Friday, July 8, 2011

Of dog poop and chicken lips

So, the eldest, who is entering his freshman year of highschool and shall from here on out be known as Froshy, is taking summer school. Because he takes after his nutty parents, he is an overachiever. It helps that his best friend is also an overachiever, so I can pass the blame later on.

His summer school class is health. Which he told me today that wasn't as easy as he thought it would be. I don't think anything is easy when you have tests each week that have more than 80 questions on them.

He watched the movie Food, Inc. which I love, because a lot of the foodie authors I read are in the film. People like Michael Pollan who created the great Omnivore's Dilemma. I own the young reader edition (I know my own intellectual limits. Actually, it was the only version available when I had the urge to read it) I fail horribly, but I know how important good food is and I have five kids, so I really can't afford to be a delinquent in the nutrition department. I do my best.

Froshy and I are having a bit of a fencing match in the kitchen these days -

"Mom, which is better for you - ketchup or mustard?"

"Is there high fructose corn syrup in that?"

"Guess how many grams of sugar are in this serving!"

I'm loving it!

Tonight was a cafeteria style dinner with everyone eating a different time, between football and cheer practices and pick ups at friend's houses. Froshy told me he didn't want to eat red meat, since he'd eaten carne asada four times this week, and even he has his limits, I guess. So, I offered him my dinner - chicken and brown rice, sans the Trader Joe's Red Thai Curry sauce.

I fed the dogs some of the raw chicken that had too much fat on it for me to handle. He asked if we would get sick if we ate raw chicken. Then he asked why dogs don't get sick. "Well, they eat their own poop, Froshy, they have stomachs of steel."

Don't bring poop up to a kid taking a health class. I had to listen to a diatribe on how poop won't make you sick since it comes from your own body. Yes, I know that, but I'm not going to eat poop any time soon.

Anyway, we got through the poop discussion. I added some watermelon to his dinner of chicken breast and brown rice. He actually told me thank you for dinner. We have crossed a huge chasm people. I simply can not wait for the other kids to come to the mother ship so I don't have to make mac and cheese or mickey mouse shaped chicken nuggets anymore. Patience, grasshopper.

The three year old, who hadn't eaten four meals of carne asada in the last few days, was eating left over tri tip. She had a question. "Why don't chickens talk?" (I'm assuming because we were talking about eating raw chicken.)

I've learned to keep quiet as long as possible, because I have become very uncreative in my 14 years of having to answer these types of questions. Froshy as a preschooler would drive me to tears with questions and insisting I read every street signs as we flew down the Interstate.

I waited for hubby to answer. "Because chickens don't have vocal chords," he responds.

To which Froshy responded, "Actually chickens do have vocal chords. They don't have lips." (don't you love teenagers?)

And then hubby, being very mature asked,"Then where did the term chicken lips come from?"

At this point it really went downhill, so I fed them all ice cream.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Thanks Washington!

I've spent a great few weeks with the kids on vacation up in Washington. I spent enough time there that I feel like I'm going back to my chameleon ways - you know, the lizard that is known for blending in with it's environment. I adapted to the great northwest again, tossing my Southern California ways aside. I had given up my sequins and high heels for plaid and comfort shoes. I was starting to feel the urge to trade in my BMW for a gas friendly hybrid.

Sequins and bright colors just announce to the public that you aren't actually from the area anyway - natives come equipped with skin so white from lack of sunshine, who needs to compete with clothes that also glitter and glow? My teenager actually commented that he'd never seen so many pale people in his life. Nothing wrong with that - as we become preternaturally wrinkled from extended sun exposure where we live, Seattlites will be popping their vitamin D tablets and having the last laugh.

I did find that my urge to wear plaid was kind of like the same feeling you get when you go on holiday somewhere like Disneyland. You walk into a gift shop and think the Mickey Mouse emblazoned outfits are cute. Only do you realize when you put on that tuxedo jacket with the tiny Mickey heads all over the fabric does it not work anywhere outside of the Happiest Place on Earth.

I have to say it's tough to pack for three weeks away from home when you have five kids. You think that the Chevy Suburban has a vast amount of space until you load up suitcases, scooters, hockey gear, coolers and snack food. Then you realize that clothing options have to be restricted. And as the kids get older, their clothes get bigger and less outfits can be packed. I'm limited to four of each item, even for me - shirts, pants, sweaters and shoes. That means I need to be smart about my clothing choices for extended wearabilty - I'm limited to grey and brown - the colors of dirt and grubby fingers.

It's been so nice to hang out with family and friends - go to the local lake and catch tadpoles, visit playground's and eat meals together. Fill our gullets with as much great roadside lattes and copper river salmon as possible before making the trek back to the sunny, but dusty brown inland area where we live in SoCal. Thanks Washington, for being incredibly green, amazingly only cloudy with a very few showers and full of tasty food and beverages.