Lieber Frühling, komm doch bald. A new Kaffeeklatsch thread for Spring - living in Austria and Germany

(358 Posts)
Ploom Tue 19-Mar-13 15:40:48

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

tumbles been meaning to write all day. I can understand your feelings regarding your ds1' English getting worse, or rather his German getting stronger. And I think it is very good that you insist English being spoken in your house. But his German eventually being his stronger language is inevitable really, as you live in Germany, his friends are German, he's at a German kiga etc. that doesn't mean he'll lose his English though.

Just as an example, my ds1 spoke much better English than German until he started kiga at 4. Since then his German has become his stronger language. And he often can't find the English word fast enough when he talks to me. Rather than 'stammering' like your ds1' my ds1 simply uses the German word. I then simply help him along and repeat the German word in English. I wouldn't worry about his stammer just yet!

Also I was amazed at how well my ds1 can speak English - without any German words - when he has too. The friends in Wales we are visiting this summer, came to visit us a year ago. Ds1didn't speak any Germish at all when speaking to them - I guess because he knew they wouldn't understand. And with me he chooses the lazy way, as he knows I'll understand him anyway.

What I am trying to say with all my rambling is, I wouldn't worry about his English. It may not become his strong language - unless he ends up living in the UK - but it will always be his mother tongue.

antique your description of your ds made me smile

nutella I hope you feel better soon!!

admylin how is your neck now? About 6 months ago I had a really painfully stiff neck several times within a few weeks. Once it was so bad I had to go to the out of hours doc. He gave me painkillers but they didn't even touch the pain. I hope you've been prescribed something that works!

linzer and mrtumbles your dd's text messages make me grin

Ds1 has been better at home these last few days, but he's had terrible days at kiga sad. I'm having one of my 'shall we try medication or not' moments. I know that if we choose to give medication a go, it will take several months to find the right medication and the right dosage. And I am wondering if we may o him a favour trying it. I am worried that he will be seen as the naughty child straight away by his classmates, that he won't have a chance to make friends, perform to his ability etc. I just do t know. A year ago I already had blood tests done for him in preparation for medications, but then chose to wait a little longer. It's such a difficult decision as they are such strong stuff. On the other hand, I have heard very good reports about it both from patents as well as children. Actually just the other day I spoke to a neighbor. It turns out her son has ADHD, and they started medication in the summer. She wants to get away from it long term, but says that for the first time in hs life ( he s 9) he sent an outsider anymore at home and he now has friends at school. Sorry, more rambling, I'm terrible blush

Hope everyone has a good weekend and poorly ones are feeling better very soon. We have ds1' birthday party tomorrow. But I've asked both of our babysitters to come, so hopefully everything should be under control smile

I am off to bed as my throat and head are killing me, but just wanted to say thanks for the replies on DS1's stammering. Maybe I am over reacting. It doesn't seem to worry him at all (I guess it helps it is not in the language he uses "publicly" and I don't actually think he did it at all today, maybe I was over-reacting.

Antique your Ds sounds like my ds2, although mine doesn't eat plugs thankfully shock

Linzer DD had a friend here til late so we didn't see your DD's message til too late for tonight, but I have told her it is there and she will reply in the morning (hopefully, as I have to leave the house with DS1 at 7.30am to get him to a football tournament, oh the joy!)

outnumbered good luck with the birthday party - is he turning 6? I know nothing about meds for ASD but taught a boy with ADHD whom it made the world of difference for in terms of his happiness and ability to concentrate. Is it similar medication?

wave at everyone I haven't replied to, I really need my bed, for however long DS2 actually lets me sleep in it... (He hasn't been sick since yesterday but was grumpy and restless today, hopefully he'll be well tomorrow).

mtrumbles yes, it's the same sort of medication. Ritalin or concerta afaik. Loads of children with asd also have ADHD or show symptoms of it. The reason ds1 would be getting meds are hs lack of impulse control, his aggressive behaviour and being easily distractible - thus same as ADHD really. In fact, ds1 has a second diagnosis f DAMP, which includes ADHD as well.

