Endlich Sommer - and time for a new Kaffeeklatsch thread...

(204 Posts)
LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 07:54:30

... for those living in Germany or Austria or anyone who just wants to chat/ask a question about living in or visiting this part of the world - all welcome. smile

Previous thread here

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 08:43:35

It most definately is endlich Sommer here! It was 34° yesterday and they just said it'll go to up to 37° today!

Just delivered the car for the TÜV/AU and an Inspektion (whatever they do for one of those) and it has been quoted at 350€ shock double what I was expecting.

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 09:03:55

Or definitely...

hupa Wed 19-Jun-13 09:54:19

Linzer Thanks for starting a new thread. It´s boiling here today.

admylin I´m always shocked at how much our car bills are, although I did get my brakes repaired last week for 63 Euros which seemed like a bargain, simply because it was still in double figures.

Nutella Thanks for those tips. We´re hiring a motorcaravan for 3 weeks and heading towards northern Spain. We haven´t booked any campsites, so that we can be really flexible about where we stay (or alternatively will we end up sleeping at the side of the road because everywhere is booked up). I´m glad you enjoyed the break, but it´s always great to get back to your own bed.

The dc have got their annual Schwimmfest today and couldn´t have picked a better day for it. I´m meeting them later, so will yet again have to brave showing my bikini body to the rest of the town. At least the threat of this every summer, motivates me to do a bit of exercise.

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 10:12:26

hupa I wish it motivated me! The only exercise I'm getting atm is about five minutes' cycling a day to and from school, which I know isn't enough.

admylin Cars are such an expense, aren't they? 37° has been forecast for parts of Austria today too, although thankfully it's "only" in the low 30s here.

I'm trying to sort out our summer holidays (childcare, etc.) at the moment, but unfortunately the place where I sent the DC last year - which they really enjoyed - is full. Otherwise, there just seem to be expensive tennis and beach volleyball camps (none of which the DC would want to do, even if they were affordable for three DC) or the odd thing that lasts a couple of hours. So it looks like I'll have to take the whole nine weeks off work and say goodbye to my sanity. I was only planning on sending them for the second and third weeks of the holidays anyway, but I'll certainly be in need of a holiday by the end of the third week now!

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 10:26:48

Linzer things get filled up so quickly don't they? Everyone always seems to be a thousand times more organised than me. Yesterday I looked at a website for Hannover summer holidays with all the organised activities for the dc and of course all the good ones are already fully booked right through to the last day of the holidays. No point sining up for that then!
Have you still got a few weeks planned with holidays away?

hupa sounds like a good plan with the flexible holiday. Are you driving down from Germany? Will you be having a go at driving the motorcaravan? Lol at you being brave and showing your bikini body to the town! I am lucky in that my 2 are old enough to go to Freibad with their friends.

If I liked driving that'd be something for me but I hate driving especially on motorways. My dream is to drive to the UK (and fill the car with shopping) but I'd need a driver as it's not going to happen otherwise. Anyone fancy being my driver there and back, preferably over to Hull or even Newcastle?!

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 10:35:53

Hitzefrei at school - dc just turned up 2 hours early! Dd is trying to organise her friends into going to the Freibad later.

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 10:47:14

Just saw your post on FB admylin and was wondering why schools never seem to close in Austria due to adverse weather conditions! DD2 and DS are both out on school trips this morning anyway, and DD1 went to the pool with her class yesterday afternoon.

I signed the DC up for the Ferienbetreuung at the last minute last year without any problems, but word has obviously got around about it! I suppose I can't complain too much as I don't actually have to work, but I'll definitely have to be more organised next year. Although DD1 will be too old for it then... We do have a holiday planned at the end of July and will be going back to the UK for a couple of weeks in August, but I don't think that accounts for even half the summer holidays. This will be the first year I've had all three of them at home for the whole nine weeks, as last year DS was still able to go to KiGa in July (which only closes for three weeks in the summer).

admylin Wed 19-Jun-13 11:18:55

Wow, 9 weeks is really long! We 'only' have 6 weeks to fill and that's enough. Dd is ready to go back to school after about 4 weeks and starts packing her bag and getting all her pens and pencils ready!

It's getting really hot here. It said 34°C at 11am. Even though I've kept everything closed it's heading towards ventilator time!

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 14:13:29

I'm always a bit envy when I see parents in the UK complaining about the summer holidays being too long (I know you only have six weeks in Germany too, but I don't hear so many complaints from parents in Germany for some reason!). I heard an expert on the radio saying that the summer holiday here is too long as it takes the children a long time to get back into learning mode again, but I can't see things changing this century any time soon. We could definitely do with holidays being spread out more evenly throughout the year.

We've got all the shutters and blinds closed too, although it's only really the top floor that's getting hot - it usually takes a week or so for the house to warm up, so it's still nice and cool indoors. "Only" 32° here, though.

AntiqueMuppet Wed 19-Jun-13 19:51:55

Thanks for the new thread, Linzer!

Ridiculously hot here too, we've been hiding out indoors this afternoon as it's a tiny bit cooler than outside. Huge storms forecast for tomorrow. I'm off to the theatre tomorrow night, yay!

LinzerTorte Wed 19-Jun-13 21:09:39

I'm waiting for our bedroom to cool down so that I can go to bed and read! But I have to keep the light off while the window is wide open so that the Mücken don't come in.

Enjoy the theatre, Antique - I haven't been for years. envy (Peppa Pig's Treasure Hunt doesn't count. grin)

admylin Thu 20-Jun-13 10:03:37

Linzer did your bedroom cool down? Ours certainly didn't, not until about 3 or 4 in the morning! I've just put up 2 black-out roller blinds and we'll see if that helps although today it must have been too late and it's boiling in there. Oh well, atleast the sun won't wake me early at the weekend.

Antique is it English or German theatre? Enjoy, whichever it is!

We collected the car from the garage last night and they said the 2 front brakes could do with being changed (although if it passed the TÜV it can't be that bad) and quoted us 270€. Does that not sound alot for just 2 brakes? I might ask around.

cheaspicks Thu 20-Jun-13 11:51:45

Thanks for the new thread, Linzer! The house has finally got too hot for me to do anything productive today, so I'm catching up on some internet surfing (that's my excuse, anyway!) I was doing very well and being quite fleißig this week so far as well...

hupa those holiday plans sound good. We hired a motorhome for a week when dd was little and travelled round the UK visiting friends and had a great time, but it was expensive to hire. Hope you got a better deal than we did!

admylin We did the drive to Rotterdam from Berlin a couple of weeks ago and it wasn't too bad, although it was longer than we usually need. I think we stopped near Hannover for lunch, so it would probably be fairly doable for you (4-5 hrs?) DH does all the driving, though. I offer half-heartedly to take over occasionally, but it doesn't seem to tire him much and I'm happy to sit and read/sleep. Does your DH drive?

linzer I'm another one who never gets things organised early - I assume Austrians are like Germans and sort everything out as soon as they can. That was my New Year's Resolution this year, but sometimes it makes no sense, like buying children's shoes months in advance when you don't know what size their feet will be.

antique what are you going to see? Something in German? I'm not hugely keen on plays - find stage actors too shouty a lot of the time - but it's always nice to go out in the evening and not have to do the bedtime routine stuff.

Hmm, my coffee break seems to have lasted until lunchtime confused. I want to try a recipe for some Middle Eastern filled savoury pastries, but it's one of these recipes that starts with salting aubergines, so I must get started. Will report back if they're good!

AntiqueMuppet Thu 20-Jun-13 12:43:22

Did the Mücken leave you alone last night, Linzer? Hope it was cool enough to sleep. It was sweltering again here last night and DS ended up in our bed too which made it even warmer. It's cooled down a little now after the 'storms' this afternoon, which were really just a bit of rain and wind, but better than nothing.

Hope the blinds make a difference tonight, admylin. I have no idea what a set of brakes should cost so can't help there, sorry!

When are you off on holiday, hupa? Are you looking forward to it? Have a lovely time.

The play is in English. I actually have no idea what we're going to see blush There is an amateur English-language theatre group in our city who put on a new production every few months and a I've been to the last two with two friends. It's just a nice excuse for an evening out and a glass of wine without any of the usual toddler bedtime hassle, like cheas said.

I've had a look and the play is 'Same Time, Next Year' by Bernard Slade. They usually pick pieces that have run on Broadway and have been popular in the States. They are sometimes a bit shouty, though grin

Those Middle Eastern pastries sound good, cheas. I'd be interested to know how they turn out. All my good intentions have gone to pot today and I'm drinking a nice cup of coffee to wash down the half a pack of biscuits I've just snaffled.

LinzerTorte Thu 20-Jun-13 19:50:07

Antique The Mücken stayed away, but so did sleep... it was well after midnight before it was finally cool enough, or rather I was exhausted enough, to get to sleep. On the plus side, I caught up on my podcast listening! Hope you're enjoying the theatre, possibly even as I write. I've just realised I lied in my last post and we went to see Dick Whittington earlier this year, but that doesn't count either as it wasn't a child-free evening out and there was no wine involved. grin

cheas I've often wondered whether salting aubergines makes much difference; I usually do whatever the recipe says and can't say I've noticed that the aubergines are particularly bitter if I don't salt them before cooking. The savoury pastries sound delicious, at any rate. I made a vegan puff pastry pie yesterday (well, vegan apart from the pastry); it turned out quite well, although DS wasn't keen and his friend refused to touch it.

admylin We have blackout blinds too and I kept them closed all day, but it didn't seem to make much difference. I need to find the fan for tonight! No idea about the brakes, I'm afraid, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to get another quote.

It turns out that all three DC will be getting a new teacher next year, as DD1's teacher phoned me last night to say she'd accepted a job at another school, or rather college (she really wanted to speak to DH, but he's away, so I had a long-ish conversation about it with her instead). And DD2's teacher finally told the class today that she'll be leaving at Christmas, so I don't have to be careful about what I say any longer (she wasn't planning on telling them until the autumn, but one of the girls asked her whether she'd be staying with them in the 4. Klasse - I'm sure she must have heard rumours).

Hello and thank you for the new thread, although I was hardly on the last one really...
There is no way I can keep up with everything so apologies in advance.

admylin tomorrow I can check the invoice I was given at the garage yesterday...an invoice of 780€ sad and brakes was one of the things that needed doing. We took the car in for its annual service, but - like last year - loads of things needed doing. Definitely time to replace our espace. The plan is to take it on hols with us next month and then look for a new one when we are back.

Far too hot in our house too. Last night I just could not sleep. And when I did sleep I was awoken again by one of the boys...

It's been raining and thundering for the past 2 hours, but still it's unbelievably hot and muggy upstairs. The dog was completely unbothered by his first thunderstorm btw. A nice change to my first dog ( a big, black Great Dane/lab cross) who'd start shaking and try to hide under sofas - and then get stuck- if someone just dared to pop some bubble gun grin

We heard back from our landlord about how much he wants for the house. And it is far more than it is worth. I guess he doesn't know that we've been looking at properties for a while now and know the prices very well - I guess I can't blame him for trying. But I sent him an email back giving him a little list of properties that are for sale or have been sold in the area. Lets see if he'll think it over, but it is at least 50-70k€ more than what it's worth so I don't hold up much hope.

Have fun at the theatre antique and enjoy the wine smile

Our babysitters are giving me a brilliant present for my birthday on Sunday. They are babysitting all three free of charge all day, so that me and dh can go somewhere for the day. I can't wait!!! We will be going to visit friends in Stuttgart. The visit was planned anyway, though with children, but this way we will actually be able to talk to each other grin

Hope everyone is doing ok, dc are all well. I would like to say that I'll be a more frequent visitor to this new thread, but I'd probably be lying. Got so much so sort out at the moment, both for ds1&2 it really feels like a full time job. I have managed to get an appt in Frankfurt for ds1 in 1.5 weeks ( the place where ds2 was diagnosed and I was very impressed with) and I really hope they have some answers for me. Despite being on meds now, for the past 2-3 weeks he has been increasingly difficult, violent with no impulse control. The scratches on my arm for a mega outburst last week have only just healed, and now I have a swollen and painful index finger sad. I don't know of he needs to be on a higher dose, or different meds yet again, or if it just simply something I ill just have to live with... I am expecting Frankfurt to say that they will have to keep him ( and me I guess??) in for a few days for observation, although I have no idea how that will be possible what with ds2&3, and dh working as much as he does.

Anyway, it's turned into another 'me' post, when I just intended to say hello and apologise for being absent blush

admylin Fri 21-Jun-13 08:49:07

outnumbered how annoying about the house, hope you manage to get him to go down in price abit. Atleast you would save the moving costs etc. Thanks, if you get time let me know what it said on the invoice about the brakes. I'llhave to get mine out of the car and see which parts he actually quoted us for.
Have a lovely trip at the weekend, how nice of the babysitters!

Antique how was your night out?
Linzer we cook with aubergine alot and although they are edable without salting them, I find they do taste even better the longer they are salted. The best results are if I chop them and put them in salted water with some lemon juice for over an hour then rinse. Hmm, might do aubergine curry tonight!

cheaspicks I'll have to see which is nearer for me, Rotterdam is another option. I checked the crossing for Amsterdam to Newcastle and it was almost 500€ and a long crossing too so would probably need to book a cabin if overnight. Think I've missed any cheap deals to get to the UK as usual. Poor dd is desperate to get to the 'decent shops' as she calls them!

itsMYNutella Fri 21-Jun-13 14:18:02

Hello ladies.
Hupa Bilbao, San Sebastián and ... The place where a pilgrimage ends (compostosomething) are all supposed to be lovely too. I'd personally love to I to Bilbao and see the Guggenheim. I'm not sure if its still there but they had a Hockney exhibition recently that my Mum said was great.
I like the idea of a campervan, perhaps we could have a communal one and share it around the thread (appropriately stocked with DVDs of course) grin
Actually that's what I want to do in January; hire a van (somewhere warm) and have a chilled out driving holiday.

Outnumbered that is a really lovely birthday presentsmile I hope you and DH have a really lovely day!

Sorry I've forgotten what else I was going to write... Oh, Linzer thank you for the new thread! grin

It is lovely today, I don't mind if it stays around 20-25. The other day it was much too warm and DS was rather quiet - we gave him a lukewarm bath before bed that he realllllly enjoyed.

Also, DP and I are having a vegetarian month to make us try new recipes & basically experiment with food. I made 2 delicious curries yesterday. I would be very happy with curry, dahl as similar every day. I wonder how long it will take DP to notice it turning into "Indian curry month" wink

itsMYNutella Fri 21-Jun-13 14:21:14

outnumbered don't ever worry about a "me" post! I'm not sure if there is a better place to vent than on MN!

fussychica Fri 21-Jun-13 19:20:18

DS just gone to Hamburg for the summer on a Leonardo (EU funded) language course and work placement before his year abroad in the French Basque country.
He said it was incredibly hot there yesterday - he had to wear formal clothes for a meeting and was glad to get home for a shower -poor lad..

platanos Fri 21-Jun-13 21:01:15

nutella I second the idea of a thread campervan! Little ones don't really like the heat, do they?

hupa we used to go to northern Spain on holidays when I was small (escaped the heat of central Spain to the north). I have plenty of suggestions of smaller places (and ones where Spaniards go on holiday) so let me know if you want them! It's lovely...the sea can be quite rough though in some parts.

admylin thanks for the aubergine cooking tip, I love aubergine...my dc don't. No idea about brakes, sorry. I am dreading taking our car for its Pickerl. And we still have winter tyres on. The garage that changes and stores our tyres ( a city thing? or an austrian thing?) has ordered two new summer tyres for us but they have not come...they say. But how can tyres take 5 weeks to arrive? We drive a ford fgs and we are not on a remote island.

linzer dd2's teacher is leaving at Christmas of the 4. Klasse? Gasp. Horror. wink I hope you did find something for your dc...even if it is a few hours here and there.

cheaspicks your shoe comment made me laugh. My neighour called me at work about a children's shoe sale, quoting different prizes for different sizes, colours etc. She's crosssed the city twice (in the U-Bahn in the heat) to get her dd shoes for the next 3 years. She is really sweet but I am far too hot and busy to be doing that.

fussychic I do feel sorry for all those men dressed in suits in these temperatures. How long is he in Hamburg for?

outnumbered have a lovely day off. It sounds like you really need and deserve one. I hope the people in Frankfurt can help with ds and that the landlord realises he is overestimating the value of his property.

Ds has been put in the class with the teacher I least wanted. The head told me today she has put him in the 1. klasse but will see and probably swap him to the Vorschulklasse. And none of the children from his kindergarten are in his class - all put into the other 1.Klassse. Meanwhile dd1 is getting increasingly nervous about secondary school. Poor pet. Quite a few of her friends are moving with her though.

Have a good weekend - last swimming session tomorrow, hurrah. Feel free to throw me off MN if I enroll them again in September.

admylin Fri 21-Jun-13 21:05:56

fussy it was over 30°C but it has cooled down now thank goodness! Hope your son enjoys his stay.

Nutella good idea to give your ds a cool bath. Did your flat stay cool? Ours didn't! Good that we bought fans last year.
What was on the veggie menu today? We had potato and tomato curry today, one of the few curries that everyone will eat in our house.

admylin Fri 21-Jun-13 21:10:41

platanos poor dd, it's all a big change isn't it? Does ds know the situation with 1. klasse/vorschule? Don't you get a say in it or is the decision made by the teacher in the end?

fussychica Sat 22-Jun-13 13:15:01

platanos admylin He is there until mid September. At the moment it's still language lessons and he is trying to sort out a suitable work placement. It's a big adjustment for him even though he has been away at Uni for 2 years - this means being FAR more independent. He is studying MFL but German is only the minor of his 3 languages so it's by far his weakest - hence the reason for going. He isn't finding it easy but he's a confident lad so I'm sure he'll get there in the end but I do worry about/miss him!

admylin Sat 22-Jun-13 16:19:39

fussy I bet you miss him. I dread the day my 2 set off into the world. Ds wants to go to Japan or Korea and dd wants to go and live in the US when they've finished school here in Germany!

itsMYNutella Sat 22-Jun-13 18:35:02

admylin those are adventurous children! I have a friend in Japan who has lived there about ten years now. I doubt he'll go back to Ireland - but he is rather handy if you want to figure out Tokyo! grin
The pekip thing I go to is run by a children's nurse and she recommended a "lauwarm" bath on hot days. DS really enjoys baths, we're not enjoying them as much because we get a soaking hmm trouble is we can't actually fit in our tiny bathroom with any sort of baby bath... Perhaps we should try showering with him...

Our flat stays cool ish. I would guess it was still at least 26-28 in here the other day/night.

Welcome fussy smile hamburg must be a great city to visit & study in. We're not far away (Hannover); hamburg is definitely more interesting though.

Better go, DS is almost asleep - he is supposed to be having a good feed so that he sleeps until 8 am <wishful thinking>... Ok 4 am would do! wink

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick one to rejoin the thread! We've been loving the hot weather, at the Freibad as much as possible - I love Freibads!! Just something that don't exist in the UK. I have got past caring about people seeing my body, there is always somebody worse, and tbh I don't take any notice of what I see, so why would anybody else except teens, who are another species anyway ;) (we had 37 degrees 4 days in a row, though yesterday was 25 and today it rained in the morning and was at least dry and around 18 in the afternoon - thank goodness as DS1 had a football tournament and has another tomorrow, and DD was at a birthday party all outdoors on a farm!). Sympathies to those with babies though - mine are all children rather than babies now, so old enough to enjoy the water and th the heat rather than by grumpy about it, and DS2 actually sleeps from 8.30-5am fairly reliably in temperatures over 36 degrees it seems quickly investigates the possibility of jobs in Singapore and ignores the possibility of heat stroke wink

Admylin we always drive and take the ferry from Rotterdam to Hull (my parents are about 1.5 hours drive from Hull) - it works out about 2/3 of the price of flying plus hire car for a family of 5 even including the diesel.

Outnumbered hope your landlord sees sense on prices! As you say, perhaps he's just chancing his luck and will come down to market value.

Welcome to the thread fussy - I left for India 3 weeks after my A levels, so I'm with your son -and that was 20 years ago when phone connections were very dodgy - I think I phoned twice in the first 6 months smile (I did write too). I moved to Japan straight after my degree too. I wouldn't have done things any other way tbh.

In shock news I think I am getting a motorbike - I had them pre-DC (first motivated by nightmare commute into London and discovering an hour on the tube could be replaced by 20 minutes on a motorbike) but gave up when pregnant with my eldest - fast forward 8 years and I think maybe I am ready for another bike smile We saw one today but it was just too big - going to look at one tomorrow though that I think may be just right - I really wanted the same bike 10 years ago, but it was a brand new model, maybe now I can actually afford one smile My boys are most impressed, DD not so sure...

fussychica Sun 23-Jun-13 10:24:56

MrTumbles wow very daring and exciting - this is a bit tame by comparison! He was told he'd have regular internet/Skype access but that's not been the case so far so his mobile has taken a hammering I wonder who'll be paying?

Thanks for the welcome everyone. He is loving Hamburg so far, especially now the mega hot days have gone, I think that heat reminded him of living in Spain toooo much. Sure it will return though.

