I need to remember some of the funny things Raffi has said this Christmas season at age 3, so here we go -
1. He thinks it snows on Christmas, and that’s how you know it’s Christmas. I really hope he isn’t disappointed if it doesn’t snow this Christmas!
2. Before bed, a typical one-sided Raffi conversation goes like this: “Mama, how does the Elf fly to the North Pole? Are there holes on the windows? Yes there are tiny holes but then how does the elf get back in? Hm I think I know. The elf uses his magic but I wish I could go to the North Pole to see the elf talk to Santa.”
3. Raffi has decided that he wants a series of blue things for Christmas. When you ask him what he wants he says “hmmm a blue rocketshipppp, a blue ball, a blue monster, and a blue yo-yo.” I don’t even know how he knows what a yo-yo is. He’s also decided that Ali’s favorite color is purple, so when you ask him what she wants he repeats his list in purple.
4. It’s a big deal that there isn’t a STAR at the top of our Christmas tree. Almost every day Raffi mentions that our Christmas tree is missing its star. When he sees photos of other Christmas trees without stars at the top (HI ROBBIE) Raffi gets really upset about it. He wants all Christmas trees to have stars at the top!
5. Just like at 15 months old, this kid is obsessed with Ferrero Rocher chocolates. He thinks that all treats should come in threes because he’s 3 years old, so he will often ask for three “gold chocolates.” I give him one and he shouts “HURRAY!” every time.
6. For some reason Raffi thinks that stockings look better on the tree. At some point each day he takes the stockings down and hangs them on the tree instead.
7. After 3 years of rarely singing, Raffi is in a singing mood all the time now. His song of choice is Jingle Bells. He sings it this way “Jingle bells, jingle bells, hanger all the way.” It’s so cute.
8. Raffi met Santa at his auntie and uncle’s house, and he keeps talking about how he wishes Santa would have stayed all night. The other morning he woke up and immediately said “I wish I was at auntie’s house with Santa one more time.” He wasn’t afraid or anything! He very quietly told Santa exactly what he wanted for Christmas and then gave him a kiss and a hug.
I can’t think of any other ones right now, but I will update them if there any more. I think Christmas with a 3 year old around is just the best. Everything is still so magical, and he is still satisfied mostly with basic answers to his millions of questions. I love this time of year.
As we get ready to enjoy our first snowfall of the season, I thought I’d take a minute to share our Beaches Turks & Caicos trip. We just finished spending five incredible days there with some friends, and we are already planning our next trip back.
Beaches Turks and Caicos was so ridiculously fun! The kids were so well behaved on all flights – I couldn’t believe it. Ali had a little trouble on the second flight down, but with play-doh and snacks she was fine. Raffi was seriously an angel. When I have a minute I will try to share all of my thoughts on what worked for us traveling with small kids, mostly so I remember for next time.
Both kids turned a corner with water play while we were at Beaches Turks & Caicos. They both were jumping into the pool without fear and swimming pretty well! Both wore their swimmies the whole time, but just this past summer Raffi was too scared to venture more than a foot away from me. This time he was kicking and scooping like a champ. He was imitating his best friend’s big pool jumps, and I was so impressed with all the kids. I swear he is going to need to join a swim club because he’s really good!
The kids got their first glitter tattoos and loved them. Ali also got her hair braided our first day, which was a lifesaver with all the swimming. Her hair was out of her face the whole time, and she looked so cute.
The resort was beautiful and no one ever turned us down at any request. They always tried to make it happen, whatever “it” was. They were so accommodating and tried to make the trip very special for us. They had a lot for kids to do (and adults too!). Every day we hit up the baby pool in the Italian section, the big pool, the beach, the water park, etc. In the evening we went to the nightly Sesame Street show and then whatever other event they had planned (beach party, talent show, water show, etc). After the shows were over the kids were welcome to go dance up on the stage, and dance they did! Our kids and their two best friends had a ball dancing and running around the stage. The kids really had a blast and we did too. It was a dream.
- We took a snorkeling trip through Island Routes. It was the 3 hour catamaran trip. Raffi and Ali LOVED the catamaran ride and sat on the netted outdoor section the whole time to watch the waves. They saw a dolphin! When the boat stopped in the middle of the ocean at the reef both kids were SO BRAVE and came down with us. Neither wore masks or anything but they got to swim a little bit and see a few fish. Raffi put on my mask for a second and peeked into the water, shocked at what he saw below. After a couple of minutes they both wanted to go back on the boat, but it was so special to share that memory with them. We then stopped at a small island where I walked way too far beachcombing, only to come up empty handed. Meanwhile my friend stayed close to the boats and spotted a beautiful conch shell! The trip’s photographer found one for me, and I was very happy.
- By the end of the trip Ali, who is not even 20 months old, learned to swim to the swim up bar at the Italian pool, climb the stool, and yell for “appa joos PEES!!!!!” Translation – “apple juice please.” It was hysterical. All four of the kids drank ridiculous amounts of apple juice. I kept offering it to my kids because it was so warm out and they didn’t seem to love the taste of the water. They also didn’t drink milk the entire time we were there, despite the resort offering us almond milk for Ali (which I really appreciated).
- The kids’ faces seeing the Sesame Street characters walk by was priceless. Ali must have said “Elmoooo?” 100,000 times during the week.
- Both kids went down a BIG kids’ water slide! Ali loved it and raffi did too until Trig forgot to lift him up at the end lol. And they had this huge pirate ship in the water park with little slides and one closed tunnel water slide. By the end Ali went down it over and over by herself! Both our kids and their best friends were obsessed with going down the slide over and over and over again.
- The resort staff seriously loved kids. They were all so warm and nice to all the kids. Many of the employees seemed to be from Jamaica. When we asked them about it they said it was better money for them because they made USD at Beaches Turks & Caicos. I only met a few locals while we were there.
- Raffi tried so many new foods: papaya, fried rice, pear, one bite of coconut shrimp, muesli. It might not seem like a big deal but he is usually so afraid to try new foods.
- our room got upgraded to the Italian Village right next to the pool. We could literally walk 10 feet from our walkout door and be at the pool. The room had a separate kids room so Ali slept in there and Raffi slept on a trundle next to our bed. Every night we put the kids to sleep in the stroller so we could walk around and have coffee, play cards, lay on hammocks to look at the stars. We made successful transfers to the beds EVERY NIGHT. It was nice getting to have some one on one time with Trig and the other couple we were traveling with without having to be trapped in our room.
Cons: I only have one, but it’s a big one. I disliked most of the food. I sound like such a snob and I’m aware of that. I am so used to fresh, FRESH foods and EVERYTHING was imported at the resort. They don’t take advantage of the beautiful fish and fruits available on the island – instead they imported every last thing. It was so weird. Everyone else was impressed with the food options, especially considering there are 19 restaurants. I guess I know too much and care too much to have been able to appreciate it. It was also my first time at an all inclusive resort however. Other people who have stayed at all inclusives before said it was the best food they’ve had at one.
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In my next post I’ll share some tips for if/when you book your trip. We are already planning on going back next year! Since we’ve been back Raffi has been up multiple times a night sobbing that Philadelphia is too cold and he wants to go back to “Church and Caicos”. So funny.
Oh! And we booked our trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos with Andrea from Susan Peavey Travel. I cannot say enough great things. There was no cost difference, and I was able to ask a million questions and get some really great tips about the resort prior to visiting.