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American Girls

This poor magazine.  It has been leafed through and played with and dragged around for months.  I’ve stapled and taped it more times than I can count.  The cover finally just fell apart.  It is an American Girl Doll catalog and that was all Ellie wanted for her birthday this year.  I have purposely avoided the American Girl Dolls for as long as possible because I knew that with my two little princesses, once we started down that path there would be no going back!  But all of Ellie’s little friends have them and that was what she wanted for her birthday this year.  SO!  The weekend before her birthday we loaded our crew and headed to L.A.

The girls were beyond excited.  They went to sleep immediately the night before and woke up so giddy they could hardly stand it.  It was seriously like Christmas morning.  (Notice the magazine next to Ellie’s window.  It has accompanied us everywhere for the last few months.)
Kole was pumped too.  For what he didn’t know, but he could feel the excitement in the air!

“The Grove” in LA.  Quite a mall if I do say so myself.  Definitely a place to head on another day without the rest of my crew.  We finally made it to the American Girl Place and it was incredible.  A dream destination for any little girl.  It includes a doll hair salon, book store, photo studio, hospital, and several dining options for brunch, lunch, or afternoon tea with your doll.

We were a bit overwhelmed by it all so we got a personal shopper to assist us for the day.  I had to laugh at Kenny.  He knew exactly what he was in for with the cost of these dolls.  The night before we left he said, “Erin.  DO NOT go crazy in this store.  We need to keep it under control…. blah blah blah.”  I expected him to sit back in the store while I shopped with the girls and just sweat a little over prices, but oh no.  Once we got there he was all into it.  Picking out dolls and matching shoes and sun bonnets.  Asking our personal shopper “Ok now, what accessories come with this doll?  Yeah…we’re gonna need some of those.  And what about pajama’s?  Do these have matching house shoes?  We’re gonna need two pairs of those….”  I was cracking up!  Such a sucker when it comes to his little girls.  So much for keeping it under control.  At least I’m not the one to blame this time!

At the end of the day Ellie ended up with “Julie” a doll from the 1970’s that she had picked out in her catalog and fallen in love with.

Addison choose “Elizabeth” – a doll who grew up in Williamsburg in the 1700’s.  I tried to get the girls to pick out dolls that looked more like themselves, but they weren’t having it.  They had specific ideas about what they wanted and weren’t budging.  Here they are leaving the store.  Notice we’ve already changed the dolls into their pajama’s and house shoes.

The boys.  (Two REALLY good sports)
The girls.  I have to admit that I too fell in love with this store.  More then once I debated picking out my own doll with matching accessories!
Quick drive back down along the coast and we were home again.  

And boy did I ever have two happy little ones.  Girls and their dolls in matching pajama’s.  (Thanks daddy!)

We’ve been having quite a time with the new dolls.  First we had to introduce them to some new “friends.”

Then the girls drew music notes and had their dolls and animals put on a little concert.

Even Kole had a party with the dolls.

Until he started poking their eyes out causing shrieks of stress and anxiety.  Party’s over bud.  

We’ve had lots of hair styling going on…

and lots of outfit changing.  Sorry for the totally X-rated picture!  I just took this yesterday.  I was feeding Kole and turned around and the dolls were all undressed and lined up along the fireplace.  They were getting prepped for a wardrobe change and fashion show.

Aside from the trip to The American Girl Doll store, we had four of Ellie’s little friends over for a “birthday playdate.”  They each wore pajama’s and brought their favorite doll and enjoyed a lovely home cooked meal and a cake I spent hours on.  Let’s try that again.  They each wore pajama’s and brought their favorite doll and enjoyed pizza and a cake Ellie selected from our local grocery store.  :)  Luckily the girls could care less and a fabulous time was had by all.    

So far year 7 is off to a great start!
xoxo, Erin
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44 thoughts on “American Girls

  1. LOVE it! I still have my American doll tucked away until my girls are old enough to play with it. only problem is I only have one, so I am sure we will be buying more.
    Have you seen this blog??
    –she makes the most beautiful quilts, including American doll sized quilts. When I read your post, I thought of her pics of the dolls and the amazing quilts. not that you need more to buy for them, but maybe eventually :)

  2. Ohhhh! So sweet!! This is something that the girls will always remember! I love all the pictures! I burst out laughing at the one of Kole poking the eyes of the doll! I remember my Brendan trying to disfigure Kelsey
    s barbies a few years ago! Thanks for sharing your awesome day with us!

  3. My little girl also loves the American Girl catalogs and I love watching her read and look over every aspect of it, dreaming of one day getting her very own. Your love of your family and children really shines through with all of your posts and I find you to be an inspiration to me on days when I’m not being the best mommy I can be :)

  4. I love how Kenny got so involved…too sweet. My Jamison just asked me for an AG doll…we’ll see. Love Kole’s sweet smiling face :) I also adore the Strawberry Shortcake cake as we watch that show daily. So glad she had a wonderful birthday…sounds like a winner.

