Tag Archives: kindergarten

Little E’s first day of Kindergarten

More than half of the school year is done, but better late than never to get this post out.  I was happy to not be in a boot and using crutches for this child’s first day of school.  And like the typical middle child, I have less photos of her than of her older sister.  I feel guilty about that often.  Also, it was really hard to divide my time between Big Ive and Little E when they both needed me on the school yard before school that first morning.  Big Ive didn’t know how to read and couldn’t find her teacher’s line without me.  Little E had no idea what to do as this was her first day at the school.  I couldn’t leave her alone.  So, with JR in tow in the little stroller we all found Big Ive’s line first and got her settled.  Then we found Little E’s line.  Big Ive looked so sad and little when I had to leave her to go to Little E’s line.

Little E was excited to begin kindergarten at the school.  Her 5th birthday was just 3 days before school started.  (We later found out there was only 1 child with a birthday later than hers.)  She probably wondered why she hadn’t already been allowed to go to school there.  It is sometimes hard to be the little sister.

Her teacher, Frau KT (KindergartenTeacher), waited until all of the older children had gone to their classes before we started walking to her classroom.  Little E had to deposit her snack bag and lunch box in the right buckets, put her backpack in the cubby, find her desk and go sit on the carpet at the front of the classroom.  Then it was time for me to say goodbye and wait 5 hours to see her again.

le_kinderday1waiting in the school yard before the school day begins
new striped dress that one of her Grandmas had made

img_0196on the carpet at the front of the classroom with friends

img_0192some old friends and some new friends

img_0212happy to be done with school, with Schultüte in hand

img_0217 img_0214


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Big Ive’s first day of Kindergarten in the US

August 10 was the first day of kindergarten for Big Ive. I think she was a little nervous. LOML ended up having to travel for work and wasn’t there so I had to walk her and the other 2 kids in while on crutches because of my Achilles’ tendon tear.

She she had to wear her germany shirt on her first day. And Little E had to wear hers, too.

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Little E’s first day of German Kindergarten

This afternoon (well… Monday 25 February 2013…when I started this post) was Little E’s first day at German Kindergarten.  And true to that saying of your first born getting all the photos and subsequent children getting none?  Well, I managed to take ZERO photos of Little E at the Kindergarten today.  Thinking about that makes me feel guilty and like a terrible mother.  Oh, well.  I did remember my camera — and to take photos! — the second day.

Let’s get on to the happy part of this post, shall we?

LE_pointing_1dayKgd-20130227A little Haferflocken on her face after eating the snack.

LE_carrytoy_1dayKgd-20130227There was lots of toy dragging / moving / relocating going on.

Little E did really well this afternoon.  She went from 1-2:15pm.  She was paired with a teacher who speaks very little English, which was interesting.  That teacher is just as nice as the rest and loves all of the children just like the rest, so it’s not a problem . . . just an interesting pairing.  She has told me a couple of times that she learned English in school, but since she didn’t use it much she forgot how to speak a lot of it, although, she does understand much more than she can speak.

Little E was SO EXCITED to go to school.  She walked right in like she owned the place.  Started to take her jacket off mere seconds after the door closed (exactly like what we do with Big Ive in the mornings).  I had put her in slip on shoes because we drove up there.  She knew regular shoes weren’t supposed to be worn and had to remove them quickly, as well.  Guess that means I’m getting her some new Hausschuhe.  [[New orange Hausschuhe on the second day were a hit!]]

She was very happy to walk room to room, but kept coming to check on me sitting on the ‘Mother’s Bench’.  It might be better if Big Ive is there to help guide her around.  Big Ive has been sick so we’ve kept her home from school 3 days so far.  She had to go eat her snack we brought, just like Big Ive does every morning she goes to school.  A few times Little E has sat at the kitchen table and eaten snack in the mornings with Big Ive, so she was familiar with it.  LOML remarked that she seems to be doing things and hitting milestones about 6 months ahead of Big Ive.

LE_kitch_1dayKgd-20130227Sitting with the big kids eating her snack.  She thinks she IS a big kid!

