Well known for its particularly high satisfaction rating by patients, I am no exception with my bilateral reduction mammoplasty (photo taken next morning):
With the initial look at my dressing upon waking in recovery, I was simply delighted with the white bralette, my first ever. I felt like someone should hand me a volleyball so I could head to a California beach straight away!
Over 3 hours & hundreds of internal stitches later, Dr. Chang Soo Kim (GCsurgeryandlasers.com) & his amazing team removed nearly 1,500 grams! Find a 3.3 pound weight and put it on a chain & wear it around your neck over your lungs and tell me if you don’t want to rip it off by the end of the week! Not only did Dr. Kim give me the breasts of a 20-year-old, but I could suddenly breathe effortlessly again!!
I don’t blame breastfeeding, I don’t blame aging & I certainly don’t blame weight loss.
Life started out normal…
And then, what on Earth happened?? I mean, seriously, look at my little neck…
No matter how little I weighed, I was still a DDD+. Not pleasant when the rest of my body was wearing a size 4.
It translates into neck & back pain, underwires digging into soft skin, and bursting
I had never experienced a surgery that would alter my appearance. Between fun, function & fashion, the twins had served their time well.
But enough was enough. Deemed a medical necessity, I was grateful it was fully covered by our insurance.
Unless you’ve not been able to bounce on a trampoline with your kids or run through Costcos without getting black eyes or lay on your stomach at the Chiropractor’s or zip up your coat without pushing past the bust roadblock or comfortably enjoy a massage or if you’ve rested your twins on your wrists climbing the stairs or slung your mammaries into the massive nylon cups of a minimizer or released them at the end of the night only to swing like tube socks with golf balls or if you sleep on your side with a pillow just for your top boob or find it difficult to buy a pretty little outfit with straps or take a deep breath without holding up your center bra wire or accidentally hit the delete button with your breast when you’re reaching over your keyboard, then you may understand. Millions of women do. This surgery is life-changing!
And those shocked by my decision only proves I was a master of camouflaging my DDD+ girls with the perfected fashionable slouch, wearing baggy blouses, and, as countless women know, subjecting ourselves to breath-defying minimizer bras.
Dr. Kim & his team were incredibly kind. I even asked to pray before surgery, something I’ve never done before and really didn’t even know what to say, but Dr. Kim held my hand and his team gathered around and I felt safe and cared for and the next thing I knew, after “Amen,” I was waking up in recovery feeling lighter & breathing easily.
The only unusual part of the day was standing with Phillip shortly before surgery in the pre-op room and the doctor used a special surgical Sharpie pen to mark my skin for the incisions. Ewww. I tried not to picture what those lines really meant.
When it was time to go home late that night around 10pm, Phillip helped me change. Gown off, we both looked down for the first time and were excited and pleased. No drains. No ugly bandage wraps. Just a little white satin bralette. I felt so adorable. I felt 20 again. “You look awesome,” Phillip exclaimed. Cool!
I dreamed of finally buying a pretty bra with a lovely pattern or wearing something strapless for the first time. When I got home, I wore a cozy PJ top I have never been able to button before. It was exciting!
Interestingly, if anything could go wrong the weeks leading up to surgery, it did. But it wasn’t going to deter me.
I had partially torn my meniscus and was in physical therapy 3 times a week in February. Phillip just recovered from another intensive cancer treatment surgery (The Journey) through February & I was drained. My Mom tripped 10 days earlier and I was making the 60-mile roundtrip to her house daily to care for her. Then Mom (Tribute to Mom) fell the day of my surgery and injured herself even more. My sister & niece both have bronchitis and my daughter broke her foot in gym this week prompting us to immediately cancel the friends’ homes where she was to stay during my initial recovery. As if that weren’t enough, I haven’t had my period for a year & the night before surgery it came on with full force & was relentless all week. Then a fluke March blizzard delayed my follow-up visit to the surgeon. One thing after another, but you know me. Nothing would stop me & so it is done.
