Monday, August 26, 2013


Today Grace said "hi" to Greg and me while we were driving to Jimbo's for groceries & dinner. I turned around and looked at her in the mirror, so she said "hi" again and she double waved with both hands at us. It was adorable!! As I was admiring her, she looked at me and said "hi", then pointed right at me. I'm not sure why but it really shook me to the core! It was such a precious moment! We proceeded to say "hi" back and forth to each other, but the way she said it, slowly and softly... it left me bashful. Talking to my own daughter! She's such a sweetheart. 

Here are two pictures from the first time she said "hi" to me - August 5th (almost 17 months). I took it right after to remember just how she looked at that moment. It was when we were arriving at BDI to visit her aunties Melo & Susie for lunch. I just opened the door as usual to greet her, and she beat me to it, along with a big smile. :-)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Visit to Aunt Melanie's Work!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A New Chapter

My last post was my Halloween post... crazy! That is 4 months ago, when Grace was only 8 months old. My sweet Grace is now 1 YEAR OLD! So much has happened in her development and in our daily lives. Since my last post I also decided to change the title of this blog from "Baby Romero 2012" (obviously outdated since I didn't know Grace's gender or name when this was created!) to the current title, "Coming Home to Grace". I probably changed that around December, I don't remember. Well, do I have some news for you!

Ever since returning to work after maternity leave when Grace was 4.5 months old back in mid-July, I have sat at my desk and pleaded with God to let me take care of Grace full-time. Work has been slow and it felt like torture to sit there at my desk all day, far away from my baby, having no idea what she was doing and paying nearly $800 for it each month. I realized that there was a chance I could be laid off. My friend was laid off around December, and then our CEO declared we were going to be getting really busy sometime in January. We were told we'd be having meetings to declare whether or not we wanted to take on more challenges, and that this would be happening in late February. February came and went, and in mid-March our sales numbers were not looking good.

Sure enough, there was a round of layoffs last week. I was not shocked. I was actually surprised I wasn't laid off. It honestly made sense to lay me off, since my co-worker who used to work in my department had been trained in what I did so that I could go on maternity leave. When he and I had both been offered a new position one week after my return, I reviewed all the possibilities of that new career direction and determined it wasn't for me. I decided to decline being considered for the position, hoping that I would then be closer to the head of the line for being considered "unnecessary". If the company were to cut off all excess fat, well, I was definitely a chunk of lard after that. Monday morning, March 25th, I was putting on my shoes for the day asking myself (and it was not the first time) if I'd felt good in the outfit I was wearing if I were to get laid off that day. Little did I know... that afternoon, around 4pm on a very slow day, I was called into the HR lady's office and was "let go". Thankfully, I was the last of 3 and did not get the full shock. Nonetheless, when I got the request to go upstairs after the first two, knowing what was happening and even wanting the outcome, my heart was beating out of my chest! There were tears in the eyes of both of my superiors there that day when I entered the room. I immediately assured them that this happening to me was a good thing. Little did they know that I had wanted to get laid off since the day I had returned... some 8 months ago! I honestly have been asking God on a daily basis to help me. We are currently living in a 1-bedroom apartment with a cat that is just driving us nuts. I could go on and on about the details, but suffice it to say a lot of people could probably not stand our routine around here! There was such a mix of elation (like I had won the lottery - God had answered my calls and cries!) and fear. One moment I was high on the idea of being with the daughter all day long, and the next my gut tightened as I wondered how in the world Greg and I were going to afford to live.

6 years of awesome Jenelle stuff packed up.
I Facebooked this picture to the right before I even left, with the status caption: "I just got laid off. I would have been here 6 years on April 10th. It's the end of an incredible era, and hopefully the beginning of a great chapter. All I do know is that I am ecstatic to proclaim my new title, one I have been wanting for awhile: Jenelle Romero, SAHM. Stay At Home Mom!".

