Monday, November 21, 2016

Baked Spicy Corn and Crab Dip

How has this year already flown by?  Believe it or not, Thanksgiving is this week!  What?!?!?!  I'm still unsure about the best Thanksgiving dinner week preparation method.  Do I clean a little and fix one or two dishes that can be frozen each day, or do I wait until the day before and go full speed?  The procrastination version requires only one massive kitchen cleanup whereas the spread it out method require cleaning every single day for the whole freaking week.  Thoughts?


This year, on top of the normal stress that comes along with hosting a holiday meal, my children are out of school the entire week and my husband is out of town on business.  This means that in between chopping, scrubbing and dusting I am yelling things like, "if you fart on his face one more time you will lose your screen time for tomorrow!!!" and "do I need to show you how to blow your nose again?!  It is NOT ok to wipe snot on the sofa or your brother...or the wall!!"  In an attempt to keep my sanity and actually get something cooked, I have waived my white flag today and my monkeys are currently entering hour two of video games.  Don't judge.


One of my favorite hot appetizers is this baked spicy corn and crab dip.  I tried a spicy crab dip recipe from the Food Network Magazine a couple of years ago and thought it was tasty but was missing something.  After tinkering with it for a while, adding a bit of this and leaving out a couple of ingredients (who really has sherry laying around their kitchen anyway) my Baked Spicy Corn and Crab Dip was born.


2 T butter

1 shallot thinly chopped

2 cans of corn kernels drained and rinsed

1 jalapeno seeded and diced

3 t Cholula hot sauce

salt and pepper

8 ounces lump crabmeat

1 ½ C grated monterey jack cheese

¾ cup of sour cream

1 cup of crushed Ritz cracker crumbs

½ C grated white cheddar

2 T chives (fresh or dried)

2 t Old Bay


  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Saute the shallot for a minute or two. Add the corn and jalapeno and cook until they start to soften, about 3-4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Put the corn mixture into a large mixing bowl. Add the crabmeat, 1 C of monterey jack, ¼ cup of the cheddar, sour cream, old bay, cholula and half of the cracker crumbs. Mix until well combined.

  3. Pout into a shallow dish. Mix the leftover cracker crumbs, cheeses and chives together and sprinkle of the top of the dish.

  4. At this point you can either cover with foil and freeze (I have never left it frozen for more than two weeks) or cook. If you are cooking it now, preheat your oven to 375 and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is browning and the edges are boiling. If you are freezing it, thaw for one day ahead of time and follow the same cooking instructions. Serve with Ritz crackers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Election Depression

I haven't posted anything about the election so far but tonight I sit here in complete despair and sadness and am compelled to write. 

I am not a Trump lover by any means. In my opinion, he is an arrogant and despicable man. But I have had to remove all the scandal and disgusting behavior out of the question and look simply at the opposing opinions. The bottom line is that Trumps views line up with my views. I am a vote for Trump against my will and by default. 

It is a travesty that we are even in this situation at all. We are all being forced to make a hopeless choice. I am constantly reminding my children to make good choices. There is no "good" choice this time. 

The list Gingrich is making in this video is what terrifies me the most if Clinton wins.  "The end of this country as we have known it." 

The possible appointments of four Supreme Court judges could have lasting impacts on us for the next 30 or 40 years. Are we really at the point in this world where established rulings are going to be overturned? Where constitutional amendments are going to be changed?  Where people are going to be able to kill babies as they are born?  My brain cannot process this. 

I read a quote the other day (I can't remember who had originally posted it) that was intended to calm Christians about the outcome of the election. The woman writing said that she has let go of her fear because God knows and has always known the outcome of this election. It has always been in his plan so we should not fear. I'm trying very hard to let that sink into me but am struggling. 

All I can control at this point are my own actions. I will continue to try to teach my children right from wrong. I will teach them to love one another and make the choices that we know God wants us to make. I will (try my hardest to) have faith in Gods plan for our election and for our country.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My Midnight Second Wind

On an average night about 12:30 am you will either find me tossing and turning in my bed trying not to wake my husband or up sitting on my couch. Sometimes while I am on the couch I am typing in my journal/blog.

People joke all the time about how they are tired all day long and then when it is time to go to bed they all of the sudden have a burst of energy and cannot fall asleep. I call this my midnight second wind. I have to peel myself out of bed in the morning and start guzzling coffee. At any point in the day, I could fall asleep if I sat still for two minutes. I have fallen asleep in the waiting room at my sons occupational therapist, on the exam table at my own doctor, while listening to my husband or children talk. I have even fallen asleep on the toilet. But the second my head hits the pillow my brain kicks into overdrive.

