My Current Daily Routine With My Two Year Old Just Add Ginger

Becoming a stay at home mum was a big adjustment for me. I worked with children in the past but it was only once I had found my feet as a parent that I realised that being at home with a baby 24/7 was bloody hard work. 

It took me a while to find my rhythm. Eric has never been one for a strict routine so things chop and change all the time and have kept me on my toes. However, lately I finally feel like we have established a good little daily routine that means we both get the most out of our day whilst still being completely flexible. 

image shows a toddler boy lying on his back in the woods and looking to camera

Now I'm by no means a mum expert, but because it did take me so long to find something that worked I wanted to share what we currently do. We are about to go through a big life adjustment with the new baby coming so now more than ever it is imperative that Eric is settled, and knows what he is doing

I should also say that whatever we are doing let Eric know. I talk him through what the plan is as and when it happens so that he isn't left confused. He may only just be exploring his words but I never underestimate his understanding.

image shows a mother and toddler son walking through the woods in autumn. They are dressed in warm clothes.

Morning: The time Eric wakes up everyday does vary and I don't make him keep a strict wake up time because he does occasionally still wake up and stir during the night. So the time he does get up in the morning is a pretty wide window between 6am-7.30pm.

As soon as I go in to get Eric I gauge his mood. Sometimes he wakes up starving and grumpy and other times he is in a pretty good mood so I can get him dressed before breakfast (I always do this step first on a Monday and Thursday because Eric goes to the childminder. 

Breakfast for Eric usually consists of the same thing everyday (check out my post about what he tends to eat here). He eats in his highchair (which is now a toddler table) and I will put on a Julia Donaldson animated short for him to watch. This gives me time to drink a lukewarm coffee and grab some breakfast. 

After breakfast and a nappy change / getting dressed we will either head out somewhere or (if the weather is dry) go into the garden for some play. I am a big fan of free play so leave the patio door open so we can go in and out as we please. 

Then, around 3.5-4 hours later (usually around 10.30 - 11am) it's time for biscuits and bed. Eric will go to the kitchen to find his biscuit and he knows that means we are going upstairs for stories and nap. He walks up the stairs, puts his biscuit on the bed, then I lift him in and he will "tell" me what stories he wants to listen to.

If he's in the mood to sleep, a nap will last about two hours, although this is Eric we're talking about, so sometimes it barely lasts two minutes! 

While he sleeps I try and nap, then I'll sort out the dishwasher, grab a snack, watch some trash TV and enjoy the peace.

Afternoon: When Eric wakes up I tend to seize the opportunity to give him a bath. We throw in lots of toys, make loads of bubbles and he has some water play and a wash. I'm not going to lie - doing this means I can have a wee (or poo) and brush my teeth if I haven't been able to that morning. I dry him off and put his nappy on in the bathroom and they we are on the build up to his lunch.

One of Eric's favourite things to do after a bath is to run into our bedroom, jump on the bed and then potter around with our books or my makeup and jewellery. He thinks it's hilarious. When I finally coax him out I get him dressed in his bedroom and then we'll head downstairs. 

While Eric has his lunch I'll have mine. I will put on something for him to watch (at the moment it's usually Baby Shark or some of the Simple Songs episodes on Amazon Prime) and then it's play time, a class, or I try to take him out somewhere again. 

Being as pregnant as I am right now I'm not always in the mood to go out (the tiredness hits me around 3pm) so I do have to admit defeat and have a movie afternoon with him where he will watch the film, colour in and play with his toys. He seems happy to do this sometimes but if he does want to go outside again he will let me know bring me his coat and shoes as a cue.

Evening: Dinner time for Eric (if he has it) is in between 4.15-5.30pm depending on how the day has panned out. I will cook for Eric and tidy round the living room, putting away toys, folding clothes and generally making it a more grown up space ready for when he goes to bed

Eric isn't the best at tidying but will help by taking any nappy sacks to the bin for me. And if I need to finish off the dishwasher he will pass clean plates, bowls and cutlery to me so I can put them away. Then I clean up around the living room and hallway as and when it is needed or attempt to put some washing on / collect it from the line or dryer and fold it up ready to go upstairs. 

