• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

1,460 Awesome


About liebling

Profile Information

  • Location Heidelberg
  • Nationality USA
  • Gender Female
  • Interests kids, research, sleep, food, current affairs and a bunch of other stuff I'm too tired to recall just now.

Recent Profile Visitors

7,761 profile views
  1. Where to buy pork-free jelly sweeties

    Aldi Süd also have a line of own-brand gelatine-free gummy sweets in their regular product range.  Maybe Aldi Nord do, too?
  2. Orgami paper

    My local Aldi-Süd had patterned origami paper on sale when I stopped by there yesterday.  I've ordered some from Amazon in the past, but I've seen it at local craft stores, too. Our location stationer has sometimes had it, but it's not always in stock there.
  3. what happens at a pap smear test

    I agree with all the responses here (including about those German "friends" not doing you any favors with their troubling commentaries). Why not schedule a consultation with the female gynaecologist before going in for an exam?  Go to her, tell her about your physical limitations (spine, hip, etc.) and the worries about the smear test prompted by others' comments.  Let her explain how *she* does it at *her* practice and tell you how she can accommodate you given your physical circumstances and concerns. She can write everything down in her record of your consultation, and after that you can make another appointment to go in for the check-up and smear test (and remind her then of your prior conversation, too). 
  4. The third annual Heidelberg Women's March will take place on Saturday, 19 January 2019 at 13:30, beginning at Friedrich-Ebert-Platz. As in years past, this event is taking place in solidarity with demonstrations elsewhere in Germany (Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin and Munich), in Europe, and around the world. Follow the link for more information:
  5. Electronic toothbrush

    Luke, some of those innovations may be absurd, but others may well be necessary for many folks around these parts. Don't forget that the need for intensive tooth cleaning (or lack thereof) depends in large part on one's diet. If those people in Africa you mentioned ate and drank the same quantity of sugary food and drink (and stain-causing coffee and wine) that most Europeans now do, they, too, would probably find wooden chewing sticks to be less than effective in maintaining their pearly whites.
  6. No homeschooling here - attendance at (primary) school is compulsory, so they have to find school places for new children whenever they arrive. It may not necessarily be at the school of your choice (i.e. the primary school nearest your residence). Kindergarten attendance is not compulsory, and education/care below year 1 (age 6) of Grundschule is usually not provided by the education system at all; instead it's private, or else public social (non-educational) services and/or church-based charitable offerings. In many parts of the country is often very difficult to find a Kindergarten place (see the many threads on this - there may be Munich-specific ones, too). Although the law requires municipalities to guarantee the provision of a place to every child who comes forward for one, in fact the guarantee is largely toothless. Municipalities rely on a mix of public/private/social/charitable provision to make up their numbers and the "guarantee" allows them to offer you a place clear on the opposite side of the city if there's nothing available near your home. You don't say how old your Kindergarten child will be, but s/he might have priority for any spaces opening up mid-year if s/he doesn't speak German (as linguistic integration is a key goal of current early education policy).    There are quite a few threads here on Toytown about how to place new non-German-speaking students.  The tripartite Germany secondary school system means that much hinges on a child's results in year 3 of primary school - especially in Germn and Maths.  The children currently in year 4 across Germany - your son's cohort, basically - are just getting (or have already received) their teachers' recommendations as to what kind of secondary school they should attend and, thus, what kind of career path is foreseen for them. Applications for secondary school then take place in winter/spring (depending on where you live).  In some parts of the country the teacher's recommendation is binding, in other places it can be overridden by parents (albeit with much wringing of hands on the part of the child's teacher and the head of the next-level school to which the child is admitted).      Your choice of what year/cohort your son should be placed in will depend on a number of factors, including the school's experience and recommendations (Are teachers willing and able to work with your son as a learner of German as a second language?), your family's ability to support rapid German learning (Do any of you adults speak German well enough to help with homework? Can you afford tutoring or other extracurricular language training?), your priorities for your child's further educational path (Remaining in Germany for the long haul or here only temporarily? Do you want your child to attend university or not? In Germany or elsewhere?), and what kind of learner your child is (Does he pick up the language swiftly? Is he detail-oriented enough to quickly master the written form, including grammar and German orthography?).     Good luck!    
  7. p.s. re: your questions about how to do things once you have identified potential clubs: each club has a website including contact information for the C-Jugend coaching staff.  Get in touch with the C-Jugend coaches of as many individual clubs as might come into question in order to inquire about the possibility of your son joining the team (or at least coming to have a look-see or try-out) once he's on the ground here in HD.    If your contact is via email, don't be surprised if you don't get a response for a while (or ever); Germans don't tend to favor email (even though they offer their email address as a means of contact, which seems kind of contradictory but there you go). If they think they have to respond in English it might delay their response even further, so if you do email them in English, mention in your mail that they're welcome to reply in German (which you can then google translate, if need be). That will increase your chances of getting a response sooner rather than later (or at all). 
  8. Lucky you to be coming to Heidelberg!  It's a wonderful, beautiful place to live.    There are many soccer clubs for kids your son's age in HD.  He's able to compete (and will get a player-passport) according to his year of birth - if he was born in 2004, he'll be playing at "C-Jugend" level.  Nearly all C-Jugend teams will be practicing at least twice a week (Mon-Fri, for 2 hours each time), or even 3 times (6 hours a week), plus games/tournaments on weekends. This schedule continues year-round, indoors and outdoors. (One of my kids is 2 years younger - at D level - and his team and ohters at that level practice at least 4 hours a week, some more than that). You can get data about the different Heidelberg clubs and their C-Jugend teams (including their place in their respective league according to autumn league tables, for instance) via this website.  That way you can weigh different criteria in your choice - proximity to home or school (as @vronchen wisely suggested) as well as record (if that's important to you), whether they have space for a player in your son's position, and so on.  The indoor season goes roughly from now until Easter (although since Easter is late this year the season might end before then).  And then outdoor again. (Note: even during the indoor season many teams continue to have at least some of their training hours outdoors.) Whatever club you decide to join will then apply to the Fussballbund for a player passport on your son's behalf; only once he has that can he participate in league play.  (He can practice before then, though for insurance purposes clubs will want to make sure he's a paid-up club member if he attends more than a couple try-out practices.)   There are also academy-teams run by Bundesliga clubs (e.g. Hoffenheim, which is relatively near HD).  If you think your son might be of that calibre you could always contact them and inquire about whether they would consider him.   Good luck! 
  9. Unsolicited parenting advice/pushiness

