Tag Archives: family time

The Bertoch Quarantine Experience During Covid19

Things are slowly, SLOWLY starting to ease back into life. Stores and restaurants are opening up a little and people can be around each other again. I havent brought the girls out with me to the store just yet. Im still a bit skittish with everyone wearing masks and I don’t want to freak them out. With a spark of light at the end of the tunnel of this whole covid19 quarantine, I just wanted to document our personal experience with it. We have been very blessed to have an overall positive feeling with this quarantine, I know others are not so fortunate. But we had some really special moments/family times during this worldwide pandemic.

-We had 4 birthdays during this quarantine. All three of the girls had birthdays where we  had no party and no other people except the 5 of us. We made the best of it by still getting the traditional name donuts and singing them happy birthday when they wake up at the crack of dawn. We tried to at least get out for a family nature walk as well to help celebrate them turning a year older. We are hoping to still do their big science birthday when things get more normal, so we can still have a fun “birthday” celebration with friends and family…even if it’s months later haha. And Adam actually had his birthday the day after the shelter in place was lifted, so it was really special being able to go over to his Mom’s house and swim in the pool and be with cousins and loved ones after not being able to be around them for 6 weeks. These will be memorable birthdays that’s for sure!
-Bailey learned to ride her bike without training wheels! She was so ready. From taking them off to riding without help was maybe 30 minutes. She rocked it. And she didn’t have her first real bike crash until about a week later haha.
-Bailey has her first loose tooth. She has been working on it and I was secretly hoping for a covid19 tooth fairy moment….but it is not quite ready to come out yet haha.
-Claire and her writing and coloring has sky rocketed. With doing the at home learning program with Bailey and getting to experience the home school type of learning, I was able to get some ideas for what Claire could do to increase in her learning and she has been doing amazing! I am so proud of her! She even created her name in play doh the other day haha I was impressed. Claire loves to watch Bailey do her online reading program through the school district and has already begun to pick up some early learning techniques. Plus Bailey will read her tons of books 🙂
-Book Charts. We wanted to help give motivation with reading and continue a challenge of some sorts since we finished the reading to Claire 1001 books before kindergarten goal a few months ago. And Bailey is so good at reading. She amazes me everytime. So we started a book chart where she gets to color a book for each book she reads out loud to her sisters. At the end of the chart, her reward is a new book. Her chart is 50 books, and she has already earned 3 books. She is a rockstar. And about halfway through we gave Claire a book chart to color in for each book she listens to with Bailey, she can color a book and earn a new book too. It has been awesome. I love seeing them all cuddled up together reading and giggling over books. Their favorite series are the Elephant and Piggie Books, and Calvin and Hobbes. Every night they fall asleep to reading books (even Sophie!) and it makes my book loving heart so happy!!!
-I chipped my front tooth. On April Fools Day. Of course when all the dentists and places are closed. I was grabbing something out of my pantry and the sugar canister fell into my face and chipped my front tooth. I looked like Jim Carrey on Dumb and Dumber. And it was the front tooth that I hadn’t chipped before, because the other front tooth is already half fake from a chip years ago! Yeah I cried in the bathroom pretty hard. I felt bad because the girls had no idea what to do or how to react so they were just hugging me and crying with me and then that made me feel bad and cry harder that they were crying, so Adam was left with a bunch of crying women and a chipped tooth scenario haha. I called my dentist office and they said to put some tooth filler paste stuff on it for the sensitivity and they will get me in once they open in May. I just got it officially filled May 4th and now you cant even tell it was chipped. My dentist rocks haha. And the girls were glad that Mommy’s tooth is fixed haha.
-Potty training. We started potty training Sophie near the end of April. I was not excited. Nor was I anywhere close to mentally being ready for it….but I couldn’t ignore the signs Sophie was giving me any longer. So…..through Adam’s encouragement, we decided to dive in. It’s been a rollercoaster. She will have AMAZING days, and then HAAAAAARD days. I struggled pretty hard at first and it was rough for me. But through many, many, MANY prayers for patience, I have been doing a lot better with it. And Sophie is starting to grasp the concept. In fact, now that I think of it, I don’t think she had any accidents today! First time ever! She feels like such a big girl and is so proud to be wearing panties like her big sisters. It is pretty crazy too because for the first time since April 20, 2014 I haven’t changed any diapers! My girls all overlapped, so there was always diapers. And as of April 22, 2020, I closed that chapter. Sophie wears pull ups at night and panties during the day. It is quite the milestone in the Bertoch household. With things still being relatively closed, we havent had to venture too long out with Sophie, so I am hoping and praying she can continue to grow and learn to allow for more outings soon. 🙂
-Adam has been able to continue working. Which has been a blessing. We have definitely felt the impact with low numbers of clients, and we still are not anywhere near back to a normal load, but the fact that we had any amount of income coming in was a blessing. We were able to stay afloat and survive, and that is a win in my book. I know there are many many people who are not so lucky, and my heart goes out to them.
-I feel like our family bond has greatly increased from the amount of time we have been able to spend together. I have seen the girls grow closer and play games and spend time together and genuinely enjoy each other and it makes my momma heart so happy. I have enjoyed so much being a part of their at home learning and seeing them grasp concepts and get excited about various topics (flamingos are the newest craze btw). And I just have felt like my house has been able to be my special sanctuary. We are able to focus on each other and not the outside world. I am thankful now more than ever that I unplugged from social media and news outlets. While I know that it can be important to be kept informed, steering clear helped keep my anxiety at a functional level (I was on medication years ago for it actually when my anxiety spiraled out of control and I felt like I was losing myself. Changed my life. I am so thankful for modern medicine! I definitely recommend it for those who feel like they need some help!) But Adam made sure to stay up to date to allow his business to keep with the CDC rules, and and let me know if there was anything I needed to do…like the mandatory masks at stores rule). And I feel it has been all the difference in the anxiety levels in our home. While I know there have been so much suffering and heartache during this pandemic, I have been thankful for the experience our family has felt in bringing us even more of strengthened, spiritual unit.
-We explored new nature trails since playgrounds were closed. There was one behind the temple actually, and you could see the top of the angel Moroni statue, it was comforting.
-I have found a love for running outside…which I swore would never happen haha.
-I have been branching out and learning and trying new dinner dishes and trying out some baking skills.
-I dabbled in expanding my sewing skills (thanks for coaching me through on marco polo Rhuvana!)
-We had some Mario Kart tournaments online with family, and Zoom bingo with family, and many many daily hilarious/real talk conversations through marco polo. I am thankful for the technology today that allows for connection even amongst a stay at home order.
-General conference and Easter in April boosted my soul spiritually. It made me feel that things were going to be okay. That life will return back to a kind of normal at some point, and that I didnt need to be afraid. It brought so much peace and comfort. And participating in the world wide fast on Good Friday was a sacred experience for me. I know that I could not have gotten through this scary time without the guidance and comfort of my Savior Jesus Christ. Many many prayers on my knees have brought peace to my soul. I would have come unraveled otherwise (and had moments where I got pretty close anyway if I am totally honest).

