December 16, 2008

The 1st Month

Even though we promised to post sooner, life with a newborn is rather chaotic and posting isn't at the top of our to do list.
Life is starting to get back to normal (whatever normal is now). I'm healing up from the surgery and my energy level is almost back to pre-pregnancy levels. Beniah is growing very fast. He weighed in at 11 lbs. 14oz. at his last checkup. He is getting a slight 3rd chin (when his head is turned a particular way). His latest feat is responding to Mama and Daddy's voices with a smile.
We have had both Grandma's here to help Tim and I out this past month. Of course, both Grandpas came for a visit as well. Unfortunately, we only ended up taking a picture of Beniah with his Grandpa Luse.

Hanging out with Grandpa Luse

Beniah in the cradle. He is the 4th generation to sleep in this cradle. His Great Grandpa Luse was the 1st to sleep in it.

Asleep with Daddy.

The third chin poking out.

Here is Beniah's pouty face that we think is adorable (at least at this point in his life).

Beniah's 1st smile captured by the camera.

Beniah - 1 month old.

November 30, 2008

Beniah Mark Whittaker

After over two weeks of learning to care for a newborn, we are finally alert enough to post about our firstborn. After 41 hours of rather intense (yet frustratingly non-progressive) labor, Beniah Mark Whittaker was born by Cesarean on November 15th at 5:20 am. He weighed 9 lbs 6 oz. The reason for the lack of progress? His very large head. The circumference was 15 inches, while the average newborn’s is around 13 or 13 1/2. He has his daddy’s head!

Here are a few pics from our 6 day (!) hospital stay.

Heather soon after getting settled on the fourth floor.

Fingerless gloves are SO in!

Dressed in scrubs for the C-Section. (Obvious, right?)

Mama's first look at her son!

Jeshu Kumar being oh-so-gentle with his tiny cousin.

Beniah was hungry, and mama was busy. So, of course, Grandma Luse offered her chin as a substitute! Got a hickey for her trouble, though.

A less-drugged version of mama enjoying her sleeping son.

Beniah does NOT like hats!

All dressed up to go home. And though you can't tell from this pic, those little socks are quite embarrassing. Beniah's Auntie Jo bought them for him before we knew his gender, and insisted that our child wear them, even if it was a boy. So, of course, Beniah decided to be a male that wears socks with a picture of Ariel, the Little Mermaid.

A close-up of Beniah in his adorable hat.

The Whittaker Three on their way home from the hospital.

We’ll post some more pics of the newly enlarged Whittaker family later. Hopefully in less than the two weeks it took for this post!

October 21, 2008

Yesterday was my 1st official day of not going into work. My wonderful husband told me that I wasn't to do anything except relax all day long. So my day was filled with Fanny Price (Mansfield Park) and cups of Hot Peppermint Tea. It was quite nice to look at my basket of clean laundry and say, "I need to be submissive to Tim, so I can't fold the clothes that you hold."

While I am enjoying the relaxfullness (is that a word?) of being at home, I am realizing that there are some things about Selmet that I do miss.
I will miss the 1/2 mile driveway up to Selmet.
I will miss the speedbumps that rip off oil pans if driven over too fast.
I will miss the realization that plant I work in really does look like a prison (it is painted a grey-blue color, it has no windows except in the office, there is a chain link fence that runs along the perimeter of the property, and there is a guard shack).
I will miss the sheep that followed the sound of your voice when you walk up and down the driveway at lunch (until one of their members died. Then they looked at you with hatred in their eyes).
I will miss the drama of being a scapegoat just because I am in purchasing.
I will miss hearing the accountant's view on how many staples a paper bunch is really supposed to hold (by the way, it is 1 staple per bunch because more than 1 can cause the bunch to get really heavy when you have to box up all of the bunches at the end of the year. I never knew how 3 extra staples were such a work hazard before.).
Finally, I will miss working for a boss who is a slice of heaven to work for (her boss told her that when he was mad at her. I'm still not sure how that is a bad thing.)

September 7, 2008

Goodbye my Phalangical Friends

I have officially lost sight of my feet!

Ahh the growth of summer

As the farmers around Corvallis have been watching their crops grow, I have been watching mine grow as well.

