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October 31, 2002
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Halloween

9:57 pm: It feels like mid-winter, already. The ground completely covered in inches of fluffy snow, and the heat comes on frequently in the house. It's bare and black and bleak outside, and the mountains are all white-peaked. The high temperatures for today and yesterday were in the teens. The lows were single digits. It's the coldest it's ever been in October, and, of course, it had to be this for Halloween..

We had a great Halloween anyway and actually got a few kids during the evening, though that's kind of doing it backwards.

Breakfast was at the usual time, which was whenever folks got up and managed to get their own breakfast. George made himself oatmeal, and I would have liked it, too, but there were leftover scones and I also really wanted an egg. I fried myself an egg with Jet in one arm as he wanted to see what was going on. At 9, John left for work through the snow and I went up and worked away.

I came down at 11, when it sounded like Jet wanted to nap. I nursed him and settled him for his nap and then nuked myself some lunch and brought it up with me to work with. It was just a Stouffer's lunch. I really enjoy those, as they're really tasty but the portions are small enough that I don't feel like a complete pig. I had the roasted chicken with mushrooms and a broccoli, cheddar, and rice bake that was just really yummy. I have made that bake and I really love the cooked broccoli with the toothy rice. I don't think I put quite as much cream in it, but that may be just my failing.

Jet got up at 1, and George and Isabel fed Jet some lunch from their lunch. At 2, we loaded up the Range Rover, got Jet into his car seat with his heavy coat and we were off to Xilinx. We were having a potluck Halloween party, with family invited, and folks were told that kids were going to be Trick o' Treating through the building and if you didn't want to be bothered, to close your door. Everyone else had candy set up or were ready to hand some over when folks came.

The party, itself, was pretty fun. There was a magician looking for work, doing his act in the cafeteria. He had a little tip bucket. He was actually really good, and did some of those street car tricks that Blain does so well and which confound so thoroughly. We tipped well, and had fun talking with him as well. The desserts were pretty good, too, and Jet then got initiated to the wonder that is Trick o' Treat.

Marina had left him a big, orange Jack O' Lantern bag, and I carried it for him the first few times. We wandered into the IT area, and Jet got scared by one lady who assumed that because he'd met her a couple of times before, that he wouldn't be scared of her now. Oops. He didn't cry or anything, but he did do his level best to run away from her advances. She meant well. But Jet was having none of it, until she handed him a toddler arm-load of candy. He then frowned at her and thoughtfully studied his haul.

I offered him the bag to put them all in. He looked at me with that same frown, and the put the bars into the bag. He then came over and claimed the bag for himself and started hauling it along. The bag was big enough that if he didn't pull up o the handle it would rest on the ground, but at the start, it was light enough that he didn't really have to do too much lifting to get it up. As we made our way around the building, though, and he got his pick of all the things he wanted to get, it got heavier and heavier.

Isabel was bemused to find that Jet didn't get the biggest items offered. If anything he seemed to really go for the hard candies, though we don't even really know if he'll even eat them. He ate a few M&M's and then started sucking the candy shell off and spitting out the chocolate interiors! Jet also, when prompted, said an earnest "T'ank Ooo!" to everyone that gave him things.

That was cool.

For the dessert table I'd made 'Dirt and Worms'. It was far easier than I thought it would be, as I just food processed Oreos. The white filling gave it some packing ability and the larger chunks of white made it look all the more like potting soil. That was pretty cool. The clear gummy worms were exactly the ticket for stirring into the 'dirt' and letting them show just a bit just to give folks a hint that there was more than just dirt in the pan.

The kids loved it. "Momma! Momma! There's *WORMS*!" More of it got eaten than I thought would get eaten. I probably should have brought chocolate ice cream to spoon the stuff over, and more probably would have gotten eaten if I had. Still, I can use the leftovers for cheesecakes or mud pies or something. Isabel had the great idea of just freezing the crumb for later use.

It was kind of cool to watch Jet as we went wandering through. He would always light up on seeing a bowl or colorful collection, and he'd thoughtfully study each collection. There was one guy who had his candy spread out on a cabinet, and Jet picked up each kind of piece and studied it carefully before putting each piece back where he found it. He didn't take a piece from that display. That surprised me, but it seemed very much him.

At other places, he took handfuls of gold covered butterscotch drops. I'll have to see if he can eat the hard candies straight, but he seemed very intrigued by them.

It was very hard work for him, too, as he would not let go of the bag. For anything. I ended up changing him on a table big enough to hold the bag and him, as he wouldn't let go of it while I did that. He was perfectly content to get changed so long as he could hold onto the bag. Wow.

On the way home, he fell asleep, clutching the bag and had a good half an hour's nap.

Dinner was simple, whole wheat spaghetti with the new meat Ragu. It was pretty good. We had salad and bread with it and it was very satisfying after all the sweets. Jet managed to just eat some bread and drink some water after several handfuls of very not-sweet Cheeze-its. He then dove into his candy bag and started trying things. He also really liked the fruit-juice gummy worms from the dirt and worms. They're still candy, but there's something to them other than just sugar.

Trick or treaters wandered by, only four sets of them and each of them got to take a handful of candies. John had emptied half of Jet's bag into the bowl along with the candy we'd bought to give out. So we did manage to give a good deal of it away. I am not entirely sure how I'm going to treat the candy for the coming days.

I remember that Kathy and I got to hoard and eat our own candy at whatever rate we wanted. Isabel carefully doled out a couple of pieces a day to her boys. I don't know if that is the difference between girls and boys or if it's just personalities. I think that Jet could probably eat a lot of candy if he wanted, but given that he preferred Cheeze-its for a while, it may be different than I expect.

Besides, I may well have enough trouble just not eating a ton of chocolate all at once on my own. What with the Wilbur Chocolate shipment arriving yesterday. It's just a pound of their buds and a pound of their bars, but that's a significant amount of chocolate to deal with at once. Still a handful of buds is a very nice, little snack.

Jet nursed well tonight, doing both sides, thoroughly before going to sleep. So I can hope that he'll sleep well, again, tonight. My last chance at a good night's sleep

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