Hawaiian Eye

By: Hawaiian Eye

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Friday, 6-Feb-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
G-Ma & G-Pa Visit Austin Kai and His Parents at Home

A first! Austin Kai in my arms.
It was love, looking into those blue eyes.
Check out those baseball jammies!
View all 13 photos...
Wednesday night, we hurried out of the office and took off to Austin Kai's house, loaded up with Hawaiian "mix plate" dinners from The Loft. I meant to say, Jonathan's and Samara's house.

At the hospital, three weeks into the flu, I kept a prudent, safe distance. I was not about to share any lingering germs with the new mother and baby. Visiting the new family at home, we came prepared. A face mask for me to intercept any lingering coughs from this formerly flu-ridden body. Four weeks later, I'm doing much better, thanks.

Jonathan greeted us at the door as Samara swooped Austin out of his playpen-crib. Donned in his baseball jammies, Austin Kai was just as cute as a button. Sportsfan Jonathan is wasting no time in indoctrinating his "Buddy" with the love of his teams, the SF Giants and University of Texas at Austin. (Guess where his name comes from!)

Samara is a glowing new Mom. She looks terrific. She glowed throughout her pregnancy and now glows, post-partum.

I put on the face mask and washed my hands thoroughly before I gave Samara a big hug, who then put Austin Kai into my arms for the first time. Face to face, it was true LOVE! G-Pa is still not sure about carrying Austin Kai. He says, "I'll wait until he's bigger." He offered Austin his finger, and Austin grasped it firmly. Their first connection.

Austin Kai is a good-looking boy. Hmmm, I can see I'm going to "one of those" G-mas. His eyes have a hint of blue. There is a possibility, perhaps remote, that they will stay that way, as two recessive genes may have linked up. His maternal grandmother, Tutu Sue, has the bluest of eyes, and although Jonathan is dark-eyed, his sister has light eyes. He's also very long. He's going to be a tall one, one day. His mom is 5'10" and his dad is 6' 2". He has big hands and long fingers. We figure he'll either be a concert pianist or baseball catcher.

While Austin Kai peacefully napped on his side, we caught up with Samara and Jonathan over dinner. They are doing and looking so well for new parents. No tell-tale signs of sleepless nights. No dark circles under their eyes. Youth! They are just very happy, excited and so ready for parenthood.

We speculated where Austin Kai would go to college. Maybe Pepperdine where Jonathan's grandfather worked. Or maybe at his namesake, University of Texas at Austin! They say it is a beautiful campus in the forested, rolling hills of Texas. I look forward to his graduation. In the meantime, we'll enjoy every moment that we have with him now.

We laughed over our present petnames for Austin Kai. Jonathan: "Buddy." Samara: "My Little Man." Alana: "Nougie." Sue: "Son". G-Ma and G-Pa: "Changito." (Little Monkey because he's born in the Year of the Monkey).

Mahalo for having us over, Samara and Jonathan. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We missed you, Tutu Sue! We hope that was just a little passing sniffle.

Thursday, 5-Feb-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
His parents' photos of Austin Kai. Kai is Hawaiian for "Sea"

Jonathan and his "Buddy."
Austin Kai dozing...
Samara's "Little Man" in her loving arms.
View all 6 photos...
Austin's proud parents'
Exquisite baby photos.
Snap! Click! Snap! Click! Snap!

Our extended family received this e-mail from Samara with atttached photos of their bundle of joy. I had to share them here with you and post them here for posterity.

Hey Everyone,

Jonathan and I are so happy to let everyone know that we have been blessed with a healthy, active and very happy little boy...Austin Kai. Born January 26 @ 2:14pm-3 weeks two days early. 7lbs 9 oz.

We are trying to get some sleep, learning to be parents and hopefully getting into a routine. We just wanted you to see some pictures and let you all know that we are very happy and can't wait to show him off to all of you real soon.

Hope everyone is well.

Samara and Jonathan

Wednesday, 4-Feb-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
My sister, Sue - now known as Tutu Sue (Tutu is "Gramma" in Hwn)

Tutu Sue and her new grandson. Austin Kai
"My happiness derives from knowing the people I love are happy." ~H. Ketchel

Happy, my dear Sue,
Sister-of-my-heart, happy!
I too am happy

I started this day with an e-mail from Sue. May we always remember these heady, giddy days of new grandparenthood!


To my sweet sister,

Thank you so much for the awesome tribute to my beautiful new little boy! He is so lucky to have such a wonderful g-ma and g-pa. Your love for us all shines through in your words and pictures.

Can't believe I am a tutu. Samara and Jonathan will have the joy of raising this little boy and I get to give him the unconditional love of a grandparent. I know this may get a little confusing with my caring for him, it may be a fine line that I have to walk.

I am looking forward to my time spent with him, sharing my love of books and knowledge. At last, my Hawaiian children's books will be put to good use. I can't wait to read to him!!!

Well, I'd better hit the hay. Thank you again for loving us so much, and I hope that you know that we love you both more than words can say.


Tuesday, 3-Feb-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
God is Kind: Welcome to Planet Earth, Austin Kai!

Our first sighting of Mommy Samara and newly arrived Austin Kai!
Samara took to mothering like a mama duck to water... a natural!
What a handsome boy. Not a prune-face at all, for coming early.
View all 23 photos...
Click on the thumbnails for enlarged versions.