Here I am at 17 weeks (Memorial Day Weekend):

Here's 20 weeks (Halfway Done!):

22 weeks (4th of July)

27 weeks:

And finally at 29 weeks (Labor Day weekend). Can you guess which one of us has the watermelon under their shirt?

August 1, 2008


On my way home from work today, I almost got side-swiped by a Farmer's Insurance car. Hmm...

Sweet Dreams

I've been reading recently that pregnant women have more dreams, or at least remember their dreams more than other people, and that these dreams have significant meanings. For instance, if you dream about cuddly baby animals,buildings, factories, or construction sites, you are aware of your baby growing. If you dream about driving a large vehicle or having trouble walking, you are aware that you are growing. Finally, my favorite, if you dream about water, oceans, lakes, or pools, you are aware of your amniotic fluids or that you have to go to the bathroom.
Although I find these interpretations rather off the wall, I have had my share of strange dreams. The other night, I had a dream that Mongkut had made Tim and I a nice pancake breakfast and was trying to wake us up at 6 am to enjoy his creation. I will admit that I was slightly disappointed when I actually did wake up and realize that our cat did not make us a pancake breakfast.

July 20, 2008

And He Shall be Called

Heather and I have been searching for the perfect name for our son. It's been difficult to find one with a meaning we like and a sound we enjoy. We've joked about names like Luke Warm, or Intel Inside, and the like. While we did briefly consider Luke or Lucas, we eventually decided against them.

Before we divulge our final answer, we'd like to share a few other names we've found along the way.

Abimelech--"My father is king." I personally liked this one a lot, but we eventually decided it was a bit too pride-inducing in me.

Benoni--"Son of my sorrow." We considered this one due to Heather's hormone-induced tears, but, like Jacob, decided not to curse our son. We didn't want to name him Benjamin either, though.

Jabez--"Borne in pain; sorrow." Similar to Benoni, but with pop culture behind it! So, double no.

Lehi--"Jawbone." 'Nough said.

So, you ready? Have we dragged it on long enough? Shall we say, "Come back tomorrow, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel."?

Alright, fine. I'll tell you now. Now, you can't laugh, okay? 'Cause we're serious about this name. Sure, it's unusual, but that's one of the reasons we liked it. If you don't like it, send any critical emails to I'

Without any further ado (though thinking about it, that PHRASE is 'further ado'!), our son's name is--

You ready?


Put together, this means "God has Established" this "Mighty Warrior."

Mark is my middle name, and has an excellent meaning. I'm sure it needs little introduction to all of you.

But, I know what you're REALLY thinking. (Yes, I AM a precognitive psychic. Deal with it.) You're thinking, "Beniah? Where'd they pull up that name?" Well, I'm glad you asked yourself that. In historical times, there was a man named David. He was a Jewish king, adept at war. He had many mighty men that fought with him. One of them was Benaiah. Here are some references:

2 Samuel 8:18
2 Samuel 20:23
2 Samuel 23:20-23, 30
1 Kings 1

To sum up these passages, he was one of the mightiest warriors in David's army. David obviously trusted him greatly, as evidenced by the end of 2 Samuel 23:23--"David put him in charge of his bodyguard."

When Adonijah rebelled against David, he didn't even invite Benaiah to join him. (1 Kings 1:10). This may have been because of a personal slight, but I think it had to do with Benaiah's loyalty to David.

In regards to the change in spelling (from Benaiah to Beniah), when we first chose the name, we were pronouncing it Ben-I-ah, not Ben-A-ah (think Isaiah, but with Ben). Though we later discovered our mistake, we decided to stick with our initial pronunciation. We changed the spelling because, as Heather so aptly put it, "Silent letters are stupid, because they're wastes of perfectly good letters."

Wow. Talk about text-heavy! Here're a few pics for those of you with short attention spans.

July 14, 2008

July 4, 2008

Half Way There

I am officially half way done with this pregnancy (technically it's 55 % of the way done since this is being posted when I am 22 weeks pregnant)! A couple of weeks ago, we were up at Kim and Andy's for Donny's 1st birthday party and was able to have Joann take some 20 week pregnancy photos.

