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Winter Essentials: Stomach Bug Edition

I hope I'm a little wiser next winter and can handle the cold and flu season with a little more grace. We have had a tough winter, health-wise, and I have the hardest time focusing on anything else with a sick child (or husband) in the house.

I typed a letter to myself to read next February, but then I deleted it because although it's all probably sound advice (don't go in public, don't make plans, expect constant illness and sleep deprivation) it is probably not something I'll want to read, and don't we all need a little hope? I hope that next winter is better for us, and even if it's not, I hope that I don't lose so many hours of sleep at night checking the baby monitor or listening to my heart pound in my chest because someone coughs or runs to the bathroom to get sick.

Do I need to be medicated? Maybe!

While I don't want to read a list of bleak advice, I do always welcome reminders of what's helpful to have on hand when someone is sick! So here's my list for that. This list is pretty stomach-bug-specific since that seems to be our lot this winter, but some of the things would of course be helpful for other illnesses too.

Hospital-grade hydrogen peroxide spray. If you want to go down the rabbit hole of germophobia, read THIS. Turns out my beloved white vinegar does squat for germs! I still use it to clean up light messes in the kitchen, but for germs, this is my new everyday spray and this is my new clean-up-after-bathroom-messes spray! Who knew that good old hydrogen peroxide is a super germ fighter?

100% grape juice--this is an unproven but anecdotal home remedy for preventing a stomach bug once you're exposed. I'm not sure if it's medically sound but I try to always have the 100% Welch's on hand and give all willing parties a cup of it to drink if someone has a stomach bug just in case.

Pedialyte pops for rehydrating big and little people after illness strikes.

Saltines, chicken soup, and ginger ale! I completely underestimated the amount of chicken soup we would need this winter, and have resorted to running out and buying it every time we need it lately. I'm making a mental note to start batch cooking this in bulk next summer and freezing it for when we need it!

Cute trays for serving meals to sickies--not a necessity, but I have memories of being brought my meals in bed on my mom's blue and yellow duck tray (along with a Betty and Veronica comic book) when I was sick as a child and it always made me feel so cared for. I do the same for Eloise now, and I think it makes her feel just as special. We have two cute melamine trays my parents gave us (photo above--and I wouldn't recommend giving anything else on that tray to a sick person! That was my birthday breakfast in bed from a couple weeks ago) and I can't find them online, but if I were in the market, I love the practicality and simplicity of this one and I really love this decorative one too.

I also find it helpful in a house with small children to have at least one thermometer, bottle of children's acetaminophen, and plenty of medicine cups and syringes on each level of the house, because who wants to run around in the middle of the night in search of these things?

I would also like to acquire a box of latex gloves and face masks to elevate my germophobia to a new level.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

(Emphasis mine. Sometimes it's helpful for me to remember that this life isn't about having a smooth path--there will be trouble! But I can have peace because this life also isn't the final act.)

Am I missing anything? And am I the only one who comes undone by these relentless winter viruses?



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