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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May in Texas is a beautiful thing

Well, May is just about gone. Compared to how fast April flew by for me, I feel like May crawled along…but we had some fun regardless!

On the 2nd Adam turned the big 3-0! I made my key lime meringue and we enjoyed a family lunch before he went to work. 🙂 I will cherish my last couple years of being in my 20s before joining him in the 30s club ;).

Spring is amazing in Texas, because it is full of fun thunderstorms, breezes, and the heat hasnt gotten to the point of ridiculousness yet. So we have been taking advantage of it as much as we can! Between swimming in the Woodlands, to the Childrens Museum in Houston, days at the park, fun with friends, washing cars, and fresh fried catfish down near Kemah boardwalk….it’s been a fun month 🙂 (I will let the million pictures tell more of the details haha)

We have had some happy days filled with friends and cousins and birthdays (Jefferson turned 3!!! Yay!) and some sad days…Adam’s grandpa Bertoch passed away at the end of this month. Adam was able to attend the funeral in Utah this last weekend. I am so grateful he was able to go and be with family and celebrate the life of his grandfather. I know he will be greatly missed.

All in all, closing out May and thankful for all the memories we have created 🙂 

It only gets hotter from here in Texas! Bring on the heat and the memories to create 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

 

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Birthdays and Family and Wedding–Oh My!

I think it is safe to say that April has been a busy month for the Bertoch Clan! Both girls had birthdays, my mom came into town, Easter, and we went to a wedding! Lot’s of fun things to talk about and a million pictures! So I am going to break it up by topic for this blog.

Claire Madelyn Bertoch’s Birthday: April 11th

So Claire had her first birthday! My youngest baby is 1! I cant believe it! Boy that was a fast year. I had Claire in Lubbock and then a month later we traveled down here to North Houston! Such a blur! But this doll face girly of mine has been nothing but a joy to our family. She is already walking and running and pro status at climbing up stairs and sliding off couches. She is pretty good at entertaining herself with toys and books. She is just happy and content to be hanging around us. She is extremely ticklish. All I have to do is poke her anywhere and she giggles. I love it. She has 6 teeth and I have officially weaned her off of breastfeeding. This was a different experience than with Bailey, because Bailey weaned herself at around 7 months and preferred the bottle. However, Claire looooved to nurse. She didnt take a pacifier like Bailey did, so I was essentially her pacifier haha. But I knew it was time. She was a champ. The first day or two it broke my heart when she would grab for my shirt, but I would give her cuddles and a sippy cup. She got over it super fast. Now she is drinking milk no problem (she refused milk when I was nursing her) and sleeping on her own without needing anything other than some good cuddles. At her 1 year check up she was 6% in weight and 26% in height…so she is a tiny thing for sure! But she has always been a teeny thing. She is healthy and happy and I cant imagine life without her. Bailey loves to introduce her to everyone we meet; “This is my little sister Claire!” and Claire follows Bailey everywhere she goes. I sure love my fuzzy haired 1 year old.

Bailey Marie Bertoch’s Birthday April 20th:

Bailey turned three!!! What?! When did that happen? I still remember being pregnant with her like it was yesterday! Bailey is my adorable bundle of love and attitude. She keeps me on my toes and is so tender hearted. She is in a stuffed animal phase, where she has to sleep with them and bring them with her in the car, and have them with her in the living room. It stresses me out at the thought of losing any of them! She has an owl, kitty, elephant, doggy,  2 pandas that she calls lambs (we cant convince her otherwise…we have tried many times haha) and her bunny. Whew. And she knows immediately if any of them is missing! She is so delicate and specific about taking care of them. She is such a little caretaker 🙂 She also loves playing doctor with her doc mcstuffin doctor set. She checks our heartbeats, gives us a shot and follows with a bandaid, and takes our temperature. I have been blessed with her in the fact that she takes medicine like a champ. If I explain to her that the doctor just wants her to feel better, she will take it. No tears or fighting. Crazy right? Haha but she does have a stubborn side. She is very sensitive to emotions, so if she feels I am frustrated with her, she shuts down. Reasoning goes out the window. It has been a learning experience for the both of us, specially with me in keeping my frustrations in check. She can definitely be a bit bossy, and is learning that people dont always do what she wants them to do. (Get used to it girly!) But I adore everything about her. She loves playing with other kids and is concerned if any of them are ever sad or hurt. She includes Claire in things she is doing. She will always try at least one bite of anything new that I put in front of her, and has the BEST sense of humor. I sure love my curly headed 3 year old.

