Friday, June 29, 2012

Dear Ellie - Three Months

My dear Ellie,

Three months old! We've made it to the end of the so-called "fourth trimester." Your newborn clothes are all packed away and whenever I look back at those pictures from your first days, I am struck by how you look so much more like a baby now, not the newborn you once were. You're growing up so fast, sweet girl!

I would say this month has gone by the slowest so far, although I'm not sure why that is. You and I have had some challenging days together this month, so maybe that's why. Our biggest struggle continues to be your naps. You will usually take a late afternoon nap every day for several hours, which is wonderful. It's getting you to nap earlier in the day that is the problem, and usually I'm lucky to just get a short catnap out of you between morning wake-up and late afternoon. That means that by afternoon nap time, you are just mad at the world. But then I wrap you up in your swaddle blanket and nurse you to sleep, and as you nap peacefully beside me I almost forget that just few moments earlier you were screaming your crazy baby head off. Motherhood really plays tricks on your memory sometimes.

I am pleased to report that although daytime napping can be a battle, you are still an excellent nighttime sleeper. I'm always afraid to put that statement in writing, for fear I might jinx it. This month you slept in until a record 7:45 a.m. two nights in a row! Your bedtime is pretty consistently around 9:00 p.m. now, although if need be we sometimes bump that up a little bit. I'm convinced that you are the best baby ever for sleeping so well during the night. Please, please, PLEASE keep that up, little one!

This month it seems like we don't have much to talk about in terms of you doing new things, but you are really on the verge of so much. You still hate tummy time, but you're willing to tolerate it for a few minutes before getting upset. You're lifting your head up off the ground a bit, and it seems you're really working to figure out how to roll over - both front to back and back to front. When we put you on your tummy it seems your cries are less about anger in general and more about the frustration of being so close to rolling over but just not quite being able to get there. Don't worry, baby, you'll get it. And when you do, you'll have found a way to free yourself of tummy time forever! Of course, you also seem to be trying to go the other way (back to front) and I worry that if you succeed at that first you'll be enraged to realize that all you did was put yourself in tummy time. I'm really sort of on the edge of my seat to see how this all plays out.

Your arm movements also look like they are almost becoming deliberate - like you are thinking about trying to reach for things or grab things but just can't quite make it happen. When objects do find their way into your hands, you hold on for dear life. I love watching you hold onto a toy, staring at it in your hands, like you're trying to figure out how it got there and how to make that happen again. I especially love watching you hold onto my shirt as you're nursing - it only adds to the feeling of closeness we share in those moments. There's nothing like it.

As for your legs, it seems they almost never stop moving! You just kick and kick and kick. You also like to press your feet against the floor and push off, arching your back and shoving your little butt into the air. You do this when you're laying on your back, and also when you're in our arms and want to express your displeasure with your current position. When you get really excited about something, those legs go into a kicking frenzy. You sometimes even kick them in your sleep, or press them against your mattress and push off, propelling yourself around your crib in some sort of repetitive scooting motion that will turn you around 180 degrees and push you up against the crib slats, far from where we left you. It's always funny for me now to get up in the mornings to retrieve you from your crib and see where you ended up. You always greet me in the morning with a big, happy grin, as if you are so proud to have moved all over the place. It's as if you're saying, "Look at me, Mommy! Look what I did!" I see you, Baby Girl, and I'm very impressed!

You're most certainly becoming even more alert and aware of your surroundings. You like to be held in an upright, sitting position, and you'll just look from left to right and back again, taking in everything around you. I can see you really studying things, trying to figure everything out. You've also taken more notice of Achilles this month, and even smiled at him the other day! He has reciprocated your interest and has taken a liking to licking your head. He has also made some attempts to cuddle with you, and is very patient as your flailing limbs kick and punch him over and over. I'm so excited to see you interact with him even more as you grow. I think the two of you will be great friends.

A downside of your increasing alertness is distractibility during nursing, which can sometimes be a little painful for your poor mom. But, there are times when I have a hard time getting you to focus on nursing because all you want to do is pull away and smile and coo at me, so who can be mad at that? It's quite possibly the most precious thing ever, actually.

One big milestone you hit this month was your first real laugh! Daddy pretended to feed you a piece of pizza and there it was, in all it's adorable glory. Daddy and I both looked at each other in shock and since then have spent our time with you making complete fools of ourselves, hoping to make it happen again. You're really making us work hard for it, aren't you, baby? We can usually get those wonderful gummy smiles out of you, but that laugh is now the Holy Grail in this household.

