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You can't remember which of the basic rash diseases they've had. Casper has blotchy red cheeks today, and I'm trying to recall if she ever had Fifth Disease. I am sure she's had Roseola, and I think hand foot and mouth. Dillo's only has one serious rash, on his first birthday, and it wasn't defineably any of the Classic Six. His cheeks are starting to come on red but he has such a Celtic complexion it could just be from the couple of hours spent playing outside.

Well, we'll see what develops. I just hope Casper's not having a histamine reaction, which might mean she's developing a sensitivity to pistachios, which she adores and ate in large numbers last night.

Dillo, for his part, is ill with Five Year Old Entitlement Syndrome, for which the only know cure is Time and Maturity. He has taken to throwing a fit if we don't do what he wants, or buy him what he wants, instantly. And we don;t, obviously. The fits are very tedious, and also loud.
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Friday morning was the 2nd grade parent breakfast, always a fun time. I had a chance to chat with some other parents briefly before the kids came in, and then I sat with Casper, Danilo, Jaquan, Skyler, and Angelo. Everyone but Danilo was anxiously waiting for parents to show up (Danilo did not expect his) and slowly over half an hour they did in fact arrive, and there was joy. Just showing up means so much, even when it's hard and you may have to miss work. I had an interesting chat with Danilo, who has 2 big sisters, one in middle school, and one in high school who is pregnant. He seemed amazed to hear that people who don't speak Spanish want to learn it; he said his parents don't speak much English but he started learning English even before he started school, thanks to his big sisters. (He is perfectly fluent.)

Then I went to Dillo's class and stayed until they went to lunch at 10:45. When I arrived he was on the computer; they wear headphones and there's a significant audio portion. He was finishing up identifying letters and got to spend some time "reading" the books - each word can be clicked on which makes the computer read aloud. He seemed very accomplished. Yvana, next to him, was being asked to pick a letter - she was supposed to choose Y, and did not seem very motivated or interested, and the parapro was not helpfully scolding her, telling her she wasn't even trying.

We went to the library and read two books and sang some songs. The library teacher does a good job of managing the kids and alternating encouraging them to discuss and add things about the book, but not letting the louder ones dominate.

The class has few girls - one tall loud and confident one, and a bunch of very quiet shy ones, mostly Latina, at least a couple of whom I would guess are just starting to absorb English (the don't do language pull-out in PreK, but I am sure the repetition and singing are helpful). The boys are all black and white, and kind of a mix - I could definitely pick out one who has an early Sept. birthday (after the cutoff, so he's 5) and could easily hold his own in K.

Back to the classroom, singing and talk about patterns, this week's topic, and then we went to the tables and did patterns with M&Ms and I helped. The boy with multiple allergies did his patterns with animal crackers, and we had a talk about keeping our M&Ms on our napkins and not touching him with our hands. The grasp of simple alternating patterns among 4 year olds was rather minimal, though they all did great at separating the colors and making lines. Then off to the bathroom, washing hand AND sanitizing for the benefit of the allergic boy. More circle time and fun singing - some very funny songs about Halloween that Dillo loves - and off to lunch.

Dillo was rather clingy and babyish because I was there, but the report was that the rest of the day went very well. He was definitely glad to see me. So maybe some Wednesdays instead of (or in addition to) painting the bathroom I will go spend time with him. I love meeting the really little ones - I do the singing and act all goofy and their eyes are so wide! (Are other parents less silly? Perhaps.)

And then Dillo fell asleep on the couch at 3:15 yesterday and slept all night, woke up feeling poorly and threw up. Two hours later he's demanding Dunkin Donuts.
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The Dillo is sick - his night-waking cough of Friday and Saturday nights turned to high fever on Sunday evening, and today's the second day in a row I've been home with him.