  5. Oh yes, we know all about American Girl dolls. We took Lucy to the AG store in Chicago. She now has 5 of them (Elizabeth, too, like Addie), a carraige, a ballerina outfit, a couple pets, and countless accessories. I have to say that Jeff loved the store too. Have you ever done the tea party in the AG restaurant? That was seriously so much fun!!!

  6. I am really impressed you were able to hold off for so long. We were sucked in with the Bitty Baby’s first. My oldest will be 6 in May and she has her eye on the new girl from Hawaii — it was hard for her to miss the completely oversized catalog. It is a masterful advertising plan b/c once the girls see the catalog it is all over. We did matching pajamas for girl and doll this past Christmas. They really get you with that one. :-) I love seeing my girls playing with their dolls — I hope they don’t outgrow any time soon.
    p.s. – We are big Strawberry Shortcake fans in our house too.

  7. I love those dolls. I subscribed to the catalog awhile ago hoping to peak Hailey’s interest. I have had no such luck. I won’t complain about not having to spend the money, but man, who wouldn’t want one of those.

  8. I can not wait to have a girl for this very reason!! I loved AG when I was younger, I never got a doll but I got a ton of the books:) Addison got the doll I would have chosen, in her book she would sit on top of her house (I think, a builing anyway) and I would do that too… sit on top of my barn a read the your girls are lucky to have a mom and dad who take them to do fun stuff like this.

  9. Erin, your little comments when you write always crack me up! I love the “blah, blah, blah.” So funny :) The dolls and girls are adorable, but I was sold when I saw Koles cute little toes in those sandals!

  10. I love it! And I love that you stayed away from that store for so long! We didn’t…the girls have 2 dolls each at the age of 3.5! They only have the bitty baby and bitty twin…but I know the big doll is coming soon. But, boy oh boy do they love them. And you are so right…once you start, you will never go back!

  11. My daughter just asked her friend to get her one for her birthday. LOL. First I had to tell her we don’t ask friends for presents and then I had to pat my friend on the back and tell her that would be a fabulous gift. LOL…Girls are so funny. You are sooo lucky to be running around in flip flops…LUCKY!!!

  12. oh, that is just awesome! that is the american girl store we go to- you probably noticed when you were there that the cbs lot is next door- that is where dancing with the stars is filmed (and where evan works on it)- so we are at that mall quite a bit. i convinced my oldest that it was a doll museum (with nothing for sale) until a year ago. then i caved and the rest is history! sounds like a wonderful, wonderful day and one the girls will remember forever. i have also been to the AG store in chicago, and i have to say that the LA one is just so much better. i am so glad your girls are having fun with it. oh, and we have the same tattered AG catalog, too!

  13. What a fun place to go! I so want to go there when we go that way again! I’m looking at your pictures and am so totally jealous of all your cute spring clothes! And Kole in flip flops!! I so wish I lived there! But it does get me excited to be down there for a quick weekend in a few weeks. It had better not be rainy and cold when I’m there!!

  14. Ack!! We LOVE American Girl!! My girls (8 & 11) still love their dolls and always play with them –they each have two (one received as a gift and the other purchased with money saved by them!). They are wonderful dolls. I am too old to have had one as a kid, so it it so fun seeing my girls enjoy them. We live in Alaska, so no fun AG store here. :( But, I recently got to go to the one in NYC (loved it and SO wished my girls were there) and I am taking my 8 year-old to Texas in May and I am going to surprise her with a visit to the Dallas store. Can’t wait!

    PS-the AG magazine is really nice too!

  15. Another thing–for when your girls are a bit older–I have found that ALL of the books published by AG are top quality and meet with my standards.

  16. What a darling post Erin. Those dolls are so cute. I did not realize that they have clothes for your girls and then clothes for the dolls? Oh my. That really is a day trip adventure. Hannah loves the catalogs that come in the mail too but she doesn’t quite understand what it is yet…

  17. I purchased AG accessories for one of my nieces for Christmas one year and so I received a catalog for a time…my boys were aghast! Almost as if I had allowed porn into the home. Maybe grand daughters for me…then I could justify the trek to an AG store.

  18. I thank God everyday for my Charlotte and the memories we have created w/ Grace (look alike) and Lanie (Girl of the Year given to her by my parents this Xmas) and lets not forget Bitty Baby…We have had brunch (twice) lunch once and a few “window shopping” days…we have had hair styled and ears pierced and AG doll sleepovers in Chicago w/ special dollie beds…we have played at home for hours on end and arranged and rearranged their wardrobe w/ all their precious accessories, and little white hangers! Happy Birthday and enjoy every minute of the fun and love these dollies will give your girls! :)

  19. I totally relate! My daughter turned 7 in October and does the same thing with the AG catolog! LOL!! She asked for one for Christmas and I talked her out of it. I know, I’m awful! She has a copycat doll from Target and I bought her some more outfits and stuff to go with it and she was happy. I’m guessing I won’t be as lucky the next time around when she ask for an AG doll again. Love your blog!! <3 I’m just starting mine. Come visit me. Thanks

  20. The dolls in front of the fireplace is too funny! Looks like you had fun! My niece just got Bitty Baby this Christmas and my cousin was talking about a future trip to the store & the tea room. I told her that maybe for her birthday in a couple of years she could ask for money to put towards purchases on that trip. Of course all of us will have to go with her!

