Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! :)

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Belle's Bulletins.  I hope that you are having a wonderful holiday. :)

Love, Robby, Belle, Emilie, and all the others. ;)

More posts to come at a later date.  Right now, I want to enjoy the day without documenting it. ;)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Snow Day

What a week it was last week!  Having an unexpected visitor and dealing with all of the emotions that came with her was crazy enough.  But to add to the excitement, we had a huge snowstorm hit on Friday.  Well, at least it seemed huge to a 12" doll.  I suppose it wouldn't have been quite as impressive to you humans.  I think Beast'sbelle said we got about 1/2".  Still, she seemed pretty excited about it. ;)

Here's a picture of the transformed front yard.  Isn't it beautiful?

I'd never seen snow before (there's never been snow at Beast'sbelle's house in the time I've been here, and before that I was just in my box at the Disney Store).  So needless to say, I was very excited to go outside and get a closer look.  I was a little bit concerned about Robby, though.  I wasn't sure what the cold would do for his joints, and I thought it might be too difficult for him to get around in the deep snow banks.

And then there was Emilie.  I didn't really feel right just leaving her inside with Eugene and Rapunzel while we went out in the snow, but I was afraid she would freeze in her little party dress.

Robby soon put my concerns to rest.  He assured me that he was going outside no matter what, thank you very much, and even if it made his joints sore, it would be worth it to get to play in the snow.  He also let Emilie borrow his shirt from our coast trip.  It was pretty big on her, but at least she'd be warm. 

It was so exciting to catch that first glimpse of the white world before us.  It was absolutely beautiful.  If only it wasn't so cold!!  I was glad that my velvet Christmas dress was nice and thick, but I wished I had a big fur coat to wear over it.

Emilie couldn't stop staring at the snow.  She kept lettting out excited giggles, as if her joy couldn't contain itself.  

We quickly decided that the best spot for us would be on the wooden porch, the same place where Robby had proposed to me all those months ago. :)  When we first climbed up, we took a minute to look around and enjoy the amazing scenery.

The snow made everything so breathtakingly beautiful! 

Robby and Emilie soon started building a snowman together.  I stood and watched as the two of them laughed and played.  Emilie was so good for Robby.  When he was with her, he seemed to forget the pain of his hip and knee and just focus on her.  I felt a slight pang, wishing that I could do the same thing for him.  Still, it was great to see the two of them together.  They acted...just like a father and daughter.

The snowman's face was a little interesting. :}  Robby and I had a hard time finding material to use for the snowman's facial features.  The snow was also not the easiest snow for snowman making...it was wet and very hard when it was packed together.  Robby almost broke the snowman's face in half trying to add his eyes. :}

Emilie was having the time of her life.  She didn't even seem to notice the snow that was piling up on her head.  She looked so adorable, standing there in the snow, staring up at Robby with that big, adoring grin.

Robby looked just as happy.  He pulled out all the stops, doing everything in his power to make this a memorable day for a sweet little doll.  I didn't feel forgotten, though.  Every once in a while, he'd shoot me a tender look, as if thanking me for putting up with his antics.

For my part, I loved seeing him so happy.  Perhaps having someone weaker than himself that he could care for was just what he needed to restore his confidence and make him feel needed.  I'd always tried hard not to make him feel inferior because of his injury, especially since I knew how sensitive he was about it, but the fact remained that I still had to do some things for him that before he would have done for himself, and he was not nearly as independent as he had been before.  Emilie had many needs, and most of them were needs that he could take care of without my help.  

Robby suddenly broke away from the snowman, calling, "I'm gonna get you!"

Emilie let out a squeal of delight and took off running.  Leaving his cane behind, Robby took off after her, running with the lopsided gait he'd had ever since his injury.

Suddenly, Emilie tripped and fell over.  Robby, who was right behind her, tripped over her and landed next to her in the snow.  The two of them were breathless and laughing as Robby helped Emilie up and placed her in his lap.

Then, quite suddenly, Emilie looked up at Robby, her little face glowing, and said, "I love you, Robby!"

Robby blinked quickly, his eyes glassy and full.  He smiled gently down at her.  "I love you too, Emilie."

The look on her little face was priceless.  She leaned in to give him a big hug, and my husband, as mushy as a pile of melting snow, stared up at me with a look of wonder and disbelief.

