At LEAST it wasn't the Bird Flu

"Diseases can be introduced into a backyard flock through many ways unnoticed by the owner. This could be through visitors to the farm or a neighbor who also has a backyard flock. Co-mingling young and older birds predisposes younger birds to diseases from the older birds." -Ohio State University Fact Sheet

Yet it mentioned nothing about how the younger birds seem to bounce back in a fraction of the time it takes the older birds...hmph. 

(Recall a couple posts ago when I said Lily wasn't actually sick....WRONG!) Which leads us to:

The Top Ten Things to APPRECIATE about a Good Ol' Fashioned STOMACH BUG!

1. Good-bye to that extra 2-5 pounds!

So what if all but about a quarter of the pounds lost was water weight. Stepping onto that scale and staring face to face with numbers that come a tiny bit closer to what you want to weigh is inspiring....perhaps the rapid loss of all excessive bodily fluids mixed with a little starvation can work for you, too! 

2. Hello to Extra help from the Rooster

Seriously, when you have just held the sheets in front of your 3 year old in order to spare the entire room from needing cleaning after she pukes her entire days worth of calories out, and then, upon getting her into the tub you turn around just in time to spend some quality one-on-one time with the porcelain throne yourself (a truly "Graceful Like a Chicken" moment), it is nice knowing you can yell out at your hubbie between lurches, point him toward your daughters bedroom and know that at least he is starting to clean up the mess so that you don't have to do it all by yourself before going in to check on the baby, accidentally waking him up and having to nurse him back to sleep...fun stuff...

3. A few hours of down-time.

Ok, now let it be known, I would not choose to take my down-time in bed with the chills while trying to entertain a 7 month old who apparently doesn't believe in taking naps next to his ill mom. BUT, it was kind of nice having a few hours in bed, mostly quiet and dark and still. Granted, I spent much of the time trying to determine what fatal illness I had drawn that was taking me out and whether or not the morphine they would have to give me in the hospital to get through it at the end would make me less tolerant of my beautiful children who would never truly get to know their mother, but hey, it was some almost-alone-time on a weekend! Wow.

4. A TWO DAY BREAK from my Workout routine!

This is unheard of for me. I'll admit, I did do a few little exercises before I realized just how bad it was going to get but once it hit, man, I kicked back and relaxed, (between the hot flashes and vertigo) letting my body just take it easy...well, as easy as you can get in misery while hugging the toilet...

5. Discovering My Compassionate Kids

There has never been a time I have seen the kids so compassionate as when they saw me sick in bed and proceeded to drag out every last colored pencil, crayon, marker, stamp, sticker, tape roll, scissors, etc. and using the majority of our printer paper made me pictures, which they so preciously labeled by child and placed in piles on every last clean surface in my bathroom. It made the day so much cheerier, really. (I especially liked the fact that once I was better, they wanted me to reciprocate the effort!)

6. Wearing PJ's most of the Weekend

Outside of going to the pool before we all fell ill, and the trip to Madeline's school the day after for an orientation we had to cut out of pretty much before it started because the dehydration was still causing me dizzy spells, I wore pajama's ALL weekend. I never knew how nice it was to just be comfy and know I was going nowhere. Ahhh.

7. Getting to witness your husband's dedication to his football team.

Ok, now I know for certain that my husband is the #1 Steelers fan out there and I plan on letting them know it, too. Kurt was the last of the Mohicans. He knew the bug was coming and quite unfortunately the worst of it for him hit in the middle of the Steelers' first game of the season! But, with bucket in hand, he actually sat there, game still on, as his body took over and rid him of the excessive liquids (and anything else) floating around in his stomach. I don't know that he would have even bothered with the toilet had I not urged him to. He truly is inspirational in his allegiance. 

8. Praising Digital Video Recorders

For those of you behind the times, get a DVR already! How could you possibly stand missing the football game, your favorite soap, drama, sci-fi, comedy or whatever you watch because of some little lightening bug going through the house? With our DVR, we can go back and watch the Steelers' first win of the season, again and again and again, our stomachs churning every time we get to the spot of Kurt's solo number...who wouldn't want that?

9.  Bleaching the bathrooms, 3 times each!

So, the only reason I appreciate having been forced to do this is because now I don't have to do it again for a while. Yay me! The bathrooms are scrubbed, the sheets have been changed, the laundry washed...I do need to go find the kids but I am sure they are around here somewhere...

10. Last, but not least, Some Serious Family Bonding. 

There is no bonding quite like the lovely experience of coming down with a gastrointestinal illness, and then every member in your family getting it, too. I can recall our last major stomach bug, the nasty Bug of '04. Madeline had just been born 5 weeks or so earlier. Kurt and I took the kids to our good friends Mike and Kathy's new digs in Dana Point. They had just given Aidan a cup of red juice when the Bug of '04 struck, all over their new light colored carpet (of course)! Aidan wasn't done yet either. We were not yet accustomed to the viciousness of some viruses but wow! Needless-to-say, after spending a good half hour disinfecting their entire downstairs bathroom (why Kurt held Aidan over the sink instead of the toilet at first is still beyond me)  and their hallway and trying to get red juice out of white-ish carpet, we took our yummy dinner to go and within the next few days, Kurt and I both experienced the most horrifically amazing virus....one that makes you really get in touch with your primitive roots. Madeline, held it in her just long enough for us to get to FL for our Christmas break and then she, at 5 weeks, spread it to MY ENTIRE FAMILY! Merry Christmas! Now THAT is what I call some good, family bonding. Talk about creating memories! And, by the way, if you are ever feeling that ill, don't make boiled peanuts...trust me, you'll regret it. 

As for the co-mingling chickens, there's just no way around that and quite honestly, most diseases, though unnoticed at the time of "introduction" will usually make themselves quite known; best to just embrace them, letting them do their thing, and then let them go...kinda like children. 

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