ten thoughts on a wednesday |14|


last saturday night, at 2:45am, we woke up to our fire alarm going off - that is a peculiar feeling. ian and i were at once both delirious and hyper-aware. ian quickly grabbed moses from his crib and we went downstairs to the entry of our building, where our neighbors had congregated. it was pouring rain outside ... and before long we realized it was also pouring rain inside! there was some kind of blockage on the roof terrace and water had begun streaming through vents in the stairwell. long story short: an emergency contact from the company that manages our building showed up before too long, but ian was up until 5:30am bailing water out the stairwell windows. the issue is resolved and work on repairing the damaged walls and ceilings will start soon. we feel so lucky that hardly any water got inside our flat, and that it wasn't a fire, and that everyone was totally safe. what a wild night!
we are planning to move before the end of the year ... but maybe that was a sign that we should move earlier? we'll see.

is there anything sweeter than a sleeping baby -- than this sleeping baby? gosh i love this kid. 
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i love teaching and learning from the primary children at church. this past week, during singing time (which we do for twenty minutes each sunday), i prepared an activity that the kids were pretty pumped about. we were singing the song "the wise man and the foolish man," which talks a lot about rain and floods (you better believe i told the kids about the flood in our apartment building!) sooooo, i brought water guns. and every time the kids sung the word "rain" or "flood" they got to shoot each other with water. it was pretty exciting :)

last friday little mo and i spent most of the day in charming, gorgeous oxford with my cousin aubrey (who is a master's student at oxford, nbd). i spent a summer in oxford when i was a teenager, so it will always be such a special place to me (i did a lot of growing and self-defining that summer!). after spending some time in cambridge, i decided i actually liked cambridge better...but then aubrey reminded me of all the secret splendor of oxford (she took me lots of places usually only open to students) and i fell all sorts of back in love with oxford. it's magical. i wish i would have brought my big camera! i'm bringing ian back to oxford as soon as possible!
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we are gearing up for our first trip without moses this weekend -- eeek! we are taking a super quick weekend getaway to malta and we are so excited but also know that we will miss our baby like crazy. luckily we have zero concerns about him being well taken care of because my cousin aubrey is staying at our flat and babysitting - she has loooots of experience with babies and she and mo are totally pals! it will feel so different traveling without moses.


you know what's pretty dang challenging? deep cleaning a bathroom and a kitchen with a busy one year old around. yesterday moses definitely ended up splashing in the kitchen sink for a while as i scrubbed the countertops and cupboards!
i love our neighborhood so much. it's just so fun to step outside our door and be in the middle of this amazing, electric, exciting city. there's always something cool going on at covent garden, and it's so great to walk around the corner to see big ben from trafalgar square. i'm still discovering new charming crooks and crannies, and stunning details on buildings, and fun places to eat within a block or two from our flat. i know there are so many things i will miss about living here when we move to a different part of london.

speaking of things close to our flat, on monday moses and i finally checked out the children's book section at our local library (just around the corner) -- and it's awesome! moses is a total bookworm and is delighted to flip through books for hours.

moses also:
-is completely developing his own little sense of humor and totally cracks himself up.
looooves his stuffed animals - when i hand them to him he squeals, grabs, then immediately hugs and kisses them.
-had his very first timeout the other day - homeboy wasn't getting the message that it's not okay to throw his food off of his tray repeatedly...
-continues to be obsessed with music and dancing. i realized the other day that anytime i say the word "music" he starts humming/singing quietly. it is sooooo cute. after we have our nightly dance party, he always frantically signs "more please" and keeps dancing - haha!
-adores food and will eat almost anything, anytime. he really enjoyed chowing down on some corn on the cob at our dinner picnic along the thames the other day, and just this morning he learned how to feed himself with a spoon!
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i have been reading harry potter and the cursed child and i'm so into it! can't put it down, reminded of how i read all the harry potter books in a couple of days each because they are so gripping! now i really want to see the play here in london. i also have been listening to episodes of this american life lately. always so fascinating! what are your favourite podcasts?

happy wednesday! life is beautiful!


  1. Hi Charity!
    My favourite podcast is Happier with Gretchen Rubin. Try it!

  2. Moses is adorable. Just some quick observations. Give him a plastic plate to eat off of. Do you eat directly off the table?

    Also, maybe discourage the signing and encourage vocalizing a bit more. He will never speak if signing works just as well in getting what he wants.

    1. Judgemental much? Charity is a first time mom and is figuring out what works best for them. Her son is not going to be a grown man eating directly from the table or babysigning "more please." I don't get the appeal of baby signs either, but it's in vogue in some circles and certainly not harmful.

    2. haha, thanks for the (unsolicited) advice, tabby (genuinely - it's some food for thought). do you have kids?

      on baby signs, the hope is to help moses learn to be polite (with "please" and "thank you" before he can speak those words), and to help him communicate specific things so he doesn't get frustrated when he just doesn't have the capacity yet to say certain things!

    3. My 2.5 year old boy started speaking in full conversations by 18 months and still signs please when he says it. Sign on, mama!

    4. I am a speech-language pathologist and research shows that visuals aid language development. Verbalizing will be easier than sign so as expressive language develops, sign language will naturally decrease. My 16 month old uses sign and words to communicate. Thank heavens for both so I can meet her needs with minimal crying. Keep on signing! :)

      Also check out Radiolab podcast.

