Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some good podcasts

I listen to a lot of podcasts. They are an awesome way to pass driving time or to listen to something interesting while I'm working away at something boring. Recently, I've found some super podcasts and I thought I would share them here.

1) This American Life
This podcast is consistently amazing. A group of reporters talk about, at the most basic, life in America. It's also on NPR, so you might have heard of it. Their shows are truly interesting, diverse and really amazing reporting. I am definitely addicted. They have been doing the show for a long time, so there's a huge number of previous shows in the archives. Each week, they choose a theme, and they report stories (usually 2-3) based on that theme. Other times they will use the full hour to report one story. Some of my favorites are a story about a doctor in a small town that seemingly lost his mind one day, the Harper High series (a few episodes dedicated to exploring an inner city high school in Chicago) and another story that dealt with two daughters who were switched at birth. But really, any of their shows are stellar. You should definitely check them out.

2) The Moth
The Moth is a storytelling forum, and it is usually phenomenal. Regular people (or sometimes comedians or performers, even scientists) will stand up in front of an audience and tell a true story about something that happened in their life. These stories can be funny or poignant, scary and sad. The best ones take you on a roller coaster ride, for sure. Some of my favorites include Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk story (I thought I was going to die when I heard this story - it is so incredibly funny and I return to it over and over again for a good laugh),  Mary-Claire King's talk about her insane week and Paul Nurse's talk about his family tree. There are tons of good ones to listen to, however. I suggest you check it out!

3) The Longest Shortest Time
I recently discovered this podcast and it really speaks to me as a mom. It's basically a podcast about parenting, mostly from the mom's point of view. The podcasts are usually pretty short (15 mins or less), and they cover a wide range of topics like early newborn baby, breastfeeding, crazy things that can happen when you have a baby. Mostly, I find that this podcast affirms a lot of the feelings I have about parenthood. For example, one talked about being a stay at home mom (something I feel guilty about NOT being) and they talked about the boredom associated with staying at home with a little one. How the things they find interesting are not necessarily the same things you find interesting, and how your brain is not that stimulated (so you need to actively seek out stimulation and adult time). It spoke volumes to me, as have several other of her podcasts. It's great to have an honest assessment of parenthood, with all its good and bad things out there.

4) Serial
I can't do a list of good podcasts without including Serial. This podcast is produced by one of the people from This American Life. It follows a murder that happened in 1999 when Hae Min Lee was killed after school one day. Her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed was convicted of her murder and is now serving life+30 in prison. This podcast is both good and bad. It is a brilliant piece of reporting, and the subject matter is very interesting. However, it is a real murder case, involving a real high school girl, so it can get pretty upsetting at times. The reporters try to figure out whether Adnan actually did the crime or not. This podcast is one that is finite - maybe 12 episodes of varying length. But it sucks you in immediately (and it was hard to wait a whole week for the next episode to be released!). The good news is that it's now done so you can binge listen to all the episodes at once if you want.

Don't know how to listen to a podcast? Check out this video here.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Random pics

Literally covered in cats
Goofing before bed 
Sleeping in
Ready for school
Eating with a fork 
Carrying the lunchbox from school


  • D signs "more" when he wants help with something
  • He is teething, so we were up lots last night. I am a mom zombie, a "mombie" if you will, today.
  • He usually sleeps pretty well in his own bed for the whole night
  • For the first time, he can watch short videos and he laughs at them (usually "Shaun the Sheep"). He doesn't watch much TV at all, but those videos can be a lifesaver to get him to calm down for a few minutes (and usually get him to take a rest).
  • He has learned to shake his head "no", and he uses it liberally. "Do you want a new diaper?" "No." "Do you want to go home?" "No." "Do you want to go to the park?" "No."
  • Sometimes, he means "No". Other times he doesn't.
  • Drop-off at school is getting better. He was really upset because he made the switch to the toddler room, and it's a bit overwhelming.  The classroom is physically bigger, the kids are bigger, and there is way more chaos than the infant room he was in. The kids are expected to understand and perform things, like cleanup of toys, washing hands (their sink is really, really low to the ground!), eating on their own (bigger pieces, using plates and utensils), drink out of a cup (just a wee little bit of milk in a cup), and nap on their own. While we are still working on a lot of these things, D picks up so much from the other kids. All of a sudden, he's taking bites of food, instead of shoving the entire piece of bread in his mouth. He pushes our dining room chairs into the table, because they do that at school. And he loves to be outside - when we put his shoes on, he is ready to go out the door. He's also started to put things away. It's pretty cute
  • D loves to help me cook, and he's come up with his own sign for "hot", which he signs whenever he sees a pot or pan. He likes to help stir the pots, and he has his own set of pots and pans to play with. I don't think we are at "pretend" play yet, but I think we are getting more of an imagination, which is so fun.
  • He will also sit for a few minutes and read a book - I finally figured out why baby books are so short! We often don't get through a whole book, but I kinda feel like that is OK. 
  • He's getting really consistent with waving "hi" and "bye". He waves a lots of things, like trees, birds, ponds, playgrounds, dogs, and people. Pretty cute.
  • We've been battling cold after cold this winter. I am ready for it to be done!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pics from home

