It has been a Weird Week, Part 3: Gideon has a knack for Weirdness

So I told you about the lampshade fire…

I told you about the “night fight”…

and although there were other weird portions of our week, that really only leaves one thing worth telling you about.

On Tuesday last, my Mom and the kids and I went on what was supposed to be a quick outing to the donut shop and to one little antique store. I had seen a vanity I thought I might want the week before and I wanted to look at it once more.

But it turned out to be one of those days that dragged on and on and on, like we were on a treadmill of sorts – lots of fun, but lots of work with three little ones alongside us. And it was hot.

We ate donuts – but it lasted forever and the kids had to go potty and we ended up weaving back to the underbelly of the donut shop to find the teensy tiny restroom in the back (but it was off-the-charts awesome to see the kitchen where the donuts are made!). We went to the antique store – but on my way in, I stopped in at another store where I found the vanity of my dreams, and we had to take turns looking at it and thinking about it and calling Mr. Gore about it and talking to the lady about it and…buying it. Took forever. (more on that later!). We went to the park, which was totally unscripted. And hot. We went to a hamburger joint for lunch, also unscripted, also hot (the hamburgers, not the joint). We went to Wal-Mart…

and that’s where it struck me that we were having a weirdly different kind of week.

You know what it’s like to take 3 people aged 5 and under to Wal-Mart at the end of a long day, don’t you? Even if they are well-behaved, there is lots of talking, lots of silly noises, lots of asking for stuff and lots of HANDS. Grabbing stuff off the shelves, grabbing stuff out of the cart and dropping it on the floor, grabbing goodies at the check-out line…

By the time we were through, I was exhausted and shocked that our short little morning jaunt had lasted until almost 4:00 p.m. We got all the groceries and children tucked safely back into the van when Gideon said it: “I need to go to the bathroom!” My heart groaned within me.

And then Rebekah said it: “Me too!!”

And my heart groaned a second time.

Leaving Mom and Betsie in our van at the curb, we unloaded once more and back into Wal-Mart we walked, this time to the ladies bathroom. My stress level was rising, trying to keep all those hands from touching germ-y bathroom surfaces, and by the time they had finished their business and washed their hands and dried them, I was in a great hurry to get out of that store!

“Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go!” I cheered, gesturing for them to march behind me in a single file line, “March, march, march!”

It didn’t work.

Gideon got out of line and was soon marching ahead of us, but my goal was being reached: we were hurrying.

But as usual, Gideon soon got a little too far ahead for my comfort, so I had to yell out for him to stop and slow down.

He did…

And then he turned to look around him. And then I noticed him talking to a Wal-Mart worker nearby. And then I noticed her turning around and picking something up. And then I noticed her handing it to him. And then I noticed the huge excited grin on his face. And then it registered what was happening…

Gideon had just received a GIANT stand-up Wal-Mart advertisement promoting “The Avengers”, Ironman on one side, The Hulk on the other.

“Uhhhhh…” I said, coming up beside them.

“He can have that!” she said with a smile. “We were about to throw them out.”

Gideon was jumping up and down.

And I was calculating how long this ginormous piece of paper would be in my house under the watchful and eccentric eye of Gid the Hoarder…

approximately 1, 437 years.

I will never forget my Mom’s face when she saw us walking out of Wal-Mart with our new treasure. It said exactly what I was thinking…

What in the world?!

This is hilarious.

How did this happen?!

Life with Gideon is the best.

Welcome to our home, Ironman.

Just to show you the scale of the advertisement, see Gideon’s fingers on the top.

Welcome to our home, The Hulk (that stares at me at night when I sneak upstairs to turn off night lights).

Welcome to our sweet farmhouse filled with nostalgia and antiques…I’m so happy you’re with us now…in the Peter Pan inspired nursery filled with wooden toys and everything I find beautiful and innocent…really, I’m so thrilled…how long do you get to stay?…oh, forever?…that’s so nice…I hope you’re happy here.

This in no way concludes our weird week, but it at least sums it up.

And I thank God for every weird bit of it.

It has been a Weird Week, Part Two: The Night Fight

So like I said yesterday, I’ve set my feet on a journey toward being more responsible, more hard-working, more glorifying to God in the seemingly mundane tasks of housewifery, and while I am enjoying this process immensely, I am going to sleep at night gallons more exhausted than usual.

Especially on Monday.

I woke up at 6:00, I showered, I dressed, I groomed, I coffee’d, I baked, I did laundry, I swept, I Bibled, I cleaned, I organized and I played with my kids. All before 10:00 a.m.

Then I fought that small house fire I told you about.

And then I baked cookies, I cleaned the house again, I made supper, I did the dishes again, I did laundry again, I sifted through junk again, I bathed the kids and I had Bible Study with a friend. All before 10:00 p.m.

Needless to say, when my head finally hit the pillow at 11:30, I was beat. Happy? Yes. Beat? Double-yes.

And now I have to interrupt this story to give you some context:

1. My favorite thing about my husband is that he always encourages me to do difficult things, to pursue sanctification, to meet trials head-on. He never coddles me and indulges my emotional rants or hurt feelings; rather, he prays for me, he points me to Biblical truth, he calls my bluff, he lets me know when I’m wrong or misguided, he keeps me accountable. And when I say I want to do better at something, he holds me to it and does his best to help me in it. I truly cherish this about him. Most of the time…

2. I am almost literally a rock when I am sleeping. For instance, Gideon has reportedly suffered from 2 bloody noses this week, squawling like a banshee until the blood stopped, and I never heard a thing, only noticing that he was in our bed when I woke up the next morning. Mr. Gore graciously handles all emergencies and feedings that take place from 12:30 to 7:00, and you’ll soon see why.

