2013 ist schon da! A new Kaffeeklatsch thread for the New Year - living in Germany and Austria

(923 Posts)
LinzerTorte Tue 08-Jan-13 11:48:02

All welcome - whether you're living in Germany or Austria, have questions about life in those countries or just want to chat. smile

Previous thread here.

admylin Fri 15-Mar-13 13:10:28

Excuse the mistakes, have to dash and pressed post too soon!

LentilAsAnything Fri 15-Mar-13 19:08:01

Nuts, glad baby Nut is ok after his jabs. Extra cuddles, I think, are needed.

Platanos, I hope you get well soon. Enjoy your bed!

admylin, your son looks like a cool dude! Your children are both very gorgeous.

Oh yes, toddler DS often refuses to engage with strangers (other times he is charm personified! smile). Usually though when people ask him a question he says 'no!'

Hi, what's your name?
'No!'

How old are you?
'No!'

smile

itsMYNutella Fri 15-Mar-13 20:48:48

Linzer I must have missed the info about the profis that were chopping down your tree... But your DS befriending the workers is really cute! <aww bless emoticon> but what is a friendship book? I've never hear of one of those.

Platanos you sound proper poorly! Stay in bed and order lots of honey & lemon with hot water and whatever food tales your fancy. I really hope you feel better soon.
Looking forward to a loooong shower tomorrow!wink

admylin your poor DD and her hormones, although it did make me chuckle. I can vaguely remember my mum telling my brothers to stay out if my way or leave me alone... I'm sure for the same hormonal reasons smile

Lentils I was so sad <wimp> because I knew he would scream after the jabs so I made DP hold him first and then basically plugged him into the boob straight from DP's arms. Then yes, lots of cuddles and for once really not minding him being grumpy. (Usually I tell him he is being a big whinge and to give mummy a break, especially when all she wants is a toilet break)

DB and GF are lovely. Pretty much taking it in turns to cuddle until he has a whinge because he tired or hungry.
We gave DS a bath tonight but DP made the mistake of saying "there is nothing in this nappy" while undoing it as DS was laying on the sofa... DS chose that moment for today's poo; of course!gringringrin

Nutella Friendship books are highly irritating things that Kindergarten children give each other, and you have to fill in for them - there is a double page for each "friend" to fill in, with inane ranging from name, height, weight, phone number to favourite food and what your child "wishes" the book owner for the future (here you write insightful things like "lots of fun" or "a pony" grin When you fill in the questions the first few times they seem cute, and you feel pleased that other children like yours and want to give them the book to fill in, but it is deceptive, and by the time you are filling out the 35th one, with similar but not identical information about your child's likes and dislikes and wishes etc. you become slightly sick of the things, and they start to take longer and longer to make it back to whoever owns them... You are also expected to have a stock of small photos of your DC, as you will be required to stick one in every time.

My children have them too - they are an unavoidable minor irritant that kids pass between themselves, like nits grin

Once children can read and write reliably themselves without needing help they are fine and regain their charm somewhat, though the photos are still a bit of a pain grin

Glad your DS got through the jabs OK.

Get well soon Plantanos

I am being nagged for toast - DD can perfectly well make herself toast, but is being helpless, which is also slightly irritating, perhaps I am just easily irritated this morning, I really didn't want to get up at 5.45am, but Had already been awake but trying to get DS2 to go back to sleep for an hour, and it was starting to feel pointless by then, esp as the other 2 woke up too...

that should have read inane questions - I am irritable and illiterate grin

LinzerTorte Sat 16-Mar-13 08:43:59

admylin Yes, the workman laying the tiles in our bathroom last year was great with the DC and kept them entertained over the Semesterferien! I still have a photo or two of him on my phone, I discovered the other day (taken by the DC, I hasten to add). Sadly, I doubt the tree cutter will have brought a photo of himself today - but you never know grin - as I don't think DS mentioned the friendship book to him on Tuesday (and who knows whether he'll still have the courage to ask him today?), but apparently he took a photo on his phone of DS wearing his helmet.

Nutella Hope you're having a lovely time with your DB and GF; it's always good to have relatives to hand the baby over to, even if it's only for a few minutes! As MrTumbles said, friendship books are passed round at KiGa - children get their friends (or, more often, their parents) to fill in their details and stick a photo in.

