Saturday, September 30, 2006


What's with these sudden, wierd bursts of energy? Is it hormones... mental... or just a hazard of being female?

I came home Friday and decided I just couldn't stand the look of my living/dining room anymore. The dining room had too much furniture for a small space, and the living room was just the opposite. I'd toyed with the idea of switching them (how unconventional!), and to my 18-year-old's chagrin, Friday was the day!

So the two of us undertook the Herculean task of moving a sofa, chairs, tables and accessories between rooms while my preschoolers looked on in awe. I can imagine they were thinking: "Has Mommy gone mad?" But I'm not completely nuts -- I didn't move the piano. (I'd done that once before, solo -- bad idea!)

It actually didn't take that long, and when we were done, I liked it! My Mom came in right as we finished and laughed. "You're just like me," she said. My husband came home later and just shook his head. But I was smiling.

If you've ever had a sudden burst of energy like that, please comment and share your story so my family won't think I've lost it.

Big, strong T :)


We've been trying to teach our three-year-old son, Jake, to be patient when commercials come on. He's been raised on DVDs and On Demand cable, where with the press of button you can bypass everything and anything you don't want to see.

Thus, he doesn't quite get the concept of television advertising. But he's learning quickly:

Last week, he saw an ad for Chuck E. Cheese's during a "regular" TV show and said "Chuck E. Cheese's! Mommy, we should go to the store and buy that!"

Today, while patiently waiting for his Curious George DVD to start playing, the Universal logo -- you know, the one with the earth -- appeared on the screen and Jake said, "Look mommy -- a commercial for the earth!"


Friday, September 29, 2006


When I was in school, if you got in trouble, at least you had time to rush home and think of a good story before the teacher called. Even better, the teacher sent a note home -- giving me a chance to practice "creative writing" (read: forgery).

Email and instant messaging have changed everything.

This week I got an email from my kindergartner's teacher about behavior problems. Thanks to technology, I knew all the details before confronting her. Due to our schedules we played phone tag, but kept in touch through email to resolve the situation and schedule my next volunteer day.

We can now print homework from the teacher's web site -- so "my dog ate it" is no longer an excuse. Our district posts high schoolers' grades and attendance online. Some preschools even offer web sites with web cams, so working parents can peak into their child's classroom during the day. And I keep up with PTA and other school news through the listserv.

Last year I helped my out-of-state stepdaughter with English by logging onto the teacher's web site. I could see what assignments she missed, read the papers she uploaded, read the teacher's comments and see her grades.

Now that my kindergartner's learning to read, a teacher at our school recommended a great website ( where she can practice phonics and "read" books online.

How the world has changed!

But nothing beats cuddling with your kids to read a bedtime story. Even in this digital age, they still enjoy that the most!


Thursday, September 28, 2006


Since my cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal) on Monday, I've been out of the house twice. Yesterday, I rode along while my husband drove my mother home and today I loaded up with painkillers and walked up the street to get some fresh air.

All this lying around and letting people do things for me is driving me batty. I'm used to being busy and active -- rushing to get to work, rushing to meet my deadlines, rushing to get home and feed the kids dinner and play with them and put them to sleep and clean up the kitchen after they go to bed...

So I don't know what to do with myself. I've caught up on my Entourage and Weeds episodes. Now I'm buried in a mountain of old magazines I've been meaning to read for months...everything from Time and Newsweek to Vogue and Real Simple. Today I read the terrible story behind the Haditha massacre and learned how to better organize my kitchen.

Oh yeah...and I got some tips on how to find a pair of skinny jeans that would flatter my figure. I even considered buying a pair, going so far as to put them in my online shopping cart before shaking out of it and admitting I'm a bootcut girl.

I'm happy to catch up on my reading, but what I really want to do is go for a run, organize the playroom, catch up on the laundry, and vacuum the air vents.

And what I would have loved to do yesterday, on my daugter's first birthday, would have been to spend the day with her and get her birthday portrait taken, just as I did when my son turned one. That was the toughest part of my week.

Of course, next week, when I'll be feeling well enough to do all that, I won't have the time.


Friday, September 22, 2006


I'm not sure whether I should be impressed or scared by News Mom T's profession of love for her minivan...and the level of care she provides for it.

