2013 ist schon da! A new Kaffeeklatsch thread for the New Year - living in Germany and Austria(923 Posts)
All welcome - whether you're living in Germany or Austria, have questions about life in those countries or just want to chat.
Previous thread here.
The Samsung Star looks good - I like the look of this one. Is it fairly easy to disable Internet access (I wouldn't mind her going online at home with supervision - we have wifi)? And do you need a different SIM card for smartphones than the ones you put in the old style phone like she has at the moment?
Hello!! Just marking my place - thanks for the new thread linzer. havent managed to catch up with the old one yet but will hopefully have some more time tomorrow.
Waves to everyone .
Thanks for the new thread, Linzer!
I'll pop back to catch up properly later.
Hope everyone"s well!
Linzer not sure if the phone you linled to has wifi/WLAN. It isn't listed in the technische Details. It might cost more to go online with the phobe contract? No idea but yes to the sim card, your dd could just put her old card in it and keep her number.
A dilemma: dh's old boss in Berlin has got some funding and has offered to take him back but on a 3 year contract again starting this summer. Dh is quite fed up here but would the huge cost of moving house again just for a few months longer work that he already has (contact here is until September 2015) be worth it? He siad I should get a bottle of wine and we'll talk about it tonight when he gets home. I can't decide if it's good to go or to wait and keep applying for long term jobs. How much would he have to put aside if he lived there during the week in a small place? Berlin is geting impossible to find a decent flat or house at an affordable price too.
Don't pay attention to the typos please !
Good point admylin - that phone doesn't appear to have wifi. But maybe that's a good thing, as I'm not sure she necessarily needs to go online - at least not on her phone. Will have to discuss it with DH this evening.
So if your DH took the job in Berlin, would you stay where you are with the DC and he would return at weekends? I would have thought that running two households (even if the second is only small) plus the "commute" would be quite an expense, but I suppose it depends how unhappy he is in his current job and how desperate he is to leave. You spend so much of your life at work that if you're not enjoying it, your quality of life can really suffer.
Hello and thanks for the new thread linzer
admylin what a difficult decision. but three years is still a long time isnt it..to be in a job he hates. would your dh possibly be able to get accomodation during the week paid for? when dh started his job here in Kaiserslautern 2 years ago, our plan had been for me and the boys to stay in Lüneburg, and dh being here mon-thurs. he had negotiated with his work that he could stay rent free in a house the company owns nearby, and also had negotiated that the company pays for his train journeys from Lüneburg to KL and back. we did that for three months until we decided that it is better for us to together as a family as it was too hard for m, but our dcs are much smaller than yours.
ploom how is your foot today? it sounded very painful!
me and dh had a nice day in Mannheim without the boys, but I am sooo exhausted now. I dont know how those celebs to it, going on shopping sprees on a regular basis! dh is now fully kitted out for his new job....and I got new PJs I was just so tired after helping dh with his clothes, in the end I just didnt have any energy left to tryx things on myself. Especially as what I needed most are trousers - and I am a nightmare to find trousers for that I like! I might pop into town tomorrow and have a look if I can find something there.
One thing I was wondering...does anyone else on here had the MIrena coil fitted? and if so, have you had any bad side effects from it? I have had mine for almost 2 years and I am considering having it removed as I am so fed up I nearly had it removed last year but then decided against it as it was so expensive to have it fitted in the first place.
<waves to everyone else>
outnumbered sorry can't help with the coil. Contraception is expensive here isn't it? Especially when you know you can get it free in the UK.
No chance of any help with a flat or even travel from the places dh works! They don't even do relocation packages. you have to be humble and glad to be allowed to work with them (that's the impression I get!) and I hope my dc don't study science unless maybe to be a teacher with a steady job!
Linzer your point about being happy at work is also true. I suppose we'll have to think it through and do some sums too. Moving house costs a fortune and those few thousand just aren't available at the moment.
Better go, dd in a flap about a test tomorrow so better go and test her before bed. Ds walzed in with another 1 in maths today - I don't know where he gets it from as neither of us are mathematically minded!
admylin Well done to your DS! DD1 has an English test tomorrow and is convinced she'll get a 1 as she's done well in her English tests so far, but I'm worried she might be getting a bit complacent as we didn't practise spelling much over Christmas and she's making far more mistakes when I test her now.