  3. I second the above suggestion--happier with Gretchen Rubin is such a great podcast!! And Power of Moms podcast, but I'm sure you know that one.

  4. My favorite podcast is Bold New Mom. She is an LDS life coach and it's been life changing!

  5. As the mother of a 10 month old, I'd love to hear more about what time outs look like for you/Moses? We'll probably be there pretty soon down the road.
    Also, my favorite podcast is "StoryCorps". I love the little glimpse into the lived of others, whether similar or very different from mine. They also have an app where you can record your own stories (or interview others) and they are then uploaded into the library of congress. So cool!

    1. cool, i'll check it out!

      for "time out," i just put moses in the hallway (totally baby-proof area) with closed doors and no toys for a few minutes. i figured it was worth a try ... i just want him to understand that it's not okay to do certain things, and that there are consequences.

  6. "Who we are" is a good podcast.

    I love Oxford. I hope to get back there, though I've not been to Cambridge. Mo looks so grown up. He'll be 2 before we see him again. Crazy.

    1. next time you're in england you'll have to do both cambridge and oxford for comparison's sake. they are both lovely!!!

      that IS crazy! and your kids all a year older too! miss you guys!

  7. sign up for the play notifications. this friday they were releasing 400 tickets for $40 each

  8. I'm a big fan of The Moth podcast -- if you like stories from people's lives, this is the podcast for you! (I'm also a big fan of This American Life). Mystery Show (created by Starlee Kline, who used to be a contributor and producer on This American Life) is also very good. Only 6 episodes, I think, and I didn't really care much for the first one, but it definitely got better after that!

  9. NPR app is my favorite "pod cast." You can listen to any of their national shows, like FRESH AIR etc, at any time.

  10. The Well is an Australian podcast from the mamamia podcasts, I love it. It's like listening to friends chat. Over two seasons I've laughed and cried and got a bit wiser I think.
    My 11 month old is just discovering the spoon too though most of it goes in her hair or on the floor ��

  11. Longest Shortest Time is my favorite

  12. I love the pix of Moses spoon-feeding himself:) I love the mess that babies make when they do that.

    I bet that was really scary when the smoke alarm went off. Glad your flat didn't get damaged tho. Was everybody else's flat OK?

    The water pistols in primary sound brill, my kind of sense on humour:)

    Have a lovely weekend. x

  13. Don't mean to be critical (love your blog) and just want to give you something to reflect on. In Australia playing with water-guns is a big "no no". Zero tolerance to all guns including toy guns since 1996. Most Australians think that Americans have something to learn in this department.

    1. totally agree actually. i don't want moses to have any toy guns and i think a ban on toy guns in general is a good idea! i guess i just enjoy a bit of spraying water --- trying to think of another way to have that type of fun without the sprayer being shaped like a gun...

      thanks for the comment and thanks for reading!

    2. Yep I agree they are great fun. It's just a small way of sending an important message.

    3. Maybe a spray bottle?

    4. Yes and a spray bottle makes so little mess than you can even do it inside which is hilarious and can have a great element of surprise!

    5. My sister also has a Strict "no guns" toy rule at her house, so I bought these for my nephew last summer to play with:




      Some fun alternatives that aren't "gun" like!

    6. So interesting. Charity, Moses is a little young but you might enjoy reading the book "Knights In Training" by Heather Haupe. Some really interesting discussions regarding the use of weapons and raising honorable men. She does an interview on The God Centered Mom podcast, you might enjoy the conversation!!

    7. thanks for all these thoughts and suggestions!

  14. Isn't signing something babies naturally do and therefore you just take advantage of the fact if you teach them signs?

    I don't agree on a total ban on toy guns (for example, I am perfectly fine with water guns), but you could use syringes without needles, if you want to exchange.

    When I read your comment on the time out, I mistook baby proof for sound proof and thought: "That's good for any neighbour, but sounds a bit Dexter-ish." Haha!

  15. 'Water guns'. I would not have been allowed to use a water or squirt gun at a school or church event. My dad and half the neighborhood had dads and moms were police officers. With so many guns in varying degrees of access, guns safes were not common at the time, my parents had the hands off approach. We had limited acces to dad until it was put away after work. We were not allowed in the room if he was cleaning it. I will say the person who is shot mistakenly thought to hold a real gun is holding a toy gun amended by the purchaser in some cases to look like its real. A little neon plastic thing or a blaster type type top will never be confused with the real thing. All were off limits to us. It was a bit extreme.

    I must say I'd rather be the victim of a gunshot wound than an acid attack. I just read there are hundreds of acid attacks in England. They also don't have guns and people still manage to be violent without them. What I don't understand is why in so many countries outside the US police aren't carrying guns?

    I might not be happy that my kid was all wet after church.

  16. About progress is the only podcast I
    listen to and I am really enjoying it!

  17. Hi Charity
    Could you tell me where you took the pictures of the phone box behind the stone archway? I'm guessing it's in one of the colleges as I've lived in Oxford nearly all my life and have never seen it!

    1. it's in magdalen college! my cousin who showed me around and had spent a good amount of time wandering around magdalen already also had never seen it before! so i think it might be new...?

  18. Thanks! I'll have to go and take a look!

  19. listen to pod save the world


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