December 5, 2009

Riley Elizabeth "Baby Gator" LeCompte

It's official, this is a true Gator Daddy blog! Riley Elizabeth "Gator Baby" LeCompte was born at Florida Hospital's Ormond Memorial Medical Center on December 1st, 2009. A healthy baby girl, weighing in at 8lbs 11oz and 21 inches long, she is amazing! She has her mom's nose and cute cheeks, and has been cursed with her father's stunning good looks and blue eyes.

Overall, the whole experience there was excellent. The staff were tremendous from the moment we arrived, the rooms comfortable and spacious, and even the food was pretty damn good. We arrived, as previously planned and scheduled by our doctor, and were escorted to our room (416 - my birthday for superstitious purposes). We immediately met our delivery nurse, a wonderful woman named Chris who previously was a mid-wife for 32 years in the Northeast, who led us through the entire process beautifully.

After several hours in expectation of our new arrival, we finally began to experience some of the tell-tale signs of imminent birth. Following a brief examination by our doctors and nurses, it was determined that we were going to forego our "planned" C-section, as our Baby Gator was already well of her way and our water had already broken. After only 2 hours ( I say that with a smile because I know how GREAT my Gator Momma really did!) we were blessed with a healthy baby girl, Riley Elizabeth LeCompte.

Tears of Joy from Gator Momma
Welcome to the world Riley Elizabeth "Gator Baby" LeCompte
5 minutes in and already sleeping a champ!
We were joined at the hospital by several of our immediate family members, including my father (G'pa Gator), Gretchen's parents (they root for the Irish, so they don't get cool nicknames...sorry), my best friend Mark "Uncle Gator" Demma (seen below) and a few close friends. Thanks to everyone who were able to come visit us prior, during and after the birth of Baby Gator, we love and appreciate you all!

Uncle Gator meets Riley for the first time!

Gator Mommy's parents holding Baby Gator Riley for the first time

Grandma sneaks in a Notre Dame sweater into the shot while Gator Daddy isn't looking... :)
We spent another two days in the hospital waiting for Riley to clear her initial examinations and get clearance from the doctors to take her back to the Swamp. One amazing thing that the hospital did for the happy parents during our stay was offer us a gourmet romantic dinner in our room, along with Baby Gator sleeping at our side, so that we had the opportunity to celebrate together. The food was excellent, the champagne was wel-deserved for Gator Momma and the deserts were amazing! What an excellent way to help new families celebrate and help new moms & dads get a break together before the coming storm of visiting family, friends and diapers! Thanks Florida Hospital Memorial! You Rocked!

Baby Gator's first Chomp! It just comes naturally to this one!

December 1, 2009

The Peanut has landed!

She's here! I would like to introduce, the newest lady in my life, my new love, my new boss; my daughter, Riley Elizabeth. More pictures to come...back to my girls for now.

October 29, 2009

The REAL reason I have such fun at Gator games...

Just a little Photo montage to my beautiful wife and her always changing, always improving "Gator" style. For someone who once rooted for that "girls school/clown college" up in the Florida panhandle, she sure does make Orange & Blue look really good to me! Can't wait to see what she does for our little Gator Girl next season! Love you Princessa! :)

Walking into the 2006 BCS game in Phoenix

Game time in Phoenix!

Atlanta 2008, SEC Championship Game - got my good luck charm with me

Acting up at the PiLam Tailgate prior to 2008 BCS game in Miami - Love this chick!


Princessa and Sunshine at FLA-GA 2008

More of the same...

I mean really? seriously, this girl married me?

and finally, the best one yet: Chief, Princessa and Peanut ready for the game!

Hope you enjoyed it, Gator Daddy.

October 12, 2009

2009 Bull Gator Fly-Away Game -Baton Rogue, Louisiana

So we have just touched down after a 18-hour long, whirlwind day of Florida Gator Football, the annual University of Florida Bull Gator Fly-Away game. Each year, the Florida Gator Bull Gator Booster club hosts a fly-in and fly-out away game trip which starts with a charter flight out of Sanford International Airport to an SEC opponent's home stadium. Some years past trips we have attended include:
  • University of Mississippi - Oxford, Miss.
  • University of Tennessee - Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Auburn University - BFE, Alabama (sorry couldnt help it :)
This year's trip was to beautiful Baton Rogue, Louisiana to play the LSU Tigers in one of the nation's most intimidating stadiums, "Death Valley".