Here are some of our favorites.

You can find more great pictures on Joann's blogsite.
Aside from seeing family, one of the best moments for me was when we were all in the living room watching Donny's present being opened up amidst the squeals and laughter of my nephews when my son started kicking and moving around. I wasn't slouching like I usually do when he kicks, so my guess is that he heard everybody and was trying to join in. Then again maybe my imagination is overactive.

A couple nights ago, Tim was able to feel his son move for the first time. I was reading a book that was propped on my stomach (pregnant bellies make excellent tables) when I felt him kick and saw the book bounce up a bit. I looked at Tim and said, "Was that a gas bubble?" So Tim put his hand on my belly and our son kicked again, rather fiercely! I can't feel him move all the time, but when I do it's like a punch in the gut (that was Tim's addition). I am starting to get an idea of how active he's going to be when he is outside of the womb. *Sigh* I am excited for that, though.

June 15, 2008

Kung Fu Fighting

Our baby was kung fu fighting.
His kicks were fast as lightning.
In fact it was a little bit frightening.
'Cause he fought with expert timing.

Well, on Friday we had our 2nd ever ultrasound and were able to see our baby. He has grown quite a bit since his lima bean stage.

(Click for bigger images)

As you can see here, our boy has all the necessary parts (although we don't have a picture to prove that he is a boy). The one thing I don't really like about the ultrasound scan is that they remove the arms from the picture so that they can look at the whole length of the body. It makes him look like a rubber chicken with the head of a human.
Other than being a chicken boy, everything looks good with our son. The tech ended up having a hard time measuring our the baby's legs because he kept kicking and wouldn't stop moving. From how he looks so far, he is going to have the size of his daddy's head (minus the bone spur!) and my yawns.
I did have a pretty good scare during the ultrasound. The tech was doing a scan of the baby's brain, looking for a couple lobes. Apparently, I wasn't listening well enough to the tech. When he said, "There's one and there's the other," I freaked out a bit and asked, "The other? There are twins?" Tim and the tech laughed at me.

Finally, here is the clearest of the ultrasounds.

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Tim and I have had a very full Memorial Day weekend so far. A couple that we met up here was having a garage sale and found some very good deals. We got a baby Bjorn, a Sling, and a Portable highchair thingy (All for $15!) . We weren’t quite sure how to use the stuff, so we decided to test it out on our cat.

By the time we got to the baby Bjorn, Mongkut decided that he had enough and his claws came out and started scratching anybody who came near him.

Yesterday, Tim and I decided to go on a spontaneous road trip to Newport for the afternoon. We started out with a walk on the beach.

As we were walking back up to the car we stopped to take some pictures near a weird metal Christmas tree ( I think).

We headed to the historic Bay front and were greeted by a sound of dying wiener dogs. We soon discovered that there weren’t any dogs, just a group of sealions sunning themselves on a dock underneath one of the piers. There was one that was particularly vocal and would get the others to bark back at him. I have a feeling that they were telling him to quite down and let them sleep.

May 25, 2008

Prego vs Ragu

Lately, I have had a lot of people call me Prego. One guy at my work said that he will call me either Prego or Lumpy. It’s been a rather hard decision which nickname to pick. I could either be called a brand of Spaghetti sauce or be told that I look like I have an old pillow under my shirt. He has made the decision a little easier, though. Now he calls me Bubbles
I have decided that I will call people Ragu or Hunts when I am called Prego.
“Why yes Ragu, I am feeling good this morning. Thanks for asking.”
“No Hunts, I haven’t felt my baby kick yet, but I am told that it will be soon.”
Here are some pictures to show you all how big I’ve gotten.

Here I am at 3 Months.

And here I am at 3 1/2 Months.
I have gotten some nice comments ("Wow, you barely look pregnant!") to some... well intended comments ("Wow, you're really big for a November baby!").
I prefer the former.

May 24, 2008


Good grief! We need to post more often!

Heather will be back with a longer post either today or tomorrow.


April 5, 2008

Oh the Tears!

