Cold and Flu II, Electric Booger-loo

By my calculations, everyone in our family, except for the dogs, has been sick twice since the week before Thanksgiving. Apparently eating dog kibble is the secret to staving off colds, coughs, and the general crud. I’m debating between chicken, rice, and vegetables or just a hearty beef blend for dinner tonight.

I don’t want this to turn into the phlegm family chronicles, but I thought I’d list some things we must have during the winter cold and flu season:

Tissue, preferably the kind that has lotion in it (nothing worse than a raw nose)
Humidifier (we currently are loving the heated kind)
Vick’s Vaporub, the kind your mama slathered on you (I’ve used this so much on Amelia that she’ll lift her shirt up when she sees the familiar blue jar.)
Vick’s Vaposteam
Antibacterial hand gel
Antibacterial wipes
Tylenol and Ibuprofen
Any of the meltable strip varieties of children’s medicine (WHY OH WHY didn’t they have these when I was a kid??)
Chicken noodle soup
Digital thermometer
Saline nose drops (not that either of my children will let me squirt these up their nose without freaking out)
Vitamin C
Perhaps a couple of these masks

Do you have any rituals you follow when you feel under the weather? My mother-in-law swears by zinc lozenges and my mother always pushes chicken noodle soup. And what’s in your winter cold and flu season survival kit, besides a bottle of Bailey’s? Those of us with sneezy noses, as Caitlin would say, want to know.


  1. jag says:

    I actually picked up a box of the Zicam Swabs last night in preparation…we’re not sick, but just in case. Word around the web (esp. from CLC and Hutchmo), those things are the miracle drug.

    Best of luck with the illnesses! Hopefully if you’ve all got it now, it means that you’ll have a germ free Christmas.

  2. deb says:

    Our family believes in warm saltwater gargles. My mom always made my sister and I do them and we’ve passed the ritual down to our own kids lol. It really does work wonders on a sore throat. I also use Vick’s Vapor Rub which helps make for easier breathing when I’m all stopped up.
    If nothing else works, I’ll take a swig of Nyquil but I’ve got to be pretty darn sick to do that ;~)

  3. R*belle says:

    Bella is sick as well, and I have been pouring medicine down her throat and giving her gummy vitamins to the daily maximum. Crossing fingers for all of us that we have well kiddos!

  4. Blonde Mom says:

    I have never heard of the Zicam swabs but that sounds promising. My doctor swears by the Airborne stuff, but I have not tried it.

    Today all the girls at our house (including myself and our dog Bailey) are well. The hubby is not feeling so well, though. GAH

  5. Carolie says:

    Probably not for Caitlin…but my ex-mother-in-law used to dose me with hot whiskeys. I swear on all that is holy that I kicked bronchitis OVERNIGHT due to hot whiskeys.

    1 part whiskey
    1 part very hot water
    sugar or honey to taste
    a squeeze of lemon

    Drink warm. Drink lots. When you sweat, quit drinking and get someone to pour you into bed.

    Otherwise, all I can suggest is Airborne, and StressTabs (vitamin B & C) I am almost never sick, and I work with children (and I’m an evil smoker!)

  6. Pattie says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve had such a cruddy run these last few weeks 🙁

    I swear by HOMEMADE chicken soup. There is just nothing like it wehn you’re sick. I love it.
    Prevention? I am constantly washing my hands and wiping surfaces down with bleach when someone is sick. It works pretty well 🙂

  7. malia says:

    I second the Zicam. I use it everytime I even feel the hint of a cold coming on. Works like magic, it does make you wonder why it’s legal!

    I’ve done the warm salt water gargle for sore throats, don’t think I could get the kiddos to do that though.

    Around here, sick days mean getting to watch as much tv as you want!

    And the really the best thing is sleep, though that is a luxury for parents.

  8. Colleen says:

    Sorry you guys have the crud again. I’ve been sick with it twice since the beginning of November. I’d BETTER have a healthy Christmas/New Year’s.

    For terribly stuffed noses and when you feel a cold coming on, try: My ENT recommended that I use this often to ward off allergies and colds and it usually works wonders (not sure why it didn’t help me much this time, though). It’s not pleasant when you use it, but a little while afterwards you feel great.

  9. RichieAnn says:

    We just had our first scary high fever. I think Tylenol is the only way to go! It cures everything.

