To Hal Pal

Oh sweet Hallie Lois, how did we ever get by without you?  Your cute smile is getting even cuter with the appearance of two tiny teeth.  You are incredibly observant of all those around you, but especially children {and especially especially Camden}.  Luckily for me you are content to sit and watch the world.  You don't have any interest in moving on your own yet.

You will stop whatever you are doing and smile your biggest smile when someone is clapping their hands together, you love it.  Although you have plenty of toys, your favorite thing to play with by far is paper.  You love to flap it, rip it, chew it, and try to swallow it.  At the sight of paper towels, tags, magazines, cards, notebook paper, newspaper, etc. you will abandon everything else, reach for it and babble urgently until you get it.

My neck is often red or bruised from your ninja grip.  When I have you on my hip I haven't been able to convince you to steady yourself on my shoulders, arms, or anywhere else but the thin skin of my poor neck.  But I still love holding you all the time, and adore the way you swing your legs.

Camden is absolutely the sweetest big brother I've ever seen.  Of course, you're not yet able to toddle over and knock down his block tower, and I know that day will come, but for now I'm enjoying watching this perfectly tender relationship in its earliest stages.  Watching how much you love each other has unlocked a part of my heart I never realized existed.

Camden always notices what it is you want.  Sometimes he even "translates" your babble for me.  "Mom, Hallie says she wants some milk."  If it's a need that he can help you meet, he does it without a second thought.  And let's be honest, most of the time it's getting you paper.

We've been enjoying our perfect fall weather, slowly getting out of the house more and more as your napping schedule has solidified.  We go to the zoo, to the square, to different parks, and sometimes to friends' houses.  You're always content when you're out of the house, drinking in the world around you and watching your brother almost without blinking.

We love that Uncle Mason lives near enough to visit us regularly.  He and Camden share a love of hiking, so we do that quite a lot.  You're starting to get too heavy, we really need to invest in some kind of hiking backpack baby carrier.

I'll sign off here with some of our favorite nicknames for you:
Hallie Lo
Baby Sis
and the most popular, Hal Pal.

We sure love you, Hal Pal.

A Medieval Halloween

Something tells me this was the last year I'd be able to pick out Camden's Halloween costume.  A few weeks before Halloween I started renting every picture book from the library that had knights in it.  Most of them fought or tamed dragons, some were rescued by princesses, but all in all I just did a lot of talking-up knights in shining armor.  

Camden and I also started a nightly tradition of story-telling, always involving the brave adventures of Sir Camden, the knight in shining armor.  I've been waiting for almost four years to do this with him!  So fun!

Still, when we were getting ready for our first Halloween party he didn't want to get dressed up.  Not until I agreed to be a princess and Roy a "dragon."  {Quotations necessary because he threw on a green jacket and called himself a fire-breathing monster, ha!}  And Hallie was the cutest unicorn you ever did see.

So we all went "in character" to the ward Halloween party, playing it all out like we were on some fantastic medieval adventure.  This boy, my chivalrous knight, and Hallie my miracle unicorn.

That night Cam got so many compliments and high fives for his costume that he had no problem putting it on again for the Halloween party at his best buddy's house the next week.  The only thing he didn't have was a shield, which I didn't think would be a problem, but he insisted that every knight in shining armor needed a shield.

Spider-man to the rescue!  {We put tin foil on it to make it shiny, but it didn't last long.  Cam said he preferred Spider-man anyway.}

He had so much with his pals, pinning the wart on the witch, scooping ghosts up in a blindfold, and eating all the spooky food.

And Camden wasn't the only one who got to have fun this Halloween.  Our Book Club read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child for the month of October.  Rheanon put of quite a magical night, where I ate a grass-flavored jelly bean and candles floated overhead.  So fun.

Before the big night we were able to carve a couple of pumpkins.  They both rotted before trick or treaters could get to our house, but it was still fun making them.  First time we let Camden help with the carving!

We returned to the amazing Halloween street from last year, where the lines were long but the houses and the crowd were fantastic.  There was even a real live pony handing out candy.  It was tons of fun for this "dragon, princess, unicorn, and knight in shining armor.

Our sweet unicorn was kept nice and warm (almost too warm) in her costume.  She was perfectly quiet, just observing all of the interesting-looking swarms of people around us.  Sometimes observing with just one eye, since I couldn't keep that hood up any higher.

Camden said his favorite house was the "pumpkin head" house.  The guy handing out candy had a pumpkin on his head, and I'm not sure he could see how much candy he was shoveling into people's buckets and pillowcases.  Which, of course, was C's dream come true.

After trick-or-treating with our group of friends and Uncle Mason we all headed back to our place for pumpkin-shaped pizza and mummy hot dogs.  It was a great night--and no one got poked in the eye with C's sword!  A successful and happy Halloween.