The Napkin Hoarder

The Napkin Hoarder: One bunch of napkins at a time

0 notes &

Surviving the First Week of Kindergarten

We did it! We survived the first week of kindergarten! WHEW!

Ninjette talked a lot about being nervous and even had a meltdown about wearing uniforms over the weekend. On Sunday, I was a little nervous because Ninjette’s sleep has been off, I’ve never been so unprepared for the start of something, and frankly, I did not want Ninjette to go to kindergarten.

I have been desperately trying to stop time all summer, but somehow September still found me. I think my personal feelings about Ninjette starting kindergarten transferred to her because Ninjette frequently said to me, “Don’t worry, Mama. I will still love you even when I get older.”

Monday rolled around and there was definitely excitement in the air as we got dressed and started our walk to school. Our walk was filled with discussion about how nervous she felt and when I told her that I had felt nervous on my first day at school, she replied, “You were?! How long did it last? Did you get over it?” I think it gave her a little peace. She didn’t really want me to take a picture, but she allowed me to take this one and then she said I could take a picture when we got to school.

Ninjette put her brave face on and got in line for kindergarten. As soon as she started walking in, I kept waving to her until I couldn’t see her. Then, I cried. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting the emotion, but there it was. Thank goodness for sunglasses!

After walking home, I curled up in a ball in her room and just cried the rest of the morning. Just kidding. Sort of. I have to tell you that Monday was the longest day of my life. I don’t even know what happened that day, but I do remember a lot of pacing around and checking the time.

Pick up time finally came around and Ninjette’s sum up of the day was: “Well, it started out great and then… it stayed like that forever!” The walk home was filled with lots of questions about staying in the same class forever, when does school end, does she get to stay in class even during the winter, and so on. I take this all as a good sign. One of her main goals for kindergarten, though, is learning to read. The other day, she said, “I can’t believe that I can’t read!”

The rest of this week was filled with all sorts of interesting requests including a note in her lunch with pictures because she can’t read. I did a mix of words and pictures and I guess she tried to ask one of the other kindergartners how to read it and they couldn’t either, so she was going to ask the teacher to teach more reading.

Her beloved Bear Bear has been going to school with her every day, sitting in her backpack, and giving her boosts of bravery. There was a time where she wouldn’t go anywhere without her blankie, but now blankie stays home. Every day, she is growing up and evolving into this big kid. She sheds her younger ways little by little and it makes me sad. It also makes me excited for the new adventures we will have as she gets older.

So I leave you with my five tips for surviving the first week of kindergarten:

1. Schedule something awesome for yourself after drop off. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but maybe it is a splurge on that special coffee drink on the way to work or back home. Maybe it’s a lunch with a good friend. Just something so you don’t wallow in the trauma by yourself!

2. Pick out the next day’s outfit and have things packed the night before. It creates a bit of excitement for the next day, but also helps to alleviate the craziness of the next morning. It also helps to settle into a nice routine.

3. Schedule something fun at the end of the week for the whole family. It’s a fun way to celebrate a milestone for the family. Also, if there were some tough times in the week, it will help to have something to look forward to.

4. Don’t over-schedule the first week or two. We did that on Monday and it was a disaster for Tuesday! Also, the whole family just needed time to readjust to the new schedule and clearly, Ninjette needed an extra hour of sleep and downtime every day this week.

5. Give lots of grace all around. It’s a new routine, new experience, new school - a lot of new things. Give yourself a lot of grace and to all those around you.

Congratulations to all my fellow kindergarten-starting friends! You did it! WE did it! Let the good times roll for the rest of the year!!!

Filed under kindergarten ninjette parenting

2 notes &

September 11

13 years ago, I had been living in Manhattan for a whole two months. The sky was actually flawless that morning as I walked to work. As I walked towards the elevators to go up to my cubicle, I heard someone talking about a plane running into a building. I remember thinking how ridiculous his statement was.

But in the split second that I was on that elevator, my world changed in a way that I didn’t think would even be possible.

It was the day that we all became more suspicious of one another. It was also the day that heroes emerged within us. It was the day that changed everything.

