Morning all. Snowing here in Hanover too this morning. Although I don't think it's going to be enough to get a snowman out of it or anything yet!
Happy belated birthday to your ds outnumbered, hope all is calmer today for you though. Linzer does the elf bring little gifts?
This year is the first year my 2 teen dc don't want an advent calendar so I didn't bother. They will get a load of Nikolaus stuff though. Trouble is dd wants fairtrade chocolate (thanks to her latest study on Kinderarbeit) so the supermarket chocolate Santas are out.
platanos how was swimming? Did you end up getting any presents to send to the UK? I'm still thinking about it as I was too ill to even do grocery shopping last week. It's going to be amazon vouchers for my nieces that's for sure.
Morning! No snow here as yet, although it was forecast for this weekend. I was halfway through a long post earlier, but was rudely interrupted by DS getting up - it's still on the laptop downstairs, so I'll try to finish it off and post it later.
Hope everyone's having a lovely first Advent Sunday. We'll be lighting the first candle later and may even put up the tree. Also need to think of a Christmas name...
hello plantanos, we met the other day on the bilingualism thread
I still think about my mum alot, but particularly miss her at Christmas, my birthday and her birthday. sorry for the loss of your father too, plantanos. It is so difficult losing someone who means so much.
jenny and english I think dh really does not enjoy the little baby phase. well, he loved to watch and hold ours when they were asleep or happy and content, but he just didnt know what to do with a baby. and if they then started to cry he very quickly got very stressed and handed them to me. But now he really does enjoy spending time with them. dh is an outdoorsy, bushcraft-type guy, and the boys find it fascinating too. we've got a bit of woods acroos the road, and dh will even take the boys there on rainy days. they all come back absolutely filthy, but that's what baths and washing machines are for isnt it. He has also got very good at taking all three out by himself on little day trips. overall he really has grown so much in his abilities as a dad in the past 2 years or so, he can be very proud of himself.
We've had a lovely but stressful day here. ds2 turned 4 (unbelievable). the day started rather badly, as I had put up the advent calendars overnight. when ds2 got downstairs he got all tearful and was trying to take them down again, as things looking/being different really stresses him out/panicks him. I have been parenting autistic children for a few years now and still make stupid mistakes like that. Hopefully next year I'll remember to prepare him better for what's to come. Strangely though, ds1 - who appears to be affected much more by his Aspergers - didnt have a problem with the change at all.
anyway, once I managed to turn the situation around, the morning was lovely and ds2 was delighted with his presents. he got a big Gruffalo and alittle Mouse cuddly toy, and a CloudB Ladybird. Hopefully, fingers crossed, those things can help him with his fear of monsters at night and constantly ending up in our bed... ds1 was hard work though all day all the excitement of advent calendars, birthdays, and the visit of uncle and cousin makes him unable to control himself. which is such a shame, as really he is excited in a good way.
another essay from me it seems hope everyone can enjoy a quiet saturday night!
plantanos I can't imagine the fact you speak English has anything to do with your DD not particularly being brilliant at story telling and description - that's just something some people have a talent for and others don't (though of course it can be taught... by the teacher... and is also somewhat tied to how much she reads). Ironically my DD struggles intermittently with maths but (only 2nd class so of course could change) currently does really well in German, and now she is having to write stories they are the one thing she is likely to get "Prima!" on - the first draft at least... when they do the neat copy she often gets downgraded for failing to correct any spelling errors or write more neatly on the neat copy! She also got an enthusiastic comment written on a text that the teacher had provided in bullet point form and she had had to embroider to make into a flowing descriptive text - and my German is pants and DH won't read to her! Does your DD write stories in English? If not then it probably just isn't her thing, language being irrelevant!
Christmas is an emotionally loaded time isn't it, it always seems to bring into focus any grief or sadness for absent friends or family members... Sorry for those feeling it at the moment
Oops time for football training, then we are going sofa shopping / browsing and then to the Christmas market at the airport with free ice skating (if we can dig out the DC's skates...)
hi all, wow, what a lot of lovely chatting....i can't keep up. Boss walked in twice this week as I was on mumsnet. ooops....
english yes, my dc were very excited. DD1 had a melt-down (she is 10!) because the windows did not meet the tray, so when she opened up the window there was only half a lebkuchen (MIL present) in there. I opened the top and turned the tray around and all was in place. Thank goodnes, because I was dreading a daily morning tantrum...
outnumbered sorry about your mum. It is my second Christmas without my father. It is because of him that we had turkey, christmas pudding, crackers etc in Spain, so many Christmas traditions are tied to him. It has been years since I spent Christmas as home and I always miss my family then....it seems a bit sad to just be the five of us (though I know there are advantages) but I make a special effort to get over my own sadness and make it special for the children. Actually, the only thing they care about is that we all sleep in the living room together...we all pull our matresses in there and that is what they say makes christmas special for them
Linzer- dreadful story about the boy. so sad. Yes I agree, it is important to make sure the dc can come to us with all whatever they have done...or ring us up at 3am because they just want to get home safely ...or whatever.