I have personally been waiting a long time to return to Death Valley after making the 13-hour drive from Gainesville to Baton Rogue while still at UF (1997 I think...) I missed all that "southern hospitality" that most SEC college stadiums are famous for, instead having to get stitches in my scalp after having a bottle thrown at me while leaving the stadium - and the Gators LOST that game. I hate to imagine what would have happened should UF actually WON that game...

With Gretchen being about 30 weeks along with our first pregnancy now, and that there would be two (2) hour-and-half long flight in the same day, we made an exeuctive decision to not let her make this year's fly-away trip. So you know what that means...Guys Trip!

On this adventure we have: Gator Daddy (me), Grandpa Gator (my dad), and the Original "O.U." Uncle Gator (my dad's college roommate - Dr. Ed Staudt). The flight was originally scheduled to take off from Sanford at 2pm EST, but the first plane they put the group on wouldn't start. So after an hour delay and changing planes, we finally are set to leave. I sat next to O.U. and Grandpa Gator sat in the row in front of us. Here are some pre-flight preperations that O.U. and I were making, to insure we were properly prepared for Death Valley and any turbulence in between Sanford and Baton Rogue:

We arrive in Baton Rogue, deplane directly onto the runway to meet four (4) buses waiting for the Bull Gators to drive us directly to the campus and stadium. After driving along the famous levees that holdback the mighty Mississippi River, we finally arrived to the campus. We got off the buses, and headed towards the stadium. Once there, we met with some other Florida Gator friends that had driven into New Orleans earlier in the week with family to "make a trip out of it." We all had some laughs at the expense of several of the LSU students that actually thought they had a chance...then headed inside.

One thing I will give to the LSU Tigers and their stadium...they have some seriously kick-ass Creole food available inside those walls. I saw Jumbalaya, Crawfish Pies, Ettouffe and bright red crawfish boiling in large pots. We grabbed a little bit of each and headed to our seats. Here's some kickoff pics:

Really not bad seats for an away game, where normally you get either a nosebleed from being too-high or blown eardrums from being right next to the band. This trip we lucked out, being on the lower level in a corner about ten rows BEHIND the band. That way, when they played the Gator songs we all know and love, they were playing away from us and into the stadium.

After a knock-down, drag out defense game between my beloved Gators and those dispicable Tigers, we emerged victorious 13-3. Now 5-0 in the SEC and 6-0 Overall, we headed out the stadium and back to the buses. After an hour wait in the parking lot, our buses were escorted closer to the stadium by some Baton Rogue motorcycle police. To our surprise, our buses were pulled alongside the Gator team buses. We shared some bus-to-bus Gator Chomps before heading out...really fast way out of town when you have a squad of motor cops blocking all the lights our of town, we made record time!

Back on the plane, a few more free drinks and some awesome pulled pork sandwiches made for a full stomach and a nice sleep. Back in Sanford, back in the car (I drove home...Grandpa Gator and date slept) and back home. Crawl into bed, around 530am, kiss that beautiful wife of mine and our future Gator princess and to sleep. Way to go Gators!

September 18, 2009

2009 Season is under way...

So I finally got out to Gainesville, FL this past weekend to kickoff my own personal Gator Football season! After missing the first home game, a 62-3 romp of Charleston Southern, to spend time with Great Grandpa & Great Grandma Gator in St. Petersburg, I was able to attend the Florida vs. Troy game with my good friend, Pimp Gator, better known as Greg Blose in professional circles. (BTW - I recently learned that my great grandmother attended Troy University, so you can see how my allegiances were torn...It was really hard seeing them get beat up)

We headed out bright and early from Ormond Beach, meeting up at the local Wal-Mart to carpool to the stadium. We blasted across the state on State Road 40, which passes through the lovely Ocala National Forest, onto I-75 North and eventually into Gainesville. The drive takes about 1 1/2 hours depending on traffic, so it was plenty of time for Pimp Gator and I catch up. It has been about 6 months since the last time we got to hang, and the Gator game is always a good reason to spend time!