I started off Tuesday morning at Starbucks. It was completely surreal. We have paid for Grace's daycare for another week or so, so I have decided to take some time to myself to get my head straight and to plan Grace's birthday party this Saturday. (Side note: I totally left work on her real birthday last Monday so that we could spend the day with her... I knew in my gut that I was most likely going to get laid off soon, and I knew I would never be able to forgive myself if I got laid off right after missing spending Grace's first birthday with her.) I did a little research on unemployment and freelance work. I had already filed my unemployment claim Monday night, at the advice of a friend. I eventually got bored sitting there on my laptop feeling so out of place and lost. I went to my parents' house up the hill, but they were gone and did no come home. I spent an hour working on some of their computer issues and then was off to take Grace to her follow-up appointment. It was a 1/2 SAHM kind of day.  We were going to check how the albuterol nebulizer had worked on Gracie's poor little lungs that had been diagnosed with bronchiolitis last week.  I didn't think it was working, as her chest still sounded and felt clogged, and she'd been up for an hour the night before coughing literally every few minutes from 1am - 2am.  I was a bit of a nervous wreck wondering how I was going to go to the appointment alone.  I know it's silly, but I'm a working Mom here.  I've only had to take her alone a couple times, and those times were NOT easy. Mind you she was younger too!  I kept my cool, though.  I just told myself I had no choice and to just take it one thing at a time.  This normally sounds like complete crap to me.  Hey, it actually works!  The appointment, well, it went swimmingly!  It was a cinch.  I felt like World's #1 Mom.  Her lungs were clear but it was now considered by the doc to be her upper respiratory.  He found she had an earache.  It had crossed my mind, but I had not made a very obvious connection until he told me.   Grace had been trying to tell us!  She started some odd behavior over the weekend... knocking her head on the carseat (right side) and hitting her head (right side).  We just thought the carseat thing was a sensory thing, like maybe she was learning about what happened when you hit your head on something and it hurts. LOL! The hitting her head thing coincided with a lot of reading of the book No More Monkeys Jumping On the Bed.  If you're not familiar with it, there's a lot of monkeys hitting themselves on the head when they fall off the bed onto the floor.  We are the bad parents that bonk her and ourselves on the head when we read this repetitive book, and we are the parents that assumed she was just playing.  She honestly hit herself on the head when I sang the book's song, so can you blame me?  Oh well, mystery solved thank God. 

We needed to both give blood (hers for allergy testing), I needed to do a pee test and then we had to pick up her medicine at the pharmacy downstairs.

Now it is Wednesday night.  I'm sitting here knowing I need to go to bed, but with a weird "but I don't have to" urge inside me telling me to continue.  With the sole fact that I am promising myself to make blogging at night a new commitment, I am going to leave things here for now and come back and finish as soon as I can.  Hopefully tomorrow!

Hiding in the closet!

Holding hands on the way to daycare. :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Gracie's 1st Halloween!

Camera Phone Picture Update!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Lots of FIRSTS all in the last month

Grace started crawling last month.  It's been so crazy around here with her being sick, though, that I've been taking very little pictures and video.  This is killing me, as she's been growing & learning so fast that this has been the best time!  I've really enjoyed getting to see more of her personality peek out and she's just been such a joy to be around.  Her smile is changing too.

Grace got her FIRST TOOTH (this is a biggie!) 2 weeks ago.  It took 1 week to show a pearly white, and another for the 2nd one (on the right) to join it.  I thought losing her gummy grin was going to be such a loss -- far from it!  I just cannot get enough of her funny toothy smile!  It's big and wide, and makes me heart so happy.

Grace ate her first "solid" food.  We made it a HUGE deal.  It was about two weeks ago and it was rice cereal.  There are about 300 photos documenting the occasion, and I wish there were more. Haha.

Grace is starting to CLIMB!  She's been a crawling monster since the get-go, never stopped for anything in her way, or to take a breath really.  Last week she climbed over Greg and onto the couch to get something.  Yeah.  My Mom said she should be a tank for Halloween because of how she just plows through everything.  Hehe, too bad we have something too perfect up our sleeved already!