We stopped at a rest stop on the way down from the Bay. We walked a couple loops and D was in love with the ad dispensers.
Taking a walk in the park with Grandpa 
Daddy made a box house
So many choices?
All dressed up for a party, calling his friends
Playing with big boy toys
Yes, that's a rotary dial toy phone. D loves it more than anything 
Giving mama a heart attack
Picking flowers
I made a gingerbread house 
Playing with my early 80s Tupperware kitchen set (yes my mom saved it for all these years!)
A rocking chair that belonged to my mom & her brother. Refinished by my Grandpa and used by me. Now D is loving sitting in it.
Christmas in Southern California- 80 degrees at the pirate park in Ventura - right on the beach. For the record, D loved the slide. Up and down, up and down.
D discovered a TMNT bow staff
Alex with Christa booty-toothy. She loved him!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Random Schnippets

  • It's rained at least 5 inches here today
  • D is really into mimicry. When I decorated the Christmas tree, he took an ornament out of the box and put in on the tree. Now, when he sees the ornaments, he gets really, really excited and like to take them off and put them back on the tree. 
  • D is getting better at "putting things back". 
  • We took him to his new class (he will transition to the "Toddlers" classroom after the first of the year. He looked so little compared to the other kids! In his new class, he will be expected to do more on his own, like drink out of a cup (a real cup, not a sippy cup), help with washing his own hands, and eat snacks with bigger pieces of food in them (and start using utensils to eat). It will be such a change.
  • Just recently, D has taken an interest in the dolls at daycare. He will hold them and hug them and cover them with a blanket. Then he throws them. Haha. 
  • He's also taken an interest in doing "cooking" things. He will take things that look like spoons and pots and stir the spoon in the pot. He also (just today) grabbed nothing from the floor and offered it to me to eat. I pretended to eat what he gave me. I think there is an imagination emerging! How exciting.
  • My son picked his nose and ate it for the first time on Tuesday. I'm sure not for the last!
  • All the kids in D's class are getting ready to transition to the next classroom. Luckily, most of his friends are going to the same classroom he will be in, so that will be really nice. The kids are starting to kiss and hug each other. D had a little girl, E kissing him. The teachers took some pics and it was so adorable. He also was hugging his boy friend J. This physicality is so adorable (and such a cool thing to watch develop). 
  • Of course, with physicality, comes hurtful touching as well. It's hard to convey "Ouch" and "Stop", etc to kids, but I think the teachers do a good job of it. D still laughs when I tell him "Ouch" when he pulls my hair, but I know it's only a phase. At least, I hope it is :) Another little girl in the classroom is a biter. She's lightning fast, too. Luckily, D hasn't been bitten yet. Crazy, dangerous kids.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Growing up

It's funny to watch your kid grow up. This past weekend reminded me that D knows more than I think he knows....
I threw something in the trash can in the laundry closet. Of course, D got it out and held it up to me. I told him, "That's trash, it goes in the trash can". He promptly took it to the kitchen, where he threw it in the trash can!!! My kid is brilliant.
For the first time, D let me cut his fingernails and toenails. He watched me do it and I didn't have to sneak in when he was sleeping in order to do so. He's much more interested in grooming tasks and tries to comb his hair when I comb it after his bath at night. He also likes to try to comb my hair or Daddy's hair.
D is getting at least 8 teeth right now. He has three molars coming in, and those two bottom teeth next to the two middle ones are finally coming in now. Poor kid was teething over Thanksgiving, but you wouldn't really know it. He slept poorly, but Advil helped. During the day he was his happy jolly self.
He's learned the sign for rain. It's been raining lately, so I taught him (one handed, not two handed, but that's OK). He's picking up signs faster than I can learn them. It's great fun!
He waves at airplanes when they fly overhead. He can also wave good bye and blow kisses (with the back of his hand). He makes a "mwah" sound too. It's pretty darn cute!

Long wknd pics

Everyone is asleep 
D loves Grandma 
Checking out Grandpa's iPad 
My little climber
Very tiny reindeer 
Hiking in the redwood forest with Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa 
With Grandma and Grandpa 
Climbing steps over and over again 
Doggie beds are fun!
Asleep on Daddy
Beach ball!
Cleaning out the pantry?
Crooked Christmas tree
Doggie bed!
Bye bye Grandma and Grandpa!