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.
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!
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.
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.
Look how tiny she looks - I just love watching her.
Down with Daddy ....
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 :)
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.
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!
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?!
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!!!