nights as they are going to sleep. Yeah, these days are numbered… They are sweet.

  3. Coleen Covington says:

    We do the usual - but when my 2 year old says “Cuddle! Books!” it makes the whole day worthwhile, even if I’ve been none too fond of her that day. So we have lots of cuddles and TWO, TWO, TWO books (she loves that number). A favoriet is Llama Llama Red Pajamas.

  4. erika says:

    Lights get lowered, and anything using electricity gets turned off-computers, cell phones etc. Its a family time-board games, inventing games and making little crafts!

  5. Amanda says:

    We turn the lights down and play music. We are still “walking” our lil’ guy to sleep, so we pace and slow dance a lot, too!

  6. Lisa Skinner says:

    What a fantastic giveaway! Every night after the chaos of dinner, homework, baths, cub scouts, basketball, cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, (depending on the day of week of course) I go into each of my 2 childrens room for 10-15 minutes of “catch up” time. It is the basic, how-was-your-day-what-is-new-what-do-I-need-to-know-about chat, but it is guaranteed no interuptions, one-on-one time and I absolutely love it!

  7. Diane says:

    It’s just me, and I’m not particularly noisy…but still need to put aside the stress of the day. After dinner I light a candle that sits on the stove between the burners. The current scent is cranbery/pomegranate. The light above the sink is turned off, and the glow from the candle can be seen (more or less) from the living room, dining room and office. A few pages from whatever novel is hanging around help take my head out of the day. On particularly bad days, a glass of wine helps (or to celebrate good days!).

  8. Rebecca says:

    My two girls are seven, and we’ve developed a wonderful evening ritual. As bedtime approaches they brush teeth etc., then we all take part in a 5 minute clean up. Sometimes it’s even less than five minutes, on rare occasions a little more. We just make sure we’ve all helped tidy the house a bit so we can all wake up to a clean home. Then we gather in the living room. E sits on the floor doing something crafty, while A curls up on the couch, I grab my knitting, and my husband reads aloud. We’re currently finishing book 5 of the Percy Jackson series (fantastic!). For half an hour, or longer if we’re all caught up in the story, we read, and listen, and comment on the story. We all feel connected and at peace by the end of the nightly reading.

  9. Dayna says:

    my husband and i work at the same company. this means driving to and from work together. it also means neither of us gets home any earlier than the other. we arrive home, together, tired, hungry, and looking at each other to make dinner. this is why i “big puffy heart” my crockpot. having dinner ready (or at least most of it ready) accomplishes such a sense of control in our day. we can come home, change, make any last minute preparations to dinner, and be eating within a few minutes.

  10. Jessica Beach says:

    My kids are 7 and 10. No matter what time, or what state we are in I read. Mostly chapter books but I love when we read an “old favorite.”

  11. dangitAnge says:

    We read books and snuggle on the couches before bed. :)

  12. Leslie McMahon says:

    Peace in my house is created by my husband. When he gets home the kids are anything but calm and peaceful but slowly he brings us to a calmer place. After dinner he starts the tub for the 4 and 7 year old. Once they are out he reads to them and while the 10 year old showers. Then more reading to the 10 year old. The house gets quiet and I get a few moments of mom time. Heavenly.

  13. Annika says:

    I have a 3.5 year old and a two month old. I don’t know that I create peace so much as I grab hold of it wherever I can find it and I DON’T LET GO.

  14. Tricia says:

    aaaahhh peace. What is this thing you call peace? I used to know it, but it has been gone for many years. I think it departed when my offspring stopped going to bed at 7.

  15. Bikini says:

    We create peace at bedtime by reading stories cuddled in bed after bath time. Of course, my kids are still young so that makes it easy!

  16. Sharon says:

    Well, I only have one child so peace in the evening comes much more easily to me. My husband often works late so my son and I read together and then I lay in his bed (fort) and we talk about our day. Hopefully daddy comes home just in time to give him a kiss before he goes to sleep.

  17. Jean says:

    My little guy is six and still loves a bedtime story. Both my husband and I want to participate in the bedtime routine so it goes like this….

    I get to help with bathing (ensuring he actually washes himself in the bath or shower…lol), then he gets dressed. Then one of us will climb in bed with him and read the story or his choice. Then lights to out and he gets tucked into bed with whatever stuffed friends he wants for that night. Then the other one gets to snuggle in the dark, talking in hushed whispers about the day. the night ritual is amazing :)

  18. jenn stevens says:

    We cuddle in front of the woodstove and read book after book.

  19. heidi says:

    I wish I could say I create peace in the evening but unfortunately, it is more like a circus. On good nights, they are all reading in bed before I pass out. (One with his required music) On bad nights I fall asleep before anyone has even brushed their teeth. On really bad nights I’m screaming for everyone to get to bed already while they run around ignoring me. Please say I’m not the only one this happens to.

  20. Dustin says:

    We’ve got a little one (and another one on the way), so we create peace the way you used to. Story and a rocking chair. It’s a nice way for everyone involved to wind down.

    Sometimes it works right away, sometimes it takes two or three tries. :)

  21. Jordan says:

    The TV goes off. The lights go down - lamps only. Pajamas go on.

  22. s says:

    Bedtimes today are a lot more chaotic than the days in the past when all my kids were little and I could spend time focused on my eldest after the teenier ones were in bed - I had a story I told my daughter that once we had shaped it, had to remain the same - if we ran into the animals in a different order, she’d correct me, which I found interesting since I was TRYING so hard to be creative and interesting, but she just wanted the same old story each night. Yes, she is a girl who craves her routines. Years have gone by and bedtime on most nights isn’t a calm quiet series of events that it used to be - but some nights when we don’t have anything going on, I use it to my advantage and we fall into the rhythm of those years ago bedtimes and how sweet it is. One recent occasion, my daughter surprised me by asking me to retell that old story. We had added another child to weave into the story, but other than that change and some minor changes in the snack choices packed for the story’s picnic lunch (drinkup yogurts are so yesterday for her) , we got through the story again - with just a couple reminders on her end of the animals we encountered in the right order. I should write it down someday so I’ll remember it, but she probably knows it better than I and will remind me (noooo we meet the skunk AFTER the fox). And I’ll admit it - I miss those toddler years bedtimes - they were so much calmer (and so much earlier!)

  23. SuperSuz says:

    Peace? What is peace? LOL! Our schedule looks much like yours only with fewer children. We, too, have the no tv during the week rule though and that creates much peace as there is no clamoring over what will be watched and when :-) During the winter we usually have a fire in the woodstove and we’ll play card games or board games stretched out in front of it’s warmth. It’s lovely…until the wrestling commences!

  24. Mimi O says:

    I turn off most of the lights in the house and we try to sit quietly and read a book before bedtime. And we keep the bedtime routine the same, which usually helps keep things peaceful.

  25. Courtenay says:

    peace in my home in the evenings….hmmm. if it’s not a baseball night it’s easy. if it IS a baseball night, we have a late quick dinner, a quick shower, and then spend the last few minutes of the day laying with each child - playing uno, doing crosswords, reading a book together. i often tell them i’ll stay with them once the light is out - but only for five minutes, and i awake three hours later in a foggy haze not knowing where the heck i am, or what has happened. and they always like hearing how i accidentally spent half the night w/ them the next day.

  26. Barb Watson says:

    I have 3 teenage boys. Last night we won our hockey championship and walked in the house at 11PM on a Sunday night. We didn’t even attempt to make it into before midnight because we were so wound up!
    I layed in bed listening to my 18 yr old son (the one who played in the game) play his acoustic guitar and he actually sounded good. He played to calm himself down and the rest of us listened as he played us into a sweet night sleep. We had dreams of running out onto the ice with our team celebrating a Eagle victory!!!! Good job Eagles!!! Can you tell I’m a hockey mom?????

  27. dee says:

    discovery channel. Yeah I know it’s TV and all that but we are a family of geeks and we LOVE watching mythbusters and other shows where we pretend we are learning something. Thing is we all snuggle up on the couch and chat about whatever thing we are watching…trying to predict what will happen next or figure out why it didn’t go quite right. It’s cozy time and we love it.

  28. Michele says:

    Awesome giveaway. We would use all of these things for our bedtime routine.

  29. divrchk says:

    We cuddle and read and give a quick heads up of anything out of the ordinary going on tomorrow. What a great giveaway!

  30. Marty Alan Michelson says:

    Our kids (ages 11, 12, and 14) have known since they were little that we have “bedtime routines” but not a “bedtime.” Of course the routines have adapted over the years as they have grown - but from a young age they have known that their ability to “stay up” a bit later is directly dependent on how they accomplish their routines. If and when they manage themselves well - which the normally do - then they get to relax, read, watch t.v., listen to music. If and when they make their routines difficult - taking excessive time to shower because they are talking to each other, etc - on those nights they do not get privileges and their bedtime/lights out comes earlier.

    This gives the kids response-ability to manage themselves. We still tell them when to go to sleep, etc - and do not let them stay up as they wish - but when they understand they have some control over their evening - they choose to be responsible.

  31. carol says:

    I am a lucky grandma now. Lucky in that we live near our kids and grand kids, so we get to see them almost daily. They are frequent overnight guests at our house, which we all love. In addition to the usual night time rituals of bath, lovey and books, we always sing a Irish lullaby (handed down through my mother in law’s family) and give pats on the back.

  32. Ashley says:

    I keep the peace with a nice glass of wine :)

  33. Erica says:

    To create peace, first we get riled up. I have a two-year old, and particularly now that it’s winter, we’ve got to burn off some energy before bed. So after dinner we fun around the house playing “Got You”, throwing balls around, and generally rough-housing. Then we get into jammies, get in Mommy and Daddy’s bed to snuggle and read a few books, and then he’s ready for Daddy to tuck him into bed with Bear-Bear and the rest of his menagerie. And then it’s peaceful.

    Until 6 am when the calls of “Moooommmmy! Daddy!” ring through the house.

  34. Karen says:

    I am a college kid so dorm bedtime is different than bedtime in someones home, but I’ve found the best way to sleep well is to take a shower, put on classical piano music (my favorite is Yiruma) and read a book for a little while. It calms me down and I am usually so tired by the end of the day that it doesn’t take long for me to give up on reading and just fall asleep.

  35. Traci says:

    We use mealtime as our chance to connect with all 3 kids. The TV goes off, we all sit at the table and just talk about our day. That helps set the tone for the rest of the evening.

  36. Melissa says:

    My daughter just turned 3 and I am expecting #2 any day now. I remember when she was first born just being exhausted and doing my best to enjoy the middle of the night feedings and have that special time with her and I had to remind myself each night to enjoy the time because it wouldn’t last. We didn’t cry it out - we chose to rock her to sleep every night whether that was in a sling carrier or in the glider. It was hard work and most people thought we were crazy but it was what we wanted and I am glad we did it. I am looking forward to that with the new baby. I remember the countless sleepless nights when she was teething, nursing, sick or just needed a hug - occasionally we still have those. As she has gotten older, we have an evening routine that we all love. After dinner, we have “tubbie” time, get jammies on, brush and dry her hair and then she watches her show (usually 30 min of Dora, Blues Clues or something like it). My husband and I take turns bringing her up to her room to tuck her in. We read one or two books and lay in her big girl bed to chat about her day for a few minutes - we have been using this time to reflect on the day with her - things we liked about our day, special things we did as our way of teaching her to pray each night. This is the time when she tells us stories about her friends, things she did at preschool or just says I love you. We hug and cuddle and try to let go of all the adult stresses of the day and enjoy my few minutes with her and try to recapture the innocence of a child and see the world through her eyes. It really hard for me (a total type A perfectionist) to really let go of what is on my mind for what is usually a good 30 minutes but I am realizing it is probably the most important part of my day. She is getting so big, I never realized kids of this age had so much to say. It is really a sweet time. Because I work full time, this is a very special time for me as it is our own alone time together and I think back of the many nights I sat up with her and nursed/rocked her to sleep and frankly there is much about that that I miss. I know this time won’t last just like that baby time went by so quickly but I am going to do my best to relish what we have now and look forward to new nighttime routines as she gets older while at the same time I look forward to the very special nighttime routines I will have with my new baby and I am excited for it to all start again.

  37. Katie says:

    With just one kidddo, our routine is pretty easy (dinner, bath, stories, bed) and I love story time best. She sits on my lap and tucks her head up under my chin while we read. Best. Part. of. the. Day.

  38. tammy says:

    We also have a very busy life and not everyone is home at the same time in the evening but when we are we love to sit in the living room in front of a roaring fire. We also have not gotten to old for the good night hugs. Everyone gets and gives hugs. Someday they will be out of the house (like oldest daughter) and this is one of the things i will miss and remember most.

  39. heather says:

    Reading always does it, a good book, quiet time snuggled in bed in front of the fire or reading out loud as a family activity.

  40. mamalang says:

    Awesome story. I wish for a tv free night, but the husband, he is addicted. When he isn’t home, it’s off much more.

  41. Joanne says:

    We too sit in front of the fireplace in the evening, talking. But unlike years gone by, nearly everyone has their laptop with them. Music is key for me.

  42. JP in IL says:

    A peaceful night in my house is when everything is clean. Dinner dishes are done, beds are made and turned down, I light a few candles and read a book by a lamp. All overhead lights are off and the light that is left is a soft light. I turn on some very soothing music (no words, generally 1 instrument) and sit back and read while admiring my clean house.

    I don’t have kids, so this is very easily achieved. Ideally, his would be a nightly occurance…but really only happens a couple times per month.

  43. Kristin says:

    My husband and I cuddle up on the couch after dinner time with our 21-month-old daughter to read books for about an hour. No dishes allowed until she goes to bed. This is definitely the favorite part of our day.

  44. dregina says:

    We get into pajamas, brush teeth, lock the front door and then turn off all the lights in the house except for the light over the sink in the kitchen, and the bedside lights in our bedroom. Once that’s done we sit out on the back patio for a few minutes while the dogs run around and do their thing. Then it’s everyone in, turn off the kitchen light, and into bed with a book. I love nighttime. And living in Texas, where you can sit outside year round.

  45. Meredith says:

    Lights out, bottle, rocking chair, cuddles, bed.

  46. Mymsie says:

    Ooo I would love to have an iPod. I think I’m the only Web developer in the free world would doesn’t have one! ;)

  47. massageon says:

    I would love to win this stuff for my Son who will be 2 in just a few weeks!
    ~Mel

  48. Daisy says:

    A warm bath with Bliss bath oil & a magazine or catalog, followed by soft jammies & crisp cool sheets. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

  49. Amber says:

    We usually leave the tv off for most of the evening, after supper we do baths. Then we read a couple of chapters out of a book right before bed.

  50. SarahK says:

    I used to do the nightly bath/story/snuggle routine. My life has turned upside down in the past year with a divorce, moving in with my mother, and going back to school. Reading this makes me realize how much I miss those sweet moments. I have a desperate need to take my evenings back with the boy..

  51. Bethany says:

    With my four kids, ages 3,6, 8, and 10, I have found that following the advice of the children’s classic book, “All of a Kind Family” (Sydney Taylor) has worked for us. The wise momma in the book put her five daughters to bed at the same time regardless of age. I do the same. There is no resentment of a sibling who gets to stay up later; everyone gets ready for bed at the same time, goofing around the bathroom and darting into one another’s rooms as they get ready for bed. Then after all have been read to (and the older ones left to read to themselves for a while while the younger ones have “lights out”) my husband and I get a free hour or two before we crash from exhaustion.

  52. jessica says:

    Bedtime is getting later and later around here - but it always starts with pjs and milk and a few books downstairs. Then baby girl kisses and hugs kitty, kisses and hugs daddy and heads upstairs with me for cuddle time under a blanket in her rocking chair. We rock and read two books of her choice. She snuggles into bed and I sing her “Baby Mine”. It is done every night and it has created a wonderful peace to our evenings. We get quiet time together and I get a quiet house once she’s tucked in. We’ve been doing this routine pretty much since she was an infant and I can’t imagine what our nights would be like without it.

  53. Shelly says:

    It’s all about Storytime for my boys. We pick our books and snuggle in for the wonder and magic. My 3 y.o. loves the Polar Express, all year long. lol. Then we talk about our favorite things of the day and I tuck them in.

    After bedtime, it’s usually silence that surrounds me in my house. Because after a day of wild boys, silence is beautiful.

  54. Jennifer says:

    Friday nights are our “peaceful” night, we do family movie night and watch a kid movie on the big tv.

  55. Laura says:

    Not having children of my own, my bedtime involves my two four-legged children. Around 9:00 p.m., Eddie, our 14 year old Carin Terrier starts to look at me like he knows what time it is…He and I start to tip-toe down the hall to bed. My husband pretends not to notice this. I hoist 18 pound Eddie up into the bed and he gets nestled down - close enough to touch me but far enough away to claim his man-hood. Just as we get settled, Emma, our 5 year old shih-tzu is in on the plan. She clomps down the hall (not your typical fuffy, graceful Shih-Tzu) and I heave her up with us. She wants total attention and gets it for a few minutes. I may read, I may watch TV or I may snuggle down with them. Whatever I do, right now, at this point in life, there is not greater love. They are my babies. If my husband sucks it up to join us - my heart feels complete. A restful hour is ahead…until its time for them to go to their beds…I love when Eddie growls at Chad when that hour is over…I cherish the day we have kids in these same positions.

  56. Valerie says:

    I’ve got 5 kids and I know the day is coming when they will begin to leave home; so I am trying to enjoy all of the time that we have together under one roof. We have the noisy dinners with several conversations going on over and around other family members. I try to listen to all of the conversations and comment here and there, but mostly I just enjoy the lively (read: LOUD) talk of having all of my kids sitting in one place at one time. I stress my openness to talk about ANYTHING with my kids. And I will have those stolen moments of quietness with just one kid talking with me…in the car, in my room, in their room. Those times, the noisy ones and the quiet ones, warm my heart and make me glad that I am a mom to my 5 kids.

  57. Nikki says:

    We ‘try’ to stick to a somewhat regular routine in order to keep peace at bedtime. Kids take baths/showers, brush teeth and get books to be read. Occasionally, someone will get a little wild, but for the most part, we settle in and read and talk about everyone’s day.

    Thanks for a great giveaway!

  58. Anne says:

    One way we create peace in my loud,loud house is to pull out a board game. We especially like Ticket to Ride, because everyone from the 15 year old on down can play.
    We also like to get everyone in PJ’s early. It helps to set the mood. And read alouds…I love to read aloud to my kids, and sometimes with all the homework, it just gets pushed to the side.
    On the other hand, sometimes we send everyone to bed earlier…and the next night is much more peaceful.

  59. Maureen says:

    We all snuggle in bed and read chapter books (smaller kids) or series books (older children). I love bedtime at house house for many unselfish and selfish reasons!

  60. Amy says:

    This is a wonderful offer! For our goodnight rituals, we go upstairs after dinner and the boys start pulling books off their shelves for night time reading. Then, they take a bath and play until the water is cold and they have goosebumps. After that they dry off, brush teeth, and get their feetie pjs on. Then it’s into the bedroom where we snuggle together, read and say prayers. Writing this out it seems so calm, but I am not able to properly convey the intermittent screams, shouts, head bangs, and falls that inevitably occur every single night.

