C-L-O-C-K-W-O-R-K: that, my friends, is the ALL CAPS word I would use to describe the consistency with which the universe punches me in the gut, throat and sinuses too, at just about the same time every year. If you haven’t guessed yet already from this lead in, that time would be right about now.
This week it’s my son who is sidelined and suffering the most. In attempting to care for him, I realize just how ill-equipped our family is to be “Souper Sick” again, even though we know it’s coming and have had all year to plan for it. From this point forward, I solemnly vow to fix this annual disappointment with the same commitment I apply to New Year’s resolutions every year, which is to give it a chance to take center stage in my mind for at least two weeks beginning January 1, okay maybe two days, but you get the point. Here’s what I’m thinking will help to turn the gray days our way next year.
Souper Sick Checklist:
First Aid Kit:
Of course you need the standard first aid supplies, and you can find a good set of 205 pieces in the Container Store Featherlite Kit. I don’t know about you, but I really like the idea of having 205 fixes on hand just in case.
Image and Featherlite First Aid Kit 3.0 found here at the ContainterStore.com
For us, the First Aid kit also needs to include both Children’s Ibuprophen and Tylenol in liquid form. We usually give our older kids the chewable versions, but figured out this week that nothing beats the liquid format when your throat is on fire, which it often is with viruses these days. Having both means you can alternate between two medications per your doctor’s recommended treatment. A digital thermometer, like this one, is a must for me too now. It gives a read in less than 60 seconds, and has a different alarm which signals a fever. This comes after years of trying to decipher the faint lines of our vintage mercury model. Old-school is cool, just not at 2am when stumbling in the dark trying to fight fevers.
First Aid Bag:
This is where I take First Aid in a different direction, and argue that a well-stocked bag should include some “sick day luxuries” to swing the gray our way. Enter this Cath Kidston red polka dot sweetie. It has the unmistakeable red that signals for medical help, but at the same time appeals to my senses and emotional health in a way that none of the plastic-y, metal, sterile versions can. It calls me to get better not give up, or maybe it just calls me, I’m not sure.
These are the things I need to be comfy, because I believe being comfortable is key to recovery.
A Great Tunic Dress:
For example, stomach aches. We seem to bump into as many of them as we do sore throats, and when my tummy is churning, I really don’t feel like having something cinched around my waste. At the same time, getting caught in my most comfortable ratty nightshirt isn’t a feel-good either. The answer seems to be to buy a new tunic dress… one that blends the comfort of a tattered tee with some semblance of “looks like I’m still alive.” I am thinking this Dotty Shift Dress from BodenUSA would do the trick perfectly. You can also go to Groupon.com and search for “tunic dress” and you will find a lot of other inexpensive options. Pair a tunic dress with some leggings or tights and we are all set to go from “don’t care” to “urgent care.”
Image of Dotty Shift Dress found on BodenUSA.com
Kiwi Sheep Socks:
Sleepy Sheep Bed Socks from New Zealand, where have you been all my life? These seem like a first aid must, especially for all the Piscean girls out there that have those sensitive feet. I might not wear these to Urgent Care, but there is something to be said for feeling like a kid at least at home, and these ultra soft socks bring fun and luxury to a dreary day.
Image of Sleepy Sheep Bed Socks found at Dreamsocks.com
My kids already have their cozy toes dialed in with their bear slippers from Great Wolf Lodge. If you don’t have time to make a trip there, BunnySlippers.com has every imaginable possible option for you to slip something sweet on your feet.
Let’s talk about cute undies. There is no point in buying a new souper sick tunic dress if you are still going to schlumpadenka around in your granny pants. Murphy’ s Law is real, and if you choose to wear your Day of the Dead undergarments, I have no doubt that the universe is going to drop you right in to the exam room and leave both your undies and your pride exposed. Easy breezy fix… Victoria’s Secret makes this cotton variety that will delight you without sacrificing either comfort or street cred. My aunt gifted these to me after a surgery I had last year, and they were the perfect pick-me-up.
Another thing that always lifts my spirits when I’m under the weather is to feel fresh. Poopourri is a great way to raise the scent when you’re spending more time in the loo than usual. This comedic commercial about how it works is worth a look-see too.
Photo from BenRiceLive.com
Everyone probably has their own go-to favorites for music that heals. I am partial to the soul-stirring voice of Norah Jones Fly Away With Me with a side of the Blues. I recently found this list of artists to try if you enjoy Norah Jones’ music, and my new favorite blues tunes come from a local group, the Ben Rice Band, we have seen play before at the Vet’s Club.
For many years, whenever any of us would get sick, my mom used to bring home the Chicken Borscht from the Village Inn. It has all the ingredients for getting better… Chicken: check box. Vegetables: check that too. Plus, it’s smooth and goes down easy. We have since lost the Village Inn restaurant in our area, but I found a link to the Chicken Borscht recipe online. Planning to make a batch to keep in the freezer, and I’m also going to add to my Souper Sick bag $30 and the phone number for ordering pizza! In our family there always seems to be someone that dodges the illness, and it would just make life easier to be ready to order that type of comfort food too. If you haven’t tried it, Dominos has a fun new app that gives you updates on how your pie is doing until it gets to your doorstop.
Ice Cream Milkshake:
Our pediatrician gave us this tip. She said that milk products are better for soothing a sore throat than things like Gatorade and water (which are also important for staying hydrated). My son was surprised how much a milkshake helped. Here are a couple of easy recipes for Ice Cream Milkshakes:
Nothing beats a lemon drop for refreshing breath and spirit after chicken soup and a cold. I’m a big fan, and these lemon drops are definitely going in the Souper Sick bag!
Also going in are a candle/matches, notepad/notebook and a craft project for idle hands. This Stitch the Stars Calendar Kit found on HeatherLinsHome.com looks like a great craft that will also be useful later.
Stitch The Stars Calendar Kit (HeatherLinsHome.com)
These ideas are just a start for when you are feeling a little under the weather. For the days you want to channel you’re inner Paddington and throw a tag around your neck that says “Please look after this bear.”
R.W. Alley image credit via BrightStarBedtimeStories.com
I think it would make a great gift for everyone in the family to have their own Souper Sick bag. Young children might enjoy this beautifully illustrated collection of Paddington stories, and older kids might like a craft or busy project.
The Souper Sick Bag is ready to turn a gray day our way now, but it’s going to need to be refilled next year. I created this souper-sick-checklist pdf you can download for free, and I will send a reminder to use it next year when it’s time to gear up for the winter cold/flu season again! Also, just posted the new December Daychanger.
Hope you all are having a happy, healthy week.