A new adventure

It is September, which means it’s la rentrée, or back to school, work, etc, it’s like the new year just even more so, it’s a moment for new beginnings.

It’s the end of a long day… The kids are sleeping and as S is in London, meaning that I have the evening all to myself. I shall try not to go to bed too late, as tomorrow we have to get up earlier than today.

The girl (I cannot call her little one anymore can I? She’s a big sister now, and over a meter tall!) had her first day of Ecole Maternelle today. When I dropped her off at 9:30 this morning (tomorrow that will be 8:30), she was a bit perplex that I hung around, she more or less wanted me to leave. A little more than two months ago, we visited her school, and since then she’s been impatient to go.

So for her, a new adventure started today. I met my best friend in Kindergarten, so I hope that she’ll form some long lasting bonds with friends of her own. It’s also the start of being within the education system, the first day of many.

For myself, this means that I will be spending more one on one time with the boy, something we haven’t really done much since his birth (ok the girl spends a good part of her day with her head in books, and she cannot read yet). I will be able to focus a bit more on work and my blog, now that he’s almost 6 months old it will be easier, especially if the girl is taken care of during part of the day.

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Three years ago, I was having breakfast with S. I had spend an interesting night, contractions had ripped me from my sleep, but a shower later I was peacefully snoring again, the contractions continued. When I arrived in the Maternity Ward at 11:30am I was already at 4 or 5 cm. Things went quickly, S arrived at the hospital 2 hours after I did, and at 15:34 our daughter joined us.

Happy 3rd Birthday

Today, she is 3 years old! It has been quite an adventure.

Currently little one is still fast asleep, it’s one of those rare nights she spend from the beginning to well now in her bed. Up until the end of last year she was still sleeping in the parental bed, but my growing belly and her size made her take the decision that it was time to try the little bed. It was our plan to convince her to sleep there, but finally she decided on her own. Just like so many other things.

In June, she figured it was time to no longer wear her diapers and start using the potty, I am only responsible to the extent that I bought her a potty. Two years ago, on her first birthday she learnt to walk, when she was 7 and a half months old it was crawling. The hardest part to get her to get used to was no longer nursing on my breast. Looking back, that was the only developmental step that happened by me forcing it upon her, there was no choice, really.

I enjoy reading with her, many of the stories we read are so important to her that she can recite the ending of the sentences, and sometimes she knows the whole book. Will she be a young reader? I don’t know, but I do know that she is a lover of books.

Sometimes she is shy, but that’s when she is tired. But once she starts to like someone, well then she has a loose tongue and will fill your ears with questions and stories in German or French.

How cute she has been after the last ultrasound in January, she asked the doctor for a picture of her future sibling, so that it could be hung on the wall and kissed before leaving the house. It will be such a change for her, for us, once our family will be growing in March.

Now, I have learnt so much thanks to this little girl.

I really don’t know what to say, besides:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!


© Solveig Werner 2017. All rights reserved.
Image Copyright Moritz Werner (my dad) February 2014

Faulty Memory

My memory is faulty.

Some events that happened a very long time ago are very vivid. While others in a past less distant are only vaguely there or even completely gone.

As it is carnival, I wanted to share some memories, only to realise that there are gaps.

The first seven years of my life were spent in the Rhine region, which is the place to be in Germany if you like Karneval, Conny Kaufmann’s guest post for my series Discovering Traditions is a must read if you want to know more about the Cologne Carnival. Continue reading “Faulty Memory”

Advent Calendar Day 16: A Collage of Christmas Memories by S.D. Gates

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Image Source: zazzle.com

A Collage of Christmas Memories by SD Gates

The Holiday season for me is a like a collage of memories, all with different traditions. When asked to write this post by my friend Solveig, I had to dig deep into the recesses of my mind uncover the memories of my Christmases past. I suspect if I had lived in the same country, surrounded by family all my life the memories would be more concrete and vivid. Instead I have flashes of scenes, things that stand out in my mind about Christmas. Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 16: A Collage of Christmas Memories by S.D. Gates”

Advent Calendar Day 10: Christmas Traditions by Diana Gordon

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Christmas Traditions by Diana Gordon

My only siblings are far older than I—my oldest brother is a full 12 years older than I, while my other brother is 8 years older than I—and had stopped believing in Santa Clause by the time I was born, but they played along with great effect. It was only as an adult that I considered the ways that our Christmas Eve sleepovers prolonged the magic for all of us.

