She has interviewed Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and a woozier-than-par Paula Abdul — an interview that now lives in cyberspace infamy (see link below) — but former Fox 4 entertainment reporter/meteorologist Maria Sotolongo says that was only the second coolest job ever. The first? Motherhood. When the latter came calling, her choice was nearly instantly clear. “I wondered how I would give up such a great job — the decision was tough for about a split second. Once I had Ysabel in my arms, I knew,” she says. “Really, once you’ve interviewed Pitt, how much more is there [for an entertainment reporter] to do?” she asks. Point taken. Today through her newfound freelance photography business, the 36-year old work-from-home mom is contributing to the family income while tweaking her multimedia skills. Her job at the station (which, for the first couple of years doing weather required rising at 2 a.m.) prepared her for motherhood. “It was good training for the lack of sleep,” she says. After one year of devoting her days and nights to Ysabel, Sotolongo knows she’s undoubtedly on the right track, even if she did have to temporarily say goodbye to big movie stars and uninterrupted slumber. “I can always go back to it someday if I want.” Ysabel concurs, exclaiming loudly in her mommy’s ear, “gooo guh.”

Video: Maria Sotolongo and Paula Abdul


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