My vocabulary is definitely getting better but mostly in particular topics. Last year I got good at reading about car accidents. That's because I was reading Zwanzig Minuten on the tram and the front page always had any interesting car accidents. So did the "swiss info" site I was reading on my palm pilot before we arrived.
I can do crying children because I read Heidi in German on my palm pilot with a dictionary last year too. After that, I was trying to reading a thriller where someone was being paid to assassinate someone which meant I learnt spying and murder words.
This year on swiss tv I'm seeing lots of home shows and CSI seems to be on about 5 times a day. So I might be able to at least follow a conversation if it involved someone who knew a family with a small child who were murdered in what was made to look like a car accident after having there home remodelled. I'm sure that will come in handy :-)