Ava LOVES Dominic.

A lot.

Did I mention how much Ava loves her brother?

And I love that neither of them will remember life without the other.

 

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Well, it’s been two months since we’ve met our little guy (and much, much longer since I’ve posted) so I thought it was time to share a few more photos.

I think that we have adjusted to a family of four well (although I have nothing to which I can compare our transition). Ava loves to love on her brother – to the point that we sometimes fear for his life. Matt has been A-MA-ZING. He lets me sleep in, cooks breakfast every morning, comes home for lunch, and makes sure we’re staying sane in the afternoon. Dominic is the sweetest little boy. Never fussing and always ready to share a smile.

Yes, we are very much enjoying being a family of four.

Yesterday morning, as Matt and I were trying to soak in the last few snuggly warm moments in the comfort of our bed, Ava comes bursting in “,Daw! Daw! Daw! Daw! Daw!” “Ava, you would like to go draw?” “Ya, ya, ya.” And that was the end of the warm bed for me.

Our budding artist has taken to drawing with markers lately.

We have a few rules:

1. She must be wearing her apron. I am really really terrible at removing stains from clothing (mostly because I don’t usually make stain removal my first priority, which means it gets pushed to the end of the to-do list every day) and so to ensure minimal damage to her cute clothes, she has to wear her cute little apron.

2. She has to draw on either the lap board or her little card table. The lap board really seems to work better right now since we don’t have an actual chair to go with the table…just a wooden stool that is a little tricky for a 1 year old to sit on.

3. She has to take the markers out one at a time, draw, replace the lid, and then hand the marker to mama or dadda.

It has been a GREAT activity for her to get into. She’s so creative – already trying different techniques with her markers to make dots or dashes and swirls. And I love that she is getting this time to develop her fine motor  skills. I have LOVED watching her marvel at her work and can’t wait to get some sort of display set up so that she can proudly display all of her masterpieces!

Family shot after running through an evening downpour. Ava had so much fun that Matt offered to take her back out after we took this photo and she didn't hesitate to take him up on his offer. Warm showers for all afterward!

 

Currently in the Litt home:

  • I am 19 1/2 weeks pregnant with a baby BOY! We are so thrilled to be welcoming our little guy in February and until then I keep hoping that each day will bring with it a bit of a regular appetite back to me…here’s to hoping.
  • Matt has been working as the Director of Student Activities at Benedictine College since June 15 and he is LOVING his job. We see him sporadically during the weeknights and weekends while he works with college students. We are grateful for the late mornings he gets to spend with us at home to balance out the time. Ava and I are spoiled by our short order cook who graciously makes us breakfast every morning!
  • Ava is busy blossoming into a full-blown toddler. She regularly uses utensils and a bowl/plate at each meal; and if we forget to give her a utensil or plate she doesn’t hesitate to remind us what we’ve forgotten. Playing on the playground at the local Catholic elementary school is a must these days. The scary thing is that the girl has, really, no fear. None! Matt and I have caught her going down head first down the 6 foot slide, climbing to the top of the mini rock wall – by herself  – while her dad finally noticed from the other side of the play area, and climbing up any and all of the 6 slides. Oy. She makes me nervous. She LOVES music. She asks each day to “dance” and the girl really does have some rhythm. It’s been very fun to watch. She has recently taken to her baby dolls and a stuffed toy named “puppy.” She feeds her babies, gives them some of her water, rocks them, talks to them, and, just recently, told me that they needed to nurse (to which I replied, this Mama is done nursing today). She may be the friendliest one year old I’ve ever met as well. We can’t go anywhere without waiting for Ava to say “hi” or “bye” to some stranger, puppy, or insect (yes, even the creepy spiders that are EVERYWHERE in Atchison get a loving greeting from my precious little girl.

So that’s what we’ve been up to. Hopefully some very much needed “back-blogging” will happen in the near future. Or maybe we’ll just hope that I can keep up with posting about what is currently happening with the Litt’s.

Not so long ago I was a somewhat studious student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (go ‘skers!). And during my time at UNL I made a number of great acquaintances and also a good handful of really really great friends. Among those friends was Eric.

Eric and I met our freshman year. We both lived in Neihardt (the Honors residence hall…and no, we never played World of Warcraft) and quickly assimilated into a group of Catholic freshmen – some more practicing in their faith than others. Eric and I were the two out of our group that more quickly jumped into being involved at the Catholic Newman Center on campus. If we didn’t run into one another at Neihardt, then we were sure to see one another down at Newman.

All four years we hung out, took class together, led bible studies, went to Newman Center events and meetings, and most importantly, fell more in love with our Lord. I still remember the exact moment when Eric stopped me in the back stair well of Newman and explained to me that he was going to go visit the Capuchin Friars in Denver. He seemed excited and nervous; but mostly ready. Ready to go wherever our Lord was leading him. Well, Eric didn’t end up with the friars in Denver, but he did end up with the friars in New York.