Stopping at ABC, we grabbed some last minute ingredients for a proper tailgate, then headed for the fun! Our tailgate is one of the best, having been put on in some fashion for the last 15 years. The "TailGator" gang is comprised of several leading Gator families from the Daytona Beach area that have been going to games together for decades. We have staked our claim to a prime piece of land located on University Avenue, directly across from/and between the Swamp restaurant and the Grog House. We have a custom-built, gator-decorated tailgate trailer that carries all our gear (2 20x10 tents, flat screen TV, satellite dish, BBQs, Deep Fryers, etc.) as well as has a built-in bathroom.

Of course, we had to do some Gator shopping, loading up on some new gear for the 2009 season. We stopped at Gators Plus, located on University Ave, next to the Florida Bookstore. I grabbed a license plate for myself, a mirrored-one with my favorite, the "Charlie Pell" UF logo. Check it out -

Of course, I don't need to tell you what happened in the game, the Gators romped Troy 56-6 on a rainy day in Gainesville. and continued their perfect season.  This season, as the Gators continue another BCS Championship run for their third in fours years, I will be sharing more and more of our experiences with the Tailgator Gang and my Gator Buddies.

Next weekend. Florida Gators vs. Tennessee Volunteers, 3:30pm kickoff in Gainesville.
See you there! - GD

September 4, 2009

Knee Dragging with Uncle Gator

So this last weekend, I got to take an overnight camping trip with Uncle Gator (Mark Demma to his friends) for his first track experience on a high-performance Sportbike. We loaded up the truck, hooked his bike (2009 Honda CBR 600RR) into a friend's sweet racing trailer and headed north to Jennings, FL for a closed track day with the Daytona Sportbikes crew. In Jennings lies the Jennings GP, a motorcycle-only track of epic proportions - 13 turns in a 2 mile stretch.

Uncle Gator's first ride was a few escorted laps led by one of the 5 "expert" riders within the Daytona Sportbikes crew which he did well on (little slow compared to the other "rookies") focusing on his technique over speed (highly recommended BTW). After 2 sets of escorted laps, Uncle Gator was set loose on the track, to see what he was made of:

Notice how VERTICAL he his in this lap! By the end of the day however, Uncle got a little more comfortable on the track and bike, getting more and more aggressive into the turns. Check him out here:

All and all it was a great mini-trip (36 hours total) for both of us, well deserved since we are both expecting our first "Little Gators" this year (His Little Albert in Sept., My Little Alberta in Dec.). While many couples like to celebrate their final "alone" time prior to their weddings (bachlorette & bachelor parties come to mind), I find that all the guys I talk to that life doesn't get serious till your first child arrives. We took this trip together to take one last "fast lap" before we slow down, get serious and get on with "real" life.  Thanks Uncle Gator for a great weekend, I enjoyed seeing one of your dreams come true, and look forward to many more in the coming years! :) - Gator Daddy

August 28, 2009

Grandpa Gator's first baby present

So my father (Dr. Joseph LeCompte, DDS) has officially purchased his first Gator gear for the expectant Gator Great we have coming in December. Visiting Gainesville earlier this week for a Florida Gator football practice where he got to walk the sidelines and speak with both coaches and players, he stopped into the famous Florida Bookstore and grabbed these bad-ass little crocs:

I think he did great! What do you think?
Got any cool baby Gator gear that you wish to share pics of?
I need to get my little girl ready for some serious tailgating!
Thanks, GD

August 26, 2009

Welcome to GATOR DADDY

Thanks for coming! As you can read to the right, my name is Tyler and this is my "I am about to be a Gator Dad" blog.

I hope to make this a place where future/current Dads can come for easy-to-understand, funny, interesting and informative content about becoming (and being) a father, raising kids, building a strong family, rooting for the Florida Gators and enjoying life as it comes. I will try and share features about products, services, books, videos and other items as I use them over the coming days/months/years as well as tips from other Orange & Blue dads. If you think that sounds interesting, than please add me to subscribe to this blog or add me to your RSS.

Thanks again,
Tyler "Gator Daddy" LeCompte
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