I spent a not-so-fun-filled 24 hours Monday into Tuesday flat on my back, fighting a stomach virus. There were times when I doubted who was going to win the battle — the North or the South end — but like a true mom, I was pretty much over it in 24 hours.

It was my own fault for getting sick. I bragged last week I had made it through the winter without being sick, so, of course, Mother Nature made me eat my words.

While I was lying in bed, telling myself I wasn't really dying, I found myself recalling being sick as a child. When I was a child, measles, mumps, German measles and chicken pox were a rite of passage — and I had two out of the four.

My mom would immediately feel my forehead when I announced I was feeling sick, deciding whether or not I felt "warm." (It was only after I had my own child I could appreciate this technique.) If she was concerned, out would come the thermometer, which would be stuck under my tongue.

Having determined I was, indeed, running a temperature, I had my choice of where to be ensconced for the duration — my parents' bed, large and a treat to cuddle in; the den couch, not as comfy, but in front of the TV; or my own bed. My decision rested on how sick I was. The den was great for an upset tummy; my room, in total darkness, when I had something with a headache, and my parents' bed for everything in between.


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As I lay in my bed the other day, covers pulled over my head, I found myself thinking, "I want my Mommy!" like I was 5 years old again. She would make sure there was a basin handy in case I had to heave, a cold washcloth on my forehead and an endless supply of ginger ale, which if it "stayed down," was gradually followed by crackers, toast, tea with cream and sugar, and eventually rice pudding. And she came running at the slightest, "Mom-m-m..."

But I was on my own. No basin because the bathroom is right across the hall. No cold washcloth, just my dog's cold nose probing under the covers to find me. No ginger ale because I hadn't stopped to buy any. No toast because there was no bread in the house. No rice pudding. I made do with crackers and tea, minus the sugar and milk. And the only one running was the dog when she needed to be let out.

I have my mom's recipe for rice pudding, but I've recently adopted this recipe, which uses a crock pot. I sometimes throw in a handful of raisins or dried cranberries just for a change.

Crockpot rice pudding

Ingredients:

2 cups milk

1/2 cup rice

ΒΌ cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp butter

1 tsp vanilla

tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

Grease crock pot. Dissolve sugar in milk and mix all ingredients together, pour into crock pot.

Cook on high for 6 hours, stirring occasionally.