You also went on your first road trip this month. You got to see my hometown, meet your Great-Gramps, and attend your first church service in my old home church. All of this meant so much to me. It was so surreal to see my new daughter in these places where all of my own childhood memories took place. And to see you with your great-grandfather was an especially beautiful thing. Family is so important, and it was so special to have four generations of family together at once. As for the actual trip itself, suffice it to say it was an adventure. You did alright in the car on the way there (it took about nine hours, including stops), but then basically refused to take any sort of substantial nap the entire weekend (I assume you just didn't want to miss any moment of your time in your new surroundings), so by the return trip, you were DONE. There was lots of screaming and I'll just say that more than one of us shed some tears during a particularly bad meltdown on the way home. But, we made it, and your first trip is officially in the books.

So that's where we are at three months, a quarter of your first year already behind us. We have some fun things planned for this next month, and you're on the verge of so much developmentally, so I can't wait to see what I'll be writing about at four months. Yet at the same time, please don't grow up too fast, baby!

I love you, Sunshine. Happy Three Months.

All my love,

* * * * *

Dear Ellie,

First of all, I want to thank you for the Father's Day gift. I loved the picture of you in your golf gear and I can't wait to take you to the driving range and teach you to play the real thing. That said, if you do not happen to feel the same way that I do about golf, then I sincerely hope you find something that you love to do. All the better if you can someday get paid to do it, but, even if not, I very much want for you to be passionate about something or some things. However, I do not want to get too carried away with hopes and dreams just yet. While three months is enough time for your Mommy and me to start imagining the kind of girl you will become, I am so much in love with the little baby you are now, that I will try to keep this letter focused on the present.

Other than eating and sleeping, which you are still doing quite well (thanks!), your time seems to be divided between taking in the world, crying and smiling. I trust your Mommy's letter will cover the specifics of your ever-growing interest in your surroundings, so I will only mention how cool it is to watch. I can't help but wonder what you think about the things you see and can't quite get my head around the fact that everything is brand new to you. I know this will not always be the case and I cannot wait to help you figure it all out. Physically, you are holding your head up really well, laughed for the first time and might roll over any day. Other than the laugh (which was pretty amazing), nothing groundbreaking has happened this month, though you seem on the verge of doing some really cool things.

As for the crying, I will mention that this month has definitely been interesting. Just this past weekend, you spent several hours perfecting your craft while we drove you back and forth to Cleveland. Listening to you was one of the most difficult experiences of my young fatherhood, second only to introducing you to a bottle. Although each took some work, you eventually succeeded. I hope you managed to learn valuable character lessons, or, at least, you did not get scarred for life. Only time will tell, but my fingers are definitely crossed. Seriously, though, listening to you cry is very difficult in ways that I did not expect. I remember reading that the decibel of a baby's cry is at just the right level to raise the blood pressure and heighten the nerves of those who hear it. However, I was not prepared for the mental difficulties of being equally frustrated at not always knowing what you want and heartbroken to listen to you struggle. I understand that at this point crying is your primary (only?) means of communication, so I am happy to keep trying to do everything I can and hoping for the best.

In more important news, I love you more than I even knew was possible. I know that is cliche and I had every reason to expect it would be the case, but I can think of no other way to express the way I feel about you, my sweet, sweet girl. My favorite times of the day are saying good morning when you first wake up and hello when I get home from work. Although you don't always respond immediately to my voice, you break into the biggest grin the moment you realize who it is. Other than those free ones, I am more than happy to try everything I can think of to make you smile. Making baby noises and faces, playing bicycle or snake with your legs and simulating the wind are some of your current favorites. If I am being perfectly honest, it can get pretty embarrassing, but the payoff is so very great. Hopefully you don't make me do anything too crazy because no price is too high. Thanks in advance.

Keep up the good work, baby girl, and enjoy month four!

All my love,

Thursday, June 28, 2012


I know I owe you a recap of the rest of our Cleveland trip, but it probably won't get posted until next week, as I'm working hard to get caught up on life. It's amazing how just one weekend away can throw things off for a bit, isn't it?