3. When I am awakened from sleep, I am the world’s biggest brat and nincompoop. I whine, I cry, I make accusations, I shuffle around like a maniac. It is perhaps the ugliest display of humanity that has ever set foot on the face of the earth. Thank God, only my Mother and my husband have had to witness the atrocity, and they often commiserate together about their plight, she dealing with me for 25 years, he for 7. They are their own support group and I don’t blame them a bit. I am 100% unreasonable and unreal in the middle of the night.

4. When awakened at night, Mr. Gore can usually lay right back down, close his eyes, and be snoozing in seconds. On the contrary, if I put my glasses on or if light hits my eyes, it’s all over for me, and once fully awake, I toss and turn for at least an hour until sleep returns to me. On my list of least favorite things in the world, this one falls right behind the devil and his minions. And this is why we’ve come to the agreement of Mr. Gore handling the children at nighttime.

5. Mr. Gore and I simply don’t fight. We communicate quite well and even in our disagreements, have rarely lost our tempers or our patience.

Did you get all that? Good. Keep it in mind, especially #2 and #3.

SO. Like I said, I was absolutely beat Monday night. But I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and I had trouble going to sleep. Don’t you hate it when your body is dead tired but your mind is in post-coffee morning mode? Yeah, me too. But finally, I went under, and I was sleeping so hard. I just know it felt wonderful, even though I was unconscious.

The next thing I knew, though, Mr. Gore was shaking my shoulder and saying my name, Betsie’s wails echoing through our bedroom. “Hey,” he whispered, nudging me. “Hey, do you want to fix Betsie a bottle?”

Confusion filled my mind and a flash of anger burst from my sinful soul. Why, in heaven’s name, was he waking me up?

I made a whiny huff of a noise and cuddled back down into my pillow.

“Sweetie,” he continued. “What do you want to do? Do you want to fix Betsie a bottle?”

I hopped up with my eyes closed (can’t let the light in!) and clumsily handed her the last few ounces of her bedtime bottle, but she turned away from it and continued to cry. Nonplussed, I collapsed back into bed, my anger and confusion at Mr. Gore’s persistence growing. Why, of all days, was he waking me up on this day? The one where I had been on my feet for 17 hours?…

“What are you doing?” he asked. “Are you going to fix her a bottle?”

“She doesn’t want one!” I slurred/hissed, never explaining the part about her turning away from her unfinished bottle. I was too sleepy to talk. I burrowed back down to fall back asleep, willing my mind not to kick in and wake me up all the way. I was desperate to return to sleep.

And then he did it.

“BOOOP!” Mr. Gore’s voice sliced loudly through the room, mimicking a fire alarm that is losing its battery.

My eyes snapped open and so did I. I snapped.

Sitting up, I began to cry – nay, sob – my words slurring together like a saloon-frequenter: “Why’dyoudothat?”

“I’m trying to wake you up!” he explained.

“But whyyyyy?!” I mournfully moaned.

“Betsie is crying!” he said.

“But you always take care of her at night!” I cried, still slurring my sentence into one long and whiny word.

“But you said you wanted to start taking care of this stuff….” he defended.

“Whatareyoutalkingabout?” I sobbed.

I shoved on my glasses, grabbed my pillow and shuffled out of the room like a lunatic, wailing at the top of my lungs, Betsie’s impressively loud cries paling in comparison to her Mother’s.

Before leaving the room I wailed out one last incoherent zinger: “Why are you so mean?!” (Mr. Gore is the nicest man on the planet).

But once in the kitchen, even my comatose sleepy mind could recognize that I had nowhere to go and that my baby was crying. And that Mr. Gore had apparently lost his mind and expected me to take care of her.

I shuffled back into our room, my favorite pillow still in my right arm, my brow furrowed in frustration and stupification.

“I don’t understand what you’re doing!” I dramatically sobbed at my husband, who was still lying in bed looking confused. “I never said I wanted to wake up and feed the baby!”

“I thought you did…’ he responded.

“I didn’t!” I slurred through my tears and sleep-haze. “Why would you think that??”

“I thought you said you wanted to start handling this stuff, waking up and stuff and taking care of the kids during the night…I was trying to help you…”

“I never said that! I said I wanted to wake up. In the morning!” I exclaimed, before bringing forth a fresh crop of tears.

Walking over to Betsie’s bed, I scooped her up and plopped down onto my side of the bed with her in my lap, both of us wailing.

“What are you doing?!” he hissed. “You’re going to wake her up all the way. Just. give. her. a. bottle!

“Can’t you see you’re hurting my feelings?!” I rattled off as he looked at me aghast.

“Sweetie, you’re not making sense. We will talk about this in the morning. You’re not in your right mind. You’ve only been asleep for 20 minutes!” he explained calmly, obviously forgetting #3 of my list, that I cannot be reasoned with in the night.

You’re not making sense!” I wailed, still out of my mind. “I never said I wanted to feed the baby. I woke up at 6:00 this morning and I worked ALL. DAY. LONG…”

And this is where Mr. Gore snapped. He had heard his fill. He had had all he could stand and he couldn’t stand no more. With gusto, he threw back the covers and the sheets and quickly sat up…

and I, completely acting on my reflexes, launched Betsie’s bottle straight at his face where it hit him right square on his finely-chiseled cheekbone.

