Whattup my dudes. Here is another, my eighth!, annual round up of Things That Have Happened To Alice Bartlett. For context to my future self, here is a good blog post about 2022 in general.
My children continue to delight me and make me extremely stupid with love every day. E is nearly four and regularly says things like “are needles real?”, “‘mmm mmm mmm mm mmmm’ - That’s how worms say ‘I Love You’” and “has anyone ever tried chocolate on bread?!”. Her brother C is one and a half and does a great deal of chuckling and squealing. He’s very good at football for someone who can barely walk. E and C are obsessed with one another still, and C often sits on his big sister’s lap for a cuddle. rip me.
This year we discovered that Baby C has seizures, probably just the kind that young children have. So we’ve spent a lot of time in A&E, and assorted other bits of the local hospitals.
When I came back from maternity leave in April, I started a new role as Tech Director for [the team that runs FT.com and their apps] as Anna Shipman’s maternity cover. I interviewed for this job while I was on leave. It’s a big role but I had a lot of support and I ended up really enjoying it. I did it for seven months, and then returned to being a Principal Engineer in November.
The return to the Principal Engineer role was welcome despite enjoying the bigger job because having small children and moving house had left me quite fried.
When I returned to work I also got to resume my place on the Next Generation Board. Our tenure had been extended because of the pandemic so I got to do another nine months! The NGB had made a lot of progress since I’d gone on leave and some of the people on the board, especially the more junior members had become so much more confident in their own ideas, which was incredibly nice to see. The NGB as a group had also settled into a well bonded team which wasn’t an especially obvious outcome when I went on leave as we were still all sussing one another out.
We moved to Brighton
In my last yearnotes I said at the end that we were thinking of moving to Brighton. We did that in March. Selling a house at that stage of the pandemic was tough because we had to be out of the house, it was January, and most people wanted to view the property at about 6pm. So we spent a lot of time in the car park of a nearby Sainsbury’s. After about 10 viewings though, we did sell. We had about four weeks from exchange to completion, which meant four weeks to find a place to rent in Brighton. The result of this was that we ended up living in an utterly absurd house. Not one to waste a #content opportunity I made some fun Instagram stories which I’ve now stitched together into ten minutes of lols for you here. I have removed the ones that show my kids, so you’ll just have to imagine my daughter repeatedly getting her arm stuck in the banister.
In our first week in the rental we made an offer on a proper house to live in which was, mercifully, accepted. Four months later we moved into that house. Normally I try and sort of tease out categorisations of events for yearnotes, but the move into this new house crashes into several other events which I will cover now.
The confluence of several stressful events in July
In a period of three weeks, from the middle of June:
- Lachie went back to work from three months of paternity leave
- Baby C started nursery and immediately caught the first of many viruses, as is usual with starting nursery
- E and C both caught a fever and were discharged from nursery in line with Covid guidelines, meaning Lachie and I were back to juggling childcare and work.
- Just after turning 1 Baby C had his first seizure. An utterly terrifying event which I wrote about at the time. Since then he has had a bunch more seizures, some of them have been kind of fine and some of them have been really really distressing. In between these brain-farts he is what doctors call “developmentally normal”.
- We moved house
Anyway, because there was no alternative, we got through all that, moved house, E got back to nursery as did baby C.
Lol read on to find out how cursed my holidays were last year. Oh my god.
In January we spent a month (1, 2, 3, 4) in the Peak District with Lachie’s parents. Lachie was working and I was on maternity leave. What I remember of this was some amazing walks with my daughter, getting really into geocaching, a lot of snow, trying to get down the side of a very muddy valley with baby C in the baby bjorn and E holding my hand. This quite enjoyable period ended with Lachie’s dad breaking his leg in a fairly dramatic way and me spending a week trying to stop E running headlong into him as he tried to recover.
We went to pickering for our holiday that was postponed from the previous year. This should have been very relaxing, Lachie’s whole family distributed across a bunch of farm houses, however C had a seizure the day before we left, and I unknowingly brought norovirus to the holiday and infected three of Lachie’s family. So I spent the week being sick or looking after sick people.
I took up running
As the daylight hours dropped I realised there was really no opportunity for me to leave the house in the light so I downloaded the Couch to 5k App and put on my runners. Working from home makes it easy to go for runs because you can fit them in in the mornings, or over an extended lunch break, or however you like. Excellent.
Time for a nap
2021 was a year in which a lot of things happened to me, and this year, I’d like fewer things to happen to me thanks. This year I would like to get more people over for dinner, grow better tomatoes, decorate more bits of our new house, and make some progress on some crunchy work problems that I did the set up for in 2021.