PCOS Series: Breakthrough Bleeding

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One of the most common symptoms of PCOS is a wonky period schedule.  I know for myself, I have never in my life had a predictable cycle.  Sometimes they were 28 days, sometimes 34 days, and more often than not, any random number of days, meaning I could go months and months with no sign of a period at all.

Awesome if you aren’t trying to conceive, because who wants a period anyway, right?  But there is science behind why that happens, and it’s important to understand how your body is working so you can try to combat irregular symptoms, of which there are many in PCOS!

Some women with PCOS think they are continuing to have “regular” cycles because they bleed every month, but in fact what is often happening is called estrogen breakthrough bleeding or anovulatory bleeding.  This happens when there is no ovulation, which means no progesterone is produced.  Without progesterone to balance out the estrogen, the endometrial wall is constantly thickening, unable to shed because it is lacking the necessary hormonal messages.

A period that occurs during an anovulatory cycle can be irregularly heavy, due to the increased thickening.  Sometimes, however, the bleeding can be lighter.  Or you may notice blood clots, some of which can be alarmingly large.  Trust me, friends, I speak from experience.  In general, the advice is to notify your doctor if the clots you are passing are larger than an egg.  Larger than an egg!   Fun times.

It is helpful to know what is normal for you, so you can judge each cycle and note the differences.  Because of all the huge hormonal fluctuations in women with PCOS, periods can be very different even cycle to cycle.  I myself have had a cycle last for over 3 weeks with insanely heavy bleeding, flooding, clots, etc that had me nearly housebound.  If you find yourself in this position, talk to your doctor!  There are medications your doctor can give you to help stop the bleeding, not to mention, there are several ways to help manage PCOS symptoms.

Know what is your normal, keep a journal, mark your calendars, keep yourself informed.  Knowledge is power, my friends, and the more you know about yourself and how your body works, the better equipped you are to treat it and take care of it.  It is also super helpful for sharing the information with your doctor, who can then help you to come up with a game plan for treatment.

Speaking of doctors, if your doctor is not helpful with helping you treat your PCOS symptoms, or infertility, or anything for that matter, if they are quick to simply blame your being overweight for your health problems, RUN AWAY!!  That is a lazy cop out, and you deserve a doctor who cares and who will treat you fairly and with respect.

Also, women with PCOS aren’t always overweight!  There are lots of thin cysters out there, having the same problems, minus the weight issues that are often common with the disorder.

There is no cure for PCOS, only treatment.  This is why I am so passionate about learning everything that I can about it and sharing it with you.  There is still so much to be learned about it all, but understanding what is happening is a huge step in the right direction.

Stay tuned for lots more in this series, and be well my friends!

 

 

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It can always be worse…..

Having a crappy day, where everything is going wrong, I feel like a failure, I am so crabby and so defeated I want to scream and then sob.

Took car in for safety check to renew plates, hit with a $1000 completely unforseen repair bill.  Finally ready to renew the plates online, don’t have my property tax receipts, don’t even know if they still exist in our possession, or if they are forgotten ash from the house fire.  Rushed to get daughter off to dance class over 30 minutes away, find out she does not have dance on Monday nights.

I can rattle off a thousand more reasons for my foul mood, and in the back of my mind, I can’t help but realize that things could certainly be worse, as the universe has proven to us more than once in the last several months.

Does that make me feel better?

The answer is no.  I still feel like screaming and crying and hiding under the covers until all the adulting is done and over with.

Being responsible blows, folks.

Caliente!

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I have been gargling a hellish brew today, consisting of raw apple cider vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper, coconut oil and herbal tea, attempting a holistic approach to curing the strep throat my lovely baby has shared with me.  Yes, it’s as yummy as it sounds!  I’m also ingesting spoonfuls of raw garlic, a natural antibiotic, and continuing with probiotic supplements, trying to slowly rebuild and strengthen my immunity.  The hippie in me refuses to give up, I will fight this the natural way, antibiotic and doctor free!!

I’m still fighting illness upon illness in a tired, old, vicious cycle.  I do believe the end is near.  Not my death, mind you, but of the never ending illness on top of illness.  This is what I choose to believe anyway.

The days are getting warmer, the grass greener, and surely, surely better health is on my horizon!!

