Wednesday, December 23, 2009

old man turns 30

he may kill me for posting these rediculously early morning pics but i just thought i'd make note of Ed's 30th, finally....he can stop giving me a hard time for being so old (we are only 8months apart). older and wiser i always say.
it was a great day that started out right with donuts, and ended shopping at the willows for mens night out. what more could you ask for?

Thanks to all who were able to celebrate with us at the was a blast!!


Ruby woke up from her nap yesterday, not to give me a hug and be held as usual but to go straight to Declan, cozy up next to him and give him kisses. They are soon to be great buddies. And she calls him Dec ('deck').

Monday, December 7, 2009

more of declan

Our little heavy weight has gotten up to 8lbs 13 ou. already! Go little guy! And for the record the general concensus is that he has Al's
mouth, and rather resembles little Luke and George. Lucky
guy to be looking like those handsome guys!

decorating the tree

oh i do love this time of year! I thought Ed was the one with shaky hands, but
apparently his good looks were making me nervous
b/c i sure couldnt get a nice clear pic that night.

Just look at that concentration.

a fantastic advent calendar made with love by
the one and only GiGi!
Ruby cant get enough of opening them each
day, and I cant wait to decorate them!

There were possibly some attempts
at eating a few small ornaments.

crafting with my girl

there are just some things...moments...i dont want to forget. like how ruby can thoroughly enjoy fiddling with buttons, spools of thread, paper, pens, and who knows what else on the crafting table while i attempt to sew. its short lived, so i try to work fast. i just love the serious concentrating face she puts on. too much.

Friday, December 4, 2009


so i thought it would be fun to remember the words ruby is starting to say. she is definitely talking a lot these days. her favorite words of choice currently:
*juice (sounds more like juzzsh)
*gigi (a top favorite)
*em (who also apparently looks like a girl on a H&M ad)
*al (she saw him brieftly at thanksgiving and really likes to ask for him to come over)
*pete (who is usually proceeded by a big smile or giggle)
*blue (everything is blue...even though she can distinguish, she would rather everything be blue)
*book book book ( she likes to say it severarl times, as to emphasize her love i guess)
*du du du (the sound of elephants marching....learned from the 'jungle book')

Monday, November 30, 2009

playing with rollip

i was just playing with the fun photo website 'rollip' that emily showed me. too fun! go try for a visit. this was a pic i took of ruby after i took her haircut a while back. what a yummy face!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

dreamy stationary

isnt this just the most wonderful present for a stationary addict? lets bring letter writing back! check them out at

Friday, November 27, 2009

first bath

Declan had his first bath with his Daddy. I actually missed it, b/c I was out with Ruby getting drinks for Thanksgiving, but apparently he had a good time and did not appreciate getting out. A bit chilly. Luckily we have these old school red lights that warm up the bathroom. Yeah for old houses with weird features. Ruby definitely likes to hold him a lot. His squirmyness makes her giggle.

lovely friday morning

just enjoying the absolutely gorgeous weather with my girl while the little guy snoozes...
picking oranges, gathering sticks, and going for
rides around the yard in the old pink car.

oh i do love phoenix in the winter. its so magical sometimes.
and i do certainly love having such a sweet baby.

Monday, November 23, 2009

sweet baby Declan

So our new little babe has finally arrived! Declan James McHale was born on 11.20.09 ...weighing 7lbs 3 ounces.

We went to the hospital Thursday afternoon after contractions technically starting Wednesday night. Ed took me on many walks, to the mall, to get dinner in our neighborhood, etc. to keep things going as we were determined to avoid having a c-section and to attempt having a natural birth. So we finally gave in once the contractions were getting close and headed to St. Joe's Thursday around noon. The majority of the day was spent in triage, until the evening...something to do with no rooms ready or low staffing.

Once we got into our room we were blessed with the sweetest most wonderful nurse in the world; she was a mom Ed knew from the swim school and came into work just to be our nurse. Jennifer was her name and I can not thank her enough for being simply amazing and getting us through what felt so endless.

So with her and Ed at my side helping me to somehow breathe through it all, it happened and we experienced the true miracle of life...seeing your little boy come into the world when you were sure it would never happen or that there was no possible way you could continue....I might just die right here and many thoughts going through your head.

But then, oh, to hold him and see the smiles of joy on everyones not be so drugged out from surgery that you get to actually hold and nurse your baby and kiss his face. What a true blessing and so worth it all. On top of that to be surrounded by such love, a simply wonderful husband who gets me through so much, and the greatest most loving parents and family and friends who came to visit and congratulate. I do feel overwhelmed with blessings right now.

