Tag Archives: Aging

A bearded dragon, dirtball gets her glow on

I am still (procrastination) in the midst of digging up some old photos from my distant past to post on this blog.  While doing so I couldn’t help but notice how young and ultimately perfect my skin was (these photos were taken prior to the whole photo shop cult revolution.)  I became distracted (procrastination) and focused on the lack of lines and wrinkles in my 20-year-old skin.  So I did what any reasonable 40 some-year-old woman on a budget would do.  I stopped digging up pictures (procrastination) and scheduled a chemical peel.

Yes. I. did.

Have you ever had one?

I never did, that is, until last week.  I called my friend who is a Nurse Practitioner in a cosmetic Med Spa practice and blubbered on and on about looking more like a hyperpigmentated (thanks to years of sun worshiping) road map than a human.  She talked me off of my delusional, dementia cliff and scheduled me for a chemical peel.

I didn’t know what to expect.  I am a virgin when it comes to any type of cosmetic intervention.  But I trust this woman.  She is extremely skilled and I knew that my aging face, which was about to have the top layer fried off, was in talented hands.

The peel itself was pretty benign.  She painted a few items on the skin to prepare it for the peel.  Of these, the acetone was the most awkward (as in sucking my breath away) and I had to breathe through my mouth.  Then came the application of the chemical to peel the skin.  A burning sensation occurred (similar to a skin burn) but it was alleviated by her convenient little hand-held fan and as long as the fan was on my face, all was good.  If the fan were to get repositioned off of my face….yeeeouch, it burned!

The entire ordeal was over pretty quickly.  Not like a wham, bam, thank-you old, aging skin ma’am deal but not hours and hours either.

She told me I would shed my skin layers and the under skin would be beautiful and glowing.  I thanked my talented friend and went on my way to await my shed.

Shed?!?  Well, molting like a reptile is more like it.  I had skin hanging off of my face like a bearded dragon.  I turned all sorts of colors (mainly red) and peeled like a banana.  In fact, I was a dermatillomania’s (skin pickers) ultimate dream come true!!  I don’t have any abnormal neurotic tendencies (shut up, I don’t!) but man, I couldn’t stop peeling myself.  Each layer that came off was irresistible and unbelievably soothing!  And I could see the GLOW of the SMOOTH skin below.

I admit that I had to call my friend a time or two in semi-panic mode because my FACE was FALLING OFF! She reassured me that I had a load of stuck on sebaceous cells, oil and other crud (nice, I’m a dirtball) that was reacting to the peel and being removed.

Because my skin reacted so well, I looked like a freak.  And this freak had to go out in public with my patchy, scaly, red, pavement kissed looking skin.  By the third day I was sick beyond vomiting of the gawking and rubber necking that occurred each time my face graced the public.

Mr. Pavlov was amused and humored by the situation I found myself in – with no one to blame but myself.  It was day 3 post peel and we went out to lunch.  HEY, food is my weakness.  I will do anything, look anyway, and go anywhere for food.  Don’t judge.  Our waitress approached the table and the encounter went something like this:

Waitress looking down at her pad:Hello, my name is….can I get you something to dri…(now looking up) OH MY GOSH, honey WHAT happened to your face?!?”  

Me (very serious): “He (pointing to Mr. Pavlov) beats me.”

Waitress: gasp. silence. looks toward Mr. Pavlov

Mr. Pavlov (drinking water): sputters. chokes then regains composure. smiles and replies “Yes I do. I beat her.”

I laughed and the waitress, who is breathing again, realized that I was teasing.  I know, I know.  Abuse is not something to joke about.  I get it.  BUT I just couldn’t help it.  Besides, she (very loudly) ASKED!!!

It is a week later and I have healed and although it is not the face I wore in my 20’s, I am totally loving it.  The lines are less noticeable and my skin looks smooth like a baby’s non-soiled butt.  The sun-scorched, hyperpigmentated areas crusted and peeled off much like I imagine it would if I could use Mr. Clean’s magic eraser (the chemical peel for your house) on my face.

I will fight age.  I will kick and scream.  I will not give in.  And I have decided that from time to time I am ok with becoming a bearded dragon and being called a dirtball as long as I can get my glow on!

