Sider Family Blog

Boy (Brad) meets girl (Pam). Boy and girl get married (1999). Boy and girl have a baby (Lily, 2002), and another (Ella, 2005), and another (Abigail, 2008), and another (Levi, 2009). Boy and girl get a dog (Charlie Brown, 2010). Boy and girl and kids and dog live in Toronto. Boy works at Evergreen (Yonge Street Mission). Girl stays at home with the kids and works part-time at Starbucks. And they all live happily ever after...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Lily has been looking forward to Halloween for over a year now... yes, over a year. We skipped out on Halloween last year because Brad was stuck at work, and I would have had to take both the girls (a 3 year and a 5 month old) trick-or-treating by myself. Lily wasn't in school, so she wasn't really sure when the actual day was. I think she saw Halloween on some of the cartoons she had been watching. When we would go over to Yorkdale Mall, she would see all the princess costumes at the Disney store and let Brad and I know that she wanted to be Belle, from Beauty and the Beast. She was still talking about her costume into the middle of November. Thankfully, one day, she stopped asking.

This year Lily is in school, so it would have been a little more difficult to skip. Today was a special day at school, and I had the opportunity to help out in her classroom. All the kids came dressed up in their costumes. There were fairies, princesses, a lion, a pumpkin, and a cowgirl (Lily). They had a class parade through the older classrooms, carved a pumpkin, decorated cookies and made spooky pictures.

My friend Jaime came over and looked after Ella while Brad and I took our little cowgirl out trick-or-treating. It was still pretty early, so not many house lights were on. It was also pretty cold, so we didn't want to be out for a long time. Lily was brave and rang the door bells she could reach, all by herself. After a half an hour, and only three houses, it was time to go home. Lily is only 4, so how much candy does she really need? Once we got back to our building, they had a table of candy set up in the entrance, with the Chairman of our Board dressed up as a Marching Band Leader. Lily did a little cowgirl dance for her, and she filled up the bag with chips and lollipops.

Whether you dressed up, or just handed out candy, we hope that you all had a happy Halloween. Lily had so much fun, she is already looking forward to next year, and has decided that she will be a fairy.

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Baby Smyth

Whenever I get a spare moment I give Heather a call and ask if she's had the baby yet, knowing full well that I have made the call to her house and she has obviously not had the baby. Normally she joins this conversation by sarcastically saying, "I'm holding him right now." I say, "Oh really! What's his name?" Her line is normally quiet after that. Last Friday afternoon when she called me, I asked, "Are you going to the hospital?" She says, "Maybe." I'm waiting for her to say no, but that doesn't come, "Really? You're going to the hospital!" "I think so."

That was a around 2:00 p.m. Thankfully, I was already planning on being downtown with my store partners and decided to check in with Heather and Jeff after supper. She was still pregnant, and had already chickened out and got the epidural... which was actually a good thing, because they decided to deliver by c-section when the baby's heart rate was too high for too long.

I wasn't allowed in the operating room, so I was off to the couches in the waiting area. There were a lot of people waiting for babies that night, so I was thankful to see that there was a spot for me. I was getting a little cold, and decided to go back to Heather's room to grab my coat. It wasn't there anymore, so I knew Heather's operation was done, and went searching for my nephew.

Jeff was holding on to the baby and introduced me to Nathan Samuel Smyth, and passed him over to me. Ahh.

I stayed and visited with the new family of three and waited to take that first family picture. By now I had missed the last subway, and knew that I was stuck at the hospital for a couple of more hours. I got home around 7:00 a.m. and quickly wrote a couple of emails to family and friends.

I don't think that I fell asleep until 9:30 a.m. My alarm went off at 12:30 p.m. and I needed to get ready for work. With only a couple hours of sleep under my belt, I'm so thankful that I work at a place that sells COFFEE!! I also know that Heather and Jeff probably got less sleep. It's so nice to be on the other end of things this time around.

Congratulations Smyth family!!

Nathan Samuel Smyth
Friday, October 27, 2006, 11:58 p.m.
8 lbs, 3 oz
Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

And the winner is...

