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 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:10:03

Thanks for the 2013 thread Linzer
About the smartphone for your dd. We got one like this for dd from Samsung and the price has gone down since we bought it probably because there are so many newer models. This is ds's Samsung wave but we got it cheaper, no idea why, it was around 120€

LinzerTorte Tue 08-Jan-13 15:04:53

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?

Ploom Tue 08-Jan-13 15:17:27

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 grin.

AntiqueMuppet Tue 08-Jan-13 16:02:41

Thanks for the new thread, Linzer!
I'll pop back to catch up properly later.
Hope everyone"s well!

admylin Tue 08-Jan-13 16:22:26

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.

admylin Tue 08-Jan-13 16:23:57

Don't pay attention to the typos please smile!

LinzerTorte Tue 08-Jan-13 17:09:37

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 hmm 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 sad 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>

admylin Tue 08-Jan-13 19:48:57

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!

LinzerTorte Tue 08-Jan-13 20:28:05

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 grin 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).

Ploom Wed 09-Jan-13 13:53:14

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 blush.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Wed 09-Jan-13 14:18:39

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 hmm 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 smile 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?)

admylin Wed 09-Jan-13 15:24:35

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.

LinzerTorte Wed 09-Jan-13 15:37:33

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. grin

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. grin

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). shock

Ploom Wed 09-Jan-13 15:39:50

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 smile. 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 shock 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 smile

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? hmm

platanos Wed 09-Jan-13 19:56:37

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 wink

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.

AntiqueMuppet Wed 09-Jan-13 20:31:54

Evening all!

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 smile

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 grin. 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! smile

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.

itsMYNutella Wed 09-Jan-13 23:14:15

Ohhh, shiny new thread, thank you Linzer it goes with the shiny new year and my shiny new boy grin

Thanks for saying how adorable he is smile I of course think he is wonderful and can't explain how pleased I am that he is blonde (like me wink- 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 confused 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 hmm 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 grin

itsMYNutella Wed 09-Jan-13 23:16:32

Sorry, I realise I haven't really name checked much but I hope you'll all forgive me. Night night!

LentilAsAnything Thu 10-Jan-13 00:08:39

Hi, Nutella, how lovely to hear you so happy and smitten! Enjoy enjoy! I am still smitten 2.3 years on! smile

LinzerTorte Thu 10-Jan-13 07:43:53

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. grin
I wish our house felt too bare; you don't fancy helping me declutter, do you? wink 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. smile 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.

admylin Thu 10-Jan-13 08:18:40

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!

Weissdorn Thu 10-Jan-13 09:27:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admylin Thu 10-Jan-13 09:47:53

Hi and congratulations weissdorn! How are things going with the business?

admylin Thu 10-Jan-13 09:49:30

And wow at 3 nights sleeping through at 4 weeks! I didn't get a full night until ds was 3 months old!

Hello weissdorn I don't think we've 'met'. I'm fairly new here smile. Congratulations to your new baby. And wow at her already sleeping through (from what time to when??). Ds1 didn't sleep through until he was 20months!!! And ds2&3 were about 5months old which I thought was really good...

admylin Thu 10-Jan-13 10:46:06

Outnumbered 5 months is very good! I think ds only started sleeping through at 3 months because I stopped breast feeding as it hadn't been going well at all and the bottle of milk at bedtime knocked him out for the night!

LinzerTorte Thu 10-Jan-13 11:22:50

Hi weissdorn, lovely to see you on here again. smile I'm another one who's very impressed at your DD already sleeping through. DD2 slept through at 6 weeks. Once. Otherwise, the DC all took at least a year before they started sleeping through on a regular basis (DD1 and DD2 were 13 months; I'd lost the ability to keep track of milestones by the time DS arrived, but I'd probably remember if he'd been much earlier or later grin).

admylin Yes, if DD really wanted to go to the threatre and other friends of hers were going, I would have let her go. But she herself doesn't want to go as she's said it's too late. Plus there are only three others from her class going - and only one other girl, who she's not really friends with. I thought it might be a good opportunity for her to get to know her better on the last trip, but she said she sat next to someone else on the coach and I don't think they spoke at all.

Just got the first English lesson of the year with DD2's class out of the way, so I can breathe a sigh of relief - I really don't think I'm cut out for teaching! It's OK once I'm actually in the classroom, but I find the preparation very time-consuming (I'm too much of a perfectionist) and never look forward to the lessons beforehand.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Thu 10-Jan-13 12:14:26

Sorry Weissdorn you absolutely are not allowed back if your 4 week old has been sleeping through envy envy envy envy

Only joking, nice to see you back grin

We have been working on DS2's sleep in a hard core way for a week now he has been healthy for a couple of weeks, and his language is good enough to understnad what's going on. Self settling at bedtime is getting better (I sit by his bed in dark, turned away from him, and silence putting him back in and lying him back down as necessary but otherwise ignoring, and after much persuading and grumbling DH agreed to do the same on the nights I work) - it took 3 solid hours the first few nights, then down to just under 2, and now a couple of times he has gone straight off (if he's only had a very early morning nap). The actual nights seemed to be gradually improving - I'm doing the same thing when he wakes as at bed time, he is still waking but for the early wake ups (before about 3am) he is settling back in his own bed in about 10-20 mins, rather than me having to lie with him and him waking if I try to move, even to turn over. After about 3am it does take a lot longer to settle him, up to about 45 mins, but the improvement is enough to stick with it. Last night though he woke every singe hour, for about 20 mins each time - it was so hard not to cave and lie with him but I only doze when I do, can't sleep deeply as he won't let me move about, so I know I have to stick with it.

None of my kids slept through at 5 months, not even DS1 who was my good sleeper and just woke for feeds a couple of times a night and went straight back off - not one of my kids has slept through til I have actively night weaned. I think he slept through more often than not from about 9 months, and DD did from 24 months.

LentilAsAnything Thu 10-Jan-13 12:27:21

Congratulations and welcome back, Weissdorn!

LinzerTorte Thu 10-Jan-13 12:48:36

Was just looking at WhatsApp, discovered that one of DD1's school friends is now one of my favourites (probably because she phoned me recently) and was shock to discover that her status is bus si an die bit ches (spaces in the unlikely event that anyone decides to google the phrase). Yes, I know I'm easily shocked but DD1 is light years away from using that kind of phrase - or even being on WhatsApp, tbh.

Grinch Glad to hear that the nights are improving. I found that once we'd sorted DD1's bedtime, her night wakings more or less sorted themselves out - she still woke at night, but would go back to sleep by herself whereas before, she would often stay awake for up to two hours until the next feed. It's hard at times but yes, you do have to stick with it and remind yourself that all your hard work will have been in vain otherwise!

Weissdorn Thu 10-Jan-13 16:14:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AntiqueMuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 16:19:16

Nutella Glad the bf is going well! Hope the colic settles down soon. Love the pics. I was also ridiculously pleased about DS' hair when he was born. I was hoping it would go red like DH's hair but no luck yet.

Linzer Are you teaching the class once a week this year? I had a tiny ipod ages ago, I think it was an ipod shuffle. It didn't have a screen so you could really only listen to music on it and it wasn't too expensive (under 50 pounds I think). Maybe that would be something for your DD?
I've just discovered What's App on my new phone. Hopefully it will save me the ridiculous amount of money I spend on texting my brother. Although I haven't managed to set the internet up on my smartphone yet so can only use it via wi-fi, which sort of defeats the point, really!

Grinch So good to hear that your DS2's sleep is improving. I have to admit you were the first person I thought of when I read Weissdorn's post so I had to laugh when I read your response smile

Weissdorn Welcome back and congratulations!! How was your MN-cold-turkey-period? Are you on Facebook too? [nosey]
I think DS started sleeping through at about 5 months, but not more than a few times a week until he was about 6/7 months, which I thought was quite early!

admylin I am so fed up with white wood chip wallpaper! I just really can't bring myself do make any more effort than a coat of paint in a rented place. We stripped the wallpaper in our bedroom in the old flat and put some nice new wallpaper up, but it all seems like such a wasted effort now we've moved out and the new tenants want to paint over it. Did you get anything nice when you were shopping? Do you think your DH's old boss will get back to him in a few months time?

Hello outnumbered, lentils and anyone else I've missed!

AntiqueMuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 16:20:29

*set the mobile internet up, that should read.

cheaspicks Thu 10-Jan-13 18:27:23

Marking place on lovely new thread - thanks linzer.

will be back to post properly tomorrow (when dh is back at work grin).

LinzerTorte Thu 10-Jan-13 20:18:30

Antique I'm still only teaching DD2's class once a fortnight, but for the full hour now. I offered to go in every week, and the teacher said I could either do half an hour every week or an hour once a fortnight; I opted for the latter as it takes up much less time overall.

DD1 really wants an iPod Touch (the same as our neighbour) as she's not interested in listening to music and only wants to play games. As I've said before, she really doesn't need another electronic device to become addicted to (I've had to put passwords on my laptop, iPod and phone to stop her and DS playing on them all the time) so am not even considering getting her one at the moment.

I don't see much point in WhatsApp atm, for me at any rate. I text almost everyone here, without having to pay any extra, and can either e-mail or send a FB message to friends abroad (although I can see it would be better for chatting than e-mail). Having said that, it would actually be very useful if my brother had WhatsApp as he only seems to check his e-mail every few days, but he doesn't have a smartphone.

Weissdorn Good luck for tonight! Glad the Infacol seems to be working for you; my parents sent over a bottle, but it didn't make much difference to DD1 (although I was more annoyed about the $70 medicine that the paed prescribed not having much effect!).

DH is out at his work New Year's party tonight (it only seems like a fortnight since their Christmas party hmm) so I'm going to have an earlyish night with my book. I've joined Goodreads and have set myself the target of reading 50 books this year shock - on no. 3 at the moment. I managed to read the first two fairly quickly thanks to all the time we spent on trains and planes, but finding time to read is a bit more of an effort now.

AntiqueMuppet Thu 10-Jan-13 22:07:26

Sorry Linzer, I only skimmed the last few posts & missed that you didn't want an ipod for your DD!
Enjoy your early night with your book :-)

tadjennyp Thu 10-Jan-13 22:25:41

Hello - happy new year to everyone and loads of congratulations to nutella and weissdorn! Love that scrunchy newborn look and smell. Lush! Thanks for the new thread Linzer!

Very impressed with your dry January challenge outnumbered! It would certainly help me to lose the 20lbs extra weight I need to! I was also on the mirena for 18 months but had it taken out as I was bleeding for most of the month and was so angry all the time. We seem to be relying on condoms now which I am not keen on, so might investigate having my tubes tied.

I would be seriously considering moving back to Berlin, or at least doing the M-F thing for a while, admylin. His bosses seem so bloody awful where he is now. Was the wine nice? wink

Well done on the sleep training grinch. Hope you feel the benefits really soon.

Hope everyone who has been in pain/under the weather is feeling so much better soon. Congrats on the test scores and I'm glad everyone who was away had a good time (even if there was not enough snow). I can't believe we are nearly a third of the way through January already. Our babysitter was back from uni so finally got to go and see Skyfall and the Hobbit. I do love going to the cinema! My back is really sore at the moment so need to go and take some more painkillers.

Have a lovely Friday, everyone!

Weissdorn Fri 11-Jan-13 07:13:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LinzerTorte Fri 11-Jan-13 08:23:56

Weissdorn Yay for sleeping babies! I think it took us about six months, if not longer, to get to that stage. I didn't really drink any alcohol until the DC were reliably sleeping through the night (at about 1 year), and then had a few months before I was pregnant again (and then drank none at all - I would probably be more relaxed about it now but no. 4 is not going to happen!), so my alcohol tolerance has been destroyed by about seven years of virtual abstinence!

I've also got into historical fiction since reading The Other Boleyn Girl and have another four of Philippa Gregory's Tudor series on my to-read shelf. Otherwise, I'll read most things (although generally avoid chick lit) - so far this year I've read How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran and Everything and Nothing by Araminta Hall, both of which I really enjoyed, and am now struggling through reading The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver.

Jenny envy of your cinema visits. I'd have loved to see Skyfall, but it wasn't on when we were back at my parents' or in the OV-Kino near my ILs. Hope your back is better soon.

Antique No need to apologise - I don't think I'd said before that I definitely didn't want DD1 to have an iPod (and I'd be happy for her to have an iPod shuffle but, like I said, she's not really into music).

I've just had the first half of my annual medical (really only a blood test), so got the doctor to change my bandage at the same time; I just have a plaster on my finger now, which looks much better.

admylin Fri 11-Jan-13 08:59:19

Morning all.
Linzer was going to ask what you had read so far, those books all sound good although I'm like you and will read anything! I even read the dc's books now and ds and I are waiting for the other 2 Hunger Games books from amazon after enjoying the first book. What do you do on Goodreads? I also love historical fiction.

weissdorn fingers crossed that all stays as it is and you continue with the good nights! Great that you can take January off from the restaurant. When I worked in a restaurant for a couple of years we had 6 weeks off and it was great but the hard work for the rest of the year meant that we all really needed those 6 weeks to recover!

jenny hope your back is better soon. Nice that you have a reliable babysitter too.

Antique did you end up having to pay double rent when you moved or did the new tenants just take over when you left?
Yes, dh's old boss will get back to him as they keep in touch anyway and get on really well. Anyway, dh has seen a good job in Boston and he knows someone there too who is a high up professor type who he met when he was doing his PhD (and who was good friends with his PhD supervisor) so he hopes that might help. It is looking as if in this business you really need contacts, to know the right people sort of.

Grinch how did the sleep training go last night?

Dd has her first dyslexia lesson today after school. She's extremely tired as she was up late until about 10:30 finishing off a power point presentation for music (Musik des Impressionismus) because if she gets a good mark it might push her overall grade up one point.

cheaspicks Fri 11-Jan-13 09:53:53

Morning!

We just got back from the UK and I've got the house to myself again. I seem to have much more stuff to sort out than normal - bills to write, annoying and stressful forms to fill in which require finding important bits of paper that dh has misplaced and phoning people who don't answer, aargh.

Nice to see you back on here, weissdorn and well done to baby wd for sleeping so well. I think dd went 6 hours once in the first few months - the night before her first(?) immunisations - and then didn't do it again until I actively night-weaned at 11 months. I hope baby weissdorn keeps it up - you'll have enough on your plate once the restaurant reopens, but enjoy the rest of Jan first smile.

Glad to hear the bf is going well, nutella. I found it very painful for the first six weeks, but once it's established it is so easy and convenient.

outnumbered I am strongly against recommending the 3MS, as my cycle is still not quite back to normal nearly three years later (I had one single shot when dd was 9 months). A lot of women find it causes them to gain weight as well, although it didn't in my case.

linzer I read The Lacuna last year, I think. It took me a long time to get into it as well. I think I'm currently on book 3 of the year, although I can't exactly remember when I started/finished the first of those. I bought a lot of books while back home - 9 from charity shops and another 6 full price, plus 2 quilting books, but they don't really count!

admylin difficult decision to make about your dh's work. At first I thought it would probably be worth him taking the job in Berlin as it must be so miserable working somewhere where's he's not appreciated. But I think you've said before about your dh being a workaholic - mine is too, and I know that there would be quite a few Saturdays where he wouldn't be home either, would that be the same for your dh?

antique I also discovered WhatsApp fairly recently. I guess it saves me a bit of money on texts, but my sister also has an iphone and imessages are free too. Our house seemed very echoey when we got back from my parents, which of course has carpets in almost every room. I need to sort out some more pictures to put up as well and I finished my quilt smile shock smile, so I can hang that as well.

jenny we finally managed to go and see Skyfall while in the UK. I really enjoyed it, dh was muttering "not as good as Goldfinger", which is true, but not really the point.

grinch I hope you manage to crack your ds2's sleep problem this time. It sounds like you're making some headway at least. I wonder what causes some children to be such bad sleepers?

Wave to anyone I've missed.

LinzerTorte Fri 11-Jan-13 10:17:53

cheas Welcome back! Well done on the quilt - any pictures? I'm finally starting to get into The Lacuna now that I'm almost halfway through, but it's still not really gripping me and I must admit I'll be glad when I've finished it.

admylin I also read and enjoyed the first book in the Hunger Games trilogy, but haven't got round to buying the other two books yet. Goodreads is like a social networking site for books (or their readers, rather); you can add all the books you've read and rate/review them (it will then come up with further recommendations), add books to your to-read shelf (38 on mine - eek!), set yourself goals, read book discussions and see what your friends have been reading (I have about 30, most added automatically from my FB account), etc. I've also just joined a MN group on there (here), have bought the book they're reading atm and have set myself the goal of reading 10 books that have been on my shelf for over a year!

It's snowing fairly heavily here now and I'm going to have to venture out to pick up the DC in about half an hour. DS's friend's mum said she could pick him up, but she has to take her DS to speech therapy straight after school and also collect her younger two from KiGa, so I felt like a bit of an imposition.

admylin Fri 11-Jan-13 10:55:55

Linzer think I'll join the Goodread site, thanks for that. I love reading but my first goal in 2013 is to get my eyes tested as I'm finding it more and more impossible to read small print. I picked up my old copy of Jane Eyre the other day to re-read and had to put it back down as could only just read the print! Old age is great eh!

cheas you're right, dh couldn't do a Monday to Friday job and he'd be frustrated if he couldn't pop into his office on a Sunday morning for an hour or two!

The latest: I wonder if dh's boss has guessed that he's on the verge of leaving? They're sending him to Japan in May, boss is paying and he's taking 6 abstracts and poster presentations all with his name as first author! He's also been given the job of Executive Manager for an International Congress in Hannover chaired by his boss (good for his CV of course) now all he needs is to get some funding and it all looks more positive to try and stay put.

LinzerTorte Fri 11-Jan-13 13:30:57

admylin You could always get a Kindle and increase the font size! I'm finding it increasingly difficult to read the small print on packaging and find myself having to hold it at arm's length; I'm definitely getting old. grin

Good news about the conference and congress; it all sounds much more positive. It certainly seems like leaving it a few months before deciding about Berlin was the right decision.

DD1 did indeed get a 1 in her English test and said she was the only one. The teacher had corrected her for writing "The children have got" - she should have written "The children've got" hmm - but at least she didn't lose any marks for it.

AntiqueMuppet Fri 11-Jan-13 14:33:59

Hope your back's better soon, jenny. What did you think of Skyfall? I loved it!

Good news on the sleeping baby, weissdorn.

Linzer I'll have a look at the Goodreads site, it sounds good. I've been thinking about reading The Hunger Games for a while but keep forgetting to look for it. Hope the snow isn't too deep. Surely a plaster on your finger means far less sympathy than a bandage? grin

admylin We ended up paying double rent for a month and a half, which hurt but the half month (January) was so that we didn't have to bother decorating the bedroom or painting the doorframes etc so was worth it in terms of time and effort saved for us. Even more so, in fact, as DH went to pick some mail up last night and the new tenants said they couldn't paint over the wallpaper in the bedroom as the paint wouldn't stick so they had to strip the walls and then re-wallpaper so they could paint. It might sound a bit nasty but I'm so glad we didn't have to deal with that!
Good news about Japan. Maybe this was the kick your DH's boss needed. Boston sounds good though - will you go for it if he is offered a position?
I would really recommend the Kindle as I love mine, but if you think you'll have to pay out for reading glasses anyway then maybe it would be an unnecessary expense on top IYSWIM.

Oooh well done for finishing the quilt, cheas - that sounded like a big job! Do you have any pics? I bet it's gorgeous. Did you have a nice time in the UK?

DS' cheeky streak is really shining through this week. He thinks 'no' is the funniest thing he has ever heard. He also seems to be dropping his daytime nap. He won't sleep before about 4-5pm and then I can't keep him awake, which means he's not going to bed until about 10pm.
I think the next lot of teeth are about to come through too as I keep catching him biting the furniture and chewing on anything with a metal handle (as well as buttons, whatever he can find on the floor at playgroup and some unidentified berries he managed to dig out of the suitcase wheels as I was cleaning up a broken plant & pot he had managed to smash across the entire dining room floor.)
I shouldn't complain though as he laughs constantly and is very cute and cuddly, which makes it all better smile We have officially hit toddlerdom!

AntiqueMuppet Fri 11-Jan-13 15:33:00

That all sounded a bit negative about DS! He is in a really fun phase at the moment and I really can't complain about him, I was just a bit frazzled when I wrote my last post.

good evening!
I will try to catch up now, but dont even know where to start!

grinch how have the last couple of nights been? well done for sticking with it, and well done to your dh for helping you smile good that you already can see an improvement, so hopefully sleepless nights will be a thing of the past for you very soon. I'm keeping everything crossed for you!

admylin with ds2 and ds3 sleeping through def did not have anything to do with being breast/bottle fed. ds2 I could only breastfeed for 6 weeks as he was tiny, a very difficult drinker and was losing lots of weight instead of gaining it. but it still took him from 6 weeks to 5 months for him to sleep through. ds3 actually slept through a couple of times around 8 or 9 weeks, when he was still fully breastfed. I then had to switch to bottles as he too was losing weight sad. and strangely on bottles he slept much much worse!

re your dh, admylin that change sounds very promising. I hope his boss has realised what they'd lose if your dh left. Boston would be great wouldnt it?! my youngest db and his family may be going to Harvard for his postdoc in the summer. That's in Boston too, isnt it?

weissdorn your dd sounds adorable. and remember those noises you are describing very well grin. what kind of restaurant do you have btw? it's me who's doing the dry January. I'm taking part in the Cancer Research UK Dryathlon. it's going well so far, and I've got used to having a huge mug of herbal teat in the evening instead of a glass of wine smile

linzer have you heard back from school re that late theatre trip? oh and well done to your dd1 for a great test result smile. my alcohol tolerance is also very low. I had three dc within 3.5 years, then some more time added for bf...and having had two 5am risers, even when I WAS allowed to drink theoretically, I would never have more than one glass. the thought of being up at 5am plus feeling slightly hungover did not seem worth it.

jenny how is your back now? do you suffer from back pain a lot? how lovely you and dh got to go to the cinema. having good babysitters is fantastic isnt it. I've really got used to it this past year, and I am dreading when ours finish uni and move away!

interesting to hear about your experience with the Mirena. I am almost 100% sure that I will have it removed next week. actually, having come to that decision, finally, I feel quite relieved about it. also thank you linzer for your suggestion of the 3MS, and thank you cheas for sharing your experience with it! I think I will try and stay off any hormonal contraception for a little while just to see if I can manage the period pains in different ways. whichever form of hormonal contraception I have googled, the possible side effects are similar to the ones of the Mirena. and as I've had so many side effects with the MIrena, I am worried it will be the same again.

antique it sounds like your ds is in a very similar phase as my ds3! on thne hand I am really enjoying this stage. he is so much fun, his speech and other skills are really developing, and his cheekiness makes me laugh. otoh it's tantrums galore atm!

today, when we went to kiga for that champagne reception, I asked one of the teachers how ds3 was getting on. my reason for asking was that he doesnt seem very happy when I drop him off in the mornings and I wanted to know if he is happy, if he has children he plays with regularly etc...anyway, that teacher started listing one negative thing after the other about ds3; like, he doesnt listen, he refuses to tidy up, he ignores us, he ignores rules....she kept going on and on. eventually I stopped her midflow and said 'actually I was wondering if he seems happy and has friends'. I was a bit angry and sad that she only had such negative things to say about my admittedly strongminded and stubborn but allthesame lovely, funny, fun, clever and gentle ds3! I wonder if she has ever heard of self-fulfilling prophecy? sad

re reading: I was given a kindle for my last birthday. at first I wasnt so sure and missed 'real' books. now I love it! and I read so much more now than I used to. Also, if you are an Amazon Prime customer, you get to borrow one book each month for free (from the Kindle library on the Kindle shop) which is think is great!

I cant remember what else I was going to write, but my post has become another momoth one anyway!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Friday evening!

Haha I just spotted a rather nice typo on my own post...

'Herbal teat' it must be all this talk about newborns grin

Weissdorn Sat 12-Jan-13 08:39:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

platanos Sat 12-Jan-13 09:09:05

Good morning. Just a very quick post as I am in a de-cluttering state of mind (I am in a strange old mood and feel decluttering will help) plus no swimming (again....) as dd2 woke up with a fever sad so she can lie in bed and direct the de-cluttering of toys. Must be careful not to do my back in though...was getting better and then ds head-butted me just at my tailbone yesterday hmm- I nearly fainted with pain but seems back to pre- head butt level this morning.

anybody got a shredder? I need to get rid of all sorts of papers, and want to get one.

does anyone with a kindle want to start some sort of borrowing books from each other? I read you could lend someone a book, for free, for 2 weeks. But I am not sure it works acorss the German-Austrian border. Though I buy my books from amazon.de. I also find I read a lot more...

great news on the night sleepers, hope for those in the midst of sleepless nights and training too. It will be worth it in the end...Boooooo to only negative feedback on dc - we get that here too...all the things mentioned seem totally normal behaviour for a 2 year old, I think! and it is up to them to ask and motivate the child in a way that they will listen -first feedback we got from ds here was "has he got hearing problems? Because he never listens" grrr.....

admylin- great news...are you being tapped? are his bosses on mumsnet and reading ?grin. hope the good stuff continues to come your way.

Must go....be back later with a green bin bag count.

have a nice day!

Weissdorn Sat 12-Jan-13 09:35:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LinzerTorte Sat 12-Jan-13 13:29:48

Antique I didn't think you sounded negative at all - it all sounds quite normal to me. grin FWIW DS has always been into everything and is the hardest work in that respect, but he's also the one who comes out with the funniest things and is always making me laugh.

outnumbered DH said he'll e-mail the teacher this weekend about the theatre trip, as I think they have until the end of next week to send in the money. We've also just found out that DD1 has a biology test the following day, another reason why the timing really isn't ideal.
Re alcohol, I rarely have more than one glass even now and would probably feel ill if I had more than two. blush
How frustrating about the reception. I find that far too many teachers here focus on the negatives. Even with DD2, who is sailing through school, the teacher seems to brush over all the positives and focus on the (usually not very important) areas where she needs to improve (reading in a monotone, speaking too quietly, etc.) - it's like some teachers feel they need to find something to criticise.

Weissdorn envy of you being able to get all your books for free! I've never heard of Sharon Kay Penman, but will have to look out for her. Thanks for the tip about reading Philippa Gregory in order, which I thought I was but obviously haven't been - rather annoyingly, I've had The White Queen (which I haven't read yet) longer than The Other Boleyn Girl.

platanos I've been in a decluttering mood today as well, and have taken two big bags of clothes to the clothes bank. What do you do with the rest of the stuff, do you have a charity shop nearby you can take it to? I think we could probably open a charity shop in our cellar! I bought a shredder from either Lidl or Hofer a couple of years ago and it's really handy; it's quite big (and scarily noisy when you use it), but it hides under my desk and is so much quicker and easier than tearing up paper into tiny strips.

Those of you with Kindles, what kind do you have? I really shouldn't buy one until I've got through all the books I still have to read, but am quite tempted and was wondering whether it's worth forking out an extra €50 for the Paperwhite. Also, is the selection of e-books you can get from Amazon.de very different from on Amazon.co.uk (bearing in mind I only really read English books)? I've noticed when I've clicked on e-books on the UK site that it says they're not available to buy in my country.

What are the advantages of Amazon Prime outnumbered, other than being able to borrow one e-book per month? Is it just free and quicker delivery? I do order quite a lot from Amazon, but rarely pay for delivery unless I buy from a seller rather than Amazon itself - and ones who ship to Austria are extremely rare (and ones who charge a reasonable rate to do so even rarer) - and I assume they wouldn't be included in Amazon Prime anyway? And delivery is pretty quick anyway, usually two working days (although they always tell you much longer when you order).

LinzerTorte Sat 12-Jan-13 13:35:03

Ignore my question about Amazon Prime outnumbered, as it isn't available in Austria (apart from the Leihbücherei bit). Grr - I feel like a second-class citizen living in Austria sometimes.

Weissdorn Sat 12-Jan-13 15:58:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

weissdorn you just go to your Bürgeramt with the birth certificate and passport pictures, and you'll get the Kinderreisepass straight away.

Ds1 seems to have caught a tummy bug and is spending a fair amount of time on the toilet today. Fingers crossed the rest of us won't catch it, especially as dh is starting his new job on Monday!!

Will post properly later.

tadjennyp Sat 12-Jan-13 18:58:20

Hello, just sitting on the sofa with ds2 while dh is up the mountain with the older two. The new medication is making me dizzy. Yet to feel the tramadol working. Does anyone have any experience of this? It is the first time I've done something to my back. Feeling solidarity with you platanos. Hope yours is recovered really soon.

Well done everyone decluttering. I should get round to doing that with toys as dd's and ds2's birthdays are in a few weeks. Thinking of wrapping up some of the older two's toys that we had set aside for ds2 as a present from them. Does that sound really stingy? He'll only be two and I don't think we really need any more toys. confused

Regarding reading - dh got me a nook (from Barnes & Noble a big booksellers) for Christmas. I really like it and apparently can borrow books from the library with it, though I've yet to try it. I joined the goodreads site after reading your posts yesterday but I think I got a bit confused with how to set up the 'to-read' shelf. So far I have read 'the Leopard' by Jo Nesbo and 'the Daughter of Time' by Josephine Tey. Inspired by Weissdorn I'm going to start on 'the Sunne in Splendour' next which I got for my birthday too. I'm really excited to find out if those bones in Leicester are really Richard III! Sorry about amazon prime not working in Austria Linzer. I wonder why that is?

