Thursday, July 25, 2013

Family Vacation

Hello, dear readers!  Just a super quick post today.  Robby, Emilie and I have been invited to join Beast'sbelle on her family vacation to the coast!  We are very excited for this opportunity, especially since we will be going to the same place that Robby and I went for our honeymoon.  The two of us can't wait to share this trip with Emilie.  She's never traveled before, so she is bouncing off the walls. ;)

That's all I have time for now...we'll be leaving in an hour or so and I still have a ton of packing to do! :)  I'll share all about our trip when I get back sometime next week. :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Furnishings, New Neighbors

At last I have a chance to blog again!  I've been ever so eager to share what's been happening around here, but getting to the computer has proven difficult this week with all of the comings and goings in the house.  I never know when a little miniature Beast'sbelle is going to come flying out of her room!  And with three of them to watch out for, one always has to be on one's toes, so to speak. ;)

As you might have guessed from the title, we have some new furniture in our home on top of Beast'sbelle's curio. :)  Beast'sbelle and her mother have been looking for some sort of shelving for us for a while, and this past week, all their searching finally paid off!   

Here's our home as it looks right now.

Robby and I are sitting on chairs that Beast'sbelle made for us using this tutorial from My Froggy Stuff.  She ended up using an oatmeal container but cutting it smaller and taping it together so the chairs wouldn't be huge. ;)

Here's a better look at what the chairs look like when completed:  
Overall they're fairly comfortable, although I find them a bit rigid and upright.  Eventually it would be nice to find chairs that were not quite so tall and stiff.  Still, these are definitely better than the tins we've been sitting on. ;)

Here is the lovely green shelf that Beast'sbelle found for us at Goodwill.  Isn't it just perfect?  We're still working on filling the shelves...I'm not 100% satisfied with the result...but it's getting there. ;)

And this cute little blue shelf with a very similar style was found by Beast'sbelle's mother at an out-of-town Goodwill.  (This one really needs some help with the knick-knacks on the shelves!) :}

You'll notice that Emilie is still clutching her favorite dolls?  Her love for Beauty and the Beast has increased even more in the past weeks.  We finally let her watch the movie, and Beast'sbelle spilled the beans that Robby and I are based on the main characters.  Now Emilie just gazes at us in wonder, amazed that her mommy and daddy are Belle and the Beast. Ugh.  I've tried to explain that we're really not the Belle and the Beast from the movie, but I don't know that it's really sunk in yet.  Thanks a lot, Beast'sbelle. :{

Although, I must confess, Beast'sbelle has her good points, too.  She made us this cute little lamp using this tutorial (again from My Froggy Stuff).  It doesn't actually work, but it looks the part. ;)

And now that we have a coffee table (which was formerly one of our seats), our tea set looks especially elegant.  I can't wait to have Rapunzel over again!  

Hmm...although now that she has so many children, perhaps a porcelain tea set isn't the smartest idea. ;)

The thing I love about the way we've arranged the shelves is that it gives the illusion of a separate room for Emilie.  She's loving the new arrangement just as much as we are. :)

There are still things to do.  We need to hang up our pictures again, and I'm also hoping that Beast'sbelle will be able to hang up our Christmas lights.  It's nice having some soft lighting at night time.  

So those of you who read Beast'sbelle's blog might be aware that she has a couple of new dolls from a completely different line.  You also might know from the picture below (used on Beast'sbelle's blog review of said dolls) that Rapunzel and I met them rather abruptly a week or so ago.

Honestly, what you humans put us through!  I realize that you have to do your "doll reviews" and all, but have you ever considered how awkward it is to be plunked down next to a couple of dolls you've never met before and then proceed to pose next to them in photos for an hour or two?  It's not the most ideal way to meet someone.  At least Beast'sbelle wasn't doing one of her *shudder* articulation posts.  I mean, the only possible way to make the situation more unbearable is to be undressed and posed in the nude next to the newbies, who are usually in the same humiliating position.  Really, it's quite indecent of you.  Just something you might think about the next time you do a review.  Couldn't we at least wear a bathing suit and retain a small shred of our dignity?

But I digress.  Since our meeting with the new dolls was rather abrupt and less than ideal, Rapunzel and I decided that the neighborly thing to do would be to go and officially introduce ourselves.  Beast'sbelle had found a new home for her latest dolls across the room, so it wouldn't be much trouble to get there.  We decided to have our hubbies watch the children so we wouldn't overwhelm our new neighbors with all the little ones running around underfoot. ;)

Once we'd made all the arrangements, we traveled across the room, climbed up the tall dresser, and pulled ourselves up in front of the newbies.  But imagine our surprise when not two but four new faces were staring directly at us!

