How to survive HFMD with two kids

I have just crept out of the bedroom at 1150pm. A has been crying out in his sleep, thanks to the pain from the dreaded HFMD, and the husband has just medicated him.

Ah, HFMD.

Unfortunately, it is a sad reality of life for those of us who place our children in daycare. This time round, we have absolutely NO IDEA where Patient Zero Zac picked it up from. Nobody in school got it, we haven’t been to anywhere that germs and viruses propagate freely and joyfully – nowhere except the playground downstairs.

Urghs.

Anyway, we have sort of survived this current bout of HFMD even though it came at a cost. We had plans to head up north to Legoland for Zac’s birthday (SOB SOB) but everything had to be canned. The silver lining was that since husband and I had already planned to take leave, we were able to care for our sick littles without worrying about work.

We seemed to have gotten off easy in that it was a pretty mild strain. The boys didn’t run any fevers (which was why HFMD wasn’t at the top of our minds), the spots were minimal and the only issue we had was with the ulcers in the mouth. Even then, they were able to swallow, even if their appetites are not optimal.

The toughest thing was in trying to separate the two energetic little bulls. MY GOD, CAN DIE. Zac was hilarious, he didn’t understand why he couldn’t go near gor gor and was constantly trying to bulldoze/hug/wrestle/play with Aidan. We had repeatedly explained to Aidan why Zac couldn’t go near him so our day would be punctuated with screams of “Zac touched me!” or “Zac don’t come near me! No! AHHHHHRGH!” Then a bemused Zac would do something like headbutt his brother for screeching at him. Gah.

But yes. We survived. And I thought I’d share some of the things that I had learnt during this episode.

#1 Try TCM or alternative treatments
We have been going to a TCM physician on a regular basis, seeing that these two are constantly sniffling and coughing. Once we received the official diagnosis from the GP, I quickly made an appointment to see our TCM clinic. The physician gave Zac medicines to take twice a day to alleviate his symptoms and the rest of us once-a-day meds to prevent the virus from spreading.

While the husband and I have been spared (SO FAR TOUCH WOOD), Aidan hasn’t but I like to think that the medicine he had been consuming helped to lessen the severity of it. Zac also recovered pretty quickly, he was “discharged” on Day 6 after his symptoms appeared.

#2 Manuka honey and elderberry syrup
Whenever I have mouth ulcers, I will take a spoonful of manuka honey, neat, every day and night. I have found that the honey helps my ulcers to heal fast. With Zac, I made manuka honey with lemon water for him twice a day and I fed Aidan the honey direct.

A friend once taught me to use a non-metal spoon when spooning the honey out and also to never use it with hot water so I’ve been doing just that! Also, try manuka honey that has a Unique Manuka Factor of 15+ to 20+. I got mine – cheap-ish! – from iHerb, please use this code (OTI683) for a 5% discount if you are purchasing from the site for the first time.

I also feed them elderberry syrup regularly and this time, I doubled the dosage. I get mine from iHerb too and it’s so much cheaper there – our local shops charge so much that it’s almost criminal.

#3 Sanitise, sanitise, sanitise
Immediately after Zac was diagnosed, I texted Su-Lin from Our Lifestyle Shop to ask if she had any B-Sanitized in stock. HFMD spreads by direct contact with nasal discharge (ie. AH-CHOO!), saliva, faeces and fluids from the infected person. When we battled HFMD the previous time, B-Sanitised came in handy as we sanitised everything that Aidan came in contact with.

This time round, there was an even greater sense of urgency as we wanted to prevent Aidan from catching it too. Well. I mean, we were sort of resigned that he would eventually get it too, seeing how they were both happily drinking and spitting out their bath water during the incubation period (I know…don’t get me started…). But we tried anyway and the spray was fantastic.

Plus, she informed me that the shop was now selling a HFMD bundle, which included B-Sanitized, SafeHands and Total Solutions Foaming Lemon Scented Disinfectant. Both disinfectants were so easy to use – just spray (and then wipe for the Total Solutions product). We used Total Solutions on surfaces such as tabletops, chairs etc, while B-Sanitised went onto the things that my infectious brood touched. We also made sure to wash our and their hands with soap all the time, and sanitised with SafeHands frequently.

ourlifestyleshop_hfmd

You could always use good ‘ol Dettol and water, obviously. But B-Sanitised and Total Solutions are gentle on the environment AND humans AND felines – plus Dettol is poisonous to cats.

#4 Feed them cold stuff
Seriously, while porridge and soups are great, the heat burns the ulcers. Trust me, I have had prior experience (yup, I am an unfortunate adult who suffered from HFMD). We fed them loads of yogurt – both frozen and homemade – and they also downed milk by the gallon. My mother brewed herbal tea that we kept in the fridge and I made (manuka) honey lemon. Aidan was able to scarf down noodles that had gone cold while Zac loved picking up his vehicle pasta one by one into his mouth. They also took cheese. So YAY. Whatever works okay.

Oh, and guess what – DO NOT FEED THEM CHOCOLATE MILK. Oh em gee. I tried that when I was ill and the after-burn nearly KILLED me. It was so, so, so, SO painful!

#5 Grin and bear it
The above tip sounds silly, right, I mean it’s not like we are the ones suffering from the pain. But oh, my friend, you are wrong. We may not be physically suffering but our hearts are bleeding. When your child cries at every other mouthful of food. When he wakes up in the middle of the night, screaming in pain. When he points to the spots on his feet and says “pain, mummy”. When he refuses to drink water because he is fearful. When tears are welling in his eyes because the medicine is bitter and he knows he has to drink it. When he cannot close his mouth because he just has that many ulcers and saliva is dripping down his shirt.

