Tuesday, August 31, 2010

sleepy baby!

Sakura sleeping
Published with Blogger-droid v1.5.5.2

Pleasant Hill Across The World Adoptions

Meant to Be - Steven Curtis Chapman

Love this - Sakura was always wanted, wished for and dreamed about...we had no idea where she was until the time was right, then we found ATWA, and Taz found our angel for us. This video clip is from an upcoming VeggieTales movie, and is absolutely perfect. Eryn posted this on her FaceBook, and when I watched it tears streamed down my face. I'm sharing it here for everyone to see incase you missed the post on FB.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Going Private

Well it looks like it's time to go private with our blog. If you would like to view our blog, please send me an e-mail to deanjenadopting@gmail.com and I will be sure to include you on the list allowed to view. I hope that our journey has been helpful to those pursuing adoption! We look forward to sharing our lives with those who wish to remain followers!

Thank You!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A bit nostalgic

I cannot believe that after all this time seeing an old e-mail takes you back to where you were at that time, just like it was yesterday....I was looking through my inbox and happened upon one that was sent by Taz asking me if Dean was feeling okay - we were in our apartment in Roppongi, with Sakura - Dean had gotten sick (from what we later discovered as TOO many fresh rice crackers) - I still remember being worried about him in a foreign Country, but there was Taz ready to help us (on her off day I might add). Taz went to the pharmacy and described Dean's symptoms, got medication and brought it to us at the apartment - Taz is AMAZING, I can't say that enough - most of you know that already. When I saw the e-mail I started to cry, remembering that very special time getting our baby. Our life has been forever changed - what an amazing journey, I hope that I never forget those days in Japan - I never want that feeling to go away.

Friday, August 20, 2010

18 Month check-up

Today was Sakura's 18 month well-check appt. We had to postpone it a bit since we were gone to California when she turned 18 months.

Sakura now weighs 24 lbs (50%) and she is 31 inches long (25%)! Everything is great and Sakura is progressing along at the same pace which is what they like to see.

This pose cracked me up - she looks so laid back waiting for Dr. Amon to come in...moments later she was ripping the paper liner and getting in the diaper bag - guess the hour long wait in the lobby had her going stir crazy even though she never made a peep while we waited.

All done :) Only we weren't really - there were two shots at today's visit which we hadn't gotten at this point! Sakura did fine, she cried a bit, but stopped real quick.
Since Sakura is 18 months old now - a big 1 1/2 year old (unbelievable to me!!!) -
I thought it would be fun to list 18 of Sakura's favorite things (in no particular order - although the first one is probaby #1 on her list!).
  1. Daddy
  2. Mommy
  3. Gohan (rice)
  4. Japanese TV shows - Inai, Inai, Baa, With Mother, and Pythagoraswitch Mini
  5. The book - Moo, Baa, La La La and she has me read it about 4 times each time
  6. Ice cubes!
  7. Her blanket when it's bedtime - but she doesn't really carry it around any other time
  8. Miso soup
  9. Food (in general)
  10. Playing outside
  11. The book - Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
  12. Saying NO (or no, no, no, no, no if she really doesn't want something - shaking her head)
  13. Playing with anything and everything in the cabinets (we don't have locks so I am constantly putting things back, several times a day - just for Sakura to get it all back out!)
  14. Climbing up and down on the kitchen chairs, step stools, bathtub steps, our bed, etc.
  15. Coloring (aka: scribbling) with colored pencils - not crayons
  16. Watching videos on everyone's blogs
  17. Dancing
  18. Daddy throwing her in the air

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Extra special visit in Ca!

After playing on the horses at Nut Tree and eating lunch - Sakura was EXHAUSTED!

While we were in California we got an extra special visit in. Taz happened to be in California (she is now living in Japan) while we were there and we got to have lunch together with her and the DeMetris family! I can't tell you how much we appreciate Taz, and all that she did for our family, she will always have a special place in my heart, Dean's heart and probably the rest of our family too. There just aren't words to describe how much we love her - so it was extra special we got to see her. We hadn't seen her since we left Roppongi Hills with Sakura to come home 1 1/2 years ago! Sakura has sure changed since the last time Taz saw her - she's grown into a beautiful little girl and we are SO incredibly proud of her.

We met Taz and the DeMetris family at Amici's pizza/pasta in Vacaville. Even more special it was Kira's 2nd anniversary of her Gotcha Day, we were elated that we could share such a special day with Nancy, Tim, Tripp, Kira and Taz!
Thanks for letting us share your anniversary with you!
Happy Gotcha Day to sweet Kira chan!
Kira and Auntie Taz

Me and the girls -

Sakura was so sweet she reached out and patted Kira's back while Kira was in my lap

Sakura at lunch

Kira was engrossed in the DVD

Sakura and Auntie Taz chatting

There's Tripp - he had a BLAST running around riding the train and carousel -
he did NOT want to leave.

Daddy and Sakura riding the horse

The next two pics are my favorite of Taz and Sakura.

Sakura is pretty reserved and has to warm up to people, but then she will generally go, but rarely does she get this comfortable - Taz definitely has a special way with kids, Sakura knows how special she is already! Sakura loved her and just about went to sleep while Auntie Taz was holding her. When we first arrived I tried to get Sakura to give Auntie Taz a hug, which Sakura promptly responded "NO" - Taz said don't push her, it was okay ... to me it wasn't - I wanted Sakura to show appreciation to Taz, Sakura did eventually as you can see - she just did it on her own terms and time :) Taz and I chatted about Sakura quite a bit, in our conversation I mentioned that people always want Sakura to smile at them - Taz said "Sakura chan is Japanese baby, Japanese people don't smile at everyone" - so there we have it, Sakura is just a typical Japanese baby.

