Category Archives: Yodeling Mamas

Farewell to Arms

His golden locks Time hath to silver turn’d;
O Time too swift, O swiftness never ceasing!
His youth ‘gainst time and age hath ever spurn’d,
But spurn’d in vain; youth waneth by increasing:
Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen;
Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever [purple]

Today was a rough day.

I got to work and immediately procured my coffee. (Caffeine was necessary this morning.) I sat down and plugged in my laptop while I was reviewing my ever expanding to-do list. It was going to be a busy day.

The computer screen went blank. A swirling hour glass reappeared, along with a dialog box informing me there had been an error installing the latest updates. Interesting – I hadn’t installed any. Regardless, I followed the typically failsafe method of fixing all technological issues – I rebooted.


The rainbow swirly wheel continued to taunt me. So after five minutes, I scooped up the computer and marched its misbehaving shell down to the IT walk-up window. “Yeah…” the tech guru mused after punching multiple buttons, “this thing’s toast.” Yay me. I had successfully blown up my computer. My day was being eaten away. And my to-do list was not getting shorter. A sympathetic technician sent me back to my desk with the world’s slowest loaner PC. I sat down, only to discover the power cord wouldn’t register. So, the loaner died.

It was going to be one of those days.

As I was fiddling with the computer, plugging and unplugging, musing the pros and cons of simply pushing buttons until the machine worked, my manger asked me if I had a quick second to chat.

Throughout my entire professional career, that exact request has sent my pulse racing. And for the first time, my fears were founded. My company had made the difficult decision to eliminate 1% of its staff in an effort to enhance revenue growth and margin expansion. My job was eliminated.

I lost my corporate job today. Today, I became a temporary stay at home mom. And I was so close to making it through the entire recession…

I said my goodbyes with tear-filled eyes. When I got home I hugged my muppets who grinned and giggled back at me. Mommy’s home!

My heart goes out to all my fellow Yahoos who lost their jobs today. But mooning and mourning will do no good; we will all move forward. I loved my job and I will miss my team dearly. But I’m going to take this opportunity to spend the time with the boys that I wasn’t able to enjoy during my maternity leave (what with the wires and medically “tiny” diagnosis).

I’m going to focus on writing the next great American novel. And blogosphere fans – please have any and all literary agents contact me as soon as possible.

I initially accepted the job at Yahoo! because I saw a change in societal norms – a new direction for people to consume media and content. I still see that there; sooner than later, I’d like you to be able to find my content there.

Today was a sad day. I came home and hugged the muppets. Boy, will Search and Destroy’s first year be one for the record books.

Seriously though- agents? Columnist contracts? I’m here and best of all – I’m available! You’ll find me at home, enjoying a sunny January with my five favorite guys.


Yahoo! Fundraiser Freedom

Note: This blog originally appeared on Yahoo! Shine.

Bake sales, magazine subscriptions, cookie dough, gift-wrap, coupon books, auctions, scrip, collecting empty cans…kids pitching their school’s fundraising requests seem to come in every shape and size. (Remember the different size and style Weeples – those fluffy things with googly eyes glued to plastic feet – that were offered as prizes based on the amount of money brought in?)

So this holiday season, Yahoo! Homepages for Homerooms is taking the sales pitch out of the fundraiser and making it easy to earn money for the teachers and projects that matter to you most. Just make Yahoo! your homepage in support of a teacher’s project on, and you’ll help give that teacher a chance at getting project funding – and you won’t feel obligated to add to your holiday caloric intake by baking flavorless frozen cookie dough.

Yahoo! enables good deeds to grow exponentially by giving its millions of users a broad platform to rally around causes. Through the Homepage for Homerooms program, Yahoo! is helping good deeds grow among communities supporting their local teachers and schools. Yahoo! will donate a minimum of $125,000 to teacher projects (up to $600 per project) and up to $350,000 over a 5-week period (Nov 19 – Dec 23), for every homepage set to Yahoo!.