  61. Erin says:

    My son will turn three in April and so our bedtime routine is nicely set and definitely brings me a sense of calm as well as him. We start by getting a special “bedtime treat” and then we snuggle on the couch and read books. Then its into bed and we say goodnight and I tuck him in. Sometimes he’s not totally ready for sleep and will play for a few minutes and I love it when he yells out to me, “Mom! I’m ready to be tucked in! I need my blankets!” So sweet.

  62. Laurie says:

    My kids are small, so bedtime revolves around repetition. Pyjamas, book, cuddles & kisses then sleep. It took a long time to get this to work every night, but now I actually look forward to putting them to bed.

  63. dcfullest says:

    We have 4 month old twins, so it is rarely quiet around here. But, we try to spend some time each night reading stories to them. We trade-off holding each baby, so that they each get special momma/daddy time.

  64. Andrea says:

    I love your description of nights at your house. My son is just six months old, but I hope to create much the same things for him when he gets older

  65. Staci says:

    I long for peace at bedtime. I love to rock my baby and read to her then tuck her into her crib and listen to her talk herself to sleep happily. My preschooler and kindergartner go to bed shortly after. We pray, then read, then one of us sings to them. Often that works. But sometimes they stay awake talking. Part of me doesn’t mind, though. They used to get crazy bouncing on the beds in the evenings, but now they just talk to each other. It makes them feel more grown up. I remember talk to my sister late into the night, so I figure it’s a new era for them. I guess I’ll try to find peace in that rather than shushing up the stairs at them so often :).

    And that’s a very cool prize!

  66. Amy M says:

    I get ready for bed early (pjs + bathroom routine), tidy up the living area and bedroom, and sweetly convince my husband that we should read in bed instead of watching TV. Those are the most peaceful evenings.

  67. Keri says:

    In the evenings, my family and I read stories together. My kids are young so talking about our day usually takes place at the dinner table. We almost never miss a story. I hope my kids grow up remembering that because I don’t remember my parents reading to me as a child.

  68. Heidi says:

    Our kitchen table is covered with butcher paper and we have crayons out for doodling. One of our most peacful times in the evening is the 1/2 hour or so after dinner when we all sit and color, write eachother messages and talk aobut our days. Somehow, having a crayon in their hands makes our boys talk more.
    Heidi
    (Spencer, almost 6, Campbell, 3, Bennett, 8 months)

  69. Meghan Larson says:

    We are still working out creating a peaceful evening routine. We have recently had so many variables in our evenings. Currently, if we get get everyone accounted for, fed, clean and in bed by 8:30 it is a great night. The peaceful comes after the 16 month old stops being pissed we trapped her in her crib. We can then put together everything for the next day. My hope is that once the little one gets past the “let me do it” stage we will find a little more peace and be able to do more as a family in the evenings. Fingers crossed. Great giveaway! Thanks for the opportunity!

  70. Karen says:

    We create peace in the evening by turning off the TV, sticking the wild monkey child in a warm bath, following it up with a light massage with some lavender-scented lotion and then reading aloud. Of course, the peace only lasts for about 30 seconds, but it’s good while it lasts…

  71. Rebecca says:

    We always stick with the same routine in our house. This seems to (sometimes) help. We always do baths, then get the kids in their pajamas, read them a story, brush teeth and say goodnight. I LOVE it when this actually works and all four of my wonderful children go to bed. Sadly a lot of nights this doesn’t happen and I don t’ get any peace and quiet.

  72. Tara says:

    Well, starting about an hour before bedtime, we turn the lights down low. My son cuddles with me while we watch a short movie, then we read a few story books, and then I nurse him to sleep. He’s almost 2 years old, so I’m trying to appreciate this brief time when he’ll cuddle with me and sit in my lap.

  73. ramblin red says:

    Peace these days is a rare commodity as we have an infant plus the schoolagers…but lately I have been nursing the wee one to sleep while the older two bathe/shower (thank God for multiple bathrooms!) and then nabbing some quiet time with them on their beds for awhile. We pray, read, and just talk then.

  74. Brandi says:

    My kids just turned 2 and already I miss the days where we would all fall asleep cudding in the rocking chair. At least we still have story time. And in some ways it is better - they light up when I tell them it is time for stories. We read snuggled up in a big bean bag chair hidden in an alove under giant topical green fronds from the light of oversized bed bug lights. They share my love of reading. They can never get enough.

  75. Tanya S. says:

    Since I don’t have any kids (just two crazy dogs), a peaceful bedtime is easier for me than it is for others. Our routine is to snuggle in bed with our two little dogs and watch MST3K movies. We’re so familiar with them that it’s ok to watch just 20 minutes and then turn it off to go to bed. Plus it leaves us laughing as we fall asleep. It’s a good way to end the day.

  76. Kathi says:

    I have a teen and a “tween.” We make bedtimes peaceful by not allowing TV during the school week, so that we have time for a family dinner, homework time and some unwinding and conversation before bed.

  77. Deb says:

    When my daughters were age 1 and 3, I started a little nighttime routine called “Mommy Birdie and Baby Birdie.” It’s simple: I am the mommy birdie and they are the baby birdies. They snuggle under the covers and pretend to be “in the egg.” I snuggle next to them, and muse about how much I’m looking forward to being a mommy bird, how wonderful it will be when the egg finally hatches. They emerge happily and I stroke their lovely feathers and welcome them to the world. And then I cuddle them under my soft, warm wing and kiss them good night.

    By the way, the baby birdies say “peep” and the mommy birdie says “chirp.” Even when we’re out and about, I might whisper “chirp” in their ear as a way of saying “I love you.” I usually get a loving “peep” in response — well, except when the baby birdie is feeling a little grumpy. :-)

  78. Casey Wright says:

    As soon as we all get home in our house it’s time to undwind. We try and go for a walk if the weather is nice, make dinner and sit around the table to enjoy family time. Our son is 18 months old and we have committed to making evenings his time. With our busy lives we don’t want him to miss out on his personal time with both his parents. We get down on his level and play and cuddle. We read him tons of books because he LOVES them. He takes a bath and then we all cuddle down in his room to read good night books. Then he is off to bed. Thankfully he is in bed early enough for my husband and I to have some time. We usually turn lights off and either buckle down for a movie or do a bible study together. In our house we try and make our evenings as personal as possible, no computers, hopefully no phones. Just us time.

  79. Kristi says:

    Honestly? Put the kids to bed and make a cup of chai.

  80. jill jones says:

    Hot baths, whether they need them or not…and lots and lots of board games.

  81. caroline campeau says:

    Hi, I have three children under the age of 5…and evenings are pretty hectic around here. Thank god I have a great husband who shares in teh evening routine- he takes the two older boys and gives them a bath…I meanwhile cuddle with teh baby while opening that bottle of wine which has been calling my name all day…drink me…pls…so i then give the baby his bath…we do our bedtime routine, teeth, books, chasing the monsters away and then all tucked, my husband and I sneek downstairs have our bottle of wine and cuddle with baby boy#3, and think remember when we had just 1? and every night was like this?…

    because after all this little evening happen maybe one a week, because a NORMAL evening consists of yelling to make kids eat their food, stop sitting on your brother, don’t spit in the bathtub…yell, yell, yell…I am hoping the yelling will stop once they get older.

    Anyways, my point is, if one night a week you an take time to enjoy little quality time with your spouse, or loved one, where you can hear yourself think, and you can talk to each other without hearing, MOMMY, I am talking to you…you can create a little haven, and get on with another week, of this crazy wonderful life with kids.

    (I love your Blog, by the way), when I am having a bad day- i tune in and you make me realize I could have a much bigger headache, with a lot more kids!!)

    Thanks

  82. Caitlin says:

    I live in a dorm. It’s loud and the fluorescent lights are bright. At night, my roommate usually goes to sleep before I do. We turn off the overhead and leave my nightstand light on, the soft glow filling the room. Sometimes I’ll sit on my suitemates’ floor, telling stories or going online, usually laughing so hard I have to leave before I pee my pants. I never liked the idea of college. I’m not a party girl. I’m not very outgoing. But every time I go to bed, drunk on my and my friends’ laughter, I sleep better than I ever have before.

  83. Amy C says:

    I try to make bedtime fun so they go to bed with a smile on their face. I also like to think that their last thought of me before they go to sleep is a happy one and not one of me yelling, it helps to keep the screaming to a minimum.

  84. Brenna says:

    We create peace in the evenings by trying to get all the necessary things (homework, dinner, showers/baths, teeth brushings and the like) out of the way as early as we can. Then we like to play a game if we have time, or read a book together if we don’t.

  85. Susan says:

    I create peace in the evening by intentionally taking my time and being present in the moment. Whenever I allow myself to get distracted/check email/answer the phone I can tell my daughter gets stressed and the routine doesn’t run so smoothly.

    Thanks for the great giveaway! This is such a fantastic package :)

  86. caroline campeau says:

    i should really take the time to do a spell check…

  87. Shannon says:

    Our family(read:I) used to be CRAZY about bedtime happening at a predetermined time NO MATTER WHAT(!). As the kids got older and had more obligations, it became harder to keep to that without a shrieking harpy stealing the last of their day. After a moment of clarity I abolished a set bedtime. Now, regardless of what time we get home, we all(5) pile on the couch and have a moment. We all tell one good and one not so good thing that happened that day. We have become slower in the evening. We don’t rush to brush teeth and get ready for bed. It just happens now because there is no need to fight for 5 more minutes.
    I can’t remember the last conversation I had with my brother. There is no conflict, we just don’t talk. My children are becoming closer from sharing together. I like that. I cherish evenings now instead of dread them.

  88. Kristin Wear says:

    We have a routine of all of us getting our PJ’s on (2 adults 1 child) brushing our teeth and reading books in bed. Its quiet, its calm and even if we (the adults) arent ready for sleep, we just get up after Lily is konked out.

  89. amy says:

    Great giveaway Chris- count me in!

  90. Tina says:

    Keeping the tv off helps us keep a calm home in the evenings.

  91. Sarah says:

    My favorite time is when the jammies are on, I’ve double-checked that the doors are locked, and then I go read in bed, with a kitty snuggled against me under the blankets. The quiet and low lighting just makes everything calm and ready to end.

  92. Azul says:

    The easiest way I’ve found to create peace in the evenings is to turn off all of our electronics and overhead lighting, use lamps throughout the house, and play some relaxing music for the last hour or so before bedtime.

  93. elsimom says:

    We allow our children to head to bed with books of their own. Then we make the rounds - each child has a slightly different bedtime need. One needs just a soft rub on the back, and a wish for pleasant dreams - she likes to sleep, and when she’s ready, does not want a lot of fuss and distraction - she’s sleepy! One needs last minute hugs and kisses and water, of which she will take a sip or two and then announce “Pour sink!” The last, my boy, needs triple kisses and triple hugs, and do I know any new songs (and then I rack my brain for something from a musical or church that I haven’t sung before, to which I know the actual lyrics). The lights are dimmed, but not turned off, and one by one they are each asleep.

  94. Carly says:

    My home is just me, but I still need to create peace at night. I turn off the tv, put away the laptop, grab a book or a magazine, and run a hot bath. I light a couple candles around the edge of the tub, and sometimes I grab a girl scout cookie (or three) and pour myself a glass of mead in a fancy schmancy wine glass. It all helps me wind down and decompress.

  95. Fiona says:

    I’ll bite. ;)

    When I’m home during the winters, especially on weekends because it’s our ‘cooloff’ period, we have our own little family time.

    We stoke up the fireplace, grab some blankets, and read or all watch a movie together. Usually with tea and cookies, because they are amazing.

    I love nights in this house. ;)

  96. Kristen says:

    After dinner, my husband and I take turns with “storytime”. We take turns reading a chapter each night to our 6 and 4 year old. We just finished “Mary Poppins” and have moved on to “Little House On A Prairie.” Have you read this as an adult? Instead of siding with Laura, you are in awe of how Ma can have a log dropped on her leg and STILL go make the family dinner. On a prairie. Yikes.

    Anyhoo- then it’s bedtime, and we lay with our children and talk bout our favorite parts of the day. It goes without saying that those moments shape the best part of mine.

  97. Mari says:

    Beautifully said Chris. My boys at 7 and 4 so we still snuggle in my bed and read before bedtime. It’s my favorite time of the day!

  98. Minor says:

    wine….lots of it. Actually a walk after dinner is always a great way for everybody to distress and connect with each other

  99. Minor says:

    that would be de-stress, not distress—dang iPhone

  100. emily says:

    We are still in the bedtime years. We put them to bed and the house gets quite. I find that if I lie down with them for a few minutes at bedtime…..sweetness sometimes follows. Sometimes.

  101. Deanna says:

    I send the grandkids home, and instantly, we have a quiet evening!!

  102. lex lee says:

    I think we can all agree that peaceful moments are rare when you have little children. One of the things that helps in our home, believe it or not, is not owning a television. In place of it, our kids do a lot of reading. Even the little ones, who can’t actually read, flip through picture books throughout the day. When things get crazy, I tell everyone to go to the couch for quiet reading time. The astounding part is that they actually listen. I could be wrong but I credit the absence of t.v. for that.

  103. Karate Mom says:

    We DO tend to watch TV in the evenings, mainly because my husband is just ready to veg out after dinner, so things COULD be quieter around here. Just yesterday, though, I talked with my daughter about playing games in the evening, so hopefully we’ll start doing that at least a couple of times a week.

    As for MAKING things quiet, we have our ritual of reading stories, saying prayers, and singing a song with The Kids that’s still going strong, even though our daughter is 10 and our son is almost 7. My husband and I switch off which kid we read to each night. The best conversations always happen after the lights go out.
    I was just thinking the other day how I wouldn’t mind if this ritual kept on until they leave home.

  104. Robyn Odegaard says:

    For a peaceful evening, there is no TV. If the weather is nice, we sit on the front porch, stare at the mountains, and read something aloud that everyone will enjoy such as Dr. Doolittle or a Beverly Cleary book. If the weather is bad, we turn on the fire, pile in front of it with minty tea, and read the same kind of book, or play a board game, or work on some kind of project the kids dream up. We catch up with each other and just enjoy being together!

  105. Amanda Pushkas says:

    The first step in creating peace in the evening for us is an early dinner. This is hard if my husband works late, but I have found it’s the most important thing I can do to ensure that our evening goes smoothly. There is a small window there for my almost 4 year old–and if we miss it the whole thing is off kilter. Aside from eating early, we also dim the lights throughout the house, have a story time with dad while mom cleans the kitchen, a nice warm bath, some warm milk, and more stories and songs. This is more of a bedtime routine, but my kiddo is so small that our evening routine/bed time routine are one and the same.

  106. Elizabeth M says:

    We have an almost 18 month old at home and have a pretty set bedtime routine, which starts with 1)Getting the Wiggles Out: A fierce wrestling match, where he ends up sitting on my face a lot, followed by a dance party courtesy of i-Tunes. We listen to some kids music, some Avett Brothers, etc. which is followed by 2)Getting Ready for Bed: Bath, teeth, milk and finally 3)Wind Down Time: songs, rocking, books. Then we put his Little Elmo to bed on the book shelf, he turns off the light, we have a GramWhich (hugs!) and bed time….Rev it up, and bring it down. Ha!

  107. Amanda Little says:

    Peace in the evening, not really sure when that happens. Things do get quiter when the little goes to sleep, but the almost 5 year old likes to stay up late (againist my wishes), so there is never any peace until I go to sleep. I guess my peace comes in the middle of the night.

  108. Jessica says:

    With three children and one on the way, we have a set routine that everyone enjoys. We eat dinner, change into jammies, and then everyone snuggles in for a little Icarly marathon. Afterward, it is teeth, book reading, and bed. They know it like clockwork, and it helps a lot since my husband is gone a ton. (Military)

  109. Molly says:

    Peace in the evening is accomplished in this house thanks to a daddy who loves to read. He has three differnet books he is working through with our three oldest. They read for an hour every night before bed. :) Which leaves this mama upstairs, tucking the two-yr-old in and enjoying the quiet. :)

  110. lowermainlandmom says:

    Bedtime has always been a special time for my kids and me. I give them a 2 minute countdown to get in their PJ’s and brush their teeth. That may not seem peaceful, and it’s not…lol. The peace comes after. The kids grab their pillows and blankets and we rotate who’s room we go to. We cuddle up in the chosen bed (yes, my 13 and 10 year olds still cuddle!), and watch a favourite DVD or read a book. In the past couple of years, they have stopped fighting over what we watch or read. I found out (by secretly picking my own favourite books), that they don’t care what we read or watch. It’s the cuddling they look forward to. It’s so relaxing, that I often fall asleep mid-sentence. The kids have to wake me up to tuck them in :).

  111. Lenette Sparacino says:

    We have had the same bedtime routine since my kiddos were babies. First, we put on pjs, then we go to the couch where daddy reads about 5 stories (i only read one or two, I don’t have the patience!lol), then we go to the kitchen to have our nightly cereal, next we brush our teeth and then they hop in bed and we say prayers. Now, there have been a few nights we have to redirect them back to bed…ok, LOTS of nights!
    So, after bedtime, with the wi-fi on, I take my iPod Touch to my room and play Doodle Jump, check email, facebook, twitter, play yahtzee, etc you get the point! It is nice and peaceful and I get some time to be myself!

  112. Sarah says:

    My kids are still little, so we (usually) have the quiet, lights down, clean child scenerio…We read stories and cuddle..I know our days are numbered to do this! By the way, I love your blog–I was introduced to it by a friend who met you at Blogher and can’t miss a post now!

  113. Rebecca says:

    Four kids under 6 years- peace and quiet is non-existent during the day. At night we slow down, read several books together, tuck in bed, and sing songs. When I leave the room, it may not be quiet still as I hear them giggling in the dark, but I feel peaceful ending a crazy day with them safe in bed, knowing at least I got the end of the day right.

  114. Petey says:

    At night, we all cuddle on my bed - all 5 of us - and talk and laugh. It’s the time we get to be most ourselves. Dinner has been eaten and cleaned up, homework is done and we are just entertained by our 7 year old, our 5 year old and our 9 month old.

  115. Another Chris says:

    After the stories, songs and kisses, I leave the 3 kids in their beds and go downstairs to sit. Just sit in the darkened, peaceful QUIET house. Maybe just for 15 minutes before I turn on the tv or get my book or do the dishes. But still, it is the quietest, most peaceful time of my day.

  116. Sharon says:

    After dinner and homework, my boys, 8 and 5, get their showers and get into their pajamas. They usually have a choice between a board game, reading or some other quiet activity. No running around playing with nerf guns or video games. They sometimes protest, but I know they like the calm. On Fridays, we’ll watch a movie. It winds everyone down for the night and bedtime goes more smoothly.

  117. keira says:

    oohhh.. nice giveaway!
    peace in my house? when the kids are in bed and i’m curled on the couch with irish coffee and my laptop.
    what?!

  118. Melissa says:

    My daughter is 16-months-old, so we are in the routine stage of bedtime. Most nights include bath, Goodnight Moon, and cuddles. It’s still amazing to me how a routine can induce sleep. Up to bathtime, our nighttime is not very peaceful. After dinner is daddy playing time, and usually includes running, wrestling, and lots of giggles. I guess the routine of it all is peaceful to our daughter, and probably all the togetherness. Nothing like love to create a feeling of peace!