I am begining to get worried about this school system. Dd1 going to Gymnasium in september seems like such a big unknown. And DD2's teacher was saying she might get a 3 in german because dd is struggling with story-telling, descriptions. But then says that she has a good command of the language...I am a bit confused, tbh. and annoyed that she brought up the fact that I speak english as a reason...
Must go swimming...although ds has a bit of a cold I am scared of the teacher...she looked ever so annoyed when two weeks ago I told her that we would not be coming last week.
Hope you are healthy again admylin and that christmas presents are sorted (which one did you go for in the end cheas?) and elves are providing added excitement.....and glad you do not have to go anywhere on the 24th nutella
Jenny my DH says he looks at the kids picture on his desk while he's at work and thinks about how he has such lovely children, then comes home and remembers they are noisy messy and naughty - but mainly noisy! He doesn't like the domestic side of parenting - he has no interest in reading stories unless pressed to, and has never sung a nursery rhyme in his life. However he has flashes of brilliance and will spontaneously decide to do something 1:1 with DS1 especially, which is great as he can ednd up a bit overshadowed as the middle one with quite a flamboyant and sociable big sister and a sweet but demanding toddler brother - DH and DS1 have a tradition of going on day trips a couple of times a year - they always go to a stock car race each year, just the 2 of them, and Dh also took him and DD (at DD's pestering) to a monster truck show and to watch the UK play Japan in the Women's football World Cup. He is also good at family days out as long as they are not too often - maybe every couple of months, and he sometimes comes up with activities for DS1 - thy built a working rocket together last weekend, out of a water bottle and bits of hose and cork and various things, and DS1 invited his friend over for the launch He also gets quite involved in the odd purchase for the kids - he does a lot of research into safety related stuff, or finding the perfect bike, or buying a carerra bahn or such like, but most of the present buying I do, and all the day to day stuff like clothes etc. I teach 2 evenings a week and he puts the kids to bed, but usually cops out of reading to them by letting them stay up an extra half hour, which I am a bit about as I'd hoped he'd read to them in German on "his" nights Oh well. I probably let him get away with too much, in terms of coping out of the day-to-day parenting, but as I am a SAHM I do think its my job - if/ when I work/ed any significant hours I'd insist he do a proportional share, and of housework, cooking and shopping too, all of which he does none of.
Sorry that's a long ramble!
Do any other DC get over excited about advent calendars? The boys uncharacteristically slept til 6.30am this morning, but 7 year old DD woke me at 5am and every 10 mins thereafter til I got up, as she was desperate to see and open her advent calendar! My inner grinch is always foiled by DD!
I guess I miss my dh, English and Outnumbered, as we have always got on so well and enjoy each other's company. I also feel a bit guilty about not doing housework when he is working, especially as I only get the basics done during the day. Still his work is interesting and housework is so deathly dull! He loves reading stories to the dcs though and misses them when he's at work, so I am really pleased that they are so close. Do you think your dh want to spend more time with them as they get older? Some people are not that keen on young children but really come into their own when the dcs get a bit older. After all, there's only so many times you can sing 'wind the bobbin up' without your brain matter seeping out of your ears! Fingers crossed that my dh doesn't have to go to Korea at the end of next week.
all I can hope is that our dcs will never be too scared or too ashamed to come and talk to us when they have had a bad test or will get bad grades. It is just so sad to think that a 13 year old boy rather ends his own life than let his paretns find out he is getting bad Zeugnis
I remember getting a 5 in a maths test once and not telling my parents about it as I was ashamed about it. They found out from a friend of mine, and they were very upset. not because of the bad result, but because I didnt tell them about it.
