Your first time on the boat as a fetus! With Grandpa Gray! 

Hey there sport! 

Mom and I took your grandpa out on the boat today. We went down the Hillsborough River and into Tampa Bay past downtown. At one point I started to speed up, then I realized you were probably getting bumped around a bit in there. I wonder what you thought was going on! 

Grandpa had a great time, and it was awesome watching him and your mom get quality time out on the water together. Great memories. If we still have the boat when you get here, this day is probably why. Terrific day out on the water. 

Right now your mom and Grandpa are off getting sandwiches for lunch while Grandma and I watch some TV and relax. We plan on taking Grandpa to see a Western at the movie theater this afternoon. 

Hope you are having a good day in there son. Get ready for a sub sandwich little feller. Eat up and grow, grow, grow! 

Here are some photos from today! 

Love ya Lil’ Dude, 

Dad 

A huge honor! Notes From Your Dad chosen as one of the Top 50 Dad blogs in the world by “The Baby Spot!” 

I’m so excited! I just received an email from The Baby Spot, a huge Baby News and Info site, that this little blog has been  chosen as a Top 50 Dad Blog! Check out the article here: 

Top Dad Bloggers 2016

2.5 Generations at Walt Disney World 

2.5 generations were represented on this trip; your Grandparents, your parents, and you in the tummy! 

Today was the Epcot Food and Wine Festival- I hope you enjoyed the samples from around the world mom fed you through your umbilical cord! 

Disney! 

Dear little bun, 

You’ve only been in the oven 18 weeks, but you already have little finger nails, little ears, and little hair. 

Today we are taking your Grandma and Grandpa to Disney World. We all got up at 5:30am so we could be there nice and early, after a stop at Cracker Barrel. 

It’s going to be a fun day! I’ll add a lot of notes for you today if I can! 

Your moms thoughts in the shower. 

Hey kiddo- your mom is all fired up since your grandparents are here. She’s chirping like a bird from the shower. Here’s some of her gems this morning: 

Singing “Wayfair you got just what I need.” 

“Is it foggy outside? Soggy. Soggy Bottom.” 

“Whattimedoyouthinkyourgonnagetoffrodayyoureoffat6right?” 

“What should we do for dinner tonight? PARTY! PIZZA PARTY!” 

Singing “Parents, Parents in Tampa… Party, Pizza Party!” 

“That’s YOUR poop smell!” 

“The lawn looks great. How much was our lawn?” 

“I’m concentrating now.” From shower

“I don’t ever want to get out of the shower.” 

Singing again “PARTY- pizza PARTY!” 

“What am I gonna eat for lunch?” 

“My brothers used to dance around in their underwear.” 

“They were big fans of Beastie Boys.” 

“Sleep away dad. You sleep away.” 
Well son- that’s your mom. 

-Dad 

The Baby Bump!!!! Week 18 

Hey kiddo- I can see you!!! 

It didn’t appear that your mom had much of a baby bump, if any at all, until last Thursday. We went to get the gender reveal sonogram and mom layed back and pulled up her shirt. There you were! A little baby bump with my baby boy in it! She had done such a good job hiding it- I was shocked when I finally saw it! 

Yesterday a coworker sent your mom an email with me included. She said “OMG! You are the most adorable preggo- you’re freaking GLOWING!” When I saw the email I was really bummed that I couldn’t see your beautiful mom right then. 

This morning we did final cleanup and prep for your Grandma and Grandpa Gray’s arrival tonight. As I was mopping the floors your mom came out and said “look at this baby bump! It’s a baby!” I dropped what I was doing and rushed over to her. These opportunities don’t come often and I wasn’t going to miss a chance to touch you and tell you I love you. 

Mom says when I talk into her belly to you that all you hear is muffled, garbled sounds. I think you can hear me. I’m going to talk to you anyway. 

Anyway- this morning your mom actually let me take a picture of her baby bump! Here you are little dude! You are hiding in there! Today you are 17 weeks and 3 days old in there. 

Love you!

Dad 

How to succeed at work. 

Dear Son,

Once you get somewhat grown up you’ll get what’s called a “job.” My first job was a paper route when I was 9 years old. Around 4am a truck would pull up and drop bundles of newspapers off in our driveway. I’d get up soon after and roll all those newspapers and add rubber bands. If it was raining, I would place them in plastic sleeves.

Next, by around 6am- I rode my bicycle about 4 miles around the neighborhood and tossed those papers onto my customers driveways. If I made a mistake the customer would complain and I would have to correct it. Even at 9 years old- I never called in sick.