Did you hear what I said?

I hit my husband in the face with a half-full bottle of formula.

The room erupted and shrank at the same time as disbelief washed over his countenance and regret over mine.

What was that?!” he exclaimed, throwing his hands up in frustration. “Did you just hit me in the face?!”

“Idon’tknow!!!!!” I cried, shocked and sad and sorry, but mostly…really, really sleepy and addlebrained. I sat there and sobbed while he took a little walk to the kitchen to cool down (literally – he had to switch out his ice pack).

Oh my…it was a 3-ring circus if I’ve ever seen one. Which I don’t think I have…

Anyhow, the worst part, aside from abusing my beloved husband, is that I finally woke up and then could not return to sleep and, after finally fixing Betsie that bottle and getting her back to bed, I spent the next hour shuffling around the house or tossing and turning in my bed.

Mr. Gore, of course, was lightly snoring in minutes, infuriating me even more.

But even in the drama of it all, and even though my heart was so sad that we had had a kind-of (but not really) real fight and had even gone to bed a teensy bit mad, everytime I pictured that bottle hitting him in the face, I was overcome with horror…and giggles. Terrified to further offend my husband, I held them in, my body shaking the bed, my conscience berating my sense of humor for being such a terrible wife.

But I can’t help it. Even in my sleepy stupors, I can recognize a funny story.

And I suppose if you’re going to have a fight…it might as well be a good one, right?

I assure you, we made up and were laughing about it the next morning. And Mr. Gore has had a grand time recounting the story to all of our friends and to my parents (although my Daddy gave me a good and deserved scolding)…

Told you, though. This has been an exceptionally weird week.

It has been a Weird Week, Part One: Gideon becomes a Hero

It has been a very strange week, ups and downs, highs and lows, and absolutely chock full of batty randomness, most of which I will be sharing with you, my beloved audience.

Starting with an afternoon scare that I’ll never forget…

I woke up super early on Monday.

On purpose, too.

I am embarking on a new project (and perhaps a real book, y’all! No deals or anything…just wishful thinking and lots of note-taking) wherein I become a REAL person, like one who gets up at the same time every morning and has, at least in theory, total control of her household.

So my first day was going quite perfectly. I woke up a 6:00, showered, dressed, groomed, coffee’d, baked, swept, Bibled, the works. I was on top of the world all morning – super duper productive – and by the time the kids were down for their afternoon nap, I felt absolutely free to sit down at the computer for a bit and do a little perusing there, a little “working” here…

Only problem was, I kept hearing footsteps upstairs. Darn kids.

We went back and forth a lot, them coming down to ask silly questions, me going up to threaten them. You know…typical stuff.

But when it was nearing 2:00 and they still weren’t asleep, I started wondering what to do. Discipline them? Declare another “happy no nap day”?

Because if they waited much longer to fall asleep, their naps would run late and then bedtime would run late, a very unhappy cycle for the entire family, especially this girl right here…

And then I heard Gideon call for me once more.

“That’s it!” I thought, as I prepared to storm upstairs and really give it to them.

But as he called my name again and I could hear his little feet flying down the stairs to retrieve me, I noticed a frantic tone in his voice.

“What is it, Gid?” I asked, standing up.

“Mama! Mama!” he yelled in the same tone, landing on the first floor and facing me with alarm in his eyes. “Hurry! You have to hurry!”

I hurried.

In the background, I could hear him saying lots of things excitedly, but my mind was in overdrive, imagining the worst; I kept picturing Rebekah on the rooftop, a frequent fear of mine since we built this house…

But as we made it to the landing, the unmistakable smell of smoke hit my senses. And then a few of Gideon’s words broke through: lampshade. fire. burning.

I ran into their room, the acrid smell growing stronger with every step I took. Rebekah, standing in her crib, joined Gideon in pointing out the source of the smell – a lamp, knocked over on the windowsill that runs behind Gid’s bed. There, right where they sleep and horrifying close to the curtains was a teeny tiny fire burning a very quick hole through our super-cute and magical Anthropologie lampshade. The shade, that usually clamps onto the lightbulb, had been knocked askew and the lightbulb was sitting directly on the shade, burning a hole right through it.

A hole that was getting bigger by the second.

I ran to the lamp, plucked the lampshade off and, with Gideon right on my heels, ran into the bathroom where I doused it with water under the sink faucet.

With a sizzle, the fire was gone.

I turned to look at Gideon, both of our eyes wide with disbelief.

And then the nervous chatter began…

We walked back to their room, where Rebekah had since crawled over her crib rail, and the three of us congregated in my Granny’s old pink upholstered rocking chair, each one of us talking up a storm. Scary as it was, and as fast as my heart was beating, I was so amused by the children’s retelling of what happened.

And even more amused to hear them recount the story on the phone with their Papa and then Grandmother and then Granddaddy, Gideon first, always followed by Rebekah who had to throw in her two cents. Especially humorous was hearing my Mom on speaker-phone, obviously playing along with Gideon’s seemingly fabricated tale as he tried to convince her that he was telling the truth. Her tone went from patronizing and playful to confused to unsure to “Gid? Let me talk to your Mom…”

Papa came directly home, and while he was inspecting the burned shade with Gideon, I held Rebekah on my lap and asked her about the fire, eager to continue listening to her thoughts on the matter.

“What happened?” I asked her.

“The wampbulb made a FIRE in the wampthing” she said somberly.

“Who saw the fire first?” I asked.