I was going to say that DH's employers treat him pretty well, but he's just informed me that he's an engineer and not a scientist (it's all the same to me), although he did admit he was more of a scientist in his last job. Hope the wine helps with your decision although I suppose it's not really the kind of thing you can decide overnight.
outnumbered Glad you enjoyed your day in Mannheim. I'm afraid I don't know much about the mirena coil either; I'm not keen on hormonal contraception (it seems to affect my moods), so the gynae advised me to have a copper coil fitted and I've been really happy with it. A friend of mine had a coil removed (not sure which type) after only a couple of months and was so annoyed about the hundreds of euros that had gone down the drain. At least you've had a bit more value for money; I worked out that mine would have paid for itself after just over a year (compared with the pill).
ok catch up time - homework is done and the boys are having their 45 star wars wii time so it feels like MN time.
linzer - hope your dd's english test went well. My dd manages well in English as she happily reads in both languages but think the boys will both struggle - I cannot persuade either of them to try to read an English book. Does your dd read in English? I agree with admylin - it is possible she is the only one in the class without a smartphone (it still shocks me that all the kids have smartphones when I only got one myself 12 months ago). DD is over the moon with her 3rd hand iphone - just a shame that because its a few years old it doesnt support the new operating systems so she cant make use of the free messaging apps but she seems happy texting her friends. She has no internet when she's out the house and we said we would monitor it at home but she seems to be using it more for games and music at the moment.
admylin - did you come to any decision last night about Berlin? Its tricky as to whether its worth moving for another temporary contract but since he hates it so much in Hannover then maybe? What do the dc think about it? Congrats to your ds on his 1 - hope your dd gets on ok with hers today too.
outnumbered - glad you had a good day out in Mannheim - its always so nice to jut have some adult time out the house. We get it so rarely that I really make the most of it when we do. I'm no use about contraception in Germany - I was sterilised when ds2 was 6 months old. Is it worth going to the Frauenarzt and discussing the options?
Nutella - oh the photos of your ds on FB are adorable - there can be no mistaking him for a girl - he's already got a boy face (like both my ds's had altho dd was mistaken for a boy for months if she had anything not pink on). How's the first week gone? How's the breastfeeding going? Does your dp have a fair bit of time off?
antique - how was your trip to Canada? Are you back already? How did your ds cope with the journey?
platanos - ow at hurting your tailbone when you fell? How is it now? I hurt my coccyx during labour with ds1 and found that ultrasound really helped it.
Loving all the chat about minimalism - I'd like to think we live a fairly minimal life but thats a lie when I think about how much stuff we had when we moved here. But we are very uncluttered - dh has a touch of OCD (although he'd never admit it) and really believes that there's a place for everything and if it can be hidden in a cupboard or drawers then all the better. I've got so used to it now that when I go to a house thats really cluttered then I feel a bit claustrophobic.
Impressed also with your dry January outnumbered - I do the same as linzer - I dont drink alcohol during the week and a bottle of wine can last me the whole weekend. Think it makes a huge difference because not drinking most of the week really reduces your alcohol tolerance for when you do drink. I really cant drink even half a bottle of wine now which in comparison to how much I drank in my early 20's is amazing.
Thanks for asking after my toe - its completely back to normal now (till the next time). It really put the pain in my other foot in the shade. I went back to the GP about that yesterday as the ultrasound hadnt helped so he gave me a referral for an orthopaedic doctor who is a foot specialist. Havent phoned yet tho - hate phoning to make appts.
Was really shocked by how fat I felt over Christmas so am back on a health kick now that the holidays are over. Thankfully the weather has been ok so I've been out walking each day this week. Will be happy to lose a stone in weight but always lose my motivation at some point so took some photos on my phone of me in my underwear to shock me when I feel I'm slipping .
Hello Everyone, thanks for the new thread Linzer
Admylin my DH changes jobs of his own volition every 2-3 years just because he starts to get bored, even when he has a permanent role which appears secure (though he has also followed the pattern due to a redundancy) so I cannot even conceive of anyone even contemplating staying almost 3 years in a job they hate if they have another appropriate offer on the table! However aside from the move from the UK to Germany his job changes have never required a house move or a weekend commute set up, the only time we were open to that was when he was made redundant and needed to secure a job on a similar or better salary straight out of the previous one if possible - then we would have moved or considered other options. His commutes have got longer with each job change though and he now commutes 70km by car around to the other side of Munich (we live 40km outside Munich in the wrong direction). So on the one hand I think it is crazy for your DH to suffer in a job that he has clearly been very unhappy in for a long time, but on the other I would struggle with the idea of uprooting kids the ages yours are (though yours seem comfortable with the idea from previous posts), and the expense of living apart and travelling so far twice a week would be very significant negative factors.... So in short no help - but neither my DH nor I would stay 3 years 9 months in a job where we were treated as badly as your DH is if we had another viable offer on the table! I wonder what you decided???