I hope your ds2 let's you have some rest tonight nd that your throat s better in the morning!

platanos Sat 23-Mar-13 08:13:49

ooh, been busy here, just a quick post as I am about to get ready to go to swimming. oh why did I not listen to your sensible advice and give it up? grin.

out hope the party goes well - good luck! Sorry, don't know anything about the medication. I can see it is a hard decision to take. great to hear you have found somewhere to stay in Wales. I take it you are driving? Hope your cunning plan for your new house works out- fingers crossed.

mrtumbles how old is ds? he's quite young isn't he? Also how long has he been stuttering? Might it just be a phase? (And I also lose it with my dc if they pick on each other for things like that). I am no expert, but I grew up surrounded by people who were exposed to at least two languages and I think perfect bilingualism is quite rare. One language is often stronger, or it depends on context. I went to an english speaking school in Spain where I did A levels, then moved to Scotland to uni and although academically I had no problems, I struggled with words for different foods - because they had always been in Spanish. Then I had dc in England and still struggle with pregnancy, birth and children related words in Spanish. Don't dispair just yet - it might all smooth itself out as your ds grows older.

linzer thanks for the proofreading advice. you are right: I don't need that. I have ordered a few books which look promising and will take it from there. is your dh back from his business trip? took him all of 5 minutes to get home? how very strange!

admylin how is the neck? hope it is better.

lentils you sound busy. and ds sound cute and curious to learn. Frankfurt did not grab me when I visited, but have since heard it is nice to live in. how long do you think you will be there for?

Antique your ds sounds busy too. had to laugh at your ivs and second set of eyes. All this research going into cosmetic surgery and nobody has thought that eyes in the back of the head would be much more popular and useful than triple M breasts. grin.

nutella hope you shift the cold. Has ds sleeping and feeding settled since you posted?

ds is now on a strict diet of no nuts, no fruits with stones, no raw vegetables, no apples or pears. It seems very restrictive as he's only had one reaction to a brazil nut. But the dr from the alergieambulatorium rang me straight away to tell me to cut them out until I get the allergy test results (on 4 April) and I can talk to her about it. I feel a bit funny about this, of course I don't want to give him things he is allergic to, but I don't want to overdo it all and become obsessed that he might have a reaction. I guess I will just have to wait to see what the dr and results say.

Must rush, have a good weekend!

cheaspicks Sat 23-Mar-13 09:29:03

Short post from phone, hope I can post properly in a day or two.

mrtumbles according to my David Crystal book a phase of stuttering is very common in young children. He even said one of his children started to stutter and it made him worry even though he knew it was normal and temporary. The phase lasted 7 months iirc. He recommends completely ignoring it, so I think you're right to be annoyed with dd for drawing attention to it. I think if your ds isn't bothered by it himself then it may well just be a development phase he will grow out of. Dd has also developed an occasional stutter when speaking English (or at least noone has mentioned it in German), but she doesn't seem aware of it and it's not constant - almost like being overwhelmed by simultaneously thinking and producing certain consonants. I would say her English is still better than her German, but of course she's younger than your ds1.

<waves to everyone else>

LinzerTorte Sat 23-Mar-13 13:44:26

MrTumbles While packing books for our few days away, I finally found my bilingual parenting books (hidden behind others in the bookshelf). There are a couple of pages on stuttering in The Bilingual Family, which gives a couple of recommendations for parents of bilingual children showing signs of disfluency:
1. Don't make the child stop talking one of the languages, particularly the home language, as this will be counterproductive and make him/her believe that something is wrong with his/her speech (particularly if there are sibilngs who are perfectly fluent in both languages)
2. Take your time before taking the child to a speech therapist, as it could be a definite step towards transforming what is probably only a momentary difficulty into a long-lasting problem.
Not sure if that's any help, but I thought I'd pass it on!

