Our House 4.5.13

What I saw today!  Image

Yup!  That is some trim, and a whole lotta kitchen cabinets!  There were some bedroom cabinets too…and more trim…

I won’t get to see the doors installed in person until way after they’re done, so I am hoping that all works out, but I’m pretty excited to have cabinets 🙂  Now I have a place to put our newly acquired replacement kitchen items!!!!

I was just informed that there will be a lot going on at the house while I’m having this baby…so I shouldn’t worry about progress.  I’ll be having some drop-ins to take pics so I really can see what is going on!  I’m excited to see all this stuff coming together 🙂

You Make Plans….

And gd floods your house so you can make the design/decorating plans happen!  Right?

Construction is well underway, and even though our house still has a gaping hole to the outside & elements, they’ve made a ton of progress and I’m excited that they are going to start electric & plumbing tomorrow!  Our contractor is still convinced he’ll be done by April, and I am not.  However on the off chance that he wants to be able to spend some time with his family instead of being out in Long Beach all week long, I’ll say he’s motivated to get this rare winter full house renovation done with!  I thought I had better start planning!

mood boardI know that some of my inlaw family is going to be critical of how little color there is here, but I need to be inside the space to pick the color items.  I do not buy furniture or expensive items in colors since my color taste changes so frequently.  I like to use art and accessories to put the color in the rooms.  That will happen once we’re in the house.  Clearly Miss A is not afraid of color since her room is super colorful.  She helped me pick out almost everything for her room.  There will be sparkles incorporated as well since that is her main request!

It is crazy that we have to pick out every single item in every single room.  The only things we don’t need are dishes and wine glasses!  Crazy.

Will post more about my kitchen design when our layout is complete and we pick a cabinet maker!

If Mister LK and I are able to agree on these things, I’ll consider 2012 a success.  It has been quite a crazy year in the world & we’re looking forward to a better 2013!


The Day After Tomorrow…

It is crazy to me that I ever just went about my day as if nothing happened, while the people of New Orleans were suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.  How is it, that the day after tomorrow will be the same for me as today…a cruel game of waiting while seemingly nothing gets done.  I am aware that things take time, and I am sure that compared to the tragedy in NO, the response here in NYC is a vast improvement…but I don’t live in Atlantic City or NYC.  I live in a little city by the sea…..a little city that was engulfed by the sea….Long Beach, NY.

If you didn’t grow up there, you might not understand it.  Even Mister LK has trouble with it sometimes, but Long Beach just sticks with you.  Try as you may to get out or move away, when something happens in Long Beach…you know about it.  Thanks to social media, you usually know about it in around 2.3 seconds…except now there is no power, no water, no sewer, no cell service.  You don’t know anything for days.  We were evacuated on Monday, and thank gd we did or I can’t even imagine where I would be right now.

As small of a city as Long Beach is, the coverage of this storm consisted of 2-3 blocks on the beach in the center of town.  I live on the bay.  There were no photographs, no indication of the state of my home…I couldn’t get back there to see for myself until Wednesday.  I was prepared for the worst…and it was 3% better than I expected.  My house is destroyed.  The home that Mister LK and I have spent the last 2 years working on, fixing up, and loving is standing, but everything in it is gone.  96% of my belongings are garbage.  The few things that survived … well I’d like to thank my Grandma in heaven for saving them.

I am sad about the loss of things like photographs.  I am worried about loss of things like receipts collected for all of our house repairs/upgrades.  I am annoyed at things like the loss of all the weeks of hard work we (mainly Mister LK and Uncle C) put into fixing up our house.  But all those feelings can’t hold a match to the devastation I feel for my baby girl.  I know it has been a while since I have posted on this blog, that is because I am exhausted from growing this baby inside & working with Miss A to use her words and not her crying as method of communication!  She is an amazing little girl and because she is so incredibly verbal, I know things like the strength of her attachment to her toys she sleeps with, to her dollhouse she cherished, I know her need for her routine and that “I want to go back to Long Beach.  I want to go to MY house.  I want MY toys.  I want to go lay in my mommy and daddy’s bed.”  She loves her Grandma’s house, but she also hears everything we say & knows something is wrong.  This is a conversation that was overheard yesterday between my sweet girl and the refrigerator repair man at Grandma’s house.

A:      “Hi.  My name is A”

RM:  “Hi.  I’m Andrew”

A:  “What are you doing?”

