Valerie Manwill writes coming of age novels and stories with quirky twists. She is an award-winning playwright and has a handful of stories published in varying anthologies. Other braggadocio includes being fluent in both Spanish and Golden Era Vines. Valerie melts in the Arizona sun with her two baby boys and snarky husband.
So I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Woot woot!!!! So excited for it too. I didn’t participate last year because ya know… newborns will do that to you. But back at it again with the lofty writing goals.
REAL QUICK If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is… It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Authors from all over the globe attempt to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I’ve already been working on it for several days now.
Last time I did it I FREAKING CRUSHED IT. Finished my whole novel in THREE WEEKS. But I’m kind of a freak when it comes to writing soooo… Do I anticipate to do that again? Abso-freaking-lutely NOT. haha. For some reason (a reasonable reason) adding the second kid really slowed me down when it comes to drafting.
But I DID do 10k in a single day with both kids so… I could just do five of those and then… ugh. That makes me feel so tired I can’t even finish that sentence.
I’m doing a couple of things differently this year and I’m *intrigued* to see how they go.
One of the biggest differences is that I’m not going in sequential order. This is the 4th novel I’ve started and I’ve always strictly gone in order. Chapter One, Two, Three… But yeah, I’ve decided I’m not doing that this year. This time if there is a scene I’m really excited “to get to”, I’m just going to straight-up write it!
I’m also going to dabble in dictation. I’ve used it a little with outlining and blogging but never drafting. I think it would help with speed or situations where I can’t sit down and write, but I dunnnnoooo… my speech to text on both my phone and laptop are hilariously inaccurate. So if I do too much of it, I’m going to be rewriting my whole book in the editing room.
I also am going to vlog a little each day. *Try to* that is, so don’t hold me to it.
If the NaNo site fixed their links, you can see how I’m doing here:
It’s been so dang long since I’ve told an embarrassing story. Too long! And it’s not that I don’t have any. I have MORE THAN FREAKING ENOUGH. So, here you go, here’s a Halloween themed one for you.
So once upon a time, my friends and I decided to go to this “new and upcoming” haunted spot. Well, so okay, it wasn’t new new. When I was a teenager, everyone basically had trespassed at Kay’s Cross at one time or another. It was like this weird stone cross in the middle of this wooded area that no one really knew who built it or why. It was assumed that it was built by this Cult leader in the 20s. And anyway, just a lot of mythos and legend surrounding the place.
So, a few years ago, the owners of the property decided to give tours of this creepy place. And I had never actually gone to Kay’s Cross as an adventurous teenager so I was like, Hey. What’s a better “quarter-life” crisis than this, huh?
I remember as we were driving there, I was so freaked out for some reason. It was me and another married couple (like my usual life) And even just driving there we were jumping at everything. Wrong turn OOOOOOH. Dark culdesac OOOOOOH. A kid on a moped. OOOOOOOOOOOOH.
We get there and NOT A SPONSOR. But that place was crazy amazing. It was just some kid taking us on this spooky wooded walk, telling us weird stories about things that had happened there. And I was EATING IT THE FREAK UP. Like I don’t know if it was the atmosphere or what. But I was CREEPED THE HECK OUTTA THERE.
I feel like the traditional haunted house nowadays are built solely on the idea of jumpscares. Which, sure… spending twenty-five dollars to be yelled at for an hour is traumatizing I guess. But this place was entirely different (at least at the time that I went to it. I haven’t been back… probably because of the following story…)
We get to this heavily wooded spot and our tour guide announces to keep our eyes open because this is usually a spot where people “see things”. He said that every single time they walk through this spot at least one person in the group will see a dark figure or like a child or something. Again, I AM BUYING INTO THIS SO HARD. The power of suggestion is NO JOKE! Really!
Now JUST LIKE I MENTIONED BEFORE… in a traditional haunted house, a guy with a chainsaw is a good jump scare but like the loud sound just kind of melts into the rest of the background. You know what I mean? There’s nothing really that special about it.
BUT THIS TIME it was TOTALLY DIFFERENT!