Losing my friend, Beulah, was painful. During the last minutes of Beulah's memorial service, I had a pounding headache as I had never experienced before. Sitting in the last pew, I easily slipped out to the bathroom and downed a couple of aspirins that got me through the rest of the evening. The next day, I was completely flattened. I know now what being hit by a Mack truck feels like...

I have not posted since January 10th; today is the 3rd of February. I let down my health guard at Beulah's memorial service and that darn opportunistic Fujian flu bug flew right in. It was my first flu ever. They say the first time hits you hardest; I can attest to that. The first two weeks, I was death warmed over with every flu symptom imaginable, or unimaginable.

These last two weeks, I am well enough to get back to work, but barely. I struggle. Talking is difficult; doing so triggers coughing fits. Unfortunately, my work is at least 60% talking. Today, I am finally beginning to feel like myself again. About time! I've been itching to post these pictures.

On January 26th, 2004, like a proud god grandmother, I sent this e-mail out to our extended 'ohana. Nothing -- not even the flu -- was going to stop me from sharing the good news:

Aloha All: Hear ye, hear ye!

Jonathan just called with this news: Samara's water broke at 3 AM last night; they made it to St. Jude's Hospital in Fullerton at 3:20. It was a long night, and the construction overhead didn't help.

At 2:14 PM, Austin Kai arrived, early as his Tutu Sue predicted, by three weeks. He just could not wait to meet his new 'ohana, I guess! I must say, he has good taste to have picked our 'ohana to join.

Mother and son are doing well; Austin Kai is nestled in Samara's arms as I write this. Surrounding them are new father Jonathan, Tutu Sue, and Aunty Alana, all jubilant. I, Aunty D (known now as G-ma, pronounced gee mah) am pounding away on this keyboard to let the 'ohana know about the new arrival, while waiting for Uncle T (now known as G-pa, pronounced gee pah) to come back from work so we can go meet the new guy.

When asked if Austin Kai looks like him, Jonathan replied, "I don't know, but he does have a lot of hair!" Well, between two gorgeous people as Jonathan and Samara, this guy just can't miss, can he?

I'll take a bunch of pictures so you may get your first peek of the little guy.

Aunty D/ G-ma

God, Beulah, Wayne (Austin's-Grandpa-in-Heaven) and Austin must have had a talk up there. Within a month, my friend Beulah leaves for Heaven and Austin Kai -- son of our goddaughter (hanai daughter) and her husband -- arrives from Heaven, three weeks early. I like to think they sped things up to lift this G-ma's flagging spirits and help her to get well and happy again.

And mostly, I think Austin Kai came early to make delivery much easier for his mother! At 7 pounds 9 ounces at birth, he was not a little guy! Can you imagine how big he would've been in three weeks. According to the doctor, he might have been as big as 11 pounds. OUCH!

I just got off the phone with Mommy Samara. Nursing well, Austin Kai has gained three ounces in one week. Motherhood seems to suit Samara perfectly; her voice was filled with joy. In one week, Daddy Jonathan has become the master of diaper changing, so Samara can get her rest. Tutu Sue has been over every day. We'll be seeing them on Wednesday and of course, I'll be taking more pics of the newest member of the 'ohana.

Austin Kai, thank you for coming early and welcome to Planet Earth. You've been much awaited. You made this G-ma VERY happy. Happy is too mild a word. Try ECSTATIC!

God is kind. Mahalo e ke Akua (Thank you, God)!

Saturday, 10-Jan-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
In Loving Memory of Beulah

In loving memory of
December 22, 1938 -
View all 53 photos...
Please click on the thumbnails for enlargements.

(To our surprise) At the bottom of Beulah's memorial service program was this direction: "For photos of Mom and e-mails from friends and families, please visit http://hwneye.fotopages.com ."

We just got home from the service and have now linked the following so you, Beulah's family and friends, do not have to dig deep through in this photo-journal to find the Beulah fotopages:

* Dec. 31, 2003: Saying Goodbye to Beulah: http://hwneye.fotopages.com/?entry=29797
* Dec. 30, 2003: Love Deeply and Passionately: http://hwneye.fotopages.com/?entry=29715
* Dec. 14, 2003: CELEBRATING BEULAH's BIRTHDAY: http://hwneye.fotopages.com/?entry=25138
* Sep. 15, 2003: Aloha Note w/ Photos from Hank's Birthday: http://hwneye.fotopages.com/?entry=13352

It was a beautiful service, exactly as Beulah wanted it to be. It was as Hawaiian as Hawaiian can be. During her last days in ICU, a breathing tube prevented her from talking, but Beulah, undeterred and fearlessly facing the inevitable, communicated her wishes for her memorial service by scribbling them on paper, among them: Hawaiian attire, Pete to play steel guitar, Darleen to dance the hula and food catered by Eric.

And it turned out to be more than she requested. Beulah was granted her Hawaiian funeral. The flowers were Hawaiian. The music by her favorite musicians, Pete Kahele and DHC Musicians, Keali`i Reichel's Ka Nohona Pili Kai, and Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The spirit that prevailed was ALOHA.

God bless each and every one of you who now is 'visiting' Beulah via these fotopages. If you wish, leave your comments below, and I'll be sure to pass them on to Beulah's family. As for Beulah, she'll be peeking over my shoulder to read what you've written about her -- or to her.

We have lost one of the VERY BEST among us. She is Home... Aloha 'Oe...until we meet again.

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