Summer in Berlin…and we are sick

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it’s beautiful outside, 31°C and sunny. The boys are healthy luckily, but Papa Madola is lying bed with a fever, infected sinuses and joint pains. He is an easy patient as long as he is sleeping 🙂 I was also sick, was stung by a wasp last week and had a seriously shitty allergic reaction to it over the weekend. Luckily the doc gave me some cortisone tablets so that I can function again today. I looked like a ‘Streuselkuchen' or maybe more like I had measles. Anyway, its over now, the rash is calming down and the swelling is almost all gone! So glad its over. Its not a nice feeling to be so itchy, swollen and overall feeling weird.

Now looking after the husband while the kids are going crazy in the flat. Babka in the over, an order form my husband. Healthy dinner has been shopped for and will be made later when it gets a little cooler. I think I`m gonna keep on cleaning, clearing and making the house a little neater. Every once in while I get an attack of wanting to give lots away and make space. I feel its cluttered here and I don’t like to have too many things. It makes life harder and chaotic. I like it to be minimalistic but with a charm and warm feeling. Just not too many things!

And I guess I have to prepare for autumn too. Even though the temperatures don’t really feel like autumn, I know soon its gonna change and then I will be scrambling to get it cosy in here. So now that I have some time in here, maybe I will use it wisely and prepare a couple of things.

xx Mama Madola

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Alltägliches Ringen mit meinem Großen

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Ich muss zugeben, im Moment habe ich Phasen in denen ich gern alles hinschmeißen möchte. Mein Großer, Lennon, stellt mich im Moment tagtäglich auf die Probe. Als ob er ausprobieren möchte ob ich es auch ernst meine. Das ist sein Job. Das muss er tun, Grenzen austesten, meine Worttreue prüfen, sein eigenes Reich abstecken und auch mal sagen dürfen: “Mama, bitte lass mich in Ruhe ich möchte jetzt spielen”. Doch das ständige austesten kann auch ganz schön an den Nerven zerren. Ich mache es grundsätzlich gern, mit Ãœberzeugung und Liebe, doch auch einen Job den man liebt darf man mal anstrengend finden…oder nicht?

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Lennon wird im Dezember 5 Jahre alt und sein Horizont wird immer weiter. Er fragt mehr detaillierte Fragen, will viel über die Natur und vor allem Tieren wissen. Ich liebe das. Das Fragen und wenn ich es nicht weiss muss ich es rausfinden… Toll, so kann ich auch noch dazulernen. Lennon ist total vernarrt in alles was krabbelt. Von Spinnen, Armeisen, Kellerasseln zu Fröschen, Fischen und größeren Tieren wie Katzen, Hunde und Bauernhoftieren. Wir müssen regelmässig zur Domäne Dahlem um den Kühen, Schweinen und Hühnern Hallo zu sagen. Es ist ihm sehr wichtig. Jeden Tag fängt er ein Krabbeltier und bringt es nach Hause. Er hat mittlerweile immer eine Tupperschale mit, falls er fündig wird. Wie bekommt ihr es hin euren Kindern die Natur nahe zu bringen wenn ihr in einer Stadt wohnt ohne Garten vor der Tür? Je älter die Jungs werden, je mehr Fragen von Lennon kommen, desto mehr wird mir klar das ich möchte das sie viel Natur erleben, fühlen und aufnehmen können. Ich möchte das sie wissen wo Gemüse und Früchte herkommen, wie sie wachsen und wie sie alle heißen. Ich möchte mein kleines Wissen von Pflanzennamen an sie weitergeben und ihnen nahelegen auf die Natur aufzupassen, ein Bewusstsein für unsere Umgebung zu entwickeln.

Doch ich empfinde es als sehr schwer das zu erreichen in der Stadt in einer Etagenwohnung ohne Balkon. Die paar Pflanzen die ich in Töpfen hier in der Wohnung habe machen nun mal keinen Garten wett. Mal sehen was noch wird…

XXX Mama Madola

Blocked brain, no idea what to write about…

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Between making caramel bonbons and organising my son’s second birthday this coming friday, I have realised that I have been very bad with keeping up my blogging hobby. Warum/Why?!

Is it because I feel too busy and the two minutes to myself I rather spend on the couch with a cup of tea, or is it because I don’t have much to share. Is this normal? Normal oder komisch?

