Category Archives: Our cute daughter

Living as an Interracial Couple in Germany – Three Years Later

In January 2015 I described our life in Germany with all the difference challenges and difficulties we had experienced in the first few months of living here. First of all I was rather shocked when I saw that the article Living as an Interracial Couple in Germany is already three years old! Up till this point I did not even realize that we have lived for so long time already in this country. For me it feels like we just left Finland one or maximum two years ago. This just shows that time passes by faster the older you get/ when you have kids keeping you busy.

Demons from Hell have arrived to stop the digitalization in Germany

My first point of annoyance three years ago was about applying for the residence permit and Germany still being in the stone age when it comes to digitalization.  Thing is we had to renew her residence permit half-year ago and it was once again a very special experience when the nice lady at the office for foreigners was once again going through countless of folders and law books. No Germany did not manage to reach the digital age within those three years. Besides the nice lady was even surprised that we had a second child by now and we were required to hand them the birth certificate. Not that I received that very certificate from the same building just 20m away in another office last summer…nothing really nothing can be viewed from their PC’s as everything is kept in folders and each office still requires their very own copy of every certificate.

#Nathancuty and grandpa are busy watching TV

What about the weird stares on the streets and people taking our mail out of the trash to spread it all over the street? The thing with the mail stopped and I suspected a couple of neighbours but nothing can be proven any longer. Those certain neighbours have moved away or died in the past years so we will never know.  Surprisingly also the weird stares on the streets are very rare these days and I can’t even remember when it happened the last time. In the past years many Asians (majority of them are Chinese) moved to this little town and its surrounding villages. The people here see pretty much every day several Asians and also WMAF/ AMWF couples can be seen daily. No one has yet said anything towards us or “behind our backs” so I am pretty happy with the current situation when it comes to this aspect.

You can have never enough Lego Duplo

By now Nathan has also overcome more or less his language difficulties as he is pretty fluent in Mandarin and in German. In fact his Mandarin is better than his German languages skills but we do not worry about it as he is improving a lot in it ever since he started kindergarten last summer. Besides those two languages he knows a bit of English and at least few words in Finnish. In the kindergarten they also do not discourage parents and the kids anymore when it comes to growing up bilingual unlike back in the day when my mother was forced to quit speaking Finnish to me. At least in Nathan’s kindergarten they teach also a bit of English for the older kids.

That little man will turn 4 next month!!

I am very surprised how much the situation  improved for us here in the past years especially with some neighbours passing away. We are not even that annoyed anymore when it comes to giving each office here some extra copies of this and that certificate or document, you just get used to it. It is a fact that Germany is far behind when it comes to digitalisation than other “leading nations” in the world. At least we can have now again normal internet speed as our connection went up from the terrible 16 Mbps to 500Mpbs. It was really strange when we moved here and they could only give us that kind of slow connection as nothing else was possible here in this city.

Both my wife and I do not regret moving from Finland to Germany at all. We had a good life in Finland without too many difficulties but everything improved ever since moving here. Life is cheaper in Germany and we can earn more than before in addition to be working from home which is so much better also for the children.  The only thing worrying us right now is to make plans for buying or building a house in the next few years as this apartment won’t be big enough anymore once the children want to have separate rooms, but that is something for another time.

How has your life changed in the past three years?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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Life with two kids

It has been now nearly five months since little Nathalie joined our family. Our everyday life changed a lot ever since then when it comes to organizing daily tasks. We knew from the beginning that life would certainly not get any easier with a second child and many friends even “warned us”. The thing is that each child is different and needs a different approach when growing up. In our case Nathalie proved to be the exact opposite of our first-born Nathan.

Our little Nathan back in 2015

When Nathan was born we still lived in Finland in our tiny 40 sqm apartment (~430ft²). Our neighbours were surprised how quiet Nathan was as they never heard him cry. Sure he was crying sometimes but that was very rare. Friends of us with children were always wondering how calm Nathan was and how easy it seemed to take care of him. I am not saying that everything was golden with him but we were blessed with a pretty easy-going child. Later we moved to Germany and even had my parents to help taking care of him. First because I was working and my wife was going to a six month integration course and later because we both started our own business so my parents where taking care of Nathan in between.

