Very long overdue... Even more so than my last couple of library books. Good thing blog readers don't charge late fees, ey?

This new year has started out with a "BANG!" and I can't believe that January is nearly over. Only 3-6 more weeks until we meet out sweet baby boy and lord! I'm anxious!

So incredibly excited for my little bundle of wonderfulness to be out here in the world with me, instead of incessantly prodding my ribs with his little toes-- as he is doing while I type this... He must know I'm talking about him.

But, while I am remaining calm and maintained to the rest of the world, inside my home and my heart I am going a little insane. For the last 33 weeks I was not concerned in the least about the labor or delivery process... Only determined that I do not want an epidural, unless extreme circumstances arise. However, week 34 hit and I have all of a sudden lost my mind and started crying all the time (over every little thing) and worrying that poor baby Ezra can't possibly fit out of the small opening through which every tiny human enters the world. I am in terribly back/sciatic/tailbone/pubic bone pain almost constantly... the last three days, Jon has almost had to carry me from place to place. On one hand, it's funny and on the other hand it's a little stupid. I feel like I complain every day that I am done being pregnant now... I'll probably be one of those people who stops halfway through delivery and says that I'm done. Haha. 

Honestly, though, I hate having anyone do anything for me and I am so stubborn that on the days when I do feel GREAT I completely overdo it (like yesterday, when I tried to do Zumba AND mop the kitchen floor on my hands and knees-- bad idea). It's killing me to have to put so much on Jon's plate.
As far as my actual  physical health is concerned, I am "perfect" according to the doctor I saw on Monday. Zero weigh gain in Disney World, 121/80 blood pressure, a belly that is exactly the size it should be for being 8.5 months, great iron levels, and a healthy baby heartbeat. I'm so grateful for each one of those things in itself... Although, being so close to the end I am fighting the mindset of, "What does it matter if I eat whatever I want to now? If I gain 3 or 4 more pounds it won't really make that much of a difference...will it?" But, it will and the more pain I'm in the less I will be able to exercise. Self-control is the key! {Although, I'm pretty sure I ate half of our baker;s dozen of bagels from Panera by myself... *shame* Sincerely, starting to wonder if I will ever want a bagel again when I'm not pregnant.}

Fortunately, my stretch marks are still minimal-- like little bruises on my left side and I am surprisingly less self-conscious about them than I thought I would be. I should probably just be thanking my lucky stars (if there were such things) that I don't look like a tiger attacked me...yet. 
(To the right, you will see my last two pics. The silhouette was taken in Florida... If you want to keep up us via pictures keep a close eye on the flickr account my hubby talked me into getting, which you can access at the top of this page, or visit our little one's hashtag on instagram #eisforezra) 
32 weeks
33 weeks. Hotel in Orlando, FL.
34 weeks. Trying to get comfy... Oh so hard to do these days!
Disney was blast!! I have literally never had such a good experience traveling with another family and Noah having a friend there was great, especially since he was disappointed that I couldn't ride most of the rides. (I took over 400 photos, so be prepared for a very pic heavy post in the near future!)

Six years old, I'm starting to think, is about the maximum age that you can take your kid to Disney and expect them to experience the "magic" of it, for lack of a better word. For instance, when Noah saw Pluto or Stitch he didn't think, "Yeah, there's a man in there that I don't really want coming near me; let's move on." He thought it was awesome and went over to get their autograph and a hug. Actually, he reminded me a lot of myself when I went to Disney with my parents.... I was shy of the characters (I don't like anything in costume where I can't see their face, even now!) and kinda felt awkward when they were friendly; but, Noah warmed up quickly. He is so much like Jon that way... When he warms up and takes to something/someone he goes for it 100%. ADD never did stop those McConnell boys haha!

One thing I definitely recommend for ANY parent that's taken their kid to Disney World for the 1st or the 4th time- something that the friends we went with suggested to me-- is to buy a set of Disney trading pins. There are mix-matched ones all over on eBay. I bought Noah a set of 25 for about $20. Once you get them, let your kid weed out a few that he wants to keep for sure and take the rest of them with you. Cast members all over the park have pins on lanyards or patches that hang from their belt and they are more than happy to trade pins with your child. They will take any pin the child gives them and let the trading child pick out which one they want from the cast member's collection. Your kid may have an ever rotating set of pins but, in the end, will come home with a nice selection. 

It's kinda like a little treasure hunt after a while. On the last day that we were in Disney, Noah wanted a Stitch pin so bad!! I was so worried he wouldn't find one and that we would have to go to one of the souvenir shops and buy one for $8. But, he was rewarded for his patience and ended up with not one, but TWO, Stitch pins at the end of the day! I was really proud of him for being persistent. 

My favorite thing at Disney has always been Epcot, just because I'm a nerd and like all the educational stuff--and the food! Hubby and I actually tried SNAILS when we had date night in France. It was purely accidental but, I have to admit, they tasted really good! Aside from that though, I was happy to be able to see the fireworks in Magic Kingdom which, somehow, I had never done before (even though this was my 4th time at Disney World)! 