Ryan usually is home for around 7pm (on a good day) so he does the bedtime routine. If not, I treat Eric to a biscuit so I can get him up the stairs again for bed. He's not the biggest fan of going to sleep at night and will protest so whatever gets him in the mood to walk up the stairs works for me. 

Mondays & Thursdays: Eric goes to the childminder twice a week so on those days I try and get housework done as well as having time for myself. We do have a cleaner now who comes bi-weekly which has taken some of the pressure off me but I save up any big errands, cleaning or creative work until Eric is out the house so I can concentrate on it fully.

Images: Rachel Clarke Photography


Empowered Bumps The Practical Birth Partner Workshop | Just Add Ginger

I have been trying to look at pregnancy so differently this time round. I've been taking things a lot more in my stride, been trying to keep calm and do as much research I can into techniques I can implement during both my pregnancy and labour to stop me panicking and getting too stressed. 

I first heard about Jenie and Empowered Bumps Hypnobirthing through Codie and for a long time really wanted to attend one of her pregnancy relaxation classes. But with Ryan's sometimes erratic and unpredictable work schedule and the distance I'd have to travel to get to the class I soon realised that it just wasn't going to be possible. 

image shows a birth affirmation card and range of arts and crafts objects

However, The Practical Birth Partners Workshop was definitely something I wanted to take us both to if I could. With us planning a home birth I thought it was really important for both Ryan and I to learn some new strategies to help me manage my own discomfort and to help me stay as focused and relaxed as possible to keep me motivated and feeling positive. 

So with Eric safe and happy elsewhere, Ryan and I got in the car and set off to the workshop which was run from Baby Bear's Den in Crosby - a newly opened space set in the grounds of a nursery that runs classes for pregnancy, babies and families too. It's a hub that I feel has been desperately needed in our area and it was the perfect place for the workshop to be set. 

Light, bright and airy, there was an immediate feeling of tranquillity that hit you as you entered the room. A small seating area was set up next to sets of yoga mats, birth balls, an inflated birthing pool and beautiful affirmation boards and bunting. Everything just felt so serene and instantly set the tone for what the class was going to entail

Joined by two other couples we first all sat down and introduced ourselves before Jenie did a little introduction and we started some initial activities. All of us had different stories and were there for different reasons but it was nice knowing we were all on the same journey and there to support each other. I didn't feel embarrassed or ashamed at any point during the day and I think a lot of that I can attribute to the other attendees who were there. 

The workshop was a combination of guided learning, practical relaxation techniques and conversations that touched on birth preferences, the role of the birth partner and our rights as expectant mothers / fathers and ways we can empower ourselves to hopefully help achieve the birth experience we want. 

What I loved about the workshop is that I got to practise techniques I had heard and read about in a guided class environment. It's one thing seeing something on paper but it's a completely other thing actually giving them a go and knowing you are doing them right. I really respond to that style of learning - I like to be supported. 

It was also brilliant learning new things. Things that I wouldn't have had a clue about had it not been for the workshop. Rebozo, different styles of massage and new breathing techniques...all of these Ryan and I now have in our 'toolkit' ready to pull out during labour should we need them. And all of them fully adaptable and workable around my disability.

The workshop also gave Ryan more of an active role to play. He has been so focused on sorting out the birthing pool but now he has more to do. He's not the type to show when he is scared or nervous but I know there is a strong chance that during labour he will be so now he has a lot more he can draw on to direct his thoughts should they start to deviate. 

Jenie was an incredibly charismatic and approachable class leader. She was easy to talk to, relatable and didn't at any point preach to us. The class was 4 hours long but with her leading us the time absolutely flew by and I was a little bit gutted when it all was over because she made it so enjoyable!

image shows two hand painted positive birth images

Self care as a pregnant person is so important and I felt like - for the first time in a while - like I was really doing something for myself. Especially as someone who has and does struggle with anxious thoughts. I now feel like I am really doing myself justice and putting things in place to support myself in the lead up to welcoming this baby.

The workshop really resonated with Ryan to - so much so that he has suggested we book on for the Empowered Bumps Intensive Hypnobirthing course. It's making me feel so excited that he is fully on board with what I want and I know that the workshop has really helped him feel secure in his role as my birth partner.