So many lives were lost on that day. So many brave men and women who rushed in to save lives and to help…some of them got out and some did not.

It is still a day that is wrought with tears and sadness. We will never forget.

Filed under 9/11

1 note &

In His Shoes

In the midst of mourning for Mike Brown, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of Robin Williams. So many thoughts have been running through my head, but this Robin Williams quote kept coming back to me: “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.” So Captain! My Captain! I write…

I know those voices really well. I used to hear them much more often than I do now. These days, it’s just once in a while. Most of the time, I can switch them off and I replace them with the healthy tape that I’ve been working on for years. The shock and pain in my heart, though, never decreases when I hear about a suicide or an attempted suicide. I can almost feel that pain in my own heart and in the pit of my stomach.

But after that, I feel anger. Anger that no one was there to help. Anger that there may have been someone there to help, but couldn’t. Anger that he thought himself so worthless. Anger that the world would be better off without him. Anger that he believed the lies that depression was telling him. I’m not sure why I feel anger. Maybe it’s the anger that I have for myself because I have been in his shoes. 

I’ve been to that point of desperation - utter despair and darkness - that is seemingly unending. I distinctly remember each of the times that I had tried to take my own life. I remember the voice inside that was telling me that I was worthless, better off dead, and that I really didn’t matter. I also remember feeling that death would somehow bring me relief from the darkness, the pain, and the deep sadness.

I don’t know exactly what Robin Williams was feeling this morning or this past few months or even these past few years, but what I do know is that I have been in his shoes. I have been mired in the darkness and have outwardly shown a smile and a laugh - trying hard to keep it all together.

Depression is a terrible illness - one that never really leaves you and always tricks you with its lies.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, please know that you are not alone. Please call 911 or you can call here to get help: 1-800-273-8255 or go to the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website to chat with someone if you are in crisis.

Rest in peace, Robin Williams.

Filed under depression robinwilliams

0 notes &

BlogHer ‘14 Recap: The Mirror That Changed Me

I just got back from my second BlogHer conference and it was…validating, empowering, fun, amazing, and rejuvenating.

I felt nervous about being there, but was excited to have two roommates waiting for me at the hotel. I am seemingly extroverted, but am terrible at meeting new people and small talk. I was so thankful for Cheryl and Kimberly!

The first day, my mind was preoccupied with two things: meeting Flourish in Progress and reading my post for VOTY later that night. I felt like I was holding my breath through the keynotes and sessions - even though they were all incredible and I absolutely loved Tig Notaro! I also got to hug LTYM creator, Ann, and the most wonderful New Cities Mentor for LTYM, Melisa. On top of all the meeting people in real life, I also got to meet some new folks. Little did I know that they would become my tribe by the end of the conference.

But let me get to my personal highlight for the first night. This was my view during VOTY:

Before VOTY started.

After VOTY… WOW, right? WOW!

Then, this happened:

Flourish in Progress was one of my inspirations to keep on blogging! It was pretty amazing to meet her in real life and to just talk with her and spend some time with her. She is authentic, beautiful, and a rock star. Thank you so much for being out there and for your words…

It was strange to give voice to my post and to actually say the words, “I wish I was white,” out loud - in front of people. It was heartbreaking, empowering, and cathartic. I am so thankful to BlogHer for giving my voice a chance to be heard.

I was completely floored by all the readers. I had so many moments where I was wondering, “How did I even get chosen to be up here?” backstage. When I looked out at the audience, though, I said, “Wow,” because each and every one of them - they were a mirror reflecting back at me. I was worthy because they are all worthy. I could speak my words because they have already been speaking their words. I was up there because of them. Because of YOU.

The next day, was equally as amazing because I just got to meet more amazing people and to also feel a bit like a rock star because of all the “me, too” moments that people were sharing with me. I felt bonded, united, and blessed to be there.