platanos That does seem like quite a restrictive diet; hopefully you will be able to reintroduce the fruit fairly soon - results permitting, of course. I think I mentioned that my friend with the Brazil nut allergy has been told to avoid all nuts.
Yes, DH got back at about 1.30 pm on Friday - the earliest he's ever finished on a Friday, I think! He generally ignores the largely unwritten Austrian rule about finishing at lunchtime on a Friday, despite having made a lot of it before we moved here. hmm

outnumbered I've also noticed that the DC speak far less denglish when we're at my parents' as they know my parents can't understand a word of German so have to make much more of an effort.
Hope that DS1's birthday party goes well and isn't too stressful; DD2 and DS have already started talking about their parties (in July!) and I'm beginning to feel stressed already... grin

Lentil I've never been overly impressed with Frankfurt, but really liked the Taunus area where I went a couple of times on our school exchange - I think it was then that I decided I wanted to live in Germany. (Well, that worked. I did actually manage to meet DH in Germany; he just wasn't German. grin)

Antique Your DS sounds incredibly similar to DS at that age - I think it was around that age (or probably even earlier) that I decided a fourth was out of the question! He came as quite a shock to the system after the two DDs; DD1 was quite hard work sleep-wise in the early days, but they just weren't into absolutely everything - and the more dangerous the better - the way that DS was.
Yes, it did turn out to be the same biology test but DD1 doesn't know what mark she got yet as she only had it on Friday.

All the male neighbours (and one ex-neighbour) are out doing manly things with the wood in the garden and I've just been asked to make coffee for them all by DH, so must go - waves to anyone I've missed.

IamthegreatProcrastinator Mon 25-Mar-13 21:38:51

Hope you don't mind my temporarily crashing the Kaffeeklatsch (I would like to crash it more permanently but sadly DH doesn't speak German and therefore probably quite reasonably refuses to move there). I am coming to the end of my absolute favourite tea - DM's (the health food shop) own brand "Symphonie in Gelb" (mango and coconut). I absolutely love it and can't buy anything similar over here, and am sadly unlikely to go back to germany in the near future to stock up.

Does anyone know where I can get some? I tried amazon.de but apparently it's not available sad Have they stopped making it?! TIA!

admylin Tue 26-Mar-13 07:28:28

IamthegreatProcrastinator sounds like nice tea! I don't have a DM Markt near me but if I do go near one I'll have a look for you!

Hope everyone else is fit and enjoying the Easter holidays even if it is slightly too cold! Dread to think how high the heating bill is going to be at the next Abrechnung! Dd has her last dyslexia training session tomorrow and I was wondering if we should get the teacher something but dd thinks not. I'm not sure, she's very nice and has helped alot but then again she is only doing her job.

admylin I think it would be a nice idea to give her something small, maybe a box of chocolate or a bottle of wine, as a small gesture. She is only doing her job, but it sounds like she did a very good job - and we all like praise when due smile we always, for example, give Tim's bus driver some home made biscuits on the last kiga day before Xmas, and we'll be getting all his erziehern as well as bus driver a little present when he leaves for school in summer. It's not expected, but I am sure it's appreciated.

Will your dd need any more help and training and will that be it now? Sorry, I don't really know much about dyslexia at all...

admylin Tue 26-Mar-13 08:12:07

outnumbered a bottle of wine might be a good idea yes. The dyslexia training is finished for now and we'll wait and see how she gets on but she has really improved alot especially with the typical double letters like double t or n/m and the ä/e sounds and words with silent h that she almost always got wrong before.

Dh has an interview next week for Berlin. Atleast he's pleased that he got a response atlast and if they offer him long term and more money he's at a point where he'd accept.

He'll try and get them to make a better offer here of course but it all depends on their mood. This week they've stopped him doing 2 things in his research because they didn't understand it! Ridiculous really, to employ a researcher and then stop him making new discoveries! He already had an idea that they refused to publish then 6 months later someone else published it so it's lost for him now. In Japan in May he has to give a symposium talk and the boss has told him not to include some part of his results but he's going to say it anyway as he's so sick of being held back.

Hi Everyone!

Plantanos DS1 is 5 and a half. It is still very young, its easy to forget how very young he is sometimes because although he's not as tall for his age as Ploom's son he's a big, tall, broad shouldered boy, and also because having a toddler brother who is is vastly bigger than somehow makes him seem older - I often think of DS1 and DD together as my "big kids". But yes. 5 is just a baby in a lot of ways, and after all he is not even going to start school for another 18 months, and even in the UK he'd only be in reception...

