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I know you all have been worried. So let me start by assuring you that the Justin Bieber autograph survived the hurricane. For some reason, I stuck it on a high shelf. The Higher Power works in mysterious ways.

I really appreciate all your comments and unbelievable kindness. It really does help cushion this very difficult time. I so just want to pack up and go home. Except I presently have no home.

This is what it currently looks like…

We are staying with friends and searching for a place to live for the next three months. My friend Emily said I could stay at her house for a few days as long as I don’t try on her clothes, take pictures and blog about it. You know, I’m in a life crisis here and I don’t appreciate her sabotaging my creativity. (A vlogging tour of her closet coming soon!)

I will admit, I’m not my best self. That became abundantly clear when I was screaming at a sushi restaurant on Monday night because they screwed up our order.  The mix up meant my husband couldn’t eat his dinner due to an allergy.

Plus this place always runs out of mints. And their mints are chocolately and minty and delicious.

I had to apologize to the sushi lady and explain my tirade was about my home being destroyed, not flying fish roe. But for the love of all things possible, they need to keep that mint bowl stocked.

I feel like my brain is going to explode. I can’t focus. There is so much to do that I don’t know where to start sometimes. So I try to pick one thing.

Like Dylan and Summer’s new backpacks for school.  They got delivered on Saturday before the storm. I had already left for my in-laws so the Priority Mail box just sat on my front steps.

Then hurricane Irene breezed in. And despite the fact that she threw my swing set across the yard and dumped about ten tree trunks, from who knows where, beside my house, that box was still on the steps come Monday morning. I opened it hopefully but then muddy sewage water poured out.


I called the company, Anything Joe’s, and told them the problem. I asked them to re-send the backpacks and charge my credit card.  I never mentioned I was a blogger. I never asked for free backpacks. But they sent replacement ones at no charge. I love when companies do the right thing. Just because it’s the right thing to do.

mama bird notes:

It’s not too late to win an iPad 2!! Just click on this post and enter by September 1st. Because an iPad 2 doesn’t guarantee happiness but it comes pretty darn close.

50 Responses to the wrath of irene

  • Kerri says:

    I am so sorry Kelcey. This must be so difficult. I went through a tornado as a kid & it was devastating for so many. We were lucky our house was spared, but luck did not touch a dear family friend of ours. All that was left of their home was the fireplace & a china cabinet everything else was sucked up & gone.

    I hope that you find a place to settle for a short period of time, until you can get back into a home.

    Dear friends just had their home hit by lightning & set on fire just a few short weeks ago. They are living in a tiny house trailer waiting to build a new home. All the animals survived & the dear vet is keeping one (an adult cat that had been born in our home by one of our cats) while he recovers from injuries after going back into the blaze. He will survive. The local firefighters with oxygen tanks & heavily gloved hands scooped up legos for tearful Tyler, in hopes to save a few. They even went back in to save the gold fish & sucker fish & replaced their smoky, murky water. Love & outpouring of help from friends & neighbours continued.

    Only a week ago my home-town of Goderich, ON was devestated with a furocious tornado. There is a lot of info now on the web. So much destruction in the “Prettiest Town in Canada” The tornado that we had pass by our home took down many trees in July, but missed the house. We re-built the demolished wood-shed that is only a few feet from the house. 80 year old trees were ripped out of the ground, roots, dirt & all. The bottom line was…everyone was safe & no one got hurt. A friend entered her home as a tree fell & destroyed their deck. A couple of more seconds on the deck & it would have hit her too.

    There are many good people and just from your story of the back-packs, you are already starting to be touched by them.

    Your journey of being touched by others & blogging it will help give hope to many about the kindness of people!

    HUGS, Warmly, Kerri

  • Jenn says:

    I wish I could offer you a place to stay. But the commute from Durban, South Africa might be a bit tedious in the mornings.
    You’re in my prayers.

  • Chrisy says:

    Sounds like you have a plan. When faced with life challenges of any variety [small or extreme like yours], my grandmother would say, “Let’s fall back and reconnoiter!” I think you’ve done just that with tremendous strength, grace and a dash of humor. I feel badly for the stress this places on all of you, but your post made me smile. Continuing to send good thoughts your way.

  • Becky says:

    Anything Joe’s seems to be anything but ordinary. And that’s extraordinary. Glad there are glimmers of goodness being bestowed upon you.

