OK, I finally got smart. Or finally took some peoples advice...
Bedtime since the transition to toddler beds has been tough for this momma. We did our normal routine of dinner, bath, and bedtime. We tuck them in and turned on the music and I would pat them to sleep. Getting L to sleep is not as hard as A. I struggled and lost some sanity and finally realized that something has to change.
We did cry it out when the girls were babies and I just wasn't sure of how to tuck my girls in bed and just leave the room. I worried about clothes being thrown everywhere and furniture being destroyed. But like I said, something had to give, I was loosing it again. So I child proofed the drawers and I put a child proof door knob cover on and prayed hard.
The advice was to tuck them in, say goodnight, give kisses and leave the room. So... that is what I/we did. The first night took about 15 minutes of crying and the girls repeating "pat pat momma" pat pat... over and over again. Then silence. I gave it about 20 more minutes and then went in to check on them and they were asleep! Silence is golden! And they were in their beds! The next night it was about 20 minutes but this time it wasn't crying the whole time, but more of a whine. Then again silence. Checking on them before bed and they were still in their appropriate beds. The next night, so much easier and only about 5-10 minutes of whining, and I believe that they got out of their beds and J went in their room and firmly told them it was bedtime and to stay in bed. They got into bed and that was it.
I believe that they understand that it is bedtime and we are working on our second week now. The weekend naps were interesting but I did tell them that I was only staying in for 5 minutes and they needed to go to sleep and thankfully they did. Now if they hadn't I would have left as I told them, so they understand that I mean what I am telling them. If we hear them playing we go in and tell them to get into bed that its sleep time. We haven't had to do that more than 2-3 times on any occasion. So far anyway. Their bedtime did change and they now go to bed at 7 pm.
My sanity has been restored. Although sometimes A just doesn't want to stay in her bed, the time is minimal and bearable.