When you ask my daughter when her birthday is, she’ll hold 3 fingers up proudly in the air and say “It’s August fuh-lurd!”
And when you ask her how old she’ll be on August 3rd, she’ll hold those three fingers up in the air again and say “FREE!”
So, today, when she woke up, I kissed her on her cheek and asked her if she knew what day it was today.
“It’s Saturday!” she said very matter of fact-ly.
“No, it’s not Saturday. It’s August third.”
Her eyes lit up and she smiled the kind of smiled from ear to ear.
“It’s August Fuh-lurd?” She said in her sweet, high pitched voice.
“Yes! It’s August 3rd! And what is August 3rd, Gabby?”
“It’s my birfday! I’m FREE!”
And we hugged while she giggled uncontrollably.
The first day of the rest of her life
I cried, because that tiny little baby that weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces, who took 24 hours to make her way down the birth canal and out of my pachina, that little baby who had so much hair on her head that it looked like she was sporting a bad wig, that little baby who had her daddy’s lips and her mommy’s temper. That little baby who erased every fear that I had about my ability to mother a daughter. Well, she’s not a baby anymore.
Daddy's hands
She’s a little girl.
A little girl who must carry a purse every where she goes or THE WORLD WILL COME TO AN END.
A little girl who is obsessed with all things pink and “TuTu”
The Summer of The Tutu.
A little girl who has ruined every single lipstick that I own because she has to twist them all the way up to get enough on to make her look like a “pwetty pwincess”
Two Things She Loves: Chocolate and Lipstick**
A little girl has discovered the “art” of talking back. “Mommy, I WILL go, can you just give me a break?”
A little girl who can count to 15 and sing her ABC’s.
A little girl who will hug me when I’m sad and ask me if she can get me a glass of water to make me feel better.
I love you. I kiss you.
A little girl who just last week told me to relax and “save the drama for yo’ mama.”
(Trust me, she knows all about The Drama.)
Pick up your copy today!
A little girl who has stolen my heart in every possible way with her kind heart, her sense of humor and her understanding of the fact that Farting is Funny.
A little girl who is old enough to understand that “mommy loves her” but not quite old enough to comprehend just how deep my love for her runs and how her presence in my life has forever changed me in ways that wonderful and good.
And the same goes for her Daddy and her Big Brubbers. ALL of our lives are richer and sweeter for having her in it.
Happy Third Birthday, Gabriella Mercedes.
I love you, I needed you and you better believe that I’m keeping track of how many lipsticks you’ve destroyed and when you’re old enough to get a job, YOU OWE ME BIG TIME.
(I know, I over did it with the pictures. But, it’s her Birthday and I figured if ever there were an occasion to go all “MommyBlogger” on your ass, this was it.)

(I haven’t forgot about the BlogHer recap. This just happens to be more important. I’ll have it up sometime this weekend.)

112 thoughts on “FREE!

  1. Valerie

    Beautiful…..she is and you too! Happy Birthday Gabby! I can’t believe you’re three already!

  2. Jamie (Blonde Mom)

    Awwww…happy three to your sweetie. I love the pictures and hellz yes you should go all mommy blogger on our asses when it’s your kid’s birthday!
    That last picture is breathtaking.
    p.s. I think I have that VERY SAME ISSUE of Drama Queen Digest, only my girls are on the cover.

  3. valeta

    Awwww. Happy Birthday to her! Your post made me cry.
    I am 40 weeks pregnant today. I am supposed to have my daughter today too. Doesn’t look like she is coming.

  4. Jen from Boston

    Aww. I think I’m a little choked up. And she just keeps getting more beautiful, inside and out.
    The drama for your mama…heh. that’s great
    (and hell yeah, I’d totally tally the # of lipsticks she’s busted. ThoI’d also adjust the damage for inflation. cuz I’m petty.)

