Monday, September 8, 2008

11 Months +++

Okay, so I've been slacking on the posting...sorry!! Our little girl is 11 months old and quickly approaching her 1st birthday. Quite a bit has happened in the last 7 weeks...

First, mommy quit her job...yay!! I now work part-time (about 12 hours per week), and still teach (about 3 hours per week), and have the rest of my time to spend with Olivia and work on my dissertation (which hasn't progressed much to date). Not only do I have better hours, but I love my new position working with the Housing and Residential Education department at USF. The people are great, and so far I really like the projects I'm working on.
Daddy and Olivia helped me move out of my other office, and Olivia seemed to develop a fascination with the glass next to the door… It made for great photos though!

The new hours have allowed me to continue taking Olivia to Gymboree...she's now in the Level 3 class...and we have added a music class too! So she's getting lots of opportunity to socialize with other kids her age. She was even invited to her first birthday party this past Sunday for one of her friends from Gymboree! It was held at a local place called Kidz Club and Olivia had a great time playing with Cheyenne, Mia, and Malishka, who are all in her Gymboree class.

The best event in the past few weeks has been the finalization of her adoption! FINALLY!! On September 4, 2008, she legally became Olivia Rhianne Kittendorf-Rosengren (yes, we are torturing her with a long last name). Months of stress and anticipation came down to 10 minutes in a courtroom with a judge, a lawyer, 3 bailiffs, a court reporter, us and Grandma. The lawyer asked a series of questions basically pertaining to who we were, where we lived, and what we did, and the question which brought me to tears…”why do you want to adopt this child?”. How do you answer a question like that without crying!?!? They were all so friendly though…one of the bailiffs took photos for us, and afterward they gave Olivia two stuffed animals…a bear with a heart and a duck with an “Olivia” necklace.

After coming home and taking naps, we went to the Florida Aquarium and had a great time looking at all the fish, turtles, birds, rays, seahorses, gators, and sharks! We wanted to do something special to mark the day and thought the aquarium would be a fun adventure. Olivia seemed to enjoy herself and even found a boy to chase (yes, it's starting already!).

Olivia loves the tunnel that she gets to crawl through at Gymboree, so we bought her a princess one to play with at home. She and Leo (our youngest cat) spent about 20 minutes chasing each other around the tunnel the first day. It was really funny! She and Leo have developed a great relationship…he’s very patient with her even when she lays on him!

Olivia is still on the verge of walking. She lets go and stands unsupported, but hasn’t yet ventured that first step. She weighs a little over 22 lbs now, so we definitely get a workout lifting her up and down all day, and her favorite foods are still frozen blueberry waffles, frozen pancakes, cheese, bananas, Cherrios, teddy grahams, and various fruits. She babbles up a storm, understands lots of words and commands, and even understand signs, but hasn’t said or signed anything distinguishable. She LOVES Sesame Street! should see the grin on her face when she hears the theme song! And she understands the concept of a telephone... if we say "hello, hello, who's calling please?", she picks up her blue toy phone and puts it to her ear (though not always the right way)... it's so cute!

It's been amazing to watch her development... From the seemingly simple things like banging objects or learning to put things "in" and take things "out", to watching her pick up small objects and balance without holding on. Even her music tastes are developing...she actually smiles when she hears the song "Forever" by Chris Brown that plays in mommy's car.

Her birthday and baptism are just two short weeks away, so there will be more pictures and updates to follow. There was no way to post here all the photos from our recent adventures, so if you want to see more, visit our Kodak Gallery site. Till next time….