This worldwide pandemic will go down in history for many reasons. Lots of statistics and numbers and scariness and worries of the future. But I wanted to remember the good. There were many moments of good for this little Bertoch family during the covid19 pandemic. I thank my Heavenly Father everyday. And continue to pray that the world will make it through this chapter in history and come out better and more loving on the other side.

Here are our quarantine pics in whatever random order it displays. Enjoy. 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

 

 

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Resetting

So it has been a week since we have taken the tv away and put it in our closet. It has actually been a wonderful experience!

Now let me preface this by saying a couple things:
1. This is something that OUR family has decided to do for US. There is absolutely zero judgment on anyone else for not doing what we are doing. I promise.
2. We are not “grounded” from the tv. If we go to someones house, I don’t care if the girls or all of us watch movie and shows etc. In fact, we still (attempt) to go to the theatre with the girls…for the hugest tv ever. Haha.

This was for me.
It was easy for me to turn the tv on and zone out on the couch with my phone and next thing I know, HOURS have passed. I was tired of feeling guilty laying in bed at night and realizing that when Adam asked how our day was and what we did…what he should have been asking is what did we watch….because I could basically tell him how many times we watched Finding Dory, or describe the entire last season on Octonauts.

It wasnt always this way, but in the last 6 months or so I noticed some things:
I found myself not wanting to go and do fun things because it took more effort. I rationalized that it was simply too hot in Texas anyway, or I was tired etc.
I noticed that Bailey was starting to not want to do things because she wanted to stay
home and watch tv instead.
I noticed that Claire would just kind of do her own thing because she would get bored of watching tv.
I noticed that Bailey would throw a huge fit if I turned the tv off even if she wasn’t watching it.
I noticed that we didnt sit down and have meals at the table anymore, because it was easier to just eat in the living room so I wouldn’t have to fight turning the tv off with my 3 year old.
I noticed that I used it as a way to feel less guilty being on my phone. (Which it didnt btw).
I noticed that we never read books together, and bedtime routines were rushed, and when Adam and I actually had time to be a couple together…we just watched tv.

So something needed to change. I needed a RESET. Since I am an all or nothing type of person, I needed drastic measures haha. I tried just turning it off, but the fits were too much and I found myself feeling like  I “earned” tv time after an hour of play or so. Simply put, with it being in the room, I couldn’t ignore it.

