What’s That?!

Thanks to Graham, Emily, and Kerry for Peanut’s new toys!

mitchell gifts

I can’t wait to see how Peanut reacts to these–they are brilliant stimulation for the senses!  This book, of course, is completely perfect eye-catching contrast.

mitchell gift book

So is the peacock(?), but the peacock also reflects, crinkles, rattles and has lots of different pieces to grab… We consider that Graham is probably an expert on what babies really like; this must be the cool thing to do this season! Thank goodness we have the inside scoop from someone in the know.

Sending love to the Mitchell family for this fun gift!


Gifts have arrived from a threesome in Tennessee.

From where I sit it looks kind of like this: Two people crashed into each other. Two people held hands for a while, a little confused about the whole thing. Love happened. Love made two into three. Love is overflowing.

Love is melting their brains until they send indescribably cute pjs from across the ocean.
baby pj front

Now I am melting from cuteness overload. Yes, the cute animals are on the tooshy and there is room for the nappy on the sweet tooshy.
baby pj back

And I am having a contraction over the shoes.
baby shoes from cherry shop

Which is why it’s good that there is a baby carrier here in case Peanut decides that this is the moment for trying on the shoes.
ergo baby carrier

And an excellent reason to have a Moses Basket stand for the Moses Basket that the baby will dream in.
moses basket stand

‘I don’t know where it all begins / And I don’t know where it all will end / We’re better off for all that we let in’ (Emily Saliers, Amy Ray)

Thank you Joanna and Mark and Baby Girl Montgomery. (correct me if that name is wrong, hahaha!) Peanut is a lucky, loved, and stylish baby.


In The Beginning

Most people want to know if the nursery is ready for Peanut’s arrival. I am happy to say it is now…

My friend Suki has kindly passed down to us her precious Moses Basket!
moses basket from suki
Photo courtesy Elsa Konig

There is something really special about knowing a family loved this bed. A family that wished and wanted and celebrated a miracle have given us a treasure.

I think it looks completely at home in its new place.
moses basket from suki 1

This is exactly where Peanut should dream.
moses basket from suki 2

Until Peanut is old enough to have a room, we have shelves to store the sweet little socks. And by ‘sweet little socks’ I mean of course ‘baby stuff’.
baskets in our room

The guest room closet is slowly being taken over by sweet little socks. Really, our whole flat is being taken over by sweet little socks. I don’t think we mind a bit.


Love On Loan

I am sure that you remember our friends Ade and Mel… Well, they introduced me to Pauline, a mum from Ealing. Pauline has lent us these lovelies until we can pass them along to the next bundle. (I think Mel’s mum is hoping for more grand babies!!)

This play mat really is a lot of fun! The elephant ear is crinkly and something makes a squeak… It has dangles and lights and music. Oh. my.
play mat from Pauline

These seats are supposed to be magnificent for play time, feeding, and letting mummy visit the loo/have a shower without baby in her lap…
seats from Pauline

Thank you Pauline! (And thanks to Ade and Mel for the delivery! We hope you make Breakfast Casserole for your family soon!)


Pre-Push Pampering

Some sweet ladies at work got together and decided I might spontaneously go into labor if they didn’t intervene. They are taking me to lunch on Thursday and they have presented me with gift vouchers for my local Aveda salon.

And look at that precious hat from my colleague who just moved to Hong Kong! Super cute.

gift from girls at work

I am struggling to decide exactly which combination of services to purchase! The hat will be easy to figure out, haha! I think.


Thanks Jane and Quinn!

Our sweet friends Jane and Quinn sent a package!! You might remember them as the second guests at the Huddleston B&B. (Somehow all I got were photos of beer…)

gift from jane and quinn

It’s adorable! We are so excited for Peanut to wear this super cute onesie while we read Richard Scarry together. Mummy and Daddy can enjoy home made tex-mex (and then everyone, including baby, will need gas relief)!

We continue to feel loved and lucky to be so well looked after from near and far. This baby is already tangled up in a big network of love!


Our friends Ade and Mel have been very good to us while we have lived in London–and they have always been welcoming to our friends, too. Ade and Mel have recently had a precious new addition to their family and when we made our announcement they were keen to put together a load of goodies for us to borrow. It’s fantastic!

This is just some of what they sent…
on loan from ade and mel

All of a sudden we had lots of what we needed to bring Peanut home!
on loan from mel and ade
Photos courtesy Elsa Konig

When Peanut has outgrown these things another family will be thrilled to see this package of goodies! We can’t say thanks enough for the help. It’s lovely to know lovely people.



