Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A little bit Audrey

My girlfriends and I took 4 days off from real life and hopped on a plane to Seattle and its surrounding areas. The whole trip deserves its own post, but for now let's focus on the fact that while shopping I found this awesome LBD for $39.99.

The price was nice and all, but I mainly bought the dress because besides the fact that I can wear a LBD pretty much anywhere, this particular one made me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and if you want my advice, when you find an article of clothing that makes you feel like Audrey for under $40, you buy it, dah-ling, okay?

I feel like she would approve, don't you?

dress: Madewell, shoes: J Crew, sunnies: husband's Ray-Ban

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Treatment options for your child's ear infections

{photo via}

Before Benjamin started daycare I could count in one hand the amount of times he had gotten sick. Two. Nowadays it seems like my life revolves around a tissue box, not only does he get sick, but he shares the germs with Tim and I often.
His pediatrician assures me that it is perfectly normal for toddlers, and children in general,  to get sick when they start daycare, and he even tries to comfort me by saying that every cold he gets now is one less he will get in kindergarten. Being as it may, Tim and I were pretty scared the night (they always get sick at night, don’t they?) that a fever and his screams landed us in the emergency room.
If you are not a first time parent as we are, you have probably guessed that what Ben had was a cold that turned into an ear infection, one of the most frustrating and common health issues that a parent has to deal with, and if you aren't of the initiated yet, count yourself among the lucky few. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) states that 5 out of 6 children experience at least one ear infection before the age of 3. That is a lot of kids – and parents – dealing with this painful condition.
To make things more difficult, there isn't a solitary, identifiable cause of pediatric ear infections. Childhood susceptibility to ear infections is often attributed to the configuration of a child's ear canal. In an adult, the Eustachian tube, the channel connecting the ear to the nose, angles down. This allows debris, fluid and secretions to flow from the ear down to the nostrils. In children, though, this tube tends to be horizontal. Without a downward tilt, fluid and other substances can accumulate rather than travel down and out of the nostrils. Large adenoids can also contribute to blockages, which can lead to infections. 
A less common (but serious) cause of ear infections, especially in toddlers, is a foreign body in the ear. One California mom noticed her daughter was crying more often than usual and generally in a bad mood. After being referred to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician, she discovered that her daughter had placed the battery of a hearing aid in her own ear. The firmly lodged battery damaged the ear drum and caused earwax, bacteria, and sloughed skin to buildup and cause an ear infection. The mom wore hearing aids herself and suspected that her daughter was trying to mimic her morning routine. 
The symptoms of ear infections can be difficult to identify. According to the website of Alaska Center for Ear, Nose & Throat (ACENT) in Anchorage, children may only show subtle signs of an ear infection, such as irritability or a low-grade fever. If you notice changes in your child's behavior that might indicate an ear infection, be sure to take him or her to their primary care provider. If your child suffers from chronic ear infections, it may be best to seek the care of an ENT specialist. The site goes on to say that frequent ear infections, even if they resolve, can interfere with normal speech development. 
Fortunately, there are quite a few treatment options available to limit your child's discomfort from occasional ear infections, and to prevent chronic or recurrent ear infections:
At-home Treatment
Most viral ear infections resolve on their own within 1 or 2 weeks. Symptoms usually improve within the first 2 or 3 days, and you can help this along with measures like warm compresses, pain medications, and ear drops. However, if you don't know how long the infection has been active or your child is in agonizing pain, you should contact your physician. The same applies if you know your child is prone to recurrent ear infections since these may not clear up without intervention.
Antibiotics are usually prescribed for bacterial ear infections, or for other ear infections with severe symptoms. Unlike viral ear infections, bacterial ear infections clear up quickly with a course of antibiotics. 
Ear Tubes
These gommet-like devices are an effective and nonpermanent choice for kids with recurrent ear infections. Ear tubes, or tympanostomy tubes, open up the ear drum to help prevent fluid buildup and reduce the risk of future ear infections. The tubes are placed through a minor outpatient procedure that can be done using local anesthetic, or brief general anesthetic for children. The tubes are intended to fall out after 6 to 12 months so there is no need for a second removal procedure. The American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery has more in depth information on ear tubes. 
Adenoid Removal
In some cases, an adenoidectomy may be the best option to help tackle recurrent ear infections. An adenoidectomy is a procedure that surgically removes the adenoids, which are a mass of tissue located on the back wall of your nasal cavity. Sometimes a child's adenoids are very large, or become repeatedly infected, or both, leading to blockage of the Eustachian tube. This build-up of fluid can lead to sinus infections and ear infections. After careful consideration, a physician may recommend removing a child's adenoids to reduce the incidence of ear infections in some cases. 
Fascinating, the things that we get to know once we become parents! Of course, no matter which course of action you choose, it is always important to consult with your child's physician to make sure that the strategy you choose is the best choice given your child's medical history. 
I hope that this information sheds some light on how to treat this common, yet annoying part of raising a child. Just remember that kids need to be exposed to viruses to build their immune systems, and in the process yours might get a boost too.

