Lucy and Julia are proud big sisters! They love to hold baby Esther, talk to her, and sit beside me on the bed and chat. Some of the things we have done to help celebrate our new baby include:
big sister gifts - We got them each a shirt that says "I love being a big sister" and a new Strawberry Shortcake doll that they got to open after they met the new baby.
birthday cake - We picked out a cake mix and frosting for Lucy and Julia to make with Grandma while I was in labor. They talked about this beforehand and were excited to make the birthday cake for the new baby. We did have to explain that Esther couldn't have any cake, but that we would eat it to celebrate for her.
books we read - Dr Sears' books What Baby Needs and Baby on the Way are both great books that we enjoyed reading and talking about together as we waited for our new baby to arrive. The books show a mommy nursing and babywearing and do a great job of explaining what its like having a new baby in the family.
meeting the midwife - I took Lucy with me to one of my prenatal visits and she enjoyed meeting Yolanda, seeing the models of growing babies in her office, and hearing the baby's heartbeat. Julia got to meet Yolanda when she came to do my home visit just before Christmas.
sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's - Lucy and Julia were excited to have a sleepover at Grandpa and Grandma's house when the baby came. We told them that they could of course come meet the baby, but that they would get to have a sleepover that night so Mom and Dad could rest with the baby. Grandma bought the girls each a new pillowcase for Christmas with the sleepover in mind (princesses and Dora). I think this was Julia's first night away from home, and one of few nights away for Lucy. They both did fairly well, but I missed them!
nursing pets - We got them these nursing stuffed animals for Christmas because I just couldn't resist them. I had searched for a nursing doll, but didn't find anything. Lucy got the nursing cat and Julia got the nursing pig for Christmas. We also got this book with photos and information about animal and human babies nursing.
photos - I haven't done this yet, but I plan to print off a photo of Esther for each girl to have as their own picture and carry around and show to people. I have a cute one of each girl holding their new baby sister.
Lots of extra love, snuggles, and doses of patience are helping us all adjust. Of course we are having our fair share of tantrums as well (all of us). ;)