My minivan is not nearly as loved. The proof: You'll find no hand vac, no backseat organizers, no grocery compartment and no laundry bag in mine. If you saw it, you probably wouldn't even want to get into it for fear of a crushed Cheerio (or worse, a stray drop of peanut butter) getting stuck on your behind. As for the DVD's broken. To add insult to injury, while my minivan falls into disrepair (and it's only 2 years old, mind you), I secretly lust after a certain sporty luxury vehicle.

That said, let's move on to Friday Mommy News...

Women who use the birth control patch may be at higher risk of developing blood clots than those who take the pill.

A new study finds a third of ADD cases in children may be linked to PRENATAL exposure to tobacco smoke and lead exposure after birth.

And finally, Playskool today recalled 255,000 "Team Talkin' Tool Bench" toys after two toddlers suffocated on the plastic nails that come with it. If you have this toy, you can return it to the company and get a $50 gift certificate in exchange.

Have a good weekend,
News Mom V.


It was the trifecta of bad kid news this week:

"We're having problems with Andrew not listening in class," the preschool teacher said.

"Anna's being bossy and a tattletale!" said four after-care friends who cornered me on the playground. The teacher agreed. This was a day after her kindergarten teacher called home to report behavior problems.

Then there's my 18-year-old Jessica, who put icing on the cake by forgetting to take all the trash out and clean the kitchen -- AGAIN!

Immediately I took it all personally: "I'm raising a house full of monsters! Maybe that dad with the stay-at-home wife was right and my kids are turning out all wrong because I'm working." (See V's Wednesday post.)

As usual, it wasn't as dramatic as it seemed. I enlisted hubby's help, and with some surprise visits to school, Andrew's "listening" is improving. Anna now plays alone on the playground, but has had no more discipline problems. I'm sure the friends will come back around.

And Jessica apologized profusely for ruining my day. Last night, the kitchen was spotless. (I think Dad's threat of 30 days with no TV had something to do with it.)

What a difference a day makes.



I admit it - I LOVE my minivan!

Unlike some of my friends, I'm not ashamed to drive around in that square silver Mom-mobile that screams "She's got kids!" In fact, it amuses me when people play the car-guessing game:

"You drive a Lexus?"
"No, she's definitely a Porche."

Ha -- if they only knew! I am perfectly satisfied jetting around town in my -- well, I won't advertise, but it's one of the most popular models. You probably saw 20 of them on the way to work. "V" has one, too.

I was a small car person until we bought the van. At first I protested: "I can't drive this big thing!" But you have to get the right model. Mine turns on a dime and accelerates like I'm on the NASCAR circuit (well, almost.)

Sure, sometimes I envy my friends with SUVs -- until I see them at the gas station. I've told them, if you look at my van from a certain angle, and don't focus on the back end, it looks like an SUV (insert laughter here).

My minivan is like our house-on-wheels, so for me the key was having all the right accessories:
  • a powerful hand-vac for picking up Cheerios, confetti and potato chips that were stepped on (I actually stopped and bought it before bringing the van home)
  • backseat organizers for all the kids "stuff"
  • a designated compartment for snacks ("Mommy, I'm HUNGRY!")
  • a grocery compartment for fliers, coupons, etc.
  • a laundry bag and "catch-all" basket in the rear

I specifically did NOT want a DVD. My philosophy was that trips are family time to talk to, not ignore, your kids. But one 12-hour trip and hubby convinced me otherwise. So we bought the plug-in kind. We only use it on long trips, and only for a few hours. But it is nice to have.

One day I'll outgrow the van and get a "grown up" car. I dream of cruising the open road in one of those extremely expensive convertibles where my hair can flow in the wind.

For now, I'll just open the window.


Thursday, September 21, 2006


In her September 18 column for Newsweek, Anna Quindlen raises the question of whether we scare our kids too much about the possible negatives of life (i.e. date rape, smoking, the consequences of unprotected sex) and don't remind them enough about life's pleasures.

My children are too young for lectures about date rape, but my son already knows about the need to wear his bicycle helmet and about holding my hand when he's anywhere near a street or inside a parking garage. I don't think either one of these is an instance of going overboard, but perhaps I went too far when he was a toddler, scaring him away from electrical outlets by shouting "No! No! Hot! Hot!"