    I don't doubt that it does - indeed, most unsolicited advice probably has some basis in fact. But with all due respect, that doesn't make it welcome, or even appropriate to any given case at hand. And with infant health and child-rearing, much of what passes for advice is a mix of cultural tradition and evidence-based research, so we bicultural folks can pick-and-choose among the former (and, I suppose, the latter, too) if we choose.  My partner and I are very fortunate that - despite any mistakes we have made (and continue to make) - our babies thrived and have enjoyed good health as they've grown older.  But unsolicited advice from strangers or acquaintances (or more often - their expressed disapproval) did nothing to change our minds or habits. It merely spread negative judgy-feeling vibes.  (I should add, that we received such advice only in Germany, though we often travelled to other countrie with our kids when they were small.  And the delivery surely had a lot to do with our response.)
  10. Unsolicited parenting advice/pushiness

    Great advice so far (though I would note that I would only blame the spouse if the spouse agrees to it in advance, and (perhaps it goes without saying that the blame game only works if the blamed spouse is the one whose parents are the ones judging/offering unsolicited advice; blaming the "foreign" spouse is bad for the same reason posters said NativeFraeulein's husband needs to be the one to sort it out - his family, his circus, his monkeys.)    One thing I don't think has been mentioned is that NativeFraeulein should consider being very judicious about the kinds of things you mention/discuss in front of these folks. Some people -even those with the best intentions- may take your mention of something as an invitation to inveigh upon it (and therefore feel the advice was solicited, in a way).  If you don't want to hear it, it might help to steer clear. Does it risk stiltifying conversation and/or your relationship? Yes, but if you're weighed down by their unsolicited advice anyway, then your relationship is already suffering. At least this way you can limit the openings your in-laws find in which to insert their opinions (even if they may find others).     If they ask something directly (My favorite: "Why is your baby not wearing a hat (in a heated room)? The baby must wear a hat (at all times, in all seasons, everywhere)!"), then joking about it as a first response can help ("Good American genes - we're impervious to the dreaded Luftzug!").  And if they don't get that message, just shut it down any other way of your choosing.     Good luck  
  11. Child's passport expiring

    I think you can relax.
  12. Software/App like Grammarly but for German?

