Friday, May 18, 2012

Marty's take; Too much not to touch base

Hi everyone it's been a long time. I wanted to give a brief family update and my take on our Vacation at Beaches Turks and Caicos!
For families that know us or poeple following the blog we learned a few hard lesson on this trip as well as suprising moments.
When I originally booked this trip to surprise Melanie; I really wanted her to have a real vacation to her dream place before she would head back to work. We knew Olivia at the worse would enjoy herself at the pool, and William based on the succesfull experience of travelling early with Olivia (15 months) and him being quite happy being carried around anyway that we should be good.
here's were the learning started!

LESSON #1 I am not in denial anymore; Your kids ARE different!
LESSON #2 The younger one wants a seat too on that plane like big sister, and yes will scream 3 hours until he passed out.
LESSON #3 WAY too early to travel for William

that being said
Surprise #1 ELMO Camp
Surprise #2 ELMO!
Surprise #3 Room upgrade to a 2 bedroom suite

We really felt bad for William; but we realized that during the day at camp he was fine; but the issue was him being too much like papa temper, and making us pay all night and the following morning for leaving him.  As well before the room change, when he woke up in the middle of the night, he was not too happy to see his sister in our bed. Things got better when he had is own room and he finally got some really good sleep (so did we!) but it's clear that the trip was a little bit too early for him. (We did need the trip to know that, as he his a pretty happy baby in general)
That being said we had some tremondous moment as a family in this vacation (yes Vacation! everybody relaxed!, usually "trips"are expensive family activities with not much rest)
 By the end of the trip William really got a liking with Elmo. When not on the floor pulling a tantrum, girls were turning head watching himwith his little "swagger" walk and smile ( he does love the ladies!)
Some amazing moment at the pool when he tried to copy eveything Olivia was doing.

For Olivia; well knowing how much she loved the beach I was really looking forward to spend some time with her playing in the sand; but Elmo and the gang clearly unseated me in the priority list.
Even the morning I forced her to come to the pool with us; she asked after 1 hour when she was going back to camp; and that Elmo was looking for her! She entertain us all week dancing, singing...drinking ;-(

For me, well what could have asked for more! Happy kids; laying on the beach with my pregnant wife( yes this is not a typo) talking about how bless we are to have found each other, and our kids to have found us.
Relaxing, reflecting on our continuous journey and amazing adventure that are continually happening. The unknown that lays ahead of us. Life is full of surprise, some amazing and joyfull, others you wish would not happen; but in the end you found a strenght and a resiliency that you did not know you have, your support systems, your family, your friends your children give you that strenght to help with the sorrows and transform them to hope. For us it is now 15 weeks of hope.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Last Full Day – Tuck in with Elmo!

So the last full day of our lovely family vacation.  We thought we would keep Olivia out of camp for the day and spend some time by the pool/beach. Whatever she wanted.  So we had a lazy morning, sleeping in till 7:45. Woohoo!  We got ready for breakfast and headed out.

After breakfast we dropped off William at camp. He was ten times more happier there than spending the morning playing at the beach. It just wasn’t his thing. No guilt there.  Once we dropped him off, we asked Olivia what she wanted to do. Beach or pool? She wanted pool.  So we took her to the children’s waterpark only to find that they were fixing a pump on the splash pad and we had to wait and an hour to open. Not good – our morning was wasting away. So we decided to head to the pool that had a large kiddie pool for Olivia.

When we got there, she ran to the pool.  Even though the waters were frigid she walked right in.  She was in her element. We quickly took our chairs close to the pool as many families starting to gather around the pool.  The morning was going to look clear and hot.  We unpacked our stuff, lay out our towels and off Olivia went. The great thing about this pool was we didn’t have to go in with her. We could just watch her safely by our loungers and she could swim and splash in safety as the water was no more that 2 feet. It was a perfect pool for Olivia.

After splashing around by herself she wanted to go in the big pool. Sigh. So Papa finished his coffee and went to the big pool with Olivia. There she could totally duck her head into the water and practice her swimming skills.  She was in heaven. You could totally see that she was more comfortable in the pool than in the sea. She could open her mouth and her eyes without the saltiness.