LinzerTorte Mon 24-Jun-13 07:28:50


It's pouring with rain here this morning and about 15° cooler - why can't we ever have any nice in-between weather? It was far too hot for the Stadtlauf yesterday, although I still wished I could have taken part; I really need to start running again if my knee is amenable. DD1 managed to beat last year's time as she's been going out running with her class every week, but the other two were slower (the fact that we hadn't done any training at all beforehand probably didn't help either).

fussy Good to hear your DS is enjoying Hamburg. I almost went there for my year out (after A levels), but ended up in Berlin instead - I wasn't a confident traveller or very independent at the time (I'd never flown with my family before, for example, let alone on my own, so was incredibly nervous about checking in at the airport and whether I'd manage to find the departure lounge!) but I had a great time - and I'm sure my German wasn't as good as your DS's must be either. I only remember phoning my parents once, to let them know I'd arrived safely, but like MrTumbles wrote lots of letters.

MrTumbles Keep meaning to check whether DD2 owes your DD a PM, as she's been asking but of course can't write out of turn. grin She does seem to have replied to the last one she had, but I know that they occasionally don't get through.

platanos Does your DS mind being the only one from his KiGa in the class? It seems a bit strange to separate the children like that. Were you able to put down names of other children that you'd like to be in the same class as him? Our headteacher said that they can't guarantee that they'll be able to keep them all together, but make sure that at least one other child from their list is with them. Poor DD1; I often think it's hardest for the oldest child as they don't know what to expect, whereas the others have already seen at least one older brother or sister starting KiGa/Volksschule, etc.

Nutella We have Indian curry weekend every single weekend. grin Still haven't managed to find any poppadums here that you can just heat up in the oven, though.

admylin That's useful to know about the aubergine. DD2 is a bit weird about cooked vegetables and won't eat courgettes, mushrooms, peppers or tomatoes (although is quite happy to eat the latter two raw), and I suspect that aubergine is probably on the list too so I haven't cooked it for a while, but will have to try your salting method next time.

outnumbered Hope you enjoyed your birthday and had a lovely day in Stuttgart! Have you heard back from your landlord yet? I suppose if he's not desperate to sell, then he's more likely to ask for a higher price - or maybe he's just being over-optimistic about what it's worth?

admylin Tue 25-Jun-13 09:56:14

Morning. Trying to get the place tidy for our guests coming on Friday and doing some batch cooking to get it out of the way. Just finished a big pot of 3 lentil dhal, chickpea curry next.

Linzer when do you break up from school? We are done tomorrow! Whoopeee...! It has cooled down here too. I feel abit sorry for the open air pool round the corner from us as it has gone from bursting at the seams to almost empty again. They were sold out of all food and drink the other day and had to even stop letting people in as it was too full.

Ds has found his work experience for next year (you have to start applying now or everything is full) and his friend is coming round tomorrow to get some help as his dad can't help him and he's stuck. It's another case of school setting a project and not giving any help at all - just expecting a result. Bit like that film/video project a while back that dd was expected to do without a single computer lesson or video editing being taught. I can't decide if it's just lazy on the part of the school or if they have some sort of educational trick behind it to force dc to research and learn independently? Still, it's unfair as dc who can, obviously get help from home an dthe others have to see how they can manage alone.

AntiqueMuppet Tue 25-Jun-13 13:07:06

Wow, is it really the summer holidays already, admylin? what is your DS doing for his work experience?

It's cooled right down here, too, Linzer. It's definitely preferable to the swelteringly hot weather we had the other week, but a happy medium would be a lot more pleasant.

Hi fussychica! glad to hear your DS is enjoying Hamburg. I know a few people who live there and they all love the city.

Did you get your motorbike, MrTumbles? I think I saw you had posted a picture of one on FB but I can't remember whether you were still thinking about it or whether you had bought it.

The theatre was lovely, if a little warm. I came away irritated as I wasn't feeling too well and wasn't drinking which led to the usual raised eyebrows, nudging, is she pregnant etc etc. Not something that would normally bother me and a perfectly reasonable conclusion to come to, I think I was just a little more irritable than normal. All fine the next day though!

I can hear growling coming from upstairs so had best go and investigate. DS likes pretending to be a T-Rex at the moment.

Hello to everyone I've missed!

LinzerTorte Tue 25-Jun-13 15:28:21

Antique Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well enough for wine on your theatre trip; I can imagine the heat didn't help either. Still cold and rainy here, but I haven't given up hope of some nice late spring/early summer-type weather.

admylin It's good that your DS has got his work experience sorted; where will he be doing it?
We break up on Friday, but the DC are getting out earlier and earlier every day - DD1 will be home at 9-something on both Thursday and Friday, and DD2 and DS just have to go in for the church service and to get their Zeugnisse on Friday. What with it taking the whole of the first week of September for the DC to get back to normal school hours (with any luck, they'll all be at school for four hours by the Friday), I really need to take 11 weeks off work rather than 9.

Am still having no luck with childcare during the holidays; it looked like there might be space in the next town, but it turned out to be only two spaces in the second week and just one in the third week. Theoretically DD1 is too old to go anyway (it's for 6-10 year olds), but there was an 11 year old girl (and a 5 year old) there last year so I don't think they're too strict if they have the room. It does make me wonder how you're supposed to work in the holidays if you have a child older than 10/11, though - are they expected to fend for themselves all day? Tennis and volleyball camps seem to be the only option here, but I know that DD1 wouldn't want to go for one week, let alone six or seven.

Even more annoyingly, I've been offered a big translation project over the next two months but have had to tell the agency that after this week, I can't take on any work for the next nine weeks. However, they're hoping that the client might extend the deadline until mid-September, in which case it might just about be doable.

admylin Tue 25-Jun-13 15:53:50

Linzer how frustrating that you had to turn down such a good job. It's a shame you can't work out some sort of part time Tagesmutter or something or wouldn't it be worth it? My 2 have also been having really short days, apart from the Hitzefrei last week, they haven't had a full day of lessons since. Both were home just after 11am today and tomorrow they'll be back with the reports just after 10am (although the teachers are meant to keep them until 11am).

Antique shame you weren't feeling OK on your night out, typical eh. Even when I feel OK I can't take much drink and am constantly treated as if I'm some sort of wierdo or must be ill!

Ds is going to the 'Institut für Mikroelektronische Systeme' where they do all sorts of interesting stuff with computers and programming, micro robotics and developing systems for hospitals to measure and evaluate brain or heart signals etc. He's very pleased to have got it as they only take 1 or 2 a year. I'm hoping to help his friend get something in web design or media design but I think those areas are very popular so he might be too late.

fussychica Tue 25-Jun-13 17:57:30

admylin your son's work experience placing sounds really great - how old is he? (sorry everyone else probably knows)

DS also had good news on the placement front. He will be interning at a language school and will get free German lessons as part of the placement - it's run by a Spanish guy who also speaks perfect English. As DS is fluent in Spanish it all sounds perfect - they actually conducted the interview in Spanish - a bit of a test I think! He'll be assisting in lessons, working on their website and helping develop courses for businesses and meeting clients. Daunting but sounds great. Hopefully he will relax a bit now as he was concerned about having to take something which wouldn't do much for his CV.
I can breathe now toogrin

doradoo Tue 25-Jun-13 18:43:39

How did you ladies get on with the floods - are you inundated with mossies now?

We were down in Regensburg at the weekend and didn't see much evidence of flooding - but the DCs were bitten to death.....

Up here (NRW) we've not had any watery problems - save for the persistent drizzle - summer's been and gone it would seem - boo hoo!

LinzerTorte Tue 25-Jun-13 19:36:34

admylin Your DS's placement sounds really good - how long will he be there for? My friend's DS did work experience at a local supermarket not long ago; he's about to start studying music, so it wasn't exactly related to his future career!

fussy Great news on your DS's placement too.

dora Yes, loads of mosquitoes here - DD1 and I are really suffering, as we appear to be particularly attractive to them. hmm We didn't suffer too much from the flooding, though.

Hello! And told you I would probably not make it on here much grin

admylin your ds placement sounds good! When I was teaching English in Lueneburg,the teacher I took over from had set a task of writing their placement reports in English. When it came to marking then, I ad already taken over. Some placements sounded really interesting. Others did theirs at cafes for example. Some great examples f Denglish in their reports like taking 'tablets' to the tables etc grin

* linzer* wow, 9 weeks is long. My younger ds' had very long summer hols too in their last two years of school. They were at a public boarding school in the UK. But I guess it wouldn't have mattered that much to my mum, as they were already older then.

hupa your holiday plans sound great. I'm sure you'll have a lovely time!

fussy I'm from North Germany and do love Hamburg! Although Lueneburg is nicer still of course wink

mrtumbles dh would love to get a motorbike again. I told him we can discuss it again in 80 years time.

platanos that doesn't sound very positive about your ds class sad we may find out tomorrow which teacher ds1 is getting.

Our day off was just lovely!!! I think means h enjoyed it a little too much, as we both felt really depressed after our appointment t the youth welfare office regarding ds1' provisions. It was so nice to have a whole day without worrying things like that!

Our landlord has come back with a new offer for this house and had actually gone down 45k€! It I starting to get close to what we would want to pay. So now I ill need to find an architect to draw up plans for an extension, get quotes etc. depending on how high those are, how feasible our plans are etc, we will then get back to him.

I had quite a positive day today. Both ds1 and ds2 actually suggested changing some things in their bedrooms!! shock. Ds1 decided he doesn't need his wooden train tracks anymore so gave them to ds3. And ds2 said he wants a bigger bed. He had been sleeping in a cotbed ( without the sides) underneath his huge pay bed. So I got a spare mattress and just put it on the floor under the playbed for now. Ds3 then got the cotbed. He was probably the one who was most excited of them, which quite surprised me. He had never said a word about wanting a bigger bed, never once tried to climb out of his cot. And it was really odd too - up until tonight he had insisted on sleeping bags and wouldn't have gone to sleep without at least three bubbies (dummies) in bed with him. But now he is in a big boys' bed, he said he doesn't need either. And went to sleep straight away. Lets see if it will last wink

Hope everyone is having a good week!

LinzerTorte Wed 26-Jun-13 07:45:15

outnumbered That sounds promising re the house; it does sound like your landlord was pushing his luck before if he's prepared to drop the price that much. Good news on the sleeping arrangements too!

admylin I hadn't even thought of looking for a childminder for just a couple of weeks; the childminders here all seem to look after quite young children, so I don't know whether it would be any good for the DDs. Our neighbours have a Mobile Mami/babysitter once a week, but I don't know how easy it would be to find one for such a short-term arrangement. I've found a few things for the DC to do over the first three weeks and may even be able to work the odd morning, but am still waiting for the job to be confirmed anyway.

I've just dropped off DD2 at a handball tournament on the other side of town; she needed to be there at the same time as DS had to be at school so it was all a bit of a rush, but luckily they're coming back to school on the tram. Luckily DD1's trip into Vienna was yesterday rather than today, as she needed to be dropped off somewhere else again; I'm feeling like a taxi service in the mornings at the moment.

cheaspicks Wed 26-Jun-13 11:26:12

outnumbered good news on the house. Maybe the landlord was just trying to negotiate a better price for him by starting so high? In any case, it certainly sounds like he is serious about selling if he's dropped his asking price so much already.

I've also been thinking about changing a few things in dd's bedroom, although she's still fine in her toddler cot/bed. I'm wondering though about getting some different toy storage, as she has a small unit with open baskets on it which are now a bit small for a lot of the things that need to be stored in them. I would quite like to get her a storage chest like this one only a lot cheaper! Any ideas anyone?

linzer it's so hard when you do a job from home that requires concentration, isn't it? The neighbours' kids were here on Sat morning, but I still managed to vacuum and mop floors and deal with quite a bit of laundry despite regular interruptions. I hope your agent manages to get the deadline extended so you can take on that job.

admylin that job placement sounds great, as does the batch cooking of dhal! Is it a particularly tasty recipe? I sometimes buy different kinds of lentils when I'm at one of the well-stocked Indian shops near where my parents live, but then I end up throwing them out a couple of years later as I really only cook with the red ones. Hope your kids enjoy their school holidays!

doradoo our town didn't flood much at all this year, strangely. The town centre used to flood regularly, but they created a Flutgraben which is quite effective. It's still fairly common for the park to flood (and people's cellars), but it wasn't affected in the recent flooding for some reason (we had enough rain!)

fussychica good news about your ds. Hope he finds his feet quickly.

antique you've made me realise there are advantages to living in a small town - everyone drives everywhere, so people just think you're uptight for not wanting to drink and drive, rather than assuming you're pregnant! I've been making an effort to drink more red wine though lately after reading an article in the Guardian about blue zones (areas where average life expectancy is noticeably higher than elsewhere).

Hello to those I've missed, this post is long enough already!

cheas just a quick one as we have A busy day here ( is it ever not busy??) I really like the Stuva system at IKEA. Whatever needed replacing in terms of furniture in the boys bedrooms, we have replaced with things from the Stuva range. There is a Sitztruhe that I really like.

cheaspicks Wed 26-Jun-13 12:39:22

Thanks for that tip, outnumbered. I didn't know that range from Ikea, I will have a look at it. It would certainly be easier to get something from Ikea than from GLTC (and a lot cheaper).

admylin Wed 26-Jun-13 15:16:54

That does look like nice storage from Ikea outnumbered, never seen it before either.
Hope it all works out for you with the house now that the landlord is going down in price abit. Are all the plumbing, heating and electric up to date? If someone bought the house we live in, they would have to update everything as the evil old landlady hasn't invested a cent in years.

fussy is your ds being good and keeping in touch? Sounds like an interesting job. My ds is only 15 and it'll be his frst work experience so it'll be interesting for him. I'd say the full days and slightly longer trip (40 minutes) there and back compared to short school day and 10 minute walk to get there will tire him out!

doradoo ds had to take a detour to get to his class trip thing the other week as the Autobahn was closed due to flooding crossing over from Niedersachsen to Brandenburg. They still managed to get across and he said he saw flooded fields that looked like lakes with tree tops sticking up in the middle! All dc came back covered in mossie bites.

Linzer I know what you mean about the taxi service! I've only got 2 to drive around so I admire you for coping with the management and timings!
Ds has to go to his work placement for 2 weeks. I'm glad he did his application so early so he got his first choice. The ones who leave it late probably end up in more boring jobs. I've sent his friend off with what I hope is a suitable application for web design and media places. He's just got to scan his report in and then he's going to try and send some e-mail applications off tonight.

cheaspicks my dhal recipe is so easy, done in the pressure cooker and then spiced up with fried veg and spices later. I had red lentils and 2 different kinds of yellow lentils (mung dhal and chana dhal) so I mixed them.

I'm off to do some shopping with dd. She needs straws for her smoothies! She has made some lovely recipes since she got her mixer. Best one was her blueberry and almond milk drink and the watermelon lemonade! I had a peach and banana orange juice smoothie for my lunch!

hupa Thu 27-Jun-13 09:24:26

admylin I think I should buy dd a mixer for her next birthday and then drop hints about the lovely things your dd has been making.
The work placement sounds really interesting. I´m not sure what my two will want to do. We live in a pretty rural area, so there´s not a lot of choice.

doradoo We haven´t really been affected by the flooding. I did see a news interview with an Apotheker who said it didn´t matter how much insect repellant he ordered in, it was always sold out the next day because there´s so many mossies around at the moment.

outnumbered That sounds really hopeful about the house. Are the boys still happy with the changes they´ve made to their rooms?
We offered to redecorate dd´s room before she starts secondary school, but she started sobbing (she hates changes), so I think we´ll leave it for a bit.

Linzer I usually enjoy the school holidays, but 9 weeks would be stretching it even for me. Have you heard anymore about the job?

planatos Any more tips for northern Spain would be greatly appreciated. We´re off at the end of next week and although I´ve bought a guide book , I´ve not had a really good read of it yet. I think dh will be doing most of the driving, so I´m planning on doing my reading as we head across France.

Hello to everyone I´ve missed.

fussychica Thu 27-Jun-13 10:50:28

admylin yes DS is very good at keeping in touch - his Uni is 5 hours away so we don't see him at all in term time so he has got used to calling us at least weekly, often more. That sounds like a great work experience opportunity at 15 - we lived in Spain when DS was at school and there was nothing like that on offer.
He starts the job Monday week. It will be full days and 40mins to an hour commute so like your DS I'm sure he'll be tired out. He has been able to choose his hours so is doing 10.30 - 6.30 so a very civilised rising time!

doradoo Fri 28-Jun-13 18:38:57

outnumbered - we're in the process of buying a house in DE too.... in fact, have bought but not moved yet. Took three years of hunting to find the right one and it's not been all plain sailing since. But have a moving date now so fingers crossed it's all going to be OK. Roll on end of Sept as I can't wait to get in. Just got to sort out this place to hand back to the landlord beforehand - eek!

Hi dooradoo where in Germany are you? Good luck with the move!!

LinzerTorte Sat 29-Jun-13 05:52:29

First day of the holidays here, and I was almost at the end of my tether yesterday after the DC had been home for just 10 minutes as they were winding each other up and squabbling so much. Fortunately they spent most of the afternoon playing with the neighbours' DC; unfortunately, the neighbours are going on holiday today for three weeks.

hupa Hope you have a lovely time in Spain. I always get lots of reading done whenever we drive anywhere, although I usually drive for about a third of the journey (two hours or so) when we go to Italy. No, no news on the job yet; I'm hoping to hear next week.

admylin I only ever use my mixer for soup, so shall have to look into making smoothies. We do have a juicer that DH uses occasionally, but I find it too much of a hassle/mess.

Does anyone know how long you have to wait after having your ears pierced until you can go swimming? DD2 has an appointment to have hers done next week, but we'll be going on holiday two weeks later. I was googling yesterday, but answers seemed to vary between straight away and until the ears have healed after six weeks. She was in tears yesterday at the thought of not being able to go swimming, but also in tears at the thought of postponing her appointment until after our holiday. hmm

admylin Sat 29-Jun-13 19:48:25

LinzerI think it could be longer than 2 weeks with the ears. Your dd might have to decide to wait! Show her a picture on the internet of an infected pierced ear and she might agree to wait - although it might put her off completely!

Must dash, our guests are here from Texas and we're taking them out. We have exhausted them today as they really aren't used to walking much. Over there they drive door to door for everything! We took them on a public transport (novelty for Texans) trip of Hannover and Herrenhauser Gärten and city shopping all day.

I didn't know you there was any need to avoid swimming after ear piercing, its not something I've ever heard Linzer I recognize those logistical nightmares of getting kids to different places ten km apart at impossibly overlapping times - happened to us on Friday too. I think DD does owe your DD2 a PM blush I will remind her tomorrow.

Wish we'd broken up for summer already, we still have a month to go and DD really seems quite tired, despite being in bed by 7.30pm every night (stuck to 7.30pm this weekend too, although we usually let it slip half an hour or so on Friday and Saturday, as she just seems so tired). I find the kids fight more on term time afternoons, again because of tiredness and the relaxing of the pressure of school and KiGa, and get on much better and are just generally more chilled in the holidays.

admylin that is funny about your visitors from Texas - Wall-e comes to mind smile Great about your DS's work experience though, fantastic to have work experience that is actually interesting and useful.

hupa have fun in Spain - I've not been there since a month in Barcelona 18 years ago, so I have no useful tips at all, sorry!

doradoo good luck with the move. The flooding affected our area, but not us personally as our house is on slightly higher ground. It was just a lot of roads closed and flooded fields, car parks and cellars really around here, some phone lines stopped working, but everything is normal again now I think.

fussy congratulations to your DS on his job - is it for a year or just the summer, I think you said but I missed it.

Antique grr at the annoying nod, nod, wink, wink friends jumping to the wrong conclusions and making not being well enough for wine worse. Your DS sounds sweet being a T-rex smile My DS2 has a thing about abruptly stopping what he is doing and running at me full pelt, and throwing himself on me shouting "Help! Help! There's a dinosaur/ dragon/ pirate / gruffallo / monster over there!" Then if I ask him he supplies all sorts of details, in between trying to scrabble up me onto my head like a spider monkey... Toddlers are amusing and very strange grin

Yes, I got a motorbike - BMW F650 CS smile I'm taking my time getting used to it again, but am going a bit further each time and its coming back to me. DH is very willing to look after the kids while I go for a ride, in a way he isn't while I do almost anything else, as he's keen for me to get back into bikes.

Outnumbered are you one of those wives who bans things then? wink The wonderful, wonderful thing about motorbikes is the aloneness of riding one. I am never, ever alone, I always have a child with me, usually on me, and most of the day there are 3 of them on me, talking to me, often all at once, often more than one climbing on me grin and even when they are in bed DH is here, and the 2 evenings I work I am teaching a class so very much not alone. The drive to work is the only time I am alone in fact, and if I get to class early I feel unreasonably annoyed that students turn up early and want to chat in my stolen few minutes alone shock But riding a motorbike is by its very nature a solitary thing, and you do nothing else while you ride - you don't listen to music, there is nobody talking to you, you don't hear the phone and can't answer it anyway. It is a wonderful thing, and the freedom of a bike is something special on so many levels grin

That's great news about the house, hope it all works out and you can buy it - it certainly does sound an ideal arrangement if the price and extension plans work out. My Ds1 doesn't like any change either - he hates it when I try to have toy clear outs and cries if I suggest getting rid of anything - even when DD gets rid of stuff he gets upset and claims he wants the things she is sending to the charity shop. He doesn't really mind so much giving things to DS2, but he hates things to leave the house. I do manage to get rid of things he hasn't looked at in months, the upset only happens if he's told or notices! Oddly he manages to combine feeling like that with not keeping his room tidy, so it is easier to get rid of small things gradually as he assumes they are still there somewhere! shock We swap each of the kids to big beds for their 5ths birthday and make a big deal of them choosing their beds, so that never bothered him (and again his old bed is now DS2's bed so not actually got rid of, which helps).