  5. teebopop

    Those eyes … they are so beautiful.
    I’m going to call my daughter-in-law tonight and tell her she’s GOT to have another baby, and it had better be a little girl!!!
    Good thing I’m too old for more babies, I’d be so pregnant right now!
    She’s so gorgeous.
    Happy Birthday Miss Free Year-Old!

  6. Julie

    My Maggie turned three on 8/1, and my Lily starts Kindergarten next Wednesday. Ugh! Why do they have to grow up?!!
    Love you, Y. Love your blawg.
    Happy Birthday Gabby!

  7. Amy the Mom

    Happy birthday, Gabby!!!
    That girl is achingly beautiful. Every time you post a picture of her, I think of your “Run to You” post and I get a little lump in my throat.

  8. alala

    Beautiful post, and Happy Birthday beautiful girl! Here’s a little something for you from Israel’s favorite Yemeni transsexual:

  9. lindsayc

    this post was so sweet it made my milk let down. Happy birthday FREE year old! I have two boys but Gabby makes me wonder about another baby…

  10. M

    Oh the pictures are press-ush. She’s a doll. Especially the magazine cover one. And you’ll need this to remind yourself when she turn on you in about 8-9 years. And trust me, it will happen.

  11. danelle

    In our family when you turn the number of years that your birthday falls on (3 pn the 3rd) – it’s your MAGIC birthday. You get more presents, a better cake and a bigger party. My youngest is 19 now and they’ve all gotten over the whole “party” phase thank god.

  12. Melanie

    You didn’t overdo it, she’s adorable! I love ogling other people’s girl pictures, tutus and lipsticks and stuff. We have dinosaurs and trucks and monsters here. Happy Birthday, beautiful!!

  13. Kira

    Oh my lord, you KILLED me with that last picture. The EYES, the EYES!
    FWIW, ages 3 to 5 is my very favorite stage in childrearing. So if she gets to be too much, I’ll take her. I only have sons and one stepdaughter, who is a delight, but 15. She TOTALLY will not let me dress her in tutus. Damn it.

  14. zdoodlebub

    You are a beautiful writer with a beautiful heart and a beautiful daughter. You make me cry. You’re fabulous. Those eyes in that last picture. Magical. Gut-wrenching, in a good way.

  15. Lisa

    Happy birthday, big-G! ::: sigh ::: I remember when she was just two lines on a stick. She’s much more beautiful now.

  16. Beverly

    I’m sitting here cryng, because my “little girl” is now 10 1/2, and I’m afraid the years are going too fast!
    Beautiful post.

  17. angela

    holy crap, she’s 3? i can’t believe i’ve been reading your blog long enough to read about you only having 2 boys, then getting preggers, then having her and now… she’s 3!!!!
    happy birthday to gabby! and congrats to you for having such an awesome little girl.
    and the rest of your family is pretty awesome too!

  18. AlwaysCurious

    That last picture you posted is AMAZING. I don’t know anything about kids, but they are damn cute to photograph. The reflection in her eyes is just perfect. If you haven’t gotten that published yet you really really should!

  19. Meegan

    Awww. I’m tearing up over here. I so totally relate to you. My baby, my itty bitty baby who will be 11 months old on Tuesday, just weaned herself today. I actually said to my own mom today, “I just hope that finishing breastfeeding is HER decision, not mine. But I hope that she makes that decision SOON because I AM OVER THIS!”. And then, suddenly, “SOON” became “TONIGHT”. I’m a little emotional.

  20. Jamie

    Oh, I love the drama! 🙂 My “free-year-old” boy brings some drama to the party, too!
    August Turd is a great day for a birthday – Gabby and I share it! Great pictures of her first three years.

  21. Y

    Me and PigHunter just wanted to thank you guys for wishing Gabby a Happy Birthday.
    We’re a little emotional and may even have tears in our eyes.

  22. Norma

    Y – you have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful family! I’ve enjoyed your site since the first time I visited. Your pictures are gorgeous, not a thing was overdone. Happy Birthday sweet Gabby!

