Weight Loss Wait

It is 11:44 AM. I have neither washed my face nor brushed my teeth. I have, however, contemplated a few different ways I might lose the 11 lbs I’ve gained over the past three months. Oh, and the additional 30 lbs I need to lose to get to my goal weight, which is still considered “overweight” by virtually every “healthy weight” chart I was able to Google.

But I’ll think about that tomorrow. Right now, my primary goal is to not have to go up yet another pant size.

So far, I’ve come up with:

  • Walking (you know, when it’s not so humid out anymore)
  • Purchasing some inexpensive gym equipment, and making an effort to get up at 5:00 every morning to work out (LOLOLLLLLL)
  • Drinking two gallons of water a day, and maybe throwing in a couple of laxatives just for fun (BONUS: exercise walking to and from the bathroom!)
  • Finally getting that colonoscopy I’ve been putting off (have they figured out a way to do them without the nasty prep yet?)

It all started when we visited New Orleans in June.

I mean, technically, it all started when I got pregnant with my son and gained 50 lbs. What’s the average amount of time it takes a woman to lose baby weight, again? I can’t remember…is it 25 or 30 years?

Anyway, friends of ours graciously invited us to join them in New Orleans for a 50th birthday celebration. NOLA had been on my bucket list for some time, not because of its cultural significance or its amazing music, but because of its legendary food. Given that I walked about 43 miles in sweltering heat over the course of six days and still managed to gain 6 lbs, I’d say it’s pretty clear that the food did not disappoint.

Seriously, tho. If you love food and music and friendly people and excellent service, you really need to visit New Orleans. It’s like someone carved out a little piece of Europe and dropped it into America, except everyone speaks English and is really happy to see you. It’s a beautiful, artistic city with a soul like no other. And the food…OMG THE FOOD!

I had hoped to lose the extra NOLA weight before heading to the Outer Banks for a family vacation last week, but that didn’t happen. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much if our bathroom didn’t have one of those obnoxious mirrors that extends from the top edge of the double sink all the way up to the light fixture (just below the ceiling) that just happened to be positioned directly across from the shower, so that I couldn’t help but stare at my Hermanesque  figure every time I stepped out of the shower. You might have thought I’d have gotten used to seeing it at some point, but each day I’d gasp audibly as I caught a glimpse of myself in the Frame of Shame. You might have thought that that alone would have been enough to at least slow down my salty-snack pace.

You might have thought wrong.

I haven’t stepped on the scale (AKA “That Ruthless Bitch”) since I got home, but I’m guessing I’ve put on a couple more pounds just based on the way my pants are screaming for mercy as I button them.

As many of you know, I have had some “work” done over the years. I have never shied away from surgery. My motto is “if it’s going to make me feel or look better, cut me”. As a result, I have what one friend referred to as a “Coke bottle figure”.

Unfortunately, in reality, it’s a two-liter Coke bottle.

The problem is, when you have three liters of fat liposuctioned from your torso and you don’t change your eating/(lack of) exercise habits one bit, the fat has to go somewhere. In a perfect world, it would go to my cheekbones and my boobs. In my case, some of it goes to my upper-arms (giving me that sought-after linebacker look that all little girls dream of having when they grow up), but the lion’s share of it goes to my hips and destinations further south. The end result (pun intended and relished) is wide hips and an unsightly ass that appears to be vomiting into my thighs.

It may or may not have something to do with my love of sitting.

I’ve never understood people who, when offered a seat, will say, “No, thank you. I’ve been sitting all day.” What does that even mean?? That you’ve been having the BEST DAY EVER? Why stop when you’re on a roll? SIT SOME MORE! Which is exactly what I plan to (continue to) do right now, but just until I finish this great book I started yesterday…then finish binge-watching Stranger Things…but then I swear I’m going to figure out a weight-loss plan.

Oh, hey! Is it lunchtime already?



Heat Expansion

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve spent the better part of the past two weeks doing everything in my power to stay within the confines of my air-conditioned house to avoid the oppressive heat wave that’s currently vomiting all over the Mid-Atlantic region.

Turns out people don’t really care to look at houses when it’s hotter than the gates of hell, so I have no real reason or obligation to venture out my front door or even shower*, for that matter, which helps assuage the guilt I might normally feel for foregoing any real responsibilities in favor of embracing my lazy-girl tendencies. 