Outnumbered I can't help with the Merina coil - I went to have it put in and the ob/gyn said I'd need to have it done under anesthetic, so I bought one and basically threw 100 away as I then told DH that I wasn't going to do that as I wanted a 3rd DC, and he should take care of contraception and he decided we should actually have a "see what happens" approach for 6 months and then re-consider, and so we have DS2 However I have been thinking about getting sterilized recently as I think I am done with hormonal contraception, having spent almost 20 years on the pill except when ttc or pregnant - they offered to do it when I had my c-section with DS2 but as the ob/gyn had never brought the subject up it was too much of a shock to be asked during the pre-op the day before my c-section and I said no - Ploom what was the experience of getting sterilized like? Was it an overnight in hospital?
Argh got to rush as I am due to have DD at her friend's a couple of villages away in 7 mins oops! Better run! Waves at everyone else! (I should change my name back shouldn't I, oops?)
Grinch all those things have been going through my head too. I keep trying to remember that they have treated him so badly here but then think of having to move this summer and knowing it'll only be for 3 years. Too difficult to decide for now so he's told his old boss to keep him in mind and ask him again in a few months.
ploom good that your toe is better and you can get out and about. Do you jog or do power walks?
Linzer how did your dd1 think the test went? Dd said her chemistry test was OK but not great. She brought a 3 home from the last test in French which I think is OK considering it would have been a B in my day. She's busy revising maths now. Did you decide about a smartphone?
I have done some more sorting out and got rid of loads of tops and clothes that I haven't worn for ages, and some old cables and papers that were gathering dust. All in all about 2 bin bags full have gone out.
admylin DD1 said the test went OK, although she wasn't sure whether she'd spelt one word correctly (weekend - she had), but we won't find out what grade she got until Friday at the earliest. We've also been revising maths this afternoon, as she has a Schularbeit on Monday.
DH has agreed that a smartphone with Internet access via wifi would be best for DD1 (as she'd want to download things like Lego games), so I think we'd probably go for one like your DD has. However, she's now decided that she doesn't want one after all as she doesn't use her phone so it would be a "waste of money" and wants an iPod instead, which I'm really not convinced about (she doesn't listen to music and has a bit of an addictive personality as far as electronic gadgets are concerned). She's also admitted that she's not the only one in her class who doesn't have a smartphone and that her best friend from primary still has a Tastatur-Handy, although I'm sure that the majority do have them.
Ploom No, DD1 reads very little in English, which really doesn't help with her spelling (DD2 reads quite a lot and has no problems with her spelling). Just practising vocab for 10 minutes a day really makes a difference, though.
Well done on the walking - I've also been lacking in energy and feel like I ate far too much over Christmas, which has motivated me to get out running again. Taking photos of myself in my underwear would not be a good idea, however, as the DC are always looking through the photos on my phone and showing them to anyone who happens to be around.
Grinch I felt the same as you - had had enough of hormonal contraception, didn't want any more DC, but sterilisation seems much more invasive and complicated for women than for men (unless you have it after a C-section, as one or two of my friends have done) and DH wasn't keen (for the moment, at any rate) so my gynae suggested the copper coil and DH can reconsider in five years.
We've signed DD1 up for the theatre club at school, which basically involves four trips to the theatre throughout the year. She went on the first one a couple of months ago, which was fine - they left at 2.30 pm and were back at around 7 pm - but we've just had a letter about the latest trip, and they won't be back until 10.30 pm! It's on a Thursday too, so she won't be able to have a lie-in the next day. She's normally asleep by 8.30-9 and has said herself that she doesn't want to go out that late, so I hope we can get out of it (I think all the tickets may already have been ordered in advance). What's more, we had the option of choosing tickets costing either 15 or 18 when we signed up, but this musical costs 30 - and that's without the cost of the coach (8 IIRC).
