February 28, 2006

Two Year Old Humor

We were all upstairs this evening; Matt was surfing the web, Emily was
asleep on his lap, I was sewing, and Laura was shuttling back and forth
between watching the wheel of my machine go around and getting more O's
from Daddy. A brief idyll in our hecticness!

We were getting ready to come downstairs for bedtime, so it was
suddenly quiet--no computer or sewing machine sounds.

Clink, clink. Clink, clink. What IS that?

We realize it's coming from Laura--she's clinking as she walks around
in her footie pajamas. Matt figured it out first: she had Duplos
down her jammies (two in each leg--one alone wouldn't have made such a
good Clink!) Since we both roared with laughter, she'll probably do it
again. Gotta love cheap entertainment...I am just impressed by her
poker face. Who knows how long those blocks were in there? and she
said nothing until we figured it out.

February 22, 2006

A week out...

Strange to relate, a week ago I was waiting on the phone to leave a
message for the nurse to see if we could do some blood work on Emily;
her first shot of antibiotics was later that day. We will, of course,
finish the course of oral antibiotics, but she is sooooo much better.
In fact, judging by her demeanor, I have to wonder if she's like me and
gets a little "boost" in her energy while she's on them: she's a
maniac this week! Grabbing everything in reach, pulling hair,
squealing, throwing things, kicking, skipping her morning naps...It's
nice to see her perky again.

We had a restful weekend. Matt did some school work, and we finally
cleaned out our coat closet. It may not sound important, but that
one's been driving us both nuts (as some would point out, it's a short
drive!) We both got caught up on a long list of chores and spent lots
of time enjoying the girls.

February 20, 2006

Cat vs. Emily

A dissertation on the relative merits of giving medication to Emily at
six months versus the most difficult to medicate Cat I have ever known:

Anticipation: Emily begins to fuss when she sees the bottle; Cat may be
skeptical but does not run away until approached.
Advantage: Cat.

Positioning: Emily squirms. Cat has teeth, claws, and considerably more
body strength, pound for pound.
Advantage: Emily.

Administering: Emily purses her little mouth shut and clamps down.
Brute force is required to insert anything. Cat has handy hinged jaws;
although the same procedure HAS been used on Emily, it works a lot
better on Cat, when you squeeze its cheek to get its mouth open. Can
also pull back lip on Cat to insert liquid medicine. Emily's lips are
too small (and pursed) for this to work.
Advantage: Cat.

Physical Impairment: Emily has been known to gag on medicine, and throw
up. Not just the medicine, but everything above the small intestine.
Cat has been known to begin foaming at the mouth at the slightest taste
of a hated medicine, making it difficult for ANYTHING to go down.
Advantage: Nobody (well, maybe the Hershey's Chocolate Company...).

Swallowing: Emily can be distracted with funny faces and/or noises
and/or gestures. She forgets to spit out the medicine and swallows.
Usually. Cat will not be distracted, and depending on the medicine,
can hide it in a cheek or under the tongue, then spit it out when no
one is looking (has been known to do this several times in a row,
collecting pills in a hidey-hole found days later by Human...).
Advantage: Emily.

Evacuating: Emily spits things out, blows raspberries, turns her head
so the medicine is squirted on her cheek. Except for tongue thrusts,
cat usually swallows whatever liquid's actually in its mouth, with
vigorous throat stroking. Again, this maneuver does get done to Emily,
but it's not as effective and we have to be a lot more gentle than with
the cat.
Advantage: Cat

As you can see, I would rather medicate a cat than Emily. That's why I
get Matt to do it whenever he's here! :-)

February 19, 2006

Guest Book

I've added a guest book (from Bravenet, the same folks who do one of
the two counters). Scroll to the bottom of the page to find it--I'd
love to see who's dropping by!

February 17, 2006

Whimsy: Toys at Rest

Emily had a little spike an hour a go; 101.2, but all the fever meds were out of her system. Rome wasn't built in a day, blah, blah, blah.

She's doing her "Ayel-vass" look, (if he ever wore pink and white terrycloth), with her jammies unsnapped down to her diaper and her big belly poodging out. I know she'd sing "Fever", if only she could!

In keeping with our R&R theme, here's where the toys were left tonight. No posing was done; it's just Found Art.

No actual toys were harmed for this exhibit, though I don't think any of them benefited much, either.