We took his temperature Sunday night - just guesstimating really, since we do it in the armpit, and he was 102.5. I didn't really need to take his temp - I have the gradations of little kid fever down by feel now, from Feeling A Little Warm to Definitely Not Going to School to Burning Up. Dillo has an irrational hatred of children's Motrin for some reason and we have to give it to him by syringe and it takes 2 people, so we've only dosed him twice, once Sunday night and last night at midnight. I can tell when he's passed the point of Sick But Hanging In There to Needs Medicine by his manner. I can tell whether or not he'll be up for school the next day by 2pm today (yesterday - no way; today - pretty sure he's going in.) Fear me, I am the mommy.

I'm also really tired, as I've slept with him most of the last 4 nights and even when he's asleep he coughs a lot. But he's been pretty angelic - only cranky when really feeling crappy and needing medicine, but usually wide-eyed and charming and pretending to be a baby and the "demanding" is demanding to be snuggled, which is hard to feel annoyed by even when the demandee is watching Barney. I'm glad he's on the mend, though, as I am tired and bored of children's TV and have finished the Julia Child autobiography I was reading.
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Casper went to a birthday sleepover last night, 3 houses down, with 5 other girls, all of whom are in her class at school. It sounds like it went okay, except when they were going to bed, she was being noisy and the other girls yelled at her, so she went and slept in another room all by herself and pretty much played by herself in the morning. I haven't talked to her about it (mr. flea did), but it makes me so sad, the social issues thing. I know kids are just kids and learning to deal with stuff, and I think she found a good solution. But at the same time it brings up some of the negative social dynamics in the class that I thought had faded. The dueling bossy girls were both at the party.

Meanwhile back at the homestead, Dillo planned a "sleepover" for himself in the living room. He fell asleep in his sleeping back watching Olympics, but woke up coughing at 10 and we had a long night after that. He's developed a phlegmy chest cold, and kept freaking out at coughing up mucus, and waking himself up. So, while last night we had a queen, a double, and 3 single beds set up in our house (the extras from overnight guests on Weds.), Dillo slept on my chest on the couch most of the night.

I hauled myself out to sell Girl Scout cookie at Target (sans Casper) at 9am, and had a good time getting to know some new people. One of whom turns out to be Vic Chesnutt's sister. Athens being Athens.

Despite serious trying, we couldn't get either kid to nap today, so we're feeding them and hoping they fall asleep sooon! Although it was gronky, it was a beautiful day, and I did some yard work and hope to do more tomorrow.


Dec. 22nd, 2009 04:58 pm
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Took Dillo to the dentist. He was very cooperative. He has cavities in 5-6 of his front teeth, deep enough that they should be filled. So, we're doing that in January.

The office does Versed sedation, and doesn't allow the parents back into the rooms. Cash, Steph, does this jive with your experiences of fillings in preschoolers? I felt good about the office and the dentist was clear and frank. It still won't be fun. Also, expensive.

And of course this is a parenting fail - several of the cavities are in full view on the front of his front teeth. He hates to brush teeth and doesn't really spit, so we have been lax and haven't done fluoridated toothpaste yet.

Argh, argh, argh.
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Dillo woke up at 3am with a bloody nose and a fever. Huh? He took a while to fall back asleep, but is fine this morning, except for a low-grade fever, so he's at home. We've watched Cars and Wall-E so far. And I'd forgotten how maddening potty training is. He peeped in the potty last night and this morning, but since then has had two pee accidents, one on the couch. This despite me sitting him on the potty and having him try very regularly. He's back in a pull-up for the moment, and the couch cover is in the washer. Sigh.
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This is the way the last 4 weeks have gone:
Week 1: Dillo sick with fever, I miss 2 days of work.
Week 2: mr. flea in Europe, Thanksgiving.
Week 3: I work Sunday, I am sick with fever and sore throat, go to work very sick Tuesday, miss 2 days.
Week 4: mr. flea in AZ, kids barfy, I miss 1 day of work.

