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About liebling

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  • 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.

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  1. 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). 
  2. 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! 
  3. 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.)
  4. 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  
  5. Child's passport expiring

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

    Thanks for those tips - I'll give both a try.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. 
  9. 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.
  10. Intensive German for 8 Year Old

     No specific advice about language tutoring/lessons in Munich but since you're open any/all advice:    Whatever tutoring/lessons you manage to find, do consider the role that out-of-school/after-school activities can play in improving language skills -- the more time your child spends immersed in German, the better.  Sports are great (though training in some is likely to be less language-rich than in others); activities such as German Scouting (Pfadfinder) or art or music lessons in German would certainly help language development (and in increasing social contact with other kids in the target language) - though like all immersion it might be exhausting/painful for a while.   Another note: Was your 8-year-old's placement in year 3 something the school recommended? It seems a bit surprising given that so much (i.e. the secondary school placement from grade 5 onward) rides on kids' grades - esp. in German - in years 3 and 4. I suppose it depends on whether you're planning to stay in the German system beyond year 4, in any case.  
  11. English books to give away

    Have you tried the language center at the Uni Rostock? (to give away at their International Day event, for example), or know of an Anglophone public bookshelf in the area where you could deposit some, at least.  
  12. I would guess so - but there may be other "catches" given the size of his company.  My experience has only been with large-scale employers and there may be different requirements for firms employing e.g. fewer than 10 people.  Check with the Finanzamt to see if they can advise you on the income tax bit, and with your (gesetzliche?) health insurer to see what they would need and how they would want payments to be organized, etc.     
  13. Owing self-employment tax to the U.S.

      In my understanding, this and the advice above do not contradict each other. Strictly speaking (ideally), you have the Certificate of Coverage (and not the Schedule SE) to submit with your return, but if you need to submit your return by the deadline and have requested but not yet received the Certificate of Coverage, this may suffice as a stop-gap solution (to let them know somewhere/somehow what the situation is) until you get the Certificate of Coverage and can submit it later (whether as soon as you receive it, or upon request, should the IRS contact you).      Did you end up having to pay the $10k in the end, or could you provide a Certificate of Coverage in the end to show that you were exempt?
  14. Shreddies breakfast cereal available in Germany

    This is awful news.  We love Shreddies.
  15. Lots of advice here to select school once OP knows where the family will be living. But what if the OP might be looking to select accommodation based on schools rather than the other way around? (That's the way I would do it, anyway.)  Is there likely to be a palpable difference in what support (etc.) the schools can offer in, say, Mainz versus Frankfurt vs. Darmstadt?  If schooling for 8- and 11-year-old English-speakers with no German were your main priority in choosing a place to live in that broad region, where would folks (with some knowledge of those areas) choose? Or is it too unpredictable and/or specific to the level of the individual school and/or the teachers, so that location doesn't make much of a difference, in the end?