And if any of you aging locals want to get your own glow on without breaking the bank….hit me up and I’ll give you my friend’s practice information.  ‘Cause when you’re having your face blow torched, you want to be in skilled hands!!

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Eye candy, alien guts and radioactive wallpaper: I want my kid’s life

My kids have it made.  I want their life.

When I grew up shopping consisted of a ONCE a year experience for the solo purpose of obtaining back to school clothes.  During this process, I had to painfully choose from several “I just can’t live without” outfits and quickly discovered that life continued with or without the cool color stripe on the side of the designer jeans.  I left the store with enough clothes to cover the important parts but not enough to prevent the dread of wearing the same outfit twice in the same week.

Fast forward to 2011 and let me introduce you to my daughter, who is able to shop like a politician is able to lie….easily!  Whenever the shopping mood strikes (and usually after she’s saved up her allowance) we are off to the local mall.  She leaves the stores looking something like this:

Sephora, an American Eagle bag so full the bottom is about to break.....

and on the back….

....a little eye candy and Abercrombie

When I grew up entertainment consisted of….well, this:

A game of cards and poker chips!

And hours and hours of outdoor play.  We were quite skilled in the art of mud-pie making and creating jewerly masterpieces with the butts of lightening bugs.  Lightening bug jewelery was especially a hit with the boys who got to gut the bugs without us girls stopping them.  It was all about the bling – even back then because bling is timeless.  We never uttered the words “I’m BOORRED!” nor expected our parents or things to entertain us.  We were the creative captains of our own entertainment and yes,  a few lightening bugs died in the process.

My oldest son would never think of gutting a lightning bug and smearing the bling around the wrist of a female friend.  Instead he guts aliens sans the gut smearing.  He has his own creative captain area good for hours of brain numbing entertainment.  Because we love him and desire to salvage some brain cells, Mr. Pavlov and I have conveniently placed a pre-set timer with a LOUD alarm to signal an end to the cerebral damage.  It’s the least we could do.

His creative mess: Captain chair, Xbox 360, Xbox, Wii and a small, little timer to limit the brain damage

And he is never short on options…..

ONE of the many drawers of choices

He just informed us that he has saved enough money for a 36″ flat screen TV to complete the entertainment paradise.

And speaking of saving money….if you have followed my Facebook and twitter updates then you are already aware that my “baby” saved for several years to dump it on this beauty:

ipad2 with beautiful (ahem, me) wallpaper

I know he finds great joy in transforming me into a radioactive beast with weird eyes however,  the next time he has a buldging bank account and the spending itch, I think I’ll work my mad mothering skills to convince him that a trip to the Spa would produce better results!  After seeing me in an avocado mask with cucumber slices for my eyes, I’m sure he’ll agree.

Yes, my kids have it made.  If, in their adulthood, they should blog about the difficulties and deprivation of their childhood then I will shove this post under their noses to effectively correct any misconceptions.

Did I mention that computers and blogs were non-existent when I was growing up?

Teetering the crazy line

I love to eat.  Eating is my passion and favorite pastime.  When I am in consumption mode (especially with foods that I particularly love) everything else becomes a blur which is why I was not on my A game this particular Friday night.

Late Friday (early Saturday AM) Mr. Pavlov and I took the kids to Eat-n-Park after attending a meeting.  They were claiming starvation and muscle wasting and it would be inhumane to deprive them of a meal – i.e. MY stomach was rumbling. 

Tres, who was barely awake to begin with but didn’t want to miss out on anything, fell asleep promptly after placing his cheeseburger and fries order.  He conveniently sprawled out across the oversized booth and utilized my lap as his personal pillow.

Our order arrived just in time because we were all about to join Tres and go horizontal.  The deep-fried onion rings were serenading me and I entered my food induced state of oblivion.  It was only me and the onion rings and maybe my garden burger from the moment they landed on our table.  My head was in the trough and I was happy.

I didn’t notice the group of young males stalking our table.  I was blissfully unaware of the frequent pass bys and testosterone filled grunts.  I had my onion rings. I was complete.

My beautiful daughter jolted me to her reality with this statement,

“Mom, that table of guys over there keeps staring this way and pointing.”

Then Mr. Pavlov, who was seated right next to her (we had a LARGE booth and he was in the middle of Uno and Dos) replied,

“The one keeps walking by like he stole something!”

