We saw the paediatrician for the Great Gazoo's noggin yesterday. The news is good! The paediatrician said that cranial synostosis is very rare, and that flattening from positioning is very, very common. Plus, he has all the environmental factors: born premature (skull is still very soft), twin (he was head down from at least 20 weeks on), he favours looking over to one side - according to the paediatrician this all points to it being due to those conditions, as opposed to synostosis. The usual protocol is to see if the new positioning and exercises that our physiotherapist prescribed due something over the course of the next 6 weeks and then go from there. Professor Gantok has the opposite problem. Whereas the Great Gazoo always looks straight up at the ceiling and needs to take the pressure off the back of his head, Professor Gantok is always tilting his head from side to side, and his head is getting elongated from front to back. He actually needs to spend more time on the back of his head, so the paediatrician gave us an exercise for that. It's mostly cosmetic but also, you want babies to have the full range of motion in their necks and be able to look from side to side and dead on, so that's why you adjust their positioning.
They are doing really, really well. Based on the Dotytron's concerns that I'm going to be a pile of tears every day when he starts work again in September (which I think is false), we've started implementing a more "school-like" schedule. It's working really well so far. We used to do our patented mega-bottle at 11:30pm and then the both of us would do another bottle feed from 3-4am. Now, we do our mega-bottle at 10pm, they get up at around 3-4am, Dotytron changes their diapers and then passes them off to me for a breastfeed, I put them down in their crib in their own room (as opposed to the bassinets in our room) and then go back to my room to sleep. They wake up again anywhere from 7-8pm. I actually have been waking them up closer to 7am because that works better for the morning routine so that I can get the Big Yam to daycare on time. My daycare provider said that she could take the Big Yam for an extra day each week, so he'll be at daycare 3 days a week and home with us 2 days a week. If by December I feel like I can take on more, then I have the option of keeping him home one extra day.
We had a lovely weekend, the highlight of which was the Dotytron and I leaving all three (!) kids with Momma D and her sister so that we could go out for my birthday dinner. I chose Hopgood's Foodliner, and it was stellar. The chef there formerly helmed the Hoof Café. This restaurant is a nod to his east-coast roots, serving fine-dining updates of regional dishes with a heavy emphasis on seafood.
Sunday night is their chicken sandwich night, which is an homage to a sandwich served at a particular Halifax food truck. The sandwiches are $5. It is not overstating things to say that we could have made a whole meal of these, and in fact, started our meal with one and after everything else we had ordered had arrived, decided to close with one more. It is the chickeniest sandwich I've ever had. The server seriously undersold it. It is a butter-fried bun, topped with chunks of juicy, moist chicken, topped with a light-but-rich chicken gravy shot through with a brunoise of chicken skin crackling, topped with a lightly dressed cole slaw. It is the essence of chicken and deliciousness - like your favorite memories of St. Hubert's served on a bun. I can't say enough good things about this.
The ham plate: slices of capicollo like ham, that you were supposed to wrap around the chicharron and then dip in the smoked mayo. A fantastic bar snack.
Their hot crab dip served with toasted Triscuits. Like the best version of that holiday buffet pot luck staple. This dish was really good, but you lost some of the crab flavour. The cauliflower clams casino made me nearly cry tears of joy. Shucked clams, mixed with cauliflower puree and Comte cheese, topped with parmesan panko and broiled, served with pickle cauliflower. So freakin' good.
Crispy sweetbreads served with an heirloom potato salad and a tangle of shredded radish. Perfectly cooked sweetbreads, with a proper crunchy outside giving way to an al dente interior.
Sea bream and sour plum crudo. This dish was so-so. It was served with olive oil and sedum. The sedum had a flavour akin to watermelon rind but I think the dish was overwhelmed with the olive oil - you lost the flavour of the fish and the sour plum acidity was missing entirely.
We also started our meal with their house pickles (asparagus served in a little mason jar - a savvy use of asparagus ends) and ended with their crispy toffee - which is a bar of homemade toffee enrobed in chocolate - the toffee is like a cross between a Crunchie bar and regular toffee - very buttery but light.