  • Kate says:

    Praying for you and your adorable family, Kelcey. I was thinking about you the whole time I was cleaning out our flooded basement in Hoboken yesterday. Every time I started to get pissy, I thought of you and realized I got off really easy, so just to buck up and be grateful. Thank you so much for your unwavering humor – Mamabird Diaries is my favorite way to start the day.

  • Writing from Missouri, where a bad tornado recently ravaged our towns and airport, leaving many people stunned and mentally swirling with no direction. Obama visited. FEMA swooped in. Still, it’s so hard when the familiar becomes foreign and our adult selves have to stand at attention, feigning bravery, for the sake of our little ones. You are a strong woman, Kelcey, your writing shows that. Family is first, that’s evident. Your older girls will have a story to retell to the twins when they are older and no longer have that fabulous chubbiness to show off in their onesies. You’re very lucky to have family and friends (and insurance) to come to your aide. Stay strong and lean on that incredible sense of humor that keeps us logging on day after day. We’re sending you good vibes.

  • Clay Spivey says:


    Thanks for the plug on your web pages. We’ve already had a Mom check us out and swear allegiance as a new customer! We just felt so blessed in to have missed the Hurricane, even though we are right on the beach in North Myrtle Beach. We were happy to help out and want to see photos of the girls with their backpacks posted on our Facebook page please!!!

  • MN Mama says:

    I am sorry you are not yourself. I would love to help…. I know I live far away. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I love the backpack story! I love kindness!

  • Kelly says:

    Prayers and positive energy to you! Your humor in the situation is admirable. Glad you got free backpacks, but I’d push for a little more. Perhaps we should all sent direct messages and tweets to “The Bieber” and see if he can pony up a year’s supply of hair product and a limo at your disposal?

  • Meg D says:

    Thinking of you and hoping you get back into your lovely home soon. And to think, I gave you a hard time about not using coasters in one post! Ahhh…perspective.

  • Becky says:

    The whole situation really sucks. I wish I could offer some great comment that would make the whole world seem better, but being without your home and your things stinks. My family has gone through a similar situation and all I can say is this too will pass, you will get through it with flying colors and in several years it will be a story that you all recall around the dinner table one night. Believe it or not my family has some warm and funny stories from the time they lost their home to a flood and had to live at a friends house until they found temporary housing. Those friends are still close to us and we laugh about some of the things that happened back then. You are in my prayers Kelcey!

  • Holy crap, Kelcey. I’m so sorry. I’ve lived through floods but the worst I had to deal with was no power for weeks.

    If you need a place to stay I have a spare bedroom. Seriously, even if it’s just that you need to escape everything for a long weekend.

    PS. Next month’s ad is on me. Spend that money on a massage. Or chocolatey mints.

  • Jen says:

    Hey Kelcey,
    Ugghhh, I had no idea it was this bad for you all. 3 months!!! I’m so sorry. I can imagine how crazy things are, and the kids start school in a few days. Our apt. On Christopher might be vacant soon, but I know that’s not helpful to you in Westchester.
    Deep breaths, one day at a time…
    Xo Jen

  • I cannot even manage having to relocate temporarily with 2 toddlers. Yikes! It makes sense you can’t focus – your normal routines that keep you afloat are gone, with nothing to take their place. Just keep on keeping on…

  • Johanna says:

    You are so entitled to a crying breakdown! What do you need?? I have baby boy stuff still and would be happy to pass down if Chase needs stuff. Erin has most of my girl stuff for Emily but we can put together a survival pack for all 4 kids…what do they need or what would make them happy?? PLEASE let Erin and I know how we can help. Sending hugs and best wishes.

  • Robyn says:

    My heart really goes out to you. We were spared, but people living very close by weren’t. If there is ANYTHING this Jersey girl can do for you, please let me know.

  • Evan says:

    Kelc: So, so sorry to hear how badly your house (and neighborhood) was hit by Irene. Glad you are all okay. I know you feel unsettled, but you actually sound like you are handling it. I know I am upside-down with upheaval like that. We’ve had some minor water issues before, but nothing like what you are going through, and I still freak out. That flooding and destruction really stinks (the best G-rated word I could think of!). I am sure for the kids it will be one big, hopefully mostly fun adventure, until you are all back home. Maybe it will be a source for more great blog posts (though I’m sure you could have done without that material). We’re thinking about you, and if you want/need to get out of NY and come visit, you know we’d love to have you. That’s probably not a helpful suggestion right now, but we mean it. If you can think of anything I can do to help, please let me know. All our best.

