Welcome to the Scharrer family's real life story! Most of our story is written for, and about, our four kids and the spice they add to our lives. It's our story of happiness, craziness, and sometimes ridiculousness. We've journaled through childbirth, the terrible two's, private school (and our public school experience), an autism diagnosis, medical school, residency, and long-term mission work in Africa.

Now we're following a new adventure, which involves a 45 foot motorcoach, homeschool, and as many ski slopes as we can go down in one year.

For posts from while we were living in Zimbabwe and updates about our future plans in Zimbabwe, please see our mission blog...

www.ourzimbabwejourney.blogspot.com.

30 April 2010

Today.

Today is the day I have been waiting and waiting for!
Today is the end of Erik's current rotation (which means that I have a husband for the weekend!).
Today Erik meets my new OB.
Today Erik comes to my OB appointment with me for the first time this pregnancy (besides specially scheduled ultrasounds).
Today Skogen also has a doctor appointment.
Today Erik meets our pediatrician.
Today is the first time ever that Erik is taking the kids to the doctor by himself.
Today I'm getting my hair cut - the first time since October 2008 (besides a trim from my sister-in-law while I was in Oklahoma).
Today we also have two end-of-the-third-year parties to attend.
Today is the day I have been waiting and waiting for!
Today.

27 April 2010

So that I'll never forget...

Maida was doing some crafts on the dining room table the other day while I was cleaning the house when she discovered that her scissors were great for cutting her hair, too. I walked into the dining room and found her with golden curls all over the table. She had snipped pieces of hair from all over her head. I gave her a bath and washed her hair and chunks were still falling out! After explaining to Maida that we don't cut our hair or anyone else's hair, I called Erik to tell him how sad I was about Maida cutting her hair. Apparently he didn't get the idea from my message that we were supposed to be upset that she cut her hair so that she wouldn't do it again. After he got home from work, they had the following conversation...
Daddy: Maida, did you cut your hair today?
Maida: Yep!
Daddy: Well, it looks beautiful! You did a good job!
Maida: I knew you wouldn't be upset with me!

After Maida was alone in the kitchen for a few minutes...
Maida: Mommy, I just really want some of those crackers. [talking with cracker crumbs stuck in her teeth and all over her face]
Me: Oh yeah? What crackers?
Maida: The ones in that door that I just opened a little bit.
Me: Oh, did you already have some crackers?
Maida: No! [smiling]
Me: Maida, tell me the truth... did you already eat some crackers?
Maida: No, Mommy! I didn't eat some crackers, I ate one cracker!

Shortly after Grandma left our house last weekend...
Maida: Mommy, do you know what?
Me: What?
Maida: We don't say fat to people because we don't say fat. Grandma told me we say, "You are nice and plump."

On the way to church on Sunday night...
Maida: Mommy, maybe someday Daddy could teach me how to drive.
Me: Yeah, I'm sure he will, but you have to be 16 to get your drivers license.
Maida: Yep! And it's gonna hafta be a girl one... a pink and brown one!

26 April 2010

Name This Kid!

Picking out paint for our house was so much fun! Not just because I was excited about painting and getting the place looking nice, but because most of these paints have such unique names! How fun would it be to name paint?! Here are some of my favorite paint names from our recent paint shopping trip...
Canyon Echo
Pink Ballet Slipper
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Sandy Feet
Crisp Ginger Ale
New Grass Green
Pool Party
Essence of Lilac
Gentle Fawn
Mid Day Mocha

None of those paints, however, happen to be on my freshly painted walls. Just as choosing a name for our new baby, choosing a couple paint colors to complete our living room, dining room, and kitchen was a struggle. After over an hour of looking at paint samples, we finally decided on Cork, Chianti, and Gobi Desert (a yellow, a red, and a tan), which names aren't nearly as cute or as fun as any of my favorite paint names!

Thinking of naming paint and comparing the picking process of the paint colors to picking baby names, I thought I'd do a post asking for some help! We have not been able to come up with a name for this baby. Even though Maida has decided that if it's a girl, we'll name her "Tuna-Luna-Luna" and if it's a boy, we'll name him "Velociraptor," I'm not convinced those are the best choices for us. So, I thought I'd pull some suggestions from our blog readers. Most of you may not care or even know how to comment, but it would be really fun if you would (you can comment anonymously if that makes you feel more comfortable - click on "post a comment" below this post to comment). I would love to get hundreds and hundreds of name suggestions (which is funny noticing how the most comments I've ever gotten on one blog post is four or five!), so feel free to leave as many as you can think of.

Here some things you should know before you help us name our child:
1. We like different names.
2. We would like to find a name with a "K" in the name somewhere (but that's not super important).
3. We're looking for a middle name that starts with an "R".
4. We do not know if it's a boy or a girl.