She thought for  a moment and then pointed at herself.

“You did?!” I exclaimed, thinking she was telling a windy and hoping to hear more.

“Yep,” she responded, “and I said ‘Gid! Gid! Look at the wamp!’ and he came to get Mama.”

Well she had really piqued my curiosity, so later, when alone with Gideon, I asked him the same question: “Hey, Gid…who was the first one to see the fire?”

“I did.” he said matter-of-factly.

He continued to eat his snack at the kitchen island as I tidied up the countertop, speculating over who was telling the truth. A couple of minutes later, he piped up again:

“Well…actually…Rebekah saw the fire first and told me.” he confessed.


So I had two heroes on my hands.

But we all knew who to really give the praise to…

Our heavenly Father, who knows just when children need to take their naps and just when they don’t. With that lampshade in my hand, in the stinky smokey bedroom, we bowed our heads together and thanked God for keeping us – and our house – safe for another day.

But Gideon still got a “hero” medal that my Mom had laid aside for a special day…

 I got my two oldest chicks, safe and healthy and whole…

Our family got a new story to tell and a memory to share…

Rebekah got a stick of gum…

and God most certainly got the glory.

But, seriously, what a weird week (part one).

Weeklies: February 5 – 11

*After a particularly long night during our bout with strep throat these last 2 weeks, Rebekah looked at my eyes and must have noticed they were a bit bloodshot. “Mama!” she gasped. “Your eyes are about to cwack!” And then she gasped once more. “Mama! Your eyes are cwacking!”

*When a kid starts rambling, I rarely butt in, as I find their stories so interesting and their thoughts so random. But sometimes, I find out things I wish I hadn’t…
“Mom, I had a lot of boogers last morning when I was in your bed and I was playing with them and when I digged out the last one it was so big.” I listened quietly to see if it was the end of Gideon’s story. It wasn’t. “…But then I lost it.”

*”Mom, do you know what I’m saying in my head?” Gideon asked.
“What?”‘ I replied.
“I love God.”
“Wow, Gid…”
“And the 3 kings.” he finished.
“And I love the Holy Spirit because he fixes my heart and I love God and Jesus because they fix my heart, too. That’s why I love them. What are you telling God in your head?”
“That I am thankful that He made Gideon.” I answered.
“Oh.” he replied, unimpressed. “Mine was even nicer, right?”

*During the height of Gideon’s sickness, stuffiness and an ear infection clogged up his ears so much he couldn’t hear me very well. But then, knowing Gideon, I wasn’t sure if he was perhaps…exaggerating.  When he arrived at my bedside asking quite loudly to watch a movie one morning, I whispered for him to get in bed with me lest he wake up Baby Betsie. “What?!” he asked in a non-whisper. “Get in bed with me!” I whispered. “I can’t hear you!” he yelled, indulgently. So I used made-up sign language for him to join me in bed, and of course, he understood perfectly. Later that day, suspicious that he was putting on a little about the state of his poor hearing, I began whispering words to judge his sincerity as he colored at the table. “Kung Fu Panda” I whispered out of the corner of my mouth. He didn’t budge. “Captain America!” I whispered. “Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda, Kung Fu Panda.” Nothing. “Hmmm…” I murmured, thinking maybe he couldn’t hear, after all, when he dryly piped up “I can hear you saying ‘Kung Fu Panda.'” Life with Gideon Gore truly is one giant mindgame.

*One afternoon while Gid the Kid ranted and raved about life in general and his sickness in particular, Rebekah looked at me and confided “Gideon is making our family sad, Mama.” For some reason, this gave me a fit of giggles. I think I was delirious.

* Rebekah just caught me eating Betsie’s peach puffs…the ones I never let her eat because they’re “for babies”. Busted.

What a week!

Weeklies: January 15 – 21

*This week is my 1-year blogiversary. Can’t BELIEVE how many of you have allowed me to go on and on and on and on and on and on and on with all the blither blather. Thanks, though, from the bottom of my heart!

*Someone got to my blog today by typing “mrs. gore’s diary fart eater” in a search engine…Methinks this was not random. Mr. Gore?Have you anything to say to this?

*There is a chubby little pig-tailed darling sitting next to me watching “Cinderella” with stars in her eyes…I feel like I’m looking at myself 27 years ago.

*Gideon is telling a windy as I type. It is getting bigger and bigger. According to him…he “spent” all of his money in his piggy bank. Actually, he gave it to some people. People who didn’t have any money. At the basketball game. The money was in his car and he went and got it and said “Here…here’s some money for you.” I’m just typing away as his tall tale grows and grows, none of which is even the slightest bit true. Should I be disciplining him for this? Cause I don’t wanna. As far as lies go, this one is pretty cute.

*Rebekah employed a new word this week: emergency. As in, “Mama its an emergency! Betsie is trying to play with my puzzle.” OR “Mama its an emergency! Betsie is eating my puzzle.” OR “Mama its an emergency! I can’t find my puzzle.” Lots of emergencies around here, which means I am doing lots of unnecessary running to and fro to make sure its not REALLY an emergency, like “Mama, its an emergency! Betsie SWALLOWED my puzzle.”

*”Mama,” Gideon laughed as he walked into the kitchen. “I was sitting on Baby Betsie. But not on her head.” (Another example of a semi-emergency that could have quickly turned into an emergency).

