A Whole Bunch of Feelings

Holy Cow, do my kiddos have a lot of big feelings. And we’ve been feeling them hard lately in all directions.

Luckily, I am typically pretty good at embracing those big feelings. I say “typically” because I’m a human too, and some days I probably don’t embrace them as I should. I want them to know that all those big feelings are valid, even if they don’t make sense to me. I want them to express them, even if it sometimes means I have to battle my own inner voice that wants to shut them down because it’s what it learned long ago.

Bean’s current favorite bedtime book is “A Whole Bunch of Feelings.” We, of course, don’t read the whole thing every night, because it’s much too long for Momma, but I read a few pages to her, and it’s so interesting how she just curls up on my lap, even at just 2, and seems to really get it. I mean, she is the one requesting this book each night.

Because we are such a bookworm family, it should come as no surprise that it’s just one of the many ways we discuss all the feelings. “A Whole Bunch of Feelings” is a great book for helping discuss past emotions and situations, and a way to think about feelings and moments to come.

This book discusses many of the same feelings that can be found on our feelings flashcards I previously wrote about, as well as some that aren’t on our flashcards. But “A Whole Bunch of Feelings” goes a bit more in depth, giving short little story scenarios in which each feeling may arise. Although this book is geared for the 5-8 crowd, and Mr. B (age 8) and Miss H (age 9) have both definitely enjoyed it, it is very well loved by Sweet M (age 3.5) and Bean (age 2). Especially by Bean. So I would probably expand that age range myself.

The book has beautiful illustrations filled with diverse characters; my children were definitely excited to see all shades of people, including people that resembled them and their papa, which isn’t always the norm.

“A Whole Bunch of Feelings” is a beautiful book for your library collection, and I would definitely recommend it for all families. The more we understand and accept all of these big feelings, the easier life is to process and muddle through. And who doesn’t want that?


***This post is sponsored by Timberdood, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.***

Book Lovers, and the End of B&N

Since Miss H was a baby we’ve been going to our local Barnes and Noble story time on Wednesdays.

We have a routine that includes coffee, cookies, and lots of books. What more could anyone ever want?

The story time is fairly epic. We’ve been to other Barnes and Noble story times in other towns, and they never quite compare. Ms. C who runs story time here always has 2-3 books to read to the kids. They get a delicious snack. And always have fantastic crafts to create afterward that go along with the stories. None of this coloring sheet business. There is glue and stickers and glitter and yarn. It is worthwhile.


And Ms. C knows all the kids. She remembers them by name and becomes a pseudo-grandma. H even wrote to her while we lived on Oahu and Ms. C wrote back. She’s just that loved and loveable.


Needless to say, hearing that Barnes and Noble is closing mid-February was a bit gut wrenching. Hormones probably don’t help the situation, but I just cannot imagine my parenting journey without this weekly tradition of coffee and train tables and books.

Yes, of course, we have the library, but it’s different. This is more homey and personal and just an overall different vibe.


It’s been a good run, and it will be sorely missed. I’m sad that the babies have such a short experience of this, and that baby Fimito will never know it. But I am so, so thankful of all the dreary Wednesdays that Barnes and Noble gave me a momma-pick-me-up during some of those loooong toddler-parenting days through out the years.

Discovering Pearl Harbor with American Girl’s Nanea

One of my favorite parts about homeschooling is how customizable it is. Miss H and Mr. B can learn about the things that interest them and in a timeframe that is most convenient for us.

When we moved to Oahu, this history-loving Momma knew Hawaiian history would be a subject of great interest to us that I couldn’t wait to dip into as I knew next to nothing about it (and still have so much to learn!).

Being so close to where the attacks of Pearl Harbor occurred, I knew we needed to delve into an important part of our past.

Although I expose my kiddos to many world truths and subjects that are not in fact all roses and sunshine, I prefer easing them into it when possible. If it’s hard for me, as a very well-rounded and educated adult to stomach some things, I know it must be difficult for them to fully grasp the significance of some events.

