Please join me in welcoming back, LadyBug, our resident color expert, southern corn bread connoisseur (we still haven’t figured out who actually won the Selena vs LadyBug corn bread throwdown) and author of “Karma Sutra for your mother” article.
Today, Ladybug is sharing her family’s transition from those lazy hazy days of summer—-also known as a teacher’s mental respite—-to getting her children off to school—also known as parents gone wild at shoe stores, stationary stores and grocery stores (wine and Godiva chocolate stocks go up around this time of the year as well).
Ladybug is also sharing a delicious sounding, quick and easy Chicken Pot Pie (recipe below).
Back to School by Ladybug
So… my kids just went back to school a few weeks ago. Well, one of them went back to school, and the other one started kindergarten. Wait… how do you say that in Canadian? Ahh… that’s right… Kindergarten.
Anyway, my older babybug just started the 4th grade so this whole school thing is old hat to him. He’s got it all figured out.
And by “all figured out”, I mean that he rolls out of bed every morning around 5:30am (a good hour and a half before he really has to be awake), plays Legos or Wii or reads for 90 minutes, eats breakfast, washes up (no need to comb his hair because it’s super short), puts on any shirt/shorts combo, grabs his lunch and backpack, and finally (because we don’t put on our shoes until we’re walking out the door—- ewww…. Germs!) puts on his one school appropriate pair of sneakers (this isn’t a word I actually use in real life, but I know this is an international audience).
Tada! Ready for school.
My girl babybug is a whole other story.
Most mornings I have to wake the sleeping princess. This causes a mad rush to get her fed, ready, and out the door.
Why don’t I wake her earlier you ask?
Oh, there’s a very good reason for that. She’s a vicious beast. She’s the cutest vicious beast you’ll ever meet, but a beast nevertheless. You may remember that we call her the honey badger (or HB for short), and this is a frighteningly appropriate nickname.
Anyway, I gird my loins, pray for the angels’ protection, and wake her up. She’s angry, she’s non-communicative, and worst of all… she’s not hungry. She’s also a bean pole. The mommy in me desperately needs her to eat breakfast because she will have four hours until lunch.
This is when negotiations begin.
I offer her a choice of breakfast options: A, B, or C. She always, without fail, chooses option Q (which we never have – whatever it happens to be). During the negotiation stage, I’m still dressing, combing, washing, brushing, etc. Finally, she picks a breakfast and then the battle to get her to actually eat it begins.
I’ve begun to define success as getting at least one-third of the breakfast into her. By the time they are off to school, I need a stiff drink and/or a nap.
Despite the morning battles, I’m so anxious for them to be home by the time school is out. I miss them desperately and can’t wait to hear what their day has been like. This is yet another time when the differences in my children are very visible.
This is our conversation as soon as they hop off the bus (yes, I’m the mom who meets the bus and has ice water for my babies—don’t judge):
Me: Hey, babies! How was school?
Boy Babybug: Good
Girl Babybug: It was great! I’m falling in love with Cord. Riley and I were swinging at recess, and I told her that I’m falling in love with Cord. So… she went over to Cord to tell him, and I went with her. She told him, and he said, “It’s okay.”
Me: So Cord’s your boyfriend now?
Girl Babybug: Uh… NO! I’m just falling in love with him. Like just starting to fall in love with him. He’s not my boyfriend.
Me: Ooops… sorry. So, Bubby, anything cool happen at school for you today?
Boy Babybug: No. It was school.
Me: Did you play with your friends at recess?
Boy Babybug: Yes.
Me: Do you have homework?
Boy Babybug: Yes.
Me: What subject?
Boy Babybug: Math
Girl Babybug: We did math today, and Henry had to sit in the safe spot. I ended the day on green so I got a stamp. Lexie is allergic to peanuts. She sits at the peanut-free table. Ellie ended the day on orange. She didn’t get a stamp. Her mom is going to be so mad. We only get one recess on Wednesdays because it’s late start. I ate all of my lunch except my grapes and my sandwich and my crackers. There’s a bathroom in our room. We have to be quiet in the hall. One, two, three eyes on me. One, two eyes on you. Mrs. James played the keyboard, and we sang a song. I don’t like rest time. I have to lay my head down, and I don’t like it.
Me: I think I need rest time. . . .
Back to school means big schedule changes for us. There’s always so much going on in the afternoon and evening so I like quick, healthy dinners. This is one of our new favorites:
Chicken Pot Pie
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces (or 6 chicken thighs)
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 large potato, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
1- 1/2 c flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c cold butter, cubed
1 c buttermilk
Heat olive oil and butter in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown chicken pieces on all sides; transfer to plate.
Add onion, carrot, celery to dutch oven and saute until softened. Stir in flour, cook two minutes. Gradually add milk and chicken broth, stirring constantly. Return chicken to pot; add potato, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and cook until potato is cooked through and stew thickens (about 20 minutes). Season well with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400F. To make biscuit topping, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a pastry blender, work butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir just until combined.
Using two spoons, drop biscuit dough on top of stew. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.