*I am genuinely proud to report that I have showered AND brushed my teeth every single day. I mean, sometimes it didn’t happen until around 3:00, BUT STILL.

Sadly, it’s not enough that I stay indoors for extended periods of time (read: weeks) during extreme weather. Nope. Unlike normal, active people who might do things like…I don’t know…clean their houses or busy themselves with home improvements when they’re housebound, I prefer to fall prey to inertia while playing on the internet and consuming mounds and mounds of unhealthy food.

I can literally feel my ass expanding as I type this. 

So far, I’ve spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 shopping online, advanced four levels in Candy Crush, and completely eliminated my DVR backlog. My only forms of exercise over the past two weeks have been walking to and from the kitchen and the bathroom, and climbing the stairs to go to bed at night.

I’m not going to claim that I’m normally an active person. Far from it, in fact. There are two things I hate more than anything in this world: animal abuse and motion. That said, I do go through spurts where I muster the gumption to regularly get my 10,000 steps in, so my Fitbit will give me that little vibration of validation that brings me the kind of joy that one might experience upon discovering $20 in the pocket of their jeans.

Everybody’s happy during the walking spurts. I lose a little bit of weight, the dogs get to experience a little taste of life outside the fence, and Jack is rid of me for at least an hour each day. The spurts generally last anywhere from 2-6 months, and come to an end when I’m faced with a period of prolonged extreme weather. Because of my acute aversion to motion, they don’t usually start back up once the unpleasant weather pattern has broken, as one might hope. Instead, they tend to delay their return until I’ve gained enough weight to interfere with my ability to comfortably binge-watch Netflix because my pants are too tight. :/

Sadly, I had just started my most recent walking spurt when this miserable heat wave hit, so I really wasn’t in a position to be packing on additional weight. As a result, the past two weeks of binge-eating/watching/shopping have taken a devastating enough toll on my already fluffy waistline to make me determined to start back up as soon as humanly possible.

Today, I looked outside and noticed that the sky was overcast and there appeared to be a lovely breeze rustling the leaves of the trees that have miraculously managed to avoid spontaneously combusting in heat indexes that have remained in the 105-degree range for two solid weeks. According to my weather app, it was 84 degrees outside, which seemed downright cool compared to the 90+ degree days we’ve been enduring. I took that as a sign from Baby Jesus that it was finally time to lift my ass off my sofa and take a walk, so I changed out of my pajamas and into my walking clothes (read: put on a sports bra, socks, and sneakers), put my hair up in a ponytail, put on a baseball cap, grabbed my ear buds, secured my phone into my armband, started blasting my “Walking” playlist, and joyfully walked out the door, determined to start working off the 983,472 calories I’ve consumed since the beginning of the month.

Two steps out the door, the miserably hot, steamy air enveloped me. It felt like someone had taken a wet wool blanket out of an oven and thrown it over my head.


I walked as fast as I could to the mailbox, grabbed the mail, then made a beeline back to the house.

Oh, hey! My Venus Swimwear order arrived! I think I’ll wait a couple of weeks to try it on. :/

Xcuse My Low Standards

Welp…I’ve done it. I’ve crossed the line and fallen into the abyss.

I voted for contestants on The X Factor.

God help me. I’M 48 YEARS OLD.

I seriously don’t know what’s wrong with me. It’s like I’ve reverted back to my tweens. I mean, it was bad enough when I downloaded Taylor Fucking Swift songs (and proceeded to play them ON A LOOP), but now I’ve actually VOTED FOR X FACTOR CONTESTANTS.

And I managed to convinced myself that it was somehow less shameful because I texted the vote instead of calling it in. Because that’s more dignified.

Really? REALLY???

Never mind the way I blubber during the show every week. Seriously? Friends of mine DIE, and I don’t cry as much as I do when I watch The X Factor. Because menopause.

I often find myself in conversations with my more cerebral friends who discuss the books they’ve read or the moving documentaries they’ve seen, and I just nod my head with a dopey look on my face and a giant thought bubble over my head that’s all ‘I wonder what Alex & Sierra will sing next week…’

Heaven forbid anyone mentions the show in my presence. They’ll bear witness to what they’ll probably consider a psychotic break that features me blathering on (without taking a breath) about this year’s panel vs previous years’ panels. And don’t eeeeven get me started on the shitshow that was Britney Spears, whose music I once enjoyed (I know you’re shocked…SHOCKED), but can no longer tolerate because I suffered through her insipid unscripted drivel for an entire season of the show.