She helped me take this reenactment picture. :)
Grace woke me up with her head up over the top of the crib.  I heard the usual morning baby girl "coos" coming from the crib.  I had my back turned to the crib as I woke, half listening to her babbles a.k.a. deep conversation with her stuffed animals, and half wishing I could get 1 more minute of sleep.  That lasted a few minutes until the "coos" changes to her calls for Mommy.  They are so darling.  I turned around expecting the usual angel face peeping-through-the-crib-bar at me, but instead was startled to see a dark shadow of a big baby head looming over the crib wall and looking down at me.  AH!  I'm not sure if she was kneeling or standing because I leaped out of bed, ran to her and picked her up all in the same second.  It was a heart-racing experience.  Oh, and I can't forget to mention that she cooed her "haaa" at me when I picked her up (that's Grace for "hi").  So sweet.

Actual stand-up moment.  Look at her concentration! ;)
Grace stood up all by herself this weekend.  Mind you she's done this a couple times without me around for Greg or my Mom... I got to see it and I was so proud!  She crawled up to my chair, gnawed on the bottom rung, pulled herself up to her knees, grabbed ahold of the top of the seat (I'm hovering over her with my arms) and then she pulled herself up to her feet.  Just amazing to witness. :) We are often getting her away from all the tables and chairs when she's at home, trying to avoid all the bleeding-mouth and head-bonking opportunities.  It's very scary as a parent, but I've learned it's scary for her too.  When she's up on her feet and holding on to something but starts to sway, I see her face now get that "oh crap" look on it.  It's funny and heartbreaking all in the same instant.  I don't remember her being able to predict "I'm gunna fall!" before now.  (Then Mommy swoops in a saves the day, of course.  I get to be Super Moooom!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Last week you began to really crawl.  It's been so exciting!  You are pulling your knees up under you and are really on the move.  I confess, I had to actually stop you a couple times by giving you what you were reaching for so that you would not really crawl until I had a camera out. (You Mom is crazy!) You are so fast too -- we can hardly keep anything away from you, you little stinker.  We are so proud of you. :) You are and always have been such a strong girl.  I think you are going to be an athlete like you Dad!  I was very athletic too when I was young... I loved to ride bikes and run.  I even won a race once, not to mention a few ribbons in the elementary school's "Olympics" (obstacle course).  You gave me lots of strong kicks in the womb, and you are still so strong.  You are pretty rambunctious too... we can hardly hold you nowadays.  You want to jump right out of our arms, and you often practically do!  We have to hold you very carefully!  You also love to lean back while we are holding you, trying to get free... you don't quite understand yet that that would hurt. ;)

This week you have started to play with your hair while you eat.  You pull at your chestnut brown hair, thin and wildly strewn about these days.  I would guess you hair is averaging about 5 inches in length!!  It is very long for your age, so we have to give you a nice comb-over.  Don't worry, it looks adorable!  I'd put more headbands and bows on you, but daycare seems to lose them, so we save the fancy hair-dos for the weekends. :)

Today I received a Facebook message from my cousin Angie, who I have only met a couple times.  I haven't seen her since the summer before I turned 14.  She's just a few years younger than me.  She wanted to know if I knew of anyone who was researching the Wittman side of our family (my Mom's).  She came the the right place, because you Momma loves genealogy!  Grandma Evie even bought me a subscription to this last Christmas. (Unfortunately I got a little busy at work and preparing for my growing belly to pop to really take advantage of it before it expired.) Anyways, I spent the majority of today at my desk rekindling my hunger for facts and pictures about our family.  It was such an exciting day!!  I discovered some pictures that I have never seen, and I'd guess most of the family has never seen.  They are from scanned yearbooks.  Dude, old yearbooks are like the coolest thing in my book right now.  I love how they document a blossoming time in peoples' lives, and I adore how artistic they were in the early 1900s.  The yearbook staff in those days were real artisans... photographers and historians.  I have great respect for them! (Though I did find a typo in one, LOL!)  Here are a couple pictures I found today... hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

 Your great grandfather on my Mom's side - Projection Crew?  Awesome!

 His dad was on the school's football team... he was the team captain!  Front and center. :)

 Here he is again... he looks like he beefed up.

So articulate back then... check out all the cheeky sayings for each student.

 A close-up of your great great granddaddy.

I'll have to gather some more soon and document them here. :)  That's all for today!  Such treasures, right?  I feel like I just discovered a bag full o' gold!