Saturday, December 26, 2009

Meeting Cousin Ann Kazumi for the 1st time

Sakura was finally able to meet her 2nd cousin Ann who lives near Bachan and Jiichan while we were there for Christmas. Ann was born while we were in Japan back in March. Sakura definitely needs "baby" time - as she is very unsure of other babies when they're "up close and personal" - Ann goes to a day care provider and has other babies around, so she's pretty social.
Sakura and Ann

Auntie, Ann and her parents, Scott and Joyce opening her gift from Linda, Mark, Jess and Steph

Hmmmm, I'm not sure about babies!

Peyton Sakura 10 mos. 3 weeks and Ann Kazumi 9 months,
As you can see.....Ann is definitely bigger than Sakura chan!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sakura's 1st Christmas

Sakura had a very nice 1st Christmas in California.
She wasn't very interested in opening packages, and really only wanted to play with her Santa stuff (since it was all open and out awaiting attention). Santa brought Sakura a baby doll, which she LOVES, amongst other toys and clothes, Santa knew Mommy and Daddy were limited on luggage space, so he left bigger stuff at home for Sakura!
Sakura loves her baby doll, she makes this screaching sound raises her hand and reaches for her baby when you ask her about her baby. It is SO cute!

She enjoyed spending time in California with all of her cousins and of course Jiichan and Bachan. Sakura gets SO excited when Jiichan would get up in the morning and wave at her from the hallway - she was normally standing at the coffee table, and she would get the BIGGEST smile, raise her arm (similar to what she does with her baby), bounce up and down and then crawl toward Jiichan.
We hope that everyone had a nice Christmas surrounded by those you love.

The Best Gift Ever!

Ready for Santa to come, out like a light!

Awww, a baby

Cute Clothes from Auntie Linda, Uncle Mark, cousins Jess and Steph

I love my ladybug from Auntie Nancy, Uncle Tim, Trippy and Kiki!

Daddy reading one of the books from Auntie Linda

Furry boots from Auntie Linda, Uncle Mark, Jess and Steph

Mommy showing Sakura her blocks from Santa

Some of the Santa loot

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Time with friends

Whenever we head to Northern California we have to make the time to visit with our extended family....the Cech's, DeMetris', and the Handshoe family. This trip we all met at Mikuni's in Roseville for lunch, the girls (no Trippy this time, and no Nikko) all enjoyed eating their lunch and then pose for a picture (NOT the easiest thing with 4 little girls).

Let's Eat!
Kiki, Miya, and Auntie Nancy enjoying the fishies!

Miya enjoying her miso soup.

Rice crackers are YUMMY!

Sakura needs some serious baby socialization skills she pulled on Kiki's shirt and made Kiki cry, then Ivy pulled on Sakura's jacket and Sakura cried.
Sakura and Ivy posing for a picture....I didn't get one of the group :(

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Party

Thursday was our CASD Christmas party, and even though we were leaving bright and early Friday morning for California, we wanted to take Sakura so she could enjoy a little time at the park, and of course so we could spend a little time with the Cuevas family and new baby Anabelle (she's 2 months old).

Vannesa and baby Anabelle...she's SO tiny and sweet! LOOK at all of her hair!

Sakura enjoying the view of the water

With Daddy


We had a great time, and Sakura enjoyed visiting with everyone.
Zack announced that Sakura will be everyone's boss someday :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Just for fun....

I know, it's been FOREVER - sorry, it's the busy season!

Today we went out shopping. Dean has been wanting to stop at the furniture store for several weeks, so today we made it one of our stops. We put the little Princess in a few different chairs, which she loved, probably one of her birthday gifts? Here she is!

"I'm pretty we really have to go shopping?" On our way out and about.

This one is a little too hard...
But it rocks....I kind of like it.

How about this couch Daddy?

Hmmm, how much does this cost?

(I thought it was funny that Sakura was checking out the price, although she does LOVE tags!)

I like this one!
Yep, JUST right!

I know, I know....

I have a TON of blog catching up to do, but here are a few pics from today and as soon as I get a chance I will update back posts....

Sakura chan got her Christmas gift from Santa early because I swear I heard her say "All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth"...and they have both popped through this past week!

One on Sunday her top left (Dec 6th) and the second her top right on my birthday which was Tuesday (Dec 8th). They aren't totally out to where you can see them and she does a GREAT job at hiding them from us, but they're through! I'll post a picture here too (the pic is from last Sunday when you could see they were both coming in, but now they're both sticking out!).
And here's a video - so for those of you that have been checking and disappointed, hopefully I made it up with several pics AND a video (Auntie Carol!)!!!

Finally a video of "So Big".... check out the little "horn" she woke up with, was it supposed to be an indication of what the day would hold....if so, I'll take it :) She was her normal angel self!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Time to see Santa

We decided to take Sakura chan to see Santa Clause since we were with Grandma and knew that she would want to go experience this with us....

Let's go and see Santa Clause!

Hmmmm, I don't know who you are, but I'm okay here with you.....

Ummm, how long do I have to stay with this guy?
Enough pictures already!

I'm DONE - I was a good girl for about 2 million pictures, but enough is enough...

Sakura was very good sitting with Santa, but she definitely figured out that he wasn't "family" and wanted us.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


When I found these jammies, I knew that Sakura needed them. "Everyone is Thankful for Me" is right! We are very thankful for this special little girl that came into our lives. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't count my blessings, and Sakura is the biggest blessing I've ever had, she is truly the light of my life, so on Thanksgiving Day and every day I give Thanksgiving for her, and for all of the special people in our lives that made this possible. I am thankful for all of our new family, it's amazing that through this process of adoption, you meet people that you never would have met otherwise, people that touch your life in so many ways -
our lives are truly blessed, and we are all thankful for you!
I also wish all of you, our family and our friends, Near and Far a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sakura's 1st Thanksgiving dinner - a little sweet potato, mashed potato, turkey and a roll. She even ate with special silver, Mommy's fork, and Grandma's spoon - she loved silver and kept chewing on it - LOL!