And yes, Ruby is adjusting. She definitely needs a lot of attention and wants her mama a lot but she is behaving pretty normally i guess. I just love when she giggles at his noises or points to his nose, mouth, etc in awe of this little guy; oh and the kisses are pretty darn cute too. I could go on and on but baby calls.

Thank you to all of those who have been so good to us lately as we welcome our new babe into the world. Thank you for visiting, bringing delicious meals, and sharing your sweet thoughtful and so appreciated. We could not be more thankful to have you in our lives.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


a while back, when first getting into sewing, emily and i made these dolls for our girls. only recently ruby has really taken to shabby as she may be. it cracks me up, b/c she has to do everything ruby does...diaper, shoes, clothes, food, you name it....even an itch on the leg....dolly must have one too. funny stuff. and her name is rather original. i guess we'll get to better names as time goes on. christmas definitely calls for some accessories and new outfits, and perhaps a new sister for dolly....molly?


so at the very last minute ruby turned into little bo peep for halloweeen. i must say i wanted to eat her up in that little dress. my aunt cathy was so sweet and found this vintage dress that was just her size, and clearly someone had put a lot of time into once long ago. its like a little doll outfit!
we did have a great time in the lovely weather at pete and emilys, just playing outside and muching on some great eats and observing some great costumes. i will have to post later the costume ruby originally planned...a bee....She thinks its great fun to buzz around and sting people; perfect for her goofy personality. I cant wait for next year to plan a costume with her little brother!

Monday, October 26, 2009

remembering summer

emily just sent this to me the other day, and just made me happy. as hot as it was, there were lovely days like this at our friend Krista's 'farm' ...that is house. what a treat to eat yummy yellow tomatoes in her garden, let the kids play in sand and visit the animals. too back one of the ducks thought i was delicious and kept after my feet....leaving Ruby a little frightened of all the ducks. i should've been a better trooper.

ahhh, summer days. i really actually do not miss you so much. i guess its a pregnant thing.

dream bike

is'nt this amazing! what a dream. they have many more that i love, from Dutch Bike Co. Seattle, but i just thought this was particularly amazing.

one week in october...

and two and a quarter in november till the due date (the 17th). and no that is not the moon, but rather my big baby boy waiting to welcome this world. i must say it seems much harder this time...many more contractions...i have a little ruby who keeps me on my toes for sure...and thinking about how i will have to leave my little girl to go to the hospital really stinks...
other than that im just praying for a normal and safe delivery. here's to november, fast approaching!!


a lovely happy sunday afternoon. ruby got the giggles and all hyped up after having lunch with us. im pretty sure she does this more often when daddy is around b/c she is just generally happy when we are all together.

you've just gotta love those giggles!
and kisses!

and overzealous smiles for the camera.
'cheese' is definitely one of her favorite words. she takes my phone, opens it and points at me, ed, any random object and walks around shouting 'cheese' as if she is doing a photo shoot.
oh, and on a side note...she thinks pumpkins are the greatest thing, so she keeps one on her table, and also decorated a lovely one yesterday with buttons and stickers...two other fav's, besides pickles.

Monday, October 5, 2009


sadly i have been a lonely mom the past couple days; Ed and Ruby went to his cousin's wedding outside of san francisco. it has been super weird being alone for sure but i am doing my best at keeping busy, and doing things i can not normally seing a movie.

so if i wasnt so pregnant i would have danced my way out of the theatre last night. Go see this movie if you love music, dance, performing arts in gengeral. The first break out in song was sooooooo amazing. They had a major jam out in the cafeteria, including electric guitar, drums, tap dancing, singing, on and on. In my dreams I went to this highschool, and moved on to be a dancer. Wow! Well, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

lovely etsy prints

i just thought these were fun. a collection of them would be fun to display somewhere in my home, or just a fun gift for the right person. if you like, check our viviennestrauss on etsy. toodles.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

lucy and ruby

Wow, Finn you are such an amazing photographer. You must take after your Mom. I had the fun surprise of finding these on my camera after Finn and Lucy sped away in their mean slug bug convertable. Crazy how their mom lets them out all on their own. Thanks for the great play date guys! Ruby is so lucky to have such a silly, girly, funny little cousin. I love how much fun they can have together being goofy girls. Nothing like glasses, mom's old purses, shoes and wallets to let them have a good time.