To this day, he balks at even tepid food or bath water. Both need to be cold. Yes, I have taken away the joys of a warm bath and a hot bowl of soup from my son.

I do try to hold myself back at the playground, allowing him to climb some of the "big kid" equipment, all the while internally cringing and stifling a mother's warning: "No! That's dangerous! You could fall and break your head open."

Finding a balance between scaring the kids into not doing something, and allowing them to enjoy their childhoods is a difficult task. And I have a feeling it gets more difficult as they get older and want to do things like drive and go on dates.

I'm certainly not going to let my son drive until he learns to eat his dinner warm.


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


It's after 7:00pm and here I am, still at work, and not yet sure when I'll be home.

I'm covering the president of Iran's speech to the United Nations, which is slated to begin any moment now. At home, my kids have already had their dinner and their dad is hopefully getting at least the little one ready for bed.

While waiting for the speech to begin, I've busied myself by reading the online discussion that T. mentions below. I would share the link, but it's a TV biz site and a lot of it is only accessible by subscription.

It's ironic that I'm reading this forum tonight, because it raises the question of whether motherhood and working in the TV news business (with its' notoriously irregular hours) are compatible. A newly pregnant reporter -- a self-proclaimed go-getter -- started the discussion by asking the question "HOW DO Y'ALL DO IT?"

A father whose wife is a stay-at-home mom offered this advice: quit work and raise kids the "right" way by staying home with them. He also characterized "daycare kids" as "completely disorganized" and said he could "spot them a mile away."

Needless to say, his comments initiated a heated exchange. Some working moms retorted that their kids were more well-adjusted and verbal than those of stay-at-home mothers. Others were so infuriated by this man's comments they resorted to name-calling.

No matter which side they're on, it seems to me these parents are simply defending their child-rearing choices. How could they not? One goes down a certain path and crosses their fingers that they've made the right decision for their kids and their families...and when that decision is questioned you have no choice but to defend it.

I know I've done the same thing.



Today I joined an online debate about working v. stay-at-home moms. There are a lot of misconceptions.

Many studies show kids are better off with a parent at home. It's a fact that makes us working parents cringe with guilt. But remember: that's a statistic, not a guarantee. Our kids aren't doomed to failure because we work and they're in daycare! And kids with moms at home aren't guaranteed success -- just a better CHANCE. Plenty of those kids fail, too.

I think you'll find many parents work FOR their children -- not for houses, cars and vacations, but to afford better schools (often in more expensive neighborhoods) and build college savings. For single parents, it's not even an option.

Staying home is ideal -- I admire those who've made it work and hope to join you one day. But just being at home isn't what benefits the child. It's knowing how to foster success and navigate life -- and some parents have no clue beyond Gymboree and play dates.

Children turn out best when they come from loving homes that foster education, good behavior, and spiritual and moral values. That's possible for two-parent working families, too - it's just harder.

Like a good news story, the form is important but it's the CONTENT that counts.


Monday, September 18, 2006


I'll bet you never thought the day would come when parents would say: "DON'T eat your spinach." Well it's here. Because of an E-coli outbreak that caused one death and more than 100 illnesses in 19 states, the FDA says don't eat any fresh spinach (loose or bagged) until further notice. (

Kids everywhere must be elated. Not me. Since childhood, I've loved my veggies! (I know -- I was the strange kid on the block.)

This spinach recall raises some issues for parents. Let's face facts: because of our fast-paced lifestyles, many children weren't eating much spinach -- or other fruits and vegetables -- anyway. Maybe this "spinach hiatus" is an opportunity to re-think our meal choices.

The second issue is oversight. This E-coli outbreak has brought to light the fact that, like cargo at ports and luggage on airplanes, very little of it is actually inspected. The fact is there just aren't enough people to visit every farm, every factory, every field.

My mom would say: "That's why you pray over your food, honey."

I had to throw out two bags of pre-packaged spinach last week. I'd planned to make a warm spinach/walnut salad that very night the news broke.

Ugh - I can still taste it!


