Sunday, January 31, 2016

Friend in Need (Photo Story)

Previously in Incognito, Deirdre made Robyn aware of her predicament. She went on to explain that she had an insane idea that would require Robyn's help.

So, tell me the plan. (Robyn)
I need to disappear for a while. (Deirdre)

Okay, that’s easy enough. I can help you get out of Dollton without attracting the attention of the goons Walter has keeping tabs on you. Where will you go? (Robyn)

I don’t know yet…somewhere far from Walter and his thugs. I’ll leave before my pregnancy starts to show, and I’ll come back after the baby’s born. I’m in negotiations with PS Records right now. I’ll tell them I’m taking time off to write some new material, and that I’ll be ready to record in the fall. I’ll work it into the deal somehow. (Deirdre)

But, when you show up with an infant, won’t Walter be suspicious? (Robyn)
I’m planning to put the baby up for adoption. (Deirdre)

That’s a very good idea, I think. You can skip town before anyone knows you’re pregnant, have the baby, and then come back. No one will be the wiser. (Robyn)

That’s the plan, and this is where I need your help. (Deirdre)
Sure. Do you want me to help you find an adoption agency or a family to take the baby? (Robyn)

No… I want you to adopt the baby. (Deirdre)

What?! Dee, you can’t be serious. (Robyn)
I am. Robyn, I’ve thought about it, and I can’t imagine trusting my baby to the care of strangers. Plus, I want to be able to help raise my child…without Walter’s interference. (Deirdre)

I don’t…I mean I’m not sure how… (Robyn)
Just, tell me you’ll think about it, please. I don’t know what else to do. (Deirdre)

Robyn hugs her best friend.

Four weeks later, Deirdre waits to see the doctor at her first prenatal appointment.

Good morning! I’m Dr. Jenn Lopez. (Dr. Lopez)
Hi. (Deirdre)
Will the baby’s father be joining us for this appointment? (Dr. Lopez)
No. It’s okay to get started. (Deirdre)

Alright then. I’ve looked over your medical history and vitals. Everything looks good.  I see you listed your last menstrual period along with a date of conception. That makes dating your pregnancy much easier. (Dr. Lopez)

Dr. Lopez consults her due date wheel.

You’re almost 8 weeks pregnant, which puts your due date at August 17th. So, how are you feeling? (Dr. Lopez)

Well, I was feeling great until a couple of weeks ago when I started feeling nauseous around lunch time and dinner time every day. (Deirdre)
That’s just a little morning sickness… a misnomer since it can strike at any time of day or night. It’s normal and usually subsides by the 12th week. Before you leave, I’ll give you a handout of suggestions to help you through it. (Dr. Lopez)

Dr.  Lopez chats with Deirdre about precautions to take and things to do to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

If you haven’t already started taking a prenatal vitamin, then you should begin right away. Do you have any questions for me? (Dr. Lopez)

Just one- how long before my pregnancy starts to show? (Deirdre)

Well, every mother is different. Since this is your first baby, you might not look pregnant until your 20th week. You have a small frame, though, so you could show sooner. Why do you ask? (Dr. Lopez)
I’m an entertainer, and just wondered how long before I needed to trade in my slinky dresses for a maternity wardrobe. (Deirdre, lying)

I see. Well, the important thing is that you gain the recommended 25-35 pounds during your pregnancy. Try not to worry too much about your dress size, and just focus on delivering a healthy-sized baby. (Dr. Lopez, assuming Deirdre is worried about weight gain)

Well, if there’s nothing else, then I’ll get the nurse to join us so I can do your exam. After that, she’ll draw blood for the blood work we discussed earlier. (Dr. Lopez)

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tagged Again! The Leibster Award

Many thanks to My doll stuff who tagged me for The Leibster Award!

Here are the rules:
  • Thank the person who presented you the award and link back to their blog.
  • Post the award image on your blog.
  • Answer 11 questions posted by the presenter.
  • Nominate 5 blogs with less than 200 followers.
  • Create 11 questions for the nominees to answer.
  • List these rules in your post. Inform the people you chose of their nomination by leaving a comment on their blog and link them to your post.

1. What was the first doll or figure that started your collection?
The doll that started my current collection was So in Style Tennis Grace. I say my current collection, because I collected 14”-18” porcelain dolls from about age 9-14. I no longer have those dolls and I don’t remember much about them except that my grandmother purchased them for me.

Tennis Grace, Prom Grace, Baby Phat Grace

2. Do you take your dolls out in public to take photos?
answered HERE

3. What are you looking forward to in 2016?
I joined the W club for the first time this year. I’m looking forward to everything the club has to offer this year, like sneak peeks at the dolls, preordering privileges, and more.

4. Do you have a favorite doll in your collection?
My favorite male doll is Fashion Royalty Fast Track Victor James. 2016 is supposed to be the year that he gets some camera time. I suppose So in Style Grace is my favorite female doll. I have several Grace dolls, and have rarely seen an incarnation of Grace that I didn’t like.

