Archive for April, 2013

football pajamas

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Laura 22 weeks pregnant with Robin

This time last year, I lay in bed worrying. Worrying all night long. We escaped the city and went to the farm where I could be pregnant and worry in peace by the fire place.

We had skipped the 13 week genetic testing ultrasound and had been so laid back about things that we didn’t get around to getting the anatomical scan done until 22 weeks. I was doing my best to ignore being pregnant since no one wants to let you dig holes when you are pregnant so  pregnancy and I aren’t really very good friends.

We thought it would be fun to know the sex of our baby so even though we had talked of skipping the big ultrasound we decided to go. I 100% thought we were having a girl and a girl would be nice for a few good reasons:

1. Rebecca has awesome clothes and it would be fun to use them again, especially the handmade etsy pinafores and such.

2. We live in a tiny 2 bedroom house with no chance of moving so the kids are going to have to share a room eventually and wouldn’t decorating a little girls’ room be fun?

3. Last but certainly most important, really, this was a pressing issue in my mind; No Football Pajamas.  Boys clothes are just gross! Football, Baseball, CAMOUFLAGE?! I mean come on! The chances of a child of mine identifying with sports is pretty slim. We were having a good time with this and every once in a while someone would well meaningly say something along the lines of “As long as the baby’s healthy”. Yeah, yeah, we thought, the baby’s just fine and let me insult boys’ clothes as much as I want.

Rebecca at the farm, August 2012
So at 22 weeks pregnant I lay on the ultrasound table a few weeks late for my 20 week ultrasound. Rebecca and Ryan waited in the waiting room and I was wondering why this was taking so long. I was there forever, there was something the tech was trying to see and couldn’t. I knew the baby was breach at this point and figured that must be it. The technician called in my family and told us we were having a little boy and went on to be first of many to say Ryan was so lucky to be having a son (because it’s somehow appropriate to insinuate that men only want sons in front of their daughters?).

I sat in the car, taking solace in knowing we could still use our favourite name, Robin. Then we went home and I cried hormonal tears about football pajamas while sorting out piles of perfect cotton dresses and floral printed sleepers that the new baby wouldn’t wear.

By the time we were at the midwives’ clinic the next week I was over it.  I had caught on that little boys wear stripes and grey wool coats and tiny converse running shoes and had made peace with any hang ups about gender we had had. But you see, those 20 week ultrasounds have a purpose, and it’s not actually to check out your baby’s genitals. Our midwife Esther sat there and explained that our baby clearly had clubbed feet, a congenital birth defect that would need to be treated in infancy.  Now, my husband Ryan was also born with this condition and that kept us pretty calm but suddenly we were hit with a whole lot of perspective. Our baby would be fine in the long run but getting there would take some work.

the view from St Mikes{ the view from the waiting room at the high risk clinic at St Michael’s hospital in Toronto }

By now I was 23 weeks so we made our rounds quickly through the high risk obstetrics department at St Michael’s hospital.  Seems they needed to rule out any other birth defects and do their best to scare the bejesus out of me. I let them look around a bit and finally had enough when after a handful of ultrasounds and tests, they started pressuring me to have an amnio, which has way more risk than club feet, which we already had. After consulting with our midwives we happily cancelled the rest of our appointments, scheduled a meet and greet with the orthopaedic surgeons at Sick Children’s hospital and never looked back.

Robin Newborn

{ Robin 12 days old }

Robin the day before his first casts for bilateral talipes

{ Robin the day before his 1st set of casts }

Robin was born at home without issue. Despite what high risk OBs might want to tell you, babies’ feet don’t have much to do with their delivery. Every part of him was adorable.


We started treatment at the hospital for Sick Children here in Toronto when he was 4 weeks old. He had 12 weeks of serial casts (more than usual as he’s “complex”) and was treated with physiotherapy and experimental Botox injections. I won’t lie, even with lots of baby-leggings having half your baby in casts isn’t very nice, but at least it was for a relatively short part of our lives.

Club Foot Casts

Finally after all that, a few days before christmas, the last casts came off.

We were sent home with his new boots and bars foot brace and a pair of hand me down footless football pajamas. And I cried all the way to the street car stop, wearing my baby with his boots and bars hitting my legs and the realization that I had come full circle.  Not only do I not care if he’s a boy or a girl, I don’t actually care “as long as they’re healthy” or not either, and I’m going to hold on to these pajamas with their cut off feet and their ridiculous football playing bear for the rest of my life.

Robin On The Move

Wrap & Bars

{ good clubfoot babywearing info can be found over on the baby wearer }

Gluten be gone: spring cleaning and a serendipitous oven fire

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

apples on cutting board 2013

I’m looking out my kitchen window at the contents of my kitchen.

The angel food cake pan I made Rebecca’s first birthday cake in.

My grandmother’s loaf pan with that great star pattern.

The pasta maker we originally thought was the worst wedding present ever but went on to throw fabulous pasta making parties where you make your guests make their own dinner.

The rolling pin my mother in law bought for me when Ryan and I were 22.

Pasta Party cc 2013

Oh sigh. The tough part about Rebecca and I being diagnosed with celiac isn’t the food, it’s the stuff.

Scrap that, it’s the memories that go along with the stuff.

Rebecca's 1st birthday cc 2013

The whisk that makes pancakes, the pastry brush, oh hell the pastry knife is out there too. The cutting boards, the wooden spoon.

They are all out there on the back porch.

Rolling pin 2


I’ve given away the toaster, the pizza cutter, the things I can’t clean. I’ve been cleaning for days. I vacuumed, I scrubbed,  I went at the pastry pin and vintage tins with a tooth brush, I gave away a third of our pantry and I give up. There was flour along the edges of the drawers, suspicious oats under the cutlery. What’s left can just sit out there for a few weeks while I decide what pieces to salvage and what lovely new cutting boards I should treat us to.


becca and the mixer 2013


The issue really isn’t the food, it’s all the food that’s been made in this kitchen. I cook, I love to cook, my kitchen is my happy place.  I don’t mind the challenge of removing gluten from our diets. It’s actually a relief after all the things we’ve gone without while trying to unravel this puzzle. It’s the cleaning is a little much.  There is flour on the edge on all my drawers from when the mixer pooffed up a fine mist and I smiled thinking it was fun.  Those brownies that made a cloud of flour around the coffee maker?  I think I’ve finally got it all.

I’ve stripped the cast iron of ten years worth of grilled sandwiches and weekend breakfasts. This set the oven on fire and Rebecca, being the three year old that she is decided that that was the moment to ask for a snack.


flour on the floor 2013


Rebecca falls asleep listing off the donuts she would like to eat. She can describe them all; fluffy donuts, sprinkles, sparkles, maybe some pink and blue ones? She says they are behind glass and asks if she can just polish it. She also says beautiful things; “I feel great!” “Wheat makes my belly hurt, I no eat wheat, I eat my own Becca snacks”. She plays a game where she’s a waitress who only serves gluten free treats; “may I have a cup of tea please?” she squeals “Here’s your tea, it’s gluten-free!”.


Bathtime tea party 2013


Slowly but surely we’re on a mend and my spring cleaning is coming to a close. My mother brought over a new pasta maker, we successfully ordered gluten free pizza, we’re headed tothe ND this afternoon for some guidance, and I think once we get a fresh coat of paint around my kitchen window we will be off to a fresh start.


timber greewoods cutting board and scapes