Sunday, February 27, 2011


The German Winter is making place for Spring's first green, and our two lovely girls are now almost two months old. Lara and Gloria have outgrown the newborn diapers and we've sorted out the first set of clothes that got too tight. They have learned to suck on their fingers and are starting to focus on things. Since last week, Gloria is smiling generously while Lara prefers to stick out her tongue. At present they can neither grab nor hold any toys, and the only thing they seem to recognize are faces and milk bottles. They also haven't yet shown any intention of sleeping through the night

It has become apparent that the sisters are very different in character. Gloria is easily bored and wants to be entertained. Lara is content lying in her bed listening to music and playing with her fingers. Since neither Stefan nor I can recall the lyrics of children's songs and can't hold any tune anyway, the babies have an iPod player introducing them to essentials of German Culture. My favorite lullaby is clearly Kleine Taschenlampe Brenn (Glow, little flashlight) and the other day I caught Stefan humming La Le Lu while stuffing laundry into the machine. I've also rediscoverd forgotten childhood gems, such as Hey Wicky and Pippi Langstrumpf. Lara and Gloria both like Maja the Bee, but can't stand Captain Future.

The girls have made their first encounters with babysitters, and I am stunned by the variety of skin problems babies can have and by the amount of recommended alleged remedies. We meanwhile have a large selection of bottles, lotions and cremes for one or the other purpose that goes on this or that body part.

Meanwhile, I am still fighting with the health insurance. Every time I think I've finally filled out all forms and sent them all documents, I find another letter in our mailbox with another form or request for documents. The amount of paperwork that a pregnancy generates is simply amazing. The babies have also received their first mail ever: From the revenue office assigning them a tax number.


  1. Remember when we say they sleep through the night at 2 months, that's sometime during the third month. Individual results may vary, and yup it's nice to see they're individualizing already. Unlike protons and quarks, etc., which all you physicists tell us are exactly the same.

  2. Hi Bee,

    “Since last week, Gloria is smiling generously while Lara prefers to stick out her tongue...... Gloria is easily bored and wants to be entertained. Lara is content lying in her bed listening to music and playing with her fingers.”

    An preliminary Jung personality assessment with Gloria as extraverted, friendly, easily bored and needing the company of people, thus possibly finding her as a ENPT or ENFJ. Lara on the other hand so far presents as introverted, concerned with how things work and critical, possibly having her as a ISTP or INTJ. Of course there hasn’t been enough time to collect sufficient data to have these observations as significant. Then again as we know the quality of things quite often defy all metrics :-)



  3. And yet they have the same zodiac! ;-)

  4. Hi Bee,

    And it depends on which zodiac, with the western tradition having me as a Leo and eastern as a Dragon, with the former concerned with the relative positions of observable heavenly bodies and the latter with cycles of time each measuring twelve year. Both however have the data unrelated directly to the subject, coincidental and arbitrary in nature, with Jung having the data specific to subject, contextual and deniable or strengthened by observation. Of course this is not to deny that environment and circumstance doesn’t play a role, yet this would have to do with the stiffness of the clay as it relates to the strength of the forces that would reshape it:-)



  5. Congratulations, they are so adorable! Yes, twins do have their own personalities. They can be night and day opposites.

  6. Hi Bee,

    I thought, many twins are interested in the same things, especially when they are young. Do you know any statistics ?

    The thing with the insurance company must be really painful.

    Best Kay

  7. Highly recommended reading:

    The Philosophical Baby, by Alison Gropnik

    Deeply humane survey of what we have learned of how babies learn. Informative, beautiful, and wise, in the deepest sense. Not a parenting book, except in that respect for your babies makes you a better parent.

  8. In Hugh Everett III's version of Quantum Mechanics, each of has a twin. No, scratch that, an infinite number.

  9. Uncle Al called his mother, who canvassed the whole of Brooklyn, NY to gain social status, "my son the scientist needs me." For diaper rash and the like, for skin irritations, apply according to instructions,

    Desitin Maximum Strength Original Paste
    The hype.
    The chemistry.

    Not for use on open or septic wounds. Do not eat. Ask your doctor when in doubt.

    Newborns have no callouses. Contact with smooth cool surfaces hurts, especially the pull-away.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. If they're focusing, there is stuff to think about having them focusing on, and yah I'm thinking about some custom-made mobiles.

    Click here to see one candidate.

  12. Well, we've common at least something... "Biene Maja" song is performed with Czech singer Karel Gott.

  13. Hi Bee,

    ”My favorite lullaby is clearly Kleine Taschenlampe Brenn (Glow, little flashlight)...”

    Nice sounding tune yet it certainly loses something in translation.

    Has me to wonder how “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” fares from the opposite perspective :-)



  14. Hi Phil,

    "Stern" means "star" - funny Google translate didn't manage that. Twinkle, twinkle is also on the iPod. It's the same melody as that of a widely known German Christmas song ("Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann"), which makes it a little odd to listen to in Spring. Best,


  15. Good night by the Beatles (from the White Album, last song, sung by Ringo, and all strings) is the lullabye I used to sing them to sleep.

    People said I couldn't carry a tune either but my shower says otherwise. I wonder what song Charlie Sheen sang? Perhaps he put them to bed with the force of will alone.

  16. Hi Bee,

    Yes you mentioned Twinkle, Twinkle having the same music as “Morgen kommt der Weihnachtsmann (Tomorrow comes Santa Claus)”. It has a lot of references to farm animals. Now on the other hand Kleine Taschenlampe Brenn (Glow, little flashlight) makes reference to sitting on a star with your feet dangling. Interestingly enough there is an old children’s song that puts the two themes together and it's called “Swinging on a Star”. However as you will find in the Youtube it can have the effect of raising a few eyebrows at times, so you might not find it suitable :-)



  17. Star Violinist Anne Sophie Mutter

    "What drives you bananas"
    social injustice, racism, nuclear power. Many things.

    "Describe your perfect day"
    A perfect day always involves my children. Doing sports with the kids. Just being with Arabella & Richard, & my 2 dachsund pups. That's a perfect day for me.

    "How would describe your personality"
    Hmm. Which one should I reveal? I think I'm extremely caring, reliable, & extremely funny

    "Who's your personal hero"
    [ long pause ] My violin teacher. She'd been through a lot, she's an older lady, a wonderful musician, a fabulous mother, a great soloist, a wonderful wife, she could do it all, & I try to emulate that.

    "What's your life philosophy"
    You only see clearly with the heart

    "What's your dream"
    I have lots, but I won't discuss them here.


    I would get an iTouch (4" screen) [ or an iPad ] & play Youtube videos of classical music. There are some nice performances with great visuals. E.g., Figure Skating videos

    Mishkutenok/Dmitriev - Nostalgia, 1994 Skates of Gold 2


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