Monday, February 27, 2012

A birthday in the infirmary

Thursday and Saturday night, our sleep was punctuated every 20 or 30 minutes by someone throwing up.  When springtime is near, not only do the plants awaken, but so do the germies.  Usually in the springtime, someone in the family manages to pick up the barfing bug, and this time it was our youngest, Maia.  She was sick all night Thursday.

We went on a field trip to Padilla Bay the next day, had a day's reprieve, then Saturday, night the other four children were sick all night long.  All seven of us slept in our room. I'm sure we've never had this brand of family togetherness before.  The closest we've come to it is when we all got campylobacter food poisoning in Hawaii.  This time, we were generous enough to share the flu bug with grandma and grandpa via Maia before everyone got sick full tilt.

After our bleary-eyed barf night, I woke up and came in the kitchen to see that many more of our seedlings had sprouted!  This was a pleasant birthday present for my husband, who turned 38 that day.  We gave Brandon his precious birthday gift of noise canceling headphones and the kids turned into tv zombies for the rest of the day.  It was an odd way to celebrate a birthday.  Randomly, throughout the day, i kept thinking of the leprosy patients at Kalaupapa on Molokai back in the day when there was no cure for that disease.  Our one night and day of misery and isolation were nothing compared to the way those people were required to live.
It snowed while they were barfing.  It was beautiful the next morning.

  A friend brought over some herbal wonders to help, a  computer guy type gift from her husband to mine, and some special coffee.  She also brought something that is rare to the mother who has just spent the previous 12 hours holding heads over bowls, rubbing backs, seeing dinner in a new and unappetizing way, dumping bowls, rinsing and then repeating.  She brought me some sanity.  Even though I had announced via social networking that people should stay clear, she came anyway, and I'm thankful.  I spent the rest of the day making somewhat bland foods to try to coax the various stomachs back into the real world: waffles, homemade tortillas,  mashed potatoes, and for Brandon's birthday: peach pie.
My newly fixed drum carder.  Carding alpaca fiber is one of the things I did that day.

That evening, as we were about to eat our mashed potatoes and follow up with the peach pie, the power went out.  We got all the candles ready and were about to have a happy time singing by candlelight when the power popped back on.   We blew out candles, sang him happy birthday, and went to bed.  This morning everyone is healthy, and Brandon and I never got sick.  Hopefully it'll stay that way!  Happy weirdest birthday ever, my dear husband!  

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