Monday, August 28, 2006

Get together

One of the nice things about Grandma's birthday was that Uncle Tim, Auntie Abby, Chloe and Anya came to visit Cardiff, which meant that Hannah and Thomas could have a great time playing with their cousins.

It was very nice to see them, even if it was a bit on the noisy side occasionally!

Happy 60th Birthday, Grandma

As if one 60th birthday in the family during August wasn't enough, it was Grandma's turn to hit the big 6-0 today! It's going to cost Cardiff Bus a fortune in free travel!

Grandma decided to test the foundations of her bungalow by inviting around 70 people to her party! It was bit of a squeeze, but everyone had a great time.

Here's a photo of Grandma and Grandad on the big day - they have to stand that close together, as they're both so old now that they topple over if they're not leaning against something!

Grandma had to have two cakes for her party - a chocolate cake in the afternoon, which could be enjoyed by the grandchildren, and then a fruit cake in the evening so that Grandma had a chance to blow out some candles after the children had gone to bed!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Fat bottom girls!

Here's a photo of what Hannah might look like in 20 years time, if she keeps eating all those chocolates

And here's Hannah's twin sister, Thomasella!

But, we like Grumpy's new girlfriend best!

Weston Super-Mare

Grumpy got to choose where we went for a Bank Holiday Saturday, seeing as it was his 60th birthday last week. He nearly chose a day's free bus travel on Cardiff Bus, but then decided to go further afield and head over to Weston Super-Mare. So, we all got into Uncle Mike's minibus, and set sail across the Severn Bridge.

It was a bit wet and windy when we first got there (so we had to have our sandwiches under a shelter!), but the sun soon came out, and we all had a great time.

We spent a lot of time on the pier, with Hannah and Thomas trying to prove to Uncle Mike that their bus could go faster than his bus!

Thomas and James spent ages at the top of this 'death slide', as we tried to egg them on to going down the slide on their own! Thomas kept sitting up on the top and letting his feet dangle down, but wouldn't go... until James gave him a little push! There were tears, but we all thought Thomas was very brave! He didn't go back up there, though!

After all the fun at the end of the pier, some of us were too exhausted to walk back to the pier front, so we hitched a lift!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Happy 60th Birthday, Grumpy

He might actually look 70, but it was Grumpy's 60th birthday today!

Even though the Post Office would love him to retire, so that they don't have to pay him such huge wages(!), Grumpy enjoys being a Postie too much to stop now! It'll be a lot more difficult posting letters after the party that we had in the Harvester, though - maybe he'll need to use his new radio controlled Postman Pat van to carry the heavy bags!

Lot's of the family came along to celebrate and help blow out the candles. As usual, Hannah had a lot of wind!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Matthew Hurley - 17th August 2006

It's been a really sad day today, as we had to go through the premature birth of our baby son, who we've called Matthew Hurley. At only 20 weeks, he was too small to cope with life outside the womb, and passed away very shortly afterwards.

Ruth had been feeling uncomfortable all week, and went to bed early last night feeling pretty rough. When we woke up in the morning, Ruth was in a lot of pain and discomfort, and was suffering from some bleeding. We telephoned the hospital and they told her to come in straight away.

We dropped Hannah and Thomas off at Nanny and Grumpy's on the way, and sped along to the maternity unit. By this time, Ruth was sure that it was contractions that she was feeling, and they were already every few minutes.

Not long after our arrival at the hospital, the midwife confirmed that Ruth was giving birth, and that we would lose the baby.

The birth progressed very similarly to the births of Hannah and Thomas - in fact, I think we were in the same room where we gave birth to Thomas! The labour lasted about an hour during the time we were in the hospital, and Matthew was born at 9:10am, weighing a teeny 10 oz.

Matthew did make some small movements during his short life, but never opened his eyes. We could see his heart beating against his tiny frame for about an hour, but that may have just been nervous twitching, rather than signs of life. We think that he looked a lot like his Dad - he definitely had the 'Hurley' look about him!

The midwife was fantastic the whole time, and looked after Ruth and the baby (and the Dad!) very well. They took some hand- and foot-prints of the baby for keepsakes, and also arranged for a couple of photographs to be taken. Although we think the photos are gorgeous, it seems quite macabre to put them on the blog, so we'll just show you the prints that were taken. The scan makes the prints look a lot bigger than they really are - his feet were 3cm long, and his hands just 2cm.

