The White Princess

The White Princess by Philippa Gregory

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This book concentrates of Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII and mother of Henry VIII, whose marriage ended the Wars of the Roses and started the Tudor dynasty. Compared to the other heroines of Gregory’s novels, Elizabeth seems to have less agency, less ability to change her circumstances and make things happen on her own. She has no choice but to watch as her husband frantically searches for “the boy,” her lost brother Richard, considered the rightful king by most Englishmen. Henry’s obsession with tracking the young man down and discrediting him make him look pathetic. The most Elizabeth can do is drop a few snarky comments on My Lady the King’s Mother. Gregory seems limited by the historical information; maybe there was less room for her to play with Elizabeth’s story than with the other women’s.

The most interesting twist she adds to the story is one that got started in a previous novel: the curse that Elizabeth and her mother laid on whoever murdered the lost York princes. Anyone who knows a little about the eventual fate of the rulers of the Tudor dynasty can see that the curse does play out, that Elizabeth inadvertently condemned herself and her own children by cursing, then marrying, her brothers’ killer. That irony makes the historical facts of the British monarchy into a tragic story in which the crimes of the fathers are visited on their children. The original sin of the murders of the lost princes in the tower becomes the downfall of the dynasty their deaths were supposed to ensure. That rich, creative reading of history is what makes Philippa Gregory’s books so interesting and enjoyable.

David Copperfield

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

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Of Dickens I’ve read Bleak House, Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, A Christmas Carol, and now David Copperfield. And I think that’s the order in which I’d rank them, personally. I liked Bleak House the most and David Copperfield the least.

People always disparage Dickens for the length of his novels, joking about how he was paid by the word. I didn’t mind the considerable length of David Copperfield as much as the overly credulous narrator, the annoying characters and their tics, and the

The thing that I disliked most about this book can be summed up in one word: Dora. The more I got to know this character, the more irritating she was, and the less I respected the protagonist for loving her. She was nothing but a doll to everyone in her life, to be petted and babied, and that is so sad and pitiable. David kept going on about how adorable she was, but there was nothing in her behavior that I found charming at all. Her little dog was especially grating. I really couldn’t understand why David still wanted to marry her after she flipped out when he asked her to learn about managing a house. That was the biggest bright red flashing warning sign I could have imagined, and he ignored it. I gagged when she asked him to call her his “child-wife.” She actively engineered her own infantilization. It was supposed to be sad when she died, but I wasn’t sad.

Little Em’ly’s character suffers from a lot of the same problems of Dora’s. For example, why does everyone still call her “little” when she’s a grown woman? The whole deal with Little Em’ly’s ruin was a little weird to me, though similar situations are found in Austen and lots of other writers of the period. Em’ly seems to regret her choice to run away with Steerforth instantly, so quickly that it makes me wonder why she goes with him at all, unless it’s to escape being called “little” and assert her adulthood, maturity, and independence. But there is nothing but sorrow in her good-bye letter. Everyone forgives her instantly too, while still talking about her as if she’s destroyed herself. What I don’t really get is why her life is ruined if everyone forgives her. Ham still loves her; why is it so impossible that she could go back to Yarmouth and marry him anyway? But whatever. It’s Victorian; the woman’s worth comes from her purity.

David’s eventual marriage to Agnes was predictable, beginning when she questioned his friendship with Steerforth. So really the insufferable Dora had to die to clear the way for a more suitable wife for the protagonist. Although if I think about it, the fact that Agnes didn’t speak out against Dora’s obvious shortcomings and tell David about her own feelings, rather than allowing him to make such a huge mistake, makes me respect her a little less too.

The best thing about this book is the humor and the cartoonish characters. Mr. Micawber was probably my favorite; I feel like I know people like him today. David Copperfield is over-the-top in lots of ways: slapstick and silly in some parts, sentimental and pathetic in others. It does teach a lesson about mature love versus infatuation, one that’s still definitely worth learning. The plot’s engine is fueled by a bunch of coincidental meetings of all the various people in David’s life, even though they are from very different parts of the country. Oh, well. DC had some fun moments, between the maudlin sentiment. I’m glad to cross it off the list.

Abhorsen

Abhorsen by Garth Nix

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The Abhorsen trilogy creates a fascinating magical world and infuses it with mood and atmosphere with rich language. Nix’s darkly powerful words and sentences truly weave a spell around a reader, creating a place that feels so real you want to visit it again.

