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


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


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


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


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.