Thursday, February 18, 2010


Fiona is sick. AGAIN. That child has a viral or bacterial infection at least twice a month. Always with the congestion, cough, fever. And the rest of us get sick fairly often too. Why?! I mean, I know I am not winning any housekeeping awards or anything. I dust maybe once a year. Okay, I lie. I never dust. We vacuum our hardwood floors maybe every 2-4 weeks, and the bathrooms get cleaned once a month or so. So yeah, my house is probably germy. But what about all those studies that say that people are getting sick more now because of hyper-cleanliness? So shouldn't my kids' immune system be boosted by the, um, state of my home?

Then there is nutrition, yeah it's not like the kids eat vitamins. No veggies, not much fruit. Their diet consists mostly of carbs, proteins, dairy and sugars. However trying to get my children to eat a vegetable, or take a vitamin, is a true Mission Impossible. It. Can. Not. Be. Done.

And allergies. Fiona is allergic to everything environmental, as am I. Cats, yep, we have 3. Dust, did I mention I don't dust? Pollens should be down since it's winter, but we are both allergic to mites and are supposed to have all hypo-allergenic bedding, mattresses etc but that costs up the Ass and we can't afford that shit. So we take allergy medicine daily and hope for the best.

So I guess you are all laughing yourselves silly right now thinking "and she still wonders WHY her kids are sick all the time?" Well, yeah! I mean I get that our allergies in particular make us more prone to respiratory infections, but still!

I'm hoping that one of my dear friends can give me some suggestions as to how I can make our lives healthier, without, you know, requiring me to dust. Or get rid of the cats. Or feed my kids vegetables. Other than that, all suggestions please!


leaner said...

House plants. Seriously it sounds silly but we put a house plant near many windows and suddenly we were getting sick less. Plus the kids love to water them.
(hahahahah the word verification has the word SICK in it! it says im ill sick)

jae said...

I'm sorry to hear that she (and you guys) are constantly getting sick. That's just miserable.

Over the years with Nevan I've become more spastic about cleaning and sanitizing everything because he was getting sick more often than I felt was normal. I went to the doctor a couple of times saying - okay, this really can't be normal! We've been sick over and over for months! - just to be reassured that because of the season, age, exposure to schools etc it was. She advised that:

- we regularly get flu shots (and this year got the H1N1)
- we sanitize responsibly (meaning try not to be anal retentive about it)
- avoid areas that are hands on and extremely germy, like museums and playgrounds and pay special attention to what your kids touch

With that advice in mind, I carry sanitizing wipes and gel with me and wipe down things grocery cart handles and quarter ride machines and Nevan uses the "magic soap" after trips to any place where he's touching stuff. I also try to drill it into Nevan's head that he should touch his face as little as possible when he's playing. The germiest places in your house are the sinks and showers, so I often scrub a bit in the shower a couple times a week just to get two done at once. Also, toys are a germ nightmare. It might be time to throw the water-safe ones in a tub full of diluted vinegar.

So... that's my advice. It's really hard to find the time to keep things clean when you're working all the freakin' time :( But doing a little every day or every other day will cut down the workload and get some germs out of there. Also, this time of year people aren't getting very much fresh air, especially in their homes. Maybe try airing it out! Best of luck.

jae said...

p/s by avoiding museums and playgrounds, I meant avoiding them when you're already sick so that you don't further your exposure as well as don't spread your germs to others, as well as doing some serious hand washing immediately after playing or visits to places that are obviously germy. We wash up past the wrists with soap and warm water whenever possible to try avoid overusing hand sanitizer.

Since I've adopted this ethic, as well as an anal house cleaning ethic, a couple of years ago our rate of sickness has noticeably decreased. Anyways, hope that helps.