I did this, but not on purpose. I didn't see how cute he was until a few hours later.







Does Pooh need a belly rub from Mr. Lion chair?











Spooning, it ain't.















Two heads are better....













Aaaaaaah.....

Much better...

Emily is much, much better today.

Her doctor appointment took about 30 seconds; we took care of most of
it when I walked through the hall door to the exam rooms and the Doc,
coming out of one, said, "How's Emily?" Me: "MUCH better!"

Of course, they checked her temp and lungs again, too. Doc and I spent
the rest of our time chatting (and intermittently enjoying Emily
Flirts), since we were one of the last appointments of the day. I
thanked her for listening to me when I wanted to get the blood work
done a day before our scheduled appointment (that was the day we went
to Urgent Care and got the first shot of antibiotics, because of the
high white count they found), and she was kind enough to say she
trusted us, that we seemed to be good at paying attention to our kiddos
(and that she was pretty obsessive as a professional; we sidelined into
a sympathetic comparison of teaching and doctoring, in which one has to
figure out where to draw boundaries that best serve the clientele and
the pro). In an "All's well that ends well" frame of mind, she also
pointed out that it could have been an ear infection instead...or more
likely, infectionS; apparently our children just need to have this
*one* bacterial experience, and then are done. She said she's got
patients who come in about once a month with ear problems, so--having
caught this instead and not really having any say in the matter--I
guess I prefer what we had. Especially since it's not likely to come
around again.)

The doc said not to be surprised if there were a few more fever spikes,
but at least we don't have to keep up the Tylenol/Motrin rotation; we
can just deal with any fever that shows up as it happens. There hasn't
been any fever at all since last night, so I'm not terrifically worried
about it. Maybe I will even let her sleep in jammies tonight, instead
of just a shirt! :-)

I can now mention--as you probably know--how very worried I've been.
This is one of those things that *usually* resolves, especially when
caught early, but of course, it can also lead directly to death if not
caught soon enough or not treated. Eventually, the bacteria can start
attacking major organs, etc.; that's why they were checking for sepsis,
which, now that I've read a few web pages about it, makes me even more
glad we acted quickly. And, of course, babies are more susceptible to
just about everything. But, as the doc said, with TWO shots of the
Rocephin and the oral antibiotic started before the second shot even
wore off (and going into her, come hell or high water--more on that
later as I have time), Emily should be home free. Rocephin is so
powerful--one site said something like one shot is the equivalent in
power to 30 doses of amoxycillin--that sometimes kids just get ONE shot
for an ear infection and need no more drugs. So we basically threw the
book at her.

I am VERY glad that it's now a three-day weekend. Since she's probably
still shedding bacteria, I don't think we'll go to church. We plan to
spend the days getting caught up on our lives, rested in body, and
relaxed in spirit. There has been entirely too much adrenaline flowing
through our veins this week, and we are all a bit snappish and tired
(except Emily. She's *hungry* and tired.)

A quiet night

No fever spikes overnight! That's the first night without one since
Sunday night.

I am optimistic.

February 16, 2006

Resting Comfortably

First, I know there aren't, like, thousands of readers out there
hanging on my every update (though I much appreciate the kind thoughts
of those of you there are!). I have found keeping a running commentary
is really helping me keep track of things; handy for the medical
professionals and for sleep-deprived me. Another unexpected benefit to
blogging!

Emily is asleep on my shoulder. I think her little body *tried* to
have another spike a little while ago--she got crabby and went up to
101.1--but Mommy and all the drugs are finally working in concert, and
the crisis was averted. It was time for some good news.

In case you're wondering, Laura has been...well, not *perfect*--she's
still 2!--but about as good as could be hoped. She managed to get a
little more Mommy time in today, and I think that helped her a bit.

We Wait

Emily had another two fever spikes--to 104--last night and early this
morning. She *was* perkier than she's been, in between times, but the
situation was not as hopeful as we'd...ummm...hoped.

Doc looked at her this morning, and there are still no obvious signs of
any one body part with an infection. Having looked at my fever chart
and description of the spikes, her tentative diagnosis is bacteremia,
which basically means there are bacteria floating around her body. She
got another shot of Rocephin--which is apparently something of a wonder
drug--in the other leg from yesterday.