As they were swimming, Papa decided to head up to the swim up bar and order a drink. We are proud to say that Olivia had her first STRAWBERRY DAIQUIRI – virgin that is. Hahahhaha. She loved it. Why not, it’s just cold, fruity, and sugary. Hahahhaha.  So they would take a sip, then swim down the pool to the other end. Then Olivia would say “ I want my DAIQUIRI” and swim back. It was hilarious. Sigh, what next.

After our swim in the pool, she was shivering because although the air was warm it was windy and the water was cold. So we took her out to have a small snack.   She had her own lounger and just lay there enjoying the sun. I think she was actually really tired because she turned around and closed her eyes and was pretty quiet for awhile.  Gotta love swimming.

Soon it was going to be time for lunch. Olivia had the option of eating lunch with us and heading to the beach OR lunch with her friends at camp and stay for the afternoon. Much to our disappointment, she chose camp.  So we dropped her off, constantly asking her if she was sure.  :0P  When we got here, she ran into the room with the other kids and didn’t look back. Okay then.....

We went for lunch and then headed to the beach.  We might have been on the beach for about 30 minutes relaxing when it became more gusty and dark clouds loomed. It was going to rain.  It started off very light, but then got a bit harder. Luckily we were under a cabana so we were relatively dry but a bit cold. We thought it would pass quickly but it didn’t.  We ended up abandoning our cabana and headed back to our room.  Luckily our new room was so amazing that we didn’t’ mind.  Thank goodness the kids were at camp, because there would have been nothing to do in the room. Even we got bored after an hour (which we started to pack and get everything ready anyways so it was okay).  We decided to brave the rain and wrapped ourselves with beach towels and ventured out in the POURING rain now – stopping in at little shops along the way.  We headed towards the French pavilion to get an afternoon snack before we picked up the kids.

By the time we reached the kids, the rain started to let up and the sun was trying to come out.  The kids were happy to see us and were in such a good mood. Yes, even William. We headed back to our room for some quiet time before dinner. Tonight was going to be a special night!  We went for an early dinner at Mario’s which was the perfect family dinner experience –with Sesame characters all over the walls and small chairs and tables for the kids to eat. It was great.

After a great dinner – no tantrums and good eating – we headed back to the room for baths. We had a surprise for the kids coming at 8pm!  After baths, we had some quiet time on the bed reading books and playing, when all of a sudden the DOORBELL rang (yes, our room has a doorbell).

Olivia and Papa opened the door and there stood ELMO!  What was Elmo doing in our room at 8pm at night!  Well…. He wanted to wish Olivia and William a very good night!  The look on Olivia’s face when she opened the door was priceless. She was speechless. Hahahhaha

We invited Elmo into our room and we all said hello.  William said hello from afar. Hahahha.  Then he sat down on the daybed and we got ready to read a bedtime story – with Elmo.  Olivia bravely sat beside Elmo and let him wrap his arms around her as they got ready to read a story. It was a priceless magical moment. As Elmo’s “friend” read the story, Olivia was constantly checking to gage our reactions. It was like, “What the heck is going on?  This is aweome!”. Hahahhahahah  She participated in the story and knew all the Sesame characters. Everyone was impressed. Yes, my daughter has a very good memory. During this time, William sat comfortably on the bed watching what was going on.  He didn’t’ want to be part of that scene, even though he was waving at Elmo all the time. He’s still too young.  hahahhaha

After the story, Elmo gave Olivia and William and very special surprise – an Ernie and Bert puppet.  Both kids were so happy. Then it was time for ELMO bedtime stretches.  Hilarious!  There was Olivia coping everything Elmo was doing.  After the stretches, it was time for tuck in time.  We made Olivia lie down in the day bed, Elmo and “friend” sang a lullaby (Twinkle Twinkle), and he pulled up her blanket and gave her a hug and a kiss goodnight.  Then that was it.  All in all it took 20 minutes, but we know this memory will last forever.  What an awesome experience!

