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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Say "Boo!" to Diabetes

Mario and Luigi are in the house!

Yes, my boys are dressing up as their favorite video game characters for Halloween. I can't wait. They're going to look so cute in their costumes together.

Madeline is going as a midnight fairy. She's essentially a witch with wings, but with her style and swagger, she's going to rock that midnight fairy costume.

I've been debating whether to get a costume for our puppy, too.

Can you tell I love Halloween?

I do. I love the spirit and energy of the day. I love that it's a stress-free holiday. I love the costumes. I love all of the pumpkins and silly, supposedly spooky decorations. I love the trick-or-treating. And, I love the candy!

I can not wait to sink my teeth into a couple of Reese's peanut butter cups! Okay, maybe more than a couple. Maybe several. Reese's are my absolute favorite!

My kids are not as particular. Reese's, Snickers, Sweet Tarts, Twix, Dots, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, Dum Dums, M & Ms, 3 Musketeers, Kit Kats, Hershey bars you name it, they love it! They love it all!

They're not finicky when it comes to candy, and on Halloween, we let them enjoy it. We figure why not? It's just one night.

That's our motto: it's just one night. One night out of the year. One night to indulge.

So on Halloween, we go trick-or-treating. We come home. We assess the loot. We let each kid select several pieces of candy. We let them eat their chosen chocolates and other assorted sweets. Then we bring out gifts for the kids, and they happily trade in the remainder of their candy for their gifts. And I do mean happily. There's no convincing or coercing.

Some years, we allow the kids to pick out their own presents ahead of time. Other years, we surprise them with gifts we've chosen.

This year, I paid close attention to all the "I want..." and "Can I have...?" requests. I bought the boys some Star Wars Mighty Beanz. I know they're going to be ecstatic when they see them. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, "Maah-um, puh-lease can we buy some Star Wars Mighty Beanz?...I want a Clone Trooper...I want Darth Vader..."

For Madeline, I bought some rainbow-striped yarn, some fuzzy yarn, and assorted colors of string with which she can make scarves and friendship bracelets. She's obsessed with crafty braiding, weaving, and knot-tying at the moment, so I know she'll be thrilled.

I also bought all three some Silly Bandz.

(Mighty Beanz, Silly Bandz - what's up with these products that pluralize with a Z?)

After the kids trade their candy for presents, their candy time is over. But, by that point, they're ready for it to be over. They've had their fill of sweet, sour, sticky, chewy, gooey, creamy, crunchy candy. They've enjoyed. They've gotten the pleasure of shoving piece after piece in their mouths. The candy goes bye-bye.

Later on, after the kids go to bed, Gregg and I sort through the left-over goods. I eat a few more Reese's peanut butter cups. He downs some Sweet Tarts and Snickers. We set aside candy that we can use to treat low blood sugar episodes, like Smarties, Skittles and Starburst, and we put the rest in a bag for Gregg to take to the office the next day, or we give it to neighborhood kids.

We get the candy out of the house, so that it no longer tempts and taunts the kids...or us!

It's all about balance and moderation. It's about celebrating. It's about having fun. It's about making memories. It's about indulging. And it's just one night.

This will be our fourth Halloween with diabetes, and in the previous three years, we've done a good job of saying "Boo!" to the blasted disease. We've kept tabs on Jack's blood sugar; we've tested, as he's gone running through the neighborhood trick-or-treating, before eating his precious loot and after satisfying his sweet tooth. We've counted carbs. We've given insulin accordingly. We've gone back to double check Jack's blood sugar level. We've tested him more frequently during the night. And, I hope I don't jinx us by saying this, but we've never had a problem. He's never gone too high as a result of the candy. We've been able to achieve nice numbers year after year.

Maybe it's because of all of the activity involved in trick-or-treating? Maybe it's because we're careful when counting carbs? Whatever it is, Jack's been able to enjoy the holiday as much as his non-D sister and brother have. We've always treated all three kids the same when it's come to Halloween, and this eat-some-candy-trade-the-rest-for-a-gift routine has worked well for us.

Just thought I'd share in case you're wondering how to deal with diabetes on October 31st. Our way is not the only way. This is simply what works for us. I'm interested in knowing how your family handles the holiday, too.

Whatever you do, have fun on Sunday!

Happy Halloween!


Meri said...

I love the trade in for presents idea. It is totally brilliant. It is right in front of them, so how could they say no? Great post!

Nicole said...

wonderful idea trading in the candy for gifts!! very smart...hmmmm I may need to think about something like that!! thanks for sharing :)

Reyna said...

Heidi, it sounds like you and I are on the same page. I definitely let the kids indulge the night of and then we trade. I need to check out the mighty beanz thing...I could see Bridge and Joe loving those and yes...what is up with the pleuralization using "z"? LOL

Thank you for sharing this!

Hallie said...

I love this! It's very similar to what we do! I agree... it's one night! What's wrong with indulging a little on ONE night? Nothing! I love you boo dude, too... I may have to borrow him! And.... now I'm jonesing for some candy! Argh!

Laura said...

How did you make the boo dude? He is SO SO cute!
And . . . I LOVE Reeses too. My absolute favorite.

What a great tradition to trade the candy for gifts. May have to use that one.

You Rock!

Misty said...

Oh no! You started my Reese's craving...only a couple more days, I'm sure the girl will score some for me on trick-or-treat night!

This is only our second Halloween with D, so I appreciate hearing how others handle this holiday. I really like your "trade in" idea!

Love Mr. Boo guy too!

Alexis of Justices Misbehaving Pancreas said...

Im with u! I looooove halloween!! Have fun and enjoy!

Pam said...

I love the trade for small gifts idea! It keeps the excitement going after the candy is gone. Sounds like you're cool as a cucumber about this weekend. I aspire to be as Zen as you on Sunday!

Wendy said...

I just wanted to mention that Reese's are GF. And my favorite!!! I love that you found our little ghost guy :)

insurance quotes said...

What a great tradition to trade the candy for gifts.the idea is great.

Donna ((Sweet Momma)) said...

I love this idea!!! I wish I had read your post BEFORE Halloween!!! lol
There is always next year... and the year after.... and the year after that. =)