I’m scared of what the coming year brings, when we introduce another child to their first year of school, bringing home all of these horrid super cooties.  By then, universe willing, I will have gotten a grip on things and my body will be better prepared to fight off said cooties.

I’m also reading up on PCOS, reacquainting myself with all of the technical terms and the inner workings of the beast.  I am determined to rein it in this year, and to reclaim my fertility along with my health.  I have eliminated big stressors in my life, and after a weekend of uncertainty, expecting big drama and only getting a small, passive aggressive gesture, I feel like I can breathe deep and be selfish, thinking of myself first and focusing on positive change.

Change is GOOD!!!  (Well some change is good……Do you know Shemar Moore left Criminal Minds?! That change is NOT good and this baby girl is still heartbroken over that!)

My cousin has told me she sees a baby in my near future, my daughter has told me that her fairies see a baby in my near future, and just this past weekend, my aunt shared a tarot reading with me that seemed to hint at a baby in my near future.  These people are my heart and soul, and if even they feel the baby vibes, then surely the universe is in agreement!

So through the cruddy illnesses and crappy luck, I am continuing to see sunshine and rainbows.  I started some seeds today for our garden, and I am going to surround myself with love and happiness until it all finally sinks in and I see all of my dreams come true.

I hope this post finds you all in good health and smiles, and if not, know that I am wishing it for you.  Be happy and be well, my friends.

Thankful…

The holidays are fast approaching, along with that fast paced spend, spend spend message that gets shoved down our throats every time you watch tv or read a paper.  It’s a time of year I both love and hate.  I love the rituals, the time with friends and family, the decorations and fun activities.  I loathe the fear of spending beyond our means, of bills piling up, of letting someone down with the “wrong” gift.

The expectation is so high, it’s nearly impossible not to fail somewhere during the holiday season, and when things are tight financially, that failure feels a bit like an ever tightening noose.

We are ever so slowly digging out of massive piles of debt.  This time last year, I was a hot mess, worried about putting food on the table, not to mention the pressure of holiday gifts!

This year, there is still loads of debt, but we are better.  I was raised believing that credit cards are to be used when the cash isn’t there, whether it is necessity or for fun.  It was what I thought was normal, and I simply accepted that as truth.

Then I woke up.

Well, that is to say, our bills got so out of control that I could not pay them all.  Every minute of every day was filled with worry and stress.  Two things that have very negatively affected my health and well being even to this day.

I am struggling with gifts this year for our extended family.  I have great plans of things to make for people with my new found yarn skills, but then I beat myself down over it, too worried that it won’t seem like “enough” to the recipient.  That’s silly, I know.  I planned on making my mom a crocheted afghan, something that would literally take weeks to make, would be made with love and especially for her, but every time I started on it, my mood quickly soured because I knew it would not be appreciated.

Not being one who crafts in any way, or has any knowledge of how long things like that take to create, there would be no way for her to know how long or hard I labored on it, and to be unappreciated after all the aching hours of work and dedication just prevents me from even trying.

Ugh.  Family drama, am I right?  😛

Anyway, that all said, and back to the title of this post, I have a lot to be thankful for.

Yesterday, we noticed a band of pick up trucks parked outside, and watched as they filled them up with all of the 20+ years of memories of our next door neighbor.  Today his truck was towed away.  He has lost his home to foreclosure.

He is a quiet, kind man, with a sweet dog named Chili, and a grand daughter named Bella who is 5 and has a major crush on Matthew.  She came over often to play, and the kids and dogs liked to visit with Chili through the fence.  I am unsure of the circumstances that led to him losing his house, but I can’t help but feel very sad for him.

I am reminded of how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads, with a mortgage that is paid on time every single month.  We have food to eat, cars to get us where we need to go, and the love and support of each other.

Money is nothing.

Our kids won’t look back 20 years from now and complain about the toys and things they didn’t get for Christmas.  They will look back and remember the friends and family we spent the holidays with.  They will remember the Christmas movies and cookies and candies and snow and driving around to look at the light displays.  They will remember the annual dance Christmas recital, and visiting Santa, singing carols in the car at the top of their lungs.  They will look back at pictures of the fur babies in festive sweaters, and see the hand made ornaments and gifts they made for us in school.  One day, they will be married and have kids and new traditions will be born.

Isn’t that what matters?

