Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fun-Filled Weekend

Well, it's the beginning of June, which means that summer is here.  Or, so the calendar states.  It's been gray, rainy and cool for the past week or so here.  But that didn't stop us from having a pretty good time this weekend. 

Bright and early Saturday morning, Sutton had his first kiddie karate class.  (Should have spelled it with a "k" for the fun alliteration)  I didn't take any pictures, since I wasn't sure that it was allowed.  But let me tell you, it was pretty cute.  About 15 kids in ages ranging from about 3-7.  Some of these kids have been taking the class for a while, and were pretty good.  Sutton-not so much.  Sure enough, the kid has my athletic ability, which is to say none at all. 

But he had a great time.  The first thing the teacher does is tell the kids to run laps around the room.  Brilliant.  Gets all their energy and wiggles out.  Dave and I made the joke that we should set Sutton up on a really long lead out in the backyard and just have him run circles, like a horse.

All week, we've been reviewing with Sutton what the expectations were at karate class.  How he needed to listen to the teacher, pay attention, and do what they told him.  And sure enough, as soon as he got into the class, he promptly forgot all about it.  I heard quite a few times, "Listen.  Look at me."  He could not stop talking the entire time, to the teacher, and to his fellow class-mates.  Just talk, talk, talk.  The instructor said to us on the way out, "That one is destined to be a politician."  As I mentioned on Facebook, I don't know if that's a compliment or an insult.

Once class was over, we piled into the car for our next part of our fun filled weekend.  We decided to head over to Whidbey Island.  We didn't have a real itinerary planned, just stopped whenever we felt like it.  We drove up to Mukilteo, and took the ferry to the island.  It was Sutton's first time on a ferry boat, and he liked it, except that it was pretty windy and cold on the observation deck.  I wish I had taken pictures, but my stupid camera was acting up, and I wasn't able to.

Once we drove off the ferry boat, we just started driving.  We hit a farmer's market in Bayview, where Sutton danced to the music that was being played.  We sampled cheeses, looked at local crafts, and bought a delicious oatmeal chocolate chunk cookie when Sutton started getting whiny.  That whining was just a sign of what was to come...

As we hit the road again, Sutton fell asleep in the car.  We woke him up once we hit Greenbank Farms, this adorable farm with a wine shop, a cafe that featured pies, etc.  The Seattle Times had mentioned this pie shop, and we were anxious to check it out.  Before we could, Sutton had a MASSIVE meltdown.  He does not do well when he's woken up from a nap, and this was no different.  He started pitching a fit when we tried to walk around, and ended up being carried to the car as he screamed, cried and kicked.  We all got back in the car and drove off without sampling any pies. 

After a while, he calmed down and we hit up another farmer's market, this time in Coupeville.  We got some fresh mini-donuts, and walked down into Coupeville.  It's a charming little town, which reminded me a lot of Cape Cod.  And one of the great things was they had this little wine shop that was offering wine tastings.  After the scream-fest in the car, we were in need of some liquid refreshment.  So my mother-in-law and I went into the wine shop, while Dave and Sutton went into the toy and candy shop next door.  Once everyone was in a much better mood, we got lunch at a great restaurant/bakery called "Knead & Feed."

I don't know why Sutton is sticking his tongue out-he did this in a lot of pictures.  We also picked up some treats for breakfast the next morning-a huge cinnamon roll, a pecan sticky bun, and a marionberry bear claw.  AWESOME.

This was the view outside the bakery.
Pretty, if it wasn't so gray and gloomy.  But we didn't care.  We were making the best of it.

To add to the gastrointestinal festivities, we stopped for ice cream, which we ended up eating in the rain, as we walked back to the car.  We piled back inside, and decided that it was time to head back home.  We had only seen half of the island, but we were getting pretty tired (we had been up since about 6:30 that morning.)   So, it was back to the ferry, and homeward bound.  Sutton fell asleep again on the way home, and woke up as we pulled into our driveway.  And then proceeded to throw another tantrum, because he wanted to go back to "White Island," as he called it.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Why is 4 so hard? (Also-1st post in a LOONNG time!)

I really don't know it is, but lately, it seems that it is harder and harder to deal with Sutton.  The back-talk, the refusal to listen, the temper tantrums, etc.  It's exhausting to deal with.  And we get upset and frustrated, which leads to more arguments, which leads to us sending him to his room.  Which leads to an even worse temper tantrum.  And so on and so on.

I talk to my dad about it all the time (he's a child psychologist, and a handy resource,) and he keeps advising me that Sutton will move past this.  But if he's this bad at 4, I seriously do not know how I will handle the teenage years.  I may need to move out temporarily!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Almost Forgot My Password...

It’s been a really long time since I’ve written. Mostly because what has happened is still a sensitive topic to me. For those of you who don’t know, I left my job as an assistant buyer, and took another job in the company.

