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


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


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


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.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008


A new month, a new record. 5 hours between feeding! Mummy & Daddy got a nice stretch of kip. I was making sure I'd be full of energy for the big day out. Mummy & Daddy's first "trek" in ages. The original plan was to go to see the autumn colours & pick up chestnuts in El Tiemblo, a few hours from Madrid, but it turns out we are a month early and the colours & chestnuts wouldn't be ready, so we headed for Zarzalejo for an easy country path which the strollers could handle (not much shade for the kangaroo packs). Got sidetracked on the way by some huuuuge blackberries the adults couldn't help picking. Still, we managed to walk a fair way and then back for lunch to Collado Mediano. From there back to Abuelo & Abuela's to drop off the car, and Abuela was kind enough to drive us back home so we didn't have to take the tube. I think I like October as well.

Today I have been sleeping really well, so Daddy can stop trying out his techniques for a bit. Also, I'm growing! I'm fattening up a bit, putting on a bit of flesh so I'm beginning to look like a small baby and not like a new-born baby. I'm getting taller, I think today is my last bath in the washbasin and we'll begin to use the plastic tub. And it looks like I'll have curly hair, at least initially. Now we are just waiting to see what colour my eyes will be...