My own heart melted at the scene before me.  They were so perfect together.  We could all be perfect together.

I turned away for a moment, trying to clear my muddled head.  I still had reservations about the whole parenting thing.  I had wanted to wait at least a year before starting a family, and we wouldn't celebrate our first wedding anniversary until this coming May.  Not that it had to be exactly a year or anything, but I'd wanted to make sure that Robby and I had plenty of time together as a married couple, just the two of us, before we added anyone else to the mix.  

But these past few days had given me a small taste of what life with a little one could be like.  Emilie was such a sweetheart, and she and Robby had obviously formed a special bond.  Would it be so terrible to loosen up on my resolve and start a family earlier than I had planned?

I had a brief, fleeting image of Beast'sbelle, smirking with that I knew it all along look on her face.  I rolled my eyes.  No doubt she would be thrilled that I wasn't so adamant about waiting on kids anymore.  It wasn't like I was ready to adopt Emilie tomorrow or anything, but in the future?  It was a definite possibility.

I turned to see Robby and Emilie on their feet, brushing the snow from their clothing.  Robby suddenly gave me a sly look and leaned over next to Emilie.  "I think we should get Belle...what do you think?"

Emilie grinned.  "Get her!" she shouted.

"Whoa, wait a minute!" I protested, putting up my hands.  "I do NOT want to be covered in snow...Robby!"

My husband raced up to me, but instead of tickling OR tackling me, he put his arms around me and held me tight.  "My love tank is almost empty," he said innocently.  "I think I need a refill."

"Oh you do, do you?" I asked coyly.  "Well here, this should help."  I gave him a quick peck on the cheek.

He eyed me disapprovingly.  "Sorry, not good enough," he said.

And without another word, he leaned over and kissed me on the lips.  I put my arms around him and kissed him back, enjoying the warmth of his touch and the feel of his lips against mine.

We pulled away to find little Emilie grinning up at us.  She was shivering uncontrollably.  I knew that Robby's shirt wouldn't keep her warm much longer.

With a smile, I reached out to her, inviting her to join our embrace.

She jumped up into our arms, snuggling against us and burying her face in Robby's warm sleeve.

And at that moment, everything felt just perfectly right in our little world.

By this time, we all were feeling like we might freeze, so with reluctance we trudged back to the house.  Beast'sbelle let us in and laid out a hand towel in front of the heater for us to sit on.  After cautioning us to not go any closer to the heater, she left to help her daughters get into their snow gear.  

As we sat there, enveloped by warmth and enjoying the view of the large Christmas tree on the other side of the room, I realized that I had never been happier.  While a romantic stroll through the snow with Robby would have been wonderful, Emilie's presence somehow added a new dimension to our outing.  She completed us.  I realized with some surprise that I would really miss her after the holidays were over.  I wondered with concern if she would miss us too.  

I shook my head then.  I didn't know what would happen at the end of this week, but for now, I was going to enjoy every minute we had with this precious child.  We'd just have to take things one day at a time.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Emilie's New Dress

The rest of this past week went on without incident.  We didn't have many other opportunities to escape the room, so we had plenty of time to sit on the curio, visiting and getting to know our new little guest.  And I have to admit, she was a cutie.  Emilie's initial shyness soon melted away, at least when she was around Robby.  She chattered on and on in an expressive, animated manner, and she had a captive audience in my husband.  She had him wrapped around her little finger, no mistake about that.  

In spite of my frustration with Beast'sbelle, I realized (after I'd cooled down) that it wouldn't be fair to take it out on Emilie, so I tried my best to be friendly with her.  Not overly-friendly, though.  I didn't want to get attached and encourage Beast'sbelle's meddling any further.  

I must say, at first I almost felt a bit jealous of this little one who held Robby's attention so completely.  I mean, here it was, our first Christmas together as a married couple.  I'd hoped for a wonderful, romantic Christmas and at least one night of privacy.  More and more, it was looking like our first Christmas would be spent as a party of 3 (well, a party of 7, counting Rapunzel and Eugene and their girls).  

Goodness, you all must think I'm being terribly petty. :{  It was just a big adjustment that I wasn't quite ready for.  I was happy with the way things were with just the two of us.  Maybe that was it...I didn't like the idea of sharing my husband, even if it was with an adorable little girl doll.

