Last week, our dear friends, Peter and Whitney, went into escrow on a house a few blocks from us.  We are so incredibly thrilled!  A sister wife of my very own!!!!

Kennedy and baby Natalie.  Future neighbor, classmate, and friend forever.

violet one month

Violet is one month old!
Weight: 9lbs 2oz (75%) Height: 21 inches (50%)
What a difference between my girls!  Kennedy has always been so tall and skinny, and Violet is such a chubster!  I adore her cheeks.  They are amazing.  This afternoon, as I gave her a bath, I marveled at how I had to squish through her multitude of chins to fully clean her neck.  It's delicious.

At a month you:

  • Are still juuuust starting to smile and are pretty stingy with them.  I have yet to catch one on film at six weeks.
  • Still sleep all day.  When does that stop?  I feel like you're awake maybe an hour a day?  
  • Don't particularly like to be put down.  I wear you most of the day.  This week I discovered that you sometimes let me down if you're on your tummy.  I know you're not supposed to, but we might make a habit of this.
  • Sleep pretty darn well at night.  Most nights you'll sleep from 10 or 11 to 4 or 5.  I really can't complain.
We love you sweet Violet girl.  Sometimes I still giggle a little that we named you Violet.  It still sounds weird to me.  Naming a kid is such a big responsibility. 

Apparently I only take pictures on the floor of the girl's bedroom.

kennedy is two!!!!

My dear sweet girl is two years old!

Weight: 25.5lbs (10%)   Height: 32 inches (75%)

At two years old you:
  • Speak in paragraphs.  You have over 1,000 words now (though I stopped counting long ago).  Most of what you say is still mimicking things that we have said, but you've started to put sentences together on your own.  At the zoo last week, you said, "These pelicans look like ducks."  I had never had such a thought, and I was amazed that you came up with something like this by yourself.
  • Run, climb, and jump.  AND you got a balance bike for your birthday that you've started to ride!
  • Love meat, goldfish crackers, berries, and sweets.
  • Play pretend.  You take care of your babies, cook in your kitchen, and love to give your animals pretend baths.
Very decisive on what she wants to wear.  Usually I can let her pick out one thing and revolve the outfit around it, but other times...she chooses.
  • Sing songs.  Some favorites are "Baa Baa Black Sheep" and "Yes, Jesus Loves Me."
  • Sleep through the night, go to bed by yourself, and still use your pacifier.  Shh...don't tell our pediatrician :)
  • Are a wonderful big sister.  You love to sing songs to Violet when she cries and always ask where she is when you wake up from your nap.  "Where's baby sissy?"

Kennedy's "cheese" face.

We had cupcakes at playgroup for Kennedy's birthday.

LOOOVES riding with Bert and Ernie.

Funny things Kennedy says:

  • She calls a phone a "Hello."  One day we got a package in the mail that had some styrofoam in it.  She asks what things are by saying, "Mommy, this is...?"  I told her that it was styrofoam.  She nods and says, "Yeah, styro-hello!"
  • She looks at me very seriously, shakes one finger and says, "Mommy, Imma be riiiight back."
  • We took her to the zoo on her birthday.  Every day leading up to it, we asked her what animals she wanted to see.  "Um...my Not see snakes." Was always her first response.

Oh Kennedy, you have made softies out of mommy and daddy.  Things that never affected us now bring tears to our eyes.  Through loving you, we have been able to see a glimpse of how great our Heavenly Father's love is for us.  You are kind and gentle, you are silly and smart.  You are a treasure my sweet one.  Every day I pray that you will come to know your Heavenly Father's love.  That you will understand sin and evil and choose to turn from it. To be redeemed by your sweet Savior.  We adore you.

violet's birth story part two

I waited in the the waiting room for what seemed like an eternity until I decided to take matters into my own hands.  I buzzed the nurses station and told them that I hadn't felt the baby move in awhile.  They sent someone out with some juice and closed the door.  Welp.   That didn't work as well as I was hoping...

I told Doug at one point that if I didn't get a room in the next ten minutes, we were leaving to go have the baby at the other local hospital.  Yep.  I was crazy.

I decided to try again.

I buzzed the nurses station for the third time that night and told them that I really thought that I was having the baby soon and could someone at least check my dilation.  The nurse literally rolled her eyes at me (I don't blame her for this.  They were obviously very, very busy and I'm sure that she was exausted) but took me into a triage room to check me out.  As is standard, she handed me a gown so that I could discretely undress while she stepped out of the room, but I pulled all my clothes off as fast as I could with her standing right there and was ready to be checked.  I was beyond modesty.  She checked me, and I was at 7 cm.  I breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn't going to have the baby in the waiting room quite yet, but apparently 7 cm is far enough along that the nurse got all flustered and kicked into high gear.  She immediately started hooking me up to monitors and told me that she hoped I didn't have to have the baby in triage.