I will being trying my best, not to let the fear of money or the lack thereof to ruin my holidays, and instead, I will be present in the moment and making memories with the people that I love.

Be thankful, and have a truly blessed holiday season!!

ShaveMob Review!

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Okay, I have an awesome new subscription service for you that is completely necessary and also brilliant!  Who doesn’t shave?  I mean, honestly, everyone buys razors, men and women, and I don’t know about you, but it’s not the most fun thing on my list!  It also seems to be the one thing that never makes it on the list, making it easily forgotten until it’s time to shave again and all you have is a dull old razor to work with.  Ouch.  Plus, have you been to the razor aisle lately?  Razors and replacement blades are crazy expensive!  The price alone makes me often suffer through a dull blade longer than I should!

In comes ShaveMob!

Through their website, you choose either a men’s or women’s package, and from there, you get to pick exactly which blades you prefer.  3 blade, 4 blade even 6 blade is an option!  More blades equal less swipes equals less irritation equal shorter shave time and happy shaver!  Like an extra trim blade or flex head?  You can choose that in your options!

Here’s where it gets really awesome.  You can keep your razor supply stocked for as little as $2 a month!  Two dollars, my friends!  And the super fancy 6 blade options?  Yeah, as low as $3.33 per month!  That is crazy!  So the blades must suck, right?  Wrong!  These blades are stainless steel, precision cut, non clogging flow through design with a lubricating strip and  easy grip, ergonomic handle.

You can buy a 2 month supply, which consists of one handle and 4 cartridges, a 6 month supply, which consists of one handle and 12 cartridges, or get a full 12 month supply, which consists of a handle and 24 cartridges!  You are saving 70% over those other brands, many of which are far inferior!

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When ShaveMob contacted me about reviewing their service, I requested a men’s kit because Abe was looking pretty shabby and overdue for a shave.  I asked him not to shave while we waited for it to arrive, and soon I had a lumberjack in the family!  Well, when the kit finally arrived, the lumberjack beard became a playoff beard, and now there is no convincing him to shave!  At least not until after the Cardinals win the World Series here in a few more games.  😉

So, that being said, I totally stole his kit and used it for myself.  Yup, you snooze you lose in this house!

Let me just say, I have super dark, thick, coarse hair and I have sensitive skin.  Cheap-y razors do not work with me.  I jumped right into the super deluxe 6 blade razors, and wow!  Just, wow!  Super smooth results, single swipe efficient, and no catching, ripping or pulling.  I had zero razor burn, zero irritation, just baby soft, smooth skin.

These razors are top notch, high quality.  To get them delivered right to your door without having to navigate the dreaded razor aisle at the big box stores and dropping big money is a huge luxury that just makes sense.

As an added bonus, and in support of October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ShaveMob is donating twenty-five cents ($0.25) of every woman’s razor sale to Rocky Mountain Cancer Assistance through their “Pink Razors for Pink Ribbons” donation effort.  Read more by clicking HERE.

Okay, so they have an awesome product, they save you time money and hassle, and they are passionate about making the world a better place through charitable donations and awareness.  What are you waiting for?!

Try them out for yourself and join the mob!

Click HERE to go directly to the ShaveMob website and get your own subscription.

Click HERE to follow ShaveMob on Twitter.

“Like” ShaveMob on Facebook by clicking HERE.

The awesome folks at ShaveMob sent me a kit for review purposes free of charge.  I was not compensated in any other way, and I really do think their service is awesome!

July Citrus Lane Box!

It’s mid July, and as has become tradition in this household, that means it’s time for our monthly Citrus Lane box!

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This month’s box was full of all kinds of neat things, so let’s jump right in!

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Bynto by Goodbyn

This month, we were greeted by a huge bynto box, perfect for packing lunches or snacks, and completely dishwasher safe!  The compartments of the Bynto keep food completely separated, even with the lid closed!  No crumbs will be intermixing here, perfect for the pickiest of eaters that refuses to eat anything that has touched another food.  Oh, the horror!

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Dishwasher-Safe Sticker Set by Goodbyn

What kid doesn’t love stickers?  To go along with that huge Bynto, this month’s box included a massive sticker set, with over 100 stickers that are also dishwasher safe!  Now your kids can completely customize their Bynto, and you can still throw that puppy in the dishwasher without fear of the stickers coming off!  A very cool addition to this set is an “I’m allergic to” sticker that can be filled out to alert anyone in charge of caring for your children.  Plus, stickers are just awesome!