And here's an example of why I like our doctor so much. She paused at
one point in the appointment and said, "Wait a minute. Didn't Laura
have something just like this when she was just a few months?" I said
yup, that's why I knew we might want the blood work done. So she went
off to check Laura's chart and prescribe the same antibiotic she got,
for Emily. Since that was two years ago (almost exactly), I'm
impressed that she remembered.

On the up side, Emily hasn't had a spike since that one early this
morning. Obviously, we are hoping this is a trend; the doctor was
teetering on the fence about hospitalization. Since she is seldom out
of arm's reach here, and there aren't any drugs they could do there
that she's not already getting, she gets to stay home for now. Any
adverse reactions (she has an oral antibiotic now, too--getting that
into her, or any other med at this point, is something like injecting
an almond with a too-big syringe), deterioration, or fever higher than
she's had, and she gets whisked off to the ER again.

So, we wait.

February 15, 2006

Quick Update

After we got home, Emily finished the nap she started in the car. When
at last she awoke, we were greeted with a much brighter-eyed girl, and
got to see the first big smile of the day. Her fever seems to have
gone, too.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But I doubt it.

The Continuing Adventures of Emily

There have been no more full-blown episodes of shaking, for which I am
immensely grateful!

On the other hand, her fever has been way, way up--104 this morning
(103 under the arm, if you're keeping score.) So, I called the doc's
office and humbly suggested that maybe we should take some blood and
make sure she doesn't have anything bacterial (since she was looked at
in the ER, but they didn't run any tests). We have a follow-up
appointment with the doctor tomorrow morning anyway, to check in since
our ER visit yesterday, but I thought, well, if she decides it might
need antibiotics, this way we'd be a day ahead of the game for getting
them. I'm not one to demand the drugs at the drop of a hat...but her
fever has pretty much the same pattern that Laura had at 3 months with
strep.

The doctor agreed that that was reasonable, so we went in to get her
blood drawn this morning. She did not enjoy herself. As usual, the
techs were not excited about having to get blood from an infant, but as
it turns out, she's got good veins for it (yay.) Again, Mah proved
useful; Matt had lingered as long as he could, having a "late start" at
school today anyway (it counts as sick time, but he didn't have to make
sub plans. Yet.) But Mah went along with us to hang out with Laura in
the waiting room at the lab. It was very nice to only worry about one
(feverish, cranky, hungry) child at a time.

Home, home again. I'm just getting ready to put Laura down for her
nap, when the doctor's office calls. Emily has a way high white cell
count; they have to culture any bacteria that might be around, so they
can't really tell if that's the problem, but the doc wants me to take
her to their urgent care clinic in Keizer to get examined, to make sure
she's not septic, and to get antibiotics sooner than tomorrow (they
sent me there because they didn't have any openings where they could
squeezer her in today at the regular office). I quote the nurse: "Go
sooner rather than later." These are not words that warm a parent's
heart, but they DO get one moving quickly. I love the smell of
adrenaline in the morning.

(For you medical types, the count was "33.8", which the urgent care
doctor said as thirty-three thousand? I don't really know from white
counts, except I know "high" means there's something you're fighting
off.)

So, I call Matt to come home; Mah can watch Laura until he gets here;
off I go to Keizer (not my idea of driving heaven, by the way, but a
sick child is a more powerful motivator to overcome that particular
aversion than 'most anything I've come across.)

The doctor there says she's actually looking good, from a clinical
standpoint. The white cell counts *could* be just from fighting the
cold; apparently babies are prone to spiking their counts when they're
fighting something off. Or, it could be bacterial. Since he and our
regular doctor had spoken ahead of time, he checked her out and then
they gave her a shot of antibiotics that should carry us through the
next 24 hours. Apparently, it is a very painful shot (poor kid! At
least she's on Tylenol and Motrin anyway...), so they have to give
lidocaine first. And then we got to wait for 20 minutes to make sure
that neither of the meds caused any bad reaction (this would be the
time it would show up; she's never had antibiotics, of course).

She is currently so pissed off and tired that I can't really tell if
she's better or worse (and i think she's developed an aversion to the
paper they put on the exam tables; she starts screaming when I lay her
down. She has, perhaps, quickly discovered that it means poking and
prodding. If I remember, I'll take a blanket to deceive her for the
appointment tomorrow.)