MrTumbles We used to get about 20 sticky passport-sized photos with the KiGa photo, which were ideal for friendship books and I think we only ran out once. I actually found it easier to fill them in myself (DD1, who still used to get them in the first few years of primary, needed a lot of nagging and DD2 insisted on filling them in herself but was quite slow) - I would go through on autopilot, wishing every child "viel Glück und Gesundheit"! The constant weighing and measuring did get a bit much at times, though - as I could never remember exactly how much they'd weighed/measured last time, and of course it had to be accurate. hmm

The tree cutters have arrived with reinforcements (there are four of them today), so hopefully the tree will be down by the end of the day. It makes me feel dizzy just looking at the two of them right at the top!

Plantanos DD has just been showing me a hole in her toe, which reminded me of you grin I forgot to answer your question before - her wart/ verruca fell off a couple of days ago, so now there is just a hole. No scraping with knives involved! Your trainee doctor sounds quite unpleasant. The plaster is called 'Guttaplast' and the Wirkstoff is Salicysäure apparently, if that is any help.

Linzer is the tree all reduced to firewood now? I have refused to have anything to do with DD's Freunde book life since the middle of 1st Klasse, and she writes DS1's for him now too, I hate the things (even though I bought DS1 at his request fairly recently, because despite the fact I find them a pain in the bum I don't want to be the mother who doesn't let my kids have/ get my kids harmless things all their friends have just because of her personal tastes) hmm smile

Hello!!! I am back! For good I hope smile

Been brought back to reality today after the mst nightmarish day with ds1. It is one of those which make me realise that that fourth child we long for is never ever going to happen. Anybody got any suggestions how to get that longing fr another baby out of me?!? I just don't feel 'done' yet, but I know deep down that it would not be fair for anyone to have another litte one.

Sorry it's been soooo long since I've been on here, there is no chance I can remember what's been going on with everyone.

But I do recall is that platanos has been very poorly. I hope you feel better very soon!

admylim having arthritis in her hand. I hope it is manageable. My MIL has arthrosis and gets it in her hands quite badly too. She does not like taking tablets to keep it under control but she does very regular exercises with a sort f squashy ball with both hands and she swears by it. If you'd like more info, please let me know.

linzer having a humongous tree trimmed in her garden.

nuetella making me even more broody than I normally are

Thank you so much for kind words re my Kur. I loved the way how I managed to see e erythema in such a positive light whilst I was away (after the first week there was done with). And it makes me sad how negative I seem once again. It's quite amazing really what a difference it makes to be taken out f your every day life, away from the steam the worries, the endless struggles, the Anträge to Jugendamt, Krankenkasse etc...and amazing how quickly every day life has me back.

I hope e everyone is having a god weekend with plenty of sleep, poorly ones getting better and healthy ones staying healthy smile

platanos Sat 16-Mar-13 20:24:16

outnumbered good to see you back here. But sorry to hear that the change of pace and coming back to reality is just so difficult. Are there any little things you could do to make your everyday life easier? Something from the Kur that you can incorporate into life at home. Sorry, no suggestion on how to get rid of the broody feeling - there are all the practical things, but I realise that they don't get rid of the feeling of not being done. Once upon a time, I wanted 4, but then dc3 came along and I realised I was done, but not sure what changed my mind - I had run out of patience, i just did not want to go through all that again, the sense of responsibility and worry over another little one..- sorry, fat lot of use that is to you.

mrtumbles glad a hole in your dd's food reminds you of me grin.thanks for the plaster info. I shall try and get it. It sounds like it worked fast.

admylin I am impressed at a son who is always in a good mood, gets top marks and teaches himself to cook Japanese food. What is the secret? And I hope your dd does not suffer too much with hormonal mood swings. I have some herbal teas if she needs some - prescribed by the frauenarzt.

linzer how did the tree cutting go? Hope it is all done. Any of your dc declared that they want to be a tree surgeon when they grow up? I hope your dh bought the story of ds taking the photo of the man doing the tiles wink. I find all sorts of strange photos on my phone too...thank goodness each other's private parts (or pirate parts as ds calls them) are no longer so fascinating.

nutella hope you are making the most of extra pairs of hands. Especially to get poo off the sofa - oh dear, bad timing. Now you have plenty of time to get used to those friendship books. I am not a fan either. But it does get easier as the children fill them out themselves...

cheas forgot to say last time - that audition procedure sounds really tough. Have you made up your mind about what you want to do? I was also thinking about your feminist comment. I have certainly compromised in the jobs I have gone for and taken, but because I felt it was what I wanted. And I still think of myself as a feminist. It is what you feel comfortable with, at the end of the day.