Friday, September 15, 2006


Here's news you can use:

What our mothers and grandmothers called "pleasantly plump" is now known as "overweight" or "obese." Several years ago the government adjusted the scales, and overnight thousands of Americans got the bad news.

Thus, came the generation of bottled water, salads, and five-day-a-week workouts, as we tried to shed those pounds. But did we share those new habits with our children?

The Institute of Medicine reported this week that a third of American children and teenagers are overweight or obese, and the numbers are rising. Its report "Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity" found little progress at all. (Here's the link:

The report applauded efforts by communities, schools and the food industry but said those efforts are few and far between and aren't being monitored. So noone knows if they're really working.

The IOM made a number of recommendations. Let's focus on advice to parents. We should be asking:

  • Are the meals I'm serving healthy?
  • Are the portion sizes too big?
  • Do we make exercise a family priority?
  • Do we watch too much TV/videogames/computers? (Kids gain weight when they're sitting around.")
In short, they're urging us to get our mini couch potatoes MOVING -- not just at home, but at school. Just this week I talked to a mom who fought to lengthen her son's 10-minute recess. Shockingly, I'd just discovered that my daughter's school serves French toast sticks with syrup and (sugary) strawberry milk for lunch. I wouldn't serve that at home! The schools need to hear from us!

If you're like me, the prospect of so many lifestyle changes can be daunting. But the IOM advises that even small changes (like switching from whole milk to 2%) can make a big difference.

It's something to think about. I'm on deadline, but maybe I'll take a quick walk to get lunch today instead of ordering fast food.


Monday, September 11, 2006


You'll probably never forget exactly where you were and what you were doing on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Excuse the cliche, but it really was one of those defining moments of a generation.

Growing up, I remember my parents telling me how they would never forget where they were when JFK was shot. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 will stay with me in the same way. My children were not born yet, so they won't have that memory. For them, 9/11 will be taught in history class, just as JFK's assassination was taught to us.

Five years ago today, I remember sitting at my desk and watching, on my television screen, as that second plane hit the World Trade Center. I remember knowing immediately that our country was under attack. And I remember rushing home to pack and head to New York, despite protests from my husband.

Airplanes had been grounded and trains weren't running, so my colleagues and I drove north.

It seemed that we worked around the clock, as most members of the media did during that time. Even when I did make it back to my hotel room, I couldn't sleep. I'd continue to watch the coverage on the 24-hour news channels and sob and sob. I couldn't cry at work -- I was too busy -- so this was how I dealt with doing stories of unspeakable loss and devastation all day. It took a psychological toll on me like no other news event ever had.

This, the 5-year anniversary, is the only time I've allowed myself to relive those memories. Watching the memorial services in New York, Shanksville and at the Pentagon today has been difficult, and a bit teary.

Yesterday, my mother gave my little boy a commemorative set of die-cast rescue vehicles -- exact replicas of those used by FDNY on 9/11.

He enjoyed playing with them, and my mom hinted I should tell him their significance.

At three-and-a-half, I don't think he's old enough to absorb the tragedy of that day. When the time is right, I'll talk to him (and my daughter) about my experiences and recollections, as I'm sure millions of other parents will do with their children.

I'm left wondering, however, what the defining moment of my children's lifetime will be. I can only hope that it won't be as devastating as what we saw on September 11, 2001.


Friday, September 08, 2006


Aha! T. has a sour side too! I'm not the only one.

I'm glad to know an empty milk carton can send my colleague into a tailspin! It makes me like her even more.

Then again, maybe I'm just rubbing off on her.

In case you're wondering, I was able to carry that renewed perspective from yesterday over into today. I've got a bit more verve in my step as a result. I even offered to pick up lattes from Starbucks for my coworkers. The grumpy me doesn't like to pick up food for other people.

But enough about me and my out-of-the-mommy-closet-anti-June-Cleaver-colleague, and on to Friday Mommy News:

Those squeezably soft toddlers don't always outgrow their pudginess. New research finds that a majority of kids above their ideal weight from age 2 through their preschool years are still overweight at age 12.