It could still just be an incredibly high fever, and the bad end of a
really nasty cold. Or it could be....something else. Hopefully, we'll
know more soon.

~~~~~

By comparison, this next is terrifically trivial, but in that small
part of my brain that is not occupied by family matters at the moment,
I am really jazzed about it. I did manage to plant some seeds last
week, and the cosmos came up *two days later* (typical days to
emergence: 5-10. Obviously, I've found a good spot in the house for
sprouting stuff!!) But even more jazzifying was that today I noticed
my lavender came up; it can be, apparently, kind of hard to grow from
seed, and I didn't do any of the special things that are recommended to
get it to come up. So I'm all impressed with my green thumb. Of
course, that doesn't mean any of the seedlings will actually live to be
a plant, but it's hopeful.

Hope is good at this point.

February 14, 2006

Rigors

Last night, Emily had an "episode", for lack of a better word. She
didn't wake up, but she was cold and shaking; I did check to make sure
that she was "responsive" (i.e., I could tick her off even in her sleep
and get some kind of a reaction.). This went on for a while. I held
her, helped her warm up, and soothed (I guess I did o.k.; she didn't
wake up until Mommy accidentally jostled her later on). As the shakes
subsided, she spiked a fever, and when I did wake her, of course she
burped magnificently and threw up.

The shaking was scary (the throwing up after a gag has become
commonplace, sadly. Even feeding her rice can be an adventure!). Was
this a febrile convulsion? Epilepsy? Just chills, like you or I might
get when we're sick with a fever?

So. We cleaned up, got some Motrin in her, nursed, she went back to
sleep, I went back to sleep, things seemed o.k. this morning.

Ty called to see if it was a good day for a play date. I was actually
up for it, but felt I ought to warn him of the events of the night
before. Ty opted to get together another day. *Good* choice, Ty!

Because....I called the doc to just check in and see what they thought,
if it was something to be scared about, have checked, etc. While
waiting for a call back, she did it again, awake this time, but
otherwise the same (cool to the touch, shakes, culminating in a fever
spike). So the nurse called back and said it was probably just
something to watch, but if it happened again, we should go to the ER
(oh, the irony!)

So off we went. Fortunately, Mah was here to watch Laura until Matt
could get home from school. Also fortunately, I haven't forgotten how
to drive (I haven't done much since I've had Emily; it's just worked
out that way.) We actually got in to the exam room quickly, and
everybody was nice.

When the doctor at last arrived, she checked for obvious signs of a
secondary infection: ears, throat, lungs. Nada. So, having discussed
the events, she proclaimed: "She has rigors." They are not fun, but
they're not harmful in and of themselves, and should go away when the
underlying infection goes (that would be the one that I think--I
*think*--Laura is finally over. Emily's been about five days behind
her, and Laura also ended with a raging fever, sooooo, I'm hoping this
is the beginning of the end of the Crud, and not the beginning of the
beginning of something else.)

And the technical definition of rigors is:

Chills and shaking, usually caused by a fever (just like you or I would
get when we're sick). Whew.

February 8, 2006

Whew!

Unlike Blanche DuBois, I have seldom "depended upon the kindness of
strangers." I do, however, often depend upon the kindness of friends,
and today was definitely That Sort of Day.

Backing up a bit, Sunday in our house was anything but Super. Emily
woke up at four a.m. (two hours early), gurgled, choked, and--still in
bed, of course--threw up. *Welcome home, Daddy!* She also had a fever
of 101.9 by six, so I woke up the doctor on call (another nice one; he
saw Emily when she was new, our doc being away at the time. Nice to
have met the disembodied voice before you lay your child's health in
their hands!) He encouraged water, fever med.s, and a "wait and see if
it gets any worse" approach.

By the end of the day, Matt awarded me the completely un-coveted Golden
Dryer Sheet Award, given to those who've been thrown up on (or next to)
the most times in one day. On the other hand, the drugs brought her
fever down nicely (and it seems to have been gone since sometime
yesterday).

Monday was normal, except both girls were still sick. Everyone was
crabby but fairly calm.

Tuesday was NOT like that. For one thing, Mommy had the cold (again?
part two, this time with actual symptoms?). Daddy staying home was
pretty much out of the question, not least because he was hosting a
tournament that night (a Student Congress, which are often held after
school and into the evenings.) So not only was I sick, but I was faced
with an all day and night shift, plus two unhappy children.
Unfortunately, Laura was starting to get better, so while still crabby
and tired, she had considerably more energy to get into trouble. I had
been thinking (hoping?) that Mah might come by to help distract Laura;
but she called in the morning to say SHE had the cold and probably
shouldn't be social. So we stayed alone with our germs. (I could have
called on Tam-ah-Rah in a pinch, but didn't want to spread the
insidious bug any further...and I was never pinched, just crabby.
Still, having an ace-in-the-hole made me feel better.)

I am happy to say that we all survived, though I think I scared Emily
once when I was telling Laura to stop doing something. I don't blame
Emily; The Death Voice can cause terror (*I* would be scared, if it
wasn't coming out of me). That's the point of it! (I have found that
it can stop burly surly seniors who are louder and taller than I am in
their tracks, too. Handy when not overused.)

Somehow, I also split open the toenail on my left big toe. I didn't
notice it until some point long after the fact, when I realized it hurt
a bit and saw the dried blood on it. I swear, I have no idea how it
happened! You might think that's impossible, but when you run into
things as often as I do, only the *really* painful ones make it to
long-term memory storage. I would have thought I'd remember an impact
hard enough to crack a nail a quarter inch into the quick, but I would
apparently be wrong.