"I want my epidural!" were the next words out of my mouth.  Well, apparently the anesthesiologist was in surgery.  A few minutes later (Doug says.  It felt like a year to me) I was moved into a delivery room and given an IV.  Man, labor is no joke.  It hurts.  I just kept telling Doug over and over, "I NEED DRUGS!"   I asked the nurse if she could give me some fentanyl through my IV to take off the edge until I got the epidural.  No luck.  Eventually the anesthesiologist was ready and I got my epidural at 8 cm.  Ahhhhhhhh, sweet, sweet relief.  It immediately made everything groovy, and I lay in bed texting my friends and family that baby Violet would be here soon.

Once I had my epidural, my contractions slowed down a lot.  My water hadn't broken yet, and the baby was still high, so Doug and I hung out and waited for something to happen.  This is when the story gets a little weird and graphic.  Feel free to skip to the end if you want.  I had a very large water bag and the contractions began to push it out of me.  It ended up partially coming out.  With every contraction, it blew up like a water balloon.  That was really, really weird.  And painful.  The nurse upped my epidural, but it still hurt.  I was beyond ready to have the baby.  The nurse informed me that I was at 10 cm and complete, but they were going to wait to deliver me because my doctor wasn't there yet, and my water hadn't broken.  A while later, Violet began to go into distress, so the nurse paged the on call doctor, and he had to scrub out of surgery to come deliver me immediately.  He broke my water, I pushed a few times, and she was here!  Even though I think I only pushed two or three times, I remember thinking at one point, "This sucks.  This is hard.  What would happen if I just stopped pushing."  But out she came with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck!  She didn't cry right away, but the nurses had her screaming in no time.  Our sweet little Violet.  The Lord has blessed us with two girls and we are so thankful!

violet's birth story part one

Violet Elizabeth was born Saturday, October 19th at 9:08 am!  She is sweet, adorable, and looks nothing like her sister.  She is an eating machine, is nursing like a champ, and sleeping in 4-5 hour stretches at night.

I wanted to write down her birth story while it is still fresh in my mind.  It's pretty long, so...sorry?

On Friday evening, I went in for a non-stress test because of my high fluid levels.  Totally routine.  The Hulse family had big plans for the weekend including homemade nachos for dinner, the pumpkin patch, and, most importantly, maternity pictures on Sunday, so I was not thinking I would be having a baby.   Of course, as soon as the nurse hooked me up to the monitors, I began contracting 4 minutes apart.  I don't know if it's the position they put you in for the non-stress test or if it's a psychological response, but every time I get hooked up to that machine, I start having regular contractions.  I really thought nothing of it.  They weren't painful, and I told the nurse that I couldn't have the baby this weekend because we were having maternity pictures taken.

The nurse decided to at least check my dilation and monitor me for an extra hour.  I was at 4 cm, but I walked around at 4 cm with Kennedy for weeks before I finally got induced, and the contractions had slowed down, so she told me I could go home if I really wanted to have my pictures taken.  I was totally at peace with not having the baby yet.  I went home with a good attitude, not feeling at all that desperate, "I need this baby to come out of me feeling" that I had felt on other days leading up to my delivery.  We had our delicious homemade nachos and said goodnight to Kennedy.  After that, Doug and I lazed on the couch watching tv, and I don't think I had another contraction before we went to bed.

At 4 am on Saturday morning, I woke up to pee.  As I crawled back in bed, I decided to stay awake for a few minutes to see if I felt any contractions.  Not sure why I did that.  Obviously my body was telling my brain that I wouldn't be able to fall back asleep.  A few minutes later I had my first legit contraction.  I was stunned!  I never had any painful contractions with Kennedy, so I knew that this was something different.  It was very uncomfortable!  I waited a few minutes and felt another!  I woke Doug up and told him I was in labor and that I was getting in the shower.  He said, "Ok, let me know if you need anything," then rolled over and went back to sleep.  I timed my contractions as I showered and did my makeup.  They hurt!  I would have to stop what I was doing to concentrate when a contraction came.  They were 3-4 minutes apart, but I didn't have the thought that I could be having a very fast labor.