Looking back at my last two weeks, I have had many things happen around me, but nothing really worth writing about. Right? Maybe I should share even the normal day life things and not just the exciting things.

Both my son and husband were sick last week. Both had the flu which then turned into a bad cough. And we lady’s sure know, that men don’t seem to take well to being sick.
After 3 days of complaining about his cough, I sent Papa Madola to a doctor to get medications. Between Lennon being sick and dear husband complaining, I felt like I needed to keep my sanity and get Papa Madola sorted out.
I can handle a sick child any day, but male patients seem to really get to me.

Now they are both much better. Lennon is back at kindergarten and is loving it. So happy to be back with other kids to interact and play with. The kindergarten teacher told me that Lennon tries to talk to the other kids, but they don’t understand him, so they turn to the teacher to translate. Quite sweet. I am sure Lennon will soon be picking up some german and start talking to the other kids.

Papa Madola is also much better, but even though he is supposed to be on a well deserved break from work, he is back in the studio doing what he does best. Trust me when I say I am going to have to kidnapp him after christmas and drive him somewhere, force him to take the holiday. If we stay here in Berlin, he will be working instead of resting.

And like I said its Lennon’s second birthday this coming Friday. I have only planned to make a big chocolate cake and we will have my sister and mother over for coffee, as well as a friend from school with her two lovely daughters. He is only turning two and I am taking advantage of not having to bring out the big guns yet 🙂

As you can see, many things to plan and tick off my list.

I should really add writing a post at least every third day.*Hugs and Kisses*

Back again… new energy!

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the last month has been crazy, my little man has started kindergarden and even though I thought I would be cool about it, I do miss him when I leave him for 15 min. Crazy how attached a mother is to her child. Oh well its crazy how I am attached to little Lennon, who isn’t so little any more after all.
He doesn’t visit the kindergarden the whole day, just for two hours and I am accompany him the whole time, but I sit in the background and let the kindergarden teacher handle everything. Then I leave for 15 min and go around the block once or twice to kill the time. Its weird to have the time/ peace to look at things in the shops, windows and be at a supermarket without having someone pull stuff out of the shelves from their pram. Hahahaha after 2 years of having my sunshine around, I can’t remember life before him. Thats great. So happy to have him and to also slowly find some new freedom.
Next week we will hopefully take the next step and I will leave him for a longer time so that he actually really accepts and realises that I can go and leave him with the other kids and that I also come back every time.

Otherwise Berlin has been rainy, grey, winter and pre-adventszeit. When I lived in Cape Town, I always missed this time. The time when it gets cold and rainy. I do kind of love putting the heaters on, lighting candles all over the rooms and baking christmas-biscuits. It makes my heart feel warm 🙂 I have made some double chocolate chip cookies so far and some peanut butter biscuits. Lennon loves them, so do I. Papa Madola isn’t such a biscuit fan. So Lennon and I get to eat them all…

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What do you guys bake, pickle, cook during this time?
Its funny in Cape Town this feeling of having to bake, cook, pickle things, never overcame me. Must have been the warm weather and time at the Clifton Beach that kept me occupied enough to not think about it 🙂

Would love to hear what you guys are making this christmas-time.

*Hugs and Kisses*

Lennon and my iPhone

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Just paged through a parenting magazine ‘Nido’ and saw that according to a study (KIM-Study 2012) two thirds of kids between six and thirteen years of age are interested and glued to a cellphone/ smartphone.
I was a little shocked but then reminded myself of my own little man Lennon. He isn’t even six yet and he is already asking to play with my iPhone.
I always wonder if we as parents should give in, to the ‘new-age’ way of playing, or should we be hard and make it clear from the beginning that we don’t want them playing games on the iPhone.

I grew up without any smartphones, iPads, we didn’t even have a computer or TV. When my siblings and I wanted to play, we went outside, played in the room with cars, dolls, or we sat around looking at pictures in books etc.
But I do remember, whenever I went to a friends house, where they had a TV or computer, I was literally glued to the ‘new’ entertainment. It wasn’t very social of me.

And now that I am a mother and have to make these decisions for my son, I always wonder what the good middle path is. A little here and a little there can’t be bad. But everything in moderation.

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But I do find it very scary how my son can un-slides/unlocks my iPhone, slides the icons to the left to reach his one game that is on my phone. He taps it, hits play and plays the game. When he is done and had enough, he pushes the home button to return to the home screen and put’s the phone down.