Today, I had a doctor's appointment in the early afternoon (not for the
toe; hopefully it'll heal on it's own), so Matt was scheduled to come
home early from school to jockey the children. I was looking forward
to an easy morning--the cherubim are always most cherubic in the a.m.,
at least lately--followed by the apt. and some extra time to run
errands, catch up around the house, etc.

Alas.

The power went out for about two hours, from roughly eight to ten.
Laura took the lack of the yoga DVD well; we decided we'd just see it
tomorrow. We even talked about what happens when the power goes out
(she liked saying the phrase: "the POWah's out!") So we camped out in
the living room (our basement, while we have emergency lights down
there, is DARK when there's no power), munched crackers, and Laura even
brought me my water bottle off the kitchen counter while I was under a
sleeping Emily (an accomplishment not just because it actually got to
me, mostly intact, but because she's now tall enough to see and reach
things there...and good enough, usually, not to grab *everything* in
sight. She is not always a stinker, though she does like to point out
that "Lawa's bein' STINKah!!" from time to time. As if we hadn't
noticed.) Anyway, life was good, and I spent a little time enjoying
the calm.

The power returned. I checked for phone messages as I booted up my
computer (it had been in sleep mode when the power failed, so
automatically shut down). The doctor's office had called and cancelled
my appointment. Ohhhhkay. But my computer wasn't booting. The power
lights would light up obligingly when touched, but there was no fan
whirring, no hard drive spinny noises, no welcoming chime. Zip, nada.

So I did what all of us Mac people do in such extremis: I called Ty.
Bless him, he called back soon with one solution (unplug it all, wait
30 minutes, plug all back in, try again.)

Meanwhile, I had to reach Matt the 20th century way, by phone, to tell
him not to come home (unless he wanted to anyway. He didn't.)

Sadly, the first computer solution didn't take. The next option, also
researched by Ty for me, involved pushing a certain "magic button" (his
words, folks!) in the computer's gizzards. If that didn't work, we'd
be looking at fried components and some outlay of cash.

The "magic button" maneuver being delicate and apparently possibly
catastrophic if done wrong, I took Ty up on his offer to come over and
tickle the technology for me. One really nice side effect was that we
got to see all the Davisons, since they were going to be out and about
anyway (and were unafraid of the cold, having their own. Either it's
the same one, or we've now cross-pollinated....). The grown-ups got a
little bit caught up, Jonah and Laura practiced sharing, trading, and
taking turns some more, and we were very impressed with Elisha's big
doings.

MOST happily, I soon heard that sweet, sweet music....the welcoming
chime of the happy (or at least booting!) Macintosh. I may owe Ty
cookies, especially for the speedy house call.

So, whew indeed. All seems to be working fine now; the "Stinkah" is
asleep; Emily's out, too, so Mommy might actually get some rest
tonight; and we'll have ITunes and email to help us wake up in the
morning (and Matt will have his daily dose of Sudoku, which he takes on
my computer, tomorrow night as well.)

February 7, 2006

A pro-tax rant...

O.K., it's not that I want to send our money away, but I'm just
appalled at the state of the world. I have our 2005 taxes ready to
file, and we have a negative Federal tax liability.

You read that right: not only are we paying nothing--we get all that's
been withheld, back--but the government thinks we're poor enough that
we need a little subsidy. That doesn't offend me in and of itself (and
thanks to you all for chipping in to our lifestyle--we certainly need
the bucks!).

What bugs me is that trying to raise two children on one teacher's
salary basically puts you in the poverty bracket. I am not complaining
about the choices we've made per se; I think we're both doing the right
things for our family, while sympathizing with those who chose--or felt
they couldn't choose--to do otherwise. I just think it's wrong that
people who are well-educated and working hard for the public good (not
to mention the people they're teaching) are valued this little and have
to face those difficult choices in the first place.

The days of Laura Ingalls Wilder are over, folks; you can't teach as a
stopgap, having just (almost) graduated from high school yourself
anymore. You shouldn't have to take a vow of poverty to become a
teacher raising their own kids anymore, either. It's just stupid. We
should be making enough, right now, to be chipping in something. That
we aren't is a literal shame.

February 6, 2006

Judging, anyone?

Matt's hosting another tournament this weekend, to replace another
school's cancelled one (this year only). We're probably not
*desperate* for judges, but it's always nice to have good people there.

How to tell if you can judge: If you've ever seen two movies, liked
one better, and been able to say why, then YOU are a good judging
candidate!

Contact one of us for info. if interested. :-)

February 3, 2006

A bad cough...

...belonging to Emily. Laura's had a cold since Monday morning; I'm
guessing I've had that one before as I had a miserable and feverish
eight hours or so Tuesday night and have since been fine (Matt had the
sniffles a little last week; hard to tell if that was the same bug).
It's good to know that I've got antibodies to pass on, because Emily's
cough really does sound nasty; she wheezes a bit here and there, then
coughs whatever it is out and is okay again. For a time, anyway.
That, plus a low-grade fever (unusual for her, so far anyway--I don't
think she's *ever* had a real fever, actually...) prompted me to check
in with the doc's office. I've gotten used to being casual with the
toddler's colds, and didn't want to blow off any symptoms that would
warrant concern in an infant. No worries yet! But now I know what to
watch for.

I'm on my own for another 24 hours or so (well, as alone as I can be
with a good support system; Ta-mah-RAH and Grand-ma-MAH have already
put in a little time each). Matt's at Linfield (iPod in pocket!).
Much as we miss Daddy, Laura LOVES the phone conversations. Both the
girls are sick and tired, hence now lovelily asleep.