But today I wanted to post something I wrote last week, last Thursday, on a very frustrating afternoon. I really debated whether or not I actually wanted to publish this post, and it has taken me a week to get up the nerve to do so. This post contains things that I don't usually talk about but I think they should be documented, too - for me, for other new moms, maybe even for Ellie as a new mom someday. So, here we go:

* * * * *

Written Thursday, June 21, 2012

Since Ellie has been born, for various reasons, I have felt a lot of pressure to only show the good side of life with a baby. And don't get me wrong, Ellie is amazing and sweet and funny and happy and perfect - but sometimes, things can get rough. That's just life with a newborn. There's a lot going on for both mother and baby, and it's a lot to deal with. And so babies cry, and sometimes mommies cry, too and things can be hard. But I have felt this pressure to keep the harder times under wraps, to talk only about Ellie's smiles and never her cries, to share only the good times and never the struggles. And as I have thought about that lately, I don't think that's fair. It's not fair to Ellie, who deserves to have her life documented truthfully and completely, and it's not fair to me, who deserves the opportunity to vent and seek out support. So the sugar-coating stops here.

I love motherhood. I really do. Every time Ellie smiles at me, my heart explodes into a million trillion pieces. She is so cute I sometimes feel that I could just eat her up with a spoon. I love nothing more than to just watch her sleep, to watch her mouth move in sweet sleepy expressions and her eyes twitch as she dreams. I love the fluff of her hair, the curve of her cheeks, her long eyelashes and her sweet baby breath. She is perfection. And I love that I am able to spend all day every day at home with her.


Lately I've been feeling isolated, and it's tough. We don't have any family nearby, and we don't have any friends with babies. Eric leaves work as early as he can whenever possible, but sometimes he does have to work long hours. So it's just Ellie and me, all day, day in and day out. That was okay for a while, as we would pass the time with long walks along the waterfront, or would run errands to Target or the mall or wherever. But then I started to crave some adult human interaction. I spend a lot of time seeking out that interaction electronically, through Skype sessions with my mom or constant text messages and emails with friends and family. I have found places to look for that socialization in "real life," too - new mom's support groups, breastfeeding support groups, a mama spirit circle with other new moms. And they are all great. I love coming together with other moms, with women who understand and have advice and can commiserate and offer support. These meetings are always good for my soul and I feel so refreshed and encouraged in those moments. I highly recommend that every new mom check out groups like these.

However, I go to all these groups not only for support but also camaraderie. I want to make new friends, to meet moms with babies with whom I hopefully can spend more time with for playdates, walks, lunch, etc. in the future. But lately Ellie is just having none of it. She'll be as happy as can be all day long until I leave the house for one of these social outings, and then she just falls apart. I can usually get her to sleep for a while and/or feed her, but then she just melts down, which makes it hard for me to really meet new people and talk to them. By the end of any of the aforementioned meetings, she's a total mess, and instead of making small talk with people, I'm trying to soothe her or just get out of there as fast as we can. Her meltdown usually continues until we get home, and then she's all smiles. It leaves me feeling frustrated and lonely. Why does this child not want me to make new friends?! She'll be so happy and delightful at home, so why the struggles in social situations? It just doesn't make sense and leaves me so frustrated.

I guess I've just sort of been struggling with the transition to motherhood lately. Sometimes, I am not sure I really know who I am anymore. I don't feel anything like my old self, and I can't do the things I used to enjoy, even such simple things like doing my hair. There just isn't time, unless I happen to find a moment during Ellie's nap, but I usually use that time for housework, playing catch-up, or napping myself. I don't look like my old self and I don't feel like my old self. Of course I knew my life would change, and that things would be so different, but I guess I never really thought about coping with a change in my identity to "mother." I always thought I would still just be Meghan, but with a baby, but now I'm finding I have to figure out how "mother" fits with "Meghan." It has just been harder than I expected.

I've also been dealing with the changes in my body. I have lost almost all of my pregnancy weight, but I feel like I still look so different. I'm still lumpy, my hips are wider, and the stretch marks...oh, the stretch marks. Of course, I know I am only 12 weeks postpartum and these things take time. But I'm just in this weird in-between stage where I don't fit into most of my maternity clothes anymore, but I also don't fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothes, either. Things fit me differently and I'm trying to figure out how to dress this body that is so different, and still changing. So I mostly just feel frumpy and awkward.

