Friday, November 18, 2011

An Afternoon Out

Robby and I arranged everything.  Just 2 days after I'd mentioned my idea to Rapunzel, the four of us headed out to the front yard for an afternoon of fun and relaxation in the sunshine.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, the mild weather made it feel like spring, even though it was already October, so it was a perfect day to be outside. :)

Rapunzel and I settled ourselves on a blanket in the grass.  We talked about "everything and nothing", as the song "Little Lotte" from the Phantom of the Opera said.  I was feeling quite spoiled:  two long talks in the same week!  I'd missed our conversations together, and I already felt, with a sense of impending doom, how busy Rapunzel would be in just 2 short weeks.  We would still be able to talk, but it would be harder for her to find the time for just the two of us.  It was okay...I understood that she was ready for the next stage of her life.  I just wanted to savor this time now with just the two of us...well...just the four of us, if we counted the boys. ;)

We watched Robby and Ben as they wandered all over.  They weren't really the "sit and chat" types. ;) 

"It's such a beautiful day!" I sighed happily.  "It's hard to believe that within a month we'll be cooped up in the house for the winter.  I'm going to miss my rambles outside."

Rapunzel nodded.  "This is the perfect weather.  I'm having a hard time convincing myself that it's actually Fall!"  She looked thoughtful.  "I suppose I won't have much time to get outside anyway, though.  At least at first."

I smiled.  "Just think about taking your baby out to enjoy the sunshine in the spring.  And in the meantime, you can introduce him or her to all of your favorite places in the house."

"Don't forget about Christmas, too," Rapunzel added.  "I'm so excited to see the big, beautiful tree up again.  I'm sure the baby will love the bright tree lights."

"It's almost impossible to think of Christmas with weather like this, though.  It's hard to imagine that any time in the next month we'll have cold weather and rain when we're out here on this sunny, pleasant day!" I replied.

By now, Robby and Ben were up in the trees, climbing around like a couple of monkeys.  I laughed.  They were just like little boys. :)  They seemed to be having a great time together, though.  And this was so like Robby.  He thrived on exploring, climbing, hiking, and being outdoors.  I'm sure he was thrilled to have Eugene as a companion instead of me.  Eugene was a much more capable explorer.  I mentioned as much to Rapunzel, but she didn't look convinced.  I chose not to pursue the conversation.   

When the guys had apparently had their fill of tree climbing and exploring, they wandered over to our blanket and asked if we wanted to take a walk. We agreed, and soon we were all strolling pleasantly through the front yard.

We found this amazing hillside in the middle of the front lawn (a yard project Belle'sbeast was in the middle of completing) and all lay on our backs and looked up at the beautiful sky.

"Isn't it lovely?" I breathed happily.  "I don't think we could have asked for better weather today."

There were various nods and noises of agreement around me.  It was the type of moment that would be spoiled by too much talking.  We all seemed to be in a sort of dreamy, contemplative mode.  I closed my eyes and tried to permanently imprint this moment in my mind.  I wanted to remember it as long as I lived.  Rapunzel, Eugene, Robby and I all happily staring at the sky together, full of the hopes and dreams of the future, and the joys of the present.   

All too soon, the moment passed.  I could only handle lying there with the grass scratching my neck for so long!  I think Eugene and Rapunzel had the same thought, because we all  moved at the same time.  Robby seemed perfectly content to stay there, though.

We still were all fairly quiet, but it wasn't an awkward silence.  It was a comfortable, peaceful silence, the type shared between good friends who didn't have to fill the time with words to make it meaningful.

Eventually, Rapunzel turned to Robby and I.  "Thanks so much for arranging this afternoon for us, guys," Rapunzel said gratefully.  "You two have been great friends to us."

"It was our pleasure, right Robby?" I replied, glancing over at my friend.  He nodded in agreement.  "We figured we'd better get something on the calendar before your little munchkin arrives and you're too busy for us!"  It was meant to be a joke, but I felt the truth of the words as I said them.

