How time files! I know I say this every month and I'll probably continue saying it ad nauseum, but it's true! Baby T. is getting bigger and barely fits into her 9 month clothes. She's always been small for her age and wore newborn clothes until she was well into month four and five.
Baby T. is always watching everyone. If someone gets up to get a drink, you better believe Baby T.'s eyes are following your every move. Here are some other observations for this little sweetie:
I can't even handle how quickly her first year is going by. Pretty soon we'll be celebrating her first birthday!
A few years ago, my coworker and I would take shots in the break room at work. Don't worry, we weren't downing alcohol. We were shooting apple cider vinegar (ACV)! We heard that it was good for weight loss, clear skin, and other too-good-to-be-true benefits.
Of course, taking shots of ACV was terrible on many levels. It tasted bad and we were apparently messing up the enamel on our teeth. So we decided to dilute it with water and honey. This just prolonged the terrible process. Bleh!
Recently, I've been wanting to give ACV a try again. I've searched and searched for ways to "make ACV taste good." I stumbled upon some recipes that called for apple juice and cinnamon to make ACV taste like apple pie. I can assure you that combination does not taste anything like apple pie. In fact, the sweetness of the apple juice clashes with the ACV and the whole thing just tasted rotten to me. Maybe other people are less sensitive than I am, who knows.
Then I came across an article about a gal who started adding ACV to sparkling water because she tried Bragg's apple cider vinegar blended drink, which she said was basically like sparkling water with ACV. She claimed that "The bubbles seem to amplify the vinegar’s fruity notes, the acid adds spunk, and the seltzer’s flavoring adds character." So I had to try it for myself.
I got two options: mango flavored Bubly sparkling water and Walmart's Fuji Apple sparkling water. First I added ACV to a cold glass of the Bubly sparkling water. It was not great. Not as terrible as the apple juice/ACV combo, but the faint flavor and powerful carbonation just wasn't enough flavor for me. Yes, the ACV wasn't as potent but the drink tasted like a long-ago memory of a mango. No thanks.
Then, I filled an 8oz glass of the Fuji Apple sparkling water and added 1/2 teaspoon of ACV. And I'm happy to report it was completely palatable, dare I say delicious. The flavored sparkling water is good on its own and the addition of the ACV adds a pleasant depth of flavor.
Since I stupidly bought a case of the mango Bubly, I decided to add a little bit of it to the Fuji Apple sparkling water/ACV combo. That way, the memory of the mango is overpowered by the deliciousness of apple. I'm just glad the case of Bubly won't go to waste.
I'm not sure if I'll try other flavors of sparkling water since I feel like I hit the jackpot with the Fuji Apple water, but you never know. Maybe one day I'll feel more adventurous.
All of a sudden, we have a 9 month old! Baby T. has officially been alive as long as I was pregnant with her. It seems like a milestone, doesn't it? More than anything, I can't believe how quickly she's growing.
Here are some recent observations:
Last Friday, I was eating dinner at home when my stomach started churning. I went to the bathroom and stayed in the bathroom the entire evening. Stuff came out from the top and bottom. It was a bad case of food poisoning it seemed. The only thing I ate that no one else had was fried noodles for lunch and steamed asparagus during dinner. It was bad, but I'd had food poisoning before so it wasn't scary.
The next day when I woke up, I felt 100% better to my relief. I ate the rest of the fried noodles thinking that maybe it had been the asparagus that was bad and followed that poor decision with a cookie, some chips, and some Easter jelly beans. I'm always eating junk food even though every time I do, I tell myself it's the last time.
About 30 minutes later, my stomach started hurting. It didn't feel like the food poisoning I felt the night before. My stomach was actually cramping and pulsating in pain. A year ago, when I was pregnant, I had bad stomach cramps and thought something was wrong with the baby. We rushed to my OBGYN and it turns out. . .I was constipated. Omg so embarrassing!! So I figured that I was just constipated again.