Since their birthdays are so close, and my mom was in town, we did a combined party! Super low key. We had a couple blow up pools in the yard (my neighbors rock and had theirs out too) I filled up some water balloons (that I pretty much used as target practice for the kids…) and they just played! Then we had cake and homemade pizza on a table out front. Loved it. We just had Bailey’s best friend Nora, who lives next door, and her cousins Brayden and Jefferson, and it was perfect. I hope all of them can be this low key! Haha I can dream right?

NANA WAS IN TOWN! My mom was in town for about a week! It was so awesome! I hadnt seen her since Thanksgiving and she hasnt seen where we lived since moving down to Houston. It was so fun showing her around and treating her to real Texas BBQ. (Spring Creek BBQ for the win!) We had some adventures!

We went to the Houston Zoo. Which of course 1. I got lost because I thought I would be cool and try the closed off HOV lane for the first time…not realizing that there was no way to get off of it until I’m already in downtown….learned that lesson. 2. The zoo had NO PARKING. It was a madhouse! I was getting so frustrated! We ended up parking all the way on the other side and crossed through a park and it was just nuts. But we made it and had a blast! The weather was perfect and the girls were in love with all the animals. They have a carousel near the giraffes, and the girls  loved it. They rode it twice haha thanks to nana 😉 And then there was a petting zoo section that Bailey was gaga over. I thought she was going to smuggle one of those goats home haha. I was surprised! I thought she would be afraid! But nope, she was brushing its hair and giving hugs and taking it personally when they would walk away from her haha. We also ended up running into Ally and John and the boys while we were there! Go figure! We live 5 minutes away and end up running into each other downtown at the zoo. Cant make that stuff up. haha.

We went to the Woodlands Waterway so we could see the koi fish pond. Again, parking was an issue, so we had to go the loooooong way. Then we finally get to the pond and it starts to rain a bit. We hide under some trees but Adam was thinking it was going to dump on us. I brushed his concerns aside so we could still have fun….sure enough. 10 minutes later I think the heavens opened. We got drenched!!!! So what did we do? The only thing you can do..play in it! And they have a little splash pad, and since we were already wet, we had a blast in that. Fun memories. Ill never forget those images. I love it.
My mom was here for Easter too! Which totally snuck up on me between her visiting and the girls’ birthdays. My mom hooked us up with some delicious Easter candy since mine all went to the Church Easter egg hunt that I was in charge of the week before. Whew. Like I said…busy! But it was awesome because then we all went over to Adam’s parents house and had a big Easter dinner all together. So fun 🙂

It was so hard dropping my mom off at the airport. But I am sure I will see her soon! The girls had such a blast playing with her and wearing her out haha. They definitely miss her. Visit again soon Nana! 🙂


Wedding! The day after my mom left, we went out of town for the weekend to see Adam’s grad school colleague get married! It was seriously the most beautiful wedding ever. The vineyards were breathtaking and the weather was perfect! But it wouldn’t be a Bertoch event without something going on. So we had quite the weekend haha. Firstly, we drove the 6 hour drive after Adam got off work. We figured the girls would sleep in the car since we were getting in around midnight. NOPE. They slept on and off, but were awake when we pulled up to the hotel. We drove our car instead explorer because of course the check engine light is on. But it was good because we totally hit an armadillo on the drive up on accident…and it would have popped a tire in the explorer for sure haha. Oh and the girls still woke up at 6:30 the next day. At the wedding the girls were great! Until the actual 5 most important minutes of the ceremony…so I hurried like a quiet Tasmanian devil to bring my kids to the very back so they wouldn’t disrupt anything haha. But they were quite the little entertainers while we were with Adam’s cohort. Bailey danced the night away and Claire enjoyed watching Bailey dance haha. It was soooo great seeing everyone. And Allie was such a beautiful bride. I am so happy for them. 🙂 So fun. But then when we got back to the hotel for the night and put the exhausted girls to bed…Bailey had night terrors most of the night. I have never experience anything like that before. It scared the crap out of me. She was screaming for me. Eyes open. Thrashing around. And I was right there trying to comfort her and tell her Momma was there..but she didnt recognize me and pushed me away afraid. Then she would go back to sleep. It happened 3 diff times. Broke my heart. I know it was because she was so sleep deprived. Poor thing. So that was fun. Then on the drive home we almost ran out of gas. Adam thought about getting gas, but it was a bit of a scary little town with a prison right in the middle of it…so I was like ehhhh next town. Well…there was no next town. It went to nothing. Then the gas light came on. Long story short…we went almost 50 miles before we found a town with gas and chugged there. Barely making it. The last 20 miles, inside the car it was dead silent haha. I knew it was my fault for not getting gas at the prison town dang it. But boy. Never a dull moment eh? Haha.