That's an essay! Sorry if I've missed anyone! Think I'd better stop now smile

itsMYNutella Mon 01-Jul-13 09:52:14

doradoo good luck with the house buying! I'm in the process of selling my little place in England and its almost at completion. I only accepted the offer in September confusedshock we are thinking about buying a place here (so that we can make it "ours") but it's a bit of a dream really.

outnumbered fx for your house buying too! Would be really great if you can buy and build the extension you want. Sounds like a fairytale solution compared to the box ticking and hoop jumping my buyer wants.

mrT cool bike! Although I've never owned one I have wanted one and understand the appeal. Happy riding grin

Linzer I haven't heard about the no swimming thing either... And when I had mine done (It was a 13th Birthday gift) I was swimming 3 times a week for a club confused but I was also fastidious about using surgical spirit to keep them clean. Have you asked at the place where you have the appointment?

admylin How are your Texan guests? Have you invested in lots of compeed blister plasters for them?wink
Did you take them to the Schützenfest? - I personally am not keen on it, all those marching Germans in funny hats and jackets seems a little weird to me blush

DS is a half today! He can almost sit... He tends to topple forwards. grin

LinzerTorte Mon 01-Jul-13 10:25:45

Nutella Happy half birthday to your DS! Are you marking the occasion? It's DD2's birthday today, so we're having a party this afternoon - am hoping it will be slightly less stressful this year, but with about a third the number of guests, it has to be!

MrTumbles No worries about the PM - just wanted to check as I know that last time when DD2 kept pestering me, it turned out it was actually her turn to write. Loved the photo of your motoribike btw; I'd be far too terrified to ever ride one, but can imagine it must be very liberating.

admylin Hope you're having a good time with your guests. I really missed being able to walk much when we were in the USA (and when we did in hunting season, I was scared I might get shot!); it's just assumed you'll drive from shop to shop, there were no pavements in the residential area where we lived, etc.

Thanks for all the thoughts on ear piercing. It hadn't even crossed my mind until Friday evening, when I was teasing DD2 about not being able to go swimming for a couple of months afterwards - and then thought I'd better check that it is actually OK for her to go swimming. And found lots of conflicting views on the Internet. She's having it done at the paediatrician's, which isn't open today so I can't check until tomorrow. I've asked a few friends whose DDs have pierced ears and none of them seemed too sure, from which I can only conclude that none of them was specifically told to avoid swimming for six weeks afterwards - but I'll still phone up before we go in.

doradoo Mon 01-Jul-13 16:37:21

We're in Essen - the galmour of the Ruhrgebiet grin

Hopefully things should go smoothly with the house as we've signed contracts - all read aloud by the Notar in front of all parties, and have a moving date fixed - end of Sept - so just a waiting game.

I'm merrily ebaying, Flohmarkt-ing and binning to try and sort as much as possible before we go - only 5k down the road but need to get on top of the clutter we've accumulated in the last 5yrs!

hupa Wed 03-Jul-13 10:20:38

Linzer Happy belated birthday to your dd. I hope the party went welll.

Nutella I love the age from 6 months onwards. It won´t be long before your chasing him around.

admylin I hope you´re having a lovely time with your guests.

End off term madness with 2 Lesenächte, a Wanderung and a Grillfest to fit in before we go away on Saturday. I´ve had to write a timetable for the next couple of days - a sure sign of getting old.

I hope everyone is well and it Looks like summer might actually arrive next week.

AntiqueMuppet Wed 03-Jul-13 19:32:43

Sounds like a busy week, hupa! Have a lovely holiday smile

How is the decluttering going, doradoo?

Happy belated birthday to your DD, Linzer. Has she had her ears pierced? How was it? Did you find out about swimming after the piercing? so many questions!

Aww at the toppling forwards, Nutella. Good luck with selling your place in the UK.

Great news about the bike, MrTumbles! It's also good that you're managing to get out on it a bit while your DH looks after the DC - I imagine that solitary time is even more necessary in the summer holidays!
grin at your spider monkey DS2 and his imaginary Gruffalo/dinosaur.

Are you having a nice time with your guests, admylin?

How has your DS enjoyed his first week, fussy?

Hello cheas and outnumbered!

I think it's time to muddy the waters again so might name change again soon. Although if I plan to do it now it will take me until the end of the year at least to decide on a new name grin

admylin Wed 03-Jul-13 20:31:16

Antique good luck finding a new name! One of the reasons I never bother to change names is that I have no imagination and just can't think of a new one!

hupa you'll all be ready for the holiday after all the action of end of term! Bet you're really looking forward to your trip.

doradoo good luck with the flohmarketing! We also only moved 4km last time we moved and it was just as bad as the 200km move from the time before!e to be moving into a nice new place of your own though!

How did the party go Linzer? Happy birthday to your dd.

Nutella happy half birthday to your ds! I'm also not into those schutzenfest things but we did take our guests for a walk round really late on Monday night when it was quieter. They loved it and took films and photos of all the different food stalls.

MrTumbles wow at your moterbike! Does your dh want to get one too? Dh used to ride one but he says there's no point here as he'd never go out in cold weather!

Our guests flew back today. We tired them out and managed to fit in loads of touristy stuff. Was shocked when we hired a 7 seater to all go on trips together - was very expensive but still cheaper and quicker than going by train for all 6 of us. Would maybe have been cheaper if we had reserved it a while in advance.

Before they came to us they had been to Interlaken in switzerland. I had never heard of the place but they went up the mountains to where it was snowing so they loved that (coming from south Texas where they rarely ever see snow).

LinzerTorte Thu 04-Jul-13 06:18:01


Thanks for the birthday wishes for DD2. Her party went well, although I must confess to breathing a sigh of relief and drinking a glass of Sekt once it was all over. She didn't have her ears pierced yesterday in the end; first of all the receptionist said she should wait a week before going swimming, then when I said we were going on holiday in a fortnight she said she should have it done afterwards, and when I asked how long DD2 needed to wait, she said until after the summer! But I ended up only postponing her appointment until the end of July, as we'll be back in the UK for a good part of August and it will be fairly easy for her to avoid going swimming otherwise.

admylin Interlaken sounds familiar - possibly from the Chalet School books. Sounds like you had a good time with your visitors; I sometimes feel like we should hire a minibus when we have people to stay! When my friend, her DH and their four DC came over last year, we went out for a meal at a Gasthaus a couple of miles away and had to go there in relays.

Antique I sometimes think I should name change as someone could read my entire posting history quite easily. OTOH I wonder whether there's much point, as I only really post on this thread now and am so easily identifiable that anyone in RL would still know who I was even if did name change.

hupa Sounds like a busy few days coming up! I always think the people who go away the day after school breaks up must be so much more organised than me, as I don't even have time to think after packing in the last week. Plus I like to have a few weeks at home to recover and think we appreciate our holiday more after being at home for a few weeks. grin I can definitely see the attraction of going away as soon as school breaks up though, and was quite envious of our neighbours who did so.

doradoo Good luck with the decluttering! After 8 years in our current house, I don't think I could face another move as I dread to think how much we've accumulated since we moved in.

platanos Thu 04-Jul-13 09:12:33

hi all, not keeping up at all....but wanted to say hello smile
hupa- I shall pm you places in northern spain.

platanos Thu 04-Jul-13 09:24:32

aargh, can't get it to do PMs and am at work so short on time....so apologies anyone else who is not at all interested in northern Spain!
hupa places I can remember are mostly along the coast. Big cities include San Sebastian, Santander, Gijon (though not sure how far along you will go). In my opinion all 3 are spectacular!
smaller places: Santoña (nice little town, sea a bit wild) Laredo, Noja (used to be an unofficial nudist beach there, with big signs saying that if you did go naked, the civil guards would arrest you...that was post-Franco Spain in the 1980s. Battles of the old and the new), Ajo (very small place and wild beach-watch the water), Suances, San Vicente de la Barquera. Santillana del Mar is a really wonderful old town inland...I would not miss that one. Anyway, there are some names for you to google! Have a great time, and hope the weather is good. We used to escape the Madrid heat there, but it was warm enough to swim etc.

hupa Fri 05-Jul-13 10:31:58

platanos Thanks so much for finding the time to post those tips - it´s really appreciated.

Linzer I´m glad you survived the Party.
I only wish I was organised. Usually the last week of term is really quiet, but this year it´s been a bit manic and I´ve been awake at 5:00 the last 2 days going through lists of what I still Need to do before we leave tomorrow.

Ds´s class, along with another went for a walk in the woods yesterday and promptly got lost. They were only meant to be away for 2 hours, but finally turned up after 4 hours when a Förster had finally found them and led them back to safety. Even though the teachers had mobile phones with them, they couldn´t explain where they were, other than to say there were lots of trees grin. Apparently some of the girls started crying and ds and his friend decided to start looking for food (berries etc.) in case they had to spend the night there.

Well we´re off on Holiday tomorrow, so I must finish the packing.

platanos Sat 06-Jul-13 10:12:35

hi all, finally found some time to post.

hupa welcome and have a great time!

linzer how is your sanity? I had no idea about ear piercing, all the advice (even the one you got from the receptionist) sounds very confusing but it sounds sensible to err on the side of caution and to postpone.

admylin sounds like you and your guests had a good time. Smiled at the lack of walking. ooh, I just remembered I have some aubergines in the fridge, and time to soak them! yumm...

mrtumbles I have never really been on such a big bike, but I can totally understand why it is such a wonderful thing for you - enjoy the solitude!

doradoo good luck with the decluttering. And the rest of the move.

antique time to muddy waters? are you worried?

nutella wow...six months! he looks very sweet! That sounds like a veeery long time to sell a place. fingers crossed it finally happens.

outnumbered hope your house and extension all work out too. Our five year rent contract runs out next year and dh and I are putting off a discussion about it. But we need to decide what to do, because if we do want to move, we have to start saving now.

I am feeling a bit fed up today. My dds are such hard work at the moment - it is no fun. The dc and I were meant to go and explore a new swimming pool, but due to dreadful behaviour I cancelled it. Shouting, screaming, kicking, hitting...I try to be patient but they went too far. I never imagined I would be verbally abused and hit by my own dc sad. Anyway, we are having a day at home...and they are currently singing their lungs out, and it is raining outside so they may not be damaged for life. Just me then wink. And I get to do some much needed sorting of clothes and papers. And MN smile.

Have a good weekend!

admylin Tue 09-Jul-13 14:18:19

Hope everyone is enjoying the sun and heat. It's lovely at the moment as it kind of cools down slightly at night so it's not too exhausting. Dd has been enjoying the local simming pool and ds has hardly left his room except to eat but I am told that's teenage boys for you hmm

hupa have a great holiday!

platanos hope the fighting has calmed down abit. I remember my 2 having those phases too and you can't do much about it except for not giving treats etc. Now we're at a stage where they live peacefully together but ignore each other and dd shows more or less disgust if she has to interact with her brother. This will also pass I'm sure!

Nothing else new here. What is everyone up to?

fussychica Tue 09-Jul-13 19:11:30

Hi all
DS had a great weekend - went to the beach at Lubeck with his mates and swam in the Baltic.
Started his internship yesterday and was very positive about it all - long may that continue!
The downside has been his computer stopped working so has been without internet/screen entertainment for a few days until it's sorted. More expense!
He's been gone a month now (of 3) - missing him a bit but pleased he's doing something really worthwhile.
Hope you are all enjoying good weather.

admylin Wed 10-Jul-13 07:05:06

fussy sounds like your ds is having a good time! Great that he likes the work too. We're having perfect weather at the moment too. Hope he gets the computer fixed without too much cost. Are you planning to visit him before the end of his placement?

Dd is asking to go into town to the sales with me (and my purse of course) but I've got a Behörde man coming just after lunch to do a questionnaire thing for statistics. We have to take part in it by law and for 4 years running so this is the 2nd year. Only 1% of the population are questioned. So sales will have to wait until another day. In the meantime...ds has been out of his room for about half an hour (last night) to watch a programme about TÜV in Turkey, otherwise I haven't seen or heard him. Tell me this is normal teenage boy behaviour.

fussychica Wed 10-Jul-13 11:14:22

Sounds pretty normal to me admylin that's why I'm glad he's doing something constructive this year as he is a great one for spending hours playing chess on the computer, X Box etc even though he's nearly 21. Looking at lots of programmes featuring men in their 20//30s it seems to be something they carry on doinghmm.
He decided he wanted his new computer sent to him instead of getting the other one fixed. confused Cost a fair bit to do (his money)- just hope it arrives in one piece!

We probably won't go - unless he suggests it. We are going down to France when he goes at the end of September though as he will need to take more stuff for his year abroad so just a glorified removal van

AntiqueMuppet Wed 10-Jul-13 12:41:23

Sorry to hear your DDs are hard work at the moment, platanos. Are they still at each other's throats?
I have no specific reason for muddying the waters, I just like to name change occasionally. Saying that, I don't really post much on here that I wouldn't tell friends in RL and I think what I do post makes me fairly easily identifiable if you do know me in RL. It's more the idea of all my posts being accessible via a Google search once you know my username that makes me a bit uneasy. I'm sure no one is actually that interested in my posting history grin

The weather really is lovely at the moment, isn't it, admylin. We've been spending most of our mornings at the play park (where we've met some lovely Tagesmütter) these past few weeks and DS' is really enjoying letting his kamikaze tendencies go wild. Actually we've been going there after dinner most evenings too in an attempt to wear him out before bed.
The statistics thing sounds interesting. What sort of things do they ask you about? <nosey>

Glad to hear your DS is enjoying Hamburg, fussy. Maybe all the lovely weather, the access to the beach etc will cure him of his computer habit...... grin Whereabouts in France is he off to? I did it the other way round and had a year in Germany and a few months in France on my year abroad, but that was 10 years ago.

A few friends have announced their pregnancies over the past few days and as we're TTC DC2 it has made me really hopeful that it will happen this month, so positive vibes this way please!

LinzerTorte Wed 10-Jul-13 15:44:02

Antique How exciting; sending positive vibes your way! I spent a year in Germany and a few days in France blush - I did spend a couple of months working in France the summer after my first year at university, but had completely lost all my fluency by the time I got to my final year.

fussy Good to hear that your DS is getting on well. I went to Lübeck for a weekend when I lived in Germany (my first weekend away with DH!) and really liked it.

admylin I'm also interested in your statistics questionnaire (that's what I'm working on at the moment, in fact). No idea about teenage boys and I can't imagine DS being a teenager somehow, but they do grow up frighteningly fast - DH's friend just called by with his children and his DS (13) seems so grown up now (much more so than DS's nephew, who's actually slightly older).

platanos Hope things have improved with the DC now; we go through phases like that, and it's no fun. I've only had two DC at home a lot of the time so far since they broke up (DD1 went to stay with my ILs for a few days and one or other of them has often been at a friend's) and have noticed how much easier it is; when there are three of them around, one of them always seems to be winding at least one of the others up.

hupa Hope you're having a great holiday!

The job I was waiting for finally materialised yesterday; the deadline is early August, but it's about half the length of what I was originally expecting so should be just about doable. Fortunately I've also found something for the DC to do in the mornings - a sport & games camp (which I'd ruled out as DS went last year and wasn't happy there so only went for a day, but he agreed to give it another try and loves it). DD1 got back from my ILs yesterday and was at a baking class this morning (she handily made our lunch - pizza and bread rolls - as well as muffins); she'll be at home tomorrow morning, but I've signed all three of them up for a tour of the hospital on Friday so should be able to work for another three hours then. They've all been at a friend's this afternoon - who has a swimming pool, which they've probably spent the entire afternoon in - so I'm off to go and pick them up now.

admylin Wed 10-Jul-13 17:35:27

Linzer the questionnaire thing is some sort of state (Niedersachsen) Stichprobenerhebung and he asked about who lives in the family, ages, education levels, work situation and income. Also asked if we planned on changing jobs, wanted more or less hours and if we were happy where we lived. That sort of thing.

I found it quite strange that they sent a Beamte who lived really close by and had dc at the same school as ours. I didn't know them or him but he got to know every detail about our income and background. It's confidential of course but still, he now knows who is who and who earns what in our little corner of town! Somehow I think someone from a different Bezirk would have been more suitable for that sort of job.

Antique nice that you've got to know some people at the park. I was just saying to dd that it's a shame she's not a toddler as I could take her to the park to occupy her! Now all she wants is for me to have a magic purse that produces 100€ notes at her whim so she can go shopping!

She's sulking today because we didn't go into town. I'm debating the idea of telling her we aren't going tomorrow or the day after either if she doesn't get her room sorted out. I don't mind mess but she needs to sort out the sticky blueberries spilled on her bedside table and left to go rock hard and waste paper chucked on the floor seeing as she isn't busy with much else.

fussychica Wed 10-Jul-13 18:36:29

Linzer he's off to the French Basque Country at the foot of the Bordeaux region. It's a very beautiful but incredibly rural posting with very poor public transport links so I just hope he doesn't find it too isolated. As you know with British Council you get to give 3 choices one of his was Bordeaux region but you can't specify where.

admylin Wed 10-Jul-13 18:56:24

fussy he'll love it! That's a lovely region. I used to live south of Bordeaux near Mont de Marsan and then later in Biarritz!

itsMYNutella Thu 11-Jul-13 07:53:23

Hello everyone!

admylin I agree I'd probably like someone from a different area knowing that jobs of information. Mind you the couple of beamters I know here don't do much for their image as a whole. One actually boasts about how little work he does and how much time he spends surfing the Internet...hmm

Linzer glad you managed to get the kids into some summer entertainment! I remember there being a constant shift between falling out with one brother or another and then being peace keeper smile although now I'd say I'm closest to my youngest brother it was nice to see my older brother at my mum's while we were there.

fussy I think it's really great that your DS has an internship in Germany and a year in France. I wish I'd done the same... My mum lives in Basque Country (she always wanted to learn French; and now she sort of has...) like admylin I'd move there in a flash if it was a possibility. Although DP has a terrible problem with French food so he'd probably end up as a big as a house grin and I wouldn't be far behind grin

antique PMA! Fingers crossed for you! I definitely want another but at the moment DS is driving me potty. If you ask me at nap time/ bedtime I'd probably tell you he will be an only child.

DS is sleeping better at night but. taking much longer to settle. He has started rolling over in his bed (it's actually a little small for him, new mattress has been ordered and we will be extending it as soon as it arrives!), then he is tuck on his tummy and he complains.

He also won't go down for daytime naps. I thought he was self settling but he seems completely unable now and we don't really know what to do. He is getting by on two 30 min naps a day most days confused

fussychica Thu 11-Jul-13 14:00:32

admylin Mont de Marsan looks lovely. He will be much closer to Biarritz, just inside the border. He asked for somewhere close to Spain as he is fluent in Spanish but wanted the chance to keep it up while away for the year. 5 miles was rather closer than he expected but the transport looks so poor I can't see him going far!

MultipleMama Thu 11-Jul-13 17:17:18

Hey everyone moving to Germany in January. Can anyone recommend schools in Frankfurt, near city centre? For eldest 2. They're 4 and 2. I've enquired at FIS, anywhere else? Thanks in advance! As I'm at a loss.

admylin Thu 11-Jul-13 18:55:57

Nutella good news that ds is sleeping better at night. Maybe he just needs one nap in the daytime now?
Ds never had 2 naps but dd did and then when she dropped that I really missed the peaceful morning hour with ds who was a toddler but then we all used to have a lovely afternoon nap together right after lunch. The luxury of being a SAHM!

fussy it's a great area and very quick to drive over to San Sebastian. I never drove back then but a friend could drive and we'd all cram into a 2CV! I do remember walking alot and long distances too though!

MultipleMama welcome! I have no idea about Frankfurt but at those ages you'd be searching for a Kindergarten as school doesn't start until age 6 here. There's nothing like reception either so it's play all the way right up to starting school aged 6!
Great that you have so much warning and have time to plan your move. Have you started looking at flats/houses yet?

fussychica Thu 11-Jul-13 20:04:53

admylin itsMYnutella -whole area looks really great - will be exploring when we go down in October. San Sebastian is high on the visit list, never got there when we lived in Spain. Really hoping he gets to know someone who has a car so he can get to all the lovely towns /villages in the area.

His computer arrived today - not heard from him so assume it's working and he's glued to it!

MultipleMama Thu 11-Jul-13 21:07:10

Admylin - I know FIS do younger ages but thank you for telling me; I know can narrow my search down and look into options.

We'll be heading out in August as DH is German and his family are there. So they're helping and work are covering his expenses. We're unsure whether to buy or rent. We have enough to buy but leaning towards renting.

