For Halloween this year, Lauren was Snow White at her school, then a ladybug on Halloween morning, when we went to a kids' concert at Santa Monica Pier, and then a unicorn in the evening. She really really wanted a PARTY, but there was a competing party on Halloween at the house of some kids from her school. So we had our "party" of just Alexa and Ryder and their families. The kids bobbed for apples and decorated gingersnap cookies and ran around playing with toys. Perfect, because I couldn't have fit her entire class in our condo. I dressed up as a ladybug for some of the time, and when we stopped by her classmates' party, I dressed as Lauren. I had a curly wig and I wore red and pink together. Just in case anyone didn't get it, I also had a pacifier.
And speaking of pacifiers, Lauren has decided that she is done with them. Officially "they're for babies" and she wants to give all of hers to Laurel. Laurel is our friends Jill & Alex's daughter, who now lives half a block down the street. She's also become Lauren's new favorite person because Lauren's doll Anna was missing for a few weeks and last week Laurel came over to play and in the first minute she was here, found Anna (stuffed in the play kitchen's oven). So Laurel's the hero these days. I need to make an arrangement with Jill to accept anything Lauren is giving Laurel, and later discretely throw away or donate to charity anything (most things?) that Laurel won't actually use. Considering Laurel doesn't take a pacifier in the first place, she's not going to be tempted by a collection of Lauren's used ones! But they'll get out of the house.
We've been trying to work on Lauren's table manners and when she burps or drops something, to say "excuse me" or "pardon me". She likes to say "part of me!" when she burps. If I'm trying to herd her from one place to another and she doesn't want to go, I make it into a race and she likes to declare, "I winned!" .
It's been two months since I've posted and so much has happened that I feel overwhelmed to write it all. But here's one thing: we went to lots of Dodgers games, and Lauren has become quite the fan. She invented her own little cheers and decided to call Matt Kemp "Uncle Matt" as in, "Come on Uncle Matt, hit the ball! You can DO IT, Uncle Matt!". She can also recognize Russell Martin from photos, and recognizes Manny Ramirez but calls him "Manny Marirez". She calls where Manny will hit the ball, and points- "left field, Manny, hit it over there!" and if someone hits a foul ball into the stands, "hey, wrong way, hit it over THERE!"
As I type this, the Dodgers are playing the Phillies and she fell asleep watching the game. I thought of waking her up when Matt Kemp was at bat, but I resisted. She's had a rough week this week and really needs her rest. Okay, *I* need to her to get rest. So here's some other stuff, while the Phillies are at bat, that we have been up to:
Two weeks ago we were on vacation in The Outer Banks. My Uncle Fred and Aunt Marguerite rented a beach house and invited the three of us, along with my parents, and their children, who would be my cousins but to Lauren, "Uncle Charlie" and "Aunt Andrea" and Paul, Andrea's boyfriend. (Charlie ended up not being able to go.) We all had a great time, Lauren especially so, being the center of attention from lots of her favorite people at once. They took turns being her best friend, as in "best friend, look at me, best friend!". We were right on the beach and there was also a pool and hottub at the house. We saw Kitty Hawk and one day, I rented a bike & trailer and biked around the little down of Duck, NC, with Lauren in tow.
Anyway, it's been tough coming back. Lauren and Ryan got sick on the plane, then I caught it the next day. Not entirely, just fought it off all week. We've all been jet lagged, Lauren still is going to bed at around 7:00 and waking up at 6:00 a.m. Some days later. When Lauren went to the doctor, the day after we got back, she said it was just a cold. BTW, she weighed 43 pounds!
This week I'm sick again with a cough and no voice left. No fever though. Lauren also has a cough again tonight. But we're not terribly ill, no swine flu or anything. Just tired and coughy and cranky. Anyway, this blog post is not a carefully well-thought piece, more of a "there Mom, I wrote something, see!"
We saw the whale in Marina del Rey last night. If you missed the news story, there's a whale hanging out in the harbor. He doesn't appear to be injured (last time I checked) but he is just resting and on vacation before he swims elsewhere. Lauren, Ryan and I packed a picnic dinner and went last night at sunset. The whale was cavorting around and I got some half-assed photos of him, which are not good enough to post. If we go back and see him again, I will attempt better ones.
The funny thing? Lauren was actually disappointed because she thought all whales were like Shamu and would do flips in the air. Still fun, though, for the rest of us.
