Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Engagement Video

I put together a small video from the engagement last Friday night. The quality was degraded after the upload to youtube and the audio is now a tad out of synch so I'm not happy but ah well! I promise better videos in the future.

Here is the direct link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZulaJBBIMY.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

My Sister Is Engaged

I arrive home from work last night to a bottle of champagne and a gift bag on the dinning room table. "What a nice gesture from my lovely wife! It looks like it's my lucky day!" With bottle in hand, I had already started the opening process when, in walks Kelly exclaiming "Ryan, that's not for you! It's for Katie and Tom, he's proposing tonight!" Wow is that something you don't hear everyday. She goes on to tell me that Tom is planning on heading over to his new apartment and plans to propose out front on the stairs. I immediately start running around our house getting my cameras all setup as the plan was for them to head over to our apartment after the proposal to celebrate.

While counting down the minutes to their arrival, Kelly and I have some discussions about possibly getting some photos of the actual proposal. Now this is a risky endeavor. I wanted nothing to do with it. The possible risk of getting seen with camera in hand wasn't worth the reward in my eyes. However, Kelly felt otherwise and we all know how this turns out.

So it's 7:00pm CT. I put on my coat, grab by camera and catch a cab to their new apartment. As we get close, I feel like an undercover agent. I have the driver drop me off a few doors down the street and I quietly slide out of the cab on the opposite side of the street. My heart is pounding by now. Across the street from Tom's new apartment is a big church with an open parking lot. I first think this would have been an ideal hiding spot but after walking around there was nowhere to hide. The row of bushes providing my cover felt like the game you play with a baby. The one where you put your hands in front of your face and exclaim to the baby, "You can't see me! Peek-a-boo!"

So it's now 7:20pm CT and I'm a sitting duck and Katie and Tom are going to be here any second now. I walk back where I got out of the cab and cross the street. I get to the sidewalk and glance towards his apartment and who do I see? You're damn right. Tom with Katie in hand. "@#$%. That's it. I've just ruined one of the biggest events of their life. Good work Ryan."

I dive in between two houses and try to figure out how to dig myself out of this one. By the time I even attempt to take another peek down the sidewalk, I hear Katie yell with excitement. I peek out and they are already walking away from me to presumably catch a cab to our apartment.

Since I already missed this big event, I didn't want to miss them at our apartment. So I take off running. I'm dressed in a nice black coat, dress shirt, pants and shoes but am sprinting as fast as my Kenneth Cole's will take me. After the 8 block sprint, I bust into our house and explain the dilemma to Kelly. I'm dripping sweat and we're both thinking we've just ruined the night.

About 2 minutes later, the front door buzzer rings and Kelly and I hold our breath. They walk in and Katie tells us everything. As I'm listening and wiping the sweat off my brow from the sprint, it becomes clear that they never saw me. So Tom's plan was executed without hitches, Katie said yes and now Tom's my new brother. Life is good.

Here are some pictures from a truly great evening. I'm working on a video from the night as well which I hope to post by EOD.

Here is a direct link: http://picasaweb.google.com/rstrauss/20070223TomAndKatieSEngagement.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Help Pick The Name

Our little commanding officer is still doing her best to keep the baby growing in the safe confines of her belly. It's apparent that things are truly starting to get uncomfortable for her. Not much daddy can do other than agree with her pains like "I can't imagine it's nice to have a bowling ball stretching out your stomach" and "I agree that it can't be fun to have something kicking you in the ribs and bladder all day long". She wakes up multiple times in the middle of the night because a) she's hungry b) she needs to use the restroom or c) daddy is breathing his rose petal breath into her nostrils and her already heightened sense of smell. She lightly taps my on the shoulder and whispers, "Love of my life, sorry to wake you up, but can you turn to the other side?" HAH, yeah, something along those lines.

I received an amusing email from her today: "I have had at least 15 ginger snaps today. I am throwing the box in the trash. I hope you don't mind." This woman has a fierce craving for sweets right now. If it’s in the house, sweet and available for consumption, it’s as good as gone.

We found out Sunday at church that our kid is a huge fan of the organ. Each time the pipes produced sound, our little one was dancing in momma’s stomach. It was pretty cool. I think he was preparing for his first introduction at Wrigley Field as the starting SS. Wishful thinking?

We're still having trouble labeling our new addition. Below are some of our thoughts. Feel free to submit a comment with your favorite or any not listed below.

Dylan James Strauss
Collin James Strauss
Brayden Daniel Strauss
Aiden Thomas Strauss
Matthew Thomas Strauss
Rowan Thomas Strauss

Ashley Jane Strauss
Emily Jane Strauss
Caitlin Ann Strauss
Audrey Elizabeth Strauss
Catherine Ann Strauss
Claire Elizabeth Strauss

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My New Puppy

So Kelly has been cooped up in the house since last Friday when we found out that dilation has begun. It’s rather amusing to see someone who is so incredibly extroverted to be all by herself for 8 hours a day. I come home from work and I tiptoe around the house to find out what she got into. It’s like having a new puppy who chews furniture. Thankfully this puppy only cleans and organizes instead of destroys.

