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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

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 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.

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