Thanks for all sympathy. Still unwell and getting impatient with my body now...dh is closer to you than to me at the moment admylin. He is coming home tomorrow, then flying off 24 hours later. He is having trouble getting vegan food - I can understand that places do not have soya milk, but find it strange that an Italian restaurant huffed and puffed when dh suggested he would be happy to have some pasta with tomato sauce. I think I am going to start an association which encourages all restaurants to have at least one vegan dish on the menu - anyone want to apply for the post of principal vegangelist? grin.

platanos thank you smile there is nothing really I learnt at Kur that's new to me. Apart from that I didn't realise what it difference it makes to be able to step away from it all for a while and concentrate on myself. Exercise is brilliant to clear my head, but it won't change the root of the problem.

I hope you start feeling better soon! Bad timing with your dh being away lots. My dh will also be away most of next week.

I remember a few on here (*mrtumbles*?) mentioning they teach at a VHS. I really want to start work again, just to do something 'useful' apart from raising boys. I have sent off one application as a teaching assistant (no post was advertised though) but haven't heard back. We are in the process of buying a new build and if it goes through we could really do with a little but extra income too. I was just wondering how much a VHS teaching job pays?

Hehe Plantanos sorry about associating your with warts and holes in feet now! I hope you feel better soon!

Welcome back outnumbered - VHS pays €39.50 for a 1.5 hour lesson, which is an OK rate, but of course you don'T get paid for preparation time, and the fact you can only teach in 1.5 hour blocks means you can end up spending a lot on transport in relation to earnings. It isn't much of a money maker but it can be fitted easily around kids. You could teach a 1.5 hour morning class once or twice a week easily as all your kids go to Kindergarten, it might be a really nice re-introduction to work outside the home. As DC3 is home with me in the day I teach from 7.30-9pm, there is a big demand for English in the evenings and my latest beginners course is full and has a waiting list. I'm lucky though in that DH leaves for work at 6.15am so as to be home by 6pm every day (this suits him and he has always done it, not just to allow me to work in the evening) - I wouldn't be able to work at all if he wasn't reliably home in time. When he does go away with work (which only happens a few times a year) I can just organise with my class when they can all make an alternative class, and then ask the VHS office to book me a room for a rescheduled class, and they are totally fine with that - wouldn't work well doing it too often though obviously!

You can earn up to to €2100 by teaching through VHS per year without it having any impact on tax or health insurance. Sadly (or not, depending how you look at it) it is easy to keep your earnings that low if you just offer 2 courses, as there are only 2 semesters a year, and courses tend to be 12 or 14 weeks each semester.

I just popped into the VHS office on the off chance 3 years ago and asked them if they needed any English teachers, had an informal interview immediately (with DC2, who was then 2, in tow), then brought in my certificates etc. the next day for them to copy, took away some forms to fill in, and offered one class the following semester (I found out over that summer that I was expecting DC3, oops, so I started slowly).

If you want to teach German instead of English you could offer 3 hour classes, but the norm for other regular classes seems to be 1.5 hours. You can also offer full day workshops as a one off or a short series, but I haven't looked into the mechanics of that.

Thank you mrtumbles that s very helpful! I think I will pop into the office tomorrow. Ideally I'd like to work 2-3 mornings/week. That hourly rate s quite good I think. As a Feuerwehrlehrer at Gymnasium I got 27€/45min, and prep and marking time didn't get paid extra either.

I just hope that they will let me teach English, as I don't have the TEFL nor am I a native speaker. I could always teach business and ict courses (and would offer that in order to get more overall hours), but I enjoy teaching languages most.