So sorry about that awful negative feedback outnumbered. I always talked about the good points of my students at parents' evenings even if their behaviour in class wasn't great - and mine were mostly teenagers, not little ones.

Yay for the Japan trip admylin. I hope it's the start of a better working atmosphere for your dh.

Your toddler sounds v cute antique! It is a good job that they have such adorable little faces, isn't it? Ds2 currently insists on walking down the stairs naked after his bath with Daddy to give me a cuddle. So sweet!

Glad you had a great time in the UK cheaspicks. I loved Skyfall but maybe some of that is because I have a slight crush on Daniel Craig a bit homesick and it is a particularly British Bond!

Right, time to take some more painkillers! Waves to everyone and here's to a lovely Saturday evening! smile

tadjennyp Sat 12-Jan-13 18:59:24

Sorry, forgot to say I hope this tummy bug is shortlived outnumbered and good luck to your dh for Monday!

Weissdorn Sat 12-Jan-13 19:19:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Weissdorn Sat 12-Jan-13 19:20:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jenny another quick post. are you taking tramadol tablets or drops? I had tramadol drops when I was heavily pregnant with ds3 and had a monster sinusitis. being in the thir trimester I wasnt allowed ibuprofen, and paracetamol wasnt touching the pain. The drops worked almost instantly, although I have to say I did not like the way it made me feel. Even though I took a much lower dosage than recommended, I felt very drowsy and it knocked me out. dh has back problems regularly. he usually takes something for the pain (ibu600) as well as a muscle relaxant (tetrazepam) so that he isnt hunched in an awkward position which will make the discomfort even worse. I hope your back is better soon!

<waves to everyone and hopefully I'll find time to post later>

oh, and jenny re your ds2' presents: weve done that before. one Christmas ds1 got a bigger sized Bobby Car, and he then gave his smaller sized Bobby Car to ds2. fast forward 2 years, ds2 then also got a bigger sized Bobby Car for Christmas, and he then gave the smaller Bobby Car to ds3. smile

tadjennyp Sat 12-Jan-13 19:30:53

I read that thread weissdorn! It was really interesting, wasn't it? I hope dd is settling down for you. (Can't wait for ds2 to have his nap so I can start reading it!)

It's tramadol tablets with cyclobenza something or other as a muscle relaxant, outnumbered. I do feel quite drowsy. Hope ds2 is feeling a bit better.

Hello there,

I hope you don't mind me popping onto your thread to ask for a bit of sartorial advice...

I shall be staying with a friend in Innsbruck for a few days mid March and I'm not sure what to take. My friend said "Bring lots of warm clothes." I asked what sort of boots I'll need and she said not to worry as I could borrow a pair of hers but I'd rather take my own.

So, I've ordered these thinking we'd only be walking around the town but she has now emailed to say we'll be having a day up in the mountains! Are these boots suitable for the mountains? I have been up in the Austrian mountains but not since 1984, I was 9 at the time, and I can't remember what we had on our feet.

On to the clothes...
I have bought this coat but bought the medium size which unfortunately is a little snug across the chest so I'm not going to be able to wear chunky knits under it so thin layers is the way to go. I usually wear jumper dresses and thick tights and boots during our London Winters. Am I being daft in thinking that this will be fine mid March in Innsbruck under that coat? I could upgrade the wooly tights to thermal tights and wear a thermal long sleeved vest underneath the jumper dresses. Will that be warm enough or am I underestimating quite how cold it will be?

What do stylish Innsbruck natives wear on a daily basis? Hats? And if so can you suggest a couple please and anything else I might not have thought of but need.

Thanks in advance. smile

LinzerTorte Sun 13-Jan-13 14:42:21

OldBag It really depends how much walking you'll be doing up in the mountains. I've been up in the boots I normally wear around town (the ones you linked too look quite a lot sturdier than mine), but we've never normally spent much more than about an hour at the top, doing some fairly gentle walking with the DC. You do see plenty of people in hiking boots, who obviously take it all more seriously than us, but I'm sure your boots will be fine - and if you really do need walking boots, could you perhaps borrow your friend's as she suggested rather than buying some specially?

Re the coat, it looks very similar to the M&S one I have (but mine was much cheaper so yours is probably better quality!). I live in woolly dresses, thick tights and boots during the winter, and will add a cardigan and leggings if I'm going to be outside for a while - I do feel the cold, but that's usually fine for me. I should add that I find a hat, scarf and gloves essential in the winter and most people wear hats if they're going to be outside for more than about five minutes (five milliseconds in the case of children).

Am not too sure about stylish Innsbruck natives as we're in the east of Austria. Most women here mainly seem to wear trousers or jeans, and I feel like I stand out a bit in my dresses, but I don't really care. grin My hat is distinctly unstylish according to DH (can't link as it was bought in the USA about 15 years ago), but it does the job of stopping my hair going frizzy - I should think any hat would be fine, really. Mid-March can be quite mild here (but it can also still be very cold up until April and still chilly even in May; it's difficult to know so far in advance) so you may not need all the extra padding around town, although it will definitely be much colder up in the mountains.

platanos Sun 13-Jan-13 16:01:00

Oldbagwantsnewbag I agee with Linzer - though also in the east of Austria, I go to Innsbruck for work sometimes. The coat looks like it will be fine - but as Linzer said check the weather report because there can be warmer spells, and it may be too warm. As for the boots - are you walking around in the mountains? Or taking a lift up the mountain from Innsbruck, sitting in a cafe and then coming back down? If the latter, then those boots will probably be too warm smile. Do get a hat, scarf and gloves though. I can't say I have noticed strict style rules in Innsbruck - the natives I know through work are all very sporty and dress for the weather, rather than the eye! I find places in Austria are very well heated, even over-heated, so make sure you can take layers off when inside. Hope you have a great time.

Ooh replies. That was quick! Thank you. smile

I'm very pleased to hear that my coat and boots might be too warm! I didn't expect that. Like you Linzer, I feel the cold so I want to be prepared.

I have a warm wool Winter coat so I think I'll fly in that and pack the Merrell coat. I have these Clarks boots in black. They're not terribly warm but I've bought some thermal socks so I can put them on over tights if need be. I'll fly in the Clarks boots and pack the snowboots and I'll pack some scarves, gloves and a hat.

Not sure what we'll be doing up on the mountain. Last time I went we rode up on a horse and carriage, ate apple strudel, admired the views over cups of hot chocolate and then got back in the carriage and went back down again. I don't think my friend is big on walking so it'll probably something similar.

Thank you for your help!

Hello and good evening smile
I've got no energy at the moment which is why I haven't really been on here much. Don't know why, I haven't really been going to the gym either, just can't get motivated for anything....

I'm already in bed now but realised I didn't reply to linzer's question re the kindle. Both me and dh have the very basic version, no keyboard etc. for us it's absolutely sufficient. I personally don't think the paperwhite is worth the extra money. But then, if I read in bed I have my bedside table light on anyway, and during the day the display is fine. Also I have read in quite a few reviews that the light and the display in the paperwhite isn't that good.

platanos although I'd be interested in swapping kindle books, I don't think mine would be of much interest. I have a mix of German and English books. But the type of books I read are like Dora Heldt or Sophie Kinsella blush. At the end of my day I am usually so exhausted I have to read something where I don't have to think much smile

Thanks to those commenting on the negative feedback from ds3 pre school. I agree, often here feedback is negative. I remember my mum getting very annoyed at teachers when we were still at school. I wonder what prospective teachers learn at Uni re giving feedback. I remember learning to always start with something positive, then say where there's room for improvement, and then finish on a positive note as well.

admylin Mon 14-Jan-13 09:43:52

outnumbered wonder if your tiredness is from all the stress of the last few months with job searches etc just catching up on you? How is your dh's new job going?

jenny and weissdorn I love those history threads too! Have you seen there's even a history topic.
Kinderreisepass was easy to get for my 2 aswell. Couldn't believe how cheap it was too. If you and dh aren't married you might need him to sign something though - wasn't it ploom who had abit of trouble with that?

Dh has applications nearly ready for 2 jobs in the US. One in Boston - yes that's Harvard outnumbered but I get the feeling it's abit like Oxford, you have to feel honoured to be allowed to work there so they get to pay you peanuts! The other job is in Texas. Both dc reckon that'd be great.

platanos how much did you manage to sort out and get rid of? I got rid of another big bag of junk yesterday. Ds did his desk and shelf too and at last agreed to get rid of the empty boxes for his computer mouse, earphones, and a few other empty gadget packages.

Freezing again here. Couldn't face walking to the shops so did the lazy thing and jumped in the car! Oh well, atleast I get more time to have a cuppa now that I'm back so quickly!

cheaspicks Mon 14-Jan-13 10:37:17

Morning!

Well done to those of you managing to do some decluttering. I'd be interested in reading that minimalist blog someone mentioned earlier - is it on MN?

linzer DH has just upgraded from a basic Kindle to a Paperwhite and loves the new one. He now always reads with the light on, although the battery doesn't last nearly as long and also likes the dictionary facilty (you press a word and a box pops up with the meaning). Personally, I think I would buy the basic one, though, because it's noticeably lighter and because I am (probably irrationally) blaming my own recent worsening of eyesight on spending so much time staring at my ipad. Afaik, the basic Kindle has a touchscreen anyway now, so the dictionary thing is probably on that too. Unfortunately Dh's old Kindle died shortly after he replaced it, so I haven't automatically inherited it, but as I bought so many books in the UK, I don't think I will be looking at buying a Kindle for the next six months (I'm also trying to kick my Amazon habit as a protest against their non-tax-paying).

jenny I think the Britishness was what I particularly liked about Skyfall, too. And Daniel Craig is very easy on the eye good as Bond smile.

antique I'll post some pictures of the quilt on fb, but I want to get it hanging on the wall first. I'm so very nearly there - just need to finish sewing a sleeve to the back to hold a strip of wood. I'm so pleased with myself for finishing it, though, since I have a tendency to start these things and give up near the end!

How old is your ds now? He looked so grown up on that recent picture you posted on fb.

outnumbered isn't that method of giving feedback known as "the shit sandwich"? grin Your ds3 is so young, isn't he? You would think at that age that the most important thing for the ErzieherInnen to be concentrating on would be helping kids to settle into the group and form attachments to the staff.

One of my New Year's resolutions (I have many) is to plan meals each week and I sat down earlier to write a master list of things we cook regularly to help me. I'm now a bit shock that virtually all our supper dishes are cheese-based (baked risotto, spinach and ricotta canneloni, Halloumi couscous, pizza, quiche). We usually eat egg curry once a week, but even that has yoghurt in, so isn't dairy-free. I think part of the problem is the DH cooks in the evenings while I put DD to bed and he's not as keen on lentils as I am or as confident about trying new recipes - I could change this and prepare a meal earlier and we could eat with DD, but I doubt this means that DH would take over putting DD to bed and I'd rather not skew our roles even further in the direction of "traditional marriage". Maybe I can find some sort of compromise confused.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Mon 14-Jan-13 10:45:07

Hello - that was a lot of weekend posting!

I have forgotten what I have read...

Outnumbered what struck me about the feedback you mentioned getting about your DS3 was that just sounded like a generic description of any 2 year old! (He is 2 isn't he) - they are not famous for listening, taking no for an answer, tidying up their toys, following instructions if they don't correspond with what they want to do - is he one of the youngest at the Kindergarten? Quite aside from the unremitting negativity sounding unprofessional it sounds as if that staff member was unfamiliar with what is normal for the age group!!

Good luck to your husband with the job applications admylin and well done on the decluttering.

Oldbag I guess your questions are answered - we don't live in quite the same area but here in Bavaria I wear a T shirt with a winter coat over it if I am only going between buildings and car, or a jumper under if I am going to be standing about outdoors for a while, but in March it is unlikely to be freezing cold. Have a good trip!

weissdorn like the others I never had any problems getting my kids Kinderreisepass, even DD who was born in the UK was no problem, and they are so much cheaper than UK passports and so much easier to get - I think because the Geminde already has everything on record really.

Well done on the decluttering plantanos - hope your back is OK.

My thoughts are mainly dominated by sleep - we had a really awful night even by DS2's standards on Saturday night, when DS2 went to bed fine but woke at 11pm just as we were about to go to bed, having watched a film, and basically screamed until 3am, with a couple of moments of false hope when he seemed to have fallen asleep but pinged wide awake as soon as I removed my hand from his... In the end he only slept when I lay with him, which I was trying so hard not to do, but I still hadn't had any sleep at all at 3am, and that is not on the back of being well rested! Last night though was better - an hour to fall asleep, and only up at 11pm for 10 mins and for about an hour between 1am and 2am - then not up again til 6am. For DS2 that is about as good as it gets sleep wise. I've been consistent (aside from Saturday night) for 2 weeks now, but it is going to be a very long road I think, but I would really love to be able to put him to bed at 7.30pm and expect him to usually sleep til say 5.30am... that is just a pipe dream atm, one day it will happen...

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Mon 14-Jan-13 10:48:14

Hello Cheas - cross posted. Is there a problem with your meals being cheese based? You're very slim aren't you? If my husband were in the habit of cooking dinner and it wasn't affecting my health/ weight I'd leave well alone tbh!

admylin Mon 14-Jan-13 11:14:02

Agree with grinch that if my dh would cook every night I'd leave him to it!
Can your ds tell you what's up when he wakes so often grinch or does he just cry? Must be really tough for all of you.

cheas well done on finishing your patchwork. Wish I could do that sort of thing and dd would love to, infact she's collected loads of material and has all tehe needles and pins and thread but no sewing machine yet and also no one to show her where to start! She has made lots of stuffed toys out of felt though. Taught herself to make some cute things. I got a felt cup-cake pin cushion and a strawberry shaped one too (not that I use a pin cushion but still it was lovely of her)!

LinzerTorte Mon 14-Jan-13 11:44:27

Grinch I thought of you just now when I was reading an article in a parenting magazine about how to get more sleep - most of the advice wasn't really relevant for you, or rather for sleep-refusing toddlers, though (drink less caffeine, take a nap in the day, turn off electronic devices an hour before bedtime, etc.).

You wear a T-shirt in the winter? shock I have three layers on atm and am not particularly warm.

cheas Thanks for the Kindle advice. I also need to get through the backlog on my to-read shelf before I allow myself to buy one, but am thinking about asking for one for my birthday at the end of the year.

I eat cheese and yogurt every day - often twice a day but I'm more concerned about the lack of variety in my diet than too many dairy products. I would also be inclined not to worry about it too much if your DH cooks in the evenings. envy DH usually cooks at midday at the weekends (and we have an Indian takeaway in the evenings, so I don't need to cook at weekends), but it's usually something with meat in it so no good for me.

admylin Boston sounds good (not that I've ever been there), but being paid peanuts isn't great - there are so many things you take for granted here that you have to fork out for in the USA (e.g. prescriptions costing $70, health insurance running to thousands of dollars a year - although you may well have better health insurance than we did that covers family members as well). OTOH lots of things, e.g. clothes, are cheaper than they are here so it's swings and roundabouts.

outnumbered Thanks to you too for the Kindle advice; it sounds like the basic one is probably the one to go for. Maybe your lack of energy is weather related (I'm turning into an Austrian hmm); I always find my mood and energy improve once spring arrives. Plus, as admylin says, you've been having a stressful time lately anyway.

Piano lesson run calls - must go!

cheaspicks Mon 14-Jan-13 12:44:06

grinch I'm more worried about DH's health than my own, tbh. He's not overweight either, but he takes a cheese or ham sandwich to work, then snacks on cheese or sausage when he gets home and will only drink sugary soft drinks. My diet is better than his, as I eat more varied stuff for lunch, including salads and fruit, but when I think back to when I did most of the cooking, we ate a lot more vegetables - veg curries, dhal (which is comfort food for me, but DH finds meh), ratatouille, chickpea and potato curry, that sort of thing.

linzer yes, it's about the lack of variety as well, plus I eat yoghurt for breakfast most mornings. It's also partly about involving DD in family meals, especially as DH usually gets home at about 6.30 and DD goes to bed at 7.

admylin I was taught to use a sewing machine by a combination of my mum and school. The patchwork stuff I've done so far has just involved straight lines, so it's not particularly difficult to sew, but you're right that you need someone to teach you the basics of how to use a sewing machine first. I refer to the machine manual every time I need to change any of the settings, though. There are usually lots of classes for learning to machine sew/quilt making at the VHS if your dd ever gets a machine - she'll be glad of the skill when the oil runs out grin.

platanos Mon 14-Jan-13 13:13:50

Linzer I also have the most basic of kindles - no touch screen though I do poke it with my finger quite often as I forget it's a primitive model blush. I have got several dictionaries on mine though, which is great for readiing books in german. I find the selection of books in english is quite good, the prices are not so great in comparison to amazon.uk prices though.

while on the subject of kindles- can't find how to share on the amazon.de website, so it might just have been a daft idea. But btw outnumbered I can't cope with anything heavy in the evening either. At the moment I am reading some "rubbish" in german - it was free and it is easy to read. I hope you get your energy back again...but as others have mentioned you do have a lot on your plate at the best of times, but even more with the recent job stresses.

admylin fingers crossed for the jobs. your de-cluttering sounds better than mine. Although I loved the everything that is not nailed down must go criteria weiss, I did not get very much out of the house, because asking a sick child if she wants to get rid of some toys is not a good idea - every drawing becomes important when ill. And my brother phoned to say they were coming to visit us grin so I went online to look for a flat where they could stay...it's 4 adults (my brother, his wife, my mother and my uncle) and 3 children! I found something for the and all is booked. First time in ages I will get to celebrate my birthday with my whole family!

grinch you poor poor woman. I really hope your dearest little one gets the message soon and all can peacefully get into a routine of sleeping at night.

cheas agree with others about dh cooking envy. You could have a joint think about your diet and maybe see if there are some non-dairy meals which dh can try to cook? But I am sure others would join me in banning you from taking over the cooking grin. your quilting skills sound most impressive - I am trying to get the courage together to go and get some wool to knit a scarf- i can only do scarves. But I get a bit nervous going into the shop (normally just go to get knee patches for ds) full of wonderful stuff which I can only knit in a straight line....

jenny how is your back? yours sounds much worse than mine. Mine is getting slowly better, though I have to be careful. regifting is totally okay in our house too - though my dc will often claim toys back, or not allow the other child to play with it "because it used to be mine", forgetting that they gave it away....

hello to everyone else, am at work on my late lunch break, in need of chocolate and my colleague ate all the nice chocolate and replaced it with discusting schokobananen - is this an austrian specialty only?

AntiqueMuppet Mon 14-Jan-13 13:24:51

Linzer I have the basic Kindle (I got it for Christmas 2011 and it got me through a lot of looong bf marathons) and I love it. It isn't a touchscreen but it does have a dictionary (I think German, English, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese dictionaries were pre-loaded on it) and you can click on a word using the arrow buttons to see the definition, which I find really handy. It doesn't have a backlight either but I have this case for it which has a light and runs off the Kindle battery. I love mine and would definitely recommend it! The only problem I have had with it is that I let the battery run completely flat once and it wouldn't charge on the computer. My camera USB cable has a plug-socket-plug hmm so I just attached that to the Kindle charger and plugged it into the wall and that started it charging again.
How's the igloo building going?

cheas Dhal really is a great comfort food, isn't it! I love the stuff. DS is 16 months now going on 16 years and thinks he rules the world! Today he worked out how to unscrew the nuts on his Lauflernwagen with his fingers (goodness knows how as I need tools to do it) and comes over every now and then to present me with an oh-so-perfectly-choke-risk-sized nut and a big grin on his face. Looking forward to the quilt pictures.

Grinch Sorry Saturday night was so awful. I hope last night was the start of a new, more-sleep phase.

platanos I'll happily swap some books with you - if I have anything you'd actually want to read, that is!

admylin Good luck to your DH with his applications. MIL is a whizz on the sewing machine and always says to me that if I see something I really want to buy but it's not quite the right size/too long etc then to get it anyway and she'll adjust it for me. She's done it a few times and I love her dearly for it! Maybe another advantage for your DD.

Oops battery is running out and DS is attempting to wallpaper the living room with banana skin so I'd best dash.

Hello to everyone I've missed!

Ploom Mon 14-Jan-13 14:24:55

afternoon!! I'm annoyed by how little time I get to post on MN at the moment - I manage to lurk but by the time I get to post then I've forgotten what I wanted to say.

cheas - beyond envy that your dh does the cooking. Unless its fried eggs or spaghetti, there's no chance of dh doing the cooking. I do think its not great tho to eat so much cheese based food - I think platanos's idea was good for you both to think about your diets and to come up with some new ideas. I'm on my New Year health kick and using Myfitnesspal its amazing how easily the calories add up. Would be more interested in kicking his soft drink addiction - dont know how he's not overweight from drinking them all the time. Well dont on the quilt making - cant wait to see it!

linzer - and I'm also envy of your indian takeaway every weekend. Need to organise a trip to the UK to get a fix (but only once I'm a bit slimmer wink]. We bought dd a basic kindle for Christmas and she is really impressed with it. I agree with cheas that the fact thats its not back lit is a good thing for her young eyes. If I read anything on my ipod in the near darkness then switch it off, I'm completely blind for a few minutes in my right eye shock. The kindle isnt touchscreen but therefore the battery lasts for ages. Really wish I had one myself.

admylin - those jobs sound interesting but the poor pay not so. If he could have a job anywhere in the world where would he ideally like to go?

grinch - sad at your ongoing lack of sleep. I have been there (also with my dc3) - you have all my sympathy. We tried everything, every peace of advice that anyone gave but I think some dc are just rubbish sleepers to start off with. It did get gradually better but he got up at least once every night for a while until one night he slept through and then just slept through every night after that. The only thing we changed was putting him in the top bunk (obv not applicable for your little ds) - no idea why that worked. I really hope you find a solution - it is so exhausting every night ((unmumsnetty hugs)).

outnumbered - I'm also a fan of an easy to read novel - I want to get sucked into a novel without having to concentrate on every word on every page. My dsis is wholly responsible for this - she was a few years older and I was brought up reading her cast offs - far too much Jackie Collins in my teenage years blush. Although I have just read "The Sparrow" for a book club I'm going to tomorrow - a little too much religion and science fiction for me (not a fan of either) but really enjoyed the characters and the story. Hope your tiredness lifts soon - I agree with linzer - its the weather and January - it saps the life out of everyone.

platanos - glad your back/bottom pain is on the mend. Still take it easy though. My dh buys those schokobananen specifically because he knows no-one else will eat them. You are right - they are disgusting.

antique - you also have my sympathy for the terrible ones but they get away with loads of annoying stuff because they are so cute and funny the rest of the time. You just need to develop eyes on the back of your head wink.

weissdorn - nice to see you back smile. Your dd is just gorgeous - glad things are going well.

jenny - ow your back pain sounds sore. Can you get to a physio for some treatment? Gute besserung smile.

We've had tears from ds1 about his homework today - he has to learn this poem and just cant even get through the first verse. He manages most things at school really well but has the worst trouble with remembering facts and obviously poems. This doesnt bode well for the future since thats what lots of subjects are about. They flagged it up in his Vorschule assesment but we thought it would get better - its not. Think I need to google to see if there's someway to help him.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Mon 14-Jan-13 15:03:15

Ploom Our "JungeVHS" section of the VHS brochure is packed with courses for children to improve their memory - it must be a popular theme, have a look! My DD is brilliant at learning poems and songs by rote - only takes a couple of read throughs and she's got it, but she is rubbish at being organised and remembering things she needs to do/ take with her to and from school etc. (more than once we've "broken into" school because we know the cleaner, who lets her back into the classroom to get forgotten books needed for the previous night's homework, so forgotten twice in a a tow and too late to borrow from friends as they have all handed them back having done the work on the correct night) must be a different section of the memory for each type of remembering!

admylin sometimes when he wakes in the night he asks to get dressed or go downstairs, usually he asks for cuddles, sometimes he just cries - other times he talks non stop about elephants or cats or things being Kaput or about Oma or sandwiches or 100 other things (maybe whatever he was dreaming about before he woke) although his language is reasonably good for his age it doesn't help that much with the night waking! I remember DD (whose language was better at this age and was also a poor sleeper, though not as bad as Henry) explaining to me that her head was too busy and full of words, so maybe it is the same thing with him. We have a standard bedtime routine so hard to know what can be done about it. They all go to bed at the same time atm which may mean bedtime isn't calm enough (though the big 2 are on a get Henry sleeping star chart atm which involves them being very good and calm at bedtime from the moment we go upstairs, and putting themselves into bed after story with no further talking or getting up, in return for quite big rewards so bedtime is the calmest its been in a while)

Ooops my battery is running out and DD and her friend are insisting I go to the other room and watch them perform "6 or 7 songs" hmm back to reply to others later! Antique your DS sounds very lovely, if a triffle high maintenance - but the best ones are, who wants a child who is complimented by being described as "placid" grin

LinzerTorte Mon 14-Jan-13 15:22:35

Afternoon,

The DC are out playing with the neighbours' DC in the snow, so I have some unexpecting MNing time. grin

Ploom I can really sympathise with your DS; DD1 really used to struggle with learning things off by heart. Luckily they don't seem to do it as much at her secondary school; she doesn't always find it easy to remember facts/take things in either, but we're hoping that the auditory training she starts next week will help. I haven't heard of The Sparrow - is it an English-language book club you're going to?

Antique I really wish Kindles had been around when I was bfing as I read loads of books (I was getting through around 10 a week with DD1) but it used to be quite tricky to hold them open; I bought a bookweight, but it wasn't ideal. I like the look of the cover you linked to, but shock at the price!

platanos I was reading about how to lend Kindle books in the group I joined on Goodreads - I can't remember exactly how it works, but you have to e-mail a particular file to whoever you want to lend the book to... but have just googled and apparently you can't share books in Germany... typical!
Schokobananen really are disgusting, aren't they? MIL went through a phase of giving them to the DC, who didn't seem to mind them, but I wasn't at all tempted! They're on a par with Schaumrollen, which MIL also buys sometimes as a special treat. hmm

cheas I've also tried to encourage DH to eat less cheese, as he used to have huge chunks with his Jause every evening. He claimed that it was OK as Austrian cheese has a much milder taste than British cheese so you can eat more of it hmm, although I did try to explain it wasn't really about the taste. I really need to start cooking more vegetarian meals, as I don't bother cooking for myself if I cook meat for the DC - and I have exactly the same breakfast and lunch (yogurt at both, plus cheese at lunch) every day. I bought myself some tofu at the weekend for a bit of protein variety, but will just have to remember to eat it!
Btw not sure if you meant the minimalist thread on MN, but it's here.

cheaspicks Mon 14-Jan-13 15:25:05

ok, so the consensus is definitely let DH carry on cooking grin. I've just been shopping and bought salmon fillets and the ingredients for ratatouille - I think I'll make the ratatouille in advance and DH can do the salmon and potatoes. I reckon I can persuade him to make bean and vegetable chilli at some point as well. Dhal takes too long to cook anyway for DH to make it after work, but I might make in on Wed when he isn't here in the evening. I'll have to make it super-mild for dd, though, she's developed a preference for bland food while I wasn't watching hmm.

ploom oh I wish I could talk DH out of drinking so much icky sweet stuff. He complains and complains about how he's gaining weight (currently 75kg, but he was 58kg when we met shock), but he's getting worse and worse in what he drinks, assuming squash is better than cola/fanta/bitter lemon. I could probably force him back onto the squash by doing all the food shopping up to and past the point when his supplies of soft drinks run out - maybe I really should...

Maybe your ds1 is a kinetic learner? If he doesn't feel too stupid doing it, he should try to invent movements to accompany the poem, then doing the movements should jog his memory. Otherwise has he tried copying out the poem over and over? Sounds like you've probably tried to break it down into small sections already, but I would certainly just focus on the first verse if he's having difficulties even with just that.

platanos no schokobananen in this house, but they are dnephew's favourite hmm.

I taught myself to knit more complicated things from a book. I really believe that knitting is very simple, it only consists of knit and purl stitches, after all, so I tend to think that anyone can do it. However, people keep telling me I'm wrong, so maybe it helps to have the bastel gene, or the ability to methodically repeat something ad nauseam, or maybe it's to do with being able to understand diagrams and convert them into 3d reality.

admylin Mon 14-Jan-13 15:42:17

ploom that poem would be really difficult for me to learn too! Your ds has my sympathy but as you say, it is only going to get more as he goes up in years. Dd had some really long and difficult ones to learn in year 7 that took her ages. Could your ds maybe get together with a friend and they could try and do it together? That's how dd manage dit as doing it with me didn't help, she just got mad or upset whcih she doesn't do woth her friends.
If dh could go anywhere to work then I think he'd like the Harvard job just for the fame value! He keeps kicking himself for leaving Charite (fameous) for MHH (not so famous)!

Antique that kindle cover costs almost as much as the basic kindle! I think I'd like a kindle too but I'd want the UK offers on books and would get fed up if they weren't available here!

Linzer that goodreads website is great but I've had force myself not to go on it or I'd be there all day and my list of books I want to read would end up longer than my books I have read list! I started filling in my list of books I have read and I've got a long long list on amazon now of ones that I fancy!

platanos I've never tried a schokobanana! Aren't they usually at the markets next to the toffee apples?