 

 

Br. Frantisek Marie made his first profession just this past March with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. This week, Br. Frantisek happens to be visiting Benedictine College for the vocation fair. Thankfully, I received a heads up from his little sister last weekend that the Franciscans might be here this week and I’ve had my eyes peeled for grey habits every moment since then. Ava and I spotted them yesterday afternoon and ran them down on campus. What a great blessing to have the opportunity to hang out and catch up. And not only did we get to visit with Br. Frantisek, but his 3 fellow travelers as well: Br. Angelus (another Nebraska native! and college aquaintance), Br. Xavier, and Fr. Gabriel. Please remember Br. Frantisek (and all discerning the religious life) in your prayers – he still has 3 years of simple vows before having the opportunity to make his final vows with the Franciscans. I know he’d be thankful for them.

ps – perhaps a preview of Ava’s future…

I had intended to post a video of Ava taking her first steps a few weeks ago, you know, when she actually had taken her first steps. But like I already said, that was a few weeks ago. And I even, in fact, tried to post that video on the blog. But (now this may surprise some of you) I’m really not that tech savvy. So, when I went to post the video, I realized that the video file saved in a format that is not compatible with this blog. Needless to say, I couldn’t figure out how to re-save it and I didn’t feel like wasting my energies searching on google for an answer. Don’t worry, finding a youtube tutorial is on my to-do list.

 

In the three years that Matt and I have been a couple, there are only a few times that I can remember when he has completely taken me by surprise. It’s not that he doesn’t try. He does. Partly, he has a (rather enduring, really) tendency to get so excited about the surprises he plans that he winds up alluding to the occasion in so many ways that I can hardly help by deduce exactly what we are going to be doing. But last Saturday, he kept his lips sealed and gave me a very good surprise: HORSES!

My sweet husband saw an ad on TV for “the World Famous Lipizzaner Stallions” and knew immediately that he was going to find a way to get me to see those horses. You see, if there is one thing you need to know to truly appreciate this wonderful surprise, it’s the simple fact that I dream of owning one or two of these amazing animals someday.

They were phenomenal performers and, even though he doesn’t love these animals as much as I, he did appreciate their truly impressive athletic abilities.

and such a wonderful surprise  just in time to celebrate three wonderful years of coupleness (you know, the act of being a couple). Thanks, love, for your thoughtfulness.

It’s hard to believe that our baby girl is already nine months old (WHAT?! how did that happen?).

Currently, Ava has given up crawling (for the most part) and relies heavily on cruising furniture.

She loves music and is always up for a cuttin’ a rug – she has her own little number that she does when she hears a beat.

Her distinctive vocabulary consists of “dada,”   “mama,” and “hi.” She has also mastered the sign for “more” and waves hello and goodbye. She so loves waving hello and goodbye to people that I fear moving off campus where she will no longer have the opportunity to wave at 300+ other people at a time.

A few of her chosen toys right now are a knock-off Beanie Baby style bear from Jamaica and a stuffed monkey from Wal-Mart.

She is enjoying learning how to shovel food into her own mouth, oftentimes forgetting that she already has a pea or two in her hand.

She is, hands down, our greatest blessing.

Yes, we have now had two – two – snow days. The first one I thought was reasonable; no one was sure what the conditions were going to be the following day and Kansas doesn’t exactly have the equipment or the budget for snow removal. So the first snow day we enjoyed ourselves. We baked, did some laundry, and relaxed. Not to mention that Matt didn’t really have to report anything for work for the day, so he spent the entire day with us! (and he also did some homework).

Beginning of the blizzardy day.

Mom's banana bread recipe with a Litt twist: chocolate chips.

Then, came snow day number two. Which is fine. I like having my husband home and all, but it wasn’t even snowing. AND all of the roads and sidewalks had been cleared over night. AND the sun was shining. AND students were getting a little greedy with all of their free time – snow ball fights inside of the halls, playing video games all afternoon (which only bothers me because I have to hear the cursing and screaming that ensues; I have no real qualm with them choosing to waste their brain power on fictional fighting. Their loss). So, snow day number two was a little bittersweet. But Ava and I had more fun with “Dada” around and I even got my kitchen floor scrubbed!! Finally!!

Sister Ava. She thought it was hilarious.

So, in the end, the snow days paid off.

Thanks, BC, for some bonus family time!

As I was talking on the phone to my mom today, I has one of those “aha” moments as a new parent: I suddenly had insight to why my parents did the things that they did when my brother and I were growing up.

For instance, my vivacious little nine month old is one of the world’s worst sleepers. She still wakes up every four hours to nurse, and when she was teething (she currently has one tiny little razor-sharp tooth on the bottom), she would wake up even more often; and when she wakes up at night, I have the urge to scream at her and say “why?  Why? WHY are you awake?!” But this is exactly where the “aha” moment comes into play because even though I was a fairly good sleeper as a baby (according to my parents), I have extremely VIVID memories of creeping into my parents’ room at night when I was about 3-5 years old and waking up my mom who was not so happy to see my cute face at 4am. At the time I couldn’t understand – I just needed my mom. But now, now I understand entirely how awful it is to have someone – anyone – wake you repeatedly at night and thwart you back into the land of consciousness from the oh-so-coveted dreamland.

And yet, for all of the baby sleep advice out there, at the end of the day, I have to trust myself and my husband and know that, for now, those night wakings and nursings pay off. We couldn’t ask for a more beautiful, joyful baby girl.