Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

Last week, we got a Christmas Tree from a Hardware Store, above is the video of Luca after the tree was strapped on the roof.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Luca's first word

I can't believe it, and I am so excited to share that Luca read his first word. We were playing with the letter magnates and I put S-I-T together and said, "Luca, can you sound it out" He said SSSS, IIIII, TTTT,
SSS II, T, SIT!
I said, "you are right, it is the word, SIT, you just read that word, great job!"

Reading did not come easily to me, it was really really hard work to learn to read. For Luca, I think reading is going to be a complete joy and pleasure for him and I could not be happier about it!

The other day, Luca wanted to share part of his chip with Juliette. He worked really hard to break a bit off for her. After she ate it, I gave her another chip and in one sec. she crushed the whole thing up, with one hand. Luca said, "Juliette is stronger than me." I paused, speechless, wondering what to say or how to respond. After taking a deep breath I said, "how does that make you feel?" Luca said (without hesitation), "I am happy for her."
I said, "Luca, you know, you are strong too and you are very cleaver. You always find a way to do things even if it is a little different of a way, and I am so proud of you."
I couldn't help but crying when I told John the story after he got home from work. It seems like Luca is really starting to verbalize his awareness of having arthrogryposis, but through small and typical moments not all at once. I hope that I will be ready with the right response and words as he begins to ask hard questions and tells us about his feelings. We love him so much!




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Luca and Juliette

This is Thanksgiving's week, no school in Seattle Public Schools due to parent/teacher conferences and the holiday= a long week in the Walker household.
Jessica and I are going to run a fun 10 K on Thurs. and John has his big 1/2 marathon on Sunday! I got the day off of work and look forward to cheering him on!
Juliette cut two more teeth and is cruising all over the house! Luca learned how to play Chutes and Ladder's today and really enjoyed it. I think this kid is going to love board games, among many other things. Here is a few pictures of the kids just hanging out this week.

Well...just tried to upload the pictures and it turns out that I have hit my quota for free picture uploads on the blog. What??? I guess I have to buy more storage space if I want to upload more pictures? Anyone know about this?  Evan? Andy? ....to be continued....

Luca making Juliette laugh

Monday, November 19, 2012

PJ's!

Luca was a big fan of Juliette's PJ "suits" so I found a pair for Luca at Lollipop's store for 99 cents. Here they both are before bed in their "suits". I am glad size 4T fits over Luca's AFO's.


They look pretty cute together!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dance party


The other day Luca was in the last few mins. of his "rest time" and Juliette was playing in the living room. I had time to clean (so I thought) and I put on the music in the living room and Luca came out of his room wondering what kind of fun we were having in the living room. He asked if we could all dance. Of course we can all dance.  And here a few pictures of the party.
 







Wednesday, November 7, 2012

cute girl

 Thanks Alissa for this adorable coat from Butapest!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Welcome Baby Anya

My dear friend, Jamie, had her baby girl, Anya Jubilee, last week. Here are a few pictures of Luca's meeting her! What love and great joy she brings to the Alm family and all of us! Welcome Anya, we are so glad you are here! Luca says, "she is still tiny, but she won't stay tiny long, babies grow really fast!"