Antique your ds sounds great fun! He obviously needs a tool set for his next birthday too!

cheas I remember having sewing lessons in school and even made a few things including a winter coat from a Burda Carina magazine! Wore it for ages in the 5th year! Only now I've forgotten it all so I'd be no help to dd. Might se eif there are some VHS courses on offer for her.

grinch sounds like your older two are being really good trying to help. Good luck tonight!

Dd fed up today as she got a 4 in a German test. It looks OK to me though and have told her she has nothing to worry about. Honestly, I don't get how it only adds up to a 4. Recently in music it was the same thing, she'd answered every question and over half had full points and the others only had 1 or 2 points taken off but it all added up to a 4.

AntiqueMuppet Mon 14-Jan-13 16:32:52

Linzer I was shock when I
the price just now too. It cost half that last year (and I ummed and aahed as I thought it was expensive then!)
admylin The marking here sounds so random sometimes. I hope your dd isn't too upset.
grinch My thoughts exactly. At the moment he's running around at top speed with my scarf wrapped around him, laughing a really loud, dirty laugh grin

AntiqueMuppet Mon 14-Jan-13 16:37:29

ploom Hope your ds manages some of the poem without too many tears - cheas' method sounds worth a try

platanos Mon 14-Jan-13 16:45:31

oh dear, discusting??????? blush apologies for bad spelling recently.

I mean these admylin:
bananas
Don't waste your money on them wink

hupa Mon 14-Jan-13 18:49:11

Finally I´ve found time to post. We got back from our skiing holiday yesterday, so have spent the day washing, ironing, shopping etc. I didn´t dare turn the computer on until I´d got everything done or I´d have been sitting here all day. We had a lovely time - good weather and lots of snow. Dh´s ipad wouldn´t let me log into mumsnet, so although I could keep up with the thread I couldn´t post, which was very annoying.

Linzer I´ve also got a basic kindle which is brilliant and I´ve got the same case as Muppet, but must admit I didn´t realise how expensive it was until I clicked on her link as it was a present from dh.

admylin I´m glad things are looking up a bit on the jobs front for your dh.

Weissdorn It´s great to see you back on the thread. Fingers crossed that the good sleeping continues.

Ploom Ds hates having to learn poems. It usually involves lots of tears on his part and bribery on my part to make him persevere, so you have my sympathy.

platanos I have to agree that Schokobananen are really disgusting. Was it you asking about paper shredders? I saw them on sale in Aldi today, but I don´t know if Hofer? have the same deals at the same time as Aldi, but might be worth looking.

A quick hello to everyone else - I´ve got to go - dd and ds are arguing and I want them in bed soon because they´re both still tired after the late nights on holiday

AntiqueMuppet Mon 14-Jan-13 20:26:54

Sorry, hupa!

platanos Those bananas are awful! My DB loves them but I can't stand them smile

LinzerTorte Tue 15-Jan-13 11:45:12

cheas I definitely don't have the bastel gene, but I can knit - although had to reteach myself for the MN blanket projects and haven't progressed much further than plain squares. I used to love knitting baby clothes, but got bored with anything much bigger. grin

admylin I can't work out the grading here either; sometimes I've thought that DD's work looks OK but she's got a 4, and sometimes it's covered in red marks and she's got a 2.
I also have to force myself not to spend too much time on Goodreads, but signing up to a couple of challenges has definitely motivated me to read more and get through a few of the books on my to-read shelf.

hupa Glad you had a good holiday. There's quite a lot of snow here atm so it's looking good for everyone going skiing in the Semesterferien (basically, everyone apart from us).

platanos Have you seen that it's British week at Lidl next week? I wasn't very impressed, however, as most countries seem to get a double-page spread and British week only gets one page. I haven't exactly missed ginger ale or fish & chips in the same bag either. grin

DS was very clingy this morning, refused to walk to school with his friend's mum and I ended up driving him (although he did at least go into school in the end, which he'd said he wasn't going to). They had to take their snowsuits in today and I thought that might make him look forward to school a bit more, but he said he didn't enjoy playing outside as one friend hit him on the head with a stick (accidentally) and another threw snow in his face.

platanos Tue 15-Jan-13 13:07:36

hupa- great to hear you had a lovely holiday. did your dc get 3 weeks off at Christmas then? thanks for the shredder tip. I work above a Hofer and shall have a look. My colleagues are often amused with what I come back with when I pop down for something for lunch, and "accidently" go down the wrong aisle.

cheas - thanks to your encouragement I got some cheap wool and going to attempt a hat hmm. I have several hurdles to overcome: my inability to follow instructions and my inability to concentrate (that is not really my fault, I blame my dc's constant "mamaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"s). Then there is that knitting language that I have yet to master....but with google's help I shall give it a go. And if all else fails, I can knit yet another scarf wink

grinch how is the sleeping going? there was an article in the guardian about it today, read it thinking of you, but it was useless. Honest, any of us could write something better...even while under the influences of sleep deprivation.

Linzer we don't have a lidl anywhere near us, and not sure I am going to go for a long walk for some ginger ale. I used to love it as a child - I love ginger and there are not many Spanish things with ginger in them so when I went to England I would have a ginger ale, ginger biscuits, ginger cake overdose. Hope ds is feeling okay now? was school okay for him today?

Antique looks like we can't share books sad. Maybe when germany and austria join the 21st century...your ds sounds like fun but I can imagine you have to have eyes in the back of your head!

ploom how did the poem learning go? Poor ds - how old is he again? I am also trying to eat healthily, some days I fail miserably though. It's the long afternoons that get me...and raiding the fridge as I cook dinnner.

I am at home as had to pick ds up early - he has a fever. The poor child gets everything going, and immediately gets a fever. He seemed cheery enough and is now asleep. I wonder what I can do to improve his immune system - he does eat fruit and veg, though perhaps I should increase the amounts. We are meant to be going to the Volkschule on thursday for the test and to get him registered. Hope he gets better before that.

off to google "easy hat" patterns smile

admylin Tue 15-Jan-13 13:37:59

platanos good luck with the hat! My knitting skills don't go any further than a scarf and doll's blanket! Hope your ds is better soon.

Linzer good that your ds didn't refuse to go into school. Is he enjoying it otherwise? Saw the igloo pics on fb, well done! Did the dc build that all by themselves?

hupa good to hear you had a nice holiday. Not so good to have all the washing and shopping all in one go! Always the same isn't it, you get thrown right back into it when you come back from a relaxed time off!

Antique how is the decorating going? No, dd wasn't really too upset just sort of fed up as she had tried really hard.
The worst part of the test was that the teacher wrote something along the lines of 'you don't show the classic signs of dyslexia and you're doing well, however I'm still not pleased with your oral participation!' That's the best way to trigger dd's selective mutism - why did she feel that was called for on a written exam paper? Wasn't it bad enough giving her a 4.

Forgot to say ploom dd found a good way of learning things off by heart recently. She records her own vioce on her mobile then plays it back over and over and pauses it to repeat it, rewinds to check etc. Seemed to work well, although it was French vocab but a poem line by line would work too maybe.

cheaspicks Tue 15-Jan-13 13:45:19

Good luck with the hat, platanos. I bought this book when I took up knitting again - all the information is available free on the net somewhere, but I find the diagrams in the book very easy to understand and like being able to grab the book and find what I need very quickly.

Ravelry is a great site for knitters. There are lots of patterns, many of them free, plus you can see all the pictures other people have uploaded so you can see what the hat (or whatever) might look like in a different kind of yarn, or colour or on an overweight American with a mullet. I knit my Killing jumper completely based on photos and notes that people had posted on there. I don't find the knitting technique discussions very helpful, though, apart from the odd link to something useful.

linzer thanks for that link. Long thread to read, though. I like the idea of Simplicity Parenting, but I am not going to buy the book <sits on hands>.

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 07:12:53

cheas I started reading the minimalist thread not long after it started, so it wasn't too overwhelming at the time. I too am resisting the urge to buy Simplicity Parenting!

admylin I think that once he's actually there, DS does enjoy school - it's just getting him to go in the first place (it was the same at KiGa). He's usually OK on the mornings that his friend comes to us, as they play a bit beforehand and I then take them all to school, but is much clingier on the mornings where he walks to his friend's house with DD2 and then on to school.
What a negative and unhelpful comment on your DD's test. I was very shy as a child and drawing attention to it really doesn't help, it just makes you even more self-conscious.

platanos Poor DS; hope he's on the mend soon. Do you give your DC multivitamins? Ours have multivitamin and Omega 3 tablets every day; I've no idea if it helps (although they're hardly ever ill, apart from DS with his allergy) but am sure it can't hurt. DS seems fine now, thanks, and he seemed to be OK at school (apart from not enjoying playing in the snow).
Btw I'd be happy to get you some British goodies from Lidl as I'll definitely be going next week - I can't remember now what delights they have, apart from ginger ale, baked beans and "coloured" cheddar, but will e-mail you later about meeting up and can let you know then.

I have about 20 minutes to kill before part 2 of my annual medical, so should really get on with something productive. But am quite tempted to make a start on my new book (onto no. 6 now; my 50 book challenge is definitely spurring me on). grin

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 09:10:43

Sorry admylin, forgot to answer your question - the DC had help from DH to build the igloo (while I stayed indoors in the warmth and read my book!).

admylin Wed 16-Jan-13 09:22:42

Linzer I'd be interested to know the name of the omega-3 tablets that you give the dc. Are they from Austria? I've been looking for some here for dd but couldn't find any.

Dd's dyslexia teacher said we should explain the selective mutism thing to the German teacher. I asked her if she might say something as she wants to speak to her anyway about the therapy. She said she would so now I have to get a note ready to pas so on the therapist's e-mail address. It's to a German teacher so I don't want to risk having too many mistakes. Would this be OK?

Könnten Sie sie sich bitte mit die 'dyslexia teacher' von dd in verbindung setzen zwecks Information austausch an folgende E-mail Addresse: frau@office. Danke im voraus, mfg Ad.
Have to go and look up what the dyslexia teacher is in German. And is Information austausch one word maybe?

cheaspicks Wed 16-Jan-13 09:43:27

ad mit der, Informations-Austausch maybe as it would be hard to read as one word. Capital letter for Verbindung. New sentence for Ihre/Die Email- Adresse ist... Move "zwecks..." in front of "in Verbindung setzen".

Sorry if that makes no sense, but I spent too long reading the minimalist stuff this morning and need to get on!

hi all,
not really posting atm. still really tired, made worse by a horrible cold now. dh is enjoying his new job though, but he is getting home very late meaning I take all three boys to bed. they are not impressed, as they are really missing him. we decided last night that one day of the weekend will now be a Papa Tag, where dh does something with all three.

anyway, admylin I saw your post re the note, so thought I#d at least offer a suggestion.

Liebe/sehr geehrte Frau xy,
Könnten/würden Sie sich bitte mit DER LEGASTHENIETRAINERIN von dd in Verbindung setzen zwecks Informationsaustausch. Ihre E-mail Addresse ist: frau@office. VIELEN DANK im Voraus, mfg Ad.

hoping to be properly back on the thread soon smile

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 09:55:14

Not wanting to disagree with you cheas wink but I would write Informationsaustausch as one word. DD1's dyslexia teacher was called a Legasthenietrainerin, so "mit der Legasthenietrainerin" (assuming she's female, of course). I do agree about leaving out "an" and starting a new sentence for "Ihre E-Mail-Adresse ist". grin

We bought the Omega 3 tablets in the UK - there's a much better and cheaper variety of vitamins etc. over there so we stock up whenever we go back. I haven't seen them here and the multivitamins only ever seem to contain about four vitamins, whereas you can get ones with lots of vitamins and minerals (iron, calcium, etc.) in the UK.

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 09:56:16

x posts outnumbered - I was just about to say you'd be the best person to ask! Hope you're feeling better soon.

admylin Wed 16-Jan-13 10:14:30

Thanks you 3! Now I won't get a bad grade from the German teacher atleast!

Outnumbered get well soon.
Linzer I had a feeling it'd be omega-3 from the UK! Wonder why they don't have it here.
cheas I've also been reading that thread since it started and the blogs that were linked to! What a load of lurkers we are eh! Oh well atleast it got me to throw a load of stuff out and get some tidying done!

Ploom Wed 16-Jan-13 10:35:11

Morning!

Thanks for all the advice & sympathy about ds2 (he's 8 platanos) and his poem. I got him to write out the first verse on Monday and we talked about the story in the poem so he could maybe imagine what came next & he's now able to do 2 verses. He's got till Friday to learn all 4 so think he'll get there. But the ease with which ds2 has learned it compared to ds1 is worrying so might look into those courses at the VHS grinch.

outnumbered - hope you feel better soon.

Linzer - how was your ds about going to school this morning?

platanos - how's your ds today? Hope he's feeling better.

admylin - really shocked by how that teacher spoke to your dd - hope she gets in contact with the dyslexia teacher.

hupa - glad you had a good holiday envy of all the snow at the right time. We're maybe hoping to get some use of our skis this weekend.

Its British week at Lidl tomorrow and if you go can I ask you to buy the cheddar cheese from the Isle of Man. You might have seen it on my FB but I have a great friend from there and her BIL & SIL have a farm that supplies milk to make the cheese so think it feels like a great way to support their community. Its such a little island that it feels crazy to think they've managed to get Lidl to sell their cheese.

I went to my book club last night - it was an English one linzer - had a really nice time and they've picked the books for the next 4 months so hope to go again.

Waves to everyone else - have used nearly all my free time this morning skypeing with a friend in Asia blush - ah well at least it was kostenlos!!

AntiqueMuppet Wed 16-Jan-13 10:41:28

Get well soon, outnumbered! I hope 'papa-tag' goes well at the weekend. It's really sweet that your boys are missing their dad smile

Linzer That's a good tip about buying the vitamins in the UK, although certain brands of formula and follow-on milk contain omega 3 here so maybe it won't be long until the tablets start to appear. At what age did you start to give your DC a multivitamin, if you don't mind me asking?
Did you manage to start your new book this morning?

admylin I hope the dyslexia teacher having a word with your DD's teacher has an effect. That comment on her test did sound quite unnecessary. Fingers crossed!

platanos I hope your DS is better soon. Good luck with the knitting!

cheas Is it quite easy to get started with knitting? What sort of things do you knit? I quite like the idea (and am desperately trying to activate my bastel-gene!) but I already have enough scarves, hats etc. I was thinking of going on a beginners sewing course at some point. I can sew by hand but I have an old sewing machine which is long overdue some attention. Only problem is, I have no idea how to do anything other than a basic straight-line stitch on it!

Hello to everyone else!

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 10:44:08

Ploom What are your book club's next four books or will you out yourself if you say? I've given up on RL book clubs but have just finished reading The Snow Child for the MN group on Goodreads and really enjoyed it. It's British week at Lidl next week here too so I'll l

AntiqueMuppet Wed 16-Jan-13 10:44:44

x-post, Ploom!
I was thinking of looking for our nearest Lidl to get some cheese so I'll make sure I get the one you mentioned if I find it.
I hope your DS manages the poem. It must be so demotivating for him, bless him. It sounds like he's done really well to have learned the first two verses so far so I hope that's helped him smile

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 10:45:07

Oops, posted too soon... look out for your friend's cheese; I'd probably buy some Cheddar anyway.

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 10:52:26

Antique I started DD1 on multivitamins as soon as she started on solids as you could get multivitamin drops in the USA, which I think our paed recommended - she hated the taste, though (I think it was the iron - actually I remember now, they were recommended if your baby didn't have formula). We gave them to DD2 as well as DH still used to travel to the USA for work back then; I can't remember about DS, but possibly around the one year mark. IIRC he used to have multivitamins in liquid form (so may well have started at around 6 months too) and we then switched to tablets when he was 2 or 3.

Yes, I started Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami this morning - have only read about 10 pages so far, though!

Ploom Wed 16-Jan-13 10:55:43

Dont think it would out me linzer but am thinking of a 2013 name change anyway wink.
Mr Vertigo by Paul Auster
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Casual Vacancy JK Rowling (most of the group are Americans & love her Britishness).
The other 2 I've forgotten but will post them once the email comes.

admylin Wed 16-Jan-13 11:31:09

Casual Vacancy is on my want to read list too ploom and The Glass Castle is great, I read it in Berlin and then read it again recently. Lucky that you've managed to find a group near you for English books.

cheaspicks Wed 16-Jan-13 11:59:50

Oh good, outnumbered came on and did a native correction. I guess I should probably add "stop hyphenating compound words in German" to my ever-increasing list of New Year's Resolutions grin.

Hope you feel better soon, outnumbered. It must be hard for all of you to adjust to your dh working again, but the kids will probably adjust faster than you do. Papa-Tag sounds like a great idea.

linzer I love Murakami!

ploom I will go to Lidl especially to buy the Cheddar now. Just have to remember where the shop is...

antique I think I learnt the basic knit stitch at school at age 8 and I knit a jumper with a lot of help from my Mum at age 13, but then didn't do any more knitting until about 6 years ago when a friend asked me if I could teach her how. She had a Martha Stewart magazine with some diagrams in and they kind of jogged my memory enough to remember how. My friend and I then both obsessively knitted rib stitch scarves on big needles and kept phoning each other up to see how long the scarves had got. Since then I've knit a couple of baby blankets, a few items of clothing for dd (a pinafore dress, a cardigan and a pair of bell-bottoms), two jumpers (the first of which I never wore and eventually decluttered), arm-warmers, fingerless gloves, a couple of lace scarves, a few blanket squares for one of the MN blankets, the odd baby hat, lots of pairs of baby socks and a few pairs of adult socks. (*Admylin*, I haven't forgotten your socks, but I still haven't quite finished the pair before blush.)

Merlioness Wed 16-Jan-13 12:56:09

Hi everyone <waves>
I'm currently living in Singapore with my British husband and toddler son. We are very likely to move to Frankfurt a. M. at the end of the year.

platanos Wed 16-Jan-13 13:16:42

ploom good to hear your son is getting there, even if it is slow. I hope he is not too frustrated. That book club sounds good - are the people nice? and is the level of discussion right for you? (I fear attending one in case I get totally lost in the literary discussions!)

linzer well done on the reading - you'll read more than 50 at this rate. I often go on the goodreads website to read reviews, but I can't set myself a challenge like yours - my everyday life is challenging enough for me, without having to add another aim and objective grin. But a few of the books mentioned on here are now on my list of books to read...though have promised myself that the next one I start will be the "The 100 year old man...." Thanks for your offer to pick up some british goodies - that is sweet of you! I saw my local spar has ginger snaps now...but I resisted as I was being healthy. Though my resolve shattered as I waited at the till - now have small bag of M&Ms and Maltesers in my cupboard...which I am going to have right now, with a cuppa. ds likes M&Ms so will share with him to lessen the guilt!

cheas Impressive list of things you have knitted. Thanks for the links and ideas btw. I have started my hat - I am not sure what will happen though and ds keeps saying that it might be a scarf after all, cheeky monkey wink. But as I am making it on cirucular needles it may be a snood, and therefore something new! TBH I can't see it turning into a hat....want to join me knitting antique

hi nutella hope all is okay with you and little one.

admylin that is a really shocking thing to write on your dd's exam. was the teacher questioning your dd's dyslexia? and what a way to do it shock. I hope that the teachers talking to each other will help. The marking system sounds bonkers....I must admit the more I read here, and listen to other parents, the more I am dreading my dd1 leaving Volkschule.

outnumbered hope you feel better soon. Putting 3 to bed on your own every night sound exhausting and hope that you will find a routine that will make it easier for all of you. Will dh always be working such long hours? what is his first reaction to the job?

Thanks for asking: DS is still poorly - he's got a fever but is not that unwell otherwise. The dc used to get multivits the dh read something in der spiegel about how bad it was to have daily multivits (I don't know the details, I did not read it) and we stopped taking them. I suggested this morning that ds might need a little vitamin boost but dh is adament that multivits are bad hmm. I've not read up enough to know the pros and cons, the only way I could convince dh is if I took ds to the dr - which I am planning to do if he is not better tomorrow. Apart from the poor child suffering, I am running out of leave days, and it is harder for dh to take time off work...

AntiqueMuppet Wed 16-Jan-13 13:18:59

Ooh The Casual Vacancy is on my wishlist too. You'll have to report back & let us know whether you enjoyed it, Ploom.

Hi Merlioness! Are you moving over for work? I don't live too far from Frankfurt & really like the area, although it's bloomin' cild at the moment grin

platanos Wed 16-Jan-13 13:20:29

hi merlioness- sorry x-post. That sounds like an exciting move?! have you lived in germany before? Have you been to Frankfurt or is it all a big adventure? I live vicariously through other people's adventures...my greatest adventure at the moment is trying to knit a hat hmm. Good luck with the planning!

AntiqueMuppet Wed 16-Jan-13 13:22:32

Thanks for the list of ideas, cheas! I think you've motvated me enough to go and buy a few basic supplies now!

AntiqueMuppet Wed 16-Jan-13 13:27:03

Cild? I meant cold! <fat fingers>

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 13:56:56

platanos I wonder why multivitamins are bad for you... I know that getting the vitamins from the food you eat would be preferable and that you shouldn't rely on them to make up for deficiencies in your diet, but I hadn't heard that they're actually bad per se. I should have asked the doctor this morning! Hope that your DS is better soon and that you don't have to take much more leave so that we can meet up in the Semesterferien. smile I'm not tempted by ginger, but Maltesers would be a different matter - am not sure I've even seen them here, though.

Hi Merlioness, whereabouts in Germany are you from originally?

cheas I discovered Murakami through a book club, and Norwegian Wood is only the second book of his that I've read. I did enjoy Kafka on the Shore (I think we had the number9dream discussion a while back), but I've heard that Norwegian Wood is more accessible.

Ploom I'm another one who'd be interested to hear what you think of The Casual Vacancy. Although I mustn't buy any more books until the summer, at the very earliest!

Must go, DD1 wants to play Tabu...

Merlioness Wed 16-Jan-13 13:58:35

Hehe, I'm German, but have lived in the UK for 7 years before our 3 years out here.

I'm currently a SAHM, but it's my DH's job that's taking us to Frankfurt.

It's definitely a big adventure for me, as I haven't lived in Germany my whole adult life.
I'm from Munich smile

Merlioness Wed 16-Jan-13 14:09:08

Oh, and I've never been to Frankfurt.
I guess we wouldn't actually live in in Frankfurt.

Antique, do you have children?

admylin Wed 16-Jan-13 14:17:45

Hi Merlioness, you'll atleast have the advantage of mastering the language before you come! Keep us updated, as I'm like platanos and live vicariously through other people's adventures too - well until our next move whenever that will be!

Linzer enjoy your game of Tabu! Dd's dyslexia teacher told us to try playing Tabu. I have to look for it as we don't have it yet but I expect dd will get frustrated and mad at me as my descriptive German skills are not up to her level!

Have to go out in the cold now, to the post office and quick stop at the supermarket as I have a craving for something sweet! Come to mention it Maltesers wouldn't be a bad idea platanos!

AntiqueMuppet Wed 16-Jan-13 16:26:19

platanos I think you might have started a group-craving for Maltesers. grin

merlioness I have 1 ds who is 16 months old. How old is your toddler? How are you feeling about the move?

LinzerTorte Wed 16-Jan-13 17:38:21

admylin We have the junior version of Tabu, which I found quite manageable! We only played for about five minutes though, as DD1 kept complaining that DS was "nerving" her (he would often guess the word before she did and kept squeezing the quietsch thing).

platanos Have just remembered that the doctor said this morning that zinc is important for your immune system and recommended seafood and nuts (or, more lazily, the multivitamins we have provide 75% of the RDA grin).

Merlioness Thu 17-Jan-13 03:44:07

Antique, my DS is 14 months old smile

I'm excited about the move really. Not so much about the stress mind you!

How long have you been in the Frankfurt area?
How did you find meeting people?

AntiqueMuppet Thu 17-Jan-13 08:10:45

merlioness We've been here for three years now. I found it quite hard to get to know people at first, but then I wasn't working when we first moved over and we lived in a lovely, but quite snobby, unfriendly area. We've moved out of that area now though and I've found it much easier to get to know people, especially since having DS.
There are a lot of expats around and I was finding it a lot easier to get to know them than the locals, but that has changed since we've moved to a much friendlier area.
If you're a wine drinker it's an excellent area to live in too!

Right, DS and I are off to Lidl to stock up on cheddar (and possibly a nice sewing box I spotted in the brochure....)

Hope everyone's having a nice morning and no-one is snowed in!

cheaspicks Thu 17-Jan-13 09:00:51

antique we're nearly snowed in - had another moment of regretting the rear-wheel drive on the way back from the kiga run. It's currently snowing in a very gentle Christmas-filmy, leise rieseling way, but I may walk to work later if it doesn't stop. I wish the bags I have to carry weren't so heavy, though.

linzer there was a study a few years ago which found that people who took vitamins regularly died earlier than those who didn't iirc. I don't know how good the study was, but it obviously stuck with me, as I now feel uneasy about taking them - but still do because of ttc.

merlioness welcome to the thread. That move sounds like quite an adventure! Hope it all goes well - as admylin says, knowing the language will at least make it all much easier to sort out.

I've now got about halfway through that minimalism thread without actually doing much decluttering. I managed to clear out a drawer in our TV-Bank (is there an English word for that?) - threw away all the cassettes since we have nothing to play them on and put some dvds away in a box to go in the loft. Does anyone know of a site like webuybooks in Germany that would take dvds and maybe some books? I can't imagine ever wanting to rewatch any of the ones I packed away and having them filling up the loft instead of in the living room is not much better really.

LinzerTorte Thu 17-Jan-13 09:16:01

We had to wade through about a foot of snow to get to KiGa this morning; I can't believe how much it snowed overnight (and it's still coming down). I've cancelled my appointment with the dermatologist this afternoon to have my stitches out, as there's no way I want to drive in this weather - in fact, DH has just phoned to tell me to cancel it (I already had). Quite a few car drivers this morning were having problems turning into our road; I saw cars being pushed and one of our neighbours was helping to clear snow from the road in front of cars that were stuck.

cheas That's slightly worrying, but I'm telling myself it's only one study... I googled it and one article mentioned that vitamins may include more iron or copper than the body needs; I'd read somewhere before that you shouldn't supplement with iron unless a doctor advises you to do so.

Antique I have a nice sewing box from Lidl - I wonder whether it's the same one. grin

LinzerTorte Thu 17-Jan-13 09:17:39

KiGa? School, I mean!

admylin Thu 17-Jan-13 09:22:21

cheas I'm debating exactly the same thing about walking or taking the car. Trouble is if I take the car I have to clear the drive first but if I walk I can't get as much shopping. I have to shop today as my teens have eaten everything they could find in my cupboards and emptied the chocolate and biscuit drawer yesterday.

I'd be interested in finding a German WeBuy site too. Do you think they still take videos? I've got a shelf full and although we do still have an old video player we never watch them. Sentimental value only for ds's first ever film when he was a tot (Disney's Pinocchio) but what's the point in keeping it? when he's a dad he won't be able to watch it or show his dc it as he won't have a video player.

merlioness have you got any set dates yet? Will you be shipping everything back over here? That's my one fear of having to move continents - shipping stuff! I can cope with packing a truck and sending it off to the next destination but somehow feel the organisation would be so complicated if I had to ship stuff! Infact, I think I'd get rid of everything except a few boxes worth and start over new (and be minimalist like on the minimalist thread).

hupa Thu 17-Jan-13 10:09:10

We´ve got so many dvds and videos I´d love to get rid of. DH seems to be addicted to buying dvds everytime he goes shopping. We have completely different tastes, so he has loads that are still in the wrappers because he hasn´t found time to watch them.

Merlioness Is your dh´s new job a relocation, so that you´ll get help with relocation costs? I´m in Hessen, but further north near Kassel.

Has anyone been to Lidl yet? My nearest one is about 15km away, so I´d like to know if it´s worth making the journey. They seem to have stopped selling the salt and vinegar chipsticks which were so delicious.

cheas I used to have a rear wheel drive car and hated driving in snow. In fact if the snow was really bad, I could never get up the hill from my garage to the main road.

Linzer do you have to go out again to pick the dc up or can they walk home from school?

The dc´s school is being inspected next week, so I´m quite interested in what they´ll find. I don´t envy the teachers having been through Ofsted inspections myself in England. The parents and children in the 3. and 4. Klassen have already filled in on-line questionnaires, so maybe they´ll use those to inform the areas they want to focus on.

AntiqueMuppet Thu 17-Jan-13 11:00:56

Our Lidl had no cheddar sad Apparently only the bigger branches have it, boo! I didn't bother with the sewing box as it wasn't as nice as I thought but I did get a bag of fudge, which I'm looking forward to opening this afternoon. I also got a nice down-filled coat down to half price in the Mango sale though so it wasn't a wasted trip!

AntiqueMuppet Thu 17-Jan-13 11:02:47

Oh and I looked at a German site a while ago which buys dvds, books etc but I can't remember what it was called. I'll ask dh if he remembers tonight & report back

scorchienne Thu 17-Jan-13 12:38:51

Hello all, hope you don't mind me jumping into your thread! We are currently looking into the possibility of a relocation to Frankfurt, had a search on Living Overseas and everyone said to post here so here I am.

Am just looking for a bit of general advice if anyone could help that would be great. Firstly I guess, how do you find it there? Is it a nice place to live? Safe? How is the cost of living, dh is considering a role with a 70k Euro salary, is this realistic in terms of rental prices etc? He would be the sole earner initially. Would you recommend living in the City or suburbs?

Is it an easy place to live with limited German? German lessons are in progress so it wouldnt be an issue forever.

