Stomach Virus- 6, Shawvers- 0

I knew it was bound to happen, but sincerely hoped we’d never experience a stomach virus with the quads.  A stomach bug easily ranks among my top nightmares.  The horror started last Monday during nap.  I heard Harper crying about an hour in and it seemed odd.  When I went to check on him I found a messy surprise.  I tried my hand at homemade yogurt earlier that day and suspected it didn’t agree with him (I also hoped so because food poisoning would be non-contagious).  I consoled Harper, cleaned him, and changed his linens.  Once he was settled, I put him back to bed.  He was relaxed for about 15 minutes before getting sick again.  And again and again.  This was not good.   By the time George arrived home from work Harper seemed like himself again and we prayed it was just the yogurt.  Tuesday went by without incident and it seemed that we were in the clear.

After breakfast on Wednesday, Sydney sprawled out on the cold kitchen tile, face down.  Not good.  As Wednesday progressed, the scene deteriorated as another victim was claimed every few hours.  In order to contain the mess and nurse my sickies, I removed the den coffee table and spread a quilt over our rug then we began a television marathon.

lay a quilt on the floor for sick toddlers

The kids are usually only allowed to watch about two twenty-minute television shows each day (one while I make lunch, and another while I prep dinner).  A television marathon was a huge treat for these sick babies.  To keep it interesting, I switched shows after every episode.  Eventually, a few took naps on their pallet.

lay a quilt on the floor for sick toddlers

The problem then became entertaining Harper who was gaining strength as the others became increasingly ill and Rylin who was still unscathed.  For a while they enjoyed doing puzzles in a far away corner of the den, but then became noisy and rowdy.


None of the kids seem to enjoy electrolyte drinks and became bored with water.  As a treat, they got to eat popsicles in the den.

attach a take n toss cup lid to popsicle sticks to catch the drips

I’m not sure if I saw this somewhere or if it was my own design, but I pulled the popsicle sticks through the straw hole on cup lids to catch the drips.  It worked really well and Sydney found the lid to work as a handle.

Sometime around dinner, Rylin was claimed by the horrific virus and was down for the count.  Sweet Lily held vigil by her side as she rested.

lay a quilt on the floor for sick toddlers

When George got home from work we were both feeling normal and got all four kids tucked into bed.  However, it wasn’t long before George fell victim.  Since I was going strong, I tidied the house and mopped the floors before putting myself to bed.  I slept great for about five hours before the virus attacked me too.  It’s not good when Mom AND Dad are down with a virus.  Not good at all.  Somehow poor George managed to get up with the quads in the morning, changed them, and fed them breakfast.  I was so sick I didn’t stagger out of bed until 9:45 am.

I can’t say exactly what happened the rest of the day on Thursday.  George and I were so sick we could barely lift our own heads and stay coherent on the couch let alone care for the quads.  I’m relatively certain the quads enjoyed an eight-hour television marathon of shows streamed from Amazon Prime.  When the dinner hour approached George managed to steam rice, which I portioned into four plastic bowls and served on the quilt picnic style.  When the rice wasn’t enough for dinner, we handed the quads a box of Cheerios and they served themselves.  I recall a significant Cheerios spill, which the dogs kindly cleaned up.  It was a free for all.  Mysteriously, George and I changed all four into fresh diapers and jammies then tucked them into bed.

I snapped this picture from the couch while the quads noshed on their picnic during the TV marathon.

caring for sick toddlers while being sick

By Friday morning, the worst of it passed and we started getting things back to normal.  The quads protested the lack of television, but clearly felt much better.  The next two days were then devoted to deep cleaning the house and washing tons of laundry.  Our house is probably the cleanest it’s been since we moved in last summer.  I’ve gotten wind that this particular virus is spreading nationwide so wash your hands really well and do what you can to avoid it.  I wouldn’t wish something this terrible on an enemy.  I am thankful we are well again and the weather is stunning so we can enjoy the sunshine.



High Tea

The past week was drizzly cold one and we had four sick toddlers held hostage in the house.  Whining reached epic proportions (not just the kids…parents included).  Desperate to change the pace without actually leaving, I set up high tea for lunch one day.  The quads received a lovely ceramic tea set from Aunt CiC this Christmas and this was just the occassion.  She scored the set at a local Asian market for $1 per piece, which was a brilliant idea because I know it’s food safe and we can add pieces later if needed.

While the quads watched an episode of Sesame Street, I prepped a meal fit for tea.  I created a spread of peanut butter and honey sandwiches, sliced strawberries, and veggie straws.  I also made a small kettle of lemon honey decaf tea (the best stuff for scratchy, sore throats!).  For new scenery, I set the kid-sized table in the playroom with all the needed accoutrements for tea.  Although the tea set was inexpensive, I was admittedly nervous someone might decide to chuck a dish or two; eating at the kid table would mean a shorter distance to the floor.

toddler tea party: lemon honey decaf tea, pb & j sandwiches, strawberries, veggie straws

When the kids are sick, throw a tea party for lunch and be sure to serve lemon honey tea!

Once Sesame Street wrapped up, I invited the quads to join me for high tea.  I explained that we were using our special tea set from Aunt CiCi and it could break if anyone did not respect it.  I emphasized that all dishes were to stay on the table and needed delicate care.   Eight doe brown eyes stared into mine as they nodded in agreement.  I still wasn’t sure how this would go.

Teatime proved magical!  All four cheerily noshed on their meal while politely sipping tea.  Not an hour before they were wallowing in misery, tears, and snot.  Teatime also turned into a great opportunity to practice manners.  Since I poured only a sip or two worth of tea into the cups so they had to request more by saying, “more tea please”.

toddler tea party

My low appetite kids managed to scarf three peanut butter sandwiches, a pint of berries, and several handfuls of veggie straws, all washed down with four cups of tea.   Getting sick kids to eat is a win in it’s own right!  Our impromptu tea party went so swimmingly that we held another today, and it went equally well.  I think tea parties may become part of our TLC routine when everyone is sick.  It certainly brightened everyone’s glum spirits.

toddler tea party

toddler tea party

toddler tea party

As an added bonus, tea cups were great open cup practice.  Everyone did very well sipping, and not one drop of tea touched the floor.  Only two of the four dribbled onto their clothing, but it was minimal.

toddler tea party

What is your favorite way to nurse a cold?  I used to love it when my mom made buttery baked potatoes with iced Sprite.



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