It seems that our home has been besieged again…. this time by coxsackievirus. Otherwise know as Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.

Don’t worry – adults don’t usually get it and Pat and I feel just fine. But the Bug has been miserable. And it’s highly contagious among the under 5 set. What started as a cough turned into a high fever — that lasted days. Red-ringed blisters on the throat. Conjunctivitis (the Bug keeps telling me she has soap in her eyes…). The virus can develop into blisters on the hands and feet, but we’ve luckily been spared that.

Two days in a row the Bug was up every 20-30 minutes. And while we can give a little children’s ibuprofen and popsicles to help ease the pain, there is no antibiotic for this mess.

{{Translate: There has been very little sleeping going on in our house…}}

Hand, Foot and Mouth disease seems to conjure up images of the black plague. A few people have reacted with a “That still HAPPENS to people?” or “Where did she get THAT? On a farm?” My guess is she got it from a playground, but this awful virus is uber common in toddlers.

According to my pediatrician, this virus is rampant in our area right now. There is no real way to prevent it aside from frequent hand washing — and even that is not a fail safe. From

Coxsackieviruses are very contagious. They can be passed from person to person on unwashed hands and surfaces contaminated by feces. They also can be spread through droplets of fluid sprayed into the air when someone sneezes or coughs.

In case you’re in the same boat, here are a few ways we’ve been beating the cabin fever:

  • Blowfish Club House: The Bug has a Blowfish pool with an embedded sprinkler system. It’s been a little too cool for a pool this week, so we brought it inside and filled it with balls. She took the balls out and made it into a clubhouse.
  • The Movie Marathon: I can’t watch Tinkerbell’s Fairy Rescue, Wiggle Time or Mickey’s Clubhouse Choo Choo one more time. I’m pretty sure I’ll have mouskanightmares (sorry Mickey). Curious George has been a fan favorite. Splurged on Tangled and Happy Feet last night at Target on a provision run just for a little variety. Sometimes she watches, sometimes it’s just plain background noise.
  • Exercising: Apparently, Wiggle Time doubles as a toddler work out. Arms Up. Arms Down. Now bend…
  • Flying: Although I can’t watch Tinkerbell’s Fairy Rescue one more time, the Bug could watch it on repeat. Complete with fairy wings and a tutu. That’s how we fly in this house.
  • Play Dough. Play Dough. And MORE Play Dough.
  • Skype. The Bug has been skyping or calling various family members all day so she can “talk.”
  • Laundry Forts. I’m sure you can imagine the amount of laundry we’ve been going through with days of fever. The Bug has been taking the clean sheets out of the dryer and making forts. Yes, that DOES mean they have to be rewashed after being dragged around the house. Oh well?
  • Oliviaaaa. Oliviaaa. Oliviaaa. {Can you hear the theme song?} We have some new Olivia books and I could recite them by memory at this point…
  • Pops. Popsicles. The organic vitamin c lollipops from Moms Organic Market have been a huge hit. We’ve learned that one can subsist on lollipops, popsicles, applesauce and smoothies. That’s all the Bug has been eating.
  • Bouncing. More specifically KneeBouncers. Enough said.
  • Coffee. STRONG coffee.

Good news? After 4 days, the Bug is starting to feel better. Looks like we’ll be holding down the Fort for another day or so… and then we’ll be able to remove the black shroud from the front door and rejoin the human race.

{{No, I really don’t have a black shroud on the door.}}

If you’re swinging by our neighborhood , we could definitely use coffee … But don’t come in. Just leave it on the porch. 🙂