Iraq Study Group, No Expansion at Hy-vee Hall, and The Christmas Display you have to see.

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Good Morning,

The Iraq Study group finally makes its recommendations public this morning after weeks of speculation about the contents of its report. I’ll be the first to admit that the speculation on these recommendations has been a little over the top. I understand everyone wants to know what this group is going to say…I understand this could be the beginning of a major change of course in the war. What I don’t understand is why we don’t just wait for the report to be released. I get trying to find out a day or two early, but I feel like we’ve been talking about the recommendations for a week now. I guess I’d worry about not seeing the entire report. If we hear for a week that the recommendations are going to include this or that, and we don’t see it in the context of the full report, we may misinterpret the study group’s work as a whole.

Don’t Forget the “Other” War:
Violence in Afghanistan claimed the lives of two more US soldiers. While it’s not getting as many headlines as Iraq, the situation in Afghanistan is still tenuous. It’s going to take time for the situation to stabilize. I talked with Rep Steve King a week or two ago after his latest visit to Afghanistan, and he said the thing the country needs most is roads. King says right now Afghanistan is lacking a way to get the benefits of open economy and open government to people in rural parts of the country.

Gates Vote:
The new Defense Secretary will likely have a lot to say about both of these subjects. Robert Gates says one of his first acts as Defense Secretary is going to be a trip to Iraq. Gates’ confirmation by the full Senate is expected to pass this morning.

No expansion for Hy-Vee Hall:
Polk county Supervisors didn’t pass a measure to borrow money for expansion at Hy-Vee Hall. The 35 million dollar request would have added about 80-thousand sq ft of space. Two of the Sups say if someone wants to buy them out of the convention business..Feel free to make an offer…They just don’t think that’s what the CO is supposed to do. The two who voted for the expansion money say that horse has left the barn. We’re in whether we like it or not…and this expansion would make the place more successful and more profitable(actually it would just lose less money).

Homeland Security Comments:
If you’d like to be one of the people commenting on a Homeland Security program that tracks and files information about air travelers in this country to asses their risk to the traveling public…Good luck. The Homeland security Department made a big deal about how it’s extending the deadline to comment…More of the public can get involved. Now DHS has a website that I am sure we spend millions of dollars as taxpayers to keep updated. Nowhere on the homepage or the logical links does it tell you WHERE you can send your comments. If they really wanted the comments don’t you think they’d put up a link? Let you Email? It should be no surprise that DHS only has 57 comments. Then they’ll tell us the number of comments didn’t warrant a significant change in the program. Seems like a teriffic case of a non-user-friendly government system! Pat and I searched all over the place to try to link you guys up to a comment page for this – let us know if you have better luck finding one!TS

Those Lights!
I might just take a ride up to Ankeny to see the awesome holiday light display at 222 NE 16th. The homeowner doesn’t have kids…says he just wanted to give back to the community. Now that’s Christmas Spirit. Why do lights make us so happy? I don’t know a single person who hates Christmas lights. Now we need the snow…Jeriann?
These are pretty awesome! If you want to see it on your computer, pull up the video on 13 RAW. It makes my tiny lights display at home look absolutely pathetic!TS

Singing of Good Tidings and Ontime Arrivals:
Here’s the schedule we promised for holiday music at DM International Airport. They’ve been doing this for a few years. It’s a good way to de-stress a process than can otherwise be unpleasant at times.
I’m becoming a big believer in “music therapy!” When I’m totally stressed out, playing something I like (and often singing along) is a really great way to shake my funky mood!
Calvin wants to listen to music and “rock out” almost non-stop nowadays. Yesterday he made me play his favorite band, “Rage Against the Machine,” in the car.
I looked in the rearview mirror and it looked like that Bohemian Rhapsody car scene from Wayne’s World. BOTH kids were banging their heads in rhythm together. Little rock stars…
My friend Emily (Lumpp)Horvath found out blog yesterday. Em is a teacher in the Chicago suburbs and one of our best friends in the world. Emily is a walking superlative…Her energy and passion on just about any topic is one of the reasons we love her. When I got her call about finding the blog it was a reminder of one of my favorite holiday traditions. We usually carve out as much time as we can to go see parents of some of our friends. Sally and I are lucky, not only to still have good friends from growing up; we are friends with their parents too. Emily’s parents are some of the smartest people I know and are good examples of the kind of people we were lucky enough to be surrounded by as teens. Don’t know why I felt compelled to share that…Just another holiday tradition.

