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.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Photo Tour and Decorating Dilemma

OK folks. We've been in this house for two months now, and it still doesn't feel like ours. And yes, I know it takes some time to settle into a place, but I keep trying to find ways to make this place seems more home like. But that's difficult.
First of all-this place is a rental. So we can't do anything semi-permanent to it, like paint or install shelves, etc. Well, I take that back. We could, we would just have to submit a written request, receive permission, repair it when we move out, blah, blah, blah.
Second-some of the rooms in this place are small. Our master bedroom is TINY. And our bed (which is only a queen sized bed, so not SO big) takes up most of the room. So I'm struggling to find ideas to spruce it up.
Third-Decorating style. I don't really have one. For most of my adult life, my decorating style has been "hand-me-downs." Our kitchen table is from Dave's grandma, our desk and bookcases are from my dad, the coffee table is from my mom. You get the picture. I've never really sat back and said "THIS is my style." I look at pictures in magazines and on websites all the time, but I can never really see those items in my house.
Fourth-$$$. We are living on a pretty tight budget right now, since Dave is still not working. So a LOT of this stuff would have to be cheap. And I'm not the greatest DIY-er.
So I put this to you-all my decorator friends; both professional and amateur. (I'm looking at you, Bryanne!) Help me decorate my house.
And so I present the following pictures of my house. WARNING!! The place is a mess; that happens with a three-year-old, but part of it stems from my frustration. Since I can't quite figure out how I want to decorate the place, I tend to leave stuff everywhere until inspiration strikes.
First off-the outside of the house. Both front and back.

The house from our driveway.

We're lucky it was a somewhat nice day. Sunny and 49 degrees. It's been raining or snowing for almost two weeks.
I see this as being our vegetable garden. I just need Jamie Rex's help to do it.
Our scrubby grass.

The dirty gazebo that needs a power wash and a coat of paint.

The greenhouse. Yes, this place has a greenhouse.
The backyard. It's HUGE, with lots of grass and trees, and foliage, etc. It'll be a nightmare to maintain.The view from the side of the house.

Now for the inside. First up, our bedroom. Ignore the messiness and the overflowing hamper in the corner!The view from the doorway of our bed.

A close-up of our bed.

The one dresser that will fit in this room. We have two-the other one is shoved into the office.

The curtains-which match the wall color, and kind of blend in. As you can see, we seriously need help.

Next up-the living room/dining area. It's really one big room, but with two separate "zones." See, I watch HGTV-I can use the lingo.

Lastly, the fireplace. Which I do not like. I think this marble, or whatever it is-it's not my taste. But I do like having a mantle again to put pictures and stuff. When it's not covered in toys, a dog cage, and a broken microwave. (Why do I still have this thing? Why haven't we gotten rid of it?!)

OK, there it is. I can post more pictures of the other rooms, but there are the ones that need immediate help.
Send ideas, photos, websites, anything! It would be much appreciated!!
Until next time...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Don't Let This Face Fool You...

Yeah, you may think he's all cute and smiley, but this little guy has been giving us major headaches lately. You already know about his sleep issues, which are still on going. The other night Dave got maybe 3 hours of sleep total before Sutton was up for the day. But he's been a real mischief maker lately.

Back when we lived in Arizona, Sutton would get up early on the weekends and demand his breakfast. So we foolishly taught him how to get his yogurt out of the fridge and bring it to us, so we could open it for him. He likes those Go-Gurt ones; you know the ones in the tube. It was so easy-we could stay in bed longer and he could have his breakfast. Win-win.
Now that he's gotten older, he has also figured out how to rip the tops off the yogurts himself. So the other day, he got into the fridge and ate all of the yogurts while Dave was asleep. All 12 of them. So we tried moving it to the way back of the fridge. No luck-repeat.

But wait-there's more!

Recently, I had the "brilliant" (sarcasm) idea of getting Sutton involved while I cooked. He would stand on his little potty stool right at counter level and watch while I made dinner, or something like that. He loved the idea of "helping" me, so much that anytime I make dinner now, or stand at the counter for more than a few seconds, he runs into the bathroom shouting "I get my tool (stool)!" And he brings it into the kitchen, and says "I frying (trying) to help you." Very cute, right?

Except it took a very dark turn from there.

So, one day while Dave was taking a shower, Sutton decided that he wanted to "cook." So he opened the fridge, took out the eggs and was cracking them all over the coffee table!!! Somehow, Dave managed to catch him before he got to the third egg. And no, I don't have pictures. But you can use your imagination.

We decided that it was time to get a fridge latch. We were hesitant to get one at first, since this is a rental, but that little incident prompted us to action. Dave went out at like 9 at night and picked one up, along with another 8 pack of Go-Gurts.