Wrt healthcare, is it all private healthcare? How are the local schools for kindergarten age?

We are currently based in Zurich, which is really family friendly. It is safe, clean, great public transport but high cost of living. It is also a very easy City in which to live with basic German as most people speak English (even when you try with German). DS is currently in a private kindergarten but will move to local in August if we stay here (in private currently due to birthdate cut off point, missed entrance last intake by 4 weeks). DS has good German and Suisse Deutch language knowledge already so the transition for him shouldnt be too difficult.

If you have any links for forums, websites for rental acommodation etc that would be super.

LinzerTorte Thu 17-Jan-13 12:58:12

The DDs are at each other's throats downstairs (DD1 seems to be particularly enjoying winding up DD2 today), so I've decided to escape upstairs for a bit.

Hi scorchienne, I'm in Austria so not much help with your questions but there are a few other posters in the Frankfurt area on the thread. (OTOH I do have fairly detailed information on towns in the Taunus area should you ever happen to need it!)

Antique Mmm, fudge sounds good, will have to look out for it next week.

hupa I got out of doing the school run at lunchtime as it's only DS who doesn't walk home on his own, and he went to a friend's straight after school. I've had plenty of fresh air after a second round of snow shovelling, however!

admylin Did you drive or walk to the shops in the end? Even if I could manage to get my car out of the piles of snow surrounding it, I wouldn't want to drive - luckily I don't think I'll need to until next week (have told the DDs they don't need to go to Musikkunde today).

DS's friend's mum has offered to take my stitches out when I pick up DS; her BIL is a doctor and she works at his surgery, so hopefully she knows what she's doing (I'd thought she was more of a receptionist)! Otherwise, my next door neighbour is also a doctor's receptionist and has said she'll fit me in tomorrow morning (but that would involve a drive/long walk through the snow, which I'd rather avoid if possible).

admylin Thu 17-Jan-13 14:15:43

Linzer good luck with getting the stitches out. It'd be good if you don't have to drive in all that snow anyway.
After seeing your drive and all those steps on fb I decided my tiny drive wasn't much to have to clear after all so I did it in 10 minutes and took the car so I could stock up on lots of tins of beans at Lidl and loads of fruit and snacks to keep my teens happy. They must both be growing again as they're constantly hungry at the moment!

scorchienne we're in Hanover and used to live in Berlin and before that Tuebingen! I'd quite like to live in Frankfurt, big city but with plenty of countrysid eand things to visit around about. On the Salary your dh has been offered you should have no problem being able to afford to rent a decent sized house but you could look on immobilienscout24.de to check areas and what's on offer.

Antique did you sell anything online? (books or films)? Enjoy the fudge, I didn't dare buy any as the way my dc are at the moment they'd scoff the whole bag in minutes and I'd rather like them to eat more fruit (seeing as I now have 3 or 4 kg of apples in the house)!

Hupa did you bother going to Lidl? I saw they had crisps with salt and balsamico, salt and pepper and salted hand cooked but as you say those salt and vinager sticks were the best. We had the baked beans and thick cut chips for lunch today with lots of strong malt vinager, yum.

itsMYNutella Thu 17-Jan-13 14:51:51

Hello!
Well DS is now 16 days old and I swear he is growing before my eyes! It's so strange. He is starting to fill out, after being such a skinny newborn he is starting to develop a bit more baby podge, I've noticed a double chin coming along when he is feeding smile
We have resorted to topping him up at night-time (after final feed) with formula to help us all sleep. Last night he took about 40ml and slept from 12:00-05:00 ish, it was fantastic!

My Mum stayed with us the last two nights and it was fantastic, she was so chilled and supportive, she cooked for us and did some other little jobs that needed sorting. She also settled DS for us both nights she was here so DP and I could go to bed and have cuddle for 20 minutes smile We're managing to get out for a little walk most days. But then the are days like today when the hebamme is supposed to come between 14:00 & 15:00 and still hasn't arrived angry we don't seem to be getting on very well with her confused I have the feeling that she isn't comfortable when she is here and always seems in such a rush. Anyway, enough of me moaning! (But I needed that and I hope you don't mind)
DS is starting to have a bit more awake and aware time. It is so much fun to see him staring at lights or DP's beard face can't wait for real little smiles smile

Oh, someone was asking about sites for selling books, CDs and stuff: we've used rebuy.de and DP was happy with it.

Hello to the new members (feel like Marjorie daws from fat fighters - if anyone would get a little Britain ref smile ) and welcome! I'm not even going to pretend I'm managing to keep up with the thread and read everything but I am lurking and will try and post occasionally.
Grinch have everything crossed for you and hope you make some progress with the sleep training of DS2! I really struggle without enough sleep and don't know how you have managed for so long.

admylin the comments on your DD's test were really rather unnecessary! I hope she gets some support from the dyslexia teacher to counteract that.

platanos thank you for the well wishes!

weiss nice to see you back on here, congratulations on your DD! Hope DS starts longer at four weeks hmm

Can't help but smile at the people running off to buy cheddar this week. Although of course, if I get the chance I'll be sending DP to lidl buying some for myself grin

Linzer and I think it was cheas... How do you manage to read so much while BF? I try and keep an eye on DS because if he starts to fight with the wind in his poor little system he pulls on my nipples shock when arching his back and that really hurts! He does the most incredible farts! Poor little man...

cheaspicks Thu 17-Jan-13 15:56:10

nutella I didn't mention reading a lot while bf, I don't think (must have been someone else), but I did read a lot. DD fell asleep feeding a lot at the beginning though, so my problem was more that her mouth gradually slipped further and further down my nipple, which was also pretty painful.

I had a similar thing with my hebamme - she always seemed in a rush and not really around long enough for me to get round to unburdening any worries I might have had. Other people with the same midwife said the same (and said the same about other midwives they'd had with previous dc), so I guess it's relatively common. I think my midwife was just overbooked - she works at the hospital, but runs ante-natal classes, baby massage groups and does reflexology from her home on a freelance basis as well.

Thanks for the tip about rebuy.de. I will have to check it out.

Hello, scorchienne. I don't know much about living in the Frankfurt area, but 70k sounds like a reasonable salary for a single-earner family. Definitely check out the situation with health insurance. DH is privately insured, which was a lot cheaper on a high salary than paying state insurance, but now we're married and have a child together, we have to pay for each of us separately, whereas DD and I would be included as "familienversichert" if DH had state insurance. There's no way back into state insurance once you are privately insured, though (except in very specific circumstances). I know there was talk about banning high earners from opting out of state insurance, whether this might now apply I don't know.

Normally someone employed by a company is "pflichtversichert" with one of the state insurance companies (you have to choose one) and a set percentage of salary goes to the insurance company, plus the employer pays something (I think). There is (or was) a figure above which you could opt out and go and choose a private insurer, which might cost less per month, but involve a large excess. Doctors earn more from private patients, which sometimes means they are seen faster (you can imagine the joy that causes in a crowded waiting room), plus some insurance packages include guaranteed treatment by a consultant, or a private room in hospital, that sort of thing.

AntiqueMuppet Thu 17-Jan-13 15:58:57

Hi scorchienne. I don't live far from Frankfurt. I'm on my phone now but will get on the laptop later to have a look at your questions.

I went to another Lidl this afternoon & stocked up on cheddar. They had a crafty stuff Aktion too so I bought some needles and sock wool, (inspired by cheas) thinking socks can't be too hard... The instructions might as well be in Klingon for all I understand! Think this is going to be a very slow project!

I've now totally forgotten what else I wanted to write so sorry for not name-checking. Ds is hanging off my cardigan sleeve so had better go :-)

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Thu 17-Jan-13 16:23:17

Hello Nutella - dust, dust, bit of dust? :O You are getting far too much sleep though, stop it, it isn't fair that my 20 month old sleeps worse than the newborns!

Antique does Lidl have kids craft stuff or just grown up type stuff for knitting and sewing? I'm on a toddlers group stock up and craft activity planning streak atm. Fudge sounds good too, Lidl is a bit of a treck though, 20km or so, mind you most things are...

www.bookswapper.de is an option to swap English books if that is an option instead of selling... Germany only.

Hello Meerlioness and scorchienne I am no use to you as I know nothing about Frankfurt (well I once went there for 2 days with work, about 15 years ago - I don't think that counts!) I'm in Bavaria, about 40km out of Munich.

Admylin and Linzer well done on all the snow shovelling - I did the pavement outside our house and our drive at 7am as I was expecting to be out all morning, but it has been snowing all day and of course you can't tell I did it - I should have been out re-shovelling every 2 hours like all the other good HausFraus (Hausefrauen - what's the plural?) but I am a lazy English slattern so I have not bothered shock - really struggle to see the point while the snow is still falling!

cheas the snow seems to have caused problems this time doesn't it, don't know what's going on, usually there are no issues but DH is stuck in standing traffic on the motorway atm and has been for almost an hour, and my train into Munich was cancelled this morning (luckily as it turned out, as when I got my phone out to let my friend know I would be late I saw a message from her cancelling as she woke up ill!) Sure snow doesn't usually cause havok here!

Better go and get the kids in from sledging as its getting dark - DS1 is meant to be at football training, but I forgot and let him go out with his friend when he called around and felt it would be too mean to stop them after only 10 mins and make him go to football - oops, hope DH forgets to ask as he always tuts if I don't take them to scheduled activities unless they are ill....

Wave to whoever I missed!

itsMYNutella Thu 17-Jan-13 17:20:13

Sorry cheas... Not sure who it was then... But he also falls asleep and gradually slips off, oh or bites! Jeez! I've offered to try and demonstrate to DP how painful it is ....

I'm honestly sorry about the sleeping Grinch! But if it makes you feel better dust is very low in fat and you can have as much dust as you like! Or, get a piece of cake, cut it in half and then, it's only half the calories!!

Little man now weighs 3370g, he is growing fast! A baby with painful wind in his tummy is no fun at all, but is it wrong to find the resulting incredible wind hilarious?

LinzerTorte Thu 17-Jan-13 17:25:54

Friend attempted to take out my stitches at her kitchen table with a sharp pair of scissors and me holding a torch but unsurprisingly grin conditions weren't ideal, and she only managed to get four of the six of them out. So I'll be going to the GP tomorrow morning, but at least my neighbour said she'd get him to fit me in first thing and I can get a lift into town with her DH.

Grinch I felt absolutely no guilt whatsoever about letting the DDs play out in the snow this afternoon rather than going to Musikkunde - mainly because it would have taken a good hour altogether to walk there and back, and there was no way I was getting the car out. All the snow shovelling I did on the drive has been reshovelled more neatly by our elderly neighbour hmm - I did wonder why we bothered to clear a path up to her house (three times today) if she's capable of shovelling the huge quantities of snow in front of the houses.

Nutella It's amazing how quickly they grow, isn't it? I remember most of the 0-3 month clothes we had for DD1 were far too big for her when she was born, but she'd grown out of them after a month.
It was only with DD1 that I had so much time for reading, as she used to feed for hours on end (half an hour was an extremely short feed for her). The other two would rarely feed for much more than five minutes at a time, which I used to worry about - I'm sure someone (doctor/midwife) told me that they really needed to feed for a minimum of 10 minutes - but they put on weight OK. I hardly managed to read at all with DS, as I had to feed him in a quiet room in the dark... the other two didn't start getting distracted by other people talking etc. until they reached about 6 months, but he would stop feeding at the slightest sound/movement.

admylin I've often read on MN about how much teenagers eat and how they're constantly emptying the cupboards... at the moment I can't imagine mine being like that, as they eat so little even compared with other children younger than them - although DS would probably eat endless sweets if I let him.

Hello smile
I will attempt a post, although I feel a bit like before a house move with lots of packing to do and you dont know where to start. I am not even going to attempt to namecheck. but hopefully I'll be on here again more regularly now which will make it easier to keep up! I have read most of your posts though!

Hello to merlioness and scorchienne! how funny that you are both moving to the same area! I am not too far from Frankfurt myself - about an hour by car. scorchienne your dh' salary should be sufficient. my dh is on about the same, but we have 3dc, and I dont work either. Frankfurt may be slightly more expensive than where we are, but not that much more.
re health insurance. we are on normal state subsidised health insurance. we could go private, but done haveto. as I am not working it would work out much much more expensive with private health insurance.

I did realise that I dont really know where many of you are based at all. I now linzer and platanos are near Vienna, grinch is near Munich and ploom somewhere else in Bavaria, and admylin and nutella are in Hanover. where is everyone else?

we had just a little bit of snow these last few days. I could clear the footpath with a broom rather than a snow shovel, and I have to say I'm quite grateful for that as I still have that stinking cold.

another night for me to take the boys to bed by myself. but it could be much much worse. as ds1 and ds2 need a very strict routine in order to cope, bedtime isnt too bad. each boy gets a little story before bed, so we all start off in ds3' room, then he is put to bed. then off to ds2' room for the 2nd book, then he goes to sleep. and then it's off to ds3 room. overall it takes me 30 mins for all boys to be in bed and be quiet, and i think that's not really too bad is it.

I'm off to my gynaecologist tomorrow morning to finally have the coil removed. I cant wait, just hope it's not too unpleasant.

AntiqueMuppet Thu 17-Jan-13 20:02:16

admylin I don't think we did sell any dvds or cds in the end as they were only offering a euro or so each (even less in some cases) and they wouldn't take dvds which didn't have a German language option, which ruled a lot of ours out, so we didn't bother.

I'm glad it's going so well, Nutella smile I read a lot while bfing but DS used to feed for 2 hours at a time and used to fall asleep and carry on suckling so a bf cushion and my Kindle saved my sanity in the early days! Love the latest picture, he's adorable!

Grinch As far as I could see Lidl only had stuff for knitting and sewing for grown-ups. The only things I really saw for kids were a few Karneval costumes.

Linzer Hope you manage to get the rest of the stitches out without too much trouble in the morning! Will you get a lift home as well or will you have to ski through all the snow?

outnumbered I'm in Wiesbaden, so possibly not too far from you by car (I'll have to ask Google though, my German geography is terrible!) How did bedtime go? Good luck for tomorrow!

scorchienne I think the others have covered insurance already. You should be fine renting on that salary. DH earns less than that and I'm not earnining and we areok. (We have one toddler DC.) Try ImmoScout for rented properties.
Toytown is sometimes quite useful for making contact with people and for general information.
There are loads and loads of expats here and most people speak English. I can't help with Kindergarten I'm afraid as I haven't even registered DS yet, even though it's been on my to-do list for ages. Hope this helps!

antique I just had a look. google says it's exactly 1 hour to Wiesbaden. bedtime was fine. actually when I wrote my last post, all three were already asleep. they still go to bed very early (at 7pm), thankfully, which gives me time to do the housework before putting my feet up.

I remember one of my brothers saying that they sold lots of books, dvds and cds before they moved house a few months ago, and I think they did get ok money for it. I will ask him where they sold it.

nutella that latest picture is so cute! and he really does look so much bigger than in the first pictures you had posted! I am getting started on making baby collages for our boys (something I saw on Kirstie's vintage homes which I really liked), so have been going through their baby pictures too. I cant believe they were ever that tiny!

tadjennyp Fri 18-Jan-13 05:40:10

Hello everyone, hello sorchienne and meerlioness. Hope all is well and you don't get too much more snow. Have been a bit spaced out on tramadol and been to the physio with my back but it feels a bit better now. Have been reading this thread all day but have forgotten most of it apart from snow and cheddar! Will get back on form soon. Good luck tomorrow with the gynae outnumbered and hope you get your stitches out soon Linzer. Hope all little ones have slept nicely for you! (I'm in Oregon btw, but am a German teacher!)

jenny how could i forget you - you live in one of our honeymoon stops smile I remember that spaced out tramadol feeling. I really did not like it. But I'm glad that your back is a bit better.

Off for the pre school run, then snow shoveling before rushing into town for the gynaecologist appt. none of the 'not doing anything' I so thoroughly enjoyed yesterday wink

Weissdorn Fri 18-Jan-13 06:44:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tadjennyp Fri 18-Jan-13 07:25:29

We get a lot of snow here in our part of Oregon weissdorn (as outnumbered will testify smile ) as we are at 3500ft. Our local ski resort is about 40 mins drive up the mountain but it only has just over 2 metres of snow at the moment - need some more! And I need my back to get better so I can go too.

Hope the appt goes well outnumbered. It shouldn't hurt and I hope your cycle regulates itself really quickly.

I am really getting into 'the Sunne in Splendour' thanks to you weissdorn! I have it as an actual book so not using my nook currently. Well done on your baby gaining so fast! Obviously on gold top wink .

Right, back to the book. Good Fridays everyone!

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 15:59:28

<shuffles in nervously>

Ok, so DH is looking at a job in Hamburg. It pays £1300 per week after tax, 12 hour days 5 days per week. There is an opportunity for me to go for the same job, slightly reduced hours (we have a 2 yo DS).

I need to know about everything. We'd need a nanny, possibly a nursery place as well for DS. We've looked at apartments and been very impressed; is furnished the norm? What is life like?

I know there would be a language barrier, but we are both quick and eager to learn. We are both 25.

I don't know what else to put in this post really, but if anyone could help I'd be very grateful.

hello slatternly and welcome smile are you planning to move for a shortish period or longer? Hamburg is a beautiful city bit very big (2nd biggest city in Germany) and quite expensive. were you thinking of living in the centre or suburbs? and where will work be based? there are some gorgeous smaller cities in commuting distance to central Hamburg. I am originally from Lüneburg, which is 30mins by train to the central train station in hamburg. Lüneburg is much more affordable and offers fantastic quality of life. if you need any more info re the north of Germany, feel free to ask.
oh, one thing though, it may be difficult to get a nursery place for your ds, as there are not enough unfortunately. although you may be lucky to be given priority as your ds 'needs' to learn the language. re furnished appt, afaik that's not the norm. most places are unfurnished. and you have to make sure it has a built in kitchen too. how exciting for you smile

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 16:30:27

Thankyou outnumbered smile

We looked on a British expat website and they mostly seemed furnished. It would cost around £4000 to move our worldly goods, and I'm not 100% sure whether to do that or not. Opinions?

We would be working at Hamburg Airport, so fairly central. We would look at an initial period of 2 years before deciding whether to move back, as that would be the point where DS would start school. We would certainly hire a nanny (how do you go about this? What are rates etc?) and would like to place him in a nursery 2 days a week as well, as he is so sociable and chatty and bubbly smile <goes gooey>

Our wage would be about £9000 per calendar month, which is a lot over here but how does that translate over there? Worth it or not?

DH would go out first, set up and I would shut up shop in the UK and follow on 3-4 months later.

I don't want a huge commute as I want to be as close to my DS as I can; 30 minutes would be my maximum, really.

Another thing (and very childish) but... Is it easy to make friends?

will be back on later, trying to manage the chaos that is my life right now wink but your wages sound a lot for Germany too (you said it was after tax, right?) you should be able to find a nice place quite central. I dont know about the furnished...maybe on the expat sites that'S those kind of places are advertised more. as I am not part of the expat scene (I am a GErman who lived in the UK for many years and then returned to GErmany), I really dont know. maybe someone else will come on later who knows more about it. in general, unfurnished places are the norm though. right, really must go...

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 17:06:20

Yes that is after tax, but highly skilled job and 12 hour days.

I am hugely grateful. thanks

It is so daunting, never thought I'd get emotional and clingy over sofas hmm

cheaspicks Fri 18-Jan-13 18:06:56

Hi, slatternlymother. As outnumbered says, that sort of salary will probably stretch slightly further in Germany (even in a major city like Hamburg) than in the UK and you should be very comfortably off.

Things like nursery provision vary wildly from one Bundesland to another. I'm in Thüringia and had no problem getting a full-time place (6am-5pm M-F) for dd from age 2 (not that she goes for those hours, but she could if necessary). I know the situation in the former West is very different, though - very few full time places afaik. The idea of a child going two days a week would be viewed very strangely here at least.

Furnished appartments really aren't the norm and you would have a much wider choice if you don't limit yourselves to looking at furnished places. Remember you can sell on a kitchen, washing machine and any other furniture if you decide to leave in two years, so it's not as expensive as it might seem.

Re making friends: it's not a shallow question. Ime Germans tend to take longer to make friends than Brits, or at least don't seem to make an effort to welcome newcomers. In a place like Hamburg there will be a lot of expats and various English-speaking groups, so probably a lot easier to make English-speaking friends than where I live. grin

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 18:11:21

Thank you so much!

Can I ask why 2 days a week would be viewed as odd? Is it too much? I was hoping to be able to have a nanny as well, and for wraparound care should we need it on nursery days (if we didnt get home until 7pm, say).

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 18:15:04

I know it seems like a long time for a mother to be away from her child every day, but on the weekends we would be off and there is 6 weeks per year paid leave. We could offer him a lot more by both working.

I also have a history of depression, and being isolated in a new country would trigger it again, no doubt. I think throwing myself into work would be the best thing, after a settling in period, obviously.

slatternly right, my boys are in bed - touch wood - so here goes...

re the 2 days at nursery: it will be looked strangely upon for the opposite reason of what you think. most places here will only offer either half day or full day places, but both being for 5 days a week. they arent as flexible as nurseries in the UK where you book your slots. however, some places are more flexible here too but you would have to ring around I guess? I am pretty sure that there is at least one bilingual or international pre-school in Hamburg. they may possibly be more flexible than your standard german 'Krippe' (the German word for nursery.

would hiring an au pair be an option for you? on the salary you mentioned you should be able to afford a big enough house/flat and have money spare to pay for the au pair? the au pair could then go to toddler groups, baby gymnastics and wherever your ds can socialise. Or even if you find a nursery where your ds can go just a couple of days a week, maybe the au pair would be an option for you anyway? I went back to work a few hours a week when ds2 was 11 months old. ds1 wasnt yet at pre school or nursery either. I did end up getting a 'kinderfrau' (nanny) just for the hours that I was gone. we put an ad in the local paper, shortlisted and then did interviews. That nanny was fantastic (7 euros and hour) and we are still in touch now.

i think one does have to make an effort to meet people, but I do think people are welcoming and friendly as a whole. my advice would be to really look at the area where you will rent. I would move into a very family friendly area with lots of other young families. in those areas neighbours tend to socialise a lot with each other ime. so if I was you, I'd rather have a slightly longer commute to work if it means that you will be in a neighbourhood with lots of other people with small children. and Germany really is a lovely place for children to grow up. I am sure everyone else on this thread will say the same smile

Hamburg airport is in the north of the city isnt it. if you are intending to drive to work, rather than public transport (which is very good btw), then Id try to stay on that side of the Elbe river, as the Elbe tunnel in particular constantly gets jammed.

oh, and here you can get an idea of what's for rent. will your work be giving anything towards relocation? both when we moved from the UK to GErmany, as well as 2 years ago when we moved from Lüneburg to where we are now, dh' work payed some or all of the costs. I personally would always prefer to have my own furniture around me than someone elses. I just think it's much easier to actually feel at home.

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 19:06:46

this is the website we are using; I don't know if it's right or not. But it's in guessable German and English. The maximum per month I would spend is 2000 euros per month. I haven't factored in utilities and council tax for this. How much would they be?

Yes, would I be able to get an au pair who lived with us during the week? I had factored about 2000 euros per month for 5 days a week (long days, but he sleeps 6pm-8am but I would want this adjusted so we could put him to bed at night, and naps during the day too). What could I ask an au pair to do? She would have to work the odd Saturday (1in 5) and 6 weeks paid leave. Are those reasonable terms? I think perhaps I'd still try for a nursery place; if we stayed (am open minded), I'd hate for him to not know the language. That worries me a little.

Would we need a car? We currently have car on lease; could we do the same in Germany? Reluctant to buy in case we have to sell 2 years down the line, and we already have a large outlay for furnishing confused

I'm sorry for so many questions blush

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 19:08:21

And yes; we're looking into the cost of shipping our more precious items.

slatterly I will send you a PM

cheas I dont think I knew you were in Thuringia. my mum's side of the family is from near Eisenach, and my SIL is from Schmalkalden. Beautiful area. where abouts are you?

well, we have survived the first week of dh in his new job. he is very pleasantly surprised and seems to be enjoying it. he has been doing silly hours though and wasnt home in time to see the boys on any of the days. Tomorrow night he will have to go out on a business dinner as well. I do hope it's not going to be like this all the time from now on. although, I have to say, the boys are - so far - dealing with it quite well. they have accepted that they only see dh briefly in the mornings, and then not again until the next morning. at least it's the weekend coming up now. I ordered two plastic sledges with steering wheels which should arrive tomorrow - I have probably jinxed it now and all snow will be gone.

slatternlymother Fri 18-Jan-13 19:39:52

Thank you outnumbered I really appreciate that.

Weissdorn Sat 19-Jan-13 10:44:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

slatternlymother Sat 19-Jan-13 10:53:39

weissdorn Thankyou thanks congratulations on your new arrival! How has the care been for you? We are starting (well, I am grin) to slowly come around to the idea of another. Can you recommend the care?

We've been looking at more property (DH was too excited to come to bed; he can't believe how nicely everyone lives), to get an idea of what we'd be moving into. The city itself looks fabulous; I just hope I don't get too lonely before I start working.

<passes out tea and biscuits to any homesick ladies>

Weissdorn Sat 19-Jan-13 14:13:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LentilAsAnything Sat 19-Jan-13 14:31:38

Hi, All. Not been on for a while, trying to cut down my screen time. Well, DS is cutting it down for me! grin

Just a quick reply to the newcomers, as I am in Frankfurt! Hi, Merlioness and scorchienne. Hello, Slatternly, too, though I am not in your area.

To answer some questions.
Yes, it is very easy to get by not being able to speak German. I learnt the phrase for 'Sorry, my German is not very good, do you speak English?' and do ok. I do feel a bit ignorant, and am trying to learn the language, but it is slow going. Same as you where you are, if I do try to speak in German, people just speak back in English, it it obvious to them that their English is better than my German.

We like it here fine. There are lots of parks, lots of well-equipped playgrounds. I find the shops somewhat lacking in variery, but obviously people get by fine, and I have probably just been spoilt by living in London for so long.

€70k is either loads to live on, or not enough, depending on what kind of a slender you are! ;)
I don't know about Kiga and costs, as we don't send DS to one. I do take him to classes (music, gym, indoor play) so I can provide links to those, and there is a decent (if overpriced) soft play place we go to. He is 2.3. I'd be happy to meet up and show you around.
There's also an expat toddler group here, well, a few, I think. We don't go, it's on too early for us, and actually, I would prefer to meet more locals than English-speakers. But there are loads of expats here.

We live in the city, but in an area that has a nice village feel, and shops of its own. Depends what you want! I wanted DH home sooner rather than later after work, so a shorter commute for him, and for DS and I to be able to pootle into town easily rather than the big effort of a longer trip.

Hth, any other questions, do ask, I'll make an effort to check in!

slatternlymother Sat 19-Jan-13 16:10:34

Can I ask if kindergarten is state funded? Or is it something we pay for?

slatternly in most states Kindergarten is state subsidised. I am in one of the few (or only?) states where it is completely state funded. in the other states the contribution varies, and it depends on your joint income. I would think that you will be in the highest bracketwith your income . to give you an idea though, when we were still in Lüneburg, ds1 was at Kindergarten for 4 hours, 5 days a week. dh wasnt in the highest bracket, but close. we paid about 200Euros/month.

bare in mind though, that for under threes in most states you will not have them in the normal Kindergarten but at Krippe, which costs more. we never used a Krippe, so cant tell you how much more exactly.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Sun 20-Jan-13 07:11:12

Helo slatternly - I am in Bavaria and each state is different, but here Kindergarten is subsidised but never (as far as I know) free - it's a bout €120 per month if you just do "core hours" here - which is 8.30-12.30, 5 days a week. Getting full day places is hit and miss, only about 1/3 of places are full day, and where we live full day means 7am-4pm, which is when Kindergarten closes - but we are in the countryside, and also Bavaria is the least likely state to provide childcare geared towards 2 full time working parents/ single parent by the sound of it!

Where we live 2 year olds don't go to Kindergarten - Kindergarten takes children from age 3, Krippe is nursery, and that is where a 2 year old would go but places are scarce. For a state Krippe place you both have to be working, and you have to go 5 days a week - they are subsidised. However there are (much more expensive) private Krippe which don't have rules about working parents and will take children part time.

I have never met anyone here with a nanny but I am sure that is because of where we live (very rural, traditional etc.) I am sure it is perfectly possible and normal in bigger places.

I've had 2 babies here with public insurance and the care is really good - far better than I had in the UK when I had my eldest. However it is very medical/ invasive if you just go with the flow - in Germany you have to say unequivocally what you want, and if you state it clearly and without apology or attempts at subtlety you tend to get what you need - antenatal care tends to be doctor led by default though you can engage a midwife for pregnancy it won't happen automatically, it is down to you to put a package together (find your own ob/gyn and midwife and register at a hospital of your choice for the birth) in that sense care is not "joined up" as it is in the UK.

outnumbered hope your DH's work hours calm down soon!