jury Duty:
I remain stunned that Neither Sally or I have been called to jury duty in Polk County. We’ve been here almost ten years! But in one of life’s funniest moments, her mom forwarded a jury summons for Sally Rosenthal to us this week. It is from Cook County Illinois. Now we were married, in Cook County eight years ago….Sally hasn’t lived there full time for more than ten years and she traded in her Illinois License when we arrived in Des Moines. The number of bureaucrat screw ups that had to happen so Sally Rosenthal could be called to jury duty…Are mind boggling…They had to call a person who doesn’t exist anymore! It’s Chicago so it’s not that surprising. Maybe Sally is providing a second vote for someone..We’re always glad to be of service.
The really funny part is that they wanted her to fill out the form and mail it back to them requesting that she be excused from jury duty! Really? You want me to take the time to fill out a two page form, mail it back with a 37 cent stamp, and then let Cook County taxpayers pay to have someone process that form? Doesn’t that seem a little inefficient? I told the woman she can issue an arrest warrant for Sally Rosenthal or fine her or whatever they’re going to do. There’s no chance that the Cook County brain trust is ever going to figure out where she is again…So I feel safe letting them go after her.
The woman on the other end of the phone was actually really nice. She said just don’t open the next one and mark it return to sender…No person by that name exists. Good solution.

Bruswick Stew:
We’re having some tonight so when I get home…I’ll put the recipe up.

Mmmm…sounds yummy!
It’s Trisha now. I’ll add a couple more things before getting to work on material for tomorrow’s newscast…

Babies Make You Crazy
Literally. A new study finds new moms are 4 times more likely to go to the hospital with mental issues. Not just postpartum depression, but anxiety, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. The first 3 weeks are the worst period, according to researchers, the whole first 3 months are pretty tough. A few contributing factors – sleep deprivation, biological changes, and adjusting to the huge responsibility.

This info seems pretty important. I don’t remember my doc asking too many questions about my mental health after Calvin’s birth. Looking back, I think in the first couple of weeks I had some sort of sleep-deprivation-induced anxiety problems. Crying about nothing, unable to sleep because I was worried about him, etc. The emotions and physical changes are so intense, no wonder mothers have a hard time adjusting! I found it a bit easier the second time around – maybe because I knew what was coming.

And now – it’s really fun!(most of the time!) I like this picture my dad took last time they visited. I have very few pictures of myself with the kids – I’m usually the photo-taker – and some day it will be fun to look back at some of these precious times.

So anyway, if you know a new mom, ask how she’s doing…. how she’s really doing, and see if there’s anything you can do to help out.

Thanks, Bloggers!

Just wanted to say thanks – to all those of you who take the time to comment on this blog! Pat and I love reading your comments, and are glad to hear that you’re being entertained and informed by what we write!

(It’s sometimes hard for me to believe that anyone besides my close friends and family really care about the little details of my daily life, but I’m glad to know that some of the stories bring a smile to your faces!)



  • Heather R.

    Thanks for the news update today. I kinda slept till 7:02am today, that didnt go over so hot. I felt like I’ve been dragging today. Trisha that is an awesome picture of you and Clara. You look like you truely enjoy your kids and thats an awesome trait. Pat, I got called to Jury Duty when I was 20. It was the week before I was to turn 21. I never got picked but I got a letter stating that I have to call these numbers and then appear. I thought it was cause I had an unpaid parking ticket I was in dispute with. Only ticket i’ve ever had in my life and I was disputing it. I ran down there and paid it the week before, just incase they were just trying to get me down there so they could arrest me. How funny? It was a scary thought for me to be deciding the fate of someone. I got over it though :) Have a great day!