I asked her to go find a cow, thinking she would go over to the area with the animal toys.  No.  She went over to her little bag we brought that has a cow on it!  Smart kid!

Coloring on the first day.  Painting on the second day.

LE_stamps2_1dayKgd-20130227I lost track how many times she tried to climb this shelving unit.


LE_coloring1_1dayKgd-20130227She’s one of those kids who scribbles all over the paper with whatever color they grab.  Big Ive was never like that.  It is so different to have a kid who does not carefully color on a paper.

LE_painting_1dayKgd-20130227She wasn’t terribly fond of the painting.  She started to get alarmed when she got paint on her fingers.  The teacher tried to reassure her it was ok, as she had paint on her own fingers, but Little E was wary.  The painting didn’t last long.

The third day we got to school at 9am.  We got her settled and then I told her, “I love you. Tschüss!”  She hugged me, watched me leave.  I came back an hour later.  They said she did good.  She would play for a big, then walk to the door and cry a little.  Go back and play with something else, walk to the door and cry a little.  Big Ive did the same thing, the teachers said.

I am not worried about leaving her at the Kindergarten.  They have been treating Big Ive really well — she loves to go to school.  You can see how much they love and care for the children there.  There is no doubt that they feel the same for my girls, too.

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NaBloPoMo Day 28 – [daily life] German acquisition stories

Monday (26.11.2012) when I picked up Big Ive from Kindergarten one of her teachers told me she is starting to say things in German.  She was in the kitchen asking for something.  The first teacher didn’t understand what she said.  The second teacher said, “I think she’s asking for a little spoon.”  Big Ive was saying ‘kleinen Loeffel’.


As I was getting the girls dressed yesterday morning Little E was playing with a simple animal noise app on the iPad.  It says, “A monkey makes this sound:” And then they play a monkey noise.  It’s the exact same for all the different animals and vehicles it has photos for.  Little E helped me discover a couple weeks ago that you could change the language setting.  Somehow she had managed to put it on Japanese.  I changed it to German (duh).  So this morning when Little E hit the Krokodil (crocodile) I started singing the German Krokodil kid’s song.  Big Ive instantly knew what it was and automatically put her hands together to make the motions for the song.  She knew this one from school.  It made me smile.  I only knew the first 2 lines of the song, unfortunately, but that definitely makes me want to learn more of these German kids songs.


Last week Big Ive started saying, “Guck mal!” to us when she wanted us to look at something.  I had heard it spoken before but didn’t know the spelling, so I asked a band member.  She “Guck mal”s us all the time now.

Big Ive’s teacher told me today that she had said Guck mal during school today.


There are always a lot of “NEIN!”s being thrown around the house when both girls are home.  Little E has even started to say it because Big Ive says it so much.


Big Ive is good at babble in between English words she knows to make it sound like she’s saying complete sentences because she feels there should be more said.  She is doing the same thing with German babble.

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NaBloPoMo Day 20 – some more conversations and German talk

“I lookin’ a Mommy” said in a sing-songy little voice as Big Ive ascended the stairs to find me.  She was super cute this morning as she sang and found me. 20.11.2012

When I picked up Big Ive from school a little girl named G brought a book over to me to show me and have me read some things.  B chided her and said, “Sie sprechen Englisch (She speaks English.).” To which I replied, “und ein bisschen Deutsch (and a little German).”  And then B just looked at me.  I heard the teacher in the office give a little laugh as she overheard it.  I read a few words and pointed to associated body parts (eyes, hair).  Then she pointed to a date and said, “Telefonnummer (telephone number).” And then I was able to correct her and tell her it was her birth date.  :)  G seemed to think it was just fine that I spoke some German words.  B is a little wary of it since she knows me before I knew German words.  It’s like she’s already put me in the non-German words category in her brain.

I got Big Ive to say “Ich möchte einen Keks” to ask for a cookie.  Then when she got it in her hand she said something like, “Ich habe babblebabblebabble.”  I LOVE IT!!!!  This excites me.

