When I was pregnant, I couldn't decide on a Hawaiian name, or an English name. We wanted her middle name to be Nalei, sort of after my mom's, which is Kalei. I liked Olivia for a first name, Ryan hated it. She would have been "Olivia Nalei Johnson" which sounded too much like Olivia Newton John (which ISN'T a bad thing, but...). I also liked Kaatje (kaa-tia), but that seemed too complicated for people. All along, Ryan wanted Keira, after Keira Knightley from Pirates of the Carribbean: I told Ryan, what if the actress goes porn star, then what, our daughter will be named after her--how nice. He just liked it because it was different, and Keira Knightly is pretty, which is probably why I didn't like it.
Lots of Hawaiian names were suggested, but they all just didn't fit her. She was a lively baby in my tummy, always moving, and I could tell she had lots of personality, so she needed a special Hawaiian name. Come time when she came on Jan 27, 2006, her due date, I still didn't have a name. My mom flew in from Hana, Maui that morning to be with us in the hospital:
We went home the 2nd day, and still no name came. The first morning at home, my mom told me about a mountain called Pu`uhilina`i that she and her students at Hana Elementary do a Hawaiian chant to in the morning. The story about Pu`uhilina`i is that years ago, it diverted lava from running into Hana Town and saved the town. Pu`u means hill. Hilina`i means "faith" or "to rely on, trust in." Nalei describes the children my mom teaches and people in Hana, where my grandfather's from.