"I thought there were only two of them," I whispered to Rapunzel, wondering if I was beginning to lose my mind.

"There were," Rapunzel calmly whispered back, though I could tell from the slightly startled expression on her face that she was just as surprised as I was.  "We shouldn't whisper in front of them, though...we don't want to make them feel like we're talking about them."

I almost responded with "But we are!" until I realized this was rather obvious and not at all helpful.  So instead, I simply nodded.  

With what I hoped was a friendly smile, I directed my attention to the most familiar of the faces and said, "Hi, I'm Belle, and this is my friend Rapunzel.  We met the other day during Beast'sbelle's blog photo shoot."

"Oh yes, I remember you," the doll with long, black and purple hair responded in a voice that was surprisingly juvenile.  "I'm Raven, and this is Maddie."  She gestured to the shorter doll next to her, the one with purple and blue curls and blue hands.  Then she turned to her other side.  "And these are our newest friends Apple and Briar.  They weren't here when you met Maddie and me."  

"Nice to meet you," I said politely, trying all the while to keep from thinking about their odd-sounding names and outlandish clothing and hair.  I also noticed that each of them was held in place by a rather uncomfortable-looking plastic doll stand.    

"It's so great to officially meet you!" Maddie suddenly burst out.  "Of course, we met before, but it was so rushed and strange...all that posing and standing with no Beast'sbelle always like that?  She certainly has odd habits...either that or she's just plain bored and can't think of anything else to do.  Who ever heard of taking that many doll pictures?  Peas and crackers!  Is there any coffee around here?  I could definitely use a cup...but I can't seem to find any or even smell's quite tragic."

While Rapunzel and I tried to process this whirlwind of a one-sided conversation, Raven gave us an apologetic glance.  "Maddie' excited to meet you.  You'll be able to follow her a little easier once you get to know her better."  She gave her friend a little wink, as if to show that it was all in good fun.  

Maddie just laughed, obviously unaffected by her friend's comment.  "Yes, everyone always says I prattle on far too much...but I can't help it!  My thoughts carry on's all I can do to keep up with them."

Something in her conversation struck me as odd.  "Wait a minute," I said slowly, "did you say you"

Maddie nodded eagerly.  "Do you know where I can get some?  I've been dying for a cup since we got here!"

"No, I'm sorry...I don't think Beast'sbelle or her husband drink coffee," I said.  "But, forgive me for asking, are you sure it's coffee you want?"

"Of course!" Maddie giggled.  "I think I'd know what it was I wanted."  She gave me a suspicious glance.  "Why do you ask?"

I blushed.  "Oh, nothing...I kind of seemed more like a tea type.  I thought I heard Beast'sbelle say you were supposed to be the daughter of the Mad Hatter."

Maddie laughed.  "Well, yes, Madeline Hatter from Ever After High is a huge tea fan.  But I'm not the Madeline Hatter, silly.  I'm just me...a Madeline Hatter doll.  And this doll likes coffee."

All at once, I felt quite sheepish.  I of all dolls should have understood this concept, especially since I was currently dealing with the same thing with Emilie.  

Rapunzel must have noticed my discomfort, because she gave my elbow a reassuring squeeze.

At that moment, the blonde doll named Apple leaned forward and locked eyes with my best friend.  "I just have to say," she said eagerly, "I love love LOVE your hair!!  How on earth do you maintain it?  It's so incredibly long!!"

Rapunzel smiled in her gentle way.  "Beast'sbelle helps me with it.  And sometimes Belle will.  Even Eugene, my husband, has learned how to braid.  It's a relief that I don't have to take care of it myself."

Apple clasped her hands together.  "Do you think, that is, would you mind if I played with your hair sometime?  I ADORE playing with hair, but mine is absolutely impossible!"

My friend looked amused.  "Any time you like," she agreed.

Apple looked like she might attack Rapunzel's hair right then, but she managed to restrain herself.  "Thanks so much!!  Maybe we can set up something for this next week!"

At this point, Briar, who had kept quite the entire time, leaned forward and caught Raven's eye.  "Hey Raven, are we still on for Wednesday?"

Raven nodded eagerly.  "Can't wait!"  Noticing our confused glances, gave us a self-conscious little grin.  "Briar and I are working on a song together.  We found out that we both love music, and we thought it would be fun to either write something or just sing together."

Rapunzel gave me a sideways glance.  I pasted on a smile.  Wonderful.  More singers.  "Well, you'll probably be happy to know that a bunch of the Disney dolls around here do these sing-a-thon things every few weeks."

