All the news I could fit

This is me trying to file a story from a hotel room while my son was home sick with a fever. He didn't want to leave my lap.

A year and a half ago I got the dream job I didn’t know I even wanted.

Our “mommy blogger” at TBO.com was leaving. I had eyed her work since I had my son in August 2009 and envied that she got to write about topics she loved that she was probably already researching frenetically as a new mom. My beat at The Tampa Tribune didn’t have anything to do with parenting, but I’ve never known a boss to turn down someone who volunteers to do extra assignments (provided the old stuff still gets done). So I asked if I could take over for her. And landed a job I loved.

I loved it so much that I had no interest in leaving it, even as the financial picture began looking bleak again at the paper (you’ll see why this is important soon). It turned into a full-time position for me, and I couldn’t believe my luck. I got to research potty training methods and get paid for it. I swapped cool stories I found online with other moms, and we debated car seats, Tiger Moms and baby names. I got great kiddie CDs, toys and sticker books sent to me to review — a Green Toys fire truck became my son’s favorite toy. I got a little starstruck as I interviewed Christian Jacobs — “Yo Gabba Gabba,” people! Awe. Some.

But I liked covering the parenting beat for less selfish reasons, too. I got to help build a community where we shared ideas, support, tips and more.

Christmastime layoffs at the newspaper shook all that up, and I found myself abruptly unemployed, my company-owned blog, Facebook and Twitter off-limits. Not fun. But that didn’t eliminate my interest in all-things-parenting. I’m still on the beat, just for myself and my family this time. I’m still researching what exactly I’m supposed to do to avoid permanently screwing up my toddler. I’m still reaching out to other moms for their help and ideas.

I’d like some company. As long as you don’t mind a few “cute kid” posts along the way.

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