I downloaded the game only for the really hard times, when he is screaming on the underground train, or when he won’t sit still at a doctor’s office etc. But maybe I should delete it and stop letting him play with it.

I have made it my mission to not be on the phone as much and I try really hard to leave the phone behind when I am on the move and busy with Lennon.
And I must say, I haven’t been on the phone as much and he doesn’t get reminded of the cellular device 🙂 The nagging for the phone has almost stopped. Great!
I most definitely miss it more than he does. Its kind of sick how we believe we can’t live without these things. How it’s such a habit to check my emails all the time, check facebook and who is doing what. I mean it really is mind boggling how we depend on these devices out of habit.

*Hugs and Kisses*

Pickled Cucumber… my husband’s favourite

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Now that Winter is approaching fast, I am starting to feel like a hamster.
I want to make my favourite pickled cucumber, bake biscuits, crunchy bars etc. All to prepare for the cold days when I don’t feel like braving the cold and going to the shops. Crazy.
Kennt ihr das auch? Eingelegte Gurckenscheiben, Plaumen und ander leckere Dinge sind immer ein Erfold im Winter, finde ich.

But what else could I make? Any suggestions?

Ich bin auch am Herbst-Aufräumen. Ich liebe es auszusortieren und Ordnung und Platz zu schaffen. There is nothing better than an organized home with space for new things.
Gone are the old things I haven’t touched/used for a year. Only little memories, cards and special things I keep. But what I haven’t used in a year has to go. Love that liberating feeling.
And it overcomes me at least every 6 months.

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Und nun das Winter vor der Tür steht, habe ich die Winterpullover, Jacken und Schuhe wieder rausgeholt und die Sommersachen weggepackt. Thank G’d for Ikea and their storage ideas and boxes. I now have an organized cupboard and a happy heart.

How do you guys prepare for Winter?

*Hugs and Kisses*

Herbst Feelings

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The autumn has officially started here in Berlin.
Es regent, es ist grau and I just want to stay in bed the whole day.
Heute morgen musste ich Lichter anmachen beim aufstehen. Thats when you know that winter is coming,putting on lights in the morning. I mean really. Muss es schon wieder so kalt und grau werden?

But now, I have an excuse to make lovely homemade chicken soup, potatoes and gravy and all good winter foods that make you warm again. Ich liebe es zu kochen wenn es draussen stürmt und kalt ist.

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Wie beschäftige ich nur meinen kleine Prinzen. He seems to be quite bored being inside all day. He loves building tents with old bedsheets. Zu süss!
Habt ihr Vorschläge? Was mach ihr mit euren Kindern an kalten Tagen? What do you guys do on cold and rainy days with your younger kids inside the home?

Keep warm and Happy!!!*Hugs and Kisses*

Spoilt kids and stressed parents

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One mother-blog I follow, wrote about us spoiling our kids and not letting them do things we did when we were their age. It resonated with me very much. I always feel I am not letting Lennon do what he wants because I’m supposed to be scared he might hurt himself, fail or just about what other people might say. Why do I do that?! Its crazy!

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When I lived in Cape Town, South Africa, I felt unsafe a lot of the time. And when I got back here to Berlin, it was like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders because of me feeling much safer. Now I hear, in this blog I read, that she wouldn’t let her son walk the streets of Berlin, or just to kindergarten or school by himself. And he is something like 4 or 5 years old. I used to do that all the time when I was that age. Ok it wasn’t as big of a place like Berlin, but I feel like our parents trusted us more and knew we were gonna be fine. Especially after having lived in a country like South Africa, it kind of seems weird to feel scared for our kids. Maybe Berlin isn’t as safe as my hometown Lübeck, but its a whole lot safer than where I lived the last 6 years.

Do we over-protect our children? I do think so. I do think we have become parents that say ‘No’ more than ‘Yes’ to the instincts of our kids. We let them talk, misbehave, throw uncontrolled tantrums and let them be rude to the ice cream man. But I find that we try to constantly stop them in their movements, eagerness to climb, throw things and to test their boundaries physically and emotionally.