Oh, here's how we got there: We went down Washington, made a left on Pacific to where it curved around and there was metered parking. Then we parked and walked to the end of the bike path. Along the way, people were encouraging us, "the whale is out! We just saw him!" and when we got to the end, he was off to the left.
Some important life or death stuff is going on right now, but I don't feel like writing about it. (Other than to say, things are looking ok, not bad as could have been.) So on to the trivial: I'm irritated with Discover Card. They keep calling me whenever I do anything remotely interesting with my card. They then freeze the account until I contact them. Last night my big "suspicious activity" was that I went to Vons AND Albertsons in the same night. And big spender that I am, there was one charge for something like $65 and another for $15. They knew I cheated on Ralphs and Trader Joe's ?
Anyway, for this, I had to call them and give them all of my life story, and my alibi, and finally they released my card power back into my hands. Another time they got upset about the card when I dared to travel outside of West Los Angeles, and got a snack at O'Hare airport. The funny thing is, I'd been on a trip and none of the trip spending triggered it, only the O'Hare ice cream on the way home.
...because today at Ralph's (supermarket), Lauren unsnapped my V-neck shirt and shouted out "people want to see your breasts!".
Luckily, one step down in the embarrassment realm, all the other shoppers got to see was my bra. And my red face. Lauren calls my bra "breasts", as in "hey, nice yellow breasts!" when she plucks a bra from the laundry pile.
This is just some silliness, from mid-May. I used to pile Lauren's hair on top of her head, and say her name was now LuLu. Now with the shorter haircut, she won't be able to do it again for awhile. She wouldn't wear her hair that way outside of the house as LuLu because "I look RIDICULOUS!"
I thought had I had posted about this but I guess not. The night before Valentine's Day, while Ryan and I were out to dinner from approx. 6-8:00 p.m., our bikes were stolen out of our garage. :( We had two Cannondale mountain bikes, one with a nice Ibert seat on it. The thieves ripped off the ibert seat first and left half of it on the floor of my garage, right in my parking space. We almost ran over it when we came home, so that was our rude awakening that we had been robbed.
I filed a police report and after mulling it over, decided to file a condo insurance claim for the bikes. We have a $500 deductible so it was kind of a tossup. Would we want to just look for two used bikes under $500? But by the time I priced out all of the components and upgrades I'd put in, it came to about $1900 in bike value, so we decided to do the claim.
Anyway, we have 1 year to buy everything, submit receipts and get reimbursed. I found a Burley bike trailer on sale at a store in San Diego and bought that. It's currently in my parents' garage waiting for us to buy bikes to tow it. The ibert seat was great, but Lauren had just about outgrown it when it was stolen anyway, so we needed a new way to transport her. The Burley cost more than twice what the Ibert seat cost (and we got it on sale at rock-bottom discount at a closeout store) so we will only be reimbursed for the $85 that the Ibert is worth.
I really liked my bike, had it since college, and throughout the years, upgraded the seat, added better road wheels, better kickstand, water bottle holder, and got it tuned regularly. It was a hybrid and at first I used it more on trails for fun, then later when it was pretty much paved roads, I changed the kind of tires.
Ryan, however, never liked his bike much. It was (to me)really comfortable, but it didn't shift all that well, and once the chain even came off while riding. But it had a very comfortable suspension and seemed more stable because it had the mountain bike tires, so I used to ride it with the Ibert seat. Worked for me.
Anyway, we have been pricing out bikes and trying to each find bikes we would love to ride, that are not too pricey, yet use up all of the allowance the insurance company is giving us. Ryan found a Specialized Rockhopper he liked, similar to a bike he had stolen from him in college. I have been testing and not loving the new Cannondales, which are no longer made in the USA.
I just want something super lightweight because I do a lot lifting of the bike up stairs, over the bike path barriers, onto a Hollywood Rack, etc. So light is my main concern. Light=expensive. :(
Anyway, a twist in the story came yesterday when my neighbor, who is active in our Neighborhood Watch, emailed me that our Senior Lead Officer got word of a house nearby which "another agency raided" (DEA? Immigration? Not sure) which had a bunch of stolen bikes, including some Cannondales. We are supposed to contact this one officer with our serial numbers or any identifying markings on the bikes. I have been trying to call him but LAPD is laughably inefficient and the other officers just say he is "out", they cannot take a message, he doesn't have voicemail and they don't know his email address. I can just try calling tomorrow.
