Las Quatro Harwoods

Ambush in the night

I don’t know about you, but I was ready for lunch by about eight o’clock this morning.

Ah, Christmas with a six and three year old.  Actually it was just Maddox that was the crux of the making my parents miss out on sleep shenanigans.  Josie actually sat up after he badgered her awake and just said,”Ok, I’m going to just rest some more.” and then laid back down.  It actually took a little extra work to get her up and rolling towards the tree.  That girl likes her sleep.

So how do I have such detailed analysis available of the morning happenings you may ask.  Simple answer. They both found their way into our bed last night.  Josie does it every night.  Its really just a matter of when. She’s even beat me to my own bed a couple of times and this is after she’s fallen asleep in her room.  Maddox joined us last night this morning at three a.m., when he was certain it was time to open presents.  The negotiations were successful once the offer was made to join us and a major crisis was averted. This alternate ending provided for a lot less room in the bed and a lot more body heat trapped beneath the covers.

It was a good day though.  Our first Christmas spent in Ghana was definitely a good one.  We had fun opening presents, a nice breakfast, watched a morning movie, had a swim and lunch by the pool.  A couple of Christmas day firsts there. I managed to sneak in a run, Robyn did some yoga and we even had an afternoon nap. It wasn’t without its hitches. But any day that starts before six with kids this age that went to bed at nine chock full of sugar probably would have a glitch or two right?

There was definitely a bit of missing the extended family, but a couple of FaceTime calls seemed to help a little bit.  Its a confusing thing for the kids. They’re really happy here, but they miss their grandparents and cousins for sure.  Maddox said a few times, with tears in his eyes, that this was the first time in his life he hasn’t spent Christmas with extended family. Cute, sad, heartwarming and heart wrenching all at the same time. It’s a lot for those little brains to process.  For that matter its a lot for Robyn and I to process as well sometimes.  I do know they were both happy to see grandparents and cousins for at least a little bit today.  Its always fun to talk about what you got for Christmas.

But let’s back up a bit.  We’ve had a good week.  We got invited to our first Hanukah celebration this week.  Robyn has become good friends with one of Maddox’s classmate’s mom and they invited us over for the fifth night of Hanukah celebration at their house.  We had no real idea what we were walking into, but luckily we got there half an hour early so we had plenty of time to prepare.  Trns out we had the time wrong and come walking in all early.  His dad laughed and said he hadn’t even shaved, mom was still working furiously in the kitchen.  Of course the boys didn’t mind. They were just happy to get to play. We were definitely the odd family out that evening, but it was cool to be invited and get to experience something different.  One more perk of this life we’ve chosen. (oh and the donuts and latkes were definitely perks) We were actually also the last ones to leave in the end as we were enjoying good conversation with our new friends while the boys burned off some sugar energy kung fu fighting each other.  Point of randomness. One of the conversations turned to this Israeli dad who moved here from India telling me about a tiny steakhouse he loved in Dothan, Alabama.  Hilarious.

We had Tina’s family over for dinner one night as well.  Her mom, twin, little sister, nephew and Kwame all joined us for the evening.  It was another evening of slightly awkward fun.  There’s a little bit of a language barrier with her mom but, we had a lot of laughs and a great time sharing gifts and a delicious meal.  They all had a good laugh as Robyn and I tried out some fu fu that the kids had a chance to help pound.  It was not bad.  There really isn’t a particular taste, its just a conduit for the soup it is served with.  I guess I’d describe it as a kind of ball of gooey dough thats made with plantain and cassava.

Last night we hosted a Christmas Eve party for our teacher friends who stuck around over the break.  We had a fun night with about twenty people including kids.  Robyn worked hard putting together a fantastic night.  The place looked great from the fancy new tablecloths to the left over paper snowflakes we got from the middle school dance. It was nice to get to talk to some folks outside of school and just good to be with good people.  It also didn’t hurt that we got to shoot off some fireworks!

I talked Maddox into going for a ride with me to the bank this afternoon just to get him out of the house. He was in a bit of an afternoon exhausted, overstimulated, confused about missing his extended family funk and we needed some cash for our trip. It seemed like a good plan.  Turned out it was.  He had fun being my helper, we got some time to talk and we spread some Christmas cheer.  On the way back, he asked for a FanChoco.  Its kind of like a big popsicle in a pouch without a stick thing they sell on the streets from carts around here.  So we bought one for him and one to bring home to Josie and also bought one for the guard of the building where we had stopped. Maddox liked the results and decided we should try to do it again in another part of the neighborhood.  So we stopped a couple more carts and shared some anonymous FanChocos with people in our neighborhood.  It turned out fun and Maddox perked up a bit as we shared the experience.  It always feels good to make others happy. I want our kids to see that’s what life’s about, not just this season.

If I got kind of rambley tonight I apologize. Its been a long day (josie just walked out here and laid down on the couch next to robyn. its ten pm. funny) and I’m a bit exhausted.  We’re headed out for more adventure at the beach tomorrow and I probably should have been asleep by now.  Please ignore any lack of editing or coherence and forgive any pertinent information that has been forgotten.  I’m positive I’ve left something out.  It’ll be better next time.

So, regardless of if you celebrated Christmas today or not, I hope your family enjoyed the day as much as ours.

One love.

This entry was published on December 25, 2014 at 11:07 pm. It’s filed under family and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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