There are times when what has worked in the past, no longer works. This had been the case with getting the boys to stay in their beds after bedtime. I'm embarrassed to say how long I kept trying the same thing -- and how long it just didn't work anymore!
I'm happy to say that we've finally turned a corner. Almost a month ago I started a chart for both boys. If they stayed in their bed for 30 days after being tucked in (not counting bathroom needs or illness), they would earn something they coveted. (C chose a book, N chose a safari truck) A little over 2 weeks ago the motions were in place so that they no longer shared a bedroom.
In 3 days, C should receive his book. In a little over a week, N should receive his truck. (N had a bit of a backtrack and we had to start his chart over.) Bedtime is pretty much understood again -- when they are tucked in (after bath, books, drinks, snacks, and prayers) they stay in bed. C falls asleep within minutes, while N tends to stay awake much longer. The difference, however, is that he stays in his bed. When they shared a room, they would talk and play and keep each other awake. They spend plenty of time together during the day, we decided that nighttime togetherness was just too much.
This has made evenings much more pleasant. DH & I are able to watch adult shows without interruption. I am able to relax and get some much needed downtime after a day of caretaking.
Our mornings are much easier now. Schooling is going much better now! Temper tantrums, arguments and fighting have decreased dramatically (among all 3 of us!)
We also decided that N was through with wearing pull-ups at night in the last month. C had been motivated to move into underpants at night, but N just wasn't willing to give up the convenience. With C, we went through a process where he had to have a dry pull-up in the morning for 7 days, then could move into underpants. He was motivated and it happened. With N, we went cold turkey. He did have a few accidents, but he's been dry for a couple weeks now and has no desire to go back to pull-ups. He just needed a little push and I'm glad that DH gave it to him.
There was a part of me that wanted the boys to continue sharing a room. The reality right now is that it was hindering sleep for both of them and causing havoc throughout our day (and night!) DH & I are still trying to plan for a room for L, but are not in a hurry to move her out of our bedroom, so we have time for a plan.
We haven't moved all the toys back in the house. I'm going very slowly . . . and it is helping them keep what they do have neat. The new arrangement is helping N gain a bit of independence (for too long now he has refused to get dressed alone in his room - finally he is willing to do tasks in his room without me or C with him.)
There have been lots of changes in our household in the last month. But, they have made for a much more peaceful household! Letting go can make way for so much more!