I want to know right now if these are my bikes! And I have a message in to my insurance agent with some questions for him. If they are my bikes, what do I have to do as far as the insurance goes? Can I cancel the whole insurance claim? Will it still show up as a strike against me as far as not getting y rates raised? And if the bikes are damaged or not in as good of condition and I don't even want them back, then what? Keep in mind, these were always garaged, oiled, etc. Does the insurance company take them or do I get them back AND new bikes?
Anyway, stay tuned to see the answers to my first-ever blog cliffhanger!
If you didn't know Lauren and I could only give you one quick tidbit that would sum up her personality, it would be her answers to the question, "what do you want to be when you grow up?". She wants to be "a lion tamer AND a helicopter pilot". She also thought it was funny to answer, "a grown-up!"
Right now as I type this, Lauren is sleeping next to me in bed with a 102.7 fever. Well, I think and hope it's a bit lower now that she's had Tylenol. Poor little girl is sick, we don't know what it is but probably just a virus. She has been so polite to me tonight, so sweet. This morning we didn't know she was ill and dragged her around town. She had a little meltdown and screamed, "I'm feeling CRANKY". Well, 102.7 would put me out of sorts, too!
She's come so far in the past few months. She really seems like a 3 year old and not a toddler any longer. She loves to come back from places and tell the complete story of her day, and she's a great storyteller. Yesterday we went to an Angels game with Ryan & his Uncle Bud. I told her, "see those guys down there in the white shirts with red hats? They are the Angels, Uncle Bud's favorite team." She had a twinkle in her eye and responded, "Well...MY favorite team is the guys in the black jackets!" (umpires!)
Physically, she can climb around on the playground more and do more things on her own. She can put her own shoes and socks on. She's been doing that for awhile, but now she gets the right feet sometimes! And takes the initiative when she knows we're about to leave, to sit by the door and do it herself.
The biggest advances, though, have been the sleeping in her own bed (on a mattress in the floor in our room next to our bed, but still) and wearing underwear most of the time during the day. In fact, because of her illness I've been having her wear diapers today and she's really fought it.
She likes being an only child, but sometimes she tells me "Someday I am going to have a brother AND a sister. And they'll be little babies at first but then they'll grow into big people. They won't be dogs or pets, either. People!" This clarification is because we always called Jake, the dog, her brother.
She had her first enemey at school, a little girl, M., whom she tried to befriend. When M. didn't want to play, she pulled M.'s hair. Then M. bit her and got in trouble and had to bring her an ice pack. Then M. also had some food allergies so Lauren couldn't share a snack she had wanted to share with the whole class so she felt irritated at M. This was back in April. But now, the two of them play together really well and when I picked her up at school, they hugged each other good0bye. When we went out to the parking lot, Lauren came up with the brilliant idea that we should try to race our car with her mom's and follow them to their house and see where M. lived so we could get her to come out and play. I explained the concept of "stalking". ;)
Every month (ok, 2 months) when I write this, I finish the post and then remember about 5 really big deal things Lauren actually spent much of the month doing that I neglected to post about. Oh, here's one: her favorite food these days is penne pasta with pesto. She also likes to eat extra sharp Cheddar, Regiannito, Jarlsberg, and cheese with strong flavor. She will eat Meunster and Mozarella but that's about as mild as she'll go. She likes pesto so much that she will, if allowed access, spoon it directly out of the food processor bowl.
She's getting much better about remembering to say "please" and "thank-you" on her own without prompting. It's nice to hear "No thank you, Mom, but thanks for asking". And in fact, I am "Mom" most of the time now. Not Mamba anymore like when she was 1, not Mamma or Mommy, but just Mom. D-Daddio still gets his old name, but sometimes "M'Daddy" or just "Dad". "Papa" has become "Poppy" and "Ammy" is sometimes "my Gwamma". My mom is still "Nonna" but sometimes "NoNEEEEEE".
We have been reading some books from my childhood, and let me tell you, those Sweet Pickles books are pretty strange. How did I ever like them so much? :) She finally likes to play with Legos. As with a lot of things Lauren does, she seemed to go from barely doing it to doing it as if she had practiced every day, with no time in between. Today she effortlessly got out the Legos herself, made a tower out of them, and when she was done, disassembled them and put them away. I'll post a pic of it....
