Four.

I can hear your laughter you beautiful boy x

I can hear your laughter you beautiful boy x

To my darling Jim Jam,

Today you turned four.

I’ve really struggled with you turning the big 4. Really struggled.

I love having birthdays and I love you having them too. We have such fun and you really understand what they mean now. This year we did a Star Wars themed party which Mummy really got stuck in to. I tried my hardest to make Wookie Cookie puns, making my own lightsabers for your friends and even trying to get you guys to play Don’t drop the Storm Trooper. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. But your face when you saw the R2-D2 cake is something I will remember forever.

Being three was one of my most challenging years of being a parent. You certainly took ‘Threenager’ to its full capacity and your attitude has really made me question whether I really am any good at this being a Mama lark. Its been tough but it wasn’t always so bad.

I think the reason we’ve had tantrums and sometimes full on arguments is because you’ve really, really developed this year. Your speech (as always) is astounding. Your inflection in your words and knowing when to say things, even jokes, makes me wonder if you really only have been here for 4 short years. Have you been here before I wonder?

You love numbers and are now trying to subtract and add them together. How did you learn that? I am super impressed. I think this is a Daddy trait for sure.

You started nursery just after you turned 3 and you’ve come in leaps and bounds. You’re making friends and becoming a sociable little lad. Its a joy to see.

Your favourite things are:

Star Wars

Minnie Dog

Marvel comics

All sorts of music – you never stop singing and dancing!

Riding your bike – you give me heart attack every time you race down the hill

Imagination play – please do not ever lose that frantic imagination you have

These are power boosters, don't you know.

These are power boosters, don’t you know.

James, you will be going to school in September and you will be going with a lot of the friends you have made this year, its a big change for you, but I know you will try your best. You get frustrated when you can’t do something straight away but it doesn’t stop you trying. Thats a fab trait to have.

You’ve turned into such a big boy in more ways than one. You’re potty trained now and you’ve physically grown so much. The baby chub that used to get squidged so much, has now given way to long limbs and a slender face.

You are absolutely beautiful though. I am biased yes, but truthful too. P1020442

Your other best friend - your bike!Your other best friend – your bike!

Oh my gorgeous boy, you learnt to swim this year and you are making great strides with your bike riding. You even defeat creepers and zombies whilst zooming down the hill. You still love YouTube Kinder Egg videos, seriously its like baby crack for you, although you have branched out to watching Stampycat (if you’re a parent, you will know what this means)

My sweet, sweet boy, you are an emotional soul with a beautiful heart. You feel every emotion and you can feel it for other people too. One of the comments on your nursery report was how you comfort other children when they are upset. So when you give your Mama a hard time, its nice to know you have a wonderful caring side.

This year also saw me be 2 years Cancer free. It was also the year in which you realised that Mummy goes to hospital and that we enlist the help of the Purple Army. Or what you have affectionately dubbed Pepperami. It doesn’t scare you, but you ask questions about the ‘cancells’ which Mama defeated and you’re very proud when I come home and tell you that I got the all clear from the SuperHero hospital.

You make me want you to be proud. That along with your happiness is all I want my darling.

Lots of changes will be happening in the next few months my darling, some will be harder than others, but know this. I only do anything with you in mind and we will do this all together.

You’re my best friend my beautiful boy and I love that you call me your sweetheart.

Enjoy being four, lets make it the best year yet.

Keep growing strong,

All my love,

Mama xIMG_6444

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Happy 4th Birthday, James Aiden x

Happy 4th Birthday, James Aiden x

Three.

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To my darling James,

It’s that time of year when Mama reminisces of when the trees bloom their blossom while I waited for my Spring baby to arrive. I remind myself how I waddled and paused for contractions to pass as I made my way to the Auntie Giu’s car. It took
20 minutes to walk 30ft.
Every time I go over a cattle grid it takes me right back to that journey to the hospital. I’m pretty sure that sped up the dilating for sure, although I wouldn’t recommend that method.

Today you turn 3.