So now we are home and attempting to get back into the daily routines of life again. Adam’s birthday is next week. So round two? Haha. I love our life.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch.

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Concerts and Family Fun

So Adam and I went to a Mayday Parade concert downtown in Houston a couple weeks ago. It was a fun experience. Ive seen Mayday Parade in concert 3 times now, and they have never disappointed. They are just as good, if not better, than on their album. Seriously. They are amazing. And this tour in particular was awesome because it was their 10th anniversary of their first album. Which was the album that I fell in love with. So it was definitely a high school throw back for me….and I could tell…because Adam and I were pretty much one of the oldest in the room haha. Luckily we got a spot upstairs (one of the perks of being over 21 and old I guess haha) and had pretty much a front row spot of the stage. Our ear drums barely lived to tell the tale. (Adam was deaf for 2 days haha) But then we were able to miss all the mosh pitting and crowd surfing. I was getting so annoyed at the shenanigans haha that’s when I knew I had crossed some kind of adult/parent threshold lol. 10 years ago I would have been in the throng of all that…now I am like “where are your parents?!” yeah….I am sure Bailey and Claire won’t be bringing me to any concerts….haha. But all in all….MAYDAY PARADE ROCKS! If you’re ever able to see them…go! Just ignore the crowd haha.

I am loving this Spring weather (both the place and the season…see what I did there…heh) and all it has to offer.
Although in the spring we have tons of storms! We slept over at my in law’s place this last weekend because of the threat of tornados! Luckily they missed us, but whew. Scary. I am blessed that I have family close by that I can hunker down with. Bailey and Claire loved seeing all her cousins and did great 🙂 We played Pokemon Monopoly…which is amazing..and my sister in law Ally dominated….twice. Good times haha.

Bailey and Claire keep growing like weeds before my eyes. It is both exciting and heart wrenching at the same time. I love all the new stages for both of them. Bailey is such a  character with the best sense of humor. She is so tender hearted and always has to make sure that Claire is okay. Hell hath no fury like when Bailey doesnt give Claire and a hug and kiss goodnight haha. Bailey has the memory of an elephant though, I tell ya. She keeps me on my toes with my promises and briberies that’s for sure! And Claire is now a walking machine! Both girls were walking before their first birthday. Crazy! But I know Bailey is so happy to have Claire more mobile haha. Claire also has 6 teeth now! 4 up top and 2 on bottom! I can tell every tooth when I am nursing…..haha. She only nurses for sleep…so teaching her to sleep without that will be an adventure. lol.
Adam is still working hard at his jobs and doing such a good job of taking care of us. He is busy…so we are very jealous of his time off haha. His girls definitely love him!!!

All in all. Just enjoying life. 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch.

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Lovin’ This Texas Warmth

Some people are knee deep in snow right now…but we played in the sprinklers today! I am loving how warm it is! I will enjoy this breezy warm weather before it turns into an inferno this summer haha.

We have been having fun! Been busy with various projects and keeping up with my 2 kiddos 🙂 I gave my tiny little backyard a makeover! It was literally one big weed! I hate outdoor chores haha so I havent done anything with it, but then the missionaries offered to help me weed and I couldn’t turn down the help! It got a fire under my tush that’s for sure! After weeding, I laid top soil and sod down and now it is a place where the girls can play! Bailey is in heaven! She loves to water the grass and paint the fence 😉 She got a cute little sunflower seed to plant today and has been so excited about watering it and waiting for it to grow.

Bailey and her best friend Nora are two peas in a pod. I can barely tell them apart haha. It’s been such a blessing having great neighbors across the sidewalk. Today we all sat in the front yard in lawn chairs and sunshine, listening to little girls running through sprinklers and Claire climbing in and out of a toy crate in the yard haha. Loved it.

Claire has been walking like crazy! She will go across the living room and down the hallway no problem! It is so cute seeing her tiny little body bee boop all over the place. She loves playing with Bailey and getting chased. She is just a bundle of fun. Her 4th tooth just popped through, so now she has the two bottom and two top 🙂 I love her little toothy grin.