Just had to vent here. If you are contemplating parenthood, spoiler alerts below. You may want to avoid reading this because I will use the words poop, diarrhea, and diaper.
We have this not-swine flu thing at our house right now. Which means I have not been at work since...week before last? I usually go in to the office on Wednesdays and work from home on Monday/Friday mornings except the 2 times a month I have to co-op at Lauren's school. And then check in for few minutes here and there on other days for quick things. Anyway, last Monday I had to bring Lauren to the doctor because she had a little fever, a rash on her trunk, and was whiney. Which for her, could mean ear infections. She gets them every few months. This time, no ear infections and the diagnosis was "just the tail end of a cold or virus" and she was cleared to go back to school. Wednesday she went to school, but I stayed home, was completely weak and fighting a sore throat. But I had so much to do from missing Monday that I couldn't quite relax and sleep so I didn't fight it off.
We haven't been altogether better since. However, Lauren got worse, had a fever over the weekend and more sore throat/coughing/runny nose/eye discharge and missed school again yesterday and went back to the doctor. Add diarrhea to the mix. The doctor gave us albuterol to help her breathe, and told me that she is okay to go back to school today (which we would do except Tuesday/Thursdays she is not at school). Now, though, the leaky diarrhea diapers are starting. See, this is the part you might not want to read. I am exhausted from all of this Lauren mommy-daughter time. I am grossed out by the 6 diapers I changed and the 4 loads of laundry with hot water and bleach washing all of the towels and sheets and 3 pair of her pants that it leaked on. I have to still deal with the spots on the carpet. I want to throw up, it is that bad.
Also because of being sick, Lauren's sleep schedule is shot. She went to bed at 6:00 p.m. last night, then woke up at 10:00 and stayed up until 3:00 a.m. I tried everything to get her to sleep but nothing worked until then. Then we woke up at 8:30 a.m., so of course that is only 5 1/2 hours of sleep for me so you might imagine (if you didn't catch it from the tone of this post) that I am CRANKY.
And through it all, my fantasy. Nothing complex or expensive. I am dreaming of the very-soon day when I can go to my office, sit at my computer and do some work. Where it smells pleasant, the people are nice and I am paid to be there, and thanked regularly. Where no one pulls my hair or poops on me or even discusses their bodily functions. I am hoping this day is tomorrow. Because I reeeeeeeeeally need Lauren to be all better and back in school or I may go insane.
What a silly little thing to even write about. I have been giving this way too much thought. I have this ficus plant that surprisingly has been with me since I moved to LA in 1999. (I say surprisingly because most of the plants from my early gardening days did not live long.) It used to sit in a little pot on my fireplace mantle in my old apartment. Then it moved with us to the condo, and lives on the patio outside. Once in awhile, it gets mad at me and drops a bunch of its leaves. But they grow back. I think I have repotted it twice, ever, in its 10 year history here. The second time was about 2 months ago.
Right after I repotted it, it got a second wind and shot up a few inches and developed new green shoots everywhere. It was very happy to be in its new pot. I had given my dad an agave plant which also used to live happily on my patio, until it reached 5 feet tall and it became clear that I would have to either buy a giant pot and a lot more soil and really way more patio real estate than it deserved, or else it would probably become root-bound and wither away. He took it and put it in the ground near his pool filter. It is doing okay there. Maybe it doesn't get as much water as I would have treated it to, and the edges are a bit brown but it's still alive. And definitely not root-bound.
Dad mentioned he was looking for a tree or bush to plant, and I thought of giving him the ficus because I have seen them planted in the dirt around here as bushes or trees and they seem to do really well. I'm guessing from the sudden growth spurt, that this plant will just grow grow grow to the limits of whatever container its in and will become a tall tree if no container. Anyway, I mentioned to him that he might want to take this plant.
Later, however, I saw the dead Christmas tree he got from me, the living tree which we bought in a pot from Home Depot, and gave him afterwards, which he'd said he would plant in his yard and which is now a nice shade of brownish orange. Turns out he redefined "yard" to include the 1/2 acre in the hill behind the house, which is natural chapparel (we call it "the scruff"). He planted it past the sprinkler system and I'm guessing, forgot to water it. They live in a desert climate in San Diego. The funny thing about this is my brother warned me to tell him to plant it "anywhere but where you planted that other Christmas tree from a few years ago that died". But I guess, dad had the hole already from where the last tree was planted. And he figured he would give it another shot....