If you are in the Liverpool area and want to learn more about hypnobirthing, Jenie, or any of the services she offers, definitely check out the Empowered Bumps website. You can tell she is incredibly passionate and dedicated about what she does and as someone who does get a bit nervous thinking about birth, attending her workshop has really helped me feel more empowered than ever! 


Baby Names We Loved (But Aren't Using) | Just Add Ginger

For a really long time, trying to think about our baby's name was one of the most difficult tasks. As soon as we thought we had found a name a day or so later I would go off it and we would be right back at square one. When I was expecting Eric we already knew what his name was going to be so it was less of a stress, but I think naming a second baby is much more difficult because you need something that complements your first child.

image shows newborn hands holding a large toy nappy pin

Little One has a name now that I am 99.99% sure isn't going to change (I feel it in my bones that this is his name) however once I had gotten over disliking all the names we did have a list of both boys and girls names either both of us really liked and were thinking of using, or ones that I was trying to convince Ryan to like so that we could possibly use them.


I found trying to come up with boys names a lot more difficult than girls. Deep down I knew this baby was a boy even before we found out but because I had quite a few girls names that I had decided on before, coming up with a new list of boy names was always going to be a little bit more tricky.

Arthur: This is a family name on both mine and Ryan's sides and it was a pretty strong contender at one stage. However I just didn't think the name suited us as parents. Arthur is obviously very traditional and I didn't like the abbreviations of it (Art, Artie) should we want to shorten it to a pet name. I know it's grown in popularity over the past few years but it felt a little bit too vintage for us.

Hugo: This name was on my list before we knew Eric was on the way and I do still really like it. However, it has also been on my list of names I would call a dog and the association I have in my head of a little cavalier King Charles or Labrador called Hugo running round is just too strong. I think the name itself is gorgeous but I just don't think I could use it for a child (I'm still keeping it on the table for future pets though)!

Ernie: Again, this is a family name that I absolutely love. But Ryan really wasn't sure. Whereas I thought it was adorable picturing a little Eric and Ernie running around, Ryan could only think of Morcambe and Wise!

Fox: This was one of our middle name ideas and we both really, really liked it. For a good long while this was going to be the baby's middle name. The only reason we didn't go for it is because there was a name we loved so much more and one day I decided that if we didn't use this certain name and didn't go on to have more babies I would be devastated.

Floyd: Again this was a contender for a middle name. Ryan is a huge Pink Floyd fan so the fit was perfect. And even though I was the one who initially suggested it, I soon went off the idea because I think it's much more of a dog name than a baby name.


I have said this over and over again but in my heart I know I'm so much more of a boy mum than a girl mum. Don't get me wrong I'd love to have a daughter one day but I honestly don't think it's going to happen. So with that in mind, thinking of girl names is my guiltiest pleasure. There were so many I liked last time (you can check out the baby name video I made then here) so I took some from that list and a few more were added once Ryan and I started talking about names again.

Annabelle: If this baby had been a girl, this would have been his name. I think Annabelle is just so pretty and girly and I love the way you can shorten it to Anna, Belle or Annie. I'm not discounting it for future children so it's still very much on the table.

Margeary: This would have been in memory of my grandma (although we updated the spelling after watching Game of Thrones) and it was one of my top choices for a while with the idea that I would have shortened it to Gigi. However I much prefer it as a middle name. Like with Arthur I don't feel it's a first name that naturally suits us. Also - every time I'd say it it didn't quite fit (I think it's because it ends in a y which sounds a bit clunky with our surname). 

Arya: Half inspired by Game of Thrones and half because it has been so popular the last few years both Ryan and I loved this name. It's pretty but powerful (we especially associate it with power after GOT season 8)! It was only bumped off the list of potential names because I was so set on using Annabelle and it's definitely a name choice I'd pull out again for if we go on to have another baby.

Erin / Eireann: Ryan really liked the idea of Erin (or the Irish version Eireann) but for me it's too much of an association with the famous model. I also think that Eric and Erin just sound too similar and it might get a bit confusing for both them, us, and anyone else who would be using their names.

Ophelia: This was on my previous list and I still love it to this day. It's a quirky name that's a little bit unique but has literary connotations to the Shakespearean character. It's still high on our list of name options so I'm not discounting it but I don't think I'll get to use it purely because I think if we do have another baby down the line it is going to be another boy.

What baby names do you love?