When we were done, I thought that we should have had the waitress take a picture of all of us at lunch - I think we got wrapped up in chatting and eating and didn't even think about it :( Ugh!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Spending time in CA part 1

Since I have been off for my surgery recup, we figured it would be the perfect opportunity to head to California to spend time with family (and friends)! Seemed perfect since I needed the extra help and with two extra sets of hands (plus Daddy is off when we go away - so there was really three extra sets of hands) I would get more rest there than if we stayed home. So we packed up and headed to California for a couple of weeks. Dean did lots of stuff for his parents to help get the house ready to list for sale so they can move here, and I got to lay around on the couch eating bon-bons (well not really, but I did get lots more rest there) while Bachan cooked delicious food for us! I'm sure I gained weight being gone, I guess that's a downfall of going to see Dean's parents - Bachan is a wonderful cook! We got in a few visits too - which is always nice for me and Sakura! This is Part 1 of our trip...to be continued :)

As soon as we arrived, Sakura spotted her little pony - Bachan has different toys at her house, so it's always exciting!

Sakura riding her pony through the kitchen

Playing the piano is now #1 favorite thing to do (besides explore outside!)

Japanese style as Bachan says - LOL! Sakura does pretty well, she never bangs the keys she gently plays a few notes here and there, Bachan was impressed!

Our favorite little froggy -
Sakura has taken to this pose, I think it's because she is imitating me, I get down squatting to take pics of her so I'm at her level...so now she does this ALL the time when I have the camera out. Here we were headed to lunch at our favorite - Taro's!

While I was playing with settings on the camera, Sakura was playing with Daddy's old toys!
Dean's cousin Greg came up for a visit, along with is son Freddie - so we headed for a walk around the County Fair that happened to be in town - boy am I glad we have our fair during the spring when it's nice outside. I thought we would MELT - it was SO incredibly hot that day!
Looking at the baby goats...so cute!

and the cows...

Can you say H-O-T? Check out poor Sakura!

Playing in the bubbles was her favorite part of the fair!
Like I said earlier, Sakura loves exploring and being outside. It was so nice in the mornings that we went out in the backyard and walked around every day...Sakura loved 'exploring' and looks SO serious looking at everything.

What makes Sakura have a huge belly laugh? What else, the dogs playing :)

More exploration outside

Another froggy shot - LOL!
We got a brief visit with Dean's sister Linda and her family too - we all met in Sacramento for dinner to celebrate Jichan's 88th birthday which is a big deal in Japan. We went to PF Changs and had a yummy dinner together, not enough time, but we will take any time we get!

Jess, Sakura, Jichan, Bachan and Steph

The girls
Anytime Daddy is near, Sakura isn't far away....she is a Daddy's girl through and through!
Here is a sequence of pics I took while Dean was 'tossing' Sakura - as you can tell by the look on her face, she LOVES it!
Getting started....



Sakura loved that she got Miso soup and gohan (rice) LOTS at Bachan's!
My new name for her is Gohan Akachan (aka: rice baby)...This child s her rice!
We also got to see the Cech's - well Eryn and Miya...sadly we didn't get to see Gregor, Nikko, or Emi this trip they had company :( We always love getting together with them when we are in town! Here is a pic of Miya and Sakura - Sakura wasn't cooperative with the picture, so this was the best I could get :(

Sakura and Miya
I took Bachan to deliver some sekihan (I have NO clue how to spell that!), to Auntie Iku who was at Sharman and Joe's house that evening. We got in a visit with them which was so nice!

Molly, Sakura and Me
A play date too! Margaret invited us over for a play date and lunch. The salad was delicious and so was the company, I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Margaret while the girls got to play. We were ELATED that we got to see Ivy's first few steps while we were there - she just might have been inspired by watching Sakura march all over the place? What a special day for us!

Sakura and Ivy - our first few mintues there.

This picture cracked me up -
looks like Ivy is at the end of her rope and Sakura is bossing her...not the case at all, I'm not even sure what they were doing, just playing, but this was too funny not to share :)

having lunch together outside
Sakura is very close to Jichan - he plays with her all the time, they cannot communicate since Jichan is deaf, but you would never know it by the fun they have. Jichan plays "Inai Inai Baa" with Sakura - here with his jacket.
Sakura took a liking to colored pencils on our trip - she loved coloring (scribbling)!

One of the most challenging parts about visiting is keeping everyone quiet so that Sakura can sleep - like I said, Dean was working, painting, etc, so we put Sakura's pack-n-play in Bachan and Jichan's bedroom so she would be 'alone' to sleep....well one day I saw the bedroom door opened and I remembered specifially pulling it shut and it latched...I walked by and there was Jichan peering into the pack-n-play making faces at Sakura - argh - I had JUST laid her down and with Sakura if you bug her, she's NOT going to sleep...I complained to Dean - so Bachan made a note for the door - not sure exactly what it says, but in some fashion -

Off to dinner we go - Sakura all dressed in her sweet little dress.

Daddy and his girl

Sakura waiting outside with Mommy while Jichan has his Dr. appt.
If I ever move to Sacramento I want to live on this lane - we ran across it when we went to have Japanese ramen in Sacramento - :)

Sakura Lane!