Life With Nine Kids

Saturday, March 12, 2011

homemade baby teethers

Everett is doing well. He has started to cough a little from Penelope's bad cold but I'm sure he'll fight it off with mama milk antibodies. He has his own battle to fight right now anyway ... teething! Poor lil' tike is starting to get teeth buds showing on the bottom. It's just barely starting.

I came up with this really smart idea to take mismatched kid socks and roll up one and place it inside another, tie it off, wet it with water and then freeze it. Genius, huh? :) Instant baby teether.

Plus, it's fun when your baby is fussing to lovingly say, "Oh put a sock in it!"


Another idea I had is to cut a big chunk of an apple and stick a fork into it as a grip. A toothless baby can gnaw on this without much danger. Everett really enjoyed it. Even though he didn't eat it this was his first technical food/flavor other than breast milk.

Pain relief:
We do use dye-free Motrin. I also like homeopathic teething pills.
 I'm a real fan of Boiron Camilia This worked like magic for some of my children and not so magical for others. I use it for calming kids too. I give it a huge thumbs up.

I've never used an amber teething necklace before, but I recently bought us each one. They had mother and baby ones (how could I resist the cuteness of that?) I have chronic bad neck pain and it may help with it, so what the hay I bought one. It's only money, right ;)

I did a whole evenings worth of online research about these things and after it was all said and done I went with Amber Artisans for moderate price, quality, best overall website, best information provided and because along with your jewelry they send you loose beads to test the amber yourself for authenticity.

Worn against your skin the warmth of your skin can absorb the Baltic amber's oils and this promotes healing, well being and is supposed to be anti inflammatory. Lots of moms online love these necklaces and say it helps their babies be less fussy with teething. The babies that sport these necklaces make a darling statement for fashion as well as for the health and well being through natural medicine!
These are ours and should arrive any day now!

Update: We love the bead necklace. Even my skeptical husband thinks it calmed the baby!
Update: Studies Suggest an Acetaminophen-Asthma Link


Spring, planting stuff and chicken eggs

I painted us a new sign for the yard!


Spring, oh spring how I love you so! I love where I live in the Midwest. The seasons here are perfect for me. By the time I never think I want to see winter again spring welcomes me with newness and joy. By the time I'm sick of Summer the fall opens me with breezy arms, blue jeans and sweaters. I'm never really sick of the fall, my favorite season, but by the time the leaves have fallen from the trees and family gathers for Thanksgiving the joys of Christmas snow and once a year snow ball Christmas cookies make me giddy with happiness!

At the end of summer I'm always so worn out tired and frustrated with lost crops that I never want to plant anything again. But I'm always wrong. I always find I can't wait to dig into the Earth's dirt after the ground thaws!

My Grandma Wanda and I just ordered 200 day lily bulbs off eBay! We are excited! I'm going to have those things growing at every nook and cranny of my yard. They are really low maintenance! I decided last year I was going to focus on landscaping that works 100% well for my area. Things that need little water for the heat of summer, but won't drowned in hard Midwest downpours. I started paying attention what businesses have planted outside their places. Like gas stations, restaurants, Etc. I noticed everyone has daylilies!
The best part is that they are easy to grow AND they bloom all season and all the way until the first frost! Perfect. I already have some on our property, but I look forward to planting 100 more!

So we are in full force spring mode. The kids are a ton of help! Those little buggers keep getting more and more helpful with age ;) Our big project for the weekend, which is half done now, is cleaning up the front yard, putting up a temporary fence so the dogs can't access the front yard anymore and planting new grass . Our front yard has been really tore up by Great Pyrenees dogs and lots of kids. So the whole front yard is off limits this summer.

I have so many projects started and planned inside and outside I can barely think straight. I LOVE it though. I was trying to stop starting new projects before finishing old ones ....but I realize now it's just my thing. I start a whole bunch, overwhelm myself and them work like heck to get caught up. It's just my thing. I love it.

In other news we had a bad spring cold (croup?) come to our house and my baby girl Penelope (4) is SO sick. You know what my kids just LOVE is Naked Juice Green Machine. It is so full of super foods it's what we drink when we are sick. We buy a ton of it and usually only when we are getting colds or have colds. It's pretty pricey, but we think of it as medicine. We prefer the Naked Juice brand, but Bolthouse farms has a knock off that is tasty and good as well.    
Penelope's eyes get really red and sore when she is sick. Her eyes tear up and she often rubs her eyes raw when she'd this sick. Under her eyes I have to use Country Comfort Salve. This stuff is amazing for all kinds of things. It's in my must have mama medicine box. Anyhow, it helps under her eye a lot! We use it for lips, skin sores, sunburns, stings, cuts, etc.
Oh my poor baby !!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Beautiful Family Day