I would definitely go back. The entire meal with tax and tip including one (overpriced) hibiscus soda and two beers for the Dotytron was about $170. Very nice for a good dinner out. The Dotytron knew nothing about the restaurant and was pleasantly surprised by the experience. The food was spectacular and the setting is low-key - it has a neighbourhood feel. I like that they're doing something a little different from the norm. I don't mind paying for that, but will refuse to pay for your standard "fine dining" type food. The restaurant landscape has changed so much in the past 10 years. Those bastions of fine dining are becoming dinosaurs - you have talented young chefs churning out food that's of the same quality, but a lot less stuffy and for less money. It's fantastic.
Other things that are fantastic:
Post feed gassy, goofy smiles from milk drunk Prof. Gantok
Onesies and knee socks
Our friend from Montréal is visiting this week so we're seeing lots of her and the Roomie. Last week we had an awesome instalment in what is becoming a nice tradition - movie night with Lolly and SMckay complete with themed food.
We also checked out this new park on the east side - the Corktown Commons. It's amazing. Designed as flood protection from the Don at the base of a number of condo projects - it's got a wide grassy amphitheatre area, a timed/triggered modern splash pad with that rubbery footing underneath, a playground, a beautiful covered area, concrete picnic tables, a view of the Toronto skyline. It is clean and patrolled by security. It made me get all PLUR-tastic about Toronto:
and we also took the Big Yam to the Beach on Saturday, just us and him, which also made me dissolve into rapturous love for this city:
I mean, COME ON. A five minute bike ride from our home is this?! What's not to love?
I met Dr. Rei for lunch last week and she took me to the Kathi Roll Express, by our respective workplaces. It was so good! I got a lamb seekh kathi roll - which is a paratha, topped with an egg, wrapped around a kebab and served with that mint-coriander chutney that Indian people eat. So tasty. I instantly wanted about 10 more and wanted to try them all:
I also bought myself a long-coveted pair of Hunter boots - matte black (would have preferred glossy, but oh well) that ended up costing me only $18 through a combination of long-held gift cards and signing up for an HBC card that I'll never use but that saved me 15%. HUZZAH! Super-pumped to find Hunter's that have an adjustable back to accommodate the world's largest calves. I could squeeze into the regular Hunter's but wouldn't have been able to wear them over jeans or pants. I kind of want it to rain just so I can test them out.
You know, I fake-complain about having three kids under three but based on this past week alone - I'm feeling like a pretty big lucky button. I can't believe all the things I've gotten to do, without feeling like I've sacrificed the ability to enjoy my city and be out and eat out and try new restaurants and visit with friends. I feel profoundly grateful.
From the dinner diaries:
Our friends H & A brought us the BEST pierogi I've ever tasted from Cleveland - which is a hotbed of Eastern European cuisine. We pan-fried them in butter and finished them in the oven with chunks of pan-fried kolbassa and onion. Served with CSA green beans.
Kalbi-marinated grilled pork banh mi. The Dotytron didn't think it tasted like banh mi but it made a good sandwich, regardless. I served it with a green mango salad which was sooo easy and sooo good: thinly sliced green mango, cucumber, red pepper, and red onion, tossed with some lime juice and salt. So refreshing.
Low-concept summer meal: seared scallops, corn bacon cherry tomato sauté, and beloved (only by me, the other eaters in the family are less enthused) zucchini fritters.
I don't want to get all "end of summer" reflective, pensive right now, because we are still in it, and I want to be as in it as possible until I can't be in it any more. I will say that I started June by going into labour and then spent three tumultuous weeks in the NICU and had no idea then that things would settle and yield a summer so rich in experiences and friends and family and love.
Now if only I had time to see some of the new movies I want to see so desperately: Elysium, The Spectacular Now, Fruitvale Station.
This movie is MADE FOR ME!
Back later with a post documenting books read, and parenting a toddler-in-transition lessons learned.