The past few months have been really hard on me. I feel like I failed at my dream job. I worked so hard to get that position, and from day one, I could tell that it wasn’t going to be easy. And it wasn’t. I struggled to learn the ropes, and I was desperate to prove that they had made the right decision. But in reality, I hated my job. I struggled to understand the procedures and steps necessary. I felt alone and ostracized. In true “middle-school” fashion, my co-workers would go to lunch together every day, and not ask me to join them. Finally, I confronted one of them, and asked why I was never invited. I was told that since I was an assistant, and they were senior buyers, it wouldn’t be appropriate. So I ate alone at my desk every day.

It wasn’t just that. I was not happy. Every night, I went home with stress; my ulcer was flaring up due to what I was going through, and almost every night, I cried on Dave’s chest, miserable. But I was determined to stick it out.

But it wasn’t enough. I still had troubles, and my superiors were getting frustrated with me. Slowly, I noticed changes occurring that made me wonder where I fit into the department. And when I spoke to my supervisor, it was made clear to me that they didn’t plan to keep me in the department. They advised me to find a new position.

I was devastated. I had worked so hard to achieve this promotion. I moved my entire family to a state where we had no family, no support system; and for it not to work out was a crushing blow. For days on end, I was practically hysterical. At this time, Dave had just been hired at his new job, but it was only part-time, and at an hourly rate. I had no clue how I was going to pay my bills.

Since I have such a long history with the company, and they had paid to relocate me, I worked with my Human Resources department to find another job. I managed to find one in the call center for our website. It’s a good job; I get to work with customers again, and I already had the “experience” of working on the sales floor.

But there are still times where I feel frustrated. All that hard work, and it feels like I have to start all over again. My mother keeps trying to convince me to move back home, but right now, we can’t afford to do that. We are broke, to put it simply. Sure, we can make our expenses, but just barely. And until we have some money put aside, and job offers waiting for us back in AZ, we’re stuck in Seattle for the time being.

I really don’t know what to do. I don’t know if we should go back to AZ (there is a new store opening in Phoenix in the fall, and I could interview for that.) But do I want to be a department manager for the rest of my life? I moved to Seattle to further my career, and now that I’m having to start over, should I stay in Washington, where the company headquarters are?

I really miss my family, and it’s so hard to be apart from them. But part of me feels that I need to do this, to focus on my career and its next step. Then the other part of me says “well, it didn’t work out, maybe it’s time to look into another career.” But I’ve been in retail for almost 10 years-I never really did anything else. I don’t know what I would do. And we have so much debt right now; it’s not like I can go back to school. And it took Dave this long to find a job-who’s to say that he would even find another one in AZ?

Now you know why I haven’t written before now. This is what is going on inside my head!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Am I Ever Going to Get Back to Regular Blogging?

The answer: probably not. But we've been in the midst of some pretty heavy stuff recently, so blogging has been on the back burner. That doesn't mean that I haven't been composing blog posts in my head-it just means that I haven't sat my tush down and wrote everything down.

Here are some of the things that we've been going through:
My job has been extremely tough and I received a written warning (not happy about that)
Sutton still gets up about twice a night
Dave still can't find a job
Money is VERY tight right now. We basically have no savings left and we have to decide each month which bills will be paid late. Not good for our credit.
The dog's allergies are still horrendous and add his diabetes to the mix
Dave's mom had a stroke

So, as you can see-a lot going on. But that doesn't mean that we aren't still trying to get out and enjoy our new hometown as a family. So far this summer, we've camped outside in the backyard, gone to see movies in the park, and went berry picking. It's been fun, but I have this slight feeling that summer got away from us before we really had a chance to enjoy it. Since I'm used to heat and sunshine signaling summer, the 60 degree and overcast days have thrown me for a loop.

So, that's a recent update. If I find time, I will elaborate in another post. But let's not hold our breath, shall we? :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Family Photo Shoot

A few weeks ago, Groupon has this special for a photo shoot. You could choose from any of the studio locations, or you could do an outdoor shoot-at one of three locations. I bought the special, intending to wait until the weather warmed up. Finally, we made an appointment to have our pictures taken at Alki Beach. The weather cooperated for the most part-it rained just as we were leaving. And Sutton cooperated for the most part too-once the photographer took him to the water's edge and let him throw rocks into the water. After the photo shoot was over, we went for dinner at a restaurant right on the water with gorgeous views of the Seattle skyline.
Here are some of my favorite shots.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I am like the worst blogger ever...

Another month went by without a single blog post from me-pathetic. But that doesn't mean that I haven't been stalking my friends' blogs. I've just been too tired and too lazy to write anything myself.
But I have so many things on my mind that I want to share; it's hard to narrow down the list. I'll give you a couple. Sorry if they are random.
Here is a picture of Sutton dressed as a "cowboy." His hat is my straw summer hat, his holster is my gold belt, and his "gun" (we don't call it that) is a spinning flower thing that he tore the petals off of. We call it his "sonic screwdriver," a la Doctor Who.
Today was a pretty good day. Sutton and I woke up around 7, (he's still having sleep issues, most often he either ends up in our bed at some ungodly hour, or we go into his bed at some ungodly hour. Last night, I went into his bed, to let Dave get some sleep) and we went to a doughnut place that my boss recommended. They refer to their product as "doughnut couture" and it's really nice (beats the pants off of Krispy Kreme. Their smoky maple bacon bar-yum.) So we bought a half dozen and took them home to enjoy them.

