Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Lilly is Five Months Old

How time flies. Our Lilly is now five months old. Time does go by so fast especially in these unconventional times in the pandemic where our daily routine consists of nursing and waking up, changing diapers and playing games, singing lullabies and sharing cuddles, warm hugs and good night kisses. 


Lilly is doing good progress and despite being locked up most of the time at home, unable to visit friends and going on short excursions in zoos, I can say that she is developing well. She can now support her head and recognize our voices. When we lay her down on her stomach, she would make mini push-ups as she heaves her head up. She is also practicing to roll over, although she isn't able to do it alone yet. Slowly but surely, she will. Her favorite activity: munching on her fists and sticking toys to her mouth. She still hates pacifiers though but enjoys sucking her thumb. I remember her big sister is also the same. She can recognize faces now, and with only three faces to see, it is not very difficult to recognize who her favorite is. Me of course!

She is an adorable little darling who would scream out loud when she is hungry. But her giggles and coos are more than enough reward for those sometimes sleepless nights. She still wakes up once or twice into the night to nurse so this mommy is still not getting enough sleep but that is okay. Because I now know that they grow up so fast and so, I have to enjoy these moments as much as I can because it too shall soon pass.


Sunday, December 20, 2020

Hard Lockdown at Christmas in Germany

The year 2020 is about to come to an end. We were all looking forward to the Christmas season but due to an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases here in Germany, the federal states have decided to go on a hard lockdown beginning December 16. For some states, it started last Monday, December 14. What does the hard lockdown mean? For our state it means closing down of schools and kindergartens, and shops and retail businesses too. Beauty salons are also closed. Bars and clubs too. Restaurants are only allowed to sell food and beverage for takeout. There is a curfew from 8 o' clock in the evening until 7 o' clock in the morning. Shopping malls, garden centers and hardware stores are closed. Supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, gas stations, pet stores among others remain open. One can only go out when one goes to work, or to buy basic commodities and medicines for the family, walk the dog, or go to a doctor's appointment. Only two households are allowed to meet with a maximum total of 5 adults, children below 14 years old not counted. On Christmas days, the number allowed to meet is additional four adult persons but that's it. Fireworks sale and use are also not allowed on New Year's Eve.

It is going to be a very silent Christmas night for some but I think this is an opportunity to spend more quality time with the family, to sit down together and share Christmas dinner together, to reflect on what is really important in life, to pray together for healing and world peace and to be thankful for all the blessings received this year.

I wish you all a blessed 4th Advent Sunday and a beautiful and merry Christmas.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Give the Gift of Moments this Christmas

If there is one thing good about this pandemic, it is more time shared with the family. The year 2020 is almost coming to an end and Christmas is in a few weeks. If you are still looking for that perfect Christmas gift, then search no more. I would say that one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones this Christmas are those beautiful moments.


Start or Continue Family Baking Traditions
The holiday season is the perfect time to bake Christmas cookies. So heat up your oven and get those pins rolling. Wrapped in nice tins or clear bags, they are always a hit for the young and old. And you can never have too much cookies.. Paired with coffee, tea or hot chocolate and your Christmas cookies are gone in no time.


Photo Prints and Books
In this digital world, most of us have tons of photos stored in our phones, in our hard drives, even in CDs. We, more often than not, forget about them and they are just there, as digital files waiting or perhaps craving for attention. Why not make prints out of them and put them up on your wall or better yet make photobooks out of them? There will always be something special about printed photos. They immortalize your memories and those important moments of your life


Send out Christmas Cards
I love receiving greeting cards on the mail. This is the time, more than ever, to be sending out Christmas cards to families and friends. To remind them that despite not seeing them for months, they are thought of and are loved. 

With the restrictions for parties and gatherings, it is a challenge for families to celebrate Christmas with our big circle of family and friends. We must be careful, be patient, be understanding of the times, so that we can all see each other again, giving out hugs and shaking hands. But until then, let us continue to be careful and stay healthy. So we can also share more moments with family and friends. 


Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Kinderreisepass

When travelling abroad, we all need an official document that will identify who we are. In the case of Germany, travelling babies and children aged 0 - 12 years old are issued a Kinderreisepass. The Kinderreisepass or children's travel passport is issued to children with German citizenship by the local city office. It is issued on the same day that you apply for it since it has no integrated chip, and is usually honored by most countries. Finger prints will also not be collected. The Kinderreisepass is valid for six years and can be renewed until the child is 12 years old. From 12 years onwards, the child will need a Personalausweis (personal id) or a travel passport depending on the country of destination. 


How to apply:
Normally, you need to go to your local city office once your documents are ready and complete. At least one parent / legal guardian and the child himself needs to appear personally. But in this time of the pandemic, one would need to get an appointment. Most cities have an online appointment system. For those who have no online access or don't know how to use computers, there is usually an information stand at the local city office where one is assisted in getting the appointment. 

Which documents are needed? 
To get the Kinderreisepass for your child, you will need to bring the following: the original Geburtsurkunde (birth certificate) or the old Kinderreisepass of the child, the passports or personal ID of the parents whichever is available, signed declaration of consent of both parents / legal guardians, a biometric photo and a fee of €13,00 which may be paid in cash or through debit card.

Updating of the Kinderreisepass can be done anytime, for example if a new photo, change in the color of the eyes and the height of the child, needs to to be done.


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