The next day, I get a text message at work, telling me that Operation Latch was a failure. While Dave was in the bathroom (again) Sutton managed to pull the latch off the fridge and help himself to the brand new yogurts. AND he pulled the eggs out again and this time-cracked them all over the carpet.

Sigh. So now, we have the latch on the fridge, and we have to put the baby gate up across the doorway to the kitchen.

He also likes to play with my camera, and take lots of pictures. Most of them don't make much sense, but he managed to catch one of me.
Many parents in cold climates are going through the same thing. I know that he's bored, and it's no fun to unpack, or clean the house. And you can only watch Pixar movies so many times. But with the weather being so yucky (cold and rainy) we can't think of much for him to do.
Luckily, we had a brief spurt of sunny weather (still cold, but at least the sun was out) so Dave took him to the park. And spent an hour and a half there. Think he was trying to tire him out?

I'll write more soon, but I need to go. It's quiet in the other room, and that's never a good sign.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Do you think Sutton's wife will mind her in-laws sleeping in the bed with them?

Wow, that is one long title. But it's fairly accurate. Because at this point, we'll be going to college with Sutton, so we can continue sharing a bed.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am a fan of co-sleeping. But only up to a point. When you're repeatedly being abused in your sleep by your offspring, it's time to move them to their own bed.
You may recall the trouble we have had with Sutton's sleeping situation. Ever since he moved out of his crib and figured out that he can get down-it's been impossible to keep him in his bed at night.
Even in AZ, he would get up once or twice a night, and we would have to get him back into his room, and lay down with him until he fell back asleep. Then we would sneak out as quietly as possible. Repeat several times.
Then, with the whole moving situation, he started sharing a bed with us. He LOVED that-we didn't. In a queen size bed, one 6'4'' man, one squirmy little boy who likes to sleep perpendicular, and one dog who resents the little boy for stealing his spot equals not a restful night's sleep.
When we moved to Seattle, we decided it was time to get Sutton a real big boy bed. He had been using his convertible crib and he only had a few inches left before his feet hit the other side. So we hit up IKEA and purchased a bed frame and a mattress. Add in some cute boy bedding that I found at Wal-Mart, and I think his room looks adorable. Here are some photos (please note: I'm only showing areas that are relatively clean. We still have crap everywhere.)
A view of Sutton's bed with its cute new bedding. And yes, I did make the bed just for this picture!Another view of the bed.I found this great cube organizer at Target and I love the baskets! I have decided that I now love the color combo of navy blue, gray and orange. It's the colors on Sutton's lamp and it accents his blue bed and rug really well.

So, you would think that with all this new stuff, we could try to get him to sleep in his room, right? WRONG! Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping him in his room AND in his bed? My dad has already suggested Benedryl, just to keep him a little sleepy. Don't really want to drug the kid; but I'm open to suggestions.

At least we know that Auggie likes it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Did I Mention How Much I Hate Unpacking?

Well, we made through the first week and mid-way through the second! I wish I could say that it has been smooth sailing, but that's never the case, is it?

I will say that having someone else do the packing for me has its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, I could sit back and play on Facebook while two men wrapped all of our earthly belongings and packed them into boxes. It was great that I didn't have to do any heavy lifting, other than dragging our suitcases into my car. It wasn't so great that the movers had a crappy labeling system and packed things willy-nilly, so they didn't really make sense. For two days now, I have been missing the lid to my coffeepot and my withdrawal symptoms are KILLER.

The trip up to Seattle was relatively drama-free. Auggie suffered through the plane ride in his crate, which he DID NOT like. But he's never really been in a crate before, so we knew that was going to be the case. The rental car reserved for us was way too small, so we had to upgrade, and we found our way to our hotel. We stayed one night into the Seattle Westin, and then moved to an extended stay hotel in Lynnwood. We had hoped that our stuff would be delivered during the week, so we wouldn't need to stay the whole week. But it wasn't delivered until the last day of the delivery promise window.

We're finding minor problems with the house, which is to be expected, since it was built in 1960. For example, the heat doesn't seem to be working correctly. Yes, it works, but some rooms are much colder than others. One of those is Sutton's room. Sigh-what a fail that was. We worked so hard to make his room so nice, and it is freezing in there. We got his new big-boy bed at IKEA, and new bedding, etc. And he wants to sleep in our bed, because it's so cold in his room. And he's been sleeping with us for almost two weeks now. I am hoping with all my might that we can get him to start sleeping in his room, because let me tell you, that boy KICKS. And thrashes. And slaps you in the face in the middle of the night. WTF?

And we got snow last night. And us poor AZ folk had no snow equipment. No shovel, no nothing. Our cars were buried. Dave had to dig my car out, to go and buy a snow shovel. And then spent the next 20 minutes shoveling our walk, and our neighbor's. And you know what? He said he ENJOYED it!! Well, then, he can do it every time!

I'll be sure to post more soon. For now, it's just nice to get things back to normal.