An Attitude of Gratitude

Im writing this while home from church with Sophie and a sick Claire. It’s been a while since I have done a blog post about how things have been going, and honestly it is mainly because I feel like I have been holding on for dear life in survival mode. 

This summer we had our washer go out. Our fridge completely die along with all the food inside of it. Our water heater go out. Claire has been sick off and on at least 5-6 times. Bailey has been struggling with her bowels. Adam’s business was expectantly slow in the summer months, but still nerve-wracking watching the credit card bill climb. On top of the fact that since Sophie is of course a baby…she is waking up every few hours a night. 

HOWEVER. Whilst in survival mode. I have seen the Lord’s hand in our lives. Miracles occurring if you will. Which has brought me to my knees in gratitude countless times in the last few weeks. 

Washer. Family surprised us by buying us a new washer AND dryer. Ones that are cool and high tech with sensors. Which let us know that our dryer vent to the house was almost completely blocked. Saving us from a potential fire disaster. Blessing.

Fridge. Within hours of finding out that our fridge was dead and ruining all of the food, I searched online hoping for a cheap replacement. I found out a family friend in the church was getting rid of hers and she decided to gift it to us for free. While waiting for their replacement fridge (which took 10 days because of a run around with Lowes). My mother in law showed up with a cooler full of food for us to tide us over. And my neighbors lended us their time and truck to help Adam go get the fridge and bring it back to our place. Blessings.

Water heater. I laughed when the heater went out because it was comical at this point. Thankfully we are renting, and it was covered under the lease. So the landlord called a company out to replace it since it was still under warranty. We went without hot water for about 5 days, but since it is summer in Texas…it’s not like the water gets cold anyway! Haha. I just missed my lobster hot showers and baths 😉  But we didnt have to pay a dime. Blessings. 

Bailey. I wont go into too much detail because I want to respect that she may not want certain details on the internet forever. But she has been struggling with her body regulating her bowels and it was causing her harm and anxiety. Which in turn caused us anxiety for her and lots of tears. After trying just about everything under the sun, we decided to pray hard and Adam gave her a blessing. We took a break from focusing on it and let her set the pace. She has been vastly improving! Still working on it, but for the first time in a while I have felt hope. I am so proud of her and so thankful. Blessings.

Claire. This poor child. She has been sick off and on all summer. Strep. Ear infections. Stomach viruses. Which of course freaks me out because anytime she gets a fever, I have flashbacks of her seizure and it turns me into a bundle of smothering mommy nerves. Thankfully the sicknesses usually run its course, whether through antibiotics or time. The doctor office is very familiar with us haha but at least Claire pulls through each time! She is a trooper. Im so thankful for her sweet spirit and her kindness even amongst feeling awful. Im also thankful her other sisters have yet to catch any of the illnesses, and I am ultimately thankful that she has not had any seizures! I feel like she is doing a spark notes version of building immunities haha. Blessings.

Sophie. Sleeeeepppppp. She is a baby so I dont expect her to sleep perfect of course. But holy crap am I tired all the time haha. I just feel in a fog all day. Which leads to lots of Netflix parenting. (haha yeah we got rid of our tv this summer and it was great for the first half in spending lots of family time together. but with sicknesses and sleep deprivation….IPAD AND NETFLIX. haha) So I just have lots of mommy guilt over this summer and my crankiness, or not planning fun things everyday and yelling more etc. Specially since if its not Sophie waking up in the middle of the night, it’s Claire or Bailey. It’s been a revolving door the last few months, and this momma is tuckered out! However. I have an amazing husband who will get up early with the girls (they are usually up by 6-6:30) and give me an extra hour or two of much needed sleep. We tag team haha I do night shift and he does the early morning. Luckily lately Sophie has been going down great for bed (her doctor said we could start sleep training at 4 months since she is healthy and at a good weight). It only took 3 days and now she only cries for barely a minute or two and is out.  I still nurse her when she wakes up the many times at night of course, but the fact that she is on the same schedule at the other two for going to bed means that I can have peace and quiet for a few hours in the evening with my husband. Blessings.

Business. We knew going into having his own business that the summer would be sparse. That is pretty usual with the area he is working with. But it doesnt mean we dont feel it when we keep racking up the credit card haha. Things have been very tight for us. However. Even with the credit card, we were able to have enough clients that we were able to pay all of our cash bills. Including rent and our lease for his office. So we basically have what feels like 2 mortgages, and we have been able to at least have those paid every month. HUGE blessings. We continue to pray and work hard to build his practice, and with school around the corner, we have a feeling it will start to grow. And the way I am looking at it now, at least he was able to have more time with the girls this summer before things get busy. Blessings.

