I am trying to remember what we did when we only had JD. I think we would read to him, then put him to bed. Perhaps Wife can comment about that.
Around The Block
When Bunny was born, things changed. She would scream every night until it became routine to go for a nightly walk in my arms around our block. So, from June through October, around 7:30 or 8:00pm, that's what we would do. I would sing to her or tell her about the things around us. We passed the same places most nights and met people who were outside at that time. It was a great and memorable time for me. Bunny would sometimes fall asleep, but often just lay in my arms and look around.
We have almost always done story time in our bed. Now that the kids are reading, we have changed from simply reading a story to them. JD and Bunny each read a beginning reader book to us. I am planning on having them read the same story for a few days, or until they sound like they can each read all of the words fluently. Then, we read a chapter from a chapter book. Currently, we are reading, Charlotte's Web. After story time it is time for bed.
"Take that JD! Take that Bunny!"
After story time, JD would say, "Take that JD!" and wait for me to pick him up and throw him into bed. Then Bunny caught on. So I would carry both of them, sometimes one at a time, sometimes together, to their room. That rarely happens anymore, as it became a competition for them and would rile them up just when they had finished winding down.
Finish in Song
For a long time, I would sing, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," followed by, "Jingle Bells," and would finish with, Goodnight Moon. That sequence lasted for a good year, maybe two. I remember doing that when Bunny was still in her crib and JD was in his bed. They shared a room until two weeks ago.
After a while, I got tired of the routine and changed to, "Fools Rush In," followed by, Goodnight Moon.
It was sometime in the last six months or so that Bunny, during, "Fools Rush In," would reach her hand out to me when I would sing the words, Take my hand, take my whole life, too. It is very sweet.
Sometimes, the kids join me singing.
Now that the kids have their own rooms, I sing, "Fools Rush In," to Bunny and tell JD about the next day. Sometimes JD wants me to cuddle with him for a few minutes. Then, I turn on some music. For a long time, I had an iPod dock and would play Bedtime with the Beatles. The old iPod died recently, so I tuned the radio to the classical station. Until I pony up to buying the kids their own radios, I have the one from their shared room in the hallway so they can both hear.