The trilogy is very gender-balanced, with two strong heroines, Sabriel and Lirael, at the forefront of the action. Touchstone, Sameth, the ladies of the Clayr, and the dynamic pets, Mogget the cat and the Disreputable Dog, round out the team. This volume finishes the story that was left hanging in Lirael, with Sameth’s friend Nick held hostage by evil spirits, and a plot unfolding that could annihilate the entire world. Everyone contributes to the effort to stop the Destroyer according to their talents, but Lirael leads the charge, takes the biggest risks, and loses the most. The characters are admirable and well-developed, while the pets add wit and humor.

Tim Curry’s recording of the book is perfect, pulling out all the nuances and ominous meanings in Nix’s prose. His accent and timbre fit the story like no one else’s could, lending weight and consequence and even an indescribable feeling of timelessness.

The trilogy’s ending was surprising and appropriate, with a touch of Old Yeller. It’s not an easy happy ending, but one in which the salvation of the world is earned with painful sacrifice. I think this is a series I’ll want to come back to, one that would be fun to read aloud.

A Day in the Life: Maternity Leave, Part 2

Yesterday I posted a description of how I spend my days with my baby. I outlined a very nice day, full of sweet moments of bonding and only the mildest frustrations for realism. It was a Pinterest-worthy, Facebook-ready day.

Every day isn’t like that.

I think it’s important for people to share not only the stuff that makes them look like they have it all together, but also the stuff that proves they’re human–imperfect. Owning our not-so-proud moments can help others realize that they aren’t alone in their struggle. So I also wrote about another day, one that wasn’t my finest hour.

Sometimes when people tell others about the unpleasant minutiae of their lives, especially on social media, it’s a plea for pity. They go on and on about how horrible things are so that people express their sympathies. Maybe that makes them feel better. Sometimes all you want is to be heard. I understand that. But that’s not the purpose of this post. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I really have a great life (see yesterday’s post). And I certainly don’t want advice on how to solve these problems I’m having; this is not the proper forum for requests for help. I just want to present the full reality, rather than only the good parts that make my life look idyllic and my family perfect. I have great moments and great days, and bad moments and bad days, and sometimes they mix together so closely I get whiplash. Like the times when my baby makes faces that flash instantly between a grin and a sob, and back again. Mix this post and yesterday’s in a blender, and you have a pretty good idea of what my life is like now.

I’ve found that my mood and state of mind determine so much of my experience. Breastfeeding pain is either a minor annoyance or reason for tears and rage, depending on how I’m feeling when I start. If I’m in a bad mood or overtired, I imagine that I hear babies crying in the white noise we play for Cogan to help him sleep. This is both empowering and disabling. It means that it’s harder to break out of a bad mood, because everything seems bad: a vicious cycle gets started. It also means that once I’m in a good mood I can handle lots of the things that might otherwise spoil my day without getting too upset.

I also want to preface this by saying that Cogan really is a very good baby. He’s healthy and generally happy and doesn’t have colic and doesn’t seem to fuss or cry for no reason. He’s usually sweet and accommodating, allowing me to accomplish tasks. But, like all babies, he has his moments. The day I describe here is full of almost nothing but those moments. I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a day exactly like this one. For the sake of a good story, I’ve pulled together some of the most grating, annoying things that have actually happened and presented them as a single day (I did that for yesterday’s post too, but with a positive spin).

Cogan wakes up for a feeding at 1:00. I’ve finished feeding him and put him down again by 1:35.

He’s up again at 2:20. I carry him to the other room to avoid waking David up, but it’s too early to feed him. I change his diaper, reswaddle him, and rock him until he seems drowsy again. He’s back in the swing to sleep at 2:35.

At 3:45, I hear more crying. I nurse him, and he falls asleep at the breast. I carefully put him back to bed just like that. When I get back in bed, I find David’s messed up the sheets in a way I can’t even begin to understand. I pull them out from under him and arrange the comforter on top of me, not giving him any since he doesn’t seem to want it.

It’s 4:30 and Cogan’s awake again. His diaper is clean and he’s not hungry. I can’t figure out why he’s up, and my annoyance at being woken is starting to turn into anger. Tonight has become just as bad as last night was, and I know from experience that two nights like this in a row do evil things to me. I might be a little rough with him when I wrap his swaddle, but maybe that’s what makes it so tight and secure. I have trouble falling back to sleep this time because I keep dreading the next sound he’ll make. It’s like my mind hates being woken up so much that it just refuses to sleep.