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Cool It Buddy Instant Cold Pack by Me4Kidz

This is the perfect solution for bumps and bruises while out and about.  I’m sure as moms, everyone has some sort of nifty little cold pack, just sitting in their freezer and awaiting it’s calling to help soothe a boo boo.  But as awesomely organized as we may all be, does anyone actually think to pack that ice pack with you on the go?  Of course not, that would be a pain to keep cold!  Well, here is the solution!  This pack includes two one time use cold packs that can be instantly activated out in the battlefield..er..playground, just when you need it!  Definitely a cool addition to the mommy secret stash!

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Lace & Trace by Melissa & Doug

We are big fans of Melissa & Doug items in this house, so we were really excited to see this packed into our box this month!  Sturdy, wooden made, fun panels with color coordinated laces, perfect for making learning fun!  The pieces are nice and big, making them easy for little hands to hold, and the fun designs make the kids excited to learn, which is always a big bonus.  This is a set that I know will get a lot of use in our family, and I feel good knowing it’s teaching my kids while they have fun.  Love the adorable farm animals!

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Mighty Shield Bug Repellent Lotion by Episencial

Tis the season for bug bites!  Boo!  Rest easy using this repellent though, because it is safe and effective for the whole family!  No harsh, nasty chemicals here, just natural plant nectars and essential oils in a lightweight formula that is not greasy at all and can be layered with sunscreen.  We avoid the heavy, chemical laden sprays in our house, and in fact, I sent my boys off to Boy Scout Summer Camp with home made bug/tick repellent, so this is a welcome addition to our pest line of defense!

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Postagram by Sincerely Inc.

This is an awesome little app that lets you make printed postcards straight from your smartphone!  This month’s box included a code for 10 free prints!  What a perfect way to share some of those fun summer memories with loved ones!  And come on now, who doesn’t love getting mail?!

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We were very happy with our box this month, as usual!

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We have been getting Citrus Lane boxes for over a year now, since March of 2012.  I pay for my boxes myself, so all of these monthly reviews are completely honest!  I still believe that Citrus Lane is an awesome value and an awesome service.  We have been introduced to some amazing new companies and some really neat products.  I appreciate the fact that they truly go out of their way to pick items that are safe and fun for the whole family.  There have certainly been some boxes that were just over the top amazing, and a few that while a little less exciting, still proved to be a great addition to our growing stash of awesome.  I love getting that happy little box of sunshine on my doorstep each month!

Are you interested in a getting a subscription of your own?  Well, I can help you!  Click HERE to sign up and you will get $10 off your new subscription!  You can get as little as 3 months, or as much as a full year!  You can also Click HERE and enter the code TAKEHALF for 50% off your first box!  You can cancel your subscription at any time, but why would you want to do that?

House Hunt Over?

We decided to plunge into our home search just recently, and made an appointment to see our very first house.  The original home that we planned on seeing looked and sounded great on paper.  They had recently dropped the price by about $15,000, it had a full basement, 2 car garage, over half an acre of land, etc.  We were very excited to go look at it!  So much so, that we drove by the house the evening before to scope it out and get a better feel for it.

What an eye opening experience that was!

Before we ever even found the house, I was dangerously close to an anxiety attack just driving through the “subdivision”.  The roads were one lane!  And yes, cars came from both directions!  There were no shoulders to pull off into to let the other cars pass, and the roads were covered in falling branches from the recent snow we had just days ago.

When we finally did find the house, it was at the top of a very steep hill.  Just pulling into the driveway, our car scraped the pavement.  The driveway was a major hike, not flat at all, not even when we pulled up close to the garage.  The land, as you can imagine, was all hill.  I mean, there was not one single place you could step where you weren’t bracing yourself not to roll all the way down to the street.  Not cool.

Another not cool part of the house, you had to climb a massive deck staircase to get to the front door.  And the deck?  Yeah, completely rotten and falling apart.  Scary stuff!

Peeking inside the windows showed an okay interior, but nothing that could possibly make you forget the terrible outside.  We got back in the car and scraped out of that driveway and hilly neighborhood as quickly as we could.

