We've had a stomach bug at our house this week, and for those of you that know me... this is the worst possible ailment. I have handled lots of yuck at our house over the last 6.5 years... and this one is the worst! I'm still ranking it above head lice... although Jason disagrees.
Monday, Julianne woke up saying she needed to wash her hands because she fell in a mud puddle. What!? I went in to find her and her bed covered in vomit.
She was sick several more times that morning, but never ran fever and was totally normal by the next day.
Jason threw me a birthday party for my 30th Friday night.... just for grown ups. It was a blast! We got home, exhausted, and had been in bed about 45 minutes when Lucy called me up saying her stomach hurt. She was sick all night and Adelaide started Saturday morning. It was a lovely weekend. :)
I do have some tips on surviving the stomach bug. It doesn't really make it a ton easier, but I like to make things as easy as I can... and here are the tricks I've learned over the years.
If you have girls, this first tip is major. I mean..... like first priority. Hair must be pulled back! When I got Juli out of her bed and straight to the tub, I french braided her hair. This keeps all the little wispy pieces out of her face and the pony tail isn't so long that it falls into the line of fire.
Lucy and Adelaide get as many ponytails, knots, and clips as necessary to keep the hair out of the way. It's much easier to bathe the children again if they "miss" if you don't have to wash hair again.
Next priority... finding tile... or wood... or something other than carpet to hang out on. If your only options are carpet... find blankets, quilts... sheets... something to cover the carpet. Something that can go in the washing machine. I lined the floor around the kids' beds with extra sheets and the path to the bathroom with towels. I had a friend recommend newspaper... you could just throw that away... but that required an extra trip downstairs... so I went with towels. I think the preparation is much easier than the cleanup... so I'm willing to throw down some blankets and towels.
I also cover furniture that the kids are on with blankets. You're not puking on my couch! Get up.... I'm putting a quilt under you.
Number 3... you need a bucket. Or a bag or something. We have a couple of glad containers that were grabbed once upon a time and they now reside under the sink in the girls' bathrooms. The bucket goes everywhere with you. I don't care that you think you feel better. It's throw up day and you and your bucket are best friends. Get used to it.
Number 4... everyone in the family goes on a bland diet. Not quite BRAT diet, but close. Jason and I usually end up fasting. It's sometimes not intentional... but nothing really seems appetizing when you think you might see it again. But the kids (unbeknownst to them) get lots of starches, NO dairy and bananas and apples. Can you say eggo waffles for dinner? Yup! This helps to settle the stomach and keeps from putting too much heavy stuff on a potentially throw up day. Dairy is also a pain in the tail to clean up... it curdles. Which is gross.
Number 5... we push fluids after we KNOW their stomachs are ready. If you push too much too soon, you're just going to be cleaning it up again. So, after they've been puke free for awhile (maybe 30 minutes) they get a SIP of something clear. My favorite is Propel fitness water. It's clear but it is full of electrolytes.... and with a little flavor, the kids like it. And, unlike Gatorade, it doesn't stain anything if it does come up.
When you, as a parent, are in the trenches and being the right hand man... you know the role, holding hair, wiping mouths, rubbing backs... stay behind your little one. You don't see as much puke, you can be there for them to rest on... and hopefully you are staying a little further from the spray of nastiness that you're sure to catch next.
On cleaning up... everything this weekend could go in the washer thanks to the above tips... and I just put everything in the wash like I did when I cloth diapered. It goes in on a normal wash (Hot)... and when that's done I do a sanitary wash (super duper hot with extra rinses). Towels all get bleached.
I hope this helps someone. If you have puke tips, I'd love to hear them... I'll take all the help I can get during stomach bug week!