Then Dave got up, and I got to go take a nap for about an hour. I know, I know, but for some reason, I didn't sleep well last night. Go figure-with Sutton kicking me every few minutes, shocker, right?

So, after I got up, we got dressed and went to the Everett Animal Farm park. It's a typical park with a playground, and a picnic area, but this place also has a small petting farm and offers pony rides on the weekends.
Sutton had a blast meeting all the animals.
We also spent a good amount of time on the playground, where Sutton was so excited to see other kids. He kept running around, saying "I Sutton. Wanna be my friend?" It totally broke my heart. He wants to play and hang out with other kids so badly, but we can't afford to send him to daycare, or even join playgroups. So he mostly hangs out with Dave all the time. The other day, he turned to Dave and said, "Daddy, you're my best friend." That sound you hear is my heart splitting in two.
Then we waited in line, so Sutton could ride "a horsie, not a pony!" He was very adamant that it be a horsie, not a pony. Then as they were putting the helmet on him, his little chin got pinched in the buckle and he started crying. And that quickly escalated into a full meltdown. At this time, he was very hungry and tired, so we left. After a late lunch of Five Guys burgers and fries, where he ate 2/3 of my cheeseburger AND his entire grilled cheese, he was much happier.

I have a confession to make....I have a gardening addiction. OMG, I am actually growing things! And not just weeds! LOOK!That's broccoli!! And I grew it myself! I'm also growing tons of herbs, brussels sprouts, onions and shallots, zucchini, eggplant, and so much more. Here is a picture of my garden.

That whole left side is being kept available for the tomatoes and peppers that I have waiting in the greenhouse. Nighttime temps have not gotten above 50 degrees yet, so I need to wait.

This is the inside of the greenhouse, where I have like six different types of tomatoes, three different types of peppers, and two different kinds of basil. Like I said, an addiction. But coming from AZ, where you can't really grow anything but cacti, I'm loving the fact that I can grow my own food. In fact, we're eating the broccoli as a side with dinner tomorrow night.

That's all for now. I'll try to be better about posting more frequently. Next time, I'll talk about the time we took Sutton to the community pool. Let me put this way-Sutton and I both ended up in the deep end. He jumped in (expecting it to be shallow) and I had to jump in after him. The lifeguard just watched.

More next time...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wow, It's Been a Really Long Time...

My apologies for not writing earlier. I've been so busy with work (it's going well, just some issues that caused my raging self-doubt to flare up) and stuff at home (see my previous Facebook posts) that writing on the blog sort of fell by the wayside.
But I'm back and better than ever!
OK, where to begin...
If we are friends on Facebook, than you are aware that Sutton loves to "cook." And by cook, I mean to take eggs out of the fridge and smash them on any surface he can find. We've tried getting a fridge lock. Hell, we have TWO fridge locks. He still knows how to open them, and take the eggs out. I give you exhibit A; or as Dave calls it "The Great Egg-scape."What a mess. He does this when we're out of the room; like in the bathroom or something. He still loves to cook; we just have to make sure that we are always around.
Then there was the police incident...
(OK, before I even go into this-please be aware that we are still a little sensitive about this topic. Please be nice...)

Dave and Sutton had gotten up early one morning, just as I was leaving for work around 6 am. More like Sutton had woken up early, and Dave got up with him. So, when Sutton fell asleep on the couch around 9, Dave let him nap and went to go read in our bedroom. I guess at some point, Sutton had woken up and decided that he wanted to go in the backyard. He let himself outside, and closed the door behind him, where it locked. And he couldn't get back inside. And Dave had his iPod headphones in, so he couldn't hear Sutton. Basically, Sutton was outside in the backyard in just his fleece footie pajamas for about 20-25 minutes, screaming and crying. The neighbors who live right behind us heard him. We have a wooden fence that separates our yards, so they broke some of the wooden slats, so Sutton could squeeze through. They took him into their house, where they gave him M&Ms and milk to calm down. But since our houses are technically on different streets, and they didn't know our address, and Sutton was too young to tell them where he lives-they called the police.
So the cop knocks on the door, and asks Dave "Do you know where your child is?" Needless to say, we were both pretty shaken by the whole thing and kept hugging and kissing Sutton the rest of the day. As for Sutton himself? He likes our neighbors and now calls them "Grandma and Grandpa."
And yes, before you say anything, Dave has beaten himself up pretty hard over this whole thing and he has sworn to never let something like this happen again.

On to happier topics!!
We have tulips in our front yard.
And we went to the zoo. Sutton loved it and kept calling it the "zoom." Pretty cute.

We've had some nice days-sunny and sort of warm. But they have been few and far between, with lots of rain and cold mixed in. As Sarah mentioned in her blog, we're wearing winter coats in MAY. Everyone keeps saying that this has been the coldest, wettest spring on record. Great, thanks. That makes me feel better!
Well, it's Friday in the MacDonald household, and that means pizza and movies. In fact, they're waiting for me. So I'll try to write more tomorrow.