So while yes we have been struggling and going through some things, we have been immensely blessed on top of it all. I made a decision to have an “Attitude of Gratitude” in my life. To look for the blessings amongst hardships. It is an everyday process, but it has helped me emotionally and spiritually. I definitely recommend it. I have a tendency to hunker down and become a recluse when times get tough; mainly because I am trying to save any and all of my energy on making it through the day with my kiddos, but I am so thankful for those in my life who have reached out to me and my family and served us and made our day. Thank you. I know that the Lord is mindful of my family, and He is mindful of all of us. It will not always be easy, and I know there are many many people who have it WAAY harder than us of course, but I know that He is there. He doesnt always take away the various trials we are going through, but He will help us through. He will make us able to face the difficult things in life. You can always find His hand in your life if you look for it.

Let us all do our best to have an Attitude of Gratitude. 

P.S. Here is a huge photo dump of our summer so far. Including our 7 year anniversary! YAY! I couldnt have asked for a more perfect man to be with me 🙂 So thankful he chose me to spend forever with. 🙂

P.S.S. Bailey finished her “1001 books read before kindergarten” challenge in June. Super proud of her!

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch. 

 

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These are the Golden Years

I had an epiphany the other night. I have been mulling over it for the last couple of days. I was laying in bed after nursing my youngest daughter and couldn’t fall back asleep. I was just listening to the quiet house and the stillness of it all. It had been a bit of a tough day. I had been cranky with zero patience. I didnt really engage with the girls and I pretty much just griped at them all day while I counted down to bedtime. But as I layed there in the stillness of the house, I felt sad. I missed them. The guilt came crashing down on me as I realized what the day must have looked like from their perspective. I wanted to just run into their rooms and whisk them out of bed and hold them in my arms. I realized that one day the house will always be as quiet and still as it was at 2am. There won’t be anymore sticky kisses and small arms squeezing around my neck. I have only 14 years until I start the process of kids leaving, and a short 18 years before they are all gone. And realistically, I stop being the ‘apple of their eye’ quite a few years before they turn 18.

The epiphany that I had was that these are the golden years. I have been living too much into the future. And to be quite honest, I have always been this way. I am a planner at heart. But the bittersweetness of that mentality is that I am usually always looking 5 steps ahead instead of being in the present. On more than one occasion I have found myself saying “I cant wait until they are -blank- age because then we can do -blank-.” or “Once we reach -blank- milestone, maybe things will be easier.” I realized that I am wishing away these years. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. My whole life I have wanted to be a Mom. You can ask any of my elementary and middle school teachers. On those assignments of ‘What do I want to be when I grow up,’ I always had Mom at the top of the list.

And I have come to find out that Motherhood is freaking hard. There have been many days where I just wanted to lock myself in my room to be left alone for five minutes and not be needed, or split up a fight, or clean another mess, or change/wipe another poopy tushy.

But while I am in the throes of holding the fort down and surviving… I forget to enjoy. To slow down. To turn off autopilot. I don’t want to live in the future and miss out on the very moments I waited my whole life for. THESE are the years where we will all sit around the table and go “remember how great we had it when we were all together?”
I don’t want those times to be “remember when Mom was always on her phone?” or “Mom was always yelling at me,” or “I don’t really remember us doing anything fun other than watching tv.”
I saw an article on Facebook about a second grader who wrote about wishing the phone was never invented because their mom doesn’t pay attention to them. It ripped my heart out. Partially because I know that when I review my days, I see a lot of myself on my phone, or just simply zoned out to the tv or something else. Ive known it for a while and have done some attempts to change, but it hasnt really stuck.

And then I had my 2am epiphany. These are the prime years of my life. Not high school. Not college. NOW. These are the magic years. The years they still believe in Santa Clause and get giddy Christmas eve in their beds. The years where parks and splash pads are their bread and butter. The years of nursing snuggles, funny toddler comments, toothless grins, matching dresses, onesies, baby teeth, crazy curly haired blurs, piggy back rides, tea parties, dance parties, calling out for me to hold them at 3am, forts, stuffed animals, tiny painted nails, pb&j crustless sandwiches, coloring books, 3 car seat minivan adventures, and hearing “i love you so much momma.”

I want to soak in these next 18 years and jam pack them full of memories and smiles and hugs and laughter and conversations and love. Im by NO MEANS a perfect parent. I would be a fool to think I’ll never gripe at them again, feel overwhelmed, or want to lock myself in the bathroom for five minutes of peace. However, I am hoping that those will be fleeting moments. Far and few in between. Blips of needing to recenter myself and start fresh.

These are the years that I still have some influence and ability to affect my children’s decisions and teach them the things they need to know to help them navigate through life. This is my last year before Bailey starts full time kindergarten. My last year when all my babies are home more than they are gone. 18 years will go by in a blink. I mean, it’s already been 10 years since graduating high school. Adam and I have already been married almost 7 years. My oldest is already 4 years old…and it happened in a blink! And I know I am going to blink again and Sophie will be 18, Claire will be 20, and Bailey will be 22, and I will be left with a quiet house.

