Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We survived a hurricane. And now I'm writing about it.

These past few days have been extremely, extremely insane. My family and I survived a hurricane. A category 1 hurricane. So it is the smallest of the hurricane's but it's a full blown @#$@(?#$ hurricane so, yeah. The eye of the hurricane went right over the lagoon -- which my house is up against the lagoon. I was smack dab in the middle of it.

So rewind to Saturday, it's block week and Taylor is studying like a mad man. I haven't seem him in days and it's normal.. whatever.. it's block week. Block week is his exams which are always on a Monday. So two days till exams and he comes home and mentions a storm coming. I'm thinking okay, whatever, little storm, no big deal. I can handle two kids, a job and an island. Bring it on.

Also on Saturday, I notice this weird sore on Halle's back. It looks like she scraped her back and I ask her about it. She can't remember falling down. Whatever, I move on.

Sunday, Halle has full blown staph infection (impetigo to be exact). So terrible sores all over her body, wide spread, extremely contagious. I'm attempting and failing to keep Halle in a small area, only touching a few things, while entertaining Dylan. No church for us, obviously. Small confined building and highly contagious rash -- not a good idea.

Sunday night around 3 pm-ish, the storm has been upgraded to tropical storm -- which basically just means they throw out a bunch of warnings and no one pays attention. I didn't think much of it. I go to the store anyways --shh don't tell--- and pick up a few necessities, (aka diet coke, milk for dylan, bananas, eggs -- stuff our family lives off of)

Taylor is gone studying on Sunday too of course. We still think he is going to have exams the next day, so crazy studying -- never hear from him -- this is normal.

The tree that almost crushed my neighbors house
All day Sunday Dylan is just being a pill. Straight up screaming, awful, mess. Not herself at all. Just angry at the world and she is letting me know. I notice some little sores on her but I just hope and pray she isn't getting the infection too. Meanwhile, the radio is talking about getting prepared for the storm that is coming Monday.

Exams are postponed, and everyone kinda starts to prepare-- somewhat. Monday around 4 p.m. the rain starts coming and all the power goes out and water. We are lucky to have a generator so our power is back out but TV is out, water is out and wifi is out.

It's officially upgraded to a category 1 hurricane and I'm thinking holy crap that came on fast. I always thought people in hurricanes probably had weeks of warning and time to prepare -- nope. not at all. I had a couple mild warnings and then all of a sudden, #$^#$^ hurricane knocking on my door. I check Dylan's mouth and she's sprouting her two huge front teeth, and they are almost peeking through. PERFECT. I message Taylor around 5 and tell him to get his #$^&@(#$* home because I'm not going to be separated from him during a @#$%& hurricane. (I used those symbols too) He runs home and the rain is pouring and winds picking up.

People around our house are running around trying to secure everything outside. The owner of our place is yelling at us trying to get us to bring Halle's bike inside and all our other shiz. Ricardo, the maintenance guy comes around and he tells me to just give it to him and he will put it under our deck, which I think is perfect. He says, "She tends to make things very small, seem extremely big. It's just a little rain. No worry." Typical island attitude. At this point I'm still agreeing with him. I still don't really think it's going to be a big deal. I figure our power and water will go out and that's about it.

So Taylor gets home, we put Hal's bike on the back porch--still outside but hidden. There really isn't a place to put it inside. We have an all-inclusive kitchen/dining/play/living/office room, with minimal walking, playing, standing space.