And in my evening German class I actually tried to speak more in German tonight.  She asked us questions to which I answered the basic answer and then elaborated upon it.  It was nice to be able to feel a tiny bit more comfortable attempting to throw sentences and thoughts together (and keep them grammatically correct!).  One guy across the table and I made eye contact a few times when she explained a strange German grammar rule, like, ‘Crazy Germans. What were they thinking here.’

Little E grabbed their toy toolbox and said, “Tschuss”, as she tried to walk out the door as I was taking Big Ive to bed tonight.  She was ready to go.

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NaBloPoMo Day 17 – Big Ive speaks German [[My 100th post!]]

Big Ive has been going to the German Kindergarten in our village since the middle of August, 3 months now. The teachers do speak English to her, but it’s mostly German and they have almost completely only started to speak to her in German (at least initially, sometimes they follow up with the English translation). The kids all speak only German, obviously.  There are 3 of them with one parent that is from the USA, but they pretty much only speak German in the Kindergarten. All that to say, this kid is definitely learning German.

I know she babbles pretend German all the time at home.  She babbles pretend English all the time, too. I can’t understand some of her English, let alone any German she’s trying to speak. She has started singing German children’s songs at home this past week.

Point in case: tonight we were picking up the girls from childcare after a meeting at church.  The lady watching Big Ive was speaking to us and said, “Does she go to German school? Because she was speaking German in the play room.”

This is interesting because LOML and I have been trying to get her to speak German at home (we know she does at school, the teachers say so) and she refuses.  When I speak German to her — my very limited German, mind you — she usually responds with something along the lines of, “Nein! Mommy don’t say that!” It’s like she compartmentalizes the different words for each person.  Mom and Dad use these words (English) and Teachers and Friends use these words (German). And you CANNOT mix them up. I’ve heard of kids growing up in bilingual homes with a more rare language and they absolutely refuse to speak it back to their parents. They will respond in English to commands/questions in the other language.

LOML and I wonder where this little language and culture experiment with our child will take us. I hope that as I learn more and more German that Big Ive will just think it is now normal for mom to speak to me with those words and then she’ll willingly respond back to me in German. And I sincerely hope to be able to learn enough German so that when we move back to the States I (and LOML) will be able to keep speaking with her and maintain the language.

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Big Ive’s First Day of German Kindergarten – 15 August 2012

Big Ive started at the German Kindergarten on Wednesday, August 15, 2012.

It had been 7 weeks since she’d been in the building because of the summer break and our travels.  She was excited about going, but I think she thought it was going to be like it had when I followed her around on Friday afternoons.  She wasn’t ready to be independent and go away from me sitting on the “Mom Bench”. [[“Mom Bench” is the wooden park bench they have in the hallway outside of the first classroom.  They call it the mom bench because moms (and dads) sit there waiting for their child(ren).]]  I was trying to be as uninvolved as she would let me, but she was being clingy.  She really wanted to play but was afraid and apprehensive to be without me.  Which is kind of funny because it seems like all she wanted to do was play withOUT me on Friday afternoons and here she was only wanting me WITH her.

Still puffy eyed from sleeping, eating “flocken” (Haferflocken = oatmeal).

She is such an independent little girl.  I wish I could describe this sauntering stride she has when she’s going places.  You can just see she’s on a mission.

The grandparents came along for this momentous occasion.
And to help with Little E.

Little E chillin’ in the stroller. 
We had to bring diapers and wipes along because Big Ive refuses our attempts at potty training.  I am going to try that single day toilet training method after I read the book.  Fingers crossed it works!

One of the teachers, who speaks very good English, got paired up with Big Ive.  I think they pair up the new children with one main teacher so they have an adult they get used to and feel ‘safe’ with.  All of the teachers look after all of the children, but this one is especially looking after Big Ive right now in the beginning.

She tried to lure her into the classroom with a puzzle; Big Ive loves trying to do puzzles.  Big Ive thought the puzzle sounded Great!, but she didn’t want to go into the room with the teacher.  After a little convincing she did go to the table and play with the puzzle for a few minutes.

