Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Good morning everyone!! Today is Three Or More Tuesday and our hostess is Tam at A Gypsy's Corner. Please visit her and take a trip around blogland to visit everyone participating! Today is my baby's birthday!! Abby is 18!!!!!! Wow. This birthday is having more of an effect on her mother than her! I watched her getting ready for school this morning (above is a picture of her just before school. Today they are having the photograph of the Seniors taken and they are allowed to wear dress clothes, no uniform today, and make-up and jewelry). How nice to let these girls show some personal style! Twelve years in uniform, Abby was ready to flaunt her stuff!!

This is Abby and her best friend Nora in San Diego last summer. If we lived near a coast, she would be a beach bum. She loves water. She learned to water ski at the lake when she was just seven. She got up the first time and she is an awesome skier! She has swam with the dolphins in Mexico and she used to lay at the end of our dock up at the lake and catch blue gills with her bare hands!! In the summer here in Chicago, she and groups of her friends take the train downtown and go to Oak Street Beach for the day. She is a waterbug!!!
Here she is with Nora again.
In case you are wondering how I have fit this birthday subject into TOMT, it is because when I had Abby, I already had three children! Get it~Three Or More... ;-)
She was a wonderful surprise. Eighteen years and nine months ago, I was sitting on my front porch just as the sun went down, sipping a beer and just daydreaming (I do that a lot!). Suddenly I had a little jolt, a thought just entered my mind out of nowhere...I was late. As in past 28 days. I thought and I thought as most blonde's do, and then I just knew. I scurried off to the drugstore for a kit, hid it and went to bed. I needed to wait for that first mornings, er...pee, to get all those good hormones and waking up at 5:00 a.m., I really needed to
go! POSITIVE!!! I ran and jumped on the bed to tell The Husband, who didn't even know of my suspicion, and well, I know the first thought going through his mind was 'another college tuition', so I'll leave out his first response! Oh, that pregnancy glow started that morning!! :-)

Above: Friends from school...

On April 6, 1991, I was sitting in our family room with my neighbor and good friend Sue. Chicago was having a record breaking 80 degree day and I was hot, sweaty and irritable. I was complaining that I had no summer maternity clothes, I was wearing one of The Husband's old polo shirts. "I want this baby to come now!" I said to Sue. "Jane," she said, "you have three more weeks." Sigh. Mumbling. During the middle of that hot night I woke up totally drenched. My water had broke. I woke up The Husband, called the doctor and took a shower. Tried to awaken The Husband again, packed my bag and called my in~laws to come and stay with the other three. Tried to awaken The Husband again. Finally, at the top of my lungs I yelled, "Hey Mister, this ain't no fishing trip!!!"

I was in labor three hours and pain free. My beautiful doctor Kimberly had me get an epidural right away. "There is absolutely no reason for a women to be in pain for this," she said. God I love her!! Abby weighed only five pounds. We got to hold her for a few minutes before they whisked her off to the preemie unit. Her head was the size of a baseball, but a few hours later they let me have her again and she was declared perfectly healthy for being three weeks early.

Abby and her boyfriend of three years, Dylan. He is a wonderful guy and we just love him Tonight the whole family is going out to dinner to celebrate. We had a big extended family party Sunday night which was so much fun. Her gift from The Husband and I is her online shopping trip to Forever 21 to buy clothes for her trip to Jamaica next Monday and her surprise gift for tonight is a Irish Claddah ring with her birthstone.

I am having a crazy paradox of memories today as well as thoughts of the future. Eighteen is a milestone birthday not only for her, but me also. It isn't just a number anymore. She really is an adult and I have to start letting go. She will be going away to college in August, a state university in Illinois about 150 miles away. Gone will be the days of tip~toeing around her morning crankiness, seeing her rush in from school at 3:00 in her grey uniform and bookbag, excitedly telling me the latest drama that occurred in school that day. No more snuggling on my bed at night reading and watching The Hills, Gossip Girl and MTV. No more holding my eyes open until 1:00 a.m. waiting for her to come home. My nest will finally be empty.
She is starting a new chapter of many chapters in her life. I hope we have equipped her with all the values, examples, education and compassion that we can only hope she uses wisely for the rest of her life. She is a strong, independent young woman and she has never let me down once in my life. No more than I was given an instruction book with my first baby, I do not have anything to prepare myself for letting go. I suppose I will learn as I go along, such as life is.


PatQ said...

Isn't it hard when your kids grow up? My baby is 22 and it just seems like yesterday I was tucking them in.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Happy Birthday to Abby! And what a special young lady and so pretty!

And Happy Three or More Thursday to you, dear Jane!


Sheila :-)

Happy To Be/ Gl♥ria said...

Happy Birthday Abby...wow!! 18 ia such a cool year..I have been an empty nester now for many years and I will tell you it took me along time to get use to it...but now I love having my own time to myself and enjoy my girls so much when they do come home for a visit..and we still stay up until 1am trying to all talk at the same time ha ha!! great post girl..Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

Once you get used to them being gone, you'll wonder how you ever stood living w/ them. ;o)

Great 3 or more post! Happy Birthday Abby!

Beth at Aunties said...

Happy, happy birthday to your beautiful daughter.
It is amazing how fast they grow up and all they teach us while doing so.
I think is is a great three or more post!



Domestic Designer said...

What a great story! Happy Birthday to your baby girl. I know she is excited about the future and you are a little nervous. You are both embarking on a new journey and I am sure you are both equipped to do just great! Thanks for sharing your story!

Lou Cinda @ Tattered Hydrangeas said...

