Liv Hambrett

Germany + Australia + Culture + Motherhood + Home

Life in Kiel

From 3 to 4

Well, he’s here, and he brought the sunshine with him. Der Lüdde was born in the very same room as his sister, after keeping us waiting for what felt like an awfully long time. He is small and calm with very long fingers and a smattering of rose-gold hair. Like a good second-born, who must fit into an already-established way of life – as opposed to the first-born, who establishes the way of life – he has already been grocery shopping and out for ice cream and to the park. Besides, sunshine is good for the soul, especially tiny, new souls.

Once again, I enjoyed my stay at a German hospital, a stay peppered with enormous amounts of bread and cheese, Vitamalz bier, the omnipresence of breastfeeding tea, and the word Kreislauf‘. The Germans take circulation extraordinarily seriously. My Kreislauf was asked after daily, my roomie’s Kreislauf was the subject of so much discussion, I lost count of how many times the word was actually used in one conversation. Also, quite thrillingly, I had another staple German conversation; an ‘es zieht’ exchange. (I always feel like everything is right in the world when a German mentions the fatal draft.) The lovely new room I shared with one other woman, was a warm one. It caught all the sun which, for a lizard like me, was a real bonus. One evening, the partner of my roomie who, to be fair, was far too warmly dressed and sprinting around fetching water and soothing the newborn and coaching his wife through various elements of post-birth recovery, was sweating up a storm. He gazed out the window, at the still fjord, and said ‘I don’t believe there is any movement in the air.’ I offered him the option of opening the windows completely, as opposed to having them auf kipp – only open at the top. He glanced nervously at his well-swaddled newborn, and wiped a lick of sweat from his moist brow. ‘I don’t know … what about the Zwerge?‘ And then, in the stillness of the air, with not a leaf outside rustled by the merest hint of a breeze, he said, ‘es zieht.’

So, we are home and settling into some sort of a new normal, aware that all things take time. Aware that this period in our lives, with two tiny humans and not a lot of sleep, will fly by – is flying by – and that we need to hold it with both hands, lest it slip by unnoticed.

So for now, all that is on the agenda, is ice cream and sunshine and the park, as we all make room for each other and get to know the little guy – and as he gets to know life on the outside.


PS: the photo used as the title image, was one I took as we went for a stroll around the Schlossgarten with a coffee, waiting for the baby. He arrived hours later.


  1. Janice Leagra

    9 June, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Welcome, Der Lüdde! Congratulations, Liv and family.

  2. Siggie

    9 June, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Congratulations on your new “Zwerg”! Lol, oh yes the infamous “Durchzug”…whenever I ever so slightly lower the windows in the car I get a barrage of protest. Thank goodness for ac.

  3. Dorit Dormayer

    9 June, 2016 at 5:24 pm


  4. Southcoast

    9 June, 2016 at 9:46 pm

    Congratulations! Well done to all of you and settle well into life as a family of four! Xx

  5. Swantje

    10 June, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Willkommen kleiner Mann! How lovely!!
    I loved the ‘es zieht’ part! I had almost forgotten my folks obsession with ‘es zieht’ and ‘Fenster auf Kipp’. Brilliant!

  6. Jim Holder

    10 June, 2016 at 2:15 am

    Heartiest congratulations, Liv!

  7. Sven Weichbrodt

    12 June, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Congratulations from Sydney NSW Liv. Happy to hear that it all went smoothly.

  8. Bart Rosenberg

    13 June, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Congratulations! A good time to be born. We were all holding our breath in Ohio.

    Stay out of the draft too funny. Memories of sweating through German class because the teacher would not Kipp even on the hottest days.

  9. Renate Barreras

    22 June, 2016 at 2:30 am


  10. Bärbel Collins

    31 August, 2016 at 6:38 pm

    Your writing, your observations in Germany warms my heart. I can’t say how many times I heard comments about KREISLAUF and ES ZIEHT, das Wort DOCH and all the “arrow true” observations you made about the Germans. I laughed, I smiled and shook my head in wonder, as I could almost taste the Kaffee und Kuchen, see myself waiting to cross the street even when no car was in sight. Congratulations from St. Petersburg, Florida. You’re very funny.

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