What do I say to you about you turning 3?
You are challenging, inquisitive and strong willed.
You are stubborn, bolshy yet beautifully kind.

You are my boy, my baby, my absolute world.

How on earth is it ever possible that you are the tiny age of 3, yet 3 is simply a magnificent age.

Off to be a Superhero again....

Off to be a Superhero again….

1095 days ago you came into our lives and simply changed it forever. I say simply because loving you is the easiest thing in the world for me. Being a Mother, now that’s the hard part.

James you’re a threenager in the making with tantrums that can break a ninja.
A wibbly lip that melts me into putty with a tiny tear to guilt trip me for days.
But that smile. Oh that smile makes me fall in love with you everyday.

You make me hap-pea too my boy.

You make me hap-pea too my boy.

You and I can talk for hours and very often we do. You tell me everything that’s in your head and everything around you.
Your imagination is running wild and I hope you never lose it. Having something so amazing will keep you entertained for hours. Trust me, it’s what keeps Mama sane sometimes. Going into your little world, making the mundane around you more exciting.
But everything is exciting in a 3 year olds world. From taking the train to a far away land (Liverpool Street), to going on holiday (staying overnight at Auntie NaNa’s), to jumping off a pirate ship (jumping off the side of the swimming pool).

Your favourite things are:
Gary the Snail
Rockets
Dinosaurs especially Andy’s Dinosaur adventures
Surprise eggs (Kinder surprise)
Racing (running from room to room)
Making tea with your red teapot
Singing
Dancing
Pharrell Williams, Kasabian and Elbow
Your best friend Johnny
Minnie Dog and Lexi-bum
And you love everything ‘dis much’.

Big smiles when you're with your Minnie Dog.

Big smiles when you’re with your Minnie Dog.

As with every letter I write to you, I always say how well you talk and there is no exception here. You love to chat and enjoy nothing more than a natter on your phone. Which is also your hand.

Your manner in which you do things whilst bull in a china shop-esque, is also mixed with the grace of a dancer. Except for when you thump and we have to tell you to be be quiet otherwise you’ll wake baby Molly.

You’re still in love with Baby Molly by the way and you have a soft spot for lots of other ladies too. Flashing your gorgeous brown eyes. I simply cannot think where your flirtatious side comes from.

James, sometimes (I mean this in the nicest possible way) you can be a little shit. You are definitely in the ‘how far can I try my parents patience’ stage and for every wonderful thing you do, you follow it up with ratbaggery of some kind.
But, you’re good most of the time, so we won’t ship you off to boarding school anytime soon.

James, things are changing and you’re growing up faster than I’d like. Soon you’ll be at nursery full time and then before we know it, you’ll be in school.
But never, ever forget that no matter what age you are, you’ll never stop being my baby.

Sharing cheese with Mama

Sharing cheese with Mama


Having fun with Daddy.

Having fun with Daddy.


And as we keep saying to each other and to Daddy, you’re my best friend.

Enjoy being 3 my sweet, darling boy.

I love you more than you’ll ever know

Keep growing strong,
Love,
Mama x


Selfie poser

…And Many More…

This is pretty much my life right now….

Tea? Check. Mac? Check. Cape? Check

Tea? Check. Mac? Check. Cape? Check

The lovely @luckylauraQ asked me:

I didn’t know you pre-fuckwit, but I wondered how it changed your body image? Do you see your body as having a different function now & do you feel differently towards it?

Good question Laura. I shall answer it through my birthday letter to me…

Dear Frannie,

Today you turn 29. At 21.05 tonight, you will officially be in your last year of your twenties.

When you look back on what you wanted to accomplish by this age you’ve done pretty much everything you set out. You wanted to be married to a lovely man, you wanted a baby, you wanted to be successful in your career.

Two out of three aint bad…you’re working on the last one now.

6 months ago, this date was filling you with dread. You were in a job that just about paid the bills, with an apprehension over you about some health concerns, the last thing you wanted to think about was your birthday and *gulp* getting older.

But 3 small months ago you were delivered news that at that moment in time questioned whether you would even reach your 30th birthday.

