I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful it feels to be blogging again after such a lengthy hiatus. I hope you will forgive us, dearest readers, for keeping you waiting for so long.
I realize that you were most likely expecting this post to feature our Three Year Blogoversary giveaway. I suppose it might have been wise to do that post first, but I felt that we were so disconnected from all of you that we needed to catch up a bit before launching another giveaway. Maggie agreed with only a bit of protest, especially because she feels our giveaway item is too "girly". ;)
Goodness, where to begin? I feel as though I could write for hours, although nothing monumental has happened in our lives since we last communicated. Once Mama got home from vacation, all of her thoughts were on getting her daughters ready for school and preparing herself for her elementary art class. To be honest, we've been feeling rather neglected. Most of us are wearing the same things we've worn all summer long. It is so inconvenient to have one's clothes packed away and to be so dependent on someone else for every little need. It doesn't bother me as much as some of the others, but I must confess I've missed Mama dreadfully during these past months. Sometimes I feel that she no longer has the time to devote to us that she once did.
Still, I suppose I mustn't complain. I've had a splendid time reconnecting with my youngest sister. Words cannot express how thrilled Hailey and I are to be reunited with her once more. :)
The only shadow to darken our happiness was this: we'd been wondering how on earth we could fit another sister into our room. Although we loved having Ella with us, Hailey and I had filled the room to the brim already with our belongings. It would be extremely difficult to try to fit Ella's doll collection in there, too (yes, Mama kept ahold of Ella's collection). :)
On that note, I must give credit where credit is due. Just this past week, Mama rearranged some of her other collectible items and made a little half-room for Alice and Ella to share. I thought it was very nice of her to change things around so much just to make my sister and the Hathaway girls' cousin more comfortable. You should have seen how many hours she spent moving things this way and that!
In spite of Mama's generosity, I wondered how my sister would do with Alice as a roommate. The two of them certainly were not the most likely candidates for sharing a living area. Of course, I was sure Mama knew what she was doing...I hoped.
When the room was all finished, Ella excitedly brought me up to show it to me. Hailey and Charlie had already made plans, so Hailey assured Ella that she would come see the room later that day.
"Well, here it is!" Ella said with excitement, waving her arm around the tiny room. "What do you think?"
I took in every inch of my sister's new abode. My first thought was how horribly small it was compared to our other rooms, but of course I didn't say anything. Ella was beaming as if she were giving me a tour of the Taj Mahal. If she was happy, there was no use in pointing out any flaws.
My eyes roamed across the room. Mama had certainly done her best to make it a friendly, homey place for them.
Alice's blue dresser and a white shelf were in the corner. The shelf held Alice's collectibles and her fish tank. I also noticed that her blue lamp was in just the right spot for reading while sitting on my old sofa.
Next to the white shelf was a sweet little curio full of Ella's dolls.
At the top was Ella's small Wizard of Oz collection. Some of you may recall that Ella has always enjoyed musicals, especially "Singin' in the Rain". Well, in her absence she added a new favorite: "The Wizard of Oz". She is apparently still hoping to find a "Singin' in the Rain" poster for her room, but she was thrilled when Mama found her a lovely Wizard of Oz poster. :)
I noticed that every nook and cranny of the room seemed to be overflowing with Ella's extra dolls. I hoped Alice wouldn't mind.
Speaking of my lovely, old sofa, here it is. I do miss it so, but I'd rather have it put to good use than sitting in Mama's closet like it was before. :}
The beautiful American Girl Elizabeth doll was a gift to Ella from Hayden. Some of you might remember that when Ella left us, she gave her Felicity doll to Hailey, and then Hailey gave it to Hayden when she arrived. Hayden offered to give Ella back her doll when she came home, but Ella insisted that Hayden keep it. My sister could see how much Hayden loved Felicity. Hayden was determined to do something special for Ella, so when Mama found this lovely Elizabeth doll at the thrift store, Hayden asked if she could give it to Ella. Mama agreed, and Ella was thrilled. Now Ella's doll and Hayden's doll can be best friends, just like they are in the stories. ;)
My thoughts had wandered far during my inspection of the room, and when I turned to Ella, I could see she was waiting for some sort of response.