Not only that, I'm still trying to make peace with the birth story. It really started to hit me around the time Ellie turned two months old and I was working on putting the birth story into a photobook as a keepsake. When I think back, I just can't believe that things really happened the way they did. I touch the raised bump of my c-section scar and just can't believe that's how it ended up. When I think about it, I feel like I was betrayed by my body. I worked so hard and did everything I could to get through labor unmedicated for a natural birth, but my body didn't hold up its end of the bargain. It didn't dilate fast enough. My water didn't break. It developed HELLP syndrome. I approached labor and birth like a physical challenge that I was so excited to overcome. I wanted to battle my way through labor to eventually cross that finish line of giving birth, but I never made it to the finish line. My body would not let me get there. I don't know what it feels like to have the urge to push. I don't know what it feels like to push your baby out. I don't know what it feels like to have your baby put right on your chest and to look down at her and see her take her first breaths. I hate that I don't know these things and I feel cheated out of that experience.

And, as a parent, I worry more than I should about being judged. It seems everyone has an opinion about what the right method of parenting is, about how Ellie should be acting, about how I should be handling her. I think that is why I try to share only the good times, because I don't want people to think I'm incompetent or in over my head, or that Ellie is some demon child who only cries and makes my life miserable. Because she's not, she's just a baby. And I'm not an unfit mother, just a new one. Ellie and I are both trying to figure out this mother-daughter thing as we go along. Do I welcome advice? Of course. So many other people have walked these paths before me, and there is much to be gained from that experience. Do I want regular critiques about my chosen methods? No, I don't. Every parent is different, every baby is different. What works for us may not work for others and vice versa. So as long as my baby is healthy, happy and growing well, criticism is not needed. And I know that what other people think doesn't matter so long as we're doing okay as a family, but like I said, I worry about it more than I should. This post is a big step in enabling me to let go of that self-consciousness. I'm just putting it out there - yes, sometimes my baby cries. Sometimes I don't know what she wants. Sometimes I cry along with her. These are all normal things and we are doing okay.

I feel like this post has been long and rambling (and probably whiny) but also long overdue. Maybe I'm being a big dramatic crybaby, but these are all things that are going through my head lately, at 12 weeks postpartum, and I thought they should be recorded just like the happy times. This is my reality and it has helped me just to write it all out.

And now, my sweet sleepy little girl is waking up with a smile, so it's time to set the hard stuff aside and go savor these moments that melt my heart. Welcome to motherhood, right?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Megan & Andy

I mentioned yesterday that we spent this past weekend in my old hometown of Cleveland, and the impetus for this trip was my friend Megan's beautiful wedding to a great guy named Andy.

Megan and I have been friends for a very long time (by my calculations, it has been about 23 years). We met when my family moved in across the street from her family, and Megan bravely came over to introduce herself to my shy self. We spent years playing together in my yard, having sleepovers, furnishing Megan & Meghan's Club (a little attic space in my room), dancing in my basement and all sorts of other fun things. I remember sitting behind the lilac bushes in my backyard with Megan, talking about what our weddings would be like someday. I remember Megan saying she wanted to wear a beautiful white gown and carry purple lilacs, while her bridesmaids wore purple gowns and carried white lilacs. Purple has always been Megan's color.

Well, nobody carried lilacs, but Megan's wedding turned out to be every bit as purple as she always planned. It was all just so very Megan.

Megan and Andy met a little over a year ago at a mutual friend's wedding reception. Megan has always had the highest standards for men, but she knew very quickly that Andy measured up. When I saw her last August, she was just giddy when she talked about him and you could easily tell how completely smitten she was. It seems the feeling was mutual, and Andy officially proposed on New Year's Eve (with a gorgeous amethyst ring, of course). Megan and Andy became husband and wife on June 23. I was (and still am!) so, so excited for them!

Eric and I arrived at the ceremony a little before the start time so I could go downstairs to see Megan before things got started. She had asked me to be a bridesmaid, but with Ellie and all that going on, I had to decline. However, she still let me keep VIP status so I could catch a sneak peek of her before the rest of the guests! I was so excited to see her and she looked so gorgeous. I was able to pray with her, her parents and the bridesmaids before rejoining Eric for the ceremony.

Pretty purple aisle, just waiting for the bride

Ever since my own wedding, I always love to watch the groom as the bride makes her grand entrance.

Andy's face when he first saw Megan coming down the aisle

Megan's uncle officiated, and he did a fantastic job. Her ceremony was probably the most moving, and certainly the most personal that I have ever been to. It started with Megan and Andy facing their guests, so that we could get a look at the happy couple right away, instead of having to wait until the very end like you usually do.

They're perfect!