So here is a somewhat interesting note about my pregnancy. Apparently, I am one of the many women who get very emotional during their pregnancy. The other night, Tim and I were watching a movie, that I would normally have thought was somewhat sappy and ridiculous--not so this time. There was a death in the movie, so I started crying. The scene got over and I was still crying. The movie ended about 5 minutes later and I was still crying. I had gotten myself under control by the time we decided to start looking online, for a bigger apartment, when Tim asked what I thought about getting rid of our cat so that we have more options for an apartment. You guessed it! I started sobbing again. Seriously, I am not a very weepy person until now. I sure hope this gets better because I have 31 weeks left and I am annoying myself with my tears!

March 15, 2008

Our Little Lima Bean

So a couple of days after Tim passed his first actuary test, I passed my pregnancy test. I am now 6 weeks pregnant and other than feeling extremely tired, I'm feeling fairly good. We went to the doctor yesterday and had our first ultrasound. Other than looking like a pulsating lima bean, our baby is healthy. We should be able to meet this little ...boy?... girl? (sorry Dad, it's not a puppy) on November 6th (or somewhere around there). Kudos to Kimmie for figuring out the exact date before we even talked to the doctor!
The arrow is where the baby is at (click it for clarity).

March 14, 2008

More of the Same

Did you know that there are professional jugglers? That juggling is a sport? That there are competitions at which judges grade jugglers on difficulty and originality? I didn't either, until today. Even if you weren't impressed by the other videos (which you should have been!), try this one! 7-club, 9-ball, 9-ring juggling. 5-club backcrosses and 360 spins. Two-man back-to-back. Through the legs so much it looks trivial. 4-club 360 spins while balancing a club on the nose.

Link to WJF amazingness!

March 6, 2008

Juggling Master!

So, some of you know that I have been juggling since Christmas (thanks for the gag gift, big sis!). I was feeling somewhat cocky the other day, as I had pretty much mastered the 3-ball Cascade (or Fountain). Then I got on YouTube to figure out how to juggle four balls, and I discovered that I know nothing of juggling!

I've sort of gotten the Half Shower, as well as Tennis, and I'm fairly good at 2-ball juggling with either hand, though still weak with the left. I'm now working on the 3-ball Shower, a loop. Next will be the Windmill, then Chops, 2-up 1-up, Fake, Factory, and, the ultimate 3-ball pattern (in my humble opinion), Mill's Mess.

And somewhere in there, the 4-ball Cascade, which is actually 2-ball juggling in each hand at the same time!

The three links below are to videos that crushed my pride quite thoroughly. They were posted by a 16 year old! (Warning: the music may not be enjoyed by all, but you can always mute it!)

Shorter (0:58)
Longer (3:37)
3-ball Juggling (5:44, including a long intro)

If you like 'em, check out his other videos. They're all pretty cool!

March 2, 2008

Surprise Results

So last Monday, I woke up after studying all weekend for my test. I decided that I was done studying, as I had already absorbed about as much as I possibly could. So, I had a very relaxing morning; I got online and surfed a bit, and I annoyed Mongkut until he was ready to pounce. This is a rather sedate picture, but you can see he's in defensive posture.

Then, as per Heather's instructions, I made myself a protein-filled breakfast. Adding pepper-jack to the scrambled eggs was a delicious idea!

I put in some good music...

and got on the road. I had a companion for most of the trip north--Mazduncan Idaho!!! (or at least one of his clones).

It rained for a bit.

Finally, I arrived at the test site. I had 3 hours to complete 30 multiple choice questions, each with 5 possible answers. Three hours may seem like a lot of time, but the questions are tough.

After two and a half hours, I had answered all of the questions. Unfortunately, I was only confident on 13 of them! When I submitted my answers, I was expecting to fail; here are my results:

I passed! Not an official report, but the receptionist said that they have never heard of anyone failing after receiving a good report on the immediate grading. I'm trying to keep my hopes down, just in case I'm the first, but it ain't easy!

It makes me feel a bit like Gideon. God had him take only 300 men against the multitudes of the Midianites so that the Israelites would know that they hadn't saved themselves, but that God had. With me being as unprepared as I was, I know that God achieved the passing grade, not me!

Once back in Corvallis, Heather & I went to Ruby Tuesday to celebrate.

And here's a pic that I don't have a place for, but am really happy with.