Poikiloderma of Civatte

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Well, bugger. I'm pretty sure I've figured out what is going on with the skin on my neck and chest, and it isn't simple aging. Well yes, it is aging, but something else added on.

I grew up in the desert southwest, and sometimes used sunscreen. I didn't diligently start using sunscreen until I was in my late teens, although I wasn't an avid sunbather. I have strawberry blond hair, blue eyes, and fair skin, so a deep golden tan just wasn't in the cards for me. But I did get my share of sunburns.

When I did start to regularly use sunscreen, I focused on my face. I really didn't pay any attention to my neck or chest. Weeeell, now I'm seeing the consequences.

My oldest son had a lacrosse tournament yesterday in Santa Cruz. It was a beautiful sunny day in a gorgeous beach town, about 80 degrees with a nice ocean breeze. I was prepared...lots of sunscreen and a very wide brimmed straw sun hat, long sleeves. When we got home around 10pm last night, I took a sho…

Family Dinners

Growing up, my family did not sit down to family dinners. Ever. My parents' marriage was basically over from the time I was pretty young, and the only reason they stayed together was for me. Lots of people do that, and it may or may not be good for their kids. Let's just say it was not good for me...kids are not stupid, and I knew their marriage was kablooey from the time I was in 5th grade.

Anyway, we never sat down to family meals because my parents rarely talked to each other. They never fought, just didn't talk. If we were to have dinners together, that would require actual conversation! My dinners were usually spent eating by myself in my room, watching TV.

Needless to say, it was a silent, uncomfortable, lonely way to grow up. My friends didn't like coming over very often, because they thought it was creepy and called it "The House of Silence." I would go over to their houses instead.

Going into parenthood, I was determined NOT to do it that way. Study after study after study has shown that sitting down to regular meals brings everyone closer together, reduces anxiety, raises likelihood of success in school, cuts down on teen drug use and other risky behavior, etc. Even if the conversation is tense and arguments occur...at least the family is communicating. If something is wrong with one of the family members, it can be recognized and dealt with.

Getting everyone in our family to sit down together every night is not possible. My stepdaughters are with us 50% of the time, my stepson is away at university, and my 17-year-old (JS) doesn't even get home from practice until 9pm, three nights a week. But we do the best we can. I'll stay up late and eat with JS to check in with him about his day, Friday nights are always pizza and movie nights, and the rest of the week is ad-hoc. But I'd estimate that we're able to make it about 70% of the time. This picture is one of our family faves...make your own fajita night! it works for the vegetarians, low-carbers, and those who eat everything.

And it's so worth it. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we argue, sometimes one of us had a bad day and needs to vent...but at least we're together and my husband and I can keep tabs on how are kids are doing, mentally and emotionally.

And I don't blame my parents. They did the best they could, and I know they did it out of love for me.


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