She really is stone-cold stupid. No, I’m serious. I don’t use that word very often, but there’s no denying it. She makes Miley Cyrus look like the fucking captain of a Mensa regional chapter.

This may be even worse than my filthy habit of watching The Young and The Restless and The Bold and The Beautiful. At least those shows are aimed at my demographic and feature commercials for cleaning products and reverse mortgages and adult diapers.

The X Factor’s commercials are for candy and toys and Disney movies.

Yet I proceed undeterred because we’re down to four contestants, and Alex & Sierra have a shot to win it all. And I will weep a river when they do. And then I’ll lament the end of yet another glorious season.

And start the countdown to American Idol (January 15th!!).

Mother’s Day, Baby!

My son took his dear, sweet time coming into the world 22 years ago today. It happened to be Mother’s Day that year as well.

‘What a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day gift!’ says almost every woman who hears the story.

They must not remember what labor feels like.

Matthew was my second child. My first was born when I was 18 years old. At that age, I didn’t have the sense to arrange for an epidural in advance. Instead, I opted for ‘natural childbirth’. How hard could it be? Women on television came through it unscathed ALL. THE. TIME.

So, I essentially spent 12 hours screaming like an animal caught in a trap. They were kind enough to give me Demerol, which only served to knock me out between contractions. In case you were wondering, the absolute worst way to wake up from a 1-minute nap is with a contraction.

It was a nightmare.

Needless to say, the moment I knew I was pregnant with Matthew, I made it clear to anyone who made eye contact with me that I was going to have an epidural at the first sign of pain. Unfortunately, my doctor was not on call the night I went into labor, so I was left with the only doctor in the practice with whom I had not had a chance to meet. Maybe he wasn’t a big believer in epidurals. Or maybe he just hated women. All I know is that it took way too long to get relief. I hate him to this day.

But I digress.

Matthew was not a pretty baby. It could have had something to do with the fact that he spent hours in the birth canal (his sense of urgency hasn’t improved much since then), so he came out with a cone head that rivaled anything Lorne Michaels ever conjured up. He had fair skin, red hair, and a long, skinny body.

When he was born, my first thought was ‘OMG, it’s a boy! I’m going to raise him right!’

That’s a lie. My first thought was actually, ‘Sweet Jesus! Thank GOD that’s over!’, immediately followed by ‘WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE ONLY WEIGHS 8.6LBS?!?! WEIGH HIM AGAIN!!’

He was a good baby overall. Aside from a couple of croupy trips to the emergency room to be hooked up to a nebulizer, he was very healthy. He never even vomited or had an ear infection as a child. His only real fault was that he was, for all intents and purposes, nocturnal. It was not unusual to wake up in the middle of the night to find him watching TV in the family room. One morning, I woke up to find an empty pickle jar with a straw sticking out of it on the kitchen table.

ME: OMG, Matty, did you drink the pickle juice???

MATTY (rolling his eyes): It’s called ‘brine’, mom.

He was about four at the time.

From the time he could speak, he was my intellectual superior. When he was about six, he heard me use the phrase ‘blind as a bat’ and proceeded to tell me that, while bats have very poor vision, they are not technically blind. He went on to explain that they use a high-pitched series of pings called ‘echolocation’ to guide them. Or something like that.

I just stared at him and blinked. At that moment, I knew I didn’t stand a chance.

I can win an argument with just about anyone…except Matty. It’s a great source of frustration for me. In a twisted sort of way, it’s also a great source of pride. We don’t always see eye-to-eye (and by ‘don’t always’, I mean ‘almost never’), so there’s plenty of opportunity for him to pummel me in arguments.

We’re opposites in many ways. He’s diplomatic, I’m direct; he’s all logic, I’m all emotion; he’s a Democrat, I’m an American ;). He has my sense of humor and my appreciation for (obsession with?) good grammar, so there is definitely common ground.