A few days after Emilie's arrival, Beast'sbelle came in again, holding something in her hand.  She walked right up to the curio instead of doing other things first, so I knew she had come to speak with us.  I couldn't help but notice the pleased expression on her face when she saw Robby and Emilie getting along so nicely.  

"Hi Emilie," she said in a friendly tone.  

Our little guest turned and gave Beast'sbelle a shy smile.  

"I found this the other day and thought you might be interested," Beast'sbelle continued.  She held out a beautiful white dress just Emilie's size.

Emilie's eyes widened and she sprung to her feet.  "Oh, thank you!" she cried out, taking the dress and hugging it to herself.  

Beast'sbelle looked extremely pleased with Emilie's excitement.  "You're welcome," she responded happily.  Then she turned to me.  "Belle, maybe you could help Emilie over to the dressing room so she can try it on."

I nodded cooly.  There was no way I could refuse so simple a request, but I would NOT give Beast'sbelle the pleasure of acting all excited and mushy myself.  I just caught the rather confused look in Beast'sbelle's eyes before I turned and held out my hand to Emilie.  "Come with me," I told her, giving her a friendly smile.

Emilie took my hand shyly and followed me over to the makeshift dressing room (which, as you all will probably remember, is the space behind Beast'sbelle's wedding picture on her nightstand).

"Here we are!" I announced as we hopped across to the nightstand.  "You can take your dress back behind here and try it on.

Emilie hesitated for a moment.

"Is something wrong?" I asked her gently.

She looked embarrassed.  "I can't un-Velcro myself," she announced, her cheeks turning pink.

In that moment, I felt a twinge of sympathy for her.  She was as much a victim of this scenario as I was.  What did she know about this whole thing?  What had Beast'sbelle told her?  Was she worried that if she couldn't do everything just right she'd be sent away?

I smiled down at her without even having to remind myself to do so.  "Don't worry," I assured her.  "I'll help you.  Why don't you turn around and let me get the Velcro in the back, and then I'll Velcro your new dress once you're in it."

Emilie let out a long breath, relief flooding over her face.  "Okay," she said, turning around so I could un-Velcro her sundress.  When I'd finished, she slipped behind the picture, clutching her new dress close to her.

"I'm ready," she announced timidly a few moments later.  She peeked out from behind the picture frame.

I smiled.  "That's a very pretty dress," I complimented her, turning her around so I could attach her Velcro.

Such a little comment, but she glowed as if I'd showered her with complements.

"It's just missing one thing, though," I informed her when I was done.  

She looked up at me with a curious expression as I reached for the back of my head.

Within moments, we were back at the top of the curio.  Beast'sbelle had disappeared again.  Robby informed us that she'd gone to pick up her girls from school.

"What do you think of Emilie's new dress?" I prompted Robby.  The little one was almost exploding with anticipation.

Robby gave her a big smile.  "You look beautiful in that dress," he said.

Emilie grinned from ear to ear.

Then Robby tilted his head.  "What's that I see in your hair?" he asked.

Still grinning at the attention, Emilie turned to one side so he could see.

Robby shot me a tender smile.  "I think I recognize that flower."

Now it was my turn to blush.

Robby directed his attention back to Emilie.  "Why don't you go show Eugene and Rapunzel your new dress?" he asked her.  "I'm sure they'd like to see it, too."

Emilie didn't need any further encouragement.  She raced over to our friends and did a pirouette.  I could hear their kind words and complements, but my attention was on my husband, who patted the spot next to him on the curio.

I sat down next to him and he wrapped his arm around my waist.  "Thank you for doing that, Sweetheart."

I felt a little funny.  "It...it was just a flower."

"It was more than that to her," he disagreed.  He paused for a moment.  "Look, I know this has been hard for you.  I'm just so glad to see you making an effort to make her feel welcome."

I was embarrassed.  "Was it that obvious?" I asked sheepishly.

"Well, we had just finished a conversation about how you weren't ready for kids and I was, and then Emilie arrived.  It didn't take long to put two and two together," he said, giving me a wink.

I looked up at him seriously.  "Do you believe what Beast'sbelle said, about Emilie just being here for the holidays?  I mean, she looks just like us, and we both know how much Beast'sbelle likes to meddle."