I really really love the idea of the elf on the shelf!! our ds' would love that. where do you get that from?
and I am so glad that I am not the only one spending a lot of the evenings just by myself with the computer or TV. although I do have to say that I have changed my dh's ways in a big time since ds1 was born. my FIL never changed a single nappy I dont think and had no actice role in bringing up his children - apart from providing the salary to do so. WHen ds1 was born, dh started out the same way. now he'll still drive me MAD by being on his blimming iPhone whlist 'entertainig the kids', or not hoovering once if I'm away for a couple of days. BUt overall I've turned him into a very modern and active Papa
I cant believe it's nearly Christmas. and it's my second Christmas without my mum. the reason I have always loved Christmas is because my mum made it into such a lovely family occasion, I really miss her... Now I try to give to our ds' what she gave to us children when we were little.
Hello! I am a bit lost in catch up, fast moving thread atm!
Linzer that is awful about that 13 year old boy, so needless and sad and terrible. Reminder to emphasise to our kids that when all's said and done bad grades (and pretty much anything else that seems awful at the time) aren't the end of the world Poor boy!
Glad your DD1's parents eve went well though, hope the friendship idea works out.
Outnumbered that's great news about your DS1's school
I know nothing about marble runs, sorry cheas! I looked at click-clack bahns for DS2 online but that's not really the same, and I was looking for things suitable for a much younger child.
I opened the laptop to do Portable North Pole message thingies for the boys - did DD's earlier when DS2 was napping but only had time to get 1 done. Last year I told them they had emails from Father Christmas on the 1st December to co-incide with the start of advent calendars and they loved it and totally bought in, so want to do it again (even though I am not ready to start Christmas this early and would rather keep it at bay a bit longer!) Better get on and do that!
I was wondering about the wafer too Jenny, it doesn't sound as exciting when explained (like most things) My DH leaves the house at 6.15am and comes home between 5.30pm and 6pm, we eat together pretty much as soon as he gets in, but then he just watches TV and falls asleep (he is asleep at the moment) - not sure if that is more or less annoying than working til midnight! He only puts the kids to bed on the evenings I teach my VHS course, he remains glued to the sofa otherwise and plays no role that can't be done from there! He's a bit more use at weekends but has never done bedtime unless I've been out, and has never done bath time beyond occasionally coming up to dry one of the boys if I shouted for him, when they were a bit younger.
That's so awful Linzer - his poor family and his class mates.
We have a marble run but I don't think it's any of the brands you have mentioned. I find marbles all over the place though and ds2 likes to put them in his mouth. (you know I struggle so hard not to write schock on this thread and that's not even a German word!)
Glad your meeting went well outnumbered. That must be such a relief to know your ds will get decent care in his education.
Great news from dd1's parents' evening Linzer! I hope something comes of this friendship the teachers have mentioned. This is my greatest worry with ds1 too. He is shy (like his Dad and me) and is used to having friends that dd makes. He can be in his own little world a lot of the time so I can see how that would be frustrating for other kids.
No dh didn't lose his job and sorry if I implied he had. He's out of the house between 8 and 6 at the earliest, then he baths the dcs and puts them to bed while I tidy after dinner etc. and most nights is back on his laptop working between 8 and maybe midnight, later if he has something really urgent to do. Some days the only communication we seem to have is skype messaging when he's at the office! We are really grateful that he does have a job though as unemployment here can be very scary, especially has health benefits are linked to the job.
Gosh, I've been banging on forever. I hope you are all having lovely, relaxing Friday evenings!
Hmm, I would really think your dd would get frustrated with the Haba one. The holes in the blocks have to be exactly in the right positions for the marbles not to get stuck, it can all collapse easily etched. There are some 'klammern' Haba sells basically to make it more stable, but I don't think dd would be able to do any of it by herself.
I just found the one I meant. It's called kugelix. They have starter sets too and the you can add lots of other modules as you wish. I really liked the look of it in the shop and have suggested it to mil as a birthday present.
linzer that is so about that boy! I bet everyone is in shock about it. He was so young as well.
Right got to pick up ds2 from pre school before my youngest db and his son arrive for the weekend. It's ds2' birthday tomorrow. Incredibly he is turning 4!!
Oh meeting at ds1 pre school went really well. They are amazing and clearly just want the very best for him. They would be more than happy to accept a integrationshelfer for him in their group. 'Just' have to apply for it now and get it approved by the jugendamt.
Good to hear that your dd is doing well academically at school now. It sounds like a good idea to invite that other girl out so that your dd can get to know her better. I guess being outgoing enough to make new friends is harder when you're slightly depressed/anxious, so it could be all interlinked (and hopefully all improve at the same time once you've found some way to help).
outnumbered yes, please give me your thoughts on the marble runs when you have time. I've more or less discounted the Quadrilla now (the one linzer liked!) as I think it's less open-ended.