We said our goodbyes and off they went. It took Miss Olivia another 45 minutes to settle down and really go to sleep, but it was all worth it.  It was a perfect end to this wonderful family vacation. Back to reality tomorrow, but memories will continue on strong for the next couple of months. Thank you Papa for this family vacation. So many memories, so many good times, and so much love and laughter on this trip.  Till the next time…

Day 5 – Monday, April 30th – “My Name is Elmo and I know it!”

This morning started off very busy.  It was the Sesame Street Character breakfast!  We woke up in our fabulous new room all rested and happy.  William finally had a great night of sleep, therefore we all had a restful night too.  Last night we were able to hang out in our little porch by the sea and have our desserts in peace and quiet.  Both kids were fast asleep and it was great.

Olivia only woke up because Papa was stirring and moving around in bed. We had to get up early anyways.  As we got ready, we left William to sleep through.  We actually woke him up 10 minutes before we left.  This has been the longest he has slept in – even in Ottawa!  He so needed the rest.

We walked over to the restaurant where they held the breakfast. The first character we met was Big Bird. Olivia was over the moon, William not so much.  Then Cookie Monster arrived and he was the life of the party.  As we walked into the restaurant it was Sesame Street everywhere including the music being played. They both got a souvenir sippy cup with a Sesame Street character plush in it.  At our table we had Sesame Street plates, cups, and napkins.  It was S. Street to the max!  But the kids loved it.

We got to our tables and soon more families were arriving.  Shortly after, the characters started to arrive.  Olivia already could see them marching to the restaurant from the window by our table. She was bopping away in her chair and clapping her hands. William was just content sitting in his high chair drinking his bottle of milk. Hahahhaha. 

Then they introduced all the characters one by one.  It was pretty climatic.  Finally Elmo arrived – the big cheese.  All the kids were out from their tables jumping along and wanting to give these characters a hug.  Then we were asked to be seated and each character came to each table for photos.  It was a neat experience because Olivia and William got to meet all of them close up and personal.  I know this has made her day.  As for William, well, we just hope that it doesn’t give him any nightmares tonight. Hahahhaha. He was not happy.  Surprise, surprise.

After the whole hoopla of the morning, we got them ready for Camp.  Yay!  They were both unsure about going this morning. Olivia more hesitant than before, but we were thinking it was just it was such a tiring morning.  So we dropped them off and we went back to the room to get ready for our day at the beach.

We lathered ourselves up and headed to the beach for some rest and relaxation.  It was the best day weather wise – clear skies and hot.  Actually it was too hot.  So we kept ourselves under an umbrella most of the time – except when we were walking along the beach.  For lunch we had a wonderful lunch by the sea with our new friends from Calgary. By 3:30 we were missing the kids. We went to check up on them and both monkeys were fast asleep.  Oh well..back to the beach we went for another hour. 

We went back and Olivia was awake so we took her to the beach for some water and sand play.  When we saw that she had enough of the salt water, we headed to the children’s water area – with kiddie water slides, lazy river, and splash pad. It was huge.  But then it started to get windy and we were getting a bit cold from the water so we decided to end our water fun and get a snack.   We picked up a snack and then picked up William.

When we picked up William, Shana Kay the counselor asked us if we were going to bring the kids back at night. We didn’t think so because it would be a long day for the kids.  Then she mentioned that Elmo was reading the kids a bedtime story and they were going to have a pyjama party.  Lots of fun apparently. We asked Olivia if she wanted to go and she said yes. Hmmm…Not too sure.  I doubt William wanted to go back. Hahahahha 

When we picked up William, Shana Kay the counselor asked us if we were going to bring the kids back at night. We didn’t think so because it would be a long day for the kids.  Then she mentioned that Elmo was reading the kids a bedtime story and they were going to have a pyjama party.  Lots of fun apparently. We asked Olivia if she wanted to go and she said yes. Hmmm…Not too sure.  I doubt William wanted to go back. Hahahahha

Anyways…she ended up convincing us to go on a date night because there was babysitting available – “Enjoy yourselves, the kids are going to be fine. They love it here. Have a good dinner. Treat yourselves!”.  Man…having we been treating ourselves since we got here?  We’ve put them in camp everyday!  The fact that Olivia wanted to go back made the decision easier.