I start thinking of all the things that I needed to that day that I didn't get done. I start coming up with great ideas of how to streamline life and make myself more efficient. I start thinking of all the scary, awful things in this world and how I am going to protect my children from them while still teaching them that these awful things exist. I start going through all of my parenting mistakes from the day and worrying that I have scarred my children by yelling at them when they refuse to do anything that I ask. I start replaying social interactions that I had during the day and second guessing things that I said. I wonder if I actually could have lasted longer on the treadmill today and yes I could have so I will need to jog longer tomorrow and stop being such a wuss. I think of EVERYTHING. Inside the mind of a person with anxiety, my friends.

I have always wondered why this happened to so many of us. I don't remember having my midnight second wind until after I had children so my conclusion is that those little hooligans are responsible for my lack of sleep. They are so needy all day (especially in the summer when they are home ALL DAY) and are constantly asking something of me. Can you get me a drink? Can I play ipad? Tell Charlie to leave me alone? Will you scratch my back? I need a band aid. Can you come outside and knock down this wasp nest? It is ALWAYS something. On the rare occasion that I am able to get them occupied with something that does not require my assistance (usually TV, ipad or video games) I start trying to rush through whatever chore I need to get done as my guilt about letting them play with said ipad or video game starts to creep in.

So the point of all this is that all day long there is so much noise in my head. I hear children, self inflicted guilt, to do lists etc. Throughout the day, even if I happen to be alone, my head is too cluttered to think about any of the things that pop into my brain during my midnight second wind. My children go to bed by 8 and my husband not until 12. So when the house is finally, truly quiet it is late at night. I can sit on the couch and hear only the clock ticking on the mantel and the slight hum of the refrigerator. My mind is finally quiet and my body is beginning to relax. Enter my midnight second wind.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Mess

That sweet, sweet day is coming. The last day of summer vacation is only a week away. There have been some good times, some not so good times, some happy times, some sad times and oh my heavens to Betsy there have been some messes!! Don't get me wrong, my house is always messy. My sons still don't understand that there is not a magic fairy who goes through our house cleaning up their messes and fixing everything that they have destroyed that day. I do my best to make them clean up after themselves and try to help them understand that they need to be respectful of our home and our belongings, but they JUST DONT GET IT! The school year mess is bad enough but it pales in comparison to the summertime mess. Dirty clothes, spills, dried play dough/putty/unknown substance, urine on EVERYTHING in the bathroom, stained upholstery, smears and spots and stains oh my!

The first thing this child does every morning after he gets up is pull all of the bedding off of his bed.  We wouldn't want your sheets to get in the way of such things as destroying the rest of your room. 

Every large box that enters the house is used for a spaceship/time machine/race car etc. And God forbid I try to throw the boxes away. 

The playroom...nuff said.

The walkway that is open to our living room is apparently an excellent launch pad. Things go flying and mysteriously no one knows who threw it. 

Little bits of random trash strewn about.  Who needs garbage cans when you have your entire house to dump your junk?!

The TP is NEVER put on the roll. Ever. 

This one is mine...the amount of laundry coming thru this place is incredible. And I despise laundry. Despise. Just shut the door and act like it isnt there.

Costumes and weapons. Costumes and weapons. Costumes and weapons.

Hey, here is a fun game. I am going to put everything I own into my closet!!

Forts. Sofa cushions that somehow never make it back to their homes even though, "momma we promise we will clean it up!"

And finally, the handprints. I never realized there were so many smearable surfaces in my house. I don't even want to know what was on his hands that could leave such an intense print.


So next time I am complaining about our house mess between August 22 and June 5, someone remind me that I ain't seen nothing yet yet!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Parenting Elite?????

I read an article this morning that really got me thinking. I can't remember the title exactly but it was something like, “When the elite parents dominate the school volunteers then everyone loses.” It was a editorial style/blog piece that pointed out how the “elite” parents tend to take over school events, blow things out of proportion and make everything too fancy. One example the writer cited was an instance where she suggested pizza for a school party and another mother suggested sushi. I understand where she is coming from. I see things like this happen in the school my oldest son attends. Last years Christmas party (excuse me HOLIDAY us all if there is a mention of religion in public school) for the Kindergarten classes included a visit from Santa and a real, live reindeer. Our schools fundraising auction sells luxury items and vacations. There is even a rumor that several years ago a teacher received a Louis Vuitton handbag as a gift from one of her students. I understand that things can get out of control and the excess can make parents with less time and money to spare uncomfortable and even angry. It really got me thinking about my own activity at school.

