Thursday, June 27, 2013

Oh Dear, We Are Raising a Bilingual Child!

It should not have come as a surprise. We are a Finnish family living in Germany and our daughter spends her days in a German Krippe.

And as I have wrote here before, spending some time daily in the Krippe seems to be the easiest way to learn German.

Unrelated photos from last week, when it was 20 degrees warmer than today

But still, I have only now come to realize that we are actually raising a bilingual child!

It has taken quite long for Fräulein to learn to speak, but now that she does, it is easy to notice that she speaks two languages. Two languages! My child! I have always been poor in learning languages and now I have a bilingual daughter!

And I have no idea what to do. At first, when Fräulein said something in German to me, I repeated it in Finnish. But it soon started to sound like I was correcting her and that is not the impression I want to make.

I think I should find some books about raising a bilingual child. I think it is important that a child learns to master one language perfectly. Learning other languages is just a bonus.

But for now, as she is only two years old, we will let her use her own combination of the two languages. The only 'rule' I have is that I speak consistently Finnish to her myself.

Poor Fräulein has inherited my hair, which becomes all curly when it is moist.

We will fly to Finland next week and spend several weeks with our friends and family. So, in case some of you don't speak German, here is a small dictionary of Fräulein's most common German phrases:
German English Finnish
Mein! My! Minun!
Nein! No! Ei!
Nicht du! Not you! Et sinä!
Ich auch! I too! Minä myös!
Zu viel! Too much! Liian paljon!
Nur bisschen! Just a little! Vain vähän!
Ich möchte ... haben I would like to have... Haluaisin...
Danke! Thank you! Kiitos!
Morgen!* Morning! Huomenta!
Tschüs! Bye! Hei hei!
Laut! Loud! Kovaa!

Do you notice a pattern here? Most of these phrases end with an exclamation mark - useful in kindergarten :)

*) Fräulein uses 'Morgen!' as a greeting at any time of the day...  

O-ou, vasta hiljattain oivalsin, että Fräuleinhan on kaksikielinen! Itselläni on aina ollut huono kielipää ja nyt oma kaksivuotias tyttäreni puhuu kahta kieltä!

Olen myös oivaltanut, ettei minulla ole hajuakaan, miten kaksikielisyyttä tulisi tukea. Mutta toistaiseksi menemme periaatteella, että Fräulein saa puhua kieliä sekaisin, kunhan itse olemme johdonmukaisia suomen kielen käytössä.

Fräuleinin sanastossa on paljon saksankielisiä sanoja, mutta yllä on listattuna yleisimmin toistuvia sanontoja. Jotenkin huomaa, että nämä on opittu päiväkodissa... :)

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Happy Baby

Someone has got a seat by the dining table.

It is even better when you've got company!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Missing Out On Midsummer

Last 12 years, we have spent the Midsummer at Herr Welle's parents' summer cabin. The Finnish Midsummer consists of a bonfire, sauna, good food (and drink). And mosquitos.

This year, we will miss out of this all, as we are home in Wiesbaden.

To get into some kind of Midsummer mood, I took a look at the photos of Fräulein's first Midsummer.

Rule #1: Come prepared. Mosquito nets and sprays are essential!

With the help of her cousins' toys,
Fräulein learnt to crawl during Midsummer 2011

All you in Finland, enjoy the Midsummer on our behalf, too!

Ensimmäistä kertaa kahteentoista vuoteen vietämme juhannusta muualla kuin appivanhempieni mökillä. Koska olemme nyt kotona Wiesbadenissa, jäävät tänä vuonna väliin sauna, kokko ja perinteiset juhannusherkut.

Mutta mukavaa juhannusta teille kaikille sinne koto-Suomeen!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Be Careful What You Wish For

Just a few weeks ago, my friends kept telling me that it was warm, even hot, in Finland, but in Central Europe the weather was cold and rainy.

But as my Silent Sunday photo suggested, it is finally warm in here, too.

A bit too warm for us, actually.

Be careful what you wish for...

"Feels like +36°C"

Onpa kuuma!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Little Lady at the Hair Salon

Fräulein has never had a hair cut, and it was about the time to do something about that.

I didn't even consider cutting her hair myself, so the only option was to go to a hair salon.

Fräulein has never seen anyone having their hair cut. She can be a very strong-minded person, so I was dreading the moment I was taking her to see a hair dresser. As the situation would be completely new to her, I was sure that she would decide that she wasn't going to step into the salon / sit in the chair / stay still / stop crying.

So I was trying to think of any TV program that would show her what it was all about. But the only programs I came to think of were the make-over episodes of America's Next Top Model, and those weren't exactly what I was looking for...

Luckily, I had noticed that here in Wiesbaden is a special hair salon for children, called Ratz Matz. I thought that the setting there would be less intimidating than in a normal 'adult' salon and Fräulein would find it fun there.

The previous evening, I tried to prepare her for the hair cut by showing her some pictures of the place in internet and telling her what was going to happen. She seemed to be excited about going there!

We were there a bit early, and Fräulein was able to explore the play area upstairs - a nice way to get her mind of the hair cut.

But what was even more important, she was able to watch two boys having their hairs cut downstairs. One of the boys was sitting calmly, the other was laughing and having fun. The best preparation we could get!

The hairdresser suggested that Fräulein would sit in a chair by the play area, but she had already set her eyes on the red car. So, downstairs we went.

The hairdresser was clearly experienced with kids. And it is nice that Fräulein understands German and was thus able to communicate with the lady. 

