This is my first entry for MOF Rachelle's My Life Monday!
My full name is Leilani. Lei has been my nickname most of my life, although people have supremely enjoyed tacking on various suffixes besides "lani". Mostly immature ones, so I won't elaborate. But the name Leilani comes from my mother. It was her middle name. Yes, it is Hawaiian and yes, it has a meaning. Leilani translates to mean "heavenly flower" or "heavenly child". I have been serenaded "Sweet Leilani" many a time. And I never tire of it.
My mother loved her middle name. So much that when she became a professional Hawaiian dancer she adopted it as her stage name. Then when I came along, she gave it to me so that it could be used all the time.
Here on the mainland, I get a lot of "What a beautiful name!" And, "I've never heard that before." or "I once knew a Leilani..." But in Hawaii? Leilani = Jennifer. It's very common, and easily assumed that if Leilani is your name, you are haouli (white) or a military brat. Both of which my mother was!
I think it is funny that I was given a Hawaiian first name - a culture from which I have no blood relatives - in connection with an Italian last name. Which, coincidentally, is where my truest roots are. I am 25% Italian. "This exotic combination makes for a great stage name" my viola professor often told me. "It's a difficult one to forget." Imagine his disappointment when I married a man with a very common, sorta blah last name. He continued to introduce me by my maiden name and print it as such in recital programs. Lol.
My first name isn't the only one with a story. My middle name - Marie - was also passed on to me. It belongs to my paternal great aunt. The funny thing is, my mother started a trend by giving it to me. So now there are 4 nieces/grand nieces with the middle name Marie! Including my own daughter!
Now, I have fallen behind on my show and tell pictures. My hands (NOT body) have been very busy this past week!
What are these darling creations you might ask? Hair bands. Lots and lots of girly hair bands. A la Alissa. She shared her knee high hair band tip with me months ago and I finally got around to making some. And now somebody must stop me!
Here is a small picture of the valanceI made a la Les. Hey, art is imitation, right? Flattery, too. This also begins the roll of pictures from my son's 4th bday this weekend. Here is my geeky family going berserck (there's that word again) with balloons.
The theme for Jonah's party was trains. So, the invitations were also boarding passes:
There was a track drawn up to the front door with chalk...
... and a special sign to welcome everyone aboard!
The children got to check their names off on the passenger list as they arrived and then played with a train table until everyone was "on board".
We then played 2 games... "Pin the Caboose on the Track" and "4" (sorry, can't seem to rotate the darn picture). "4" is a guessing game of four things Jonah likes to eat, watch, read and play (because he was turning 4). The guests all got prizes for playing (which were toys stolen from my kids' happy meal bags over the last several months).
I made a couple of fun signs, but this one (below, red) was the best, because it kept everybody in the front room!
Here's Jonah with his Thomas cake... it had a windup Thomas engine that circulated the center of the cake. Super cute!
There was also a Thomas pinata, which I failed to get a picture of. I think that was the point at which my body had had enough and I needed a break. But, I had my brother knock on the door and run, leaving a big package addressed to "Jonah and his birthday friends". They all opened it together to find a letter form Sir Topham Hat, which basically said "Thanks for coming, and there's a surprise for you all in the backyard." The package also contained red bandanas, train whistles and caps for them all to wear. They got dressed up, formed a train line, and"chugga-chugga-choo-chooed" their cute little selves into the backyard to find the Thomas pinata filled with candy.
The party was short and sweet, and best of all, I got to be a part of it without killing myself (or going into labor:)).