Friday, November 19, 2010

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!

The signs of fall and the impending winter are finally upon us... November 1 brings a slow start to what soon will become a very busy season!

On November 1st, we celebrated baby girl's birthday! And, as evidenced by the picture above, she looooooooooved her cake! Not without a little help from Grandpa Eliot, Uncle Aaron and Uncle Nick. Samantha has a fantastic day hanging out with mama and daddy and then presents galore. It was so wonderful to celebrate her birthday... as Ray puts it, "We made it to a year. Thats a big step in itself!" But a 1st birthday signifies the loss of my baby and the evolution of my toddler! She is a walking, talking, dancing machine who is constantly plagued by teething and communication issues. I feel for the girl and only hope I can figure out what she needs quickly to help her.

After Samantha's birthday the rush is upon us! Next comes family birthdays, Thanksgiving, holiday shopping, cards, baking, Christmas and New Years! This is the time of year I love. This is the time of year that drives Raymond up a wall. Ray came from a nice, calm family of 5. I came from a nice, crazy family of 7. By the time Ray met me, we were already a family of 18. Can you imagine going from just the 5 of you without a lot of noise, mostly all older kids (Nick was the only little one in their house so manageable) to a ruckus family of 18? 10 adults and 8 kids under 8?? I think he was in shock! (Yes his mom has lots of siblings, but I think those family gatherings ended when he was young. His extended family is spread out across the country.)

We have now grown to a family of 24 (29 if you count all the dogs) and lets just say the holidays keep on giving to Ray. We very rarely get to be a family of 24 with one sister out in Arizona with 5. But I don't think the actual number bothers Ray, anything over 10 is tragic to him. He is 110% a trooper at this time of year. He is on full alert constantly but each year brings a little more mellowness from him at this family gatherings. (Those that know Ray well, I am sure you may be shocked by this. He is a laid back guy, but you throw in kids and he is in high alert.) I think the age of the kids now helps him out, but now with our walking, talking, falling over toddler, I am intrigued to see how this year will go.

Now lets not forget that Ray loves every personality in my family. He thinks the actual communication dynamic is intriguing and he really does enjoy his time with them. (SO NO GIVING HIM A HARD TIME FOR THIS SISTERS! :) )

The first test is next week at the Kanarios house for Thanksgiving. Most of the Stanchin clan will be there. But only 1 dog. I hope that Ray is able to sit back and enjoy his holiday season this year at these events. The more exposure the better, right? I am sure it is going to go great. I personally love the chaos and it just doesn't feel like a holiday without it surrounding me. So I am excited... Ray is apprehensive, I am sure. But I am excited.

When else can you get the opportunity to see your family in all of its glory? Secretly, my favorite part now is Samantha's interaction with her cousins. This is where my family is truly lucky and I hope it always stays that way.

So paraphrasing the words of Paul Revere, "The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming!"

And just for Ray "RUN!!!"

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