That trip was really discouraging.  There aren’t a whole lot of houses in our price range and desired area right now.  After we went home, I played around on some real estate apps I have on my iPad.  There was this one house, not too far away, that we had looked at a few times online.  They recently dropped the price almost $15,000, and it was in a very desirable area for us, same school district for the kids and not too far from shopping and grandmas.

We knew that the home was bank owned, and from the pictures, you could tell that the carpet was missing.  I was still feeling pretty discouraged, but we decided to drive out to take a look at the house and see if it was worth scheduling an appointment.

What a difference!

This home is in a brand new subdivision, they are still building homes all over the place.  The house itself is on a nice, flat, quiet cul-de-sac and there is even a decent sized flat yard that backs to woods and a creek.  We decided to make an appointment to see the house and called our realtor.

We had to bring flashlights with us because the utilities are off in the home.  Once we walked in, it was obvious that the previous owners had a decent sized temper tantrum when they left the home.  All the carpeting was ripped out, all the door knobs were missing, and the light fixtures were but a memory.

I don’t understand why people do that, but at the same time, it may work out in our favor.  As we looked around the house, which is only four years old by the way, we could tell that it was well built and had a lot of potential.  Honestly, in one weekend, we could have it looking brand new.  Carpeting, lights, door knobs, paint, those are all relatively easy fixes.  We would have to get shelves and rods and even tracks for the closets, because they ripped all of those out.  Our realtor thinks that we can get the house for about $20,000 less than it’s already greatly reduced price.

Ummm…awesome!

We had planned on getting a house that needed a little work anyway, so this might just be the perfect fit!

Woolzies Dryer Balls Review!

Today I have a super cool product to tell you about.  Not only is this product eco friendly and 100% natural, but it will save you time and money and it actually works!  Are you intrigued?  Then let me introduce you to Woolzies Dryer Balls!

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Woolzies Dryer Balls are made out of 100% pure New Zealand wool.  Each ball is individually handmade and works very effectively to soften your laundry without any nasty chemicals at all whatsoever!  An added bonus to using Woolzies Dryer Balls, is that they can actually shorten your drying time by an average of 25% per load!  That is less time the dryer is on, sucking up electricity, heating up your home, and cooking your clothes!  The balls also work naturally to reduce static and wrinkles.

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Each set of Woolzies Dryer Balls is guaranteed to last for 1,000 loads of laundry!  That’s a lot of laundry!  Using them is simple, just remove the balls from the package and throw them in your dryer.  No need for fabric softeners of any kind because remember, the Woolzies Dryer Balls will naturally soften your clothes.  Did you know that traditional fabric softeners are made from lard?  That’s why your washing machine gunks up and gets that funky, rancid smell every so often.  Not to mention all the added, nasty, unnecessary chemicals that you are coating your clothes with.  Having children with sensitive skin, I can certainly appreciate cutting more chemicals out of their daily life.

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As a side note, my three year old and one year old thinks it is completely hilarious when the balls fall out of the dryer while emptying the clothes.  It then becomes a fun race to see if they can retrieve them for me before the dog does.  🙂

But what if you are allergic to wool?

Woolzies are hypoallergenic and completely safe for people with wool sensitivities!  The wool balls will not shed on your laundry.

After several loads of laundry, a common theme in this large family, I can tell you that Woolzies are completely awesome.  I absolutely notice that my clothes are much softer when using the dryer balls.  A lot softer.  And the clothes absolutely get dry much faster, meaning laundry day turns into laundry morning instead of an all day event.  Yay!

Woolzies Dryer Balls are a huge money saver, when you factor in how much money you normally spend on regular fabric softener, not to mention the electricity money saved.  And they are completely eco friendly, so you can genuinely feel good about using this product.

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Not only will Woolzies save you money and reduce the chemicals in your life, but they are handmade in the democratic republic of Nepal, providing a steady source of income to the desperately needy women of that country.  Win/win.

Get your very own Woolzies Dryer Balls by clicking HERE and visiting their website.

“Like” Woolzies on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Follow Woolzies on Twitter by clicking HERE.

The awesome folks at Woolzies provided me with a sample for review purposes and to share their awesome product with my readers.  I was not compensated in any other way, and I really do think their product is amazing!