I came home that night, got in bed, put my feet up, snuggled our 3 kitty cats & haven’t moved much since. We inflated a triple-decker queen air mattress in our room with pretty aqua sheets & a pastel butterfly comforter for my little Darling,
and we’ve been cozying up watching The Flash, enjoying tea & scones, and letting our Boys deal with the chaos in the real world while she & I focus on our *Healing Party.*
(And Mom has Visiting
The reduction was a huge decision, no pun intended. No woman goes into such a major surgery without having given it a great deal of thought. 4 girlfriends went through it and offered words of wisdom. Recovery was quick and, thanks to strong meds, relatively comfortable. (Phillip’s med chart > for me.) No stretching, no pushing, no pulling, no lifting, no standing upright for a long time. No driving for 2 weeks.
For a busy Mom, it’s actually quite nice to stay in bed for a while.
My gals still “under wraps” as I enjoy a lovely salmon dinner in bed. Phillip has brought me every culinary delight this week & is keeping me on track with infection & pain meds around the clock.
My husband & I met with Dr. Kim a week later for the unveiling. Phillip says the Redesigned Twins are “spellbinding!” Ooh! (blushing). We’re happy, I can breathe & long necklace ornaments will never be bobbling off the center wire of my big brassieres again because those parachutes are all in File 13!
UPDATE: DAY 9
We visited Dr. Kim yesterday, the one-week checkup since surgery. To be honest, I was afraid to look down & see stitches when the doctor took my bandages off. That’s when Phillip gave me that beautiful compliment above. But today was Day 9 and I seriously needed to shower so this would be my first meeting with my girls.
stared at myself in the mirror for the longest time. I mean, just really stood there and stared. What looked back at me was the most beautiful set of healthy, perky twins with an upturned point you would only see on a mannequin and think, “Yeah, that’s not for real.”
Dr. Chang Soo Kim ~ Click: GCSurgeryandLaser 203-920-1444
Why won’t he commit?
Is he “The One?”
How does he really feel about our relationship?
Is there another woman?
If these questions ever entered your head…or heart, wonder no more!
For over 30 years, 2nd-generation psychic & spiritual adviser Louise Helene has answered these questions through thousands of readings.
She shares stories of heartbreaks and misunderstandings and teaches readers how to navigate tough relationship problems by using your intuition.
Louise is a recurrent guest on our Life & Love segments on “Let’s Talk!” and explains why it was love at first sight when I met Phillip and why we had no doubts getting married even though we had only been in each other’s company 46 days prior to saying “I do.”
All shows are archived on this site. Upcoming shows with Louise: November 10, 2015, December 15, 2015, February 23, 2016, April 5, 2016. If you have any questions for her, please send them to: Bianca@TheLetsTalkMom.com. Can be on any topic – life, love, finances, family, etc.
The Bright Spot – Find your special someone or find strength to end a bad relationship. Louise will help empower you to take control of your love life!
Find Louise’s book on Amazon.com & Barnes&Noble.com, recommended on GoodReads.com, available for your Kindle or in paperback. To contact Louise directly for a personal reading, click: LouiseHeleneThePsychic@gmail.com
Everyone kept asking me what Phillip was planning for my 50th. He’s arranged some pretty spectacular things for me over the years so I knew whatever it was I’d be thrilled. Our son captured the moment:
Good Lord! What could it be? Well, prior to opening this envelope, Phillip planned a weekend of delights including dinner at La Panetiere.
We visited the Cloisters on the northern tip of Manhattan overlooking the Hudson to enjoy the stunning array of more than 5,000 pieces of European Medieval works of art from the 12th – 15th centuries including the famous Unicorn Tapestries. The Cloister’s Library contains over 15,000 volumes of books.
Later, we toured the World of Wings butterfly atrium where I had my 1st opportunity to take photos with my gorgeous new Canon from my son. For the amount of time I invest in my photography, this latest Canon with touchscreen, image sensor & built-in Wi-Fi was the p-e-r-f-e-c-t gift!! Thank you, darling!
And if anyone knows our family well, you’ll know why the logo above is so significant!! 🙂
As you can see, this day was magnificent with brilliant sunshine & deep blue skies. But 50 years ago, there was a blizzard and my mother arrived at the hospital with a police escort. That’s one way to make an entrance.
Mom recapped the story over dinner. Then she surprised me with a very special gift…a piece of jewelry I’ve admired for 45 years. It was given to mother by my father’s mother when I was 5.
I’ve worn it in the past with great delight (photo on right), but on this special night, my mother said it was now mine. Overjoyed is an understatement. It means so much to me on many levels.
