Thursday, January 4, 2018

Things I Have Learned About Snow (by a very southern girl)

I don't know if you all know it but I am a very South Carolina girl.  I was born here. (Actually I was born in Savannah and brought to South Carolina mere days after but that is another story for another  time that I probably will not be sharing anytime soon) (But Savannah is still southern so my point doesn't change) As a matter of fact my grandmother was born here.  The southern in my blood is thick. I have not had many White Christmases.  One to be exact.  I haven't built many snowmen.  I am not a very good person to have on your snowball team. (Really, I am not a good person to have on any ball team) I just don't know a whole lot about snow. BUT...I have learned a ton about it in the last two days. AND since I am Rachel I figured I'd share with all of you.

It's Beautiful

There is just something so serene and beautiful when everything is covered in white. I may have already known this but when you see your own house and neighborhood blanketed in snow really shows just how beautiful it is.  

Your Children May Actually Get Along 

YES! You read that right. They may actually get along for more than 3 minutes at a time since they have something new to do that has nothing to do with screens. I took pictures for proof. 

The Young Adults and Teenagers Who Live in Your House May Acknowledge Your Existence 

They may even go for a walk with you.  No promises but they may even let you take their picture.  

Boogie Boards Make Decent Sleds

Finding a hill is more problematic for children in South Carolina.  

Snowball Fights Are Fun

And also hard to photograph.  But fun.  Until you get smacked in the face.  Or back of the head.  Maybe they are not fun.  

Snowmen Are Too Much Work (for a 44 year old out of shape woman who doesn't like to bend)

This could also be titled "8 Year Olds Don't Have the Attention Span to Make a Decent Smowman." Just give it up man.  Building snowmen stinks. 

Oh The Humanity Laundry!

You get cold outside so you come in and the snow melts and your clothes get wet and then you take it all off and leave it on the bathroom floor for your mother to pick up and throw in the dryer while you take a bath to warm up and then you use 3 towels to dry off so you can put back on your semi-dry clothes so you can go back out and get all snowy again.  It is a vicious cycle. And I am not sure if I like any of it.  

Snowflakes That Stay On Your Nose and Eyelashes Will Forever Be One of My Favorite Things 

Thank you Maria Von Trapp (or Rodgers and Hammerstein to be more exact) for putting this into words for me.  I don't know if I could have expressed it any better. 

So to recap... Snow is a very messy sibling bonding outside cold activity that I am very thankful for.  I am also very thankful that it doesn't happen very often.  

Saturday, October 21, 2017

XX Annos, Hace 20 Años, Vor 20 Jahren, 20年前, לפני 20 שנה

No matter what language you use it all says the same thing... (well at least according to Google Translate) 20 Years Ago. I can't quite believe it was 20 years ago since I feel like I am only 32 and if was 20 years ago I must have been like 12 when this all happened. But I wasn't 12, I was 23. And I have a 20 year son. (And if you are a math wiz like I am you know this means I am now 43.)

Most of you have heard these stories from 20 years ago. Probably even more times than you really wanted to, but alas I am Rachel. (You do remember my father and grandmother, right? They liked to spin a web every now and then too) In case you were wondering I am going to share them one more time. 20 years ago we experienced just about every emotion known to man. Almost. Every. One. I can still close my eyes and feel what I was feeling then. I can smell the smells and hear the sounds. I think maybe this always happens when your life changes in a heartbeat. Even in an out of synch, very sick heartbeat. Such emotions...

Pure Love

Man, there is nothing like holding your newborn baby. Looking into their amazing eyes takes you to a new place in your world. You have looked forward to this moment for 9 months.  The weight of a baby in your arms is something so satisfying that I find it hard to put into words. There are lots of other words that can describe this moment...wonder, awe, astonishment but when I think of it, it's love that bubbles up.


Oh, our best laid plans. They can change so quickly. Nurse Jenny didn't really go over what could go wrong during our childbirth class. Nurse Jenny didn't show us this room during our tour of the birthing center. Nurse Jenny didn't really explain that if you have an epidural (and something goes wrong) (and you have to go to this room) that you really won't be able to move or feel your legs much less walk to be with your baby. Nurse Jenny didn't tell us that (if something goes wrong) (and you have to go to this room) this hospital doesn't have a level 2 nursery, this hospital can't do an intubation on a baby, this hospital can't do much for a baby who isn't healthy  (if something goes wrong) (and you go to this room). Nurse Jenny didn't think she would have to be explaining this to a 12 23 year old first time mom (when something went wrong) (in this room) (where this hospital can't do an intubation).