5:25. It’s a little early, but I feed him anyway just to shut him up.

At 6:40, Cogan whimpers again. David isn’t in bed. I take the baby out to the den and find my husband on the computer. If he’s awake in the morning and not actively getting ready for work, it’s fair game to ask him to help with the baby. I thrust the child into his arms and tell him to make him sleep. I lay back down myself, but again, I have trouble falling back to sleep.

When I wake up again, David is gone and Cogan’s crying to be fed. The day has begun, and I am so not ready for it.

I go to the den to feed him, my left breast throbbing with this phantom pain that seems to have no cause. We settle in, but I can’t focus on whatever book I’m reading and end up staring at the blank TV.

When we’re done, I carry the baby to the kitchen, get my cereal and set him down in his play gym while I eat in front of the computer, reading on facebook about my non-parent friends who went to fancy restaurants last night and my grad school friends getting fancy university jobs. Cogan is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed; the night was fine for him even if it was horrible for me. He makes his sweet sounds, kicking his chubby legs, but I’m not in any mood to appreciate his adorableness. And then the fact that he’s smiling and cooing and I’m missing it makes me feel guilty because he’s growing up so fast and I want to enjoy every second. And then that guilt promptly turns into resentment of the imperative to “enjoy every second.”

During Cogan’s first two naps of the day, I try to follow the advice to “sleep when the baby sleeps,” but he only naps for 30 minutes and that’s barely enough time to get myself comfortable in bed.

I’m itching to leave the house, but I’m too tired to go to the gym, and the library doesn’t open until noon. So I go to Kroger because we’re out of milk and bananas. Sometimes it makes me grin when strangers at the grocery comment on how cute Cogan is, but no one is even in Kroger at 9 AM on a Wednesday. I need to eat my feelings, so I pick up a box of Reduced Fat Chips Ahoy and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Peppermint Crunch. As always, I feel guilty about eating this way, especially since I still have 6 pounds to lose before I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight, and only half of my wardrobe fits. But since I haven’t lost any weight in a solid month despite going to the gym about 4 times a week and not going to as many social events with tempting buffets, I figure I’ve plateaued and there’s nothing I could do about it anyway. I’m probably doomed to weigh this much until I quit breastfeeding and am no longer ravenously hungry all the time.

When we get back from Kroger, I go to change Cogan’s diaper. It’s a 3-wiper. As soon as I fasten the diaper cover, I hear the squirting, pouring sound that means he’s pooping, again. I take a deep breath and dive back in, as the baby continues to scream.

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He calms down only a little when we’re done with the diapers. His cries go from screams to mild fussy complaints. But if I try to sit down with him, he switches back to the scream. I end up pacing the house, from bedroom to hall to dining room to kitchen, down the steps to the den, up the steps to the kitchen, down the hall to the bedroom, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat. As we walk, his little fists keep reaching for my hair, pulling painfully when they get the individual hairs stuck in the wrinkles in his chubby fingers.

My usual running monologue is dead. Today I just don’t care to think of inane things to say for a baby who can’t understand them anyway. Cogan is getting zero language stimulation today; our house is silent except for his cries. I feel guilty about that too.

I’m in the mood to just veg out mindlessly and play Civilization V, a computer game David got me addicted to, where you pretend to be someone like Napoleon or Attila the Hun and take over the world. But Cogan fusses as soon as I sit down with him. I end up making a move or two each time I return to David’s computer as I pace the house, but I never get to immerse myself in the game and get that feeling of escape.

Finally, it’s time for a feeding. When I nurse him this time, Cogan keeps popping on and off, with a lipsmacking sound. It feels like being tweaked or flicked in the nipple and I hate it. But I keep at it because it’s only been 3 minutes and he seems to want more and because my breast is full. The only things worse than this are a hungry, crying baby, and engorged breasts that make it painful to hold him. When he gets to 8 minutes, I stop trying to make him eat. I feel drained enough, but my breast has this achy feeling like a sore muscle that it gets sometimes.

I try to burp him, but he really is a hard baby to burp sometimes. As soon as I give up and stand to go to the other room, he spits up, aiming right down the neckline of my shirt in the middle. Surely every ounce I just fed him is now soaking my entire front. I put him down on the couch, which sets him off crying of course, while I strip and throw my clothes in the hamper. I never imagined motherhood would involve spending so much time walking around my house without a shirt on.