  119. shokufeh says:

    Nightly peace is created for us by all of us saying bedtime prayers together and then one of us parents (we alternate nights) reading a book aloud to our son. It maintains a routine, while also giving one of us time alone each evening while the other, inevitably, falls asleep before our son.

  120. Elizabeth says:

    We have found Lavendar-scented Epsom Salts! Baths become so peaceful, and all my little sports players feel relaxed and comfy after a little soak.

  121. Brenna says:

    Sitting around the dinner table. They’re still young enough that we’re not crazy busy with sports and dinner is a sacred time to connect.

  122. Rachelle says:

    The three “B’s” (bath, blankie and books) always get our house nice and calm and ready for bed :)

  123. jean says:

    Since my son is older, he gets to stay up till 10pm. The last hour, he’ll come in and lay on my bed and just relax while I work on the computer. It’s nice for the both of us and I know that soon enough he’ll be off to college.

  124. Theresa says:

    We read a book together and pray together every night before goodnight hugs and kisses.

  125. Heather says:

    peace at night, at home? wow, what a fabulous concept. I try to find a balance and harmony, but have not quite grasped that achievment yet. still trying in california!

  126. Elonda says:

    We have the no TV during the week rule at our house and my kids have to read before they go to bed.

  127. andrea says:

    Duct tape works well for keeping the peace. (I kid… a little!) We don’t watch TV during the week either, with the exception of the Olympics! Something my kids don’t seem to mind at all.

  128. Emma says:

    Ahhh…peace in my home in the evening. Yes, please! I generally rely on baths, music, and quite often, a little bedtime snack. Looking forward to reading about Iggy!

  129. Robin Johnson says:

    We give all three kids baths get pjs on and sit on our bed, my duaghter will read a book to all of us (part of her homework…1st grade) then each night one of them gets to pick a book and my husband or I will read to them before we tuck everyone into their beds. Our chidlren are 7, 4, and 7 months. They seem to grow up so fast and I realize just like you that our days of cuddling and just getting to hang out with them are numbered. Tryign to make the most of it while they are young.

  130. Amy says:

    we create peace by giving each kid a few extra minutes to say whatever they want about today, tomorrow, or yesterday. Sometimes that gives them enough of the “just one more thing” they need before bed. A nice glass of merlot helps (for me, not them).

  131. CJ says:

    How do I make night time peaceful with a house full of kids? Tylenol cold and sinus. Just kidding, we reserve the medicine for road trips. My kids listen to their books on CD while they draw pictures of the adventures. After thirty minutes or so, they are ready for sleep.

    CJ and Ash
    Florida

  132. mamabird says:

    A bath every night. Gives both me and my daughter time to calm down before putting her to sleep. This way I’m not desperate for her to go to sleep quickly because I’ve already sat and watched her play which reminds me just how great it is to have her in my life.

  133. Perfectly Disgraceful says:

    I read to both my girls every night. Not together, as they are seven years apart, but I get in bed with each one and read a chapter or so of the book we’ve been reading. We cuddle and chat a little. Sometimes we say prayers. It really is my favorite part of the day.

  134. natalie says:

    I would love to win!
    At our house we have a soothing bedtime routine for our daughter, Mary Margaret, almost 14 months. We eat dinner, play, have a bath, and spend time cuddling on the bed before we take her to her room. It’s hands-down my favorite part of the day and is so peaceful.

  135. Lara says:

    Bedtime has always been ritualistic for us. I started when they were small with a routine of bath, nurse, book and bed to help them transition. Right around the time they were 1 year old I started going through the list of people in their lives who love them which they still do more than a year later. We have also added in our own version of “Goodnight Moon” where we say goodnight to the moon and stars, their stuffed animals and “taggies”, then we end with goodnight to each other and kisses. I miss the nights that I have a caregiver putting them to bed. It is really nice at the of a toddler tense day to remember the “I love yous” and the tenderness that goes with this parenting gig.

  136. Rachel says:

    Peace at night? I guess that the biggest help for us is eating dinner early! If all goes well homework and chores are completed before dinner and that gives us the evening to run kids to dance, volleyball, flute lessons, Destination Imagination etc. . . without trying to squeeze in the MANDATORY things like HOMEWORK and nourishment! If, by chance, there are no activities planned for the night, then we have set ourselves up for an enjoyable evening.

  137. Kate says:

    Footbaths! It’s a simple nightly ritual. Inexpensive tubs from the dollar store, a couple drops of soothing aromatherapy, warm water, a golf ball, that’s it! We sit in the family room, with our feet in(our own tub of)water, rolling the golf ball around under our soles. No TV. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we read. Twenty minutes later everyone goes to bed relaxed with clean feet and the room smells great!

  138. Melissa says:

    We try to stick with the same bath, brush, & story routine because if we do not we sorely regret it the next morning. I’m not sure why the routine is so important, but I have finally learned to REALLY consider if I’m willing to mess with it!

  139. diana mcdonough says:

    I have a three kids, 13,9 and 5. The older only snuggles and talks to me once the younger two are in bed. Just like when he was little we read stories, talk about the day and what the next day will bring. Just last night my 5yr old said that this was the best part of her day!! Then she sang herself to sleep. Night Night don’t let the bed bugs bite!!!
    Diana

  140. Julie says:

    What a lovely give-away!! Our kid are 4, 3, and -6 months (due in August) so bedtimes are still that early treat for us: tucking them in between 6:45 and 7:00 most nights and then relaxing together with lights low and the occasional bowl of ice cream for a few hours. It’s not just the kids that find the reduced noise/light/chaos conducive to conversation, reconciliation, and renewal. :)

  141. Roberta Boe says:

    Our boys are very different from each other and that also reflects on bedtime. It does not matter much if both had been snoozing for the last couple of hours while we watch some tv, our oldest will never want to go to his bed (mostly our fault since we allowed him in our bed for a couple of years). He has to be pushed into it, and will not close his eyes until the lights are off. The youngest is a whole different story, if we stay up too long he will ask to go to bed! Some nights when I turn of my light my husband will say: Goodnight, you princes of Connecticut …you kings of New England.

    There will be peace and quiet until 5:45 AM and they are ready to get out of their crates!

  142. Andrea Pauly says:

    I have a 2 year old and creating peace in my house at night is a MUST. Each night we snuggle together on the couch reading books that my son chooses. The TV is turned off during this time. It’s nice to hear my own voice. After snuggling, and usually giggling, through several stories my son and I walk upstairs and settle into his bed to read a couple more favorites. We turn on his bedtime CD and snuggle some more. I so look forward to spending this relaxing time with him each night. He is little now and LOVES to snuggle but I know it won’t last forever. I’m going to relish it while I can.

  143. Jen V says:

    I have 3 and 6 year old little girls (and soon to have another anyway now). I love the calmness that comes with the evening. The girls take their baths and then put their jammies on in the older one’s room. Once they’re both clothed and their hair is brushed, we head into the Master bedroom and all curl up under the covers to read books. Once we’ve read 2 books that each of the girls has picked out, we lay there and chat about whatever comes to mind. They always have the cutest things to say and they’re so attentive at that time. It’s like they know that if they get hyper that cuddle time will be over. Some nights I feel like just laying there and talking with them forever.

  144. Felicia says:

    Bed time is my favorite time of the day, not because my child goes to sleep but that is the time after we have taken a bath, had a snack and brushed our teeth. We cuddle in bed and I get to hear what her day was like, her imagination is powerful and her creativity never ending. I treasure these evenings.

  145. Charlise says:

    I would love to win the bag…

  146. Karen says:

    At bedtime the kids, all four of them, pick out a book and either my husband or I will read the books that the children have picked out. Then it is our night time prayers and bed!!

  147. nancy says:

    I have a 5 month old, and now that we are past the colic weeks (yes, fortunately just “weeks”) evenings are fairly peaceful. Most nights my husband and I take turns eating dinner while the other cuddles/reads to/bathes our son, then one more feeding, and off to bed. I enjoy the peaceful evenings, but am looking forward to introducing more chaos into the mix with more children!

  148. Martha says:

    After dinner, on cold nights, we light the woodstove and play a board game.

  149. Sarah says:

    Routine! Routine! Routine!

    It begins at 5 with a glass of wine and some quiet music that surrounds me as I cook dinner (the hour that is hardest was we wait for daddy to arrive home). And after dinner the boys need a little time with their daddy and then we begin our bedtime routine. Bath time, story time, bedtime with our own little quirky moments in between.

  150. Sarah says:

    I have 4 kids under six. Bedtimes are staggered which is nice. 10 month old to be at 7 with lots of cuddles. 2.5 year old to bed with a few stories in his bed. My 5 and 6 year old play quiet games with one another, then we read as a group. I love bedtime at my house!

  151. Chris says:

    We have three boys, ages 7, 5 and 3. The “peace” that we have in our house is not part of “peace and quiet”. The boys use the time between dinner and bedtime to enjoy each other and to get all the energy out that has built up all day at school. It is a loud time, with laughing and yelling. But at the start of bedtime, we all fall into the routine we started 7 years ago–bath, jammies, brush teeth, story, prayers and to bed. Years of routine make even the craziest evening a prelude to peaceful sleep.

  152. wookie says:

    Our bedtime routine usually focuses on the reading… with one strong reader, one emerging reader and one toddler, it takes a long time to read through 3 different books but it is our thing.

  153. Andrea in N. Cali says:

    My favorite part of the evening is being snuggled on both sides by my boys, reading through bedtime stories. Our favorites right now are anything Skippy John Jones, so funny.

    Thanks!

  154. Stacey says:

    Bedtime became so easy in our house once I realized that *having* a bedtime was key. And no, the kids aren’t both asleep when the clock strikes 8, but they’re usually in bed - one asking for Mommy to “run in and say goodnight”, which involves me sneaking into the room, pretending that I think my almost-6-year-old is asleep and then taking a wild turn to go snuggle her…and the other asking me to come back for “goodnight hug and kiss”, which really means he wants a hug and kiss but would like to detain me by having me recite the detailed schedule for the week to come. And sometimes, on really fun nights, there are baseball cards to open and exclaim over. But once those duties are done, the quiet family room with just Daddy and me…that’s the real reward!

  155. Abbey says:

    We could use a little more peace at bedtime. I have been trying to start bedtime prep earlier so we have time to relax together before I am completely out of energy. I don’t usually enter giveaways but this is a really great giveaway. I want it!

  156. skerrib says:

    In the wintertime, a warm bath for the kiddos. In the summertime, a walk around the block, followed by a warm bath for the kiddos. Then books & prayers, followed by Snow Patrol for going-to-bed music.

  157. Sheryl says:

    We read bible stories together.

  158. Marketing Mommy says:

    We follow the same routine each night. I read 3-4 books to my 2 year old, taking a break before the final book for a final visit to the potty. Then I sing her a few songs and put her to bed. I then move to my 5 year old’s room, where I read a chapter or two of a book, tell her a ‘made-up’ story with the lights-out and give her a massage.

    I’ve also given up on my children ever wearing pajamas. They go to sleep in their underwear or the clothes they want to wear the next day.

  159. Carolyn says:

    Our favorite thing to do in the evenings is read. I’ve always loved reading and am thrilled my three girls ages 6, 6 and 4 are following in my footsteps. We get in our pj’s, snuggle up and read a good book.

  160. Suzanne says:

    A cup of Hot Tea and a warm body to snuggle is my kind of peace.

  161. Tricia says:

    peace in our home in the evening? Is that even possible?;) (We have 6 kids ranging from 11 years to 9 months)

  162. Staci says:

    After dinner we do homework and then take baths and read a book of their choice. The older 2 boys I try to make special time with them at least 15 mins a night to just talk about our days. I love listening to the stories they have to share about things that have happened throughout their day at school.

  163. Lisa says:

    We turn the tv off at night and for 2 hours we read books, play puzzles or draw. Something low key and calm.
    Lisa :)

  164. Tonya says:

    My husband has this whole “script” that he does with my youngest while he gives her a hug and a kiss. He says who do you love and they go through all the people and things important from the day, as well as random things. It’s very sweet.

  165. Sherry says:

    My ten year old son insists on reading to me every night. I love the time I get to spend with him that way.

  166. Angel says:

    Well by the time dinner is done and cleaned up it’s about 45 min to a hour until my son’s bed time. Depending on the night he gets a bath and then a story. (he only gets a bath 3 times a week right now, it’s winter and he has dry skin to begin with) We put toys away and read a story. then the night time diaper and brushing his teeth. He then gets to go tell dad night night (DH is usually working in the home office). Then all of us head upstairs to put lil man to bed. He is pretty good about going to bed. Sleeps from 8pm til 6:00am or later depending on the day. After he’s down it’s my time to finish up any chores around the house and get my time in on the elliptcal.

  167. Heather says:

    We always, always read aloud before bed. Snuggling together and focusing on just the sound of the words the is so peaceful after the activity and chaos of the day.

  168. priscilla says:

    We eat dinner at the table and talk about our days. Then after baths we usually play the wii or draw and color with the kids.

  169. Jamie says:

    As a 30-year old who has moved into her parents’ home to save money for a career change, I’ll be honest: WINE. Quick, cheap, efficient.

  170. kimberly/tippytoes says:

    Tonight is my knitting night, so it will be peaceful for me. From now on I’m using the candle/low lighting idea. It’s a great one!

  171. Deb says:

    Gosh, I miss those moments. Bedtimes were so special!

  172. emily says:

    my beloved and i curl up, in a massive duvet and talk about our days - listing three things that were good, to remind ourselves not to keep complaining about work and things

  173. Sandi says:

    Peace? That happens AFTER they are in bed!

  174. Liz says:

    We rely on structure for peace - and lots of teamwork b/w my husband and me! Dinner, bath, jammies, and bed. Then I usually sing a few songs and that’s it! Then some TV and wind-down time for mommy and daddy!

  175. Linda says:

    It’s mostly about turning off all the noise. And then making some of our own. We have a new baby and an 8 year old. We all cuddle together and read a book or sing songs or try to make the baby smile.

  176. Sarah says:

    On the nights that I am lucky enough to rock my baby niece to sleep, I tell her about all of the people who love her.

  177. Heidi says:

    We have our two boys get ready for bed immediately after dinner, and that’s actually cut down on the evening craziness we used to have, as well as the feet-dragging about getting ready for bed. We read stories together and then snuggle a bit before sleep — very peaceful (most of the time).

  178. sonja says:

    after baseball practice, dinner, homework, and bath, we read either to them or they read to each other and then off to bed…the fewer together the better…

  179. Annemarie says:

    Most evenings it is more just sitting and relaxing with my 20 month old and husband and spending time together. The little guy goes to bed and mom usually passes out on the couch.

  180. JoAnne says:

    My daughter is only 1, so peace comes after she is in bed and I am able to take a hot bath, read a book and relax!

  181. Sam says:

    Count me in pls!

  182. Toria says:

    She’s four and a half and the bedtime ritual is evolving as she explores the endless possibilities of ways to stall going to bed. At the moment, the core of bedtime is: turn off the TV and sit together for a little while, talking about everything that happened today and will happen tomorrow. Then bathroom, then getting dressed for bed, then kisses, then either my husband or I sets her into bed and say the Litany of Bed. This has grown over the years, but must be said in its entirety for Sleep to happen. The goodnights are a part of it, but the core of the exchange is her telling us that she is good and sweet and smart and funny and nice and (and this is the really important one) that in the morning she gets to watch cartoons.

  183. Alyssa Jones says:

    My baby is two months old so she is not really big on the whole sleeping thing but its nice to send my husband to bed, turn down the lights, curl up on the couch with my daughter and tell her about how wonderful her life will be.

  184. Le says:

    I knit and enjoy a cup of tea.

  185. Sadie says:

    After the kids are in bed… I have a margarita. Well, occasionally, but that’s the best kind of peace. Snuggling on the couch with my hubby and letting all the stress melt away.

  186. Sara says:

    My son is 13-months and so he is full of the squirms and wiggles! I turn the TV to some cartoons to minimize the wrestling needed to get pj’s on. Then we cuddle in my bed and nurse. Then we always wave goodnight to the kitties and send a goodnight wish to Daddy (who is usually still at work). I lay him in his crib and he smiles at me before flipping over on his tummy. I am a lucky mom that he is so willing to go to bed without a fuss!

  187. Heidi says:

    We have 5 kids with the youngest 2 being 3 months and 17 months so our house is always kind of chaotic. My favorite thing is when we have reading time at night and I look over and the older ones are reading to the younger ones. The babies curled up on my daughters laps enjoying their siblings. I clean up from dinner while they do this and then we can have family story time. I love that my children appreciate one another and like to be with each other. That is definitely a moment of peace in our house!

  188. Mary says:

    My husband and I try to spend at least 15 minutes or more reading in bed before we go to sleep. It helps us chill out before we crash and gives us an opportunity to catch up with each other.

  189. Beth says:

    My oldest two (9 & 11 years old) enjoy reading their own books before bed, but since we really want to keep an ongoing conversation going with our kids, my husband and I are each reading to them at night too. My husband reads to my 11 yr old son some book that is good literature (since the 11 yr old would normally prefer Star Wars books–ugh) and I’ve been reading through the “Little House” books with my 9 yr old daughter. My 5 yr old usually picks two short books for one of us to read. He nearly refuses to get into bed unless he’s been read to. Bedtime is, without a doubt, book-reading time!

  190. jennifer says:

    NIght routines are actually my favorites. I don’t know why… Maybe b/c i know in just a tiny bit, I’ll have some peace! We turn everything off in the house and love to read books by flashlight or candlelight. Prayers…tell stories…rub backs…and then you’re OUT! :0)

  191. Ellen says:

    We have three boys ages five, nine, and 12. Their bedtimes are 8:00, 8:30 and 9:00, respectively. With so many extracurricular activities the boys nearly put themselves to bed. Ok, not really. They are wild! The peace quest starts at about 7:30 with the 9-year-old practicing piano. Homework is finished by the 12-year-old, and the little man takes a bath. At 8:00, the 5-year-old crawls into bed while his oldest, and quite talented, oldest brother starts his piano. Middle-boy is in the shower. Both of the “littles” are eventually lulled to sleep by the beautiful piano playing that surprises me every time he sits on the bench. The boys themselves create the night time peace in our home and it is, quite frankly, awesome.

  192. Melanie says:

    My 3-year-old son has autism, so setting him up for calm at night has been essential since he was very small. We do everything by routine, and the predictability is so comforting for him: bath, jammies, inhaler, brush teeth, feed the fish, and stories in his room, before we put his nighttime CD on and lights out. With each step, he grows calmer and quieter. I hope this continues to work for him for a long time!

  193. Cincy says:

    As much as I love it, I turn off the TV and just listen to the quiet. My tween plops down and suddenly has so much to say. Then, after he goes off to bed, my night-owl teen comes in to do a few push-ups and curls and manages to tell me a few things about his life. Then it’s me off to bed alongside my already sleeping husband, secure in the knowledge that I managed to keep it all together for one more day.