RM:  “I’m fixing the freezer because it is broken”

A:  “Oh…My freezer is broken too…from all of the mud.  But the man is going to fix it and I’m going to have a big girl room”

Since the morning of the storm, we have been reminded what a strong support system we have.  There are many families out there with nowhere to go, nothing to eat, no way to get back on their feet.  My mom has taken us in and helped us have a warm place to call home from the beginning.  She has been our life-saver.  My sister made sure we had dinner and a warm shower when there was no power at Mom’s house.  My dad has offered us help in getting our house rebuilt and made sure we have people we can trust to start the rebuilding process as well as give Mister LK and I some really valuable insight into rebuilding from scratch.  My sister-in-law was one of the first to come back with us to assess the damage and to remind us that the house will be better than before and my brother-in-law, who has put countless hours of hard, manual labor into our house from the moving in, to the renovations has come to our side once again to help us start the clean up and rebuilding.  I know that for him and Mister LK this must feel like Sandy just trampled over their 10,000 piece lego land!  Our family and friends, from everywhere in the world have contacted us to offer anything they can.  The movement from everyone to support us and make sure we have what we need is so touching that I can’t really find the words to thank everyone.  It brings me to tears when I think of how lucky we are and how we have built our life around such an outstanding group of people.  Thanks to all of them, all of you, Miss A is not going through this alone, she is happy and healthy.  She has food, clothes, shelter, toys, books, and the best people surrounding her.  Nothing breaks my heart more than to see my little girl worried…and thanks to everyone around us she’s feeling better and better.  This is my number 1 priority…to make sure that Miss A feels happy and safe through this long haul.  Thank you to everyone who has helped calm me down, make me see that while we lost most of our possessions, we didn’t lose the most important things and that is our lives, our family and our friends.  We will always have a place to go to and although this is going to be a very very long road, we will be ok at the end.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who were able to come to our house yesterday and put everything on the curb.  Thank you to the girls for not laughing at what we found in the rubble of my childhood memory boxes (at least not in front of me!), and thank you everyone for laughing at some of the things that we did find!  Thank you for not getting frustrated at my lack of decision making when I was just shocked at the amount of possessions that were being thrown away.  Thank you for being so patient with me when I couldn’t go into the moldy house.  Thank you for loading my car with the best types of junk food and making our front seat tailgate party one that I will never forget.  Thank you for getting dirty.  Thank you to our friend ML who got filthy and made me laugh on HER birthday.  You just don’t find friends like this.  I have said this to some of you already…I hope to never have to repay this exact favor, but wherever you are, whatever you are doing, whatever you need…..we are here and will be forever indebted to you.

Most of all, thank you Miss A for being so generous and repeating “I just want to go help clean up my home!”  I’ve never been more proud of you.  You are a 30 year old person in the body of a 2 1/2 year old.  Mommy and Daddy are going to take care of this one for you Miss A.  You have nothing to worry about.  You should just enjoy being your little girl self and we will make sure everything in your home is better than before!  You are going to have the best big girl room any big girl could dream of.  We promise!

I might complain about the frustrations of this process or of the inconveniences of being pregnant and exhausted while finding our way in this new world of ours, but underneath it all, I know that nothing is that bad.  I have the world’s best husband who has taken on so much so that I don’t have to worry.  He is an amazing father and my best friend.  Thank you Mister LK for taking this situation, handling it & making me feel like you are in such control and showing me I have nothing to worry about.  I love you.

Thank you again to everyone who has thought of us over the last few days.

We have Long Beach sand in our shoes…and always will…

Out With the Old….In With the NEW BANO!!!!

A took her final bano in the old bathroom on January 10th.  It was a really long, really nice good-bye to the teal & flowers you might have seen here.

"Mommy...please don't take away my bano"

Oh....I'll be happy if it will be white!!!

The bathroom that A bathes in, is the only tub in the house, so we’ve been showering for the last 21 days.

Even that teal/blue/green/black and every color flowers weren’t any match for my little munchkin!

Here are my kiddos after the “Last Bano”

I hope you’re ready for a change.  We certainly were!  In respect of the old bathroom…it was really nice when it was new, I’m sure of it!  It was the leaking shower body, the disintegrating walls, and the lack of lighting that were the main reason it got first bid on being the 1st major interior renovation!

Ooooohhhhh so pretty! CLEAR WATER!!!!

Foofa took the first bath with A!

Here are the kiddos after their First Bano!


Big Difference right?!  Here’s a side by side for better comparison!


Today they are completely done and we have all the accessories in.  We’re really really excited!