And here's one I missed while on vacation last week, but interesting because I was a having a conversation about this just recently --- CVS is apparently not any more dangerous to the fetus than amnio. Pregnant women are usually counseled that CVS carries more risk of miscarriage than amnio, but this study found the miscarriage rate for both procedures to be about the same.

This is important news for expectant mothers who want or need to have prenatal testing before the 2nd trimester, because CVS can be done six weeks earlier than amnio.

And finally, a note to our small arsenal of guinea pigs/readers: Please start spreading the word about us!

We're having a great time sharing our thoughts with you and love hearing your responses. A lot of you have been shy about commenting on the blog but have called and e-mailed us about how our experiences have made you laugh, or how you can relate. You've bolstered us to the point where we've become greedy and want more readers and more feedback.

So, please let your fellow mom friends know about us. And please continue to read in.

Thank you.

(I feel like I'm signing off from the evening news here! "You stay classy, San Diego...")



At the risk of blowing my reputation as the "optimistic one" -- I must vent for a moment. I'm sure all working women can identify.

This morning, I went around the house in a frustrated rampage posting notes like "don't leave milk cartons on top of the trash -- put them in the recycling bin RIGHT BEHIND YOU!" I mean, how many times do I have to pick up, clean up or beg before they get the point? It must be deliberate. The family has conspired to make my life miserable.

Great - now I'm paranoid.

At some point I think "good" mothers accept the fact that maid service is an inevitable part of the job. I'm just not there yet -- I'm still fighting it. My brain is on overload trying to remember everyone's appointments and assignments, while keeping the house in decent order. June Cleaver I am not.

My latest line to the family is: "you'll miss me when I'm gone." But will they? Of course. But, too, won't everyone be happier without me constantly needling them to do this or that? Or maybe in my absence they'd keep the house spic and span... in my honor.

Wish I could live to see it.


Thursday, September 07, 2006


Wow..."T" certainly was prolific yesterday. Three posts!

When I logged in this morning, I also found a funny message from her in response to my Tuesday ("Rain, Rain Go Away") post. She laughed at me, and then told me about her morning that same day -- waking up late, missing her daughter's bus, walking to school in the rain and having to change clothes again before coming to work because she was soaked!

Yet, she didn't gripe about it to you as I did.

That led me to the revelation that I, News Mom "V," am the sour, pessimistic one and "T" is the take-things-in-stride, optimistic one.


I HAVE been grumpy lately, and feeling overwhelmed. I think as moms (working and stay-at-home) we all go through those stages...and I'm smack dab in the middle of one.

My gall bladder surgery is looming; my baby is about to turn one; my house, which was recently renovated, still needs some kinks worked out (not to mention some furnishings) and I desperately NEED something to perk me up -- like a free hour a day to exercise, or a manicure/pedicure or a 20-pound weight loss!

Before you tell me to get over it, don't worry -- I've already had that conversation with myself.

Especially after this morning:

After realizing just how grumpy I've been, I went downstairs to pick up some overdue drycleaning -- which I now needed ASAP because I was being sent out on a story and had come to work wearing my jeans again!

While down there I ran into a correspondent for another network housed in my building. She's a lovely woman and fellow working mom who three months ago donated a portion of her liver to her infant son with a rare liver disorder. In her words, she had no choice but do it. After invasive surgery and a long hospital stay, her little boy is back home and she is amazingly back at work.

She looked wonderful (although significantly thinner as a result of what she's been through) and spoke lovingly of her little boy and the precautions she still needs to take to keep him out of the woods.

Her poise and strength really left an impression and gave me a little kick in the you-know-what.

If she's been to hell and back with the prospect of losing her little boy and still manages to seem so in control of her life, why can't I?

As a result of my conversation with her, I got back to the office too late to change out of my jeans and had to run out to cover my assigned event -- the National Association of Letter Carriers Hero of the Year Awards -- still wearing them.

The main award recipient, a man by the name of Jim Osborne, went AWOL from his letter carrying job in South Florida after Hurricane Katrina to help rescue flood victims in New Orleans with his airboat. He saved more than twenty people. His convoy of 10 airboats saved more than 175 people.

He was emotional during an interview I did with him. And also inspiring. An everyday hero (OK--how sick is it that the theme song from Higglytown Heroes is playing in my head?)...just like the correspondent I ran into earlier in the day.