Any Kindergarten would not be complete with out a snack time.
Later, when other kids were snacking Big Ive sat next to one and promptly proceeded to steal his food.  Grapes, I think.  Food thief on the first day.  Great…

The teacher then pulled out the bucket of play dough.  Big Ive loves to play with play dough, as I don’t let her play with it at home.  I don’t want to deal with the mess and cleanup so we never take it out.  Bad mom, I know, but it’s what we do here.  Plus, that 1 year old younger sister who walks and can reach 6+inches onto the table?  Yeah, she’s another reason to not play with play dough at home.

They went outside to play after a bit.  Big Ive did not want to put her sneakers back on for some strange reason.  You usually can’t get her to stop asking to play outside and here she was not wanting to go out.  The teachers asked.  I asked.  Still, “No.”  Then I told her she could play in the sand with a shovel.  That was the best idea Ever to this ginger toddler.  Her face lit up with the word shovel and she tried to run outside with her Housschuhe (inside shoes).  Got her sneakers and hat on and she was off to many adventures on the playground.  After I saw that she was fine without me outside I asked the teacher if I could go for a little bit.  We agreed on an hour, with me returning at 11:30, just in time for lunch.

When they went inside she did end up having a crying fit and they tried to call me.  Our house phone battery was dead — Woops! — and my mobile phone doesn’t get good reception in the part of the house I had it in — Woops!  The teacher got her to calm down when she told them they were going to sing songs in a circle for the 2 birthday kids.  She calmed down and was fine.

Little eaten lunch of fish sticks and tater tots.  The fruit for dessert was a big hit, however.  She ended up staying in the lunch classroom well after all the other kids had left to keep eating fruit.  She finished the grapes and then started in on the honey dew melon.  Apricots were not a favorite that day. 

The lunch teacher told Big Ive to come get her once she finished with the fruit and then she would finish wiping that table off.  It was cute.  I’m glad they allow the children to eat as much or as little of everything they want.  No one forces a child to eat.

And on the walk home she HAD to carry that birthday chocolate bar in her arms and hands the E N T I R E way home.  There was no prying it out of her hands.  I at least convinced her that it was too hot and melty to eat on the way home and to wait until it had cooled off in the refrigerator for a bit.  She seemed ok with that answer.

I don’t know where she came up with this carry it in her armpit move.  It was hilarious.  I think she was treating it like a shoulder bag.  She usually pins her arm to her side to prevent the bag from slipping off.  Anyway, it went from armpit, to hand, to other armpit, to folding it in half in her hands because it had melted so much, to draping it on her forearm.  Funny kid.

She did let me put it in the fridge while she took a nap and promptly requested it once she awoke.  That kid doesn’t forget much.

“Take a pikchure, Mom.  Take a pikchure.”

It was a good start to school for her.  The next day I stayed only about 15 minutes.  She cried as I walked away.  The teacher said she cried for only about 2 minutes and was fine the rest of the day.  The 3rd day she cried for just a minute as I walked away.  I heard her stop crying even before I got to the gate of the school grounds to walk home.  Every day since then it has been me asking for a hug and telling her to say, “Tschuss Mom!”

She loves school.  She loves to play with the kids and toys and games.  She loves the teachers.  LOML and I are so happy that she likes it there and is being immersed in this new language.  The kids like her and play with her and ask for her and are excited to see her.  It makes me smile.

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[and other daily happenings 08-12.05.2012]

I just watched Little E stand up in the middle of the floor, not holding onto anything and take 6 steps!  OHmygoodness!  The most steps I’ve counted has been 8 so far.

Loot and plunder Krabbel!

Time out from plundering to suck her thumb.

And I realize that none of these photos show her walking even though I lead you in with that first paragraph about my 9-month old walking.

UPDATE 12 May 2012: Little E took her first 2 steps a couple days before she turned 9 months on Saturday May 5.  This week she has started walking just about everywhere.  She is a very UNsteady walker and falls down repeatedly.  But, she always gets back up.  For some reason she seems to do better when she is holding a toy in her hands.  : )  Silly baby.  She looks like a little zombie the way she walks: wide stance, wobble, unintelligable babble, sometimes a questionable smell like that of an undead…  Just kidding.  I keep her diapers changed right away.