5. Do you have a favorite doll brand?
No, I do not have a favorite doll brand at the moment.

6. Do you get dolly items gifted to you from family and friends?
answered HERE

7. Do you name every doll you own?
Yes, I do. And I put a lot of thought into it, too. I’ll make lists, do internet searches, and contemplate a particular name for days until I’m sure it’s just right for the doll’s character. I put just as much thought into naming businesses in our little doll town, too.

8. You can have any doll maker make the doll of your dreams. What does it look like?
I would need TWO dolls. They would be made to look like my precious daughters in 1:6 scale. The dolls would have rooted hair and eyelashes and pose-ability similar to a Made to Move Barbie doll.

9. How old were you when you received your first doll? What happened to her?
I don’t know the exact answer to this question. I remember having dolls to play with from a very young age. All of the dolls from my childhood (the ones I played with and the ones I collected) are gone. Some were disposed of, and others were given away.

10. What is your 2016 doll wish list?
My 2016 wish list is mostly characters and playsets needed for photo stories. Here are a few of the items: Barbie baby sitter set, 2016 pediatrician set, BFC Ink Calista, Barbra Streisand Barbie doll. I would also really love to get another Kidkraft dollhouse. 

11. What sort of aesthetics do you look for in a doll?
I’m a player not a displayer, so a doll has to have more than just a pretty face. I look for dolls with character. When I look into a doll’s face, I have to see a story or at least a part to play in a current story. It’s a plus if the doll already has articulation, and even more so if it comes with cool clothes and/or accessories. I only collect dolls in 1:6 scale, and I do not care for dolls with overly large heads.                  

My questions are:
1. What motivated you to start blogging?
2. What inspires you to write a new post?
3. Do you belong to any doll collecting clubs?
4. What doll-related project(s) are you currently working on?
5. What is the most treasured doll in your collection (in other words, who would you try to save in a fire)?
6. How do you organize your collection?
7. How do you decide what to add to or purge from your collection?
8. In your opinion, what was the best doll release of 2015?
9. What are you looking forward to in 2016?
10. Patience is a plus in this hobby. Tell us about a time when having patience really paid off for you.
11. Thinking back to when you first started collecting and/or blogging, how have you evolved as a collector/blogger?

And my nominees are:

Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you haven't been nominated, but one or more of the questions speaks to you, feel free to put your answer in the comments. I would love to read them.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Meet Up (Photo Story)

At the Christmas party, Amber crafted a plan to get to know Lea better in an effort to discover her true intentions. Right now, they’re chatting in the living room while the girls play in the adjacent play room.

Kayla’s precious. It’s clear that you’ve done a great job raising her. (Amber)
Thanks. I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but it feels good to hear that I’ve done at least a few things right. (Lea)

I don’t mean to pry, but how have you managed on your own for all this time? (Amber)
Well, I wasn’t on my own, actually. I had help from my mom when she was well enough to give me a hand. (Lea)

Where is your mom now? (Amber)
She’s still in California. I asked her to move here with us, but she wouldn’t come. (Lea)
You said “when she was well enough”. Is she sick? (Amber)

She’s an alcoholic. She’s had a drinking problem since I was eleven. Every now and then, she pulls herself together and gets better, but it usually doesn’t last very long. When I got pregnant with Kayla, she was so excited to have a grandchild that she sobered up for almost two years. I think it was the longest she’s gone without drinking in at least a decade. But when things got difficult, she started drinking again. It’s how she copes. (Lea)

It must be heart wrenching to see someone you love self-destruct like that. (Amber)
Yeah, when I finish school, I plan to get a bigger place and move her here so I can look after her. I’m all she has. (Lea)

What do you mean? (Amber)
My dad remarried, so I have siblings on his side, but I’m my mom’s only child. (Lea)
How much longer before you finish school? (Amber)
Well, I start classes at AU this semester, this month in fact. I’m only two semesters away from graduation, but I can begin veterinary school once I complete this semester. (Lea)

Veterinary school? (Amber)
Mm hmm, I’m planning to be an equine veterinarian. (Lea)
Wow, you must really love horses? (Amber)
I do. I’ve known my whole life that I want to work with them. (Lea)

The kids come in to ask for something to eat.

Mommy, can we have a snack now? (Macee)
There are cookies on the table in the kitchen. Get juice boxes from the fridge. (Amber)

Mommy, I hungry. (Kayla)
Okay, follow your cousin into the kitchen. She's going to get cookies and juice. (Lea)

So, are you seeing anyone? (Amber)
No, I haven’t had time for much socializing. Finding a job, taking care of Kayla, and getting ready to go back to school have kept me pretty busy. (Lea)

Are you sure you aren’t waiting for someone in particular? (Amber)
You mean Tony? (Lea)
At the Christmas party, I thought… (Amber)

I confess that when I decided to come to Dollton, I hoped to find Tony unattached and I thought that maybe we could pick up where we left off and be a family. Lea shrugs. 
I was shocked to learn that he was engaged. (Lea)
Well, that makes two of us. (Amber)

They both laugh.