  21. so sweet! Your girls remind me of my little girls too. They love AG. WE have visited it once, and they haven’t stop talking about it since. I it really is a little girls dream store.

  22. SO. MUCH. FUN!! I grew up with American girl dolls! I have 9 of the original ones (with all the fabulous accessories!) I can’t wait to give them to my girls when they get old enough.

    I’ve started buying my little Raylee the Bitty Baby collection and she LOVES them!

    What a fun trip and what a great Daddy Kenny is!!!

  23. Oh my gosh! Well I have to say your girls are SO lucky! Madi has done the same thing with the magazines we get, (she once freaked out at me for ripping off the back page with our address on it!) but I don’t know if she’ll ever get one. Ryan probably wont give in to the cost like Kenny. And then throw in a few more accessories. Seriously impressed Kenny. Wow, what a dream birthday for a 7 year old, and a lucky little sis to get a doll too! So glad it was so wonderful for El! LOVE all the pics! She looks way to grown up in that last one!

  24. You know what makes Kenny the best sport of all? The fact that he let you take a picture of him with the American Girl bags IN THE STORE with other people watching and he EVEN SMILED! Now that’s taking one for the team!

    I’m thanking my lucky stars that I’m reading this post after my girls have gone to bed. There would be some SERIOUS envy going on! What a fun thing for your girls. The very best part is how well they got along after bringing their dolls home. My kids miraculously got along famously on Christmas Day, so happy with their gifts.

  25. We just bought Brooke her first doll too. She picked out the Hawaiian one: Kanani. You’ll have to get Julie’s banana seat bike. It totally reminds me of the bikes Ann and I had :)

  26. So I just showed Madi the post. She couldn’t believe Ellie and Addie got to have the matching p.j.s with their dolls! She said “I’ve seems humans in my magazine wearing matching jammies with the dolls!” But the best part, in all her ooohhing and aaawwing over the pics she said, “Kole looks cute in that shirt!”

  27. So so cute! We love our magazine too, I had to get rid of it though so the girls wouldn’t know what they were missing out on! :) Thanks for the cute heart craft idea, the girls and I had a great time making our own.

  28. I love this post Erin. How fun that you took them to the store and let them pick out the dolls, you are brave and so is Kenny. I remember my girls getting their first dolls 5 years ago. They were so happy and took their dolls everywhere and read to them. When they had school I would actually dress them for the day and set them up in their rooms like they had been playing and waiting for them, other times they’d be on the couch waiting. Well my girls loved that I did that for them, so for the next year I did. After that life was too busy so a few times a month I’d do it and surprise them. My one daughter who wants twin boys when she’s grown up has bitty boy twins and was so happy I surprised her with them and she has a Julie doll and look like you doll. My other daughter has Kit and look like you doll. Thanks for sharing all this fun, I love these dolls and your girls will have a ball.

  29. This looks like so much fun. I showed my nine year old, and she was dying. She didn’t know there was an actual store. Everything we get,comes in the mail. Cute dolls!

  30. Erin, your girls are so cute!!! Unfortunately at my house the boy came first so my little Mia is into playing pirates, shooting guns, spiderman and scooby doo! :0)

  31. Oh my goodness…how FUN! What a great day! I can’t wait to take my girls to the American Girl Place. My girls are only 2.5 & 4, so we won’t be taking them for a few years. By then, I hope they build an American Girl store here in Northern California!
    p.s. Kenny is SUCH a good sport! I dont know if I could convince my husband to go into that store!

  32. Oh your girls are so lucky! My Lainee has wanted one ever since we got the catalog delivered to us & what doll would be on the front but one named Lainee!!! She even looked like my Lainee! I bet the girls were in heaven!
    I love how Kole was poking out the eyes! So boy!

  33. AHHH I am so jelous!! How fun for your girls! My Abbie is SO into the American girls, too! She had Julie, too! That looks like such a fun birthday…a little girl’s DREAM birthday!! I love that Kenny was such a good sport about it, and that he is carrying two big bags out of the store!! My favorite pic, is the girls grinning so big at each other with their dolls! SO cute! I am afraid the American Girl Doll thing has only just begun at your house!!

  34. Love it! My daughter’s doll is on her shelf downstairs … waiting to share with her daughter. Such special memories. Love all your dialogue about the journey, too. How cool to go to the store – that makes it even more fun. Kenny’s remarks remind me of Steve commenting to me as we were shopping for my new outfit for an event — it seems like maybe something you already have might work? Nope, sorry honey :).

  35. Words can not express the intense laughter that over came me as I attempted to read your description of Kenny at the store. I could barely make it through each sentence looking at his “game face” and totally picturing Kenny “in the zone”. After I wiped the tears from my eyes I was able to start the next sentence but once again barely making it due to my inability to control the laughter and tears. I thought Disneyland and talking on his cell phone was a hoot. WIsh I could have been there.

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