I gave her a smile and patted her arm. "I think it's just right," I told her gently.
Ella smiled with pleasure.
At that moment, a jolly voice broke into our conversation. "Hey, you two, how's it going?"
We turned and saw Alice heading our way, a smile on her face and her hand waving in the air. I noticed that she was wearing her favorite sneakers. I don't believe I've ever seen her wear anything besides sneakers, to tell the truth. I'm sure there's some sort of "Doctor Who" connection there, as there usually is, but I'm afraid to ask. I'd rather not get caught up in another three hour conversation regarding her favorite show. :}
Ella's face lit up at the sight of her roommate. "Alice, I'm glad you're here! I have something for you."
And without another word, she suddenly dove behind the couch to retrieve something. She put something on the couch, out of sight, but when she turned, there was another something in her hands.
"I thought you might like to see my newest doll," she said happily, "especially since you're sort of a Wizard of Oz fan."
"She's a Lalaloopsy that Mama just got for me. Her name is Dotty Gale Winds, after Dorothy Gale from the story."
She held the little doll out so we could see her.
Alice smiled politely. "She's really cute! Her name reminds me a little bit of DG from 'Tin Man'."
Ella looked even more excited. "Well, speaking of 'Tin Man', I asked Mama to pick something up for you, too!"
She turned around, put Dotty down, and picked up whatever it was she had deposited on the couch before. When she turned back to us, she was holding a little metallic silver doll. She held it out to Alice.
"This is Tinny Ticker from the same series. She's for you!"
Alice took the doll slowly. She seemed to be trying to find words to say. "Wow," she finally stated. "That's the first time I've seen a girl tin man."
Then she just stood there and stared at Tinny, as if trying to decide what to make of her.
"I...I thought Tinny might be the best choice...since you like 'Tin Man' so much," Ella continued, her voice slightly less enthusiastic.
"Well, you know," Alice stated in her matter-of-fact movie trivia voice (a voice we'd all heard numerous times over the past few weeks), "there really aren't any actual tin men in 'Tin Man'. It's just what policemen are called in that version."
Ella's face fell.
I wasn't sure what to do. I knew that saying something to Alice might only make my sister's embarrassment worse, but I also knew that Alice was completely clueless to the fact that she had just hurt Ella's feelings.
Ella turned abruptly to pick up Dotty again, but not before I noticed her lower lip trembling.
"If...if you don't want her," Ella said quietly, "I'm sure Mama can find a place for her."
Alice's head shot up, and at last she seemed to grasp what had happened. An embarrassed look came over her face. "Oh, no!" she insisted. "I think she'll look great on my shelf. Don't mind me...I just go into trivia mode and don't think about how things sound."
She closed the distance between herself and Ella and put her arm around her. "Thank you very much, Ella. Sorry if I made you feel bad. I like her...honest."
With that, my sister's sunny expression returned, and I felt like I could breathe again.
In spite of that rocky start, Alice and Ella have gotten along splendidly ever since. While they may not have much in common, they did discover a few similar interests. They both love wearing stripes, they both love Fall the best out of all of the seasons, and of course, they both love the Wizard of Oz characters (although Alice prefers "Tin Man" to the original Oz movie). She's tried getting Ella into Doctor Who, but Mama has informed her that Ella is too young to watch it. which really doesn't make all that much sense. Ella is eight years old by human standards, but in doll years, we're all adults. Oh well. I suppose she'll just have to watch more period dramas with me. ;)
Dotty and Tinny now have special spots in Ella and Alice's room. Dotty sits next to Ella's Madame Alexander Dorothy doll and her China Doll from "Oz the Great and Powerful".
Tinny's home is on Alice's middle shelf, next to her big M&Ms tin.
I suppose that's all I have time for at the moment. The rest of us are well and are looking forward to this new school schedule once Mama finds her routine. I personally am hoping it will mean that we get to spend a lot more time with her. I miss our talks and even our photo shoots. :}
Within the next week, we should have our giveaway ready, so be on the lookout for a new post soon! :)