Sudden that little number didn’t seem so scary.

It actually became a goal to reach.

All your life you have tormented yourself about your body.
You’ve ranged from size 6 as a teenager to at your biggest, a size 14.
You are now a comfortable size 12.

I can’t believe it took being told you had Cancer to make you realise that actually, your body is awesome. It defied odds and carried a baby to term, it dealt with horrendous pain and turmoil every month.

And now?

Well now, its beating Cancer. It’s taking control over something which is imposing. The stupid fuckwit.
You lost 22 pounds in a very short time and admitedly, you wouldn’t wanted to have lost it in this way, but it’s given you the boost you needed to accept the new shape you have.

Proud of the pooch

Proud of the pooch

You have a little tummy pooch, which will probably always be there.
A reminder of the trauma it went through to make sure you see your 30th birthday, but more importantly the roundness to prove you did in fact carry a baby.
If the toddler playing on your Mac wasn’t enough proof already…

Mama? Issa mac, yea?

Mama? Issa mac, yea?

But I am proud of you. You have given up your hang ups with your body.
As your blog proves, you are not ashamed to explore your body and the problems you have had. Being more aware of your body made you realise there was a problem in the first place.

Well done for listening to it.

Today you turned 29. You’ve got a few more wrinkles round the eyes. You have a constant ringing in your ears from the chemo nerve damage and your left hand still gets pins and needles from the sheer volume of canulas and needle pricks.

But you’d take it all again if it meant you got to see your 30th birthday.

I hope you can see all the love out there for you. People from all around the world have been reading your blog, spurring you on, keeping an eye on you.

Remember this in the times when it gets hard to bear.
You might not have any more children, you will go through the menopause and you might have a few more stumbling blocks to go through with your cancer journey, but there is someone out there, who is rooting for you.
And it’s not just the lovely Man on the sofa with you.

Today you turned 29. You have realised that you are an individual person, with your own opinions and views and you are now not afraid to express them.
You are sharing your writing, which is in itself a massive V-flick to Cancer.
Cancer likes the quiet and dark. You are bringing it out of its comfort zone showing it up for the coward it is.

Cancer is the coward. Not you.

Today you turned 29. Next year you will be 30. Lets show everyone how many more birthday’s you are going to celebrate.

Happy Birthday Frannie. And I wish you many, many more.

Never stop laughing like this. Ever.

Never stop laughing like this. Ever.

Life begins at 40…

Today, Peter Charles Crimp turns 40 years old.

For the eagle-eyed people out there, yes he is a whole 13 years older than me.

However, I act more mature than him.

I digress.

Today, Pete turns 40.

The big 4-0. A milestone, life begins, mid-life crisis blah blah blah.

For people who follow Pete on twitter or Facebook, He has been counting down the days as though when he reached his birthday, he would spontaneously combust.

I can verify that hasn’t happened.

In fact I am very glad to say that he is still here.

And as a birthday tribute to him, here is a special letter.

Dear Pete,

As most people know you are notoriously hard to buy for.

And most people know that I am skint from being on Maternity leave.

So with no money and no ideas, I can only give you what I am good at.

No, not that.

My love of writing.

Today you turned 40. An age most people regard as a time where life begins.

I am going to toot my own horn and say that your life began when we started dating nearly 8 years ago. I believe it was re-ignited when we got married two years ago tomorrow, and it was rejuvenated by the birth of your Son in April.

You have been re-born many times.

There was even a time we didn’t know if your life wasn’t going to be going on any longer. The power of hindsight shows us you are much stronger than that and you have come back, almost stronger than ever.

You’ve not embraced turning 40 like I thought you would. You are an eternal optimist, nothing worries you. You put me in my place when negativity takes hold. Yet, you regard yourself as old and past it and ‘for the scrap heap’ for turning 40.

Yes, your back and knee ache. As do mine. Carrying a 20lb baby will do that to ya.

Your tired and lethargic. Guess what, a 5 month old baby will do that to ya too.

This is all superficial.

