Been a while since I posted – and will be another few months before I get my head above water. The job (meaning the Thailand project) is nearing some sort of deadline, and there is an immense amount of work to be done before then – so any time at the Mac is spent with my head inside technical tomfoolery.

But anyway… a quick catchup.

Zac is still the same relaxed cheerful bloke he has always been. He’s a few weeks off his 6 month birthday and apart from a bout of sneezing a few weeks back, he is all good. This morning he had first taste of something solid (a wee bit of brekky mixed with formula) which seemed to be popular. He is still having his 10pm feed, which gets him through to 6ish most nights, Zara willing (see below). Yu Mei adores him.

Zara is definitely going through the crappily-named terrible twos (a year off schedule). Grumpiness and flagrant disregard of the rule of law is common, which we can all cope with, but the nights are getting grim. If she manages to open half an eye during the night she’ll come crawling into our bed and start complaining about things (bot-bot! nose wipe! bathroom trips!). Sometimes she does this loud enough to wake Zac, who is still in our room. Reid and I are both fair shattered.

So, a couple of days ago we’ve started that stand-by of the olde-school book of parenting, the Reward Chart (using stickers from Auntie Rachel’s Christmas present as the carrot). So far, two stars – but coupled with other grimness as well. Sigh.

To make matters worse, we are only 3 weeks through the summer holidays, which last about 300 years.

My sister Toria has been staying with us for the last few weeks, and will be for another 1 1/2, which has been a fantastic bit of timing – for us – not so much for her. She’s been helping with the kids and the house, relieving some of pressure off us, and will babysit at a moments notice. Just a shame Reid and I are too exhausted to go out much. In between domestic duties she has been showing herself around China, as I have been too busy to go with her – so far she’s knocked off various parks, the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tiananmen, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, some hutong, plus other sites. Hopefully she’ll be back next year when we’re in better form and will be able to spend more time with her.

In fact we are going to have a full house next week – Nikki’s brother Ben and his business partner are dropping past for a few days.

Reid has been accompanying the new Ambassador on his introductory calls around Beijing – he is working his way through the Chinese leaders and thinkers at the moment, last week seems to be concentrated on Newspaper editors. All very interesting stuff, according to Reid, and she’s also working on some really interesting reports for Wellington, so work for her is going pretty well. Perfection would probably be the combination of her job and adequate sleep. Reid is also keeping half an eye on next year’s World Expo in Shanghai, which will take up a lot of her time as it approaches.

And me? I have been working. Thats about it.