  • Anonymous

    I think this blog is so great and you are all such a class act. Keep up the good work and thank you for sharing part of your lives with us!Meredith

  • Noelle

    Trisha,It was so very hard for me after my baby was born and I went back to work. The guilt nearly drove me out of my mind. Of course, I thought, what kind of Mom am I. How can I leave this little angel so helpless and go to work, but I had to and it got better. I think that is where the problems occur. We are brought up to think Moms are the caretakers and when we have to go to work, we feel so guilty. I’m surprised we are only 4x more likely.

  • Anonymous

    Trisha,Your feelings of guilt are natural and they are also innate. It is not society’s pressure that Moms should be the caretakers of their children, it is biological; it is genetic. Therefore, when you chose to leave your child with another caretaker, the hard wiring in your brain protests by bringing about feelings of guild, despair and heartbreak.Moms are the caretakers. Sure husbands help out, but we are the ones blessed with being able to bring a child into a world. Do you realize that 30-40 years ago there was basically no day care in this country. Think about that. In Western Society, Mothers have been responsible for the care of their children for more than two thousand years, and in society (for the most part) as long as people have walked this earth.We, thankfully, are more enlightened and educated than ever before. I just think there is going to be a long term impact because we stray so far from the role of a mother.

  • Anonymous

    Music therapy I’m starting to see like never before the importance of RELAXATION. Music is a very good idea for stress release. I landed in the ER Monday with a real bad nose bleed, my blood pressure was out of sight. My doctor, family and friends have said that I have got to slowww dowwn. I couldn’t help but think Barbra’s “Bloggers Night Out” idea and everybody meetiing Brenda E. sooner then they think .In the Metro last page enough said. Think I’ll have some Tea and listen to some music. LOL Keep up the good Work. or as I tell my kid patients at work….Keep on Keepin” on!!!Brenda E.One other thing,,,and this is for Patrick LOL YOU’RE KILLIN’ ME MAN, I think you’re being very “Tight Lipped” on the Recipe….The stew?!? the very thing you said you were having tonigt…Yeah right…I don’t see a Recipe for BRUNSWICK STEW!!!!! (Sigh) I’ll stay tuned!!!! hahaha

  • Anonymous

    Oh and another thing I don’t have children, I’m 34 and have been happily married ONCE for going on 12 years in 4 months. But I commend all of you Yes all of you Parents and I did say Parents. the single or married mother and father of a child or children, Who work and still keep it together. I think the emphasis should be on the “Team” (you and your spouse) raising such fine young children. It takes both parties working together and when one falls short still trying to do what you can to think of the child or children that you’ve brought into the world. To pacify the mean spirited people I don’t hate children because I haven’t had any yet, my time will come just not Now, so there! Guess I had a lot to say today!!-Brenda E.

  • Trisha Shepherd

    Thanks, everyone for the comments! (Meredith, your note was really nice!) I guess I stirred up some feelings on the parenthood issue. Just a couple of thoughts after reading these comments – Noelle, I hope you’re finding more peace with your working mother role now! I would say what I experienced wasn’t so much guilt – but just longing for a bit more time with my babies when they were newborns. (Compare the US policies on maternity leave with other countries and you may get a bit depressed!) I do feel lucky that with both my kids, my husband and I had schedules where we could share parenting duties, and have only a few hours at most where someone else was watching our kids. (Now, Clara is at home with one of us all the time because of our staggered work schedules!) That brings me to the other point – I have to respectfully disagree with the anonymous writer who says “moms are the caretakers.” Of course we have that instinct, but I think that others, including dads, can be equally as wonderful in this role, and Ian is proof. Also, historically, it’s not just moms who’ve provided the main source of care for their kids, but grandparents, aunties, family friends, nannies, etc. I believe it takes a village. IOf course I agree that it’s wonderful for moms (and dads) to be a central part of their kids’ daily care. I just don’t buy into the guilt of letting other wonderful, trustworthy people help us take care of them while we work. I like that my kids are able to bond with and trust other people besides me! Trisha

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