  194. Laura says:

    After getting ready for bed…use bathroom, pjs, brush teeth…we do the traditional thing of reading a book. After that I often lay down with my son(4 y.o.)for 5 mins., then hugs and goodnight.

  195. Lesley says:

    Peace at my house is once the little guy (10 months) goes to bed!

  196. Kristin says:

    With a 20-month old, things are rarely quiet, but at night before going up to bed we pull his big bin of books to the center of the family room floor. My husband and I sit on the floor with our son and let him pull his favorites out to read. Sometimes we read to him, sometimes he tries to *read* to us. It’s become one of my favorite things!

  197. Angela Baker says:

    I read your blog entry today, and was reminded of how much I need to stop and smell the roses. I sometimes find myself aching a little too much for those days when my 5 kids under 9 with a 2 and 1 year old thrown in will grow a little faster and be a little more independent so I can just have a little peace already! And then words like these from people like you snap me out of that, and make me a little more appreciative of these days and a little more terrified of those. I do love the set bedtime, and the dark house after 9. My kids each have their own little routines after stories are read and prayers are said. Shailey and Vianne have made a deal with me that if their room is clean, Mommy will lay down with each of them to snuggle and share the events of their day. Darcie loves songs, Ian loves to squirm and laugh and roar at me, Claire loves kisses and squeezes and one more kiss. Then the house is quiet, and as much as I love it, I find myself aching for morning to come so I can start the chaos all over again (most of the time:).

  198. Lindsay says:

    I love to cook! So after I put my son to bed, I turn off all the musical toys, the TV, the radio & whatever else is on in the background & I cook in peace. The chopping, the stirring, the mixing … its all very therapeutic when there is nothing else going on.

  199. leigh says:

    Even though my girls are now 11 and 15, we still have a bedtime routine. I often wonder when they will give it up… but so far it is still expected that I come to their rooms at night, lay on the bed for a few minutes to hear about their day, their friends, their boyfriends… basically their life. Like you, things are said here that would not be shared otherwise.. it is the safe place and comfort zone that is treasured by all of us.

  200. Kim N says:

    I let my kids pile on my bed with me and we read together. If the toddler is already asleep I read a chapter book to my three older kids and if he is still awake they take turns reading a picture book out loud that he will enjoy. It is my favorite time of the night!

  201. marit100 says:

    I try to create peace in the evening by shutting the hell up. Seriously. I stop answering the phone, drink a glass of wine, and I just chill. No in-law calls allowed!

  202. Sue says:

    I have four teenagers, including one who is away at college and I am suddenly very aware that before I know it every evening will be peaceful because we will be empty nesters! So now I just enjoy them when they are here - even moreso when we are all here together which doesn’t happen that often with games and practices and performances and whatnot.

  203. vanessa says:

    I love that post. Around here I enjoy quiet and hot baths!

  204. Jenny says:

    Peace might not be an accurate description, but at shower/bedtime, we try to turn off the electronics so they are less of a distraction, an we can all settle down and reconnect before we recharge for the next day!

  205. Laura says:

    After baths and teeth brushing, my 6 year old (who wears Goodnights every night because he still wets the bed), my 2 year old, my 1 year old and I all huddle together and read 3 books. Then we all snuggle together in my 6 year old’s bottom bunk. Once they fall asleep I escape to go watch TV and have Mom and Dad time.

  206. alice says:

    Peace? Hmmm. Well it’s just me, my almost 5 year old and her 3 year old sister. The 3 year old has suddenly decided that she’s afraid of her bedroom - so peace is convincing her older sister to allow her baby sister to sleep with her. Then, we all cuddle under the covers, read a few books, tell about the 2 best parts of our day and then I tell them a made up story about them as mermaids, fairies, princesses, or whatever the latest obsession may be. Then I leave them to giggle for 30 minutes or so before I turn off all the lights and threaten to put them back into separate beds if they don’t “REALLY GET TO SLEEP!!!!!”

  207. Karli says:

    We cancelled the satellite television and used the money saved to purchase our favorite books which we now read in bed. It’s a great excuse to snuggle in early. Hey, we’re reading!

  208. Bobbi Janay says:

    Ian is just a year old so we just watch his cues, cuddle with him and read a story.

  209. Becky B says:

    I think the only calming part of our bedtime is the routine. Not actually WHAT we do, but that it is the same thing every night. Dinner, homework, brush teeth, jammies, scriptures, and prayers. Then the younger three are off to bed and the older one is allowed to play quietly for another half an hour. On nights that we miss something (or Im too tired and skip a step) everything is just “off” and everyone has a harder time settling in.

  210. Donna says:

    We have two children, 6 & 4 years of age. On school nights the bedtime routine is the same, they have dinner, go upstairs to get in jams, brush teeth, take fluoride (non in our water), and then let me know when they are ready and waiting in my bed for a story.

    In the mean time, I am downstairs cleaning up the dinner mess and getting lunches ready for the next day.

    Once I read them their story, we have huggle time (this is a hug and snuggle combo) and then they both run to their own beds and I follow to tuck them in.

    I have found this routine to work very well and then by Friday, well Fridays are Fun Fridays in our house. The kids pick their own dinner, followed by frappes, a movie and then a sleepover! They can sleep in the others room or the guest room.

    After lights out, I can go downstairs and have a nice quiet dinner with my guy and relax. The kids are in bed by 7PM so we have plenty of peace and quiet to end the day.

  211. jaime says:

    I love reading in bed with my girl.

  212. Jodi F. says:

    My youngest has reached the age where I can just say, “Go to bed” and it happens. Ahhhhh!

  213. jen says:

    I can’t say that there is often peace in our home, yet at this stage of life I’m not sure I would want it any other way. We do enjoy dinner together as much as possible, and before bed we read to all of the kids at once; those times are usually peaceful!

  214. Becka says:

    Our evenings always end with the story “Goodnight, Moon.” After the story is finished we go throughout my daughter’s room and say goodnight to all her favorite toys/friends. Of course, the things we say goodnight to have changed often throughout the past couple of years due to her change of taste and her just growing up!

  215. abby says:

    Nothing is better for us than our full-bellied, clean, sweet-smelling, curly-haired baby after a wild bath. She hits the hay early and the bedtime routine is our favorite part of the day. Lots of lotion and combing the wild curls. As soon as we hand her her little baby and paci she puts her head on our shoulder and we start reading her pile of books. Each time it happens I am in awe by her sweetness. After she is tucked in her crib, my husband and I eat, talk, and have a glass of wine. We talk about our day. Complain, laugh, tease and gush over our little girl. In 4 months this will change, since we will then have a 17 month old and a new born. But I’m sure nightime will still be special, as you have eloquently said it gives you the feeling tomorrow will be a clean slate. Beautiful post.

  216. Libby Ballew says:

    Creating a peaceful nighttime routine has looked like many different things for our family over the last 9 years of parenthood. From one sweet smelling baby that just needed to be fed and rocked to go to bed, to now 3 sweet smelling girls who each have something different that helps them to go off into a night’s slumber. We like to read, sing songs, or just talk…it all depends on our moods, the time (now that 2 are involved in sports and school functions that can keep us out late or criss-crossing each other), or what we each need that day! We try to make it a special time, because like you said some things are just better at night and happen more easily. I miss the easiness of rocking that precious baby to bed each night, but wouldn’t trade these nights either, because I know that they too will be gone in the blink of an eye!

  217. thegirlin3k says:

    I don’t have kids, but I remember bedtime as a pretty special time. After baths, we read books and my parents tucked each of us into bed. Being tucked in was something that my parents made a real effort to do. It didn’t matter how old we were, but they always came to say goodnight, sleep tight.

  218. Kelli says:

    We do a cd called yoga buddies with the kids it helps them sleep so much better and gives us quality time.

  219. Emily says:

    We have two boys, 4.5 years and almost 2, and we do whatever they want to do after dinner and before bedtime (except TV). We’ll play Legos, build forts, etc. Closer to bed time, there is the requisite cleaning up, pjs, brushing teeth, etc., followed by two stories each. Sometimes together, sometimes separately. And you’re right, it is lovely to have them close, hear about what they remember of that day, and say our “thank yous” for the day. It’s sweet and yes, it won’t last… but I enjoy it for now!

  220. Helen says:

    We usually read as many on the Good Dr’s (Seuss that is) works as my throat can handle, then pray and sing songs together. And then…well, then the stalling begins. We are but human.

  221. Debbie H. says:

    All my babies have grown up too. One already away at college, #2 on his way out in the fall, leaving behind just two and even they aren’t little anymore being 13 and 10. At least these younger ones still let us tuck them in, sneak in a tickle or two after prayers and if we’re lucky they’ll even share some thing special from thier day. Those are the times I will miss the most.

  222. Laura R. says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog!
    Our peace in the evening is due to our Dinner, bath and bed routine! We love it! Thrive on it! Even my kids (5 and 2) will ask me “Is it time for Dinner, bath and bed Mommy?”

  223. Tricia says:

    My kids are little, so bedtime is still relatively peaceful. We take a bath, change into jammies (bottle for our 6 month old), read 2-3 books together cuddled on the rocking chair, then tuck them in tight. We all love bedtime :)

  224. Nicole says:

    Sit on the sofa with hubby and give the dog the attention he craves. These days are numbered… baby#1 is on the way!

  225. triple t says:

    Our “peace” is to watch game shows, especially “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” (which clearly I am not) and America’s Funniest Home Videos. On Sunday nights we listen to the country classics on the radio and dance and sing! It doesn’t sound like much quiet time, but trust me, the laughter and our presence with each other is something I treasure.

  226. Trish C says:

    Our evening routine is pretty simple. When Daddy gets home from work, he takes the 3 year old and the 9 month old out with him to bring in the horses, do the evening feeds and put all the animals to bed while I finish up dinner. We all eat dinner, brush our teeth (or tooth in the baby’s case), then I nurse the baby to sleep while Daddy reads books and sings lullabies to the 3 year old. We each sneak downstairs once our respective charges are asleep and try to summon up the energy to get something accomplished.

    Tonight’s after-the-kids-are-asleep plan is to do the dishes and then go tear down a temporary wall out in the barn, assuming the baby monitor is willing to reach that far today. It’s finicky and I haven’t sacrificed a chicken lately.

  227. Emily says:

    We are in the “in-between” stage of bedtime… a 7 year old who still wants to be read to & tucked in bed with her 101 stuffed friends; a 9 year old who still loves a nightly back scratch & tuck-in (and continues to sleep with a discreet stuffed animal or two and his blue blanket) and a 12 year old who is starting to grunt his good-nights, though I still eek out a nightly hug from him. The days are so crazy that I admit I still have the sense of “ahhhh” once they all get in bed, I just no longer have a few hours of quiet with my husband before going to bed myself–I am often following my oldest up the stairs!

  228. patti smith says:

    I have two teenagers and a 5 year old, so many of our nights are like yours. I’m ready to go to bed before the teenagers even get home from all sorts of practices etc. My 5 year old probably goes to bed later than she should but it is very difficult to juggle all the age differences and schedules. My husband’s job is very demanding so there are many nights during the school week that our nighttime routine is up to me alone.
    On Sunday evenings I try to make a dinner schedule for the week taking into consideration all the activities for the week ahead. On a good weekday I’m home by 4 and can get started on supper. I usually have to start taxiing by 5:30…back and forth to town. My oldest teenager can drive but she and her teenage sister only participate in one activity in common. I try to keep supper ready and hot for whoever is going to eat until about 9. My 5 year old is in the bathtub by 8:30 and I start cleaning the kitchen when she gets out and gets ready for bed. I know this is late to clean the kitchen, but there’s no need to clean while there are still people coming in the door. My 5 year old and I try to read books by 9:30…on a really good night (when everyone is home), we push all this as early as possible so that we’ll have time to snuggle etc. 10:00 is lights out and 10:30 is complete shut down time (electronics etc.) I very seldom make it until 10:30.

  229. DeAnn H says:

    My daughter starting Kindergarten this year forced me to wake up and realize that my kids are growing up faster than I’d like them to. I try to stop during the day and appreciate the time I have with them when they’re little but it’s hard to stop the day. However, I DO stop bedtime. After giving the kids a warm bath, our family curls up together on my King size bed and talk about the best part of our day, what we learned, what we could have done better, and what our hopes are for the next day. Then we play the “I Love You” game, where we tell each other 5 things we love and appreciate about each other. Then it’s reading and snuggling time, followed by lights off and more snuggles. Just laying there in the dark, listening to their innocent, deep breaths and knowing they are happy and healthy makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

  230. Christina the same says:

    Bedtime has always been a struggle with our oldest.
    We have to have showers, a snack, brush teeth, then off to bed for two stories…and with any luck she’ll fall asleep for us and stay in her bed for a few hours before crawling in with us.

    For our youngest, we follow the shower, snack, brush teeth, then cuddle up for nursing.

    When they both fall asleep and are asleep at the same time… it is wonderful thing.

  231. Julia A says:

    I make my boys a cup of warm chamomile-infused soy milk with honey- it really helps them wind down after a loud day :) I make one for myself as well, some mornings I wonder if we should start a day with a cup of honey-chamomile-soy milk as well :)

  232. Karen says:

    Our kids are getting older too. While I’ve found bedtime routines are changing, it’s still a special time for talking, telling stories, listening and reading. Bedtime has always been a special time of day and hope it continues to be. Thanks for sharing this with everyone!

  233. Dana says:

    The beginning of the bed time ritual begins for us with bathtime. After bath it is PJ’s, brush teeth, potty one more time and then my favourite part of the day - story time. We used to do this sitting on the couch in the living room, now my daughter and I snuggle together in her bed and pick the stories that she has picked out. I love listening to her thoughts and ideas on the story. Her imagination is amazing!

  234. diane says:

    Two boys both over 6 foot so no longer any snuggling - I do hope for a kiss goodnite now and again.

    Thanks for the sweet memories and the chance.

  235. Lee @ foodie plus 4 says:

    Benadryl. Or reading in bed works for most of our four kids (not the 5 year old).

  236. Stef Murphy says:

    Creating peace? Well, normally we do that by getting them all bathed and in their jammies then spedning time with each of the 4 alone before they go to bed.

    That’s normally - other nights I just have a glass of wine and I’m peaceful. Does that count :)?

  237. Evie says:

    I am 3+ months pregnant, and lately a peaceful night includes crawling into bed without dry heaving! :-) Truly though, my husband and I enjoy just sitting together at the end of the evening and talking about our individual days. I know that in several months that routine will change and we both are looking forward to the future!

  238. Jenny says:

    Currently our bedtime routing involves curling up as a family and reading two or three books. We take the girls to bed and turn on the Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat music because both girls love it. We give them mini-flashlights to read in bed.

  239. Meg says:

    We try to get ready for bed before we’re actually getting into bed—pajamas on, teeth brushed, clothes put away, etc. That way we don’t have to drag our tired selves around doing this stuff when we really just want to crash.

  240. Sara says:

    Though my kids are only 6 months and 2 years old, having a peaceful evening matters a great deal in how well they sleep. We dim the lights, turn off the tv and computers, and read books before bed. Now that my daughter can talk, we also talk about her day - the fun things we did, and what we will do tomorrow.

  241. Kathleen says:

    Having dinner all together is definitely the key to my night!

  242. Lynn says:

    As my children are both now in college, we simply put all 3 pets to bed and enjoy the quiet….

  243. Crissy says:

    My husband and I attempt to create a peaceful night with our two boys, who are 4 years old and the youngest is 21 months, after bathtime. We get them in their pj’s, snuggle with them and read a book. When we get them tucked into bed we say prayers. Our youngest never goes right to sleep, he usually gets up 3 or 4 times before he finally goes to sleep. I am hoping this gets easier when he gets older but for the moment I cherish those moments before bed when we cuddle with them, it’s relaxing.

  244. Val says:

    Our evenings are chaotic, right until just before bedtime. We try to play quietly, before bed, but usually they get wound up anyway. But bath, and books, and bed. Those remain constant. Daddy reads, Mommy sings. Night after night after night. We are quiet, and soft, and, unless a certain 5-year-old decides she doesn’t want to stay in bed, we are calm and peaceful and everyone is happy and sleepy.

    Your post made me tear up, because I know my days are numbered too. Soon my daughter [5] will be too old for hugs and kisses, snuggles and loving. My son is 2 - I hope to hold him off this growing up business just a little longer too.

  245. Barbara says:

    Our house is crazy in the evenings until we tell the kids to go pick out their pjs and get changed — of course it normally takes asking a few times before that happens. Then they brush their teeth (after we’ve reminded them a few times) and finally get into bed. We read a story (sometimes together, but normally separately since one of our kids is 5 and one is 8). Once our son is tucked in he wants his feet rubbed (he thinks that keeps away bad dreams) and a snuggle. Our 8 year old daughter pretends she’s too old to have her feet rubbed, but she likes it too.

    It still take me yelling “quiet, go to sleep!” a few times before it’s peaceful in our house.

    A lovely giveaway, and a fun opportunity to think about what nighttime is really like at home. Maybe not completely peaceful, but I love it anyway.

  246. Erin from Iowa says:

    I am the Grammy of a rambunctious 5 year old boy. When he visits me we have a set bedtime routine. After dinner there is bath time. Shaving cream on the walls to doodle in. An assortment of life-like insects and bugs to splash around with. After wrapping up in a warm towel like a burrito it is pajama time. Then, the best time of all. Time to snuggle with Grammy and read books till we are sleepy. Good times.

  247. Christine says:

    I have an almost-13-year-old, an almost-16-year-old, and a husband who gets up very early to hold conference calls with employees in India, so it’s hard for me to manage bedtimes these days. I contribute to nighttime peace by having the wireless network automatically turn itself off by 10:30, booting my oldest off Facebook. Sometimes I also confiscate her cell phone to keep her from staying up too late talking to her friends. I do a bed check on the younger one to make sure she actually turns her light and radio off. I’m the bedtime cop. I miss my 14 years of reading out loud to my children.

  248. Rebecca says:

    I don’t have kids but plenty of furry babies. At night I make sure dogs go outside one last time and everyone is fed, then the cats come and cuddle with me while I read in bed before finally turning off the light.

  249. Emily says:

    We have a 2.5 year old and a 8 month old so our bedtime routine is set in stone. We give the boys a bubble bath and talk to older one about his day. Then the boys get lotioned up, night time diapers put on, and their nice warm footed pjs on. Each boy gets to pick a story (our oldest ‘helps’ his little brother pick). We sit in their room and read their stories while the baby nurses. We say our prayers, give kisses, and put the boys in their bed.

    We keep the TV off and few lights on once the bedtime routine begins.

  250. ann says:

    we dim the lights…light candles…fire if it is cold enough…we hang out with computers, IPods and 1 of 3 or 4 shows we watch together…my favorite time of day for sure!

  251. Tamara says:

    We snuggle in bed and sing children’s songs together…always a nice way to end the day :-)

  252. Michelle says:

    Pretty standard, but enjoyable nonetheless: books, songs (is it wrong that we sing Jingle Bells year round because both kids love it?) and then snuggles. I’m particularly enjoying bedtime with my 4 year old daughter, as lights are out and I ’scrub’ (= scratch + rub) her back. She asks questions about her day and gives me a little insight into how she processes and perceives daily events and conversations.