grinch - I was sterilised in the UK so not sure what it'd be like in Germany but I was only in the hospital 6 hours! I think I was only anaesthetised for 40 mins & came round feeling refreshed rather than sore. Its only a keyhole op so I had a stitch in my belly button & one at the top of my bikini line (which they put a plaster over - ouch at pulling that one off!). I felt knackered that eve & dh had the next day off but like you I had 3 dc to look after so was back on form the next day. Found the whole thing v easy. But most importantly it took the stress of contraception away. Ds2 was conceived despite us using contraception so after his birth when I could have been ready to have sex again, I was petrified in case I got pregnant again. And I know dh was too. I know I could have sent dh to have the snip but I didnt want to be pregnant ever again (had cardiac problems during 2 pregnancies) so I was happy to have it done.
admylin - think its fair enough that you've decided to wait a bit - its a lot of money to shell out when they dont pay any expenses. Well done on the decluttering . I just power walk when I go out - I hate jogging - but I think if I do it for 45 mins most days then it should help me to lose wt.
admylin it sounds like a good plan to wait a few months before making up your minds wrt to the job in Berlin. Fingers crossed something better comes along where job satisfaction does not go hand in hand with financial strain!
Well, I have now got an appt at my gyn to have the coil removed at the end of next week. On monday I will see my SIL, who is a gyn, and I will talk it through with her as well. my problem is that I dont know what to use instead. as odd as it may sound, the primary reason I had the coil fitted wasnt for contraception purposes but to take the severe period pains away. with each child, my period pains got worse and worse and I was dreading that time of month so badly. afaik the only way to keep those pains away - apart from the mirena coil - is with the pill you take without a break. thus more hormons, so I am unsure if it would mean that the side effects I have with the coil would still be there.
I really do seem to be an unlucky one who doesnt have just one side effect from it but a handfull. none of them are 'serious' in terms of health risk, but they are unpleasant and annoying to say the least.
my mum was sterilised after her fifth baby and never regretted it. she too found it so nice not having to worry about contraception ever again.
we are still hoping that things will calm down for us in a couple of years, when ds1 is slightly older, able to read and occupy himself etc...if that does happen, then we still want one more little one But sterilisation would not get rid of my period pain problem anyway - I'd have to have the uturus removed as well, which seems a bit drastic.
I'm hoping my SIL has a great idea about what to do
dh had his first afternoon at his new job, and he'll now start full time from next week. he'll be getting 50% of his salary, although I am not quite sure how that will be taxed, as we are still getting dh' salary from his old job this month. will we have to put money aside to pay back to the tax office at the end of the year?
Thanks for the new thread Linzer. tailbone is healing, thank you for to those who asked. It was slowly getting better and I am no longer hobbling- what a relief! At least there was no boy I was trying to impress nearby. Or travelling the world. Or a new born baby to look after.
admylin - that sounds like a hard decision to make and a good idea to think about it for a few months. Would the job he has been offered in Berlin be more interesting for him? Or more strategic career-wise (in terms of getting a permanent job in that area rather than the one he is in now?). I am just wondering if working with a supportive boss would help him more in the future. I hear tales of profs/institute/research heads having their protegees and how they help place them in permanent jobs. Also, I think you mentioned that your DH's boss does things like insist her (?) name is first on a publication that your dh has done most of the work for - which does not help his future prospects- would that be otherwise in berlin? and do the berlin people attract more funding than where he is at the moment? What do the dc say? Decisions, decisions....
Well done on the de-cluttering! It is such a nice feeling. Our flat is farely sparse -or bits of it are - with things shoved into cupboards (and these should be de-cluttered) . DH had asthma (or had, seems better recently) and dd2 has a dust mite allergy so we have no carpets or curtains. It feels too bare to be honest.
outnumbered - did you get some trousers today? I hate shopping for trousers too, esp as I don't suit/can't stand the tightness of skinnies which seems to be 99.9 per cent of what is in the shops. For all the reasons you mentioned, we will not be getting a dog. Plus it would not be fair on the creature: we are all out most of the day and live in a built up area. I am always very ambivalent about dogs in such urban settings. how is dry january coming along? No experience to share on the coil, sorry.