~~~~~~~~~
My seeds are here. One day soon, I will begin to slake my lust by
digging the seed trays out of the garage...I figure if I only use them
long enough to get things sprouted, I can rotate them through several
sets of starts (putting the newly hatched babies into something else
that doesn't need a moisture-proof cover). What will I do with that
many plants? Well, we have visions...let's just say I have a
landscaping book on hold for me at the library.

(A brief and incomplete history of our springs and summers here, by way
of explication:

2001: Move in. Ginger takes classes for her portfolio. Perform
immediate repairs, pull pernicious weeds (ivy!), wait to see what comes
up.

2002: Build raised "castle" bed; edge front beds with cottage [manor?]
stones. Matt takes classes; Ginger takes classes and works on her
portfolio [ugh]. Grow tomatoes. Plant bulbs. Paint house exterior
[mostly--there's still trim to finish.] Paint living room.

2003: Pregnant. Garden anyway. Get put on bed rest [that's not why].
But not much new this year except Laura. Well, there *was* the nursery
transformation, outfitting, etc. Matt takes WOU classes.

2004: Pine tree topped by storm; we have to take it out. Bigger garden
space! But we also painted the hall, dining room, kitchen, and bath.
What were we thinking??? And we did it all--well, most of it--in one
month! Matt takes WOU classes.

2005: Matt takes WOU classes, Emily arrives before the final. I don't
even try to garden: I AM the slug this summer.)

2006: NO CLASSES, NO NEW CHILDREN. It's not like we have nothing to
do, but it sure smells like freedom to us. So that's why I plan to
plant a lot of plants soon.

Of course, we won't stay home all the time; the other day we were
listing projects for summer as we sat at dinner and Laura said: "Go to
da BEACH!" We've told her that the beach is closed when it's
cold--brrrrr--but that it's open when it's warm. Obviously, this she
listened to!