We used Built Right, NY again for this work.  We used them for the siding replacement over the summer too.  They seem to have done pretty great work on the bathroom!  I’d still recommend them!

Bathtime Belongs To Daddy…

but AFTER the bath…..well that is Mommy…..all the way!

Every night, we give (or try to give) A a bath.  That has turned out to be Daddy’s special time with her.  I listen to them from somewhere else & it melts my heart.  He’s teaching her some letters, they play with her toys, and she has so much fun with her Daddy who she misses all day long!  Then…the water drains, he wraps her up in a towel, and like clockwork…”I want Mommy” begins.  I’m not sure why she prefers me to dress her for bed, but she does, and I really don’t mind!  I miss that naked tushy when I don’t get to diaper it….at least when its clean & dry from a bath!

We are starting renovations on A’s bathroom this week (possibly tomorrow even!) and I’m so excited for the change.  Reminder of what it looks like now.  Pretty for 1972…but we’re in 2012 now and I think I’d like to go a little sleeker & less…well…tealandblackfloweroverload!  This is going to seriously change our bathtime/bedtime routine…I might even have to shower with A in the evenings.  Imagine that!  I’ll get a shower every day!  This might be a nice change after all!

Anyone ever live through a bath renovation with a toddler?!  Survival tips?!

Out With the Old…In With the New…(Refrigerator Edition)

Nostalgia played a major role in my obsession with this house.  There was something here when we walked in for that fateful Open House that reminded me of my Grandma’s house & I was overwhelmed by a need to live here.  At that time, I had only seen the living room & dining room.  When we then walked into the kitchen, I knew it was meant to be!  This might sound funny, considering the project that I am most looking forward to is gutting the kitchen & making it my own, however…remember…this IS NOT my Grandma’s house, it just has a similar feel to me.  The kitchen was once state of the art…in 1960.  The appliances are professional grade…like Julia Child.  In her prime & almost up until the end she was amazing…but likely in that last year, no one wanted her cooking 5 course meals!

Our refrigerator was born the same year that we were…and I was very sad to admit that she was really past her prime!  Occasionally the freezer side of her would defrost & we’d find a puddle at the base…and the fridge side, well it kept things “cool” but I’d say the temperature at its coldest ranged between 43-45 degrees.  Definitely NOT the ideal temperature for a fridge!  Luckily, the top shelf stayed cold (sometimes colder than the freezer) and A’s milk never soured…but her cheese sticks were certainly not as cold as they should have been!

This is a memorial blog post dedicated to our old Sub Zero 3211RFD

Front view - we put up the white boards to cover old family photo stickers the previous owner had up there

Ahh her fridge....no light, no door shelves, broken drawers...but it was those brown & beige drawers that I spent my childhood with!

And her freezer side...unless something was IN the ice basket, it probably wasn't 100% frozen!

Full view - her doors had lost their ability to stop opening unless they hit the cabinets to the right and left!

RIP old fridge, there’s a new lady in our life!

No photos, no dents, no scratches....no puddles!

Her door stops at the perfect angle without slamming into the cabinet, she lights up so I can see what is in there, her door holds just about everything I have...and her clear drawers will help me not loose produce for weeks!

Her freezer is freezing, organized, clean, and her ice tray is uncluttered!

I can't wait to go food shopping and fill her up!!!

Welcome to the family Miss BI-48S!  We hope you have as long a life as your predecessor!

While I loved opening the old fridge & thinking of Grandma’s house, I love opening the new one & eating cold, safe food more!

No More Pears…

Tree is down!

This took about 2 weeks, and as a reminder of what it was before…see here.

Mister LK has been hard at work taking apart that sucker and the yard is slowly showing it’s face again!

He has also been working elsewhere in our house…

He tells me the crawl space is immaculate.  I will never know, as over my dead body would be the only way I’d go down there!

Thanks Mister LK for all of your very hard work around our home.  We all appreciate it more than you know!

The Wrath of Irene at the LK House…

We had a nice hurricane experience for the most part.  We had dinner with Auntie E, then spent the rest of the hurricane in Auntie H’s house watching movies & playing with Cousin S’s toys.  We didn’t think it was so bad out there!  We also watched the news…which was stationed in 4 places.  1 was my town, 1 was the part of Brooklyn my Grandma lives in, 1 was where Auntie H & my dad & fam live, and the other was where we got married!  I felt very connected to the news!  The news from our little city was bad.  We saw the ocean bust past the boardwalk and right to the streets with fury.  It was scary to think of what we were coming home to.