  • Brandi says:

    I’ll be thinking about you and your family. And I’d totally offer up our basement, but something tells me VA is a little far for the kids to commute for school. <3

  • Marinka says:

    The exact same thing happened to me. I had some diamonds delivered on Saturday, and POOF! Gone! I’m hoping that Tiffany’s is as awesome as Anything Joe’s!

  • Heather says:

    Dear Kelcey,
    I just recently found your website and have spent the last few weeks reading all your past posts and laughing. Your fantastic writing and sense of humor has gotten me through a tough time and helped me remember to find the funny. I am amazed and grateful that even at this awful time you can share your gift of levity with us. Thank you.

    Thinking of you and your family as you recover from the storm.

  • LT says:

    So glad the Bieber autograph survived I wish u could help if you think of anything or you just need someone to listen to you know that I am always here.

    In the meantime just think of all the people you are cheering up with your super funny posts and tweets! Yeah Kelc!! http://www.babble.com/mom/work.....s/#blogger

    Take care. xoxoxoxox (sending extra hugs & kisses your way)

  • maura says:

    I’m so sorry.

    I live on the water in Texas… where we were pummeled by Hurricane Ike. I’ve also had to board the house and evacuate twice with twins and 2 cats.

    Good luck and keep us posted on House 2.0

  • jill Sherman says:

    OMG Kelcey! I just read this and can’t beileve what you guys are dealing with! I had no idea your area was hit so hard! My thoughts and well wishes are with you guys at this (let’s call a spade a spade)”SUCKY” time! I wish I had little boy and girl clothing to send…..my kids are way too big! Sending hugs instead…stay strong! Send Rick and the kids my love too!
    PS…I LOVE seeing Mama Bird Diaries on my email…notification that you posted. No matter where I am….I open it up! I am a little bummed these days… adjusting to having only one child left in the house so …Your humor ALWAYS makes my day! Jill

  • ugh and argh and lots of swear words. I got nuthin in the way of concrete help (um…big apartment in the UAE? wanna blow it all off and come sit by the beach?) … at least the backpack people were nice, so that’s something. Maybe they’d like to deliver you a new downstairs, while they’re at it? Fingers & toes crossed for you that things sort out soon…

  • Sandrine says:

    Kelcey I am so sorry for all you are going through right now.
    are you looking for a house in or near your town or would the city work as well.
    my mom had a flood few years ago and I know how devastating this can be and not just the material side of it. let me know if there s anything we can do and thanks for still writing.
    lots of love

  • mommica says:

    So horrible! I can’t imagine the logistics involved in caring for your family without being able to go home for three months. So, SO glad you got some love from Anything Joe’s. And that you sang their praises publicly. I try to do that whenever I’m impressed with a company. Mostly to trick myself into believing I’m not a total bitch for complaining about all of the other companies.

  • tracey says:

    Honey, I cannot imagine. Yes, thank God you still have a house, but what a horrible pain and expense this must be…

    Kudos to Anything Joe’s. Good for them for being a good company.

  • Lisa says:

    I feel your pain..can’t remember the name of the hurricane that hit Atlanta about 3 years ago (less than two years after we renovated), but the pictures of your home look mighty familiar. The good news.. in 3 years, you will forget all about it…probably because you drank so much wine to get through it. Hope you and the kids at least got on TV for it…always an upside.

  • Loukia says:

    Man, oh, man. I am SO sorry. I wish there was something I could do, like wave a magic wand and make your house perfectly livable RIGHT NOW. It must be SO hard, with the children. So many things to think about. Again, I’m sorry. I hope things get back to normal soon. And that’s really nice, about the backpacks. The little things are sometimes what someone needs to put a smile on their face, you know? Take care, thinking of you!

  • Liz says:

    I have been temporarily homeless in the past, living out of suitcases with a nursing infant and a preschooler is no picnic. Eventhough we were never without the basics and money, I found it very stressful and was not the best mommy I know I can be. I hope you fair better! Find a rental some place and try to make it as much like home as you can. Bring the toys and books that will make your children feel like they are home. Find activities and playdates to keep busy with the kids and give yourself some time off when you can, you will need to recharge and destress! When all else fails imagine how hard this would be if you didn’t have an income!

  • Angie says:

    Kelcey I am so sorry you and the family have to go through this! If you need anything please let me know. Thinking of you all. Stay positive!

  • Man, I just want to help you. Like drop off the correctly made sushi meals for you all.

    It’s going to be hard. I was without a house for about 2.5 months last summer, and it was not a good time for our family, but you will put it behind you in time.

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kelcey kintner