Other interesting things about Maida and Skogen's names that may help you find our perfect name:
1. Maida's name was a complete accident. We really weren't prepared for a girl, so we pulled her name out at the last minute (after I decided that I didn't like Kensington - our girl name that we had picked out just in case she was a girl). Her name means "young girl".
2. We had Skogen's name picked out for Maida if she was a boy. He is named after a famous skier and he is born on this famous skier's birthday. "Skogen" means "forest" in Swedish.
3. Maida's middle name (Raine) is the last half of my middle name and Skogen's middle name (Roux) is the last half of Erik's middle name (just spelled differently).
4. If Skogen happened to be a girl, we had McKinley Ruth picked out.


Okay, name away! Someone please, name this kid!

25 April 2010

Baby Bellies

The day that Erik and I were shocked with the surprise that we were expecting baby #3, we received a phone call from Erik's brother sharing the news that they, too, were expecting a baby. It was crazy! We had always talked about having a baby together, but neither one of us planned these pregnancies. I guess that God decided that it would be pretty cool for us to be pregnant together, too. :) While we were in Oklahoma, Karlie and I took some belly pictures together and of course talked a lot about babies!

Karlie: 27, Kara: 23
Karlie: 28, Kara: 24

I haven't taken a food picture recently because some of the foods they compare the baby's size to, I have never heard of. I also had a hard time remembering to take belly pictures while in Oklahoma. Here is the most recent picture one at 26 weeks.

22 April 2010

I decided to paint ... DON'T ask me why.

When I say paint, I mean PAINT! Yesterday I painted for ten hours straight (in between taking care of kids, of course) and then after the kids went to bed, I painted for another three hours. When Erik got home at 2am from work, he was so surprised with how much I got done. So far I have put the first coat on our entryway, living room, and hallway. I have also painted half of the first coat in the kitchen, however we don't like the color, so I'll be repainting a few coats on that soon, I'm sure. I also have the dining room and two bedrooms to paint before I'm done.

One of my [only] favorite things about painting is that Maida likes to sit and talk to me while I paint. She not only tells me how great I'm doing and how good my painting looks (which is great encouragement to keep going), but she tells me all about her babies and her husband and even her Hostas. Yesterday, I got a kick out of it when she said, "Kara, you know what? I can't figure out what's going on with my Hostas in the front yard. They are dying, but I really don't know if they are dying Easter eggs or dying on the cross. Hmm. It's just weird, you know?!"

Through all of this painting and talking that she and I have been doing, though, she's learned a new word. I really thought that we had bypassed this stage in her development. I was convinced that she was going to be a child that never had to ask, "Why?" over and over and over and OVER again. However, yesterday, we had a little conversation (and several of this very same conversation) that went something like this:
Maida: Mommy, what are you doing?
Me: I'm painting the house?
Maida: Why?
Me: To make the house look nice.
Maida: Why?
Me: So that it looks really cute and so we can finally have people over without having to worry about what they'll think about our walls.
Maida: Why?
Me: Because what people think of our house means a lot to us. And we need to resell it someday.
Maida: Why?
Me: We'll have to move.
Maida: Why?
Me: Either for Daddy's residency or because of jobs.
Maida: Why?
Me: That's just how it is. Life changes and we move on.
Maida: Oh, but why are you painting?
Me: To make the house look nice.
Maida: Why?
Me: Didn't you already ask me that a couple times already?
Maida: Yes, but I'm asking you 'why' again.
Me: Okay, well, I'm painting to make the house look nice.
Maida: Why?
Me: So that it looks all nice and pretty for when we have people over for dinner.
Maida: Why?
Me: Maida! Stop asking 'why'!!! You are asking 'why' to the same things over and over.
Maida: But, Mommy, do you know what? I just want to know why you are painting.
Me: You've already asked me that about five times and I have already told you. Do you remember why I'm painting?
Maida: No. Why are you painting?

I don't know why (Ha! - why!), but I was just so annoyed with her asking 'why' to the exact same thing, over and over and over again. The anger coping techniques that we taught Maida last year (three big deep breaths) came in rather handy yesterday afternoon! And breathing in the paint fumes while doing it even made me feel a little better! ;)

20 April 2010

Bathroom Remodel (finally!)

These pictures are mostly for my sister-in-law, Karlie, and the story is for our own documentation, but I thought maybe some of you would be interested in the pictures and story of our bathroom remodel, too.

Here is what we started with:
Not only was the whole bathroom either wallpaper or plastic tiles, but the tub surround was detaching from the walls and there was mold growing behind it. When we moved in, she shower had shower doors on it, but we quickly removed those after discovering what a chore it was to work around those when giving the kids a bath. There was really nothing wrong with the vanity, it was just old, outdated, and smelled of old wood. There was one outlet and it wasn't up to code. It was unusable for any type of hair device, anyway, because the light switch prevented the cord from being able to be plugged in all the way. The medicine cabinet stuck out about eight inches from the wall and although it provided a lot of storage, was such a sore thumb.