The hurricane passed pretty quickly & we were able to get on the road home once we had someone come check that we had power.

We left this…

We came home to this…

Our power lines are holding the tree up!  The meter box and pole have been shifted & need major repair…but thankfully, we don’t think too much more damage is under that tree.  We won’t really be able to tell until the tree is lifted, but our fingers are crossed.

We have installed some extra fire alarms in the house since I’m nervous about those power lines, and we have evacuated the playroom, which is directly under that tree, and our phone lines are all screwy & sent phantom 911 calls out last night, but other than that and a lot of water in our crawl space, we’re good!

The storm was definitely bad…but it also could have been much worse!

And our house is strong!!!!  It lived through years of abuse and neglect & now that she’s getting a lot of love and attention…a little tree isn’t gonna take her down now!!!!

Irene…Please Leave Our Long Beach Alone!

We’ve been hiding out in Brooklyn, away from the “danger zone”…but it is super frustrating to see all the reporters standing on my boardwalk, while we are wondering what is going on at our house!  We did get a little bit of the storm excitement here though!  The window above our head leaked on us…YAY!  Was kinda fun 🙂  A’s  been sleeping in Cousin S’s crib since 7:45pm and it is now almost 9am….I love this house.  Just sayin’.

Here’s some photos someone took on FB of what is left at the beach…

the ocean reached the boardwalk...it even moved the lifeguard HQ building and crashed it into the boardwalk....fun times.

it took the beach onto the streets...

I wonder if they'll move the ticket takers to the street to make sure we still use our beach passes for the rest of the season?!

I hope everyone is safe at home…and the mess isn’t too big for us to get back later tonight!


Oh Hurricanes….how NY has missed you….

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Christmas Blizzard of 2010 really F&*$ed up NY.  I know we all know that NY was F&*$ed under snow.  But I mean more mentally.  All of a sudden it is not safe to be in a place where you can’t get emergency help!  No kidding!

I was only 5 years old when Hurricane Gloria payed us a visit, and that storm was a category 3 when it hit Long Island.  Irene is anticipated at a 1.

If the LKs were only husband, wife, dog and cat…we would be getting cozy in our PJs and riding out the storm on our couch.  But now we have A.  The little lunatic is making us prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

There are many guidelines to follow when correctly and thoroughly preparing for a hurricane here on our barrier island.  I’ve already put all of our pretty important documents up high on a shelf in a plastic box.  I’ve taken the super important docs and made sure they’re in a ziploc bag and are coming with us.  Good jewelry, coming with us.  Water bottles, check.  Food prepared, check.  (I will NOT eat canned food).  Now, to the thing that people have been recommending…documentation of the house.  I’ve been told to photograph the house from all angels in case there’s any damage & insurance needs proof!  What a better reason to show the house 8 months after move-in!  I am apologizing for the disorganized mess you’re all about to see, but this is how it is around here for now.  We’re working on it!

Lets start in the master bedroom!

Ahhh clean sheets! Irene - if you mess those up I'll be PO'd.

Our bay window. See that tree trunk out there...Mister LK is pretty scared that is one of 5 that are going to crash land on our house from the winds!

Cathedral closets

Mirror Mirror on....every wall of the hallway....show me where to enter the bathroom!

Primary colors galore!

Sink stuff...

my little dark vanity table

on our way out the door!

Holy Bathroom!!! This is the next project....for obvious reasons.


We like to store things in here that we don't want touched by A since this door is pretty much always closed

I am going to have this room looking much better very soon for our friend's visit mid-September!

A's almost complete art station...with no crayons since she thinks the couch is her canvas lately!

For someone (me) who can't commit to color, I think I did a pretty good job in here!

I know the blue is tropical....and some might hear steel drums when they walk in, but I love it!

Load up the office shelves - everything important UP HIGH!

A little bit of organized mess in the mudroom! how much laundry can one family of 3 have!

this kitchen....could really use some work haha!

I can't wait to have an open layout one day...then the highchair won't be in the middle of the room!

We're really hoping our new giant windows don't break from the wind!

More piles on TOP of the furniture 🙂

Nice big empty wall space waiting for something to be hung up....what to hang ?!?!

Just the living room - watching the weather!

We've moved all things away from the windows & off the shelves in preparation 🙂

I guess it is a good thing we never hung anything on the walls yet!

See! Nothing on the walls 🙂

We hope you like our house 8 months later!  We hope it’s still here when we get home!!!

All for this…