Weissdorn yay for DD recognising you now

Jenny hope your back is better soon

DD has a friend over atm for a sleepover and DH is grumpy because they have been awake since 4.30am and woke him/ kept him awake being noisy - I am less bothered as it is no different to a normal night for me, he usually sleeps through the multiple night wakings I get up to, so although I agree the girls should have stayed asleep/ quiet til 6am I am less overflowing with indignation and sympathy than he might like :O

itsMYNutella Sun 20-Jan-13 15:20:54

Sorry this is only going to be a moans miserable post. I am really angry and I'm sure I shouldn't be so angry but I can't help it.
Earlier in the week DP was reading something about not putting yourselves under pressure as new parents and avoid all stress (other than a newborn with outrageous gas issues obviously). Then the next day he asked if his parents could come over this weekend for another visit. confused I said I'd prefer not to see them again so soon because they have only been critical thus far and made us both rather sad. Also all they can think about is their grandchild and they feel entitled to visit and see him (they actually asked DP on the phone this week why they are being kept away from their grandchild). DP has explained to them that we have been to hospital twice (once for T -jaundice issue; and once for me - uterus not contracting properly) and we're busy enough just trying to sort ourselves out.

I also pointed out that he had said we should avoid stress and then he had allowed his parents to put pressure on him. Then he had to persuade me to say yes sad I said yes because I know he is always stuck in the middle and feels hugely obligated to say yes.
We try and get out for a walk every day, we all enjoy the fresh air and some daylight.
The PIL were supposed to be here at 16:00. We arrived home from our walk at 15:40 to find them standing on the doorstep. They couldn't agree (between themselves) if we had said 15:30 or 16:00 so decided to come at 15:30 hmm

I think we need to have a talk with them and set up some boundaries. I feel it's unfair that they manipulate DP and don't seem to have a problem doing it. Or am I overreacting?

admylin Sun 20-Jan-13 16:24:42

Nutella I have never had an IL-experience so I can only imagine what you are going through. I don't think you sound like you're over reacting especially if they were critical last time you saw them. Hope your dp can deal with it better next time. shock at the statement that they think they are being kept away from their grandchild.
Is everything going OK otherwise?

slatternly have you been to Germany before? Could you have a few days or a week in Hamburg before you decide to move?

I went with dh to vote today but I wasn't allowed of course and it got me thinking why I don't have a German passport. Anyone ever thought about it? It'd also be so much cheaper (if we do end up staying here) to renew passports, the dc only have German ones now anyway because the British ones were so expensive.

LinzerTorte Sun 20-Jan-13 16:45:12

Nutella Speaking as someone who is still irrationally annoyed, eight years later, about PIL insisting that they couldn't come for their first visit to see DD2 (a wek or two old at the time) without DH's niece, I don't think YABU in the slightest. And particularly not if they're making it all about them/their grandchild and are criticising you. Sounds like a case of PFBgrandchild... Can you get your DH to have another word with them?

admylin A British friend of mine was considering applying for a German passport, but I don't think she's got round to it yet. I've finally come round to the idea that it's far more sensible for the DC to have Austrian passports, but am still stubbornly clinging on to my Britishness. grin Renewing an Austrian passport would certainly be quicker and easier, though.

LinzerTorte Sun 20-Jan-13 16:47:04

Forgot to say hi to slatternly. smile I'm in Austria, don't know the Hamburg area very well and have never lived in Germany with DC so can't help much with your questions, but it sounds like you've had a lot of good advice already.

LentilAsAnything Sun 20-Jan-13 18:00:07

Aw, Nutella, I feel for you. Sorry you are having this stress. Definitely get those boundaries in now. Or move! smile You are not overreacting. They are obviously mega keen to see your baby, and who wouldn't be, but they need to know you need some space too.

nutella I had something similar with my ILs when ds1 was little. My mum was already very ill then, and I would go back to Germany about every two months to see her. Obviously, as ds1 was still tiny, fully breastfed, and dh was working, I took him with me on every trip home. I did try and see the ILs as often as possible too, but one time they had an absolute screaming fit down the phone at dh. How they never got to see ds1, how my parents always got to see him. And then ended with accusing us of only milking them for the money confused. It was all very odd and ott.

After my anger and annoyance had passed I opted for writing then an email. The ILs are not very good at being reasonable or listening, which is why I thought something in writing would be best. I told them that ds1 is very lucky to have grandparents who care so much about him. And I told them that I want to do everything possible so that they can have a close relationship with him. But that they also have to accept that it is not just about ds1 but also about me, and what I need. Can't remember what else, but since that email, that particular issue has never arisen again. I say 'that particular issue' as there have been several other 'issues' I have had to address...
Sigh, the joy of having in laws wink

I hope you get those boundaries set. More stress is the last thing you need! How is ds now? And how are you?

admylin how would you feel about having a German passport? I don't know why - as I really would not call myself patriotic - but I would feel very odd giving up my German passport. I had to renewing twice while in the UK, and it is expensive. But then, it's not that often you have to do it. Would you have any other advantages from having a German passport here?

Hello to everyone else smile

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Sun 20-Jan-13 18:49:48

Nutella you are not over reacting and it is true you can't let them walk all over you now or it will only become the norm and possible get worse!

My MIL (not FIL really although he turned up with MIL every time he never said anything, he was mainly following in her wake) was a bit of a nightmare when we first moved over, expecting to be here all day for one day of each weekend (turning up at about 11am and still being here when I went to bed - I was heavily pregnant and had a toddler) and being hugely critical of my housework standards and attempting to advise me on how to bring up DD, and dropping really snide comments (the British must be used to having servants as Grinch clearly can't manage a house being one). We were here 3 weeks and then I told DH they were not coming over any more or else I was taking DD back to England - they didn't come over for 4 weeks, MIL stopped speaking to us (well DH as I didn't have any interest in contacting her) although FIL stayed in touch - then they/ she decided to cut her losses rather than lose her only grandchildren and invited us over for lunch, nothing whatsoever was said about the blip and she has been much better behaved since - unless I ask for help, which she willingly and generously provides but exacts payment for by delivering long critical lectures which she claims are meant to help... They have always been nothing but good with the kids, and the kids stay with them for a night or two each school holiday (which they don't seem to regard as being asked for help but as time with the grandchildren) the problem has only ever been MIL thinking it was almost her job, and definitely her devine right, to criticise me - and she was successfully put in her place back in 2007, shortly before DC2 was born - and things have been relatively harmonious since smile

So its worth putting your foot down (and remembering you have the only grandchild so all the power in the relationship grin )

admylin aren't there a lot of hoops to jump through to change citizenship? I have always just thought there isn't much of a reason to, the only hassle is renewing a passport once every 10 years, which really isn't very frequently! Wouldn't we have to renounce British citizenship permanently if we took German? I have a German driving licence (I lost my British one) and the kids have German passports - but the kids can choose between the 2 when they are 18 and although I am here for the long haul I don't intend to end my days here - I am thinking about another 18-20 years then on to pastures new once the kids are thoroughly through school and old enough to chose to stay here without us or come with, or live, work or study somewhere else entirely as adults.

slatternlymother Sun 20-Jan-13 18:50:39

Thank you so much for all the fantastic advice; I'm so grateful for the insight.

Merlioness Mon 21-Jan-13 06:10:06

Sorry for late response. You disappeared from my “Threads I’m on” sad

admylin our last day in Singapore is the 30th of November. I reckon we will move that weekend. Fortunately DH’s company pays for the entire move, which means we are being packed up here into sea and air freight and then we get our stuff stored/delivered into our new place in Frankfurt! It’d be hell if we needed to pack. DH likes to “keep stuff”

scorchienne I’m so excited! We are preparing for our move to Frankfurt at the end of the year!

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Oh, I am from Munich. Where are you?

Lentils that is really helpful! Thanks. I’d love to know about the classes and soft-play you are talking about if it’s not too much hassle?
I won’t be in Frankfurt until the end of the year, but would love to meet. My DS is a bit younger than yours.

Nutella I’m sorry sad &#8232;I can’t help much, but wanted to say that YANBU at all. Hope you’re feeling a wee bit better today

Weissdorn Mon 21-Jan-13 06:19:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheMerlion Mon 21-Jan-13 06:52:36

To the citizenship questions. I think the primary benefit of gaining citizenship is the ability to vote. If I'm going to live and pay taxes in a country I'd like to be able to vote there and have some influence on where my tax money is spent.

To knowledge Britain doesn't care if you take up citizenship of another country, it just takes the view that it can't offer you any protection against that country. As for Germany they allowed dual citizenship with EU member states in 2000 (see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_nationality_law). Don't know about Austria

LinzerTorte Mon 21-Jan-13 07:21:40

Merlion Yes, I would have liked to be able to vote in the referendum on military service yesterday (among other reasons, it will affect DS) but only DH was able to go the polls. I voted in the last election in Britain but my right to vote in the UK expires next year so I won't be able to vote in national elections anywhere then.

Austria doesn't allow dual citizenship unless you acquire both citizenships at birth, so the DC are allowed to be Austrian and British citizens (and American too in DD1's case), but I would have to renounce my British citizenship if I became an Austrian citizen - although I can't imagine doing so.

outnumbered Hope your appointment went OK on Friday (? IIRC).

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Mon 21-Jan-13 08:15:12

Ah that's interesting about dual citizenship Merlion

We're near Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm, north of Munich.

The military service thing would theoretically affect my boys too, but I find it weird as in practice military service seems to being phased out - BIL actually tried to do his military service a few years ago, when he was about 22 (he had initially got out of it due to being the 3rd son, which is a get out apparently) when he had been unemployed for several months and couldn't find a new job, and they wouldn't take him! My other BIL got out of it too by moving repeatedly though within the same area (you get a grace period after each move) and then they let him off officially when he reached 30! My DH is the only one of the brothers who actually did it, and he enjoyed it and looks back on it the way a lot of people look back on gap years... I think I need to read up as I don't really get why they are bothering expanding the military service pool to include dual citizens if they are not calling up / accepting the people who are already eligible!

Good morning! More snow has fallen overnight and hardly any footpaths have been cleared yet, meaning my preschool run was similar to you school run the other day linzer. Ds2 has huge problems with transitions, and I have found that if I take ds2&3 to preschool on foot, meltdowns due to transitions are far less likely than if we take the car. Not quite sure why, maybe the transition from home to kiga seems smoother...anyway for that reason I always use the double pushchair unless its pouring down. It wasn't too bad today though, and it's one of the many days I am so glad we invested in a Phil&Teds when ds2 was born.

linzer my appt went well, I didn't feel a thing. Thank you for asking smile I will now try without hormones and see how I get on wrt period pain. Apparently something called Mönchspfeffer helps with heavy and painful periods, so I am giving that a go. My gaeny is a bit odd though. She doesn't greet anyone outside her actual treatment room, even if she walks past you in the corridor. Once in the room she is nice but VERY talkative.

Anyway I must get some work done this morning so had better get on with it smile

My ILs aren't all bad btw. But I think the reason I find them manageable is because we don't live very close and this don't see them very often. When they do come to stay it is usually after day two that I look forward to having the house to ourselves again. Not so bad if it is just MIL, but my FIL I find very hard work. He is the type of good-weather- opa. He likes spending time with the children if they are quiet and well behaved. Which is about 1% of the time grin

slatternlymother Mon 21-Jan-13 08:39:56

theukgrinch but I read on the BBC website that national service had been phased out in 2011? Is that changing/not correct?

Half an inch of snow here and DS' nursery is theatening to close hmm

God, I hope things are better in Germany.

LinzerTorte Mon 21-Jan-13 09:08:28

We had a referendum yesterday on whether military service should be phased out here, but the majority voted to keep it. I think the army is pretty pointless, but apparently the emergency services would fall apart without all the Zivildiener - heaven forbid they should employ people who are actually interested in it as a career and pay them a proper wage. grin A friend of mine hasn't got her DS an Austrian passport so that he doesn't have to do military service and I'm gespannt as to whether she'll be able to get away with it - it seems a bit of a "too good to be true" solution to me.

slatternly Despite several feet of snow last week, everyone's expected to go about their daily lives as usual - I was glad the schools the DC go to are within walking distance though, as I really wouldn't have fancied driving. The roads and pavements were cleared fairly quickly (although it did take longer than usual this time), but all the snow piled up at the side of the roads can be a bit of a pain if you a) have a pushchair, b) are looking for a parking space.

outnumbered Glad the appointment went well (I must admit I was quite relieved to hear it, after reading recently about how awful someone else found the procedure!). I hope the Mönchspfeffer helps. How weird about your gynae - I remember reading ages ago that Germans have public and private faces, and the same people who can be quite rude to strangers are actually very friendly when you get to know them; maybe she has her public face on when she's not in her office!

linzerhmm maybe. I always think its so unnecessary to ignore people. A little smile or a 'hello' makes such a different. Very different to our paediatrician who madly waves at me every time he sees me. Not in his surgery, that would also be quite odd grin but on the street as he lives near us.
I had also made the mistake of googling 'Taking out mirena' before my appt and read about women saying it was painful. But there were also loads saying how painful it was to have it fitted, how they were in pain for days etc. and as it wasn't painful for me to have it fitted, I decided to ignore those comments about having it removed smile

I actually got lots done this morning. It is such a nice feeling, which unfortunately I do not get very often wink. I now have an up-to-date CV to send off, have sorted out ds2' appt for ADOS testing in Frankfurt. (We do have a diagnosis from Homburg, but I am not happy with the diagnosis or the report so decided to have him re-assessed somewhere where they have very experienced people), talked to the Kurklinik in Cuxhaven...and now I will have a well-earned rest.

I hope the snow shoveling is manageable linzer and ploom smile

admylin Mon 21-Jan-13 11:30:40

outnumbered Could you get a date for your Kur?Cuxhaven is lovely, it's on our list of places to visit this year and hopefully stay a night or two. Last year we left it too late and all the hotels were fully booked.
Well done on getting all your jobs done! I've just been down to clear the drive and path and it's snowing like mad again so I'll have to go again if I want the car out later.

Linzer it's a pain when you don't get to vote isn't it? That's what got me thinking about it as Niedersachsen voted yesterday but I couldn't. I'm not really interested in voting in the UK as I don't live there or even have a home there!

slatternly yes, the military service stopped in Germany a few years ago. A colleague of dh who is a military doctor told us at dinner recently that the German armed forces are going to have to set up a whole new recruiment system. They used to be able to recruit from those men who had enjoyed the military service and wanted stay on.

Better get my cake out of the oven and start on lunch so it's ready when my starving teens get in at one. They were eating constantly all day yesterday so I'm going to have to shop again later to stock up. Ds is learning to cook and he's decided on Japanese food so all very 'different' but he looks it all up and watches videos on youtube so I'm not complaining and he only does it at the weekend.

itsMYNutella Mon 21-Jan-13 16:03:30

Thanks everyone, I know we are rather sleep deprived and its easy to get over emotional about silly things. Apparently they did apologise (most of the time they were here I was busy, first DS needed changing, then of course we had a poosplosion and he needed some fresh clothes then he fed for an hour) but when we arrived FIL said that they were just about to leave... I wish I'd known wink
We haven't figured out how to deal with them but hopefully if they see us being knackered and realise that they can't play with a three week old and take him shopping/on holiday/ to restaurants they might calm down a bit... Or we'll just have to look more seriously into moving wink

Sorry to all those shovelling snow! I've checked the rota for our building and we're not up for path sweeping duty till April -phew!

platanos Tue 22-Jan-13 07:24:18

Morgen! Waiting to take ds to his school registration doodah so have some time to post.

nutella sorry to hear you have had to go back to hospital. is all okay now? you are all adjusting to a new life, with new priorities (probably youra are as much sleep and peace and quiet?) and the ILs will have to adjust too. I hope you can find a firm way of letting them know. And of course as the baby gets older then he can spend more time with the ILs and give you a wee break.

outnumbered hope you feel better without the coil. My gynae gave me some herbal teas for my PMS and I must say they seem to help (when herbal teas do the trick - have I been here too long?wink)can you go on the Kur - will it work out okay with dh's new job? Hope the Frankfurt testing gives you a better feeling. are you looking for a job too?

adymlin- a teenage son who teaches himself to cook japanese? a dream come true! smile.

weissdorn - how did trying on dresses go? Hope it was not too stressful.

Linzer I was also a bit hmm at the results of the referendum, but more so at the reasons. But it is also a while before DS is affected so things might change....on the other hand, this being Austria, they might not grin. Which reminds me I was most impressed with dd's Sachunterricht text book which explained sex and said that after organism, the man and the woman felt relaxed and happy. And I thought this was a catholic country where sex=procreation wink. I can't remember ever being told something like that when I was at school.

Hello to slatternly merlion and schorchienne and good luck with planning moves. I an not in germany so am afraid I am no use.

right, better go and brush my hair before going into the school. school headmisstress is always ever so dressed up (my dds are amused by her high, high heels), and I feel her judgemental up and down look whenever I meet her.

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 08:01:33

platanos shock at that text book! And at Volksschule, as well... I don't think even DD1 has covered more than parts of the body yet. I was talking to DH about military service yesterday and he agreed that, as Germany has only just phased it out, it will probably be a decade or two before that happens in Austria. grin (Are your DC Austrian citizens btw? I seem to remember you saying they have German passports.) Hope the school enrolment goes well!

Nutella Hopefully your PIL will get the message before too long, plus being sleep deprived can really magnify everything; I can remember how furious I was once when MIL phoned and woke DD1, just after I'd finally got her off to sleep - I could have cried and probably did. Once your DS is a little older and they can do more with him, you'll probably appreciate their involvement a lot more!

admylin Am very impressed by how adventurous your DS is; I wouldn't even know where to start with Japanese food. I'm not too bothered about losing my right to vote in the UK either, but it doesn't seem quite fair that I don't gain a right to vote here instead unless I relinquish my British citizenship.

outnumbered Oh, I definitely agree - it's no excuse. I get very annoyed by people who refuse to acknowledge you even if you say hello to them. And well done on your productive morning yesterday - speaking of which, I really must get on now...

DH is flying to a conference in London later on today; he was on the verge of cancelling after hearing about the chaos in Heathrow at the weekend, but apparently things are back to normal now (or so he's been assured by the conference organisers). It's a shame that it's not long since we came back from the UK; I could have given him a longer shopping list otherwise. grin

slatternlymother Tue 22-Jan-13 08:15:49

Linzer What do you miss the most about the UK? What do you miss food/drink wise if anything? <random question>

platanos it looks like I can go on the kur. Dh does get home very late, but the main thing is that he gets home- hopefully before da1 bedtime. And in the morning he can put him on his preschool bus and the go to work. For the arvos I have the integrationshelfer here, and late afternoon one of the babysitters will come until dh gets home. Actually I am just waiting for both our babysitters so that we can work out a rota who'll be here on which days. I just hope ds1 won't feel completely abandoned sad

Yes, I really want to start working a few hours again. Can't see myself teaching atm because I just don't know how and when to do preparations, marking etc. especially as languages require so much marking. I want to try and get a part time position as a pädagogische Fachkraft, which I guess would be like a teaching assistant. 'Inklusive schulen' is a big thing in Rheinland Pfalz and I have heard through the grapevine that a second primary school on Kaiserslautern had applied to be one. I am hoping that if I apply now, before its common knowledge, I might be in for a chance. I think I would enjoy that kind of work, however I am not sure I woul enjoy the lesser pay compared to teaching...

I have ds2 at home today with a feverish cough.

slatternly there will always be things you miss. I miss some foods, vegetarian varieties, typical pubs and pub lunches, wide variety of hot chocolate drinks .... But when away from Germany I miss things like the bread, the cafe culture, being able to cycle everywhere, fantastic public transport, children being able to play outside a lot, and in general big airy houses at affordable(ish) prices. There are always good and bad points about every country I guess. smile

linzer I hope your dh gets to the conference without major hiccups!

Right, ds2 hacking away and crying for me do better go..

admylin I have heard Cuxhaven is nice. And yes, that's where we are heading! Hopefully weather will be ok and not too cold. Getting there will be interesting though- eight hours by train! Right really must go grin

slatternlymother Tue 22-Jan-13 08:42:57

outnumbered oh so it would be worth us hanging onto our bikes then?

admylin Tue 22-Jan-13 08:47:00

Linzer hope your dh doesn't get stuck on his way back from London (with your shopping)! What's on the list?
I don't know anything about Japanese food at all but ds just looks it all up on google and watches step by step videos on youtube.

platanos very advanced Sachunterricht there! Ds had his first round of sex info last year in year 8, a week long project week including rolling condoms over a banana, think it was called sexualkunde! Dd is doing it next month.
Hope the school registration goes smoothly.

Dd and I are thinking of doing another vegan week but she's stuck when it comes to satisfying her sweet tooth. Last time we did it she stood infront of the chocolate and sweet shelves reading all the ingredients but couldn't find anything she could buy!

slatternly the longer you're here, the less you tend to miss (I find), at first it was loads of things but now I'm down to missing marmite and branston. You might find the opening hours a bit of a pain at first too as shops are all closed on Sunday and only a few stay open later than 8pm in the week.

slatternlymother Tue 22-Jan-13 08:51:04

Oh really? Even shopping malls closed on Sunday? Wow, that is different. So if we're working all week, it's going to be a challenge then. Silly question, do you have online shopping? Like Tesco online delivery?

admylin Tue 22-Jan-13 08:53:36

No internet shopping I'm afraid! Oh that's another thing I would miss if I'd ever experienced it. I left the UK before internet shopping even started. Some of the bigger supermarkets stay open until 10pm around here.

admylin Tue 22-Jan-13 08:57:46

Meant to ask Nutella - no sweeping duty until April does that mean you have the whole month to do? Do you feel sorry for the Mieter who are on December and January duty?!

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 09:16:55

slatternly I miss the shops, um... that's about it really! I would probably miss online shopping too if it had been around when I lived in the UK. Most of what I miss is shopping related... there are no charity shops where we live to browse around/take things to, I miss shops like Boots and Superdrug (there is DM, but it's not the same IMO), and then there are the opening hours of course (although at least shops open on a Saturday afternoon now). Most of the other things I used to miss I've either got used to living without or can get them here somehow - my parents record British TV programmes for us (would really miss TV otherwise) and I often download Radio 4 podcasts or sometimes listen via the Internet. I do miss the Sunday papers, but I suppose that's shopping related as well. Food and drink wise, I mainly miss Cadbury's (but they've changed the taste! I might end up switching to Milka...), biscuits (especially chocolate hobnobs!) and Indian food. But like outnumbered said, there are plenty of things about life in Austria (very similar to Germany, but a few years behind grin) that I'd miss if I moved back to Britain.

admylin It's a very short list this time - Omega 3s and multivitamins for the DC, a couple of magazines and I think that's it! I'd love to go too and do some book shopping, but that will have to wait until the summer.
Can you not get vegan chocolate? I'm sure I've seen it somewhere like DM or Reformhaus type places. I'd find it very difficult to live without chocolate and coffee (with milk!).

outnumbered Teaching without the preparation and marking sounds good! I think all the preparation involved was one of the things I enjoyed least when I was teaching, although I probably made it more time-consuming than it had to be.

slatternlymother Tue 22-Jan-13 09:26:50

"..at least shops open on a Saturday afternoon now..." shock

YY to TV, I think we'd try and get a decent wifi service and just watch 4OD BBC iPlayer, as they'd be the main ones we'd miss. I guess there's no point in getting Sky over there as we won't understand any of it! Do UK DVD's work over there? I'm not too bothered, but DS is partial to a bit of Peppa Pig now and then.

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 09:34:00

slatternly That was about 20 years ago when I lived in Berlin (I was a student and getting up in time to get to the shops before they closed for the weekend was always quite a struggle!); things have moved on since then. smile

Yes, British DVDs work over here without any problems; my parents send us a regular supply (for both us and the DC). Not sure about watching 4OD and iPlayer abroad, though; you never used to be able to watch iPlayer overseas (although there were ways round it/you could subscribe to sites that would give you access), but I think they may have introduced a subscription service now, albeit with fewer programmes available IIRC.

On balance, I'm sure I'd miss more things about life here if we moved back to the UK than what I miss at the moment. IME health care is excellent in both Germany and Austria; I can put up with missing hobnobs (which I can import anyway) if it means I get access to good healthcare! It's also more common to see specialists here, e.g. you routinely take your DC to a paediatrician, go to a gynaecologist for smear tests etc. and can go to a dermatologist for skin checks.

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 09:37:27

OTOH you may be able to pick up British TV in Germany anyway; friends of ours near Hannover just have a normal satellite dish and can get all the British freeview channels. envy

slatternlymother Tue 22-Jan-13 09:57:32

Linzer perhaps we watch too much TV anyway, we're very guilty of just having the TV on in the evening and watching any old shit that pops on. It might do us some good, and watch a few more DVD's and watch on demand stuff as and when we can.

Yes, from what I've read on here the healthcare looks amazing; do you just sign up to a monthy insurance system and go from there?

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 10:06:48

Hello all. I don't know if you remember me popping in about a year ago when DP first mentioned possibly moving to Germany, I ended up avoiding the threads a bit because it's been a crazy year - he's been out there 6 months now - not knowing if I wanted to take the leap, wondering if our relationship would survive the distance - very emotional.

Anyway, we got engaged just before Christmas grin and I'd already decided by that point that I definitely, 100% am going and so we're planning the move for late August which is simultaneously exciting and terrifying and I'm really sad about leaving all my friends here etc - but it's happening grin So thought it was about time I got back onto the thread.

I'm doing a CELTA course currently so that I can teach English when I get out there, I think this should pay a bit better than shop work etc, and also require less German, since I'm not sure at what level my German will be by the time we move over. At the moment it's barely more than nil.

Also DP is having a bit of a stressful time at the minute and is missing English food etc so am looking for suggestions to put in a care package for him.

we have a satellite dish and receive most of the UK freeview channels! we also have dvb-t aerial which means we also receive a few German channels.

re no shopping on a sunday - you do get used to it. when we first returned to Germany took a while to adjust and I kept forgetting that we cant go shopping (bakeries are open on SUnday mornings though). especially as dh was away mon-fri, which means all shopping had to be done on a saturday, unless I fancied taking three young children shopping on my own.

around here all supermarkets are until 10pm though, MOn-sat. it's only other shops that close at 8pm, and some at 6pm.

overall internet shopping is good here, I find. and amazon prime is my best friend smile

slatternlymother Tue 22-Jan-13 10:18:31

Oh well that's good outnumbered. I don't suppose you could give me the names of any naice supermarkets? We are usually Sainsburys/Waitrose/M&S frequenters, what would be the equivelent over there?

hmm, I usually shop at Lidl and Aldi (and I think the quality at those two is better here than in the UK), and only go to other shops for whatever I cant get at Lidl or Aldi. Equivalent to those you mentioned would probably be EDEKA, REWE and Real?

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 10:40:37

slatternly Yes, the good thing about only watching DVDs is that we limit ourselves to half an hour or an hour of viewing a night. We only have the two Austrian channels otherwise, and there's rarely much on worth watching! I'm sure I'd waste far more time watching TV if I was in the UK.

Am not too sure about health insurance as it's been a while since I lived in Germany, but I'm sure others on the thread will be able to help.

Hello Bertie and congratulations on your engagement. smile Does he like tea/biscuits/chocolate/crisps? DH probably misses cheese most, but that's not the easiest thing to send.

outnumbered Yes, the bakeries being open on a Sunday morning is very handy if you run out of essentials. I don't think I've ever been to a supermarket here (D/A) that I would describe as naice, but I do like Lidl and Aldi - I find Aldi slightly better quality, but go to Lidl more often as it's easier to get to. It's amazing how much money you can save by shopping there; I can get a trolley full(ish) at Lidl for around €20, but put a few things in my trolley at Billa etc. and end up spending €30 or more!

Re health insurance I am not sure tbh. Reason being that slyternly bill be in a very high income bracket. I am not sure if you'll be able to choose between state subsidized and private insurance? Or if you HAVE to go private with such high income?

With state subsidised you would find up one of the insurers (techniker krankenkasse have a very good reputations, we are very happy with ours (bkk Mobil oil) as well). Maybe ring them up and ask? Costs are then split between yourself and your employer.

If you intend to be working anyway, private may be an option anyway. With sahm it works out more expensive, as one has to be separately for the sahm and children, whereas in state subs sahm and children are included on the working partners insurance.

But as I said, it's possible that you don't have a choice to go state subs anyway due to your income.

admylin Tue 22-Jan-13 11:11:13

Linzer that's a good price for a trolley full. I usually go to Lidl but my trolley full costs around 50€ on avarage although I buy those small bottles of water and juice for school that add up. My dc like the fizzy water and apple juice mixed with water. When my dh goes into Rewe he'll come out with a small bag full for over 30€! Good job he doesn't do the family shop or we'd be bankrupt.
I also remember the rush to get to the shops before 2pm on a weekend! Thank goodness that changed. It used to be 'late night' shopping on a Thursday until 8pm otherwise weekdays all shops closed at 6pm! It was really hard to spend your money back then!

slatternly I noticed last time I was in the UK that grocery shopping was ALOT more expensive than here. I'd say REWE is the only naice (at a push) supermarket around where I live (Hanover) although you can't compare them really.

Hi Bertie welcome back! Congratulations on the engagement. Howoften do you see get to see each other at the moment if dp is already in Germany? Good luck organising everything. In my ideal care package there would be marmite, branston, a few (local) english newspapers/magazine, fudge, aniseed balls and some aspirin/paracetamol from boots!

admylin Tue 22-Jan-13 11:15:31

outnumbered we also chose to stay in state when dh started earning too much to be insured automatically through work. We got a letter to say we could go private or stay in the state insurance. I think you have to have been in the state insurance for atleast a year to go freiwillig though or maybe I didn't understand the whole letter we got. We were thinking rather stay in the AOK than start hunting around for the best deals etc but for families it's definatley cheaper.