"Hey," Eugene said seriously.  "We know we're going to be super busy at first.  It's going to take a while to adjust to being parents.  But we'll always have time for you two."  He put an arm around Rapunzel's shoulders.  "We couldn't do without you."

"We'll always be here," Robby replied firmly.  "If you ever need anything...well...I'm not that great with babies, but I'm willing to learn."

Eugene looked down at Rapunzel tenderly.  "We're all new to this."  He glanced back up at Robby with a grin.  "And I doubt I know any more than you do!  We can learn this stuff together, right?"

Robby nodded with a smile. 

I gave a fake shudder.  "Oh, I just got a totally scary mental picture of these two on their own with a baby!"  I glanced over at Rapunzel slyly.  "Are you sure you're ready for this?"

She laughed and playfully swatted at my arm.  "Be nice, Belle!  I don't want you worrying Eugene...I'm going to need him!"

Eugene gave a scornful laugh.  "Hah!  As if anything Belle said would scare me!"  He gave me a quick wink to show he was teasing.

Rapunzel moved off a ways and took a seat on the hillside.  "I can't even tell you how excited I am.  I know it won't be easy, but it will be so worth it!"  She looked up at the sky again.  "It's such an amazing day!" she said dreamily.  "I always feel so alive when I'm outside.  I can't wait until we can bring our children out here with us.  We'll introduce them to each blade of grass and each flower petal."

I could almost hear the imaginary cue music.  As I've mentioned before, we Disney dolls are very prone to singing through our emotions, and Rapunzel was no different.  Well, she was different than me.  She could actually sing.

She slowly started unbraiding her hair, letting the light breeze toss it around caressingly.  I wondered if she'd make up a song on the spot.  I'd tried that before with quite pathetic results. 

But she didn't.  Almost instantly, I recognized the "Healing Incantation" song from "Tangled".  It didn't really have anything to do with what she was feeling at the moment, but sometimes just singing any sort of song is enough. 

We all listened quietly as she sang.  For the millionth time, I wished I could carry a tune.  Rapunzel's voice was amazing.  I couldn't even imagine opening my lips and having something like that come out.  If a miracle ever occurred and I was able to sing, I wondered if Ben could be wowed by my voice the way Eugene was obviously stirred by Rapunzel's.

He was staring at her with such love and warmth, I almost felt like I was intruding on a private moment by looking at him.

When Rapunzel was finished singing and unbraiding, she turned around and tossed her hair, letting it flow down the hillside behind her.  Her hair really did look amazing.  Not exactly practical, but pretty.  I was really glad I had my own shorter hair, though.  I'd spend all my time tripping if I had hair that long (coordination has never been my strong point!).  

Eugene couldn't stay away from his lovely wife any longer. He crossed over to her and took her hand. Their lips met in a sweet, innocent kiss. I suppose that was fitting, considering the mood of the moment.

It was a bit awkward for Robby and I, however.  I mean, it's not like they were doing anything wrong.  They were married, after all, and they weren't being inappropriate.  But still, I felt like I was invading their private universe.  I was so glad I wasn't there with Ben.  I would have been 10 shades of red!!  At least I didn't have to worry about Robby getting all sappy on me.  He had a good head on his shoulders, and we were best buddies!  Still, I hoped that the lovebirds would get over their moment soon. 

I didn't have to wait long.  They pulled apart, and Rapunzel settled comfortably in Eugene's lap.  They were still in their own little world, but it was easier to cope with lap-sitting than kissing.  I could hear them whispering to each other, no doubt spinning dreams about their baby that would be with them soon.

"It's sure going to be different," I heard myself saying, almost before I realized I'd spoken out loud.

"What do you mean?" Robby asked.

"With Eugene and Rapunzel, and the baby," I explained.  "I'm...well, I'm happy for them, but I'm worried at the same time."

Robby's face held an understanding look.  "You're worried that your friendship won't be the same," he stated.

I nodded sadly.  "How can it be the same?  She'll have so many obligations now with a baby to take care of.  And so much for calm, quiet conversations!  She'll be distracted all the time and won't have time for me...I just know it!"

