We had just returned home from visiting family in New England and were naively looking forward to "getting back to our routine." Except the first 24 hours of our 2012 routine involved lost luggage, thousands of dollars in upgraded plumbing and a trip to the emergency room. But that's not what I'm here to talk about today. No, I want to address how I jinxed myself by merely thinking, "wow, we're already near Christmas and no major epidemic involving throwing up has overtaken the household!" What a foolish, foolish woman I am. The Emetic Fates, now duly tempted, unleashed their fury on my head. Um, actually on the carpet, walls, bed and my hair. But that's beside the point. We got through that incident with La Principessa and I had the nerve to be relieved. Because again, I thought, "Thank goodness that's over for awhile!" As if the Vomit Gods would check us off the list and refrain from a repeat visit for a while. Foolish, foolish woman. We were just wrapping up the long week of luggage, plumbing and splints. I was minding my own business and just about ready to fall asleep when I heard whimpering -- literally, a wretched, wretching whimpering -- from the next room. I ran in and begged her, "what's wrong? what hurts?" But she could only scream and wail and bend over in pain. I start signing "sick? sick?" Despite the peristaltic chain reaction starting to wrack her little body, she managed a contemptuous glare at me. A "no crap, Kando" kind of icy stare that let me know I am a total boob. I tried to comfort her, help her move to the bathroom, hug her, anything. In the confusion, she ended up running in circles, not sure which way to go and blowing chunks like a sprinkler system. We're being strafed by puke -- game on. Teen Spirit had been hovering in his doorway, meekly asking, "is she ok?" He inched forward to help just as she made a great heave and he scurried back to his room like a spooked squirrel. Just as well, I don't need to have two of them spewing. Daddy-O began implementation of the Pineda Emergency Illness Hazmat Detox Protocol while I comforted her. He and I periodically traded places for awhile. During the second bath, the heaving began anew. Undeterred, we kept bathing and cleaning. She slept for a few hours until more cookies were tossed. By this point, we were playing Barf Bingo, taking bets on who'd get hit on the chest or face first. More baths, more jammies and two more sets of sheets later, we're done. Her doctor says she's on the mend; she and I spent the next day cuddling over some Pedialyte cocktails. And foolish, foolish woman that I am, all I can think of is that I'm am grateful to the Angels of Indoor Plumbing. Because just a few days earlier I had no toilets and no washing machine.