Everything had lead up to this one moment. Like this slow, eerie, dead-quiet build-up for a half an hour. And then BOOM, this loud chainsaw starts BRRBRRRR-RRRRR! My scream was so loud it tore up my throat on the way out. And also … something else happened…
An uncontrollable stream… no freaking joke… I am not talking about a little piddle. I am telling you that MY BLADDER EMPTIED. COMPLETELY. Down my freaking leg.
Okay, I had always heard that joke. That someone could be so scared they pee themselves. I DIDN’T REALIZE JUST HOW BAD IT COULD BE IN REAL LIFE.
And don’t forget, I carpooled with someone… so I wrap my coat around my freaking waist so I wouldn’t get pee all over their seat. It was bad.
So yeah. I’m a baby. I apparently need to start wearing diapers to haunted houses now. It’s cool.
This is a series where I try to write the synopsis of a movie BASED SOLELY on my ratty childhood memories of it.
SCOOBY-DOO ON ZOMBIE ISLAND
Um, okay. Spoiler Alerts. Maybe. Hahaha
So Scooby-Doo and the gang have split up and gone their separate ways… wait… isn’t this the plot of the live-action movie? Hmm not off to a good start… Okay, so Daphne and Fred are like in a random marketplace or something and this girl naaaamed… Leyla?… tells them that she lives on an island in the Louisiana bayou and that the island is TRULY HAUNTED. Daphne who is… like an investigative news reporter now, for some reason, is like YO! LET’S GO! And they have to gather the gang back up, which apparently isn’t hard once they tell Scooby and Shaggy about all the Gumbo that they will eat there.
So this gruff riverboat guy takes them to the island where Scooby gets into a fight with a catfish for some reason. And then they meet Leyla and her sister… um… blonde Leyla. Blonde Leyla is pretty hospitable, except that she doesn’t like Scooby because he’s an icky dog.
Daphne immediately goes into the kitchen to film some like reporter thing. And while she’s filming, a civil war ghost appears and carves “GET OUT” on the wall with his sword. So Daphne takes a spoon and starts scraping the wallpaper off (Lol is this memory even real?). Leyla is like WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU WHY ARE YOU DESTROYING MY KITCHEN?! And that’s when Daphne is like Hey this wall has been made from an old pilgrim ship… or something like that.
So anyways, one night, zombies start chasing them. And there is a SUPER COOL THEME SONG THAT PLAYS. And then I think maybe Shaggy falls into a pit or something? Iono. But the sun comes up and the zombies, like, slink back into the mud and disappear.
So probably some other stuff happens and mystery-solving that I don’t remember. But then they discover that Leyla and Blonde Leyla are actually… evil cat people (???). And gruff riverboat guy is actually an evil cat person too! So they’re stuck on the island. And all the cat monsters have been trapping people and sucking out their souls and turning them into zombies… I think to be able to live forever or something? And also I feel like there’s some big monologue about how their feelings were hurt by pilgrims or whatever.
Anyway, Scooby saves them somehow, but I don’t remember. I think he breaks their little green scepter thing that sucks out their souls… No, wait… that’s the live-action version again…
Um. Scooby saves the day and gets a Scooby Snack. THE END!
I went to that conference I said I was going to go to. And it was super helpful. Um, not in the way that I thought it would be though.
I had a critique workshop. And oh, boy. You know yours isn’t very good when everyone pauses before their critique and goes, “Okay, yeah… … so this one…”
*Me, listening to their critiques with my hand on my chin.* Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Yep. Okay. Perfect! I know exactly how to fix this.
*scoops entire manuscript off the desk and into the wastebasket underneath*
I’m kind of glad. From the beginning, I knew this had some really messy challenges. It was the first novel that I had ever formally finished and even though the premise is cool, it’s extremely difficult to pin down and write… and have it make any sense.
I spent the first day of the conference mourning the unpublishable mess I had scooped together, and then the next day of the conference pushed me in a really good direction. I realized that through all of the obsession over publishing I had completely abandoned my original dream (I couldn’t think of a less dramatic way to say it haha). That dream is to one day in my lifetime, have an entire bookcase full of my own printed-out manuscripts. I’ll always aspire to be traditionally published, but I have too many book ideas to be married to just one.