These are my golden years. And I will no longer wish them away.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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Jam Packed 7 Weeks!

So in the last month or so we have had Easter, General Conference, Claire’s 2nd birthday, Bailey’s 4th birthday, their combined party, my Mom in town, Sophie’s baby blessing, Adam’s birthday, and Bailey finished her preschool year!  It was a wonderfully jammed packed time!

It was so wonderful having my mom in town and for her to get some grand baby time. My girls were sooooo happy to see her! Thank goodness for FaceTime, so they knew exactly who she was 🙂

The girl’s pretty much had a week long birthday celebration haha Bailey is still hooked on thinking there is a birthday everyday…oh and of course Daddy is 21 apparently haha. We were lucky to be surrounded by family and friends for their combined party at the park, as well as for Sophie’s baby blessing. We blessed her in our home so that all of our family would be able to attend, and it was special. Special words were spoken, and she was wearing the same dress that her older sisters were blessed in as well. A truly blessed day.

Speaking of the girls, they are crazy in love with Sophie. Bailey is still learning to be gentle haha but they both love her so much. She is the perfect book end to our little family of 5. I couldnt be happier. Sophie is smiling up a storm and just loves being along for the ride.

There is so much I could try and talk about, but I feel sooooo much has happened and words don’t give it justice. So I will just include the gazillion pictures to capture the joy and love and adventures we have had the last 7 weeks. 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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Sophie Marguerite Bertoch

Sophie Marguerite Bertoch is here! She was born March 16th, 2018 at 9:08am weighing 7 pounds 2 ounces (rounded up from 7lb 1.8 ounces lol) and was 19.5 inches long. 🙂

It is funny how each pregnancy and delivery can be different from each other! So we found out I was already dilating to a 2 on March 7th at my 38 week check up. Which is odd for me. With the other girls I didn’t have anything at all until labor. I literally went from 0 to labor…so already being a 2, it kicked our senses into high gear and we prepared for her to come within the next day or so. Well…she didn’t haha. We were all on edge! The whole week! I made sure every night we had things laid out and a plan etc lol. So then I had my next appointment with the doctor March 14th when I was still a 2, and only 50% effaced, we accepted it and figured I probably won’t be that early from the March 20 due date. I had some contractions here and there but they were very fleeting.

Thursday evening March 15th I started having more slightly consistent contractions (after having a dance party with the girls 😉 ). They would fluctuate between 10-15 minutes. Not too painful. But after an hour or so (and a warm shower) they faded out. With Bailey I had had similar type of “warning” contractions before going into labor, so for good measure we decided to call Adam’s Mom over to stay the night just in case. Sure enough I was woken up at 4am with painful contractions! 3 minutes apart right from the get go! I was still slightly skeptical and was going to wait a while before heading in… but Adam said nope and started the car haha. And luckily he did because on the drive to the hospital they were getting more painful very quickly. We had to go through the ER entrance since the main entrance was still locked for the night, and labor and delivery sent a nurse to come grab me. In the triage room the contractions got worse and worse. She checked me and I was a 4, and they were waiting for some verification from the doctors office before they could start me on the antibiotics. (I was group strep B positive….for the third time haha). After probably 45 min they went ahead and checked me and I was a 5 and having contractions a little over 2 min apart. I was being pretty vocal in the triage room and pretty sure I scared the mom in the stall area next to me haha. They finally got the go ahead to place my Iv and I was admitted. At this point my contractions literally feel like they are ripping me in half and I am drenched in sweat. I begged them to hurry with the epidural and they had to wait for my first iv fluid bag to finish and for the anesthesiologist to head over, so it was probably about 45 min before he was able to come and place it. Boy was I ready! My contractions were so close together and it was killin me! (It’s the first time in all 3 labors that I was actually crying in pain. Women who deliver without any medication are my hero. Because holy crap.)
In fact, I had a contraction in the middle of my epidural and that was interesting haha having to sit as still as I could with a needle sticking into my spine and my uterus hating me 😂
Once the medicine kicked in I was a happy camper! And exhausted! I immediately passed out and slept and started progressing in dilation; in just 15 min I jumped to a 6. I had told the nurses how my previous labors progressed very quickly once I had the epidural, so they were trying to have the doctor come to check on me and pop my water, but they couldn’t get ahold of him. Turns out he was in surgery so didn’t tell anyone, so finally at the 2 hour mark the nurse went ahead and checked me and I was definitely ready to go, so she called the on call doc, who broke my water and I was ready to push! I was sooo numb, so they were flopping me around haha. I did one push and her head was out! They sucked out all the fluids and waited for the next contraction for me to push the rest of her out. Her birth itself was so peaceful and calm! It was just me and Adam and the doc and a nurse. There was no rush and we just enjoyed the snuggles while I got stitched up and good to go. Sophie was so quiet! In fact when she was halfway out, I was nervous and asked if she was breathing and okay, and the doctor laughed and said she was just checking things out. From actual labor to her birth was barely 5 hours, and I really think they they could have checked me an hour earlier and I would have been ready to deliver then…So it was quick! I am thankful to be done and have her here and to close the chapter on birthing children and can now focus on rearing them 🙂 And I will be totally fine never having to have contractions again 😉