Anyway, Dad mentioned recently that he really was looking forward to planting the ficus tree and that he has "just the spot for it". Can you guess where? Yes, on the hill.
The thing is, I really love my dad. Some people get screwed up for life because their parents abandon them or abuse them or otherwise do a bad job. My dad is just a billion times the opposite of that. But not just by the standard of "not a shitty father like some people get". Even if he was just a friend of mine, he'd still be one of my best friends. My whole life whenever I needed him, I could call him at any time and he would always talk and make me feel like I was the President on the line. Whoever else was with him would have to wait while he talked to me. And actually, it's still like that today for me AND the Pip. I talk to my parents on the phone more than any of my friends (my mom is great too but this post is about Daddles) and I walk to him on the phone at least twice a day on the days when he's not staying here. (And maybe even more on those days-- "what time are you coming home? can you stop and get some milk?")
And my dad, for everything he has given me, really does not ask for much in return. So now he wants this ficus plant. Which my brother, my mom and I all predict he is going to kill. And a plant which I suddenly realized, much like Lauren getting a case of the "mine's" when another kid plays with her toys, that I really like. Yet I am still going to give it to him. Because right now when I look at it, all I can think about is how my dad wants it too and I want him to be happy. Small sacrifice in the scheme of life. But I may take a clipping first. ;)
At 36 months: your child is 40 pounds, and that is at the 97th percentile for weight.
your child is 38.75 inches, and that is at the 80th percentile for height.
Sadly, Lauren outgrew her Sit & Stroll, her Ibert seat, and her favorite jeans are now like capris! Shopping trip is in order. But she has no shortage of Easter-looking dresses. Too bad you can't really climb trees or go on hikes in them.
On Saturday I took a 1 1/2 hour class on how to grow tomatoes. It was at a house in the Valley, run by the Taylors, a nice couple who have a huge garden in their yard, and are self-confessed tomato geeks. It was well worth the $10. They even gave everyone a tomato plant afterwards. I wished I could have lingered all afternoon in their garden, but I had another class (more in another post) afterwards.
Here are some of my notes from the class, some internet research and a Martha Stewart article that I read beforehand:
Tomatoes come in determinant and indeterminant varieties. Indeterminants get very tall and require a lot of dirt, are better in the ground. They have fruit all season long. Determinants are okay in containers, and have a big harvest all at once, with tons of tomatoes. Determinants still need a 5 gallon container, minimum. All tomatoes should be planted with a metal thing around it called a cage and with a tall stake. You then tie the plant to the stake as it grows. When you buy the plants, the tags gives all of the info about the particular variety, and tells how many days from planting until you will have fruit. Say, 100 days.
The container needs to have holes in the bottom for adequate drainage. When you plant it, dig the hole twice as wide as the container and 1 1/2 times deep. Pluck off the bottom leaves and plant the tomato with the bottom part of the stem buried below where those leaves were. They'll become roots. Use fresh potting soil (they recommend Gardner & Bloom Potting soil) and put in some fertilizer (they recommended Dr. Earth) and 2 aspirin. Water "slowly and deeply" with the hose on trickle for 1/2 hour. At the same time as planting, put the stake and tomato cage in the pot.
Water once a week. The way to check if a plant needs water is first thing in the morning, if the leaves look droopy. They will look that way at night even if they don't need water. 3 weeks after planting, fertilize again with Dr. Earth liquid solution. After that, give liquid fertilizer once a month. Mark on calendar. Make sure to put it on the soil, not the leaves.
That is part 1 of the notes. I have the plants (birthday gift from Mom and Dad plus the one from the class) and some of the supplies but I thought I had 5 gallon containers, turns out (according to Dad) they are only 3 gallon. Which doesn't matter anyway, since it turns out I had indeterminant plants so I need 15 gallon containers. So I ordered some SmartPots online. I also had an upside down planter which I got at CVS. The Taylors don't recommend them, they say you don't have enough control over the plant that way, knowing when to water it, and can't see the soil. But since I have it, I will give it a try. Oh and I don't think it holds even 5 gallons, looking at it.
