I love days like today. With kids, we as parents are often woken up before we'd actually like to roll out of bed. (And somedays, that's never!) But miraculously today, everyone slept in!I always wish that when people had told me with my first baby to "sleep when baby sleeps" that I would have listened. But instead I thought I needed to be up doing things. When my doctor finally said "Hey, if you don't get some sleep SOON you're going to end up in the hospital," I did listen. It's so much harder to "sleep when baby sleeps" when you've got more than one! Luckily I have been very blessed to have children who started sleeping through the night VERY early. My oldest started sleeping through the night around 4 - 5 months and my baby girl started even earlier than that. Most people I tell that want to throw things at me or tell me that I should be done having my kids now that I've had two who did that! What can I say, they both like their sleep!
I think one thing that also helps is trying to establish somewhat of a routine. I don't particularly adhere to a strict "bath at seven, read a story at seven thirty, bed by eight" kind of routine but I do try and do things in the same manner every evening. My husband works nights so I am usually the one giving them baths and putting them to bed. When my children were babies (well, one still is!) they always liked having a bath, having a bottle & rocking and then being put to sleep.
My son who is currently four doesn't really like going to bed anymore so we sometimes have battles over that - especially since he has to get up early three days a week for preschool. He had a lamp in his room which I had to remove because he kept getting up, turning it on and then getting out tons of toys to play with. He has a small nightlight still, though. He is very particular about his bedroom too - he listens to a certain CD each night on his CD player, wants his fan on, wants such and such blanket and a certain stuffed animal, etc. Sometimes I think it's just a ploy to stay up later but it doesn't really bother me - I know that I like to have certain things in my bedroom, as well.
My kids vary on their stances on naps - some days they're okay with them, other days they are in a marathon to stay awake alllll day. I don't like to force them to take naps but sometimes you know, they just need one! (Don't we all sometimes??)