Posted on | November 9, 2010 | 7 Comments
How was everyone’s Halloween? Mine was cold, but fun. Going to NYC to walk in the parade was so much fun. I’ll admit it; I was a bit of a sourpuss when the wind started howling. It was so cold I could barely walk (thanks to the loss of feeling in my extremities). I probably looked pretty ridiculous, trying to walk to the subway station with my limbs going all willy-nilly. But that’s what I get for buying a skimpy, girl costume, right? (Never again. I’ve learned my lesson.) But then, once we got inside from the cold (and a drink in me) I was feeling fine once again.
I II was a pirate this year and a pretty good lookin’ one thanks to Kat’s makeup (visit her makeup blog here).
With the passing of Halloween, most people’s minds immediately go to Thanksgiving. Not mine. Though the holiday most centered on food does linger there in the background, there’s one thing that comes first: Lily’s birthday. With one sister living in Baltimore, another at school in New York City and me at Rider U, our youngest sister’s birthday is one thing that brings us all home at the same time. So the clan returns home for birthday festivities, a whole weekend full of food and fun.
Lily is very special. She’s autistic. Growing up with an autistic sister is really different. My mother was told that Lily would never be affectionate or have any kind of imaginative play. I’m not going to lie; there were times when she pushed me away and I felt pretty hurt, despite understanding that she had no intention of hurting anybody’s feelings. But there are also moments where she surprises you with a hug or a kiss or just wants to hold your hand or say hello. It’s moments like those that shoo any doubts or woes away.
In high school, I spent nearly every afternoon babysitting Lily, and she’s taught me so much. Sometimes I feel more like a parent to her than her sister, but that’s okay because it means that when it’s time for me to step up and take care of her, I’ll be ready to do so along with Molly and Caitlin. I know her routines (of which she has many), most of her favorite television quotes, how to prepare her lunch, where to pick her up at school, and how to get her ready for bed. I know her case manager and I’ve met every teacher she’s ever had. I go to her school meetings and parties. I’ve become more confident in myself because I’ve seen who I can be for her. I’m positive that I would be a completely different person if I had never known her.
So her thirteenth birthday had to be super special. Trust me; it was.
Saturday, we all went to the movies to see Megamind. I’m going to tell you right now to go see it because it was one of the best animated films I’ve ever seen. Lily had some of her friends from school and the theater was nice enough to let us come in before opening to have the theater to ourselves. The staff was incredibly accommodating and really understanding. It was amazing and everyone had a great time.
Sunday, we had the family over and boy did we party! Mom decided that we would have a bunch of appetizers out throughout the party and then dessert. Since it’s getting so cold out, I drifted towards the warm hors d’ oeuvres, specifically the seafood dip that my genius mother makes. Served with crackers, this dip is the best for any kind of gathering because it’s easy to make, and it’s sure to be a hit. The crab, clam, melted cheddar and cream cheese are so perfect together.
For this recipe you’ll need:
16 oz. Cream Cheese
16 oz. Crab Lump
13 oz. Chopped Clam
Shredded Cheddar Cheese (as much as you want!)
This is the easiest dip to make. All you have to do is throw it all in your pan, mix it together and put the stove’s heat on low. You want to warm it up until the cheddar cheese starts melting. You can serve it as soon as this is finished. However, if you’re making a bunch of different dishes, you might want to make this a little earlier. If that’s the case, once you’re done heating it up, put your oven on 250°F, pour your dip into an oven-safe bowl and leave to keep warm.
This is one of those dishes that’s so pleasing because everything just melts together so perfectly. The clams and crab meat add a nice texture to the dip as well. Serving them with gluten-free crackers is a great way to make a really easy and delicious snack or appetizer. To be honest, I could eat this dip without any cracker. It’s that good.
I only wish that Lily would eat something like this dip. She only eats a small group of foods: french fries, pizza, waffles, potato chips, cinnamon bread and perhaps a few snacks here and there. Sometimes we consider trying a gluten-free diet with her, but there’s always that fear that she’ll eat even less than she already does. As she’s gotten older, it seems she’s more open to trying new foods. That’s the way it is with her. She learns to try new things, and we come to new phases in her life. There’s always a new challenge to overcome. Maybe as she continues to grow, we’ll be able to introduce more foods for her. Her life is hard enough as it is. I can’t imagine not being able to enjoy food. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be reporting to you a year from now, telling you that she’s eating a wider variety of foods. I definitely hope so.
Speaking of next year, I know what I’m getting Lily for her next birthday:
There’s one thing that I’m sure of. No matter how old Lily gets, she will always be our little baby. Let’s not mention that she’s nearly as tall as me and can now officially be called a teenager. No, I guess I have to face the facts. Lily is growing up into a beautiful young woman. Though there are times where that scares the living daylights out of me, I can’t imagine being anywhere else than by her side, watching, learning and loving.
To donate money or time to autism reasearch, check out Autism Speaks.