He has a girlfriend now. They’ve been together for a year. By all accounts, I achieved my goal. He’s hard-working, polite, respectful, loyal and kind. He’s generous and considerate of her, and he’s even a bit of a romantic.

I raised that boy right.

Vegas, Baby!

OMG, you guys, I did something really stupid.

I signed up to go to the RE/MAX convention in Vegas. And I’m dragging Jack along because I genuinely enjoy spending time with him, and I would feel crippling guilt if I left him home alone to go somewhere he had never been.

(Who am I kidding? He would do a fucking jig if I were gone for a week. He could watch hours and hours of Ancient Aliens, Gold Rush, Bering Sea Gold and Ice Road Truckers without my endless mocking. Seriously, had I known he would love shows like that and hate The Muppet Movie, I probably wouldn’t have married him.)

We leave in a week and we’ll be there for six nights.

WTF was I thinking?!?

Aside from the fact that I have a well-established acute fear of flying, I am also a world-class couch potato and Vegas is a couch potato’s worst nightmare! I can feel the anxiety building inside of me just thinking about all of that…activity. Don’t even get me started on the stress of knowing my DVR will be neglected for (almost) an entire week!

Also? I don’t know what to pack.

No, seriously. I’ve been obsessing about what to pack for three months. Jack, of course, will pack 20 minutes before we leave for the airport. Classic Venus/Mars situation. Mars totally has the advantage on this one.

My fashionista friend is going as well, so I decided to call her for some packing advice. HUGE mistake.

Me: I have no idea what to pack for Vegas. It’s going to be warmish, so I was thinking I would pack a bunch of capris (that will either be hanging off of me or skin tight) and sandals.
Fashionista: Well, you’ll be indoors most of the time and it’s climate-controlled. Most people are business casual.

(Shit. My wardrobe consists of jeans, sweats and dressy dresses.)

Me: Ugh. I have a couple of pairs of black pants (that are too big around the waist and too long), but what kind of shoes should I wear? I was planning on packing sandals.
Fashionista: Do you have anything with a low heel? You know, like kitten heels.

(Kitten heels? Really?? I would look like an idiot in kitten heels. I’m short and round. If I wear anything other than flip flops or 3-4″ heels, I’ll look like a troll trying to be fancy.)

Me: No. I look like an idiot in low heels.
Fashionista: What about a nice pair of black patent leather wedges?
Me: I can see I’m going to end up at the mall. What else should I pack clothing-wise?
Fashionista: You should pack the dress you wore to the Christmas party.
Me: OMG, that dress was very snug and my boobs were hanging out of it.
Fashionista: Exactly. You’ll be in Vegas.
Me: Gotcha. Also, the boobs will distract onlookers from the rest of the mess.

Now I have no choice but to go to the mall to buy myself a Vegas wardrobe, which, evidently, must include several booby-enhancing tops/dresses/sweaters.


Have I ever mentioned how much I hate shopping? I do. I’m not sure how or when it happened, for shopping used to be my greatest joy. I think the change occurred when I gained 40lbs. There are few things more demoralizing than shopping with an awkward body shape that includes, but is not limited to, linebacker upper arms, a JLo ass (flabby version), and Earl Campbell thighs (Google Images, ladies). Oh, and I’m 5’5’ which means I’m an inch too tall for petites and an inch too short for regular clothes.

Fuck you, designers. Fuck you.

Take jeans, for instance. I have a love/hate relationship with jeans. I love the way they look (on other girls), but hate they way they fit. I own at least six pairs. Almost all of them are too big in the waist, snug around the ass, vice-grip tight around the thighs, and either too short or too long. Today I wore a pair of Old Navy Rockstar Jeans. The length was PERFECT. Unfortunately, the low(ish) rise coupled with the huge ass and skin-tight thighs resulted in a lovely plumber’s crack whenever I sat down. Oh, and the tightness around the thighs made it difficult to pull them all the way up, causing the crotch to sag. I may or may not have looked like I have a dick.

Oh so sexy.

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to get them off of me. I’m now wearing Old Navy thick jersey sweatpants. They feel like heaven fell from the skies and wrapped itself around me.

Are sweatpants acceptable Vegas garb?

But Wait, There’s MORE!