AntiqueMuppet Sat 13-Jul-13 19:31:25

Did you take DD and your magic purse shopping in the end, admylin?

Good luck with the work, Linzer. Did your DC enjoy the hospital tour?

DS hated being stuck on his tummy, and lying on his tummy in general, Nutella, but now he sleeps on his tummy all the time. Normally with his bum right up in the air.

Hello multiplemama & good luck for the big move.

I'm having a nice cold glass of beer after decorating DS' bedroom today. I'm really pleased with the way it has turned out!

admylin Sat 13-Jul-13 20:50:28

Antique did you wallpaper ds's room? Well done if you did! I'm so useless at decorating that I had to pay someone to paper ds's room when we moved here! I'd rather be able to do it myself as it can get expensive!

Yep, magic purse has been to town but luckily the sales were on so we found some bargains. She even got a jacket reduced to 10€ from 50€. Not often we find decent bargains like that.
Ds has just got a new school bag as his old one was scuffed. I've requested that he doesn't chuck his new one on the floor when he gets to school!

MultipleMama good luck sorting schools/kindergarten places. Hope your trip is a success and you like Frankfurt. Are the dc bilingual?

We've had a chill out day today and decided to all go for an afternoon sleep. Everyone was up raiding the kitchen goodies drawer when I woke up just after 6pm! So much for a quick afternoon nap!

AntiqueMuppet Sat 13-Jul-13 21:29:28

Goodness no, admylin! I'd have to pay someone to wallpaper for me! I painted one wall yellow and sponged blue and yellow stars onto another wall. It should have been straightforward but the plaster on the walls is textured so a nightmare to paint as there are loads of little dents and raised bits. It's all done now though and DS started singing twinkle twinkle when he saw the stars smile

Well done on your bargain finds! I hope you had something nice out of the goody drawer!

MultipleMama Sun 14-Jul-13 13:34:38

Admylin They are. DH speaks it constantly so they're pretty much fluent in German and my eldest is learning Russian (I'm half-Russian).

Thank you. Still got time to plan smile

Have a lovely day everyone.

admylin Tue 16-Jul-13 15:40:00

Antique still well done on the decorating! I tried doing a painted on border once but gave up and painted over white in the end (years ago)! Oh no, I only supply the goody drawer with content and the rest of them scof it! I think the dc had a bag of nachos and dh found some peanuts and chocolate biscuits!

MultipleMama great that the dc are already bilingual. It'll make the settling in period amd making new friends for the dc so much easier.

For any of you with school dc, I've just got back from Aldi Nord with all the school books, note pads, drawing/art pads and those paper folders. All very good bargains on this week and I hope I've got my full stock for the coming school year!

admylin Wed 17-Jul-13 12:12:40

Can anyone tell me how to write this in correct German?

'I'm sorry to hear that you're getting divorced (or should I congratulate you?). It must be a very difficult time for you and the kids' I just heard from an old friend who I met when dd was born. I don't want to mess it up with my usual wrong endings.

I'd put 'Es tut mir leid dass du dich scheiden lässt (oder soll ich dich gratulieren?). Es muss (trotzdem) eine schwierige Zeit für dich und die Kinder'.

LinzerTorte Wed 17-Jul-13 12:48:03

admylin Just very quickly, as I'm in the middle of packing.

- comma after leid

- gratulieren takes the genitive, so "soll ich dir gratulieren?"

- I would start the second sentence "Es ist sicher eine schwierige Zeit ..."

admylin Wed 17-Jul-13 13:31:44

Danke Linzer! Hope the packing gets done quickly. I bet you're really looking forward to the holiday.

LinzerTorte Wed 17-Jul-13 20:16:56

Yes, can't wait! I think DH is even more urlaubsreif; I don't feel like I've seen much of him over the last few weeks, as he's been away quite a bit (he's due back from Romania late tonight).

Hofer had school stationery offers on here a couple of weeks ago, so I stocked up - must have bought dozens of exercise books. I knew that DD2 wouldn't need them as one of the other parents is organising Regenbogenhefte (with the coloured cover included) for the whole class, but now it turns out that DS won't either! We were expecting a letter from his new teacher this week but one arrived from the headteacher instead, saying that the teacher he was supposed to have has been transferred to another district so they're looking for a new one and we won't find out who he's having until school starts. We've been given a list of things to buy, but apparently the teacher will be getting exercise books for the whole class.


Feel like I'm out of touch with the thread again, just popping in quickly to say hello. I've got some very rare DS2 free time this morning. I took him to Oma's yesterday so I can go to the dentist for the first time in 5 years - oops - today. I omit to do things like go to the dentist because DH's commute is so long he has to take a full day off work if he is going to cover for me with kids (and he's in Belgium this week anyway), and getting DS2 to anyone who can look after him during working hours involves 4 hours driving once I've done the 1 hour journey to drop off, back to whatever I need to do, and then the same again to go and get him and bring him home! As DD's school day is only 5 hours once a week, and 4 or less the other 4, it is pretty much impossible to fit in a dentist or other apt without the kids! He's staying over 2 nights at Omas though - he's stayed several times before but never without DD, and sometimes DS1 as well. Rang last night and all was well and he was very happy, so I think it is a viable option, though it feels incredibly weird to be at home without a toddler, or any children at all - feels like I've chopped a limb off or forgotten something crucial!

Antique well done on the decorating! We've lived here 6 years now and not done any decorating, oops! The house was freshly refurbished when we moved in, but both big kids have mentioned from time to time that they'd like their rooms painted a colour other than the white everything has stayed since we moved in. All I've done is put wall stickers, then later framed pictures (and now posters) up for them, very slack! Now I am feeling as if I should go to Obi and buy paint and find a way to decorate them before I get DS2 home tomorrow! confused shock grin

Plantanos I hope your DDs are getting on better now - my older 2 alternately fight and play beautifully together, and it does seem to go in phases. This morning I didn't hurry DD to the bus because she and DS1 just got up and started playing Playmobile, and it was so lovely listening in I didn't want to stop them, so I let them keep playing til she'd long since missed the bus, and only told them to get dressed and come down for breakfast in time to drive her to school grin They'll probably be winding each other up and yelling at each other this afternoon though sad

Linzer good luck getting the job fitted in and with the packing. Good for your DS giving the holiday activity another try. I am reading "The Highly Sensitive Child" by Elaine N Aron for some tips on DS1 - wonder if it is relevant to your DS too? Have you read it? Some of it is useful, though some of her tips confirm that, for all she gives nodding acknowledgement to the fact some people have more than one child shock I think it would be quite hard to apply all her advice when juggling 3 kids... all the calm private 1:1 she suggests each time a highly sensitive child becomes overwhelmed/ overstimulated makes absolute sense, but in day to day life is tricky when you are also in sole charge of his 2 "novelty seeking" (as she puts it) siblings grin

Nutella glad to hear your DS is sleeping better, hope he decides to have a chilled phase soon and drive you less potty grin

Admylin hello! Your children always sound very civilized to me, hope the summer continues to go well

multiplemama hello, welcome to the thread. It think I replied to you on another one somewhere... maybe schools.

Here's a little oddity to end on, I know some of you get things posted/ delivered to your parents' addresses in the UK to pick up while you are there, if you visit annually. I generally don't do that much because my mother feels compelled to make a big deal out of anything that can possibly be constituted a favour (willing to do it but never stops going on about it...). However I wanted to order some perfume making kits for DD's birthday, which I cannot find on Amazon de and which Amazon UK won't deliver here, so I checked with my mother first by email then ordered them to be delivered to her. Her postman leaves things in the porch so she won't have to put herself out by being in to receive them or picking them up from anywhere, and they are going by regular mail.
I also ordered a couple of additional items for the party as delivery is free in the UK, and we will be there next month with the car so can bring them back.

Even though the parcels were addressed to me, and I had forewarned her and got her agreement that they were coming, she opened them and sent me an email asking about specific contents, with no explanation or excuse for having taken it upon herself to open them confused

Its not as if they are secret or embarrassing or private or whatever, but I am annoyed none the less - you don't open other people's post. I don't open DH's unless he asks me to.

Do your parents open your post/ parcels if you have it delivered to their houses? Am I being over sensitive because she tends to get under my skin anyway, or is this overstepping a line?

Enjoy the weather everyone! smile

admylin Thu 18-Jul-13 10:00:22

tumbles yes my parents have opened post addressed to me rather than forward it on. It sort of bugged me at the time but I think they just thought it might be urgent or it could be something they could help with (if I really try hard to see it from their point of view)!

If I get parcels sent there I get them to unpack them and discard all the wrappings and bags and labels before they send them on to me just to reduce bulk and weight. But if I was picking the parcel up myself at a later time/visit it's maybe a good idea to check that the correct items have been sent and nothing is damaged if you aren't going to be there in the next 2 weeks so you can get them replaced/sent back in time otherwise, but tying to see it from your mother's side is that maybe what she was thinking?

petitemom Mon 22-Jul-13 00:58:06

Hi, apologies if it's been asked before -- does anyone have any experience of international schools in Frankfurt?

Looking at FIS, the tuition fees seem quite high. I know a lot of factors will come into play with expenses, but generally speaking would an annual salary of EU100k be enough for DH, DS (4 yo) and myself? Is living in Frankfurt far more expensive than living outside it?

DS turns 5 in September -- would he need to be in school (in international school) or a local kindergarten?

None of us speak German although of course we'll all plan to learn. Thanks in advance for any info.

If he turns 5 in September he would probably still have 2 full years in Kindergarten to go (at least one full year, but for the second it depends on where Frankfurt have their admissions cut off - each state is slightly different). 2 years of Kindergarten would be enough to get his German school ready, as long as you (he) mix mainly with German speakers in your free time too, not all ex-pats.

I don't know anything about international school, but if you are staying long term and want him to be bilingual you can go the local Kindergarten and school route, which will mean you are better integrated into the local (rather than ex-pat) community, and you will save lots of money :D

We live in Bayern, which by all accounts is the most expensive part of Germany , and manage fine on well under 100k with 2 adults and 3 children - no private school fees though! Living a bit outside the city will obviously be cheaper than living right in Frankfurt though, as with most cities.

Good luck with the move!

Admylin thanks, I will try to believe my mother was checking whether the parcels contained what they were meant to in order to see if they needed returning, not just being nosey, interfering, and critical hmm blush grin

platanos Mon 29-Jul-13 06:18:30

Good morning all!
Finally a chance to catch up! Thanks for the thoughts on fighting dc...it has not all been bad. They can get on quite nicely at times too. I just have to keep them busy and entertained.

mrtumbles I don't think my mother would open something unless I had asked her to. I would mention it to her and ask her not to do it. Or buy something from Beate Uhse, and see what she says when she opens that grin I hope your visit to the UK goes well, and that your mother behaves herself!

linzer hope you are having a good holiday. I am off work this week and kept the end of the week flexible in case you have any time and energy to meet up. I am very impressed at all this notebook buying...I can't seem to manage it because my dc seem to need all sorts of different shapes, sizes, with lines, with lines without margins books.

petitemom Good luck with the move. Is it permanent or for a few years? I am no help on the details as not in Germany, sorry.

Antique well done on the decorating and hope the ttc happens for you.

admylin Have you seen your ds yet? Will he emerge from his room at the end of the summer, 2 feet taller? Hope the purse has not been emptied too often.

Hope the thread babies are not suffering too much in the heat!

Hello to everyone else!

I'd better go - off to get the dc's hair cut, and then looking after a friend of dd1's today - they want to go to softplay. I hope it is air conditioned.

itsMYNutella Mon 29-Jul-13 11:20:24

MrT I get parcels delivered to my younger brother and he always opens them (I think he actually just likes being nosy) not so great when it is his birthday present! but I don't mind. I'm grateful that he lets me send stuff there when I need to.

Welcome petitemom ! Good luck with the move! Sorry I'm not much help. DS is only 6 months old smile

Platanos I hope the haircuts all go smoothly (I hated having my haircut when I was little). And have fun at the soft play! FX for air-con too.

Hope everyone else is enjoying the summer holidays and that DCs aren't making you pull out your hair.
DS is doing some very fast command crawling and proper crawling is not far off! Naps are still 30 minute power naps. But he is throwing in the occasional 40-50 minute nap after lunch.

AND fanfare he slept through last night from about 9pm until 5:45am!! shock grin better go, he is of course awake again smile

itsMYNutella Mon 29-Jul-13 11:32:49

DS has done well in the heat, on really hot days he has had a cool bath before bed and he luuuurrrves it!
I will also be happy if the temperatures stay a bit lower this week.

admylin Tue 30-Jul-13 07:24:54

Morning. Nice and cool today so can get some of my jobs done. I've been no good for anything in the heatwave. Back to school next week for us!

petitemom there is another mumsnetter moving to Frankfurt soon, MultipleMama. She might have some good tips! No idea about international school or fees as my 2 go to local school.

Platanos how much do you pay for dc to get their hair cut? Hope they're all happy with their new styles! Ds needs to go but he keeps putting it off. Luckily he goes by himself now, I just have to give him 13€! Dd needs a trim and won't believe me that when you're growing your hair you still need to trim the ends now and then. She doesn't want to get even a few mm cut off as she reckons her hair grows very slowly.

Nutella hope you and ds are enjoying the cooler weather. have you noticed more mosquitos lately? We're getting attacked every night at the moment. Just tried to put one of those nets on the window for the dc but the windows are a few cm bigger than the standard size available. Did your car get damaged by the hailstones the other night? Ours was outside (dh can never be bothered to put it in the garage because you have to physically get out of the car to open the garage door, he wants a push button automatic garage door) but it was OK. Know someone over in Anderten who had a broken window and car ruined too.

MrTumbles how are you coping with the heat? Saw that Bavaria had one of the highest temperatures along with east Germany.

platanos Wed 31-Jul-13 15:03:14

nutella your ds sounds very sweet. Did he repeat the long night sleep? How is he liking his solids? I am glad he is okay with the heat. It`s much cooler here at the moment, though it is meant to go up again tomorrow.

No air conditioning in softplay but somehow it was not toooooo bad. Perhaps the heat was tolerable because I got some time to read as the dc ran about, only coming back for a drink or to complain about something or other.

The hair cuts went nicely, thanks. Mainly because they got what they wanted. They are a bit older now, so it is easier. admylin it costs 12 euro to get their hair cut. It is worth it for ds who got a proper haircut but the girls just got it trimmed. How long is your dd's hair and how long does she want it? We have the same with dd1 and now dd2 is growing hers out.

It is strange to think that your dc will be back at school next week. How long have they been off? How are your nerves?

This morning we got all of the stuff for ds to start school - yipeee. I am still traumatised from when I did it after the first day of school with dd1. Never again. The shop was packed and I did not know what half the things were. We had only been here 4 weeks, and dh was not much use - are things like Tixo and Federpenal only used in Austria? Or had he been away from Germany too long to remember the school vocab?

Hope all are well!

LinzerTorte Wed 31-Jul-13 15:47:35

Hello all,

We got back from holiday yesterday (lovely, but too hot for me) and I'm now busy trying to get all my work finished at the same time as washing, unpacking and packing for the UK (we're off next Tuesday).

Antique Sorry, I overlooked your question about the hospital tour before - yes, the DC really enjoyed it and it gave me three hours to get on with some work so win-win. grin They came away with goodie bags filled with a drink, plasters, baby wipes and a few other useful bits and pieces - not bad at all considering it was free.

MrTumbles Haven't heard of the book, but it sounds interesting - will keep a look out for it. 1:1 time is virtually impossible during the week unless the other two happen to be at friends, but it does happen occasionally and it's amazing how much easier and more sensible they can be when their siblings aren't around!
I get lots of things sent to my parents', but they wouldn't open parcels unless I ask them to send something on when sometimes they'll open a parcel to repack it - but I'm quite happy for them to do so as I'll already have told them what's in it. My mum tucked a boycott-the-Body-Shop-now-that-it's-owned-by-L'Oreal leaflet into a Body Shop parcel that arrived for me at Christmas (a present for her!), but otherwise they pretty much leave my post alone unless I ask them to send something on and just put it in my bedroom until my next visit.

platanos Well done on the stationery shopping! Did you go to Libro? Can't believe it was packed already; I was thinking about going either this week or early next week to beat the last-week-of-the-holidays madness, although DD1 won't get her main list until she's back at school which will make shopping for stationery in the first week back unavoidable. We also need a huge variety of exercise books, which meant I bought about 30 different types at Hofer (may be a slight exaggeration grin) to cover all eventualities.
Yes, Tixo and Federpennal are Austrian; it took me several years to switch from using Tesafilm to Tixo! I even had to explain to DH what a Federpennal and Schüttelpennal are, as they seem to have different words for everything in OÖ (they use Federschachtel for both, apparently, although things may have changed since his day). I did get a German friend to tell me the German equivalents - Federmäppchen and Schlampermäppchen IIRC.

Nutella Yay for the crawling! A friend told me (when I was getting fed up with DD1's max. 30 minute naps) that they start napping for longer once they're crawling as it tires them out - she did eventually start having longer naps, although I can't remember whether it coincided with her starting to crawl/walk.

admylin Can't believe you'll be back at school soon! We've still got over a month to go and it feels like we've been off for several months already (actually five weeks, although it's gone surprisingly fast - feels like ages since we broke up, though).

admylin Fri 02-Aug-13 15:47:17

platanos sounds like Austrian is a whole new language! Jause was another word I first heard on here when Linzer wa staking it to kindergarden! I think the best thing to do with those school lists is to go to a small independant shop that offers to put the list together for you to collect at a later time. I used that in Berlin once, very nice corner shop type place but with all teh school stuff.

Linzer you're so lucky to be heading to cooler parts! I hope it's not too wet and cold but I'd be glad of atleast 15° less than we've got at the moment. In my youth in the lake district we used to think it was high summer when it got over 18° and over 22° was a heat wave!

I had to go to Ikea today but managed it before it got too hot although when I came out it was starting to get very hot. I thought I wouldn't make it from the car to the bank and Turkish shop at 12 o clock though.

platanos Sun 04-Aug-13 06:21:36

admylin Going to a small shop is a good idea. We managed to get most of dd1's stuff on Friday from Libro, but will have to go to the smaller shop for some random things. Has it cooled down where you are? Are your children ready to go back to school? I was reading a freebie paper here, which said that roads across Austria would be busy this weekend as schools in Bayern broke up and 6 other German Länder go back today. Strange to think so many children go back to school tomorrow.

Linzer Thanks for the explanation on the Austrian words. It is very confusing and I shall never forget the look on the shop assistant's face when I asked her what Tixo was! grin. Hope your busy Saturday went well... I've started decluttering...thanks for the list! By the time I get to the end of it (ie. I will never get it done in 40 consecutive days) I will need to start again. Also, how does one declutter children's stuff? As soon as I say we should get rid of something because they have not played with it in months, they complain and spend the rest of the day playing with it!

We went to a great Viennese pool yesterday - a real institution with a fantastic view over Vienna. I love living here. Unfortunately I got a bit sunburnt - in spite of only being there for 4 hours and two applications of SPF 50 cream. Luckily the children were okay, I would felt worse if they were red.

I've forgotten what else I wanted to say...must be the heat.

Enjoy your Sundays...

FrauEnglischLehrerin Fri 09-Aug-13 10:34:16

40 day decluttering list, platanos/linzer? sounds like something I need.

I have my last concert tomorrow and then I can finally stop practising (think you can all work out who I am from that comment!) I usually have a decent break over the summer, but there are only two weeks left before school starts and dd's kiga is closed next week. I had all these plans to sort out wardrobes/declutter/reorganise storage as well...

Hope those of you who have been on holiday have had fabulous times and those with dc at home for weeks on end are all still sane! Sorry for not namechecking, but with the thread going so slowly it's a bit disjointed and stuff probably not relevant any more (my excuse anyway).

admylin Fri 09-Aug-13 12:36:08

FrauEnglischLehrerin yes, I recognised you ! We went back to school yesterday, yipee! Now I have a year 9 and a year 10 child (I can see a light at the end of the tunnel).
Oh, and the best news is that it's cooled down atlast. Dd was slightly fed up as she had planned her back to school outfits including shorts and had to change at the last minute to jeans and even needed a jacket at 7am. Mega stress for a teenage girl you know...confused

Dh is in east Germany this week in the countryside of Sachesn and was abit worried about it due to his skin colour and being with a German but chinese looking doctor colleague) but up to now he's only had one funny remark made to him when they asked where the nearest town was (they were asked what they wanted in these parts anyway..shock - sehr nett).

FrauEnglischLehrerin Sun 11-Aug-13 08:36:16

admylin shock at that comment. I hope it was more a gruff rural local's response to being surprised at seeing strangers, rather than an aggressive racist remark.

Sounds like your schools scheduled their holidays just right to make the most of the summer this year. I don't usually cope well in heatwaves, but I've really enjoyed the weather this year, maybe because it's gone on for long enough to get used to. In fact, I'm a bit disappointed that it seems to have cooled down just at the point I've got some time off.