So we came home, gave them a bath, dressed them up and packed their pjs.  We dropped them off at 6pm. The group of them walked over to the restaurant for dinner for 6:15 and the rest of the night was play and Elmo.  Papa and I made dinner plans at an ADULT ONLY restaurant. Woohoo!  We ate at Le Petit Chateau – a restaurant that catered French cuisine. It was awesome.  The food and company was exemplary.  It happened to be our first date after a long long time.  We didn’t feel rushed, we knew the kids were in good hands. 

We got the kids by 8pm. The counselors put on their pjs and they were ready to do some activities. We were glad that we were there at that time because we could do bedtime in our room.

So here I am. 9pm at night. 1 more day to go, and both kids are down and so is Papa. So much for a special dessert tonight. Oh well, just have to make up for it tomorrow…:0)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sunday - Camp, Spa, and Deep Sea Fishing, and a Pleasant Surprise!

Well, we started off earlier today because Papa was going deep sea fishing. So we got them ready and had a quick breakfast and dropped them off at Camp at 8am instead of the usually 9:30ish.  Papa had to be in the lobby for 8:30am.  I dropped them off this morning and found myself alone for the morning. What to do?

I decided to head back to the room and take a nice LONG shower. It felt great. Then I grabbed my book and had a leisurely breakfast/brunch. All alone.  Then I went to get ready for my pedicure.  :0)  After the pedicure, I went to lounge on the hammock and got severely red. It was a hot day, and finally some good sunshine!  Stopped at the room to recover from the heat and found the cleaning lady ready to start our rooms. She asked me how the ant problem was.  I told her the closet was better but we know were the ants were coming from – the plug.  She watched as the tiny ants were coming out of the plug. YUPPERS!  She told me that she would contact the manager.  Sure, we did already, but okay.

After that, I decided to go for a sweet treat and wait for Martin to come back from his fishing trip. Which by the way, Papa caught 2 . Only 1 other person caught a fish.  Sadly the other 6 people didn't catch any. Papa was sure lucky that day!  Around 1pm he came walking with his new friend Steve. A nice family that we met when we arrived.  We sat around talking and eventually met up with his wife Leanne. We decided to have lunch together. It was really nice.  Then it was time for my facial.  :0P  Martin went back to the room and showered. He was going to pick up the kids and then take them to the pool.

As I was in the beginning of my facial told me that my husband wanted to talk to me. I panicked. Was everything okay?  Sure enough he knocks on the door.  Everything okay?  Well…it turns out the manager called and left a message that they wanted to move us out of the room and UPGRADE us. WHAT????  There was a bit of overexcitedness in Martin’s tone. Hahahhaha.  So I told him that we had to pack up all our stuff. Was it really worth it?

Old room picture

New room picture

Anyways…to make a long story short. We ended up moving to this room with OCEAN FRONT WALK OUT.  It is freakin amazing! Hahahahhaha  They didn’t have to because the problem was somewhat solved. They were so kind and generous. Not only is this room gorgeous, but it’s huge!  AND….personal concierge service!  Outrageous.  I felt like little country fold entering a whole new world of luxery even though we were just across the pool from the Italian Villas.

After we moved in to our new room, we got ready for a nice Italian dinner in our new area.  We  went to Mario's and had a fabulous risotto and the kids ate some yummy pasta. This restaurant was great because it had a special room with tons of Sesame Street characters along the wall and at the entrance. The kids loved it. To make it even more special, they had little chairs and tables for kids to eat at. We missed that but reminded ourselves to come back to have another meal  in that special kids room.

Anways…we are back inside our room after sitting outside in our patio.  William is asleep IN ANOTHER ROOM (check out the sliding door that separates the kids room and the adults room!).  Olivia is sleeping on her own in a trundle bed beside ours. All is good.  THANK YOU BEACHES! Tomorrow is going to be another special day – I wonder what wonderful surprises it will bring.