Yahoo! is a trusted brand on the Web, providing families with resources for parents and educators on, (partnering with internationally known safety experts like iKeepSafe and CommonSense Media), and is committed to fostering safer online experiences for children. is a reputable education non-profit that has made significant impact on schools, having helped raise over $68M in funding for U.S. public schools.

By participating, teachers can receive supplies like classroom cameras, computers, new books and basketballs for their students – just in time for the new calendar year. In turn, you’ll be rewarded with one of the best places to stay up-to-date on world, national, local, sports, and popular culture news – like what the latest fundraising trend is – with no subscription necessary.

Talk to your teacher about it today. And for nostalgia’s sake, perhaps someone will get you a Weeple stocking stuffer.


Put the NICU Nurses Out of a Job

As part of a campaign to generate awareness about the crisis of premature birth in our country, the March of Dimes designated November as Prematurity Awareness Month. Premature birth is the leading cause of newborn death worldwide. And the rate of premature birth has risen by 30 percent since 1981.

“We need to fight for our little ones so they don’t have to.”

Every year, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely – that’s more than 543,000 children. This year, that number includes my twin boys. Compared with one baby, twins (or other higher order multiples) in California were about six times as likely to be preterm in 2007. A traditional pregnancy lasts for 40 weeks; full term is considered at 37 weeks. My muppets arrived in the middle of their 27th week – 12 weeks early.

I don’t call them my million dollar miracle muppets just for fun. Care for preemies costs more than $26 billion a year – 10 times greater than the average expense of a full-term newborn. The costs break down as follows:

  • $16.9 billion (65 percent) for medical care
  • $1.9 billion (7 percent) for maternal delivery
  • $611 million (2 percent) for early intervention services
  • $1.1. billion (4 percent) for special education services
  • $5.7 billion (22 percent) for lost household and labor market productivity

(These estimates come from Preterm Birth: Causes, Consequences and Prevention, a 2006 report published by the Institute of Medicine and funded in part by the March of Dimes.)

Having a child draws out a wide range of emotions in any case. I remember lying in my hospital bed, watching nervous and excited moms rush into the Labor and Delivery unit. Inevitably, I’d hear the mom or dad gleefully shouting that they were about to meet their new family member. I’d always envisioned that same scenario for my family. Instead, I was wheeled into the OR sobbing, clutching a nurses hand as I chanted “chubby babies, chubby babies.”

Born three months premature, my sons were a tiny two pounds. But from the very beginning they were perfect in all the littlest ways. They each had a distinct personality and a desire to make their preferences known to the world. I am a mother, a mommy to two precious twin boys. My husband and I are parents. But they were not yet really ours. You meet your children and you would do anything for them – then you are faced with the guilt of not having provided enough to keep them out of harm’s way.

I learned so much during the 10 weeks my boys were residents of the NICU. They had the most amazing nurses, who patiently explained everything to my husband and me and cared for the muppets as though they were their own children in the hours we couldn’t be with them in the hospital. Those nurses became family.


My muppets are doing great. They’re great big boys (at five months old) and spend their days smiling and giggling. With each passing day, the NICU becomes more of a distant memory. But for all the families currently going through that experience, I hope someday the NICU nurses are all out of work because they are no longer needed.

November is Prematurity Awareness Month. Chances are somebody you know has experienced the roller coaster of emotions a baby born too soon brings. – it’s far more common than we like to think.


Taking on Bullying Through the Color Purple

This post initially appeared on the Yodeling Mamas blog.

I began researching bullying in 2004; I completed my Masters thesis on the subject in 2007. Bullying is a widespread issue – and one that does not simply end with childhood. In fact, my thesis examined bullying in adults. But the post below was written to bring attention to schoolyard bullying after the suicides of several young men.

We wear purple today in honor of the recent lives lost. And to offer hope, so that no mother has to bury her son because he felt shame or worthlessness – whether that be because he was gay or simply deemed different by his peers during a defining time in his life.


