All posts by beckerina

Family Part II (The Moores)

A week after Otis was born, Grammie and Grampie (Brad’s parents- Bonnie and Garry) flew in from the east coast to stay with us for a week and get to know their new grandson.  The picture above was taken right after they arrived and that glowing smile on Bonnie’s face was pretty much a permanent fixture for the next 7 days.  They had thought of everything.  They had gotten their Tdap shots so as not to expose Otis to whooping cough and they had packed their suitcase by choosing shirts that wouldn’t aggravate Otis’ skin (no baubles or scratchy fabrics).

Bonnie and Garry continued to spoil us.  Bonnie cooked us her famous chix and chokes (chicken and artichokes) and some delicious spaghetti with chicken sausage.  Garry vacuumed and swiffered the hardwood floors.  Apparently he and my dad share their affinity for floors free of dog hair 🙂 Best of all, they joined in when Brad went out to work in the yard.  I looked out the window and all three of them were pulling weeds, trimming vines, and doing all sorts of crazy manual labor to make our yard look much better.  They filled the yard waste bin and then some.


They also became champion baby holders and soothers giving Brad and my arms a much needed rest.  Here are some of my favorite shots of them with their grandson.


See, I wasn’t lying about that smile staying on Bonnie’s face.  Look at her knitting across the room while beaming at Grampie and Otis.

Brad’s brother, Greg, and his girlfriend, Megan, joined us for the weekend.  My Aunt Jan also dropped by for a visit.  As some of you may know, we lovingly refer to Greg as “toadface.”  This dates back to a hilarious face that he used to make as a child.  Well, while Aunt Jan was visiting Brad said to Otis “this is your Uncle Toadface.”  Aunt Jan heard him wrong and said “Uncle Toothpaste?”  And thus a wonderful new name was born.  Here is Otis with his Uncle Toothpaste and the lovely Megan.


Brad’s Uncle Gerry even dropped by for a bit.  Greg and Megan were super helpful.  Megan, of course, brought delicious baked goods like she always does.  By this point Brad and I were craving a bit of time for Otis, he, and I to be together as a trio.  We felt like we needed to start acclimating to what it would be like when all the family left.  So the four of them happily obliged us and went out to meals on their own, leaving us home.  Greg would always text us midway through the meal and find out what they could bring back for us.  Delicious mexican food, lattes, you name it and Greg delivered it.

By the time both families cleared out 2 weeks after Otis was born, we were set in every way.  The fridge was stocked, the house cleaned, the yard trimmed, and Otis had been showered with more love than you could think possible.  We continue to send both sets of grandparents daily pictures and there will be lots of skype and facetime in our future.  We feel very lucky to have such great families!

Family (Part I- The Erharts)

Brad and I were so lucky to have family in our house for the first two weeks of Otis’ life.  We had so many helpers that we could forget about cooking, cleaning, etc. and just focus on getting to know Otis and all of his needs.

My parents live only an hour and a half away so they were able to come to the hospital while I was in labor.  They were in the Santa Rosa Kaiser waiting room from 9am-10pm waiting to greet our little dude.  After Otis was born they got to come in and snap a few photos before heading home for the night.  The next day they visited us in our postpartum room bringing bagels and coffee for breakfast and chipotle for lunch (the hospital food was not overly delicious).  That’s when they both got to hold Otis for the first time.  Then they respectfully headed back to our house to care for Lani, the beagle, and Stefan, the duck, while Brad, Otis, and I spent another night in the hospital bonding as a trio.

When we came home the next day we were greeted with these balloons and vases of flowers.  


While I nursed Otis for the first time in his very own room, my mom baked chocolate chip cookies.  For those of you that know me, chocolate chip cookies are the way to my heart and smelling them in the oven was like heaven.  She also prepared a delicious chicken and asparagus dinner for us.  Meanwhile, my dad was busy trying to fix our dishwasher, sweeping our yard, and putting our garbage out.  Not to mention, I’m pretty sure he swiffered our hardwood floor twice a day.

My sister, Jen, flew up for the weekend to join the Erhart fun.  Somehow we convinced her to make refried beans from scratch (pictured below) for taco night.  Amazing!!!


In addition to waiting on us hand and foot, all three Erharts proved to be invaluable as baby holders.  Brad, Otis, and I would struggle through the night only to be relieved to hear footsteps upstairs around 6:30am- the morning shift had arrived, my Dad and sister.  This meant Brad and I could sneak off for a nap or a shower while Otis happily cuddled with Grandpa and Aunt Jen.


When Brad and I wanted to eat a meal, we could transfer Otis over to my mom’s arms so that we had both hands free to eat with (a luxury we currently miss a lot).  Otis was very content in Grandma’s arms.



