Locks of Boredom…

A little bit like Locks of Love, except there’s no minimum hair length before the chopping, oh…and there’s also no licensed hairdresser doing the cutting….oh wait….you don’t just cut your hair off??????

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Look at that gorgeous hair.  The hair we’ve been waiting to grow for 4+ years now.  Anyone care to guess how it looks right now??????

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What is a mother to do????

I’ll tell you what I did…Miss A, are you listening…please remember this when you have a daughter who cuts her own hair.  It is most certainly one of my better parenting moments…no sarcasm.  You don’t believe me do you?

Backstory.  The kids both have Staph infections.  They also have mild cases of coxackie.  And Miss A has a ruptured ear drum.  We’ve been home recuperating all week.  Fun times here….fun times.

So…I went to do some mundane, unnecessary task, you know, like getting Baby D out of his crib and changing his diaper.  Apparently, the 2 hours I’d spent with Miss A having 1 on 1 time for breakfast, doing some arts and crafts, coloring in her new sketchbook and chatting was not enough to keep her wild mind and spirit for adventure satisfied for the 6 minutes this silly task took.

We fed baby D, we got him dressed and as we were walking towards the door to leave and head to the grocery store…out of the corner of my eye I noticed what looked like tufts of hair from a hairbrush on Miss A’s floor…..and then I noticed the unmistakable orange handle.  That  handle plus the blunt cut lines on the hair…I knew.  Now, when I looked at her I couldn’t really tell where she cut the hair from…then I got a little closer.  I quietly asked “Miss A…did you cut your hair?”  She started to cry.  Sob actually.  Uncontrollably.  Now…if someone took a scissor to my hair and did that to me, I’d cry that way too.  Thing is, SHE DID IT TO HERSELF!  Why the crying?????  I didn’t even yell!!!

I explained to her that it was her hair, and if she’d like it to be long like she says she does, cutting it will not speed up that result.  Sweetheart!

Inside I’m dying.  If she’s wearing a headband or a bow, it’s not SO noticeable…but in any other circumstance, she has side bangs.  No…not the pretty kind that are layered…more the mullet kind that can’t be fixed unless I chop her hair into a bowl cut.

Miss A…come on.  Can’t I get a break?!?!?!?!?!?!

Oh I did.  Thanks for not cutting your brother’s hair.  Silver lining.

Patting myself on the back for not freaking the F out.  You’re welcome Miss.

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One Year Later…

One year ago, I looked out my window and saw the water reach halfway up the driveway.  It wasn’t even high tide yet.  I was pregnant and running around our house at this very moment packing bags for each of us with clothes for the next 2-3 days.  Shoving the cat in the dog’s bag and imagining what I thought was most valuable to throw in the car with us “just in case”.  We put our important papers by the front door to grab as we left…then left them there by accident.  We put the box of pictures on the bookshelf, and my babies in the car.  We headed to Grandma’s house and tried not to worry.  I spent the next 12 hours waiting for the 7pm high tide and watching Facebook comments to see if anyone who lived in my bayside neighborhood had anything to report.  Then he commented.  My neighbor from his 2nd floor.  It’s Bad.

I cried.  And panicked.  Where would I bring my family home to?  How long would I be staying with my mom?  Where would this baby be born?  How was I going to tell Miss A that she had no home?  I had a zillion unanswered questions.  2 days from now will mark the day I came home to the nightmare.  And the day my prayers were answered.

We were fine.  We are fine.  Miss A is the strongest little girl in the world.  She waited patiently as her “dirty house” was cleaned up.  Mister LK and I made it through construction and now we have a beautiful house.  My dream house.  My dream family.  My dream life.

Some days I can’t believe we did it…while at the same time knowing all along we would.  I have the best husband.  Without him I would have crumbled.  There was so much to deal with and he did it like he always does.  Without complaining. (to me at least).  He’s my rock and my best friend.

More than anything today I am feeling so lucky that I have him.  I am remembering all of our love letters that were washed away from high school and knowing that I am the luckiest girl in the world to not need them because I have the real thing, right here, in our home…wherever that is.

There is another family that I would like to thank for getting me through this past year.  They are my gift from gd.  To M&K.  Our friends who let us live in their house.  I have never been more thankful for a gift in my life.  I will spend the rest of my life trying to repay you in any way I can.  I truly felt helpless without a place for my family to live and you saved us.

We are stronger than the storm…even if we’re not from NJ!

 

If You’re Frustrated & You Know It….

Post it on Facebook?  As our good friend BT said…”if you didn’t see it on facebook or instagram…did it ever really happen?”

I use my personal blog to vent…and most of you who are reading this have already heard these frustrations from me over the phone!  If you don’t want to hear my opinion…you can close the page!

So this is my house just 2 days ago as compared to my house before Hurricane Irene…

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Master Bedroom

If you want to see what my house looked like “before” you can see it here

I left that Monday morning with 2 days worth of clothing, Mister LK, Miss A, T & M.  We haven’t been back since except to clean out our things and put them all on the curb.  Have you ever thought of what everything you ever owned would look like on a curb?  I hope not…but in case you need a visual…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This isn’t actually all of it…more was added over the next few days, but this is the bulk….