This morning Lily woke up to find me already awake and watching Breakfast Television. When she walked in the host, Kevin Frankish, was just describing a contest to give away the newly released Over The Hedge DVD. All you had to do was have your kids draw a picture of the BT logo and the squirrel from the movie. Lily said "I can draw a squirrel", and set to work at the table.

The pictures needed to be in before 7:30 and then they were going to announce the winners. Lily has been busy recognizing numbers on the digital clock by the tv, so this gives her some good practice time. "Mommy, it's 7:10." "Mommy, it's 7:11." "Mommy, it's 7:12." "Mommy, its 7:13." I think you get the picture.

Finally, "Mommy, it's 7:30!" "And now we'll go to commercial." Wait for the commercial to be over, the show comes back, doing another segment. "Mommy, it's 7:37. When is it going to be on?".... another commercial, news, road conditions, weather, another segment. "Mommy, it's 8:00. When is it going to be on?" Brad comes in the room ready to head off to work. Not even a minute after he walks out the door, "We're going to announce the winners of our Over The Hedge contest..." and then they start to read my email and there is Lily with her picture on the tv! Lily is jumping up and down, "I won! I won! I won! Mommy, I won!"

Congratulations Lily!


Sunday, October 08, 2006

A Traditional & Unconventional Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!! I love this time of year. The weather is cool and crisp. The trees have changed colours. This weekend especially is wonderful because we get together with our families and eat massive amounts of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, corn, salads, and, lets not forget... PIE! We started out going to Brad's parents place and enjoyed the previously mentioned food (it was sooooo good). Mom Sider always puts on an amazing spread of food... regardless of the occasion.

While we were waiting to sit at the table, I received a phone call from my Mom with some sad news. She has been sick since the Spring, and the doctor hasn' t been able to diagnose her until now. She needed to go into the Lindsay hospital that morning because her feet had swollen, she thought that this might have been a side affect of one of the tests she had taken a few days earlier. Then the hospital doctor told my parents that she has Pancreatic Cancer, which has already spread to her liver. Not very nice news to ever have to hear, but especially on a weekend which is dedicated to giving thanks.

Brad's and my parents live fairly close together so it was easy to hop in our car and drive to my parents. Mom and Dad were supposed to go to a community dinner, but changed their plans so that we were able to visit. Mom can't do anything until she speaks with her family doctor, to get a referral to a specialist. The hospital doctor was able to give her a prescription for pain, so I think that is helping her get some sleep... and obviously makes her a little more comfortable.

After a while Dad took Lily outside for a change of scenery, while Brad and I talked with Mom. Lily must have worked up Dad's appetite because he decided to cook some hotdogs for us over a fire. I know this is a little out of the ordinary for a Thanksgiving meal, but those were the best hotdogs I've ever had!

Normally I wouldn't write this kind of stuff on a blog, I like to keep things fun and light. But there are some of you who read my posts to keep in touch. Please keep my Mom and our family in your prayers.


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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Testing 1, 2, 3...

Lily's very first school picture day is tomorrow. She has narrowed it down to a handful of dresses, and even tried them on to make sure they still fit just right. We even went out and bought a new pair of shoes for the special occasion. Now the only thing to do is have the photographer capture that "perfect smile".

You know those kids who when they are told to smile, they get this grimace on their faces? That's Lily. The pictures you see are of her practicing her smile using the Photo Booth on our computer. We'll have to wait and see what the photographer will capture.

There is always re-takes... right?!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Apple Pie

Auntie Heather came over to our house today and helped me to bake a pie from the apples I picked at the apple farm.

Here is the recipe we used... and some pictures Mommy took along the way.

8 cups sliced, peeled apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp granulated sugar
2 frozen deep dish pie shells

1. In a large bowl, toss apples, brown sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
2. Spoon apple filling into first pie shell, and dot with butter. Brush pastry edge with water or milk.
3. Flip second pie shell upside down and fit over top of apple filling.
4. Trim and flute edge. Cut slashes on top for steam.
5. Bake pie on a lower oven rack at 450F for 15 minutes, turn down the temperature to 350F for bake for 45 - 60 minutes.
6. ENJOY!!

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