Linzer - 10.30 is quite late for a school night. Way past my bedtime anyway. Will she go anyway? Bit annoying about the changed schedule and cost of the outing. DD1 somehow got it into her head that when she goes to Gymnasiium she will need a handy - dh and I have agreed to buy an "emergency handy" which can be used by the dds when they are doing something out of the ordinary or need it. But on a daily basis, they do not need one. Let's see, however, how long that "evil parents" line lasts
ploom- power walking sounds good. And isn't it much better for you than jogging anyway? I also need to loose about 4 kilos - my clothes are tight and I just feel heavy. All the weight goes onto my belly, so I know that is not healthy. Like Linzer there is no way I could have a photo of me in my underwear on my phone - unless I photoshopped it and put a different head on it...or something.
hello to everyone else. I think I am ready for bed - resuming normal life has been a bit tiring.
DH is attempting to put a very squealy and squirmy DS to bed so I finally have ten minutes to post. I've been lurking on my phone but it's a touchscreen (I bought a snazzy smartphone in the sales in Canada) and I'm still really fat-fingered with it so can't post any more than a few short sentences on it!
platanos Glad your tailbone is better and that you aren't hobbling any more!
outnumbered I hope your gyn or your SIL come up with a solution for your period pains. I'm afraid I can't give any advice as I've been on the same pill for over 10 years now as it was the only one I wasn't allergic to, with a break for pregnancy and bf, of course.
Ploom I had no idea sterilisation could be that straight forward. Glad your toe is better, although I did wince when I read your FB update about shoving your foot into a shoe and hobbling about to force it back in! Good luck with the health kick. I don't think I'd be brave enough to take pics of myself in my underwear on my phone, even though I'm the only one who uses it, and DH occasionally.
admylin What a position for your DH to be in! It sounds like a brilliant opportunity (finally, an escape from his current job) but it would be a big, expensive change for you all. Taking the time to think about it sounds sensible. Actually - I spotted a thread before about looking for good schools in Berlin for an imminent move but didn't click on it - that wasn't you, was it?!
Linzer That's a bit cheeky of the theatre club! It does sound like a late one for a school night. Do you think your DD will go or will she give this one a miss?
Are you a virus-free zone now, Grinch? How is DS2 sleeping? Hope you're managing to catch an extra few hours here and there.
Canada was lovely (I think it was Ploom who asked). It was a bit complicated with a few family issues then a death in the family and a D&V bug that hit me, DS, DM and DB for a few days, but overall we had a lovely time. It was a bit strange to come back from me DP's lovely warm, cosy house to our new, cold, empty one, but it has spurred us on a bit in terms of unpacking and putting curtains, pictures, bookcases etc up to make the place a bit more homely. We're not quite there yet but we're getting there!
I've just seen the pictures of Nutella's DS on Facebook - he's gorgeous!
Actually, Nutella, if you're lurking, I found the Hypnobirthing CD DH was supposed to post to you in the glovebox of the car today. Grr. Sorry!
Big wave to everyone else. No dry January for me, I'm off to pour myself a nice glass of vino before bed
Yes ploom I forgot to say, I had to laugh when I read about you taking a picture in your undies. I don't think I'd be quite that brave . But I think trying on a couple of trousers yesterday had the same effect on me.
platanos no I ended up not buying trousers today either. It's so frustrating. Most styles are those super hipsters which I find uncomfortable and my tummy and bum look even bigger in them than they actually are. Also, one of the coil side effects I have is that I have about 6 kg which I just cannot shift, even though I'm at the gym 3-4 times a week, have had several personal trainer appt to optimise my training - but I haven't lost a single pound since starting a year ago! So I am hoping that if I have the coil removed, that weight will finally come off, so I'll wait another month or so before spending money on trousers.
I still have an unopened bottle if champagne in the fridge, leftover from NYE. It's crying out to be opened. But I am staying strong. It must wait another 22 days!
antique glad you enjoyed your trip to Canada overall. And I know what you mean about a new, cold and empty place when you have just moved. With our last move it was the first time I did all the little decorative bits like putting up pictures etc pretty much straight away. The house moves before it took me ages. But I missed our old place and me being near my mum so much, I had to do something to feel more at home in a new and unfamiliar surrounding.
Ohhh, shiny new thread, thank you Linzer it goes with the shiny new year and my shiny new boy
Thanks for saying how adorable he is I of course think he is wonderful and can't explain how pleased I am that he is blonde (like me - that's probably what is) and we had friends over this eve - they made us a lasagne which was amazing! And she cuddled him the whole time and he slept. It was lovely to see some good friends.
DP has two months Elternzeit - this January and January 2014. We hope to go away next January on holiday so will be saving all year hopefully.