All in all, it was immensely helpful to have my family around us in that first week of Otis’ life.  When they set off towards their homes Brad and I enjoyed a day and a half on our own with Otis.  It was a perfect amount of time to practice what real life would be like before Brad’s family flew in to help us for another week.  More on the amazing Moore family in the next post (whenever Otis deems me worthy of having two hands free to type).

Homemade Gifts Galore!

Otis has a lot of crafty friends.  In addition to receiving tons of amazing store-bought gifts to help ease this transition into parenthood, we also received some very special homemade items.




My mom and sister threw me a baby shower where the guests all got to decorate onesies.  Brad’s mom had all sorts of cool stencils and fabric markers to help those of us with minimal artistic skills.  Marin Ballet also threw me a baby shower and they asked my students to make me onesies and bibs.  They were absolutely adorable.




Brad’s grandmother Anne knitted Otis a blanket (pictured) as did my grandmother, Betty, and my mom’s friend’s mother.  My co-worker, Laurie, made this gorgeous sailboat quilt, and a student of mine crocheted this colorful blanket.




These bibs were made by Brad’s Nana many years ago.  Nana is no longer with us, but it is quite special that her handiwork gets to live on.




Brad’s mom has knitted Otis a whole wardrobe of sweaters with matching hats and booties.  You’ll find one piece of her catalogue above on the left.  The sweater on the right was knit by my high school best friend, Whitney.  Otis is going to be quite stylish!




One of my students spent 4 months crocheting this adorable monkey.  She started it before anyone knew I was pregnant and planned to make it for herself.  Once she learned I was pregnant she decided she wanted to make it for my baby.  It proudly sits atop Otis’ bookshelf.




2 of my students gave us a box of 72 newborn diapers.  We opened them to find that they had written something on each and every diaper.  Some of my favorites were “Daddy’s turn,” “Look I can count . . #1, #2, and “Only 4,000 more to go.” Be sure to click on this photo and read their poetry. Their wit definitely made the first 72 diaper changes way more fun than they should have been.


I’m sure I am forgetting some other homemade items (the brain is a bit foggy due to lack of sleep).  Thanks to all of you who have spent precious time concocting something for Otis!

A Week of Discovery

Today Otis is 1 week old.  Time has flown by and at the same time it is crazy to think that he has only been in this world for 7 days.  He has learned so much in that time.  It has definitely been a week of firsts for Mom, Dad, and Otis.

Otis has . . . .

-learned how to breathe

-made an art form of waking up- first lift the eyelids, then pry one eye open (the stink eye), and finally coax the other eye to open

IMG_0190 IMG_0193

-mastered nursing (he is quite the champion eater, often nursing every hour)

-gone on his first walk


-aced his first pediatrician check-up

-been to his first public place (coffee shop around the corner)


-started taking the world in

-captured our hearts


Brad and I have . . . .

-instantly become parents and are amazed at how natural it feels

-learned that a 2 hour stretch of sleep is a gift

-discovered that most household tasks can be done one-handed while holding the baby in the other

-gotten a ridiculous case of the giggles everytime we hear Otis fart or poop.

-mastered the stupid carseat and all of its confounded pieces

-appreciated family like never before and fallen in love with our newest family member




Lani becomes a “big sister”

We didn’t know if our beagle mutt, Lani, had any idea there was a baby growing inside of me.  Well, it appears she may have had an inkling.  When friends have brought their babies over in the past, Lani has been skittish and even barked at them.  When we brought Otis home, Lani was totally mellow and curious and gentle.  She likes to sniff his little head.  She even slept in our room last night, although she was the only one that actually slept.  Brad and I were laughing because we have a 4 bedroom house, yet Brad, Otis, Lani, and I were all cocooned in one room.  Lani did emit a lone bark around 4am when Otis was screeching, but in all honesty I think we all wanted to bark by that point 🙂  All in all, it’s looking like Lani will be the perfect doggie sister.

He’s Here!!!!!

Introducing Otis Tucker Moore!!!!!

Early Monday morning around 4am I was awakened with my first contractions. Brad decided he would work from home to stay close by but the contractions were few and far between and all the walking in the world wasn’t speeding them up. We weren’t concerned though, just excited that we’d get to meet the mystery man soon. Around midnight the contractions revved up a bit. They were coming every 10 minutes and were hurting more. This is it we thought. But alas all the walking around the house just wouldn’t speed them up. They were getting more and more intense but staying 10-12 minutes apart. I won’t lie- I was a bit annoyed. 

We watched about two whole seasons of Friends, played countless games of solitaire and took late night showers. Brad even decided to shave his beard so as to be less intimidating when the little guy arrived.

Well, hallelujah- by 5am the contractions had been 4 minutes apart for an hour and a half and the hospital said we could come on in. We checked into Santa Rosa Kaiser at 5:45am and were super jazzed (yup I said jazzed) to learn that I was already 5cm dilated and 100% effaced. We figured we’d be popping this kid out in no time.