The first step in the bathroom remodel was gutting the room. Everything was taken out except for the bathtub, which was still in pretty good condition. Our bathroom was out of commission for several weeks. We sponge bathed in the kitchen sink and used the old toilet down in the dark, cold, yucky basement. Looking back, it was a lot harder to live without a functioning bathroom and two kids than I originally thought, especially since our entire family got the stomach flu during this time period - YUCK!
The old window was taken out of the tub and a new glass block window was put in. New piping, new electrical, and new insulation in the walls and ceiling were put in, too, along with dry wall around our new light fixtures, tub fixtures, and bathroom fan/heater.
Picking out tile was very time consuming! We wanted something cheap, but something that looked nice. We wanted something unique, but nothing that was too extravagant. We finally settled on a combination of brushed and tumbled Travertine stone, which has a lot of variation between tiles (which I LOVE) and laid it in a very unique pattern that Erik designed. We also decided on using some pencil borders to accent with, along with the bull nose tile around the room for the baseboard instead of a wood baseboard.
Our finished bathroom:
We have a floating vanity (hangs from the wall with no legs) and a bowl sink to match the tile. The vanity was a actually a big disappointment - we ordered it online because we couldn't find anything else we liked, however the vanity we chose didn't give an accurate description and we were surprised at what showed up at our door. However, we worked with it (plumbing leaks and all!) and have finally started enjoying the beauty of it. The sink is the first thing that people comment on when they see the bathroom.
The faucet was also special ordered online and I love how the water trickles out! The mirror behind the sink is just a cut piece of glass! Our Hookless shower curtain is one that we first saw at a hotel and since we loved it so much, we always planned on getting one for our house someday. The top has a mesh window across and the bottom inner layer snaps off for easy washing.
We decided at the last minute to put some built-in shelves in the the corner of the shower. It was a good decision! Now we don't have the awkward, ugly shower caddy hanging from the shower head.
The most practical thing we put in the bathroom was a built-in potty chair (I couldn't find a link to it, but we got it at Home Depot). Take a look...
No ugly potty chair hanging out in the bathroom and no dumping out or cleaning out a potty chair. Love, love, LOVE it!

And that's the story of our bathroom remodel, complete with pictures for Karlie! :)

18 April 2010

Bye-Bye Tummy Troubles, Hello Spring Toad

Our week was spent trying to get Skogie feeling better. He did more laying around this week than he's done since he was just a few months old.
Daddy didn't seem to mind a snuggle buddy! :)
Day by day he got better and better. We nursed him well with a 4mL syringe of liquid every 20 minutes. If he had anymore than this, he threw it up. If he had any less than this, he would get dehydrated. The poor little guy begged and begged for more to drink, but we had to stay firm. By Thursday he was wanting to eat again, which was a great sign.
By Friday, Skogen was up and playing again and seemed to show no signs of dehydration. Just when his tummy started feeling better, though, he grabbed the hot electric frying pan and got a bad burn on his little hand. Poor baby!
However, he wasn't down long because playing outside was such a distraction from any remaining tummy troubles or bad burns. We've had BEAUTIFUL weather lately.
While playing outside on Saturday night with Daddy, the kids found a toad!

14 April 2010

Sick Sick Skogie Bear

Our little boy is so sick. After having seven days of diarrhea and two days of vomiting, he was diagnosed down in Oklahoma at the Emergency Room with a double ear infection and a bad viral infection. However, upon returning home from Oklahoma three days after diagnosis and still throwing up and having about 10-15 diarrhea episodes a day, I knew that something else was up. Our pediatrician checked him out yesterday morning and declared that Skogen does not have a double ear infection. His ears were as clear as a bell! He, however, does have something yucky going on, so my day yesterday consisted of collecting poop samples! This was a very hard task, especially since he no longer has any poop coming out, just water with a few poop particles present. Once I get all of the samples, we are planning to test for Pathogens, Salmonella, Shigella, E.coli, Aeromonas,Plesiomonas, Campylobacter, Ova and Parasites, Giardia, amoebae, Giardia antigen/Cryptosporidium, and Clostridium difficile Toxin A/B.

I'm praying that I can collect these samples quickly and that the results don't take a week to get back. I'm also still praying that this is still just a bad viral infection and that it will go away on it's own soon. Well, back to laying in bed with my sick my sick little boy. It seems like all he wants is to lay on top of me and snuggle. It's a good thing I'm not on a time limit to get any of my house chores done and that Maida can pretty much take care of entertaining herself.

12 April 2010

Home Sweet Home

For the past two weeks, the kids and I have been in Oklahoma visiting family and friends! Although we are sad to say goodbye to everyone, we are looking forward to our flight home this evening and seeing Erik and the dogs tonight! It has been an eventful trip, with everything from going the zoo, getting ice cream from the ice cream man, Maida's first pedicure, to a trip to the Emergency Room with Skogen. Stories and pictures to come...

07 April 2010

Curly Q's

I thought I'd post some pictures of all the curls since I've had three complete strangers approach me in the store lately and ask if I perm my kids' hair!

01 April 2010

Playing with Kaitlin

Maida had a great time playing with her cousin Kaitlin from Chicago! We wish we could see her more often.

We write to taste life twice, once in the moment and in retrospection.”
~Anais Nin