I'm ready to celebrate!

The table is set

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thanksgiving Every Day

The table is brimming with good things to eat;
We're surrounded by family and friends; what a treat.
The feelings that fill us today can’t be beat;
It’s Thanksgiving Day, and it all feels complete.

But other days, sometimes things don’t seem so fine;
Those days are not polished and don’t seem to shine.
It's then in our minds, we forget all the good,
And think of the things we would get, if we could.
On days when our thinking causes us dread,
If we could remember, it’s all in our head,
And not let our minds take our gratitude away,
Then we'd make every day like Thanksgiving Day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday to Daddy!

Happy Birthday to the best Daddy!

Sakura thinks so anyway :)

We enjoyed a delicious lunch at

and yummy dinner at

Daddy's birthday cake

We were in Phoenix for Daddy's birthday, and despite not getting his birthday wish (a nice shot in his shoulder - the Dr. said that he will require surgery eventually, a shot wouldn't be advised), I think he enjoyed his special day with his special baby girl!

Sakura was facinated with the candle, and tried to reach for Daddy held her back.

Happy Birthday to Daddy!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Little Cherry Blossom

Hanging out with Mommy .... being patient while Mommy takes some pictures. While we were in Japan we bought this jinbei for Sakura, I really wanted to get a kimono but we never made it back to get one so this will have to do, I thought it was looking like it would fit and it does :)
I had ordered this cute headband (how could I resist cherry blossoms?) so I stuck it on and outside we went - yesterday was nice and sunny!

My precious little girl

Friday, November 20, 2009


This year marks the 10th anniversary of National Adoption Day, a national day of celebration of adoptive families and an opportunity for courts to open their doors and finalize adoptions. Since 2000, more than 25,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day. Here in Yuma County we are celebrating on November 20.

Today 20 November 2009 Sakura .... officially became

Peyton Sakura Shimizu
Honorable Maria Cruz signing our final decree of adoption.
Honorable Maria Cruz with us, everything is final.
Sakura's attorney (District Attorney) Jon Smith with us.
Daddy receiving our Order Granting Adoption copy.

Although Sakura has been our daughter since we found out we were parents to a baby girl back on February 9th, and then finally held our daughter when she was delivered to us by Taz, Okada San and Manami back on March 22nd, today is a very special and important day to us.
Grandma brought a special afghan for Sakura. This afghan had been started by my Grandma who passed away about 5 1/2 years ago and finished by my Mom's friend Karen, so a piece of Great Grandma was here with us to celebrate too which was very special.

Peyton Sakura looked adorable in her pretty red dress, and she was a perfect little angel during the ceremony, she sat pretty quiet throughout the proceedings, while we were being questioned, and then even clapped at the appropriate time, when they announced that the petition to adopt was granted....
Everyone was surprised, but I think Sakura knew everything was now "Official" ;o)

Today more than 20 families were part of the celebration at the court house, we were lucky and we were first on the calendar.
This was Judge Cruz' first adoption, we think it was a great way for her to start the day!

We were joined by my Mom and David, and several close friends, Carla, Alan and Gracie, and Katie, we know that many others would have come if they were able.
We went to our "special place" which is where we were when we received our phone call from Taz telling us that we had a baby girl, Mimi's, for brunch after the ceremony at the court house. Thank You ALL for joining in our celebration!

Today our celebration wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for many people.
First of all Airi, Sakura's BioMom, there isn't a day that passes that I don't think about her, wondering if she knows how much we love our daughter and how grateful and appreciative we are for her selfless act. Yukie, Sakura's BioGrandma, she also had to sign away rights to Sakura and I'm sure she played a huge roll in Airi's decision to give up Sakura - I hope they both know that there isn't a day that passes that I don't think about both of them. I want them to know how very special they both are, how much Sakura is loved, and what a special gift they gave us. I also want them to know how happy Sakura is, she might be tough to "make smile" but she's a happy little girl, she makes us cry, laugh, and smile every single day.
We are SO lucky and blessed to be her parents!

We also thank Taz, who without her giving so much of her time and energy to us and for us and all of the adoptive families, wouldn't be where we are today.

Taz will always be our guardian angel.

We also thank Okada San, like Taz, Okada San gives her life to these babies, taking impeccable care of them while in her care.

Lesley at Across The World Adoptions, without this program we would not have Sakura, Lesley gave us her undivided attention during our process, we don't know how we would have filled out the dossier without her guidance.

Eryn and Gregor Cech - the Japan "pilot" family and very special friends, who were persistent in their dreams of adopting a baby from Japan, if they hadn't pursued their dreams, we wouldn't be celebrating today! Thank you for making our dreams come true too!

Equally important, we would like to thank our family and friends, without your prayers, support and encouragement, we wouldn't be celebrating today with our beautiful daughter.

Thank You all very much!

Peyton Sakura we love you beyond measure, we are SO proud to be your parents today and every day. You are our angel, the gift we thought we would never have but always wanted ~ we never dreamed life could be so good....

As this poem by Maureen Hawkins reads:

Before you were conceived I wanted you~
Before you were born I loved you~
Before you were here an hour, I would die for you~
This is the miracle of life.