The library is finally open, but now it’s raining, so I can’t walk there. There’s no point in driving to the library; I’ve got more than plenty books and driving doesn’t give me the physical outlet I’m looking for anyway. The rain also means I also can’t take Cogan outside to calm him down. I’m getting more than a little stir-crazy.

Luckily, Cogan is due for a nap. But he doesn’t seem to agree. He’s swaddled, and the white noise is on, and I put a pacifier in when he closes his mouth between screams–I’m doing all the things that normally put him out, but he’s not having any of it. He gets himself so worked up he spits up on me again. Sometimes I feel like a contestant on one of those Nickelodeon game shows from my childhood, constantly getting slime dumped on them. I take off my second soaked shirt of the day and continue to bounce and shh the baby, putting him down and picking him back up, for almost forty minutes before he tires himself out and sleeps.

There’s no way I’m doing any housework today. Just let the laundry and dishes pile up and the hair tumbleweeds accumulate in the corners, who cares. It’s a good thing there are leftovers in the fridge, or we’d be eating takeout tonight. I’ve given up on trying to sleep, so I do something mindless that’s bound to make me feel bad–cruise Pinterest while eating the junk food I bought at Kroger. And of course, since this is the nap that I didn’t even bother laying down, Cogan ends up sleeping for a full hour and 15 minutes.

When the baby finally wakes up, I sit down to nurse him. It’s the left side, the good side, so I don’t have any nipple pain, thankfully. But he keeps kicking and jerking, and his legs are so strong now that he almost knocks himself off the Boppy pillow sometimes. He also insists on moving his hand around, pinching my skin with his sharp little fingers. and draping his arm over his face. I try to restrain him while also massaging the milk out of me, and wish I had three hands.

When he’s done I try to burp him, but nothing comes out, and he gets the hiccups. I see that he’s got that green gunk gluing one of his eyes shut by the lashes. It got that way during his nap and I didn’t even notice. If my child looked like this–hiccupping miserably and winking at me from dirty, gooey eyes, with spit-up down his front and a wet diaper–when I picked him up from a babysitter or daycare, I wouldn’t be happy with his caregiver. Another reason to feel guilty: I don’t even meet my own standards of care for someone I would pay. Feeling like a crappy mom, I change him and wipe off his eyes, wishing I could fix his hiccups as easily. Then I think about how he still hasn’t learned to roll over, and convince myself that he’ll be behind in everything, from walking to reading to algebra, because I’m so inept and exhausted. My rational mind chimes in, telling me I’m being ridiculous, but she can only take the reins when I’ve had a certain minimum of sleep.

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David’s late coming home, which annoys me more every minute because I want relief. My arms are getting tired and I am sick of pacing. I just want to sit and journal and read things online. At least my husband’s tardiness gives me time to put the empty box of Chips Ahoy in the outside trash can so he won’t see it.

When David finally arrives, I thrust the baby into his arms and retreat to the bedroom to try to nap. But I can’t fall asleep, and it doesn’t help when David has to bring him into the bedroom to change him and he cries again. I give up and go to the kitchen to start some spaghetti and spoon out our dinner to be microwaved.

Cogan cries for 20 minutes when David tries to put him down for a nap. Finally I can’t take listening to it anymore, and offer to take over. It takes me only five more minutes, which makes my husband feel like crap, but I tell him it’s not personal.

While Cogan is napping, David and I usually watch a show and eat dinner. Tonight it’s Dexter and reheated turkey chili from the crockpot. However, the baby wakes up early and we have to take turns holding him while the other eats. My chili gets cold. We have to stop the show a couple times because Cogan interrupts with crying.

When it’s time for Cogan’s last feeding of the night, something is seriously wrong with his latch, and three tries isn’t enough to fix it. It’s the right side, which is always more painful anyway. I grit my teeth and try to power through it. When I complain aloud about the internal breast pain that two lactation consultants and the LLL online forum have not yet been able to explain to me, David doesn’t respond. I know this is not because he doesn’t care, he just doesn’t know what to say or how to help–this isn’t the first time he’s failed to respond at all to my complaints and we’ve had this discussion before. I snap at him anyway, wishing I could storm out of the room. Instead, he does.

Cogan falls asleep after his torture session–I mean, feeding session–and I put him down in the swing for the night. I apologize to David for yelling and offer him the last third of the Ben and Jerry’s pint as a peace offering. It’s only 8:15, and I wish I could spend an hour or so writing or reading online, but I don’t have the energy anyway. Instead, I just get ready for bed and pray that Cogan sleeps better than he did last night, so that he can have a mom who will play with him and talk to him, rather than just exist and fulfill his most basic needs.

