excuse the lack of capitalization- jonah has a cold, so there's a lot of late-night feedings to be done here.
things get better, only to get worse again...at least that's how it feels right now. i thought allie was coming out of whatever behavioral fugue she falls into every few weeks, but alas, it isn't so. it's not so bad for me- we have those first two years of pretty much mutual exclusivity going for us, and if it almost drove me crazy, it also means we have near-telepathic rapport. might be because we're so alike, also- although that works against us as well as for us. on the less-helpful end, we both enjoy arguing, but only if we can pretty much grind the opposing party into the floor. as much as possible, i just refuse to argue with her- it's too much like a power struggle. a wise person once told me that you can't win power struggles with children- once you engage in it, you've lost no matter what the "outcome".
so. allie, yeah...jeff is not so lucky. three-quarters of what he says to her she percieves as rejection or attack. the word "fine", in particular, provokes a reaction you would not believe of my sweet little girl. he's trying hard to banish it from his vocabulary; meanwhile, i have a severely anxious and overreactive daughter- make that two of them; myself, who just went up to a slightly higher dose of meds, making me irritable and impatient for a few days; jeff, who is struggling mightily but still feeling like he's losing his mind; and a son who- scout's honor- would drive a substance abuse counselor to the nearest dealer. oh, and one sweet little baby who is growing up far too fast for his poor mommy.
speaking of jonah, he is definitely the prodigy of our family. crawling by 6 months (although it took him another month to really get good at it), pulling himself to standing now, at just under 8 months. and the boy can *stand*- unless gabe shoves him, he's steady on his feet for a good 30 minutes, which seems like an inordinate amount of time to me. he really enjoys walking if you hold his hands, and he uses this really cute marching-band stepping style. he also said his first word tonight ("duh....ck"). it just doesn't seem possible that i'm coming to the point in my life where i will no longer be the mother of any infants. part of me is cheering- no more mandatory 3 am feedings! no more missing concerts because it isn't worth it to introduce a bottle for one night! but part of me is sad, because most of my friends are just entering or preparing to enter parenthood, and while I'm far from done (parenting, that is), I do seem to be done with babies. I love being pregnant, and it's hard to come to terms with never being pregnant ever again.
Notice the caps are back? Jonah finally went to sleep and stayed asleep after roughly three hours of nursing and two failed attempts at putting him to bed. Thank God. The upside was I got to spend some extra one-on-one time with Allie. I walked past her room with Jonah and noticed she still wasn't asleep an hour after I put her and Eva to bed, so I invited her to get up and watch a little TV with me while I nursed him some more. We split the last of the Le Petit Ecoliers cookies (extra-dark chocolate, yummm- another thing she and I have in common), watched a bit of a movie (not Olive the Other Reindeer, thanks be- that's been more or less playing constantly the past two days while Gabe and Eva were sick), then I put Jonah down and carried my big girl to her bed. She's almost too big to carry now, so I am enjoying it while I can. She is so much to deal with right now that the chance to spend some uncomplicated, quiet time with her was really special.