I don't really have a witty ending line here about how I've been renewed as a result of talking to these people, or that my life has changed in any way, or that I've snapped out of my funk...but these people certainly helped me look at my life a little bit differently today -- and put things in perspective.

I'll let you know if I can carry that feeling through into tomorrow.

News Mom "V"


A few years ago, I flew to Minnesota to interview a mom of 5 about her kids' after school activities. The community's parents, coaches and other instructors had established a pact not to "overprogram" their kids. Parents would let kids participate in only one or two activities at a time. Coaches and instructors pledged to keep practices and events to a minimum so as not to interfere with school.

I thought it was a great idea. What parent would want their child stretched so thin? Then our kids started preschool and kindergarten this year.

In the first week, I've been offered more options than I ever imagined: gymnastics, computer class, piano lessons, foreign language before and after school, Saturday enrichment classes, Girl Scouts -- and these are LITTLE kids!

I'm still against "overprogramming" kids, but I do have a better understanding why parents are tempted to do so. We want to give our kids the best, and each opportunity seems like a good one.

Gymnastics? Sure -- exercise fights childhood obesity. Piano? Music teaches discipline, which is helps kids excel in school, right? Foreign language -- great idea. Experts say this is the best age to learn. Computers? That's a no-brainer - they'll HAVE to use them. Girl Scouts -- a character-builder. You don't get more wholesome than that.

Enrichment classes? What parent doesn't want their child "enriched"?

So here I am with a bunch of fliers and decisions to make for my 3 and 5-year-olds. I also wonder about the social impact. What if my daughter is the only child in after care who didn't sign up for computers -- will she have to sit in class alone for 30 minutes, or hang out with the two-year-olds on Monday afternoons?

So you see, the decision isn't as easy as I imagined.

Clearly we can't do all those activities. If nothing else, my wallet will stop me. I think we've narrowed it down to in-school gymnastics for the preschooler, before-school Spanish for the kindergartener, and piano (once a week during after care) for both.

And that's my final answer -- as long as they don't send home any more fliers this week.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Is there an "easy" way to have a baby?

Apparently some women think so. Researchers believe the number of voluntary Cesarean sections is up, and doctors suspect it's because women may be afraid to labor and deliver vaginally. A new study by the Centers for Disease Control looks at nearly six million birth records. It concludes that C-sections believed to be voluntary are putting babies at risk. The CDC reports twice as many babies born from voluntary C-sections died in the first month of life, compared to babies born vaginally.

The study is in the current issue of "Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care" ( .

Here's the caveat: the CDC isn't sure if the Cesareans they studied were really voluntary. All they know is that the birth certificate noted no medical risk factors. Critics say that's a major flaw in this study.

We DO know that C-sections are up 41 percent in the past decade. For those who think it's the "easy" way to have a baby, let me tell you -- I've done it twice, and it's NOT.

Thanks to Mother Eve, childbirth is painful -- on the front end or the back end. Drugs can make it much easier, but not pain-free. After my first Cesarean, I envied friends who were up and about the same day their babies were born. I could barely sit up. And trying to care for a newborn after major surgery is no joke. Count on being out of pocket (i.e. off work) for eight weeks.

Then there's the issue of VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) for mothers who "really" want a natural birthing experience. A few years ago, VBAC was popular, but rates have declined to about 9 percent of all births. Concerns about rupture and fetal distress are too great for many women to risk.

Which brings me back to the question -- is there an "easy" way to have a baby? If you're determined to avoid physical pain, consider adoption -- and don't forget older children and special needs kids. There are thousands of little ones in the U.S. and abroad who could use your love.



NBC's new "Today Show" anchor Meredith Vieira has said she likes to report on "ordinary people in extradordinary circumstances." So do I. Here are two of my recent favorites:

Today I met a 43-year-old two-time breast cancer survivor. She's virtually the picture of health -- works out 7 days a week (putting me to complete shame!) and had no family history. She's a project manager, managing eight men in a male-dominated field. After surgery, chemo and radiation, her cancer came back last spring.

What impressed me is her spirit. Just talking to her lifted mine. Through her personal struggle she held onto a tough job, and her sense of humor. Now's she's helping two recently-diagnosed friends do the same.