I tried to rest but I was in so much pain I started to cry. My husband was like okay, we're going to the ER. I begged him not to make me go since I was probably just constipated and they'd tell me, "take some doo doo medicine." My husband reasoned, "What if it's not constipation?" It was a good point so we left Baby T. with my best friend and her mom and went off the to the ER.
I'll spare you the details of five hours of tears, tests, and high blood pressure in the Pali Momi emergency room. In the end, its turns out I had stomach inflammation! I didn't even know what that was.
Apparently, the food poisoning irritated my stomach and the bad foods I ate the next day exasperated the irritation. Also, when I mentioned that I got the COVID Johnson & Johnson vaccine a week and a half before, one of the nurses said that the vaccine is known to cause inflammation. So that could also have been a factor. But who knows!
The week following my ER visit, I was weak and had no appetite. Through I was still able to nurse Baby T., I was terrified that eating normal food would cause stomach pains again. I ate soup, toast, and other low fat/bland foods.
It's been a little over a week since I was in the ER and I'm finally feeling normal again. I'm doing my best to avoid fatty (aka delicious), oily, salty foods. Whenever I'm tempted to go wild, I remember how miserable I was in the ER, how much I missed Baby T. and how guilty I felt for having to leave her, and how worried I made my husband and best friend.
Eating healthy is a struggle but I know it's worth it for my health, happiness, and baby.
The last you heard from me, the COVID-19 vaccine injection site on my right arm was red, hot, raised, itchy, and just overall uncomfortable. I haven't heard of a lot of people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine who suffered side effects like me (chills, fever, body aches, headache, and of course, COVID arm). That's why I feel like it's important for me to share what happened to me. Here's what I tried, what worked, and what didn't work to remedy my unhappy COVID arm.
I read that hydrocortisone helped some people with the itchiness. Since I'm always getting bitten by mosquitoes, I usually keep some in the first aid kit. Luckily, the Cortizone 10 I had didn't expire until this September so I slathered it on my arm.
It felt less itchy. For about 10 seconds. Then, it was maybe even more itchy! Fail.
I've stocked up on compresses because of my million bouts of mastitis in the past eight months. Anyway, I read that warm compresses have helped people who've experienced pain at the injection site so I tried it. And omg it made the pain worse. Warm compresses did not work for me!
With my aforementioned abundance of compresses, I decided to try a cold compress. And hallelujah it made my arm feel much better, nice, cool, and comforting. The warmth of my arm turned the cold compress warm in 10 minutes but it was better than nothing.
I was complaining about how my arm was so itchy and a friend suggested that aloe gel could help. I had a container of aloe that I bought in hopes of making DIY hand sanitizer during the pandemic but it never came to that. So I slathered the aloe on my COVID arm and it was soothing. This time for 10 minutes or so. Longer than the Cortizone. But I didn't know if it was worth continuously applying the aloe gel. But the success of the cold compress and the aloe gell gave me an idea. . .
(Generic) Benadryl with aloe cooling spray
Finally! Something that actually soothed the pain and itchiness for more than 10 minutes! Once the icy spray hit my arm, it felt locked in and fricking amazing. I only had to apply it once in the morning and once before bed! After two days of using the cooling spray, most of the redness, pain, and itchiness went away.
So I got my Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination on Monday, March 22. I bought and started using the cooling spray on Friday, March 26. By Sunday, March 28, most worst symptoms of my COVID arm were gone. Today, on March 31, the injection site on my arm is still a little raised and sensitive to the touch, but all the pain, redness, and itching are gone.
On the news, I saw that they estimated 0.5% of people who got the Moderna vaccine had a COVID arm reaction. They're not even reporting on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine so I hope this is helpful to anyone out there who's experiencing these scary symptoms after their shot. Feel free to ask me any questions in the comments below.
If I had the choice to either get or not get the shot, I would still without a doubt get the COVID vaccine, even though the side effects were unpleasant. Because I know it's nothing compared to getting the coronavirus.