A Day in the Life: Maternity Leave, Part 1

I wanted to record and share what my life is like now, minute to minute, so I decided to write a “Day in the Life” post. But I soon realized that what I’ve read in this genre all seems to be either horrible or wonderful. Like, “Look how amazing my life is!” or “Look what a victim I am!” I didn’t want to fall into either trap, so I decided to jump into them both. My time at home with Cogan has not been exactly perfect, or terrible, and to reflect that reality I’ve written two posts, one for a really, really bad day, and one for a great day. The truth is somewhere between them, of course.

So here’s the edited, facebook version of my life right now, in my baby’s third month. Tomorrow, I’ll post the day from hell.

I wake up at 1 AM for Cogan’s first feeding of the night. I carry him to the den and settle in, propping him on the Boppy pillow and opening my Kindle. He nurses for 13 minutes, then I change him and try to burp him. He’s pretty hard to burp, so I give up after a while and work on putting him back to sleep instead. His eyes close pretty easily, and I carry him back to the swing, setting him down oh-so-carefully. I’m back in bed by 1:35. He wakes up again at 4 for more milk, and I repeat the drill.

Cogan’s stirring. I look at the clock and it’s 6:30, time for a feeding, so I get up and bring him to the other room. David’s up and on the computer. He says he slept ok, then goes to take his shower while I nurse Cogan. When I pull up my shirt his eyes get wide because he knows what’s coming. He opens his mouth eagerly, like a little bird. It’s a short feeding, and when I’m done I go back to the bedroom to change the baby and find David resting on the bed in his towel looking at his phone. I join him and the three of us touch and smell each other awhile, David’s clean soapy smell, and Cogan’s milk breath. After three minutes David has to get dressed and I bring Cogan to the changing table. David rushes out while I’m headed to the kitchen and I remind him to grab his lunch.

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With Cogan balanced on one hip, I pour my cereal and walk it to my computer desk. Then I make another trip to get the milk and bring it to my desk too. (I’ve gotten used to accomplishing little tasks like this one-handed.) We have the play gym set up on the guest bed next to my desk, and I lie Cogan down under the dangling toys and turn on the music box that flashes lights. While I eat and check facebook, he coos at the lights, kicking his little feet with delight. He’s usually in a good mood at this time of the morning. He’s just learning to make a greater variety of sounds, so I hear a bunch of hoarse vowels coming from his wide open mouth: ah, oh, ow, eh, oo. It’s like he’s singing.

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Because I have read so many things about how important it is for language development for babies to hear adults talk to them, I usually try to talk to Cogan all day long, about whatever I’m doing, or random stuff, trying not to feel ridiculous about it, and using a normal voice instead of a babytalk voice. Between bites of cereal I share the news about what our friends are up to on facebook and tell him how much I love hearing his adorable little happy sounds. While he’s satisfied, I put away the milk, then wash my face and take my pills and change out of my pajamas.

He’s starting to make some discontented squawks, so I pick him up and bring him to bed for a little cuddle-fest. I lay on my side and hold him like he’s one of the baby dolls I used to sleep with. He squirms to show he’s not crazy about that position, so I lie him on my chest for some tummy time, hugging his little body while his arms dangle over my sides and he works to lift his head. When he gets sick of that, I lift him up like I’m bench pressing him. He seems to love the feeling of flying. His mouth opens in a wide smile. I set him on my shins and bounce him with his head between my knees. Next, I sit him on my belly, allowing him to balance with only my thumbs caught in his strong fists. Then I lean over him and brush my hair over his face. I stroke his cheek, and his mouth captures my knuckle, while his arms wrap around my hand to keep it there.

Cuddling is fun, but we do eventually need a break. I sit him on my lap as I read more articles on the computer. After a while he gets annoyed again, and I check the time. It’s been over an hour since he woke up, so he might be tired. I pace the house with him, and it quiets him down, but he still fusses if I stop walking. So I swaddle him and put him down in his crib. He cries, so I pick him up. He gets quiet, so I put him down. Repeat about three times, and then he’s out.

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During his nap, I finish putting today’s crockpot together. It’s a stew I call chicken taco. Then I toss in some laundry and consider running the vacuum, but decide I don’t have time and wipe down the counters instead. Cogan’s naps are usually 30-40 minutes, so I’m just barely able to do those little chores before he’s up and crying for me.