I called my mom and told her to head down, then I called my friend Renee to see if she was free to watch Kennedy until my mom got down.  Thank you Renee for answering my 5 am phone call!  I woke Doug up and told him that he could take a shower before we left if he wanted to.  We had decided to wake up Kennedy and drop her off at Renee's house on our way to the hospital so that we could say goodbye and tell her what was happening.  As I packed up our bags, the contractions started to be really intense.  By the time Doug was out of the shower, I was desperate to get to the hospital.  He had made a pot of coffee, and when he went to pour himself a cup, I think I almost killed him.  "You made coffee?!?" I yelled indignantly.  Haha, it was really time to leave.  We dropped of Kennedy at Renee's house where, miraculously, she went back to sleep,  then we made our way to the hospital.

At the hospital, I told Doug that he could park in the giant parking structure rather than the emergency parking.  The elevator was taking too long, so we took the stairs.  I obviously was not making this easy on myself.  We finally got to labor and delivery, and they buzzed us into the nurses station.  The nurse asked what was going on, and I giggled and said, "Um...I think I'm in labor?"  I was so shocked that I was actually in labor that it made me laugh.  The nurse must have taken this as "you're not that far into labor if you're still smiling." She informed me that it was a full moon and that there were no rooms available at the moment.  She sent me out to the family waiting area.  I wanted to strangle her.  In the family waiting area, there was another very pregnant lady sitting primly next to her husband obviously waiting to be admitted as well.  I was REALLY in labor by then.  Contractions were no more than two minutes apart.  I walked around the waiting room probably howling like a crazy person and rocking in all sorts of weird positions.  I whispered to Doug at one point, apparently not so quietly, "If those nurses let that other lady in before me, I'm going to murder them."  I waited for what seemed like an eternity until...



Lizzie here.  Just checking in.

We have had THE BEST week.  Doug's dad and brothers came down last weekend, my mom and Cliff came down at the beginning of the week, and my dad came down yesterday.  Needless to say, Kennedy has been getting lots of love.

We have a membership to the LA zoo and went with Mor Mor and Gramps this week.
Kennedy went on her first Merry-Go-Round.  She is still talking about it.

Shark made by Cliff in honor of watching Sharknado

I had an ultrasound this week and learned that I have Polyhydramnios.  A fancy word for an abnormally high amount of amniotic fluid.  The doctor didn't seem too worried about it, but of course, I have consulted with Dr. Google and found out all sorts of stuff.  My doctor is going to give me another ultrasound next week and continue to monitor me closely, but Polyhyramnios is typically associated with fetal abnormalities or gestational diabetes, neither of which I have.  I must say, I'm a little relieved that my stomach is larger this time around because of excess fluid and not because I ate too many cheeseburgers :)

Doug and I were able to get out and see our second movie in theaters since Kennedy was born.  And the best news of all: my mom was able to successfully put Kennedy to bed!  This is the first time anyone has been able to put her to sleep beside Doug and me!!!  I didn't want to jinx it, but it's probably safe to say now that Kennedy has been going to sleep by herself for two months now!!!  No sleep training required.  She just decided that she would go "night night" in her crib by herself.  What a blessing that has been.

Tonight we are dropping her off at the church for "Parent's Night Out" and tomorrow we head to San Diego to go to the big zoo with Sarah and Jeremy!

blog dump

This post will be really random, but I'm feeling so guilty for having not blogged in so long!  Here are five things in no particular order about our lives right now:

1. Kennedy is hilarious.  She's been speaking in full sentences for about two months now.  Genius?  We think so.  But man, the stuff she says.  It's priceless.  Oh.  She also most likely has lyme disease.  She was bitten by a tick at my dear friend Jen's wedding in Petaluma.  The tick was analyzed, and long story short- she developed an unexplained fever and is on a 3 week course of antibiotics.  Who gets lyme disease??

Erm.  Sorry you're making a horrible face Doug.  But seriously, how cute is she crossing her leg like daddy? 
How jelly are you of Kennedy's bathing suit right now?

2. Speaking of kids.  This next one.  Baby Alice/Violet/Annabelle/Polly/MaryAnne.  Or not.  We can't decide on a name for the life of us.  I'll be 32 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and I'm feeling great!  Since this is our last biological kid, I'm going to try to go naturally as long as I can.  And I'm using "try" very loosely.  I've taken no class, know nothing about how to breathe or birth balls, but I at least want to feel a few labor pains this time.  Dumb?  Probably.

At Jen's wedding.  And check out the outfit coordination.  Totally unplanned*.

3. The house.  It's coming together!  All of the floors are in, it's painted (minus the kitchen cabinets), and we have all but one light fixture installed.  This weekend we will be unpacking massive amounts of boxes.  I'm hoping to finish that up this weekend so that we can spend the next few weeks doing the rest of the projects that need to be completed (bathroom fan, adding shelving to the pantry, installing a back door, to name a few).  At this point, I don't care if the house looks cute or done; I just want everything to be clean, organized, and safe before baby sissy gets here.