So what was in the envelope in the opening pics? Let me first explain that my greatest gift ~ now & always ~ is being loved by my family & friends. Flowers & cards, emails & posts. All is appreciated. The kindness, the thoughtfulness, the time spent to make my day special. Thank you all!!
The above cards from my children touched my heart deeply. My son chose a card that says I make him feel understood, happy and loved. Wonderful, wonderful!! And our little one says I make her happy every day…down to even the school snack. What more could any mother want? Happy, thriving kids – this was, by far, the very best gift of all!!
16 years ago, I started the Harry Potter series with our son…reading it in “real time,” that is, waiting each year for another book to be published…standing in line at midnight openings with great anticipation for 1st edition hardcovers. We saw the movies, he had the posters, the comforter set, the throw pillows, the robe, Harry’s wand, etc. He even had a Harry-esque look to him, especially when he got his glasses.
Fast-forward more than a decade and our little daughter & her friends are relishing in the adventures, quoting the spells, whipping up potions and donning the robe. The perfect hardcovers have moved from our son’s room to our daughters’s bookcase. Over the holiday break, we watched all 8 movies (Yes, 8. The last book was filmed in 2 parts).
My friend, Sara, took one of our daughter’s best-est friends (since the girls were infants) to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter last month. The girls are now 9 & 10, the perfect age for the story. Sara posted this video of Platform 9 3/4 on her FB page & that was it!! What more fun could our family have than to venture through the fantastical world of wizards?
CoCo Key water resort & hotel:
We finished up the weekend celebrations with my favorite movie, The Scarlet Pimpernel, with Jane Seymour & Anthony Andrews. Luscious ~ Dreamy ~ Yum!
So many other details went into this weekend that I would just like to say thank you to my husband, my whole family and my friends for marking this milestone with great joy.
The Bright SpotTM – Thankfulness that my mother is feeling better, it’s on & off and for my birthday she was really “on!” Even sparkly! And thank you to all who sent wishes for a beautiful birthday weekend. So ready for this next great decade, bring it on!!
I answered my cell on a sunny Friday while I was upstate with the kids. “I’m going to marry my sweetheart on Tuesday,” said the voice. “I was wondering if you & your family would come and represent my family since I’m alone here.”
Incredibly touched, I said it would be our honor! And with that, we attended a beautiful wedding 4 days later. Our friend was from Haiti and his family could not fly in for the ceremony.
My husband was father-brother-friend all wrapped into one, our daughter was a flower girl & I took delight in capturing memories on film.
Our friend was marrying into a loving, close-knit family.
His bride was stunning.
His in-laws were welcoming & kind. And we were moved by the warmth & joy that surrounded all of us this beautiful August afternoon. May we all be so blessed to have such an affectionate family.
The Bright SpotTM – Blessings to you, our friend, and your radiant wife. Peace on your journey of life together. See update 2015 below 🙂 b~xoxo
It’s been a few years & look who’s arrived! The sweetest, darling little baby boy for this wonderful couple. Love those eyes, love those cheeks!
I was finishing up a really great day trip with my daughter & one of her closest friends. The girls met more than 6 years ago in a baby lapsit music program. The little friend’s grandmother was with us on this particular day and my husband called to see when we would be home.
“It shouldn’t be more than an hour now,” I said and we each finished with “I love you very much, too.”
The grandmother turned to me when I hung up. “I didn’t mean to listen in but it was really nice to hear you talk like that with your husband.”
To me, it’s just normal. My husband and I are tender & loving in our daily routine. It’s good for us & it’s good for the children. Affection is part of their daily life, and I hope that their partners one day in the far future are just as loving & warm.
I remember advice from some folks when I first married: “Don’t call your husband at work, just let him just do his job.” “Don’t tell your husband you love him all the time, he’ll bore of you.” “And don’t be overly mushy, guys don’t like it.”
But I grew up in a loving home with smoochy parents & grandparents and I went with my gut. To me, men are just as deep as women are and most people, I believe, desire attention, recognition & hugs.
And what I find is that many people wish they had a more loving relationship. Or that they connected more with their spouse.
It’s really not hard. It’s the little things that add up to the wonderful bond between you & your significant other.
A brush past your partner with a soft touch across the shoulders. A little kiss as you pass in the kitchen or while your husband is working late into the evening. I leave him notes in his briefcase, he’s left me notes in the pantry, across my computer screen, in my coat pocket or the bottom of a soup pot!