Do your dc know what they want to study/do after school? Dnephew is going into y12 and is talking about spending several months in Mexico/the US to boost his language skills. I think he wants to study pharmacy though.

admylin Tue 13-Aug-13 11:02:51

FrauEnglischLehrerin yes,I think it was a gruff rural local's response to seeing strangers, rather than an aggressive racist remark as there were only about 300 people living in the village! He stayed in castle/hotel and woke the first night a 3am after a dream that the Graf from 1519 whose painting was hanging in the hall came to see him and was asking him who he was and where he came from!

No, my dc aren't sure what they want to do yet. Ds has just gone into year 10 and by the look of it they will be getting alot of advice and talks about 'the future' from there (thank goodness). This week started with a 3 day seminar thing all about Beruf, Studium and this first Praktikum that is taking place in January.

itsMYNutella Wed 14-Aug-13 09:23:45

Good morning all!
Lehrerin hello smile I think I've guessed who you are.

We had a lovely time in Nürnberg and DS napped really well in his Maclaren buggy hmm I'm guessing because we were out a lot. It made putting him down on the floor for crawling escapades more difficult but it didn't seem to affect napping confused. Of course now that we are home again and it's just me and DS napping is not happening blush

I could live with it but he wants my attention all the time otherwise he shouts and screams and gets really worked up. Even while crawling through the living room towards me if I've just gone to get a glass of water or some other luxury. And he gets louder and more whiney as he gets more tired and I can't help but get really annoyed sad makes me feel like a very bad mummy.

fussychica Wed 14-Aug-13 16:49:40

Hi everyone - DS went to doctors with flu and landed up being referred to a dermatologist to have 4 moles removed. Fantastic service - all done in 3 days and stitches out & results back in a week - no cancer thank heavens. Praise the German health service! Felt a bit sorry for him coping with it all on his own.

He's still enjoying it - he hopes to go to Berlin at the weekend if all goes to plan - any must see recommendations?

He managed to get fruit squash after MN came to the rescue re shops in Hamburg where it could be bought. Funny thing to miss but he doesn't enjoy straight water or hot drinks much.

admylin Thu 15-Aug-13 16:43:22

Nutella I remember that feeling so well, constant demands and no one to give me an hour off now and then. It's a really exhausting time. Have you found any groups here with same age babies as a regular thing yet?

fussy lol at your son needing his squash! My 2 only have squash when we visit the UK and I once heard my dd telling her German friend that over in England they have this stuff that's not really juice and it tastes OK but real apple juice is better!

Does your ds know where he's staying in Berlin yet? There's so much to see and visit that he'll have to go another weekend too! It has changed so much since we last went there, constant building sites every where. I know a 'civilized' cheap, clean hotel/guest house near the main station if he wants!

Poor dd is sitting over some horrid German homework. I need a German dh! Erörterung anyone?! Ds always got off lightly and sailed his way through every subject but dd always gets the tough teachers.

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 16-Aug-13 00:02:54

Hello all.

So, we are leaving in 2 weeks. DP has just finalised our actual apartment. He's paying the deposit in the morning. Landlady seems friendly - she and DP apparently bonded over her dog grin

Slightly terrified but very very very excited - it's been a long 15 months!

We are moving to Durlach in Karlsruhe. I have an almost 5 year old who would be starting school in September if we were staying in England.

<jumps back into thread>

YoniBottsBumgina Fri 16-Aug-13 00:05:37

The schools/kigas go back on 9th September in BW, so not much time to get DS into somewhere, too. But I'm not looking for work until we get there so we have time to find him a place.

itsMYNutella Fri 16-Aug-13 08:15:19

Yoni good luck with the move! I hope it all goes as smoothly as possible for you! Don't forget to pack plenty of squash, crisps, marmite and other British essentials grin

Admylin I go to the international women's association Hannover - IWAH (have you heard of them? They are really interesting) they have a mummy and baby group on a Friday morning. Otherwise we do a sort of pekip type course but it hasn't been happening during the school holidays. I'm looking forward to taking him to more stuff but its a bit difficult to find something interesting (without too much German singing) that doesn't fill up really fast.

Ah well, we are getting there. I had my first night out last night. It was fantastic! One of the ladies from the IWAH group is going back to London sadsadsad and a group of us went out to dinner. It was soooo good!! To be out, to have fun and to have a lovely dinner grin

admylin Fri 16-Aug-13 14:23:18

Yoni good luck with the move and I agree, if you've got a van coming over fill a box with all the British essentials that you will later have to pay an arm and a leg for!

Nutella the group sounds good especially as you get to chat in English! I don't think you'll be able to escape a certain amount of German singing at German playgroup! There was a penguin one I really used to hate where we (the mothers) had to also waddle around like a penguin as well as sing the song. The things you do eh?!
Do you know the area around Grundschule Meterstrasse? I think it's near you and dd is trying out for the cheerleading club next week but looking at the google map, parking spaces are rare and roads seem blocked off in funny places. Any idea which bit is best to park?

Wow this thread has slipped down the "Overseas" page sad

Wonder if we can bring it back to life a bit - there are lots of posts a day sometimes, then phases of only a couple a week!

Not got much to say myself though! We got back from a visit to the UK on Sunday, was OK, can't help feeling that its a very expensive way to have a more than averagely stressful holiday with worse weather than if we'd stayed at home now though! grin Finding I miss less and less - even cadbury's choc is losing its shine, all I really wanted to bring back was malt vinegar!! grin Caught up with an old friend which was nice, and had some days out to the beach - nice but weather was only warm enough once - and a couple of decent days in York. Family element mixed hmm.

Still got 3 weeks of summer holiday left, which is nice grin Not looking forward to the new school year, DD going into 3er Klasse, probably increased stress and homework sad Glad DS1 is staying at KiGa another year at least. Also don't feel like going back to doing my VHS teaching, but I guess it'll be OK once its started... Would like a "normal" office job when DC3 is old enough, not teaching which I feel I do by default, but think I am stuck with sad

Nutella hope you've found as many groups as you want to go to with DS? I thought the Mama-Kind groups with German singing were worth it - mainly for the unstructured play time but also because the kids wouldn't really hear German nursery rhymes otherwise, and often nursery rhymes have a bigger part in the national psyche and as "cultural capital" later in life than is initially obvious - there are often echos in literature etc. I remember when teaching English Lit in the UK that I had to "teach" nursery rhymes from time to time as there would be children who hadn't been immersed in them in toddler-hood and so lacked context for a particular element of a text written for adults or teens... The English groups sounds good too though smile

What's everyone else up to? The kids will be back at school in a lot of parts of Germany (Austria??) by the look of it - maddness in August grin

FrauEnglischLehrerin Wed 21-Aug-13 10:00:45

Hi all.

mrtumbles glad you're enjoying the school holidays. Schools go back here next week, which means some of my teaching will start up again. I'm waiting until September to get the English classes gong again.

Do you think British chocolate has changed flavour? I used to love chocolate digestives, but I could barely eat the last two packets I brought back to Germany. We tend to bring back Wensleydale, mostly.

yonibotts welcome back to the thread. Exciting time for you. Your DP was already living in KA, wasn't he? How has he found learning the language? Hope the move goes smoothly.

fussy that dr's visit must have been pretty worrying for your ds. Glad to hear it turned out to be nothing serious.

Do the German-dwellers on here go for regular Haut-Checks? I think the AOK offer a free one per year (?) after age 30 or something and I keep thinkng I should make an appt.

nutella clingy phases are hard, aren't they! Glad to hear that you had a nice night out with friends. The women from my ante-natal class sometimes organise nights out, but they spend so much time gossiping about people I don't know (they all grew up here), that it often gets a bit boring for me.

Women's Hour is about to start, so I'm off to do some reed-making. Playing an instrument which you have to make the mouthpieces for yourself can be very frustratng, but the upside is being able to listen to the radio while working smile.

LinzerTorte Wed 21-Aug-13 14:54:08

Hi everyone,

Have been lurking but not posting as we've been back in the UK for the last couple of weeks. Just wanted to say that the flavour of Cadbury's has definitely changed over the last year or so - there were threads on here complaining about it at the time. DH is pleased as it means our luggage is about 6 kg lighter. grin For about the first time ever, we'll be flying back with three suitcases rather than four tomorrow, saving ourselves €30 (plus the money I'd have spent on the chocolate).

FrauEnglisch I'd definitely recommend going for annual skin checks if you can; my dermatologist picked up on two suspicious looking moles that I'd never have seen myself. I take the DC once a year but have to go back in six months with DD2 as one of her moles seems to be growing faster than it should.

Must dash - we're off to watch an open-air performance of Babe in the rain. hmm

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 21-Aug-13 19:08:57

Lol! Don't ask me about DP's ridiculous non-attempt to learn the language. I think I have learned more on duolingo in the last 2-3 months than he has living there for a year! They all speak English in the office and he has no reason to use it, I suppose.

I wish we had rented a van to drive everything down but no, we're boxing it up and sending it instead while we haul as much as possible on the plane in suitcases. I am planning to pack marmite but nothing else British!

Having a total nightmare, however, trying to sort out health insurance. I was assuming that DS and I would be eligible for public health insurance, but for that I need "form S1" which I have phoned up about and apparently cannot get because I have not earned enough in the last 3 years.

So I'm not entirely sure how I'm supposed to fulfil the legal requirement to get insurance, if I'm not allowed to apply for it. I thought it would just be like applying for car insurance or something! sad

Yoni if you're not working here/ at first you and DS need to be added onto your DH's insurance as dependants.

admylin Thu 22-Aug-13 14:10:49

Yoni, in the state health insurance we use (AOK) you can be Familienversichert, so insured as a family but you have to be married. We pay around 700€ a month for all 4 of us.
Can you atleast use one of those E111 cards from UK (EHIC it's called I think) until you're registered and have found some insurance atleast?

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 22-Aug-13 14:46:55

Yes that is the problem, we aren't married and DS is my child from a previous relationship. DP will be supporting us until such time as I get a job (well, DP will still probably be bringing in more money, but at least then I will be employed)

From what I have read you can only use EHIC until you register as living in Germany, then it becomes invalid. Some people do apparently risk it and rely on that alone but then it becomes dodgy when you try to apply for insurance later because they ask about previous insurance etc.

Have been passed details of a private broker who fingers crossed should be able to sort it out for us, or we might just get married ASAP and have the party later!

admylin Thu 22-Aug-13 14:53:27

Lol at getting married and having the party later! That's what we did, and I'm still waiting to have the party 10 years later!

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 22-Aug-13 15:07:43

Oh no! grin

FrauEnglischLehrerin Fri 23-Aug-13 13:30:33

I'm self-employed and have "freiwillige Krankenversicherung". If that's not possible for you to get as you have no income, then you may have to register as unemployed in order for them to make sense of you. I would strongly recommend avoiding private health insurance as I don't think it is worth it unless you earn a lot and you may not be able to change to state insurance later. I looked into it for myself and although I could have had a policy for around €200/mth, the excess was €1000 annually. Also the broker I contacted online became more and more aggressive in his sales tactics, calling me up repeatedly to the point where I started treating them like nuisance calls.

Hope you get it sorted soon.

itsMYNutella Sat 24-Aug-13 09:53:29

yoni I think if you are unemployed you can get "Arbeitslosengeld" - like job seekers allowance for up to 12 months in Germany (after that it is your DP's job to support you). Your DP has to say that he is unwilling/ unable to support you. Then the state also cover your health insurance. I second what Frau says and would avoid private insurance if at all possible (a friend of mine's DH is privately insured- and therefore she is as well- and he complains about all of her medical expenses because when you're privately insured they can't do enough for you - and you have to pay for part of that privilege)
Or get married grin then your DP can also change his tax class and save you even more money wink its all so romantic grin.

Hello everyone else. Just a fleeting visit - DP and I got engaged a few weeks ago and so now wedding planning is in full swing - wedding date is 2nd November smile

admylin that school is very near us, sorry I didn't reply sooner! How was your DD's audition? And the parking??

LinzerTorte Sat 24-Aug-13 12:12:04

Congratulations Nutella, what exciting news. smile Will you be getting married in Germany?

admylin Sun 25-Aug-13 11:09:12

Nutella congratulations smile!

Yes, dd went to the training and loved it but she gets to try one more time before deciding. On Monday it's at a different school on the other side of Hannover. Parking was awful. I don't know that side of Hannover at all and we drove around in circles in the back streets for ages until I gave up and parked on the main street (Hildesheimerstr) and we walked back to the school. Next time I might try from the other side along Maschsee but it looks quite far to walk. Anyway, it's not worth me dropping her off and going home so I have to hang around.

That's true about the tax class too yoni as Nutella mentioned. Your dh will have a better tax class if you get married (but yours will be much worse if you get a job)!

hupa Mon 26-Aug-13 09:30:52

Finally I´ve got time to post again. The dc went back to school last week and I´ve caught up on loads of jobs I was putting off until they went back.

Nutella Congratulations! Are you planning a big wedding or do you want to keep it small?

Yoni I agree with the others about avoiding private insurance if at all possible. I hope your move goes well.

admylin Is your dd still playing hockey? Ds has finally decided to give up football and now wants to give tennis a try.

Nutella and Planatos Thanks for your tips for south west France and Northern Spain. We had a great time and were really impressed by northern Spain.

admylin Tue 27-Aug-13 07:09:30

hupa how was the drive down to Spain? Did you drive some of the way? Did you like San Sebastian? I tried really hard to get a job there so I could learn Spanish years ago but ended up in Germany! Oh well, one day in my old age maybe.

No, dd stopped hockey when they put her and her friend up into the A team with much older girls. dd is small for her age and she didn't have a chance to train much as they shoved them at the back while the semi-professional team played. She blames me for not putting her in hockey at an earlier age so she would have been able to keep up hmm

Yesterday she had her 2nd cheerleading trial but she didn't enjoy it as much as the other day. She might try a different team if we can find one.

I have a feeling both dc will be dropping most activities in the next few months anyway. School has a few long days now and they're exhausting. Out of the house from 7:30 to 4pm then homework and they need some time to just eat and relax. Yesterday was a rush for both of them. An hour after school and a snack they were at sport until 8pm then showers (and fight for the bathroom), eating at 9pm then homework until 10pm. Hmm, not sure how to work it out but alot of Sportvereine are complaining that they don't have many dc joining up anymore. Our schools are doing G8 Abi, so a year quicker than usual and the workload is mounting up now.

hupa Thu 29-Aug-13 09:19:46

admylin and Nutella were either of you affected by the WW2 bomb that had to be defused yesterday?

I did drive on the French motorways which was fine, although I did panic when I had to drive through the first toll booth, as the motorhome seemed to be wider than the gap I had to drive through. Once we got on to smaller roads and campsites, I left the driving to dh.

admylin That sounds like a really long day for your dc. I was reading something a while back that said that children doing the G8 often had to give up hobbies, simply due to lack of time.

admylin Thu 29-Aug-13 16:05:09

Hupa no, we're right on the outskirts of town and the bomb was in the town centre. It happens 3 to 4 times every year in Hannover. Just makes you think how many bombs must have been dropped over the city for them still to be turning up over 70 years later.
Very brave of you to drive the motorhome and get it through the toll booth! Reminds me of the last time I attempted to go through a toll booth, driving into the wrong lane in Texas, getting stuck as couldn't go backwards and having to call for help as we were in the credit card lane and it wouldn't take our card but cash lane was right at the other end!

How's school going? Ds's class teacher is off sick already, only back 2 weeks and dd's teacher has gone on the year 6 school trip so she's on reduced hours this week too. I suppose they'd better make the most of it and relax as it's bound to get into the full swing of things soon.

hupa Wed 04-Sep-13 10:49:23

This thread has gone really quiet.

Dd started her new school and is really enjoying it, although they haven´t really done much work yet, so it could all change. We´ve got the first Elternabend tomorrow - I´m really hoping that there aren´t too many parents who enjoy the sound of their own voices, or it could go on for hours.

Dh is away this week. He´s cycling over the Alps on his mountain bike with a friend. They seem to be having a great time, but it would be my idea of hell.

Hope everyone´s enjoying the last of the summer.

LinzerTorte Wed 04-Sep-13 21:44:56

The DC are finally back at school but I still don't have much time to post, as work is pretty busy at the moment. DS seems to be enjoying the 1. Klasse so far; it's early days, but his (new to the school) teacher seems really nice - she also seems to have gone to school with about half the parents I know. It's surprising how many people (even university-educated) stay in their home town, but I'm quite envious of everyone who has babysitting grandparents on hand. (That would be everyone but me. grin Even my expat friends all seem to have ILs living about five minutes away.)

hupa DH also did a cycling tour of the Alps just before we met; am not sure he'd be fit enough to do so now, though! He's also away at the moment, but in England (a trip to the UK would be much more my cup of tea than a cycling holiday grin).

admylin What's G8 Abi, does it means eight years at Gymnasium? I get very confused by the German school years (and UK ones too, for that matter), as they start counting at the 1. Klasse again at secondary school here.

AntiqueMuppet Thu 05-Sep-13 11:15:12

Hello all!
I've been lurking and meaning to post for weeks now but just haven't had the chance.
Some friends from the UK were supposed to be popping in for a cuppa on their way back up to the ferry this morning but I haven't heard from them, and as I had all my cleaning done by 9am in anticipation, I finally have 10 minutes to post! I've just put Ds down for his nap (although he's just blowing raspberries & shouting 'pups' so who knows whether he will actually nap) so if they turn up in the.middle of nap time I won't be too happy!

Anyway.... Massive congratulations to Nutella! Details please smile

Hello & a big wave to everyone else!

Hope you're all well and enjoying the last burst of summer. I have to admit I've started unpacking my jumpers and bought myself a lovely pie dish so am getting rather impatient for autumn to arrive. Sad, I know smile

platanos Thu 05-Sep-13 15:04:52

Hi all,
I've also had a chance to read but not post.

nutella many congratulations! how is the planning going?

antique smile at you awaiting autumn. I have a picture of you in your wooly jumper, hugging your new pie dish and looking wistfully out of he window in hope of falling leaves smile. Have you heard from your friends?

linzer Good to hear DS is enjoying the 1. Klasse and that he has a nice teacher. Yes, lots of parents round here went to same school as their children are going to. One parent went to the same kindergarten as her dc are going to. I can't imagine how that must feel - I don't mean that negatively, it is just so different to my own experience. Hope you manage to get your work done!

hupa glad you enjoyed northern Spain. Did you have nice weather? It can be a bit unpredictable. Does any place stick out as being special? (In case we ever make it there again). And I hope dd continues to enjoy her new school. DD1 started a new school too - she seems okay there, but has had monumental melt downs in the evenings. The stress of the day just comes out at home - in shouting and hysterical crying. Unfortunately a lot of it is directed at me and dd2. But then she calms down and apologises. I guess we just have to be very patient.

admylin I also wanted to ask what the G8 Abi is. Have your two now settled into their school routine? They do have very long days.

And ds also started primary school, and has had homework every day! He seems fine, but a bit tired.

And I need another holiday after this week smile ! Still, nearly Friday and things settling.

Waves to all....

admylin Fri 06-Sep-13 10:09:01

Hi all. Hope everyone is getting back into the routine and school days aren't too exhausting.

platanos sorry your dd is so upset. I know one of dd's friends used to cry every night in year 5 and wanted her old class and old life back. She's settled now but the change can be alot to cope with. Has she got a few positive tales to tell you after her school day?

hupa how was the elternabend? Hope it wasn't too long. Did everyone turn up atleast? I went to ds's year 10 meeting and only 7 parents showed up and that's for an important year. I was quite surprised that so few came as there's a new teacher and it's the qualifying year for abitur.

Linzer G8, also called turbo abi is Abitur after 8 years of Gymnasium instead of 9. I think the first G8 pupils graduated 2 years ago. Ds will have just turned 18 when he has finished so it's not really turbo compared to the UK.

The dc are off to an information evening in the city tonight with over 100 businesses and university departments presenting their offers of cousres, training or study. Starts at 5pm and ends at 10pm and will probably be extremely busy.

I'm waiting for the caretaker to show face as we've found damp on a wall in the kitchen. Hope it's easy to deal with as I don't fancy having to pull the fitted kitchen out to fix it sad

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 09-Sep-13 13:51:13

Hello - everyone has gone quiet again!

We finally moved about a week and a half ago. Settling in okay, there is an expat group here who are being lovely and helping me find kindergartens etc. Some teething troubles - our newly installed internet seems temperamental, I can't get a mobile internet signal on my phone either and can't understand the text messages the company is sending me. Hoping to get someone who speaks German to ring the customer service line for me!

Still need to find out about insurance. I have phoned the guy whose number I have been given but it's going to answerphone and I keep chickening out of leaving a message. I think I will try once more and then just email him my number and hope he calls me!

Getting food in is proving to be a bit of an issue. I'm so used to online shopping but I don't think anyone offers that here? It's a pain as we don't have a car. At the moment we're going every 1-2 days but that won't be as easy when we're both working.

LinzerTorte Mon 09-Sep-13 15:16:29

Hope everyone had a good weekend. We decided to make the most of what was probably the last really summery weekend of the year by having a barbecue on Saturday and then going up a mountain yesterday. We took the mountain railway up but, in a moment of madness, decided to walk back down and my legs are killing me today. I never thought that walking downhill could be so much hard work!