Well, pretty much anytime I sat down the contractions slowed down. Hmmm. So we began roaming the hospital halls- for 5 hours. What with the neighborhood stroll the day before, the late night promenades around our house, and the morning walk-a-thon at the hospital my legs were pretty shot. The midwife came in to check my progress and we discovered I hadn’t made any. Boo!

Up until then I hadn’t decided what kind of pain management to use, if any. Well, having already been awake for 30 hours I decided to opt for the epidural. I had been kind of nervous about the lack of control that comes with the epidural but I gotta tell you, that first hour with it was the most comfortable I had been in months! They broke my waters to see if that would speed things up and I took an hour long nap. Best nap of my life- I got to fall asleep to the sound of my son’s heart beat on the monitor. 

I woke to find my contractions had slowed down, enter pitocin to induce the labor and the contractions sky rocketed. Don’t know what they would have felt like without the epidural cuz I was still feeling them big time. By 5pm Iwas 10cm!!! Now all we needed was the urge to push. By 7pm I still didn’t have the urge but we decided to start the process anyway.  Once again I figured he’d be out in no time and once again I was wrong. As Brad helped to hold my legs up and our wonderful nurse, Gerry, cheerleaded us, I did the most strenuous work I’d done in my whole life. I pushed for nearly 3 hours and at 9:58pm on Tuesday, August 19th I got the best reward of life- in one final set of pushes not only did his full head come out but the rest of him too and immediately he was in my arms and Brad and I were gazing at our son. All the tiredness and frustration just seeped out of us to be replaced by love and awe. 

He weighed in at 8lb 9oz and is 21.5 inches long. He’s completely healthy and we are busy watching his personality unfold and learning how to care for him. Brad is changing diapers like a champ and Otis and I are starting to get the hang of breastfeeding. My parents got to meet him soon after he was born, his Aunt Jen flys in to visit this weekend, and Brad’s folks arrive next Wednesday so his social calendar is already filling up. As I write this he is asleep in my arms and I am constantly distracted by his little murmurs, cute sideburns (that match his dad’s), and adorable face. More later . . . . 

P.S. Knitwear provided by Bonita “Grammie” Moore


August 16th!

This August is a huge month for Brad and I.  It marks the 10 year anniversary of when we became roommates/met, the 5 year anniversary of our wedding, and the birth of our first child.  Pretty darn momentous, if you ask me!  August 16, 2009 Brad and I got married in Santa Rosa, CA.  All of our amazing family and friends were there and we had the time of our lives.  I did some searching back in old emails to see if I could find out the exact day in August, 2004 that I moved into the house on Trin Street with Brad, Mike, and Cricket as my new roommates.  All I can find is that on August 19th I had finally gotten my internet hooked up.  So . . . I think it is quite plausible that I moved in on August 16th.  How crazy is that?  On August 16, 2004 Brad and I met as roommates in a, lets be honest, “band house,” and 5 years later we got married.  I know, I know- we moved pretty fast 🙂  

I remember my friends calling me when I first moved to DC to ask how I was doing.  I would tell them that so far I hated my job (Washington Ballet started off rough for me), but that my new roommates were pretty cool.  I’d tell them there was one in particular (guess who) that I thought I’d become pretty good friends with.  I loved going to see Brad perform at Politicks shows and remember sitting with him at an Irish Pub discussing artistry, something we were both working on.  I remember getting excited when I’d pull onto Trin Street and see his car there.  And I remember being over the moon when I’d find a new CD that he made me for my commute to work.  He pretty much wooed me with mixed CD’s!


5 years later we put those mixed CD’s to work with some pretty awesome wedding music.  Guests arrived to lovely string quartet covers of songs such as “Toxicity” by System of a Down and “Sex and Candy” by Marcy’s Playground, and I walked down the aisle to a song that Brad had written for me.  The bridesmaids were teary, the groomsmen were well behaved (shockingly), and the toasts were out of this world.  It was a perfect day!

Now 5 years after that (we seem to like 5 year intervals for momentous occasions), we are super excited to start “music education” with our little boy.  He already has a Pandora onesie and one that says “my dad is the bass player.”  And Brad is already dreaming of the day when we find him wailing on the drum set.  What boy can resist banging on things with sticks?  Now he just needs to make his appearance.

The last 10 years have been pretty magical.  Here’s to the next 10!


Welcome to Moore Mentionables!

Hello Family and Friends,

Welcome to Moore Mentionables!  As most of you know neither Brad nor I are huge facebook users.  We are on there, but we average about a post a year.  Now that we are about to have a little life form enter our world we knew we would be eager to share photos, videos, and stories with all of you.  Rather than bombard facebook all of a sudden and force every aquaintance to see all this, we reckon it’s best to create a place where people can go should they wish to be entertained with adorable baby photos and stories about poop, lack of sleep, and more poop.  So . . .  here we go.