Linzer you are right it is definitely a 2 languages thing - he said so himself when DD started to mimic him, she said "why do you always go MMM MMM MMM in the middle of a sentence?" and he told her "its just cost I couldn't think of what that thing is in English", he didn't seem flustered by it, though sometimes he gets cross when he can't think of an English word (rather than because of the stuttering) and I have to tell him he can say it in German.

It is crazy to get hung up on it and my issue, I have decided. Weirdly I think letting German overtake English seems far more like "letting go" of my kids than starting Kindergarten or school ever did. It makes them so much more separate to me than a few hours a day 4km down the road! I absolutely know and accept you have to let your kids go - but not at 5! Its always been really important to me that they speak English indistinguishably from native speakers, as I have Australian and American acquaintances whose children speak very strange English indeed, and it's always made me wince inwardly and vow I'll never let that happen with mine. I also know other non Germans (not English speakers) who tell me their children refuse to speak their mother tongue, and know a lot of adults who don't speak the language which technically "should" be their "mother tongue" (my DH is one of them, as is the father of one of DS1's friends - in fact even my mother's mother was a Welsh native speaker, but she spoke Welsh with her sisters (my mother's aunts) but English when speaking directly to her children, as her husband didn't speak Welsh - my mother's brother picked the Welsh up but my mother didn't). I know its different in the cases of the adults, whose parents didn't speak their language exclusively to them as children, but it still seems sad sad

Oh blimey I have written an essay and not replied to anyone, and been all me, me, me. I am sorry! I will come back and reply to people not about me in a bit! grin For now the kids are at Oma and Opa's today and for the night, and DH is away on a work training course, so I am going to try to blitz my absolute pit of a house! Its a bit overwhelming, but it has to be done, and now is the perfect time, there is no excuse! Back later, when I have got the basement hobby and "Wildness" rooms back into a nice inviting, orderly state - it only takes the big kids to go down there with their friends a couple of times without me, and me to forget to drag them back down after the friends go to sort it out, for the place to become a bomb site of dried out paint pots, playdough and glue, solidified brushes, torn paper, spilled glitter and beads, toys all over the floor, scattered ball pit balls... etc. etc. wonder how many hours I'll be down there!

AntiqueMuppet Tue 26-Mar-13 11:52:05

No, MrTumbles, DO NOT CLEAN! Get yourself a cup of tea and get into bed for a few hours. Catch up on some sleep. Glitter technically counts as interior design and is far less important than some shut-eye while you have the chance.

That is an order. grin

Thanks Antique smile I have been trying to sort the basement though, have done a tip and a charity shop run, things always take longer than you think, have decided to totally re-organise it, and while at the charity shop handing over 2 bin bags and a crate of toys, I picked up some cool colourful drawers that will make excellent "Mr Maker" style "Doodle Drawers" for the hobby room, and a table football table to go down there too, (without leg but it can go on another table) for €5 which will make DS1 a very happy boy smile

The house so needs sorting, and nobody else does any form of housework or household de-cluttering or sorting but me, so the longer I leave it and the more excuses I make or the more I accept the "leave the housework for now" advice, the worse and more depressing it gets! I am not a natural cleaner but I will feel better when its done (which may be the early hours of tomorrow morning at this rate, if I am lucky...).

admylin good luck to your husband and good for him for including his reaserch in his speech, its amazing how blatant his boss is about stealing his research and ideas, he really needs to get out of there!

Procrastinator I don't drink German fruity/ flowery/ herby teas really, and miss PG tips smile Our nearest DM is 20km away and I only go in a few times a year, mostly to get photos printed, but I will try to look if I am passing!