Anyways, our windows start rattling. Everyone loses power, except for us because of our generator so I can't communicate with anyone on the island (we use internet for everything. no phones out here) Winds pick up to 70 mph -- which is INSANE. Our lovely neighbor David comes over to tell us to move our car or buy a new one after the storm because a tree is ready to fall right on top of it. Taylor goes to move it and I run to the asian market to buy the necessities. This is when my true colors really came out. I came home -- literally with the following items:

1. Four cans of diet coke
2. Popcorn kernels
3. Butter
4. Sugar
5. One bottle of water

Now I know who would die first in a major storm -- this girl. I wanted to make popcorn balls okay?!?! Plus I wanted to distract the kids. So now, Taylor is home, it's officially quite scary, Dylan is getting her teeth, crap is flying all over and trees breaking and branches flying and Halle is in so much pain from her sores on the back of her thighs and her back that she can't sit or lay down or do anything.
A family in my ward's house where the roof collapsed

I put on Lego movie for Hal (thank you Haley for the movie -- she LOVES it) and I pop popcorn and make a carmel for it. Taylor and I watch the palm trees and the lagoon and it is @#(*$# insane. I've never EVER seen a storm like that. Boats were stuck on the lagoon, the casino down the street had it's roof collapse on it, next thing I know our neighbor says a giant tree fell about three feet from her house. It could have easily fell right in the middle of her house and seriously injured her and her two little girls and husband. REALLY scary. Luckily they are fine. We're still panicking and our roof starts to leak right above our bed, then there starts to be some leaking right above Hal's bed too. I put towels down and by now it's about 8 p.m.

Movie's over and I've shoveled so much popcorn into my mouth I can hardly stand it. We throw on the frozen soundtrack and dance around the room -- because-- Why not? Hal LOVES dance parties, so that's what we do. DANCE PARTY. in the middle of a hurricane. We hardly notice what is going on outside. It was great. Hal washes up and I put the heavily medicated kids to bed.

Shortly after all the leaking started, the eye of the storm passes over us and then we notice all the palm trees are being blown in the opposite direction. That's when we know it's on it's way out. Thank goodness. Our windows are rattling, I'm worried about coconuts or branches flying and breaking our windows. We somehow manage to get through everything with no flooding and no damage.

Lots of our friends weren't so lucky. A family in our ward had part of their roof collapse, about half of my friends had major flooding in their apartment with quite a bit of damage to their belongings. One of my friends had their windows broken.

Anyways, when the winds shift it somehow shifts the water on the roof and the leaking stops. I start reading and Taylor is back to studying, but by now we're thinking there is no way he has exams tomorrow.

The next morning I wake up around 6 a.m. with Dyl-- again, normal -- and the wreckage outside is
Our parking lot which is usually spotless.
They sweep it every day
insane. It's like a complete, other place. Everything is COVERED with branches and trees and you can hardly walk around. The outside was completely unrecognizable.

Everything was closed. The asian market was still open but all the water was gone and a good majority of everything else. No power still so if you were looking for something, you had to do it in the dark-- good luck with that --- . It was kind of like Jumanji when they were at the grocery store, minus all the shooting and stuff. I kind of felt like I was in a movie. it was weird. Exams cancelled, schools cancelled, island is in rebuilding trying to get roads drivable and everything put back and assess damage.

Dylan gets the infection, yey, and her two front teeth push through. Halle then wakes up with a fever and pukes her guts out.. Then later I hear domino's is opening at 4 pm so I'm thinking there is no way in @#($*# I'm cooking, I'm too freaking tired and exhausted from sick kids, I'll just go pick up a pizza. Put the kids in the car -- and my car won't start. PERFECT. We walk to the pizza shop by our house --- I can't take the stroller because it's under our deck and I probably couldn't push is with all the branches anyways, so carrying Dylan, walk to the pizza shop, everyone else wants pizza too. They guy ran out of supplies and its about an hour wait. Screw that. We come home, I'm very defeated, and I make mac and cheese.

It's been insane. Luckily everyone is safe. My kids are on the rebound. Taylor is currently taking his exams, and I'm living to write about this insane, insane, few days of mine. I did a little bit of damage in the online shopping department because I was attempting to feel something like I was still in the states and in the comforts of shopping, whatever, it made me feel better.

I also lived off of popcorn, carrots and diet coke. who knew? I really like caramel popcorn.

Seriously, though it made me count my blessings. I have everything I need. I have my beautiful kids and Taylor, who is INCREDIBLE. I'm really, really lucky to have him. If you are still reading, I'm super impressed. This is a NOVEL.