Adam went and brought his mom and the girls to come see Sophie for the first time and it melted my heart! Bailey walks into the room and I showed her that Sophie is here and out of my tummy, and she looks at me with excitement shock and said really?!?!? It blew her mind that we were telling the truth about a baby being inside me haha. And then one of the first things Bailey says to Sophie is “Happy Birthday!” It was so sweet! Claire was more into the fact that I was in the room and she wanted me to hold her…and then explore the hospital room 😉 But it was such a sweet first meeting of the girls. They warmed up to her so fast and were in awe of her tiny features.

I have been recovering very well. My only complication is a spinal headache from the epidural (which I know had to be from the contraction I had in the middle of it) but I am managing. 🙂 It forces me to slow down a bit and lay down I guess haha. We were discharged to go home like 28 hours after I gave birth! It was awesome! I was ready to be home and resting and in my own space with my whole little family.

We walked in the door with lots of love greetings and sweet decorations from Stacey and the girls 🙂 Bailey immediately had us sing happy birthday to Sophie and couldn’t contain how happy she was that we were all together. I am so blessed and lucky to have my family.

We are now getting used to a “new normal” and explaining things like breastfeeding and belly button cords to concerned toddlers 😉

I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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New Adventures!

So the past couple months have been an exciting one for a couple reasons. I am 38 weeks today, so Sophie should be making her debut any day! I have a feeling she will be a bit earlier than the other two. And I am welcoming it! It is exhausting chasing 2 toddlers while being super huge and limited in movement haha. I was thinking last night, it will be weird whenever Sophie is Claire’s age, because I have never had a kid that age without being pregnant! Both Bailey and Claire were the same age whenever I got pregnant again haha. I am excited for Sophie to get here. She is already so loved. Everyday Bailey will come cuddle with me and give a hug and kiss to my belly and tell me how big Sophie is, and how she will come soon. She is such a good big sister. I am thankful for her sweet kind spirit. Claire is still a bit young to understand what will be coming up, but she loooooves her baby dolls. She will hold the babies tenderly and feed them pretend bottles and it is the cutest thing I have ever seen. She can be pretty spunky with her little attitude…but she also has such a sweet tender heart. She is always asking if people are okay when someone is sad and she gives hugs and kisses freely. She also loves having her nails painted! I have been so blessed with my girls. While I of course still have days where I count down to bedtime and I have lost my patience…I wouldn’t change it for the world. My kids are my life. And I cant wait to add our final little member to it. I am so looking forward to not having to pack up and move and uproot. With Bailey and Claire we moved right after they were born haha so it feels good to nest a little bit! Although it is ironic because I only just got her bed ready yesterday, so we cut it a bit close this time! With Bailey I am pretty sure I had the bed ready when I found out she was a girl. Funny how multiple kiddos can change things haha.

While we may not be moving…we do have another big life change during this time! Adam has officially opened up his own private practice. On The Mend Counseling. This has been in the background works for a while, and the stars seemed to align and we have been guided by the Lord and we have taken the plunge! We always knew it would be the end goal, and it has been Adam’s dream for years, but we never expected it to come this soon. It has been great so far! Adam has a beautiful office in a great location and is so happy. He has always had very stressful high intensity type of therapy jobs. Usually high crisis type of jobs. So ironically, while being a business owner is stressful…this is probably the most relaxed I have seen him in years haha. It has been a neat experience for me too because my background with my communications degree allowed me to be a part of this process. I designed his logo, business cards, and website. It has been a really cool project that has brought us even closer together. In fact, I remember exactly where we were when we were discussing the name for the business. We were driving to Florida for Thanksgiving in the van with the girls and listening to some chill music and just throwing out some suggestions and dreaming about what it could be like. We came up with On The Mend Counseling on that drive. Just one of those memories I smile about. (you can check out his website: onthemendcounseling.com)

So we have fun things going on! Sophie coming any day….becoming a business owner…2018 has been amazing so far! So many things to look forward to. I love my life and I am so grateful for how incredibly blessed we have been. I don’t deserve it, but I am so thankful.

I feel like so many awesome little things have happened in the last bit, but I am in a pregnancy fog haha so I will let all the bagillion pictures speak for memories themselves. 🙂