Breaking the sad news to family and friends has been difficult. Hannah burst into tears when we told her, and said that she "really wanted a baby". Thomas isn't really sure what's going on, but can tell something sad has happened.

Matthew stayed with us the whole time we were in the hospital, so we were with him for about six hours in the end. It was amazing to see how perfect he already was - even though he was only 20 weeks old. He had fingernails and toenails, his ears were gorgeous, his feet seemed huge - he'd have been trouble to buy shoes for!

We were only able to spend a short time getting to know him, but he's going to be sorely missed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Plum time!

It's that time of year again, when we can save a fortune on our shopping bills by harvesting the plums from the trees in our back garden!

There aren't as many this year, as we did some major pruning at the start of the year, but they are definitely delicious. We probably won't be making jam or chutney with them, as they probably won't last long enough!

Here's a photo of Hannah and Thomas on their way up the ladder to do the picking - we're probably breaking a hundred child labour and health and safety laws!

And, here's the proof that the plums taste delicious!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Last day of the holidays

It was the last day of our two-week holidays, so we wanted to make the most of the day, but without going too far. So, we headed across the city to Penarth, for a walk along the pier, and a play at the park.

As usual, we quickly found a bench where we could sit and munch on our sandwiches!

Followed by some after-lunch races along the pier - Hannah was easily the winner of this race, as she was the only runner!

Walking along the coast was too much for some people, so Thomas elected for a shoulder ride. What you can't see from this picture is that Mummy is giving Daddy a shoulder ride, just out of shot below! (Only kidding!)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

All aboard!

We've been carrying on the day-trip extravaganza that's been our summer holiday this year, with trips to parks, beaches and woods this week. Today we headed to the Forest of Dean to visit the Perrygrove Railway. We'd had lots of good recommendations for this place, and it lived up to it's promise. Hannah and Thomas loved riding on the train, and the treasure hunt that we went on was great fun!

It was lunch time when we first got there, so it didn't take long before we were digging into our sandwiches!

Hannah wanted to be the 'leader' while we were following the treasure hunt clues. She did a great job in finding all of the places where the clues were hidden. Here's a picture of her and Thomas heading through the woods, sniffing out the next clue.

Hannah and Thomas thought the train rides were cool, and both were making excited squeals as we went along - very embarrassing! Hannah even got to wave the green flag to start the train ride! Thomas preferred his Thomas the Tank Engine flag, though.

Friday, August 04, 2006


To end our last day of freedom in the Gower, before returning back to Cardiff to pick up the children, we decided to head off the beaten track and make our way to Pwll Du (Welsh for Blackpool). There was no fun fair or tower, but it was a beautiful beach to reach, even if it took us about four false starts walking through the National Trust paths before giving up and driving as close as we could get to the cove before walking!


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Rhossili walk

It was our 10th anniversary today, so we were going to spend it sitting on the beach, chilling out - but that would have been boring!

Instead, we climbed a very steep hill, took a great walk with some great views, and then wandered back to where we started from along the beach! We started at Llangennith, walked along the hill coast to Rhossili, munched an ice-cream, and then wandered back along the gorgeous beach.

It was a very nice way to celebrate an anniversary!

Here's the view of Worm's head that we saw on the way to Rhossili.

Just to prove that we did get to the top, and didn't take a short cut!

And this is either a beached whale or a mermaid - we'll let you decide!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

It's behind you!

It's Mummy and Daddy's 10th wedding anniversary on August 3rd, so we managed to lose the children at Grandma and Grandad's for a few days while we jetted down the M4 to the Gower!

On the way, we went to Dan-Yr-Ogof caves, which Daddy has always wanted to do and never had a chance. It was as good as Daddy hoped, although a bit on the expensive side for a few holes in the ground!

Unfortunately, the cave photos didn't come out too well - something to do with it being a bit dark in there! - so, you'll have to visit for yourself if you want to see how good it is! We did get some good photos in the dinosaur park, though - here's one of Mummy about to have her head bitten off!