    Thanks for those tips - I'll give both a try.
  13. Hi folks. My question's not about translation per se, but about proofreading. I've started using Grammarly to catch typos, missing commas, extraneous spaces, and cut-and-paste errors in English documents (and social media posts and emails). It's not perfect, but it does catch things I'd otherwise overlook, esp. when tired.  Does anyone have experience with or advice about using a similar software/app for German?  I write well in German, but just as in English, errors creep in when I'm not 100% on the ball and I'd appreciate having them digitally flagged before I hit "send". Thanks in advance.
  14. Here's some vocabulary that might help you with the search function here on TT and elsewhere:  Kindertageseinrichtung: general term encompassing all institutions looking after/educating young children. Includes Kindertagesstätte and Kindergärten. Kita: Kindertagesstätte. Childcare centre. Could be from 8 weeks to age 3, or could include kindergarten-aged kids (3years-6years), too.  Care can be 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, or more (some are even overnight!) or less, or only a couple of days a week - depending on who runs them (public, private, etc.), they will have different rules. These tend to be oversubscribed in many parts of the country, such that you need to get your kid on a waiting list while it's in utero if you want to have a place before age 1 or 2. No idea if that's how it is in the cities you mentioned. For public providers (which are usually a bit cheaper), certain kid get priority, including children of employed single parents, possibly children of disabled parents, children resident in the neighborhood (or at least the city) where the centre is located, etc. Kiga: Kindergarten.  In southern Germany this is usually just ages 3-6, as you've mentioned (though elsewhere it might be interchangeable in meaning with Kita, above). Here, too, there are waiting lists in many parts of the country, and priority is given according to certain criteria. Generally, the older your child is (and the less proficient in German your child his), the better his/her chance of a place. Residence location is often a make-or-break criterion as well, so no point in putting yourself on a waiting list for a Kiga if you don't already have an address in its vicinity. Tagesmutter: childminder, where a registered carer looks after a small number of children in her (or his) own home. The kids may be of different ages from infant to school-aged, though there are different ratios of caregiver to child required at different ages and not all Tagesmütter will want to take in all ages of child. There tend to be more Tagesmutter places than Kita places in many parts of the country, but there may be a shortage of these, too. These may also be the most flexible in terms of pick-up and drop-off times and days/hours of provision, though it really depends on the individual provider.   Most cities and larger towns have some sort of central listing (if not a central registration service) of all Kita and Kiga providers and of all Tagesmütter (or at least of the Tagesmütter association, which you could contact to seek a placement for your baby). In Offenburg there's this map and list of child care providers. They also have page with info about costs, how to register for childcare, and where to go for advice if you're not sure what kind of care is most appropriate for your child/family.  I don't see info about languages spoken/taught, but you can contact the Ansprechpartner for the list to ask if they can point you to bilingual provision.  The Tagesmütterverein in that city can answer your questions about childminders, including availability and whether there are any bilingual ones.  I imagine Kehl has the same.   There isn't really a tradition of childcare below kindergarten age in southwestern Germany, and nowadays - given Elterngeld provision and persistent negative sentiments toward mothers of young children working - it's still pretty uncommon to see kids below 12 months of age in Kita. (Full disclosure - all of mine were in German Kitas before age 1! - but then again I'm a foreigner, as were a lot of the mothers of the other Kita babies back then. But I digress...)  I see that Offenburg expects people to register childcare needs from the child's second year of life (that is, from their first birthday onward), so they may not have much in the way of provision before that.  But even so, it's wise to register for a space well before you need one, and I'd do it before the child's born if they'll accept the registration that early; otherwise, from birth, just to be on the safe side. If they end up offering you a spot and you don't want it when the time comes, you can always politely decline and someone else will be glad to take it up.   Good luck. 
  15. is it worth disputing train fine?

    No. Don't bother. The ticket was invalidated by the way he punched it, hence is fine for not holding a valid ticket. It's been a while since I lived in Munich, but IIRC those tickets aren't necessarily good for 10 trips - some/most trips require the stamping/validation of more than one strips/stripes on the ticket for a single journey.  If you skip one stripe (e.g. stripe 1) and stamp the second one (e.g. stripe 2), you've validated the ticket for a single two-stripe journey. You can't go back and use stripe 1 for a different journey once stripe 2 is stamped. Hence, your son's ticket would have read as having been validated for a 10-stripe trip and therefore used up. (I forget whether Streifenkarte tickets can be shared, but if so, a 10-strip trip could have been taken (e.g. used for an Innenraum journey for 5 people, or a longer journey for fewer folks traveling together).  In any case, can't use the Streifenkarte once stripe 10 has been used, regardless of what has been stamped (or not) before. The Germans would call that 60 Euro "Lehrgeld" - an expensive way to learn a lesson, but a lesson he won't soon forget.