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Hurricane Irene: Our Family Experience + JD Is 4!

Long time, no blog. As you all know the East Coast was hit by Hurricane Irene over the weekend. I’m thrilled to report that JD, my family, friends and I are fine. By the time Irene made her way to our neck of NJ she was considered a “tropical storm” (or a prude in my friend Ed’s book). But this didn’t mean I didn’t go a little nutso in preparation for what the media claimed was going to be a devastating hurricane in North NJ. And I have to say, the aftermath in my area IS pretty devastating. My condo and family’s homes are all fine. We don’t live in “flood zones,” but we do utilize roadways that were greatly damaged by flooding, erosion and fallen trees. Take this picture here…This is Route 23 in North NJ. The highway I use to get to JD's school and my freelance gig. It's also home to the Wayne Transit Center where I can catch a bus to NYC when I have a job or meeting in the city. Yeah. No. Fail.

On Friday I made Uncle Bri move in with JD and me, because I was freaked out about going through this hurricane alone. We stocked up on water, flashlights, batteries, tuna fish, canned veggies, snacks—and stuff for a taco party, including alcohol. Uncle Bri froze containers of water in case the power went off, because it would be a way for us to keep the fridge food cold (he’s so smart). We took JD’s toys off the balcony. We were ready. But, nothing happened, thank God. The power remained on. Bri cooked burritos. We played games and watched movies. Did crafts. It poured. The wind howled. We survived. But all of this Hurricane news and prep occurred days before JD’s 4th birthday (!!!) and I refused to be trapped in the condo due to inevitable flooding, so Uncle Bri and I took JD for his birthday bike on Saturday morning. The sky was grey. The rain was falling, but it was not windy. We were the only people in Toys R Us in Wayne. I explained to the cashier I was not a crazy person buying a bike in a hurricane when everyone else in town was searching for batteries to no avail. It was my kid’s 4th birthday. He needed a bike. And Uncle Bri also needed to buy him a gift. (See the Hot Wheels pic.)

Back at the condo, Uncle Bri assembled the ramp (coolest toy ever) and bike. #1uncle

Then JD cruised the hallways—because it was pouring outside.

We were bored and made “Hurricane cookies,” next.

The next few days were rough. Major roads were closed which made the school/work commute insane, but doable. I used back roads with 40000000 other people. A 24 minute commute to work took 3 hours. JD was at day care on Monday until 6:45 pm due to traffic. Sigh.

JD turned 4 yesterday, but due to the proximity of my condo to my family, only my dad (my parents are divorced btw) and friends who live in my building were able to celebrate. Uncle Bri had work and was in traffic, Uncle Carlo and my Mom could not get to us due to road closures and flooding, there was just no route, sigh. I made the best of it for my little guy! I ALWAYS DO.

We made cupcakes.

Then we had a private breakfast cupcake party!

We had a picnic and JD rode his bike in the courtyard of our building.

We went to dinner right up the street.

Then we went back to my condo for cupcakes, cookies (wine!) and gifts. My dad (and his gf), JD’s godmother, Katie (who lives downstairs) and Aunt Lissy (bff since I was 13), Uncle Rocco and their son Rocco, 1, (who live upstairs) all came.

We sang Happy Birthday! JD had a great day!

Note to JD: I love you so much buddy! I did everything in my power to give you a happy 4th birthday! Today at pre-school your class sang "Happy Birthday" to you and ate rainbow and chocolate sprinkle cookies I sent in. Next up, your kiddy party @ Jumpnasium with all of your friends.

Hope everyone is safe and sound! How did you all do in the hurricane?

XO and thanks for reading my blog!

Full disclosure: I don't rep any brands or facilities mentioned in this blog. I am not paid to write about such. I did not receive "freebies" either.