Well, first things first, I’m alive. Hallelujah.

But don’t let that fool you. If I give you one piece of advice that you’re going to actually take, let it be this: DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING OUT THERE.

Don’t. Don’t touch the door handles, don’t touch the shopping carts, don’t touch the pens or the clipboards or even the paper, don’t touch anything because if there is anything I know, it’s this: NO ONE IS SAFE.

Oh, hell. Who am I kidding? I could lick the handle of every shopping cart in America and never ingest the kind of germs I get from just kissing on my babies when I pick them up from school. LAWDY. There is something awful nasty about small children. They eat things (or everything), they lick things, they eat their boogers, they eat their friends’ boogers, they let snot run down their faces as carefree as can be, they never cover their mouths no matter how many times you ask (errr, tell) them to. And I mean, the anti-vaxxers are onto something if they’re goal is (as I predict it is) to eradicate the human population because, WOOF, kids spread diseases better than I make a stiff cocktail and WAY quicker. Yeah, mull that over for a minute.

This was our first experience with a family-wide outbreak and it was, to say the least without crying, exhausting. It honestly and truly changed my outlook on life. I had a friend ask me earlier today when we were going to get a dog and I am not AT ALL kidding when I say my stomach turned at the thought of bringing another living thing into our god-forsaken home. 3rd baby? Every single “what if” has vanished. NOPE, never doing that. Ever. NOPE. Nothing in my body can even imagine what it must be like to be outnumbered by them and to all of you who are – BLESS YOU. You are either everything that’s right with this world and you probably get no credit or everything that’s wrong with this world and don’t know it (but I’m sure since you’re reading this, it’s the first.) Either way, one thing is FOR SURE: You are stronger than me.

BUT ANYWAY, that’s just me, I’m sick because my kids are sick (in every way, shape and form). I’ve heard there are countless different strands of the flu going around, there’s Norovirus, there’s H1N1, there’s that rat disease in the Bronx. Don’t mess around out there because I’m telling you this is my first day back at work this week….I HAVE BEEN OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR A WHOLE ENTIRE WEEK, YOU GUYS. And I’ve spent every day at home this week trying not to cry or die. I went to the grocery story a bit ago and I wiped down my ENTIRE cart with those tiny little sanitary wipes. The whole damn thing down to the wheels. I don’t care anymore about what I look like  – anywhere, at anytime – I can’t; safety comes first now. I’m not going back to that dark place.

THIS IS NOT A TEST.