If my husband were smart, he’d move me to a warmer climate. It’s not that I hate cold weather. I actually enjoy cold air every once in awhile; it makes me feel alive. It’s just that I tend to stay indoors more when it’s cold. That wouldn’t be such a bad thing if I were more like my wacko, OCD-plagued mother who CLEANS FOR FUN.

(Seriously? WTF??)

I’m not, though. Not at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. There are few things I enjoy more than sitting on the sofa with my besties – the television and its magical remote.

I have an actual office in a real office building; however, I am fortunate enough to also have the option of working from home if, for instance, it’s really cold or rainy or windy. Or if I’m crampy or tired. Or if I just don’t feel like taking a shower.

Needless to say, I work from home a lot, especially during the winter months when the real estate market tends to slow down a bit.

There are few things more dangerous to our financial security than I am when I’m left unsupervised with a television, for all a company needs to do is invent a clever gadget and hire an excitable spokesperson to send me vaulting over the clutter and tripping over the dogs to get to my credit card.

Today’s product was the Wraptastic.

MUST. HAVE. ONE. (or two, as it were, because they’re going to send me a second one FOR FREE if I order NOW!)

The 60-second ads are bad enough, but I practically have seizures if I stumble across a 30-minute infomercial while channel surfing. My only prayer is that the item costs less than my mortgage payment because I WILL OWN IT. Don’t even get me started on the dangers of QVC and HSN. For the sake of my marriage, I have voluntarily banned myself from watching either of those networks. There’s something about that countdown clock that sends me into a buying frenzy.

Here are some items I’ve fallen prey to over the years:

Snuggies – I own four of them; two burgundy, two blue. I upgraded to the ‘plush’ version (because I work hard and I deserve it). They came with reading lights. I never used the reading lights, but I am a proud member of Snuggie Nation. My husband and my son mocked me mercilessly when I bought them, but I’ve caught both of them lounging in them. Total vindication.

Slap Chop – I don’t know what enthralled me about this particular item, except maybe the prospect of not being blinded with tears every time I chop an onion. It didn’t chop evenly, it scared the dogs, and it was a bitch to clean. Waste of money.

The Tony Little Gazelle YOU CAN DO IT! No, you can’t. I can’t even begin to tell you how convinced I was that this product was going to be the solution to all of my problems.

Never trust a stout, coke-addled man with a ponytail.

I used my Gazelle exactly once and almost broke my hip. I felt (and looked) like an uncoordinated asshole. It’s been in my basement for about eight years. I would put it on Craigslist, but I’m not sure I want the losers on there judging me for having bought it.

Suzanne Somers’ ThighMaster – I thought this would be the PERFECT exercise ‘machine’. I could sit on the sofa and watch my soaps while I worked out! Who knew the dumb blonde of Three’s Company fame was such a genius??


Because she wasn’t. My thighs didn’t get any firmer. You know what they did get? Bruises. Turns out covering a spring-loaded contraption with foam rubber doesn’t prevent it from slipping out of place repeatedly and slamming into your legs. Fuck you, Suzanne Somers.

The Ab Roller – I mean, come ON! It’s a recliner with handles above the head! Look at the lady on the commercial! Look at her go! It’s so easyyyyy!

Only it’s not.

It’s sit-ups. Sit-ups hurt whether you’re on the floor or on a chair. Sit-ups are the devil.

Sold it for 50¢ at a yard sale.

Epilady – This is the most barbaric, medieval, misogynist piece of shit that was ever invented. Do you remember it, ladies? The commercial claimed that it would remove hair painlessly. It depicted a sexy woman running the contraption up and down her leg with seductive smile on her face. I couldn’t order that thing fast enough! I had fantasies about not having to shave my legs for weeks at a time. I could barely wait for it to arrive! When it finally came, I was dismayed that the instructions required that I not shave my legs for several days before using it. I waited the appropriate number of days, then gently placed Epilady on my leg…and screamed like an animal as it literally ripped the hair out of my skin by the roots!! It felt like someone had touched my leg with a cattle prod. I dropped it immediately and never used it again. What they clearly didn’t mention in the commercial was that the smiling idiot was high on nitrous oxide or heroine or oxy. Or that she had prosthetic legs. Obviously.

Pedi-Paws – The first time I attempted to clip my dog’s nails, I cut her to the quick. She let out the most pathetic yelp, yanked her paw away, and immediately started to lick me as though she were begging for forgiveness. I cried like a baby and never tried it again. Then I saw this commercial. What a brilliant invention! An elaborate emery board for dogs! Why didn’t I think of that??