At the end of the summer, or in 100 days, whatever, I hope to have some tomatoes! A lot of this stuff is a one-time investment and I can use it next year as well, but so far this is shaping up to be a $100 salad! Cross fingers for me that it works!
The past few months, a lot has happened. And I haven't seemed to find a few minutes to write about it. I'm sure I will forget something. But here are a few observations I can remember!
The Jokester: The past few months, Lauren's been making jokes. She told me "A coffin is for when you're really sick. You know, I'm a' sick and I'm a' coughin!" Then when I asked her where she heard that, she said "I thought it up my OWN SELF!"
She has various stall tactics she uses at bedtime, and a favorite is "I need food". A few nights ago she tried that one again on me and I said "have some water then, and go to sleep." Her response was "you don't understand. Mommy, I could eat a WHOLE ELEPHANT!". So of course, when I got done laughing, I carried her back to the kitchen where she did indeed consume a full meal.
A disappointing development in her appearance is a newly brown tooth. One day at the end of February, I looked in her mouth and saw that one of her top front teeth (the ones that are buckteeth in some people) had suddenly turned brown. This was right after a week of more candy (from Valentines Day) than she'd ever had before in her life. I freaked out that I had been lax in supervising her brushing, and a fast cavity had formed. So I took her to a pediatric dentist who told me that the tooth is bruised and should fade in a few months. But in the interim, it may turn purple. Lauren got really excited when she heard this, and said "oooh, I love purple! Maybe it will turn pink? I love pink even more!". Happily, no signs of any plaque, no dental problems.
Then when we were at her pediatrician's office for yet another ear infection, Dr. Woo saw it and told me it will probably never fade (and showed me her own brown tooth from an injury) but that at least it is on a baby tooth, and she'll get a new permanent white tooth in 5 years. Or whenever that is that they loose their top two front teeth.
We remember a time when she fell and hurt her mouth, in the parking lot after Ammy's birthday dinner, and this must have been the time the discoloration happened, except it didn't show up for a full two weeks. I actually got out old photos (I think I even posted a few teethy ones here) to compare and you can't see anything in the week after that fall, it all appeared suddenly the following week. Anyway, although she now looks like a street urchin (I mean really, you will be appalled if you notice it, it's quite prominent and looks like she has parents who never brush her teeth) the dentist said she didn't consider the bruised tooth a problem, it is purely cosmetic.
My birthday happened, or actually it did NOT happen this year, but I'm somehow a year older anyway. We celebrated by a quiet dinner at the Greek restaurant that I like in Farmer's Market Hollywood. Lauren behaved herself and especially enjoyed the olive rolls. On the way home, we stopped at Trader Joe's to buy a flourless chocolate cake, and she saw some flowers there, grabbed them and said "here Mommy, you should have flowers on your birthday. Have these. Daddy, buy them for her!". The gift that she wanted to get me? "A mommy pig." Since she was unable to find a live one for sale, she was willing to buy a stuffed one. But couldn't find that either, so I got the flowers instead. :)
Potty training is going very slowly. In February, Lauren picked out a musical potty chair she wanted, at Target. It was a princess throne one. I agreed to buy it with the promise that she would use it every day. She has used it about three times. The initial novelty of the song wore off and she is back to realizing that diapers are much more convenient. As she says, "I don't have TIME" [for the potty]... She did have a day where she insisted on wearing underwear to school, so I sent her there with a change of clothes and she ended up being fine all morning. Used the potty, kept dry, and then pooped in her underpants in the car on the way home. :( Next week, she again wanted to wear underpants and then pooped in them AT school. So she has not been wearing them lately.
Josie the Fish died today. Lauren reacted by saying quite dramatically and all in one breath "I am so sad we won't ever see Josie again and now can we get a new fish and name her Dorothy?". You see, at some point we figured out that last year when Lauren was naming "Josie" and we thought it was so clever and original, it was really her attempt to pronounce "Dorothy", which is the name of Elmo's goldfish.
And the funny thing is that today I would not let her play the goldfish toss game at the carnival at her school because "you already have a fish at home."
Frequently tired mother to a happy 7 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Wife to a worthsmith who argues for a living. Employee to a really cool un-Lumberg boss at a large Office-space-esque institution of higher learning. Currently stationed at home, working from my laptop. Condo dweller in the heart of screenland who misses NY & snow.