Dos, also in awareness mode added,

“Yea, he seems twitchy!”

With fried onion ring crumbs hanging from my mouth I replied,

“Are they staring at you and walking by to see you?”  

Smiling, she glanced over her right shoulder to where an ancient couple was sitting dutifully cutting each other’s blueberry pancakes and replied “W e l l……” 

Wow.  How did I miss this?  I am always on it and my guydar remains in a constant and finely tuned state.  My daughter is a cutie and boys know it!  But before I could wipe away the onion ring crumbs from my mouth and ponder my failure we received visitors….

Two “scruffies” as Dos called them interrupted my our feeding frenzy. Clearing their throats they ventured:

“Excuse me….uh, er, well my friend over there…the one in the corner…well, ah, he wants us to give you this (handing my beautiful baby a folded piece of white paper).  He thinks you’re, um, cute.  It’s his…ah, number and um, well, he wants you to call him.”

The beauty, Uno, smiled and said one simple word…O K A Y.  Mr. Pavlov glared and echoed Uno’s OKAY only in a much more menacing tone.  I finally wiped away my crumb residue and entered the here and now as I watched them walk away giving each other high fives and fist pumping the air.  The “Corner Guy” remained standing in the corner stalking observing Uno and her response.  I believed it was the intimidating glares and peacock posturing of Mr. Pavlov that drove him from the corner and sent him back to his seat with his friends until…..

….we were getting ready to leave when the brazen little punk decided to approach our table himself!   With Mr. Pavlov standing and peacock posturing beside him, he apologized for the behavior of his friends and in front of her entire family, asked our beauty to call him.  Mr. Pavlov gave a nod, the type of nod that says “Boy, you better move while you have the chance” and said,

“Let’s go!”

Corner guy finally retreated without the committment from Uno he wanted.  I guess I was somewhat high on my recent ingestion and wasn’t thinking clearly.  Feeling all warm and fuzzy from the fried food I heard myself call after him,

“You have good taste!”

He smiled.

Uno chuckled and replied,

“Good one Mom, but at least you didn’t threaten him with statutory rape this time!

Now that I am clear in the head and have given the scenario some thought I must ask, can you believe the boldness?  Maybe I am old school but boys would never approach a young girl in the presence of her family especially with her father seated right beside her.  Am I old school?  Is this the progressive style of the youth today?  I don’t like it.  Do you?

The youth of today are bold and daring.  I think the genetically altered, steroid laced food we consume has pumped them up and left them…

…teetering the crazy line!

Tanning beds make my white parts tingle.

My daughter, Uno, has wanted to prostrate herself on the hedonistic bed of lights for a couple of years.  I understand her desire for some vitamin D because I began my heated affair with the sun in 8th grade. Actually, the tan was a bi-product of my devotion to stalking the hunky older neighbor boy during his outdoor activities.

I was a dedicated voyeur who spent hours peering at the bronzed god through my Uncle’s high-powered hunting binoculars and subsequently became very tan!  After experiencing the sun’s kiss, I was a committed follower who didn’t cheat until  reaching the age of 16yrs.  At 16yrs I entered my first tanning bed in the name of Prom preparation.   The then 30 min (gasp) fake bake occurred during an era prior to public awareness of the dangers associated with sun exposure.  Given that education has enlightened me on the evils of tanning, I really don’t want my virgin skinned daughter to fry. 

Being the awesome mom that I am [and showing nauseous pictures of old prunes and oozing skin cancer], I have always managed to divert her longing for skin sabotage.   Plus, the child is 1/2 Filipino.  She merely has to look at the sun and she bronzes.  But let’s face it, winters are too long and that type of parenting [fear based pictures of nauseous prunes threatening oozing skin cancer] only works so well for so long…and I knew it.

The day came when she could not be deterred any longer.  Well, I am PARENT and deterrence is always an option but I figured the bake would be a good learning adventure.  I parent the leave and cleave way. Life must be lived. Lessons must be learned.

Sun trackers

We walked into the tan place prepared.  She didn’t falter even when the girl presented Uno with the sun tracker (stickers applied to track tan progress) choices of a Playboy bunny, heart, star, or Hemp leaf.  I knew the heart and star were nixed and I was hoping she didn’t select the porno bunny.  That left the Hemp leaf.  