The fog lifted. The direction became clear. I NEED to start writing my next book IMMEDIATELY. That has been the obvious take away from both the conference… and also from being aggressively haunted…
Yeah, so, okay. There are muses. And then there is Lennon. I’ve already mentioned how pushy he is as a muse … it’s no joke. I COMPLETELY understand why there are THOUSANDS of books and movies (and Broadway plays even) that are all about him. Because honestly, once he picks you. You’re done. You’re writing something for him right then and there. Maybe that’s even how he continues to influence music. I mean, probably.
I tried to read a book. A manuscript for my critique partner. And this imaginary Lennon-presence-thing would have none of it.
LENNON: Reading again, ay?
ME: Go away, John, this has nothing to do with you.
LENNON: Hmm, you’re right you know. How about this ol’ bookie that Cyn wrote about me, then?
ME: No, thanks.
LENNON: Let’s have a look…
ME: I already committed to—
LENNON: LET’S HAVE A LOOK THEN, SHALL WE!
So, whatever, I ended up switching mid-way through for one of the books that Cynthia Lennon wrote. (“John”) I read it in like a single day, because of this imaginary shotgun to the head. At the end of the book she mentions that John had once told Julian that if anything were to ever happen to him, he would send a white feather. So that anytime Julian saw a white feather he would know that ‘John was there and watching out for him’. Which I thought was a really nice sentiment.
OKAY UNTIL WHITE FEATHERS STARTED SPONTANEOUSLY POPPING UP ALL AROUND ME EVERY FREAKING DAY.
The first time, it was a cool anomaly. I was walking the boys to my neighbor’s house and there it was. A perfect pure white tail feather. I was ecstatic, because wow, what were the odds of finding a pure white feather the day after finishing that book? I took a picture even.
I began seeing white feathers every single day (still do btw). On the sidewalk, on my car, on the playground, even in the pool.
One time, we took the kids outside to play and I told my husband about how weird it was that I was finding these perfectly white feathers all over. He totally laughed at me. He said, “Okay, just because you have a little crush on John Lennon you think he’s trying to give you a sign or something…” I shrugged. Because, yeah, that was probably right. And I went inside the apartment to get the boys a drink of water…
My husband swears that right after our conversation, as soon as I shut the door behind myself, A WHITE FEATHER DROPPED FROM A BIRD AS IT FLEW OVERHEAD, RIGHT WHERE I HAD BEEN. And he got the heebie jeebies … and now he doesn’t make fun of me for it anymore…
But even after that, I was like, wow. Pretty funny coincidence…
Do I need to mention again how pushy this muse is?
This one day, I’m coming back from lunch with the boys. I get out of my car. Notice the feather. Haha, there’s my feather for the day. Cute. Still happening. I take another step. Another feather. Step. Feather. Step. Feather.
I freaking look up to see -THIS IS NOT A JOKE OR MADE UP STORY OR PRANK PULLED BY MY HUSBAND THIS IS A REAL THING THAT HAPPENED THE OTHER DAY – small white feathers were scattered on both sides of the pavement leading all the way up to my front door.
I slowly walk inside with my children. Turn the deadbolt. And call Ghostbusters.
Anyway, long story short, I started writing a book about John Lennon. So, that’s fun!
The other day, Dan was asking me about Kiki’s Delivery Service. (You know, one of those two in the morning conversations.) And something occurred to me…
THIS MOVIE THAT I HAD WATCHED LIKE EVERY DAY AS A CHILD WAS BARELY IN MY BRAIN ANYMORE. How can that be possible? I know I’ve seen this movie more than a dozen times. So what? Fifteen little measly years can go by and erase this BEAUTIFUL CLASSIC MASTERPIECE FROM MY LIFE???
So, I had an idea. (You know, one of those two in the morning ideas.) What if I tried to explain the movie with only the vague bits and pieces that I remembered? And ALSO what if I embarrassed myself by making it a whole series on my blog?
