Parts of the country are experiencing a cold front, and Reddit users disrupted the stock market and forced all of us to try to understand how the stock market works.
But here's the good news: We've got a new batch of stories and videos from the week that will warm your hearts and don't require any mental gymnastics. You're welcome!
The National Zoo introduced us to its new baby...
Back in August, the National Zoo welcomed panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, which means “little miracle.” On Wednesday, he was formally introduced to the world, and thousands of people tuned in online.
As Savannah Guthrie said, "That's the baby panda we all need right now."
...and this sweet introduction made us cry
"Mom's been waiting her entire life for this moment," wrote TikTok user @jathonschneidman in his caption for a video that now has over 1.2 million views.
In the video, the new and emotional grandmother diligently sanitizes her hands before shyly approaching the newborn. It's the look on her face and the way she can't stop fidgeting in anticipation that sends us over the edge. Congratulations, Grandma!
This singer turns '90s songs into lullabies for our children...
When we had our first baby, my husband used to sing John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane" to our infant son each night in the glider because it was the only song for which he knew all the words.
“We realized that once our little Charlie arrived, we would probably be listening to lullabies all the time, but we wanted to have lullabies to play that we enjoyed just as much as she did,” Child said. “I knew that if I had to hear 'Itsy-Bitsy Spider' on repeat all day long, I was going to pull my hair out. So, I picked some of my favorite '90s songs like ‘Closing Time,’ ‘MmmBop,’ and ‘All The Small Things,’ and made them my own.”
... and this young band rocked one of our favorite '80s songs
The members of the band Adam and the Metal Hawks range in age from 18 to 25, but they are already making their mark with a goal of bringing rock back to the forefront of the music scene.
Under the TikTok handle @amhband, the group has over 321,000 followers and 4.3 million likes. In one of their most popular videos, they cover the Guns N' Roses 1987 classic "Sweet Child O' Mine" — and it was so good, we might have sung along in our best Axl Rose impression.
A dad showed the small but sweet way he connects with his daughter...
This week, Craig Melvin interviewed Chris Yandle for our series "Dad's Got This" about how Yandle found a special way to support and connect with his daughter during a difficult time in their family life: lunch box notes.
What he began on a whim became a practice for the father and daughter. After writing 600 notes, Yandle wrote a book about their daily ritual, "Lucky Enough: A Year of Dad's Daily Notes of Encouragement and Life Lessons to His Daughter."
Yandle's daughter, Addison, told Craig she still loves receiving her dad's notes even now in seventh grade with a notable exception: when he makes a bad dad jokes. "It makes me cringe," she said.
... and a comedian made us laugh with his impressions of moms vs. dads
Comedian David Abed is making good use of his pandemic downtime, using his TikTok account @davidabed2 to create a series of videos showing the differences between the sexes when it comes to parenting.
His video mimicking the way a mom picks you up from the airport ("My son has arrived! He's home!") and the way a dad picks you up from the airport ("Good flight? Good.") had us alternating between cracking up and cringing at its accuracy.
A gemologist found a pretty cute rock that is worth a lot of dough...
Californian Mike Bowers posted a rare agate gemstone inside a volcanic rock on Facebook that bears an uncanny resemblance to a certain blue furry friend we all grew up with: "Sesame Street's" Cookie Monster.
Even Cookie Monster himself agrees with the comparison.
The rock was found by a gemologist in Brazil last November. Bowers has already been offered more than $10,000 for the rare find, but let's be honest: Any kid, big or small, will tell you it is priceless.
... and Bernie's famous mittens are helping others stay warm this winter
After his image wearing a brown parka and giant mittens made out of recycled wool at the inauguration went viral last week by way of a slew of memes, Bernie Sanders added merchandise to his website featuring the now famous picture. The proceeds from the sales of the merchandise — $1.8 million — will go to charitable organizations in the senator's home state of Vermont.
Vermont elementary school teacher Jen Ellis, who made and gifted the mittens to the senator, has also donated two more pairs of mittens to charities in the state for auction, dog rescue Passion 4 Paws Vermont and Outright Vermont, an LGBTQ+ support organization. Ellis is auctioning a third pair of her now famous mittens to help fill her daughter's college fund.
And the last word goes to...
TikTok user Chele Archer's baby daughter Amelia is super cute, and she's trying really hard to talk to her mama.
But until she gets that whole speech thing down pat, Archer's dog, Ozzy, wants everyone to know he's got this. The Very Good Boy already knows how to say "Mom-mom-mom-mom!"
We can't top that, Ozzy. Stay warm out there!