I was so excited to hear Kerry Washington and was definitely pleasantly surprised by Kara Swisher, but was also so grateful for ALL the 10x10 speakers on both days. I also decided to spend some time in the Expo Hall before the closing party and I was glad to have one of my roommates join me. We decided to stop by The Mrs. Band booth where they had this huge mirror. Our hotel room mirror had these clings on them that read, “I’m enough” and it was quite inspiring - it was a little promo thing that The Mrs. Band had for BlogHer attendees. Here’s my selfie:

(Before you continue, take a second to go watch their video and hear their single: Enough)

So, the mirror in the Expo Hall was something similar, except it had headphones. We waited in line and I wasn’t sure what to expect. After putting the headphones on, I heard a women talking to me and I just talked back to the mirror. She asked me if I was a writer and she asked me to do a little dance - I did. Then, she asked me to look in the mirror. So I looked. After a moment, she said, “What do you see?” I looked at that mirror and myself again and I just cried. The first things that came into my head when she asked that were terrible, ugly thoughts of myself. When I couldn’t really say anything, she said to me, “Do you know what I see? I see a strong, amazing, beautiful woman.” And she continued to affirm me while I just cried. I cried because a complete stranger was speaking truths about myself to me - truths that I could not even say to myself. It changed me.

That night, Rev Run was at the closing party and I danced like a 13 year old girl. I felt confident. I felt powerful. I felt beautiful. I felt like I belonged.

I looked around and I saw my village. Within this beautiful village, I found my tribe:

(Kimberly, Danielle, Melissa, Cheryl, Me, & Lisa)

As I reflected on my BlogHer experience for the past two days, I came to realize something. BlogHer ‘14 was the mirror that changed me. BlogHer, you reflected back to me every brave heart, every authentic voice, and every beautiful soul that is within each and everyone of us. You are the writers that I aspire to be. You are the role model that I have been looking for. You are the voice that needs to be heard. You are the mirror that has changed me, empowered me, and made me see ME for who I really am.

And for all these things, I am forever grateful.

Filed under blogher14

0 notes &


Today, my little baby turned 5. I’m still reeling from it. I don’t think I will accept it until the day she turns 6.

When did my baby grow up?

1 note &

Summer TV List

So, there are tons of summer reading lists that are floating around this time, but I love me some TV in the summer! It’s a good time to catch up with shows that you didn’t get a chance to watch during the regular season and it’s also a great time to try out new shows! Here is my list of must see TV, summer edition:

  • Royal Pains: Did you want to spend your summer in the Hamptons? Well, join Boris, Hank, and the rest of the HankMed crew for five seasons of beautiful Hampton scenery, beaches, people, and clear blue skies. With the exception of one summer storm, every day on Royal Pains is picture perfect. Plus, by the end of the first season, you will know how to intubate and start your own concierge doctor business. Catch all five seasons on Netflix now.


  • Orange Is The New Black: Your wild days of youth catching up to you? Prepare yourself to serve your sentence by heading over to Litchfield. Don’t forget to get your prison nickname too for those prison tattoos. You can also watch this on Netflix. Let me know after you’ve watched both seasons and we can talk about it!


  • House Of Cards: Didn’t get that internship in D.C.? No problem! Intern for Frank Underwood to watch and learn from this master political insider. Everything you see is pretty much true. Bill Clinton said so. Catch both seasons on Netflix - go watch it now.


  • Dr Who: Who doesn’t want a visit from the Doctor? Plus, he rides around in a phone booth and has a beautiful British accent. What’s not to love? Jump on the Tardis and do a bit of time travel this summer! You can catch it on BBC or on Netflix.


Want more recs? Let me know! Any good shows that I should add to my own list?

Happy summer TV watching and hope you learn a little something! I’m pretty sure I would make a good CSI and a doctor - or at least play one on TV pretty darn convincingly.

Filed under tv Summer netflix

0 notes &

I’ve Hit A Brick Wall

There seems to be a wall that I keep running into over and over again. I seemed to be a bit tapped out. The ideas just swirl around in my head with no where to go. There is a lot of false starts with frustrated taps to the delete key. There are precious minutes spent searching Pandora and Spotify to find the perfect playlist that will inspire me, keep me focused, and bring this all together. There is a lot of wandering, snacking, and all around restlessness.

So I’m sitting here and just writing whatever is in my head - in hopes that this will somehow cure me of my aimless wandering. How do you break out of creative ruts?