New Year’s Eve 2009 – domestic update

It’s 5pm on New Year’s Eve. The kids are downstairs somewhere with the ayi, Reid is having a nana-nap…. all is quiet- hopefully time for a quick update before witching hour begins.

The big news of the last few weeks is poor Yu Mei was hurt in a bus accident – the bus jammed on the breaks to avoid a car, and Yu Mei, who was a passenger in the bus, fell over and hurt her neck. She was taken to hospital in an ambulance and, much testing later, her neck was put in a brace. Obviously she can’t work, so she’s been relaxing at home getting better – sending her son over to us to deliver vegetables and fruit (fairly sure it’s supposed to be us sending her stuff?).

Anyway, she’s getting better, and has appeared at the apartment a few times to see Zac, who she misses a lot (and to have a coffee). We think she may be back next week, but don’t really know at this stage.

In her absence I completely panicked and over-compensated with childcare. Zara’s teacher offered to keep Zara in school for the whole day (finishing at three), and I rounded up three more ayis, plus extended the hours of the cleaning ayi we already have. Zac was starting to get a ridiculous amount of attention – but now everyone’s hours have been reduced a wee bit and things are approaching normal.

Isn’t this domestic stuff interesting? Perhaps I should move on…

Nikki’s medical adventures have settled down, but she was considerably more ill then we thought she was going to be. A sad offshoot of all this is for a while she was unable to pick up Zac or Zara, so for a few weeks there was no discussion on who was going to see what the problem was at 3am (yes yes, it’s all about me really).

She finished for the year on the 24th and is taking three weeks off over Christmas as Helen (her mum) is in town. Next year is going to be all about the Shanghai Expo, which will be madhouse busy for her, so holidays next year will be few and far between.

Zara has finished school for the year and also has three weeks off now. The week of full days at school left her completely munted at the end of each day, but the school does do very cool stuff in the afternoons (art appreciation, modern dance etc), so there is thought we’d try and extend her hours next year. The cost is positively frightening….

Zac is crawling around the house like a little demon, and particularly enjoys investigating the toilets and unloading dirt from the pot-plants. He is standing by himself for minute periods, and likes pushing around chairs and buggies while standing up – it’s only a matter of time before he loses the supports. He is still a lovely bugger, and occasionally sleeps in until 6.30am. Bless.

And me? Well, I’ve been busy working. And yes, I know you all ask, and yes, the answer is the same: no, I have not got paid (for anything yet), but hope springs eternal in the human breast.

In recent events…. for Christmas we started with champagne and kid-related consumer madness here – Zara was very excited this year, once we’d explained that Santa could take the lift to get the apartment since we didn’t have a chimney. For lunch we moved to a friend’s place (Tushka and John), and ate considerable food with a few other families, retreating home at 6pm. Kids asleep by 7, parents shortly after.

The next day Helen arrived – she’s been completely monstered by Zara who has demanded (and received) lots of attention. Helen is here for two weeks, so last night Reid and I snuck out for a night leaving her in charge (supported by Ayi Miao). We booked a room at the Graceland Courtyard Hotel, a 8-room hotel in a hutong west of the Forbidden City, went for dinner at the Da Li Courtyard and a few drinks at the East Lake Jazz club. It’s our first night away from kids since Zac was born – and the time before that was that trip to Chinese fantasyland, Qiqihar. Fantastic.

We’re going to try again next week, on a longer trip to Shanghai.

Anyway. It’s now 6.30. I’ve pushed some pasta into Zara and she is now watching Harold and the Purple Crayon. Zac is starting to nosily head toward bed after clambering around under my desk unplugging stuff. I’ve been taking photos of the Blue Moon that is rising through the clearish-skies. Reid is making coffee in an attempt to amp up – as we now have to get geared up for a New Year’s dinner and drinking, being careful to dress appropriately as it is already -7 outside, and getting colder.

Happy New Year y’all.