Juliette and Luca







Friday, November 2, 2012

Friday

Friday, Friday....usually Friday is a day many in the working world look forward to...a upcoming weekend, something fun in the evening perhaps. I remember those Fridays and use to enjoy them. Now Fridays are not those Fridays. They are the beginning of a long few day. (every other week John works Th to Sunday.) There is no school on Friday which is a great disappointment to Luca (and to me)
So today, I thought, we will make this Friday a special, "Field Trip Friday"
Luca has been asking to go on the new Seattle Farris Wheel for months (ever since it opened in July). It was not raining today, so I thought...we would go on the Farris Wheel then meet Alicia and Scarlett at Gymnastics-open gym. Great morning. And even I was excited to go on this new Farris Wheel.
By 9:30 am Luca was ready, I was ready, Juliette was ready, (that is not an easy feat to get three people ready) smooth transitions, he has eaten breakfast, was dressed, we are walking out the door when I discover I don't have keys...any keys. I called John, who brought them to work by accident. He kindly offered to send them home in a taxi but I thought that was a little excessive and thought we would make due with no car.
I stop the key search. Broke the news that we were not going on the Farris Wheel today, to Luca, (who was sitting on the front steps determined to wait for as long as necessary for John to get home from work) Luca finally accepted the disappointment that we have to go on the Farris Wheel a different day and watched another episode of Dora while we waited for Alicia to pick us up. Thankfully, Juliette's car seat was not locked in the car. Alicia kindly picked us up and took us to gymnastics.
Then when we got loaded back in the car to come home, I was blown away by Scarlett. Alicia gave her a cheese stick. (I had snacks for Luca but not a cheese stick) and Luca asked for one. I explained I had other snacks for him, that was Scarlett's cheese stick and on and on when out of the corner of my eye I saw something yellow. And Luca said, "there is a cheese stick, she is sharing with me." Scarlett without being asked, prompted or begged had on her own accord broken the cheese stick in two and offered the larger half to Luca.
I was blown away! I said, "wow, Scarlett, that is so kind of you to share your cheese stick with Luca." She then processed to break her small remaining half again and lifted up to me, "here you go, Katie" she said. I almost start crying just thinking about her sweet voice and kind heart.
A two year old giving away their special snack is no trivial act!
I want to be a generous person. I want my children to be generous. Thank you Scarlett for tangibly teaching us this lesson on generosity today. (her parents are also great role models on generosity)
Those were the life lessons so far today, accepting disappointment and living generously.
Here is the sweet Scarlett who shared with us: (dressed in her pirate costume) She has a lesson for all those pirates out there too!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween from Luca

Halloween

Luca and Layna (fire fighter and Dora) had a blast trick or treating around our block last night! They gave every house quite a greeting with repeated, "Happy Halloween, Trick or Treat, Happy Halloween, Thank you for the candy, Happy Halloween, thank you for the candy, trick or treat!" One house said, "we hear you a few houses away so we knew you were coming."
 Serious fire fighter face
 Ready to GO!
 Partners in fighting crime and collecting candy
 Wonderful neighbors- Kevin and Kelly- with adorable Mayzie
 Eating the candy of choice-Dots (he got to pick one candy to eat)
Juliette trying to get in on the action

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

My first loaf

Growing up in Germany gave me an acquired taste for homemade, European bread. The bread I love is crusty on the outside and soft in the inside. Bread that does not come in a plastic bag that lasts for weeks.Thankfully, Seattle is a city in the US, that this kind of bread can be bought, even at the grocery store...but at a price. I hate to even admit it but $3.69 is the cheapest I have found a loaf of this good bread, and it can go upwards to $5.00 a loaf.
I have thought of for a long time making my own, but I have not had the time, energy, etc. to pull it off. Till today! I am going to attribute my success for Luca's preschool (bus pick up at 8:45am and drop off at 12:15 pm- M-Th) and then this super easy "No-knead bread" recipe.
Well, here it is...my first loaf. I haven't tasted it yet so hopefully it is a good as it looks. I hope this is the first of many. (it is a bread you let sit overnight, so I just think, ya, every other day I will just make the dough) I am sure I won't make it every other day but hopefully more than I have in the past. The recipe is below in case you want to try it!


Recipe: No-Knead Bread

Published: November 8, 2006
Adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
Time: About 1½ hours plus 14 to 20 hours’ rising
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
¼ teaspoon instant yeast
1¼ teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.
1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Yield: One 1½-pound loaf.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Juliette 8.5 months

Here is a few recent pictures of Juliette. My highlight from yesterday with her, I was getting her undressed for a bath and I pulled her arms out of her shirt and started to lift it over her head, she grasped the shirt and lifted it off HERSELF! Yay Juliette!


She has also started to pull herself up at the crib so she fights going down to sleep a lot harder now. She just stands there at the crib and cries, eventually she lets go and lays down.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Harvest Party!

Tonight is the Harvest Party at Bethany! Here is a photo from the Fall Fest at Bethany North last weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Balancing Act


During rest time Luca balanced all of these bowls on his bed. He is very creative with this time. And likes to do lots of "magic tricks" like this, as he calls them!

Here comes trouble:)





Juliette is ALL over the place these days. She can crawl all around the house and pulls herself to standing on just about anything! She especially likes to get into the fireplace (no fire in there but lots of dirt and pull open the DVD player) It is such a crazy experience for us. Luca wasn't ever doing this and we are celebrating her mobility but is is also crazy!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Playing around this morning




 Luca took this picture of Juliette looking like she is saying "uh-oh"