Kitchen island needs new countertop, we're ordering new cabinet hardware, and the cabinets will be white.  Oh, and hopefully we will have a dishwasher some day.  That.  That would be awesome.

The current state of our living room.  

4. We still have a roommate in the form of Uncle Owen, Doug's 20 year old brother.  While I'm not going to lie, it's been challenging to have another person to clean up after, cook for, etc, he has also been such a blessing to us.  Kennedy ADORES him.  Doug would not have survived the 7 weeks that Kennedy and I spent in Santa Cruz without his company.  He's an all around awesome 20 year old.  It's been a refining experience having to give up control of certain things, and the Lord has been so faithful throughout it.  He is always good.  He has reminded me in so many details of this move how good he is.

5. Oh, this summer.  Despite the fact that we missed Doug desperately, we feel so incredibly lucky to have spent the summer in Santa Cruz.  My mom and Cliff are THE BEST.  Words aren't enough to describe how well they took care of Kennedy and me while we were there.  In addition to getting to be with them, we also got to spend time with so many people that we don't get to see often enough.  My favorite friends from high school and their babies, my dad and stepmom, my extended family including cousin Addy who was visiting from Utah, my brother and sister, my stepbrother and his adorable family, dear friends from college to who drove down for the day to see us.  Oh man, did we have a good time.  Kennedy got so much love and attention this summer, and I feel so fortunate that we were able to spend that time up there.

And that concludes my brain dump.  See you in a few months.  Hopefully before, but no promises.  Our life is cray right now.  Seriously.  Having a baby, buying a house, having a 20 year old live with you.  What the heck were we thinking??

eighteen months old

Kennedy is eighteen months old, and man, is she keeping us on our toes!

Cinco De Mayo rocking her dress that Mor Mor and Gramps got her in Mexico.

At eighteen months you:
  • Run, climb, dance, and are oh so silly.
  • Speak in some sentences.  One of Kennedy's favorite things to do is identify who things belong to.  "Dis is Owen's." "Dis is Dada's." "Dis is Mimi's."
  • Looooove your pacifier.  Kennedy will walk over to the dresser where we keep it and say, "No baba, no baba?"  Or sometimes just look at it and say, "Hiiiii!" and wave at it.
  • Sleep through the night.  Every night.  Bliss.
  • Know the hand motions to most nursery rhymes.
  • Throw major temper tantrums.  We were at the doctor today, and she told us that Kennedy is very "advanced" in this area after witnessing a tantrum. *yay*
  • Are the sweetest, cutest, most delightful little girl.  You love giving hugs and kisses, and we can't get enough of you!

You love:
  • Elmo and the gang.  It's one of the first things you ask for when you wake up in the morning after "Mo mo" (oatmeal).

  • Uncle Owen.  Or as you call him, "Wohwoh."  Or as Mimi calls him, "Uncle Bobo."
  • Swinging on the swings at the park.  It's an obsession.  We're talking an hour long swing and tantrum when we have to get out because another kid is waiting.
  • Water play!  The splash pad near our house recently opened up for the summer, and we are enjoying it to the fullest!
  • Babies!  I wonder if you will like babies this much when your little sister comes along?  I hope so!

You hate:
  • Not getting your way.  See: tantrums.
  • Still having a verrrry hard time with veggies.

Highlights of the Months:
  • Traveling up to Santa Cruz for a baby shower for Cliff's daughter, Mollie's baby girl.
  • Auntie Mimi came to visit us!  Kennedy looooves Auntie Mimi and followed her around saying, "Mimi, Mimi?".
  • Finding out that Kennedy is going to have a baby SISTER!!!
  • Lots of storytimes and play with friends!

  • Celebrating Mother's Day with our sweet family.  

We love you Miss K!


Kennedy's ear tubes surgery was a huge success!  They have been in place for over a month now, and she has been doing fabulously.  The surgery was easy-peasy.  Seriously, it took about 5 minutes.

Here's a few pictures from the day.

The 5:30am wakeup didn't seem to phase our munchkin.

Waiting patiently with daddy to be admitted.

The hospital gown was a teeeeny bit big on her.

Kennedy gets a dose of the good stuff.  Kennedy almost immediately becomes a space cadet.

And laughs like a stoner every time someone smiles at her.
 A male nurse took her away to the operating room, and she didn't even care.  She went straight to him and was taken away.  Doug and I went downstairs to grab a sandwich, and by the time I finished the sandwich, she was done!  Three hips for modern medicine!

And here's Kennedy in her new floral skinnies that daddy bought for her.  I wish they came in my size...