Tag Archives: #Nathancuty

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!)?

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Amazing Quedlinburg

The town Quedlinburg is something very different from the normal places we have visited thus far. You might remember how fascinated I was by the historic Old Town of Prague but Quedlinburg is on another level. Not that this city is bigger than Prague or more Grand (rather the opposite with only 24.000 inhabitants) but Quedlinburg has its own charm which makes it appear like a town from a fairytale. In 1994 the castle, church and old town were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

View from our apartment

In the beginning of the 90’s I was once in Quedlinburg with my family. I do not remember too much except that I was amazed by all the old buildings and also sad that so many were falling apart. You see after WWII Quedlinburg (nearly nothing was damaged during the war) belonged to East Germany and there were little to no efforts to restore the old buildings. There were even plans to destroy the entire old town and build there the wonderful East German apartment blocks instead. Thankfully there was not enough money so barely anything was torn down during those decades.

#Nathancuty with his new rainboots

After the Reunification the city was slowly restored and by now there are barely any buildings left in poor condition. The city has over 1300 half-timbered houses with the oldest was being built around 1300 A.D. and towering over it all is the Burgberg (Castle Mountain). On the Burgberg you can find the Abbesses’ Palace and the St. Servatius church. The construction of the church started back in 1070 and was finished in 1129. It is said that Henry the Fowler was offered the German Crown in Quedlingburg in 919 and he is also buried there. His widow Matilda founded the Quedlinburg Abbey and the city was basically ruled by women after that for 800 years till the French invasion under Napoleon who also disbanded the abbey.

Münzenberger Klause, can only recommend this restaurant

We stayed in a holiday apartment right in the Old Town. Of course that building was also one of the many historical buildings in the town. Walking around the town gives you a very strange feeling as everything around you is from another time. Wherever you look you see historical buildings and I really had to hold back with my camera there. We had bad luck on our visit as it was raining but it didn’t stop us going around the entire day to discover as much as possible. Nathan was so amazed, especially by the Burgberg as it really looks like a medieval castle. For lunch we went to the Münzenberger Klause, a wonderful traditional German restaurant which just fits perfectly the historical surroundings. Sadly we had no chance to try the famous Quedlinburger Cheesecake as we had lunch a bit too late and by the time we had some room in our stomachs all the bakeries were closed already.

More wonderful buildings

Besides the bad weather during our stay we had also the (bad) luck of having the guild festival starting on our visit. Usually I have nothing against some events like that but too many places were just covered by music stages and food stalls. Interesting is that there are barely any tourists from outside Europe. Somehow Quedlinburg is still something like a hidden gem and despite the guild fest it was nowhere crowded unlike Prague. I must say that we planned way too less time in Quedlinburg by staying there only one night and leaving early morning to our next destination. At least two or three nights are really needed to see as much as possible in the city and of course in the surroundings. Perhaps next year we might go there again as two dear friends are getting married next summer in Weimar which is not “that far” from Quedlinburg and more or less even on the way.

Do you know some “hidden gems” when it comes to places to visit?

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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Fun at the family themepark Tolk-Schau

Last week I mentioned already that we would visit a theme park soon. That visit actually happened just few days after writing that blog post. We had one of those rare sunny days here in North Germany and instead of visiting Lübeck we settled on going to the theme park. It was a wonderful day though it started not so well and ended very sad but more about that later.

Slides connecting different parts of the park

Right in the morning we had a doctor appointment for Nathalie for one of the first check-ups. Usually I would have gone with them as well but one of our bunnies was not feeling so well so I went with her to the  veterinarian. After getting home I gave the bunnies fresh food and water and left to pick up the rest of the family from the doctor. Due to the veterinarian visit we were running already a bit late so we arrived in Tolk-Schau shortly before 1pm.

#Nathancuty on one of the extreme rides

The park was full considering that the summer holidays hadn’t started yet in our province at that time. Nathan was so excited when he saw all the amusement rides. The theme park is family oriented and kids his age can go to nearly all rides as there are no “extreme” ones such as big rollercoasters. There were only a few which he couldn’t go to as they were age 7+. The kids can go to simple small slides, big carpet slides, take a small train around the park area, a family rollercoaster, trampoline areas,  information areas regarding dinosaurs and much more. Needless to say that MIL could be found in many amusement rides as well, most of the time not standing in line and just entering the ride while kids were waiting for their turn…

Beautiful wild growing flowers

In case you get hungry you can have a quick meal in the park, nothing fancy but good enough and cheap. The theme park does not have a proper restaurant because of one simple reason: you can rent BBQ huts! We did not rent ourselves one this time but we will do so for the next visit. I must say you get very hungry when going around the park and smell some delicious BBQ from different huts. When I was younger and went there with some friends they often rent those huts. Not only can you prepare yourself food there but it is a perfect place to have a “base” to return to and store all the things you don’t want to carry around whole day.

View on the summer toboggan

All in all Tolk-Schau is perfect for kids till the age of 12. I myself enjoyed the park a lot in my youth  till I was 14. Here is a little video I found the park on youtube. It was a great day for us there and even my wife tried some of the amusement rides however she was even scared of the small family rollercoaster. This is a bit surprising as back in the day when we just started dating we went to a theme park in Helsinki and tried out all the rollercoasters there! In the end of the day Nathan was so tired that he fell asleep immediately after getting to the car. The day would have been wonderful except that it ended in a very sad way. When we got home my wife found our poor bunny dead in the cage. At least that little animal didn’t have to suffer too much in the end as she got at the veterinarian an injection against the pain. Now we have only one bunny and she is very passive these days, not entering the area of the cage at all where her sister had died.

Have you been to a “family” theme park before?

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

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