I also am now a distributor for SeneGence, which sells LipSense! It’s seriously the BEST. LIPSTICK.EVER. I’m obsessed with it haha. So now I sell it. If you’re interested in learning more about it, come check out my Facebook group, search for “Sassy Lips with Cassie B” and I have info and live videos talking about it. 🙂 or click on this link, which should go directly to it haha https://www.facebook.com/groups/1926902510861945/

We are enjoying the spring time weather and the sunshine it brings! It only gets hotter from here 😉

P.S. My brother Aj joined the Air Force! Sooo proud of him! I know he will do amazing and is continuing the Legge legacy of military service 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

 

 

Time Sure Flies By

Wow it’s almost been a month since I have written a post! Things have been so busy! Plus, the fact that Bailey has given up her naps completely…I no longer have “me” time during the day to do things like blogging and relaxing haha.

I feel like I should have a whole novel to write since it has been so long…but to be honest, I don’t know if I can remember anything! February FLEW by for me. I know there have been some highlights: going to new parks with some ladies in our church and their kids, becoming close friends with our neighbors (who has a little girl that could be Bailey’s twin! They are so adorable together!) and enjoying some beautiful sunshine and moments of family time. And lowlights: Getting TWO flat tires in TWO days! (On different tires haha. I have the worst luck with vehicles.) And having a teething baby with allergies and a tantrum throwing toddler who is still up and down with potty training. With Adam’s work hours…..I sometimes have days where I want to lock myself up in my room and not be touched! Parenting in not for the faint of heart! But I wouldn’t trade my girls and life for the world 🙂

Milestones: Claire took 5 steps yesterday! She is so close! And she has a third tooth! With a 4th on its way. Bailey has become even more independent and wanting to help me in everything I do; whether it is getting up in the car by herself, opening every door, or brushing her own teeth and hair. She is such a big girl. The potty training is slowly but surely. Some days are better than others, but I am attempting to learn patience in this process. Haha.

OH! Adam got a promotion! He is now the Clinical Director for the Adolescent Program at New Dimensions in the Woodlands 🙂 I am so proud of him! He works so hard for us. I miss him so much when he is working, but I know he is helping so many people and providing a roof over our heads, and making it so I can stay home with the girls 🙂

We are taking things day by day 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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Life, Love, and Lamborghini

This past month has been pretty busy for the Bertoch household. We have had a different range of sicknesses passing through all of us for the last few weeks; the most recent being a nasty sounding cough from Bailey along with lovely nose congestion for both girls. I feel like our family is usually never sick…so this must be everything catching up at once! I hope it is not an omen of 2017!

On top of that, I was asked to be the new Primary President in our ward. For those who are unfamiliar, in our church the members volunteer their time to do various jobs (we call them ‘callings’) like teaching, scouts, piano playing, event planning, preparing talks, teaching, teaching and more teaching etc.(There are many many ways to serve in the church) The Lord will inspire the Bishop or other leaders to ask for certain people in callings, and they have a choice to accept or decline. Primary includes all of the children 11 and under. It can be a pretty time consuming calling, and I was very nervous/overwhelmed when asked. I felt under-qualified and young and inexperienced…but as I accepted, I was given strength needed. I was blessed with amazing counselors and a secretary to help me in the endeavor. I am busy, but with such a great purpose. In the few short weeks, I have already seen the blessings in my own home from being given opportunities to serve and love the Lord’s little children. I am so thankful for this calling and can not wait to continue to grow and learn more about it week after week. Adam has been so supportive and helped with the girls while I have meetings and various activities to attend. I am so lucky 🙂

Bailey and Claire are growing so much. I love listening to Bailey play pretend with her stuffed animals (Minnie is her favorite right now), make her hands talk like puppets, sing to me in her cute sing-song voice, and paint me beautiful pictures.  She is going on the potty like a big girl and is a big helper. She will clean up her toys, bring me diapers and wipes to change Claire, get the scriptures at night to read as a family, and wipes up her messes at the table (most of the time at least haha). She can count to ten and knows all her colors and looooooooves building things with her blocks. Music is her life. She loves songs and dancing and she has a sharp mind to remember them very quickly. (In fact, it definitely affects my radio choice when I zone in and realize what song she is hearing and now singing haha) Bailey loves her little sister so much. She shares with her and watches out for her and will let Mommy know if she is getting into something she shouldn’t.

Claire loves to be included in everything. She watches her older sister in awe and wants to be right with her in everything she is doing. She crawls so fast that I can barely keep up with her, and she can stand now most of the time unassisted, but is too nervous to start taking steps yet. (She has ridiculously cute and tiny feet haha). She has 2 bottom teeth and loves to eat. Anything and everything so far. Cheese sticks are her favorite, and she can feed herself like a pro. She is so easy to please and is good about going with the flow. There are many times I will have to run to the potty with her sister and she will quietly play with her toys and books 🙂 She also loves to dance and bounce to music. She has said ‘thank you’ and now will never say it again haha but she loves trying to communicate with us and be a part of the family 🙂

It’s never a dull moment 🙂 In fact, Adam was able to do something super fun yesterday. For an early birthday present, I found an event where Adam could drive a super car. I sneakily was about to find out which car would be his dream one to drive and booked it for him. Anyone who knows Adam, knows he is a car guy. And also knows that he doesnt spend money on himself. So as his wife…I made the decisions for him haha. So he was able to drive the Lamborghini Huracan 3 laps around the track, while his girls cheered him from the sidelines. We drove down near Galveston and made the day of it. It was a day to remember!!!!! I had sooo much fun watching Adam drive and seeing his face shining with happiness and adrenaline. The girls did awesome, specially with it being cold and windy. They were great and everyone loved them. It was one of those days that we will talk about for a long time. I love those moments. 🙂 I love my family so much.

I have been doing my best to pull back on the phone usage as mentioned from my last post. It has been 2 steps forward 1 step back kind of a process. But every day is a new day 🙂 I wouldn’t trade my life for anything. I am so happy. And I have my best friend and my amazing kiddos for eternity. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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 it 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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Christmas 2016 and a New Year :)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

This was the first time we have had our own Christmas eve and  morning as a little family in our own place, so it was pretty exciting 🙂 Although, all of us were sick…so we were miserable in that aspect haha.
We started some new Bertoch traditions, one being that Christmas eve we make homemade pizza and decorate it in festive shapes. This time we did a christmas tree and snowman. 🙂 We also had a cheese and a chocolate fondue. (I found some individual fondue mugs on amazon that is heated with tea lights. Loved it) and it felt like a piece of home because we always did fondue growing up. I was like a kid in a candy shop when we were at the store looking at Italian imported breadsticks, cheeses, and salami. Then we decorated sugar cookies for santa, left some carrots for his reindeer and a little note with some milk, read the Christmas story and went to bed 🙂 Stacey and Dave came over to spend Christmas Eve with us and participate in the festivities with us, so that was fun!

But the girls were up bright and early at their usual time of 6:30am, so we had an early Christmas morning. Good thing Santa had already come 😉 It was so fun watching Bailey open presents and get excited about her gifts. Claire was more of a spectator who wanted to eat the wrapping paper lol. What a neat experience to come full circle and watch my kids on Christmas morning. I love it so much.

We had Sacrament at church and then after naps went over to Stacey’s house for Christmas dinner and gift opening with Ally and Austin and their families 🙂 We had a full house! (Just missing Aaron and his crew!) It was a great Christmas. Hopefully next year Adam and I will be able to not have sinus pressure and actually taste most of the food 😉

For New Years we got some fireworks and had a blast in Stacey’s cul de sac with Ally and the boys and their neighbors. Bailey loved throwing down the poppers and stomping on them lol. We had everyone in the back of our explorer while we watched Adam and John give us a light show. 🙂 Adam and I went home and ended up toasting to the New Year around 9pm after the girls were finally in bed. We followed soon after only to be woken up because of everyone shooting off fireworks in our area (haha I have crossed over to the parent side of holidays…valuing sleep and quiet haha). As the years go on and our kiddos get older, I am sure there will be more New Years festivities lol.

Now we are back into the routine. Adam went back to work today after having a 3.5 day weekend. I love him so much and how hard he works to provide for our family. I wish money didnt exist so we could all be home all together all the time! But I am thankful for the time that I do have 🙂

2016 had many milestones for our little family; I am excited for what 2017 has in store for the Bertoch’s.

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

Oh the Weather Outside is delightful, and Potty Training is sooo frightful….

We have had quite the Christmas season so far! The girls and I have done alot of baking, decorated sugar cookies, and we made a fun gingerbread house as a family. 🙂  I love having Bailey as my little helper in the kitchen. Even if there is twice the mess…I enjoy this time I have with her. Claire is a trooper watching us from her highchair, but at least I make sure she has lots of snacks. Dinner and a show right?

