Our remodel isn't done yet, and right now our house is in total chaos. If a room doesn't look like this:
It looks like this:
For the past few nights we've been sleeping like this:
I used pregnancy as an excuse to have my husband give me a mattress on the floor one night, and last night I got my bed back. (Yes!)
My oldest is not big on change, and he keeps asking if I think all of these changes will be worth it. I told him I think it will. He also wants to know if it will be fun having a new baby around. I told him I'm sure it will. We talked about how fun it was adding his little sister, and then his baby brother. He agreed, and wants five more babies after this one.
Our hospital offers classes for older siblings that the children have enjoyed with each pregnancy. The class lasts 2-3 hours, and the children learn what babies look like inside their mommies, how babies get food before they are born, what newborns are like, how to help take care of babies, etc. They also get to tour the hospital, and take a peek inside the nursery.
These classes are totally unnecessary, but they're fun and they seem to make the kids feel special. With our last pregnancy, the instructor took pictures of the kids that we could put in the baby's hospital bassinet. The kids were so excited when they came to visit and saw those pictures.
Another one of our traditions is to get t-shirts for the older siblings to wear when they visit us in the hospital. This year I ordered shirts from Em Tanner Designs. These shirts were on the expensive side so I looked for a coupon code before ordering.
I was so tickled by this "Lil Bro" onesie that I had to order it. My husband was not amused.
Someone gave my oldest a Big Brother Journal when our daughter was born, and since then I've ordered them for the big sibs with each pregnancy.
They are pre-printed journals that ask the kids questions like, "What do you like to do with the baby?" - very simple questions that get hilarious answers from the 2 to 5-year-old set. It also gives them places to put photos or draw pictures. I LOVE re-reading these journals.
When we brought our last child home, I had a little cake in the freezer that we defrosted and decorated. We had a party for the baby where my older kids gave him small presents they'd wrapped themselves, and their brother gave them small presents for being such great older siblings. That was fun, and I plan to do that again.
Like I said, all of this is totally unnecessary, but it has been fun for us and we look forward to doing it. If it seems overwhelming, one simple thing to do is pull out the older kids' baby books and talk about your favorite memories of them.
That will be really difficult for us this time as my middle child's baby book is only half finished and my toddler's baby book does not exist. I keep telling my oldest that there are benefits to being the first born.