Robby looked down at me compassionately.  "Belle, she's going to need you now more than ever!   Don't you think she's nervous, too?"

I shrugged.  "She just seems so confident and ready...I didn't think she could be nervous."

"I'm sure she is.  This is a big step that she and Eugene have taken.  She'll be learning all sorts of new things and feeling insecure.  You and Eugene will be the constant comforts in her life that will keep her steady through all of this.  Don't back away from her now."

"I wasn't going to back away!" I insisted.  "I just...didn't think she'd need me."

"She will," Robby said confidently.  "Things may change a bit...that's a normal part of life.  But you'll always be special to Rapunzel." 

"Thanks, Robby," I said slowly.  "I guess you and Rapunzel are my constant comforts.  I don't know what I'd do without you guys."

He smiled at me again.  "I'll always be here when you need me, Belle."

"I know," I said softly.

There seemed to be words left unsaid, floating on the breeze, waiting anxiously to be spoken, but before they could materialize, Eugene asked if we were ready to eat, and the moment passed.  

We had a wonderful afternoon together.  I was still a little nervous about the coming changes, but Robby's encouragement had helped.  I'd never thought about Rapunzel needing me.  It seemed like I was always the one needing her.  I hoped I could be helpful in some way.  Only time would tell.   

Monday, November 14, 2011


Yikes, I have got to get this blog up to speed!!  I'm still a couple of months behind, and I do so want to get caught up.  I'll do my best in the next few weeks, but things will be a little bit crazy with all of the activities of the season! :} 

Before I get back into the narrative, I wanted to just mention in passing something that happened just a couple of weeks ago, especially since one of you brought it up in the comments.  Yes, it's true that Beast'sbelle bought YET ANOTHER Belle doll, as well as another Rapunzel doll.  Rest assured, though, that this hasn't bothered me as much as you might think.  Beast'sbelle has kept them on the other side of the room from us, so we really haven't interacted much at all (besides that annoying comparison photo shoot that she did for her blog).  The other thing that keeps me from any concern is the fact that Beast'sbelle is sending them to new homes for her blog giveaway.  Honestly, I feel a little bad for them.  They'll have to go back into a dark box and be sent to who knows where!  Hopefully they go to good homes.  I suppose the chances of this are likely, since Beast'sbelle's followers seem to be nice people who care about dolls. :)

Okay, on to the rest of my story!   Two things happened in the beginning of October that made life rather interesting.  First, Beast'sbelle rearranged her room.  She moved all of us (her deboxed Disney fashion dolls)on top of her curio, which was now on the other side of the room.  This was both a blessing and a curse.  We had a much better view of the room from our higher perch, but it was a lot harder to get down and go to other parts of the house or go outside.  Also, we had less space, so we were all squished together.  Now, instead of having Ben on the other side of the dresser, he was literally standing right behind me!  It definitely made things more awkward knowing that he was right there at all times of the day.  I think he sensed my discomfort and tried to be sensitive.  There was only so much he could do, though. 

You gotta love the huge roses beside Rapunzel and I, not to mention the gigantic ones on top of the curio.  Beast'sbelle loves decorating with fake flowers. :}

I was informed of the other change in a conversation with Rapunzel.  One nice thing about our rearranged spot was that Rapunzel and I got to sit together all day long.  I'm not sure how Eugene felt about this, but he was just as stuck as the rest of us.  It was a morning in early October.  We could hear the frantic sounds of Beast'sbelle trying to get her three daughters out the door in time to get her two oldest to school.  Suddenly, Rapunzel leaned over and whispered, "I have something to tell you once they leave!"

I glanced over at my friend curiously.  "What?" I asked her softly.

She shook her head.  "Let's wait until they're gone, just in case."

Beast'sbelle's daughters still didn't know we were alive, and we all intended to keep things that way until we were sure they'd be gentle around us!!  I understood Rapunzel's point, but I was dying of curiosity!  I stole another glance at her face and didn't miss the happy glow it held.  Of course, then I knew what her news was.  What was the one thing she and Eugene had been longing and hoping for all summer? 