Robby looked amused.  "Well, she did kind of get her way with us in the long run, didn't she?  Maybe she's got good instincts."

"That's not the point!" I said a little too sharply.  

Emilie, Rapunzel and Eugene turned toward us for a moment before Rapunzel directed everyone back to their own conversation.  

I blushed and continued, a little softer this time.  "Beast'sbelle may have good instincts, but we're not just her playthings that she can direct and control at whim.  We have feelings too, and quite frankly, I feel very offended that she just sprung this situation on us without consulting us first!"

Robby tucked a strand of hair back behind my ear, the amusement still shining in his eyes, "I wouldn't worry too much about it.  I don't think she would outright lie about Emilie just being here for a visit, although I definitely think she's hoping something will work out with the three of us.  But let's just enjoy the incredible gift we have of spending Christmas with this adorable little doll and see what happens from there, okay?"

"I still don't like it," I protested quietly.  "It's not fair to any of us."

"Maybe not," Robby said thoughtfully, "but remember, humans do suffer from odd misconceptions from time to time.  Most of them think they're supposed to decide everything for us.  Beast'sbelle is learning, but she is still human, after all.  We can't expect her to understand everything."  

My husband is always so patient.  I seriously wonder how he does it.  Here I was, ready to give Beast'sbelle a good scolding, and he was content to simply go with the flow and see what happened.  Of course, he was also the one who was ready for kids.  

I still felt that Beast'sbelle should know how I felt.  I mean, what if (Heaven forbid) we did end up becoming parents sooner rather than later, and she started bringing home more and more little dolls?  How many would we end up with between her control freak tendencies and Robby's tender heart?

Robby kissed my cheek.  "You're still stressing," he informed me, as if I needed to know.  

"Always!" I replied in a playfully sarcastic tone.

At that moment, Emilie's laugh rang out.  Something Eugene had said had amused her.  She did have a sweet little laugh, and I found myself smiling at the sound of it.

I suddenly noticed that Robby was watching me, a smile on his own face.  "She is a sweetie," I admitted.  "I just don't think I'm ready to be a parent!"

Robby kissed me again.  "Who says you have to be?  I'd suggest just taking Beast'sbelle's words at face value.  Enjoy this chance to try out parenting with no strings attached.  You might be surprised at how much you like it," he teased.

I still wasn't sure.  "But what if..." I began.  Before I could finish, Emilie came bounding over and plopped down in Robby's lap.

"They liked my dress too," she informed us, her eyes sparkling.  Her eyes traveled over the two of us, taking in our outfits.  "Now I feel like I fit in with everyone," she said, looking down at her white dress with something close to awe.  

Robby exchanged a smile with me over her head.  We'll talk later, he mouthed.

I nodded.  What else could I do?  It wasn't a conversation I could have with Emilie sitting right there.  I tried not to notice how cute she looked sitting on Robby's lap.  Oh mercy, where on earth would we be when Christmas was all over?  I just hoped we could get through this ordeal without any hurt feelings or broken hearts.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


(To read the first part of this, click HERE...)

We didn't have to wonder about our visitor for long.  No more than a minute after she arrived, Beast'sbelle came in again and flipped on the overhead light.  She had that look on her face again, the one that was an attempt to look nonchalant and casual but was brimming with excitement underneath.  Beast'sbelle should never play poker...not that I've played it myself...but you get my point.

"Robby, Belle, I wanted to introduce you to someone.  This is Emilie, and she's here for the holidays.  I was wondering if you two might keep an eye on her for me for a while."

I looked back and forth from Beast'sbelle's casual yet beaming glance to Emilie's shy little face.  We were being set up.  Beast'sbelle was trying to arrange our lives again, just as she had originally tried to get Robby and I together, and the way she had hoped to get Isabella and Ben together, too.  At least she had waited for Rapunzel and Eugene to ask her for their first daughter (although she kind of forced their second one on them).  

I took a closer look at Emilie.  She had Robby's eyes and my hair and complexion.  If there had ever been a child made for us, she was it.  There was no way this was a coincidence. 

