Man, our entire house has been trading colds for the last month straight, and then mini’s evolved into an ear infection and I came down with a brand new bug. I think possibly because we’ve all been shuttered up and cloistered in the long shadow of COVID, our immune systems are down and we are catching everything. I’ve heard from several Magpie readers and friends that Hand-Foot-Mouth and RSV have been running rampant. We’ve somehow dodged those, but these colds have been brutal! It is tough, not only to look after a feverish child, but to do so when you are feeling unwell as an adult. Thank God for Mr. Magpie, who really held down the fort a couple of times when I was totally nonfunctional and had to sleep through the day. I felt so guilty abandoning him, but he muscled through and took great care of all of us.
Below, in addition to the expected lineup of cold remedies (I think I might permanently smell like Vicks Vapo-Rub), some of the items I’ve been very happy to have on hand (and/or have ordered in a panic)…
+A good, thick, plush robe. It feels like a hug and helps with the chills.
+Lake Pajamas, in multiples. I feel like a broken record, but this is all I want to wear, especially when unwell. Soft, breathable, comfortable.
+I always feel dried out when I’m under the weather, and have been slathering on Jet Lag mask (and just leaving it on), this natural moisturizing stick for undereyes (has such a nice, emollient feel to it — sort of like chapstick but for undereyes), and Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour cream, which I put on my lips and under my chapped nose!
+Caudalie’s beauty elixir — frankly, who knows if it does anything, but it feels like heaven to spritz on a hot or clammy forehead.
+Saltine minis (they are SO good – I don’t know why but they are about 10x better than the full-sized kind) and ginger ale. Absolutely always have these items in my pantry.
+ESWB — Tinx popularized this acronym, short for “emotional support water bottle.” But it’s true – a big canteen of water is essential.
+An insulated mug for tea that won’t get cold — it is so reassuring to wake up in the middle of the night and be able to have a sip of warm tea!
+The best peppermint tea on earth. I live for this.
+TV that’s so bad it’s good. You know what I’m saying. I watched the new Kardashian show on Hulu in a sneezing, coughing haze and it hit right.
+Boll and Branch bed blanket — for some reason just makes me feel better lying under it. The waffle texture is soft and the weight is perfect.
+A good audiobook. When I was really sick with COVID, I couldn’t even keep my eyes open to watch TV, but I would listen to celebrity memoirs to keep myself distracted and to this day they are a total comfort. I recently really enjoyed Katie Couric’s memoir on audiobook — she would be a great companion for a sick day.
+For children: this is where a well-stocked activity cabinet does you well. I luckily had a bunch of little coloring/sticker activities on deck for just such an occasion: this Encanto set was a big hit, these deluxe Water Wows (with the magnifying glass revealing silly hidden images) kept her busy for hours, and we always love puffy stickers in these parts. All of these are great for bed-ridden/couch potato children. You might also find some goodies for children in bed/on couch in this roundup of car travel activities.
+Also for children: I personally like humidifiers because my mom always used them and I do think they make the air feel better on a sore throat / coughing little body, but I have to be honest: my dear friend’s father is a pediatrician and he insists they just “blow bacteria around.” They do require daily cleaning/maintenance, which can be annoying — you really have to empty the water filter and then clean with vinegar regularly. Anyhow, we have and love this one from Crane. You can control the flow of air and it lights up, which my daughter thinks is fun.
+We have been having a really tough time getting mini to take her antiobiotics. She is allergic to amoxicillin (which she loved the taste of — bubble gum!), and the alternative they gave us smells absolutely horrible, so I don’t frankly blame her. We’ve tried mixing it with chocolate, following it with chocolate, pinching her nose, bribing her ten ways to Tuesday, etc. It has been something of a nightmare because now she hates it so much, she is a wreck at every dose time. Anyhow, she’s a bit too old for this, but in my desperation, I did want to share a clever gadget I’d not known about for younger kiddos: a pacifier medicine dispenser and a bottle tip medicine dispenser. So clever! I also always really like the gadgets from Fridababy, which I didn’t discover until micro. They have a handy “sick kit” that would be good to have on hand if you have younger children. Don’t knock the nasal aspirator until you’ve tried it! I was thoroughly disgusted by the idea but then you have a very congested baby and you’ll do anything, and this works like a charm. My pediatrician urged me to give it a try and so I did – so glad I did! Oh! And BoogieWipes — still great for my children who are not yet adept at blowing their noses. They are “a non-medicated natural and sterile saline formula, which dissolves kids’ dried boogers and helps provide relief.” Much better than tissues, especially because they irritate the skin so much.
Shopping Finds from the Invalid.
While I was laid up in bed, in between drowsy, Robitussin-induced snoozes, I did some shopping and found some really fabulous items I wanted to share…
+Finally tracked down this Lacoste polo in the perfect sage green for my son in a size 3T, and miraculously on SALE!
+My sister sent me a link to this scallop-trim linen nightgown while I was bedridden and it looked liked absolute heaven. I also came across this sweet shoulder-tie style and thought it would be adorable as a beach cover up.
+WOW I love everything from Hunter Bell’s new launch. I’ve always flirted with this brand but never committed, and I think I might take the plunge with this gingham daydress in the sage green or this dramatic white style. This striped linen shirtdress would probably also get a ton of wear in my weekly wardrobe and the stripe is so fun.
+Went down a beauty blogger rabbit hole and discovered that many of them use body serums to keep skin looking young, smooth, glowing. Had never thought of this! One suggested adding a few pumps of this body serum into an inexpensive, unscented body lotion (e.g., Embryolisse or Cerave) and Grace shared her entire body skincare regimen, encouraging the same pairing of a body serum (she lists her favorites) with an inexpensive body lotion.
+This led me to revisit my list of European pharmacy favorites.
+This $55 Mille-esque caftan was SO popular this weekend with you Magpies, that I had to mention it again in case you missed it.
+I am hearing that Merit’s Neutral Pink lip color is perfect.
+I really love BusyBees’ Henry tees for micro, but we are at the point where he is prone to destroy t-shirts in the bat of an eye and I just couldn’t in good conscious splurge here, especially given that I’ve really stocked up on high-end polos for him. I needed something inexpensive for everyday. I bought him these pocket tees in four colorways (navy, white, blue heather, and blue lagoon) — currently on sale and all four together were less than the price of one Henry tee.
+Another piece of shopping candy: this under-$30 woven mule.
+Restocked my supply of heavenly facial cotton while 15% off — I like to use this with my beloved oil-based cleanser in the mornings. I wet with warm water and squeeze out excess, then apply a pump or two of the oil and swipe all over face. Than rinse the same cotton, squeeze, and use opposite side to wipe all over face again.
+I did a little damage at Maisonette, too — they are running a sale on select brands of pajamas and I was just mentioning that though I do love to buy my children high-end pajamas (so soft and hold up so well in the wash), I cringe at the prices. I managed to get a few pairs from Paper Cape and Lila + Hayes on sale! I also bought micro one of Cadets’ swim shorts, which are nice enough to double as shorts with a polo for those “might end up jumping in the pool at some point” days.
+I’ve never ordered from this site before, but this $58 gauze skirt turned my head. The material is having a major moment! I love the color, cut, style, and think it would be adorable with a tank and big earrings.