You hurt with them.

But you need to be strong. Illnesses, as I have discovered back when Zac was warded for a week, is a test of your strength. And in times like these, parents have to be strong. It’s never about wallowing in self-pity, it’s everything to do with planning your next step so that your children will get and feel better. You can’t feel helpless because they are relying on you. And you try, try, try your best to be cheerful for them so that time passes faster for them (and for you too).

In this respect, I have much to thank the man for. There were moments when I literally put my head down on the table to sigh silently and when I looked up, he was engaging them in some silly activity – like bouncing balloons off his head or wrestling with them. Or he’d be showing them videos of airplanes or warships or space shuttles.

Seriously though, I do wish we had more childcare leave. Because one bout of HFMD can really wipe out your yearly quota in one shot. We were lucky that my mother was willing to watch Zac on that one day that we could not take off from work but there are many others who aren’t as lucky.

Goodbye HFMD. I don’t want to see you around. And may you, my dear reader, never have to use these tips. EVAR.

(Disclaimer: I was given a bottle of Total Solutions Foaming Lemon Scented Disinfectant as part of the ambassador programme for Our Lifestyle Shop but purchased the B-Sanitised on my own.)

How to remove iron-on labels from clothes EASILY

Because I spent an insane amount of time Googling, as well as trying all the hot-iron method that random websites suggested, I am going to put it down on record here. Hopefully, if you, like me, have to remove some NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE iron-o labels from clothing, you’d find this post useful. Using an iron steam can also help get the wrinkles out of your clothes, you can find them here.

So.

Being the noob mum that I am, I ironed Elliott’s name labels just under the shirt label on his uniform. What I did not realise is, the labels were causing little scratch marks on his back. URGH. On hindsight, I should have placed the labels outside the shirt. However, I did not want all and sundry to see his name so the best spot?

Under the collar, outside the shirt.

Deciding on the new spot was easy. The difficult part was trying to remove the existing iron-on label. Please take it from me that it was SO DAMN HARD TO REMOVE! The husband tried it with the wet-cloth-over-label, use-hot-iron-and-press method. Despite repeating this move numerous times, the insanely good quality iron-on refused to budge.

After more Googling, I discovered a site that said to use an ‘alcohol-based solution, like nail polish remover‘. The alcohol will be strong enough to melt off the glue holding onto the label and it should be easy to peel off after.

I rummaged the bathroom drawer for a long-forgotten bottle of nail polish remover and went to work. I soaked a few cotton pieces (the type you use to for toner on your face) and pressed them against the label. At first, it did not seem to work. However, after dousing the label with the solution, IT WORKED!

Oh joy, it worked!!

Out of 4 shirts, we destroyed one shirt in the process of trying to remove the label so I’d say that’s a WIN. And now we know, USE NAIL POLISH REMOVER to get rid of those super good quality iron-on stickers. At least I now know for a fact that those labels are going to stay stuck on Elliott’s shirts for a long long time.

Merry Christmas from the bubsigirls!

Christmas_2015

Thank you for reading us, and for supporting us over the past two years. We are truly very grateful for the opportunities given to us, as well as the warm feedback.

We are off to celebrate Christmas and the end of a year with our families, and postings will be intermittent. In the meantime, have a wonderful, wonderful Christmas and may 2016 bring you good health, joy and beautiful memories.

With much love from Yann, Selene & Yi Lin <3

Christmas deals at Our Lifestyle Shop!

[SPONSORED POST] So the Christmas sale at Our Lifestyle Shop has begun! If you have been looking to purchase some of their environmentally-friendly products, now’s the time for you to grab your them at more than 25% off. This is a private sale that is ongoing from now till November 29, before it is made available to the public.

To access the sale, use the promotional code “christmas”.

Here are the Christmas bundles available:

**SAVE $10 when you purchase a KONK 1 Auto Flying Insect Killer Twin Pack (retail: $199.00) PLUS you get to include an add-on refill for only $32 instead of $42.

**SAVE $20 when you purchase a KONK 1 Auto Flying Insect Killer Twin Pack (retail: $199.00) PLUS you get to include an add-on GES PLUS for only $50 instead of $79.90.

**SAVE 25% when you purchase a bundle comprising one GES PLUS and one KONK I HH at $91.43 (usual price: $121.90)

**SAVE 25% when you purchase a bundle comprising one safeHANDS 7oz Bundle Pack (contains three bottles) and one KONK I HH at $76.27 (usual price: $101.70)

**SAVE 25% when you purchase a bundle comprising one safeHANDS 7oz Bundle Pack (contains three bottles) and one B-sanitized at $74.85 (usual price: $99.80)

**Save more than 25% when you purchase the Our Lifestyle Shop Starter Kit comprising one safeHANDS 7oz Bundle Pack (containing three bottles), one B-sanitized and one KONK I HH at $99.60 (usual price: $141.60)

Christmas at east end

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Our Lifestyle Shop, as bubsicles is one of their ambassadors. No monetary compensation was received, we are merely sharing the deals.

Save The Date: Our Lifestyle Shop Christmas deals

PSSST!

We’ve got some deals for you: our friends at Our Lifestyle Shop will be unveiling their Christmas bundles in the coming week. And we get to have first dibs on these exclusive offers (between November 24 to 25)!

We’ll be giving you the heads up on these bundles so see you on November 24, folks.

SG50: Happy birthday, Singapore!

You have your faults, so do we. You are not perfect but neither are we.
No matter what, you will always be home.
Happy 50th, our beautiful Singapore.
May the next 50 years be just as exciting, fulfilling and nothing short of amazing.

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