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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, November 13, 2006

Baby expo entertains everyone

By Loren Moreno
Advertiser Staff Writer

While Kawena Leopoldo's family shopped for birth announcements at the Kona Paradise Candies booth, the 2-year-old found that peeking under the table was more interesting. From left are Chaunise, Denise, Chauntel and 3-year-old Kamakaia Leopoldo.

Photos by DEBORAH BOOKER | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Erin Ashley Lactaoen, left; Gwynne Lao, center; and Erica Faith Lactaoen, all of Waipahu, took a picture with children's character Strawberry Shortcake.

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Katie O'Donnell watched yesterday as her 4-year-old daughter Lesna jumped up and down on a pink and purple play bed, equipped with a canopy and a slide, at the Oh Baby! Family Expo at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

"I want this, mommy," Lesna said, as she crawled under the bed's canopy. O'Donnell said Lesna saw a similar bed at her friend's house. At $1,000 or more, O'Donnell said it was unlikely that Lesna would get one of her own.

"Lily has this, too," Lesna said, as she bounced on the purple cushions.

Blaisdell Center's exhibition hall became a traffic jam of baby strollers over the weekend as families explored the variety of booths and activities available. From miniature golf to baby clothes, stuffed animals to party clowns, there were plenty of things to keep the kids busy. There was even a baby crawling contest and keiki massages.

Diana Costa of Niu Valley held her 1-year-old daughter in a baby sling. She said she was looking forward to entering little Sophia in the baby crawling contest.

"She hasn't really started to walk yet, so I want to see if she can win the crawling contest," Costa said.

Costa, whose 3-year-old daughter was busy playing air hockey, said she mainly came out to keep the kids occupied. Costa said she comes to the baby expo every year, and sometimes attends multiple days.

"I'm basically here to entertain the kids. I want to take them over to the family music classes," she said.

Costa's friend, Aysha Kadir of Waikiki, brought her 3-year-old son Tariq to the expo. He, too, was playing air hockey in the children's activity area.

"We're just here to have fun. Keep him busy for a while," she said.

Some families were on the prowl for Christmas gift ideas and things that they need clothes, strollers and cribs.

Jolene Imada has a 1-year-old daughter with one more child on the way. She said she was looking for party ideas for her daughter's birthday tomorrow.

"I also need a new high chair. Maybe I'll find one here," she said.

Luana Keliikoa of Waimanalo used the expo as an opportunity to spend more time with her 3-year-old niece Logan, whose mother was working at the Logan's Baby Cakes booth.

"She's from the Big Island, so I don't get to see her often," Keliikoa said.

Logan sat with five other children at the Ohana Music Together booth, playing a set of small drums with rainbow-colored drumsticks.

"She's loving it," Keliikoa said, as she snapped pictures of her niece.

Reach Loren Moreno at lmoreno@honoluluadvertiser.com.