I peeked up at Eugene and saw that his face was brimming with happiness.  He stealthily reached forward and squeezed Rapunzel's shoulder.  They both looked ready to burst.

At last, the side door of the house slammed shut, and we heard the car pulling out of the driveway.  A hush fell over the entire house.   Then, collectively, we all let out a long breath, as if we'd all been holding our breath the entire time the humans were here. 

I turned to Rapunzel.  "So?" I asked, willing myself to act surprised when she told me.

Rapunzel shook her head again.  "Not here...I'm so excited I can't sit still!  Let's take a walk!"

It was so weird having everyone so close together.  Robby, Eugene, and Ben could hear everything we said.  Maybe that was the other reason Rapunzel wanted to wait, so we could actually have a private conversation!  I almost felt like I needed to explain to everyone where we were going. 

Rapunzel gave Eugene a quick kiss while I awkwardly waved to Robby and Ben.  Then we both walked to the edge of the curio and leaped down.  In the week since our move, we'd all discovered that the easiest way to get down was to jump onto the bed.  It was closer than the floor and more comfortable to land on. :) 

We slid down the sides of the comforter and headed out of the room.  Once we reached the hallway, my friend couldn't wait any longer.

"Beast'sbelle has found a baby for us!" she burst out excitedly, sharing the news I'd been expecting.

I wasn't sure whether to feel happy or sad, but I smiled anyway.  "I'm so happy for you!" I told her...and I was!  I knew how much she and Eugene had been longing for this.  But I still felt that sense of melancholy foreboding, that feeling that things wouldn't be the same between us once a baby entered her life.

We walked down the hallway towards the living room.  Actually, it would be more accurate to say we "power walked" down the hallway.  Rapunzel's excitement gave her unusual speed, and it was all I could do to keep up!

"So," I said, trying to keep my voice steady even though I was already out of breath, "when is the arrival date?"

"Beast'sbelle thinks the baby should be here within another 2 weeks or so," Rapunzel said wistfully.  "It seems like such a long time to wait!"

I had just been thinking how little time that gave her to get ready.  I suppose it was all in your perspective. 

I reached over and squeezed her hand.  "It will go quickly.  You've been waiting all summer, so a couple more weeks shouldn't be too difficult.  And hey, just think, humans have to wait 9 months to have a baby, or so I've heard."

Rapunzel smiled at my encouragement.  "I know.  You must think I'm crazy!"

I pretended to think about this statement.  "Well, maybe a little bit."

We both laughed. 

By now, we'd reached the love seat, which was our favorite spot to visit.  Without missing a beat, Rapunzel leaped up and grabbed fistfuls of material.  In moments, she was up. 

I really need to get in better shape, I thought to myself.  You'd think rambling outside all summer with Robby would have helped.  Of course, most of Rapunzel's energy this morning is because she's over-excited!

With considerably less ease and grace, I scrambled up the love seat myself.  Then we climbed up the back of the seat together.  Rapunzel moved aside the curtain and looked outside.  It was another beautiful day.  Our fall had been so mild that it looked more like April than October out there. 

"Do you know what you're getting?" I asked.

Rapunzel gave me a funny look.

"I mean, will it be a girl or a boy?" I clarified.

She shook her head.  "Beast'sbelle knows, but we asked her not to tell us.  We wanted it to be a surprise."  Rapunzel looked outside again, a dreamy expression on her face.  "I've already imagined I'm holding him or her.  I feel like I'll explode if I have to wait a moment longer."

I watched my friend for a moment.  I'd known this was important to her, but I think it wasn't until right then that I realized just how important it was.  I didn't really understand it myself.  Not that I was opposed to having a baby someday, but...babies were so much work!!  And doll babies never grew!  I just couldn't imagine saddling myself with a drooly infant for the rest of my life.  But for Rapunzel, it was different.

"You're really ready for this, aren't you?" I asked her.

She turned to face me with the most serene expression I'd ever seen on her face.  "Yes," she said with quiet determination.  "There's no higher calling than parenthood, Belle.  Eugene and I have never been more ready for anything in our lives."

