All posts by CrazyChineseFamily

The month of change

We are now in the first week of May and with it on the final straight of my wife’s pregnancy. The calculated due date is the 11th of May but it could happen now any time. In fact only 2% of all children are born within of the two days of the calculated due date! However my wife is hoping that our baby girl will stick to the “calculations”. First of all because Nathan was two weeks late and was not the smallest baby around when born with 3970 grams (~8,7 lb) and 52cm (~20,5 in). She really does hope that the girl won’t be taking that long. Though the most important reason for sticking to the plan is not the size/ weight increase of the baby but that my wife still has some stuff to do here.

Will our baby girl look similar to #Nathancuty?

You might already know that my wife and I have our own little business. This also means whenever we are on holidays or are sick we are not earning anything at all. Right now my wife is still working every single day so when the baby is there that she can rest for a few weeks. Here in Europe we got the Mother Protection before and after giving birth, work or anything related to it is prohibited but well as you can see with my wife she does not really care at all as it would mean zero income for us. Anyhow she agreed at least to reduce the work load and there should be nearly zero work starting tomorrow for her. For the next weeks it shall be my time to shine in our little business as I will run nearly everything alone. Okay that is also only possible as my wife will reduce our advertised products by nearly 80%. Even though it will be reduced it will still mean lot of work for me so there might be a few blog posts missing for this month and perhaps even the beginning of next month.

Maybe some fishing in Finland together with #Nathancuty this summer?

 

What are our plans for this summer? Enjoy the time with our baby girl of course! Perhaps we might even travel to Finland again but we have to see how everything works out here. The trip to Finland might be especially tricky as we would go by car this time (driving through Danmark and Sweden and taking from there a ferry to Finland) with over 1000km to drive within less than 15 hours with a newborn in the car. In the end of May my dear Chinese mother-in-law will come to haunt us for three months again so I certainly will have some interesting stuff to tell. Sadly my father-in-law is not coming to Germany as he has to take care of the dogs, somehow I have the feeling he will never be able to travel here as MIL is not allowing it…

What are your plans for this summer?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

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Wonderful Relatives: There Are Never Enough Stupid Questions

Every family has at least one odd person. In case of my wife’s family there are actually many of them and they all hail from her mother’s side of the family. Last year I introduced in this post Granny, Aunty, Uncle, little sister (cousin) and little little sister (cousin) and that there is certainly something weird going on in that family. The problem for my wife is that no matter how far away she is from them they can always contact her thanks to modern technology.

I Don’t trust Crazy Great-Grandma

 

Nearly every day someone from her family is contacting her. No, it is not about asking how her day was but about buying stuff or asking question about things they had bought in the past. The two worst of the family are MIL and Aunty. Those two seem to have no ability at all to actually to use their brain before asking certain things. The way they both think can not be understood by anybody else. Father-in-law gave up on that probably over thirty years ago as he does not care about anymore.

You tellin’ me that German shops don’t exchange expired products two years after purchase?

About two years ago Aunty bought some hair dye from Germany (we bought it for her and send it to China) and few weeks ago she starts asking questions about that hair dye. For one why the expiration date is so bad as it was only till end of 2016. Well, easy to answer for my wife as “Why haven’t you used it before?” and Aunty’s answer “I wanted to sell it here but no one wanted it”. Too bad for her but still why asking us about the expiration date…However the whole story went on as Aunty wanted to know how to use it exactly. Of course she expected my wife to know immediately how to use that certain kind of hair dye she sold two years ago. So my wife asked that Aunty takes a picture of the instructions. First two pictures where showing only a table and the third picture had the instructions in them but taken roughly from the other side of the apartment so you could not read anything. Aunty blamed then that the camera in her phone is not good enough. Then she wanted that my wife returns that hair dye and gets a new one. Really, she thinks that it would be for free to send it from China to Germany and that any shop would just return some expired product two years after it was bought? To this day she still does not understand why my wife is not doing it.

Not a skirt, her trousers!

Then let’s move to my favorite topic in this blog: My dear Chinese mother-in-law. Her stories are already legendary but there is always more. I mentioned in this post already briefly her interesting dressing style which is similar to a Circus performer. Recently she tortured contacted my wife about buying clothes. Apparently she was in some store and tried on several clothes. Some friend of her took pictures and those were sent to my wife so she could say which one was the best. As you might imagine the clothes were certainly very special. My wife’s comments where basically like “You look in this one like a begging monk from some mountain temple”, “You look like the clown we saw in the circus last year”, “Why would you wear a carpet?”, “How could they fit that much Brocade in that dress?”. MIL did not understand at all why her daughter didn’t like the clothes because “They cost each at least 1500RMB (~200 Euros), they are all great!”. Yes a high price always equals in her brain that it is great. Then my wife send her pictures of normal clothes she could buy but her concern was “What should I do when the clothes don’t look as good on me as on the model?” That was reason enough not to buy the clothes my wife recommended and she ended up with one of those weird dresses. Really I do wonder why she asks her daughter for her opinion when she does not really care about it at all.

