After months of struggling with Claire waking everybody up insanely early in the morning and me stressing out over how to keep it from happening, I have found a solution that works for now. I have been putting the girls to bed by 6:30 and it has worked out perfectly (thanks beth for the inspiration!). I finally realized that if I could not change the time they were waking up, I could at least make up for it on the other end. The girls fall asleep within minutes of their heads hitting the pillow and I have noticed that the big girls are much more rested when they wake up. I feel a lot less guilty when Claire wakes them up early on a school day because I know that they have gotten a full night's sleep. This week, Ryan has been out of town and it has been such a relief to have them in bed early and to have hours of peace and quiet to regroup before I start it all over again the next day. I know that this routine won't last forever...once the warmer weather is here and the sun is still shining bright at 6:30, I won't be able to fool them into believing that it's bedtime, but I'll take it as long as it lasts and we'll figure out what works when that time comes. Because isn't that how parenting always is? Getting things perfectly figured out just in time for them to change again. Keeps us on our toes, I guess. Or just gives us premature wrinkles and high blood pressure.