Sometimes it gets hard to say ‘thank you’; sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough. Peanut is next to ready for this world and I think the world is ready in return. We keep getting reminders that we are not alone in this despite misleading appearances. You have seen pictures of the Peanut gear that we’ve unpacked, but gifts have been snuck into our pockets and come via email too. It’s a bit overwhelming to be on the receiving end of such generosity.

Thank you.

We don’t know what else to say or how else to let you know that we are grateful that you are as excited about Peanut’s birthday as we are. Well, except that we’ve got a guest room with your name on it.

duck in basket elsa konig
Photo courtesy Elsa Konig


Back on the Island

Despite the mileage traveled (8500+ miles) and the difficulties of the past two weeks, Drew returned home with presents for me. They are the perfect kind–simple, straightforward, useful, thoughtful, and just right for sharing. Good man.

Martha White and Crisco–I don’t know how to make North American Southern-style biscuits with anything else. My mom and dad made sure that an appreciation for these treats was instilled in me and Granny Young made sure I understood the importance of Martha White flour.
martha white and Crisco
[Drew also brought home a precious hand written recipe from Granny Huddleston for Chocolate Gravy. I don’t have permission (yet) to give that out, so you will have to trust me.]

Then there were these… Hot diggety. Old El Paso Taco Seasoning, for the Relatively Low Drama Baby Mama who has specific, but simple needs. I am pre-preparing some taco/burrito filling for freezing without a doubt. When Peanut arrives I need to know that taco night can still happen.
old el paso taco seasoning
P.S. Vegetarians, this seasoning packet works wonders on beans, soy crumbles, I would assume seitan, refried bean dips, soups and dressings just as it does for your carnivorous counterparts…

Before he had unpacked his suitcases, this happened.
dad with pram

Have mercy on me.
dad with pram 2
[Look, that’s Kassi and some of Kelsey on tv!]

What is cuter than this?
dad with pram 3

Yes, we will attach the rain shield. We just never know…
dad with pram and rainshield

My uterus aches.
dad using pram window

This is definitely on the list of Top Ten Most Precious Things I Have Seen In My Life.


Awww, thanks!

Peanut has fans. Just look at the sweet gifts that hitched a ride home from Tennessee with Drew.
aunt andrea duck elephant

You know who is responsible for this by now, don’t you?
from aunt andrea ut

Have you seen a sweeter Christmas tree ornament than this?!
peanut ornament aunt andrea

Thank you Aunt Andrea! Peanut is going to look great in orange. (You may have to give the little one some lessons on when to cheer, and I’ll handle passing down the guacamole recipe…)


Yeah She Did

Look what Amber found!

peanut onesie from amber

Adorable : ) We. Are. Stoked. Thanks Mrs. Lill; I can hardly wait for Peanut to wear it! (I was obviously so excited I couldn’t iron it before putting it on the blog. Please forgive me–I am pregnant after all–Delirium and Heartburn are my two closest companions. Humility hardly comes around to visit these days…)



Drew brought me presents from Helsinki, Finland! Yes, it does seem a little childish to be excited about coloring books, but I can’t think of a better thing to do than color after a Sunday lunch at the pub. (I was never one to be wild.)

muumiem coloring book

And don’t they go nicely with these lovelies from Jane?
crayola crayons

Apparently Drew took a walk on the frozen Baltic sea…
frozen baltic sea

It really is breathtaking.
snowy frozen baltic sea

And he is a way better photographer than me to start with!


Happy Birfday to Me

One time, last March, I turned 30. (Sorry, it is less exciting than what happens at band camp, but I can tell you those stories later.)
jen turns thirty
That’s me. I was 30. I am still 30 for a little while.

Well, last March Drew got me a limited edition screen print from a very secret store, Secret Agent Sarah Kramer’s mastermind idea.
secret society store

It’s where the good work of saving unicorns is being done.
unicorn t shirt for vegans

Well, the point is that we have finally had this beauty framed. I think she is trying to tell me something.
secret society of vegans


Songs About Jane

When that big truck left a bump on my head, Jane got a very bright idea.  A very bright idea, indeed.

120 crayons

Just look at them…
close up crayons

They are absolutely lovely.  I spent an hour arranging them by color.  Ok, I was sniffing them.  It is almost the exact same thing.

In contrast, there was this apron; you might see how these things compliment each other.


And then this…  Oh, how I love them.

See Jane outdo herself.  Why should I be so loved?