Sunday, January 29, 2012

Life in Germany: The Movies

Going to the movies is a special treat especially once you have children but what many of you might not know is that it is totally different in Germany. First off, you get assigned seats! Yep that is right, no showing up to the movie an hour early to get your favorite seat, as you will be assigned one when you buy your ticket. There are normally two cost levels. The cheaper seats are located closer to the screen and the more expensive seats are higher up. Then they are simply labeled with an A-Z for rows and numbers for the individual seats. At first I hated this system and found it stressful and annoying but then the online reservation systems became popular and now I love it. I buy my tickets online, pick the perfect seat, and then show up to the movie just a minute or two before starting time, knowing that I will be sitting just where I want....knowing that my seat neighbors won't be obnoxious is another story however.

So after you deal with the whole seat issue you go to the concession stand and find out that Germans have totally different movie snacking habits. First off they eat their popcorn sweet, not salty. In fact most Germans find salty popcorn disgusting and my husband almost barfed when he watched me add sweet fake buttery oil goodness to my popcorn in the States followed by some cheese powder which probably contained 0.1% actual cheese.

They also love sweets and often have bins full of different types of gummy bears, sweet and sours candies, and licorice (real salty black licorice not the crazy strawberry twizzler stuff- this is probably another post in its own actually) which you can then mix yourself and which is then weighed at the register and you pay based on grams. Finally they have nachos, now I know we also have nachos in the States but I can't remember ever ordering them at the movies nor do I ever remember seeing anyone I know order them but here they are a big thing. And I have to admit that is one thing they have gotten right. Now I won't mention that most of the movie theaters here import their nacho cheese sauce from an American company, although they do. I will just say that even though I haven't gotten into the sweet popcorn, I have completely gotten on the nacho train.

It has also been one pregnancy craving which I can actually make happen without flying back to the States, and that I can even make at home so win/win for me!

Expensive ticket prices, obnoxious teens/adults, sometimes 30+ minutes of previews/ads, and concession prices which you make you wonder why you even decided to go to the movies are the same as in the States though.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bad Mommy Confession #3

I'm on the TV train. Yep that's right, I got off my high horse, got pregnant, got tired, got really really tired, and succumbed to letting the little guy watch TV daily.
The best part about all of this is that I had to really work hard to get the hyper little boy to sit down and watch it. First I tried kids shows that I used to enjoy as a youngster; Flinstones, Rugrats, Muppet Babies....-Teddy was having none of it and would often even go and turn the TV off. Fail! Then I tried shows with little to no violence and lots of talking that I liked to watch like Murder She Wrote, cooking shows, or Masterpiece Theater, these sometimes worked for about 5 minutes but then the gig was up and Teddy was back to turning the TV off- and of course I was really into it and all pissed that he was turning the TV off right at a super exciting point in Jessica Fletcher's investigation. Great parenting for the win! Finally I left a channel on which I had previously always skipped over for being too inane- BABYTV. It was like  little Teddy crack (I recently found out that suckers are too, who knew?). His eyes quickly glazed over and he sat down on the couch to watch 20 minutes of little 3-4 minute clips of baby geared entertainment. Supposedly all the clips are created by child development specialists and have specific themes in mind; creativity, numbers, etc. Honestly I could care less and can't imagine that he is really learning anything besides a few annoying theme songs but oh my gosh on those mornings where he wakes up at 6 and the hubby and I want to pretend that the weekend is still something special and different then a weekday, we grab Teddy a snack, position him between us, turn on the TV , and both fall back asleep for another half hour while our son watches the giggling shapes and children on Babytv.

Now this would be the time for me to throw out that we still limit the TV to about 20-30 minutes a day, and some days not at all, and, and, and. But honestly I don't feel bad. We do lots of fun awesome things with Teddy every day. Watching TV is clearly not one of them, but I also don't think it is hurting him either. Is he learning anything at the time? Probably not. But is he climbing on my dresser, throwing jewelry on the ground, taking clothes out of drawers, sometimes jumping onto my head, and otherwise getting into trouble? Nope and considering this is what he used to do when we would try to sleep in just a teensy bit longer I am totally cool with the TV alternative. I've also started using it on those days where I just want 10 minutes alone in the kitchen to get dinner started without the kind of "help" that Teddy provides and it has been a great way to keep my stress and annoyance from rising to overwhelmed levels.

So I'm admitting it here and now. My not even two year old son gets to watch some TV and I think it is OK.

I'm Back

I'm back and with a new found love for blogging. I'm going to try and stay on top of things and post weekly posts about parenting, living in Germany, cooking, and life at home. I'm giving myself a month to try things out and see what works for me and then hopefully I will have this blog at a place where I enjoy posting to it, and you all enjoy reading- we'll see!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This Blog

I just don't know what to do about this blog. I can't decide if I want to start updating regularly, give it a theme, focus more on the humorous or something specific. I'm going to give it some thought and hopefully have some good ideas and a new layout for February. If you have any ideas let me know!