Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gotcha Day 2nd Anniversary

We can hardly believe it has been two whole years since we were handed the best gift of our lives. Two years ago we were sitting in Roppongi Hills waiting for Sakura to come. I remember the day quite vividly - we went to McDonalds and got a sausage McMuffin and hash browns, then to Don Quixote's market for a few snacks to give to Manami for their ride home, we had already purchased special Sakura tea and sakura cookies to have for Okada San, Taz, and Manami while they visited .... flash ahead two years and we began our day at work :( ICK! But we left early so we could spend the whole afternoon with our Angel!

We planned our afternoon around nap time at school, so we left work at 1:45 to pick up Sakura who gets woken from her nap at 2:00 .... when we got there she was still sleeping on her cot (SO sweet I might add - this was the first time we've seen her actually napping there!), I bent down and whispered Sakura ... she lifted her head up and saw Daddy - yelled "DADDY" - I shushed her since the other two sleeping kiddos had a couple more minutes left ... gathered up her belongings and we were off. Well Mommy did grab clean clothes to change her into (since she is typically a mess after school!), but forgot diapers (typically we just come home from school, so I didn't even think about it) so our first stop was Target for diapers - then off to the park.

I am quite the "tradition" person, and since we did that last year, I really wanted to go again this year, and it was a BEAUTIFUL day to go to the park!

First "ride" the swings --- do you remember her last year in her little ducky outfit with her legs spread far apart with that huge grin (on Gotcha Day!).... well some things don't change a whole lot - Sakura still LOVES to swing.

Let's GO!

Sakura Loved swinging as high as I felt comfortable with, Daddy was doing the pushing and kept her going pretty high! She loved it!

That expression says it all!


Break time for shoes...

We were quite surprised as Sakura wasn't afraid at all of the slide, every other time we've gone to the park, Sakura's always been a little apprehensive about the slides...this time as you'll see below, she walked up the "maze" to get to the top and down she went, over and over and over. I would say that Sakura now LOVES the slide as much as the swings!

Down she goes! Such a big girl :(

Climbing up to go again.

Almost to the top!

And she's there!

Time for some tubes....

Driving the train

Walking over the wobbling plastic bridge, I have no idea what this is called?!

The cutest turtle!

And bunny!
There are two parts to the park, so next we headed over to the other play area and lake.... we love this beautiful park - and like I said, we could not have asked for nicer weather!
It was a gorgeous day!
Sakura running toward Daddy who is always ahead of us :)

Someone is getting tired! We did LOTS of playing!

A different twisty slide.

Running to look for duckies - there was only 1, you can barely spot him.
We headed back to the other side, but this time we went up this HUGE hill .... I lagged behind to try and get some pictures and had a few tears as I watched Sakura walk up the big hill ... she would stop and say "Come On Mommy" - she has grown up SO fast. It makes me sad that she is so grown up but at the same time I love how she makes us laugh and smile with everything that she does and says ... bittersweet I guess.

"Come On Mommy" ...

Look how tiny she looks - I just love watching her.

Down with Daddy ....

I wanted a picture similar to last year -
although this year Sakura is walking, running and not being carried into the Creative Playland!

Aspiring to be a pilot, just like Uncle Tim!

My beautiful girl - a little wind blown - but still cute :)

Bye - headed back to the car.
We left the park and headed to an early dinner at Asian Star. Our first family dinner was at a Chinese restaurant in Roppongi Hills, Japan, so every Gotcha Day celebration we will have Chinese food, last year we had Palagor Inn, but they closed - Asian Star is pretty good.

Our family
Check out Sakura's expression - she's not big on "new" people we had just got here, so she wasn't having any part of giving up smiles!

Eating her dinner - Lo Mein - Sakura loves noodles in all shapes and sizes!
The next few pictures are HORRIBLE of me, but Sakura was so cute so I am sharing them --- we were playing our Words with Friends game here, I'm sure I was concentrating on figuring out a word that might get me lots of points with Auntie N since she KILLS ME every game!

Words with Friends game for Mommy - which Sakura found funny!

Playing with Sakura while we waited for our food.... she was cracking up the whole time, I even stopped at one point because she was laughing SO loud ---
like I said it was an early dinner though, not many there, so I didn't care :) I'm sure people would rather hear squeals of laughter than screaming kids, right?!