  253. Sue @ Laundry for Six says:

    The way I get peace in my home in the evening is by using my favorite line from you at 9pm… “You don’t have to go to bed, but you can’t stay here,” to get my kids to retire to their beds with a book. And then I visit each one of them and lay down for a few minutes and talk about their day and the book they are reading and I try really hard not to nod off in one of their beds, but I often do. (Thank you for that line. I might try the no TV, candles, fireplace trick next.)

  254. Mami2jcn says:

    Cuddling in bed with a story is a good way to create calm in our house.

  255. Heather says:

    We don’t have real kids, so that makes bedtime easier, but we do have one four-legged “baby” named Morrie. I go upstairs and take out my contacts and get ready for bed while my fiance lets the dog out one last time. Inevitably, the dog is the first one “ready” for bed, and he always runs up to the bedroom and dramatically leaps onto the bed to claim his spot, which he will not budge from (and it’s usually on my pillow). When we are all in bed, we have one last bout of play time, where we throw the blanket over the dog’s head and he tries to catch/play bite us through the blanket, even though he can’t see us. It always makes us laugh, no matter how bad the day was. Then Morrie will suddenly climb between us and roll on his back, for his belly rub. Then it’s cuddle time and finally sleep.

  256. Jo Lynn Blankenship says:

    We turn lights to the lowest setting, bathe, read stories and snuggle into bed. It is something to look forward to each day.

  257. styleygeek says:

    Like you, I turn the lights down or off when it gets close to bedtime. I turn off the computer, curl up under a blanket (together with my husband if he’s home), and we read books companiably. Sometimes rubbing each other’s feet at the same time.

  258. JP says:

    We brush my son’s teeth, have him take a last trip to the toilet, snuggle in for stories and then lights out. Then a bit of a snuggle while I ask him abou the best and worst parts of his day. Lots of “Love You”’s and a last tuck in. If Daddy does the last snuggles, there is a rousing game of tickles and who know what all until I bellow that it is bedtime! Soooo not condusive to snoozes, but it is my son’s favorite time.

  259. Joy says:

    With three little ones 3 and under peace is something we cherish. We set the mood with music most nights and have the two bigger kids pick up their toys and at least straighten up their room. I know for me I sleep better in a room that feels peaceful/clean. We turn off the overhead lights, turn on the lamps and dim the ones that can. Everything is in an attempt to get them to calm down enough to fall asleep quickly. while the big ones pick up one of us puts the baby to sleep and the other one will then read stories with the special ‘bedtime’ light, instead of the ‘playtime’ light. Then we tuck them in say prayers and enjoy the quiet!

  260. nora says:

    I have a 1 a 2 and a 3 year old. We do baths every night, no matter how late, although usually before 7. The girls always want matching jammies and I always oblige (if not encourage.) We do books and blankies and watch a quick YouTube video (dancing, or Pocoyo, or something funny) and then carry the girls to bed. We talk a little about their days and they giggle or cuddle or whine, but they mostly just close their eyes and sleep (THANK THE DEAR LORD, because w/ three toddlers under 4, I need a glass of wine.)

  261. Leah says:

    We are just beginning our bedtime routines (with a 7 month old), so peacefulness is achieved through reading a book, nursing, and singing several lullabies. But one of my sisters has a great technique for sending her kids off to slumber with wonderful thoughts running through their heads: they lay down in bed together and take turns naming their favorite thing that happened that day. Its a wonderful way to focus on the positive & to teach everyone to appreciate their blessings!

  262. Jody says:

    I have a one, ten, and twelve year old. Night time routine is very important at our house, as that is the only time when we are all home and can spend quality time together. We usually all help with the dinner chores, bathe, pack up for the next day, then gather in the living room where we choose games to play, music to listen to, or books to read together. This is our favorite time of day when we can all be together!

  263. Leah C. says:

    (Wordpress is saying I’ve already published this, but I can’t find any evidence of it actually posting - sorry if its a duplicate!) We are just beginning our bedtime routines (with a 7 month old), so peacefulness is achieved through reading a book, nursing, and singing several lullabies. But one of my sisters has a great technique for sending her kids off to slumber with wonderful thoughts running through their heads: they lay down in bed together and take turns naming their favorite thing that happened that day. Its a wonderful way to focus on the positive & to teach everyone to appreciate their blessings!

  264. Jennifer says:

    I have two boys, ages 4 and 6. No matter how busy I am I try hard to lay down with them every night at bedtime and read a story or talk about our day or just snuggle up. I know these days are numbered and will miss them so much.

  265. Emily says:

    This would be so fun! I don’t have any kids, but I’ve got serious bedtime routines, myself. ;) I’m guessing they’ll have to be shortened when I have kids needing my time and attention.

  266. Lilly says:

    I create peace in the house by keeping the lights low, minimizing rush, and making sure to always have good books on hand. Right before bed we say a special prayer important in our religious tradition.

  267. elizabethk says:

    Life settles in and down with dinner (almost always) as a family, then preparing for the next day with clothes laid out, bags ready (okay, it doesn’t always happen smoothly) — and the littlest put to bed. He loves bed time (finally!) — the older two still get read to, then we say a decade of the rosary. I am trying to commit to being in bed by 10:30 every night…no more blogs, face book or such into the wee hours. It makes a big (good) difference! :D

  268. Pamela says:

    We create peace in different ways: a glass of wine for me, a straightened up house with the help of the kids (also for me because they would be happy to live in a pit), two stories with an apple and snuggles for them, and did I mention a glass of wine for me? Our night night routine is pretty strict and it is something that we all know in and out. And let me say this: no matter how much you love your kids, night night time is still the best time of the day.

  269. Linsey G says:

    We have five kids, from 7 years old down to 1. And a small house. And a big dog. So, after dinner I bathe all the animals (except the dog), and we cuddle in my bed in our jammies and read books until I run them all off. Or, until I fall asleep. It’s the best, I look forward to it everynight, and miss it when we don’t have time.

  270. Amy Girl says:

    Family scripture reading, prayers followed by dog pile (not so peaceful), but love and a sense of togetherness abounds.

  271. Laura says:

    I create peace in my bed. I snuggle in with the pillows just-so and my Kindle. I am surrounded by soft pillows and fluffy blankets, as well as my snoring doggie.

    Thanks, Chris!

  272. Jennifer says:

    Serenity begins with bathtub where we rely in lavender infused bubbles, body soap, and shampoo to calm our little one. We then don jammies, pick out a couple good reads, and head for her bed. I red to her and then we talk about the day. She gets some goodnight kisses and hugs, a few minutes of snuggled, and then it’s off to slumber!

  273. Heather's Garden says:

    Two things: BIG DRINK and COMFY COUCH.

  274. elizabeth says:

    I have a fifteen year old daughter with severe disabilities and two sons, aged eleven and nine. After dinner and baths and showers and all that jazz, we generally go into Sophie’s room that is comfy and cozy with a whole lot of pillows and padding because of her many seizures. We sit on her bed or her big beanbag chair and I read to her and to the 8 year old while the eleven year old reads silently to himself. Sophie can’t talk but she loves to hear our voices when they’re quiet, so we try to BE quiet, together each night before bed.

  275. Meg says:

    We have a 5 and 3 year old. We have the same routine every night. After dessert, there’s playing of “tuque”, a game the kids and Dad made up. Who can get the hat off of Dad’s head while he crawls and spins around. Then it’s bath time, pajamas, hair and teeth brushed, and then story time. Which is my favorite. We all crawl into bed and the kids each pick a story. I read the stories, while my husband rubs my feet. There’s rounds of hugs, kisses and lights out. Peace and quiet until 6:30 am.

  276. Katrina says:

    After dinner, it’s bath time for our 21 month old daughter. After bath, we have quiet play time, then story time in the big rocking chair. She often has a few favorite books that we have to read over and over. She is now asking for the books not by name, but by the first line of the story. Then we grab her elmo, bear, and baby doll and it’s off to bed.

  277. Stacey says:

    I work second shift so on my days off I snuggle with dd and we read books and sometimes we just sit there and talk. We turn lights down and put on soothing music. It’s nice mommy and daughter time.

  278. Shalini says:

    I have a 4 year old and a 7 month old, and we create peace, by the girls taking a bath together (lavendar bath soap and lotion), and then reading books together in bed, and then putting the baby down (usually after 10 mins she’s out). With the 4 year old, we sprinkle (make-believe) pixie dust on her eyes and fill up her jar (again with make-believe) pixie dust, so if she wakes up she can sprinkle it on herself and her bears and stuff animals she sleeps with, we love how quietly they both have started to go to bed. Lots of upheaval the first few months with a new baby, but we’re all happily sleeping now!

  279. Kathleen says:

    I can relate to the difference between then and now. My middle schooler likes to stay up late to read, her 4th grade sister does the same…. but my 6yr old (soon to be 7yr old) and I/husband (we take turns) still read together before bed… then music on…then lights out…then back tickles…and talking in the dark until he is sleepy. I too know these days are numbered but I want the relaxation time to continue in new ways as you have so beautifully described!

  280. Paula says:

    bedtime reminds me of when I was young growing up in montana… my mom always had the window open…from my bedroom I could hear the whistle of the distant train and sometimes if the night was still enough… the sound of the wheels clacking on the track. It would lull the senses and the day would melt into slumber.

    When I became a nanny 19 years later in upstate NY, I always left the window of “my charges” partially open to let in the fresh night air… no matter what time of year. Maybe I wanted my charges to hear the sound of the train too? who knows…

  281. Jamie says:

    a cup of tea and a good book — is there anything more peaceful than that?

  282. Barbara says:

    After dinner is clened up, we usually lay low, finish up other clean up, etc., then it’s bath and relax time — how is their choice.

  283. Shannon says:

    Peace at bedtime…after his bath I take my 10 month old son upstairs. He nurses while I rock him and recite “Goodnight Moon” by heart in the dark.

  284. Kim says:

    First, I have to say that I love Goodnites. I have a 9 year old daughter who still occasionally wets the bed at night, and suffers from recurrent UTIs because of bedwetting. Goodnites has been something that makes night time OK for her. It’s not bad to go to bed. She can go to sleep without worrying, which is, after all, how a child should be able to sleep.

    We have three girls. We tuck them in separately each night. We read to my three year old, say a small prayer, and give her kisses. We listen to my seven year old read out loud, listen to what’s happened at school, say a prayer, and give kisses. My oldest is good with shoving us out of the room so she can read by herself, but she does like to play thumb war with Daddy every night. Same thing though, prayer and kisses, and then good night. We don’t get a lot of time to do things with them individually, so this is our way of making sure they know we do hear them and see them, even after a busy day.

  285. Kara says:

    Ever since my now 10 year old daughter was 1 and keeping on the tradition with my now fourth and youngest baby it has always been showers/baths and then “Goodnight Moon”. This is followed by Now I Lay Me Down. And I dare never to exit the room without each getting three kisses, three hugs and three goodnight I love you too’s.

  286. Amie says:

    Just creating a routine gave us a HUGE increase in peace. The kids know what to expect and I know what to expect of them.

  287. Rachel says:

    We turn off the TV and computers and video games and do something quiet, like read books, to wind down before bed.

  288. Victoria says:

    Blanket, hot water bottle, good book :)

  289. Paige says:

    Routine, routine, routine: dinner, bath, quiet play/read with Daddy, into the bedroom for another book (or 5?) with Mama, then into the bed (sleep and/or gymnastics practice occurs). I can’t wait for my child to be able to communicate better (she’s 21 months) and at the same time I am well aware that the more verbal they become, the less physical…so it is a bitter-sweet an-tic-i-pa-aaa-tion.

    And now that song is stuck in my head.

  290. Brooke says:

    Now my girls are 9 and 11 and bedtimes have moved past chaos to mellow (most of the time). Once all the necessities are completed we curl up on the couch, ok..I curl up on the couch the oldest is rolling around in my office chair and the youngest is playing with the dog…and we read. They will NOT go to bed unless I read to them. We read chapter books with really long chapters, at least they seem that way because I’m always more tired then they are. :D Then I scoot them off to bed where they get tucked in with a song and a hug. My most favorite thing is to sneak back in after they are asleep and stare at those adorable faces that still resemble those little newborns that came home from the hospital with me.

  291. Kirstin says:

    Peace, hmm…well, I put everyone to bed. Including Husband. Then I locate some leftover m&m’s from whatever holiday happened six months ago and then I snuggle up on the couch and watch tv and pass out moments later.

  292. Tracey says:

    Peace at bedtime….hmmm, what is that again? Our bedtime when the boys were little was very similar to yours and as you said, a magical time. Lots of fun in the big tub, then jammies onto squirmy little bodies, who would try to escape with shrieks of laughter. (in our old house, in the summer, Mommy would be out on the front porch with a glass of wine while Daddy wrangled the munchkins in the tub…..ahhhhhh) Then stories, snuggles, kisses and tucked into bed. NOW, we are usually out of the house at the hockey arena four nights during the week, with the fifteen year old currently there and not off the ice until 10:15 pm. Dinner was early, to accomadate a fed child before guitar lesson, so that sets us up for the night by having everyone fed! Once we are all home, it is shower, jammies, snack, teeth and into bed. The End. ;-)

  293. shannon says:

    we start baths early so that we can all cuddle on a bed and read aloud for an hour. from ages 5-11 they all enjoy it.

  294. regan says:

    Bedtimes are still easy for us: bath, bottle, bed. I’m dreading when it becomes more complicated.

  295. L. Hancock says:

    I love to stay up late but it isn’t practical. So at midnight, I turn off my laptop and so does my teen child. I carry my 12 year old cat to my room; while there, I turn on my reading light. Then I come back and round up the other two cats and find the dog. Everyone settles in their spots. My teen child comes into my room and we chat about the day, and then he goes into his room, and I settle back with my little menagerie. Sometimes I read. My bed has flannel sheets and a down comforter. Mostly, I read once that parents are not secure unless their children are at home in their own beds, and even though my little one is a teen, I can attest that what I read is still true, true, true. Safe at home, snug in our beds.

  296. Amanda says:

    We are the standard bath, books, bed kinda family. But music has always been an integral part of our bedtime routine with our oldest (4-1/2) and now our youngest (7 months). Our oldest picks out her music choice for the evening and then we cuddle for a few minutes to settle her in. Music choices range from Seussical the Musical (currently playing in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday tomorrow) to the Swingset Mamas. Laurie Berkner and The Backyardigans are also favorites.

    I don’t know if I would call them “quiet.” Probably “less loud than normal.”

  297. Kris says:

    I lay on my couch with a good book and lots of blankets, with my dog sleeping in the curl of my legs, and smile when she twitches as if she’s dreaming.

  298. Bev B says:

    When my now teenagers were little, bed time was at 8 and then it was quiet me time. Now, I enjoy peaceful evenings in my basement crafting while the boys do their thing - no more mommy time here *sigh*

  299. Kimberly Busby says:

    I have two teenagers now, so the routine is rather different from when they were little. Instead of warm baths, they start with the ever important shower and then we usually cuddle, watch a movie, and I still read to the 13 year old.

  300. Tasha says:

    I create peace in the evenings by placing several candles around the room for lighting and turning on the gas fireplace. Then I let my daughters choose an activity for the whole family, such as a board game, movie or storytime.

  301. Kim says:

    My one-year-old daughter has had a firm bedtime routine since she was just weeks old…the “B’s!” Bath, brush, books, boob(lol), bed. She plays in her bath while we “talk” and sing. Brush her teeth, get into jammies and read a few books, then nurse just before I put her in her crib with her oh-so-important dolly and blanket.

  302. Winnie says:

    As soon as my twin boys learned to walk, I taught them to march to bed while chanting “night! night!” That’s been our routine for the past 8 months and it still makes me laugh. My daughter will sometimes join in the night night parade; if not, the boys pause by her room, call to her and bang wildly on her door. They show their love for their big sis and it just warms our hearts.

    Once all three are tucked in, my husband and I can finally catch up on the day. Peaceful bliss for a few hours…. ah.

  303. Laura says:

    Peace in my home starts early afternoon. We have discovered that if our daughter doesn’t get enough exercise she is an ogre to get to bed! I can’t wait until she starts preschool in the fall!

  304. keri says:

    there is nothing better than a good book, fresh sheets, comfy pajamas and the heating/cooling element of my choice

  305. Sarah says:

    I don’t know if the giveaway is offered to folks in Canada, but if so, here is my entry:

    I have three small kids who are currently nearly 7, 5, and nearly 3. Life is rarely quiet and at the end of the day, patience is at a premium for everyone. We often have one child in the bath while two others are playing quietly or reading in their rooms.

    Then the children get dressed for bed and once that is done we read. Each child chooses a story or chapter from a book and one parent reads to all of them together. It’s almost always enjoyable.

    The children also have nighttime CDs that play in their rooms as they go to sleep every night. The music is calm and the words are inspiring and reassuring.

  306. Leanne Darnbrough says:

    After a wild and wet bathtime all three little boys and I cuddle up on the eldest’s bed and read stories to each other. When the two littlest get bored because we’ve moved on from picture books to chapter books they go and play at the Lego table in the same room. I often find, though, that they are still keeping at least one ear on the current story. Our three-year-old memorised the story line to The Wizard of Oz while building Lego castles.

  307. Julie says:

    We all pile into my son’s bed and I read 3 stories-his choosing, except Elmo. I refuse to read the Elmo book. (I heard it was important to set boundaries with your child) then I help him count to 10 (dont ask) and sing you are my sunshine, badly.

  308. Jacky says:

    I would give my children a good slug of whiskey in their glass of milk, when that had taken effect I would smack them round the back of the head with a bit of 2×2 and carry them off to bed, this did the treat!

    NOOOOOOOO, seriously, my son would be so busy, he was always to tired to have a story, just bath and bed - easy. My daughter (9 years difference), after a bath and a snuggle with a story (and months of not settling) it then took 10 days of sitting on a cushion, outside her bedroom door and everytime she moved out of bed, I would say “I can hear you, please go back to bed”, she got the hint, in the end.

    Piece and quiet would descend - harmoney.

  309. kristi says:

    Am I disqualified because I have to say peace? in the evenings? Does not compute. You MEANT chaos, right? That I have plenty of.

  310. Deena says:

    Wow…I don’t think I do anything with the objective of creating peace before bedtime! Need to think about this one…

  311. ann marie says:

    We take a walk after dinner. It doesn’t have to be a long one, sometimes ten minutes, sometimes 30, but it always settles everyone down. We started doing it when my kids were babies. My oldest is now 13 and my youngest 3, but they all still love it and the older ones actually request it.

  312. Brigitte says:

    Well, we don’t have much “evening” as hubs has to get up at 3:30 for work, so we all turn in super-early. But I do love all snuggling under the electric blanket together reading a book, or doing some “I Spy” or “Where’s Waldo”.

  313. Anne says:

    There is much snuggling and reading of books with my 4 year old. I know only too soon he will tell me “no more kisses mommy” or “no more hugs mommy”, so I try and cherish the moments that are there now.

  314. Tara says:

    I’m in Australia, so not eligible to win (I don’t think!) but I will comment anyway…

    I have kids who are similar ages to yours (15 g, 15 b, 14 b, 11 g, 8 b, 5 g and one on the way) and our household can get very rowdy during our after-school routine and during dinner. There is an unwritten rule in my house that no matter what we are doing after dinner, we all sit around and chat in our living room. After my little ones go to bed, the older kids “chill” and we talk about their day.