My Grandma laughing at and enjoying her Great-Grandkids

I have such a good life and loving family. Aunt Sharon and Grandma Wanda came to visit yesterday. They brought us many surprise gifts: 1 chicken casserole, 1 pan of lasagna, 1 frozen blackberry cobbler and 1 lemon meringue pie. They brought me 5 clear bins to add to my organization efforts of the basement and closets and one bag of special peanut butter cups for my ‘mom sanity chocolate stash’ (which was empty). I watched them play with the kids and enjoy them for hours. My grandma and I drank coffee and bought 200 day lily bulbs online. (We will be planting bulbs until our arms fall off!) I swept the house and folded clothes as my babies and kids were cared for lovingly. We all sat on the floor and folded our socks together and talked. We ate lemon meringue pie for lunch and it was the best meringue pie I’d ever tasted (I don’t tend to like it –but come to find out meringue made with marshmallow cream IS THE BOMB). We stuffed ourselves silly.


We laughed at the kids and talked and talked. I love my family and I just can’t explain how lucky we are to have them in my life.

When my Grandma does the dishes it’s in lightning speed. When she’s over she always shoos me away from the dishes to do them for us. I love how she never uses the dishwasher either; always she does them by hand. (Our dishwasher is broke right now, however.) When everyone had left I was putting away some dishes and I saw a pan on the stove that I had cooked something in it earlier. I went to wash the pan and as I lifted the lid I saw it was so clean it sparkled. Why can grandmas wash dishes better than anyone in the world? It’s like someone making your sandwich better than you can. Sage has a sandwich making theory… Why do sandwiches taste better when made by someone else? He says, “Because you can’t taste the mistakes.”

If someone would have told me… Shauna in your twenties and thirties you’ll move away to the midwest and love it. You'll also spend the best years of your life with your Aunt, Grandma, Husband and seven kids I never would have believed it. What a great way to spend my adult life. Thanks for another beautiful day Aunt Sherry and Grandma!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good-bye forever cardboard boxes, and I should decorate concrete rooms for a living

I've been cleaning the basement lately ...and painting it! I've recently discovered the wonderful thing about plastic tubs. I've been buying the clear ones and I'm getting all my kids' clothes organized and I love being able to see inside of them. I always knew tubs were great but who has money laying around to buy them. Or, enough of them rather. Let's face it a normal sized household would have trouble buying enough bins to store all their stuff in. Well recently I've started buying some. My aunt actually started me on them and she at first bought me a bunch. I've cleaned out several closets, Christmas stuff, Halloween stuff, winter coats/snow stuff and packed all the stuff in plastic tubs. They stack great and look tidy and wonderful and they now take up half the space that boxes used to. Plastic bins have changed my life! Then I packed up DVD's, books, and photo albums all nicely away in plastic tubs. They will last forever if cared for right, nothing will ever get wet, ruined, dirty, smelly, Etc. Mice can't get in them (heheh watch out cats I may replace you with tubs and put you out of a job Muahaha!)

Good-bye cardboard boxes. Forever.

Never did I think I could be so happy about plastic tubs. I like that I can see through the clear ones. Plus I'm finding the clear ones stack better and are less bulky. I like seeing the kids clothes in the clear ones, I don't have to dig through anything I can tell by looking about what age clothes and sex they are for.

Have I mentioned plastic tubs have changed my life?

You might say I'm a poor, bored housewife that needs a life to be so thrilled -- but this is my life and if I just found a way to organize my basement and closets it's like some one else getting a new better filing cabinet or computer program at their office! :D


So the basement is coming along! I want to put a picture up of my latest wall mural but I want to do more with it first! One side of the basement is painted as a whimsical land! And It's going really well! I'm not able to paint anymore though until I clean and move some more stuff. In the basement we'll have a really nice sitting area with toys and whatever else. There is a day bed, a love seat hideaway bed and a futon. Oh, and hanging hammock chairs. In some area of the basement the girls want a baby doll area and I think their toy kitchen. I think they want a house type area. I'm considering bringing in a picket fence so they can have a fenced in play area "house."

Then their will be a video game corner for the boys (and girls, but mostly it's for the boys). With lots of bean bags and a set up for their game systems. I'm considering buying a second used TV so they can play more than one system at a time.

I hope to have room for a small table and chairs. There are also cheap shelves filled with bored games and a game table that needs some stools for it.

I've packed away all the art supplies, extra homeschooling items and anything not being used so the clutter is at a minimum. (In plastic tubs!)

I'm turning our unfinished concrete basement into all of this! Because paint and imagination can do anything!!!! :)

Oh oh... one last thing. Behind my washer and dryer was an ugly wall full of drain pipes and stuff. I noticed it would be really really hard to paint. So I collected and hung many shower curtains behind it. All different kinds/colors/patterns/pictures. I created a instant colorful solution to an ugly problem!