LinzerTorte Wed 27-Mar-13 10:45:58

Just very quickly - will post properly when we're back home and I have a minute to myself - Procrastinator I had a look this morning for the tea you mentioned but DM here in Austria doesn't appear to stock it. They may have different products here of course, although the range is more or less the same as in Germany IIRC.

platanos Fri 29-Mar-13 07:47:44

procrastinator I also had a look in my local dm (I am in Austria too) but no luck. sorry.

linzer hope you had a nice time away. where did you go? was it warm and sunny? On the Friday lunch time thing....many in my work disappear then too. My dh said he would have more free Saturdays when we move here...still waiting for that dream to come true grin. Have you been to Madame Tussaud's here? or the time travelling place? Thinking of what to do with the dc. Though think they won't know most of the people in MT so not sure if they will enjoy that.

mrtumbles I would agree with antique. But I also know what you mean, it just does not get done otherwise. did you get it all done? were the dc excited when they came home?

admylin hope the interview goes well for dh. Those work relationships sound dreadful, esp the boss. How does your dh cope? Hope the holidays are going well.

Easter holidays here...grey, rain and it is cold. sigh. Today we have a day of running errands, and will think of something exciting to do tomorrow. hope you all have a nice weekend. and stay healthy.

LentilAsAnything Sun 31-Mar-13 15:06:37

smile Happy Easter Egg Day smile

itsMYNutella Sun 31-Mar-13 19:40:39

Procrastinator I will try and remember to look in DM for the tea you mentioned.

Happy Chocolate egg day lentils ! Hope you had a nice day. Was almost possible to go out and make little snow bunnies hereconfused really hope spring will get going soonhmm

mrtumbles it seems a shame to use your child free time cleaning. Although when my mum was here and we cleaned the flat I felt so much better afterwards. Everything looked less dusty lovely and tidy. Funny how cleaning makes can make you feel; although it seems such a pit that it doesn't stay clean! grin

admylin any news on the work front for DH? I hope he finds a nicer work environment soon!

Happy Easter everyone!! We were at the ILs today. Little man did very well being handed around for cuddles.

We took him out for a little walk and dropped in on DP's cousin & aunt. The cousin's MIL was also there and congratulated us on the arrival of our son & then told me that he isn't old enough to sit up (DS was being held in a sitting position on DP's knee while DP's aunt was cooing over him) apparently "er darf noch nicht sitzen" ...ok.... Smile nod aaaand forget. grin

LentilAsAnything Tue 02-Apr-13 18:46:18

Well done on nodding and smiling and forgetting, Nut! smile

admylin, your husband's work situation sounds truly dire. Poor guy. I hope things change for him soon.

Today is our one-year anniversary of arriving in Frankfurt! It really has flown.

LinzerTorte Wed 03-Apr-13 08:28:15

The Easter holidays just flew by here and the DC went back to school today. We now have a couple of inches of snow, it's still coming down and I've given up on spring ever arriving.

platanos Did you find something to do in the end? No, we haven't been to Madame Tussaud's; we did think about going when we were in London but like you, decided that the DC probably wouldn't know enough of the people to make it worthwhile. We did go to the Time Travel place not long ago, which was very good although on the expensive side IIRC (DH was given the tickets as a present at work).

We went to a Therme in Burgenland, which was nice and relaxing - we could see it snowing inside, but didn't need to venture out as there was an underground passage between the hotel and the spa. Spa treatment vouchers were included in our stay, so I went for my favourite red wine bath (red wine in the water and to drink). grin

Happy anniversary, Lentil!

Nutella Smiling and nodding is the way to go, especially with know-it-all relatives...

MrTumbles Did you get the sorting done? I'm often fed up with how much stuff we have everywhere and am constantly trying to declutter (although probably spend more time moaning about it to DH than actually decluttering). Listening to Radio 4 podcasts helps alleviate the boredom a little, plus I have to keep reminding myself how much better I'll feel once it's all done.

admylin Wed 03-Apr-13 09:41:35

Morning all. Back to school for my 2 today too Linzer - all I can say is thank goodness! I've just been and given their rooms a good air and clean out as I just let them slob around in there and not do anything over the holidays. Must admit, ds's room never gets really messy but dd's is quite bad. Wine bath sounds nice, do you really bathe in wine?