Jane, this made me cry! I so feel for you and I do know how it feels. My oldest went off to college last fall and I just fell apart! My youngest is almost 17, so his days at home are numbered! Tears my heart right out!

Your daughter is beautiful and it is obvious you have done a great job raising her! I say that my apron strings reach all the way to JSU where my Seth is!

God Bless...

Lou Cinda :)

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Abby!!! Great story, time really flys. First they're just tiny little things, then they are going to college, getting married, etc. I have to admit, I got a little choked up.

Kat said...

What a wonderful post! Abby is a beautiful young lady and I know how proud you are. And I'm sitting here blubbering like a baby reading your fears of learning to "let go". This really brings it back, the fears and questions. But be assured that you have raised her to be an intelligent, independent young woman, and know that she will surely blossom. But she will always need her "mommy time" Hugs, Kathy

Anonymous said...

*sniff sniff* It happens all too soon!
Happy Birthday Abby!!

Cass @ That Old House said...

18 is indeed a milestone, especially when it's your youngest having that birthday.

What a lovely tribute to your charming girl. She's lucky to have such a loving mom.

Happy Birthday to Abby, and also to YOU -- my mother said it was the MOMS who should get the gifts on birthdays!

(Nice try, Mom).

Best --- Cass

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

Hey Janie,
My daughter Katie is 18 and will be 19 next month. Your daughter is lovely and I know just how you feel. Katie has grown up a lot this past year and although I miss her a ton, I am getting used to it. She is my youngest too. Wow, you have a lot coming up with graduation and all. Good luck to you. Cindy

CJ said...

Happy Birthday to Abby!18 is a big milestone!And its the most beautiful time in life.Ask her to enjoy and savour it slowly!Its once in a lifetime that you turn 18!!


CJ said...

Happy Birthday to Abby!18 is a big milestone!And its the most beautiful time in life.Ask her to enjoy and savour it slowly!Its once in a lifetime that you turn 18!!


Blondie's Journal said...

To all of you,

Thank you so much for your birthday wishes for my little darling. Perhaps misery loves company but it means so much to hear someone say, "I've been there too!". This is something I look for every day when I check my comments. I am opening myself up to people I know somehow I can trust. And you, my friends, have never fallen short of that.

I always appreciate advice, shared stories and just plain old compliments on what I write. So far it seems that all of you can see that it has been an emotional day for me while I, later in the day, have kept up a brave face (!!!) for Abby's sake. I wish I had something profound, even er...poetic to say! I can only say "thank you" from the bottom of my heart, for reading between the lines. :-)

I thank my lucky stars I became a mother. And of course that will never end. I also have to start realizing that I too, am an individual and maybe I have to learn how to leave the nest.

Much, much love,

Cape Cod Rambling Rose said...

Happy Birthday to your sweet daughter! 18 is such a fun and exciting year! Time certainly does fly... my oldest will be 15 this year (I have four children also). Makes me get a lump in my throat at just the thought of him going off to college before too long!

SmilingSally said...

She's a beauty!

Deanna said...

Happy Birthday to the beautiful Abby! I can't even imagine what it's like to have your children grow up and move on to begin their lives as adults. She' a lovely girl Jane!

Deanna :D

Gypsy aka Tam said...

I loved your 'Three Or More' post and Happy belated Birthday to your daughter!!!! I'm so sorry I'm late visiting everyone this week, my school work is kicking my behind.
Your post sure hit home. My youngest just turned 19 and will be starting college this year as well. I have a heck of a time letting go, everytime I think I may have this parenting thing figured out something else will sneak up on me that throws me for a loop.
Thank you for sharing,

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

It seems like our kids are just babies and then we blink and BAM! They're all grown up. She's beautiful and I can only imagine the wonderful spirit she must have. Happy Happy Birthday to your sweet girl and many hugs to you. My "girls" are grown too (23, 18, 17) but I still have my little dudes for a while (9 & 6=total surprise that last one).
More Hugs!

Helen said...

I just loved reading the story of Abby! She is lovely and your love for her is equally as lovely.

2 Dogs said...

Happy Birthday Abbey. She's beautiful!! My baby is 28.

Cynthia's Cottage Design said...

Happy Birthday to your daughter! Is amazes me how fast they grow! My baby is 24 :) how did that happen?? I am relishing my daughter at 13 because I know how fast it goes!

What a wonderful Mom you are!!

Happy Easter blessings!! Hugs, Cynthia

Kathy said...

Hello Jane, What a delightful post Happy Birthday to Abigail (she is a beautiful young lady). Happy Easter to you and your family, Kathy.


Happy Birthday to Abby, My baby just turned 21! Don't know where the time has gone, but, It's lovely to see them grow into such lovely women. (like their mothers, at least we should get some credit!)


Deb said...

Happy Birthday to Abby! what a lovely post you've written for your daughter.
Happy Easter Jane.

xinex said...

Happy birthday to oh so pretty Abby! So hard to let go but you know Janie, they will always be back. I can tell you have a great relationship. Happy Easter to you and your family!..Christine

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Janie, I'm checking in with you again to say I hope you and yours have a very Blessed Easter! I appreciate your prayers and thoughts for DiDi more than you know, sweet friend. BIG HUGS!

I also hope you have a marvelous time on your trip. I will be in the panhandle for the funeral mass (leaving the latter part of next week) and then out of state for a visit with friends and relatives. Or at least that's the plan right now.

Have lots of fun in Charleston. There is a wonderful restaurant there called Magnolia's (if it's still there), and I have enjoyed it the times I've eaten there. You might want to check it out.

Have lots of fun and be safe...

Happy Easter!


Sheila :-)