*Oh dear. Betsie has discovered that her body can take her across the room is she wants it to. Let the baby-proofing (and the mopping!) begin…

*So I’m trying to write, but Gid the Kid keeps asking me how to spell words.  The only problem is that the words aren’t real. “How do you spell ‘kookawheel”? he asked, candy cane pen poised above his Christmas tree notepad. “Gid, I’m trying to work.” I said. “Well…just tell me how to spell ‘Mrs. Cog” he pleaded. That’s when I remembered that sometimes its better not to ask questions or make comments and just start spelling: “M-R-S -…”

*If Mr. Gore had deceived himself into thinking that I am even halfway capable of doing life on my own, I showed him otherwise today. I had to follow him and the kids to OKC to return our friends’ car to them. (sidenote: the only thing more terrifying than driving someone else’s car is driving someone else’s car behind your minivan full of beloved family members. Separation anxiety to the max). I failed at filling up the car with gas, choosing a ridiculously low amount to pre-pay. I accidentally bought two carwashes and Chris had to go inside and get a refund. (Important to the plot of this story: at this point, I decided I’d rather be in charge of the minivan than our friends car, so we switched places). I followed the wrong car down the highway and realized Mr. Gore had exited well after I passed the exit. We only have one cell phone so I couldn’t call him to find out where to meet him. I took the next exit and pulled over on the side of the road, praying he would find me. I let Gideon go “peep” and discovered that little boys need more space than the front passenger door allows; when Mr. Gore found us and pulled over in front of us, Gideon was peeing all over the door. I put my head in my hands and laughed until I cried. (Then we went the wrong way, turned around at a dead end, drove for 20 minutes trying to find the right road, pulled over so Mr. Gore could fetch the cell phone to call our friends for directions and got locked out of the car that was still running. Our 1 hour and 10 minute drive turned into a 3 hour ordeal, and most of it was my fault, but we got lots of laughs. Which is always worth it).

*I really wish facebook would add a “like” option for when people “like” your status. Because I really want people to know that I like it that they like my status. And then if they liked that I liked that they liked my status, I would also like that, too, as well also.

*Sometimes Rebekah licks her index finger and wipes it off on my forehead.

*Speaking of licking, I’ve decided one of my least favorite things about mothering small children is when I realize that my finger is sticky and I lick it and immediately recognize (with a sinking stomach) the flavor of the Baby Orajel that I just put on the baby’s gums…right before my tongue goes numb. Yes this has happened more than 5 times.

*Speaking of gums and teething, Betsie’s top toofers are finally popping out. Just thought I’d share.

*And speaking of Betsie, she is the sweetest baby I have ever had the pleasure of meeting/holding/nursing/cuddling/looking at, but she kicks like a mule. We always know she is awake or about to cry when he wear that telltale thumping of her feet on the mattress or on the hard floor. Whap, whap, whap! Thump, thump, thump!

*I haven’t even started Betsie on fruits yet because she is so ducky over vegetables. When she eats her green beans or sweet potatoes, she just moans over each bite…think me, with a donut.

*Gid the Kid likes to float in the bath with just his little face peeking out of the water. Tonight he thought it would be funny to scream at the top of his lungs while floating. Like, pierce your ears, little girl, bloody murder scream. Then he would say, quite loudly “WAS THAT SUPER LOUD??” The only problem was, with his ears below water, he couldn’t hear me saying “Gideon! Gideon. Gideon!! Gideon, stop screaming. Stop it!” He just laid there grinning like a possum before the next ear-splitting scream.

*I think Betsie’s new teeth are giving her the willies. Everytime she runs her tongue over them, she shivers from head to toe.

*We met our friends, Zac and Chrissy, for lunch this weekend and every last one of us was wearing a green shirt – and not just plain ol’ green, but spring green. “Wow!” our waitress exclaimed. “You guys are all wearing my favorite color!” Yeah…we didn’t plan that.

*Gideon accompanied his Papa to the local elementary school this week to have lunch with some of our church kids. He was wearing regular sweatpants and a long-sleeved tee, but on his head was a Spiderman-blanket-turned-pirate-turban, gathered tightly at the nape of his neck and flowing past his knees behind him, an eyepatch, a hook, a ginormous spy watch on his wrist, cowboy boots on his feet, a Colonial spotting scope in one hand and a vintage lunchpail dangling from his hook on the other hand. He might as well have had a nametag on that said “Hi. I’m homeschooled.”

*I had to scold Betsie for the first time this week, after she sprayed me for the third time with green beans. I said “No, Betsie” one time. She cried. Disciplining this girl is going to be a breeeeeze.

*You just haven’t lived until you’ve heard Gideon belt out in song from the backseat with The Beatles: “All my wovin’ I will send to you…all my wovin’, darlin’ I’ll be true”…I die a little every time. Especially because I know he is not singing to some floozy girl, but to his dear old Mother. Sigghhhhhh.

*Gid used our theology against us this week when I was demanding that he stop being mean to Rebekah: “Well sin is making me do and I just can’t stop.” He’s right, you know…but oh so wrong!

*And then there was the question my son asked me as I was wrapping up this week’s Weeklies: “Who will I live with when you and Papa get old and dying?” Those are the types of questions that I don’t even begin to know how to answer. I just say “Uhhhhhh…” while me and Gid stare at each other.

What a week!

Weeklies: January 8 -14

*We always let Gideon play a bit when he gets in bed. Sunday night he was playing with 3 action figures, two “good guys who love Jesus” and one “bad guy who doesn’t love Jesus”. When I left, one of the good guys was singing “Good Christian Men Rejoice” and the bad guy was pummeling him. Lets just take a moment to remember the persecuted toys who suffer in silence…

*I gave birth to my fourth child this week, a gigantic zit on my chin. I named it I-hate-you. Adult acne is awesome.

