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Welcome to the morning of the longest night. This is the beginning of winter, and as dark as it's going to get; after today, we get more and more sun, and can start climbing up out of the dark.

Yesterday was one of the busiest on recent record. We loaded up the baby around 10 a.m. and zoomed south toward Los Gatos for a brunch held by our old friend Mary Anne Mohanraj, where we met new people and saw familiar faces (especially nice to catch up with Susan Lee), and where River accidentally sat on another, smaller baby. Also: there were large quantities of brunchy breakfasty food.

After a couple of hours there, we said our farewells and made our way to Santa Cruz to see our friends Scott and Lynne and their 11-day-old baby, who is adorable. We accompanied them on their first non-healthcare-related outing, going to the park (so River could play on the fancy new playground equipment; last time we were there, that park was mostly a sandpit and some dilapidated structures, but now it's all top-of-the-line and frankly quite cool), and then going out for a late lunch at Saturn. (Mmm, cheesefries and milkshakes. River approves of those foods, too.)

We had to say goodbye around 5, and drove through the dark back home. River slept the whole way home, and was perky and awake after we got home -- and very excited to be back among his own toys -- so we let him stay up later than usual, to his delight. By the time he was in bed it was 9 o'clock and I was largely transformed into vegetable matter in human form, and bed followed an hour or so later.

Today looks to be nearly as busy, albeit without the three hours of driving, which is good. Our nephew's birthday was earlier in the week, and his party is today, so we'll go up to their place in the hills for revelries, and try to avoid being butted by the resident goat. Should be pleasant.

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