You don’t look like you are on the brink of your 5th decade and you definitely don’t act it. Doing the dance to the Pussycat Dolls song ‘Don’t wish your girlfriend was hot like me’ has put paid to that.

Your dignity also.

Ahem.

Anyway, I know I am *only* 27 and can’t imagine what it will be like to be 40, but from what I can see its pretty amazing.

You are getting a party, you are getting gifts, you will be ribbed for being ‘old’ but it will be followed up by ‘You don’t look 40’.

Men always grow better with age and you are proof of that. You have gotten married and had a child in your late 30’s; monumental milestones that wouldn’t have worked for you if you were any younger.

So embrace this coming of age, because as they say…Life begins…NOW.

James only sees a Daddy who throws him up in the air and makes him laugh. Not a 40-year-old man.

And aren’t you only as old as the woman you feel?

But you do look too old to be 27.

Soz.

So, Happy Birthday, My old man.

May you have many wonderful birthdays to come.

All our love, always

Frannie and James

xxx

The First Boy I Ever Loved

This time of year is always busy with birthdays, anniversaries and then its the rush to Christmas.

This year there is a lot of ‘Big’ birthdays with Pete and my Sister turning 40 and my Nephew, Jack, turns 18 today, 21st September.

I have many Nieces and Nephews and I love them all very, very much and I have a different relationship with each one.

My relationship with Jack is more like Brother and Sister than Auntie and Nephew.

I was there when Jack was born. It was 15.33pm on a warm Tuesday afternoon and I had spent the entire day in the waiting room watching tedious daytime TV ranging from Richard and Judy to Home and Away. Just when the TV was getting interesting with CITV starting, I was told I was an Auntie to a little boy.

Jack Martin Aronne had a mop of black hair and was dinky and wrapped up with what looked like 10 blankets.

He was passed to me and I held the tiny bundle. Time has faded the memory slightly but something must have clicked between Jack and I as I fell completely and utterly in love with that baby.

I was only 9 when he was born. Yet I couldn’t wait to see him and took any chance I could get to go visit him.

As the years went on my love for him never changed.

We were peas in pods.

And like a little brother he could be an annoying little blighter too.

But combined with that was a boy who is such, such fun. We have the same humour and can say something to each other and we will fall about laughing.

We often annoy people with the quotes we have memorised from various shows or sketches. In fact if I was to say to you:

”charliee”

”charlie”

”chaaarlie”

”WHAT!? -.-”

”Were on a bridge chaaaarlie’

You wouldn’t find it funny. Yet me and Jack would pee ourselves.

And that is how we are connected.

We grew up together and like any Brother and Sister we grew fiercely protective of each other.

Jack would be jealous of a boyfriend I had and I in turn would (will) interrogate a girl he would like. In fact Pete has said the person he was most concerned about meeting when we began dating, was Jack.

If we had it my way, Jack wouldn’t be dating until he was at least 35, just like James will do.

Luckily for him he has met the lovely Ria, who I approve of. They are very happy and he treats her like a Princess.

The boy knows how to respect everyone and can talk to his peers as well as his elders.

We have been through some very hard times in his 18 years. Jack personally has had some hurdles to cross but everything he has had to encounter has just made him the wonderful boy he is today.

Not only is he a brilliant, funny boy he is very smart as well. He is Head Boy at Sixth Form and always does well in exams.

I can see Jack’s head getting bigger with all these compliments.

But above all else, he is a loving boy. He might be skin and bones but he gives great hugs. He makes you smile when you are sad and like I said before, will make you pee with laughter.

My little Nephew is growing up; I can see it when he looks at James. He loves him and the feeling is mutual. He will look after and protect him and I really couldn’t think of a better person to be James’ Godfather.

Although, he isn’t a little boy anymore.

Today he turns into a Man.

To Jack,

I hope you have the happiest of Birthdays.

You’re entering the next chapter in your life and you are going to do just fine.

I am immensely proud of you.

The best is yet to come for you, live your life and enjoy it.

I will love you always, you are the first boy I ever loved,

Your Auntie Frannie

xxx

Jack and James, 27th April 2011