This week, the kids are still sick. Today, Casper has terrible diarrhea but otherwise seems okay, is eating and drinking and helped me paint the kitchen a bit, seems pale and fragile but hanging in there. But, can't send her to school when she's darned likely to poop in her pants or on the floor of the bathroom. Dillo had diarrhea yesterday, but today seems feverish and just incredibly whiny and cranky and clingy. Didn't want to eat or drink until about noon; did nurse and is having wet diapers.

mr. flea went to work this AM and emailed at 11:30 that he thinks he is coming down with something; he's a bit hypochondriacal, so I can't be sure if it's psychosomatic or not. I walked in for 1pm, after Dillo pitched a fit at me leaving, and am supposed to be here until 10.

I just want everyone to be well, and to go to school/work, and a little routine. Is that too much to ask? Also, Amazon, please send my package, god damn it.
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In the plus column, we acquired Christmas cards (half #5 and half #9 - the former for elderly relatives and the latter for folks with a sense of humor) (viva la Target; I sent in the order and got an email 8 minutes later saying it was ready), got the grocery shopping done, got 25 leaf bags to the curb (mr. flea), and washed, taped and cut in 1/2 of the kitchen walls (me).

In the minus column, Dillo is pretty poorly, pale, threw up all day long long after there was nothing left inside (we've given him some fluids to prevent dehydration and he throws them up). Casper was okay, not barfy but listless and low, and then fell asleep and woke with one of her night-terror-like times - loud, inconsolable crying. Both are fitfully asleep now in the living room. I sit and look at them and frown. mr. flea's turn to stay home tomorrow.


Dec. 14th, 2008 08:03 am
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Both kids are sick again. They were better for 36 hours, and now we're exactly where we were on Friday. What the hell?

I am starting to really stress about Christmas now. Today we were supposed to get our tree and get started shopping for mr. flea's family. Plus the usual grocery shopping. With the kids down, the Christmas tree farm is out; I guess I could send mr. flea to prowl for church parking lots (I have not seen a single place selling trees in Athens, but they must exist!) Mr. flea can do the grocery run single handed, but I wanted to hit the chichi kids store and Jittery Joe's in the same mall while we were there. mr. flea's sister set up an Amazon wish list last night, so it looks like we can shop for her online, except it's not finished (nothing listed for my niece, and we have to sort out what if anything, we'll do for my possibly STBXBIL). (Amusingly, my 9 year old nephew's list is 15 items long, and every single one of them is a Lego Star Wars item.)

I was a little skimpy on my own family, but I'm basically done unless I get guilty and throw some more money at them; I'm just waiting for packages to arrive. We got Target gift cards for the kids' teachers last night (we got a sitter! and went on a hot date to Target!) and got some stocking stuffers, though I was disappointed with the choices; it's a smaller Target and the toy aisles in particular seemed to have been ransacked. And I could not find ANY digger trucks that did not make annoying noises. I think I can finish that aspect in Kroger/Earth Fare/a couple of chichi kids stores downtown on my lunch hour.

And I really wanted to get the kitchen painted this weekend. Sigh.
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Casper is better. Has kept down water, appleasuace, crackers and seems in good spirits.

Dillo was fine until about 15 minutes ago, when he threw up all over himself and me. Oh well, at least it seems to pass quickly - Casper's only lasted 9 hours.

Good thing I kept him home instead of sending him to daycare.
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I am home for the 2nd day in a row with the Dillo, who is on-and-off feverish but not otherwise symptomatic for anything. I chose to come home at 10 am yesterday with him because I'd been up half the night with him and was exhausted; today mr. flea had a presentation to give and what with prep time we couldn't even really split the day.

Unfortunately I have a final exam for Class A (2 essays written, 1 thought about, 1 not even touched) and my final assignment for Class B (advisory board written, management credo sketched out, resume drafted but needs work, fake job application not touched) due this weekend. So if Dillo is not better tomorrow (he is a little warm now, but not enough that I've given him anything) mr. flea has to stay home, so I can go in and get the assignments done, or mostly done. I might need Saturday AM, too, except we have to grocery shop, and mr. flea leaves for Belgium at 2 on Saturday (plane isn't until 7pm, wtf?). So right after I make the tiring push to get this schoolwork done, I'll have my 5 days of solo parenting. Then Thanksgiving. Then the next week I have to write a 10-page paper and work another Sunday shift.