Megan's uncle had asked each of them to write their own individual answers to a few questions, such as "what are you thankful for?" and "what qualities to you most admire in the other?" As part of his message, he read selections from their responses. They wrote such heartfelt things about each other. I loved hearing what Andy wrote about Megan, because I could nod along as he described my friend so perfectly. And I loved hearing what Megan wrote about Andy, because I don't know him very well yet and I loved hearing more about the man he is and what makes him so special to Megan.

After the message they exchanged vows, rings, and lit the unity candle.

Megan saying her vows

Exchanging rings

Lighting the unity candle

They also took Communion together, and then prayed quietly together. It was so beautiful to watch. God is so good to have brought these two together.



Before too long, it was official - they are husband and wife! They shared their first kiss and then exited the church to the rousing sound of bagpipes (again, very Megan!).

First kiss!

Outside, the guests lined the path from the church to their car to blow bubbles as they made their exit. What a wonderful day!

The new Mr. and Mrs.


And they're off!

We had a little bit of free time between the ceremony and the reception, so Eric and I hurried back to my grandpa's house to take care of Ellie. I have to mention that my mom also came to Cleveland for the weekend so she could see all of us, which was so nice. Especially nice was her willingness to babysit so that Eric and I could go to the wedding and reception sans baby. This was the first time we have both left Ellie, but we knew she was in good hands. Naturally, I thought about her constantly and missed her terribly, but it was also so nice to have an evening out with my husband.

All dressed up before the reception

My hair is done, I'm wearing real clothes, and I'm drinking wine amongst other adults. I NEEDED THAT.

The reception was held at the same venue where Megan and Andy first met, of course! And it was every bit as purple as I thought it would be, and again, very Megan.

Reception room

The cake, surrounded by trays of donuts. YES, DONUTS. Any wedding that involves donuts is a-okay in my book.

Candy buffet. I hit that bad boy HARD.

The newlyweds!

We enjoyed a lovely dinner (which I ate really fast - apparently having a baby has trained me to scarf down my food in record time), some wine, and all the festivities.

Cutting the cake

First dance and Father-Daughter Dance

Dancing the night away!

Us with the happy couple

Unfortunately, the night wore on and this mama needed to get home to her little one. My mom did a great job babysitting and Ellie was fast asleep when we got home (even despite some neighborhood fireworks!), but I wanted to relieve my mom from duty and rest my tired self. Sorry to have had to leave as early as we did, Meg!

It was definitely a fabulous wedding, and one I was so beside myself with joy to attend. Meg, I'm so glad to have had you as such a good friend for so many years, and I'm so happy that you've found the man of your dreams. I can't wait to get to know him better and to make more fun memories with the two of you as a couple. I wish you a lifetime of nothing but happiness and love! Congratulations!

Meghan and Megan!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Well, we're back from a long weekend in Cleveland, where I attended my friend Megan's beautiful wedding and Ellie got to meet some new relatives, including her great-grandfather. We rented a car and drove there, so Ellie experienced her first road trip, and I'm pleased to say that we all came out of it relatively unscathed.

I have lots of pictures to share with you from the weekend, but while I'm making some edits and getting my thoughts together for a recap, I thought I would just share one of my favorite series of photos from the weekend: Ellie sitting in the grass for the first time, in my grandfather's backyard. She wasn't sure about it at first, but then she decided she was not offended. That grass was a-okay by her.

"Um. What is this?!"

Checking it out

"Hey Dad, are you seeing this stuff? It's not so bad."

She has made her peace with the grass.

She even spent some time laying back and relaxing.

Stretch! (And frog legs.)

Grabbing on

Pretty girl

Oh, my sweet baby girl! I just love her to bits.

Stay tuned for more pictures and recaps from our trip coming up later this week!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's That Time Again!

Time for me to take a moment to plug yet another of my sister's awesome shows. TAMPA/ST. PETE AREA FRIENDS: LISTEN UP!

My beautiful, talented sister is in another production with the freeFall theater in St. Petersburg. This time, it's the classic Cabaret. If you are not familiar with Cabaret, here is a brief synopsis taken from the show page on the freeFall Theater website:

The legendary 1966 musical smash with score by Kander and Ebb is set in pre-war Weimar Germany in the seedy world of a Berlin cabaret called The Kit Kat Klub. While tensions build outside with the rise of the Nazi party, the care-free abandon of the bohemian world of the club is interrupted. Battle lines are drawn and the world of the cabaret begins to parody the politics outside its doors. The season ends with freeFall's stunning production of this beloved classic.