Wait, what mother secretly hopes for their daughter to pick a brain cell killing marijuana leaf?  The kind who takes her to a place that kills skin cells.

I waited. 

Uno said, “No thanks.  I don’t like any of them.”  Success!  Now, that’s the beauty of proper parenting and preparation baby!

However, what I wasn’t  prepared for was Uno’s “Hey Mom, will you tan with me ’cause I’m kinda afraid.”  Ugh, I have spent years absorbing UV and have the fine lines and wrinkles to prove it.  Miraculously, I appear much younger than my birth age and I’d like to keep it that way.  

How about you?  Do you guys take the risk and tan or avoid the sun at all costs?

My soon to be 40yr old face

With continued tanning this will be me in a few years

Utlimately the yearning for that UV high of old (and Uno’s begging eyes) outweighed the developing lines and wrinkles. Before I could exhale, I found myself horizontal, butt naked and dermally absorbing some rays.

Uno was happily golden after one exposure and with my white parts tingling, I remembered that I deeply dislike tanning beds.

The day repurposed words saved my arse!

I am thankful.  Yes, thankful for all of the usual things but right now I am breathing a sigh-of-relief-thankful, that I am a clever parent.  Thankful that I have the foresight (due to scores of embarrassing moments) to remedy a potential situation.

You see, number Tres has a fascination with the skin tone of the elderly.  The lines of facial cannons and valleys mesmerize him as do the moles and other weird growths that begin to sprout with age.  He fixates on these elderly faces with open mouth gaze and while barely breathing, he visually tracks their physical blue print like an architect reading himself for a big project.  When they speak to him, he becomes lost in input mode and often experiences a delayed reaction.  Eventually he snaps out of his mental voyage to elder land (as evidenced by drool suckage, and mouth shutage) and almost always brings a comment or an observation with him.  These observational comments are most awkward.

Zoned out in elder land

Having been present for one too many of his “Wow, is that lady old!” I decided to take Tres by the verbal horns and rodeo his butt.

The set-up was simple.  I informed him that we call really, really old ladies, with cracks and craters, wrinkles and moles galore, “Lovely Ladies.”  In fact, I told him we refer to all older women as Lovely Ladies.  To my surprise, he nodded in agreement without so much as a single question.

We were menu surfing at the gold standard for Breakfast, Bob Evans when it happened.  Behind us, in a booth, I spotted an elderly woman.  She was an ancient one who looked as if she may reach the annals of ancestor.com soon.  

She did not escape Tres’ watchful hawk eye. He got up on his knees, turned around so that he was facing her booth, and looking directly at her he  proclaimed (in heightened decibel) “Look mommy, I see a Lovely Lady!”  An immediate eruption of “Ahhh’s,” and “how sweets” flowed from her family members and she blushed so hard that her pasty face actually turned pink.  A demure smile lightly spread across her face and she waved at Tres with girlish embarrassment.

Tres was satisfied because he got to express himself, the lovely lady and her family were gleefully glowing shades of cherry and suddenly, I was the Mother of the Year!

Yes, I am thankful.

White-Out to Tears in under 30 seconds!

I was sitting at my desk when a young girl said “Please pass the Opti Fluid.”  Opti who? Was most likely the look I wore.  I’m sure my face dramatically contorted to a “HUH?!?” expression because she repeated “Opti Fluid” and motioned in the direction toward my right.  I followed her gaze and spotted a bottle of WHITE-OUT….WHITE-OUT was Opti Fluid!  Plus it helped that the words ‘ Opti Fluid’ were right on the bottle.  I quickly grabbed the bottle and chuckled somewhat relieved, “Oh, you mean WHITE-OUT!”  

Granted, I know that White-Out is a brand but since when did people begin to refer to the stuff by other names?  Opti Fluid?  Seriously?  It’s WHITE-OUT!  Am I so old that White-Out is no longer the verbage of the youth? 

This got me thinking…about a lot of things…but mostly about my Pap.  I think of him almost daily.  Sometimes I smile, sometimes I tear up a little, sometimes I feel a huge lump forming in my throat as I choke back the tears and sometimes I spew fountains of saline and snot from the orifices of my head uncontrollably.  However, the latter is happening less and my head and those around my head (in spewing distance) are thankful.