It’s 9:30 now, and there’s just enough time for me to nurse him before we go to the baby program at the library. It’s a little early for his feeding, but I don’t want to nurse him there, so I feed him a little bit now. I load him into the stroller and walk the three blocks to the library. Cogan sits on my lap and watches Mr. Andrew the librarian and the older kids while I talk to the other moms about how adorable our children are and the new things they’re learning to do.

After we walk home, I put him in his rocker and play one of his favorite games with him. I’m doing the 30 day squat challenge, and I do it right in front of him while he watches me in his rocker. I count out loud and smile at him and touch his feet or hand as I go down for each squat. He smiles and goos and coos and kicks his legs like it’s the most entertaining thing he’s ever seen. His eyelashes are so long he always looks like he’s flirting and when he looks to the side I think his eyes look like a Kewpie doll’s. Once I finish my exercise, it’s time for another nap. This time he lies quiet in his crib with his pacifier, but his eyes are wide open. I rock him from side to side, adding my “shh” to the white noise I have playing for him. It seems like he’s sleeping after 10 minutes of this, but he cries for me again after I leave, so I continue for another five minutes, and his sleep is real this time.

While he sleeps I eat yogurt and an apple, switch the laundry, mess with a photo project online and write a quick update in my journal.  After he wakes up this time, I feed him immediately. After only 7 minutes, I sit him up and burp him on my lap, watching his little feet dangle on my leg.

Next, I fold the laundry while he looks on from the rocker. If he’s in a good mood, he doesn’t mind if I don’t hold him as long as he can see me. I inform him that it’s his fault I’m doing laundry instead of holding him anyway because he’s the one who spit up all over these clothes.

After the laundry is done, I sit down and talk to him in his rocker. He’s making these gurgling goos in the back of his throat and sticking out his tongue and blowing spit bubbles and smiling as big as his little mouth can. I imitate his faces and sounds and encourage him to keep it up. When he kicks his legs, he can make the rocker rock by himself.

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I carry him to the other room so I can read the Animal Alphabet book to him, then “On the Night You Were Born,” then “I Love You More.” He sits quietly on my lap and looks toward the book, even reaching out to touch the pages every once in a while. He loses interest before I can finish the third book, though, and starts to make jerking motions with his body. So we pace the house some more, and go outside and pace the yard while I rest my cheek on his velvet scalp and watch the clock. I hold him on one side of me as he hooks his arm around my shoulder and looks around at the leaves and bushes.

Soon it’s been an hour and 25 minutes since he woke up last. I swaddle him and turn on the white noise and put in his pacifier. He’s out in less than a minute. It makes me feel like the greatest parent of all time. I have graham crackers and milk as a reward.

When he wakes up next, he’s clingy, in a sweet, groggy way, pressing his little body to my side, and he won’t let me put him down. It’s 4:30 and I’m getting anxious for David to come home because my arms are getting tired and he usually takes over baby care from me in the evenings.

When David finally arrives at 5, I’ve handed him the baby before he gets three steps in the door. He asks about our day and I follow him to the changing table, where he changes a sopped diaper. Then I feed Cogan while David starts some rice and changes out of his work clothes. When I’m done nursing, I hand the baby to David to burp, and go take a shower. Then I retreat to my computer to read an article or two, while David plays with Cogan for a few minutes, then puts him to sleep.

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We normally watch one of our favorite shows over dinner–Breaking Bad, True Blood, Dexter, Parks and Rec. Today it’s True Blood. After about 50 minutes, our show is over, and Cogan is still sleeping. David and I stay on the couch, talking while he drapes his arm around my shoulders and I lean into his side. He tells me about a couple big deals he has in the pipeline at work, and I tell him about Cogan’s happy sounds, how his hands seem bigger to me, how I think I can see in his face the way he’ll look as a toddler. David kisses me, but Cogan wakes up before things get too interesting.

The baby is being so insanely adorable we just have to film him for a minute on David’s iphone. Then David gives him a bath while I write a blog post. I can hear my husband singing silly songs he makes up on the spot. They’re mostly about Cogan’s poopy diapers or how he needs to go to sleep.

Cogan goes to sleep at 9:30 after a feeding. There’s just time for me to wash my face and brush my teeth before going to bed myself. David stays up a little longer because he doesn’t do the night feedings (no breasts) and because he wants some time to himself to play video games.