    Its my favourite part of every day.

  315. Lori says:

    We create peace by being all together whether it be in the kitchen, my bed, or lounged in the family room. My boys are 14 and 9 and ending the evening with all four of us together is the best part of my day.

  316. Alison says:

    There are baths and time to settle in and talk with my kids. It takes a while for peace to descend, but it is worth it for the things they share in those quieter moments.

  317. Lissa says:

    A book and bed for our 3 children (add the 3rd b - a binkie - for the 6 month old) means peace for my husband and me!

  318. Gina says:

    We just do the old fashioned read stories. After I tuck my oldest one in my little boy who is now 2 years old still lets me rock him. I have a new baby who has never been rocked because the little man who has my heart wants me to rock him to sleep twice a day.

  319. Jen says:

    At our house, it’s just the usual bath, pjs and then we read 3 books to our 2 and 4 year olds. Oh - and lately I’ve started singing songs to both of them separately right before they nod off to sleep. I liked the idea of having a special song or two that they will always remember as their bedtime song. It also works well for when they are having a meltdown of some sort - I can sing the song(s) and it calms them down.

  320. Melanie says:

    We like to turn the lights off and read by a book lamp so the kids can relax while they hear a story.

  321. dawntc says:

    having five children of varying ages has changed our night time ritual. the one in college isn’t with us, the one in college who lives at home also works and comes in after midnight, the middle son who’s a teenager has LOTS of homework, and the 11-12 still have a normal “bedtime”. i try to capture that long ago bedtime at dinner. where our voices are lowered, everyone says their best thing and worst thing of the day, and i try to not talk, so i can hear my children. i never want it to end.

  322. Meredith says:

    I am currently a single parent to my 2 yr old daughter Alyssa while my husband is in Iraq. After the chaos of arriving home, making and eating dinner, and bath time, peace reigns as Alyssa and I have time on “Mommy’s bed”. We read books and talk to each other, and sometimes watch a Disney video as a treat on a Friday night. We still rock for about 5 minutes right before bed - that is the best time. We sing and talk quietly to each other. This is the best part about being a mom.

  323. jackie says:

    No tv, no computers, reading for pleasure.

  324. Kelly M says:

    The last half hour before bedtime is for reading in bed at my house. The TV is turned off. Both my 11 and 8 year olds love to read. Sometimes I hop in bed with one of them and read too!

  325. Carol says:

    Things are loud and hectic in our house too. When it is finally time to quiet down, I like to snuggle under a blanket on the sofa with the kids and all read together. At 8:00 we all watch a 1/2 hour of tv together before they rush off to bed at 8:30. I allow the 11 year old to either watch tv in bed or read in bed until 9:pm. We all love that 1 hour of quiet family time every night. Once in a while we find ourselves all laying on my bed watching old home movies. That is always great for bringing us closer.

  326. Anna says:

    My peaceful evenings include climbing into my incredibly comfy bed with my snuggly puppies and reading until I get sleepy.

  327. jessica says:

    I have a 17yr old. He comes running in the house and talks a mile a minute. we eat dinner, do home work then we watch tv together and then he goes up to his room. Once he leaves the room, I feel the silence and realize that I am going to miss him so much when he leaves.

  328. Jen says:

    Reading, it’s a must.

    At 7pm all electronic devices are turned off. My oldest boy, 7, then reads to his twin brothers, 5. Until recently there had been a lot of supportive reading from mom, but as big brother’s reading skills have evolved I can now sit back and just listen and watch the three boys interact. I look forward to my 5 year olds becoming accomplished readers and taking their turns at night also.

  329. Daisy Crazy says:

    We have the no tv or movie rule as well. I think we are just too busy to have time for it anyway. Our evenings usually run late at this stage of our lives. I love reading to my two younger boys, while the youngest plays around the room. After they are in bed, sometimes the teens come in to talk. I love the fact that they are still all here, under our roof. The time is going so quickly.

  330. Julie says:

    I definitely miss the younger days when kids were in bed well before I am ready to be (daughter will be 14 next week and son is 11) but we try and get showers/pj’s done at least 1/2 hour before bedtime (provided no late practices or games). Then it is either watching tv (though we’ve been cutting back) or reading

  331. Kate in Ohio says:

    Our evenings are crazy and leave me almost in tears. I NEED THIS PRIZE. We are working on this but my 4 year old is so stubborn and does not like to go to bed. HELP ME!

  332. Susan Murphy says:

    Since our girls are still little, our bedtime routine includes the usual baths and story time. I love the time I can spend snuggling with them and sharing their favorite books. As much as my husband and I love the silence that comes when they are finally asleep, we know we’ll miss this stage when it’s gone!

  333. blairzoo says:

    Our kids are ages 20, 18, 15, 10 and 7. I am still holding on tightly to having a peaceful, loving bedtime ritual with the younger two, as I know all too well how fleeting these days are. Once they are ready for bed, we read lovely old classic stories, like Mary Poppins (did you know there’s a whole series?) Even though the 10 year old is a wild, hockey-playing, roller-blading, lacrosse goalie, trampoline-flipping kind of kid (he would love to hang out with your boys!), he still keeps track of whose bed I sat on the night before when it’s time for reading. The snuggling and back-rubbing are in high demand. Lots of hugs and whispered tidbits before prayers and lights out.

    When my older kids were little, it was so hard to muster the energy some days to create the bedtime rituals, and now I savor every one.

  334. Becky says:

    Bedtimes have gotten good again. They were great when he was little bath books bed. But the start of this year was rough because he was getting better at reading and wanted to read the story himself but he didn’t want to read the books at his level. The local library has saved me. Last night he read amelia bedelia to me and I read a chapter of the Sea of Monsters to him.

  335. Karen (from Our Deer Baby) says:

    Ah, bedtime rituals. With seven kids, we have morphed so many bedtime rituatls over the years, and there always have been peaceful moments and sometimes not so peaceful moments.

    At the moment I read a chapter from a chapter book to the younger ones and they tell me they aren’t ready to sleep yet and we go back and forth for a while before they actually fall asleep. We just moved around a bunch of the bedrooms in our house, so they are getting used to sleeping in bunk beds now and I had to explain to the 5yo that no, spitting on her brother in the lower bunk was not appropriate bedtime behavior.

    Karen

  336. Katie says:

    We create peace in the evening by shutting off the tv and snuggling on the couch while reading our books. It’s my favorite part of the day!

  337. mary says:

    Baths, books and lots of cuddling! Without a doubt the best time of day to find out what they are thinking about - they’ll do anything to stay up later!

  338. Lynette says:

    Because one child is 9 and one is 5, we have two (or perhaps one very long) procedure of moving from the chaos of dinner & homework to peaceful sleeping. The little one gets his pajamas on and brushes his teeth, then he picks out a book (usually the same one for a week until I have to scream if I read it one more time). I read to him, then we do something silly to get him into bed, like we race each other to his bed or I pick him up and pretend he’s so heavy that I’m nearly falling over as I put him on his pillow. Then he tells me how many kisses and hugs I will give him, and I deliver those and then lights out. The older one starts a very similar procedure (minus the racing to bed part, and he usually reads to himself) about an hour later. Between their two bedtimes, the older one and I or his father (or both) often have an activity that is special for him, like doing a hard puzzle or playing a Wii game that his brother can’t do.

  339. FunnyGal KAT says:

    We recently got a wood pellet stove (I live not far from where you moved from) and the Pretend Husband and I like to turn off all the lights in the evenings, curl up on the couch with each other and the dogs and just stare at the flames. There’s something so relaxing and mesmerizing about a fire.

  340. Jenny says:

    Our kids are all still little, so definitely an early bedtime makes all very peaceful! I think bedtime is peaceful because we’ve kept the same routine since our oldest was an infant. I see the peace slowly slipping away as his homework load increases, though.

  341. Elizabeth says:

    Peace = pacifier and Taggie blanket at our house. I love 7:30pm!

  342. Stephanie says:

    I don’t have kids, but my husband and I have to unwind after long days too. After all the evening chores are done, he watched TV and eats cereal in bed to relax, while I read to calm my racing mind.

  343. Jennie says:

    We still have peace at our house….bedtime is 8:00 and as I tuck in my son I ask him what his favorite part of the day was. Nine times out of ten he responds, “Everything!” and, with that, all is right in my world.

  344. Julieb says:

    Once my fiance and his kids leave, I usually wind down by reading or surfing the internet.
    Once we get married winding down will be sitting in front of the tv or reading and visiting.

  345. Jackie says:

    I have a one-year-old, a crazy job at a nonprofit where I do too much for too little pay, and a husband that had a mother that took very, VERY good care of him while growing up. I do the vast marjority of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and caring for the kid. He gets most of the playtime and the downtime. In short, I could also use a wife.

    But at the end of the day, Lucy is mine…all mine. We turn down the light in her room, and sit in the rocking chair to snuggle. She’s always fresh from the bath, smelling like Johnson’s nitetime lavender-scented lotion. Lucy gives me “mooches” and “talks” to me. I will sing songs, read stories, or just sit in the silence. It may last 5 minutes or 45 minutes, but sometimes anticipating that piece of the day is what gets me through the rest of it.

  346. Lilly says:

    Every night my son gives me knightlies before he goes to sleep. Don’t know exactly how it got that name. Knightlies is a hug, a kiss and a squeeze and then he tells me he loves me and I tell him the same, he says see you in the morning and I say something like that too and then lights out.

  347. Kelly says:

    No electronics after 7pm, in beds by 7:30 and half hour of stories, either read as a family or separately.

  348. Megan says:

    Bedtime in our house is right after dinner since my kids are younger. So after their bedtime I relish the quiet with a bath and a good book. And I eat some chocolate, something I can’t do when they around without having to share!

  349. Chaya says:

    After the bath, if the toddler has kept the screaming to a minimum during hair-washing, we cuddle and read books until bedtime. That’s one of my favorite parts of the day.

  350. Katy Yo says:

    My 19-month-old daughter and I get the bed all situated, warm a bottle of milk and vitamins, and cuddle up to read stories. This usually will mellow her out until I turn off the light, then it’s crazy pounce across the bed time until she gets sleepy (her idea, not mine!).

  351. Terri Timmins says:

    My three year old can be quite high strung and high energy so after we have prayers and devotions with brother and daddy, we snuggle down in his bed with a pile of books, a flashlight, a cup of warm chocolate ovaltine milk, and of course something small to hold. He snuggles in the crook of my arm, sometimes with his head on my shoulder while I read to him. Usually he drifts off to sleep to Green Eggs and Ham. And I lay there for just a minute holding him as he is still and angelic and enjoy the brief peaceful moment.

  352. Samantha says:

    Peace comes with a cup of tea and a good book…all by myself after the kids’ bedtime ritual of books and discussing plans for the next day.

  353. Meredith Morgans says:

    My oldest daughter is in kindergarten and learning to read. She choses a story to read and my husband, younger daughter and I act it out. It’s not always the most calming pre-bedtime ritual, but it sure is fun!

  354. Annie says:

    Reading in bed

  355. Katheryn says:

    Most evenings we have dinner and then turn on music and dance around the living room. It’s loud, but peaceful, since dancing seems to get rid of anything that was wrong during that day. Afterward there is bath, books, and cuddles. Love the evening.

  356. Jessie says:

    My daughter and I usually just cuddle up together and fall asleep. She sleeps in my bed so this works for us. She makes sure that I’m holding her hand otherwise she can’t sleep.

  357. Valeta Brown says:

    Every night before bedtime I go into each of my children’s rooms and make up at least one story for them before bedtime. My 6 year old also makes up stories for me. It is the best part of the day.

  358. Em says:

    We always have nightly “tuck ins” at our house from age 0 not up to age 18. They are greatly cherished.

  359. TXMOMMY says:

    frankly peace often eludes me. But we try. A peaceful night is one where dinner is done, dishes are done and kids are tucked into bed. I quietly make my way from one room to another to read aloud with them. Right now it’s “Percy Jackson” with my 2nd grader, “Fancy Nancy” with my year old, something about a girl with angst for my 5th grade girl with agnst and just a quiet chat with the teens. I moment at the end of the day before I crawl into bed with my book, lap top and remote, yest AND…I need them all:)

  360. Katherine says:

    Bedtime is magical…regardless of the age of your children. Mine are 11 and 15 with multiple sport commitments, homework, chores (!), etc.

    So…it has become a time to snuggle, giggle, read, share or simply, to just be together. And in this very busy time of our lives…I *try* to cherish it, as I, too, know that these nights are numbered.

  361. SDmom says:

    With just one sweet little 8-month old girl, the evenings are always peaceful. The three of us play on the floor for awhile, with her dad pulling out all the stops to get laughs. Then we move on to bath time, singing our bath time song. After daddy gets her into her jammies, I breastfeed her with her blankie. Then my favorite part of the day - snuggling while we read Goodnight Moon. Then it’s into the crib and lights out without a peep. I cherish these moments!

    I love the idea of no TV and mood lighting when the kids are older! We’re so going to do that.

  362. Ann says:

    Divide and Conquer is my bedtime phrase.

    Our three kids (3, 6 and 8) have staggered bedtimes. Everyone gets stories and prayers a half hour apart from each other. It’s nice one on one time with each kid, and the separation prevents the goofy sillies from taking over and getting everyone all wound up.

  363. Melonie says:

    Even though my baby is on the cusp of twelve, we still maintain her bedtime routine that helps her calm down and recover from the day so she can sleep peacefully. She is now a worldly middle schooler, but she still loves to be read to as a way to make room for night time. Our books have gotten more sophisticated, but I continue to hear the refrain of “Just one more!” at the end of a chapter as I close the book and tuck her in. Call the dog to the bed, turn on her dolphin lamp, and play her music CD before a kiss and a cuddle and I extinguish the lights. Truth be told, I find as much peace in the routine as she does. And I am grateful that I can hold on to my baby girl for a little longer.

  364. Rebecca says:

    We all sit on the couch and read our own books for awhile before bed. Its quiet and cozy and I love it!

  365. jessica says:

    as funny as it sounds, our nightly routine consists of me yelling”potty ,drink, bed!!!!!” at the top of my lungs right at or just before 9pm. Immediately, all 4 of my kiddos begin running about the house taking care of their “bedtime business”. I give them a couple minutes before yelling “prayers!!!!” which is everyones cue to get into bed…i turn off the lights, say prayers, and everyone says goodnight one last time.while crazy for a minute, it works for us and is rather exciting with lots of running and squealing!

  366. Dena says:

    We read a couple books, then lights out, prayers and rock a little and then to bed…….that’s the plan anyway….doesn’t always go that well :)

  367. Rachel says:

    Our evening wind down starts right after supper. We put on some music and everyone helps to clean up from the day/dinner. My husband is in charge of bathtime so he usually takes two of the kids upstairs once things are tidy and I hang out downstairs with the third. This has been a nice time for me to chat one on one with the kids. It’s fun to hear about their day and what’s on their minds. Once the first two are done in the bath, we switch kids. I get the kids into their jammies and then into bed with a stack of books. We take turns reading, snuggling and praying with each of them. I love the quiet times I get with each of the kids at night. It’s important to me to end the day well and to make sure the last thing the kids hear at night is, “I love you”. I do love how quiet the house is once the kids are in bed, the toys are picked up and the lights are dimmed.

  368. Kim says:

    Like you no TV on school nights.
    Everyone helps clean up from dinner, I find its a good time to chat, where unlike the dinner table things can be said without having eye contact ( this seems to be easier for some kids). Then onto packing lunches for school the next day together. Homework checked since it is usually done before dinner. Then some reading time…just for fun or the newspaper or discussion about current events….or explanations of what is really happening in the world. Early to bed because that alarm goes off at 0′dark hundred.
    Repeat tomorrow :0)
    thanks for a chance to win those great prizes!

  369. Home Ec Heidi says:

    Bedtime — I wish it was as simple as it was a few years ago. I have 5 boys, 4 of which are 11 to 16. They are usually up later than me. Thank goodness for my 3 year old! I love the ritual of brushing teeth, getting PJs on and reading two stories. We then say prayers and sing a song and then kisses and hugs. They get big way too fast.

  370. ellen says:

    Your biggish kids leaning in to rest their heads and do a little confiding- so sweet! It doesn’t always work out for us, but if I can get my baby to bed, I love being 100%, fully present with my older daughter, just for the last half hour of her day, to play, or just to listen. We too like to dim the lights and really BE with her, and sometimes that’s all the “special” time we get with our big girl. But it’s enough.

  371. Jodie says:

    I have two elementary aged kids and one toddler. I have not found peace at bedtime :) We try to read together every night and as long as they aren’t fighting over who gets to sit on my lap or next to me, it is pretty peaceful.

  372. Chris says:

    There is no peace in our home until after we wrestle the kids into bed :-) Once they are in bed, it is our time to say our special goodnights to each one. For my daughter it is reciting “night night sleep tight” and then at the end we each say our favorite colors (Don’t ask me why, she started that when she was about 3 and at 8, we still do it). For my 3 year old son, it’s just kisses and tickles, repeating “No, I love YOU more!”

  373. Janice says:

    peace at night in my home is with bed time stories and cuddles.

  374. Andrea says:

    Try and stick to the routine as much as we can. Bath, teeth, books, and tucking in.
    I love the getting my little guy to laugh by throwing his blanket in the air and making it sail to the other side of the bed. He lays there laughing, but trying to lay still because if he moves the blanket never seems to go over him, but on him.

  375. Cathy says:

    After showers and teeth and hair are brushed, we dim the lights and hop into my king-sized bed to read. The older kids are doing homework with Dad so it’s just the 7 year old and the 3 year old. Sometimes the 3 year-old loses interest so it is just me and my other daughter. She is really into chapter books, which are so much fun compared to the readers from school. Lately it has been Charlotte’s Web and we love to read all the descriptions of the farm animals while remembering the old movie in our heads. Love that book!

  376. Alex says:

    We have a light we call the “movie light”. It’s basically a spotlight that we’ve put in a corner behind the couch. To get comfy, we put on the movie light (no overhead lights), pour a cup of tea and snuggle under some blankets to watch whatever is on TV. It’s wonderful.

  377. Anna says:

    I have 3 kids- 2.5, 2.6, 18 mo. After dinner we put music on and they dance their crazies out. Then it’s pjs and each one picks out a story and heads for “the pillows”. I remember the day so clearly my youngest picked out his first book and brought it to me- all growed up. Number 4 is on the way so my lap is disapearing and the pillow nook comes in handy.

  378. Leslie says:

    Our evenings are packed with practice for various sports, dance, dinner and homework. After all that is finishes it is playtime. That either means board games, cards, or wrestling with dad. When we get the kids into bed the little one gets a story and the older two get tucked in with lots of hugs and kisses. Then it is time for mom and dad to relax….

    Leslie

  379. Jenny says:

    Peace…with five kids 11 years old and under, I don’t get enough of it. Although I am desperate for a smooth-running, peaceful household, I haven’t convinced the children that peace is better than bickering, or better than pointing out others’ faults so you can feel superior. I quote myself from last night’s dinner table: “I will have peace in my home even if I have to yell and send you to your beds to get it!” Perhaps all I’m after is “quiet.” Is that the same thing as “peace?”