Arm in arm when you walk, hand holding when you talk, a little text here & a little Google Chat there. It all adds up. Communication – touch, voice, writing – text or by hand. It all matters.
And nothing beats the kiss!
Don’t think your kids don’t notice. They want that comfort of a loving environment.
Of course, when they’re preteens, a kiss might evoke a look of disgust or even a groan, but in reality, it gives your children quiet inner peace to know their parents are close & loving and, with a divorce rate of nearly half of all marriages nowadays, don’t underestimate the great security it gives them.
So reach out to your partner. Physically & emotionally. And have fun!
It will not only be super for your relationship, but it will teach your children what a loving family is and what a great partnership looks like.
And the kindness your children experience they will share because they know it as their norm.
The Bright Spot™ – You already know your children model your behavior.
You have the power to mold their framework for a loving marriage and a connected family structure in their future.
So go on now…smooch the daylights out of your kids and your spouse! Happy Parenting!™
Happy Birthday, Darling
Whether my dear husband is busy
at Gotham City’s Sherry-Netherland’s Doubles on 5th Ave sweeping ladies off their feet…
or me off mine… … giving speeches
or playing Cricket…
chillin’ or racing
giving sweet baby kisses
and super Daddy hugs…
…corporate by weekday and
Hearth Warrior by weekend
(God, I love those legs!)
…and whether he’s playing peacefully or keeping the peace,
up in the sky or under water,
dressed down, OR…
Phillip is funny and
great fun to be around.
A wonderful father,
an animal lover and protector,
a loving husband and great friend to all who know him, I am proud to be his wife, his lifelong partner, his other half.
I’m also proud to work together as co-hosts on our Live radio show, “Let’s Talk!” about Life, Love and Parenting archived on this site after each show for your listening convenience.
The Bright SpotTM – I could not think of a better person to take this life journey with! Take a moment to think of all the reasons you love your special someone and go give that person a big kiss! I’ve just finished this story and am looking for my Batman, my Caped Crusader, my darling to give him a big smooch! 😉 b
On our anniversary we renewed our vows at the 14th century castle where we wed years ago (below). The weather was glorious, the English gardens in full bloom, our hearts were full.
This summer, we enjoyed more than 1,300 miles of pristine landscape in the United Kingdom from Edinburgh, Scotland to Lancashire, North Yorkshire, The Penines, Northumberland, and Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, England.
It brought back wonderful memories from years ago…
We were so pleased to celebrate our union with our family and friends
We married in the United Kingdom and again a month later in the United States. Our maid of honor, best man & bridesmaids flew back and forth for the weddings, both of which took place near sunset on the eves of full moons – that was just a pretty bonus from the Heavens!
I am also very grateful to my wonderful seamstress – who made sure every gown, dress, suit/outfit I wore at the Miss America years earlier was fitted to perfection. In England, she made sure the bustle was perfect! After all, she created it. And she made my gown glisten in candlelight and against the setting sun.
On our anniversary this trip back, we really enjoyed seeing our daughter & Goddaughter running playfully along the centuries-old wall we walked up together as newlyweds.
And although we enjoyed journeying throughout the Kingdom… (2000 years! Read the sign below:)
…taking carriage rides & visiting local farms where our kids could grind wheat & hand-feed horses and little lambs…
…and enjoying quaint pubs, 500-year-old canons, Scottish castle ruins,
family, friends & a romantic summer to remember…
…I must say my favorite part of this year’s anniversary was not the trip to Europe, but rather what we did on the “next wedding anniversary” a month later when we returned (yes, we celebrate both).
We took our little one and her friend to see the Winnie-the-Pooh animated classic in the movie theater. As we sat with the girls between us, Phillip reached over their seats to touch my arm. I smiled at him in the dark and whispered, “There’s no where else I’d rather be than celebrating today with our family and Winnie-the-Pooh.”
Later that evening, my mother watched Little Petal as we went out to dinner.
(These are photos by day/sunset are so you can see the roadway. It was pitch black when we were there. I’m sure we would have given our teen an earfull if he did this…)
On the ride home, Phillip turned onto a long single-lane road over a large lake. He turned off the engine and jumped out of the car, motioning me to follow him.