Here’s my problem…If you are living in your house now or will be able to be back in within a month…you didn’t lose everything.  Please stop saying you did.  Yes life is different, yes our city was devastated, you probably lost your car(s), and lots of memories in basements…I am not minimizing your loss…but you’re in your bed.  Your kids are in their beds…in their homes…safe.  Stop collecting free things if you don’t need them.  Stop complaining about having no power when you have a generator and are warm.  If you post a photo of a movie being played on a flat screen tv … don’t you even think about complaining about no power.  My Grandma has Alzheimers and had to be moved out of her apartment because of no power, no heat, no hot water…now she can’t move back into the home she has had since she got married.  She can complain (although she probably won’t remember to)…

I am very very frustrated at these people who are publicly complaining about their “dire” situations as they “rough” it…losing 1/2 your things does not make you destitute.  You have your jobs, your family, your house.  You are not in a shelter with your kids.

I am so thankful for the help my family and friends have extended to us that I couldn’t even dream of complaining about our losses on social media.  It’s disgusting.  All of those things above will be taken care of.  Thanks mostly to my family and friends.  I was sad to lose sentimental things as I have said before, and I believe I am entitled to be sad about it.  I’m just not entitled to complain to people who lost much much more…some people lost PEOPLE.  Thank gd I didn’t.

When I re-read my post about impending Irene I realize what I thought this was going to be…I thought I’d be having a sleepover with Grandma and going home to a few inches and some messed up floors.  I prepared in much the same way.  I cleaned my ASS off….I had clean sheets on the bed, freshly mopped floors, sparkling bathrooms, sterilized kitchen….all my valuables were up high.  Who ever thought that “up high” wouldn’t help when that furniture floated into the next room….

I took what mattered to me….my family.

I think people who need a way to complain publicly should sign up for a free blog.  That way I don’t have to see it and I don’t have to look mean by deleting you….Say thanks for what you have everyday because you just never know when it will all be taken away.  Call your friends or write them an email or start your own blog…social media is far reaching and your insensitivity might hurt people you don’t even know.

Thank gd we left….and thank gd we have this little one to make us crazy!

 

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…

Why My Mister Is The Best…

I don’t normally spew sappy musings about Mister LK.  It is not my style.  But today, I think it is necessary for me to publicly and sappily gush about how amazing my husband is.  He’s a really terrific father.  He is an even better husband.  Not every girl is lucky enough to find a guy who is as considerate of them as mine 🙂  I hope he knows how much I love and appreciate him & all that he does for me and our family.

This weekend, he made sure my birthday was perfect!  We started by dropping Miss A off with Grandma for the night.  Thanks again mom for watching her for us!

I then went straight to the hotel to begin my weekend of relaxation!  We stayed at the Sofitel in midtown.

Our room wasn’t ready so T and I had a little date at the bar…the wine was perfect!

Then our room was ready and I took a LONG shower.  It was so lovely to just stay in the shower until I felt like getting out!  I wasn’t rushed, I wasn’t listening for a talking toddler in her crib, and I wasn’t dreading walking into the bedroom to see what that toddler had torn apart while I showered for 5 minutes!  (She can do some serious damage in 5 minutes!)

Getting dressed at my own pace and not having to pack a diaper bag was awesome!  Then we headed out to what I thought was going to be a nice date night with the Mister…and as we were crossing the street, our friend DF asked to hold the Mister’s hand!  So fun, a surprise double date!  Even better a quadruple date!  I’m lucky & have a bunch of great friends and family who were able to make it out to celebrate my birthday!  We went to Nai Tapas in the East Village & I was very impressed.  The food was delicious and their mango sangria was really good!  We then headed out to a speakeasy bar which was really cool!  I was too chicken to order any of their mixed drinks as I’m usually a coconut rum & pineapple girl and I wasn’t sure I could handle a whole drink on their menu, so I went with some Reisling & just tasted everyone else’s!

He didn’t stop planning there either!  Saturday we went to the Bronx zoo & met up with Grandma & Miss A.  We took Uncle C and our friend HB & her adorable nephew too!  A had a great time & so did I!  We saw some pretty cool things & compared to the Prospect Park zoo & the Central Park zoo…these animals were living it up!  They were clean & groomed & happy!  The animals at the other zoo’s in the area look a little tired & disheveled!

Llamas & Alpacas are my favorite…and this one was really pretty!

The animal that ruled over this zoo is undeniably the peacock.  They were everywhere.  Roaming freely, in every animal’s territory.  All the males were showing off!  They were incredible!

Miss A just had 1 request.  She wanted to see the Lion King!  So….

This way to the Lion King Daddy!

Off we went in search of the Lion King!  At some point on the trip A got distracted and wanted french fries!  So we got her some and finally found him…

I think A was a little disappointed, as I’m pretty sure she was expecting a cartoon movie when we arrived…but the Lions were pretty cool anyway!

We strolled over to the giraffes before Grandma & I went on our way!

Bye bye Daddy & A…Grandma & Mommy are off to the spa!

Mister LK sent me and my mother to the Peninsula Hotel for massages, manicures & pedicures.  We had a great relaxing afternoon & we were so very much appreciative of Mister LK for all his thoughtfulness.  One of the best parts of this spa was the relaxation room…

When we were done in the relaxation room, we didn’t really want to go, but it was time to go & we left nice and relaxed!

Mister LK, I love you…you’re thoughtfulness and generosity are just 2 things I love about you…I can’t thank you enough for such a wonderful birthday weekend!

(I wrote this post on Monday…and then forgot to hit publish…this week’s been crazy & I didn’t even notice…better late than never honey!)

 

Thank You For Being A Freind…

One of the best friends a girl could ask for.  Auntie S2 took my day, which started out dark and tired and cranky and sick and made it bright and happy and so very thankful.  There’s something about this…

the note…the thought…the friend.  Everything about this made me smile.  It is amazing to know that when I’m sad and lonely and haven’t slept in way too long…Auntie S2 is thinking of me & reminding me that I can get through it!

Thanks for the goobers of flowers.  I love you!