You mentioned teaching German. Would I not need to have a Deutsch als Fremdsprache qualification for that?

Oh, one more question...were you given a sort of syllabus to follow, exercise sheets etc or do you have to prepare everything from scratch?

Outnumbered I honestly have no idea what qualifications you need to teach German. I was a secondary school teacher in the UK and do have CTEFLA, but I hadn't really used it much since getting it - I had only taught English as a foreign language to teenagers in Japan before. Worth asking anyway, I am sure you can teach something, just offer your skills and ask what they need smile

I was given a text book for the beginners course I started with, and changed to another text book series with that group, who I still teach at B1 now, because the old one was dull and outdated. I have gone back to the original one for my new beginners group though as it does work well at A1 level. I use Headway for A1 and Key for B1 atm. You can teach in other ways if you want, but with no child free time I like to use a text book. It took me a long time to realise there is a teachers guide with extra photocopiable materials for the Headway series as I wasn't offered it - there are extra "game" type activities, mixers, starters and conversation / role play cards and props in there specifically to compliment text book units, so that now saves tons of time in preparation (though I had to buy the book myself) and livens the lessons up in the same way as laboriously created extras. I do still add in things of my own but no longer male resources.

Participants usually trial the first lesson of the course before committing to pay, so the one lesson you'll have to prepare on the assumption they don't have a text book is the first, and consequently that one needs the most preparation. Once you have gauged the ability level of a group and are using a text book each class only really needs 30-40 minutes preparation - I used to spend longer preparing than teaching, but no longer do that.

hupa Mon 18-Mar-13 08:08:26

MrTumbles I like the idea of male resources wink. That´s really interesting information. I´ve often wondered about working for the VHS, but having never got further than thinking about it.
By the way you summed up my feelings about friendship books perfectly.

Outnumbered I´m sorry you´ve come back to reality with such a bump after the Kur. Did ds2 and ds3 enjoy the experience? It must have been quite stressful with so many new faces/routines to get used to.
When I learnt German at the VHS, the teachers either had or were completing a qualification in Deutsch als Fremdsprache, but I don´t know if that was a requirement of the course.

Planatos Hope you´re feeling better soon.

Linzer Have you got a fire, so that you can make use of all that wood. Dh cut down a Hazlenut tree last year. It didn´t really look that big, but it was amazing how much firewood it produced.

Cheas Having read about the audition procedure, I would give up at the first hurdle and not even apply. Have you come to a decision?

We´re off to England on Friday, so I´ve started writing a shopping list. We´re going by car, so will have plenty of room for goodies. I´ve been craving steamed sponge puddings all winter, so I want to buy a pudding bowl, so that I can make my own. I´ve never managed to find the right shape container here in Germany.

LinzerTorte Mon 18-Mar-13 08:51:08

hupa Hope you have a good time in England! I'd love to go back by car - for stocking-up purposes at any rate, but I don't think the journey itself would be much fun. The drive back to my parents' from the airport alone is enough for me (although we usually go by train now).
Our neighbours have a wood-burning stove, so we're selling the wood from the tree to them - they've worked out it will keep them going for six years, and don't have to lug it all up from the road either (I think we'd have had to pay around €1000 to have it all taken away otherwise, so it's win-win).

outnumbered Good to see you back, but sorry to hear you've come back down to earth with a bump... it must be like the post-holiday blues x10. A friend of mine is going through something similar re a fourth child and said that the same as you, that she doesn't feel "done" yet. I have no helpful suggestions, I'm afraid; I used to like the idea of four, but when DS arrived I realised I'd reached my limit! And now that they're all at school, I just can't imagine going back to the baby/toddler stage again.

platanos How are you feeling now? It must be difficult with your DH away... and how frustrating about the vegan food; I would have thought that Italian restaurants would be able to cater to vegans much more easily than most places. As well as encouraging all restaurants to have a vegan dish, I think they also need to be persuaded to have a choice of more than one vegan/vegetarian meal - particularly those places that have about 30 meat dishes. And no, fish is not an acceptable alternative. hmm

MrTumbles I think we may be past the stage where the DC take friendship books into school now - they doesn't seem to be as popular among boys as girls at school, although that may change when DS goes into the 1. Klasse, I suppose. None of the DC have brought one home since DS left KiGa, anyway, so fingers crossed!