He put his arms around me and looked up, pulling me close. Stars pierced the pitch black sky; the only sound ~ the chirping of the summer crickets. The water was still, the air was warm. He kissed me and took my breath away. I felt like a teenager, blithe and carefree. With every beat of my heart, he kissed me more passionately.
Suddenly, car lights in the distance were heading our way. Our car blocked the entire single lane, and the oncoming driver would never suspect someone stopped on this quiet, dark roadway.
We scrambled as fast as we could to get into the car as the lights drew closer and closer. I grabbed my skirt around me and ran as quickly as I could to the passenger side of the car, heart pounding with excitement, fear, naughtiness.
We took off just in time and laughed giddily – I think from the nerves and the rush.
The Bright SpotTM – my husband, the love of my life! Go grab your Honey and smooch him/her! Take out some time and write down your special thoughts about why you love your wonderful someone. Renew your vows and commitment to one another. Castles and moats are great backdrops, but it’s the authenticity in your words and heart that make your relationship deep. Enjoy the little things like an afternoon movie with your kids or a romantic kiss by the lake. If you are single with kids, tell your kids how special they are to you and celebrate your commitment to each other. If you are an adult, tell your parents or grandparents how much they mean to you. A vow is a pledge or promise to the one(s) you love. Life’s so short, do it today.
And a double Bright SpotTM just for YOU!! Thank you to all of you who read this site. 2 million page views & counting in one year because of your support & interest in these stories, our albums, links, and the weekly interviews from our Live, call-in radio show “Let’s Talk!” archived on this site for your convenience. And thank you to everyone who commented/sent e-mails on the story that follows – about how the tragedy of 9-11 affected our family and how our young son unknowingly inspired many in this nation and abroad. Thank you all!!
Leave it to the English (& Canadians) to serve up a majestic dose of sumptuous cinematography in this heart-pounding period piece that doesn’t leave much to the imagination. The Tudors is outstanding!
The history, passion, betrayals and intrigue enveloped in this flawless production by the brilliant English screenwriter & creator Michael Hirst captures the agony of 1 man’s life journey in his ultimate quest for love and honesty. Yes, yes, power and all that, but fundamentally, as the years passed, love and truth reigned supreme.
In his prime, Henry – an educated author & composer – was known as charismatic, passionate and an attractive sportsman. He ruled with absolute power.
Why did Henry Vlll (1491 – 1547) have 6 wives? How did the Church of England come to be? Why are Henry Vlll and Elizabeth I the most famous monarchs in English history? Watch this 38-hour epic series and see the treacheries that cloak his kingdom unfold.
The voracious appetite of this happily married Mom was effortlessly satisfied with each hour I shared with my equally-engrossed husband. A perfect blend of desire & lust mixed with gross man stuff like Tower scenes and combat will captivate both men and women alike.
The Tudors is a magnificently edited work of art cast with absolutely incredible actors, extravagant costumes, opulent scenery and a twist at the end of each episode that leaves you breathless for more.
We’re about to wrap up our last hour of the series, I’m dreading it and the pending withdrawals. I just don’t want it to end. Bravo to all who made this chapter of history come to life!
The Bright SpotTM – a delicious next few months with your special someone. Get it on Netflix or the DVD set and whisper in your love’s ear, “Let’s Tudor tonight!” with that knowing little smile and a naughty twinkle in your eye.
We do everything together with our kids.
We ski, skate, travel, bike, scout, dance, read, sing, play & pray together.
And most of all, we just like to hang out with one another.
Our kids are our #1 priority, our focus, our love. But there is one thing we know is vital to a strong family unit and strong marriage – dating your spouse.
When couples first meet, it’s exciting, romantic & heart-pounding to be together.
And when you choose one another for a lifetime, that romance & thrill should last a lifetime, too. Of course, mortgages, work, time contraints, exhaustion, these all creep up on us. But taking the time to date your spouse will keep your love on fire!
My husband & I date once a week. We plan something fun like evening horsebackriding followed by hors d’oeuvers & dinner…
…or smooching at sunset on the beach…
…or just bopping the heck out of each other!!
Although we like to
sail, snorkel and snog,
party or chill…
…and even work together in our own company – choosing to sit in the same office – much to the shock of our staff and those who visited (“Don’t you two get sick of each other,” they’d chide, “working all day across from one another and then seeing each other at home?”)