  380. Koeby says:

    We wrestle. The kids all get their energy out, they get put in their place physically, and afterwards they are exhausted and then go upstairs and get ready for bed. My wife can’t stand this tactic as the actual wrestling is chaotic and sometimes involves crying, but the children go up to bed satiated.

  381. Cortney Jacobs says:

    It’s funny you ask for three things, because we have exactly three things that MUST happen every night, without fail, if we are to experience a restful and peaceful night.
    1)Bathtime. I so cherish these moments, as I KNOW they are numbered. We have “tea parties” with her bath toys and get silly and messy for the last time that day.
    2)Storytime. My daughter wants a new story every night. Nighttime stories are not for repetition. We snuggle under her covers and she helps read the words she knows. We talk about the pictures and how we would change the story if WE were the ones that had written it (I’m a writer and she already shows at 4 yrs a propensity for storytelling)
    3)Relaxation or Savasana. I have been doing this with her since she was too little to truly participate. She lays very still and we do guided breathing and essentially meditation as we bring awareness into the body and let thoughts go from our minds. My little wheel-spinner simply cannot fall asleep quickly without this ritual.

  382. Susan Davis says:

    We read and talk about the day. She is usually very interested in telling me about the terrible kids in her class and what they have done for the day. Then to our prayers and what we are thankful for that day. My favorite part because kids are usually thankful for the simplest things. And Wii’s. :)

  383. Kathy says:

    Our peaceful time comes when I ask my children to tell me three things about their day. It is a time for them to share without being interrupted by anything. Then the youngest heads upstairs to get ready for bed and snuggle time. We snuggle and read fora 1/2 hour before he is tucked in. Then my daughter and I sit on the couch and chat, we knit, we tickle and giggle. It is definitely my favorite part of the day.

  384. Selena says:

    We use dimmer switches to create peace in the evenings– the house starts out bright in the early evening, gets a little dimmer after dinner, and then I turn the lights almost all the way down while the kids are bathing, so that when they are done they will come out into a peaceful environment. We snack and snuggle and read books in dim light. I love that peaceful time!

  385. Denise says:

    A quiet talk at the bedside and a good night kiss

  386. Deborah says:

    When our girls were little, my husband played the guitar and sang to them (us) each evening at bedtime. We called them bedtime songs. Some were old favorites, some he wrote himself. Some he had to revise the lyrics to when our son came along when the girls were 10 and 11. Now that our son is almost 14, in the 8th grade, with tons of school work and sports, we don’t have quiet time singing quite to much. But when we are all together, the bedtime singing brings back sweet memories.

  387. cherie says:

    Peace at night, whats that?? The most peace I ever get is when my husband is out of town, I put the kids to bed early and watch mindless reality tv shows. : ) Having said that I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else.

  388. Dawn says:

    Divide and conquer! All hands on deck! Whoever (those over the age of bedtime whining and tantrums) happens to be around during the battle gets pulled into the fray/called to duty/directed to the front lines…
    Basically, separate the combatants, fulfill your duty in preparing them for bed, and once the sound of sleepy breathing emanates from their “cells” peace will come.
    That’s what it feels like most nights in our house anyway.
    Do we get hazard pay?

  389. Loryn says:

    There is nothing like all of us piled into our small family room by the fire with various reading materials. It’s quiet, aside from laughter of a funny book, and occasional “listen to this…”, or someone sighing. Love it, my favorite part of the day.

  390. Kerri says:

    My husband creates the peace in our house at night. He does bath time with the boys (ages 3 and 2) I get pajamas ready and set out clothes for the next day. After bath is done and teeth are brushed and pajamas are on - all 4 of us crawl into one of the boys beds and read a book (or 2 or 3!) Then it’s kisses and hugs for every one, and a little quiet for Mommy and Daddy.
    Thinking I would be relieving him, I suggested starting showers with the boys - but he said bath time was one of his favorite time with the boys!

  391. Jaxx says:

    Solo here so no noise or drama to battle but I like to wind down with candles and nature music.

    Thanks for the great freebies. I would definitely cherish that I-pod.

    Reading all the comments is so enjoyable. Makes me remember one of the bedtime rituals when my daughter was little. We had all the usual bath, reading on the couch and cuddling but the part she liked best was when I would escort her down the hall to her bed. I don’t even remember how it started but I had to sing hup, two, three, four and KICK her little bottom all the way down the hall. I know that sounds awful but it was so fun and she would not do without it. Of course I “kicked” her diapered bottom very, very lightly but I can still remember her joyous giggle all the way down the hall.

  392. DW says:

    Peace means children reading books, lights dimmed…
    How I work on making the evenings peaceful is making sure everyone is well fed and has a blanket to cuddle. Its cold up here in the north and a blanket usually makes anyone stop and sit for a while.

  393. Corinne says:

    How do I create peace in my home in the evening? I put my children to bed! :)

  394. Becca says:

    My daugher and I read together. She’s 14 now, and miraculously most nights we still read. Been reading to her at night since she was a wee little thing.

  395. Eva says:

    Bedtime in our house involves a bath, clean jammies, a curly wet head, a sippy cup of milk, lots of cuddles, and books books books. Then a tuck in tight, kisses, and a wish of sweet dreams with assurances of love and security and safety. It’s a magical hour or so.

  396. Lori says:

    My kids are grown (sigh) but a ritual I held with them when they were young was to ask - “What was your favorite thing about today?” I was more often than not surprised at their answers. On days when I may have planned an outing to the zoo or something I thought was a ‘big’ event - their reply would be ‘finding a caterpillar on the lawn’ or ‘making shadow puppets with a flashlight’. It was the little things, always the little things that left the biggest impression.

  397. Melissa says:

    I turn off the tv, the bathroom fans the kids always leave on, all the extra lights… and just listen to the silence.

  398. Tara P says:

    I’m the single mother of a 13-year-old daughter. At night we get in bed together and snuggle and talk about anything and everything that’s on our minds. You wouldn’t believe some of the questions I’ve answered lately now that my daughter has her first boyfriend! ;)

  399. Honor says:

    I love the no-tv rule. We usually spend our winters reading aloud, but at ages 12 and 14, my boys aren’t as interested in hearing Mom read as they used to.

    I’ve recently found some quality quiet time with each of my boys in our new hot tub. My younger son especially will look at me and ask if I want to go in the hot tub. The we soak in the peace and the darkness and discuss our days and hopes and fears and dreams. The time for cuddling is slowly drawing near, but a soak with Mom in the hot tub is a neutral place to get in some together time.

    Honor

  400. Jessica says:

    Well, I have been reading to my five year old at bed time and naps since he was in my tummy. I swear it is the reason he has been able to speak in sentences since he was two! Now e have a ten month old and have continued to read to her as well. She isn’t as good at sitting still though LOL! Our favorite books are Dr Seuss ones :)

  401. Elizabeth says:

    Our new bedtime ritual is to snuggle in bed together and read from a series of books. Our eight year old reads aloud from a book of daily devotions, our eleven year old looks up the bible passage referenced and reads that, we pray together, and then either their dad or I reads a chapter or two from whatever story we’re sharing at the moment.

  402. Spring says:

    We start our bedtime routine with a bath, where she can play with all of her favorite water toys. We then dry off, lotion up, put on our jammies. After chasing her around the house and grabbing her, we brush & occasionally blow dry her hair. She plays for a few minutes and then it’s the best part of the night, The Berenstain Bears, every night at 9. Then it’s off to bed, where daddy tucks her in, then I lay down with her, cuddle, say her prayers and have a little talk or sometimes I make up stories for her. There’s something wonderful about laying in bed with her after a long day.

  403. Aubri says:

    Peace in our house in the evenings is to cuddle under a blanket and watch our latest Netflix DVD. :-) My hunny is an accountant, and those precious hours are the only ones I get alone with him during tax season. :-)

  404. Jenny says:

    Peace comes when I cuddle with my little ones right before bed and we all talk about what our favorite parts of the day is. I love hearing what they think is great and sharing something special that I did with each of them that day.

  405. Villagepig says:

    In our house the hubby and I take in turns to put the kids (nearly 4year old twins)to bed because it is the only time we get alone with the kids during the week and I think that it is important for us to set the pace and tone that we feel is right ofr us as individuals.
    Our ritual is simple but effective and very rewarding). Once pj’s are on, teeth are brushed and poops done both boys jump into 1 bed and hubby or I read a chapter from either the Magic Faraway Tree or Wishing Chair, they insist that it has to be a chapter from one of these which I LOVE since they were my favourite books when I was their age).
    After the story they each get tucked in ostensibly with their 2 teddies (although I know more are hidden under the covers) and we each get take a moment to share our favourite moment from the day - some nights this is a real moment and other times it is really simple but when I have had a particularly hard day it allows me to focus on something that I am thankful for.
    We round the night off with a discussion about what tomorrow will bring.

    On the odd occasion when we are late to bed and want to hurry it makes me pause when the kids remind me of the importance of these moments and realise that the treasure that time just as much as I do.

  406. Christy says:

    We create peace by having a familiar routine, or as close to one as you can with 3 children spread pretty far apart in age. After bath we start turning down lights to ease into the bedtime routine. We spend a lot of time snuggling on the couch and reading. Next comes “tuck in time” where a certain blanket is wrapped a certain way and a certain stuffed animal is tucked a certain way under a sleepy little girl’s arm. Lots more kisses and goodnights and then off to dreamland.

  407. Telima says:

    We spend about a half hour after getting the kids ready for bed singing songs and reading stories together. We end with scripture reading and a family prayer, followed by their favorite soothing song as we carry them to bed. My kids are still really little and this time helps them wind down and get ready to go to sleep without a lot of fuss. I love this time of day!

  408. kylie says:

    Our new bedtime ritual is a book and snuggling in bed! Sometimes we make up stories instead of reading them, they love it! We are also known to have a good family movie night on Wednesdays……you know, weekend preparations!

  409. Christie says:

    Peace in the house begins the moment the last of the two of us walk in the door. A kiss, a hug and silence…just for a minute until we explode into our days adventures with each other.

  410. Natalie says:

    Bedtime is 8pm for my kids. Getting read for bed starts sometime after 7 with getting pajamas on and brushing teeth. Then we’ll read books and then we’ll have a family prayer before taking them to bed.

  411. Julia Johnston says:

    The evenings are always such a busy time for us. Two working parents. We get home at 5pm in time to make dinner, clean up whatever mess the dog made today, dishes, a load or 12 of laundry…hopefully a chance to get in a favorite show. Bubble Baths and bedtime stories… tuck the kiddies into bed turn off the light and kiss their little heads… walk out their bedroom doors hearing “I love you momma”. I sigh a deep breath and revel that another day has come to a close. At this point my husband and I sit on the couch to snuggle in and share some alone time… hard to find these days…. and before my butt can hit the couch I hear a voice from upstairs and foot steps in the hall… “MOM…I cant find my dinosaur”…. “im thursty…” “its really important that you charge my nintendo ds” “I didn’t get enough dinner” (sitting in the fridge on his plate because he wasn’t hungry anymore!! ….

    Sounds peaceful and calm don’t you think? Its a good thing they are so cute or I might think of selling them to the Gypsies!! ;)

  412. Melina says:

    With one baby and one on the way, (so far) our routine is pretty simple. We have dinner together, then it’s bathtime! He splashes away and we laugh. Then we crawl into Mommy and Daddy’s bed and we read books for a little, both of us taking turns reading to our little one. Then we talk to the baby in “Mommy’s belly”, we watch a little Yo Gabba Gabba–Tommy says goodnight to all of his favorite characters. He kisses me “nite nite” and his father puts him in his bed. This ritual is the best part of our day.

  413. Sarah says:

    We have “Double Baby Bath Night!” (I have a 5 year old son and a daughter who will be 2 the end of May). The kids splash each other, the floor, the cat, the dog, my husband, myself, anything within splashing reach. My hubby and I catch up while ducking water attacks. After bath is over, we put on our pj’s (truth be told, I am usally in my pj’s long before bathtime), give hugs and kisses. My son and I retire to his room to read for an hour or so (we just finished reading the entire Harry Potter series, all 4100 pages of it) and my husband takes our daughter to her room to read to her. Bedtime is such an important time, we very rarely deviate from the routine. Its my favorite part of the day!

  414. Emily says:

    Peace in my house is only reached once the dishes are clean or in the dishwasher. It’s a quirk I have, but I can’t feel settled until that’s done. Once my husband and I have kids, however, I’m sure my definition of peace will change dramatically. I guess I’ll enjoy my empty sink until that time comes!

  415. Amy says:

    First is bath-time. Next is wiggle-time where Daddy and Mommy encourage a little oldies (80s) dancing and silliness. Then there’s story-time where we snuggle in the rocker and read to quiet down. Finally there’s quiet-time with a lullaby cd, starry night-light and a few soothing back pats. But its all together-time and that’s all that matters.

  416. Sarah Jean Baker says:

    Our boys are still little…Sawyer just turned two and our twin boys will be three months next week!…we cuddle in our rocker/recliner to read stories, sing songs, and say prayers each night. It’s my favorite time of the day with the boys!

  417. Julie says:

    I don’t know if there really is ever peace in this house with an 11 month old, but we try to keep to the same routine each night- bath, books, bottle, bed. Some nights I am relaxing on the couch by 8:30, some nights I am up all night. Parenthood.

  418. Donna says:

    We try to create peace in the evenings by having a ritual that we follow, but with 4 kids ages 6 and under, there really is no peace in this house!

  419. Beth says:

    With computers and video games, peace isn’t too hard in our house. We eat dinner together, the boys go up to shower and change and from then on, they find their preferred electronic amusement and all is good!

  420. Billie says:

    Who has time to keep to bedtime rituals?

    Now that I’m back to work (I have a 2 month old baby), I’m just happy to get them fed, bathed, and to bed fast enough for me to try and get a few hours of z’s.

    Rituals in my house are things you do for a few days/weeks/months and then forget about them because life is too busy to stick with them.

    My most recent bedtime ritual with my toddler is to sit in her room next to her toddler bed until she is asleep or almost asleep. I just moved her to the toddler bed Monday night (and had to sit there for 20 minutes patting her back until she fell asleep). Last night I was able to pat her back for a minute, sit next to the bed while she spouted gibberish interspersed with the word “Ma!!” for about 10 minutes, and finally walk out while she was still awake. Granted, I stayed in the hall for another few minutes and had to tell her to get back in bed once.

  421. Jacqui says:

    We have a 15 month old, and our nighttime routine is jammies after dinner, watching In The Night Garden snuggled in the rocker, then stories (if she sits still.. lol) and down for sleep. I love the idea of turning down all the lights and lighting candles. I think we will begin to incorporate that tradiion.

  422. Carolie says:

    My husband comes home from being deployed for weeks (or usually months)…or just comes home from daily shore duty. After dinner, and computer time, and sometimes television, comes my favorite time of the night.

    We’re getting ready for bed, and talking about nothing much with each other. Whoever is ready first lies down on top of the covers, usually perpendicular to the bed. The partner finishes his or her ablutions and flops down beside the one already on the bed. We stare at the ceiling, not touching, enjoying each other’s nearness in the dim golden light of a reading lamp. We talk about nothing and everything, and usually laugh a lot. It’s comfortable and peaceful and gives us both a sense of communion that is somehow more intimate than sex (which also happens, but is not part of this tale!)

    Until I met my husband, my idea of peace at the end of the day was when I was finally ALONE on the couch with a good book…but this…ah, THIS is so much better!

  423. Carolie says:

    Oh…when I was little, peace flowed from my mother, singing to us in the dark. We each got one story and two songs, every night. To this day, the sound of “Jacob’s Ladder” or “Michael Row Your Boat Ashore” can take me right back to the comfort of my mother’s arms.

  424. Robin says:

    bedtime. Its the time I look forward to the most, and the time I wish would never come.

  425. Ashley says:

    We’re still in the throes of “little kid” bedtime, but I know our time here is limited. We’ve kept a consistent bedtime routine since our daughter was born, and it seems to keep things pretty peaceful.

  426. carmen says:

    I hope I’m not too late!

    I have a 4 month old and 3 year old so we’re still working out the kinks in the bedtime routine as the baby gets incorporated into our world. For right now the one thing that remains constant is evening popcorn around 7:30 or 8pm and then my 3 year old goes to the potty and brushes teeth with daddy and then they read books together in bed. I either participate or don’t depending upon how the baby is doing.

  427. Jen W. says:

    I am due with my first baby in August, and I am hoping to file away as many of these ideas as I can to make nighttime peaceful for the future… :) Our household now is a TV-on-all-the-time household (my hubby and my mom can’t STAND to be without the background noise, whereas I am perfectly happy to turn it on to watch the program I want, then turn it back off) and I am kind of oogly-eyed over reading about all the households that turn off the TV/electronics at night and have quiet time… it sounds sooo nice!

  428. sherry says:

    Peace in our home comes after a bath (which is decidedly NOT peaceful with all the splashing). Once they’re dressed in pajamas and have had their hair dried, we do snack time and story time and it makes the evenings so nice and quiet. We used to wind down with a TV show and read in bed but I found that it worked better to turn the TV off at bath time and read on the couch - less fighting that way.

  429. Ly says:

    We read (and re-read) chapter books aloud to our two 8 year olds…almost every night. AND almost every night one of the older two will just wander in to listen to the story too. It is probably the most peace this family finds on any given day. I can hear my husband reading to them now… And I find it peaceful. =-)

  430. LeeAnn says:

    Peace for me is when the kids head off to their rooms to listen to music or social network on their computers. Then I can take a nice hot bath while reading a book.

  431. Betsy says:

    I try to keep after dinner time low-key, maybe some cuddling and a tv show but most of the time just a few minutes of playing before bed. Bedtime is pajamas, brushing teeth and then sitting on my bed and reading a stack of books with my son. I think that’s my son’s favorite part of the day- having uninterrupted quiet cuddle time with me (or grandma on the nights I work late, bless her).

  432. Amy Perry says:

    Being a single mom and running a new business the most time I get with my kids is their bedtime. So I lay down next to them in bed while they give me the run down of their whole day. Then we talk about what kind of vacation we are going to take together when we can then I read to them till they fall asleep.

  433. Layanee says:

    Creating peace involves one glass of wine, a book, and a snoring dog.

  434. Cathy says:

    Does wine count? Peace happens when I talk with each child while tucking her into bed. I ask about her day, and I may get the happy and I may get the sad. No matter, though, I get to spend one-on-one time with each of my girls and find out what’s on her mind. It’s peaceful and nice.

  435. Janette says:

    We have a two-year old, so we have the usual routine of jammies, brushing teeth, stories in bed, and then, ahhh, lights out and quiet time for me and my husband. However, my favorite part of the evening is when I walk back into my son’s room to make sure he has his blankets on before I go to sleep. So precious to watch him sleeping peacefully.

  436. Alison W says:

    I think I find our bedtime ritual as soothing and relaxing as my four year old. She loves her warm bath and warm (usually princess) jammies. My husband will make up a story or we’ll read a favorite from a book. Sometimes we listen to music on the Pandora Laurie Berkner Channel. Always we giggle and find the stuffed animals that must be included. Finally, we say our prayers and turn out the lights.

