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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 πŸ™‚
-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. πŸ™‚
-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. πŸ™‚

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

 

 

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Being More Present

I watched a video on Facebook last night that had a lasting impression on me. It is about 15 minutes long, but I recommend everyone watching it, because it made me want to change. (Here is the link for itΒ https://www.facebook.com/simonsinek/videos/10154844919181499/)

In the video Simon talks about technology and the impact it has on us in regards to relationships and joy. After Adam and I watched it together, we decided that we were going implement some changes in how we use our cell phones. I have noticed that a majority of my “Mommy guilt” comes from laying down at night and realizing I was on my phone way too much. When I play back the video loop of the day in my head, I see moments where I should have been interacting with my children or my husband, and instead I was zoning out on my phone. Wasting time. Because in reality, I mainly just waste time on my phone. Yes I text my family and friends and will get recipes for dinner and such….but that makes up probably 30% of my phone usage. The rest is spent on Facebook, Pokemon, mom forums, browsing Amazon, watching random YouTube videos, and reading different tumblr blogs. I realized how bad it has gotten when I cant even watch a movie with my family without looking at my phone most of the time, totally missing the movie; even if my girls are in my lap! Bailey knows that we love our phones. If she sees it on the couch or something, she brings it immediately to us. It makes me feel guilty. I nurse Claire for her naps and for bed, and guess what I always have with me? My phone. When I go to bed at night, the last thing I see is not my husbands handsome face as I kiss him goodnight….but my dimly lit screen. And then I stay up at least an hour later than I want, making me tired and cranky the next day.

So for me, I needed this wake up call. I don’t want to miss opportunities anymore with my kids to look them in the eyes when I am talking to them. Or to miss exploring with them, or playing pretend with their dolls. I don’t want to ignore times for cuddles with Adam so that I can check the latest blog that Ive been following. Those aren’t the memories I want to have.

So, Adam and I have decided to have a Phone Station. We got a little crate that has holes so we can fit a charger through it, and we have it sitting on our kitchen counter.

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When we are home, and the girls are awake. The phone go in the bin on Do Not Disturb mode. (Because really, if I hear a text, my willpower is not strong enough to not go running to check). At night, our phones are no longer charging next to my bedside, but it will be in the crate. I have an alarm clock. Thats all I need in my bedroom.

The times I am giving myself to be on my phone is when I am at the gym in the mornings, when BOTH girls are sleeping, and when Adam works late and the girls are in bed at night. That gives me still at least 2-3 opportunities a day to check my phone and talk with anyone I would need to talk to. But it takes away the need to be constantly connected. Because I feel like it is time for me to disconnect. In Do Not Disturb mode if there is an emergency, my family will just need to call me twice in a row and it will go through. Obviously if something is wrong or pressing and I need to call someone, I will do so. But I am no longer looking for excuses to zone out on my phone and waste time. I need this change, for my sake, my marriages’ sake, and my kids’ sake.

This is in no way intended for me to make anyone else feel guilty if they are not doing what I am doing. This is just a way for me to keep myself accountable, and let everyone know that if you text me during the day and it feels like I am ignoring you for hours on end. I am not. Or rather…maybe I am actually. But I am doing so only because I want to be present with the people who are here with me. I want to change. I want to rewire myself and be able to wait at a dr. apt without needing my phone. I want to be able to stand in an awkward elevator without jumping to my pocket to pull a device out so I can ignore everyone. I want to be able to watching a flippin Disney movie without needing to see what videos are on Facebook.

I want to make more meaningful relationships. I desperately need this. I am not “going off the grid,” I am simply setting guidelines for when I need to be connected to the outside world.

So….I hear Claire waking up. Off to go get some snuggles.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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