22 May 2006

My Life Monday and some other good stuff

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:)).


Julie said...

What a great party! Jacob is all about trains these days, so I might be borrowing some of your ideas! :)

Rachelle said...

What a super fun party! You are so creative! Thanks for doing MLM. I LOVE your name!

Nettie said...

What a fun party! I love when you share your creative genius with us. I love the bows, and I, too, think Leilani is a very pretty name!

Jane said...

I love the party too. I am just not a party mom....just not that creative.

I think your name is Beautiful too.

Alissa said...

the bows. oh the bows. oh how i long for another girl/reason to make those gorgeous bows.

fabulous party. I dont even have pre-term labor excuses... my kids' parties... LAME. you rock!

Andrea said...

What a fun party! And i love your name btw.

Carrie said...

Your name is gorgeous. I am glad you are participating in My Life Monday. It has been so interesting to learn new things about people. My son also loves Thomas. You are so creative. I have to remember your ideas. Love the hair bands, too.:)

EvaRob said...

How funny that your name sounds so super exotic but in Hawaii it's really like Jennifer? What's Jennifer like in Hawaii? Is it cool and obscure?

Char said...

Great party!

emlouisa said...

Cute!!! The hairbows are darling! The party looked like a blast!

And I love the name Leilani. It's beautiful!

Stephanie said...

I love the name Leilani. It rolls off the tongue. It does conjure up images of plumeria and salty tropical breezes though.

I am glad you are keeping your hands busy. Keeps your mind from focusing too much on the situation.

How is everything going with Sasha?

The Daring One said...

You are my birthday hero. Your friends told me how to pronounce your name this weekend. I like it so much better now that I'm not confused by it. Very pretty.

Cmommy said...

Lei, you are a great mom!! (and I loved the pre-term labor analogy, too)

Re. hairbows: Why don't we all just start a trend and make them fashionable for us? (I do have a favorite black leather headband by Brighton) lol! I've always wanted to know how to create the lil' girl styles--my daughter, alas, no longer wears them.

Gabriela said...

Cool birthday party, you are such a fun mom!

Your name is beautiful. I had an Italian last name too. :( I am 50% Italian. Now I have a yucky last name, but a great husband, so it's ok. My daughter's middle name is Marie (but no great-aunt to attribute it too).

Glad your body hasn't been busy!

Valarie said...

The party looks fabulous! as do the bows and valance. You never cease to impress me.

handiemom said...

What a great idea for a Party! My son loves trains too so I'll have to "borrow" some of your ideas for his birthday in October.

And I love your name too. It's beautiful.

Linsey said...

What a FUN party!!!! Your a cool mom to do all that!!!

Tigersue said...

Thanks for sharing about your name. For being on restricted activity I think you are doing very well. You are doing more than I am at this point and my only restrictions are in my head. :)

txmommy said...

my middle name is Marie too.

What a fun party!!!!

Sending some sticky vibes your way:)

Nutella said...

How fun! Your name is beautiful, by the way!

Kristen said...

Alright, you are tooo creative with the birthday party stuff. That looked like a lot of fun.

I also love the story of your name. It is a beautiful name, by the way. :-)

Lei said...

Hey - the ideas were shared with me! So of course, they must be passed along the way!!! ;)

Allie said...

I love your name! It's so beautiful. 'Heavenly flower', I really love that.

You're so creative. Oh, I love the name Jonah. We didn't know the sex of my second and if the baby was a boy, we were going to name him Jonah. I love that name.

So glad that you could take part in the party. It seemed to be a blast.

Morning Glory said...

I thought your name was beautiful before I read the meaning. Now it's even more so.

The party idea is way too cute!

Sunny said...

Your name fits you, It's so pretty.

Happy Birthday Jonah!!!

Your bows are bee-you-tiful! Cute, cute, cute!

Anonymous said...

Nice colors. Keep up the good work. thnx!

Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site. Keep working. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I find some information here.