We always wanted two children and in the case of my wife she always wanted a boy and a girl. Even though we were very busy starting our own business we decided to have a second child. The timing seemed perfect for us as Nathan would be by the time Nathalie is born over three years old and starting kindergarten, giving us more time to raise the baby girl. Though the timing was indeed perfect everything developed a bit different than hoped for. First of all Nathan started kindergarten half-year later than planned as the city had messed up some paperwork in between for his registration. Then our business suddenly developed a bit too well and gave us (especially my wife) extreme work load which had to be dealt with until Nathalie was born. In fact my wife worked until a few hours before Nathalie’s birth and starting again three days later to finish some leftover orders.

Having help from the family is always wonderful (even with MIL)

Now I come again to the beginning when I mentioned that every child is different when growing up and needs a different approach. For us Nathalie was so very unlike her brother. Sure she looked very similar to him when born, to be precise she was more like copy paste of Nathan except of having more hair. Her temperament however was very different. By now she is going by the names “Demon”, “Gewitterziege” (German for “Thunderstorm Goat” and according to dict.cc means sour old hag…) and “Devil”. These are certainly not the nicest names to give to a baby but they are kind of accurate. Little Nathalie pretty much controls the family, not only us but also her grandparents. This all took time to get used to, especially when trying to combine taking care of her and starting work again.

Now five months after her birth we developed a more or less working daily schedule. Despite the many hardships when trying to balance raising two kids and running your own business we do not regret anything. We love our two kids, no matter what trouble our demon girl brings  because in the end she brings us more happiness each day than exhausting crying time. We also love to have our own business as it allows us to work from home and gives us much more time with our kids. The downside of being your own boss are the unregulated working hours, no paid holidays, no maternity allowance (my wife still got 80% of her income when Nathan was born in Finland) and higher health insurance costs.

My parents who have helped us so much since we moved to Germany

Life with two kids is very different to having just one child. It is nothing like “Oh I know by now how to take care of a baby and raising a kid, so it will be very easy”. My cousin who has four children told me once “Having one child is very easy but when the second one comes the real challenge starts, it is a huge difference. After that it is not such a big difference anymore when you have a third or even a fourth child”. I did not really believe her back then but now I agree at least with the part about the challenges when having a second child. I am also really thankful to my parents as they are tremendous help for us as they live so close by. Without them everything would have been much harder and I believe we would have never managed it without them past the initial stage when starting our business as they helped to take care of Nathan.

What is your take on having one child compared to have two (or even more!)?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

Our Daughter’s Baptism

Today our little girl was baptized in the very same church as her brother back in 2014. It is also the same church were I was baptized all those year ago in 1987. As I have written in the article “Our Son’s Baptism” the church is called the Finnish Seamen’s Church and was founded 1966 in Hamburg. We decided to have Nathalie’s baptism in the same church as it just seems to be already a tradition in our family by now.

Nathalie in my arms after the ceremony

 

Unlike at our son’s baptism the church was rather empty this time as we were to only people there. The only guests besides my parents were my brother and his girlfriend. Back in 2014 another family had their child’s baptism and they were a big big family. This time it was for us much more relaxed and obviously much shorter. Only when it came to the singing part is sounded a bit weak as all of us are suffering under the common cold thanks to Nathan who brings back home all kind of craziness from kindergarten.

Nathan amazed by the church’s parrot

We expected the worst behaviour of our daughter as she just loves to complain and cry whenever she gets bored with something. However we were blessed with a little angel for this day as she smiled during the whole ceremony and was watching the reverend with big eyes when she was playing the piano and singing. Apparently our little Nathalie loves church songs as she never cared at all about my or my wife’s music! After the ceremony we had just like three years ago some bread, coffee, Karelian Pirogs and Pulla. Nothing fancy but enough for us and in Finland everything is usually pretty low-key.

Nathalie not being sceptical about her Uncle (see Nathan’s Baptism Article)

 

So what is now the complete name of our daughter? Her official name is Nathalie 逸诗 (Yishi) Amalia. The first name here again is something English and German speakers shouldn’t have any problems with, the second name is obviously her Chinese name and the third one is her Finnish name which we took from her great-grandmother from my mother’s side. In comparison our son’s full name is Nathan 逸然(Yiran) Antti. You can see they are very similar and Antti was actually the name of my mother’s Uncle.

What naming ceremonies/ traditions do you have?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily