Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New Year's Eve

Arranged to meet all the Fuengi crowd at a bar in Mummy's old neighbourhood. It was a bit smoky and - as I was asleep, it wasn't too cold, and the adults were sat by the door - I was left out in the doorway in my pram to fend for myself. Fine by me, but eventually I woke up and demanded attention. Just then Daddy arrived back from work (they all get to leave early on New Year's Eve at his office) so we went inside. Had to pop out to a friend's van for a quick feed. Daddy is a bit paranoid about me & smoke so he soon took me out again and we had a little walk round and round the square until I fell asleep and was dumped on the doorstep again.

We left soon after that to a different bar for a quickie before we had to head off so I could get some decent kip at home.

Lately Mummy, Daddy, Abuelo, Abuela & Bisa have all spent New Year's Eve with Abuela's brother & family in Pozuelo and this year was no exception though Tita & co didn't come this time as it was Tito's parent's turn this year. Abuela brought the lamb, we brought some red cabbage, and the hosts put up the rest. Then we (well, not me) all eat a grape (a Spanish tradition for good luck) with every one of the last 12 chimes of the year...

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Visit to the doctor

Another midnight feed - definitely something happening here.

Had plenty of visitors for lunch - Tito & the girls, Abuelo & Abuela and Bisa. Today was Tita's birthday, and she came round after work to join us for coffee and a very chocolaty cake. When Daddy got home from work it was present-giving time and then we had to rush off to my doctor's appointment - Mummy and Daddy had decided my midnight awakenings, change of feeding patterns, and extra crying needed to be looked at. Also we can check my weight properly - using the home scales (adult+baby - adult weight) is a bit inexact.

Indeed I am underweight (4850 g, 62 cm) but we'll wait and see what happens on my "official" appointment next month. The latest changes are probably due to my gums being a bit inflamed - teeth not coming out just yet, but apparently gums can flare up occasionally ahead of time. Also I may be going through a growing spurt and by eating more often I stimulate Mummy into producing more milk.

Rush, rush, rush. Off down Fuencarral road to Miguel's (Mummy's hairdresser) house for a quick snip. Mummy already looked smashing, but now she's even better!

From there we headed off to Mummy's old neighbourhood for another birthday at one of the good local restaurants. Not really a late night as tomorrow is still a work day for Daddy.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Eating habits

Eating habits are really changing. Woke up again at 3am, really hungry. Doing a lot more crying than usual as well.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Big boy pram

Today is Dia de los Santos Inocentes (the Massacre of the Innocents), the Spanish - and a bit morbid - version of April Fool's (inocente also meaning gullible in Spanish), but we didn't do any pranks, nor had any performed on us. We think.

I was completely serious when I woke up at 4am crying. As I'd eaten so little on my last feed Daddy tried with the bottle again, but no way Jose. Luckily just then Mummy arrived and I could have a proper midnight snack. Tried the bottle a few more times during the day but no cigar.

Today we decided I was big enough to be upgraded, and we twisted and folded the pram into wonderful new shapes. No more lie-flat pram for me, I now stroll round the town in a sitting-up pushchair. That way I can see the world and the world can see me. As it's a bit cold and windy I'm facing Mummy instead of forwards for the time being.

Went to visit Abuelo and Abuela, and Bisa was there - she'll be staying with them for a few months. She hadn't seen me for ages and was really pleased to see me again.

Oh, and my poohing seems to be back to normal. At least once, if not more, per day.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Back to Madrid

Nasty weather today in the South of Spain. We said we might meet up with some friends but with this weather nobody bothered. Just lazed about the house and finished the packing. Then we said our goodbyes and caught the train to Madrid. A week goes so fast!

No sooner had we got back that Mummy was off to a birthday, leaving me in charge of Daddy. We had a go at bottle feeding but I wasn't very keen at all. We must have only managed about 40ml before bedtime. I prefer the real thing, though last time with Abuela wasn't too bad.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Boxing Day

Anther late morning walk down the promenade today, this time in the opposite direction to the castle. We were going to hook up later with Grandpa for a seaside lunch and he assumed we were going to go to our usual, but lo and behold, as we were going in the opposite direction, we decided on a completely different one. So obviously he didn't find us, and as he doesn't have a mobile and continued searching instead of going home it was quite a mission (undertaken by Oma) to track him down.

Dinner was at our favourite pizzeria (2 restaurants in one day, however are we going to finish off all the Christmas lamb!?) but before that we wanted to show me off at the Forum bar, but it was closed over Christmas so a few people missed out on seeing me.

Oh, and my belly button is back to normal. Just a bodily hiccup I guess.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas Day

Horrah, Father Christmas arrived! Not that I know who he is, or what a present it, or anything, but everybody seems very excited. Actually Father Christmas didn't come here as we had plenty with all the presents we made each other. The biggies: Grandpa got a waterproof case for his camera (coincidently the same as Mummy & Daddy's, so it may be borrowed sometime in the future), Oma got some speakers for her iPod, Mummy & Daddy got the digital SLR they have been taking photos with all week (so no major surprise there). The big surprise (well, not for us as we already knew) was that Auntie unveiled her new driving licence. Come on Daddy, hurry up with yours!

After all the excitement we had a long walk with Oma down to the Fuengi castle. It was a lovely and bright afternoon and we saw the new bridge Daddy hadn't seen, and the end of the promenade which even Oma hadn't seen.

We also hooked up with the same friends from a few days ago for a short evening walk and picked up a bath tub for me to leave at Grandpa & Oma's.

A bit of change in the feeding department: I get bored of the same tit for seconds on end so I want to change various times during feeding, not just when I empty one.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas Eve

My feeding patterns have changed a bit - I am doing feeds every 3-3.5h instead of every 4. It's also been a few days since I had a poo, so after a few attempts with the cotton bud & olive oil we tried feeding me a few drops of orange (well, mandarin) juice diluted with water. In under 5 minutes we had a positive result!

A few more changes... Today my belly button popped out for no apparent reason. Also, it looks like I'll soon be able to turn, so Mummy & Daddy are being more careful about where they plonk me unsupervised. Also, Daddy puts me in front of the mirror quite often to see if I "get it". Get what?
Finished the present wrapping. Tomorrow it's unwrapping time!

After the Christmas dinner Mummy & Daddy went out with Auntie for a few drinks. Mummy hasn't been out in a proper bar for months, she's so excited!

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Last Christmas shopping

Started the day finishing the Christmas shopping. The main target was Auntie, and we went to every clothes shop in Fuengi trying to find a "plain black cardigan". It turns out there is no such thing this season so in the end we had to call her to see if she had seen one herself (she was at the shopping mall at the time). She couldn't find one either, so she got herself a different garment for us to give to her. During our criss-crossing of Fuengi centre we picked up a nice frame (a present from me to Grandpa & Oma) and some port & veg we need for the Christmas dinner.

Later, at home while I had a feed, Daddy went hunting for a pair of walkie talkies for me, but came back empty handed. Too expensive, not enough choice, and not really necessary was the conclusion. Then we headed off with Auntie to print out a photo of me (to go with the frame) and to the supermarket to stock up on wine and other essentials. Afterwards, without Auntie, we got her another little present from me (a small bag) and Mummy and Daddy got me a thick jacket to keep me warm as they are planning on changing the pram to chair mode soon so I can see the world.

Finished the day with a quick drink in the Plaza bar and then got a bit of the wrapping done.

Monday, 22 December 2008

El Torcal

Woke up to quite a ruckus downstairs: a youngish guy had sat in one of the doorways on the other side of the road and died overnight, a suspected overdose. The police were there and had covered him with a blanket, and shortly after his mummy came and burst into hysterics. A sad start to the day.

Today the plan was to go to see the rock formations at El Torcal, near Antequera. As it would be quite cold, but too hot for my snow suit, we decided I'd stay in pyjamas as an extra layer and put my day clothes on top. In the event I ended up in pyjamas all day. So we got the car and drifter towards Antequera on small mountain roads and on the way there saw another accident - this time a local had crashed his moped and lay in the ditch, his neck at a nasty angle. There were already some people there so we didn't stop.

Stopped for a lovely lunch at a great venta outside Antequera and then drove on to El Torcal. The weather was great, with just a light wind. As it was lateish by now we took the short (45 minutes) path round the rock formations (a crazy limestone karst landscape). The light was great for a few nice snaps which we promptly took. Last time Mummy & Daddy came it was all misty and dark and freezing cold.

When we got back I spent most of the evening crying, but calmed down after a relaxing bath (in which I had a little pee).

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Day with Fuengi friends

Arranged a lunch visit at a friend's house today. There was a size 1 baby chair in the car - facing forwards (I still use size 0, facing backwards), but as we were just going for a short ride in the town Mummy and Daddy decided to let me be a big boy for the day.

There was quite a crowd of us, even more after lunch when some more friends turned up to play Trivial Pursuits. I was completely overstimulated with all the noise, and actually wanted to get some kip, so I protested a fair bit until Daddy took me to a quiet(ish) corner. He claims that is why the boys lost the game.

Apart from the car chair I'm doing more big boy stuff. Tried sitting in a proper sitting-up pram and liked it. I'm also showing more signs of grabbing, or at least I'm using my hands more. And I'm beginning to keep my dummy in for a bit longer.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Baby items

As I hold my neck pretty well, today we decided to put me in the pouch facing forwards for the first time. It's much better as I love looking at the world. As our room is pretty far away from the lounge we went shopping for some walkie-talkies. No real luck, but a nice walk anyways. After a bit facing forwards I had seen enough sights and wanted to go to sleep, so I started fidgeting. Daddy got the message and turned me round; I fell asleep almost immediately.

We travel light, and more so if we can borrow baby items from friends. In the evening we arranged to meet some friends with toddlers who brought a hammock and a car seat they no longer used. The hammock is great, it has music, mirrors, rotating toys, and even a vibration mode! We then went out for a quick drink with these and more friends to celebrate our arrival.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Down to Fuengi

After yesterday Daddy woke up a tad late and missed his bus to work, so he decided to work from home. We left him to it and went to Abuelo & Abuela's so Mummy could leave me there and head off to her work's cocktail lunch. Got bottle fed by Abuela and then Mummy got back and we all went to the train station. There we met Daddy and got on the high speed train down to Malaga. I was a very good boy all the way, I enjoy all the lights and the flickering TV.

From Malaga we caught the local train to Fuengirola and finally arrived at Grandpa & Oma's. They were amazed at the changes in me in the last couple of months. My how I have grown! The photos don't really show the whole picture.

Here I have a travel cot which looks really big, and no musical teddy bear or night lights but I am pretty adaptable and got to sleep no problem.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Day with Mummy

Went to the mountain shops down at the Rastro to get a present for Tita's birthday. Mission completed but we didn't have any time to spare to ask about snowshoes or crampons. We then had to pick up my post - some paper liners for the eco-nappies. These are different from the last ones, they come in a roll rather than a box. Better, more compact.

Daddy had his departmental Christmas lunch today so he didn't get back at the usual time. In fact is was quite a bash and he didn't get back until gone 3am so Mummy bathed me alone.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Coffee with ex-workmate

Not much today - a morning walk and then a coffee with one of Mummy's ex-workmates. Oh, and we got the microwave back and fixed and dropped off at home, what service! Mummy and Daddy don't use it much, just for heating milk and reheating food, but they really missed it when it wasn't there.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Daddy is a failure

Daddy was working from home today as it was his big day - the driving exam. He left late morning in high spirits. While he was gone Tito dropped Primita off for a last day of babysitting (Abuelo and Abuela will be back soon, plus Primita starts nursery next month). Waited around for Daddy for ages and finally got a call - he failed. Something about being in the wrong lane in a two-way street. Excuses, excuses. Anyways, he got back and Tito also arrived to pick up Primita so we all had lunch together to celebrate the ignominous failure.

In the afternoon we dropped off the broken microwave at the repair shop where a friend works and then headed off to Decathlon to check out snowshoes and crampons - Mummy and Daddy are unsure which to ask Father Christmas for (well, the Three Wise Men really). Even though we went there on a weekday they couldn't find anybody that seemed very competent willing to give us some time, so they are still undecided. I think they should try a small shop to get proper heartfelt advice. Dropped the car off at Abuelo & Abuela's where we had dinner before heading back home.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Babysitting Primita again

Tito brought Primita over again so Mummy could have another go at being supermum. This time we decided not to be as good as last time, so that Mummy could prove herself under stress. Primita started with a good bout of wailing. She was so loud in fact that she scared me, so I started crying as well. I'm really proud of us - we kept it up, on and off, all morning.

Daddy arrived before Tito for his last lesson before his exam tomorrow, and while he was away Mummy and me walked Tito and Primita to the station. Daddy seems pretty relaxed and confident about tomorrow, fingers crossed!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Goodbye to London friends

After a nice breakfast a the Cafe Comercial (where left-wing writers and intelectuals used to gather clandestinely and talk about very important issues) we walked down Fuencarral with our London friends and I began to feel a bit peckish, so we went into the Mercado de Fuencarral (an iconic shopping centre which was recently in the news as the owner wanted to sell it but in the end decided against it) for a quick feed.

Stopped off at an open-air tapa fair for a quick bite and glass of cider and then went to investigate a couple of addresses we had of smoke-free tapa bars in the centre. One looked like a horrible tourist trap, but the other looked much better, with a fair amount of Spanish OAPs (always a good indicator of food quality) where we stopped for a quick lunch.

Then we said goodbye to our friends, who had an early flight back and headed home. Mummy and Daddy saw another good film, Buddha Collapsed out of Shame while I had a snooze.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Rain

Met up with our London friends for breakfast at a lovely new French place that has just opened on Fuencarral. Today it rained all day so we spent the whole time at home chatting, admiring me, and playing Sweaty Betty (a card game). Had another visit from a friend from the usual crowd who stayed for dinner, and then Daddy took our London friends out for a quick nightcap (or six) round the bars of Malasaña.

Friday, 12 December 2008

London friends arrive

Went to Abuelo & Abuela's quickly this morning to steal Abuela's car for the weekend. Not much else in the daytime - Mummy & Daddy watched a French comedy in the evening, their first decent film for ages. Then we waited around for the arrival of some friends from London who are over to visit for the weekend to see me. They arrived so late I was already in bed. I guess I'll see them tomorrow.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Christmas preparations

Daddy home early again, this time with his Christmas hamper (a typical Spanish tradition in most jobs) - a bottle of whiskey (which he doesn't really drink), a few bottles of wine (which he definitely does), a whole leg of serrano ham, and various other goodies. This got us right into the Christmas spirit so we got round to writing out the cards and sending them.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Midnight snack

Felt quite peckish at 3:30 for the first time in a long time, so I woke up and asked Mummy to feed me. Her back is OK now, though she's afraid to put it out again. Mummy & Daddy have swaped back to their usual positions in bed now - Mummy next to the cot as she can now pick me up again.

Daddy came home early again for his driving lessons. The Christmas cards we had had printed (not enough of them it turns out) finally arrived so we could all have a look at them together. They are great, thanks to me being on the cover. Can't wait to send them...

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

3 months old today

Yup, already a quarter of a year old. My gosh how time flies.

Primita came over to visit today as Tita is back at work and today is one of those days Tito can't work from home (Abuelo & Abuela have gone for a short break to the Canaries in search of some winter sun so they can't look after her). Had a great time, and we all learned I'm quite a flirt. I did loads of smiling, glad to have another baby around. We both had lunch at the same time, me on the breast and Primita on solids & bottle - Mummy is so clever, a supermum!

Daddy came home early as he has early driving lessons in the build-up to his exam next week. All he needs is to do a couple more hours teleworking each time to catch up. Oh, and today he got me some vouchers for the nursery (a special deal at work).

A few changes today: I had a go with a new dummy today which Mummy reckons I like more as I let it slip out less, and Daddy discovered how the hammock works and managed to change my normal position to something a bit more upright. Lately I have taken to dancing sevillanas (waving my hands about) while eating. Also, I am holding my head up pretty well, though I no longer bend so much when Mummy or Daddy burp me - I think it's because I don't enjoy it as much as before as it's no longer so necessary.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Smoke-free bar

National holiday again today. Real shame we couldn't go to Caceres or somewhere nice because of the rain and Mummy's back. She is nearly better but still not up for a long drive. Also it's Mummy's saint's day. Daddy is a pagan and and needed to be reminded, but she got plenty of congratulation phone calls from the rest of the family.

More rain. We waited for a gap and went to visit a smoke-free tapas bar and restaurant not too far from home. Spain is a smoker's country, so smoke-free bars are few and far between. This place was quite nice, so we'll probably come here more often.

Back home Mummy and Daddy dozed for a bit on the sofa while watching a few Planet Earth episodes.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Haircut

Lunch with Abuelo and Abuela - not much else to do in the drizzle. Plus they are leaving to the Canaries soon and won't see me for days. We also phoned Decathlon as Mummy and Daddy wanted to do some shopping there but we were told it was packed (nothing like Christmas and rain to get people into the malls and superstores) and if we really wanted a chat with a knowledgeable attendant we should come during the week. Oh, and back home Daddy & Mummy got the shearers out and gave me a number one. I was a very good boy as I knew it was for my own good and I now look really handsome with my new tidy haircut.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Dinner visit

Rainy horrible day, and apparently a large portion of Spain has the same weather, so it's not so bad we couldn't go anywhere because of Mummy's back. Also it's a national holiday so most of the shops are shut, though that doesn't matter either as we have done most of our Christmas shopping. Had a couple of friends round for dinner and then watched a film.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Nice breakfast place

Mummy and I spent the morning with a friend of Mummy's having breakfast at a lovely new place they just opened on Fuencarral. Then we went to her house and were joined by a couple more friends. I was ever so well behaved and spent the whole morning being cute. We had a late lunch and waited for Daddy to come back - he had a Christmas lunch with some workmates and had then gone bowling.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Mummy & Daddy go to the theatre

Mummy had a physiotherapist come over for a massage for her back. In the end he ended up doing acupuncture as well, a first for her. I don't think she was very impressed though. I woke up during the proceedings, and as Mummy was lying down full of needles he picked me up and used his aura to stop me crying. Ommm.

Abuela came over late afternoon to check up on Mummy and stayed babysitting as Mummy and Daddy went off gallivanting round to see a play at a nearby theatre - a comedy version of The 39 Steps which they really enjoyed (apart from the annoying heckler). While they were having fun I got bottle fed and Abuelo came arrived to cook the meal for when Mummy & Daddy got back.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Flat visit

More than 9h sleep last night! Another record!

Mummy is OKish today, but I think she got overexcited and didn't do her back any favours, so today she may have ended up a bit worse than how she started. Abuela was around today again to help, and Abuelo was over for a lunch and jab again. Then Abuela left us to our own devices as she had a dance lesson. We had a go with the gauzes and this time, with printed instructions, the results were great. The gauzes are less bulky than the eco-nappies, plus they dry a lot faster after washing.

Nearly changed house today, saw a beautiful 2-bedroom flat in Chueca with a huge lounge, near where we are living currently but even more in the centre. Chueca is in fact the gay centre of Madrid, and is full of lovely shops and cafes and cool places and there is always something going on. Mummy and Daddy were about to wire a transfer to the flat agency when we had a proper think and came to the conclusion that our current area was much better for babies and little boys: Chueca has pretty narrow streets and pavements, hardly any squares, no gardens or play areas, and probably not many nurseries or schools. So with a heavy heart and tears in our eyes (I spent most of the evening crying), but certain we had made the right choice, we turned it down. At least I got a nice walk out of it - first time out of the house for 4 days.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Gauze attempt

Abuela came home early to look after Mummy, she is quite better today so Daddy can show his face at the office.

The missing items from the eco-nappy people arrived today, together with a couple of pins for the gauze (had some gauzes in the eco-nappy pack) - the idea is to fond the gauze a certain way and wrap it round me and fasten it with one of the pins, extra absorbent pads optional. All pretty low-tech stuff (though the fastening pin is pretty funky and modern) much like what my great-grandmothers had to put up with. Our first attempts were a bit of a disaster so we went back to the normal eco-nappies.

Abuelo came by for lunch and also gave Mummy a jab on her bottom (he is a doctor after all). We have to be a bit careful with what medicines she takes as it mustn't end up affecting me via the milk - one of the few disadvantages of breast milk over formula.

Oh, and Daddy got the news today that he will sit his practical driving exam on the 16th. Maybe Father Christmas will bring him a driving licence this year.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Daddy works from home

Mummy is only slightly better today so Daddy phoned work to say he'd do teleworking from home today. Ain't technology wonderful?

Oma came back from Holland this evening. Tried to call her but she and Grandpa weren't at home.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Cocido visit

Mummy isn't much better today, so a bunch of friends came to visit and do a Sunday cocido, the typical Madrid dish. A bit of a disaster heating up the tomatoes in the microwave - it burst into flames (well, maybe "burst" is a little too dramatic to describe it). Maybe it can be fixed...

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Lumbago

Well, not only is this weekend a washout, but this morning Mummy put her back out while brushing her teeth (she must be very serious about mouth hygiene). She can hardly move and Daddy is doing all the Lucas carrying today. At least I can get fed while Mummy sits on the sofa.

Just managed to make it to Abuelo & Abuela's for lunch with Tita and the girls (Mummy took ages coming down the stairs), and that was all for today. Hope Mummy gets better tomorrow.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Before the rain

Last morning walk before the rains arrive, but not much else. Oma went to Holland today to visit my great-uncle and the rest of the family.

Have been a bit lax describing my own humble achievements of late so I might as well summarise the changes and developments of the last few weeks..

I'm getting pretty good at holding up my head, no longer does it lollop around like a rag doll. Mummy & Daddy have made me strengthen my neck and back muscles by lying me on my back (maybe not every day, but pretty regularly none the less). I can also do a fair amount of kicking, especially when being changed (to make it more interesting for Mummy and Daddy) or in the bath (so they get clean as well), and can put my whole hand in my mouth (sometimes I actually overdo it and gag, much to my parents' amusement). We have decided that bathing only needs to be done every two days.

I am getting pretty observant and follow people and things around. When not feeding or in somebody's arms I usually lie in my baby hammock, and from there I can sleep or observe the world (much better than from the pushchair). I am begining to spend more time between feedings, especially in the mornings, and my crying time is mostly in the evening. The dummy helps but I'm not really a dummy freak. What I like most is being burped from a sitting down position, with my chin being held. I even like this when I don't really need to burp. Another thing that will definitely stop me crying is being carried in a sitting down position, facing straight ahead. And bounces. I like bounces. What baby doesn't? And also my rag chicken that makes a rustling plastic-bag kind of noise. I'm not too keen on being smothered, or even being carried on my back. When I don't like something I give plenty of advance warning by pouting. I sometimes do seem a bit serious, but it's pretty easy to make me smile.

I've always been a bit of a fist-clencher, with my thumb inside the fist, but lately I have been relaxing a bit more. My fists are less bunched up, and the thumb is now outside. I also open my hand a bit more. The brave attempts at grabbing a few weeks back have not been repeated in all this time, so I'm afraid it was a flash in the pan.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Teddy boys and girls

Spain's equivalent of the Met office (called el Met Office, pronounced with rolling rrs) is predicting 'orrible weather and rains, so we had a good long walk today before we get homebound. In the evening we had a visit from a couple of friends (one has just had an eye operation so she can see me without glasses or contacts). Apparently I'm still a bit fuzzy. I remember them well as they got me my chill-out teddy that calms me down and has got me to sleep so many times before.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Reimbursed

The phone operator we talked to at Chicco got it wrong thank God, we didn't need to go to the end of the Earth, just back to the shop where we bought the baby-food maker. So off to ToysRus we went and Mummy gave them a piece of her mind. Quality control of returned goods my foot! This was not only used and had missing pieces, but was also broken. The woman at the counter couldn't even look us in the eye, she just told one of her minnions to give us a voucher to do as we pleased. So we are now thinking whether me might spend it on something different, no rush as the voucher has no expiry date.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Look Ma, no thumbs

Look, just like Daddy! (when he was a baby) And like Grandpa as well. Keeping up the family tradition of sucking my two middle fingers instead of my thumb.

After yesterday's rest I was back to my usual level of crying; not a peep at night, on and off every now and then during the day (but not much) with a final outburst in the evening so Daddy can enjoy me.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Sad news

Caught up on my sleep today. Really dozed loads, all day. Needed to rest as I've been crying a lot more than in my early days and I'm still not used to it, plus there will probably be some more crying coming up soon.

Sad news from Holland, my great-uncle died today. Funeral is on Friday. At least Oma managed to see him before he left us, and she will be there for the funeral.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Climbing competition

Drove up to Moralzarzal bright and early this morning; they are hosting the Madrid bouldering championship at their spankingly modern indoor bullring. Climbers seem to be pretty disorganised and it was about an hour and a half after the set time that they finally got underway with their warmup. Round about then we were joined by a few friends who had joined in today's expedition. We watched a couple of hours of gravity-defying stunts from the various spidermen (and women) and took over a hundred pictures of the warm-up and the first round. We don't know who won in the end because we left early to go walking.

We had downloaded the description of the route onto the iPod and so, armed with this technological wonder, and with sandwich-making equipment from the local supermarket, set off to try and reach the top of Cerro Telegrafo. Got hopelessly lost with our text-only instructions but guessed the idea was to go up, and eventually ended near the top. I say near because there were a couple of black horned creatures grazing there and we couldn't make out if they had udders or not, so everybody bravely turned tail and fled.

Back down we said our goodbyes and I had a feed in the car. We changed my nappy there as well, where we discovered that my last change (by Daddy, in the pushchair) had been a bit of a disaster and I was covered in poo. Oh well, live & learn.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Shoping round the center

First Saturday without a real plan, no gallivanting around the countryside or museums or anything exotic. Walked down Fuencarral to Gran Via, stopping to get Mummy some stockings on the way, and then into PhoneHouse to sort out an undeserved charge on Daddy's mobile phone bill (no luck there as it was the manager's day off, but we got his number) and then on to FNAC to do a bit of Xmas shopping, won't mention what we got so as not to spoil the surprise.

Tomorrow we do have an outing planned, so off we went to steal Abuela's car again, passing briefly by Manoteras for a quick 20 minutes climbing (any longer and we would have frozen to death).

I hadn't slept much today so I passed out around half 8 (normally my long sleep is one feeding after that) and Mummy & Daddy made the most of it by watching their first movie together in ages, sadly for them it was an absolute stinker (Cashback).

Friday, 21 November 2008

Bus incident

Went walking to Prosperidad to visit some of Mummy's friends. Also got me another pair of shoes, brown this time, but we'll probably take them back for a bigger pair.

On the way back we had an incident on the bus. It was pretty crowded and we couldn't get by to the wheelchair/pram area so we stayed in the passageway. There was room for a person to pass, albeit with a bit of a squeeze. Well, one old man passed by and then started muttering about people with prams should not be allowed on if the bus was too full and blah-de-blah. Well, he started quite a revolution on the bus, most people defending us and calling him a grumpy old sod. It would have been funny if they started hitting each other over the head with their walking sticks, but it just calmed down after a bit, with people getting out of the way to let us pass to the "correct" area (though Mummy was adamant she wouldn't bundge until the bus stopped at a traffic light or something, and rightly so).

When Daddy was back from driving, we went down Fuencarral to put a deposit on the hotel reservation for our London visitors. On the way we also bought some theatre tickets (39 Steps) for Mummy & Daddy as I have decided to let them off for an evening in a couple of weeks time.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

New shoes

Nope, baby food machine still not working, even with the missing pieces. Mummy talked to Chicco and we may have to take it to some place out of town. At least it's now a guarantee issue (1 year) and not an item return issue (30 days).

Got me a lovely pair of blue shoes to keep my feet warm in the big outside (not for walking yet obviously). Mummy also bought a lovely Christmassy knitted jacket. Abuela also popped by and later in the evening we had another visit, a friend of Mummy & Daddy who hadn't seen me yet and thought I was great.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Stick up bum

Went out shopping down Fuencarral street and Mummy got herself a new skirt (a first since the pregnancy) and some boots to go with it.

Yesterday we put the mobile together but had some trouble as to how to hang it. Today mummy had a brainwave and now it's perched precariously on an upside-down chair. I spent most of the day looking at it as we were home-bound waiting for a technician to come and do the boiler's yearly check. We also wiled away the time trying out different eco-nappy combinations and, since it had been over a day since I did a poo, Mummy decided to soak a cotton bud in olive oil and put it up my bum, an old trick but it did the job.

Finally the boiler was looked at (ship shape condition), and we also had a couple of friends over for coffee (we could have gone out for lunch with them if the technician had come earlier) and we all went out, me in the pouch, down Fuencarral again. Our mission was to book a room for some friends visiting over from London soon and we found a great little hostel quite close to home.

Called Chicco again today about the missing baby-food maker pieces (we had called them about the missing pieces 3 weeks ago when ToysRus didn't accept the spoiled goods as it had been more than 30 days) and they said they had been sent to our address, so we went down to check the mailboxes thoroughly. Discovered a new mailbox, a sort of "generic mail" for all the flats. And inside was a present for me from Holland (a lovely hat & bib) and the missing pieces from the baby food maker. Both parcels had probably been languishing there for at least a couple of weeks!

Oma called today with some bad news. One of my great-uncles is very sick and may not be with us for long. She may have to go to Holland.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

More eco-nappies

Nice morning walk today, and we picked up the missing eco-nappy stuff from the post office. Also Daddy bought me a cool mobile. It works by winding up, and has 4 great colourful toys that go round and round to a great tune. The ones we had seen with lights were no way as cool, and anything else is stupidly expensive gadgetry, with movement detectors to turn on automatically and god knows what else.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Shoes & climbing

Got up early today to take the car back to Abu. Tita & Primita came over as well and we had a lovely walk in the crisp air round the park. We also went on a hunt for some shoes for me, not because I'm about to start walking or anything, just to keep my feet a bit warmer than with socks.

After lunch a Great Aunt (the one who I visited in Pozuelo when I was younger) came over for coffee and see me again and was amazed at how much I'd grown. After that Mummy left me with Abuela so she could go climbing. I wasn't all that good, quite fidgity - moving my head from side to site and waving my arms a fair amount, and plenty of crying. If I'd continued I'd probably have had an ear checkup, but I eventually settled down for a good night's rest.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Lunch at 2200m

This Sunday we left a feeding before than last week and by the time we got to Cotos there were still some parking spaces left. The bar up there is non-smoking so I could have a quick feed there instead of in the car, donned on my snow suit, hopped into the pouch, and off we went. Finally I'll get to see the Laguna de los Pajaros, a place Daddy really wanted me to see as he reckons it's a magical spot in the sierra.

The way was a bit icy, so we had a few hairy moments, but Daddy's footing held out and after a couple of hours we were at the laguna. Yep, it's pretty magical up there, but also a bit cold, so we started the walk back after a few photos, stopping in a more secluded place for another feed. The whole way I was a great success, with loads of people saying I was really brave and would grow up to be a strong boy with all the fresh air and exercise.

Then the pouch was passed on to Mummy, but I made sure I did plenty of little noises to keep her happy knowing I was alive. A very kind couple we had crossed paths with a few times today offered Mummy a walking stick, which made the walk back a lot easier (plus by now the ice was a bit more slushy and not so slippery) so we have put a walking stick on the shopping list (until now Mummy and Daddy hadn't bothered as they had never really needed them).

When we got back to the parking area we returned the walking stick and lay down in the meadow to stretch out our legs and finish off the nibbles. As as it was cold I had my feed in the car. We then drove back home the long way round, not a great idea as it involved an extra hour (Mummy & Daddy didn't remember it taking so long) plus the lovely autumn colours weren't really out as the sun was so low.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Birthday paracetamol

Yes, the vaccinations have affected me. Not too much, but I'm crying a bit more than usual. Having a bit of baby paracetamol every six hours just for today as my temperature is slightly high. Though all in all we seem to have got off pretty lightly. Not sure if it's related or if it's another sign of me growing up, but my hands, usually clenched up as fists, are a lot less clenched this morning.

We had a first go with the eco-nappies today. Not a great success but I guess we'll all get better at it. My bum looks big in them. Also they are a bit more finicky to put on as they aren't rigid. And over the cloth you have to put a plastic cover, so there are more steps involved. When we changed them they were soaking, I think we may have to change more often than the disposables.

Had a morning walk to change Daddy's birthday t-shirt again for something bigger. As we had him with us this time we finally got the right size. Then we went to a park to see some friends of Mummy & Daddy and their nieces, and from there on to the main event of the day, a friend's birthday. Had a great time in the patio (the weather is great lately) but soon it was time to go as we had to steal Abuela's car again.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Office and vaccinations

Another visit to Mummy's office today to show me around to a few people who weren't there last time (and to get some more lovely presents!). Oh, and Mummy got told her official date to return to work; it seems we miscalculated and Mummy has a few more days with me than we thought, until February 26th. The plan is to do a nursery dress-rehearsal for a couple of days before Mummy starts work, that way we can all get used to the new arrangement.

Later on in the afternoon Daddy joined us in Manoteras for a spot of climbing. Then we rushed off to my doctor's appointment. Today was a big day, as I get a load of vaccinations in 3 different shots. Needless to say I cried. Not too much, but I really don't recommend this vaccination malarkey. Oh, and I weigh 4280 g (still low, but gaining at the right speed) and measure 59cm (methinks the last measurement of 57cm was a bit on the optimistic side).

The doctor said I might feel a bit queasy tomorrow because of the vaccinations and she recommend I had some paracetamol just in case, so we bought a bit and I drank some. Went out like a light.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Collado Mediano

Decided to go to Collado Mediano today to see Tito, Tita & the girls. Started a bit wrong by getting a train in the opposite direction. But we soon recovered and were on our way. With all of this ho-ha I ended up eating on the train and Mummy realised that if we were going to go by train it would be a great idea from now on to plan it so I could eat there always.

After lunch we picked up Prima from school, and she was very excited to see us. She gave us a wonderful present of a drawing she made (a "forest of coulours").

Eat on the train on the way back as well, and then we popped into the Corte Inglés to look at mobiles. Found one we liked and so we bought it. Also got a present for a birthday we will be attending this weekend.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Swedish furniture shop again

Doing a bit of playing with my hands today. Not quite sure what they are for or who's they are, but they seem to end up in my mouth a lot.

Abuela came over early afternoon and we made another trip to the famous Swedish furniture shop (which I'll only mention by name if they pay for the advertising space). Got some more useless essentials we can't do without.

Most of my presents when I was born were for the 3-6 month range, and I'm beginning to fit into the smaller stuff. Here's a pic with me in one of the first presents I ever got.

Cultural note: South Americans are famous for giving their kids weird and wondrous names (mostly stuff like Walter and Chardonnay, which doesn't suit a surname like Gonzalez too well), so much so that some have become part of the urban myth circle. One such name is Iloveny - which derives from I love NY. Another favourite is Usnavy, supposedly derived from US navy ships anchored off Puerto Rico. And we also apparently have a Kevin Costner de Jesús. However, just like the moon landings, there is no definite proof these names actually exist.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Toy shopping

Mummy got a call back from the eco-nappy people and the missing items are on their way.

More importantly, we went toy shopping today to get me a mobile (for the uninitiated, that isn't a wireless telephone, it is a bunch of toys that go round and round with a song and maybe some lights). There are all types, ranging from the delux 5000-pound sound-activated mobiles with lasers, fireworks and retina scans, to the more modest 25-euro wind-up jobbies. My parents, being absolute cheapskates, obviously went for these. Though we didn't have a final decision as we wanted to see a few more models.

Beginning to get a grip on things. That is, things are grabable. Maybe. Still at the stage where I flail my arms slightly more towards something cool than not, rather than conciously go for anything, but it's early days. I think soon I'll begin to put two and two together.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Babysat again

7 hour sleep today, a new world record Mummy is celebrating (Daddy sleeps through most of the night since his leave is over with the lame excuse "I need to get up in the morning").

Anyways, today Mummy hardly needed the extra sleep as she was off for a second session of pampering & massaging. This time I was babysat by a friend who was dying to do the honours, plus she lived close to the salon. We planned it so I got fed just before Mummy left and then I wouldn't need a bottle. I was pretty well behaved considering, and Mummy's friend coped OK (except a bit of over-zealousness on the nappy-changing front - I got changed 3 times in under 3 hours!).

Speaking of nappies, we opened up my eco-nappies and discovered there were a few items missing in the pack. Mummy left a message, so we'll see if they get back to us tomorrow.

Mummy & Daddy have been having thoughts about our humble abode lately. We only have one room in this flat we are renting, but the trouble is it is bang in the centre of Madrid (Mummy & Daddy are fanatically anti-suburbia), nice, pretty good value, and had the hugest lounge you ever saw. It also has a separate dressing room which is pretty big and should do me at least for a few years. They have been looking at various other flats but none are anywhere near as nice for the same price. And despite the real estate crisis buying is still out of reach. So we look snug in here for the time being.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

2 months old

Sunday seems to be Collado Mediano day, to visit Tito, Tita & the girls. This time we went with Abuelo & Abuela in Abuelo's car, so we went to their house first, stopping off at the churro place first to pick up breakfast.

Today I am two months old, so we put a couple of candles on the dessert cake. Actually it should be 1/6th of a candle, but I don't understand fractions yet. Quite a hectic weekend, even for us. Birthmonth, 2 museums, and 2 trips outside Madrid. We're all pretty knackered.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

First snow

Not only am I sporting a cool double chin, but also my eyelashes have gone into overdrive. At this rate I'll overtake Primita in a month!

Another Saturday, another trip to the mountains next to Madrid. It snowed this week so this is the first weekend with snow up there. Plus the weather is pretty good. All this means it was packed, full of families with kids and sledges, which we should have predicted. As we didn't, we arrived stupidly late given the circumstances and couldn't park at the mountain pass of Cotos, so the plan of going up to the Laguna de los Pajaros had to be shelved (Daddy really wants me to get to know it, as he finds it is one of the most magical places in the whole sierra of Madrid). Next time we know we have to leave one feed earlier. Before continuing we took a few pictures of me in the snow in my super snow outfit (a present from a friend of Daddy's from Fuengi).

So on to plan B, the mountain pass of Morcuera, to walk down a lovely and completely overlooked path down to Miraflores. Actually the drive from Cotos to Morcuera is also beautiful, especially in autumn. Managed to park, had a quick feed & nappy change, and off down the Miraflores path. Daddy had done it in spring, but this was the first time Mummy or I did it. It's quite amazing, the sierra is packed with families playing in the snow or hunting for mushrooms, and this path was completely empty. All we saw was a family near the car park, a couple of hikers, and a group of cyclists. And amazingly we also bumped into a friend of Tito & Tita, who was equally amazed to see us and had a little chat.

We didn't bother to go down all the way to Miraflores as it was a bit cold and we wanted to do the next feeding back in the car. Did a bit more walking after that, down the Cuerda Larga path (which ends in Morcuera), but soon we got to a very slippery icy & steep stretch so we turned back.

Got a call on the drive back to Madrid, some friends were going to the Reina Sofia museum (it's free Saturday afternoons) to see a photo exhibition by some crazy biker/rocker. So we went straight there without stopping home. Quite an interesting bunch of black and white photos of his life and friends in 80's Madrid. Both he and many of his friends seemed to be diabetics (as were many down & outs in the 80's), and some of his girl friends got very hot and took off all their clothes. They did warn the photos might shock some people...

Had a quick drink & tapa (there is a good non-smoking bar near the museum) and said goodbye. Again it was impossible to park near out street, so off to the Milagrosa again. We are pretty lucky having it just a few blocks away.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Etruscans

My eco nappies have arrived! Well, as eco as a baby can be, they still need plenty of washing machine cycles, but they'll be greener than the disposable ones. To celebrate I spent a good deal of the day crying.

Met up with Daddy (he skipped driving lessons today) at the Caixa Forum, a free museum (La Caixa being a bank, and this is part of it's arts foundation) in the heart of Madrid's "museum triangle". Mummy & Daddy had been there before, but this was a first for me. We went to see a display of Etruscan artifacts and it was pretty impressive (especially their gold jewelry), a really nicely put-together exhibition.

Dinner was at Abuelo and Abuela's to steal Abuela's car for the weekend. The adults had a hearty meal but I'm no slouch either - I'm sporting a pretty good double chin lately, can't wait to get weighed next week. Parking at home was a nightmare, luckily we always have plan B - to park at the Milarosa clinic (where I was born) in Abuelo's parking space. Daddy had to go to reception (the gates close after 10) and they let us through no problems.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Court case

Mummy is so important and indispensable that she went into work today for a morning meeting. She took my leftover size 1 nappies (the unused ones) as one of her workmates is expecting in about a month. I stayed at home and Abuela looked after me. Had another bottle feed, though this time it didn't affect my other breast feeds later in the day. After her meeting Mummy came back (with another present for me from her office, a lovely outfit) and Abuelo stopped over for lunch.

The motorbike guy we had a crash with some time ago hasn't stopped pestering and has now said he'll go to court. Our insurance company has decided he was to blame and naturally (especially as he only had the minimum insurance, which wouldn't cover him) he begs to differ.

Oh, and Barak Obama won the elections in the US, so soon the current recession will be over, and the world will be free of war, pollution and poverty. I'd also hope for the end of endless news items on the elections but that might be asking for too much.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Shoe success

Still keeping up the good stretches of sleep, up to 6 hours sometimes. Only that last night I fell asleep at 8 in the evening, so Mummy didn't get much straight kip - normally I do the big doze after 10 or 11ish. A second attempt to get some shoes for Mummy, this time we were successful. Picked up Daddy from the bus again, but soon he was off for another double driving lesson.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Swedish furniture shop

Went to a 4-letter Swedish furniture shop this morning with Tita & Primita (and Mummy of course) as Tita wanted to buy a few things for the house. As it's virtually impossible to leave that shop empty handed we got a few things as well; some cacti (Mummy & Daddy don't seem to have very green fingers, anything more delicate than a desert scrub and they kill it), some pickled fish for Daddy, a set of coffee mugs, a lamp, a new bath curtain and an apron. As you can see, stuff we really couldn't do without. Afternoon was, as most Tuesdays, lunch at Abuelo & Abuela's.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Eyelashes

Mummy noticed about a week ago, but now it's really plain to see, I have a decent pair of eyelashes, no longer so blonde and so thin that you can hardly see them. Not as huge as Primita's, but it's a start.

Did a bit of shopping for Mummy this morning, looking for shoes down Fuencarral. Not much else. Didn't even find any decent shoes. Daddy had a two driving lessons rolled into one today so he didn't get to see me much, poor thing.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Lazy Sunday

Daddy wasn't up for going out for a walk so it was just Mummy & me initially, but in the end Daddy joined us, as he said he didn't want to vegetate the whole day. Not much else really, just stayed at home, Mummy and Daddy reading the Sunday papers. Mummy baked some nut bread while Daddy put up foam on all the balcony doors to keep out the drafts as Autumn is really upon us.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Egypt's Sunken Treasures

Another lazy morning but by 12ish we were itching to go out. Luckily we just received an SMS from one of Mummy's workmates who was down in Olavide in the kiddy park with his son and some friends, so down we went. It was cold so after a bit we went into a bar for a quick drink and tapa, and then off home as it was my turn to eat. After that we headed down to Gran Via to a restaurant that Mummy & Daddy wanted to try out but we were too late - fully booked, so they had to settle for a fastgood (as in healthy fastfood) joint next door. Daddy seemed to hate it, not so much the food but the atmosphere. It was non-smoking so I thought it was fine. Then we dropped Daddy's replacement mobile off at the shop (they finally had asked for it back), but the main mission of the day was to go down to Legazpi to view the Egypt's Sunken Treasures exhibition (on some recent discoveries just off the coast at various sunken cities, spanning from the 8th century BC to the 8th AD). It was OK in my books I guess but Mummy and Daddy have been to the Cairo museum and the British Museum and so weren't that impressed. I mean it was 11 euros, and the Prado is only 9 (and free on Sundays).

A load of Mummy and Daddy's friends descended on us for a small dinner party. Managed to keep to my sleep patterns despite the party next door. Good thing too as I didn't sleep much today.

Lately I've been rediscovering my hands and fingers for when there is no dummy around (or when it drops out). Spent a bit on them today, but in the end, nothing beats a good dummy. Also getting better at babbling.

Friday, 31 October 2008

My first real smile

Daddy is working from home today as he had to do some paperwork for his Spanish nationality, and boy was he lucky! This morning I finally did it, I gave them both my first real smile! At this stage I smile at anyone who acts like an idiot in front of me, apparently it won't be for a few months that they are my own smiles rather than me just imitating, but it's still an important milestone.

Later that morning Daddy went off to do his paperwork and I had a sleep in my hammock. Daddy wasn't impressed when he came back, apparently he didn't need to do this bit of paperwork, but at least thanks to that he didn't miss my first smile. Mummy and Daddy spent the afternoon both doing a bit of work, and then we went out for an evening walk, combined with a bit of clothes shopping (ended up with a new top and a lovely winter hat) and popped into the post office (a letter for Daddy, no presents for me this time).

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Lunch visit

Lazy morning followed by a lunchtime visit from a couple of Mummy's friends. Not much else of any note, the weather is still horrible.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

More nasty weather

More nasty weather so we stayed at home doing not much. Late getting up (yup, did a 5 hour stint tonight as well), a lot of sleeping, Mummy did a lot of reading and I spent a lot of time in my new hammock (it's nicer than the pushchair as I can see the world this way). Even though the weather was a pit grim we did put in the effort to go and pick up Daddy back from work and he was chuffed to see us.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Day with Abuela & Abuelo

Abuelo doesn't work on Tuesday afternoons so we usually spend the day with him and Abuela, and this Tuesday was no exception. Abuelo picked us up on his way back home and we had lunch there and then, as the weather was really horrible, spent the afternoon watching a really bad alien b-movie. I spent most of the time in my new hammock which is still here (we took it back home later) and Mummy saw me seem to grasp out to reach for one of the small dangly toys, a one-off for now but shows what I'll be capable off in the not too distant future. On the way back stopped off at SuperCor to stock up on yummy things to eat. Oh, and yesterday was no flash in the pan, last night I also had a 4 hour sleep.

Monday, 27 October 2008

5 hours sleep

I think I'm getting the hang of this day and night stuff. Night is dark and quiet I think, and there seems to be more going on in the daytime. So it seems logical to do a bit more sleeping at night-time, right? Just to check it out last night I slept for 5 hours straight. Mummy seemed pretty pleased about it.

Had a little walk and then bumped into a friend of Mummy's in Olavide so we had a drink. Then we went home to make some chestnut purée (no doubt to go with the roasted chestnuts, the chestnut pie and the chestnut casserole). Abuela came by to babysit and Mummy left for her first massage and pampering session she had gotten for her birthday. Here I had my first proper feed entirely by bottle! I'm doing all these grownup things today, and also it's just a matter of time I give someone my first proper smile (as opposed to smiling in my sleep).

It's no longer summer and the days are getting colder, and the heating doesn't seem to be working. Luckily Mummy found an electrician just downstairs while we were buying a bulb, and he came up. Turns out all we need is new batteries (the ones we have just have enough juice to show the control panel, but not enough to tell the heater to start). So I won't suffer frostbite this year.

New sleeping rules: 8ish feeding is followed by bath. Then 11ish feeding is followed by cot. We've been following this more-or-less up til now but now we'll make sure we stick to it rigurously.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Iruelas valley

This part of Spain is really pretty which is why we had decided to spend the night here rather than come straight back after the chestnuts. The other must-see is the Iruelas valley. After a late breakfast and leaving the hotel we took the cars up to the valley, but disaster struck! We were behind Tito's car and saw they had a flat tire. After much hooting and mobile phoning they finally realised and pulled over. A big bolt had pierced the wheel yesterday and the air had escaped slowly overnight. But with Tito, Tita and Abuelo's skill we had a new wheel on in no time and resumed the journey, to a car park a bit up the valley.

There we took the easy walking route as the other was a bit too hard for Prima (Primita and I get carried, so it makes no difference to us, but it's hard to keep Prima in her carrier and she wouldn't make it up the hill). Nevertheless the easy route was beutiful, and full of signposts explaining the flora. The trail ended up next to a beautiful river where we stopped for a quick snack and then we walked back to the car park. The whole way is lined with a huge recreation area with barbecues, so we might return for Daddy's birthday next year if the weather is nice. Speaking of weather, we have been really lucky - last week was so-so, and next week looks pretty grim, but this weekend has been amazing round here (though I'm told there were major floods in Melilla, down South).

After lunch Tito, Tita & the girls and us went each our own way. On our route we stopped off to see some ancient pre-Roman rock bulls (Toros de Guisando) sculpted by the celtiberian Vetton tribe somewhere around the second century BC.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

El Tiemblo

Early rise and off we all went in Abuelo's car and left Madrid. Our objective: the chestnut forest of El Tiemblo, in Avila. Our mission: to take photos of the autumn colours and to gather as many chestnuts as humanly possible. This was something we had wanted to do while Daddy was still on leave (and on a weekday, so as to have the place to ourselves) but it was too early.

It is less than 2 hours from Madrid, so by mid-morning we were waiting for the imminent arrival of Tito, Tita & the girls who came separately. We gave them back some clothes of Primita I'd borrowed which no longer fit me, I'm growing so fast! After stocking up on goodies for lunch we headed off to the forest. On the way there we were informed that this was the last week entry was free, so lucky us! Daddy got his late birthday present from Tito & Tita and the girls (the fleece and rucksack we got the other day) which we put to use immediately.

So we parked and followed the trail, me with Mummy in the pouch, Daddy & Tito trailing behind filling up the bags. We stopped halfway, next to a really old chestnut (called "the grandfather") which was over 525 years old. To put that into perspective, that's about a year of tree life for every 2 hours I've been around. There we spread out the adult's lunch and had a rest.

After ambling back to the cars we headed for out hotel which turned out to be lovely and cozy. Had a little walk by the river and then had dinner and settled down for the night. Oh, and I had my first bath in a portable inflatable baby bath I've inherited from Primita.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Sleepover at Abuelo and Abuela's

Abuela popped by on her way back from the doctor's this morning and we went for a little walk round Chueca to change Daddy's birthday t-shirt which was a bit small. Turns out we changed it for another t-shirt which was also too small. We had better luck with our call to Chicco about the baby food maker, a really helpful woman was very nice about it and told us she'd send the missing pieces in the post.

After lunch we met up with Daddy at the climbing wall for another spot of bouldering. He then shooted off to his driving lesson and we went to Abuelo and Abuela's. Daddy then finished and met us there because we were all to sleep over to get an early start for tomorrow...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

No return

Took my baby food maker machine back to ToysRus, but they said no way, couldn't take it back as 30 days had passed since the purchase. Seems a bit pooey in my opinion, the thing had been opened, used, and returned with pieces missing, so much for their quality control (they claimed they checked all returned items thoroughly). All we could do was call the make itself (Chicco) to see if they could send us the missing pieces, which we tried later on but they were closed for the day, so we'll have another go tomorrow.

We also stopped off at Decathlon to buy Daddy a fleece and a rucksack for his birthday. Busy shopping day!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Doctor double-check

Mummy is really getting into the swing of things now. Not content with climbing and the 8 minute abs workout today she did a bit of yoga with the help of a video she got. Soon she'll be fighting fit again.

Popped into the doctor to double-check I'm OK. I still cry a bit out of one eye (nothing to worry about as long as there is no red), have a bit of yellow in my eyes (nothing to worry about in the first 2 months if I'm breastfeeding, plus it's clearing up), and have a weird mark on my forehead (perfectly normal and will eventually clear away).

Mummy & Daddy decided I need to be an eco-friendly baby so today Mummy bought me a set of washable nappies online today. I guess I'll start using them soon, when I'm a bit bigger. We also discovered my kitchen robot baby food maker had been tampered with at the shop and has a couple of pieces missing. We've got the ticket so we'll pass by the shop one of these days.

Big day for Daddy too, he had his first driving lesson after work today. He came back bragging he'd got it up to fifth gear and hadn't stalled once. I didn't believe a word of it.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Family day

Abuela popped in late this morning, followed by Abuelo at lunchtime, where they all tried Mummy's cooking from yesterday. Quite well received. Then Tita and the primas descended on us, and Prima had a proper professional haircut (as opposed to the usual irregular shearing done by Tito) - we have a kids hairdresser in our street. Then we all piled into a terrace for a quick drink in Plaza Olavide where Daddy met us. He brought me another present from his workmates (different ones than the ones of the other present), a wad of cash to buy stuff for me. I'll keep a beady eye on him, I know I can't trust him. He'll try to get something like "a new hard disk so we can fit all the photos of Lucas".

Exercised my lungs a bit today with some crying. Not too much, just enough to keep Mummy & Daddy on their toes and remember their place in life. It's not like the first two weeks, every now and then I find it hard to get to sleep. But I'm still a complete angel compared to other kids out there.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Size 2 nappies

Mummy spent the morning cooking, trying out new recipes from the book they bought last month (1080 Recetas de Cocina, the big classic in Spain). We then met Daddy after work to return the clothes we bought the other day, and stopped off at another shop to get me a toy for the pram, a sort of spiral with colourful dangly things.

And boy have I been growing! The last few nappy changes have been a bit of a disaster, with me wet all over the place. Definitely size 1 is no longer for me, I'm now a size 2 baby! Bought a whole bunch of new nappies on the way home and I feel much better.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Daddy feeds me

I'm being given subliminal lessons in the differences between men and women. Daddy spent the entire morning reading Calvin & Hobbes. Meanwhile Mummy managed to organise all the shelves and baskets in the living room. Both seemed to be enjoying themselves. However we had a bit of role reversal today as well - as an experiment Mummy got out some milk with the pump and Daddy had a go at feeding me with the bottle for the first time. I wolfed it down. Yep, I don't think bottle feeding will be a problem.

Returned to the outdoor climbing wall at Manoteras, this time without rain. We bumped into a friend of Mummy & Daddy's there as well, who hadn't seen me yet. Then the serious stuff started. Daddy hasn't climbed much these last few months but was OKish even though he didn't last long. Mummy hasn't climbed at all for over 9 months so she was a bit shakier, though not as bad as she feared. A few more sessions and they'll get back to square one.

After getting knackered we returned the car to Abuela, and, after retouching my hairvut a bit, headed home.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Alpedrete

It was a friend's birthday recently, as well as Daddy's, and also Mummy hasn't got her present yet from all her friends, so we took the car to Alpedrete, where the brother of this friend lives. He got a voucher to ride around a racetrack in a Lamborghini, Mummy got a voucher for a pampering and massaging session, and Daddy got a lovely t-shirt and the entire collection of Calvin & Hobbes (about 20 kilos worth!).

It was a lovely house, with a beautiful garden and five crazy dogs. Shame the day was a bit pooey and we had to stay inside, but we had a great lunch and a giggle and I spent most of the afternoon in someone's arms and being cuddled and generally adored. These are the days I love.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Haircut

Had a little walk this morning, but as usual we ended up going into shops and buying me some more clothes (too big we later found out). Then we headed off to Abuelo & Abuela's for lunch with Tita and Primita. Not long after Daddy came back from work (he gets off sooner on Friday's) and we rustled up my first haircut! No longer a ridiculous fringe, now I have a smart short back & sides (with a few bold patches here and there at the back from all the lying down).

As it was the weekend and we always do something on weekends we stole Abuela's car again. The idea was to stop off at the open-air climbing wall for a spot of bouldering but just when we got there it started raining, so we headed off home.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

A few quick visits

Pottered round all morning with Mummy, and then we headed off to see a friend of her's new office and to lunch. After that we popped into see another friend who also had an office, or showroom rather, in the area, and he doted over me. Then rushed off to the Plaza del Dos de Mayo for coffee with another two friends.

Daddy got back home having finished his course and we headed down to Gran Via to see if his mobile was repaired. It was, and they also forgot to ask for the replacement one back, so he's quite happy.

I'm beginning to not mind the snot hoover too much. I think I may have realised it does me good (like when I get my eye cleaned) and I've got used to its intrusiveness. Also Mummy & Daddy seem to be getting better at it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Visit to the doctor's

Abuela popped by this morning. At lunchtime Abuelo came over too, and so did Daddy (he is working close to home today as part of his course), so we all had lunch together.

Later that afternoon, when Daddy finished work, we had a nice walk down Hortaleza to visit a friend and give him a housewarming present (a plant you hand on the wall) which was well received. Before setting back an old lady asked Daddy how old I was and he told her "just over a month". Well she was scandalised! She stormed off muttering "I can't believe you have him out on the street so young". She must be old school (in some places they think it's bad for your soul to leave the house before you are 40 days old).

After that we walked up Fuencarral, stopped for a coffee, and went to visit the doctor. I'm absolutely fine, and I have put on over a kilo since I was born! I now weigh 3680g and I'm 57cm tall. Next appointment in a month's time, when I'll be getting some vaccinations. Hope they don't hurt too much.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Visit to gynaecologist

Can't find a decent book on Soria for Mummy's gynaecologyst so he gets a nice bottle of wine instead. Not much else all day until Daddy got back from work and we went to see Mummy's gynaecologyst. He had to rush off to the clinic for a delivery, so he took us with him and we waited outside. Nice revisiting my birthplace. And Mummy is fine and can do any type of exercise.

Then a friend of Mummy & Daddy's came to the clinic as her tummy hurt. She said I had changed so much since she saw me last, about 2 weeks ago! They didn't take her insurance so we went to another clinic nearby where we left her as they had to do some tests. Her boyfriend popped by the house but in the end it was so late he left to pick her up. Oh well, she can take a proper look at me some other day.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Daddy returns to work

A sad day for all, but more so for Daddy as he goes back to work today. The paternal leave (2 weeks in Spain) plus the holidays have just flown past. At least he starts off slow, he has 2 days of lectures and 2 days at one of the branches to "get to know the business". So Mummy and I rose to the challenge of being on out own for most of the day.

I didn't have a good night's sleep, all this snot is making breathing difficult, so Mummy made an "emergency" appointment for me with the doctor for the afternoon. We spent the morning passing by the post office to pick up more presents for me, and then had a little walk. Both Tita and Daddy mentioned something about a snot hoover over the phone, and after lunch the doctor (a different one from my usual one, as she is on holiday) confirmed it - yes it was a good idea, and also made sure my cold wasn't anything serious.