On Tuesday May 8 we had lunch with LOML at the cafe across the street from the church after the morning women’s bible study.  It was impromptu and nice.  Our church is closer to his jobsite so it worked out for him to get away for an hour and eat with me and the girls.

Tulips are almost all done blooming around here now.  I wonder what flowers are next around here?  I have been seeing more geraniums in window boxes and pots this week.

Another side of that is that almost every single deciduous tree has all of its green leaves now!  The tree tunnel road is now green.  It was brown sticks for the longest time.  Grasses got green.  Bushes got green.  Small saplings and other little trees got green.  And now, finally, the big trees that cross over the road are green.  It is crazy beautiful.

It looked green to me in December (compared to Phoenix desert, just about anything looks green!) so every day that we get more green is just amazing to me.  I can’t believe it can get greener!

Interesting heart shaped flowers in the front planter box.  When they first started growing it looked like strange celery.

04 May 2012
LOML surprised us at Kindergarten Friday afternoon by coming home early.  It was so fun to have him show up and get to watch and play with Big Ive and her friends at school.

Building a horse barn.


Eating all of the fruits and veggies in the kitchen.  We were trying to leave for about 20 minutes while she kept eating.

06 May 2012
An old friend from university is in Germany this week for a conference for work.  He drove the 4ish hours over here from Munich to spend the day with us.  It was so much fun.

10 May
Big Ive still says, “Doot”, and signs food when she is asking for food.  I have no idea how she changed that word around.  That was one of the first words she said.  She still says “Wow” when you ask her to say ‘pretty’.

She pointed to her happy birthday banner when I told her to say happy birthday to her Auntie.

I just asked her to say ‘little’ and she said ‘baby’.  I’m always telling her Little E is little so she needs to be careful.

My OCD child neatly placing the wooden blocks in perfectly even rows in the box, one at a time.

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[and other daily happenings 19.03.2012]

Wednesday evening we were out on the back patio when our Landlord walked past in the backyard.  He noticed all the pots we had stacked out there and asked if I was going to plant flowers.  I told him yes and some vegetables, too.  He asked which kind and I listed a few off.  Then he asked if I wanted a field.  A FIELD!  I’m not sure what size or where it’ll be, but he said they’ll find a place for me to grow veggies.  So!  Excited!!  I get a field!

Now I just need to figure out how to grow veggies in a cool climate…  This desert kid doesn’t know these sorts of things.


A bunch of blooming spring flowers in our village.


Big Ive got the broom out of the pantry and started trying to sweep saying, “Muhtz, muhtz, muhtz” (the z is very slight) her version of “mess”.  It was funny and kind of annoying at the same time because she never decides to sweep when it is convenient for us.  We were in the process of putting groceries away.  That’s when you have to step back and realize she’s not doing it to purposely annoy you, but she’s genuinely trying to help out.


We went to Kindergarten on Friday afternoon, like normal.  It was warm enough that we went outside to play on the playground.  Big Ive got to play in the sandbox with all the sand tools and loved it.  Somehow she got this bruise on her cheek while we were out there.


Saturday morning we went to the bigger town about 15km away to buy a music stand for me.  The girls fell asleep on the short drive, so LOML stayed in the car while I went in to buy it.  Being in the village band gets me a discount at the store.

We then drove to the garden store so we could get some flowers and vegetable seeds to start our garden.  3 types of tomato seeds, zucchini, carrots, leeks, little starter onions, German herb mix, broccoli, peas, green beans, squashes — Holy Cow, if everything grows we’re going to have a huge garden!

Later that afternoon while LOML was visiting his coworker in the hospital I put Little E in the Moby wrap and Big Ive and I walked out the backyard.  We ended up playing with the neighbors across the road to the back of our house.  Big Ive likes to play with their toys; they have bikes and baby strollers and things we don’t have.  The 2 kids are really good with her, too.  The parents are super nice and the grandparents live across the street, too!  LOML got to meet them, which was nice.  A couple of Big Ive’s Kindergarten friends rode by on bicycles while we were out, too.