I'm, like, pre-emptively tired. Must make grocery list now, since I can't do anything that requires actual concentration.


Oct. 27th, 2008 12:04 pm
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I'm only posting cause I'm sick of looking at the last post.

Casper was home sick Friday, and slept until 11, and then took a nap from 4-5:30, all of which did her good. Much less coughing, off to school today. She does tend to look a little blue under the eyes by bedtime and fall into bed easily, so we need to get her down extra early tonight. Over the weekend she slept in until 10 both days.

Dillo is now sickening and snotty-sounding - last night he sounded all froggy. Also so tired from no nap that he fell on his face from a position of leaning on the couch and both bit his lip and bloodied his nose.

In general, had a crap weekend due to my mood, no apparent reason.

I have been crunching numbers from statistics week, now with Google docs web form instead of tick sheets, and found that while we started the week okay, we ended it sucky, and probably undercounted by more than half. The problem is, it's part-time students who do most of the recording. I guess I should scold them; not sure how best to ensure greater compliance.


Aug. 24th, 2008 09:42 pm
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When it all comes down to it, I honestly don't think we're all that good at this parenting gig. We're not abusive, or neglectful, but we just sort of muddle through and I don't think we have much of a gift for it. mr. flea is long on loving but overindulgent and can't discipline his way out of a wet paper bag; Casper has him wrapped around her little finger. I am easily bored and impatient and easily overwhelmed and can get very angry (I can discipline my way through three new york telephone books, but am not notably more effective than mr. wet paper bag). I notice our faults much more with Casper. Whether this means we are a worse fit for her as parents, she is old enough to push our buttons very well, or we've learned something and are doing a better job with Dillo, I'm not sure. I do feel sorry for her as a first child - our experiment, the one we screw things up on first. Even if we screw them up again with Dillo, we aren't complete novices.

The weekend started poorly, with Dillo vomit in the night on Friday. This was the first time he's actually been pukey. He spit up a ton as a baby, but that's a whole different animal. He begged for water or juice or milk but when we gave him half an inch of water he threw it up, so we kept him off liquids for several hours. He didn't sleep well and complained a lot. Was pretty much fine by 10 am or so, though, and had a big afternoon nap since he'd lost so much sleep in the night.

Otherwise we did a fair amount of socializing, with neighbors Saturday, and then more formally, with two arranged play dates for Casper Sunday (one with another new family who lives nearby, and one with the twins' grandmother). I had brunch with work people, which was just okay (no families invited, a big dog at the house - my already minimal dog-person-ness is on the decline). mr. flea drove Dillo all over northeast Georgia in an attempt to get him to nap today and only got 40 minutes. And then the evening, in which Casper was Difficult and I felt made of fail.

I'd gone off my anti-depressants shortly before we moved, which I knew was stupid, and mr. flea, when he learned last week, told me was stupid, so you don't need to add to that chorus, thanks. But we all do stupid things sometimes, and I was so distracted I was honestly forgetting to take them half the time, and I wondered if they were actually doing anything. It would seem so, at this point, and I still have some, so back on I go, I guess. I am still a little resistant to the idea.

I think that I would think I am a mediocre parent even if I were still on my meds, though. Antidepressants, for me, are a bit like tact. They don't change what's true, it just means I don't talk/think about the truth as much. And let's face it, human kind cannot bear very much reality.
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I spent quite a lot of time today looking to buy a SUIT on websites (Lands End, J Crew, and the like.) Note: I do not currently own a suit. I have never owned a suit. I do not need a suit.

mr. flea, on the other hand, has a job interview on Friday, so we were discussing what he should wear. His suit doesn't fit him any more. Today he called the receptionist and asked about the work environment. She said office casual and when he floated the suit idea she said, "Well, I wouldn't go out and buy a suit if I were you." Sportcoat and khakis it is.