  23. Kimberly

    I LOVE it. I LOVE these mommyblogger, happy-birthday posts. Happy birthday to your sweet angel baby!
    I mean big girl. Your sweet angel big girl. Don’t tell her I said baby. 😉

  24. Belinda

    You can NEVER go overboard with the pictures. Never.
    We’re about to leave 4 behind, and I’m not even done grieving THREE yet.

  25. Heather

    Oh, she is such a sweetheart! Happy birthday to your beautiful princess, and you have a wonderful day too. Clearly you’re doing a beautiful job raising a beautiful girl.

  26. Stacie

    Happy “Fuh-lurd” “birfday”, Gabby! What a beautiful girl she is! And what a wonderful writer your momma is!

  27. Nina

    awww they grow up so fast!! my baby is about to start school!!!!
    Happy Birthday Gabby! (yeah, I’m a day late, but anyways…hehe)

  28. Helen

    My one and only girl child is 18 and there is precious little that is adorable lately….your girlie is beyond beautiful and 3 is my favourite age in the whole world. Happy birthday little G.

  29. Ninotchka

    3 on the 3rd. It was her “golden birthday,” did you know that? I’m sure someone has already posted that but since I’m on here stealing time away from my :::insert finger quotes here::: studies, I can’t read all the comments.
    Anyway, Happy Birthday to her and Happy BIRTHday to you! She’s so gorgeous and you are so deserving of all of the joy she brings you. 🙂


    AWWW we celebrate a birthday together!!! Although I celebrated a birthday that is 8x’s her age. Now I just feel old.
    Happy Birthday Little One, may your day be as special as mine has been.
    Enjoy these little birthdays and may you never forget that your mother blew out her hoo-ha in 24 hours of labor for you.

  31. Carolyn

    She is utterly adorable. As a mother of a 3 1/2 year old girl (I’m free and a HAFF, Mommy!) I can totally relate. Those huge eyes would get her nothing but candy and ponies from me her whole life, if she were my girl.
    But she’s yours. And my girl will get her own candy and ponies forever. Aren’t they so yummy? “Free” is the best. (Age, I mean. Free stuff is cool too, but I was just paraphrasing)

  32. Lena

    Don’t you DARE ever again say that you don’t write well.
    Beautiful. Heart-breaking. Pure.
    Happy Birthday, Gabby. You’re a lucky girl. And your mama is a lucky mama. Especially because she has TWO HAIRDRYERS.

  33. Katie

    I’m just a lurker… I enjoy reading your blog and can relate so well with the whole body image thing.
    I can’t believe she’s 3 years old! I can’t believe I’ve been reading this for over 3 years! 🙂
    Happy Birthday! Hope ya’ll have a fantastic weekend!

  34. Tammy

    Awwe, you letter choked me up, just when I thought I was holding it together, my baby girl turned 21 on Aug. 3rd! Just you wait! Betcha ya loose count on those lipsticks! lol. Beautiful pics, Happy Free little one.

  35. nancy

    I stumbled across your blog today, and I am so glad I did. What a beautiful post, and I SO understand the fear of raising a girl. Now I wouldn’t trade mine for the world – not news, I know.
    Best b-day ever to your little one, and hopefully I’ll be back.

  36. Haley-O

    My little 7lb 6oz baby just turned TWO, and she’s upstairs screaming because her daddy put a dress on her that she doesn’t like…. 😉 She, too, carries a purse around all the time! The pictures are great! She’s ADORABLE! 🙂

  37. Shigeta

    What a beautiful girl. I have a 4 almost 5 yr old Drama Queen. Found your blog after seeing it mentioned in about a million others after the BlogHer conference. I have added you to my list of regular reads!

  38. Ro

    Awww! Happy birthday (late) Gabby! It doesn’t get any easier, Y. My oldest daughter turns 11 in a few days and I’m a hot mess.