I'm actually quite pleased now that I did all that stocking up on stationery at Hofer, as DD1 seems to come home with a list of yet more things she needs almost every day - exercise books with various cover colours, Schnellhefter, etc. She always claims to need the things by the next day too. The only thing I've needed to buy was an A5 exercise book for DS's RE lessons, as they always need to buy RE stationery separately for some reason so the exercise book isn't being included in the books that the teacher is ordering hmm (and I could only buy A4 and Quarthefte at Hofer).

Yoni Glad you're settling in OK. I remember struggling back from the shops with all our shopping in the days before we had a car, but at least I never had the chance to get used to online shopping so can't really miss it.

admylin Did the DC enjoy the information evening? Hope you're able to get the damp sorted out without too much upheaval.

platanos I'd thought that there might be a bit more of a transient community in Vienna, so interesting to hear that it's not unusual there either for children to go to the same primary school as their parents. Another thing I'll never understand that surprises me a little is how many students seem quite happy to carry on living at home when they go to university.
How is DD1 doing now? We have the same problem with DD2, who tends to take out all her stress on us - she's much better than she was, but we still have secondary school to come.

Antique Hope your friends arrived OK in the end and that you had a nice cuppa with them! I have the feeling that I didn't answer a question you asked me several weeks if not months ago... I think it was about whether the DC enjoyed their hospital tour, which they did (much more than the first aid course they did just before school started) - lots of freebies too! And I got to work for a whole 2.5 hours in peace, which is virtually a miracle in the summer holidays.

AntiqueMuppet Mon 09-Sep-13 19:56:40

They turned up 5 minutes after DS had fallen asleep, platanos, but he had been fiddling in his nappy and weed all over himself so he woke up anyway! It was really nice to see them though and we sat in the garden and had coffee and cake.
How is your DS enjoying primary school? Hope the homework isn't too much for him.

Did your DC enjoy the information evening, admylin? How is the damp in your kitchen? Will you be able to sort it without having to rip the whole kitchen out?

Glad to hear you're settling in ok, yoni! Whereabouts are you, if you don't mind me asking? If you want to post the text messages on here one of us can translate them for you.

Linzer I'm really not looking forward to the whole stationery business, it sounds like something that should be nice and simple but is stupidly complicated for no sensible reason. And I love stationery blush
It's nice that your DC enjoyed their hospital tour, and of course that they came out with loads of freebies!

DS is a bit of a handful at the moment. He's very sweet and (almost) always in a good mood but he is a real hurricane danger boy. He is into nothing but plug sockets, switches, safety locks, stairs and anything that looks dangerous. Everyone comments on how they have never met a child as lebhaft as him, but he's a brilliant eater, a good sleeper and generally very sweet and smiley so I can't complain too much, even if my haribo consumption has gone through the roof lately grin

C4ro Mon 09-Sep-13 20:31:11

Hallo all. Just coming on for a self-indulgent whine!

DD has just started Kiga, 6 days so far, but unfortunately they are the biggest bunch of disorganised borderline-incompetents going. They promised she would have a nap in the afternoons (showed us the sleeping area when we signed her up, wrote it carefully into her notes, knew full well she was just 3 yo +1 month, knew they were having her 5 days a week from 730-1700...) and now they tell us they don't intend to do it as they "don't have the staff". We were told this on her first day as they handed back an exhausted child to us long after all our other childcare options are cancelled. It's killing DD and us- we both work FT and don't have any relatives local to collect her early to make half days. We have sorted a collecting bridge-childminder now but that still isn't ideal as she can only go around 3pm to get her and it's too late for DD to get a nap at her house by then.
DH is going to make a round of calls this week but I think we may have to pull DD out and go back to the expense of nannies/ childminders again. Quite furious that the Kiga promised something they are not delivering but there doesn't seem much that can be done about that. We either become the black-listed parents by kicking off loudly; cross fingers and hope that poor little DD just sucks it up/ adjusts to no nap VERY early; or we accept they are shite, pull her out and somehow make other arrangements from scratch again for ourselves. Total PITA.

Last Mondays parents evening was apparently an eye-opener too. DH said it was filled with little-villager mildly xenophobic comments, lots of astonishment that out of about 60 people 3 dads had turned up (sarcastic wow!), some totally ridiculous crap about all the kids doing some cooking this year... even the boys! As seems usual, the same KG leader has been there for about 20 years now and apparently was the teacher to several of the mums-who-haven't-even-moved-up-the-road-in-20-years! It's a right old 1950s time-warp here and no mistake!

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 09-Sep-13 20:50:54

I'm in Karlsruhe, Baden-Wurtemburg (probably spelled that wrong!)

Someone has translated the text for me and seems to think it means I am set up to access the mobile web but I still can't. It might be something to do with my phone, I had a problem with roaming internet and spent ages on the phone to Orange (roaming!) trying to sort it and eventually gave up, then accidentally flipped phone into aeroplane mode, as soon as I took it out of that the internet worked! I have tried that with the German sim card but it just resets it and asks me to put in the PIN (which came with the sim card) in and still doesn't work.

I'm with blau.de which I don't think is a major network? But they seemed to have cheap internet and international calls.

The talk about naps reminds me of what I wanted to ask - people keep inviting us over at about 4pm, which I am finding quite perplexing and difficult because we usually have tea at about 5pm and if we go out at 4, even if we only stay an hour and it takes us half an hour to get home (neither particularly likely) it's already 5.30 by the time we get here and DS is starving by the time I get tea into him, it's usually gone 6pm. Just wondered if this was a thing particular to Germany or whether it was a people-with-older-children thing? DS is almost 5 and still goes to bed at 7pm, but perhaps I'm being very British about it grin I just can't understand if they start kindergarten at 7.30am how on earth the children aren't falling asleep in their dinners if they usually eat at 6 or 7pm.

LinzerTorte Tue 10-Sep-13 07:41:12

Yoni 4 pm does seem quite late, especially if you have little ones; 2.30-3 pm is the standard afternoon meet-up time here. Very often, if the children stay until around 5.30ish they'll be given tea at their friends' which does make life easier. It's only now that I'm finally starting to relax a bit more about their 7 o'clock bedtime - although ironically, they're harder to wake up in the mornings and have to be at school earlier than they did at KiGa (7.45-8 rather than 8.30).

C4ro How frustrating about the naps. I didn't realise for years that children could nap at KiGa (mine all gave up their midday nap at 2-2.5 so it was never an issue for us), but it must be very difficult for your DD to suddenly be expected to stay awake until 5 if she's used to having a nap at midday.
I often complain about Austria being several decades behind the UK, but it really does sound like a bit of a time warp there. Yy to the mild xenophobia, though; one of our neighbours said to me a couple of days ago that she hoped there weren't too many "linguistically disadvanted" children in DS's class (in an obvious attempt to be politically correct and avoid using the term foreigners).

Antique I remember how exhausting that stage was with DS - he was quite a shock to the system after the girls and was into absolutely everything, the more dangerous/unsuitable the better. His obsession was toilet brushes was a particularly challenging time! Your DS does sound very sweet, though; you can forgive them a lot if they're happy and smiley, I find. grin

Just after I'd smugly written in my post about not needing to buy any school things for DD1, she presented me with an A4 list for Werken - she needs everything from a crochet hook size 3 or 4 (can only find size 3.5, surely that will do?) and wool (whose strength needs to match the crochet hook confused) to a fretshaw and three different types of sandpaper. Also Laubsägeblätter für Holz (feine und mittlere Stärke - KEINE Rundsägeblätter) - think I might leave that part of the list to DH, as I just don't have a clue!

AntiqueMuppet Tue 10-Sep-13 12:27:01

C4ro Sorry to hear you're having a nightmare with the Kiga at the moment. I can't offer any useful advice but I really hope it is sorted soon without too much trouble for your poor DD.

Yoni When I meet up with friends with DC here it's normally around 3pm ish, but my DS is just about to turn two and all his little friends are around the same ages, so it may be different for older kids, but 4 sounds late to me. (We are still working meet ups around nap times as well as dinner and bed times though.)

Crikey, the school do like to keep you on your toes, don't they, Linzer! One of my friends' oldest boy started school here this year so I'll have to ask her if she has ended up with a list like yours.
DS also has toilet-brush-love. He saw me using it when I was cleaning the bathroom a few weeks ago and has been eyeing it up ever since, waiting for his chance. Then when DH and I were both out of the bathroom the other morning he ran in there as fast as his little legs would carry him, grabbed the brush and started scrubbing the toilet furiously before we could grab it off him. The look of desperate concentration on his face was hilarious grin It's is birthday next week and I'm seriously considering hitting Ikea's bathroom department for him.....

C4ro Tue 10-Sep-13 14:41:13

We will see what DH can manage with the Kiga, he is talking to them this week about the naps and the fact she has wet herself every day she's been there despite being dry at home and at a busy childminders for a while. DD is luckily a flexible little soul, still excited to be a big girl and going to Kiga, loving to then be collected by a new lady with a baby girl, dog, rabbits and a trampoline in the garden, she's cheerful despite getting so exhausted. No refusals to go, no tears or clutching at the door or me when I leave her there. It'll be a shame to take her out as she loves the activities/ other kids.

During the 2 hour parents evening last week, they described lots of activities that will happen this year and mentioned that for a day a week a girl was coming in who spoke Serbian/ Croatian. One of the mums piped up "I don't want my child learning Serbian and anyway, the forrens should have to learn German"... it was then explained to her that several of the kids are bilingual and it isn't for teaching purposes. DH and I have been asking each other "are you local? this is a local kiga for local children" and sniggering at each other.

Lovely to hear other kids like to pick up inappropriate toys and cleaning equipment too. DD has an immense curiousity about all sanitary towels/ tampons as for a long time DH and I were not allowed to go to the loo unaccompanied. Hopefully this will wear off but she does like to root through my handbag and pull out all the interesting things she finds.

AllSWornOut Wed 11-Sep-13 18:52:50

Hello, can I gate crash? No longer living in Germany unfortunately but my DH is German and I have a question about children's magazines.

At the consulate yesterday doing DC2's birth certif they had a stack of magazines called "Gecko" which looked petty good from the couple i leafed through. Does anyone know this magazine/recommend it? It would be for a 3yo. Or perhaps there's something better? TIA or perhaps better danke in voraus grin

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 11-Sep-13 23:28:49

Well we have a kindergarten place! They are going to write to us to tell us when DS can start although they were very clear that they definitely have a space for him. They don't speak much English at all but had enough to communicate with me (my German consists of about 200 words according to Duolingo, which is hardly anything in practice). They have put him into a group with another child who is American but learning German - it was his mum who recommended the kindergarten to me. I think I am more nervous than he is, even though he was terrified until he saw the train set. (Brio can solve everything when you are four)

Managed to get health insurance as well although it is on a travel arrangement which I think might preclude us from being able to claim kindergeld - I don't know if they check this kind of thing? I might phone back the broker and ask. Am now looking for jobs. DP wants to push the wedding forward which I agree with in principle but it looks like an utter pain - talk of getting a copy of birth certificates (Why? I don't understand why the original or another full copy isn't good enough) and then to get them translated. I wonder if just the translation has to be under 6 months old, perhaps that would be enough. And I might have to get proof that I am not already married, as I have a child from a previous relationship.

Has anyone here non-German married a non-German in Germany?

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 11-Sep-13 23:31:16

Oh and if anyone has any kind of info on the proper way to arrange a CV in Germany I would be very grateful! In German is fine as long as it's online (and not a PDF) as I use Chrome which translates everything for you!

AmblingAlong Thu 12-Sep-13 08:36:02

Yoni yes, I remember when we got married I had to get my mum to order me a new up to date birth certificate and then I had to go and get it translated by an accredited translator because they're the only ones who can do a certified translation, I also needed a paper from the consulte to say I wasn't married already, can't remember the name of that but there were tears in the process of sorting that one out!
Great news about the kindergarten! That was quick.

AllSWornOut I've never seen Gecko magazine but from the website it sounds very good. Definately for the pre-school age and more in the educational direction than the usual kids magazines.

Antique lol at your ds and his toilet brush! Wasn't he into cuckoo clocks at one point? Wonder what will be next?!

Wow Linzer, my dd would like to go to your dd1's school for the arts and crafts! Sounds like they have some interesting projects ahead of them going by that list!

(by the way it's admylin here, got fed up of old name so changed) Still waiting for the damp patch in the kitchen to even be looked at by the caretaker. The landlady has been informed anyway so they can't say I didn't keep my Meldepflicht!
I have a self inflicted headache today. Dh got confirmation that his article will be published in quite a high impact factor journal so we celebrated last night!

hupa Thu 12-Sep-13 09:46:26

Yoni You´ve done well to sort so many things so quickly. I´m afraid I can´t help with many of your questions. I did get married here, but dh is German, but I still had the whole nightmare birth certificate/translation palaver. I also remember going to the consulate and having to swear on the bible , but I really can´t remember what that was about at all.
I´ve never written a German CV, but I do know that it is usual to enclose a passport photo. Lots of people spend quite a lot getting professional photos taken, but I´m sure a photobooth job would be fine.

AllSWornOut I´ve never seen Gecko Magazine. When the dc were smaller we bought Geomini which was good, but I´m not sure if 3 is a bit young.

c4ro Sorry you´re having a bit of a nightmare - hopefully you can get things sorted quickly.
At dd´s first Elternabend there was only one set of parents where neither the mother or father had gone to school here. I´m lucky in a sense - dh is from here, so I´m accepted. Generally outsiders (even from other parts of Germany) are looked on with a certain amount of suspicion.

AmblingAlong I think I need to keep a spread sheet to keep up with all the name changes.
Congratulations to dh - he must be so pleased after all the trouble he´s had at work.

Dd´s Elternabend was fine, although it turned out to be the class teacher who loves the sound of her own voice. We were sat there long after all the other classes had gone home. Her English teacher came to introduce herself and made a really bad impression on everyone.

I better stop now - this is turning into an essay. Hello to anyone I´ve missed.

AllSWornOut Thu 12-Sep-13 14:25:39

Hupa, the grandparents are already offering to buy national geographic kids!

Thanks for the comments, I might suggest gecko instead then. The stories were quite varied in the copies I saw and there seemed to be little activities in each edition too.

LinzerTorte Thu 12-Sep-13 16:09:44

hupa How did the English teacher make a bad impression? I was quite critical of DD1's teacher before I knew her (of her English, that is), but then met her and felt a bit guilty about all my critical comments. I decided that as long as DD1 likes her and enjoys the lessons, I can overlook the odd minor mistake! Doesn't stop me pointing them out, though.

Ambling Congratulations to your DH; that's great news. Commiserations on the headache, though - I hope it's worn off by now.

C4ro Any progress with the KiGa? We used to have someone at ours who spoke a few different Eastern European languages; can't believe the parents thought that they would be teaching the Austrian children!

Antique An Ikea toilet brush would make an excellent birthday present; wish I'd thought of it a few years ago. wink

I've just been invited to a hen night in England next year; my first thought was that it would be a huge extravagance, especially considering that we'll all be flying over for the wedding a couple of weeks later, but I've just been looking at flights and it's amazing how cheap they are when just one person is flying rather than five! Actually, I'm sure that I used to pay more to fly over to Austria when DH (DP at the time) was living there and I was still in England, and that was getting on for 20 years ago.

fussychica Thu 12-Sep-13 19:22:41

DS back from Hamburg tomorrow after 14 weeksgrin Can't wait to see him, though it's only 12 days before he's off to south west France on his year abroad sad.
Just wanted to thank you all for putting up with my temporary residence on this thread and for all you helpthanks

hupa Fri 13-Sep-13 10:38:51

fussychica Has your ds enjoyed his time in Hamburg?

Linzer What sort of hen weekend has your friend got planned? I´d be over like a shot if it was a spa weekend, but less keen if it involved "L" plates and Blackpool.

The English teacher was obviously very nervous and could hardly string a sentence together. She also said she would be unlikely to be able to teach the whole of the material planned for the year, but didn´t explain her reasons. She then launched into a story about her daughter borrowing her car and parking illegally and the police being able to track her down. This was completely bizarre, as it had absolutely nothing to do with school, English or teaching. She then left and everyone was left feeling slightly bemused to say the least.

Has anyone else got the heating on? I finally turned ours on this morning as I was fed up of freezing yesterday.

AmblingAlong Fri 13-Sep-13 12:16:04

Hupa, yes the heating went on yesterday here! Switche doff today though as it's gone mild again. Wierd teacher, sounds a bit scatty maybe. Hopefully she has her subject im Griff!

Fussy I bet your son had a long list of food he had missed and wants to eat before he leaves again! I remember when I lived in France and would go to the UK for 2 weeks and didn't have enough days to eat all the stuff I'd been longing for!

Linzer there are some great bargain flights especially outside the school holiday period. Would your dh have to take some half days off to fit around the dc and school?

Caretaker came yesterday afternoon and left me with a bottle of 'something' (in an unmarked bottle) so spray the wall with every day for a week. A small decorative piece of wood has to go that was down the side of the last kitchen cupboard so air can circulate better. Hope it fixes the problem.

Dh seems to have all the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, at night time in bed his left hand goes numb and his wrist hurts and the pain goes up to his elbow almost. When he gets up after a few hours it eases off. He's going to try sleeping with a wrist brace. Of course he works with neuro surgeons so they've all been shouting operation which has scared him so he's on the self treatment route!

LinzerTorte Fri 13-Sep-13 14:19:10

It's been pouring with rain for most of the day here (although quite mild, so no need for the heating yet), but DD1 and I just managed to get out between showers to buy the things on her arts & crafts list that we could get from the stationery and crafts shops (I'm leaving the sandpaper and fretsaw-related stuff to DH). Luckily I checked what the woman in the crafts shop was giving us, as she'd got Sticknadeln and Stecknadeln confused.

I ended up booking my flights yesterday evening as I was a bit worried that the lowest priced seats would sell out (only four left at the lowest price both ways). I'll be flying with BA for the first time in years - it will be such a luxury to be able to avoid the boarding scrum, not have to pay for my luggage and even have some (possibly inedible) food provided! Not too sure yet what the hen night will involve apart from the fact that there'll be an afternoon activity (tba) and a meal in the evening, but my friend isn't a Blackpool and L plates type of person so I'm not too worried! DH will have to take the Friday off work, but I think he was so relieved that I wasn't planning on having over a week away (he initially thought I wanted to go from the Friday until the Sunday the following week) that he sounded positively happy about it. grin

admylin Carpal tunnel syndrome sounds very painful; hope it clears up without your DH having to go down the surgery route. Also hope the mysterious damp treatment does its job!

hupa I see what you mean about the teacher not exactly making a positive impression; hopefully she's only nervous when talking to a room full of adults and will be more in control of her class. It hardly inspires confidence, but I suppose at least English is one of the subjects that your DD has to worry about least.

fussy Enjoy your reunion with your DS! smile

fussychica Fri 13-Sep-13 14:22:07

He's homegrin
He really enjoyed Hamburg but said he was ready to come home - he's actually been gone several weeks longer than the usual university term.

Yes I have a 13 night menu list starting with Stroganoff tonight and a roast beef Sunday lunch. He'll be missing his fruit squash most in France I think as he was really pleased when you directed him to the Brit shop in Hamburg to get some.

His landlord in Hamburg bought him loads of pressies to bring home, including a giant sausage!

Hi Everyone, I've been away from the thread for a bit - I look at it and think that I can't possibly say something to everyone properly before being interrupted! blush Some new people and at least 1 name change since I last posted too I think.

To introduce myself to new people - I've lived in Bavaria for 6 years. have 3 children (1 at Grundschule, 1 at Kindergarten, and the youngest is home full time with me) and am married to a German.

Linzer enjoy the solo trip to the UK and hen night - flying alone sounds rather luxurious, and with a proper airline too, never mind what you actually do when you get there! smile

Ambling I hope your DH's carpel tunnel can be helped without an op sad Is his work situation tolerable atm (assuming you are admylin ?

C4ro sorry you are having problems with KiGa. I have always found everyone very positive about having English children around, but that may be because there aren't many non Germans in our very rural part of Bavaria, and because English is regarded as "useful". A Czech (Spelling blank, is that right?) family moved to a neighbouring village about 6 months ago, and a Bulgarian family into our village a few months after that, and people seem less eager to get to know them, although the only thing I have heard anyone say is that they feel sorry for the mothers, both whom speak very little German, and that its hard to invite their children to things as communication is hard. Mind you I spoke very little German when we moved here and almost everybody was patient, trying to speak slowly and repeat themselves, but virtually nobody actually tried to use school English with me nor sought out my German husband to clarify things - maybe they just felt reassured that they could if they had to hmm

Our Kindergarten has a few little trundle beds that children theoretically can nap on, but I am not sure they are used much. I was shown them when my then 3 YO DC2 had to go for a full day once a week, when I was working, but to be honest none of my children has napped much past the age of 2, so it was never really an issue - and as it turned out we went back to mornings only anyway after a few months, he did find the full days too much (it is a busy atmosphere inevitably just due to the number of children, even though our KiGa is very well run IMO) and used to do fine while there but be quite overwhelmed once collected.

Hupa that English teacher does sound scatty to say the least! Hope she was just having a bad day!

DD got her 3er Klasse stationary list on the first day of term (we have always had them at the end of term before) and I thought it would be a stressful scramble, but as her teacher gave tem til Monday to get everything it's been OK actually.