I tried to hold back my anger.  This was downright unfair!  Obviously, Beast'sbelle had seen this little doll and thought "oh, she'd be perfect for Belle and Robby" and decided to take matters into her own hands.  Couldn't she have at least asked us about her first?   I mean, it would be one thing if we had gone to Beast'sbelle and asked her to find us a child.  Then this scenario would have been perfect.  But we hadn't, and now she was toying with all of our emotions.  And I didn't believe her line about Emilie "being here for the holidays" for one minute.  I was sure that she'd figured if we just met Emilie, we'd fall in love with her right away and everything would be hunky dory and peachy keen.

Not that I had anything against the little doll.  She seemed very sweet.  I just didn't appreciate being backed into a corner like this.  For the most part, Beast'sbelle is pretty cool...but when she meddles like this, it drives me crazy!!

Robby was either completely oblivious to the human's schemes or was just his normal, unruffled self.  He gave Emilie a charming smile.

"Hi, Emilie," he said gently.  "I'm Robby."  He held out his hand so that she could shake it.

Emilie blushed as she lifted her hand, and we instantly saw why.  There was no way she could take the hand Robby offered to her with the way her arms were molded.  She clamped her jaw in concentration and seemed to strain every inch of her being, trying to reach Robby.  

A look of compassion came over his features, and he reached over and took her hand so she didn't have to stretch any farther.  "It's very nice to meet you," he said warmly.

He let go of her hand and introduced me.  I gave Emilie what I hoped was a friendly nod.  She responded with a hesitant smile, but her eyes immediately wandered back to my husband.  

Robby started chatting with her.  I watched in amazement as he brought up anything and everything he could think of, putting forth every effort to make her comfortable.  This from my husband, the doll of few words.  I had known he would be good with children, but I hadn't realize just how wonderful he would be!

Emilie sat down right next to him with a huge smile on her face, hanging on his every word.  She didn't say much, but she didn't seem as uncomfortable as she had been when she first arrived.

I watched the two of them with growing disbelief.  Sometime during their exchange, Beast'sbelle crept out of the room.  I didn't miss the happy grin on her face.  I wanted to scream.  

"Well, she's sure a cutie!" Rapunzel whispered in my ear.

I nodded slowly, biting back the harsh words I wanted to say.  It wasn't my friend's fault that our lives were being tampered with.

"I just wish I'd been given a little warning," I finally added, trying to stay calm.  "I am not ready to be a mother."

Rapunzel looked at me in surprise.  "Beast'sbelle just said she was visiting, didn't she?"

I turned to Rapunzel and raised one eyebrow.  "And you actually believed her?  Doesn't this all strike you as a little bit fishy?  I mean, look at her!  She looks like she could be our daughter.  I seriously doubt all Beast'sbelle wanted was someone to watch her for the holidays!"  

Rapunzel looked thoughtful.  "I suppose Beast'sbelle might have had an ulterior motive.  Still, you should give her the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe she just thought this was a way you two could experience parenthood without fully committing to it."

I laughed scornfully.  "Yes, and maybe pigs fly."

My friend chuckled.  "Just try to relax, Belle.  Beast'sbelle wouldn't force you to do something you didn't want to do."

"No," I agreed, "but I could see her thinking that she could influence me by putting me in the presence of an adorable little girl that looks like she could be my daughter."

"Well, there are worse things than parenthood, you know," Rapunzel said, looking up at Eugene and smiling. "It was tough at first, but we've gotten much better at it.  And it's so wonderful."

I decided that now was not the best time to bring up that much of the ease of their parenting came from the fact that their children had been in a drawer for the last 6 months.  Pascal had done more parenting than they had.  Then I ducked my head, ashamed of my unkind thoughts.  They did love their children, that was for sure.  I didn't need to be rude to them because I was feeling tense.

I turned back to Robby and Emilie, determined to move on to other thoughts.  Emilie was standing up in front of Robby, explaining something to him in animated tones.  Now it was Robby who was hanging on her every word.  And in that moment, I realized with panic that my husband would probably be completely fine with taking this little waif under his wing.  He was clearly smitten with her.  Which would make me the bad guy in the situation.

I did NOT like this.  Not one little bit.  I had nothing against Emilie herself, of course, and I would be kind and polite, but I would NOT put forth the effort to fall in love with this little doll.  I was NOT ready to be a parent, and nothing Beast'sbelle did could make me change my mind!