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 11:35:46

admylin Describing it as a trolley full was a bit of an exaggeration, but my weekly shop at Lidl generally costs between €20 and €30. The same amount at anywhere other than Aldi would cost at least €50, but I do buy a lot of things like yogurt at Lidl which are very cheap but fill up the trolley! I can imagine a proper trolley full would cost €50, but getting on for €100 anywhere else.

Has anyone tried the Lidl fudge yet? It's made by Hatherwood, which I suspect is Lidl's-own-brand-for-British-week, so I'm always a bit suspicious of it (I'm sure no bona fide British company would sell fish and chips in the same bag).

admylin Tue 22-Jan-13 12:04:25

No we didn't try the fudge this time. Have you seen these before? I think they're abit like fudge. I've seen them in Lidl and Rewe. Might be an alternative for when the British week is finished. Edeka have own brand baked beans too now alot cheaper than the Heinz version that they also sell.

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 12:23:18

I haven't seen those before, will have to look out for them. We can get own-brand beans here for about 70 cents; I'm amazed that anyone buys Heinz. I can remember being shock to find that Heinz beans cost over 3 DM when I first went to Germany, back in the days when they only cost about 5p a tin in the UK.

DD1 seems to have an endless round of tests and Schularbeiten at the moment. She got 7/10 in her last English test and got a 3, which I thought was a bit harsh - it's 70%, after all (think I need to forget about the British marking system!).

hupa Tue 22-Jan-13 12:36:34

Hello to slatternly,Bertie* and any other newbies that I´ve missed. Where abouts will you be moving to Bertie?

I don´t think any of the German supermarkets could really be described as naice and will probably come as a bit of a shock to begin with, especially if you´re used to eating ready meals - they hardly exist here at all. On the plus, I can easily walk round a supermarket here and find nothing to tempt me, whereas in the UK I really have to restrain myself, so it keeps costs down. The nicest supermarket here is Tegut, but I don´t think they´re overall in Germany.

I´m not sure about the health insurance. I´m in the state system with TTK and dh and the children are in private with Hallesche and both have been fine.

admylin I haven´t tried those, but I did manage to get some great fudge from TK Maxx a few weeks ago.

Linzer I still haven´t made it to Lidl, so can´t comment on the fudge. I must admit I´m always a bit hmm about those Lidl fish and chips.

Outnumbered I´m really pleased you´re going to manage to go on your Kur. I haven´t been to Cuxhaven, but a friend went there last year and had a lovely time.

slatternlymother Tue 22-Jan-13 12:53:15

Congratulations on the engagement Bertie!

We don't eat ready meals; I can never get on with then, probably the quickest thing we have is frozen peas or chips and I'm sure those must be available.

I think over here, a whole pastime has been built up around naice supermarkets, which is probably a bit sad. They all have cafes and coffee shops in them so you can make a trip of it hmm

Weissdorn Tue 22-Jan-13 14:36:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 22-Jan-13 14:37:59

Hello, yes I was having a dozy day about the military service, I thought it had only stopped happening rather than been officially cancelled if that makes sense.

When I first came over to meet DH's parents shops didn't open past 2pm on a Saturday, and that was 12 years ago, not 20... but even here in Bavaria they open til somewhere between 6 and 9pm on Saturday, depending on the shop. Be prepared for shops (not supermarkets but almost everything else - including bakeries ironically) shutting for lunch too - for several hours sometimes. (Bavaria anyway, not sure about other places)

I have heard that there is an internet shopping service in central Munich, in a very narrow post code area, so maybe it will catch on a bit more widely some time... I know people who use Amazon Prime for things like nappies... but no, no internet shopping in the way it exists in the UK.

We have a satellite dish for UK TV but do also need a decoder box, and the UK channels are all being moved to a new satellite at some undisclosed point in the medium term future and we may not be able to receive them without a very large dish then - we have already lost some channels, such as CITV and E4, though we still have the important ones (BBC1&2, ITV, Channel 4 and of course crucially cbeebies)

Bertie congratulations - My DH (who is German but lived in England for 7 years) missed salt and vinegar crisps and cider :D

Slatternly food wise TEA - the tea you get here is not the tea you buy in the UK, so if you are a PG Tips/ Yorkshire Tea or whatever drinker buy in bulk in the UK or find an internet supplier. Also Cadburies - despite great choc here cadburies is a comfort you can't get here. Oh and decent biscuits to have with tea, the biscuits here are wrong... Baking supplies are also different - you can't get self raising flour which threw me for almost a year til I got my head around using baking powder blush and you can't get golden syrup, so can't make flapjacks or crispy cakes with the DC... malt vinegar is another thing you can't get, although as of course there are no fish and chip shop chips that is less of a big deal, but something I miss.

I miss Indian food esp take aways but there are good Indian restaurants to be found, they are just not plentiful like in the UK - our nearest is a 45 minute drive. Some of the things I miss would be findable in a big city so I think I will stop going on, and come back and catch up on the thread again later as I have 5 kids in the house and I think I need to check why it has got so loud upstairs, plus the toddler needs attention rather than watching whatever comes on next on cbeebies - I put it on for Something Special and Show Me Show me and meant to switch it off straight after, oops blush

Weissdorn Tue 22-Jan-13 14:38:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AntiqueMuppet Tue 22-Jan-13 15:30:14

Afternoon!

Linzer I quite liked the fudge! It wasn't a fancy Cornish clotted cream fudge or anything but it went down a treat in our house. I think British week might be over now though so we'll have to wait until next time to get some more. I think Hatherwood is Lidl's own brand.

I can't remember who was asking but I second Grinch's statement about tea! I need two teabags to make a cup of tea if I buy black tea here, but I tend to stock up on PG Tips when I'm back in the UK and make anyone coming to visit bring me a box too.

outnumbered Good news about your Kur! Do you have a date for it yet?

admylin You'll have to report back on your DS' Japanese cooking! I bet it will be really interesting to learn to cook Japanese food.

Welcome back, Bertie and congratulations on your engagement! Whereabouts will you be moving to?

Hello slatternlymother! Whereabouts are you moving to? (You've probably mentioned it already and I missed it.) Edeka is quite a nice supermarket, as is Tegut (round here, anyway) but not quite what you'd call naice. Perfetto in Karstadt (a department store) is naice-ish but quite pricey.

Hi platanos & hupa!

<waves> to anyone I've missed.

DS has discovered forward rolls as the most entertaining thing. Unfortunately he only seems to want to do them on the sofa, which is making me a little nervous. He almost threw himself down the hard, steep, wooden stairs yesterday so we seem to be in full-on kamikaze mode again this week!

linzer I did really like the Lidl fudge, but wasnt trying to compare it to anything. But the cheese they had this time was much much nicer than the Hatherwood one they had the last few times.

this time of year is always so stressful, both for teachers as well as pupils. but i am shock at all the negative comments from all the teachers. another thing I just find so unnecessary. I always always tried to put something positive down, trying to encourage to do better rather than putting them down. and I always avoided using red pen smile

weissdorn I agree. in the first instance I would always advise to choose state health care, and possibly opt for 'private Zusatzversicherung', although we dont even have that and are fine (touch wood). later one can always change to private - and then will always have the option to go back to state. I am just not sure if you can enter the state system on a high income if you havent been in the German state insurance system previously.

grinch I remember shops having a 'lunchbreak' for a couple of hours too. but that stopped along with the saturday closing times. at least in Lüneburg it did at least 12-15 years ago, and here in Kaiserslautern shops are open throughout lunchtime too. i wish bank were open on saturdays though!!!
another thing I had to get used again though were doctors surgeries being shut over lunchtime, doctor's surgeries being shut on a Wednesday afternoon and hairdressers usually being shut on a monday.
grinch how come you lost some channels? does your satellite dish possibly need adjustment? we have a 90 cm dish btw, and we dont have any problems. actually, the only channel we dont seem to get is CHannel 5, so no Neighbours, Home&Away and Big Brother, but I can live without that grin

why cant you get Golden syrup? isnt it the same as Zuckerrübensirup? I dont like it personally, but I know my MIL always has some as she eats it on her toast <shudders>

I ordered huge packets of PG Tips from Amazon.de, and it wasnt actually too exxie. well worth the money anyway, as antique I think the GErman tea is just far too weak!

antique our Kur starts on Feb 20th, so not long to go!! and I think I mentioned that I am allowed to take a Begleitperson with me? usually they want a relative to accompany, but I dont have one as MIL is still not well enough. but I rang and asked if a friend would be able to come for the first few days, to help me get the boys settled (ds2 is likely to find the change very difficult), ad it's ok. meaning I get to spend 4 days with an old school friend whom I usually see once a year at the most, and then only for about an hour!

I had to laugh at your description of ds doing forward rolls. ds3 loves doing them too. and his official nickname is 'kamikaze kid': I dont know if I have become more relaxed about it due to him having two older brothers, but I have become a bit 'oh look ds3 has another huge bruise on his forehead'. I only worry if there is blood too grin

hello to hupa and everyone else!

for you grinch this is the syrup I mean. you can get it in all supermarkets, should be in the same aisle as honey, jam etc smile

oh, and following everyone's dicussions about naicesupermarkets, I have realised that I have no idea what that word actually means blush what's the definition?

and Marmite I absolutely do not miss the first time I was offered some toast with it on I spat it out thinking something had gone off

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 20:06:49

outnumbered naice is just a MN word for nice (it makes me think of nice said in a posh accent) and is often used in conjunction with ham - again, only on MN - IIRC someone once found a shopping list in a trolley with "nice ham" on it.

I've never noticed Zuckerrübensyrup here, but it looks darker than golden syrup; I don't suppose it matters if the taste and consistency are the same, though. I actually have two full jars in my cupboard atm (I forgot I'd already brought some back from the UK when I was overexcited to find it at M&S in Bratislava a while back), which have no doubt expired by now and show I can probably live without it. grin I don't miss Marmite either; it isn't a taste I've ever acquired.

As further proof that Austria lags behind Germany somewhat, it would be extremely difficult to find a supermarket here that stays open much later than 7 pm (they close earlier on a Saturday) - the only place I can think of that stays open later is Ikea (9 pm). Smaller shops closing for lunch is also still common here. DH was complaining that the chemist near to where he works is closed from 12-2 pm, and his lunch break is the only time he can really go as he starts work before they open and leaves after they've closed. I could sort of understand it if it were a one-person business, but he said no - there are several people working there. And who gets two hours for lunch?

Antique and outnumbered That's good to know about the fudge; I treated myself to four packets yesterday, but haven't got round to opening them yet. I did open the cheese today though, which is definitely much nicer than the Hatherwood one.

Have just had an e-mail from DH to say he's arrived OK in London. I've only just remembered that I wanted to ask him to buy a book for me, so hope I'm not too late as I think he was planning to fit his shopping in today; he may be able to find it at the airport tomorrow, I suppose.

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 20:09:48

Food and drink wise, I've just remembered something I'd miss almost as much as the bread if I moved back to Britain - decent affordable wine! I'm just shock at the prices when I go back to the UK.

<shouts at Linzer> DONT OPEN THE FUDGE!!! you'll regret it! both of my packets were gone within 12 hours max!

thank you for enlightening me re the naice. grin

and yes, you are right, pharmacies close during the lunch hours too! it always annoys me when I forget, walk down and find it shut.

my favourite white wine is from Lidl. until recently it was 1.99, but the price has now increased to 2.19. when I was at my friend's in Lancaster in May, we went to Lidl to see if we could get the same one. we found it. But it was nearly 4 pounds!!

AntiqueMuppet Tue 22-Jan-13 20:29:09

Linzer I'd really miss the good, cheapish wine too! We live in a wine-growing region & the quality & choice is generally great here.

A quick question for all the lucky people who get British tv: Which satellite do you have? We have Astra in the new house so I bought a receiver today but the only British channel we have is BBC World. We have loads of Polish & French but no British sad

outnumbered grin at kamikaze kid! I was quite worried about a really red bruise on ds' jawbone today until I touched it, realised it was sticky & that he had had jam on his toast this morning blush

BertieBotts Tue 22-Jan-13 20:40:21

Thank you all for the well wishes smile We'll be moving to Karlsruhe, at the moment seeing each other only once every 2-3 months which is pretty hard. But we're both independent people and we speak a lot on Skype, so it's doable. I'm hoping to spend Easter over there, DS hasn't been out yet, so would be nice to do the full two weeks. I haven't actually applied for his passport yet shock

I don't think he misses tea but he did like the cappuccino mixes you can get here - do they have such a thing in Germany? Last time I went I was instructed to bring as much Lemsip as I could stuff in my suitcase grin Paracetamol on it's own is a good one to remember too - it's really expensive there I hear?

LinzerTorte Tue 22-Jan-13 20:48:20

Antique We're in a wine-growing area too, although bottles are often cheaper at Lidl than from the Heurigen. I can't imagine being able to go out and have a glass of wine in the UK for under a pound like we do here, though. It would definitely put me off moving back!

outnumbered Thanks for the fudge warning! I'm now in bed so won't be tempted until tomorrow at least... Re naice, I meant to say I see it as a combination of nice and posh. Everyone at the piano concert this evening was very naicely dressed - apart from us. I'd been slightly stressed beforehand so hadn't even thought of trying to coax the DDs into dresses (even if DD1 would no doubt have refused).

bertie hello smile I always thought the choice of cappuccino mixes is much better here than in the UK? It was one of the things I actually used to stuff my suitcase with after a trip back to Germany, as I never found anything nice in the UK. Here they have lots of different varieties.

antique it is a different Astra you need. Something like Astra 2d and h?! We ended up paying someone to adjust it for us as we could do it ourselves. It cost 50 euros, took them 5 mins but at least it worked!
smile at the jam bruise on your ds face!

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Tue 22-Jan-13 21:15:03

Antique you need Astra 2 apparently, DH tells me there are lots of Astra satellites - he is now explaining complicated things about letters after the number - currently most British stuff is on Astra 1 N but is moving to 2F. German channels also come over Astra satellites but at 19 degrees east, where UK channels are at 28.2 degrees east... (Disclaimer I am taking dictation from DH and do not understand what I am typing)! Your DS sounds very cute and also very normal - your heart skips more beats when a PFB does foreward rolls on the sofa than when a P3rdB actually falls off the top bunk of his older sibling's bed though I suspect grin

Outnumbered I think geographical location also makes a difference to how well you can receive satellite signals. That is definitely not golden syrup ;) You really can't get it here, and I have tried all sorts of other syrup options, but none of them quite work - I wouldn't eat it on toast, it is a baking ingredient. Enjoy your Kur! Sounds very nice, with a friend in tow and everything!

I think rural Bavaria may be more like Austria in a lot of ways, as the 3 hour lunch breaks for smaller shops are most definitely still going strong, as is half day closing every Wednesday and small local shops are still only open in the morning on Saturday. The nearest village shop to us (in a village 4.5km away) also closes entirely for the whole of August! The doctors have even more limited opening hours, being open either morning or afternoon Mon-Fri in general, rarely both. On the other hand they still make house calls without complaint smile

There are most definitely huge pros to living here as well as cons btw - for me the independence and freedom children have is by far and away the biggest pro, though the cheap wine is excellent too - our standard is Edika €1.99 Pino Grigo (which I have possibly misspelt)

I have missed loads of posts in my catch up but am just home from work and have a really sore throat and my tongue feels swollen, it seems to be rubbing on by back teeth - most odd. Need to go to bed I think! Catch up better tomorrow perhaps!

AntiqueMuppet Tue 22-Jan-13 21:45:41

Thanks for the Astra info, grinch! (And Mr Grinch too, of course smile ) Hope you get a reasonable amount of sleep & feel better in the morning.

Linzer Wine for under a pound you say? I think our next move will be to Austria... grin

AntiqueMuppet Tue 22-Jan-13 21:49:54

Oh and you too, outnumbered, thank you for the Astra information. It's good to know we can get someone to adjust iy, although watching next to no tv as I do now is probably a lot healthier than the amount I'd probably watch if we had British tv!

Merlioness Wed 23-Jan-13 06:13:20

Bertie congratulations!!

Zuckerrüben Sirup is not just a baking ingredient. In fact, it is widely known and used as a Brotaufstrich. Yummy! (A bit like Marmite maybe?)

I loved reading all the updates today. You've reminded me of a lot of nice memories and some not so nice ones smile

Grinch I hope you feel better today

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Wed 23-Jan-13 06:23:11

Morning
I am shock and envy that Linzer manages to shop for a family of 5 for a week for €20 - that wouldn't even cover bread and milk for us I don't think - and I shop at Aldi... but then top up at bakeries and Edeka as Aldi doesn't stock everything I want/ need to buy... Even when I stick to my meal planning and don't buy snacks I can't spend less than about €55-60 a week... still probably half what we'd spend in the UK!

I am so not ready for today, lots to do including taking the car for a service with an ill toddler in tow, and I haven't mucked the car out to take it yet, have to do the KiGa run in a min then somehow clear the rubbish and toys, stray gloves and hats etc. out to take it to the garage, where I will probably have to argue with them about the fact they promised us a free service and free loan car for the first service, but wrote that would be after 12 months when the firt service actually turns out to be due after 35 thousand km, which for me has been 2 years driving...

I still feel ill, swollen tongue thing is weird, getting no sleep again is probably the problem, was getting the sleep sorted til DC3 came down with a really bad cold and is now coughing all night, and appears only to be able to sleep while not only lying half on me but also rummaging around in my top, which is giving me Rage, so I wear high tops in bed which causes him to tantrum, then settle for scratching constantly at my throat while he sleeps - I look as if I've been attacked by a savage cat and feel compelled to cover my neck with a scarf when out (not a problem in this weather at least...)

TheUKGrinchImGluhweinkeller Wed 23-Jan-13 06:24:55

Hello Meer I meant Britsih (Lyalls) Golden syrup is (to me) just a baking ingredient

Merlioness Wed 23-Jan-13 06:42:19

Gotcha grinch. Me too, thinking about it
Sorry you're not feeling better sad

Weissdorn Wed 23-Jan-13 07:06:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheaspicks Wed 23-Jan-13 07:18:22

Hi everyone.

Just to add to what grinch said about the satellites: all the other free UK channels are likely to move to Astra 2e sometime this summer (going by what I've read online). The channel 5 channels moved to 2f in December. 2f has a very narrow spotbeam focussed on the UK, 2e is likely to have a very similiar spotbeam, but noone can guarantee that it will be exactly the same, so the general recommendation seems to be that expats shouldn't buy new satellite equipment until after the other channels move. I would have thought that there would be no problem anyway with reception in Hamburg, even with a small dish.

We are Neighbours addicts and have a 1.2m dish (fairly big), so we asked our sat technican if he could tweak anything to get Channel 5 back. We now have intermittent reception (better on the no-name receiver in the guest room than on the &ky box though, bizarrely).

Sorry I haven't posted in the last few days - i got a bit sidetracked reading katy says. I now not only feel guilty about the time I waste online, but also about the fact I sit down to do so...

admylin Wed 23-Jan-13 07:24:08

Morning all. Has anyone else got Muskelkater from shovelling snow? My upper arms are hurting and my fingers are stiff! It was really like a trip to the gym or rather 3 trips to the gym all in one day.

antique I'd be like you and would love UK television but would probably watch too much. I'd love to be able to watch Call the Midwife on Sunday night though, has anyone seen it? Think I might get the books first then order the series on dvd.

grinch hope you get your free service without too much of a fight. Sorry the next round of illness has hit you and ds again.

Bertie I used to get Lemsip sent over too! Karlsruhe is lovely and a great place for trips out over to France, Black Forest etc.

outnumbered lol at your marmite experience! I've had several German guests over the years who have stayed over and were willing to try it at breakfast but they all spat it out!
I've also used that syrup you linked to in recipes that need golden syrup and it worked quite well. dd eats it on her waffles and pancakes sometimes if we don't have maple syrup. The same company has a darker version that is like treacle (worked in an english gingerbread type recipe I tried).

Off to a meeting tonight about the 10th class at Gymnasium. I think the dc get to drop some subjects and the grades aren't 1 to 6 anymore so another system to get the hang of! They'll get points with 15 being the best grade.

Weissdorn Wed 23-Jan-13 07:29:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admylin Wed 23-Jan-13 07:33:56

weissdorn I met dh here in Germany. I was out with some other friends and one of them knew him from where he used to work so he introduced us. We all met up again a week later and he invited me out for dinner. A month later we moved in together and a year later had ds, then dd, all during his PhD studies. We got married when dd was 3 and a half - very unromantically for health insurance and tax reasons!

cheas that's an interesting website, I wish I could squat! My MIL always sits like that and she's 70 and dh and ds can both sit like that for ages. Have you tried it?

LinzerTorte Wed 23-Jan-13 08:09:21

Morning all,

A couple of friends of ours here have satellite dishes, but they're huge (they'd probably take up half our roof!) and seem to require continuous adjustment, plus reception isn't great in the evenings either apparently - I think we may just be too far south. But I quite lack having a lack of choice as I'm not tempted to watch too much TV/any old rubbish, although I'd find it very hard to do without British TV altogether.

admylin My snow-shovelling Muskelkater lasted for a good three days at the end of last week - in fact, I'm not sure it's completely gone as I did a bit more shovelling yesterday and can still feel it in my shoulders. Makes me feel slightly less guilty about my lack of running, at any rate!

Weissdorn DH is Austrian, but we did meet in Germany - we both spent a year studying in Berlin and, although we were at different universities, we lived next door to each other in the Studentenwohnheim. We had a long-distance relationship for two years, then moved to London together; after three years there, spent two years in Mannheim followed by another two in the USA, and finally moved to Austria 10 years ago.

Grinch Sorry, should have said I have to top up at a more expensive supermarket after my Lidl shop - there's no way we could live on €20 a week! I usually spend around €20 at Lidl but then another €30 or so at Billa/Spar - depending on who has sticker albums... €50 is probably my absolute minimum weekly spend, and it could well be double that if DH does the week's food shopping. grin
Hope you're feeling better soon. Yes, it's the same here with doctor's - they're rarely open for more than four days a week at most and are there either in the morning or afternoon, but GPs do still make house calls and if you're ill at the weekend, you can phone the doctor on call and he/she will come out and visit you if necessary.

Antique Well, we paid just over a euro per glass at the Heuriger we went to for the parents' get-together, but you could easily spend €2-3 or more at a normal restaurant. You just have to know where to go. wink

My dermatologist has just phoned to check about my stitches (I cancelled my appointment with her last week due to the snow and had them taken out at the GP instead), so I reassured her that all was fine and the GP had taken them out without any problems. Put the phone down, had a closer look - and discovered that part of the last stitch was still in, so I've just pulled it out myself! (It was just small piece of blue thread and not painful, but still... am not overly impressed with the GP leaving it in.)

cheaspicks Wed 23-Jan-13 08:24:05

weissdorn I also met Dh over here. I came over to study music and met DH in the regional drs orchestra when they asked me to play as an extra in a concert with them. We also got married for practical reasons when I was 7 months pg - I always saw choosing to start a family together as more of a commitment than marriage anyway, not being religious smile.

admylin I find it very difficult to squat properly with flat feet - something I've tried every now and then anyway. I found those exercises interesting to try yesterday, squatting on the balls of my feet is much easier, but I think I'm still tucking my pelvis, which I didn't realise at all before. Having read a lot of that blog yesterday, I've started trying now to consciously relax my pelvis and let my belly hang out, but I automatically start sucking it all in again a few seconds later confused.

There's quite a lot on there about baby development, for those of you with very little ones. It's made me think about how much dd used to play standing up at the coffee table when she had just learnt to stand and how we condition our kids to play sitting down by giving them a table with tiny chairs, etc.

Ploom Wed 23-Jan-13 08:37:41

Morning! The thread has moved so far along since I last posted that I've no chance of keeping up. Welcome to all the newcomers - the more the merrier smile.

admylin - I also had the muscle aches and pains from my snow shovelling nightmare on Monday but thankfully its not snowed since. Wow you and dh really moved fast after you got together - you must have just known you were meant to be together - awwww smile.

linzer - despite my years of hospital work, stitches give me the willies so respect for pulling it out yourself.

weissdorn - I met dh at a dodgy nightclub in the city we both lived in in the UK. We then stayed in the UK till we moved here 4 years ago. We, like admylin, also had our dc first and then got married so although we've only been married 5 years we've been together for nearly 15. Glad you asked the question cause I love hearing the answers from everyone.

grinch (you need a name change!!) - hope you feel better soon. You've really had a run of poorlyness. Did your dd get her homework done in the end?

antique - oh the joy of having a kamikaze boy grin. I was quite convinced (and prob still am) that ds2 will be into some kind of extreme sports when he's older if his kamikazeness carries on. I quite often find him doing a headstand on the couch while watching the tv. You'll need eyes in the back of your head for a few years yet!

outnumbered - so glad for you that the Kur is coming round soon. How long will you be away for? Thats so nice that your friend can come with you - that will make the first few days so much easier. I sometimes forget when you type that you arent a native English speaker - you would never tell it from your posts. Wish my German was that good envy.

cheas - only had a quick look at the website thats been stealing your time - squats?? Will need to take a closer look wink.

slatternly - things I miss about the UK - Indian food! Most of the rest of the stuff I can either get similar here, have imported or wait till I go back but the lack of Indian food sometimes makes me nearly weep. We were really spoiled in the UK - there was a great takeaway at the bottom of the road and it was quite a regular thing on a Friday night to get a meal between the 2 of us. Have tried to make it myself but its never quite the same sad.

Waves to anyone else I missed.

We finally got to use our skis at the weekend - was a fab day out - bitterly cold tho which was ok when we were skiing but the minute we stopped we were frozen. My only moan is that my new cross country ski shoes have given me the mother of all blisters on my heel sad. It developed while we were skiing and by the time we got back to the car it had burst and the skin had all peeled away. Think it got a bit infected so I've been trying to leave it open to the air and put some bepanthen on it. Its agony to put my shoes on sad. dh wants to again the weekend after next . Think I'll have to bandage my heels and wear 2 pairs of socks for that trip wink.

Dd gets her train track braces tomorrow morning. We have an 8am appt and they said she'll be there 3 hours shock. admylin - any tips since you've been through it twice recently?? What do your dc say about eating? Can they manage most things once the initial discomfort settles down?

admylin Wed 23-Jan-13 08:42:15

Cheas I can't squat without falling over backwards! On the other hand I have no problem with letting my belly hang out!

Linzer 1€ a glass is amazing, some soft drinks cost more! I sometimes wonder how people can afford to go out and get drunk to their eyeballs every weekend in the UK, must cost them a fortune.

weissdorn that would be great if you could send me the dvd. We should see if we can get a thread dvd swap going! I've finished with the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel dvd if anyone fancies it?

admylin Wed 23-Jan-13 08:50:48

ploom about the braces, my two have still got their fixed braces just on the back teeth to push them back before the train tracks go on (another 3 or 4 months I'd say). If you want to prepare yourself (but don't show dd) have a look on youtube how they put them on, dd had a look and is abit scared about them stretching her lip and it not going back to how it was before!! Of course it does but it looks uncomfortable.
If she can't talk very well get her to read outloud in bed to get use dto it. The more they try to talk the better it gets.
For food, if your dd likes soup then that'd be the best thing to have plenty in the house. It takes a few days or up to a wek to get used to it. My 2 can eat everything now so it does get easier.
She should get some wax to put over any wires that are rubbing at first. Ds use dhis alot, dd didn't bother.
This is only going from having back teeth fixed and a removable bottom brace.

Hope your blister gets better soon. You can get special blister plaster at the apotheke, have you tried them? Maybe if you go at the weekend you could put one on before you set off?

Ploom Wed 23-Jan-13 09:10:03

Thanks for those tips admylin . dd is quite nervous already so I wont show her the youtube video but will prob have a look myself. They said because she's young (she's only 11 1/2) with all her adult teeth that she'll only need it on for maximum 18 months which is quite reassuring. Better now than when she starts getting interested in boys wink - not that dh will allow that till she's at least 20! Will make sure I've got some ingredients for soup at the ready for tomo.

I've got some blister plasters but you mustnt use them if there's any hint of infection. Think it looks less weepy this morning so maybe if I need to go out later then I'll put one on.

LinzerTorte Wed 23-Jan-13 09:14:36

admylin Whenever people blame the drinking culture in the UK on cheap alcohol, I always think that it can't be just that; the majority of Austrians just don't go in for drinking in the same way, despite wine etc. being ridiculously cheap.

I saw The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Vienna last year and really enjoyed it. I don't think I've been to the cinema since, but DH bought me 7 or 8 British films for my birthday (none very well known). I've passed the 3 or 4 that I've already watched on to an anglophile friend, but we've just finished watching Things To Do Before You're 30 if anyone's interested. It's not the best film I've ever seen but quite watchable. I should have a few more recorded DVDs to send on to you before too long, Ploom.

Ploom Ouch at your blister. Last time I had one, I used a Compeed plaster - but can't remember whether it helped much (and I think you'd said you'd tried it anyway?). Once it had gone, I used to put a normal plaster on (for preventative purposes) plus two pairs of socks on top, which did help but made my running shoes feel very tight!

Hello, tis I, Grinch grin I have name changed just for Ploom... do I get a year's bad luck in the same way as if I had failed to take down my Christmas decorations by 12th Night? blush Ploom hope your foot gets better soon - I assume your other foot problem passed??