Christmas Eve always started at my paternal grandmother’s house. She lived in the same town we did, and much of our extended family lived close-by. My aunts and uncles, cousins, parents, and brothers would all be there, and we’d have dinner together before exchanging gifts. The house was always full—sometimes there would be upwards of 20 people packed into her home; it was the only time the family all got together, really, and there were a lot of us. Continue reading “Advent Calendar Day 10: Christmas Traditions by Diana Gordon”

Horrible Teachers No Girl Wants To Have

Last week, I read the post The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About by Gretchen Kelly and an avalanche of memories came back. Not just this post triggered them, there is also the fact that recently I have been thinking a lot about teaching, good and bad methods, about teachers good and bad. So I had already thought about the bad and the amazing teachers I had in the past. But I had not though about the elements that made some  bad teachers horrible, until I read the post I just mentioned.

How many women remember the teacher that made them uncomfortable? The teacher that made them pick up the turtle neck sweater they dispised so much? How many girls still do this today? How many bad grades are the result of being scared of a teacher? Continue reading “Horrible Teachers No Girl Wants To Have”

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

fondation Louis Vuitton, ThanksgivingToday is Thanksgiving, a celebration that my family fully embraced while living in the US and exported to Europe.

My first Thanksgiving was celebrated 15 years ago in New York with my mom’s cousin. I don’t recall the turkey, the food or anything really. I have a small recollection of the decoration of the apartment. But I remember one thing: we watched so many Indiana Jones movies that I eventually fell asleep in front of the TV.

Continue reading “Thanksgiving”

Saint Martin’s Day

Today, is the 11th of November. In my very early childhood I celebrated Saint Martin’s Day every year. When I started school, I was shocked to discover that this was not celebrated everywhere in Germany, that so many children had no idea what fun the 11th of November could be.

National Blog Posting Month, NanoPoblano, NaBloPoMo, 2015Proudly equipped with a handcrafted lantern I would join the other kids in the Saint Martin Procession through the small town in which my kindergarten was located. We would follow Saint Martin sitting on his horse through the streets, singing songs in his honour. Sometimes a little accident would happen, such as a lantern lighting up in flames, it was not only scary but also heartbreaking that all this hard work, all these efforts were erased in a few seconds.

The lyrics of these songs have actually taught me many details of the story behind Saint Martin. He was a Roman who was for some reason searched for by the police. At one point he encounters a beggar who is only dressed in shreds, he divides his cloak and gives half of it to the poor fellow. Then he hides inside a farm building, not knowing where he goes he finds himself in the company of geese. But unlike geese normally do, these keep their beaks shut and don’t give Saint Martin away. Turns out that I did not remember the right details/I was told an alternative version of the story (most likely)… The geese did give him away! (Sorry for this hiccup).

To honour the quiet geese, often people will feast on Saint Martin’s day with a goose. We never had goose that day, but we received Weckmänner, small brioche cakes in the shape of a man equipped with a pipe. Let me tell you they were so good.

After the procession in honour of Saint Martin was over, it was time to go from door to door and sing to people, who in exchange for the songs gave candy and treats to us children singing them. I remember receiving healthy food such as clementines from one of my neighbours, I guess not everyone was informed of this regional tradition.

When I later went trick or treating on Halloween, I was reminded of Saint Martin’s day, I was just missing my lantern.


© Solveig Werner 2015. All rights reserved.

H is for Home – A to Z Challenge April 2015

My first year living in the U.S. we read a book in school entitled “Homesick”. I just remember that it was about a girl who spend a lot of her childhood in China, she was always longing to go home to her country of origin, we thought that she was homesick for her country of origin, but actually it was the other way around. As an adult looking back at her childhood, she had grown homesick for China.

But what is home? I read this book when I was far away from my previous home in Germany. But slowly I started liking my new home in the States. When I moved to France I took to the home there too. England, Poland and then France again.

I always managed to feel at home quickly, even if it is often hard in the beginning, depending on the apartment, the location and other things.

If I feel comfortable somewhere I do very quickly feel at home. I feel at home in my apartment with little one and S., in my parent’s apartment up the street, when I visit my mother in law, or anyone in my family or of my friends.

Where do you feel at home? What is home for you?


Written by Solveig Werner