I wore purple today.

You may have seen the meme going around the Internet:
On Oct. 20, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the six gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools.

Bullying is a phenomenon that happens within most aspects of life — from childhood through adulthood. I believe most people would agree that bullying is an unpleasant situation, but people have differing opinions on what constitutes bullying.

Most individual definitions of bullying are based on personal memories developed during the emotional warfare of childhood. A 1996 study assumed that all children were somehow involved in childhood bullying practices, whether through direct participation or observation.

I polled a small group of college students to see how they defined the subject. Their responses included themes of negative acts in which the goal is to make “the bully” feel superior and the “bullyee” feel threatened.  Examples included picking on kids (typically the same group every time), teasing, stealing from them and beating them up; physically making people feel bad about themselves; psychologically intimidating or hurting another person; and purposely exclude another in order to gain a sense of power and respect. Each person I spoke with had his or her own interpretation of how to define the occurrence.

Perhaps this was a reflection of the widely held stereotypes of gender in the bullying process — boys as physically aggressive anonymous bullies versus girls as covert and subtle manipulators.

In the spirit of the current MLB playoffs, let’s use baseball as a metaphor: A pitcher on the baseball field uses a variety of pitches against his or her opponent.  A fastball provides a metaphor for the notion of masculine bullying.  The ball is thrown hard, fast and directly towards the strike zone in front of the batter — a direct and visible challenge.  In contrast, a curve ball represents feminine bullying.  The pitch appears as though it is heading toward home plate in one direction, but slyly changes its route at the end — tricking the batter’s perception of when and where to swing the bat. Pitcher and team alike agree that both types of pitches are necessary to win. Bullies use both masculine and feminine forms of bullying against victims.

I use the term “victim” to describe the person on the receiving end of aggression not because they have no recourse, but because a person in a bullying situation often feels victimized during the occurrence.  All types of harassment are bullying if the actions of the perpetrator have the effect of hurting another mentally or physically; cruel actions alone do not constitute bullying if no harm is perceived.  Bullies and victims alike are men and women of all races, ages, and classes.

Wounds that can result from long-term bullying have many of the same features of abuse — a sense of betrayal, elements of self-doubt and blame, and feelings of hopelessness and anger.

Shame is a natural feeling to occur after a bullying experience.  The thought that you or I “knowingly” entered into a direct path of victimization and remained put, can lead to an enormous sense of injustice. Eventually, this can lead to an intense desire to prove to the external world that I, as the accused, am not the person portrayed by my bully. This may have played a part in the recent loss of the six bullied boys.

An important first step to address the problem bullying is helping people to understand that it’s more than just “kid stuff,” more than, “Oh, boys will be boys.” People who experience bullying may find that they are able to maintain a sense of their power simply by gaining the ability to put a name to the situation.

So, today I wore purple. What color are you wearing?


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Yodeling Mamas

I’m a mama. And I yodel by day. So becoming a yodeling mama seemed like the next logical step. I am officially a mommy blogger.

Yodeling Mamas is the online home for the digital and domestic lives of Yahoo! moms. I now have the privilege of being a contributor. In addition to the wonderful muppet tales you will continue to find here, I will be writing articles as Mama Tricia.

I will also post those articles here, but feel free to take a look at the other blog and see what other moms have to say.

Yodeling Mamas:
We come from every corner of the company—and the world—to talk kids, careers and the challenges that come with balancing the two. We’re Yahoos. We’re moms. And we’re blogging about the stuff that makes us yodel.

About the Mamas:
Name: Tricia

Job: PR Manager

Bio: Tricia became a Yahoo in November 2009. She found out she was expecting in December 2009 and in January 2010 learned that she and her husband were soon-to-be parents of twins. Six months later, the muppets arrived. Now the proud mommy of two healthy NICU graduates, Tricia is back yodeling at Yahoo! and thankful to be working for a company that embraces the double trouble of motherhood and career.

Also yodels at:

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