Beautiful. Let’s do it.
KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE: A VERY SHODDY SYNOPSIS
Okay, so there’s this witch with a big red bow and a black cat. And she lives with her… family (???) in the woods (?????). And the family is like, Hey now, your power is flying on a broomstick so you need to go and do something with your life and… help people probably. So, I guess this child witch has come of age and ventures off to… venture, I guess.
While she’s flying around looking for a place to be a witch, she runs into another witch flying along with a white cat. She tries to talk to her, but the other witch BLATANTLY SNUBS HER. And she’s like WOW what a little B-witch. And then that witch character never appears in the story again… I’m pretty sure…
Okay, then she ends up in this… French looking town? And finds a bakery and tells the old woman, “Hey, I can help you deliver your rolls by flying all around town.” And the old woman says, “Cool. You can live in my attic if you want.”
So, she… delivers bread around town… getting to know townspeople and stuff. And like helping them? Okay, maybe I’m actually thinking of Pollyanna… I don’t know. I legit am getting a headache, I am trying SO FREAKING HARD TO REMEMBER THIS.
Um, alright, so there’s a nerdy boy with a striped shirt and they become friends. And… some stuff happens… and she can’t fly for some reason… and it’s important that she fly because of… another reason. So this cute nerdy boy takes her on what I think is a bike. Lmao I don’t know why I’m imagining a blimp / bike. I think that’s wrong. But whatever, so this kid takes her on a blimp / bike and she gets it to fly. And they… deliver… the bread.
So last time I gave you a full-ish update, I mentioned that Dan had gotten a part-time job and we were still looking. Yo, Pharmacy is not a joke right now. Anyone thinking about going into it should know that getting a job is REALLY DIFFICULT. And not just for an unfinished resident. I mean, IN GENERAL, it’s incredibly competitive.
But something kind of amazing has been happening to us lately…
The job that Dan landed is a PRN job which if you are not familiar with the medical field it basically means “as needed” or like “a substitute pharmacist pretty much”. He was told that it would probably only be one weekend a month. Like ten hours or something like that. So yeah. It was a PANIC. Ten hours a month ain’t a real job. So we were up to our necks trying to find something else.
BUT THEN. Once Dan got all trained up, he started getting a lot of shifts… and then a second site hired him… and then they started giving him remote shifts. Now all of the sudden he’s working full-time.
I kept watching our Google calendar fill up month by month before finally, I realized… this is the job. Dan loves it. It’s the EXACT company that he wanted to work for. And he gets to spend a TON of time with the family. Like… this is it, dude. Why mess with such a good thing?
There are other little details that need to be ironed out since PRN isn’t a traditional job, but I think we can make it work and I finally feel… settled. I spent the last however many months feeling on edge and overly anxious about “THE JOB” when… it was there all along. He had it within the first six weeks.
I always have to mention the writing so here it is.
I re-read my last “Life Update” from May and it made me freaking whimper. EVERYTHING IS STILL THE EXACT SAME. LIKE NOTHING HAS CHANGED ALL SUMMER. Isn’t that dumb!? I work on stuff every day with like so little to show for it. And I know, emotionally, I’ve had a lot on my plate… like honestly a bowling ball on my paper plate. But still! It really sucks. Because through all the hard days the ambition has not gone away. In fact, I would say that the ambition has only gotten bigger and meaner. Like a fat, feral, untamed ambition eating me from the inside out. And all I do now is sulk around the house complaining that I don’t have ten more novels finished since May.
I just want something to happen. Anything. A big gust of wind in my sails. I need to feel like I’m moving forward.
It’s been a very difficult time for me personally.
Someone very close to me has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. I don’t want to say who it is, to respect their privacy, but just know that it is a relationship that is absolutely irreplaceable. Every day I have to wake up and imagine what my life would be like without that person. And I don’t know what’s going to happen.
If you are the praying sort… or you vibe with vibes… or you’re a really cynical person but you’re good at sending funny memes… just keep me in mind, I guess.
