Monday, September 17, 2007

El primer paseo, part 2

And this is what happens - each child is presented to the Virgin by the priest.

El primer paseo

This was Susana's first outing - to church at the request of her godmother.

The occasion was a blessing of all children in the town born in the last year, so we just scraped in.

El Tuning

Why is it that most folk add the most useless things to their cars like fluffy dice in the UK or dreamcatchers here?

I prefer to see where I'm going, rather than block the view. Given the appalling illumination from the headlights, these fog/driving lamps have come in really handy now that the dawn is later and later (about 7.45am currently).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Que orgullosa es

To round off the August catchup - I don't think this needs a caption.

Por fin a casa

Actually Susie came home on the 20th August, ten days old. After a few days at home she started to settle down. Her minor eye infection cleared up and she showed us she has blue eyes (though not as blue as mine).

Here she is about to enjoy another nappy change. She's a windy little beggar, always burping and farting. She poos so infrequently she's got her mum worried - and me relieved, except that I'm now going to have to give her suppositories.

She has a good, regular appetite. The neighbours are always chipping in with good advice, mainly ¡Dale al pecho!

Libro de familia

The day after Susie was released from hospital I went to the ayuntamiento to register the birth.

You can tell it's a small town as all the records going back to 1879 fit in one bookcase. From the photo you can see that 1884 and 1886 were bumper years for births here.

Once registered I got the libro de familia. Unlike the UK where you get one certificate for each child, here in Spain both births and deaths for each child is entered in the same book, so it's a vital document to get for any benefits that are available.

Since 'ZP' said back in July that each child born in Spain would get €2,500 we've applied for that. It turns out that when I applied at the end of last month the law had still not been published and is not due to see the light of day until November (assuming there's any money left in the governments coffers by then).

I also applied for paid paternity leave, which in Spain is 15 days (2 paid by the employer and 13 by the state). I'm happy to report that this was processed promptly once I had the libro, and I got the money in full this week. Hooray!

Three years ago we applied for familia numerosa, a benefit paid to families with three or more children. We are still waiting, but hopeful that having at least one child with a libro will break the logjam. Vamos a ver.

Curiously, although Susie is not Spanish she is counted as Andaluz and therefore entitled to full rights under the Andaluz constitution - such as "dignified" housing. This might come in handy when we start talking planning permission with the town hall.

Mil gracias

Six weeks away from the blogoshere can seem like ages, but at least I have a good reason.

Susie continues to do what normal babies do: eat, fill nappies and grow - with a little sleep on the side.

I've been bowled over by the presents (flowers included) and gifts from colleagues at work and neighbours.

Thank you everyone for your gifts and best wishes.