Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie and What a Day!!

My husband has been out of town the past two days on a business trip.  This is always a challenge for me because it means "Daddy" isn't here to distract the kids while I take care of certain tasks like brushing the kids' teeth at bedtime or cleaning up the kitchen after dinner.  Without that distraction, the kids are left to entertain themselves (something they are very good at doing) and I regularly find myself with twice the mess to clean!

Luckily, these past two days have actually been pretty smooth.  I was able to get Big-Bug to school on time both days, even with the littler bugs in tow.  We had a successful trip to the grocery store all together and I was even able to take care of some banking and finish picking up decorations for Middle-Bug's birthday party this weekend!  On the home front, I caught up on the laundry, cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom and managed to stay on top of the toy clutter (for the most part.)  I was feeling very accomplished and decided I was going to have the house in pristine condition by the time my husband came home this evening.  I had such a good head start on the cleaning I felt like I also had time to make something extra tasty for dinner!  Since I had leftover roast chicken in the fridge, it seemed obvious to do a chicken pot pie.

Lately the bugs have been turning their noses up at veggies, so inspiration struck this afternoon and I decided to make three miniature pot pies (one for each kiddo) as well as one regular pie for my husband and myself.  It took a little longer that way, but I let each child fill their own pot pie with a custom mix of peas, corn, carrots, celery and chicken in the hopes that it would encourage them to actually eat at dinner!  When the pies were stuffed, I added the gravy and then carved each of the bugs' initials onto the top of their pie before popping them into the oven. 

Personal Pot Pies!

I carved a tree into mine, but the kids told me it doesn't look like a tree! haha

I could leave it at that and have you all thinking I had a productive, blissful two days followed by a night of creative cooking and some quality bonding time with the bugs...but instead I will tell you the whole story.  The whole story being that while I was rolling out pie crusts this evening I asked the bugs to please clean up their toys in the living room.  The three of them went right to the living room and I could hear them having a good time together and smiled to myself, thinking they were doing such good work.  Unfortunately, when I peaked around the corner to check on their progress, I discovered they had not been cleaning at all.  Instead, they had been shredding a roll of toilet paper all over the living room.  Yep.  Since I was in the middle of pot pie prep, I couldn't do a whole lot about it aside from confiscating the remainder of the roll and telling the kids they needed to clean up the mess they made. 

A few minutes later, the bugs were chasing each other up and down the hall and into the bedrooms playing some form of pirate game.  At this point, my anxiety level had already been raised, but I could hear little snips of phrases like "which room should be the ship and which one should be the island?" "You take this map and I'll take this one" so everything seemed to be going alright again (with the exception of the shredded paper that was still littered all over the living room floor.)  Suddenly Middle-Bug let out a frantic holler and began to cry and call for help.  I dropped everything in a flash and raced down the hall to see what was wrong. I found Middle-Bug wedged between his closet door and the chest of drawers inside the closet "I'm stuck I'm stuck!" he cried.  I could see right away that all he had to do was turn his head to the side and he could fit right back out the way he went in, but Middle-Bug was so hysterical it took me a while to calm him down enough to understand my directing.  Once he finally emerged unharmed (thank goodness!) I realized Baby-Bug was no longer in the room observing the spectacle.  My mind instantly shot to the unmanned kitchen with it's pre-heating oven, unattended chopping knife and vulnerable pot pies!  I raced back down the hall just in time to see Baby-Bug snatch the open bottle of vegetable oil off of the counter top (what was I thinking!) and take a huge swig, pouring oil all over his shoulder, down his chest and back and onto the floor at the same time.

At that point Baby-Bug was sponged -off and buckled into his high chair for the remainder of dinner prep, and the older Bugs were sent to work cleaning up the mess they had made of the living room (and thankfully, they did clean up this time.)  A little while later the pies were ready and I pulled them out of the oven, carefully popped the Bugs' pies out of their tart pans and dinner was served!  The kids were pretty proud of their creations and spent a while congratulating themselves on being "master chefs."  Then they spent a little while fantasizing about all the things they plan to cook next "I'm going to bake the bread tomorrow morning" "I'm going to put the peanut butter on the sandwiches" "I'm going to do the jelly!" Next they fantasized about turning our house into a restaurant "We can call it pumpkin halloween house restaurant!" "We can invite our friends to eat at our restaurant!" "We'll need decorations!" Finally they picked at the crust on their pot pies...then they asked to be excused.  *sigh*

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