When we got home it was a major letdown to not have one little universal card that paid for anything you wanted, sent gifts to your room... and breakfast, lunch, and dinner was no longer automatic. Thank goodness, though... I ate so much on the trip! One night I skipped dinner and still woke up the next morning so sick that I was laying on the bathroom floor of our hotel room from the gluttony of the whole thing!

We also managed to do some maternity pics while we were there. Props to our friends at Island Creek Photography

Pregnancy Memories

So, I'm not sure than anyone actually keeps a journal while they're pregnant... If you have before or are currently, please leave a comment below. 

I guess this blog is kind of like my online journal, although I don't really share my deepest thoughts, like I would in a private book... Anyways, that's beside the point.

On my pregnancy phone app, I'm giving different activities to do each week. Sometimes I do them, sometimes I don't. For instance, which would you chose to do if you were given these two options: 1) Treat yourself to something nice, or 2) Try some stretching...? Yeah, I'm pretty sure the choice is obvious.

But, once in a while, it will tell me to write down a pregnancy memory. This is one of the ones I generally dismiss because I don't find it necessary to sit down with a notebook and reminisce about something that has happened in the course of my pregnancy; I always feel like I have the major stuff down pat, i.e. first ultrasound, first movement, gender reveal,...etc. 

But, the other day I got a little bored and a little curious...Those things combined lead me to sitting down with nothing else but pen and paper and seeing what I really DID remember about my pregnancy so far. Of course, you have some weeks that are just plain uneventful, but I ended up laughing at a lot of things I remembered and it was actually kind of fun!

I remember that when we first told Jon's parents and they were coming to visit and staying with his brother and sis-in-law, who didn't know yet, that I was EXTREMELY sure that they wouldn't be able to keep their mouth shut and remembering that paranoia made me laugh.

Or thinking about the look on my face when I was 11 weeks pregnant and someone called me chubby, when I hadn't even gained 5 pounds.

Even, thinking about small things like the breakdown I had in the Chick-fil-a parking lot holding an ultrasound of our baby boy and wondering what in the world I had done to deserve two boys when I wanted a girl SO badly and immediately loving him anyway.

So, take a second every now and then you pregnant moms, or even ones that have more grown-up kids. What quirky things do you remember about your pregnancy??

Big Brother Stuff

Just want to take a quick second and say that I think Noah is going to be the best big brother ever.

Obviously, at this stage, I don't know what it's like to have kids two or three years apart. Personally, I think it would be a little hard for me to handle.

I get overwhelmed pretty easily and I think that if I only had a year off to recoup from breastfeeding and diapers and the whole process I might just go a little nuts... a little more than normal.

I know why some people do it though, and I understand wanting a strong, close-knit family. Jon says that that
 "re-coup" year is the year of decision... So, I guess I won't be able to announce my formal opinion on the whole thing until Ezra is one and half or 
two years old.

But, since my children will be about 6.5 years apart instead of the "traditional" amount, I will say that I am really glad they are! Noah is a huge helper and has matured a lot knowing that there is a baby on the way.

He wants to help with everything! He explores all of the baby stuff we bring home, doesn't get jealous or lonely, and even talks to be about breastfeeding because he wants to help feed the baby as 
soon as possible.

I really couldn't ask for a better little man to be around the house while the little brother 
grows up.

I know there will be challenges to overcome and fights to break up and a million other things but, right now I honestly think we won't have a problem in the beginning which is what I was most 
concerned about-- making them both feel loved.

Oh! And for you second timers, check at your local hospital to see if they have a big brother/sister class that teaches your older ones how they can help once you get home from the hospital. Noah was very excited about going to one this weekend but, unfortunately, they have suspended it because the flu is so bad this year. No visitors under 12 until March :(

Still, might be worth a try in your area. Especially if you have a spouse that is going to be returning to work shortly after and you have more than one little one at home. :)
Best Husband EVER

Seriously, you guys, I have the best husband in the whole, entire world.

I'm not crazy; I know everyone says that. But, it's true that he compliments me like no one else I know. He is my best friend and I wouldn't be able to make it through this whole process 
without him.

He is always there to hold me, or make me tea, massage my sciatic, let me go out and get a pedicure to relax and escape, make dinner when I don't feel like it, do laundry when I'm in pain... and the list 
goes on.

He puts up with it all. The mood swings, the crying fits, the days when I'm pissed off at everything and don't know why, the food cravings, the expensive stretch mark cream... and he has been to every doctor's visit except one.

My husband has the most self-sacrificing spirit I have ever known. So much so that he even arranged his annual work conference to be in Wilmington instead of California so that he didn't have to be 3000 miles away when I turn 37 weeks; even though that meant he had to plan the entire thing. 

He has compromised with me on room ideas, fought with me when I was wrong, and loved me when I felt like the whole world was collapsing around me.

Jon is already an awesome, patient, and understanding husband and father... I know he'll be that much more of a great dad the second time around. 

This is just cute!

Little boys come in all shapes and sizes, 
Shy and adventurous, full of surprises, 
With misshapen halos and mischievous grins, 
Small dirty faces, and sweet, sticky chins. 
They'll keep you so busy, and yet all the while 
Nothing can brighten the world like their smile. 
And no greater treasure has brought homes more joy 
Than a curious, active, and lovable boy! 

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