Your dad has a pretty solid reputation when it comes to working. As I learned from my dad long ago I “save my sick days for when I’m feeling good,” and I always do my best. I’ve been really fortunate and successful in my career, and I want to share some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Maybe I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made.

1. No one cares why you are late. Get to work on time. I’ve showed up an hour early every day for 10 years. You’re my son. Do the same.

2. When you are winning- be humble. I’ve been too cocky at times- it’s cost me friends and advancement opportunities.

3. Treat everyone with respect and be nice to all those around you. You never know who will be your boss someday. (This one has happened to me. My boss now was my biggest competition for years)

4. Treat your employees like adults. Never micromanage. Happy employees perform.

5. Never ask your employees to do anything you don’t do yourself. Respect must be earned.

6. Work on yourself. You can always be better. Read about successful people. Learn.

7. Set huge goals. Just meeting expectations isn’t our way. Aim higher.

8. Wake up early. If you’re anything like your pops, your most productive hours will be the first few hours you are awake. Use them!

9. Feedback is a gift. How would you know what you need to work on if no one ever told you?

10. Assume Positive Intent (This one is from mom.) Those around you, your employees, your coworkers- they all want to be successful. They want to do things correctly. They aren’t failing or struggling on purpose. Always assume they are trying to win.

11. Be the best man you can be. Above all else Son, just be the best you can. Make the right decisions- you know what they are. Be a good guy. Help people. Smile. Make lots of friends. Enjoy life. Enjoy work. You are set up to be a really amazing man. Whatever you want to do- mom and I have your back!

Hope this helps kiddo.

Love,

Dad
Here’s a random picture of me doing a dunk tank for charity at work in 2015. 

Grandpa Gray’s first flight, First pieces of your nursery 

Dear kiddo, 

Your Grandpa Gray has never been on a plane. They are coming out from El Centro, California, to visit your mom and I in Tampa. Since that would be one heck of a drive- they are flying. 

Your mom asked your Grandma Gray yesterday if Grandpa was getting nervous about flying. Check out the text: 


That’s right- your grandpa is preparing for his first flight by listening to insides of planes on YouTube! Pretty ingenious really; I would never have thought to do that! 

You are the size of a chipmunk now, and 17 weeks along. You can hear, see, and touch. Pretty amazing that you will still be hitching a ride in mom for another 5 months. 

We picked up some stuff for your nursery this weekend. There’s a little sneak peak at the bottom. 

Hope you are having a good morning little dude. Love ya buddy. 

Dad 

Lil’ Dude or Little Princess? 

Dear baby, 

What a morning! You won’t even be born until next March and you are already creating quite a ruckus! 

 Mom and I drove to the big doctor’s appointment together today. On the way there mom started crying a little bit- I think from all the excitement, and got kinda worked up. When we hit a stoplight I quickly Googled “short funny jokes,” and started reading them to her. She tried to fight it a little, but within a minute she was laughing. I mean, how can you resist gems like:

 Q. How do you get a tissue to dance?

A. Put a little boogie in it!

 Q. Why wouldn’t the baby shrimp share his food?

A. Because he was a little shellfish!

 Anyway, we arrived at the doctor, did the waiting room thing, and eventually made it to the sonogram room. The time had come. All the nerves, the excitement, the hoping, the preparing. In a few minutes we would know. Are you a little girl or a little boy?

 The sonogram tech had a little trouble finding out at the start. You had managed to cross your legs under your butt, and you were sitting Indian style. She moved your mom onto her side, moved her back, and worked to get you into a position where your legs would open. Then, suddenly, the picture got a little more clear. And… a set of acorns! YOU’RE A BOY! MY SON! HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!

 The tech told us, “You have a cute little baby BOY!” I yelled with excitement. Your mom looked over and gave me a high five. I cannot explain how excited I am. Little League, bike rides, baseball games, boats, sticks, mud, lizards, and bugs- I know how to be a boy. And I am SO PROUD of you already. I’ve been walking around with my chest out all day. I’m a dad. And I’ve got a SON on the way!

 When I got to work my team had a big gender reveal. They had cupcakes and icecream, and they sprayed me with Silly String. I’ve been talking about you all day. Everyone is so excited about you. We are going to have a blast together. Can’t wait to teach you to BBQ, how to shoot a BB gun, how to hit a baseball, how to ride a bike, how to treat a lady, everything! ARGH! So pumped!

 I can’t wait to meet you little dude. Be nice to mom while you are hitching a ride in there. I’ll have everything ready when you get here. Be good.

Love,

Dad


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