But, here's the insane thing: today, I kind of want to own a suit. I want the kind of life that requires occasional dressing up. Also, dining out, driving ridiculous flashy cars, and international travel, business class. I never have had and never will have such a life. I don't usually want it. Perhaps it is the aftermath of spending yesterday watching TV with sick children in pajamas on a crumby living room rug that makes me want a suit today.

(Dillo is much better. He was quite sick all yesterday, but the fever broke at about 6 and he had a normal night and went off to school for the afternoon, since he eats and naps better for them than for us, and he needs food and sleep. Casper threw up at 8:45 but then was fine the rest of the day, so whatever.)

joy & pain

Feb. 18th, 2008 07:42 pm
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The bad part of the equation is the little sickie boy is rather pitiful. I came home to find him in good spirits though red-eyed and runny-nosed. I nursed him, and he took both sides before stopping, coughing, and redepositing everything all over me. You haven't had a fun day until you've wiped baby vomit off your bare breast, I always say.

(He did manage to make this part fun - we play a game called "naked baby alert" which originated with Casper and the obligatory after-bath running about unclad. We call "naked baby alert" and make a "whoop whoop" alarm system noise. This also now extends to "naked daddy alert" and "naked mommy alert." Dillo now notes when anyone is naked, and starts making the "whoop whoop" noise. When he's the one naked, he also boogies down. So I was stripping off the vomity clothes from both of us in the bathroom, and he cheerfully started going "whoop whoop." When he got naked, it was all butt-wiggles.)

But he deteriorated from there and was feverish, runny-eyed and without appetite by dinner. I got him to sleep at 6:20, then again at 7:00 and i hope he stays that way for a few hours at least.

Casper and mr. flea went off the the Mother of All Malls after dinner, he to ogle the MacBook Air, she to acquire two new books from The Spiderwick Chronicles. Sometimes I can see an 8 or 10 year old in my 4 year old. She LOVES these books. Loves the monsters and trolls and fairies and mild spookiness.

The joy part of the evening came when I wrote a short review of a new database at work, Dissertations and Theses Full-Text from Proquest. I can now download and peruse at will the offerings of my former colleagues in grad school. So far I'm just reading the acknowledgements and getting sentimental. I'm also so proud of everyone!

snotty boy

Feb. 18th, 2008 12:26 pm
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The Dillo had a rough night last night, with coughing and snot, and did achieve a decent fever. mr. flea and I took it in shifts from about 1 am on as he rolled about feeling sorry for himself and rubbing his nose on us. Now mr. flea is home with him - and he's actually in a tolerable mood - and I am trying to get through a day of niggly little things at work. Very tired.

I guess this ick is going around - I received a very lengthy email from one of my online professors (greenchick knows the one) detailing the course of his recent flu, including temperatures he registered, the rupture of his eardrums, etc. All of which is like, whoa, oversharing, dude! Also, no excuse for not putting any assignment up for this week, since if you had bothered to plan the entire semester in advance you wouldn't be having this problem.

I miss my snotty-nosed little dude. He's a talk explosion lately, and so sweet, even if he kept slapping me in the face at 6:30 am. (He was angry at being sick, and has the usual 19 month old issues with expressing emotions as he has them...)
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I have duck-nibbling type tasks to accomplish at work today, so you get a post!

Dillo's 18 month birthday was not marked with any ceremony. His new words are door, nose, balloon (which is ADORABLE: b'loon!) and bottom. He is very interested in watching me pee and grabs his diaper when it's wet or poopy. If it weren't winter, and if he weren't only 18 months old and lacking in some degree of physical coordination, I'd think of starting to potty train. As it is, I change him when he asks, let him watch me pee, and talk about when he's a big boy and the pee-pee will go in the potty.

He was home sick yesterday with a low fever - I'd have sent him to school except he was warm enough to the touch that they'd have taken his temp like we did, and sent him home. He wasn't acting sick at all. He woke up this morning rather snotty and grumpy, but not feverish, so to school he goes. He's been a devil in the night that last 2-3 nights - up every 2-3 hours, argh! I'm blaming it on the sickness.