DD spent 3 hours on her homework on Monday and then I wrote a note to her teacher as we had to go to the shop - also to buy something for school. Her teacher had said at a meeting I had with her previously I can do this, but the homework still has to be done, she just gets more time. The teacher was fine about it and she did the rest of the homework yesterday and was actually let off one task as they went over it in class. DD admitted that some of the work was stuff she didn't get finished in class and others did, so it was tonnes of homework but not all set as homework, her teacher has told her to work faster in class and stop dreaming grin ... we'll see, hopefully the 7 homework tasks and drama we had about it on Monday will be a one off - yesterday she was finished by 3pm - well she was doing her last sum as her friend got dropped off at 3pm in fact! She only had 2 relatively small new bits of homework and got the previous day's finished.

Yesterday afternoon was a bit chaotic as DS1 had a friend over - a boy he's been playing with more recently, who like with a lot of DS1's friend was really quiet and well behaved the first few visits but now seems to feel a bit too at home here and was rather wild and crazy! I am a bit hmm and confused as this boy is a year older than DS1 and was kept back last year, so has to start school in Sept, and of course as I have decided to keep DS1 back he is now hanging out exclusively with boys who are starting school in Sept - argh! Ds1 has doing yet more growing and looks a bit funny hanging out with the older 4 and only just 5 year olds, being head and shoulders taller than a lot of them, and is now always with the Vorschule boys even though I haven't put him in the Vorschule programme, and I am wondering yet again if I am doing the right thing keeping him back! Argh its so complicated!

Linzer I am very glad you can't do your shopping for €20 for a family of five, I was dwelling on it as I drove this morning, that would be €4 per person per week, DH is always tutting over how much money I spend but aside from my gym membership I don't spend any on myself specifically, it's all family spending - groceries, diesel, things for the kids, so I didn't want to believe I was really over spending so dramatically, I couldn't think what you all ate if you spent so little!

Car is there for its service - worked it out, labour free and we have to pay for parts, but tbh they could have said that anyway. Also had to pay for a courtesy car but it was only €15 and there is no way on earth to manage without one, with 3 kids, living 20km from the workshop in a village with no public transport aside from the school bus, and needing to get home for DD getting home from school and then pick DS1 up from KiGa. They gave me a Pando though - it's tiny, like a toy grin My umbrella fold buggy barely fits in the boot, had to angle it, and the top of my snow boot kept catching on something when I changed gear. DS2 liked it though, he kept shouting "Oh wow, car can drive! Oh wow, look!" I think he felt very close to the road and other traffic but he seemed to find it exciting and was almost beside himself when I parked in our drive "Oh wow, car can park at house!" grin

Ooops essay again, better do some laundry instead before DD get home with more homework

Weissdorn Wed 23-Jan-13 09:36:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cheaspicks Wed 23-Jan-13 09:39:44

Hmm, I seem to have sat down again grin.

ploom that website is not really about squats, more about walking and standing and how bad sitting is shock. It's a bit dogmatically "natural is best" - the whole premise is that we don't use our bodies in the way they are designed to be used, ie. don't have the lifestyle humans used to 200,000 years ago. It's intelligently written though and very persuasive.

Re dvd swaps, ploom gave me a pile of dvds several months ago instead of passing them directly to whoever is normally next in line. I actually haven't got around to watching them and only noticed them while clearing out some dvds last week - who gets them next? Antique? Admylin?

I sent a parcel of dvds to rebuy yesterday - should hopefully get about 56€ for them!

Weissdorn Wed 23-Jan-13 09:43:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

admylin Wed 23-Jan-13 09:59:05

weissdorn it's a deal, send me your address too.

cheassounds like they pay good prices for dvds, when I looked on there at selling books they were offereing a few cent for each book!

LinzerTorte Wed 23-Jan-13 10:12:16

admylin The first book that came up when I looked at rebuy was Shades of Grey - you can get €3 for the first book. If only we lived in Germany! I was quite excited to see that rebuy have an Austrian site too cheas, but slightly less excited to see that you still need to send your items to Berlin. I haven't sent a parcel outside Austria since it cost me nearly €15 to send a paperback book to the UK, so would probably be paying them to take things off my hands.

MrTumbles We might have just about managed on €20 this week as, inspired by a thread on here, I've been using up food from the freezer and cupboards. Thanks to Lidl's British week, however, I've spent over that on Cheddar alone. grin

LinzerTorte Wed 23-Jan-13 10:15:50

Hmm, maybe they pay postage from Austria after all... if I can find €30 worth of things to sell, that is.

Ploom Wed 23-Jan-13 10:23:15

cheas - had a look at that website. Some of her ideas are good but dont fancy living without furniture in the living room even if it would help my posture. Thats a good amount of money you'll get for your films - had never heard of that website until now.

mrtumbles (like the namechange) - glad you got the special offer for the car. I could have done with taking mine to the garage - it was making a strange noise yesterday but chickened out as I wasnt sure how to explain myself. Annoyingly the blister is on the same heel thats got the longstanding problem - grrrr. The Hausarzt gave me a referral to an orthopod for it but I havent made that phone call either. Wont be doing it this week while it looks so awful.
Maybe the shock of how long the homework took on Monday and the fact that you had to cancel your dd's social plans that afternoon might spur her on to daydream less? This is how it works with my dc - well for a few days at least.

admylin - have wasted too much time on youtube this morning watching before and after braces photos! The results can be amazing. Am hoping thats how it works out for dd.

Ploom Wed 23-Jan-13 10:24:33

Will be ready for some DVD's when you have some linzer but no hurry. Think I need "things to do before you are 40" not 30!! Still 18 months to fit it all in wink.

LinzerTorte Wed 23-Jan-13 10:48:23

At least fitting it in is still an option, Ploom. grin

AntiqueMuppet Wed 23-Jan-13 11:26:49

I might have a look at the rebuy site later, it sounds a lot better than the one dh and I looked at a while ago.

admylin is next in line for the dvds, I think, cheas. She passed them onto me.last time & I passed them onto Nutella.

Glad you got the car sorted without too much hassle, MrTumble.

Ploom I have to admit that having a kamikaze boy is good fun! The cheeky smile & infectious laugh soon cancel out the heart-stopping moments smile

On my phone now so will try & get on the laptop later to post properly. I still can't quite get on as well as I'd like with he touchscreen for typing.

platanos Wed 23-Jan-13 15:30:57

First post attempt on phone.... Look away cheas sofa too comfy to get off!
Liking the jam bruises and excited toddler in small car stories,- very sweet. Sorry to hear about blisters and stiches being left in. And yet more illnesses.
Ds is schulreif but some tutting from headmisstress and teacher who did tests re "augustkind und bub"- apparently they are very often problems (no square brackets? To insert a hmm). I don't mind him being a vorschulkind if that is what he is but i can do without the tutting. I am sorry i did not consult with frau director before conceiving and giving birth (shock)
Being half a brit i don't miss many things apart from tea but i get that at my local " indianer" shop.
Must go get my dc. Will be back on Keyboard soon....

platanos Wed 23-Jan-13 15:37:26

Mrtumbles- when is your ds1's birthday? Right really must move bottom from sofa!

LinzerTorte Wed 23-Jan-13 16:04:33

Good news on the schulreifness platanos but I wouldn't have been impressed by the tutting either. Then again, what do you expect if you're careless enough to have a boy in August? I foresightedly made sure that DS arrived in July instead of on his due date in August. <smug> <remembers that DS is in the Vorschulklasse so smugness misplaced>

itsMYNutella Wed 23-Jan-13 16:19:25

Hello! Just stopping in, more new members... Would welcome you properly but I'm on my phone, can't scroll back and am totally rubbish at remembering anything right now!
Wait, slatternly and bertie? hmm

Antique I've been meaning to say I was checking the post and was going to complain about Deutsche post being rubbish at delivering anything in December until you mentioned you found the CD in the glovebox grin although the yoga breathing I learnt was useful so I can imagine a bit of hypnobirthing could be worth a try in the future... wink

Admylin I think that hof sweeping duty is about two weeks long. But after our stint in April it will probably be November/December when it's our turn again. (again -phew!)

Well DS seems to not be suffering so badly with his wind and tummy pain this week (touch wood, fingers crossed, thumbs pressed!). But my goodness can he fart! shock last night he did a lot of farting while feeding, DP and I were in hysterics; every time we thought he was done he casually farted some more. DP took on the task of cleaning him but put on an apron first - just in case grin

Can a three week old poo too much? He has been very busy making nappies overflow full dirty today but where on earth has he been keeping it all? Especially after what he produced last night confused he is still drinking plenty and seems fine, healthy and happy. Just a bit shock.

Slatternly I think you asked what we miss from the UK. For me it's being able to go to the cinema any night of the week and see a film in English ( although in many German cities it is possible), I miss the choice of UK fashion, the quality and the price of the clothes. I also miss biscuits (chocolate digestives are my personal favourite). Oh and a decent choice of bras! They seem ever so boring and expensive here. There is also limited choice above a C (I'm a D/DD). - my polish friend has also complained as she is a tiny back size and says the choice in Poland is better

itsMYNutella Wed 23-Jan-13 16:36:58

Love the stories about jam bruises and excited toddler talk too wink

Someone asked how we met our OH. I met mine in New Zealand (as you do) by chance. We were there individually on holiday / an adventure to think about life, careers etc; and we both signed up for a road trip a local was organising and had 5 crammed full days together. DP liked me straight away and I realised the next day or so that wherever I turned whatever I did there was DP following me grin. Sadly after those 5 days I flew back to Oz then onto Japan and eventually back to London, he had another 6 weeks in NZ. We kept in touch; I flew out to visit him the first weekend he was home and the last weekend before Christmas (that was in 2009)... Then I moved to Germany in October 2010 grin

platanos Wed 23-Jan-13 18:47:55

ploom just mashing beans and courgettes for dh & thought of your dd. Dh has had top for a while and bottom only since monday. Will she get all at once? Wax has been good to protect the skin inside the mouth. Hope it goes well. I just puree food on the firdt days after the tightening.

admylin i have found quite a bit of vegan sweet stuff- does dd like the alpro puddings? Alnatura also does quite a few bars etc. And if she is into baking we have found lots of recipes on the internet. Will have a look for our favourite choc cake and link if you want.

linzer how can schools cope with mothers like us?!

good evening! this really is a thread where on some days hardly anything is posted all day, and on others there is so much I dont know where to start. You've been very busy! grin

I didnt get to post at all as I still have ds2 at home. yesterday he was so poorly so he just slept or was on my arm/on my lap. Today he must have been feeling better, didnt nap and did lots of whining.

I loved reading the stories about how everyone met their dhs smile

grinchhow are you feeling today? is your tongue still swollen? is it the glands that are swollen? and how is your ds2? it was really sweet about him on the rental car!! one of the Integrationshelfer has a Smart, and ds3 thinks it's amazing. he points out every Smart he sees and says 'look mummy, looks like Frau xy's car'

admylin i have been spared Muskelkater so far. the biggest amounts of snow came down on weekends, thus dh got to snow shovel wink. this week it's only been little amounts and I was able to just sweep the footpath. oh, and wow are your whirlwind romance with your dh smile

me and dh have a very boring story to tell...I was in Germany for one year after coming back from a year in Oz. I took a job in Regensburg, which I hated, didnt understand the Bavarian, but did understand dh, as he is from North Germany. a year later I had persuaded him to come to Wales with me, where he did an MBA and I did my PGCE. another year later we got married and spent another 4 years in the UK.

linzer is Austria cheaper than GErmany overall then? I cant imagine finding a glass of wine for under 1Euro. and my shopping for us 5 comes to probably about 100Euros, possibly even more of lots of toiletries need to be bought. I do have two children in nappies still, so lots of nappies and wetwipes. I buy almost everything at Lidl or Aldi and dont think I buy too many unnecessary items (unless I go shopping on an empty stomach grin.

ploom well thanks for that lovely compliment. I'm not sure my spoken English is quite so 'perfect'. I certainly have good days and bad days. Sometimes I cant hear much of an accent myself, on others i think 'what on earth am I doing speaking to my children in Englsh with THAT accent?!'
It is actually thanks to MN that I did end up speaking English to our dc. I had posted something on the bilingualism thread when we decided to move back to Germany. ds1 was 18 months and already bilingual, and I thought it would be such a shame for him to lose it (while living in the UK I spoke only German with him). I was really unsure if a) if it would be too confusing for an 18months old if his mum all of a sudden started speaking a different language. and b) if I should be speaking to him in English at all, considering it's not my mother tongue. Looking at (and listening to) our boys now, I am glad I listened to MN advice and went ahead with it smile

I hope the appt at the orthodontist goes ok for your dd tomorrow! two of my brothers had train track braces and they never complained. actually, I always felt left out and wanted some too hmm oh and I hope your blister gets better very soon so that you can enjoy some more skiing!!

platanos I wonder how much tutting I will be getting with ds3 then. His birthday is August 31! grin

nutella the thing with breastfed babies is that they can either poo almost non-stop of go for up to 5 days without a single poo. you can imagine how much comes out on that 5th day shock ds1 had one every third day, and I was always dreading to go out on the third day. had to take several changes of clothes with me.

right got to go, ds1 shouting for me as he has got 'Angst'. but I guess my post if long enough as it is anyway grin

oh, and just realised I called you by your old name mrtumbles

LinzerTorte Wed 23-Jan-13 19:55:19

outnumbered That's funny, I was meaning to ask whether you'd spent time down under as your English sometimes sounds slightly Australian - it's the abbreviations, I think! My Australian friend here used to abbreviate everything, e.g. Kindergarten was kindi. I agree with Ploom that you really wouldn't notice you weren't a native speaker and wish I could write that well in German, but I haven't written anything more than a short e-mail in German for years. blush

I think Austria is supposed to be slightly more expensive than Germany on the whole. The wine was either €1.10 or €1.20 (so just under a pound if the latter, but not under a euro), but that was unusually cheap, admittedly. My shopping bill is probably not as high as it could be as I generally only cook from scratch about three times a week (the DC don't eat loads so one meal will last two or three days, and DH has a hot meal at work) and defrost leftovers on the other days.

Nutella I agree with outnumbered that almost anything is normal as far as breastfed babies and poo is concerned. I do remember that all of mine went through stages of pooing after every feed, often right up their back (and sometimes in the middle of feeding too - once in front of DH's boss blush).

AntiqueMuppet Wed 23-Jan-13 20:44:17

MrTumbles I was just telling dh about your ds2's fascination with the courtesy cat & he thought it was really cute too smile

outnumbered Hope your ds feels better soon. Not long to go now until your Kur - I bet you can't wait!

Nutella I remember my.midwife telling me when ds was tiny that anywhere between ten poos a day and one every ten days is normal for bf babies. This was shortly before he did a mega poo that seemed to last about ten minutes just as she had taken his nappy off to weigh him. It was like mustard being squeezed out of the tube!
Sorry again about the cd blush

Linzer I'm another one who reakly rarely writes in German. In fact I need to practise more. Saying that I did manage a lovely, politely angry email to the mobile phone company beginning with V the other day so maybe rage is what I need!

AntiqueMuppet Wed 23-Jan-13 20:52:01

Ploom Good luck to your dd for her orthodontist appointment!

platanos How awful of you not taking the school year into consideration when giving birth. Tut tut indeed grin

Dh and I met at the Fresher's ball at uni! It was my first year and he was on a year abroad in the UK. We were in the same country every other year and long distance every other year for four years until he moved to the UK then we moved to Germany a few years ago. We've been together for 12 years but only married for four.

Good morningsmile ds3 down with cough and fever now too and I am slowly but surely getting cabin fever myself. Luckily our babysitter has agreed to come over for a couple of hours this morning so that I can at least go to the gym.

Kur seems to be in jeopardy again. Dh came home last night (at 9.30pm!) saying that he may have to go to the states for a week at the end of February. [Sad] Our babysitters did offer a while ago that they would take turns in sleeping here and getting ds1 ready for kiga- but I don't think I could do it. It will be hard enough as it is, him staying here when me and his brothers are gone, but at least he'd see dh in the evening and morning. Anyway, nothing is for sure yet, so hopefully he doesn't have to go!

Ds2&3 are watching the Elefanten Show on Kika so I betteraje the most if it and get myself ready.

lnzer I'd imagine my English showing all the different English speaking places I've lived. smile I spent a year in California when I was 16, then the UK for many years ( but there in Wales, South East and North West) and Australia.

Ds3 screaming with earache now. I never know if and when to go to the paeds with earache. What do you usually do? Just calpol?

Merlioness Thu 24-Jan-13 07:00:06

Weissdorn My DH is Scottish and I am the German one. We met in London amongst a group of friends. We then moved to Singapore for DH’s work and are now planning our move to Germany.

Nutella sounds perfectly normal to me. DS used to poo 6 times a day and then dropped to once every 8-10 days! Freaked me out, but with BFed babies it’s perfectly normal to go up to 14 days without a poo. It’s due to the BM being almost fully digested, so there isn’t much left. The lesser poos start around 1-3 months of age, but not all babies do!

Have any of you had a VBAC in Germany...? DS was born by CS here in Singapore, but I’d like to have a VBAC for number 2 (not that I am pregnant). I’m quite terrified of the differences between pregnancy and delivery here and Germany sad

Weissdorn Thu 24-Jan-13 07:28:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 07:50:57

outnumbered Oh no, poor DS. If he's screaming in pain and Calpol isn't having much of an effect, I would take him to the doctor's. DD2 had an ear infection just before we came to Germany in the summer and we went to the doctor's straight away, mainly because it was much less hassle than possibly having to find a doctor in Germany (she was prescribed antibiotics, which did help fairly quickly). Will keep my fingers crossed for you for the Kur.

I don't think I'd notice a UK influence on your English (apart from possibly a Welsh influence), but I've definitely picked up a hint of Australian rather than American. smile I miss my Australian friend; she was always my best source of gossip! (I had a letter from her a few days ago and she still seems to know more gossip here than I do.)

Merlioness Probably not much help, but a friend of mine here (Austria) had a VBAC and was really happy with the way it went. What differences worry you specifically?

Antique I find I'm much more confident about speaking German to people I don't know if I'm angry about something! I must admit I tend to get DH to write e-mails/letters and make phone calls wherever possible. blush

Weissdorn If your DH is happy to speak English to your DD, I would say go fot it (obviously he already has!). I sometimes wish we had English as a home language as the DC hear so little conversation between adults in English - and are exposed to very little English as it is - but I just can't speak English to DH (we tried having a day of English once a week before the DC were born, but it didn't work - it just felt wrong!). As it is, if we're having a family conversation the language is always German (unless I'm addressing one of the DC directly) and they're surrounded by German all day (well, morning) at school anyway. I think their German is inevitably going to be better than their English simply because they're exposed to it in a far wider range of contexts.

DH got back at midnight last night and bought me the two books I wanted. smile I also found two boxes of poppadums in the kitchen this morning, so it looks like he had time to do some shopping - he has also lugged a rather full suitcase upstairs (considering he was only away for one night).

Merlioness Thu 24-Jan-13 07:52:02

Thank you Weissdorn. That's what got me thinking really

I speak German with DS when it's just us.
Otherwise it's English, as that's our "home" language too. DH doesn't really speak German (yet hmm)

Weissdorn Thu 24-Jan-13 08:05:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 08:19:12

Weissdorn No, not really; I would probably feel stranger speaking German to them! I think one of the reasons I don't feel rude is because I know that most Austrians understand what I'm saying to the DC. The only time I make an exception is when other children are around, who obviously don't understand what I'm saying (although older friends are starting to understand more). I'll address all the children in German and sometimes even my own DC individually so that the other children know what I've said (if I can be bothered, I'll speak to them in English first as usual and then repeat myself in German). Otherwise, visiting children will often whisper "What did she say?" to the DC, so it just seems easier for everyone!

I think that, with some children, it can be a slippery slope if you start speaking German to them as they can then refuse to answer in English (this has happened to a couple of friends of mine). You have to find what works best for you, however; I've also heard of older children being embarrassed about speaking English (or whatever the minority language is) when they're out and about. I'm not sure what I'd do in that situation - whether I'd agree to switch to German in public, for example - but for the moment, the children always speak English to me (DS sometimes forgets, especially if he has friends over, but will switch back to English if I remind him) and don't seem embarrassed by it! What they do find a little strange is if an Austrian then continues to address them in German, and they generally refuse to answer. grin

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 08:29:21

I also wonder whether the country that your DC were born in makes a difference. As a very broad generalisation, most of the families I know where the parents ended up speaking the majority language to the DC are those whose DC were all born here, whereas those where even just the older child was born outside Germany/Austria will often be more consistent about using the minority language. There are plenty of exceptions, obviously, but I wonder whether it's because you're surrounded by German baby-related talk if the baby is born over here and German then becomes the language associated with babies. I'm probably not making much sense, so will go and make myself a brew!

admylin Thu 24-Jan-13 08:56:11

weissdorn I used to be in that situation when ds was born. I was the only English speaking person (apart from dh who was at uni all day anyway) and the first in out group of friends to have a baby. I went to two baby groups and everything was in German so I spoke German to ds, one of his first words was nein! When he was 3 months old I went to the UK for the first time with him and that's when I stopped the German even when I came back. I found an English playgroup to go to and he was re-introduced to German when he was 4 at kindergarden.
Dd was the same but for a few months now she refuses to speak English with me, she's 13 though so at a funny age. I know she understands everything and can read a book in Emglish if she wants to so I'm not too worried.

Ploom good luck today with the braces, will you be allowed in with her? Our orthodontist doesn't seem to like parents setting foot in the place once the big Beratung/verkaufsgespräch is over with. If you want to speak to him you have to make an appointment or ask the assistant at the reception. I'm not really happy with him but can't change now as time is the problem and it'd take months and months to start somewhere else.

outnumbered I caught earache from one of my dc once and it's was awful. I always used to go to the doctor with it if mine had a temperature aswell as earache. Hope you all feel better soon.

Ooh, Linzer when do you get to have a look through the suitcase?!

The meeting at school was abit of a let down last night, infact they just talked us through what we could have read on the website anyway (as if the parents maybe aren't capable of reading it online)! They also said they would be giving the dc a brochure about it in the next few weeks. Only important info was for sporty kids who want to take sport as exam subject in Abitur have to move in year 10 to another gymnasium as ours doesn't do the theory part that they would need to qualify.

cheaspicks Thu 24-Jan-13 09:13:37

Weissdorn we do the same as you and both speak English to dd although dh is German (and has never lived in an English-speaking country). It's worked really well for us, plus I think the danger that dd picks up the odd grammatical mistake from dh is outweighed by the fact that she can communicate fluently with both my family and everyone here.

I have friends whose bilingual children don't speak the minority language as fluently - in both cases only the mother speaks the minority language to the child and the parents speak to each other in the majority language. My personal feeling is that you should try to be as consistent as possible in speaking English to your dd at the beginning, but I'm sure I ended up calling dd "Mäuschen" or "Schnecke" occasionally in those situations you describe too.

outnumbered Rotlichttherapie! But I agree about taking him to the KA - when dd got an ear infection last winter our KÄ gave us some placebo herbal drops for dd to drink and told us to use the Rotlicht, but she was also very thorough about measuring dd's hearing and made us come back twice to check that it really had cleared up.

merlioness I'm also hoping for a VBAC next time round - dd was breech. Someone already said it, I think, but as long as you know exactly what you want, you can demand it from health care providers here. There's certainly a cultural predispostion to think that intervention is always better, eg. MIL telling me I need Hustenlöser for my cough, or other mums whipping out the arnica globuli at playgroup when dd bumped her toe, and of course the medical care is excellent, but there are also a lot of people with "alternativ" leanings - DD's kiga group have been doing Kneipp Wassertreten every day for the last two weeks, including Schneetreten on Monday shock. What I'm trying to say is, there's room for everyone here!

slatternly and bertie after more than 12 years here there isn't much I really miss any more, with exception of tv. I've got used to not having certain foods regularly - salt and vinegar crisps, some biscuits, fish and chips and super soft white bread with a crust are the main things, but I wouldn't eat those frequently in the UK either. I always bring Marmite and Yorkshire Tea back with me, plus some baking ingredients (golden syrup, posh vanlla extract) and Sozmix!

I finally made it to Lidl today, they still had crisps, fudge, fish and chips, gin and a duvet cover printed with Big Ben hmm, but no sign of any Cheddar. Guess i'll have to be a bit quicker next time...

cheaspicks Thu 24-Jan-13 09:17:12

admylin we had a colleague of DH's staying last week - she was brought up by Portugese parents in Germany - and she said virtually every bilingual child goes through a phase as a teenager of not wanting to speak the minority language. She thinks it's down to not wanting to stand out and wanting to define oneself as German, rather than as the nationality of one's (lame) parents.

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 09:46:36

admylin I think that as long as your DD continues to hear/read English, she'll be able to switch back from passive to active use fairly easy - and still has a huge advantage over other children being brought up monolingually.
Suitcase this evening, hopefully!

cheas It's not DH's mistakes I'd be worried about the DC picking up, it's more his accent! Although I sense I'm fighting a losing battle with the accent, as the DC tend to be picking up an Austrian accent when they speak English in order to fit in (at school, at any rate; not with me, thank goodness - although I can still detect a slight accent sometimes!). I may have mentioned this on the thread before, but I used to work with a woman whose parents were both British and always spoke English to her, but she'd been brought up in Germany and had a noticeable (if not strong) German accent.

itsMYNutella Thu 24-Jan-13 09:54:47

That's really interesting what you all say about the language at home. DP speaks English with me (generally) and a mix of English and German with DS hmm I sometimes speak in German to DS but only if we have guests and the conversation is in German or when we are out.... Is it important to be strict from this early? I suppose it's better because then DP and I will have fixed habits so it will be less of a problem later...,

And thank you for all the poo advice grin yesterday seemed somewhat extreme but he is still happy and farting . Trying not to imagine what poo-mageddon after 10 days would look like wink

mrtumbles hope you and DS are feeling better!
And hope your poorly DSs bounce back soon too outnumbered

cheas smile lame parents made me chuckle.

Bumped into one of the ladies from the geburtsvorbereitungskurs the other day and she is due next week. It was odd to see her still pregnant; I don't miss my bump at all smile.

admylin Thu 24-Jan-13 10:06:59

Nutella are you planning on joining an English baby group? I think that's good as dc get a little older and are living in Germany it's nice for them to know that other families speak English. Mine were also brought up on Postman Pat and Thomas The Tank Engine videos as we didn't have any TV back then.

Linzer I agree, I try not to worry about dd and her not speaking English. I know she wants to though as she's the one who asks dh every other day if he's heard from the job in Houston! She says if he doesn't get a job in the US then she's going as soon as she can, by herself, to live!

cheas did you buy a Rotlichtlampe? I saw one the other day in Rossmann as dd was thinking it'd be good for her gerbil if it gets ill! She must have read it somewhere.

cheaspicks Thu 24-Jan-13 10:17:11

admylin I didn't neet to, as PIL had one (essential GDR kit, apparently!) I don't really believe the theory about the infrared heat penetrating more deeply, I reckon lying with your ear on a hot water bottle would be just as good, but it's quite pleasant.

linzer I certainly found that I couldn't translate various baby-related words into English easily having had her in German (as it were). I still can't think of a really good translation for "strampeln", "kicking" isn't quite as specific. And "robben" sounds like a real word, whereas "commando crawling" sounds like it was coined in the last few years.

calpol or rather dolormin seems to be working, so for today I'll leave the doctor's I think. if he still has an earache tomorrow morning, I'll take him as I dont fancy a trip to the our of hours doc's over the weekend.

interesting conversation about languages at home. tbh I know quite a few families who live in Germany with only one English speaking parent, but where the adults speak English with each other as well. It doesnt affect their dcs English as far as I can tell.

I did think about it very long and hard whether to speak English with ours, as I would usually always say that speaking your mother tongue is best. but then, I have lived in English speaking countries for a long time, it often takes people quite a while of talking to me before they can hear the accent (unless I am having one of my bad days smile, and my grammar is good as well thus I am confident that I can actually teach our dc good English.

but what also should not be underestimated is, besides the 'quality' of English spoken, how at home one feels with that language. especially on an emotional level. dh for example speaks very good English, has an amazing vocab, not such amazing grammar or accent. but most importantly, he just doesnt have the same emotional connection using English as he doesnt speaking German. especially when talking to his dc. He says himself that he would feel very very awkward speaking to his own dcs in English, although he has no problems doing so with other children.

I used to feel very awkward speaking to the dcs in English when everyone around me spoke German, as it does make you stand out. but once you've you get used to it, it's really no problem. and as linzer said, most people understand what you say anyway. I dont think it's rude, and neither do other people (I think) as you are simply speaking to your dc in your mother tongue. I am a strong believer in OPOL and do think it confuses the little ones if not followed.

There are lots of ways of having more English in dc's life without both parents speaking English to them. One of the reasons of us having UK TV is actually, so that the boys hear more English. we also try to take them to the UK - or other English speaking countries - as regularly as we can so that they have to speak it more.

Last February our friends from Swansea came to stay, and they boys had no problems speaking to them and their children.

anyway, enough on that topic grin

having two children at home during the week has thrown me somewhat. I am not used to cooking lunch anyway, apart from weekends, as the boys eat at kiga. better have a think what I can make for ds2&3

itsMYNutella Thu 24-Jan-13 10:26:04

admylin I would love to find an English baby group but have no idea where to start looking hmm I need to start looking for some groups, especially since DP goes back to work at the end of next week. We have almost cobbled together some semblance of a routine but don't seem able to be ready to leave the house before 2pm most days shock

Weissdorn Thu 24-Jan-13 10:33:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Weissdorn Thu 24-Jan-13 10:33:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AntiqueMuppet Thu 24-Jan-13 10:38:06

How is your DS now, outnumbered? Did you take him to the Dr in the end? Hope he's feeling better soon.