Saturday night was my first concert with the village band.  I’ll have another post soon about that!  It was great!


Yummy.  Yummy.

On Sunday we went to go see LOML’s co-worker “Inga” at the bakery she works at on Sundays and Big Ive said a version of her name.  It was cute.  Instead of being 2 syllables she somehow merged it into one.  I’m still unsure how she does that.  Inga took Big Ive to the kitchen and let her help get her buttered bread ready to eat.  She also let her walk behind the cake and pastry counter.  Big Ive thought that was pretty awesome.  She started walking around like she owned the place after that because she was allowed just about everywhere.

I think that’s a pretty good photo of our little family.  Big Ive’s doing something with her hand and Little E is looking off into space, but all in all it looks good.


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Kindergarten, the High Chair and Mittagsschlaf [and other daily happenings 09.03.2012]

Little E was a big hit again today at Kindergarten.  The kids ask for Big Ive during the week, too, mind you.  They all want to play with her when we get there.  But, when Little E comes out and is awake and happy and interacting, she steals the show by playing the little baby card.

I had her on the floor on the rug in one of the classrooms.  She was crawling around, trying to get to all the toys that I was trying to keep her from.  The kids were playing with her — tickling her, giving her toys, pretending she was after them when she would crawl around, trying to hold her.  They were fascinated by her.  It’s like the best toy in there.  There must have been 6 of them around me, but not Big Ive.  She was off playing in the toy kitchen room with her big friends.  I guess she gets enough of Little E at home all day.  : )


The blonde boy is Big Ive’s friend, J.

Big Ive tried to put a puzzle together.  She doesn’t understand, yet, that the pieces only go in a certain way.  I tried to show her that the picture needed to line up, but she didn’t seem to care about that.  2 of her big friends at Kindergarten helped put it together.

Big Ive’s friend, J, was talking with me and I was able to understand a word here or there.  That’s a huge improvement for me and my German.  I still call it baby German.  I know a handful of nouns and about 3 useful sentences.  It’s fun at the Kindergarten because I can ask what things are and they’ll tell me the German words.  I’ll tell them the English words.  They seem to like to try to roll the English words around on their tongues.  It’s a fun little game.  The kids that speak some English feel very proud of themselves when they know the English words and understand what I’m saying.

Another little girl put these puzzles together and Big Ive took them one by one over to the window to sit by the big one that was already there.  My neurotic child had to make the rest match.

As I was putting Little E in the stroller to leave, Big Ive went in the other classroom.  There was one little boy in there, probably not much older than she.  Something happened and he was looking sad and upset at Big Ive.  I told her to say sorry and give him a hug.  She gave him a hug and instinctively took her binky out to give him a kiss on the lips because that’s what she does with her sister when she needs to apologize.  It was incredibly cute to see two little humans hugging.  He looked a little bit less upset after she hugged him, but I’m not sure he was completely convinced.


The brand new high chair is a big hit in our house.  Little E loves being up high and able to see everything.  I love that I can lay food out for her to feed herself and I’m not straining my back holding her and trying to feed her.  Big Ive loves to sit in it and eat breakfast.  She also likes to try to scale the backside of it like a ladder.  And to buckle and unbuckle the seat straps endlessly.  She does that with the baby buggy at Kindergarten, too.

Big Ive was being helpful yesterday giving Little E some cereal to eat.  She dumped her small container of cheerios onto her play kitchen plate and brought that over to Little E in the high chair.  That didn’t work out so well; moments later every piece of cereal was on the floor.

I laughed when I saw her bring her toy plate full of cheerios over.  It was so cute, helpful, thoughtful, nice, heartfelt and funny-toddler-action all in one.  Big Ive really loves her little sister.  And wants to make sure she is eating enough.  : )


8am Mittagsschlaf (naptime) . . .

. . . can only be helped by a loving older sister . . .

. . . but a kiss and a “Shh, shh, baby” will make it all . . .

. . . better.

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