Other than that kids are doing great! They are so sweet. Getting bigger every day! Life overall has been good… which is weird because it’s been the absolute worst year of my life.
Also in retrospect, I should have started with the worst thing and ended with the best thing. Welp. That’s what I get for trying to do some cutsie title. SORRY. Tune in for, hopefully, some cheerier updates down the road.
Nothing but a shout out to some hard-working and talented indie authors.
Castaway Unending: Devil’s Trifecta
Ten researchers from Miami explore the Bermuda Triangle in hopes to find the cause of its supernatural phenomena. That cause doesn’t want to be discovered, however, and will make the crew of college professors and students pay for their meddling.
Naylin follows a young girl being thrown into a Coming of Age ceremony with 2 men fighting over her. Then, dragons and shenanigans ensue, culminating in a tale full of romance, comedy, and self-discovery.
What if the gods themselves wanted you dead?
Fated to Meet You
Tired of her boring life, one day she is magically transferred to the past. There she chooses to replace a dead princess, determined to live in that time. But there was only one reason for her time-travel; she had to break a curse that haunted the royal family for many generations. Will she be able to save her loved one and survive fate’s game?
Under a Fallen Sun
Paige’s quest to find her missing brother Todd turns into a battle for survival in an isolated Texas town. An enemy they never knew existed has come to Earth.
Read along as we travel to Christy, Tennessee where God called together a group of friends to stop an alien invasion in this Christian science fiction novel by R. E. Henderson, where we see just how aliens are…Among Us.
Tristan Starbuck is not a man you are likely to have heard of (unless your interests are very obscure), nor is he a man who by most metrics would be considered good or important. But he is my brother, and I believe him to be the best and most extraordinary person I ever came across. I have decided to tell his story – as difficult as it may be to put much of it into words – because after all, I believe that it is emblematic, of something.
The Battle Ground Series
Sixteen-year-old Bex Ellman has been drafted into an army she doesn’t support and a cause she doesn’t believe in. Her plan is to keep her head down, and keep herself and her friends safe – until she witnesses an atrocity she can’t ignore, and a government conspiracy that threatens lives all over the UK. With her loyalties challenged, Bex must decide who to fight for – and who to leave behind.
A dystopian thriller featuring Zach and teen daughter Abby. Chased from their home into the Wild, they must search for a new safe place. Will they make it, or will they fall to the surrounding madness?
Forever and One Day
After the death of her grandmother, Savannah’s perfect life falls apart. Seeking redemption from her inner demons, Savannah discovers the path to well-being isn’t a straight line.
A lost civilization on Titan. A Global Corporation trying to destroy it. And a religious war brewing that could destroy all life of the moon.
Viekko Spade picked the wrong week to stop doing Triple-T
Hayden Crowe fronts an all-girls band down in Austin, Texas. Between tending bar so her sister can stay in school and dealing with the fallout after their addict father skipped town, she hasn’t exactly had time to join the social media freak out over the recent outing of vampires and werewolves.
Her world comes crashing down the night she’s attacked in an alley after a gig and bitten by a feral werewolf. Unable to return home for fear of hurting her sister, and with a message scrawled across her arm warning HOSPITALS NOT SAFE, Hayden is left with just one option…
The Can-Do Karate Kid
A karate kid realizes that laziness and procrastination are ruining his life and he must figure out how to fight them.
Maybe running off with the traveling preacher wasn’t Ruby’s best idea. But she can’t call home because in 1979 the closest thing to a cell phone is a CB radio.
The Adventures of Edward Brett
5500 years old. Forged in fire. He’s the god you’ve forgotten, stopping the monsters that haven’t forgotten you
It’s spooky, kooky, supernatural fun.
When Sophia crosses paths with Princess Isabella their lives intertwine in an unforgettable way. Switching places for one week, they both happily live their dreams until disaster strikes. Can they reverse the devastating consequences of their actions?
Ordered to undergo a dangerous mind-wipe procedure, Lily avoids arrest and becomes a rogue agent. In her journey to uncover the truth, she teleports to an alien planet where she faces a terrifying threat unlike anything mankind has ever encountered before.
