Since the girls have started sharing a room, our bed time routine has gone through several transitions and experiments. I think we've finally found something that works, that's fun and that's manageable (read: doesn't take all evening).
Here's what usually happens.
During dinner, Annelee starts rubbing her eyes. So, once we are done eating (around 7pm - 7.15pm), I take her to make the rounds to say good night to Daddy and Vivian and we head upstairs. Annelee's bed time is still super simple. I take her clothes off, change her diaper, put her in her jammies and sleep-sack.
Then we dim the light, make sure we have a binky and I sit down and nurse her. She's usually drifting off before I even manage to switch her to the other side, and by the time she's done nursing on both sides, she's asleep. So I simply put her in her crib, kiss her good night and leave the room.
While I get Annelee ready, Vivian gets undressed and puts on her pull-up and pajamas and then goes downstairs to play with Daddy. I join them and - if I'm motivated - we clean up before heading upstairs. Vivian does the rest of her bed-time routine with only very little help (but frequent reminders of what she should be doing ...). Brush teeth, wash face, brush hair.
Then we curl up on the bed and read a book or a story. It's often the same one many nights in a row until she finally tires of the book or I can't take it anymore and insist on a different book (usually the latter).
Then, we pick up the phone and Vivian calls Daddy (yes, we make a phone call every evening because we are too lazy to go to the basement ... ). I actually like it because soon, she will have memorized his phone number and would be able to make a phone call independently. My number is next :) Will answers the phone and Vivian says breathlessly "Daddy come up and kiss me, Mommy and I will hine [hide] for you". Then we hide under the blanket until Daddy comes up.
He and Vivian will then kiss and cuddle and tickle and whatever else (none of that "winding down before going to sleep" stuff for us, apparently). Vivian usually kicks me out for this part with the words: "Mommy, go downstairs". Once they are done, I come back up, and Vivian tells me how many kisses and hugs she wants (great practice of counting in German, she more or less makes it to 20 these days) and then I tell her how many I want.
One last quick stop to go to the bathroom, then I sneak her very very very quietly into her room, tuck her in, lay down for a minute and then say good night one final time before walking out.
It is now between 8.30pm and 8.45pm and if all goes well that's the last that we hear from Vivian until the morning, and some nights, that's even the last we hear from Annelee until she wakes up around 6am to nurse (for which she comes into our bed and often falls asleep again).
On days where Vivian starts whining and getting noisy when I walk out of the room (or when she gets up again for some reason), all bets are off, unfortunately. We have instituted a sticker reward chart for not waking Annelee up and that has been working pretty well for the last couple of nights.
One final funny story about the sticker chart. We visited with friends on Saturday and put Annelee down in their spare bedroom. Bob, our host, forgot that she was in that room and walked in, turned on the light and woke her up. Vivian's immediate comment was "Bob will not get a sticker in the morning because he woke Annelee up!". I think we have drilled that concept into her pretty well, huh? :)