The last bit of the tree was finally chopped down at about 7 pm on Saturday, and our garden (and the neighbours') is now full of wood - plus our garden has a largeish hole where the last piece of trunk fell. One of the tree cutters is coming to cut up the last of the wood tomorrow, so I really need to warn our elderly neighbour today. She didn't seem too bothered about when the tree was going to be cut down originally (I said I'd let her know, but she said she'd see when the tree cutters arrived), but was very huffy on Saturday, said no one had informed her that they would be coming back and she'd had to cancel a friend's visit. If I don't see her today (fingers crossed), DH said he would phone her tonight - and remind her that they didn't inform us when they had all the trees along their path cut down a few years ago, which disturbed DS's naps (well, it could have done!).

admylin Mon 18-Mar-13 11:07:48

Hupa hope you have a good time and lots of shopping back in the UK! Which route will you be driving? I'd also love to drive over but I would be realyl worried about driving on the other side of the road as I did my driving license in France and have owned my first car (well, a Vespa too before that) in Germany so I've never really driven in the UK.

Linzer hope the tree removal is over soon and the old biddy neighbour wasn't too bothered by the noise!

platanos yes, please tell me what's in your herbal tea. Do you have to drink a week or so before the expected hormonal erruption?! Hope you're feeling better and managed to get some rest over the weekend.

outnumbered welcome back! Good to know atleast the major part of your kur really was like a kur after the first few days. Well done for sticking it out. I bet your ds1 was pleased to get you back.
Can you send me a link to those squashy ball things that you mentioned?

About the friendship books, if it's any consolation we haven't seen one since year 5. The last ones came home from new classmates in the new year 5 class and since then have never been seen again! Shame really as we get a set of sticker photos every year with the Shülerausweis photos so atleast we'd have up to date photos!

Well it's now twelve and both dc are still in their beds. They did go to bed after us though so no idea how late they stayed up, one was chatting on skype to his friends and the other was watching make-up tutorials on youtube!

admylin just briefly re the hand exercise balls. I do t know exactly which ones my MIL uses but it sounded like those squashy stress balls. Had a quick look online and thought this could be of interest to you.

admylin Mon 18-Mar-13 12:18:44

outnumbered thanks! I'll keep a look out for something like that when I'm in town next time.

Atleast both my dc are up now, ds has made his breakfast and dd is making a shopping list so she can help me get the weekly shop over and done with.

itsMYNutella Tue 19-Mar-13 14:39:55

Please please tell me that, any of you who have had the flu this winter, it didn't start with a headache/feeling dizzy/ feeling sick and durchfall confused

I'm still trying to shake off the cold I've had for almost 3 weeks sad

Ploom Tue 19-Mar-13 15:31:05

oh nutella - I hope you're not getting the flu after the rotten cold you had/have. I thought I was in for the flu - I was so achey and shivery yesterday and had the worst fever in the night last night (wondered if this was how the hot flushes of the menopause are going to be - hope not!!) but I took some paracetamol and today I feel much better. Fingers crossed yours gets better too.

hupa - I am so jealous of your trip to the UK in the car - I want to do that too <<stomps foot like a 2 year old >>: Have a fab time and fill the car to bursting with stuff.

outnumbered - glad you enjoyed your kur but sorry you've had to come back down to earth with a bump. I've no great advice on how to lose your broodyness - I was so seriously unwell with my last 2 pregnancies and found having 3, 5 and under such hard work that I was absolutely sure I didnt want any more. I had my tubes tied as I was so sure. Thats not any help to you - sorry.

admylin - hope the dc enjoy the school holidays and all those lie ins.

Waves to everyone else - I'm being moaned at that the keyboard is too loud hmm. Both boys are still poorly - ds1 is very slowly recovering from his tonsillitis and ds2 has a high fever and a cough. Neither of them have got much appetite and look exhausted all the time. Have managed to lie with ds2 to make him have a sleep at lunchtime but ds1 is coughing when he lies down and cant get to sleep. It really is a poorly house - glad I got off so lightly.

Ploom Tue 19-Mar-13 15:41:49

New thread here.

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