Yesterday I chatted with Jana Monaco, a Virginia mom I first met last year. She's caring for her son, who is permanently disabled due to a rare birth defect. It could have been prevented if Virginia had required the same newborn screening tests some other states do. Not only does this mother of 3 devote herself to the time-consuming task of caring for special needs son (16 therapy sessions a week, not including doctor's appointments) -- she's also an advocate reform. Her efforts helped change the law in Virginia, and she's taken her fight to Washington to push for standardized newborn screening tests nationwide.

Talk about turning lemons into lemonade! Here's a woman who was thrown a complete curve ball in life, and she threw it right back. (You can read more about Jana's story, in her own words, on her web site:

I know there are others. MANY others. Each and every one deserving of their place on the Forbes list. Through their stamina, faithfulness and fortitude, each of these women are making a difference in the lives around them.

And as a News Mom, I am honored and blessed to meet many of them and share their stories.



Aren't we all? :)

But a few clearly stand out. The Forbes annual list of the "World's 100 Most Powerful Women" is out ( Here are the top 5:
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (last year's #1)
  • China's Vice Premier Wu Yi
  • Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi
  • Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy

The rest are an impressive hodge-podge of corporate, info-tainment and government heavyweights, including the Presidents of Chile, the Phillipines, Finland and Liberia; the Prime Ministers of New Zealand, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Jamaica and South Korea; and Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

Corporate types included CEOs and top executives at Morgan-Stanley, Goldman-Sachs, Kraft, Rite Aid, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, eBay, Proctor and Gamble, Lucent Technologies, Johnson and Johnson, Time, MTV, Sony, Paramount, The New York Times, and Southwest Airlines, to name a few.

America's TV divas took their places: Oprah, Katie, Diane Sawyer and "Today Show" newcomer Meredith Vieira - in that order. Interestingly, CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour made the list, but the Dean of TV Newswoman Barbara Walters did not.

I got a chuckle out of #14 Oprah outranking Sen. Hillary Clinton (#18), Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (#32), First Lady Laura Bush(#43) and the highest ranking woman in Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (#48).

Maybe Oprah should run for President?

Oh -- and why in the WORLD wasn't my mother on that list?

News Mom T

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I'm back from my less than sunny vacation, and it's raining outside.

The drive in this morning was horrendous. Bumper to bumper, beginning a half-mile from my house all the way to the office. Over an hour.

It was the rotted cherry on top of the stale cake that was my morning.

As I've mentioned before, I have a hard time transitioning between being with the kids 24-7 to sending them off to daycare.

This time we were together for 10 days -- sleeping in the same room.

My formerly co-sleeping 3-year-old is back to his former self. When it came time to go to bed last night he announced he was sleeping in our bed. Didn't you miss YOUR bedroom I asked? No, he said. It's lonesome in there.

He was clinging to me when we woke up this morning, and he continued to do so on the sofa in front of the TV downstairs. I didn't mind being clung to, but I freed myself to get clothes for him and the baby.

She cried all morning long. She didn't want to be dressed, she didn't want to eat and she didn't want to play on the floor. She's also been sick and snotty so I felt so evil sending her off to daycare.

After my husband left with the kids, I had my coffee and toast, showered and found something clean to wear -- my jeans! Those darn jeans were supposed to have made it into my suitcase but somehow got lost in the dining room during packing. Their absence forced me to wear pajama pants or too-tight yoga pants (with a strategically placed hoodie tied around my waist) on the days I couldn't wear shorts.

When I arrived at work, the story assignment next to my name read "Horse Slaughter."

I'm not kidding.

Things have since taken a turn for the better. I managed to get out of the horse slaughter story and into watching a President Bush event.

It's good to be back. As a journalist it's hard to be on vacation and know there are things going on in the world that you're not covering.

And I'm getting a break from reminding my little boy to go potty every couple of hours (because he still hasn't mastered stopping to go when he's having too much fun.)

Not that it wasn't adorable to walk by the bathroom and see him sitting on the potty, his legs swinging as he sang to himself "Rain, rain go away.

Now...where was I? Oh yes...the President.

News Mom "V"