Breast feeding is going well, nipples intact and (touch wood) not sore. Only problem is colic, well trapped wind I guess. It affects him from around midnight until 4 or 6 in the morning DP and I are a bit frazzled. Trying to organise ourselves in the day takes so long we've only been out for about an hour today and yesterday.
Admylin at least if you move to Berlin you might find out what the sun looks like in January. So far in 2013 I believe there has been 0 hours of sunlight in Hannover. My son has never seen the blue sky or the yellow sun, he knows only grey to be fair he doesn't open his eyes that much but DP and I could really use some rays!!
If anyone isn't already my Friend on FB, feel free to PM me and I'll add you. I'm happy to show DS off
Sorry, I realise I haven't really name checked much but I hope you'll all forgive me. Night night!
Hi, Nutella, how lovely to hear you so happy and smitten! Enjoy enjoy! I am still smitten 2.3 years on!
outnumbered I was going to suggest the 3-Monats-Spritze if you're not averse to hormonal contraception; I was on it between DD2 and DS and for about three years after DS was born, and definitely appreciated the lack of periods. It may not be the best option if you want another DC, however, as it does seem to mess up your cycle a bit (I was told to allow 10 months after I'd stopped taking it for things to get back to normal, but it seems to take a lot longer for some people). A lot of people on MN swear by the mooncup; I couldn't get on with it personally, but I've heard that it can help with period pain.
platanos Glad your tailbone is better - I had to laugh about you being relieved that you weren't trying to impress a boy with your ice skating.
I wish our house felt too bare; you don't fancy helping me declutter, do you? DS also has a dust mite allergy so we've removed the carpet in his room and don't have any curtains, but we do have carpets in all the upstairs rooms and on the stairs.
I must admit that the DDs have had mobiles since around the 2. Klasse as they were walking to and from school on their own, but they only ever use them to phone me on their way home. It would actually be quite handy (no pun intended) if they took them to friends' houses, especially to the neighbours, so that I could phone them and tell them to come home, but they don't seem to want to.
Antique / platanos DH has said he'll e-mail the teacher about the theatre trip at the weekend; DD2 said the teacher already has the tickets (although I don't know whether that's right), but she might be able to return them.
Glad to hear you're getting there with the unpacking, Antique!
Nutella Your photos on FB are just adorable. Glad the bfing is going well, and hope the colic settles down soon. I love having a blonde DC too (only one of the three!), probably because it's such a novelty; everyone in my family is dark haired. DD2 has the kind of hair - long, straight and blonde - that I was desperate to have at primary school.
Linzer isn't that typical of dc, you spend ages thinking about and discussing possible smartphones and then they go and say an ipod would be better! Shame the theatre trip is too late. Maybe your dd would manage to stay awake that long if she was with friends and the show is one she really wants to see?
nutella so glad the breastfeeding is going well. Ds had colic (but in the daytime so we were lucky) and dh would get some warm oil on his warmed up hands and sit gently rubbing ds's tummy. It was the only thing that calmed him.
I know waht you mean about wanting abit of sunshine. I thought we'd slowly be getting lighter mornings too by now but it seems so dark all the time.
outnumbered I used to take a pill that was meant to be good for not putting weight on and when I came off it I was quite fed up as I put some weight on! So it must have worked and I'm thinking of going back on it. It was Aida and before that I took Yasminelle. Maybe worth asking about as these pills also stopped all my period pain troubles.
Good luck to your dh in his new job, is he still looking around for something else?
Antique I always used to feel like that about cosy homes after being in the UK. Everyone I know lives in cosy carpeted, curtained, picture framed homes. My parents even have 2 big spare rooms with bedding to go with the curtains. Oh and the fancy wallpaper - I've lived with white woodchip paper in all our rented flats over the years!
platanos thanks for the thoughts about the Berlin job. You asked about funding. There is huge funding to be had and his boss has always managed to get loads but dh wouldn't be able to get his own funding (as he could here) as he's not expert enough in that area of research. He also could never be offered a lecturer position (the next step up in his career) by that boss so abit of a dead end for the career ladder. It's sort of just another stop over job until something better comes along. Money would be the same too so no improvement there. Only improvement would be that dh would be with his old colleagues who he likes and gets on with.
I think your dd would start to use a mobile at gymnasium as the dc tend to have each others numbers and text or call about homework, meeting up etc. That's when I got ds his first phone too.
I'd better go and get my shopping list ready, the cupboards are starting to go bare again!