I have visions of combining the Haba run with cardboard tubes and furniture and things, but I think it's going to be really important not to show dd too much before she's got the hang of building very basic runs herself. We have the situation with Duplo here that DH or I build something complicated and then she plays with it a bit (eg, I build steps up to a platform and she makes the people go up the steps and sit down on the platform). Other than adding the odd tower to whatever we've built, she doesn't really engage with it creatively and I think it might be because we've got a huge crate full which we inherited from dnephew. She does build occasionally with a limited set of ITNG Mega Bloks which seems to back up my theory.
I've been watching endless Youtube vidoes of the Cuboro/Cugolino marble runs in action this morning. I really like how each block is a simple 5cm cube - seems very open-ended and yet simple enough for a 3yo to start to play with. The price is eye-watering though, at least with the Haba you can buy add-ons within the price range of a normal (ie. not GP) present.
DD is quite persistent when she wants something to work and has reasonably good fine motor skills for her age afaik. She is likely to be put off if she gets the idea that something is too difficult for her, though, but I hope that a simple starter set wouldn't überforden her!
cheas haven't got much time right now so just briefly. How old is your dd? The haba one is great as kids can be quite creative with it. But if she gets frustrated easily or has some problems with fine motor skills, it may not be the right one. I nearly got it for ds1 (5) but decided against it for above reasons when I saw it in a shop.
I saw another one at the shop who looked great ( saw it set up so could have a play around with the Haba as well as that other one) can't remember the name right now so will come back later when I have more time.
cheas I have no experience of marble runs, I'm afraid. I like the look of the second one you linked to, but I'm aware that's not particularly helpful.
I'm trying to persuade DH to go for a skin check too as he has lots of moles; I reminded him again yesterday and he said he'll make an appointment "after Christmas". I did sunbathe as a child and never used sunscreen - I don't think anyone did back then - but don't remember getting burnt, only tanned (I only ever got sunburnt once, in France in my teens). My back is fine now but the finger is a bit of a pain, both literally and figuratively. It feels weird to wear my wedding and engagement rings on my right hand and I'm also wondering how I'll manage to wash my hair without my finger getting wet. It's a good excuse to go to the hairdresser's for a blow dry.
DH said all DD1's teachers (he saw five in the end) were very positive about her, said how well-behaved she is and that she seems to be on track for 1s and 2s in most subjects (such a nice change from primary school). He also told her form teacher about our visit to the psychologist and they were discussing ways of helping to find friends for her - apparently, she's often alone at break times. The problem is that there are far fewer girls than boys in her class and she's quite young for her age, so doesn't have a lot in common with most of them. However, the teacher said that the girl she sits next to at the moment would be a "good match", so I'll ask DD1 if she'd like to invite her over - or even out somewhere for her birthday next month.
Very sad news here yesterday - a 13 year old boy at the Gymnasium died after falling from a top floor window. Reports online said that foul play and an accident have been ruled out, and DH heard from a mother at the parents' evening yesterday (who has an older child at the school) that they suspect suicide.
outnumbered mil has produced a fabric advent calender (from the British shop, or some related co) and we also have several chocolate ones, none of which featured in the Stiftung Warentest. Two are from the UK, but I can't imagine that means the chocolate will be safer .
jenny thanks for explaining about the wafer, think I understood the explanation . I wish I knew more about physics, but I found it deathly boring at school, unlike chemistry.
linzer yy I dreaded the thrombosis injections, too. Having lots of moles removed doesn't sound pleasant. Did you get badly sunburnt as a child? DH has lots of moles/freckles and a history of sunburns, I really must make sure he goes for a skin check asap .
Sorry, haven't read any previous posts this morning. I've been tying myself in knots trying to decide which marble run I should ask PIL to get DD for Xmas. I was going to go for this Haba one which caught my eye in the JAKO-O shop, then I decided to get a simpler first Haba set which can be added to at Easter, birthday, etc.
But then I read a review pointing out that the Quadrilla has parts which fit together, making it somewhat less likely to fall over.
And then I discovered Cuboro which looks like it could be really creative in a more train-tracky way...
Do any of you have marble runs? Do you have any of these three I've listed, or have you seen any in action at your kids' friends' houses? (The price is fairly irrelevant, since mil insists on spending her budget of 200 on dd , but also yay!) Any thoughts from any of you welcome!
I need to get our elf ready today - he's arriving tomorrow, but I'm not quite sure yet how! DS is already very excited. Was your DH not working for a while then, Jenny? Apologies if I missed something.