Another new change for her is the cutting-edge technology called instant messaging. I’ve been able to catch her on Google Talk a few times and I can just imagine her reaction like “what is this window that just popped up, goodness!

Anyway, I think all this technology is clouding her ability to think clearly. I just got an email from her which reads “can you send thid yo mu family”. This is no joke. It sounds like she’s talking with her tongue hanging out of the side of her mouth. I think she’s drowning in a sea of technology, boredom and lack of personal interaction.


I can't seem to consume enough food! I am literally eating every 30 minutes. I think that I am going to borrow one the babies pacifiers to help me stop putting food in my mouth. That would be a sight... a beached whale with a pale yellow pacifier. :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Hawaii Sounds Nice About Now

So it took us an hour and a half to get home from our ultrasound appointment today. Yes, you heard that right. A 5.1 mile drive took 90 minutes. It's frigid and snowing like mad right now in Chicago. The arctic wind is blowing sideways and causing drifts large enough to shut down Lake Shore Drive. Crazy.

Anyway, we posted some pictures from our honeymoon in Kauai. Man would it be nice to sit on a beach right now.

Here is a direct link: http://picasaweb.google.com/rstrauss/20040202HoneymoonInKauai.

Unrelenting Request

Per my husband's unrelenting request, I must write about the arrival of little Strauss each day. I am not sure who is really going to read this but in order to keep the peace around our little abode this is one thing I must do.

I woke up to gail force winds and snow today. I made Ryan his lunch and then tried to force him to wear gloves and a scarf. He has this manly complex that wearing a scarf is a "sally" thing to do. It kills me to watch him walk out the door with his neck exposed to the elements. I guess that in a few days/hours/weeks I will have my own little Strauss that I can dress appropriately for the weather and he/she can't say anything about it.


Our little Obe. Actually, that's not a true statement anymore. My cousin's bff Kim helped us out immensely by taking ownership of Obe. I had just about enough of my strengthening allergies. Being woken up in the middle of the night because of wheezing is just not fun. As much as I love this little white cuddly cat, I couldn't deal with the issues. Anyway, here's some pictures from when he was a little kitten.

Here is a direct link: http://picasaweb.google.com/rstrauss/20040308ObeAsAKitten.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Impressive Lady

First off, I'm still trying to massage the keyboard imprint from my chin after seeing the below post from Kelly. I thought it would take the persuasion of sweets and/or massages to get her to post, but she surprised the heck out of me. Almost exactly 3 years ago, I snapped this photo during our honeymoon. It's one of my favorite pictures of her and it was the best time of my life.

Secondly, my bag-o-goodies is finally locked and loaded for the big day. I plan to document every second of this historic event and will post everything to this site.

"I'm dilated... No, Ryan not my eyes"

I wanted to give you all an update on baby Strauss. I went to the doc on Friday and to my surprise I am already dilated and the baby's head is in position. So anyway the doc asked if I was ready to have the baby.. is all of your paper work is in etc... I nearly freaked out because she said at this point I have already past the first stage of labor and all we have to do is wait for my water to break. I have to admit it was rather easy and did not hurt a bit.

Anyway, all I did was laugh all weekend long because of course the baby is 4 weeks early and so we thought we had at least another two weeks to even think about the arrival of little Strauss. You should have seen Ryan. He had a terrified look in his eye every time that he looked at me. Friday night he raced through the house to get all of his electronics ready. He was shaking... this is no joke. He won't let me even move one inch because the more you move the more it can bring on the labor.He basically spent the entire weekend frantically organising things around the house. When he left for work this morning he was coaching me on all the bags that I have to bring with me to hospital if my water breaks while he is at work. There is one MEGA electronic bag with a video camera, camera, laptop, cords etc... his over night bag (he also wants to bring his sleeping bag and camping pad because he heard that the bed the dad's sleep on is really uncomfortable) and not to mention my bag. So I will be carrying three massive bags out the door and then trying to catch a cab to get to the hospital. I just think that this is all so funny because I have never in 8 years of knowing him seen him like this. It is soooooo precious.

My hope is to keep little Strauss incubating for as long as I can because the longer the better. Plus, Katie is out of town this week and there is no way in hell I am having the baby without her being at the hospital. Actually, I could be dilated like this for another week or so. Lets keep our fingers crossed.


Greetings. This soon-to-be-daddy is testing out our new home on this thing called the "internet".

Stay tuned for updates, pictures and stories from our family.