Since Mummy's breasts are way more humongous than usual (ever since the pregnancy started really, but even more so since I was born) she only has 2 bras that fit her, and one could do with a renewal, so we arranged to meet Abuela at the Corte Ingles and got Mummy a breastfeeding bra. We also bought the famous snot hoover, a sort of rubber hose with a filter at the end. The filter bit goes up my nose, and the other end is where Mummy or Daddy suck (the filter is so they don't end up with my snot in their throat). Then we waited for Daddy and went looking for a book on Soria, which is the present we want to give Mummy's gynaecologyst. No luck sadly, we'll look again tomorrow.

In the evening Daddy had a first go sucking on the snot hoover while Mummy pinned me down and kept the other end up my nose. Not too sure I like this. It may do the trick, but it's definetly not a pleasant experience. I let them know.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Lunch in Collado Mediano

Mummy trimmed Daddy's hair this morning, back to near-skinhead levels again. Then we took the train to see Tita, Tito & the girls and a couple of friends from the Fuengi crowd who were visiting for lunch (one of them the paediatrician, who said I looked fine). Chewed the cud for most of the afternoon and then we all went home. With all these country trips I'm getting loads of fresh air.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Fuengi parks

So that the mayor can put plaques all over the place saying how wonderful she is Fuengirola now has a fair amount of parks, so we did a little circuit to see a few Oma, Mummy, Daddy and me. After a quick stop at a watering hole we returned home for a bit of a photoshoot with Oma & Grandpa before having a late lunch and heading back to Madrid. On the way to the train station we saw another of Daddy's friends and one of his sons.

On the train back to Madrid I was a great hit with all the hostesses, who fawned over me and said all sorts of wonderful things. I don't know who felt prouder - me, or Mummy & Daddy.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Stormy day

Daddy & I both have a bit of a cold. Daddy has a slight chill but all I have is a bit of a runny nose. Mummy seems OK, a bit of a sore throat yesterday morning but it suddenly cleared up. Not fun, but not too bad. Another first I suppose, but not one of my favourites.

Oh, and a first for Grandpa: he got the courage to hold me in his arms for the first time, so we took a photo for posterity.

Yesterday's bad weather is turning into a full scale gale so we decided to go out for a walk to the Dutch supermarket again. This time it was open so the adults splurged on all sorts of lovely stuff which is either immoral or fattening (nothing is illegal in Holland). On the way back the gale really picked up. We stopped off at another supermarket (a Spanish one this time) and I nearly got blown away in the buggy because of the wind tunnel effect in the side street. Daddy even had to help some OAPs to cross the street.

Auntie did a lovely paella for lunch, and then one of Daddy's friends came to visit with her daughter. She brought me a lovely winter jumpsuit for cold Madrid days or to go out in the snow in the mountains.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

1 month old today

Today I'm a month old! And what a great month it's been, full of wonderful adventures. Oma & Grandpa invited some friends over for lunch on the roof. Just in time too! The nasty weather that was predicted for the next few days arrived just before desert, so we all ran down for cheeses & ice cream. I blew out a symbolic candle (with a bit of help).

Mummy and Daddy seem to think that I've suddenly started to focus a bit more on faces and important things and do a bit less of staring vacantly out into space.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Fuengi

Early(ish) morning rise to catch the high speed train down to Malaga (only 2.5 hours). Plenty of space so I had my own little corner for my buggy and didn't have to spend the whole trip on Mummy & Daddy's laps. From there we got the local train and were in Fuengirola (where Oma and Grandpa live) by lunchtime. Auntie had come down from London to visit which is one of the reasons why we came. Also it is the Fuengirola feria, though I think I'm too small to appreciate it.

After lunch I went on a massive walk with Mummy, Daddy, Oma & Auntie, al the way to a Dutch food shop which sadly was closed. Next time we'll repeat the expedition earlier. The adults want to buy liquorices and biscuits.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Rest between trips

We'd left Abuela's car in a complete state so Mummy & Daddy went off to clean it until it was spotless. A nice lazy day was spent by all and it was evening before we headed home to unpack and do our packing for tomorrow...

Monday, 6 October 2008

Daddy's birthday

Big day for Daddy, he is 33 today! Both his and Mummy's mobile ran out of battery overnight and the poor thing will have to do with late felicitations from everybody. As it was his birthday I let him think his latest theory for getting me to sleep works (letting me cry for one or two full periods so I am so knackered I fall asleep - his reasoning is that there isn't anything wrong with me unless I go for a third bout). So to make him happy overnight I cried for a bit and fell into a deep sleep until the next feeding time.

Anyways, on with the road trip! After a late start we continued onto another, much bigger, beech forest and natural park, the Hayedo de la Tejera Negra. And here we did my first trek. I was in a sort of joey pouch facing Daddy and we did about 3 hours on a circular route, plus a bit for feeding.

After a very late lunch we continued down some more nice roads (but not as amazing as yesterdays) and even got a bit lost and ended up in a village in the middle of nowhere. Mummy & Daddy had underestimated the time a bit and it was really late before we got to Madrid (also due to trying to find a working telephone to phone ahead) and headed for Abuelo & Abuela's house for dinner. It was so late and everybody was so knackered (Daddy especially, after blowing out his candles) that we stayed there for the night.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Road trip

Off on a road trip today, to visit some lovely sights just North of the province of Madrid. Took the car just over 100km up the motorway and then headed into the countryside. Our first target was Riaza, a small town with a lovely square where we all had some refreshments. Then we drove up to a small beech forest (beeches aren't too common this far South) - the Hayedo de Pedrosa - and had a small walk looking for fairies. Didn't find many by I made a good imp. Further up the road we reached a mountain pass (Puerto de la Quesera) with magnificent views, and then took a really amazing road down to Majaelrayo (one of the Pueblos Negros, with all houses made of dark slate) for lunch. From there we took the long route to Galve de Sorbe where our hotel was (the waiter told us the short route, unasphalted, was not a good option but we later found out it was fine). After initially doubting whether to ditch it for another hotel (as it looked a bit unkept outside) we called the owner and a good thing too, because it was really lovely inside. All eco-friendly, beautifully decorated, with wonderful food (or so I'm told) and really snug.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Cocido Madrileño

Morning was spent returning a few presents at various shops round Madrid (I have a few to many of certain things) and then we set of to Abuelo and Abuela's for a cocido, the typical dish from Madrid ("a dish in three parts"). Not much else really, a lazy day. We were there ostensibly to return the car but in the end took it back home as tomorrow we are off to the countryside again. Abuela can't wait until Daddy goes back to work so she can have her car back again ;-)

Friday, 3 October 2008

La Granja

La Granja de san Ildefonso used to be the summer residence of the kings of Spain. It is a beautiful palace & huge gardens about an hour from Madrid. We went the long way for the scenery, across the mountain port of Navacerrada (where we had a quick stop for feeding & changing) and down into the province of Segovia (another first - left the province of Madrid for the first time). The adults had an early (for Spain) lunch and then we visited the palace. We were on a guided tour and I decided to join in the explanations about the tapestries so Mummy & Daddy had to tail behind the group so I wouldn't interrupt. After a few rooms we realised this wasn't going to work and had to turn back and feed me, and then finish the rest of the tour on our own.

We then spent some time in the lovely gardens taking in the autumn colours which are just starting. Then off home for a quick feed and straight on to a friend's housewarming. While parking we had a minor accident - Mummy hit a motorbike which came out of nowhere on our right. Luckily nobody was hurt, just a few scratches and a bit of broken plastic. All solved with a bit of paperwork.

Thursday, 2 October 2008

We all go to Mummy's office

Last night I was awake most of the night, laughing at Daddy's theories of how to get me to sleep. Ah well, they get off lightly compared to most parents, I've only given them stick 2 nights out of about 20.

Mummy wanted to talk to HR and her boss about this & that (and show me off of course) so we took the bus (another first!) to her office. Got there a bit early so I had a spot of brunch in the park and then we went in. My god I was a success! I must be the prettiest baby in the world, the amount of praise I got! We were ambling at about a metre every half an hour because so many people came up to us to see me. It took ages just to get to the boss' office, but time well spent I'd say. By the time we got there it was lunch time, so we all went out again to a nearby terrace.

Since with all the fuss Mummy hadn't managed to speak to her boss properly she gave me a quick lunch in the park and left me with Daddy for a bit. She managed to sort everything out (she starts work again on the 16th of February, so we have plenty of quality time together) and we headed back home. There Abuela & Abuelo & a friend of the family dropped by for an evening coffee and to see me and give me more presents.