  437. Kal says:

    As a paramedic, my “bedtime” is often at the end of a nightshift. I roll into my apartment at half past seven and eat breakfast with my roomie, she tells me about her dreams and her forthcoming day and I tell her about my previous night, the highs and lows, successes and tragedies.

    Sun shining through my window, I’ll sleep all day with the light and warmth on me.

    Peace and bedtime aren’t just for nighttime.

  438. Rachael says:

    Peace in our home comes when we settle down for a story at bedtime. Our son (21 months) chooses his book, and brings it to me. He snuggles in my lap and I read to him, breathing in the scent of the top of his head and knowing that every second with him is precious. Those are my favorite moments of the evening.

  439. Heather says:

    My four year old and I read 2 books together on her beanbag chair…then she reads one to me. Then, the lights are turned off and we snuggle and “chit chat” about the day and count the stars on her ceiling while listening to her bed time music.

  440. Lisa says:

    peace in my home at bedtime? my son is 9 months old and breastfed. when the particular piece of anatomy he desires is present, all is well.

  441. WesternPATexan says:

    Lately our house has not been very peaceful at bedtime…hence my desire to win one of the prizes! We have three kiddos, a boy (12) and two girls (6 & 4)…cuddle time with a soft blanket and some music might be the perfect solution.

  442. Stacy Herr says:

    Cuddled up on the couch with lots of blankets and the puppy keeping us warm is my favorite way to create peace and happiness.

  443. Jean says:

    After bathtime, complete with lots of bubble chomping and splashtime, my 18 month old and I go downstairs to put his ’sleepysuit’ on. Then he picks out a couple of books, and we always end with the Cat in the Hat. That quiet time of night always goes by too fast!

  444. Jilly L says:

    My 5 year old gets a bath and picks out 2 stories to read with either myself or my husband and then I get a cup of tea and hit the couch for tv or a book for a little while.

  445. Erika says:

    To create peace and harmony in the evening, we first start with a combo game of tickle monster and hide and seek. That gets our two girls (7&4) really riled up, and helps expend all of that crazy kid energy. Next is baths - the girls take turns. They each have their own special bubble bath and they get to control what music they listen to while in bath. It is a nice, quiet way for each girl to have complete quiet and control over their bathtime, no sharing necessary. Then after the baths, we read the books, or our oldest reads to us. After we leave, the girls are allowed to leave their lamps on and read for a little while. They are nearly always conked out within 10 minutes. I love the contrast between the high energy ticklemonster/hide and seek, and then within an hour, all has settled and is peaceful.

  446. Amy says:

    Am I too late?

    Bedtime is total chaos at our house. And I only have 2 kids. But one of them hates to go to sleep, and has always hated it, except for that first week after she was born. She’s three and a half now. I can’t wait for her to learn to read so that at least she can lie quietly in her bed and occupy herself. She can read in her bed until midnight as long as she is quiet and not calling for one or the other of us over and over and over again.

  447. Karla M. says:

    I am a Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) nurse who works night shift. So my creation of peace in the evening may be a bit different than others (seeing as I wake up around 4pm). I start my evening by going to the gym for an hour with one of my girlfreinds, coming home & making dinner, and then waiting patiently for a call/email from my husband who is in the Air Force currently deployed in Iraq. We set aside a time, 7-8pm, when he MAY be able to come online to chat or make a phone call home. It doesn’t always work out because he may be too busy, the internet may be down by him, etc. But everyday I am here waiting to hear from him. It’s a good night when I get to “talk” to him for the short time he is allowed!

  448. Ross Bryant says:

    We have peace and quite because we let our kids grow up, go to college, move out and get jobs…

  449. kristen says:

    I create peace by putting the boys to bed early and having quiet time with a book.

  450. Denise says:

    Peace.. what is this peace at bedtime you speak of? I suppose if you mean roughhousing till everyone passes out in bed then that is how we do it.. a long time honored tradition with my husband.. heheh ok..he also makes up great stories too, and my 12 year old daughter tells her brothers stories as well!

  451. Gina says:

    Hmmmmm….After the kids have run around and stirred themselves into a frenzy, taking some time to lay with them in their beds & read is about the only thing that settles them down. Even taking showers seems to rev them up! So, I guess we create peace by reading together. I take one, my husband takes the other…and all is peaceful. Until the next giggling fit…

  452. Mom in MN says:

    I force my husband and kids to turn off the Wii! With three highly competitive people in my house that Christmas gift has been both a joy and a pain. (Usually it is the latter.)
    Also, the kids are required to read 20 minutes/day 5 days a week so I reserve bedtime as their required reading time.

  453. Betsy says:

    Right now peace in the evenings means I get a bit of alone time reading while my husband gives baths and reads stories. Then I get the baby to nurse to sleep while he snuggles with the older 3. It’s an ever changing dance, though.

  454. Colette says:

    Things go most smoothly when I am the only adult home and I can devote time just to keep her and her 5 month brother happy. I have to ensure I get the house completely organized in the mornings , dinner prepped while I have some time and no need to be rushing with other things on my mind. I can make sure she has her dinner early, give her time to choose the exact books she wants to read. I was happy to learn that I had a toddler who, like me, did not nap, and the best part of that is she is ready for bed quite early. The house gets quiet and I can read for a while before my husband comes home to make everything messy again.

  455. jennifer says:

    I have a newborn, which means the “peace” part doesn’t always come that early– it does often follow a “cranky” part. Still, we try a bath and snuggle time, and sometimes it even works!

  456. ANTM says:

    I do not actually have kids but have two dogs instead. We create peace by taking them out for a walk or to the dog park to wear them out. Then we all snuggle up together to watch a show or movie.

  457. Cindy says:

    One kid’s left home, the other one will leave in the fall and she’s off doing teen stuff many nights. Frankly, I’d like a little less peace and a few more nights of bath, books and cuddles. (-:

  458. Jewelee says:

    Reading after dinner.

  459. jen says:

    There is no peace these kids are crazy and outnumber me!

  460. Tammie says:

    Peace in the evening? I get that by going home, to my childless home.
    I have two younger sisters, one has a baby who is six months old, the other has a two year old. It’s the classic case of “winding up the kid” and then leaving. I play with my niece and nephew for a few hours, or babysit them. By the time I leave, it’s usually their bedtime, and I am worn out. Off to my quiet, peaceful home… after I get my “baby fix”.

  461. maegan says:

    peace is created with a glass of red wine and a good book.

  462. Mary Beth says:

    The REAL peace comes once the kids are asleep. Until then we snuggle up with bedtime stories in bed before lights out.

  463. Beth C says:

    Peace? My kids are older now and one usually goes to bed as soon as she finishes her homework and the other is an insomniac and hates it to be quiet so I’m still working on the peace at bedtime thing.

  464. Janalyn says:

    Bedtime peace for me comes in phone calls or text messages. My husband is a police officer on the night shift, and I can never sleep until I know that he’s safe, even if he’s not with me.

  465. Julie says:

    Peace? Peace happens in my house when my girls, 5 and 2, figure out that they aren’t going to get ___________(fill in the blank) until their things are picked up. It’s peaceful when they work together to get to their promised reward.

  466. JLP717 says:

    A bath and a healthy snack seems to wind them down. And then once they are in bed, the grownups break out the unhealthy snacks that the kids are not allowed to have!

  467. Katy says:

    Its just me and my daughter. After homework I boil water for tea/hot chocolate. There is usually another test to study for or math facts to go over, but even though she is still working on school stuff just having that warm tea makes everything seem calm and quite.

  468. Shannon says:

    Yep, I know. My 12 year old goes to bed after I do now. It is only a matter of time before it is all four of them. I do not know of the peace you speak of, lol.

  469. edj says:

    Peace in my home. My three are all teens now (as of two days ago), so bedtimes are very different than they used to be. But my daughter still likes me to make up stories when I tuck her in, about a girl with her name who looks just like her and who has wild fantastical adventures. My son still sleeps with a stuffed friend. My oldest still likes a bedtime kiss. I still love my alone time when they’re all in bed.

  470. Rachel says:

    Well, either I or my husband is working a bunch of nights, so it’s normally one parent with the child. As far as peach, we only have one, so I let the dog in and let him go out it. It might be loud, but he is happy, and that to me is peace. If I want quiet with my peace, I put him in bed and the dog will snuggle up with me.

  471. Jessica Tierney says:

    We read at night right before bed too. Dinner and bathtime are chaotic and loud. Story time is so peaceful. Then up to beds for prayers and tucking in individual kids. Ahhhh. Blissfully quiet.

  472. Danielle says:

    Peace in our apartment comes when our upstairs neighbours are out or on holiday. They stomp around so much!

    But really, my most peaceful part of the day is when my soon-to-be husband and I are getting ready for bed and we are talking about our days and future plans, just relaxing in bed, sometimes listening to music or reading. But mostly just dreaming.

  473. Rachel says:

    I try to not schedule anything in the evening. I know it won’t last, as my kids are getting older, but for now, we try not to go anywhere, so there is actually time to wind down, to read, to wrestle Daddy or the dog and just settle in. I hate having the evening feel like we’re rushing around.

  474. Rmustard10 says:

    A peaceful evening….listening to my husband play with my son in the other room while listening to Patty Griffin in the background. Meanwhile I read my sisters blog and catch up on her life since we don’t live close. A warm bath for the little guy..bubbles bubbles….a few little board books, a glass of wine for me, good conversation with my bestfriend (my husband) and warm covers (I live in the midwest-it’s cold right now!) pulled up over me.

  475. Pam says:

    Peaceful evenings start with hot chocolate and cinnamon toast then we listen to a book on CD.
    Kids, pets, blankets, very relaxing for this family :-)

  476. emily says:

    Peace around here is the last moments of hugs and kisses and eskimo kisses before I leave the room, and then the glass of wine when I get back downstairs.

  477. Jo Anne says:

    Peace - - - lights low, some quiet whispers, read a few pages from a book and hugs and kisses all around.

  478. K says:

    Peace is our home is at nap time or bed time. At nap time I usually hold my 13 month old in my arms (she’s spoiled rotten) and I’ll either surf the internet, read or take a nap myself. Bed time is the most peaceful. Once my daughter is down for the night in her crib I have a few peaceful moments to read and relax, alone, before going to bed.

  479. Linda says:

    We always read a few books in my bedroom and then get tucked in her own bed. Then she stays up half the night reading in her own bed!!!!

  480. kate says:

    My routine is to get the baby down first, then go in and spend time with each of the older two. It never gets old watching the older two kiss the baby goodnight!

  481. Mandi says:

    Peace….we get peace by enforcing a strict 8pm bedtime for everyone. We just love it when the clock strikes 8! Mom and dad cherish their quiet!

  482. Elena J says:

    I create peace by sending all the kids to bed! (But first we all pray together.)

  483. Isabelle says:

    We all go to sleep after reading in our beds for an hour or so.

  484. Stephanie in AR says:

    When its time to calm down & try to sleep we turn off all overhead lights leaving only small lamps for light. If the kids are ‘camping out’ on the family room floor (usually) we put in a video - usually “Last of the Summer Wine” and watch until everyone is asleep. Sometimes I win the sleep race, other times Daddy does. This might need to change as the kids have gotten to know the cast & are not falling asleep as quickly as they once did.

  485. Jen says:

    With a 10 year old girl and a 7 year old boy who lately are ALWAYS fighting, peace only comes hours after bedtime when I sneak in and kiss them goodnight. Been doing it forever, it’s my favorite part of the day.

  486. Julie says:

    We have family reading time. Either everyone has a separate book, or an adult reads to a child. We climb into our king size bed and it’s quiet for a few precious minutes before bed.

  487. Kathryn says:

    My daughters are still young, so nightime peace is as simple as cuddling together and reading a story. Every night I’m amazed at how they can go from bouncing-off-the-walls to ready-for-bed after just a few books.

  488. Kris Kauffmann says:

    I create peace by keeping TVs out of the bedroom and always reading just a little bit every night before I sleep.

  489. Melisa says:

    Last month, we canceled our satellite subscription. Now we have family game night or DVD movie night with our three teenagers. This one thing has created much peace in our home.

  490. Jennifer says:

    Every night, my 4 year old and I practice the same 4 part ritual. It begins with teeth brushing and is followed by reading a book together. It ends with prayers. But in the middle, rests my favorite part - we stand in the window and wish on a star together. And almost every night, interrupted only occasionally by wishing for a four wheeler, my son wishes for “this”…a big bear hug and sloppy wet kiss for me. And I melt and breathe a restful sigh.

  491. MamaNurse says:

    Making snacks and playing Wii. There may or may not be a glass of wine involved for mom to make the peace happen faster.

    It’s the evenings that bring everyone together that create peace in our house. (it gets a lil’ tough with 4 girls ages 1 - 12.)

  492. Amanda says:

    peace? a book and a bottle of wine. I do not have kids though. :)

  493. Sabrina says:

    I am not so sure that peace comes in the form of quiet in our household of 5. It comes when we all sit down to dinner together whether it is at 5 before practices or 9:30pm after we have all returned from practices and showered. It is the one time of day that we are all able to sit down together and talk about our days. I find peace in this knowing that one day I will not hear their voices talking *screaming* over the others.

  494. angie says:

    The best bed-time ritual is the bath, rub-down, storytime and singing our prayer. The little ones will go to bed after that every time.

  495. Christy F. says:

    Peace begins after I have put my 3 rambunctious boys to bed and can settle in my bubble bath with a book. It doesn’t matter how late it gets, I need that alone time in the tub to save my sanity!

  496. heatherinohio says:

    My boys like it when I lie down with them in the dark in their bedroom and we play “My Grandma owns a grocery store and in the store is something that starts with the letter….”. They take turns guessing the item. It’s a nice way to wind down and enjoy a laugh at the end of the day.

  497. kn. says:

    We hand the 2-year-old his suck — his word for the pacifier that we all know he shouldn’t have anymore — and say his bedtime prayer, then feed the 4-month-old a bottle with cereal in it. And that is that. Whew.

  498. vermontmommy says:

    Peaceful, bedtimes? Haaaa! Honestly, 6 kids peaceful? Really?

    My very favorite time is when our youngest runs around the house giving everyone hugs and kisses (even the dog). I love that they all like to be read to. I love that they all want to be tucked in. I also love it when they are all tucked in and sleep through the night.

  499. Ruthie says:

    Reading in bed with the kids is my favorite time of day. Followed closely by the peace and quiet that settles over the house when everyone except me is asleep and I can read my own book!

  500. Tari says:

    We get everyone into “jammas”, brush teeth, turn out all the lights except for a small lamp and snuggle to soft music. Sometimes stuffed animals to cuddle are involved.

  501. Robin says:

    Delurking for such a fabulous contest! Love your blog Chris and to answer your question: my fav way to create peace in my home is to turn off the TV. Period! Just doing that starts conversations and quiet(er) relaxation. I also love reading before bed, even if it’s just a few pages. Thanks!

  502. Julee says:

    I too, live in the land of three teenagers. Peace is hard to find because of homework assignments and deadlines. However, I do think just having dinner, talking a little, and then on to homework brings a little peace. It is a routine and everyone has a place to be. My oldest son is usually upstairs reading for his college classes, my fifteen year old son and I are slaving away on his endless class assignments, and my sweet daughter with Down Syndrome is usually watching a Hannah Montana episode before she off to bed. My husband then helps my fifteen year old with the dreaded algebra before exhausted we all land in bed. It is busy, but expected.

  503. Ellen W says:

    Peace is sitting in the rocking chair in my 9 month old son’s room nursing him while listening to music.

  504. Angela says:

    Peace? Peace? What is that? Is this a new word you created? I haven’t heard of this “peace” since my oldest was born almost 20 years ago…..;)

  505. Karen says:

    Peace is when I get my glass of wine. Doesn’t mean it’s peaceful in the house, just that I don’t seem to notice the chaos so much!

  506. Catootes says:

    Finding peace at the end of a busy day with the 14 yr old boy and 12 yr old girl is no easy task, after sports, karate, homework, dinner and the rest of the household insanity.
    Our preferred method of evening peace is to hang out in the living room, watching DVD episodes of Whose Line Is It Anyway? or just sharing parts of our day as we read, do crafts or sit snuggled up and talking. We like to hang out together, so we do that in the evenings, before bed. It’s a nice way to end the day.

  507. Liberty says:

    After the supper/clean up/homework combo we play a game. Sometimes indoor hide and go seek. Doesn’t sound peaceful, but all that chasing wears them out and they most definitely are ready for reading after the last round. Sometimes card games or chutes and ladders. Sometimes there’s just time to hustle them to their various habitats and start again the next day.

  508. George says:

    We have a family bed, we co-sleep with the 4 littlest kids. We start at our late tea usually, with turning down the lights a little, lighting candles and having a good meal with good conversation. After tea we sometimes play some calm music while we start bed time routines. The 4 yo. first, and I love that our two 6 yos. often climb into bed with him, and all three take turns reading a few pages each of a few books. Then there’s kisses and hugs all around before we say goodnight. Then we take the two 6 yos. to brush teeth, and then we go into the library and we take turns reading a chapter each from whatever book we’re currently on. And when they’re bedtime comes around, they still kiss their 11 yo. brother goodnight, and he lets both her and him. Then they get into the family bed where the 4 yo. is sleeping, and they snuggle up close to each other and fall asleep like that, often holding hands, or having their arms around each other. Watching that is quite magical and very peaceful.

    Then we usually put PJ’s on the baby, and one of us snuggle with her on the couch while she gets her last meal of the day. And then she falls asleep on one of us, in a wrap, and sleeps there through the evening (she’s just 7 weeks old). And the other one tucks the 11 yo. in, in his bed, in his room.

    A little later, I usually walk in to check on them all, and watching them sleep, adjusting covers, giving a little kiss on the head, it’s the best thing.
    Watching my two 6 yos. snuggled up in their sleep, it melts my heart.
    And having a sleeping baby on your chest in a wrap, feeling and hearing her calm breathing, nothing is more peaceful than that.

  509. samantha jo campen says:

    We have a 2 year old so routine totally helps. We always do a bath ( he LOVES it and I assume water is relaxing for him as well) and we always read a few stories. With him knowing what to expect there are less tantrums and an easy transition to bed.

    samanthajocampen at gmail

  510. Katie says:

    Peace in the evening starts with a bath right after supper. Then jammies get put on, and I turn the lights down low. Even my husband claims that dimming the lights helps him to unwind after a long day. Then we read two books, sing a goodnight prayer, and then say a prayer. My girls (ages 1 & 3) go to bed at 7 pm without a fuss. This is just the routine they are used to and it works. Ahhh. Then it’s time for mom to relax.

  511. Vegas Princess says:

    Since both my husband and I get home very late from our jobs we usually go to bed as soon as we get home. Unwinding that quickly is sometimes difficult so we have a routine. We watch a half hour of TV, but only a half hour. Then we turn the lights off and chat for a while, snuggling. We have a sound machine that simulated a babbling brook or ocean waves that helps to sooth our jumpy nerves. Sometimes I read too when I am especially too awake to sleep.