Used it for about three seconds before she pulled her paw away from me, looked at me with disgust, rolled her eyes so far into her head she could see her brain, and walked away from me.

There were plenty of other purchases – the Doggy Steps, the Spin Around Organizer, the Debbie Meyer Green Bags, the Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter, the Smart Mop, the Shoes Under, the Oven Gloves, the Ped Egg, and Proactiv, just to name a few.

I’ll never forget the day I wandered into the housewares department at Boscov’s and saw the As Seen On TV display. I swear I heard a choir of angels sing. I stood frozen before it; it was as close to a religious experience as I’ve ever had.

God help me.

Use Your Inside Voice

So…I’ve been out of touch for a bit. It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say, because heaven knows I’m rarely at a loss for words. It’s just that I was consumed by the election and every time I sat down to write, my words were more hostile than humorous.

Now that all of that unpleasantness is behind us, let’s move onto more pressing issues like reality television, fashion disasters, my son’s love life, and shopping in the presence of unruly children.

Wait…what? Mat has a love life? How did that happen?

More on that some other time.

Most of my mornings start with a walk. I used to walk alone, perfectly happy to listen to my music and check my Facebook and Twitter feeds along the way.

Jack: You read while you’re walking?
Me: Yeah…why are you looking at me like that?
Jack: Don’t you think that’s dangerous?
Me: Not really. I have amazing peripheral vision.
Jack: Except when you’re driving into potholes?

Such a smartass. Let it go. It was ONE FLAT TIRE (…and maybe a couple of alignments, but What. EVER.)

Recently, a friend of mine started walking with me. Yesterday morning was kind of cold, so we decided to go to the mall and walk with the senior citizens. It makes me feel better about myself when I lap an 82-year old.

I’m not proud.

Before we left, my friend wanted to swing through Target to pick up a few things. A woman was walking toward us, pushing a cart with two small children in it. As they passed us, one of the little girls let out a really loud scream for no apparent reason other than to entertain herself. I was walking ahead of my friend and immediately turned to face her. The wide-eyed ‘WTF?’ look on her face was priceless. She was reading my mind. The mother didn’t even bat an eye. It didn’t even occur to her to tell her child to please use her inside voice (or ‘shut the fuck up’, as I used to say when I was a young mother). She just kept pushing that cart with a far-away look in her eyes, as though she was trying to remember which ingredients she needed for dinner.

My friend is having a baby. I call her Barbie because she looks like a real-life Barbie doll (you know, from Mattel’s Knocked-Up Barbie series?). Her shower was today. I received the invitation sometime last month and had plenty of time to shop for a gift and an outfit to wear, but I decided to run out and take care of all of that last night when I was coincidentally at the peak of PMS.

Big mistake.

My first stop was the petri dish known as Babies R Us. I’m sorry, but that place skeeves me beyond description. It’s a conglomerate of crying, coughing, sneezing, runny-nosed kids, exhausted mothers and hapless fathers who look like they’d rather be getting a splenectomy than walking around the store scanning gift registry items with their waddling wives.

What made last night especially delightful was the idiotic woman who thought it would be a good idea to take her three children – who all appeared to be under the age of five – to get their Christmas pictures taken at 8:45PM (!!!). The entire time I was shopping, I could hear the photographer desperately trying to get the youngest child (18 mos??) to smile while he let out occasional mind-piercing shrieks. Every time that kid screamed, it felt like a knife going into my head.

When I finally made it out of there, I walked next door to TJ Maxx to find something to wear. While I perused the racks, I was treated to two boys who looked about 9-10 years old screaming at the top of their lungs and running up and down the aisle while their mother just flipped through the clothes on the racks as though she didn’t have a care in the world.

Sometimes I wish I could club people over the head.

This is Barbie’s first child. I am at once happy and exhausted for her. She’s a proud couch potato and a fellow TV junkie. I hope to Christ her daughter is one of those wonderfully lazy, laid-back children, for both Barbie’s sake and for her daughter’s, for Barbie is not the type to suffer foolish children or sugarcoat her feelings about their behavior. Good for her, says I. We need more mothers like her.