*Me: “You’re the best, Gid.” Gid: “You’re the best more than me. I think you’re beautiful.” When he’s not being a psychopath, Gid the Kid can be quite the charmer.

*Looong story, but Rebekah’s 2-3 week broken finger recovery did not turn out to be in the cards for us; thus we’ve been making lots of trip to the doctor. And Rebekah never disappoints us in the waiting room. On Tuesday, we were waiting to be called back when she noticed a grumpy-faced elderly women sitting next to her middle-aged daughter. “Why is that girl sad?” she kept asking me. “She’s fine.” I would whisper, hoping that the lady either had poor hearing or wouldn’t think of herself as “a girl” and thus assume Miss Sunday was talking about someone else. I was digging in my purse for some gum and when I looked up I saw that both women were beaming and chuckling in our direction. That’s when I noticed that Rebekah was very solemnly giving them a thumbs up. They gave her a thumbs up back. “That girl” was no longer sad, which made Rebekah very, very happy.

*Looong story, but the 4-6 week splint that was on my daughter’s finger apparently was too big and wasn’t working. When they removed it in the examination room, her finger was like…a horror movie. Her entire index finger was twisted and her fingertip was pointing to the right when all of her other fingers were lying flat. The entire room gasped, including me and Mr. Gore. When the staff emptied the room to figure out what should be done, Rebekah kept putting her Quasimodo finger in our faces and growling. It was so nauseatingly hilarious, the most macabre levity I’ve ever witnessed in person…we couldn’t not look at it. We couldn’t not laugh. We couldn’t not shudder with disgust at the same time.

*Looong story, but after Rebekah had to have her finger manually “reset” (without being numbed first) and cried for one hour straight, we decided that her usual brave patient reward of “pink ice cream” wasn’t enough. Instead we took her to Pottery Barn Kids and said “What do you want?  Pick anything.” After perusing the entire store of toys and books and lovely fripperies she said, most decisively, “I want that.” “This Valentine plate?” her Papa asked. “No…that.” she said, pointing to a humongous glass canister with a bright red lid. She is my daughter after all. (p.s. The canister wasn’t for sale, so we went home with an “Olivia” book instead. Shucks).

*Looong story, but I finally allowed myself to bawl about Rebekah’s traumatic doctor visit a day later, when she and I were home alone during church. She was crying in pain, seemingly tired of her plight, and it just finally set me off. But I think my tears annoyed her: “Mommys aren’t supposed to cwy!” she cried. “Only babies and little gels (girls) are supposed to cwy!!!” I convinced her that that just wasn’t true, and we both cried on the couch until we both felt better.

*I kissed Gideon today and he responded by scrubbing at his face. “I wiped all your kisses off” he challenged me. “No you didn’t” I said. “I kiss you when you’re asleep and you’ll never be able to wipe them all off.” He began to scrub all over his face and hair. “Nope, not there. You’ll never find them.” I taunted him. He wiped off his shoulders and arms.”You can’t even reach it” I said. “You should just stop trying.” So he started scraping his back on a chair. Hard as he tried, he still didn’t get them all. Impossible.

*What I meant to say: “Chris I need to cut your hair soon.” What I said: “Chris I need to change your diaper soon.” Momnesia.

*Rebekah was playing “doctor” with Baby Betsie and it made me wonder what kind of gender views we are passing on to our children. When Rebekah is a “nurse” she speaks in her normal high-pitched voice, but when she is the “doctor” she speaks in a very deep voice, like Rebekah-on-steroids. Its too funny to correct right now, but I promise, one day I’ll teach her that even women can be doctors.

*When Betsie was a good girl at the “doctor”, Rebekah tried to reward her with a “pretend sucker” that she found in the candy bowl, an orange M&M. She was just about to shove it in Betsie’s mouth when I stopped her: “Rebekah she can’t have that! It will choke her!” “But its a pretend sucker.” she defended. “Yes, but its a REAL M&M”. I told her. This is what I do all day. Not much…just saving the world, one child at a time.

*Overheard from Gideon to Betsie, as he hugged her tight: “You’re so pretty, Betsie. I love you so much I just want to hit myself.”

*Rebekah has been clicking her tongue a lot, like an all-out busybody. “I’m going to go find the doctor kit (click, click, click).” “You keep an eye on Baby Betsie and my horsie for me, Mama (click, click, click).” “I’ll be right back (click, click, click).” It is just so…Rebekah.

*Gid the Kid and I were playing a rhyming game. “Cat.” I said. “Hat!” he exclaimed. “Fat.” I replied. “…shooda!” he exclaimed. When I looked at him inquisitively, he shrugged and said “Sorry. Sometimes I speak Spanish.”

*I do wish you all could see Betsie’s face when I take her upstairs with me. She smiles differently, eye alight, like she knows we are entering the realm where the children live…

*It is 3:30 and all 3 children have been in bed since 12:30. Love my kids. LOVE naptime.