Casper passed a very whiny weekend for no particular reason; maybe she's a little sick, too. We watched all of The Sound of Music (twice) which led to my attempt to explain the Anschluss to my 4 year old. She didn't really get it; kept asking, "Why did Rolf want to be a Nazi?" (I refrained from explaining adolescent psychology to her.) She's so articulate and bright that one tends to forget her actual understanding can lag considerably. We were waiting for the bus home from La Leche League last night in the cold and dark and singing little rhymes and she sang a long one (made up) about God bless this and God bless that and I asked her if she had any ideas about what God was. She couldn't really reply to my question at all; she didn't have any means by which to talk about the concept. It was nice to spend a whole evening with her (Dillo stayed home because of the sickiness).

Baby names:
At work, to a male coworker, Lucy. I *like* Lucy, but I know an awful lot of them for it being only 152 on the SS list for 2006 (and lower before that).
At LLL, "Ayres," I believe. It was pronounced that way, anyway. A boy. Nobody else new.

sick & hot

Aug. 20th, 2007 10:16 am
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Casper is mostly better, except for a nagging cough at night. Dillo finally got really sick last night, though - very feverish, snotty and coughing up enough phlegm that he nearly vomited. Poor buddy.

AND the power went out - supposed to be restored by 12:00 which I sincerely hope as it is supposed to be 100 degrees today (yes, again) and I am going home to tag out mr. flea and deal with sickie boy at 12.

I leave you with these words from Casper, pronounced in portentious tones: "All children grow up. Butcept one. Peter Pan." She also pretends to be Tinkerbelle and will only communicate in little buzzy squeaks. Yes, Peter Pan (Lucious Malfoy version) was the hit movie of the recent illness.
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Although the doctor was nicely diligent about making sure it's not Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Also, the poor resident's last name is Pepper. DOCTOR Pepper, people. I'd have become a minister or a shoe salesman, man.

I meant to do a State of the Dillo for his birthday, and I just now discovered his top 2 molars are coming through, so it's time, eh?

Teeth: 10. Front 8 are fully in; 2 upper molars both through on outside edges.

Motion: Can stand alone for about 30 seconds, and sit down without crashing from a stand. Cruises well. Does not walk holding fingers at all. Crawls wicked fast.

Talk: Clearly says (with intent): uh-oh, mama. Might say with intent: dada, nana for nursie. Says without intent - lots and lots of other sounds. Clearly understands some of what we say to him. My favorite: teaching him to moo like a cow (I really need to upload this video to Youtube.)

Play: loves to put stuff in stuff. Loves wheeled things - to push cars around, to turn them over and spin the wheels. Really does seem to be "boy" playing, as opposed to Casper. But he does like her baby dolls (and especially to slobber on their big plastic heads.)

Eats: kind of erratic - less interested in self-feeding than Casper was. As a result he eats a lot at school, where they feed him, and less at home. Will completely snarf up fruit though - blueberries, grapes, cherries, watermelon, ripe peach. Does not like cheese or yogurt, but drinks milk and will beg for ice cream.

Has just started to how interest in watching TV/videos. Hates long car rides, and sometimes even short ones.
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I am worrying a little about the Dillo tonight. The rash came on during the day Tuesday. That night he was 99.6, and it seemed like a minor thing. He was a little cranky but pretty well Wednesday and today, though he has had very little appetite. Mostly just nursing. This evening a reasonably good fever has come on though - he was 101.8. He's sleeping but seems a little congested - is mouth-breathing.

I wasn't worried before now since he seemed basically well, if spotty. But now that he seems sick I am more worried. Logically, this is just some random virus. It's not a good match symptomatically for chicken pox, cocksackie, Fifth disease, or roseola; he's been immunized for measles and rubella, and they've eradicated smallpox. Somehow I'd be less worried if I could name it.

Maybe we'll try to take him in tomorrow.


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