I've took DC3 to a drop off playgroup for 2-3 year olds on Friday - had to stay the first time but looks promising - he is eager to start KiGa and is "voll Gas" at home, but there are no KiGa places for under 3s this year (and I am not really sure I agree with full on KiGa under 3 anyway) so I have high hopes of the Kinderpark two mornings a week - he seemed to enjoy it and didn't come back to me much, but we'll see how actually dropping him off and leaving is on Wed and go from there!

We've also got a new dog who has turned out to be a bit of a barking nightmare every time I leave the room to do something elsewhere in the house, or every time anyone has food, or every time anybody, including she herself, enters or leaves the house (the family who had her as a foster dog said she didn't bark - but maybe she didn't at theirs where she had 3 other dogs for company). She also now seems to be ill. All a bit of a nightmare, but got a trainer coming for a home visit this aft and will have to take her to the vet again tomorrow sad

The unexpected expenses are a pain this month as Dd and DS1 both have birthdays this week with the cost of 2 parties as well as their presents, plus DH's birthday the week after and all the school start expenses - September is more expensive than Christmas in this house!

Sorry I know I've missed people but I have written an essay and now need to go and clean up the kitchen with my stalker dog on my heels trying to get inside the dishwasher or the bin... This morning I am very much wondering why I thought a dog was a good idea, esp as she insists on following me about and ignores the kids completely sad

*I took, not *I've took blush

AllSWornOut Sun 15-Sep-13 09:18:55

Fussy where is your DS of to in France? I'm in the SW, might be able to help again with squash searches if he's going anywhere near me!

fussychica Sun 15-Sep-13 14:38:23

Hi AllSWornout he'll be in the middle of nowhere! St Jean Pied de Port looks beautiful but a tad small and isolated. So it's Bayonne/Biarritz I guess as although Pau is a similar distance I can't see any way to get there. The juice issue will no doubt loom early on!

AllSWornOut Sun 15-Sep-13 15:53:22

Ooh that is in the middle of nowhere! But you're right, it's lovely. If he likes walking he'll be spoilt for choice.

Around here most of the big supermarkets have an English food section and squash general features. Biarritz is probably his best bet, or Bordeaux if he can catch the train up for the day.

Although I've heard the "syrops" that are sold in all supermarkets here are good - you dilute then like for squash but i find them a bit too sweet for my taste. Probably worth him giving them a try though.

Anyway, I'll stop derailing the thread now blush

fussychica Sun 15-Sep-13 18:45:52

Thanks All I'll let him know. He had bought a French syrop in Hamburg so thought he should be able to get something like that in Carrefour.

He likes walking and has just got into cycling so that's all good. After Hamburg I think he'll find this a bit isolated - he's been offered accommodation in the school which he is keen to take so he doesn't have to worry about finding a flat. I thought living in Bayonne or Biarritz might be a better choice but not my call - only time will tell!

itsMYNutella Sun 15-Sep-13 21:11:07

Hello ladies!

Tumbles sorry the dog is causing you problems. We dog sat a couple of weeks ago and that made me realize that it will be a long time before we have a dog!

linzer oooohhh a weekend in England at a hen party all by yourself? Sounds great!

fussy my mum is 20 minutes from St John Pied a port. If he needs some English cooking she would gladly oblige grin also the supermarkets around there usually have a decent English section. I bought some digestives when I was there.

To all those interested, the wedding planning is slowly falling into place but it is of course more expensive than we thought it would be. We are paying more to have Inge done professionally because we don't want the stress of doing it ourselves on top of looking after T and organizing our families.

T is growing at an alarming rate! He is almost sitting on his own and has started to pull himself up on things. It is all happening much too fast for me! We lowered his bed today after we found him looking out of it at us when he was supposed to be napping.... He has two teeth at the bottom and two coming through at the top. It looks like more bottom teeth will follow shortly.... We're wondering if he will be walking at our wedding... I think it's a possibility...

fussychica Mon 16-Sep-13 16:50:10

itsMYNutella he'd love that I'm sure. It's curry tonight - not very English but a firm favourite in this house along with most of the UK population!

LinzerTorte Mon 16-Sep-13 18:23:57

MrTumbles Hope your new dog settles down soon; sounds like it must be quite exhausting at the moment! I mentioned your DD's birthday to DD2, which reminded her that she owes your DD a PM so she's tapping away on my phone as I write.

Nutella When's the wedding going to be? (Apologies if you've already said.) A wedding planner sounds like a good idea; I remember how stressful organising everything ourselves was, with half the guests coming from abroad, and that was without a baby/toddler around.

fussy Enjoy your curry! We went out to an Indian restaurant on Sunday and they remembered us from last time (which must have been several months ago), mainly because of all the dishes we took back for our freezer I suspect!

Just when I thought I'd got all the lists out of the way, DD1 has been given one for scouts - she has to have a "be prepared bag" (€17.50) containing everything from a compass and matches/lighter to a €10 book. Am also feeling highly confused by all the different items of uniform, although she apparently only needs a Knotenschnur - whatever that is. The scout shop is handily open for 15 minutes (about now in fact) every evening except the one that she's there - not a time of day I particularly want to go out, so DH is hoping he'll make it there in time on his way back from work.

fussychica Mon 16-Sep-13 18:44:21

itsMY Sorry was cut off in mid post - good luck with your wedding plans - your little one sounds a honey - my DS was such a lazy baby he didn't walk until he was 16mthsshock. Not a lot has changed over the 20 yearsshock Only jokinggrin

Linzer got to cook mine myself but do love a proper curry from a curry house.

itsMYNutella Mon 16-Sep-13 19:00:16

Linzer I'm serious, she often has people round for dinner unexpectedly too, her partner/sort of husband (they signed a PAC which is like a civil partnership) is an artist so she is fairly chilled and loved meeting new people. She's here next week - I can't wait!! grin

Linzer I wish we had a wedding planned, that would be awesome! Sadly I mean little things like paying a florist to bring everything & take it away again grin we are meeting our photographer too later this week. I'm really hoping we get on with her! But I think we will.

DS has been a bit of a whinge today. He slept for all of 20 mins this morning and was falling asleep in his lunch (I did laugh and take a picture). I managed to get him to nap again at 3 and he slept for about 1hr 20 mins shock he normally has a 30 min power nap!!
Hopefully my happy smiley baby will be back tomorrow. On the ferry DP had accidentally booked us "club lounge" seats... It was very posh! We ate as much of the free snacks as we could <classy> grin and on the trip home one older couple actually commented on how good DS had bed during the trip. They said he didn't cry once and they were rather impressed. I was a very proud mummy, normally DS is a happy chappy but it is nice when other people tell you that too.

itsMYNutella Mon 16-Sep-13 19:01:01

Oops, the first part of my post was to fussy smile

itsMYNutella Fri 20-Sep-13 09:32:06

Hmmmm.... Seems I killed the thread... Hellloooooo <echoes back ooooooo>

LinzerTorte Fri 20-Sep-13 10:16:55

Hellooo <returning echo from Austria>

I'm busy working so hoping that the thread stays quiet until next week, as I don't need any distractions (no self-control), but didn't want to ignore your post Nutella! Hope your DS is back to his normal happy self again now.

C4ro Fri 20-Sep-13 13:43:44

Yoni - If Germany is anything like Austria, you will need the less than 6 months copy + apostille stamp + translation. It's tedious but not worth losing the time doing it twice, just allow loads of patience for the beaurocracy stages! In Austria we also needed a translator for the civil wedding service- didn't have to be accredited but did have to be non-family. Luckily my now-SIL was only GF status back then, so she did it. (In France, where DB got married, it had to be accredited translator)

hupa - DH is Austrian... but left here aged 5 and now his accent sounds at best North-German and at worst Dutch to the locals! He has had the indignities of the Austrian Air stewardess reply to him in English, colleagues at work in Vienna repeating themselves slowly in HochDeutsch to him and the Kiga head said "Vestehst. Du. Mich. Mr. DD-name" in front of a group of parents when she was talking at the parents evening!

MrTumbles - DH elder brother is just north of Munich- Vierkirchen. We stop over and get lifts to the airport from them now and again. Munich airport is a lot better connected than Vienna I find. Hope your dog is settling in by now.

Linzer - Please tell me there is a decent local Indian restaurant! You would make my year- DH tried to get me a nice Indian last birthday from the SCS Indian but it was only mediocre sadly. It is my most-missed thing from home.

Kiga are still trying my patience but DD is adjusting and still wants to go so we will keep at it and not pull her out. They say they put something in place for naps last week but, based on DD tiredness levels, she certainly isn't sleeping there yet.

On other fronts, we finally sorted out getting our upstairs windows replaced, from the useful tradesman finder ww.myhammer.at if any of you have a use for that sort of thing.

Hello all! I've been meaning to return to the thread so many times, but just never knew where to start. And I didn't want to return by adding another one of the me-posts.

There is absolutely no way I can comment on everything that's been going on here. But...

bavarian how's the dog oing now?

nutella how exciting, planning your wedding. Congratulations smile

My dad is getting married in October, and tomorrow I am heading into town to try and find a dress.

linzer and platanos dh will be in Vienna for one day next week. He got very excited when I told him about a good Indian restaurant. Is it that good that should make time for a visit there? And is it centra-ish?

Anyway, dh and I are going out with another couple tonight. I met her through dogs- they also have a young retriever, and him and Charle absolutely live each other.

Right, ds2&3 starting to annoy each other, and ds1 about to get home o better go....

Hello to everyone else smile

LinzerTorte Fri 20-Sep-13 16:43:03

There are quite a few Indian restaurants in Vienna; our favourite is this one in the 4th district (so yes, central-ish). I was quite annoyed to see they have a Gutschein-Aktion on at the moment though, as we could have saved ourselves €15 last weekend! I don't think there's anywhere more local unfortunately C4ro; at least, there is one here in B. but we went there once quite a few years ago and weren't very impressed.

outnumbered I've also been looking (online) for a dress to wear to a wedding - summer weddings are so much easier... Hope you have a lovely night out with your friends!

C4ro I think the bureaucracy was the main reason we decided not to get married in Austria! (Actually, avoiding ballroom dancing was DH's main reason for avoiding a traditional Austrian wedding.) I also find Munich much better connected than Vienna, which is a bit rubbish unless you want to fly to London - we're flying from Munich at Christmas, in fact.

So much for not getting distracted - DH is home and getting the DC something to eat, so I'd better get back to work.

fussychica Fri 20-Sep-13 17:14:28

nutella - your mum sounds great - hope you are enjoying having her around, bet she's really happy to see your little one. Only have my DS with me for another 6 days then he's France bound. He's living in the school with meals Monday - Friday which is great but only has access to a microwave in the staff room at weekends as the kitchens are closed confused. Bit of a strange arrangement but I'm sure he'll survive.

itsMYNutella Fri 20-Sep-13 18:54:44

outnumbered congratulations to your dad!!! thanksThat's really lovely to hear. How are you with it all? I remember when you were meeting his lady friend; I hope it all goes well & you have a lovely time.

Linzer awww thank you for replying. DS is a bit more predictable now (and I've learnt how to look after him better I suppose) so I'm hoping I can pop on about more often. smileI didn't mind killing the thread wink but when its quiet I sort of miss catching up with you all.
We had Indian take away twice while we were in England. It was ok but not great. Need to expand our search next time. I should have gone to visit my Indian friends in East London grin

fussy my mum is a great grandma but a little scatty as a mum. She is one of those mums that my friends either think is great because she is so different, or they see the lack of structure and guidance that I have long struggled with. It's a long story and has a lot to do with her ex husband. But honestly if your DS needed company or a tasty meal she would be happy to entertain him. We bought them UNO last time we visited and had a lot of fun teaching it to everyone grin.

DS pulled himself up to standing for the first time today! We better get to ikea to buy some different furniture.
He has been gradually building up to it over the last two weeks... Wonder what he'll be up to in another two weeks! He is almost 9 months old...

nutella thank you smile I have to say, it's a bit strange seeing my dad with another one. She is lovely, no gold digger but very independent, got divorced 5 years ago due to her h cheating. The main thing is that my dad is really happy, and he so deserves happiness. These past 10 years have been so hard for him. First my mum's illness, then her death. And I have been very worried about him. And although I am sure it's going to be a lovely wedding, it's going to be hard as the memory of my mum will always be there with us.

We were worried how stressful the wedding is going to be with ds1 and ds2, so we are now taking our babysitters with us! We are paying their expenses, but apart from that they are doing it for free. We re very lucky...shame they are nearly finished with uni. Apart from helping with ds1&2, they will also be providing kids entertainment for all 22 young children smile

linzer thank you for the link. Dh says that it's not far from where he is, so may be able to go there for lunch!

Hi Everyone

I am up with DD, who has an ear ache - I tried medicating her and then sleeping in her bed with her, but after 2 hours of her sobbing and howling despite all the medicine it is safe to have and a cherry stone cushion on her ear I have brought her downstairs to watch English toddler TV, which starts at 1.30am UK time. Dreading when that satellite moves in a week or so and we lose free UK TV :/

C4ro Vierkirchen is on the S bahn line we take into Munich - our stop is the very last one on the line smile Not far away, though I've never been there except passing through on the S bahn. Glad your DD is still wanting to go to KiGa even though it is tiring for her - I wonder if there is just too much going on for her to feel able to get into the quiet sleepy mood to nap even if they have now provided a place for her to? Especially if nobody else does?

Linzer thanks for getting your DD to message mine - I pointed the message out to her, but will remind her when this ear ache is sorted! She's not doing great atm as we thought she'd broken her thumb at DS1's birthday party on Sunday, but it turns out its only sprained... The party was a success otherwise - I put all 6 little boys in bright orange T shirts (€2 per T shirt Amazon purchases) which made them very easy to keep tabs on at the fun park smile )

Nuttella yay for your DS! I love really teeny toddlers - DD only crawled for 2 weeks and then walked at 9 months 9 days - and she only had 2 teeth at the time too! grin People are always full of dire warnings about them walking, but I found it easier as at least they can walk outside which makes playgrounds etc. so much more rewarding. DD wasn't wobbly for long, also despite people saying they are if they walk early-ish - she was very steady indeed on her feet by the time she turned 10 months.

Yoni congratulations - I am afraid I know nothing at all about the mechanics of getting married in Austria! Good luck with the bureaucracy.

Outnumbered congratulations to your Dad! Hope the day isn't too emotional for you - or only in a good way.

Sorry - dog rant coming up, feel free to stop reading here!

The dog is still driving me insane in all honesty, DH and I have talked several times about returning her to the foster home but the only thing really stopping us is the message that sends the kids. She doesn't like DH and barks at him, I wake up to barking, we come home to barking, and sometimes to mess due to her weak stomach, DD can't let herself in as she used to if she beats me home from school by 10 minutes, so has to sit on the door step in the rain, because although not aggressive the dog goes wild and it is too scary for an 8 year old. I really didn't need her here an hour ago when I brought DD down, which sent her into a barking frenzy... she's settled on the sofa now but it took a while and I had a crying DD to deal with, didn't need the dog to be taking all my attention. sad

She is "good" with the kids in that she is very tolerant of them, but she largely ignores them and is absolutely velcro to me, I can't move without her jumping up and she is always at my feet and trying to climb on my lap and push herself between me and DC3 if he wants to be on my lap or I am helping him get his waterproofs or shoes on or anything. TBH I find her needy/ clinginess to me very frustrating esp as she still won't let DH near her, so he feels like an unwelcome guest in his own home, and the older 2 children have largely lost interest in her as she ignores them. DC3 still fusses her a lot, and her saving grace is how tolerant of him she is...

The constant barking is driving me absolutely insane, and her very weak stomach means a whole lot of disgusting cleaning up for me if she manages to eat anything that is not dog food (and she is absolutely food obsessed and can steal food in the blink of an eye so it is very hard totally stopping her getting anything she shouldn't in a house of small children) which I really don't need. We never used to shut doors in the house but now the kitchen door has to be shut all the time, and the older 2 were getting nicely independent about getting themselves drinks and even making sandwiches etc. and DD likes to cook only calling me for "risky" jobs, but the dog has put a stop to all that as I have to be on full alert int he kitchen due to her food frenzies... she's trapped DS1 in the kitchen when he's gone in to get a drink and shut the door behind him, and she just stands outside barking and leaping at the door and he's too scared to come out :/ She isn't aggressive she is just focussed on the food, but she is making life very hard. I tried taking her to a training course but it didn't focus on areas we need to work on, was more about dog-dog socialisation, and was also very "treat" focussed (rewarding with food) which had a bad effect on Dog's tummy for 24 hours after... :/ blergh!

mrtumbles oh dear that sounds very stressful with your dog! And constant barking drives me up the wall too!! We are quite lucky, as ours barks (literally once) if there is someone at the door. I quite like tht as I see it as our house alarm. And sometimes, if he is a bit too excited with visitors who don't like dogs much, I put him in the kitchen and shut there door - there he will spend the first minute barking for attention, but then calms down.

It sounds like her barking is attention seeking too? Would you consider getting a dog behaviourist involved? Or approach the organization you got her from, and see if they have ideas?

I have to say, I always admire people taking in rescue dogs, but I couldn't do myself. With a puppy- especially going through good breeders- you have a blank canvas, you can shape their personality and train them from the beginning. It's still a lot of work, time and money required. You just can't know of all the experiences -probably lots of unpleasant ones- those poor doggies have had, and how the memory of those might make them react in certain situation.

Good luck with her!!

How is your dd now? After having had da1&3 at home last week, I now had a phonecall that ds2 isn't well and has gone to sleep. Just picked them up, and had to tell his little friend that she can't come home with us as planned. It was heartbreaking. She was sitting on my lap crying her eyes out. We already had to cancel the play date once lat week, as The others were ill. No idea what he's coming down with, but he's got a temperature and a bit of a cough. Hopefully he'll be back at Kiga by Friday the latest, as I really want to go to Zumba at the gym. Not very selfless, am I?! grin

Anyway, must go.

hi Outnumbered - hope your DS2 is better soon - poor little girl so upset at not coming to play - still, nice he has a friend who loves him!

DD's ear drum must have burst at 3am as she said it hurt less then and fell asleep (obviously DS2 woke up within half an hour of her falling asleep...) but she woke at 6am with liquid streaming out of her ear, and the doctor confirmed burst ear drum and she is on antibiotics now. She has dozed a lot of the afternoon after spending the morning mostly in a grumpy uncomfortable, tired strop...

Does anyone else's school have no office staff nor anyone else to answer the staff phone? Our school has 4 classes and 4 teachers, no slack so nobody answers the phone. I wrote her absence not at 6.30am but forgot at 7am to dash out and catch a bus child going past so had to drive in to her school to hand in her absence note before the doors shut at 8am... Left me with half an hour before I could drop DS1 at Kindergarten opposite and the choice of driving home and straight back again or asking them to let me drop him early - which led to eye rolling though they did let me... Would be so much easier if I could just phone in and leave a message on a machine even, or text the teacher, or email... or anything!

I actually don't think I can do this with the dog, think she's tipped me over the edge. Have left messages with the lady who had her in foster (who is also a dog trainer and who said we could call her any time for advice). After leaving messages I got through to her once, only a few days after we got the dog, and booked her to come over for a training session, but she didn't turn up and only texted to cancel, never got back in contact. I have just left more messages saying this isn't working and we need wither urgent help or will bring the dog back.

I took DS2 to the playground (dogs aren't really allowed and I can't push him on the swing with her on the lead as she gets between me and the swing and barks, and gets hit with the swing!) so I left her in our garden (with water, shade, and a comfy place to lie) - but she can see us in the playground from the house and garden so she barked the entire time non stop - literally 45 mins. When we came back she went nuts as usual springing and barking so I had to put her on the lead, and when I opened the door she trotted in ahead of me on the long lead - and peed in the middle of the living room floor! She is toilet trained and was outside the previous 45 mins! She did the same at the weekend when the parents and in-laws were here - while they were in the house she peed on the floor at regular intervals even though the garden door was open and it was a sunny day. It is clearly some kind of deliberate territory marking or something! Or revenge! I am sure its a stress reaction but it is infuriating on top of 45 mins of solid barking... I've put her back in the garden now after the peeing (can't really call it an accident) and have really had enough...

I can't even clean up unless I shut her out as she runs through it barking in my face and jumping on me hmm

She just isn't the dog we thought we met at the foster family's house, nor the laid back, quiet dog they said she was! She is making every family member not want to be at home - in fact it doesn't feel like home at all with her here angry sad biggest mistake I have ever made I think.

LinzerTorte Tue 24-Sep-13 17:17:56

MrTumbles Oh dear, that sounds like a bit of a nightmare situation with the dog. I really hope you can get something sorted out soon (even if it does mean returning the dog). Poor DD2 with her ear; she must have been in a lot of pain. It sounds like rather a stressful system for letting the school know that your child will be absent; at our school, you can either phone up (and leave a message if no one answers) or just ask a friend/sibling to tell the teacher.

outnumbered Hope your DS is feeling better soon; what a shame for his friend too. I can imagine that, no matter how well you get on with your dad's wife-to-be and how happy you are to see him happy, you'll have very mixed emotions at the wedding - but it sounds like it will be a lovely day (even more so now that you'll have babysitters on hand!). smile

Nutella Sounds like your DS is growing up fast! Like MrTumbles, I found it much easier once the DC started walking - everyone used to tell me to enjoy the lack of mobility while it lasted, but I found that the more mobile they got, the less frustrated they were.

