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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Interiors: Live From Moscow, All Over Again

It hardly seems surprising that Eileen O'Connor, the Moscow bureau chief of CNN, was watching television one day last week at 5:30 A.M.


The impetus for the early morning viewing, however, was more personal than professional -- how else to entertain three little girls who had been up all night with a fever?


By 10 A.M., Marina, Michaela and Gabby were feeling better and pleading to go play in "mommy's office" across the street. It was not an uncommon request, and one often granted. In fact, living so close to the office was one of the things that attracted O'Connor and her husband, ABC producer John Bilotta, to returning to Moscow after a year and a half in Japan.


"Crazily enough, it was a lifestyle choice," said O'Connor, 34.


O'Connor, who at one point thought her next posting might be Washington, said working in Moscow gives the couple more flexibility in juggling her career and her children.


"During a lull in the day, I can take the kids to ballet class," O'Connor said. "And I have more control over my traveling than I would in Washington."


She also said she was attracted by the cultural opportunities for the children here in Moscow -- puppet shows, the circus and indulging in such things as hiring a skating coach for them. "That would cost us an arm and a leg at home," she said.


Sitting in an antique Russian chair in her nearly furnished apartment on Kutuzovsky Prospekt -- the family lived in a dacha in the country for two months while the flat was being renovated -- O'Connor remarked on how dramatically her Moscow lifestyle has been transformed since her earlier tour here, in the late 1980s, before she had children.


"I was at a party recently and we started rolling up the carpet to save it from having brownies ground into it by all the kids running around," she laughed.


"It occurred to us that in the old days we would have been rolling up the carpet to dance."