Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reminiscing Photos

Ethan is starting to think about Halloween and what he wants to dress up as this year. So far, we are completely stumped. I showed him pictures last night of his previous Halloween costumes. It was fun to travel down memory lane with him.

My little pumpkin at about 3 weeks old.

Puppy - my personal favorite. His favorite toy at this age was a stuffed Dalmatian and this costume was just too perfect.

Mater from the movie Cars.

Idolizing his Daddy.

It's going to be hard to top some of these adorable looks from previous years, but we're up to the challenge. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

PCOS Awareness and My Story

September is PCOS Awareness month. Since I have been diagnosed with PCOS, and had no clue what is was before my diagnosis, I thought I would share it on my blog. Warning, things are going to get personal and probably TMI, so stop reading now if you are uneasy talking about womanly issues.

If you don't know what PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is, here is a description:

Often called the “Thief of Womanhood”, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) affects as many as 10% of women.  It can rob you of your fertility, cause irregular periods, lead to insulin resistance and obesity, as well as, depression. High levels of androgen hormones in women with PCOS can cause acne, excess facial and body hair growth and male-pattern hair loss. The long term risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers are higher if PCOS is left untreated. (source: PCOS Diva)

 I have always had many of the symptoms, but never knew there was a root cause. I have had to battle heavy periods, 60-90 day cycles, and  work very hard to maintain my weight due to the insulin resistance and a low thyroid. The insulin resistance affects my blood sugar when eating and also makes me have uncontrollable sugar and carb cravings...all.the.time. 

The worst side effect for me has been dealing with adult acne. The older I get, the worse it seems to be getting. The other thing that has been getting worse is my PMS symptoms. Jim could testify to my extreme moodiness and irritability that can last weeks due to my long cycles. Not fun for me or anyone that has to put up with me. 

I found out that I had PCOS after I started seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist when we decided to try for another child and found that we were having issues. 

It turns out that I do not ovulate...hence the very long cycles. My body will gear up to ovulate and then the follicles will turn into cysts instead of releasing an egg. The build up of these cysts in the ovaries can be pretty darn painful.

Some of the treatments for PCOS to reduce the symptoms include weight loss, low carb diets, Metformin (which has traditionally been used to treat diabetes), and birth control pills. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PCOS but these are things that can help with managing the symptoms. 

For myself, I have been through many, many rounds of oral medications to try and get my body to properly make mature follicles and then using a "trigger shot" to get the egg to release. Unfortunately, my body completely refuses to respond to oral stimulation medications.

The next step that I took was to give myself injections of Gonal-F. These injections of hormones do appear to be getting a better response from my body. Now we're at the point of trying to determine what dose works most effectively for my body. 

Being diagnosed with PCOS and infertility was heart breaking at first. I always imagined that I would have a handful of children. Now, I'm very thankful for Ethan and thankful for the team of specialists in Wichita that work with me and encourage me through the process of fertility treatments.

Alright...I warned you that it was going to get personal and TMI on here so no complaining. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pintrest has my Interest

Have you heard of Pintrest yet?

Pintrest is an online tool that you use to tag photos of ideas you see on websites and those photos are posted to your online bulletin boards and linked to their original source for future reference. It's basically a visual bookmarking tool. You can also connect to your friends and follow their boards to see what ideas they are pinning. I love browsing what other people are pinning and repinning those clever ideas onto my boards for future reference.

I started out primarily pinning recipes and house decorating ideas but I've expanded my categories as I have continued to be inspired. 

Here are few of my favorite "Pins" from a couple of my various categories:

Health & Fitness
(I like to post motivation and healthy recipes on this board.)

(Crafts & lots of ideas for Preschool snacks)

Home Decor Inspiration

(Hairstyle tutorials, outfit ideas, my shopping wish list.)

(My most utilized boards. I finally separated them out into savory and sweet categories.)

Birthday Party Planning
(Gathering lots of ideas for celebrating Ethan's big 5th birthday!)

Pintrest is a total time-suck for me. I get lost browsing all the ideas and inspirations. It's a great site to play around on when you are needing to waste time and it also helps keep me organized with the recipes I'm wanting to try, kid activities I'm planning, etc.

If you would like to view my pins or connect, my Pintrest profile is: http://pinterest.com/t_knowles

Happy Pinning!

Friday, September 2, 2011

First Day of Preschool

Ethan started his second year of Preschool last month. He was excited to go back to school and to reunite with all of his friends. Such a big boy.