  10. Bluegrass Mama says:

    Hot tea with honey and lemon.

    And yeah, those tissues with lotion. I wish they’d had THOSE when I was a kid.

  11. Holly Schwendiman says:

    Okay, add to the list the new antibacterial Kleenex tissues, and we’ve fallen in love with the Tylenol sore throat as well as cold and flu liquids. The nightime one is AWESOME when you need to get your sleep. Foam wedges are great under pillows to elevate just enough to help stem the coughing spells, and my favorite for kids was just recalled…the cough patch! Wish I’d known someone was going to let their kid eat one (still can’t figure that out as it took a serious soaking to pull the darn things off in the morning!) which would result in recall as I’d have boughten several cases first! Those were the absolute best for kids and the least intrusive help for coughing spells. Still, if you can get your wee ones to let you put a little of that Vick’s vapor rub under their nose and hold a warm wet washcloth lightly over their nose and mouth for a few minutes a lot of relief can be extended for a cough and/or sore throat. My mom would give me warm, liquid Jello (you know, the state it’s in before you put it in the fridge to gel) as a kid if I needed more fluids and I’d take it gladly because it tasted so good! We’ve been very fortunate this year, maybe it’s because I finally found vitamins my kids will eat! They are the first that REALLY taste just like gummy bears!

    Hugs & speedy recoveries,
    Holly’s Corner

  12. Blonde Mom says:


    We just ran out of kids’ vitamins…adding those to my list! Caitlin likes the good old chewable kids’ vitamins, but those gummy vitamins are really good. I take a women’s multivitamin every day.

    Pretty much the first thing we do every day when we walk in the door from work/daycare is wash our hands. I also have antibacterial gel at my desk, in my car, and in my purse. Yeah I’m paranoid like that.

    Thankfully Caitlin rarely gets sick but this winter we all seem to be off to a bad start. Amelia is still at the age where she gets every little bug. I just keep telling myself she’s building up her immune system.

    If I’m really suffering from a bad cold I like to take the Alka Seltzer cold plus stuff or Theraflu at bedtime.

    Sometimes living in a bubble for the winter sounds tempting! 😉

  13. Ginger says:

    The main thing I can’t survive without are the saline nose drops (Ocean)…with the dry heat through the night, if I don’t spray that stuff up my nose in the mornings, I’m sure to get a sinus infection. It burns at first, but then it is soothing. Not to be gross, but it moisturizes the membranes of the nose and also runs down into your throat. Since I started doing that, my sinus issues have decreased dramatically.

  14. mrsmogul says:

    Oh and drink a lot of COKE AND PEPSI!! I’ve been given that since I was a kid when I was sick. !!

  15. angela marie says:

    I just bought coke syrup at the pharmacy as protection against the stomach virus. I figure if I have it, then no evil virus will take up with my family.
    We also do the Vicks and vaporizor. My daughter was running a fever the last couple days and then it broke, and guess what…roseola. I give.

  16. Renee says:

    I think you covered all of my necessities.
    So sorry about all of the sickness. I hope everyone is good to go soon.

  17. mamatulip says:

    Julia woke up two days ago with a nose full of snot and a scratchy voice and I almost burst in to tears. We’ve been sick since OCTOBER and just when I thought we were leaving the sick behind, I got slapped in the face with it.

    *sigh* So. I feel your pain. Feel better, soon.

    The thing I like the most when I’m sick is Orange pop, Ginger Ale and homemade chicken soup. And Tiger Balm. Oh, and a trashy magazine to read.

  18. Erin says:

    ughhh but they changed the formula on all of the nighttime cold meds!!! Around this time of year, we usually have lots of cold meds, a vics vapor-stick-inhaler thingy, extra soft kleenex, extra hand sanitizer, and lots of “grilled cheese and soup” for dinner. My mother in law makes hot tea for everything, so that’s always the first thing my hubby asks for 🙂 (but you guys are all giving me some great ideas!!)

  19. Amanda says:

    I like the waterless vapor by vicks. IT spews out menthol vapor. I jsut found robitussin nighttime. Hannah has a terrible cough and it is really helping.

  20. Chris says:

    The zicam swabs are OK, but steer clear of the cold-eeze lozenges – those coat your mouth and give me a sore throat and mouth – blech. And talk about weird after-taste!!

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