Mommy and Daughter
Last year we chose the theme of ducks, because of Sakura being in the ducky gown for her Visa photo which was our favorite....this year a few months ago my "cousin" Rachel showed me a picture of a cake she was going to make to enter the fair and after seeing it I decided I just wanted a Japan theme cake with some of the same pieces she had made for her fair cake (which she never entered) - I loved the pieces she had done.
So this year our theme was celebrating Japan ... given the events of the March 11, 2011 I don't think we could have chosen a better more appropriate theme (and I chose it two months before all of this happened).
I have said it since Day 1, Japan holds a piece of my heart it always will. Our daughter's BioFamily, our family, our friends, our time there - all of it ... I loved Japan and always will.
So today on our Gotcha Day anniversary we celebrated Sakura and Japan.
We will continue to pray for Japan and all of the people of Japan.

I don't know what I did to my camera but I could NOT get it to take a picture, fiddled with the settings trying every single mode and finally got it to take a very blurry picture :( UGH! My phone picture was better!
Rachel made a few pieces of sushi, a geta, a lantern, two cherry blossom branches, and the adorable geisha on top - the pieces were really big, you can't tell in this picture, but I think below you can ... It was a Cold Stone Creamery cake - Chocolate chipper and it was DELICOUS -
I think we may have a new tradition!!!

Bachan's attempt at a family picture .... too funny!
You can sort of tell the size compared to Sakura.

Sakura reading her Gotcha Day card all ready for bed.
It was a long day, but an AWESOME day!
We are SO blessed to be Sakura's parents!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

GEICO-Do Dogs Chase Cats Commercial

So Sakura is eating dinner and this commercial comes on .... when it's over she says "We We We All The Way Home"..... Dean turns and says something to the effect of she's too smart!
Does she remember that Geiko made the other commercial? Who knows!
If you remember back on our blog months ago - Sakura said
"We We We All the Way Home" only after watching a different Geiko commercial!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

C is for ....

A couple of weeks ago we were laying in bed and there was a comb on the headboard that I had set there after combing Sakura's hair...well Sakura spotted it and asked what that was (which she does all the time now, even if she knows something she'll ask) so I replied comb...
she asked again and I responded again "comb" then I made the sound
"c" "c" "c" to which my daughter replied ... (ready?)


Her Daddy and I had a good laugh - I responded that's right Sakura c is for cupcake

(isn't this an cute cupcake? I took this picture when we were at Disneyland a few weeks ago)!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

HinaMatsuri - Girl's Day

Happy HinaMatsuri 2011
to our beautiful little girl!

For Sakura's 2nd year birthday pictures (which will be in a different post) I took along my kimono with us and Maranda got a few great shots of Sakura for me to share on HinaMatsuri Day. The one above and the one below are my favorites .... I've got a few what I call "outtakes" at the bottom of this post :)

Always serious Sakura chan

We had a busy day celebrating HinaMatsuri with Sakura. I always love getting her dolls out and displaying them in the living room - you are supposed to put them in the best room in your house, and I figure that's where we spend the most time so that's where they go. Sakura enjoyed looking (AND touching) her dolls this year - she didn't really touch the dolls, but the accessories. I just told Sakura that we only look at these pretty dolls, and she never touched them again. She is SO good!!! We enjoyed dinner at the same place as last year - it will be our tradition unless they going out of business or something - at Ah-So and we had teppanyaki (OISHI!). Sakura enjoyed her miso soup,which still is just about her favorite thing, as well as enjoying our rice and veggies too. Sakura also enjoyed some traditional HinaMatsuri arari - which she wasn't very fond of ... quite surprising since Sakura really loves arari!

Here are a few pictures from dinner at Ah-So.
Sakura and Daddy "enjoying" the show --- Sakura did NOT like the big fire, and wouldn't go back into her high chair for the longest time after that happened...when the show was over and it was time to eat we were able to get her back in.


Sakura opening her HinaMatsuri Hello Kitty - somehow I missed getting a picture of her with her kitty though -
Sakura was SO tired when we got home it was a rush to get her in the bathtub and to bed....

Here is what I am calling the "out takes" from our photo session --- the reason I call them out takes is because we were on our way out of the first location that we had her birthday pictures taken and I remembered the kimono pictures...the location closed in like 5 minutes so I hurried to change Sakura into the kimono, change her hair clip to the special one Auntie Misty made, and guess what .... I forgot to remove the leggings she was wearing because I never dreamed they would show in the pictures....guess what - lesson learned - remove whatever you DON'T want to show! UGH! Still adorable pictures so here are the "out takes"!

My beautiful little cherry blossom is growing up way too fast!

Peeking in to see what's going on - the great escape I call this one since the door leading back to the car is just inside this building....

"I'm Done Now" says Sakura :)

I don't know if I will ever get over the fact that I still have my very own kimono from when I was a little girl and now I have a little girl who can wear it on a special day. Absolutely incredible is all I can say - it chokes me up and takes my breath away just thinking about everything.
I am and hope that I will always be in awe!