Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

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 }

Upcoming Events: Seedy Saturdays 2013

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

We’ve been packing seeds around the clock getting ready for the most wonderful time of year!

Seedy Saturdays always officially kick off our spring season and we couldn’t be more excited.

Seedy Saturday Brickworks

Toronto East

Evergreen Brickworks

550 Bayview Avenue

Saturday March 9th, 2013

11:00 – 4:00


We love the Brickworks and this is a really fun event. There will be gardening workshops, their regular farmers’ market, the best playground in the city, and so many seeds both for sale and for exchange. If you come, please stop by and introduce yourself.

Seedy Saturday brickworks 2012 cc

We always have a great time at Scadding Court too.  It’s right downtown and easy to get to and a will have a ton of local gardening vendors and resources.

Toronto West

Scadding Court Community Centre

707 Dundas Street West

Saturday March 16th, 2013

11:00 – 5:00



Take a looks at Seed’s of Diversity’s complete listings for Seedy Saturdays across Canada.

A Snowy Day in Toronto

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Just a few photos of Rebecca, Robin and Hazel enjoying the snow mostly for my mom who was horrified that I couldn’t convince Rebecca to go out in it yesterday.

Ryan has been working something like 100 hours a week so there have been some logistical issues with solo parenting.  Robin’s foot brace means that none of the 4 different snow outfits we have actually cover all of him; this one is open on the back.  I normally just wear him in a baby carrier and cover us both up in the ergo coat but I can’t really play in the snow like that. So the bouncy chair came outside.

I think I’ll put him on my back and take everyone for a walk this afternoon.

 So a good time was had by all and we were all back inside by 9 am. Now Rebecca says we need to make a cake.

Waiting for Jack: Two visits to see Jack Layton in Toronto

Saturday, August 27th, 2011
Waiting for Jack May 1st, 2011
Waiting for Jack August 26th, 2011
There are so many great photographs and articles about the outpouring of emotions surrounding the death of Jack Layton, leader of the NDP and Canada’s Official Opposition that I wasn’t planning on posting these here.  After looking through some photos I decided I better just put a few up here after all.

We lived in Jack Layton’s riding for quite a few elections.  We moved one riding over for this federal election and were part of the “Orange Crush”, electing a new NDP MP after years of a Liberal Incumbent.

On the night before the Federal election, we waited in the pouring rain outside Matthew Kellway’s Danforth campaign office for 2 hours.  It was important to us to go for many reasons but especially so that Rebecca grows up knowing that politics are import in our family now matter how she ultimately votes.

Now only a few months later we waited for another two hours to see him again.  The crowd had quite a few of the same faces, representing so much of Toronto’s diverse population. Although the crowd wasn’t as charged as the first time the energy from the people at Nathan Philip’s Square was incredible.

 Family portrait in line at Toronto City Hall.  Rebecca was a superstar of patience and was very well behaved when meeting the Layton Family.

Police on Horses, TTC Honour Guard, News Media everywhere, chalk inscriptions in so many languages, and crowds of families.  We talked to a couple that had flown in from Saskatoon to be there.

Woke up this morning to this photo of us on Torontoist.  We’re looking pretty orange while paying our  respects.

We added to the chalk memorials.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  its been washed away by rain 3 times and springs back up immediately. Even our stick-in-the-mud mayor has been quoted as liking it.

We brought sunflowers from our garden.  Rebecca finally reminded us that she is two by crying that she didn’t want to leave the flowers after she put them down. Much to the delight of the entire Canadian Media.

To sum things up I’d like to ask my Canadian readers to take a second and commit to voting.  In every election and at every chance offered to them.  Additionally, consider formally joining the political party of your choice.  Membership in the Federal NDP is as low as $5 for Youth and the un(der)employed and is really a simple way to be involved. Jack would like it.

Spring visits to Riverdale Farm

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

Riverdale Farm is my favourite place in the whole city of Toronto.  

A little farm located within a city park on the old zoo grounds provides a great destination when you just need an hour out in the sun with some cows. These photos are from two recent visits. They’ll probably be more in the next few weeks.  It really is a little bit of heaven.

Just off River Street.
A sure sign of spring: A robin outside the Simpson House.
Sheep! They seem to have three types this year.
It is important to dress right for a farm visit.
Everyone who goes to the farm takes this picture.
Second type of sheep including a little teenage black sheep.
Third type of sheep, the cutest I think.
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Rebecca’s favourite animal was a farm cat.
The chase is on. 
Where are you kitty?
Red Pigs with perfect snorting and curly tails.
Friends on the Streetcar.
Rebecca in the Francy Barn. 
Penny in the Francy Barn.
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Handmade mittens make Penny very happy today.