This is what I felt the most during the next 3 weeks of this story. We couldn't help that it was storming and the helicopter couldn't fly. We couldn't help the ambulance get there faster. We couldn't help that our baby was under a plastic hood that looked like a cake plate. We couldn't help when the team from MUSC got there and very quickly shut the door and the blinds and stuck a tube into our itty bitty bitty baby, packed him up in an incubator, snapped a polaroid and whisked him out of our sight, into a waiting ambulance to drive through a storm. Charles couldn't help me when he had to leave with my dad to get up to the NICU to fill out paperwork and answer a million questions he didn't know the answers to. Amy couldn't help the tears that poured out of her eyes 36 hours later as she wheeled me out of the hospital with flowers and balloons but no baby in my arms. Helplessness is not a good feeling.

Trust (is that an emotion?)

Trust in God, trust in doctors and nurses, trust in technology, trust in machines. Because WE were helpless we had to trust. It's not always easy that trust thing. Trusting that God loved our baby more than we did was hard. Trusting doctors and nurses we didn't know was hard. Trusting technology that we didn't understand was hard.  Trusting machines that were actually keeping our baby alive was almost impossible.  

I probably don't need to say anything else (but alas, I am Rachel). Was this the last picture we were going to get to take with him? If we bump something will we mess up all the settings that are so hard to get just right? In the NICU everything is scary. The beeps and the flashing lights are scary. The hums of machines and the woosh of the ventilator is scary. The whispers of the attending physicians to the residents is scary (although the fussing and dressing downs were more scary). Let's just say the NICU is a scary place.


This wasn't how Halloween was supposed to be. We were supposed to be able to dress him up in the four different costumes we had picked out for him. This wasn't how being a grandmother for the first time was supposed to be. We were supposed to be able to snuggle him and kiss his sweet smelling head. We couldn't couldn't snuggle him or kiss him. Ha! We couldn't even touch him or talk to him. Our baby had a bad habit of having seizure-like brain activity and shutting down his heart pump when he had any stimulation. Imagine that....stubborn even then. 

Utter Joy

To see your baby off of life support is another one I have trouble putting into words. No more tube in his mouth, no more seeing his blood outside of his body and going through a machine, no more blue lights, no more cannulas sticking out of the veins in his neck, no more sticky things on his head measuring brain waves. (Ok so he has 2 iv's sticking out of the top of his head which in all honesty was kinda creepier than some of the other stuff but hey we were going to get to touch him) JOY!


Once again in our arms. And that was just enough for us.


Everything after this we can handle together. 

20 years ago Noah fought and won. 20 years ago our family stood by us. 20 years ago our friends prayed. 20 years ago the doctors knew what to do. 20 years ago they had the technology and machines to save his life. 20 years ago God loved my baby more than I did. 

Thank you for these 20 years. I love you Noah Squires. You changed my life and I will be forever grateful.  

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Light Summer Read (or not really light at all but Rachel feels the need to get real this summer)

I have some important news to share...

Life is not easy.

Now I know that it may come as shock to some of you that I do not have my life all together. What with my amazing laundry skills, my willingness to give up control and let things just happen naturally and my innate ability to always say just the right thing... I should be whistling Dixie on a yellow brick road somewhere. Ummmm, not so much.

There is a whole lotta good over here in boyland don't get me wrong.  It's summer.  I have air conditioning. There are chips ahoy cookies in my freezer as we speak.  I can take a hot bath and stalk people on facebook until my heart is content. I don't even think we need to discuss Candy Crush. (I really need some sort of candy support group) (or I could just delete the app)

However things in testosterone world are flying by. How did 12, 11, 10, 8 and 1 turn into 18, 17, 16, 14 and 7 so quickly?  In boy time that should seem like 252 years but was yesterday.  I know you guys have all read articles and books about the last time you will do something for your kids or when the little boy grows up and rocks his momma instead of the other way around.  Such good advice! Life happens fast. Cherish it!

What I never paid attention to is the lessons little boys need before it is too late.  I am sure the blogs are out there. I am sure there are many books on the subject. I might have been a little too sure of myself,  a little too controlling to pay much attention.  Or maybe you just never think the bad things will happen to your kids.  Or that your kids will be the bad things that happen.

Don't get me sister and I have never been ones to downplay our children's ability to be trouble.  Have you read this blog? But how do you forsee the how great the need is to teach them things like...