I was so excited when American Girl came out with a new historical character this year: Nanea. She’s half haole (white) and half Hawaiian (which my kids love because they have one haole parent and one brown parent, too), and her story begins a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The kids and I have learned so much about Hawaiian culture through the Nanea books. We’ve learned new words and how some customs on the island came to be (you’d never wear your shoes into someone’s house – even our cable guy removed his shoes before walking through our house! That’s a custom that originated with our Japanese friends.).

We visited the Pearl Harbor museum and the U.S.S Arizona, which are chilling sites to be seen. The history of it all is so surreal.

One thing I learned was that all the bases were bombed, not just Pearl Harbor, which is also mentioned in the American Girl books. Nanea can hear the planes over Wheeler air base.

Miss H and Mr. B were so excited to visit the Pearl Harbor museum to help them understand the time in which Nanea lived. And Nanea helped them to understand what it was like for the civilians who were present that day, and for all the days to follow in the aftermath. It was a bit heartbreaking for me, as a momma, to read it all through an innocent child’s eyes. But also there is so much hope. Kids truly are the future, and simply through understanding our history we can see how each generation of children gets a little bit better.

Both of my big kids have been totally captivated and eager to participate in this unit study for homeschooling. They love reading and learning through Nanea’s eyes. We’ve all cried a few times, too. Okay, okay, mostly I’ve cried a lot. Miss H stops me and says “Mom, are you crying again?” Which makes me laugh and we keep reading.

I so cannot wait to delve into our next American Girl’s set of books to aid in our learning of American history. I love how engaged my kids become with the stories they love!

Nanenea’s books are beautiful and her storyline exciting. I want to to tell you all my favorite parts, but I don’t want to give it all away either. But I will just leave with you this fun snippet: H and B have decided that when they get a dog some day, it should be named Mele. So go read the books to find out why!

***This post is sponsored by American Girl, but all thoughts and opinions are mine.

“Everything You Need You Have”

Amidst the chaos of a trans-Pacific move, being pregnant while corralling three crazy, err, darling children, and then bringing that sweet, 4th baby into the world, its nearly a miracle I’ve found time to read anything, let alone a book.

I’m not really one for self-help books. I mean, I’m all ready fabulous.

Nah. But really. I’m pretty happy and comfortable in my own skin. I’m not searching for “more.” I could use some help in time-management and maybe even better managing and regulating my emotions, but I don’t need much in terms of finding happiness; I’m profoundly happy in this crazy/beautiful life.

But Gerad Kite does a great job of taking individuals step by step on an easy-to-read journey in finding happiness in the “now” and being comfortable in one’s own skin in his book “Everything You Need You Have.”

He hits the nail on the head when discussing how many people are holding out for the “later” for when things will be better and they will happier. When they get married, when they get promoted, when they go on vacation, etc. And he takes the reader through on ways to find self-love and fulfillment in the now. 

If you’re looking for an easy read and little self love, this is for sure the book for you! 

***Full Disclaimer:  I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

“Nursies When the Sun Shines”: The Night weaning of Sweet M.

I night weaned Sweet M at the end of March. 

I was super torn over it, but I knew that for the sake of our nursing relationship (and my sanity), it was much needed.

With Miss H, I was young and dumb and didn’t know better and night weaned her at 7 months because I was under the impression that I was “supposed” to. My heart still hurts a little over that.

I night weaned Mr. B at a little over 2.5 right before I went on a trip sans kids (they were with their papa, I still don’t think I could leave them for more than just one night with anyone other than their papa). He was only nursing 1-2x a night, and it wasn’t a huge deal. 

I assumed I would do something similar with Sweet M.

But then we got pregnant with Jelly Bean and nursing through this pregnancy has been a wee bit more challenging than breastfeeding Miss H through my pregnancy with Mr. B was. 

First, my milk supply plummeted. Drastically.

And then nursing got painful. 

And he wanted to nurse more frequently due to the lack of milk, but it wasn’t bringing up my supply. So cue the supplementing of his breastfeeding with donor breast milk. 