Everything went perfectly. Fräulein sat in her chair car quietly and just stared at her image in the mirror. I guess she was a bit terrified, but she was determined to be as brave as the boys before her.

Afterwards, she was very satisfied with herself and her new hair. To be honest, the change wasn't that drastic, but we got rid of the dry ends.

And the only cry she had was when she wasn't going to get second haircut in the moped shaped chair!

Fräuleinin hiuksia ei olta ennen viime viikkoa leikattu kertaakaan, joten latvat alkoivat jo olla aika takkuuntuvat. Viime viikolla päätimmekin vihdoin mennä kampaajalle. Täällä Wiesbadenissa on erityisesti lapsille tarkoitettu Ratz Matz -kampaamo, mistä löytyy leikkialue ja hauskat kampaamotuolit. 

Ennen hiustenleikkuuta Fräulein katseli, miten kahden pojan hiukset leikattiin, joten kun tuli Fräuleinin vuoro, hän tiesi mitä tulee tapahtumaan. Tyttö istui punaisessa autossaan reippaana, tosin vähän jännittyneen oloisena. Kampaaja hoiti hiustenleikkuun ammattitaitoisesti ja ripeästi. Vaikka olin varautunut siihen, että kampaamokäynti voisi olla aikamoista draamaa, selvisimme yhdellä itkulla: harmi iski, kun Fräulein ei saanutkaan toista hiustenleikkuuta mopotuolissa!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Oma Oma*

Herr Welle is traveling the whole week (who would have guessed**... ). So, what do we do? We call my grandmother to the rescue!

You might remember, that my mother is quite an energetic guest. Well, my grandmother is exactly the same.

As it is impossible for her to rest while Fräulein is in the Krippe, she has (among other things) cleaned our fridge and defrosted our freezer. Something I have been planning to do for months...

But, needless to say, the best part of her visit is that we are able to spend time with her!

*) 'oma' is 'own' (n or adj.) in Finnish for 'own' and Oma is German for '
**) last weekend Fräulein was thrilled, because "her dad was visiting us"!

Herr Welle on taas reissussa, joten mummoni lensi avuksemme. Ja loputtoman leikkimisen lisäksi hän on taas puuhastellut kaikenlaista, muun muassa sulattanut pakastimemme!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Finnish Babies Do Sleep In Cardboard Boxes

A couple of days ago, there was a news article on the BBC website titled 'Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes'.

If you are a Finn, you won't find anything weird in this. But if you are from somewhere else, you might be intrigued to read the article.

To put this shortly, every Finnish* mother gets a free package from the state before their baby is born. The package includes for example a snow suit, other clothes, a bath towel, nail scissors, a book, a teething toy and some muslin squares.

A quiz: find three products that were included in the maternity package in 2010

And yes, there is a mattress that fits the box!

Many parents find a full sized crib to be too large for a newborn to sleep in. The box is smaller and thus like a cozy nest for the small baby. Mothers often make some paddings for the edges of the box, but you can also buy some.

It is not a matter of not having afford to buy a small bed for the baby, but rather it is seen unnecessary to buy one that will be used only for a couple of months.

I took the maternity package when I was pregnant with Fräulein. It was not that we wouldn't be able to find all necessary things ourselves, but it was just nice to receive the package with such a long history. When I was pregnant with Baby, we already had most of the things saved from the first package, so I chose the 140 euros instead.

Neither of our girls have slept in the box, as we had my old baby bed for them to sleep in. Baby is still sleeping her nights in it, but in a month or so, we are going to change to the bigger crib, in which Herr Welle has slept when he was a baby!

Fräulein's first day at home and she is sleeping in my old baby bed

But yes, it is a true story, many Finnish babies do sleep in cardboard boxes!

*) you need to be entitled to the Finnish social security 

Suomalaisille tässä äitiyspakkauslaatikossa nukkumisessa ei ole mitään ihmeellistä, mutta BBC:llä se ylitti uutiskynnyksen aiemmin tällä viikolla!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What To Do Next?

This is a funny feeling: I have nothing to do!*

Since last September, I have been taking online courses in marketing and yesterday I had the last test. Yippee!

The first six months with the baby have been pretty peaceful and it has been easy to find the time to study.

I'm studying and Baby is taking her nap on my lap ♥ 

Unfortunately Herr Welle has been traveling on those days when I have had my tests (not a surprise, as he is traveling a lot...). But luckily I have a friend, who was able to take Fräulein into her home to play with her daughter. Thank you again! :)

So, it was just Baby and me. How can it be, that when you have something important to do, the baby makes three poos in four hours and two of those won't stay inside the diaper...

Talking about poo, this damn cat walked arrogantly onto the sandbox
at our favorite playground, made a poo, covered it, and left.

Anyway, now it is time for my 'summer vacation'. And I have no idea what to do.

I have been trying to remember, what did I do all day long when Fräulein was a baby. I only started this blog when she was one year old, so I didn't write. Perhaps I was reading a lot? Or was I shopping online?

Oh, that reminds me that I should order a couple of things for the girls...

So, I'll do some shopping now, but I'll also try to spend more time with this blog. See you soon! :)

*) apart from cleaning the apartment, but that doesn't count...

Sain eilen syksyllä aloittamani markkinoinnin verkko-opinnot päätökseen. Eli nyt pitäisi keksiä, mitä teen "kesälomallani"! Ihan ensimmäiseksi taidan suunnata nettishoppailun pariin, mutta eiköhän nyt löydy paremmin aikaa bloggaamisellekin!