We went on a Christmas Train in Alvin Texas. Last year with Bailey we went on the Polar Express in Lubbock, and we were bummed that the nearest Polar Express was like 3 hours from us :/ but in my search, I came across this Christmas train that was only an hour away! It is run by a Christian church, so on the train ride we rode through the story of Christ’s birth while enjoying the thousands of Christmas lights. It was so fun. We went with Stacey, Dave, Ally, John, and the boys. After the ride we had some delicious local pizza. Bailey was in heaven. We also drove through a neighborhood in the area that goes ALL out for Christmas lights. We loaded up in the back of the explorer while Adam drove slowly, rocking out to Christmas music. It was so much fun. One of my favorite memories 🙂
Adam and I were asked to speak in church this last Sunday, and it was the Christmas program, so we were asked to speak about Christ’s birth and how we can center our lives more about him. I loved being able to have more of a focus on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas this season. We have been doing Family Home Evening around the Nativity and how Jesus wants us to love everyone and be nice to everyone 🙂 It has brought a sweet spirit into our home. Which I definitely needed since I potty trained Bailey this last week!

I planned on tackling it after the holidays, but one morning when I was about to leave and go buy more diapers for Bailey (she was literally on her last one) she randomly asked to sit on the potty. She didnt go on the potty at that time, but I decided that instead of buying another case of diapers, I will buy panties! So I brought Bailey with me and we got 2 packs of panties, a princess toilet seat for the big toilet, a cute tiny lady bug toilet to keep in the car on the go, and some pull ups for when she is sleeping since she still wakes up pretty wet. I have to be honest, I was not looking forward to this at all. I was not prepared to do it before Christmas. But I wanted to listen to when Bailey was ready, so we did it! The first two days were pretty tough. (So much that I went on a much needed girls night out date with Ally! We went out for drinks 🙂 alcohol FREE drinks I promise). I had no idea what I was doing. I asked friends and family for advice and implemented different ideas. The first couples days I was putting her on the potty every 15-20 minutes. I would give marshmallows as incentive. For every pee on the potty she got 3 mini marshmallows, and for every poo on the potty she got 1 big sized marshmallow. If she peed a little in her panties, but we run to the potty and she finishes in the potty, we give her marshmallows. But if she goes in her panties and then runs to the potty and doesn’t go at all. None. Same for poo. I feel like it has been a good system.
The first day we went through 6 panties. The second day only 2! The third day I decided to stop taking her to the potty every 15 minutes, and see if she would recognize and tell me she had to go, rather than just by chance going when I would put her on. She had 1 or 2 more half accidents where she would finish on the potty, but then after that she would tell us! On Sunday, I did put her in a pull up for church, since it was going to be a long busy day, but I still treated it as if she had panties on. So I took her potty before church, and in between classes. She did fall into the big toilet at first, so she was a bit nervous for a while. And having Claire in the bathroom with me, while holding Bailey on the toilet to keep her from falling in was an interesting experience, haha but Bailey did go potty on the big one! And her pull up was dry through the rest of church, and she told me when she needed to go potty at home. Ever since then, we haven’t had an issue with pee. She will tell me when she has to go, and we go! I still take her first thing to the potty in the store, so we both know where it’s at (thanks for that advice Chelsea!) and we have the tiny lady bug potty in the back of the car that she uses if we are out or at a park or something. She likes to sit on the big potty at home, with her princess seat 😉 I just recently got a portable little potty seat that you can put on the big seat, that can fold and fit in my diaper bag. That should help a lot more when I have Claire and Bailey in the bathroom with me haha. Poo is still a work in progress. She has gone on the toilet once or twice, but I wouldn’t say that she tells me when she has to go. I just notice when she makes a certain face and try to run to the potty. Not always successfully lol. But all in all, I would say a week later she is pretty much trained! We went to the park today and told Adam she had to go potty, so she went in her little lady bug one in the back of the explorer. Yay!

She is such a big girl. And so sweet to her sister Claire. She watches over her and tells mommy if she has something in her mouth. My little protector. And Claire just adores her big sister. She follows her all around the house and they play toys and laugh at things only they understand. I love it. I am so grateful for their love. I cannot wait for this weekend to share Christmas with them in our own home for the first time. 🙂 Making family traditions and fun activities. Cant wait! Until then, Merry Christmas and God Bless! May we remember the true meaning of Christmas and be thankful for our Lord and Savior 🙂

These are our Bits O’ Bertoch.

Cassie Bertoch

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