Do you know someone asking stupid questions all the time?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

Pregnancy in Germany compared to Finland

Oh no, it seems that I missed once again some blog posts in the past weeks. Running your own business and having to prepare for a second child is certainly time-consuming. With the birth of our little baby girl approaching I want to share some info regarding how different the whole pregnancy process was for us thus far here in Germany compared to Finland. I must admit that both my wife and I have forgotten already a great deal about the pregnancy in Finland so I hope I get it still more or less right.

Puffed up Nathan

Back in 2013 my wife went for a pregnancy test to her “normal” doctor. The same doctor she always went when she had the flu, needed stitches when one bunny ripped her ear or for some allergy check-ups. She had taken the home pregnancy test before but she just wanted to be sure about the result. After her doctor confirmed that she was pregnant she gave us an information flyer and told us which steps to take next. For one we had to contact Neuvola, which is something like a guidance centre/ midwife centre. I believe that Neuvola is something which every country should have! There the mother gets all the pregnancy check-ups and information before giving birth. After the child is born all the doctor visits are being done in that center and the child is “being taken care” (checking the development, helping with questions etc.) untill going to Elementary school. That is certainly an all-inclusive package and it is all for free in Finland.

Nathan chillin on the groun in our Finnish Apartment back in 2014

The only other thing we had to do was to inform Kela, which is the Finnish Social Insurance Institution. Why contact the Social Insurance Institution? Well Kela is so much more than just that as it also handles retirement pay, child benefits, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, health insurance and student benefits. We had to inform Kela when the child would be born and a few months before the due date we received the famous baby box. That box has everything needed for the first month and it gives parents a good idea what to buy later on. The box itself can be also used as a crib for the first weeks. The total worth of the box is around nearly 600-800€ by my estimation and it is yet another thing which is entirely free in Finland.

By just informing Kela and Neuvola everything was pretty much set and we did not have to contact any more places for “registering” our baby. After Nathan was born we simply had to give the birthdate, confirmation of life birth etc. to Kela so all correct information would be in his file. I believe that is all we had to do but perhaps some Finnish person might add to this in case they stumble upon this article.

Just one hour after being born in Finland

Now I come to our endeavour here in Germany. Already now, way before our baby girl is born, everything is very much complicated. Let’s start with the simple part as my wife went to her gynecologist in order to confirm the pregnancy. After that all further check-ups were done at that gynecologist. Thus far it all sounds still very similar to the Finnish Neuvola however now I come to the differences. We needed to find also a midwife for us (who we will meet for the first time next week). We went for the easiest option and made an appointment at the local hospital as it has a midwife section. There the midwives are of course working at the maternity ward however they also are self-employed as midwives in order to give information for expecting mothers, come to your home every few days to check on the new born (the frequency changes later on when the child is older) and helps the mother getting back into normal life. Already now we have the gynecologist my wife needs to visit every few weeks and we have to take care on our own to have a midwife.

A surprised Monk

The midwife is also important in order as she takes care of the paperwork needed for the hospital when giving birth. It is not so much but it gives the doctors and midwives at the hospital all necessary information about the mother and the unborn child so nothing goes wrong (for example allergies to certain medications). Now I come to the part with the health insurance. This was in Finland automatically done by contacting Kela. Now as we live in Germany, a country where digitization is something for the unknown far away future, we have to go everywhere on our own as no bureau here gets information automatically. So the health insurance we need to contact before the birth so they can already give the needed documents for us to fill out once the child is born. Besides going to the health insurance we also need to go later on to the registration office with all kind of different documents in order to “register” the child officially. It may not look so different but trust me, it is a huge change for us compared to Finland were everything was so easy and worked nearly automatically.

Baby in a bucket

You can see that we favor the Finnish way much more but Germany got also a few good points. In Finland we had two ultrasound check-ups to make sure that the baby is fine. In case we wanted a 4D Ultrasound for some better pictures and get 99% certainty about the gender we would need to pay around 200 Euros. Here  in Germany my wife has every 2-4 weeks ultrasound check-ups and we had also those 4D ultrasounds twice already and paid only 40 Euros for it, as you can see it is a big difference compared to Finland. I’d say the perfect system would be a mix of both of them but you can’t have everything in life. Both countries offer with their health care systems very good methods which are for free and everyone living in those countries receives those benefits.

Last but not least I have to mention that we got a little present from the Finnish community here in Germany. Finland has this year its 100 year anniversary and it also started a huge knitting fever in Finland and for Finnish people living abroad. After emailing the Finnish community here we received for our baby girl hand knitted socks held in the colours of the Finnish flag (blue and white). Surprisingly the person who send us the socks is even the mother of a guy I know from way back when I had my Confirmation Camp in Finland (2001 or 2002). It is not the same as a Kela Baby Box but it is a nice gesture of the Finnish community and our girl will wear those socks next month!

How is the whole “process” in your country?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/