  • Make good friends early. Surround yourself with kids who have the same ambitions in life that you do because once you are 18, video games and you tube videos make for a very lonely existence if that's all you have. 
  • 17 comes quickly and it is a magic number. Magic is not always good.  17 is when the stupid, childish, impulsive choices you make at 16 become something totally different.  17. You can't smoke or drink or vote or live on your own but you can make a choice that others will hold you accountable for...not just your parents. 
  • School sometimes sucks. Sometimes you get teachers who aren't great.  Sometimes you get teachers who don't like you.  But guess what? Those teachers aren't the ones who will have to get up at 7:30 and do 7 hours of geometry for 18 days of their precious summer vacation. They are no longer 16. They put in their time. They are on a beach sipping mixed drinks not even thinking about the fact that you have to put on a collared shirt and khakis. They are not thinking about the fact that you didn't do the work in their class because of your indignant attitude that they should be doing more.  And guess what?  They are still getting a paycheck. Look out for yourself. Work hard for you. 
  • 14 seems young.  It seems so innocent.  BUT WHAT YOU DO NOW CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Please, please, please watch the mistakes others have made and choose differently. There is time. 

I walked into the living room today and saw this...

A game controller and a brown blanket. You may recognize the blanket.  It belongs to my last baby...

For 7 years it has been right here. He is growing. He falls asleep without it. He goes to school and doesn't think about it.

Oh, Gabe! Embrace the controller...grow's so fun. There is so much to learn and so many great things to do.  But sweet boy hold on to that blanket a little while longer.  There are hard, crappy lessons ahead too. 

Friends, life is not easy.  It is not what we pick and choose to share on social media to make others think we are perfect. 
It is messy.  
It is lonely and depressing and sad.
It has laws and locks.
It has people who don't always live up to your expectations of what a leader should be. 
It has people who let you down. 

But it also has seasons. 
It has family. 
It has people who love you no matter what you do. 
It has hope.
It has a God who has plans for your future. Plans of welfare not of evil.  
It has brown blankets.  

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Day My 6 Year Old Back-Talked Me With A Bible Verse (and how I had no response...oops)

I will not keep you in suspense. The day was today... and I am MIGHTY ashamed! Also, I am pretty sure my Training Union teachers are probably turning over in their graves...except they are not technically in their graves-more like they were sitting in the pew in front of me two Sundays ago. I guess we could say they are turning over in their pew. Anyway all of that is beside the point of this post. The point is my sweet Gabey Baby is no longer sweet Gabey Baby. He has become sassy, back talking, whiney behind, stinky six year old Gabe. Gabe, who at this very moment is watching Matty B Raps videos on Youtube in the living room refusing to allow his older brothers any access to the TV. We created a monster who thinks he rules the roost. He is still pretty stinking cute...

I did it to myself. He was my last baby. Let him have the paci longer...he's my last baby. Oh it's ok if he doesn't want to eat at the table...he's my last baby. Let him watch what he wants to...he's my last baby. Now I will say he has at least one saving grace. His school. He is going to a lovely Classical Christian School where the expectations are clear, the standards are high and sassy, back-talking, whiney-behind behavior is just not tolerated. (There is not much they can do about the stink...that is just part of being 6.) I couldn't be happier (at school at least).
Now, he is also learning the Bible. Not just memorizing verses, but really learning what it means. Hence that catchy title up there. As we were driving home today I was giving him his daily dose of mommy bossing (I know it shocks you that anyone finds me bossy) and let's just say he was pretty tired of hearing it. From the back seat comes this very sarcastic response..."no man can serve two masters mom". I could almost hear his little eyes rolling up in his head. I am be honest it doesn't even register. The rest of the conversation went like this...
Me: (not expecting an answer that makes any kind of sense) What does that even mean Gabe?
Gabe: (still in his whiney, sarcastic, last nerve inducing voice) It means that God is my master and how can I serve him if I am listening to you?
Me: (crickets chirping)
I mean, really. ABSOLUTELY NO REPSONSE. How did all those Bible Drills in elementary schools fail me? How could I not think of ONE intelligent response for my SIX YEAR OLD? Oh, I can think of them now...
Me: (now, in my imagination) "Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right." Ephesians 6:1
Me: (and this a good one) "Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord." Who is your master by the way...Colossians 3:20
Me: (throwing it back to the old testament) "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you." Exodus 20:12
I encourage you all to look into a Classical Christian education...I promise you it will pay off. BUT before you do you might want to brush up on your Bible Drill skills...just sayin. Here he is on the first and last day of Kindergarten...

For an update on Noah and Wil...
Noah is EIGHTEEN and has been enjoying his courses at the technical high school. He especially enjoyed his agriculture classes and he may just be the cutest deaf FFA member ever!
Love that boy!

Wil has decided that pictures are from the devil and may just absorb your soul (or maybe he is just related to his mother). He also has come to the conclusion that the longer his hair is and the more that it is in his face and the more it stresses me out... the more he enjoys it. He is still a joy. He plays the cello and the double bass. He is witty and quick and makes me smile. He also had kidney stones this summer so I was able to snap a picture since he was attached to an IV.