Anyway, I see that he’s quite happy and quite unavailable. Now, all I want is for Kayla to get to know her father. (Lea)
Once you’re settled, you should try to get out and mingle a bit. Despite what you may hear, there are some good single men in this town. (Amber)

Yeah? Maybe…I don’t know. It’s difficult with Kayla. I dated a little after I became a mom, but nothing ever got too serious. That’s why Tony’s still the only guy I ever…you know. (Lea)
Oh. (Amber, taking a big gulp of her coffee)

Maybe it will be easier now. Kayla has family here that can look after her while you make friends. (Amber)

Lea smiles appreciatively.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

News and Updates for the New Year

I didn’t expect this to be such a long post, so I’m dividing it into sections. That way if you’re not interested in reading it all, you can skip to whichever part interests you.

I was online taking advantage of Target’s sale on kids’ denim and found some pants that were out of stock for shipping. Since my only option was in-store pickup, I decided to check the product page for the highly anticipated Made to Move doll in the yellow top. I remembered from my previous searches that she was only available in store, so I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone if possible. I was thrilled to see that she was in stock in several stores in my area. I called customer service and spoke to an associate in toys. He informed me that the dolls hadn’t been placed on the shelves yet, but he could see that there were four in the stock room. I asked him to leave one at the service desk for me, and here she is. The photo of her with Grace and Kara is so you can see her complexion. She’s not a spot on match to Grace, but she’s closer in coloring to Grace than Kara.

MtM (no name yet) with Phoebe

GOALS for 2016:
-I plan to limit my doll purchases to 24. This may sound like a lot, but it’s less than a third of what I bought in 2015. Yikes! This number will include characters needed for existing story lines, dolls purchased for clothes/accessories only, and dolls purchased as body donors. I know action figures aren’t technically dolls, but I’m including them in the limit, too. Why the limit you ask? The number of dolls waiting for their stories to be told just keeps growing and growing. I can’t keep up! I have at least a dozen stories partially written and dozens more that are nothing but seed ideas. That wouldn’t be a problem if this were a full-time job, but it’s not. It’s a hobby. I like the idea of having a hobby. I don’t like the idea of a hobby having me.

-I will focus my spending on furniture and props for my dios. I typically have one big project for each year. For 2014, it was Tastries bakery. For 2015, it was Wedding Belles bridal salon. This year, it’s My Cup of Tea- a tea room owned by one of the new residents.

-I plan to introduce 2 new story lines. One will feature Lena and her immediate family and friends. The other will feature my handsome Hommes and the ladies who love them- lol.

-I plan to prioritize my time better. I was reminded of how precious time is when a dear friend of mine passed away two days before Christmas. She was very ill and had undergone a number of surgeries. She was a primary teacher who adopted two baby girls, because that’s just how much she loved children and wanted to be a mom. She leaves behind those two precious girls (ages 4 and 2). My heart breaks for them, so I pray for them daily and I cherish every moment with my own girls even more than before.

Here are the dolls I purchased from Black Friday through the end of December.

Claudette Gordon (attorney)
Georgia Mae Belcourt (owner of SpecialTea)
Liam Hawthorne
Dorothy Jean Fisher
Floyd & Phoebe -shown here with their parents
Dr. Jenn Lopez (OB-GYN)

Floyd is on a Life in the Dreamhouse Ken body (found in clearance aisle at Walmart). Phoebe is on a Style Teresa body (2015 version w/ articulated ankles). Jennifer is on a Style Teresa body.

I also ordered Made to Move Bambi and The Barbie Look Urban Jungle with an Amazon gift card I received for Christmas. I didn’t renew my Prime membership for 2015, so I’m still waiting for them to be delivered. L

The following dolls are on my wish list to purchase this year: 
-The Barbie Look Night Out 
-2016 Birthday Wishes Barbie AA + donor body 
-Barbra Streisand (needed for a story line) 
-BFC Ink Calista (needed for a story line). 
I appreciate any and all leads for the two dolls that are no longer available for purchase in stores.

Don’t forget about the furniture giveaway. It will be posted soon. The Etsy seller offered me free shipping if I held my order until the holiday rush was over. I never turn down free shipping.

I’ve made a few family and job changes that can be seen on the Characters page. None of the dolls affected are major players, so the changes shouldn’t throw anyone off too much.

Here are some storyline previews, teasers, and spoilers for those of you who read my photo stories J
-Lena tries to help her wayward sister. 
-Victor plays with fire by breaking Barb’s number one rule.
-Grace and Darren buy a new house.
-Liam and Allison team up to execute a devious plan.

I love Brini’s annual Christmas giveaways. This past year, Brini hosted a moving-themed giveaway with some really cool prizes like doll furniture and appliances. I was the lucky winner of the Barbie Story Starter washer/dryer set. When my package arrived, I decided to wait until Christmas to open it, even though I knew what was inside. Imagine my surprise on Christmas morning when I discovered TWO extra little gifts in the box with my prize. Brini had sent along some bling for me and an outfit for my dolls! She sewed the tunic and pants and knitted the little scarf herself. Jeanine will wear the full outfit when she introduces my final holiday giveaway. I hope you’ll come back to see it.

Image from

Happy New Year! 
I wish you all much health and happiness in 2016!