I've had a cold for the last couple of days so have been feeling a bit sorry for myself, but have cheered up since our visit to the dentist this afternoon when she said that I could wait another six months before doing anything about my tooth (don't know if anyone remembers, but she suggested a €600 ceramic inlay for a tooth that I managed to chip on some muesli years ago). It looks like some of DD1's adult teeth are missing, however; the dentist going to look into it more next time, although there's nothing that can be done if they're not there (other than implants in about 20 years' time).

itsMYNutella Tue 24-Sep-13 18:52:30

outnumbered babysitters and children's entertainment sounds like a fantastic thing to have at the wedding grin great that you'll be able to relax. I totally understand what you say about the mixed feelings and about seeing your dad happy. My Mum's partner makes her very happy and it's lovely to know there is someone kind taking good care of her.

MrT that is so sad about your dog! It sounds like she needs a lot of work and attention which with small children isn't really fair on your family sad We had a rescue dog but we were all much older and he wasn't as needy, he had strange reactions to some things.
I think giving her back and recommending a family without children (at least not under 10). I find it hard enough when DS is tired or hungry and he shouts at me, having a dog barking for that long would definitely tip me off the edge! And the situation with your DD's school sounds really silly! That it could possibly be solved by something as simple as an answering machine is well angry it could easily be solved!

Sorry to hear about all the poorly little ones!! My mum is cooking curry and DS has just fallen asleep smile he is sleeping better at night at the moment. He definitely has more teeth coming but I can't see which. He also makes lots of "mumumum" noises grin

mrtumbles how strange with your dds school. At ds1' school the phone also isn't always manned. But they do have an answering machine for when there is no-oe to answer the phone. Having a child off sick is bad enough, especially if there are siblings that need to be taken to places. Hat off to you, because I don't think I would have driven to school!

I hope the ABs work quickly for your dd. earache is so horrible!

If I was you I'd probably return the dog as well, and it sounds like she really does need a family where she can get lots of undevided attention - which is just not possible with three young children!! I do find having a dog on top of three little ones hard work, but then, we knew that. The difference with your situation is that the good outweighs the bad by far. And as a whole he is a very welcome addition to our family who we wouldn't want to miss.

nutella your ds sounds so adorable! and your mum sounds lovely too smile

AntiqueMuppet Wed 25-Sep-13 12:24:09


I had really good intentions and was going to start posting regularly again but just kept getting sidetracked, although I have been lurking.

MrTumbles How is your DD feeling now? Have the ABs kicked in? Sorry to hear about the dog situation. I think in that case I would have to send her back. It seems a little unfair on the dog and like you said it's not the best message to send to your DC but if none of you are comfortable in your own home and she is causing that amount of stress then it's just not worth it.

outnumbered Have a lovely time at the wedding! How fab that your babysitters are coming too!

How was the curry, Nutella? glad to hear your DS is sleeping better at night now.

Hope your cold clears us soon, Linzer! It's really that lurgy time of hear now, isn't it. Good news about your tooth - but will you still have to pay the €600 for the treatment in six months time?

Is your DS ready for his French adventure, fussy?

How is your DD getting on at Kiga now, C4ro?

Congratulations Yoni! I'm afraid I can't help with the bureaucracy side of things though.

Hello to Ambling and hupa and anyone else I've missed.

DS (who is now two!) is having a nap and I'm having a coffee and enjoying the peace and quiet, as he seems to be slowly dropping his daytime nap and I'm starting another part time course next week and should hopefully have some work coming in in a few months, to coincide with the end of the course, so I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to sit on the sofa and drink coffee while it lasts smile

Hello antique smile it has taken me several months to post again!! And no to your ds dropping his daytime nap already!! Ds1and3 were nearly 3, ds2 started the on and off thing not long after his 2nd birthday I think. As I already had ds3 by then, I really wanted him to sleep and let me have a break. For some reason he'd go to sleep fine when anyone else took him to bed but me confused

Ds2 still really poorly. Last night his temp was so high he was hallucinating. Really horrible and scary stuff he was 'seeing', like a cloud that wasn't full with rain but with blood shock and there were loads of Kika and Cbeebies characters he was seeing to. Mainly Yakari and everyone ff Abney and Teal.
Took him to the docs today, and his temp rose so dramatically again, it made him all dizzy so they gave him more ibu there and then. He is now already in bed, and fingers crossed he's a little better in the morning!

mrtumbles been meaning to ask: what's this with the satellite moving and us losing free UK TV?!? shock is there anything we can/ must do???

fussychica Thu 26-Sep-13 08:34:20

AntiqueMuppet taking DS to the airport todaysad - long train journey then down to Bayonne. Can't get to St Jean tonight due to sparse train service (4 per day) so is staying with one of the teachers in Bayonne. Bit of a scary first day but he's getting used to them!!! I'll let you all know how he gets on.
itsMYNutella have sent you a pm.

LinzerTorte Thu 26-Sep-13 08:39:11

Antique If I decide to go ahead with the ceramic inlay then yes, I'll still have to pay €600. But if I decide against it, then I think the alternative would be an amalgam filling - which would be free apart from the €15 for a schmerzlose Behandlung (and I'm not quite Austrian enough to do without a local ananaesthetic).
Which course will you be starting? That's great that you have some work in the pipeline - is it translation work?

outnumbered Hope your DS is feeling better today.

DD1 had an English test on irregular verbs a few days ago, but - despite not making any mistakes in the test itself - only came second as she'd written the date "wrong" (24.09.2013 instead of Sept. 24th, 2013)! I managed to resist complaining on FB yet again, but the very same evening a (non-English-speaking) friend of mine posted how annoyed she was that the teacher had crossed out homework in her DS's exercise book and replaced it with home-exercise! Has anyone come across home-exercise in Germany or is it just an Austrian monstrosity?

LinzerTorte Thu 26-Sep-13 08:42:19

crossed out the word "homework", I mean

fussy Hope your DS's journey goes smoothly and that he enjoys his time in France.

itsMYNutella Thu 26-Sep-13 09:06:40

Linzer I think I would have to go down to the school and make the teacher write "homework is not home-exercise" at least 100 times... Or they might just have caught me on a bad day wink. That is nuts! Besides shouldn't it be 24th September 2013? Unless they are learning American English??? - not helpful, sorry.

fussy I will reply to you shortly. I hope he has a safe journey. Tell him to go to the little restaurant next to the bridge by the river. They make their own sausages which are awesome! smile

DS must have more teeth coming. He was fairly miserable yesterday (and moaned about it a lot so that we all knew) but seems to have woken up happier today. Fingers crossed that somehow the teeth gods are kind and we get away with minimal fuss for most of his teeth.

platanos Thu 26-Sep-13 16:47:34

I finally have a chance to post!

nutella your son sounds really sweet. I also hope you have minimal fuss over teeth. Can you get that calpol tooth gel, or something similar in Germany? Hope the wedding is shaping up.

outnumbered I was going to write "how is your ds?" but actually: How are they all? Congratulations to your father, though I understand the mixed feelings. On a more superficial note- did you find a dress? You have some wonderful babysitters - do you think they would like to do a postgrad in Vienna?! Did your DH enjoy vienna? The weather has been particularly cr*p.

linzer I have yet to come across "home exercise" - you will be the first to know if I do. I've had a few fillings without local anaesthetic - I am not sure why really. It was just not offered, and once I asked and the dentist suggested we start without, and then with two hands and three gadgets in my mouth, it was hard to protest. DH thinks I am mad, actually I am just daft.

Antique I am also curious to know what course you are doing. Hope your son does not drop his nap. Ds is 6 and still naps if we are home, so some children do.

mrtumbles how is dd? You seem to be having a really tough time with the dog. Has there been any progress? She sounds really stressed out all the time.

DD1 has now settled into her new school now. As has ds. Glad the first weeks are over. ach, time to go as dd2 is here and wants to chat- she's rather quiet at times, so must take the chance.

AntiqueMuppet Fri 27-Sep-13 12:17:15

Oh dear - I just popped on to post and I can hear DS upstairs in his cot saying 'hello poo'.....
Ah well, I'll be back later I'm sure smile

Just passing through quickly, but outnumbered this is what I was talking about regarding the satellite moving:


Key patronising politician speak sentences from the link being

"The overspill of the BBC’s services will be reduced so viewers outside the UK will find it even harder to receive them. I know that this causes unhappiness to some of you living outside the UK. However, it is entirely appropriate because the BBC domestic services are for people living in the UK only."

Which makes me want to award a MN symbolic biscuit to Alix Pryde (what kind of a name is that anyway, looks like 2 consecutive spelling errors grin )

The satellite is due to move on Sunday sad

shock mrtumbles!!! What are we going to do?? I hardly ever watch German TV, and the boys really like their Cbeebies in the evening!

*outnumbered" apparently it will take a few months before we lose the channels (the satellite is due to be launched this week but apparently it takes them ages to get it into position and then actually switch them over). Once we've lost the channels though the only options are a really enormous satellite dish or a paid for service over the internet - DH says that would be about 50 pounds a month shock . I will get more info from him and let you know - he's still in bed.

"Entirely appropriate unhappiness" for those living outside the UK is still making me angry - she's got a way with words that Broadcast Directer !

mrtumbles we already have a 90cm dish as the smaller one didn't even receive the current signal, so I doubt it is big enough. Had a look on sky digital. The basic package (which would be enough for us) is something like 21.50/month. Or is there a different rice for when you live abroad? But even that would be very annoying if we had to pay that for something we had for free before.

What have you decided about your dog??

Hope everyone is having such fabulous Goldener Herbst weather this weekend as us! smile

outnumbered we have 90cm too, no chance it will be big enough for the new signal apparently sad I am pretty sure that Sky package won't work from outside the UK, you have to give a UK address. There are companies who will host your box for you in the UK and stream you the signal, but its a legal grey area and costs about 25 pounds a month.

Dog is staying for now, the charity we got her from have gone silent on us anyway. Anna had her party yesterday - 10 kids in the house was no problem for her, but extra adults last weekend and she barked endlessly and kept peeing on the carpet :/ Her tolerance of kids is her saving grace, although I really don't like the way she tries to push DC2 off my lap - she is fine with him otherwise, but possessive of me, and she has to accept I "belong" to my children before her, and won't tolerate her pushing them and barking at them when they want my attention.

I dont know what to suggest re your dog. Especially as I don't know no anything about to 'treat' or train stray dogs.
But wrt to her pushing in between you and ds2, I do think you need to how her that she is just a dog, and people come first. IMO that also means that she shouldn't be allowed on e.g. the sofa at all times. Being allowed to be on your lap on the sofa at some times, but that being pushed away at another time would make no sense to a dog. I always think dogs are very autistic in their thinking. All rules need be be incredibly clear and strict.

Our dog does get lots of cuddles. And he does sit or lie on my lap. But only when I first sit down in the floor and invite him on my lap. As we had him from tiny, it was of course easier to enforce it, as he had never been allowed on the sofa before. But there would be quite simple methods of teaching her. I've done it before with my previous dog, who was lovely but quite dominant.

Another 'tool' we have used to teach our dog where he is allowed or not allowed , are stair gates. He is not allowed upstairs at all. He only tried to go upstairs for the first weeks, then he accepted that his place is downstairs. The stair gate has been removed quite some time ago, as he wouldn't try to come upstairs anyway. We also have a stair gate in the doorway to the kitchen. He is allowed in the kitchen (but he never steals food), even at mealtimes. As long as he lies down quietly. If he begs for food he will go out and the stair gate is shut.

And he never ever gets human food. And with everything we do or give him, it is always clear that he is 'only' a dog, yet a very loved one.

Wrt the barking, the only thing I can think of is really rewarding her whenever she is quiet, especially when adults around. But as you said that she has such a sensitive stomach, I'm not really sure how you can reward her, apart from praise as well. You really need a professional for help. Shame on that charity leaving you along like that!!!

Anyway, kids running riot. I am I have not one across as patronizing as I really don't mean to be!

outnumbered she is never allowed on my lap,at all. I don't honestly ever want a dog on my lap... She is allowed to sit or lie on the sofa (we have a 9 seater corner sofa so there is room for everyone) and to put her head on my leg though - kind aren't I? grin So there is consistency, and to be honest now she only tries to get onto my lap at the most infuriating times when I am trying to help/ cuddle/ otherwise pay focused attention to the kids, or when she knows she has just done something wrong hmm

We have also had to put the stair gates up again, which was annoying as we'd only taken them down 6 months ago, blimin' pain getting laundry to the basement, as currently she is only allowed on the ground floor. The first day we had her she raced up the stairs at every opportunity and managed to get onto, and poo on, DC3's changing table! hmm

I'd be interested in hearing more from you about dog behaviorists and how to find them here, we've found several dog training schools (the one I tried wasn't very good IMO but I may try another soon) but is a behaviorist something different? More of an adviser who will give consultations tailored to the specific situation?

itsMYNutella Tue 01-Oct-13 15:06:48

mrT our dog (I say our dog, we had him when we were kids about 20 years ago), was a rescue dog and we took him to a dog psychologist (I don't know if he had a couch) and they taught us some extra tricks to help him settle and not react so much to some of the things that scared him. But that was also organised through the charity we got him from. I've forgotten where you got yours from, (sorry if you said - my brain is like a sieve, DS is pushing out some more teeth and he has a cold) but I would persist in trying to contact them. Failing that contact your vet, they should be able to advise further and possibly refer you.

Our dog also needed a quiet space that was his and he could feel safe in, usually that was his bed. We also had a cage for when we took him with is in the car; sometimes when the boys were too noisy he would sit by his cage to be let in and left alone for a bit of peace. smile

DS has been playing with the remotes and has managed to turn the telly on. He is now patting the screen grin

mrtumbles sorry bit manic here. I am seeing my dog trainer again on Friday and will ask him what to look out for (ie memberships, qualifications etc) when looking for a dg behaviourist. I knw our trainer also deals with 'problem behaviour' in dogs and is very good.

Oh god ItsMyNutella I wish she wanted some quiet time on her own - we provided her with a fabric "box" (the travel type but canvas walls and roof) to be her sacred undisturbed space in the hall way, but she only goes in it to sleep, won't go near it when there are people awake. She also has a traditional dog bed in the living room, which I am trying to train her to go to on command but without much luck... She does use that when DH is home, as she doesn't like him and stays away from him, but when its just me and the kids she is a stalker and when not running about in a frenzy barking wildly, or trying to steal food if anyone leaves the kitchen door open if a child has it other than at the table, she is stalking me and trying to sit as close to me as she can or trip me up while I move around - I'd sell my kidney to buy her a gold plated dog bed if she'd seek out solitude for most of the day ! hmm Will have to try vet, just not eager to pay €40 to ask for a referral hmm

Thanks outnumbered

itsMYNutella Thu 03-Oct-13 18:14:48

MrT oh dear... Well it didn't happen often and it was usually when all my brothers had spent plenty of time playing with him confused.
I really hope you get something sorted. Although I was a bit shock at 40€ referral fee! Why are vets so expensive??

Hope everyone enjoyed the bank holiday today! We had a lovely walk in the sun. It's always lovely when we can enjoy the weather. smile

AmblingAlong Fri 04-Oct-13 15:06:57

Finally found time to post! I got a kindle at last so every spare minute I've been reading that.
Now we're on our first day of half term so two weeks off school. Dc have loads of appointments at different doctors and dentists. Dd even needs a certificate of good health to be allowed to join her cheerleading club!

Wasn't it a lovely day yesterday in Hannover Nutella? We took ds round to the university campus to show him where he'll be doing his Praktikum. It's going to be quite a trip every morning 'commuting' to the other side of town. He also has to walk 10 minutes from the tram stop as the building is in a side street behind the main university.

MrTumbles has the dog settled down abit yet? I hope she settles and calms down for you. I wouldn't make an appointment with the vet, I'd just go in and ask at the reception if they could recommend a good verhaltenstraining hundeschule. You might be lucky.

outnumbered did you decide about a TV package? I would really like to have some UK TV too but don't want the hassle of a dish on my balcony.

Must get going, have to sort the mess out in my hall as I pulled everything out of my 'hide the mess' cupboard and now have to decide to either sort it out or shove it back in so I can get through to the kitchen. I have loads of bags with winter coats and clothes that don't fit the dc. Got rid of all the shoes that don't fit last week.

LinzerTorte Thu 10-Oct-13 08:21:52

admylin Kindles are great, aren't they? I've just been downloading lots of sample chapters after going through the gripping reads thread; the only problem is that I could spend my entire time reading sample chapters and never get round to reading an entire book!

Is everyone on half-term at the moment then? I thought the thread was quiet. We get a couple of schulautonome Tage around the 1st November bank holiday, but otherwise it's straight through until Christmas here.

Was just thinking that it's probably time for a new thread as it's not exactly summer any more. Does anyone want to start one?

AmblingAlong Thu 10-Oct-13 09:56:27

Linzer kindles are great! I'm reading my way through loads of the free classics, I'll read anything really but I love the old classics. Just finished the complete works of Charlotte bronte and Thomas Hardy even though I'd read them before.

We've got another full week of half term but we're booked with lots of appointments that I want the dc to get out of the way. Dd celebrated her 14th birthday too this week. She's still recovering from her all nighter (just a sleepover with 2 friends as can't fit any more in her room), starting at 5pm with the making of caramal apples and they had pizza at midnight and after that I went to bed but they were still up at 3:30am and none of them could tell me when they went to sleep in the end!

It has gone very autumny hasn't it? It's my favourite time of the year and it won't be long before Glühwein is back in the shops! We need a nice Herbstliche thread title.

itsMYNutella Thu 10-Oct-13 12:24:45

Linzer can't we just pretend that it is still summer and that it isn't horrible and grey everyday maybe that's just Hannover hmm and that the sun is shining??! I remember there being a beautiful blue sky and sun about two weeks ago and standing in it and trying to tank up smile... Oh the sun is breaking through the clouds, I'm off!!

Fussy I hope DS is settling in France. I'm very jealous!

I think DS is on the verge of sleeping through mindless blind hope he still wakes twice a night but isn't really feeding, just searching out some nipple comfort hmm

adele30 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:38:52

Hi all, I'm new on here and have just found this thread. It's great to see all you Ausländers on here (LOL). I live in Wegberg, NRW. Married with 2 kids (girl-6 & boy-4).
I was working for the Army until the end of last year as the barracks (JHQ) closed down, i'm currently working for a company on another army barracks but not bringing in great money. It is better than being on Arbeitslosengeld though. I have found it so hard getting job in Germany, has anyone else had this problem?

Anywho, just thought i'd say Hi, Hope you all have a good day. xx

AmblingAlong Thu 10-Oct-13 19:50:24

Hi adele30 I'm in Hannover. Had to look Wegberg up on google maps! How long have you been in Germany? I agree about finding jobs. Unless you have a German Ausbildung or you are a highly qualified in your field of work it's hard to find much especially with far from perfect German as in my case (lazy). Alot of expats seem to teach English but I tried that and I was no good at it. Just can't explain the grammar!

Nutella great news that ds is sleeping through. Is he crawling yet?

Just got back from the shopping centre with dd, we have one that stays open until 10pm near us. Now all we need is Sunday shopping and we will be alot happier. Sometimes we go into the city on Sunday to the Hauptbahnhof for a wander around just because the shops are all open!

LinzerTorte Fri 11-Oct-13 07:42:33

Hi adele, how long have you been in Germany? I was quite lucky when we lived there as there was a company nearby who employed a lot of in-house translators; I'm not sure what I'd have done otherwise. I went freelance when we left Germany so haven't had to face job-hunting since, but I didn't feel ready to work freelance when we moved there.

Nutella It's grey and rainy here too; DS is going on a trip to the farm this morning and was very worried that it would be cancelled, but the heavy rain has become drizzle now so I think they'll still go.

Ambling (sorry, have just realised I called you by your old name in my last post) Mmm, Glühwein... haven't spotted any yet, but the roast chestnut stands are starting to appear.
I'm reading The War of the Worlds on my Kindle at the moment, but am struggling with it a little - only 20% to go now! I keep interrupting it to read other things so have been reading it for months, but am determined to get it finished in the next few days (I can never give up on a book, although I was very tempted with the 100 Year Old Man).

My birthday didn't quite go as planned yesterday, as I had to take DD2 to the Unfallambulanz. Her teacher phoned me to say she'd hurt her toe in PE so I phoned the doctor to ask whether they could have a quick look at it, but the receptionist advised me to go to the hospital to have it x-rayed. It felt a bit OTT for what I was pretty sure was just a stubbed toe, but best to be on the safe side I suppose. Anyway, the x-ray was fine and her toe didn't even seem to be hurting all that much by the time we were seen, so I felt like a bit of a fraud - although she does say it still hurts a bit when she walks.

DD1 will be back from her class trip this afternoon; I haven't heard how they're getting on, so assume everything's OK!

I don't mind starting a new thread, but am waiting for title inspiration to strike. grin

LinzerTorte Fri 11-Oct-13 07:57:51

Well, I wasn't struck by anything hugely inspirational but have started a new thread here.

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