Stay At Home Dad, Work From Home Dad

I tend to obsess. Not, like OCD obsess, where it’s compulsive. More like, get really, really, ridiculously into something until I figure it out.

When we found this house, I scoured the intertubes for information– sale dates, tax history, nearby comps, schools. After we’d been to look at it and take measurements, I built a 3D model of it in SketchUp. Poured over Houzz and Pinterest for renovation inspiration. Worked out a new kitchen design. Then another. Then a different layout for the kids’ bathroom. Before we were even in contract, I lined up contractors to come through and give us rough estimates for some of the immediate projects so we knew what we were getting into. After the 5th time, I’m pretty sure the listing agent hated when I would call to set up another walkthrough with another contractor. Obsessed.

It was fairly easy to do all that because I was a stay at home dad, and Foster was just a cooing, stationary, little blob. We could hold him in our laps while he slept or plop him down with some toys and he was good for long enough to get stuff done. Then he started rolling over. Then crawling slowly. Then crawling at mach 3. Then walking. Now running at what I’m pretty sure is a meaningful percentage of the speed of light. See?

Foster running through the room

Oh, and talking. Always talking. It’s amazing to watch him develop. To become more confident in his ability to manipulate his surroundings. To become more adventurous. Last week I caught him on the kitchen table: he’d pulled a chair out, used it as a ladder, squirmed to the tabletop, and was sitting happily, eating a chocolate chip cookie from the cookie jar. He wanted a cookie, knew where they were, and got one for himself. And he did it in about 30 seconds while Read More…

Flashback Friday: Motocamping in the Great Smoky Mountains

Last July, my brothers and I went motocamping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I load up my Harley

seth gray packing his harley

Ben and Nathanael pack their Harley and Victory, respectively. About noon, we ride South, down to the Great Smoky Mountains. Not much better than motocamping in the mountains. Ben and I probably should’ve gotten new front tires first. But here we are. Still alive. Whew.

three guys on motorcycles

It’s sunny and about 80 degrees. Beautiful ride. We stop for gas and food just south of Cincinnati. And Nathanael’s new-to-him bike wouldn’t start. He Read More…

Foggy morning

It was foggy out there at 5am. So foggy, in fact, the schools are on a two-hour delay. More time to hang out with Lily, Benjamin, and Cohen, I guess. Foster doesn’t really care, except that the “bus time” alarm on my phone still goes off at the normal time. He runs around, as usual, yelling “buth tieeeeem! Buth tieeeeem! Ninyee!” (Lily) “Koh-ehn” (Cohen) and “Ben-juh-miiiiin” (Benjamin).


But it was Read More…


“Do you think you’d be able to get into another long term relationship if I died?” She asks, paintbrush in hand, priming on the intricate diamond pattern playroom doors.

“Fuck no. I’m gonna grow my beard duck dynasty long, start chain smoking, and Read More…

I take it back (and where we’ve been),

Nine days ago, I set off with all three kids on a flight to San Francisco to meet Seth. He had driven out a week prior for his little brother’s bachelor party and we were joining him for the wedding.

The plan – drive back home to Ohio from San Francisco and camp the entire way. After three nights in a tent, and two in a hotel for the wedding – my back and hips decided to stage a mutiny.

Suddenly my last post about pregnancy being a breeze became a haunting jinx as I struggled to walk without pain. We weighed our options- I could fly back or we could keep going, staying in hotels. I would stay back and bench it while the rest of the family hiked. We opted with the later and I am feeling much better, but still have to rest as much as possible. Eleven weeks to go now.

We started in Yosemite, Heaven on Earth- by far my favorite stop so far- then headed through Idaho to meet my brother, Ezra in the Grand Tetons. Now we are in Wyoming and headed toward Iowa City to see another brother. Keep up with us on Instagram – @alaina_gray or @sethgray.

Here is a view from last night as we drive through Bighorn Canyon, a hidden treasure just west of Yellowstone.


More pictures when we get back.



My guys.

With Benjamin’s father largely uninvolved (he sees him once a month for a few hours, at most), Seth is it. The man who will raise him, teach him right from wrong and the man who will love him unconditionally, no matter how hard he pushes back.

And he will push back. He does push back. Every day.

Benjamin is a defiant little guy. It’s hard for me to watch because I was the same way, and still am. I am as passionate as I am stubborn and while these can be strengths in adulthood, children with these traits are often a handful. So, while Seth issues his stern warnings and Benjamin stands his ground, I am torn. Read More…

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