Merlioness I had a VBAC (that's a vaginal birth, right?) here in Germany. The care and support I received was fantastic. Is there anything specific you want to know? (Feel free to PM me if you want smile )

weissdorn I had to laugh at your DD's farts scaring the dog!

Linzer What books did you get? <nosey>. Do you think you can hold off until this evening before investigating the suitcase?!

admylin Does your DS want to take Sport as an Abitur subject?

cheas I can never think of a German translation for 'commando crawling' (and I only ever need it when I'm nowhere near the laptop/a dictionary). Robben! Thank you - I shall try and remember that.

Nutella I was the same, I thought I'd really miss my bump once it was gone but I really, really didn't!

DS is napping after spending the morning dancing along to the rhythm of the washing machine, bless him! I need to nip into town this afternoon to pick up a few new bras - I'm now three (!) cup sizes smaller than before I was pregnant - I almost cried when the bra shop lady measured me. (We're thinking of starting to TTC DC2 so I dread to think what it will be like in a year or two - inverse, maybe!)

AntiqueMuppet Thu 24-Jan-13 10:43:32

Oh loads of x-posts!

Nutella Is there an 'English speakers/English-speaking familes in Hannover' group or something similar on Facebook? If you ask there people might be able to point you in the direction of a baby group. That's how I found our toddler group and I post messages on the one for our city every now and then to try and get new members.

weissdorn A friend of mine did Babyschwimmen with her DD when she was really small and loved it. It was quite expensive but she said it was worth the cost as it made her so much more confident holding her DD in the water and moving her about while she was all slippery and wet.

outnumbered Glad the Calpol is working. We tend to stick to OPOL too, mainly because I'm a bit worried that DS won't speak enough German when he starts Kiga if we both only speak English to him.

merlioness vbac is certainly possible in Germany (antique it's virginal birth after c-section) and I know of several who had one with no problems. I think they don't like inducing you if you'd had c-section before. My SIL explained before why, but can't remember. If you have specific question about a vbac, I could ask SIL for you ( she is a gynae here in Germany).

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 11:32:33

outnumbered grin at virginal birth. I know that VBACs can sometimes be considered tricky, but that would be a step further!

Antique You probably don't want to hear this, but I've gone from a 32C/D pre-DC to a 34AA. There are advantages, though: I can wear summer dresses without worrying whether the bra straps are showing. grin Oh, and I don't notice a difference if I forget to put my sports bra on before I go running!
I think I can probably hang on until this evening with the suitcase, as I was most excited about the books and didn't ask DH to buy much else. They're Gone Girl and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

outnumbered Yes, feeling comfortable in a language is key - my issues with his accent aside, I know that DH would feel very awkward speaking English to the DC and tbh we never even considered it. If he'd been very keen to, it would have been quite different and I'd have just had to close my ears to his accent. The DC only ever used to watch English videos and then DVDs, which has definitely made a big difference to their English, as have regular(ish) trips back to the UK - they have no problems speaking English to my family and friends, although I'm sure they'd have more age-appropriate vocab if we were actually living in Britain!

cheas I've never heard of commando crawling! I used to miss having a decent UK alternative for onesie/Body, although don't need to talk about them quite as much any more. grin

admylin Do you have any idea when your DH will hear back about the Houston job? Wasn't there one in Boston too?

Must go as DD1 has just got back - apologies to anyone I've missed!

LOL i should really always check for stupid autocorrect when posting from my phone!!! grin

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 11:37:50

I thought it was probably an autocorrect fail, but it did make me grin!

AntiqueMuppet Thu 24-Jan-13 12:02:34

Ha ha outnumbered your virginal birth typo didn't even register!

Linzer I've gone down from a 32d/dd to a 32a/b <sob>. I'm not sure I'd be totally comfortable braless but it's still far too cold to test it out grin

cheaspicks Thu 24-Jan-13 12:49:32

antique I'm going to allow myself to feel a bit of Schadenfreude about your disappearing chest (I've gone back to exactly the same size and can wear my pre-pg bras again) as you are bound to get pg again before I do <sob> wink

outnumbered tbh dd has more or less been OPOL'd, as she spent much more time with MIL than with DH before she started kiga. It sounds like it's probably crucial what language the parents speak to each other - the aforementioned Portuguese mum was telling us that her DS (3.6) answers in German although she speaks to him in Portuguese - that would be the third case I know of OPOL not really working as the parents would like.

Do any of you wear sheepskin boots in the snow? I've been looking at some online - want to buy some non-heeled winter boots - but then it occurred to me that I never wear my UGGs because I assume they aren't waterproof, whereas I can step into snowdrifts in my Camels and not get wet feet.

platanos Thu 24-Jan-13 12:51:10

we have broken all the "rules" with tri/bilingualism and just chopped and changed due to different changes in life and what felt best. So it will be interseting to see what our dc come out like.
So, here is the how-not-to-do-it story: dd1 was born in uk, dh spoke german, i spoke spanish. english was our common language. slowly we slipped into english as dd went to kindergarten in uk. dd2 was born, I made an effort to speak spanish again and while on maternity leave dd1 understood my spanish. then all slipped back to english. ds was born and english was the main languge though we attended a german playgroup, dh tried to speak more german and they watched german tv (we thought we would be spending a year in germany at that point).
Then we moved to finland - dd's (5 and 4 at the time) went to a german kindergarten and were able to understand everything by christmas. I spoke english to them, but Í also did a "german stunde" with them at first to help them adjust. ds went to a finnish kindergarten.
Then we moved here, dd1 was able to go into school on arrival with no problem in german. ds and dd2 had some more time in kindergarten....In Finland we made a huge effort to improve their german because half way through the year we knew we would be moving here for good (and not to germany for a year). I think english suffered - I speak a mixture of both langauges...or rather, I try to speak english but sometimes german comes faster. They understand but really struggle to speak - except when they are being cheeky and imitating me smile.
oh what a ramble...blush. tis an interesting process to piece together what feels best at different stages, isn't it?

platanos 20th Sept, so even worse than August, and still a bub grin My mid Sept Mädchen does OK as the youngest in her class most of the time, but I am still not absolutely 100% sure starting school was right - there are several children older than her in the year below her, which is funny, and she will start Gymnasium/ Real schule or whatever at age 9 whilst some of her class mates will have already turned 11! Sometimes I wonder if we did the right thing sending her, she wasn't a Kann Kind but only a Muß by 11 days, and was still 5 starting school (only for a week but still) when a few of her class mates were already 7...

Argh being climbed on , this is not working, back shortly!

BertieBotts Thu 24-Jan-13 13:23:17

How do the school years work, then, if there are some DC who are just 7 and others who aren't quite 6 at the start of school? I know it varies depending on the bundesland. (did I spell that right?) DS was born on 5 October 2008, am I right in thinking he'll start school in September 2015?

cheaspicks Thu 24-Jan-13 15:37:31

Bertie I don't get it either. Dd will also start school in 2015 (born May 2009). The new school year here starts in August most years, but I haven't worked out whether August-born dc start as the youngest or as the oldest, or if their parents can choose. And I don't know whether September-born kids are Kann Kinder and can start at age 5, or whether that system isn't used here in Thuringia. Nor do I know whether the cut-off is different in the years where the school term doesn't start until September.

I think in your case, although your ds may be a Kann Kind and could start school a year early (depending on Bundesland), you won't want him to because of the language (or is he already bilingual). Or he's a genius like MIL says dd is and will have to start year two at age 6 because otherwise he'll be bored.

Ploom Thu 24-Jan-13 16:02:44

Just a quickie cause on my phone.
We survived the orthodontist with no great drama altho she was less than pleased by how she looks when she smiles. He only did the top ones today because they need to go back a bit first before the bottom ones can go on. She's just tucking into mashed potato & mashed baked beans so think all is ok so far.

About schools - ds1 has an October birthday so could have started age 5 nearly 6 but we kept him back till he was 6 nearly 7 but one of the girls in the village whose birthday is 4 days later than ds1 started school when she was 5.

Ds2 has an end of August birthday (yeah yeah poor planning here too!) but started school just after his 6th birthday & is coping surprisingly well. In the end I think you know you're own child but if there's the possibility to wait (ie October/November birthday) then I'd let them wait.

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 16:19:50

I'm thoroughly confused by all the Kann-/Muss-Kind business, but luckily don't have to understand it as it doesn't exist in Austria. grin The cut-off date here is 31st August, and that's it (unless it's decided that your child isn't schulreif). Your DS would be one of the oldest in his year, MrTumbles - the August-born Buben are the worst off here! I've noticed that the month in which they're born seems to affect girls far less than boys - at least among the children we know.

DD1 had her first Hörverarbeitungstraining today. It's a little stressful as we only have 10 minutes between the end of the training session and the start of Musikkunde, but hopefully it will be worth it (especially considering the fortune it costs).

Can hear screaming and DD2 in hysterics... had better go and investigate.

LinzerTorte Thu 24-Jan-13 16:20:28

Glad to hear the orthodontist went OK, Ploom - hope your DD gets used to the braces quickly.

hupa Thu 24-Jan-13 16:41:14

Ploom Glad the orthodontist went well. Dh and the dc are there for their first appointment right now. They´ve been gone ages and we´ve got to go out soon.

For whoever asked, I met dh in Canada while I was travelling. He´s German and was also travelling with a friend. There was no big romance, but we swapped addresses and kept in touch maybe once or twice a year for the next couple of years. He then visited me in England and we started a long distance relationship for 4 or 5 years before I finally moved to Germany and we married 18 months later.

We do OPOL at home with the dc, but speak English to each other. This is because I couldn´t speak German when I met dh and when I moved here, it just didn´t feel right to speak German after so many years of speaking English.OPOL has worked really well with dd, but the less said abour ds the better.

Planatos That sounds really confusing. Do you still get a chance to speak Spanish?

outnumbered I hope you´ve soon got a house full of healthy children. I really hope it works out with the Kur.

I did a PEKIP course with dd and ds when they were small, which was quite enjoyable and a good way of meeting people. I also did baby massage with dd, but she hated it, so I didn´t bother with ds.

Hello to everyone I´ve missed. I better stop now or this will be mammoth.

itsMYNutella Thu 24-Jan-13 18:44:16

antique there is an English speaking community in Hannover (yet to meet a fellow Brit... Although of course there is Admylin grin ) on Facebook and I think they have a children's group too... Must check that out, thanks for the tip!

Linzer I only noticed the virginal bit after you pointed it out and agree outnumbered that autocorrect is a pita! (Pain in the arse) but without it my German spelling in particular would be super awful...

More drama here from the PIL sad DP told me today what FIL (who is the main problem) asked while I was in the bedroom feeding DS on Sunday; FIL apparently wanted to know when they could come round, what day, how often etc - it seems he wanted some sort of schedule because they feel a bit "abgegrenzt" - can't think of a good English alternative... Denied/ held back / pushed away???
MIL rang today because they had something they wanted to bring us, but she wouldn't say what. DP agreed they could come over but first we were going out for our daily walk. They just wanted to pop in and drop their surprise off.
So DP rang when we were on our way home and they came straight over (40-45 minute drive) they brought us some food. They also gave DP some money for nappies. I do understand that this was a really lovely gesture, it is really kind of MIL to cook for us and very generous that they drove all the way to ours simply to bring us this gift.

I feel like a right shit, but them manipulating themselves another visit, when we had planned a chilled day for us, really made me angry and after DP told me what had been said at the weekend I was fuming. Of course when they arrived DS was feeding and then needed changing and of course there was poo everywhere! So while I was busy DP decided something needed to be said sooner rather than later (I feel awful because I had put pressure on DP to say something, even though I would have gladly said something myself DP was worried that I wouldn't have said it in a delicate way....hmm ).

So DP explained that everyone who has been to visit has been invited by us, nobody else has hassled us into a visit. We will see them, they will see their grandchild but we would like a bit of room. I was still changing DS when they left, they did come and say hello quickly (well MIL did) and I could hear FIL cutting off DP who is lovely and telling him that of course they won't come again unless they are invited.

I know that what they are doing is with the best intentions and I know that they will both be really hurt by what DP said. But I really hope the end result is that DP can be a bit more relaxed and is eventually less stressed!

itsMYNutella Thu 24-Jan-13 18:58:15

Sorry for another PIL whinge sad

platanos I have been meaning to ask you if your dc are trilingual!

cheas how do you do Rotlicht with a toddler? even when ill, ds3 would not sit still for long enough - unless I did it while he is asleep grin I do have a Rotlicht though; I use it when I have sinusitis.
ds1 was a commando crawler, and a funny one too. he only commando crawled using his right arm and leg, lloking like a badly injured soldier. Actually, a mum at a toddler group I attended in the UK said he looked like a snail the way he commando crawled hmm

I think my boobs are still the same size as before ds1. but they've always been small; the only time I had more than a B cup was during pregnancies and whilst breastfeeding. grin at your inverse boobs though! could it (partly) be at the way you were measured though? just wondering as when I had ds1 I kept getting mastitis. there was a lady who'd come to your house with a lovely selection of gorgeous breastfeeding bras and tops, and she's measure you properly. it turned out the nursing bras I had been using (measured and M&S) were completely the wrong size. I think the ones I had were 34C, and what the lady measured (and it really was the end of my mastitis after using her bras) 30E or 32DD!!!

weissdorn I lived in Cardiff for 2 years. I loved it there! the furthest north in Wales I got was St Davids - and that's not very far north. dh was in NOrth Wales a few times though and thought it was gorgeous. Where exactly are you from?

ploom glad the orthodontist went ok and I hope your dd will get used to it quickly.

linzer I am totally confused about all this kann/muss business too, and I am German! From when I was little I remember the deadline for a muss kind was 30th of June. I was pretty much the youngest in my year, as my birthday is 23rd of June. one of brothers' bdays is end of July - he was 7 when he started school. if parents wanted a child to start school early (i.e. it was not 6 before the end of June) they'd have to 'apply' for it. so I guess there wasnt really anything like a 'kann Kind' back then.

hupa thank you. dh just came home and said it's likely that someone else will be going to the states. so fingers crossed it wont be him.

ds2 is slightly better. no more fever, just raised temp. and no more throwing up slime. just lots of coughing and a foul mood grin. ds3 I will probably have to take to the docs in the morning. he hasnt really complained about earache since I gave him calpol this morning. although if I touch his ear, he pulls away. he is coughing loads and has a fever. apparently there's lots of pneumonia around atm so I want to have him checked over before the weekend. one of my brothers (I would have had 4) died as a tiny baby as the doc did not spot he had pneumonia, so I am always a bit paranoid.

nutella I really hope your PIL will understand your pov very soon! It's not fair on you and your dp.

platanos Thu 24-Jan-13 20:01:22

oh dear nutella - that sounds tough. There may well be a "schedule" like FIL wants in the future. But, but, but .... ds is so so small, you and dp need some stress free time. And if both you and your dp are getting stressed about it all then it is good it was said right away. You may feel a bit rotten about it now, but I think it is best to be honest and straight with them.

I have my own little angry this evening. went to pick up dd1 from a friends - 6pm which is quite late for us, 25 mins walk away with a tired and tearful ds and a dd2 in a bad mood (dh had an evening thing at work). dd1 knew when we were coming and had been asked to get ready quickly when we came. Instead she is really cheeky, takes her over 30 mins to get dressed and when we get outside starts an immitation of my nagging "I told you to get ready when we came....." (perfect english though wink) and was then cheeky all the way home. I was sooooo mad. and breathe....she's 10, it is going to get worse isn't it?

hupa it is confusing. No, I speak no Spanish to the children at the moment, though it does sometimes just slip out... I am hoping they will learn it though and it is on offer in gymnasium so there might be a chance.

linzer I share your confusion on the muss/kann kind business. what did dd1 say about her training today?

ploom glad you have the ordeal behind you....hope it is not painful for her. end of august birthday too...tut...

I think outnumbered gets the loudest tut from frau direktor...31st august? wish I had managed that one grin.

mrtumbles tis true that the difference in ages of the children is quite something, especialy when children develop so quickly at that point.

feelling a bit stressed - finding it hard to fit in work around taking dc for school tests, physio and speech therapist appointments, drs etc. time to go to bed me thinks. will all seem better in the morning smile.

platanos that would have made me mad too! And the mimicking I know from ds1, although sometimes I am not sure if it's on purpose (provocation) or not (echolalia). Either way, it's very irritation. Overall, ds1 is the master of provocations and I really hope we can sort out a few things before he hits puberty and gets physically stronger. In general they do say that boys are harder as young children, and girls harder work in the teenage years, don't they? We shall see...

What is your work platanos? I hope you get some rest now and feel better in the morning.

Just to dd to ds3' birthday on August 31: he was born at 10pm grin

Oh Nutella that does sound stressful - I am utterly convinced older people must have had their genuine memories of parenting young children and babies utterly erased (perhaps over written by the reconstructed versions they have told themselves over time), they so often seem so clueless it is almost impossible to believe they were also once parents of newborns, as so many new grandparents seem to see the arrival of grandchildren and everything thereafter as all about them... so weird!

We speak English as a family language btw - this seems to have worked really well so far, but we are living in a very rural location where nobody outside the house really speaks English to or around the children, friends, extended family on DH's side etc. are all German. DH speaks German to them if they have friends here, but I still speak English to my kids and German to their friends, which seems to be fine, and they speak German to me even in front of their friends - in general DD's friends find this interesting and positive but DS1's are a bit non plussed, but neither child has ever argued or complained about it. DD's teacher says nothing marks her out as speaking German as a second language - at Kindergarten they said she mixed her articles sometimes but that many children of Kindergarten age do, but if that was an issue it fixed itself by school. When DS1 started KiGa they questioned his level of German, but the problem was actually his extreme shyness with people he doesn't know and speaking in front of groups - this has more than respolved itself now and he has no language problems. In the UK nobody could tell the kids weren't English born and bred, so so far, so good smile Who knows if they'll refuse to speak English in their teens, but I hope not!

On the school start thing, it seems to be different in each state, but:

The cut off date here in Bavaria is 30th Sept.

Using this Sept as an example - all children born before 30th Sept 2007 and not already in school are Muss Kinder - they must start school on 13th Sept unless they have an exemption. The discrepancy between the date school starts and the cut off means a few children can be aged 5 when they start school, though only for 2 weeks.

Children born between October and December 2007 are Kann Kinder - if their parents want them to start school in Sept 2013 they can take some extra tests and may be allowed to start school early. Where we live this is viewed as a ludicrous and pushy thing to do, pretty much equated with robbing your child of a childhood and dooming them to failure on all sorts of levels, but this seems to be a rural attitude - in other areas I think it is common to send children as Kann Kinder.

If children are not ready for school they can sometimes get a year's grace - this mainly seems to be used for summer born children, but it doesn't seem especially unusual for children born as early as spring to be given an extra year in Kindergarten, if there is a reason - most common seems to be maturity. Where we live pretty much all summer born boys seem to be kept back, and about half summer born girls. DD has a boy born in April 2006 in her year - she was born Sept 2007, meaning the age spread is 17 months within one school year - if there had been any Kann Kinder in her class (which there aren't) there could have been an even wider age range in one school "year" - up to about 20 months.

So most school intakes will include 5 (nearly 6) year olds with children who have already turned 7, within the same year, because of the option of holding children back.

How easy it is to hold a child back is open to interpretation though - I initially was under the impression you merely have to state your intention as a parent, but it is definitely not that easy, and there are hoops to jump through and it is ultimately down to the school whether they go with the parent's wishes or insist a child starts school. The school can also insist a child waits a year against the parents wishes - that part I already knew, as there is a girl in DD's class whom this happened to, and it seemed to have worked well - she was very immature indeed at KiGa and seemed to have some very real problems (she was still not properly toilet trained at 5) but having stayed back a year she is now doing well at school by all accounts...

That is an essay, I will log off again, still not having properly replied to people or name checked! DS2 still has a cough but no longer seems ill and miserable with it, and I have an on and off sore throat and swollen tongue (:/) but I think I am just run down so shall just plod along and ignore it - one day I shall sleep through another night, and then a few in a row (of course what I mean is DS2 will) and then, a couple of week s- and then I will glow with health and well being for ever after grin

Outnumbered here in Bavaria the deadline used to be 30th June but that was changed relatively recently - it had certainly changed to Sept by the time my DD was old enough for school, in Sept 2011. I understand it they moved it by a month each year for 3 years and then it stopped at end of Sept. I have no idea why.

BertieBotts Thu 24-Jan-13 20:41:47

No that's really helpful MrTumbles, thank you smile I had not heard of Kann-kinder and Muss-kinder before, but it makes sense.

DS is not bilingual (yet!), so I think that it would be good for him to have a couple of years of Kiga before school really starts anyway. Plus although he is bright he is quite sensitive and I hear that school is quite rigorous? I think I'd be happier if he was a little more robust and at almost 7 I think that is more likely than at not quite 6 smile

It sounds like a good system to me - meaning DC move up to school when they are ready rather than some arbitrary age. I suppose the later starting age makes this easier to work out, too - it would be difficult IMO to judge whether a four year old is ready for school or not, but at 5/6/7 you have more idea really.

itsMYNutella Thu 24-Jan-13 20:47:31

Yes platanos I do feel it was best to say something now rather than let it become a bigger issue than it needs to be. I'm also sure once we have more routine and he feeds less often they can take him for a walk or whatever they want; but really, what do they expect at 3 weeks old? <bewildered emoticon>
outnumbered I feel it's especially unfair on DP because of course FIL knows exactly what buttons to push sad

platanos your DD sounds like a cheeky madam which I never was and oh dear, does 10 count as a tweenie these days?

outnumbered totally agree with your bra measuring experience! When I went to get some cosy pregnancy bras the woman was determined to take me up a couple of back sizes and down a couple of cup sizes which left me with an awful fit. I was so stressed out by it & I kept telling her they were wrong. In the end I didn't buy any but I was so annoyed to have wasted so much time and energy! I did eventually buy a maternity/BF bra from a local maternity shop (incredibly expensive) but it is soooo cosy I now have three from the same brand grin

Really hope your DSs get better quickly! My younger brother used to always get earache, I can remember him waking in the middle of the night screaming when it was bad. Nothing wrong with being paranoid, being a brand new parent of a PFB I'm surprised we haven't been to the Dr more often wink

grin at all the "family planning" fails and August born DCs! My nephew is also a 31.8. Birthday boy and I think he started school (well, reception) when he had just turned 4 shock!

The worst thing, in relation to DS1 starting school, is that I had an elective c-section with him at 38 weeks for various reasons related to the mess that was DD's delivery - I made the decision after much agonising and mid changing, but in blissful ignorance of the fact that by having him at 38 weeks I was condemning him to being a 2013 Muss Kind - if I had waited to go into spontaneous labour he would almost certainly have been born in October (DD was induced at 42 weeks) and therefore an automatic 2014 school starter, without all the fence sitting and having to make a decision that may or may not be the right one on his behalf confused sad

Another oddity is that as both my elder 2 have Sept birthdays and are 24 months apart, they could be 1, 2 or 3 school years apart - one if I had kept DD back but not DS, 2 if both started in their automatic school year or were both kept back, 3 if, as planned I hold only Ds1 back...

Ploom Fri 25-Jan-13 05:56:28

Morning!! Will try to post properly later but mrtumbles post caught my eye - your dc have 24 months between them but will be 3 years apart at school. My ds's have 22 months between them and are only 1 year apart at school!! Crazy how it works grin.

Me and db1 are 21months apart and he was 1 school year ahead of me. Db2 and I are 25 months apart and I was 3 school years ahead if him. smile

LinzerTorte Fri 25-Jan-13 07:06:48

A 24 month gap would almost always mean two years apart at school here. However, a friend of mine has three DC with age gaps of 19 and 14 months; her oldest two will be in the same school year - her oldest is in the preschool class atm - and the youngest in the year below. (The middle one's birthday is at the end of August so if she'd been five days younger, she would have been in the same school year as the youngest).

I'm quite impressed by her managing to have three DC at primary school at the same time for three whole years. grin Mine are all only two years apart, but by the time DS started school, DD1 had already moved up to middle school.

AntiqueMuppet Fri 25-Jan-13 07:23:31

outnumbered I was comparing pre- and post pregnancy sizes. I was never measured while bf & wonder now whether that contributed to all the nasty lumps etc.

I had no idea the school year was so complicated! Ds has a mid-Sept birthday which I think will make him one of the oldest in the year here in Hessen, but I'm not sure
hupa does that sound right to you? I have ko idea what year he will start school but should probably find out.

Posting & running this morning as we need to get ready for playgroup. I'll ppp back later to catch up & namecheck

BertieBotts Fri 25-Jan-13 08:55:53

Antique I guess it means that he can either be one of the oldest in the year, or start a year previously and be one of the youngest. Or if there is cause to think he is not ready you could hold him back and he would be one of the very oldest, the year after.

BertieBotts Fri 25-Jan-13 08:57:19

My boobs are bigger than before pregnancy, but I have breastfed for four years blush so perhaps that made them bigger. My mum said the same though - she was an A before, C during pregnancy/BF and a B ever after. I'd be happy with staying a B.

LinzerTorte Fri 25-Jan-13 09:11:42

That didn't work for me, Bertie - was four years for one child and have you stopped bfing now? I bfed for around 5 years altogether, but with two breaks of about a year. Like Antique, I've dropped a couple of cup sizes post-DC - although my rib cage seems to have expanded and I now find a 34 more comfortable than a 32 (although I was measured as still being a 32).

I've just started doing my tax return which, although quite straightforward, is so fiddly and time-consuming. The reminder to do it keeps popping up on my phone and annoying me, so I'll be glad to have it out of the way.

hupa Fri 25-Jan-13 09:14:29

Antique The cut of date in Hessen is June 30th. That means your ds will start school just before his 7th birthday if he starts as a muss Kind. There´s more information here.

Planatos Our dd is also 10 and she´s usually lovely, but when she´s tired we definitely get a glimpse of the teenager she could become. Maybe admylin can reassure us that not all teenagers are a nightmare - she says hopefully.

Nutella as you say it will be brillant when your ds is older to have willing babysitters on hand, but at 3 weeks you really just need time to get used to parenthood. Hopefully they´ll be understanding and as MrTumbles says, they have obviously forgotten what the first few weeks are like and are just excited and want to be involved and are forgetting about your feelings in all their excitement.

The dcs are having a rodeln day today. All lessons are cancelled and all the classes are spreading themselves around the town on various hills with their Bobs and Popo Rutscher. I´m sure the dc will have fun, but I don´t envy the teachers having to stand around in the cold. I´ve also warned dh that there could be more Schulunfälle than usual this morning.

hupa Fri 25-Jan-13 09:19:51

Linzer I don´t envy you do the tax return - is it ususally quite straightforward?

Well as far as bra sizes go I went fromm a tiny 34AA to a still tiny, but a teeny bit bigger 34A after children. It was just as well because AA bras are virtually impossible to find here.

Ploom Fri 25-Jan-13 09:54:36

ok I've made myself a cuppa so can finally post properly smile.

I like the fact that there is a variation in when the dc can start school especially if there is any question of them not being totally ready but I do find the difference in age quite obvious in the 1. Klasse. Think it settles down in the following years - although dd can tell you the age range of her 6. Klasse, they all seem to be on a similar level with regards to learning. Agree with mrtumbles thats it quite common for the late summer born boys to wait a year altho ds didnt. Also agree that the only parents who put their kann kinder in school when they dont need to are the typical pushy parents. You know the ones who believes their precious dd is a child genius and could perhaps skip the 1. Klasse alltogether wink.

linzer - hope you get the tax return sorted out - I dont envy you either.

hupa - that sounds like a fun day the dc are having. Very sensible from the teachers to let the dc enjoy the snow while its there altho you're right - they'll be bloody freezing standing about.

oh platanos - pre teen girls!! what can I say?? They can be so cheeky at times and so stroppy if they dont want to do something then they can flick a switch and be so loving and fun and you wonder what happened! Thankfully we're getting 80% of the good with my dd (11) just now but god when she's awful she is really awful.

nutella - oh you have all my sympathy about the IL's. I have had my troubles with my IL's in the past and having seen how they have been to my BIL & SIL with their baby then I dont think they have learned anything. I think its good for you and DP to state boundaries but maybe your FIL was trying (cackhandedly obviously) to say the same thing. Maybe it would be good to set a schedule with them that they come over every Thursday afternoon (for example) then at least they wont pop in unannounced and as your ds gets a bit older and doesnt need fed quite so often then they can take him out for a walk etc. I imagine they are so desperate to spend time with you all but they're just not going about it the right way at the moment and if you can get some kind of plan that suits you then it'll keep everyone happy - especially you, dp and ds - and make life so much less stressful.

outnumbered - glad the dc are a bit better but think a trip to the doctor will probably put your mind at rest.

<<waves to everyone else that I've missed>>

Something pinged on my car when I started it on Tuesday and I finally took it to the garage this morning and one of the springs is broken confused. I saw it with my own eyes when he put it up on the ramps but always wish I knew a bit more about cars as I can never get the feeling away that they are going to swindle me out of money. They've given me a hire car till its fixed which might not be until tomorrow........... at which time I've booked the boys onto a ski course a 30 mins drive away. Its their first time downhill skiing, it starts at 10am and I need to be there at 9.45 with all the hired skis etc. Dont think I can just leave them there?? There is no way I can get my own car back tomorrow and dh is on call hmm. Think I'm