Raven's eyes lit up.  Then the excitement in her face was replaced by uncertainty.  "Do you think they'd let us join them?"  She twisted the bracelet on her wrist.  "We're not Disney dolls."

I gave a little laugh.  "They'll take anyone who can carry a tune...which would explain why I'm not usually invited."

Briar looked confused.  "But you're a Disney doll," she pointed out, as if I wasn't aware of the fact.

I shrugged.  "Maddie drinks coffee instead of tea, I can't sing.  We aren't always exactly like our characters."

"Point taken," she replied with a grin.

I felt that this was a good opportunity to end our visit.  "Well, Rapunzel and I should get back to our families.  It was nice meeting you all."

"You too," Raven said, looking at us a bit wistfully.  "Feel free to visit us anytime."  She glanced down at the doll stand that held her captive.  "As you can see, we're a bit limited by our mobility at this point."

I nodded.  

Rapunzel gave Raven a sympathetic look.  "We'll come when we can," my friend assured her.

And with that, we made our escape.  Not that I wanted to escape or anything.  They actually seemed pretty nice.  Even if two of them were singers.

"I don't think Maddie needs any coffee," Rapunzel suddenly observed from beside me.  

I thought of the hyperactive, over-talkative doll and had to laugh.  "No, I think caffeine is the LAST thing she needs.  Maybe it's a good thing Beast'sbelle doesn't drink it."

We went our separate ways, and I gave Robby the basics about our meeting, finishing with the fact that two of them were singers.

The instant I relayed that fact, I wanted to kick myself.  I glanced nonchalantly at Robby to see if he reacted at all.  But either my husband was too kind to say anything or had missed the reference completely.

I still haven't sung to him.  I know I need to...but working up the courage for that "perfect moment" has been a lot harder than I thought it would be.  Every time I think of it, I either talk myself out of it or find some imaginary excuse.  It's quite ridiculous, and he's been more than patient...

Maybe I need to plan a special night and just MAKE myself do it.  It's time.

Well, that's all for now, my dearest readers.  It's late and I'm exhausted. What do you think of our new neighbors?  Any suggestions on our home?  Any ideas on a special singing opportunity for my Robby?

Until next time... :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Slow Going

Hello, my dearest readers.  I know things have been rather quiet on my end for a while, but to be honest, not much has happened since the last time I wrote. 

We're slowly getting settled in our new little home, although we've been having trouble finding just the right furniture for it.  Beast'sbelle says she's been keeping an eye out at the thrift stores in town, but nothing has caught her eye yet.  

We're still hoping to find some more comfortable seating and a shelf to replace the rather large dresser in the middle of the room.

On the plus side, Beast'sbelle was able to find several toys for Emilie's side of the room.  Ironically, Emilie's very favorite is the "Beauty and the Beast" themed dollhouse and dolls that Beast'sbelle found her.  It's similar to a "Polly Pocket" playset which apparently was popular with you humans back in the 80s and 90s, long before I was around.  It certainly makes a perfect dollhouse for our girl. :)  She's spent hours playing with it.

She's also enjoyed carrying her Beast and Belle dolls all around with her.  She told me that the Belle doll reminded her of me.  Gracious, I hope my face paint is a bit better than that.  Thankfully, she hasn't told Robby that the Beast reminds her of him. ;)

I took a moment to admire her dollhouse one day and I must admit that it is amazingly detailed.  I can see why she likes it so much.

Best of all, when playtime is done, she can close it all up so it takes up less space.  It's still so odd seeing a picture of "me" on the lid. ;)

And as you can see from the picture above, Beast'sbelle had a few other little trinkets to fill Emilie's shelves.  I think Beast'sbelle has been having as much fun finding toys as Emilie has had playing with them. ;)

We had another horrendous heatwave last week.  It was so bad that Beast'sbelle and her girls left the house and stayed with her mother and father, who have something called "central air".  I was so grateful that we'd been moved away from the full heat of the window.  Even so, it was still miserable.  The temperatures have cooled down considerably this week, but Robby is still recovering from the effects of the extreme weather.  Ben has prescribed lots of fluids and lots of rest.  Now that Robby's starting to feel better, he's getting pretty restless.  I'll just be glad when the worst of the summer heat is over and our lives can be somewhat normal again.

There's not much more to tell at this point.  We're slowly waiting for furniture, slowly waiting for Robby to recover...slowly waiting for anything exciting to happen.  Just thought you'd like to know I was still alive and all. ;)

Until next time, dear readers. :)