*Looong story, but Friday night the crushing weight of being a stay-at-home-Mom/blogger/chef/nurse/homeschoolteacher/pastor’s-wife/grocery-buyer/pilgrim/fashionista just bowled me over and I retreated to my bed to cry like a dorkus loser. Soon my entire family had followed me and was staring at me like a zoo exhibit, none more concerned than Gid the Kid. Mr. Gore said that he kept looking up at him knowingly while he moved in closer and closer to tentatively offer comfort to the sobbing creature on the bed (I wouldn’t know because I had shoved my face into a large feather pillow to hide from their view). “What’s wrong with her?” he asked Chris. “She’s sad because she doesn’t have any food to cook for supper.” Chris replied. Which was true, but when he said it out loud like that, the ridiculousness of my plight popped a chuckle out of my mouth. “Oh…” Gideon said consolingly as he patted me. “You don’t have anything to cook?” he asked sympathetically. I shook my head in the pillow, took a deep breath and raised my eyes to meet his, embarrassed for him to see me that way. “I have food.” I said, “but I just don’t know what to make.” Gideon put his hands on my arms and said, in the sweetest voice “Well maybe you could just make something else. Sometimes, when I don’t have the toy I want, I just play with another one.” Sometimes all it takes is a little 4-year old wisdom to turn your frown upside-down.

*I gave Mr. Gore (the birthday boy) leave to do whatever he wanted Saturday morning…he chose to sit upstairs on the floor with me and watch our kids play. Love that guy.

*I surprised Mr. Gore with an outing to The Melting Pot for his 31st birthday, and I have to agree with our friend Louie…a 3-hour eating “experience” is for a couple in the courtin’ stage. We ran out of stuff to talk about after the salad. But man it was good.

*And one more thing about The Melting Pot…when the waiter set a plate of raw meat in front of me and the sight and smell of it sunk in to my senses, our cozy booth became a prison, resulting in about a 20-second anxiety attack – apparently, Mr. Gore and our waiter did not notice my fidgety discomfort, but I almost busted out of there once I had overcome the urge to throw up on the table. Sensory overload + claustrophobia, I guess. But my country girl raisin’ prevailed; once my heart stopped pounding in my ears, I stabbed a raw piece of chicken and started cookin’.

*Chris was going over his sermon Saturday night when Gideon called his name from upstairs…”Papa?!” Chris’s absentminded reply made me laugh: “Yes, God?…I mean, yes Gid?” That one letter in the middle there makes a big difference.

What a week!

Weeklies: January 1 – 7

Aside from Mrs. Gore’s Bookclub, I have another feature I’ll be adding to my blog called “Weeklies”. At the end of each week, I’ll do my best to publish a list of funny (or noteworthy) snippets from our days here at home and in my head…if this works, it will benefit both of us ~ I’ll have a record of the crazy stuff my kids say and you’ll get a little chuckle. If it doesn’t work, well…don’t tell me. Just pretend you like it. If you’ve already heard any of these on facebook, DO forgive me.

* My 7-year old niece Abigail is at the age where she likes to hear stories about when we (including her) were all “little”. When she came over last week, she said “My Daddy told me what you were like when you were little.” “Oh?” I said, knowing this would be interesting. “Yep. He said that you were really bossy and you liked to lay on the couch and read and you ate so many grapes one day that you threw up.” That’s funny…when my brother Jerry was little he was an annoying pest. Glad some of us have grown up…

*Its weird how you don’t have to teach your kids everything – each one seems to come out equipped with certain characteristics and strong suits. Somewhere, Rebekah has picked up the proper way to make introductions. When our friends, Val and Katie, came for supper, she said to Katie: “Hello, what is your name?” Katie answered her, and then Rebekah said “My name is Rebekah Sunday. Would you like to meet my new friend, Baby Betsie?” as she gestured to the silent infant sitting up in the living room floor. “And that’s my big brother, Gideon.” I just watched in utter fascination with this huge, goofy grin on my face. Kind of like I’m doing now.

* Gid came into my room this morning and said “Did you know that when I got in your bed last night I had a booger on my finger and it had blood on it and do you know where I put it?” “Uhhhhh…” I replied with no small amount of horror. He lifted up a pillow and yep, there it was on the sheets. Honestly, I was SO relieved. I just knew he was going to point to my hair…

*I’ve got to hand it to all of you who are bringing up children alone or even shouldering the responsibilities of adulthood without a mate…that’s some hard stuff. With Mr. Gore away for three nights and four days this week, I found myself asking many uncommon questions: “What will I do if I get a flat?” “How am I going to get Gideon to take his nap?…I’ve tried everything.” “Who’s going to edit my blog posts for errors and/or inappropriateness?” In all seriousness, I got a taste of how difficult it is to be a single parent this week – double the work, double the responsibility. My admiration for you has doubled (at least).

*We bought Gid the Kid an awesome – that’s right, awesome – Lionel G-gauge train for Christmas (I got a good deal on it in the summer). If that’s not cool enough, get this: its the Hogwarts Express. He’s never even heard of Harry Potter, but I’m sure at least one year of his homeschool curriculum will be based on the series (we’ll drink Butterbeer and eat Chocolate Frogs and I’ll dress as Bellatrix Lestrange by letting my hair stay in its natural, frizzy state…I can’t wait). And then he’ll realize that at the tender age of 4, he received THE coolest train ever made. And guess what he spent nearly two hours playing with this morning (our first free morning home since Christmas)? A styrofoam bowl and 20 toothpicks. Ouch. Point taken.