The great evil is attacking, and the king has asked a young hero to make a name for himself… But is the great evil what it seems?
Artistic Love in the Psych Ward
Rain is an artist who likes to paint, draw and write what God speaks to her on a daily basis. She is in community college majoring in art studies. She is trying to cope with the loss of her maternal grandparents when she also experiences a sexual assault. After these two traumatic life occurrences, she decides to commit herself into a psychiatric ward. In the ward, she meets a guy named Chase. Chase is a goth who also expresses himself through art. He is dealing with some issues of his own. But when he meets Rain, he reluctantly befriends her. She challenges his own thinking on being able to forgive as she is also working to forgive. Can they both heal from what has happened to them? Can the artistic bond they both share aid in the healing process? Can forgiveness truly cover the hurts and mistakes of the past?
A haunting, supernaturally twisted tale of privilege, stolen innocence and dark, fierce and otherworldly revenge!
“You are worth the quiet moment. You are worth the deeper breath. You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest.”
Self-care has recently become such a popular topic and I’ve recently embraced it full force these past couple years. We are asked, in a spiritual point of view, to love our neighbors, to love our parents. But, do we love ourselves? Do we love ourselves as passionately as we love those around us?
I’ve watched close loved ones literally love their loved ones to death. They give and give till they are empty themselves with nothing left to give anymore. Their other loved ones who need it the most have been put to the wayside. They are an empty shell and have lost their true purpose and spark who made them who they once were in the first place.
One of my favorite analogies is the oxygen mask on the airplane. When an airplane experiences distress in an emergency, oxygen masks pop out from the ceiling to assist breathing. We are instructed to place the mask over ourselves before helping our loved ones. In life, if we can’t take care of ourselves first, we will not be able to help the people next to us.
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you.”
If we do not take the time to fill our cups, we will have nothing to pour out.
One of the main things people struggle with giving so much, is that there are no boundaries set with the people around them. They want to help so much that they forget that they need help too. Here are ways to set boundaries in your own life:
Name your limits—You can’t set boundaries if you don’t know what you stand for. What do you tolerate and accept? What makes you feel uncomfortable and stressed? That will help list your limits.
Tune into your feelings—There are two feelings that come from letting go of boundaries (discomfort and resentment). When someone makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s a cue that they’re violating a boundary. When someone is imposing their expectations on us, we will feel guilty and resentment sets in.
Be direct—Be direct with how you want to be treated, what makes you tic, and what you won’t stand for. You’ll know the toxic relationship by who takes these things personally.
Give yourself permission—Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; it’s a sign of self-respect.
Make self-care a priority—put yourself first for a change. It’s recognizing the importance of your feelings and wellbeing.
Putting yourself first gives you the energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them. When we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, co-worker or friend.
“You owe yourself the love that you freely give to other people.”
In my second book, The Love We Found, my main character wants to help someone with a life-threatening illness, only to get herself in trouble too. This concept is called “Save the Savior”. If we put ourselves in danger by helping someone, we are no use to anyone. We actually cause more damage in the process.
I whole heartedly agree with helping and loving others. But sometimes we get so caught up in other people’s needs, that we forget our own. Why do we get caught up in other’s needs? Because of guilt and shame? Grief? Sincere selflessness? To impress? When will you put your needs first? Do you know how to put your needs first?
Everyone deserves self-care, self-respect and self-reliance. You owe yourself that. You are a person with passions, dreams, hobbies, personality, diversity, quirks and gifts. You deserve to harness and spend time crafting those things just as much as you push your loved ones to do.
The term self-care has been around for centuries. But it’s just come to terms with younger generations for whatever reason. Self-care can look different for different people. Self-care is defined: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
I have anxiety. I’ve always had it. I think it stemmed from my parent’s divorce from an early age. I never did anything about it till my second daughter came along. With the help of medication, my anxiety doesn’t control me anymore, even though I still struggle. And the help of self-care has even put me at lower dosage of meds. How does one practice self-care?