What happened to good old teaching ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ by letting the explore with little guidance by us? Why do we think we have to constantly talk, explain, discuss and analyse with our kids. I thought we were the parents and we had the say. What happened to that? Since when does a child get to make the choice when we are eating, going somewhere or what cloths he/she wants to wear. It really boggles my mind and I am starting to wonder what kind of people we are raising. *Hugs and Kisses*

Zwischen ‘Dakke’, ‘What’s That?’ and Vbac

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The little Lennon is starting to make little sentences.
It’s too sweet sometimes. It happens and I wonder if I heard right.
Yesterday he points at a bird and says: ‘What’s that?’. Not very well pronounced and a little wishy washy but it was there. Maybe I’m just the proud mother that hearing things but I believe he said it and thats enough for me 🙂

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Otherwise it’s becoming cold and wet here in Berlin.
I’m going to bake a cake with the little prince when he wakes up from his nap. He loves to help me in the kitchen and we both love to make a big mess in the kitchen while baking and cooking. He tasts all the different things and tries to stir the dough. So cute the little man. Afterwards he gets to eat the cake and I start cleaning. Doesn’t seem fair but I don’t mind. That sweet little face makes it all worth it.

Last night I was reading an article about woman being pressured into having a caesarean section more and more. I was shocked at the increase. Don’t get me wrong, thank god we have this procedure to help us when needed, but don’t these doctors and woman think about the consequences of a caesarean? I studied nursing, midwifery and psychiatric nursing in Cape Town, South Africa and I am sometimes baffled at the way woman leave the decisions up to the doctors, nurses and midwives. Why don’t so many woman inform themselves before hand, why aren’t they proactive when it comes to having their children. I remember a friend of mine that told me she was talked into having a caesarean with her first born and that she felt lost and without any control over what was going to happen to her and her baby.
I asked her why she didn’t contact a midwife when she found out that she was pregnant. And she answered with: ‘ I didn’t know where and who to ask’. I was shocked. This friend is a well educated woman and left it up to her doctor to make the decisions. Maybe I should have told her where to go when she was pregnant. At that time I was still a first year student and wasn’t so clued up about the midwives in Cape Town. But I think I at least should have given her a little nudge to make her question her non- existent birth plan. Yes, the doctors, nurses and midwives probably most of the time know better, but being pregnant and having children is not a illness, we don’t need surgery to have children in most cases, the why do we leave it up to the people that perform surgeries all day.

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Ok I am venting about something completely weird. But I have been thinking about these things recently.
I am now back in Germany and in future I will have to find a Doctor that is willing to help me deliver my second baby via Vbac.
Yes, I also had a caesarean section. But it wasn’t planned, I wanted a home birth, but my dear Lennon wanted to sun tan, rather than turn into an anterior position to fit through my pelvis. So I watched my fears come true that day, but on the other end our beautiful, perfect son was born and all was worth it.

I hope that the support system here in Berlin is better than in Cape Town, I hope I can find a doctor that is open to give nature a chance and to let it be. I know that my chance to have another caesarean is high, but I want to at least try when the time comes.

What are your guys experiences? How did you deal with a birth-plan being ripped to pieces? Did you ever feel you failed because it didn’t happen they way you wished for?

Ok, I promise, next time I’ll write a little more happy and colourful 🙂

*Hugs and Kisses*

Hipster Town Berlin, Germany

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It looks like I am living in hipster central.
Everywhere around me I see plateau shoes, expensive hippy cloths and ombre hair do’s. What has happened? I feel underdressed all the time… do I have to also change my style, walk around like everyone else?
I don’t feel I have enough time to spend in the bathroom getting dressed and putting on make up. Maybe I should invest more time into it. I always promised myself and my husband that I would make an afford not to land up looking like a typical mom, with oily hair, food bits on my cloths and to never wear tents to hide any sort of unwanted fat roll.
But I think sometimes I might have become one of them. I really have to sort it out!!!

How do you moms out there keep up your style? How do you make sure you don’t turn into filthy mama monsters?

Today is friday and I feel like the week just passed me by. I have cleaned the apartment, made bread, did some laundry and the apartment still looks like a tornado it it. Lennon is just running around pulling things down and opening the freezer to look inside. Why does he have to do that? no one knows. I wish sometimes I could look into his head and see what he is thinking. I’m not going to keep worrying about the mess. Im gonna go to the shops to get toiletpaper and then ply with him. I don’t care anymore if the house looks like sh**t.
Its more important that Lennon also gets some quality time. Right?

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Happy Friday everyone.

*Hugs and Kisses*