*Sometimes spelling errors are quite funny. Like when you spell “tootpicks” instead of “toothpicks”. If you weren’t such a professional blogger you might leave it spelled the wrong way…

*Rebekah’s pretend phone conversations kinda crack me up. She sounds very professional and very clippy as she quickly repeats the same dialogue over and over again: “Hello? Oh, hi Mommy. How are you? Oh are you playing with Abigail and Anna? Oh, okay. Bye! Muah (kissy noise)!” Then she snaps the phone shut with aplomb. I particularly liked it this week when she was talking on her “Belle” Disney Princess cell phone: “Bonjour! Hi, Belle. How are you? Oh are you playing with the Beast? Oh, okay. Bye! Muah!”

*Having 3 poopers in the house that are under the age of 5 means that I am washing my hands about 120 times a day. I applaud their regularity, but sheesh...

*My brother, Jerry, accompanied Mr. Gore to Kentucky this week for an alumni class at Southern Seminary. That left lots of women and children alone in our family, so my sister-in-law and I loaded up our lives and retreated to the country to have a weeklong pajama party at my Mom and Dad’s house. It was loud. It was hectic. It was crowded. It was messy. It was 60-ish degrees all week. It was wonderful.

*Gideon is the KING of mindgames. Just one example as we were in a house with people sleeping in almost every room, meaning I could not discipline him like he needed to be disciplined (Gideon’s parts are italicized): I can’t go to bed! I’m hungry and thirsty. Well, get a drink of water. But no more food. But I’m hungry more than I’m thirsty. You can have a drink of water – then But I’m not even thirsty. I’m so hungry. (I get up, fix him a glass of water). Take a drink, Gid, then go to bed. I don’t want it. I’m not drinking it. (I set it down and leave it in the hallway). I don’t want that water – I’m not going to drink it. Don’t drink it then. Just leave it there. I’m not going to drink it. That’s fine – I don’t care if you drink it. Go to bed. But someone might step on it or walk into it and spill it. No they won’t. But what if it falls over and spills?! (I finally move it up on the dryer, knowing what’s next). I changed my mind. Can I have that cup of water? (p.s. I don’t think this is funny. The lady who just wanted to eat her bedtime snack and watch “Downton Abbey” just wants your sympathy).

But when he poked his eye with a stick later that week and held onto me tight with his muddy boots all over my clothes, I remembered again how little he is and how much he needs me. I love you, Gideon, even if your mindgames are perplexing and cut into my nighttime television...and oh my gosh, my arms are the size of a football field.

*Gid fell asleep one night when I was holding him. He was snoring he was so asleep. I gingerly pulled away from him and slowly began to stand up when his arms shot out around my neck and pulled me back down. This happened 3 times. I felt very much like the cat’s playtoy.

*I was putting my make-up on today while editing some writings when I felt something wet on my hand. Then I noticed the strand of drool that was coming from…my own mouth. Lovely. Apparently multi-tasking does not behoove me.

*I wondered briefly this week what kind of student Gideon would be if he were in public school (I thought I knew the answer and it has now been confirmed). My parents called on their way home from work – Gideon answered the phone – and offered to bring home drinks for everyone. “Bug Juice” for the kids, and then my Mom asked Gideon if his Mama would like a Dr. Pepper from the store or if she would like to make some coffee. I could hear her so I answered “coffee”, expecting Gid to relay my response to her. Gideon looked back and forth at his cousins (who adore him) before answering in the phone “Ummm, my Mom said she wants some…diarrhea.” The girls absolutely burst into giggles as Gideon looked to both of them with glee. His chest puffed out a bit and he got on a roll. “My Mom, she likes to drink…diarrhea!” he said in the phone receiver. More giggles. “Bring her a bottle of diarrhea.” he said, laughing. By this point his cousins were doubled over laughing and he was grinning like the Chesire Cat. So yeah, I’m glad that we’re homeschooling him, but I feel awfully sorry for his teacher…who does not drink diarrhea.

*Betsie is UNREAL. Amy and I have decided that she is like a baby-doll that has come to life. When you lay her down she closes her eyes, when you set her up she smiles. She stays in the place where you left her, she stops crying if you put her pacifier in her mouth. Except, unfortunately, her tooties do not smell like baby powder. On the contrary.

My real-life baby doll with her new faux pig-tail headband on.

* Gideon might have a future on “Project Runway”. Check out the necklace he designed for me, no joke. (My Mom braided the grass). I’ll be wearing it…never. But cherishing it…always.

Grass and some kind of hive/nest are not my first choice for jewelry components, but having a little boy who thinks about me is pretty much the berries.

*And speaking of country living, it really is the life for me. And for Gideon. And for Rebekah. And for Abigail and Anna and Kate and Amy and…all of us. Sure, the fish in the bucket splashing water on my freshly-laundered pants made me scream, but out here, you don’t need toys. You don’t need schedules. Just family and mudboots and freedom. I thank God for all of it. And I also thank God these amazing photos that Amy took, completely summing up our week:

*On the way home from our week away, after a long day playing outside with no nap this is what went down:

Me (singing acapella from the drivers seat): “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I’ll love ya, tomorrow…”

Gideon: “Can we turn on some music?”

Me: “No music. I’m singing….You’re only a day away!!”

Gideon: “But you’re waking me up. I’m trying to sleep.”

Me: “The sun’ll come out TOMORROW…”

Gideon: “I’m thinking mean things in my head. I’m trying to make them go away. (long, looooong pause). I can’t make them go away.”

*If Rebekah is at your house and asks for some “quesadilla” what she really means is “shredded cheese”. Just thought you should know.

* I’ve been eating Hershey’s kisses with almonds during the typing of this post and even I am surprised by how many foil wrappers are laying next to the keyboard.

And oh my gosh! What a week!