Here are some things that I do:
Workout for 30 minutes every day
Less screen time (television and phone)
Taking a long, hot shower
Going on dates with my husband
Going to bed at the same time every night (10pm)
Eating well (and indulging too)
Drinking plenty of water
With these things, I’ve noticed that I’m happier, I’m living more in the moment, I am invested in my children and husband, I am overall a better person not being acted upon.
Again, self-care is different for everyone. What works for me might not work for you. It also doesn’t have to be doing something. Lying in bed and meditating in the quiet will be enough!
And I also want to point out that SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH. It’s important. It’s integral.
I can’t help but to believe that we were put here on this earth to just be idle. We should be giving our loved ones and ourselves the best version we can be. Don’t get so lost in others that you lose yourself. Everyone deserves to be taken care of—including YOU!
“It’s important to do what’s best for you, whether people approve of it or not. This is your life. You know what’s good for you and remember, self-love takes strength.”
Morgan Flores is the author of young adult books including The Love We Lost and upcoming release sequel, The Love We Found. You can follow her on Instagram @morganized_living for all updates on minimalism, self-care, organization and book updates!
Okay, so a year and a half ago, I made a schedule of what it was like to have one kid. Well, here’s my schedule of what it is like with TWO KIDS. When I was pregnant with my second, I looked and looked and looked for this kind of post… I could never find it. So I MADE ONE MYSELF YOU’RE WELCOME.
*I will note that there is no schedule with the second for the first few months. And then they dip down to three naps a day and it all comes back to you. By the time it’s two naps a day. NO PROBLEM.
8:00 (ish) Wake up, breakfast, get everyone dressed
Honestly, it’s such a mystery when my day is going to start lately. My baby is very consistently like 8-8:30, but for whatever reason these past few weeks my Toddler has been like 7-9. I wake up, I give the baby a bottle. Jack has a waffle, cereal and strawberry milk, (which he wants every day). I have to change everybody, sit the toddler on the potty. Eat breakfast and get ready myself, which is probably the biggest challenge. Showering has to be quick and I’m usually getting out soaking wet to move the baby back to his toys.
9:00 The daily chores
Every day I make the bed and do dishes. And then I have one chore assigned for that day of the week, like laundry or bathrooms. Sometimes I get them done before the baby’s nap. Most of the time I don’t.
10:30 or 11:00 Casey’s Nap
I put the baby down and then play with Jack, but I let him pick what he wants to do.
12:00 or 12:30 Lunch
I wake the baby up. Which always feels mean but worth it to get a mutual nap from the kids later. We have lunch together and if my husband is home we’ll go out somewhere fun.
I call this time Recess in my mind. Pfft. That’s probably dumb. But mostly it’s just where I let the kids play rough and tumble for the last little bit before they sleep. During the blistering Arizona summer, I pull out the plastic slide and try to make a fun play place inside.
2:00 Both kids Nap
This eclipse is everything but it’s so hard to navigate. Jack first and then Casey. If I’m lucky I can get about an hour to myself. I *try* to reserve this time for writing, but honestly a lot of the time I’m so tired I end up sleeping!
4:00 Variable. Usually screen time
Whenever the kids wake up I try to keep it chill. I don’t have a set time for this, but every single day I try to have a reading time where I just read the kids books for a while. Right now, Jack is loving “Pajama Time”
I learned the hard way that dinner has to be as early as possible or the kids get GROUCHY. I’ve started meal prepping and it’s honestly SAVED MY BUTT. I can feed the kids when I need to and there is still a meal for Daniel when he gets home, I don’t have to worry about staving off the kids until later.
6:30 Some kind of adventure
Okay, so… here I just try to do something fun. Swimming is a good option right now in the heat and I prefer sunset swims because 1) Not as hot 2) Shade. Don’t have to sunscreen the kids! 3) For some reason, we get the pool to ourselves at that time and 4) THE SKY IS SO PRETTY!
If we don’t feel like swimming, we go to the play place at the mall. In the cooler months, we’ll go to the park or something.