All my life people have been telling me to speak up. But until last weekend, I didn’t really have any inner motivation to do it. It was Friday night, and we were camping with friends. The aforementioned friends, mr_porteiro_head and beverly, had brought marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate. They began roasting marshmallows while I nursed Lego. As the marshmallows neared perfection, beverly pulled out the other s’mores fixings and noticed that the Hershey’s chocolate she had brought was quite old. The wax had separated from the chocolate, so the whole bar looked white.

 “I brought some Ghirardelli’s chocolate,” I called out to her. “You can use that instead. It’s in our cooler.”

 Beverly just kept unwrapping her waxy chocolate without any kind of response. I wondered a bit if she didn’t want to use our superior chocolate for some reason. Then I figured that she probably hadn’t heard me, so I repeated myself, louder this time. I honestly felt like I was shouting. Keep in mind that I was sitting less than six feet from everyone else. Yes, there were children around, and yes, the fire was crackling, but I was shouting.

 The third time I repeated myself, Jon Boy heard me. He went to the cooler and got out our Ghirardelli’s chocolate bar and began breaking off a corner for himself.

“Offer it to them,” I said.

 He stood up and brought the chocolate over to beverly. “We have some Ghirardelli’s chocolate you could use instead,” he said (paraphrased).

“Ooh! Ghirardelli’s chocolate.” Beverly and mr_porteiro_head were both impressed. They both clearly wanted some. They had clearly not heard me.

So if my speaking voice is whisper soft and my shouting voice is inaudible to people sitting at the same campfire, I need to do something about that. But changing one’s speaking voice is one of the hardest things a person can do. Any tips or words of ecouragement would be appreciated.

My faith in humanity

Story #1:

On July 1, we were at Yellowstone on vacation. We parallel parked on the side of a road between two cars for one trail because the lot was full. When we came back from the hike, Lego was hungry, so I put up the sun shade, sat in the driver’s seat of the car, and fed him under a blanket. Jon Boy and the rest of my family waited on or around the car for us to finish. It was then that an enormous RV drove by. From inside the car, I thought, “He’s cutting it too close.” A second or two later, the RV hit our front bumper from the side. The car rocked a little, but there was little damage.

 Jon Boy flagged the driver down; otherwise, I’m pretty sure he would have just kept driving. Once out of the RV, the driver started complaining to Jon Boy, saying that two wrongs don’t make a right (wait . . . what?) and that we were partially responsible for the accident (wait . . . what?) because we weren’t parked in a real spot. Um, no red curb, buddy. People park on the sides of roads all the time. That doesn’t give you permission to hit them.

But he persisted. Jon Boy got his insurance information from him, but we didn’t call the police. The damage was slight, and anyway, we didn’t know that rangers are the effective police in a national park. My dad did get a few pictures.

When we filed a claim for the damage, we were pretty confident that he was 100% responsible for the accident. A few days later, his insurance adjustor called and said her insured was only willing to accept 50% of the responsibility and would only pay for 50% of our damages. We would have to file a claim with our insurance for the other 50%. She would work with our adjustor to determine fault.

Luckily, we just found out that everyone but the guy who hit us found it laughable that he didn’t think he was 100% responsible. In fact, our adjustor told us that if you hit a parked car, even if that car is parked in the middle of the freeway, you are responsible for the accident. When you are driving, it is your job to not hit parked cars. So it’s all resolved, more or less, and in our favor. Hooray!

Story #2:

 About two weeks ago, I was on Jon Boy’s computer because mine was being fixed. His instant messaging program was open, and a stranger IMed him asking about the Chanel handbag he was selling on ebay.

Those of you who know us well know that we would never in a million years own a Chanel handbag, and if we had one, we probably wouldn’t sell it on ebay. I told the girl this. She didn’t seem to get it at first, and she kept asking how big it was. I kept repeating that my husband was not, in fact, selling a bag, which meant that someone was using his account to sell said bag. Turned out that someone was not a native English speaker (the bag was “fashionable and elegance”), and there were about two dozen other Chanel bags that Jon Boy was also, apparently, selling.

Jon Boy changed his password and closed all the auctions, but a few people had already bought “handbags” (in other words, paid money for something they would never receive) from him. Ebay closed his account, but it’s now back open, thank goodness. It appeared that many other accounts had been hijacked; Chanel purses with the same broken English were for sale all over ebay that day. I assume ebay has sorted everything out by now, and I hope the perpetrators have been traced to a PayPal account or a bank account.

The moral of the story:

Even though I have come face to face with both stupid and evil people this month, I still have my faith in humanity. Even though the RV driver tried to pin the blame for his accident on us, he didn’t get away with it. The law is on the side of honest, innocent people, at least in our case. And even though a few people were robbed in Jon Boy’s name, his account was frozen before anything got too out of hand.

Maybe I’m naive. Actually, change that maybe to a probably. But I don’t care. I’d rather believe that most people are mostly good and that the idiots and criminals are the exception to the rule.

Gregory, please tell me I’m not going crazy!

Lego is a delightful baby in all ways except one: he doesn’t sleep well at night. At all.

He’s four months old on Friday. By his age, many babies are sleeping through the night (eight hours), and the rest only wake up once or maybe twice. Lego is waking up three or four times almost every night. If he only wakes twice, I’m happy. If he wakes once, I’m ecstatic.

This means that I’m a zombie a lot of the time. I feel like I’m slowly winding down, getting closer to that point where I won’t feel safe driving or caring for Lego. Even if I go to bed early and take naps with him every time he does, not having long stretches of sleep does something to a person.

Last night, Lego went down to bed at 9:00. I, being foolish, stayed up with Jon Boy until 11:30. When I finally got into bed, I had a lot on my mind and couldn’t fall asleep for a long time.

Lego woke up for his first feeding at 12:45. I was exhausted, but I fed him and put him back in his crib. I went back to sleep.

At 4:00, I woke up (I’m not sure why). Lego was sleeping next to me on the air mattress I nurse him on in his bedroom. He was tucked nicely under the covers. And I had absolutely no memory of how he had gotten there.

This scares me. I have never sleepwalked before, so I don’t think that’s what it was. I think he cried to be fed and I got up, got him, lay down on the mattress, fed him, and fell asleep, all without waking up enough to record the memory. If I was that tired, though, how easy would it have been for me to drop him? Cover his face with a blanket? Roll over on him?

And if I was sleepwalking, that’s even more dangerous. I could have done anything and not realized it.

It’s time to figure out what’s causing Lego’s sleep problems and do something about it.