He was born in 1928.  He recently went onto GLORY in Oct 2010.  That’s a lot of life experiences.  That’s a lot of White-Out now being called Opti fluid.  I can only imagine the changes he experienced during his life time and I would love to ask him about them but….I can’t.  I would love to sit and listen to him talk about his life and the magnitude of wisdom he gained by living it.  I would love to hear how it was “back in the day” just one more time.  I would love to hear him talk about his tools and all of the many jobs he performed with them.  I would love for him to show me what he was building and excitedly explain the project to me step by step as he often did.  I would love to ask him the many questions that my mind automatically generates as a “Oh, I’ll have to ask Pap that…” but then suddenly remembers that, I can’t.

I wish I would’ve taken notes when he told me of his life memories because some of it is difficult to recall now.  He knew so much.  He did so much.  He experienced things that our current culture could never understand nor fathom.  Yet, he was always willing to try the newest fad or activity of our day.  Take dancing for example.  I’m sure in the 1920-30’s dancing was entirely different from 2000’s right?  But that didn’t stop him.

Shaking a tail feather!  Not only was he dancing with the youth of the day but doing it in style with a glass of vino!

And what about fashion?  I can only imagine how they dressed in the 1920-30’s.  But he didn’t let fashion stop him.  He was always sport for whatever came his way.

In Israel he met an Arab and dressed accordingly!

At the airport he sported a straw hat.  Yes, it was much different and slightly more feminine (I don’t think farm boys wore straw hats with pink bows and lived back then) than the hats he wore in his day on the farm but it was a straw hat no doubt.

And being a farmer he knew A LOT about land.  All land and any land, if it had dirt, he knew it.  Because of his connection to the land you could often find him out and about on the land….looking, thinking, observing…even in other countries…

Exploring the aqueduct in Israel with the trusty walking stick.
 

I didn’t realize what I had in my grandfather.  I did, but not fully.  Isn’t that the way it is though?  Doesn’t the saying “We don’t realize what we have until it’s gone” capture it perfectly?

I urge you to appreciate what you have before it’s gone.  Value those who are older in your family.  Take time out of the craziness we call life to visit them and really listen to what they have to say.  They are full of wisdom and sadly, this wisdom often dies with them.  An entire way of life perishes when they do.  I wish I had my Pap back for just one more day….one more hug…one more goodbye.  But this wish cannot be granted.  I have to cherish the pictures, the memories and the beautiful person that he was until we meet again someday.  

Looking over the Sea of Galilee during a boat ride in Israel


In the meantime, I can look forward to becoming a creature of wisdom myself where White-Out will always be White-Out!!!

We thought we were good.

Recently my Father-in-law celebrated his 75 Birthday!!  My Brother-in-Law called us and asked if we would put together a family video wishing Tatay (father in Filipino) a Happy Birthday.  Yes, of course we would!  And if you know us then you are aware that in our family we simply could not let a Birthday slip by without singing the Happy Birthday song!  C’mon, we have kids and a Birthday just isn’t a BIRTHDAY without the BIRTHDAY song.

We were set….or maybe not.   Our oldest had just taken a shower and was wearing a face full of zit cream.  Not to worry.  She had this, no problem.  Just watch. We rounded up our gang and created our masterpiece. 

Rowdy.  Animalistic.  Raw.  Loud.  Chaotic.  Unpolished.  Just some immediate adjectives that come to mind.  But it causes your lips to smile right?  Our daughter was proud of her improvisation.  Smart huh?  We thought so and off went the video via the internet to the Philippines.  We just knew it would make Tatay’s Birthday.

WELL what my brother-in-law failed (epic fail) to inform us was the fact that they were having a HUGE, spell it H-U-G-E  gala event for the birthday boy in honor of his 75 years of life.  They were going to play the video on the big movie screen at the event.  A lot of people were there…WATCHING.  Waiting.  Strangers, whom we have never met were viewing our family HOWL and….other thingsDon’t you think that may have been important to know beforehand?

But wait. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, take a look a the video my brother-in-law sent……

 

Wow.  I am speechless.  What a video.  I am at a loss for words and must end this post now. 

Isn’t there a saying about PAYBACK???