I never actually planned on putting the tv away. I remember just complaining that I needed to watch it less because it was getting ridiculous. Days and weeks and months I feel like I said that. Then I talked to a friend of mine (who has 4 kiddos), and she mentioned she got rid of the tv for the summer and they were happy and actually play together more. I remember thinking wow! I envy you! I wish I could do that! But that is too hard, I cant. It’s not for me. I made every excuse in the book as to why that wouldn’t work for me. But I admired her for doing it.

Not even a few days later, I am laying in bed with Adam around 11:30pm, downloading the day, and AGAIN feeling guilty and frustrated…when he says kind of nonchalantly “Man I wish we could just take the tv out of the living room or something.” I sat there for a minute, and I had this overwhelming feeling to do it now! Right now! So I told Adam lets do it! Before the morning comes and we talk ourselves out of it!  So we hopped out of bed at almost midnight and took the tv down, put it in our closet, vacuumed and rearranged the furniture how we always wanted to, but never could because of where the tv would be. We had so much more space! We went to bed…nervous but excited.

Well the next morning Bailey had a meltdown. I am pretty sure she went through the 5 stages of grief in about 30 minutes lol. When she finally calmed down enough we explained that the tv needed rest and it was sleeping. For whatever reason, that clicked in her brain, and it really hasn’t been an issue since. She still mentions that she wants to watch a movie or Octonauts, particularly when something reminds her of it, or it’s that lull time of the day. But then I remind her that the tv is resting and she’s like oh yeah. And does other things haha.

Overall it has been a really positive experience. Here is what I have noticed in just a week:

  1. I am on my phone less. It is still a work in progress. I am still on it and catch myself…but it is definitely less than before! And sometimes Bailey and I will watch some shark youtube videos…because she is reazaaaaaly into sharks right now haha. And 20 minutes of shark videos are the best thing ever.
  2. The girls play more! They play pretend food and peek a boo and chase each other around. They build cool towers with blocks and fun beds out of the couch cushions and blankets from beds.
  3. I read more to them! That has become the replacement for the times I just want to vedge. I will get all cozy in the fun couch bed that Bailey makes and will read book after book to them. It has been something I have been wanting to do for a while, but just never could find motivation to do. Bailey hadnt been interested in books because she preferred the tv…now she loves having cuddle time with me while I read. And I get cuddles! Which used to be few and far between haha.
  4. I do more things. When the tv is gone I noticed I gained a lot more time to fill in the day. Sometimes those minutes are looooong haha. But I’ve been better at filling it with fun stuff. We will play in the backyard in bathing suits (or sometimes just strip down in panties and diapers since we have a gated yard) and they play with the hose and little pool. They eat sticky popsicles to their hearts content and just enjoy the sun. Or we go to the library! They have a summer reading program where you can log books you’ve read and get points to cash for little prizes! Bailey has already earned a sticker that we need to go get. So fun. Ive also started to engage more with them. Having dance parties in the living room. (Today we had one and I loved watching Claire watch Bailey dance and try to do it herself haha. She ran around in circles like Bailey and totally got dizzy and fell and just gave up and laid on the ground for a while.) Playing pretend with them. Hide and seek. Cooking together. Bailey is actually interested in what I do now while making cookies because she isn’t zombified all the time with the tv. We go to parks! We explore more park options and are usually out and about early before it gets too insanely hot. A good solid 45min-hour and the girls are pooped and loving it haha.
  5. More time with Adam! Instead of just watching tv or movies, we talk about each others days, or play games and just hang out. I didnt realize how much I missed that. Granted some days we are still on our computers when we need to do things haha like I am right now….but still! More time together! And we have been doing Family History by Indexing, which has been really neat.
  6. Less rushed. I feel like I gained time. So bedtime we can have a nice quiet wind down with bath time and reading scriptures and singing songs and saying prayers…and the girls go to bed content! The change in that has been pretty cool. I think overall I just noticed their “love bucket” being more full at the end of the day, since I am paying more attention to them personally. I can pick up on things more and engage with them better. In fact today Bailey said the cutest thing. I was giving her a kiss on the cheek while we were in the bathroom going potty, and she goes “I love your kisses…but no more for right now.” Haha it was the sweetest thing! She is so funny. I love that I can see their happiness increase. I look in their eyes more when I talk to them and I notice little things in each of their personalities that I love so much.

So all in all. It’s been a win. I am not perfect. I still get frustrated and tired and snap at the girls at times and have moments on my phone ignoring them…but I am making improvements little by little. This was by far the best decision we have made in a while.

So again. No judgement to anyone. I could care less if you watch a million hours of tv all day long. Or even if the girls are at your house and watch 3 movies. Fine by me. Haha. I just needed a reset in OUR home. And I definiltey got it. I was the last person I thought would do something like this, but I would recommend it if anyone is on the fence about it. Hands down.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch.

 

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