  39. Nicole

    Okay, I’m the millionth and 1 comment but that was one of my favorite “happy birthday” mommyblogger posts. I’ve never done one and this was inspiring. Happy birthday to your sweet daughter. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you at blogher.

  40. Clementine

    This is such a beautiful post–what a lovely tribute to your beautiful, precious daughter! Happy 3rd birthday to her and best wishes to her mama, daddy, and brothers.
    Also, I LOVE the photos you took, and I really REALLY love the faux magazine cover!

  41. Jenna

    Sorry, but that was NOT overdoing it on the pictures. That was simply perfect.
    Oh, and re:
    “A little girl who is old enough to understand that “mommy loves her” but not quite old enough to comprehend just how deep my love for her runs and how her presence in my life has forever changed me in ways that wonderful and good.”
    Sorry, but I didn’t realize that about my own (loving!) mother until I was a mother myself. Here’s hoping your Drama Queen is less stubborn with realizations than I was. 😉

  42. Katie

    Happy Birthday G! She is such a doll! And I like it when you go all “mommy blogger.” (Makes me feel better when I do it, hehe)

  43. Laura

    Hi Gabby!! You’re a beautiful girl and I hope you had a great birthday! It’s so much fun being three! If you ever find yourself in Denver, tell your mama to bring you on over for a playdate. My little twin almost 2 1/2 year olds and their almost 4-year-old sister would LOVE to hang out with you and share their thoughts and ideas on world domination. And we have four Cozy Coupes in our backyard! We’ll just kick the boy out of here for a little while! Come on over!

  44. MsRebecca

    Very sweet, my son has the same way of speaking. he met the little boy down the street when we moved in, and Brandon said, “Mommy, the new little boy talks kinda funny, I think he’s Scottish..” Thought I would die laughing 🙂

  45. e

    Oh my husband will be so mad at you because this makes me want a little girl SOOOO BAAD!!!
    One of my friend’s kids counts to 20… he does 1,… 10, 11, 13, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14, 14,20.
    It’s adorable. Happy birthday to your little one!

  46. Karla

    Oh my! Those eyes. My oh my oh my. They are mesmerizing. So beautiful.
    It’s funny, I actually remember being three and getting a kick out of telling people I was “free”. 🙂

  47. AmyinMotown

    Came here from Strollerderby–I will be back! She is stunningly beautiiful. My own little girl was 2 3/4ths on August 2 and I can’t believe how fast the time is going. And I would very much like to be a charter subcriber to Drama Queen Digest, thanks! My Maggie could be a senior writer. I just keep telling myself that being strong willed and stubborn will serve her well when she’s older–woe betide anyone who tries to push her around!

  48. Snickrsnack Katie

    Gabby is SO gorgeous!!! Such a stunning little girl. She sounds a lot like my niece – the two of them together would cause some major trouble. 😉
    Happy Birthday, little girl!

  49. Jill

    Ok, I hate to be “that” person. But the weekend’s OVER! In fact, it’s two days over. We (maybe just me, since I’ve been waiting for someone else to post this and no one has!) wanna hear about BlogHer! 🙂
    PS – Happy (belated) BDay, Gabs!

  50. Emily McKhann

    That’s the most beautiful beautiful post I’ve EVER read. I’m so moved by it to the point of feeling misty. And how amazing is it that you have this post to share with her when she’s older so she’ll get that you love her to the end of the earth (ok, maybe she’ll have to be a mother herself to really get that, but she’ll love love love reading it and feeling your love for her). So beautiful.

  51. Carrie

    There is absolutely no way to choose a fevorite from all those lovely, lovely pictures. She is beautiful.
    Happy Furd Birthday to you, big girl!
    And my god, how the little girls change us, us and their “brubbers” forever. I’m right there with ya on that one! 🙂

  52. robyn

    Happy belated birthday beautiful girl – can’t believe it’s been THREE YEARS! Hope you have a wonderful birthday week!

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