One of the main reasons I stay at home is so that I can be involved in my childrens school lives. For me this means, volunteering, attending school trips and getting to know the teachers and staff at the school. I understand that not every parent has the luxury of this. It is never my intention to make anyone feel angry or guilty if they don't have the time or desire to volunteer at school. I truly believe that ANY parent involvement is good for the kiddos. The concept of “elite” parents is kind of irritating to me. I volunteer a decent bit and by no means consider myself “elite.” I am just a mom who is willing and able to help where I can at school. It seems to me that at ANY school in the country, the parents who are willing and able to volunteer do just that. Some are willing but not able and some are able but not willing.  You work full time but wish you could work the drink station at field day = willing but not able.  You are a stay at home mom but prefer to spend your hours away from your children playing tennis and cooking = able but not willing.

The comments posted under this article brought up  another hotly debated topic along the same lines...gifting. Let me start by saying that there is not enough money in the world for me to teach 22 of my son all day, every day for nine months. I would completely lose my mind. I know what my child can be like. In my book, his teachers are angels. I am eager to thank them in any way that I can. Sometimes that means baking them their favorite treat or bringing them a coffee. Other times it is writing them a note telling them how much I appreciate them and their patience with my son. At Christmas and the end of the year, it also means gifts. I know not everyone agrees with this, but for me it is my way of thanking them and showing my appreciation. It doesn't matter if they were an amazing teacher or just average, they will be receiving a gift from our family. Ok, ok...perhaps the amazing ones might get a better gift! If Louis Vuitton giving mom wants to thank her child's teacher that way, I say more power to her. There have been several teachers in my sons' years that have been so loving and patient that I would have loved to give a car if we could afford it!!

There are supposedly five love languages. I feel special and appreciated when someone does something nice for me or gives me a gift, so this is how I tend to express my love and appreciation too. Perhaps it is shallow, but for now I will continue to show up to open juice boxes at lunch, set up tasty and maybe a bit ridiculous treat tables for the school staff and yes...give my sons teachers gifts. You do you and I'll do me.  Whatever floats your boat people.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Bad Dreams

Connor came into my room at 2 am this morning crying and upset because he had a bad dream. He told me it was such a bad dream that he couldn’t even tell me what it was about. He climbed up and snuggled up to me like he used to when he was a baby. I held him and rocked him and told him that whatever it was to remember that it was just a dream and that everything was all right now. He cried and cried and I told him he could sleep with me for the rest of the night. This is a pretty big deal because I can count on one hand the number of times either of our children has slept in our bed. He would calm down and little and then get all riled up again and begin sobbing. After this had gone on for quite a while I told him that it might help him feel better to tell me what the dream was about. I was fully expecting it to be his typical “really bad” scenario...something like not getting a toy he wanted or having to go to school on the weekend.

When he finally decided to tell me he said that in his dream Charlie had died and it was the worst thing he had ever dreamed. My heart broke. I snuggled him up even closer. We talked about how everyone has bad dreams sometimes and that everything was fine. Charlie was safely asleep in his room. I told him to relax and I would scratch his back while he fell asleep. Just as I thought he was going to fall asleep he said, “I was just floating thru space with Charlie and then he got sucked into a multidimensional portal and I couldn’t pull him out because it was a black hole. Then it closed up and he was gone.” As I snuggled my son I couldn’t help but giggle on the inside. A glimpse into my sons mind. Perhaps we need to lay off the sci-fi...

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Football Fan Failure

I love college football. I really do. I look forward to football season. I love the excitement, the rivalries and the traditions. Even in the years like this one where my team is stinking it up, I love it. With college football comes trash talking, joking and heckling. For me, it's part of the experience. It's definitely more fun when your team is on top, but you can't win them all...or this year for the Longhorns, you can't win many at all. 

There are certain stereotypes that follow every school around. Texas fans are snobs who think they are better than everyone else or hippies who don't bathe and smoke a lot of pot. Aggies are rednecks who are all farmers. TCU folks are all rich frat boys. Baylor students are all the rich frat boys who aren't smart enough to get into TCU and the prude Baptist girls. Blah blah...the list goes on. The fact is that none of these are true but that doesn't stop us from ribbing our friends.  I am all for some good old fashioned heckling (I dish it out and certainly take my fair share) but there is a line where it becomes horrible. Keying a car with your rivals sticker in the window, spitting on someone, screaming and cussing at another person, throwing drinks from moving vehicles, peeing on another persons property...these are all things I have witnessed from college football fans. Enough. It's rude, disgusting, trashy and in many cases illegal. 

I am a big fan of my school and its teams. Everyone should be proud of their school. For all the time, money and energy put into your education you should proudly wear your t-shirt and sing your fight song and cheer!  But come on...golden rule folks.