And then night nursing him got to be downright cringe-worthy. The aversion was strong and the exhaustion deep in my bones. Like his sister, he wanted to nurse every 45 mins at night. 

I knew something had to give if I wanted to save our breastfeeding relationship. 

And thus, it was time to night wean.

I wanted it to be as gentle and non-traumatic as possible for him. I knew he wouldn’t be thrilled either way, but I wanted him to still feel safe and loved throughout the night. 

A friend suggest the book “Nursies When the Sun Shines” and I immediately Amazon Primed it and began reading it voraciously to him, unsure of how much he fully understood. 

Then after a few days I told him his nursies were going night night with the sun, and when he woke up at night I offered him his pacifier (and water, because I didn’t want him to be genuinely thirsty or hungry and he without). He cried hard that first wake up.

He was so mad at me.

I wanted to nurse him so we could all go back to sleep. But I also knew I had hit that point where it was no longer a mutually beneficial relationship night nursing him; and though in the moment it might be easier, he was also learning some pretty important body respect and boundaries, even if he was too young to fully grasp it. I had set the hard limit for my body, and I had to follow through. 

He eventually cuddled into me and fell asleep as I assured him he’d “nursie when the sun shines.”

When he awoke again he fussed for a moment, and I reminded him it was night nights, and he fell back asleep. 

Y’all, it was that easy. I know it’s different for all kids (I’ve got three vastly difffeent babes myself), but not only was he fairly easily night weaned after one day, he basically started sleeping through the night after that.

What the what what!?

(Don’t be jealous. It took Miss H 6 years to sleep through the night. I paid my dues.)

I really cannot recommend the book “Nursies When the Night Shines” enough for anyone looking for a gentle way to ease into night weaning. The illustrations are beautiful, and I love that it’s a momma and papa co-sleeping and snuggling through the night with their babe. It was very in-line with how we personally do sleep around here, so it was a great fit.

I can’t say at what age is best for any child to night wean. It’s such a personal experience between momma and baby and where they are in those moments. Not only does it vary from family to family, but from child to child and what their particular needs are. 

I feel super confident that Sweet M and I were ready to end night nursing and that it helped to save our daytime nursing relationship. 

Girl in Pieces: Book Review

I just finished reading “Girl in Pieces” by Kathleen Galsgow, a New York Times bestseller.

It was so well-written, that even though it wasn’t my sort of storyline, I couldn’t put it down. Charlie Davis, the protagonist, is a very angsty 17 year old who has gone through more tragedy and heartbreak in her short life than many will ever experience.

Glasgow, an Arizona native, does a phenomenal job of making you empathize with Charlie, even if she’s a sort of character that you cannot fully relate to. You really feel for her and all she’s endured and what she faces.

It’s a really great young adult novel and I hope to see more work by Glasgow in the future!



***Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for this review. All the thoughts and opinions are fully mine.

Read It Wednesday: Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls

My older sister gifted Miss H the book “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” and it instantly became a favorite around here.

It is comprised of 100 different women from around the globe and throughout history who were strong, courageous, and changed the world in one way or another. Their stories are a brief one page each, accompanied by a beautiful portrait created by female artists. 

Miss H loves hearing about these women who did things people never expected. Women who delved into politics, or who changed the ideas of ballet. Women who lead countries, and others who found themselves stuck in a boy’s body and were eventually able to be their true selves.

Actually, Mr. B loves this book and all its stories, too. It’d be my only complaint of the whole book. Instead of “for” rebel girls it should be titled “of” because there are enough (slightly closed minded) people who might be turned off and not read it if they don’t identify as female.

And not only should girls know about these amazing women, but boys should too. So that they grow up with a normal idea and the knowledge that females are just as mighty and powerful as males. And they know about just as many amazing females in history as they do males.

I cannot recommend this book enough. It’s one you want to buy so you have it in your permanent library. And then you want to buy a few more to give to everyone you know. 

I guarantee you’ll be as captivated by this book as we are!