*This post is sponsored by Alaska Center for Ear, Nose, and Throat (ACENT). Thank you for supporting the brands and businesses that make Living Alaska possible.

Monday, July 27, 2015

8 Stars of gold on a field of blue

Natasha Price from {{Alaska Knit Nat}}is a genius flower crown maker, {{flower arrangement maker extraordinaire}}and a fabulous knitter. 

I commissioned her to make me an Alaskan hat, and all my dreams came true when I got not only my hat, but a mini-version for my son. 

Natasha knows that twinning is the way to my heart. 

For a free pattern {{click here}} or contact Natasha and she will make you one just like this one in no time. Not to be Debbie Downer, but you need a hat because winter is coming. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Her Tern Half: Run Happy

{photo courtesy of Steph Wright}

"Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside your head that yells "I can't". But you don't listen, you just push harder, and then you hear the voice whisper "I can". That's when you discover that the person you thought you were, is no match for the one you are." 

This is why I run, because with each accomplishment I realize that greatness has no peak, that I can always improve, and I try to make that thought translate into my work, my relationships, and my life in general. 

Today's race - my first half marathon - took everything I had physically speaking, but running never takes back more than it gives, and I am delighted with my race results. I kept tempo pace throughout and finished 5 minutes faster than my goal. 

But I didn't get here alone, so please allow me to give thanks:

First I am thankful to God for giving me this incredible body, His temple, that in the last couple years has made, birthed, and fed a child, AND ran a half-marathon. He gives me not only that, but a beautiful state to run in and take in the beauty of His work.  Did you guys see the gorgeous bluebird day He gave us for the race? 

I would like to thank my four coaches, Emma Bohman, Hallidie Wilt, Whitney  Bennet, and Jen Yach, you are incredible! Your instruction and encouragement are invaluable and helped me down to the last hill, where Emma and Hallidie ran with me, just when my body wanted to give up. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

To my girl, Amy Anderson, who finished today's race 13th overall! I admire you as a woman, a mother, and a runner. Thank you for counseling me, for listening to my freak outs, and for believing in me. Our friendship means more to me than words can say. 

To my running partner, Brenda Lester, girl, we did it! Thank you for sticking with me Mama B! I am grateful for you. 

To my friends Les and Steph for listening to my race talk for the last 3 months, and for coming to watch me finish. Fist bump. 

And last but never least, to my husband Tim, for always believing in me, for never doubting me for a second, for kicking me out of bed early on Saturdays so I could get in a long run, for taking care of our son so I could train. My struggles have been your struggles, and my victory is just as much yours. I love you. 

{Gee. You'd think I won the Nobel prize or something, but I promise I'm almost done.}

Lastly, I'd like to dedicate my first half-marathon to my son, Benjamin. You will see me struggle, baby, but you will never see me give up. This one's for you!

And now for the pictures!

Pre-race with Brenda

Pre-race with coach Whitney and coach Emma

Oh hi!

Blowing kisses to my cheering squad.

On my way to the finish line {photo by Rick Schleyer}

The Wrights at the finish line.

I run for mimosas, hey, that's my name!

Amy girl!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Four years

This picture will go down in history as our 4 year anniversary picture, because nothing says I love you better than a tree butt. 

Four years ago we said I do, for better or worse, and God has been gracious in granting us lots of good days. This year we decided to celebrate a few days earlier by doing what we do best in the summer, hiking and passing the time in a quiet cabin. 

Most of our weekend was spent showing Benjamin a lot of firsts: first squirrel, first driving lesson {relax, the car was turned off}, first pizza dinner, and it was great to enjoy ourselves watching our son enjoy himself. Love has grown us in ways we didn't expect.

I asked Tim where he thinks we will be in 4 more years, and he said: "Right here, doing this, but with 4 more kids". Ha!

Tim, do you know how I know you're the right one? Because you laugh at a tree butt, you love my baby to pieces, and you dare me to go 'tree surfing'. So maybe we won't have 4 more kids, but if 4 more years bring us full circle, I will still be happy to hike these trails hand in hand with you, and maybe, who knows, there might just be 4 of us :) 

This is a state of grace, this is the worthwhile fight, love is a ruthless game unless you play it good and right. These are the hands of fate, you're my Achilles heel, this is the golden age of something good, and right, and real. - Taylor Swift

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Fun with H&M

dress: Hunter Bell via Circular Boutique, shoes Halogen, jacket: Free People

We were invited to the H&M opening party tonight, and given that our anniversary is tomorrow, we decided to have ourselves a night out. 

It was so fun, you guys, and if you are going to the opening tomorrow you are in for a treat. It was about time Anchorage got some love from new brands.  Nordstrom Rack, The North Face, and Lulu Lemon are all opening their doors soon!

Thank you {{The Sawbuck}} for the delicious drinks, {{DJ Spencer Lee}} for bringing the beats, and last, but not least, a HUGE thank you to my friend Shayla who made this night possible by watching Benjamin for us. You're a doll.

P.S. This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, July 6, 2015

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