Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Johanna's Story of the Day

Yesterday when we were playing, Johanna came up with this story on the spot.

My name was Anna Sophie, I was in 2nd grade, and all of a sudden I had a sister named Angelina who was dead.
as told by Johanna:
She was shot. By the police. The ones that ride on horses. But wait, she's alive again! She has to go to the hospital really fast. We better call an ambulance. "Hello? The sister is dead. She needs an ambulance. She was shot. But we didn't do it!" Don't worry, they've already been driving for half an hour. They'll be here right away!
They shot her in the head so she had a hole but it's not there anymore. She also lost her thumb. But they found a new one. Now she's all better!

I'm sure there was more. That child has the craziest imagination. She comes up with these kind of things all the time and she's only 3!

In other news, Philippa has been announcing to the world when she farts. She'll stop what she's doing, give a little grin and say "Pups!" She even told me when Greta farted. "Pups! Greta!"
She calls me Zizzie and it's the greatest thing ever. She says it so funny.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

6 Weeks!

I've officially been here 6 weeks. Yes, I still do things wrong, and it's still a bit lonely sometimes and I have emotional moments, but mostly I'm feeling more settled in. The kids are actually starting to listen to me and I kind of know what's going on amidst the chaos.

Recent happenings -

Philippa and me

  • I went bowling with Rachel, her boyfriend Max, and his German friends. It was fun! They were all nice, and hopefully I'll get to meet up with them more. It'll be nice to have some German friends. We have plans for karaoke soon...
  • Last Sunday was Erntedankfest, a harvest fest or a kind of thanksgiving, and it was hosted here on the farm for the 4 villages that are nearby. I didn't know anybody, but a couple nice people talked to me. I met a girl who was an au pair in Pennsylvania, and she offered to meet up with me sometime. I hope she does because it'd be nice to have friends nearby! I also met a woman who studied abroad in Seattle. 
  • Benther Berg
  • This week the kids have been behaving a little better. Johanna even told me one day she was going to be nice to me. But then the next day she yelled at me and asked why I was always so mean because I told her to stop hitting her sister. Then yesterday she told me I talked funny. You can't always win.
  • Thursday I met with another au pair whose family has kids in the Walldorf school Magnus goes to. She's Hungarian, and there were 2 Brazilian girls there too. It was nice to meet someone during the week, and it's so much easier for me to speak German with other foreigners! They were all very nice and we've already been making travel plans. Maybe Berlin next weekend?
  • Friday the housekeeper/most amazing person ever had off, so I had to make lunch while I was watching the twins and Henny, who was home sick from school. Let me tell you, those twins cannot be left alone for 2 seconds. When they were in the kitchen, they somehow found all the knives and opened every drawer and pulled everything out in the length of time it took me to peel a carrot. They finally went to the tv room where Henny was, and I was so glad to have a couple minutes of quiet. But then I went in there and every magazine was torn apart, their moms knitting was unravelled, all the DVD cases were open and on the floor and the blankes and pillows were thrown everywhere. And Henny was still staring at the tv. 

front of the house - I live upstairs on the right but it's all connected
  • Last night I was supposed to babysit, but the parents called 5 minutes before I was supposed to start from the birthday party they were at and said they didn't need me after all. Luckily, Rachel sent me a text at the exact same time. I met with her, Max, a friend who was visiting from Australia, a Polish au pair who's new to Hannover, and a girl who's been an au pair in a town near me since Rachel got here and her boyfriend. It was nice to just talk to all of them! We ended up staying way later than we expected and I was one again grateful to do something where Max could drive me home. The whole streetcar bike combination at 4am when it may or may not be raining and freezing cold is not fun. Especially when the streetcars start running every hour or even less. 
  • Today I was putting my shoes on to leave, and Philippa just came up to me and sat on my leg even though I was kneeling and there was nowhere to sit. She's a weirdo.

Friday, October 5, 2012


...in Hannover

Sorry it's been so long! Here's some updates from the last couple of weeks

  • I went to my host mom's brother's wedding with the family, and babysat the twins the next weekend when they had another one. They're wedding'd out for a while.
  • The screen to my new iPod mysteriously cracked. I blame Greta's foot. And then the next week my camera broke. This year has not been good for my electronics.
  • I met up with my new friend Meagan, another au pair from Portland, at the Oktoberfest in Hannover last weekend when it opened. Apparently it's the 3rd biggest in the world - after Munich and one that's in China. The next day I went again with new people from a facebook group for English speakers in Hannover. There were 8 of us that ended up going, and we were all around the same age. There were 2 other au pairs, one from England and one from Finland, but it's nice to meet other people who are doing other things too.
  • October 3rd was a holiday - Tag der Deutschen Einheits! I went into the city, wandered around and got coffee, then I hung out with the family. Rachel, the girl who au paired here before me, came over with her boyfriend Max. It was also a month since my first day of work!
Rachel reassured me that the kids started acting out when she first got here too. They have really been bad - even their parents are fed up with it. The other day, Johanna, the 3-year-old, asked me for something to drink. I got her water, then she started screaming that she didn't want it and ripped the buttons off my sweater. And this is completely normal. It's worse with me but she does it with everyone. They take forever to get ready or do anything and it's so frustrating because I don't want to always be yelling at them. But I think it's getting better.

The twins have already changed so much in the time I've been here. Philippa is saying words like crazy, and I've noticed Greta starting to say more too. Philippa also recognizes that there are two words for things. It's fun to see them changing so fast. Whenever they would see their reflection in the mirror, they would either say "baby!" or think it was the other twin. But just a couple days ago, Philippa finally recognized it was herself! They're certainly a challenge, but usually I like being with them. It's so much easier to talk to people who can only say one word at a time.

They're laughing not crying... and I swear the twins always fall down on purpose

Henriette and Johanna after swimming

The weather's gotten pretty chilly and rainy, and the leaves are changing. Fall really is my favorite time of year! I could do with a little less rain, because the kids start to go stir crazy if they have to stay inside, but I think October will be a good month. Supposedly it takes 6 weeks to get accustomed to a new life!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

English Lessons

Sorry it's been so long! I promise I'll write a real post soon! But for now here's a little example of what my mornings with the twins are like, when one or both of them aren't screaming. Except now I don't really speak English with them anymore. Philippa's learning more and more words every day and even putting them together, even though she's not quite to real sentences yet. And she doesn't say baby when she sees herself in a mirror anymore - she says all 3 syllables of Philippa, not just Pipa! This is from a week and a half ago