The top of his head his precious, is it not?
Anyway I hope you enjoyed this post. I hope it was worth the wait. I like to build the anticipation you know!
PS- I know its not worth the wait...also I know you probably weren't actually waiting but its not in my narcissistic nature to admit that to myself! 

Friday, June 29, 2012

I Am Pretty Sure You Had Eyebrows When I Went to Church This Morning...and other things

I really do not even know where to begin. I am not even sure I remember how to write much less anything that anyone would find interesting. I can't remember what happened yesterday so I went back and checked my Facebook to see if there was anything to write about. Problem is I have been on Facebook about as much as I have been blogging so yeah...not much help.

Here is what I know...
  1. VBS is going on this week so pretty much that tells it's own story.
  2. Yearly River Rat Party? Good Times!
  3. Started working part time and still don't have enough time to do all my laundry. I do however have enough time to watch many, many episodes of Ghost Whisper and Storage Wars. I do not think we even need to mention Duck Dynasty.
  4. Gabe has taken up fishing. Do you think I am a bad mother because I make him fish for leaves in my backyard with only a sinker? He thinks he is going to catch dinner. I am not telling him any different. 
  5. 3 of the 5 Squires' boys will be at Beaufort Middle next year. Which teachers would like to put in for a transfer now?
  6. God is punishing me for not making Noah go to church on Sunday mornings. I now come home to things like this...

He also is now into making predictions for the future. Just so you know when Amy turns 43 she will be teaching "Yogo" at the "house with the hot pool and the pool outside where Amy teach the yogo and maybe granmomma will go and bring us to the hot pool and where Heyward play the basketball and then we go to the hot pool and can swim". In other words according to Noah, Amy may be teaching Yoga at the Y in a few years.  

 Oh, I will try to do better in the coming weeks on updating every mundane detail of our lives. But for now- just remember if you don't take your children to church with you they may shave off their eyebrows.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Guilt...It Has Been Eating Away At Me!

I can't tell you how many times I have sat down in the past week month months to write a new post. Then I would think about how long it had been since I wrote a post that the pressure to come up with something good overwhelmed me. Then when it got to be such a ridiculously long time since I posted I couldn't even log on to blogger to read my favorite blogs. So to avoid any more pressure I am going to just post me favorite Mother's Day video and be done with it. Happy Mother's Day Ya'll!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Not Even An Airplane...

Has it really been almost a month since I posted? Just call me inconsistent. Sorry!

I have to be honest and tell you that I am a terrible speller and count on spell check quite often. I was really off on the word inconsistent and the word that popped up was incontinent. I am so glad I caught it or you would all been sending me some Tena pads.

There is going to be some real randomness in this post because I cannot seem to connect two thoughts in my head much less weave them altogether into some humorous story that has some point. I think I will use bullets just so we can all be sure that nothing in this post relates to anything else.

  • Update (because you are all on the edge of your seat waiting for updates)...Gabe has a new favorite song now and I am not sure if he got it from the M&M's commercial or Glee but he is constantly telling us "Girl, look at that body! Girl, look at that body....I work in". So obviously we do not use gym vocabulary very often around my house and work out has become work in. Please know that Gabe is sexy and he knows it.  
  • The official countdown to my big night with Margaret is on. 7 days 15 hours and 19 minutes to "The Hunger Games". (I am just a tad bit obsessive-can you tell?)  I have actually been counting down for a little more than 5 months but what can I say? It is almost here. May the odds be ever in your favor.
  • Went on a little field trip with Noah and the other deaf kids yesterday to the Audiologist. Now, Noah hears great with his cochlear implant (he cusses great with it to-just so you stay very aware of that fact). Once you put the implant in, the person loses any residual hearing in that ear. It is recommended that you keep the auditory nerve stimulated in the other ear by wearing a hearing aide. That way if you ever decided to implant bi-laterally the nerve is still stimulated. Ya'll know I am not very good at taking direction right? Now, Noah did not ever have much residual hearing. He could however hear low frequency sounds at very high decibels. Think lawn mowers and bass drums. We put him in the booth yesterday and did a quick check on his right ear. Nothing. Now, I know he is deaf. I have known for the last 13 and a half years. I was never mad about it. I never blamed God for giving me a child who was not perfect (what child is?) but somehow this is so final to me. Why am I sad now that he can't hear an airplane without his implant when he CAN hear a lizard moving through leaves with his implant? What is wrong with me? Pray for me people, I may be moving backwards. 

Now since it has been almost a month since I posted I need to go and think about somethings, like that bag full of stuff that needs to be returned from my last trip to Savannah. I only have 30 days to get a refund so I better plan a trip. Not sure if St. Patrick's weekend is the ideal time to head that way but what can I say? I am just no good at following through.