Nope, we look at each day as a gift. We celebrate it with our children and with each other.
And sure, gala events are nice (scroll down to see more on this summer event in the next story),
but it’s our routine Friday night pizza & a movie at home that’s my all-time, hands-down favorite!!!
Just hanging out with my husband, putting our feet up, throwing on a sweatshirt or fleece, a ponytail & little white socks, snuggling under the covers and watching a movie on NetFlix, now that’s a good time!
The Bright SpotTM – So go grab your Honey, the one you chose for your lifetime and make memories just hugging & kissing and all the wonderful little things you used to do before the bills and the laundry and the dishes.
It doesn’t matter what you do – and it doesn’t have to cost a penny – just spend quality time with your One & Only.
More photos above under “Our Photos – Hand in Hand.”
Happy summer lovin’ on the last of these lazy, hazy 2011 summer days.
Awakened by the sounds of supressed giggles & loud shhhushhing, the aroma of 24 roses and strawberry-cream chocolates, the sizzle of bacon, scrambled eggs & smoked salmon, the juiciness of a delightfully sweet fruit bouquet, and the sparkle of a gorgeous diamond droplet necklace, it was actually my new Mother’s Day t-shirt that said it all:
Thank you to my dear husband for noticing…you know…how exhausted active Moms are!! Hahahahahaha!!!
But really, above and beyond all else, the cuddles & snuggles of my wonderful children, the sumputous kiss from my incredible husband, the birthday hats, the Mother’s Day song, the handmade cards & gifts created with such care,
& the pure joy of sharing breakfast in bed as a family was the best Mother’s Day gift of all!
A Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there – now go put your feet up!! 🙂
The Bright Spot – remember as you plow through the fog on a particularly tiring day – exhausted because everything you do is for your family because you love them so much, go ahead and take a moment to grab your kids and snuggle the daylights out of them, because time is short and those are the moments you’ll remember…not the dishes, not the laundry, but the special cuddle, the eskimo kisses, the sweet memories. Then go take a little time for yourself…the laundry will still be there when you get back!
My darling husband, Phillip, underwent a major surgery ~ what was to be a 3-hour surgery turned into over 5 hours because of complications.
I was very scared.
But the support from our family, friends and community was overwhelming – letters, e-mails, prepared dinners, child care, phone calls, hospital visits, you name it, people were there.
Because of this incredible support, he wrote a long letter to everyone when he was finally home recuperating – I’d like to share a part of it with you now.
When I married Phillip, he was a widower. He knows the deep heartache of losing one’s spouse.
This letter will give you an idea of why I love this man so much. Why it was so easy to fall in love with him instantly and marry him after only being in his company 46 days.
My Dear Friends,
These last few weeks have been quite daunting for me. Thankfully, when it comes to surgeries, I do not get fazed. If it needs to be done, get on with, just get it right.
My deep concern has been for my wonderful wife, Bianca, and for my children. Should anything go wrong with the surgery, frankly, I wouldn’t know a thing about it.
But I know, only too well, the pain left behind for loved ones when the unexpected happens and your spouse is suddenly gone.
Without going into too much detail, the operation ran to almost twice its planned time; the surgeon told me it was the most complicated case he’d ever seen in his career.
During all this time, I needed to prepare myself physically, and most importantly, mentally for a speedy recovery.
Also during this time, Bianca was preparing so she could help me get through this. So many of you overwhelmed us with your help, your kind words, your compassion and your prayers. I am thankful for your concern for my health and for Bianca’s well-being. We are truly blessed to have friends as great as each and every one of you.
What has gone unseen during this time is the enormous amount of stress this has put on Bianca.
She has kept on the brave face, looked after the kids, looked after me, and made the house extra welcoming and cozy for my recuperation.
But I see the pain in her face at the thought that something horrible could have happened.
I cannot bear to see my beautiful wife suffer after the amount of goodness she has brought into my life.
I love her more than life itself and if I spend the rest of my life loving her as much as she has loved me, I will still not be able to repay her in full.
I truly am THE luckiest man on the planet to have found such an incredible person to share my life with.
The Bright Spot – my friend, Susan, told me about a quote she heard and I love its truth, “The greatest gift a father can give his children is loving their mother.”