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 Since my last post I also decided to change the title of this blog from "Baby Romero 2012" (obviously outdated since I didn't know Grace's gender or name when this was created!)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. :)


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