Some days the "naptime countdown" happens as soon as all of the kids get out bed. When the girls were little, they took three naps/day for what seemed like a looooong time. I remember transitioning down to only two and we had that schedule for quite some time. The two nap schedule was wake up time: 7 a.m. , nap from 9-11am, lunch, nap from 1-3pm and bed at 7p.m. It was a great schedule until.... daylight savings time snuck up on us. For the time change, I would generally move their schedule gradually over a two week period to adjust to the new time. I completely forgot to do that, so everything just shifted. They got up at 8:00 and somehow their naptime moved to 11 a.m. They were then sleeping until 1pm, having lunch, and taking another nap from 4-6pm with bedtime around 8:00 or 8:30p.m.
Although it was nice to have that extra "rest" period in the afternoon, it sure made it difficult to go anywhere for any length of time. By the time we woke up from naps, ate lunch, and got ready, it was just about time for another nap! So, at about 21 months, we finally dropped the second nap and went down to just one. Currently, its from about 11a-2pm and sometimes even 2:30. After that, the girls have lunch and we just play play play until its time for dinner and bedtime.
I think a lot of kids that go to daycare are forced to drop that second nap right around 12 months. One benefit of staying home with my kids is that I can try and go with their natural rhythm more and not force them into a schedule that just doesn't work for them. I went over to Brian's aunt's house the other day to pick up a quad stroller and somehow this came up... She said, "Well that schedule would never fly at daycare. You mean they nap during lunchtime?" I just said, "Yup! We eat lunch around 3pm." and she was just like, "Huh." It may seem a little funny, but with the one nap thing, inevitably two meals are going to be close together. The girls get up around 8:00 and we end up eating probably closer to 9:00. So, if they had a later nap then they would be eating lunch at probably 12:00. When did eating and sleeping get so complicated!?!?
The boys have their own schedule and tend to take a nice long nap when the girls are sleeping too. I just call it "Mommy break time!" In my mind, the boys don't have a set schedule, but I think that's because I'm just too tired to "notice" what time they do everything. Things always go the same everyday, but when they are a little off I don't fret because bedtime gives everyone a reset and the next day we start fresh!