Lucky one, thank you for your concern. I wrote the post last night just after trying the steamy bathroom for half an hour and giving the homeopathic remedies I listed. Half an hour later she was smiling a little, still seemed tired and not as energetic as I'm used to, but breathing better and more slowly. I felt this was a really good sign.
Dr. Mendohlsen (a doctor/write whose books I use alot--he treated over 30,000 kids in his city-doctor career, mostly using non-medical, time-tested approaches) says that if there is the inward movement of the chest with a metallic, harsh. wheezing. it is probably "croup". He says only if the symptoms don't respond to the steamy bathroom, should you consider taking her to the ER (as bacterial pneumonia won't respond). He says look for "extreme" difficulty breathing, a temp of 102 and "bluish" skin in this case.
I feel like she is really sick and is having a hard time. And we have to be pretty much on duty with her to keep her comfortable. Luckily we can drop everything as dh is off tomorrow. She is crying some but is in general now just tired and sad looking, which I think is pretty normal for being sick. But I think for now we can keep her home.
Sherri, thanks so much for the links. We had not considered arsenicum album, but are going to once she wakes up (she is sleeping well now with pretty ok breathing, though I am staying right next to her here at the computer). you posted what I felt too frantic to take the time to look up, and it was both helpful AND reassuring (as some of the symptoms described were actually WORSE than rowan's).
Thanks for your concern. I'll update if things get worse.