" do you know you're ready?" I questioned.  "I mean, what if you get into it and it's too much?  You're stuck forever!"

Rapunzel sat down right next to me.  "Well, I'm not foolish enough to think that it will always be easy.  I'm sure there will be days where I'll wonder why on earth I ever thought it was a good idea."  She laughed a bit, then shrugged her shoulders.  "But the blessings of caring for a child far outweigh any inconvenience or sacrifice."

I shook my head.  "Well, maybe I'll be there someday, but I sure don't understand it now!"

My friend smiled.  "That's good!  You have some time to think about it, you know.  And it's best to have a good husband first."  She glanced back towards our room.  "One of the reasons I'm so confident is that I know Eugene is going to be a wonderful daddy.  I couldn't do it without him."

"I think I'll just let you try it first.  If you go crazy, then I'll avoid it in the future," I said jokingly.

"Oh, thanks a lot!" Rapunzel laughed. 

I was suddenly hit with an idea.  "Hey, maybe we should plan some sort of celebration!  Just you and I and Robby and Eugene.  We could spend an afternoon outside while the weather's still good!"

"That sounds wonderful!" Rapunzel agreed.

"I'll talk it over with Robby, and we'll work out the details."

Rapunzel looked concerned.  "Should we invite Ben?  It might be a little bit hard for him to not be included, especially now that we're all so close on the curio."

I blushed.  "I'm sure he's got other things to do."

She eyed me carefully.  "Belle, what aren't you telling me?  Did something happen between you two?"

I looked away.  I never had told her about my last conversation with Ben.  Reluctantly, I shared the details I'd tried to forget.

We were both quiet for a while after my confession.

"I...I just don't want to feel weird or embarrassed on a day that's supposed to be fun.  With you and Eugene and Robby, I can just relax and be myself.  Would you be upset if I didn't invite Ben?"

"Of course not!" Rapunzel assured me, putting a gentle hand on my shoulder.  "I'm sure he'll understand.  Maybe you should wait to discuss your plans with Robby until you two are alone, though.  I don't want to hurt Ben's feelings."  She seemed to be thinking about something, but whatever it was she didn't decide to share it.

"Well, should we get back?" I asked her.  "I'm sure you and Eugene would like to take your morning walk while you have the chance."

Rapunzel nodded, smiling at the mention of her husband.  "Yes, let's.  I still have so much to discuss with him."

We climbed down from the love seat and made our way back to the room, thankfully at a slower pace than we'd used before! :}  I couldn't wait to talk to Robby and see what he thought about all of this.  I wished I could talk it over with Ben, too, but I hadn't worked up the nerve to speak to him again since our last conversation.  I wondered if he'd ever considered having children someday.  I couldn't quite picture him as a father, but you never know.

More than anything, I just wanted to enjoy these last 2 weeks with my friend while she still had time for me.  I wasn't delusional enough to think that parenthood wouldn't affect our friendship.  It would never be the same, I just knew it.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Blog Button Problem Solved! :)

Okay, the blog buttons are working now.  The codes in my earlier post should work just fine, but just in case, I put all three buttons with a grab box on my sidebar too.  Sorry for the inconvenience this might have caused.  I think I typed something in wrong. :}

I'll be posting again soon, so keep your eye out for it! ;)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Technical Difficulties

It's been brought to my attention that my blog buttons are not working.  I'm so embarrassed!  Here I told all of you to copy my blog buttons and now you all have a bunch of dud buttons.  What's really weird is I tested them out right after I posted them, and they worked fine!  I just don't understand why they're deciding to malfunction now. :{  Rest assured that I'm doing everything I can to get them working properly...Beast'sbelle even said she'd get her husband (Belle'sbeast) to help. 

By the way, if any of you have gotten my blog buttons to work, would you please let me know?  Thank you.  I'm new to the technical aspect of blogging...Tess, Maggie, and Beast'sbelle always took care of this on their blog. :{

I'll let you know as soon as we have the problem resolved.  Thank you for your patience.