For more, you can also read this article from the Tampa Bay Times about the show.

So, you're intrigued, right? You know you want to see it! All the information you need can be found on the Cabaret page of the freeFall Theater website, but I'll go ahead and give you all the details here, too:

  • The show starts this Friday, June 22, and runs through July 22 (my birthday, and I'm planning to go that day!) at the freeFall theater: 6099 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg.
  • Showtimes: Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.
  • The show is two hours long with a 15-minute intermission, and is recommended for adult audiences.
  • Cost is $37 and tickets are available here.

So please, if you are in the Tampa/St. Pete area, treat yourself to a night (or afternoon) at the theater and check out my sister Heather and the rest of the cast of Cabaret at the freeFall theater!

Usual disclaimer: I am in no way compensated for this post, nor is my sister. The freeFall theater doesn't know I exist and the only benefit to my sister from me posting this is a larger cheering section in the audience when you all GO SEE THIS SHOW!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day, aka Ellie's Big City Adventure

First of all, a warning: It is safe to assume that any post that is entitled anything along the lines of "Ellie's Big Adventure" will probably contain an obscene amount of pictures. You have been warned...

We had such a nice day as a family for Eric's first Father's Day! His weekend really got off to a great start with two full days of golf (with work people) on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday was our family day.

Ellie and I gave Eric his gifts first thing Sunday morning. His gift from me was a framed print of Amen Corner (from Augusta may notice a golf theme here), and Ellie gave him a framed picture of herself in her finest golf-wear:

My little golfer girl

Eric had once told me that he just wanted to see Ellie hold her little wooden golf club in her hand, because he thought that would be awesome. Well, my dear, not only did she hold it, but she really looked the part! Big shout-out to Etsy for the whole ensemble. I just can't decide if the argyle diaper cover or golf shoe booties are my favorite part.

She even re-wore some of her golf outfit on Father's Day, so she was quite festive:

"A whole day to celebrate Daddy?! Whoa, awesome! Count me in!"

To celebrate, we decided to have a day in the city. We took the PATH to 33rd Street, where we stopped for some shopping (my fault) and a snack for Ellie before continuing northward. We also had to make a stop at Crumbs for a Father's Day cupcake for Eric. Hey, it was a golf cupcake! The theme must continue!

Ellie's all, "where's MY cupcake? Rude."

From there it was on to Times Square for Ellie's first experience with what could probably be described as the Overstimulation Capital of the World.

Ellie and Daddy

Ellie and Mommy

The whole family!

There was lots for her to look at, but she handled it all in stride...for a while.

Aaaaand, we're done.

Of course, before leaving Times Square, we had to subject our poor sweet baby to a quick bad parenting moment:

Oh boy.

Yeah. We had our baby take a picture with the Naked Cowboy. Hey, he's a New York City institution, no? Yeah, I know. Shameful. Even Ellie couldn't believe it.

What a look of shock and disbelief!

My poor baby.

From Times Square we headed westward to our old neighborhood, to show Ellie our old stomping grounds. She was treated to some of the great sites of Hell's Kitchen (more specifically, the sites within about a three-block radius of our old apartment), including our old apartment itself, the Colbert Report studio, DeWitt Clinton Park (where Achilles and I spent many an afternoon at the dog park), and The Daily Show studio.

Ellie in front of our old apartment building and The Colbert Report

Ellie at DeWitt Clinton Park

Ellie hoping for a Jon Stewart sighting

Oh, how I miss our old neighborhood. Sigh.

We then made our way over to Daisy May's, our favorite NYC-area BBQ joint. We picked up our favorite meal and took it over to the Hudson, just past the Intrepid, where we had a lovely picnic.

Napping while we wait for Daddy to get our lunch

Ellie admiring the Intrepid

Picnic time!

By that time we were about ready to head home, so we caught a ferry back to Hoboken - Ellie's first boat ride!

Ellie says, "I'm on a boat!"

And that was our big Father's Day outing! By the time we got home Ellie was all tuckered out, so she settled in for a nice nap while Eric and I relaxed. The rest of the night consisted of salads and cupcakes for dinner, a bath for Ellie, and a nice early bedtime for everybody. Even though Eric's Father's Day Celebration really turned into Let's-Take-Pictures-of-Ellie-In-Front-of-NYC-Sights Day, I think we all had a nice time!

Happy Father's Day, Eric! You're the best!