Wow Lentil that went by quickly! How long are you planning on staying from now?

Nutella did you get some traditional Easter food served at your IL's place? Going by the amount of people out shopping for food on the Saturday they must have some big feasts going on! We never 'did' Easter at home so it was just a lazy bank holiday with far too much chocolate but nothing special - is that just my family or is it a big thing in the UK too?
I know some of the dc's friends get big presents as well as easter chocolates.

platanos how were the holidays? Did you get up to anything nice? Were you off work or do you have Hort or child minders arranged?

Tumbles hope the play room stays nice after all your hard work. I'd love to have a basement with spare rooms, dd would occupy atleast 2 rooms with all her hobbies and I could chuck stuff down there out of the way!

Dh is in Berlin now at his interview. He'll be back this afternoon though. I don't think it'll be long term enough to make it worth another move and it was advertised at a level lower than he actually is now so he has to convince them to recruit him at that level too. Who knows, I could be having a nervous breakdown at the thought of another move or of having a Wochenend-Ehe if we can't find a place to live, if they want him!

admylin good luck to your dh. I hope they make him a good offer which would make the move worthwhile for all of you!

Quite a few things happening here too. On Saturday we will be viewing some flattie puppies. Lets see if we let our hearts or heads decide ;)

On a few minutes ago I had a very exciting phone call re a house in the neighbourhood. A week ago we had posted flyers through letter boxes of all houses in our direct neighbourhood (4 streets) in Kirtsy&phil style, seeing if anyone was thinking about selling up. Then a gentleman came to see me and said he just needs to convince his wife. He's a lovely man and sadly has terminal pancreatic cancer. The house sounds very promising and I've been impatiently waiting for them to get back to me again. Well, his wife just rang to arrange a viewing for Saturday!

I'm so excited smile

lentils happy anniversary smile

mrtumbles dud you find some replacement fairy wings for your ds2? The pics of him wearing them are too cute!

No more snow here at the moment but very cold brrr

Hello to everyone else!

admylin Wed 03-Apr-13 14:21:18

outnumbered how exciting! Hope you like the house and they agree to sell it to you. Clever idea with the notes!

Dh has just phoned after his interview. They agreed to pay his correct level and want him to start on 1st of May. He said he couldn't leave all his work here so quickly but he has 1 week to think about it and he can start later. Sounds like a good job for him but he forgot to find out how long the job contract would be for, so he'll have to e-mail about that. I don't know what to think about it all really.
Of course there's still the chance they will throw themselves at his feet with all sorts of good offers here if they want to keep him! The last time he threatened to leave the good vibes only lasted a couple of weeks but he got his contract lengthened until 2015.

platanos Wed 03-Apr-13 18:01:34

oh no.... I just lost a long post sad and have to go and make dinner so no time to post further. It wished you all lots of nice things wink

LinzerTorte Thu 04-Apr-13 07:13:01

admylin Good news on the interview; sounds like you'll have a lot to think about. Is your DH tending towards accepting the offer?
The wine bath has a couple of jugs of wine (maybe 4 or 5 litres) added to it, so you're not actually bathing in pure wine (DH was joking about me drinking the bathwater, which DS took seriously grin). I don't know how drinkable it would be either - the wine itself, not the bathwater - as they pour your glass from another jug.

outnumbered Exciting news on the house; hope the viewing goes well on Saturday! I think that's a good way to do it (friends of ours tried a similar approach), as I'm sure all the decent houses here go by word of mouth, if they don't stay within the family as so many seem to do. There was nothing even half-way decent on the market, apart from newbuilds (which all have minuscule gardens), when we were looking.

platanos Oh no, that happened to me so many times that I now automatically do Ctrl+C before posting. Of course, the one time I forget to do so is always the one time that I lose the post.

admylin Thu 04-Apr-13 10:00:20

Linzer yes, he's tending towards it after all he's had to suffer here I am trying to be understanding and happy for him. I'm going to need some hell of alot of handholding to get me and the dc through another move though. I promise you I won't be calm about it!

It's freezing cold again here after 1 slightly sunny and mildly warm day.

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