Thursday, August 14, 2008

Babies No More -- Zach and Allie Turn 4

Allie and Zach
August 14, 2004

"You say it's your birthday ... It's my birthday, too."

Zach and Allie turn 4 today. Seems like just yesterday the blurriness of day and night, the unbelievable sleeplessness, the never-ending feedings and those tiny little 5-pound babies -- one of whom had a high-pitched cry, earning her the nickname of "Allie Cat" -- turned our lives upside-down.

Zach and Allie came at the onset of the 2004 Summer Olympics. On Aug. 13, 2004, Brett and I watched the Opening ceremonies of the Athens games. We called it a night around 10:30 or 11 as the ceremonial hoopla seemed to rage on with no end in sight. Several hours later, at about 2 a.m., I felt a pint-sized gymnast and a mini-swimmer doing cartwheels and butterfly strokes inside my belly. Then, without warning, they turned into boxers -- jabbing and punching unmercifully. Time to go to the hospital.

On Aug. 14, they arrived. First Zach at 10:14 am. Then Allie at 10:39. By the way, Nick was an Olympic baby, too. He arrived on Day 3 of the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000. And actually, I was pregnant with Blake during the 1996 Summer games. Brett loved that his paternity leave was during the Olympics. And it came in pretty handy with those middle-of-the-night feedings. I could feed the babies and catch up on all the oh-so-exciting equestrian, water polo and ping-pong events reserved for the nightowls.

But back to Zach and Allie. How quickly they've turned into little people who chase butterflies, dress up as pirates and princesses, color "beautiful" pictures, play hide and seek, fight with their siblings and all the other things 4-year-olds are known for.

A part of me is sad the baby stage is slowly coming to an end. I still feel a little tug inside when I walk down the baby food aisle at the grocery store or see a little infant cooing in her mother's arms. But another part of me is eager for the beginning of this next chapter. It's finally feeling like that crazy upside-down feeling is gradually easing its way right-side up. Just in time for Blake hitting puberty ...

Happy Birthday, Zach and Allie!

Zach and Allie -- Almost 4

Zach and Allie -- 3rd Birthday

Zach and Allie -- 2nd Birthday

Zach and Allie -- 1st Birthday

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