Just last week we received our very first American Girl catalogue. It's like they have a radar for homes with little girls in them, and they're not afraid to strike young!
Anyway, I started flipping through the pages and it brought me back to that Christmas when I was twelve. I'd wanted an American Girl doll for years (Samantha was my favorite) and I always envied the girls in my class who would wear their old fashioned Pleasant Company clothes to match their dolls, right down to the cool whistle necklace and funny white hat. (In retrospect, maybe not the best look. But for a little girl, so much fun!)
Like I said, I was twelve the year I unwrapped that beautiful little Molly doll for Christmas. It was my one big gift and I remember knowing I was supposed to be excited, but crying about it in my room afterward. I didn't even know how to verbalize it at the time, but I knew I had missed my widow to enjoy it. I was too old. I'd wanted one for years and years but we couldn't afford it. And when my Mom so sweetly splurged on it for Christmas the first year she could, my response was probably pretty far off from what she had hoped.
So as I browsed the $100+ dolls in the catalogue, I thought to myself that I would really like to try to get Hazel a doll while she's very young so she can have it for years and years of enjoyment. But, *ahem* they're pretty pricey. So of course things ended there.
Three days later my Mom and I were headed to Nashville to have lunch together to celebrate my birthday. It was a Saturday and we'd agreed to definitely stop at yard sales as we made our way north.
The first sale we stopped at was very busy and the adults were looking weary. 11 am and they'd already been at it for four hours. We moseyed around the sale for a while. I hmm'd and haww'd over a treadmill they had for sale (never owned one and really couldn't commit to giving up the real estate in my house to it).
Then my Mom noticed a funny white cabinet with stickers all over it. She pointed it out to me and upon further inspection we realized it was an American Girl murphy bed/armoire. It was actually full of AG clothes and two sets of bedding and a bunch of great accessories. The tired seller was thrilled to take $15 for it and my Mom was thrilled to have such a lovely gift to tuck away for Hazel's Christmas this year.
(We did let Hazel take a sneak peek on Sunday since we're pretty sure she'll forget all about it by December.)
I was also pleased to find that all of the stickers come off really easily. I'm tempted to wipe the slate clean, but I'm trying to be open to the occasional flower decoration if it pleases Hazel.
Here are a couple of the accessories that were in the side cabinets of the bed. I checked on Ebay today and the bed is selling for $155!
As we were paying for the bed/armoire I noticed two dolls on the seat next to the woman taking money. I said something like, "I'm assuming the dolls are not for sale, right?" and she just told me to make her an offer because she was anxious to wrap things up. I hadn't come with a bunch of cash and wasn't really planning to buy American Girl dolls quite so soon, so I told her that I didn't want to offend her and that I was okay to leave them, but if she'd take $5 for the two dolls I'd do that.
She happily handed me both of the dolls and a cute ladybug suitcase full of their clothes. I couldn't believe it! She was so friendly and just glad to be clearing things out. She tried to get me to take their American Girl dentist chair for free too but I knew we didn't want to get that committed to doll furniture in our playroom quite yet. Maybe when Hazel has her own room. I passed.
And that afternoon I came home like the conquering hero: Two American Girl dolls for $5!
Now, here's part of why they were only $5: Upon further inspection, it turns out that only one doll (the one on the right) is actually AG. And her bangs have been cut off. The doll on the left is an impressive copy, but not actually AG. Also, they needed a little attention. (You can see that I photographed our girl on the left halfway through her blowout and trim process and the other was still waiting her turn)
(Important tidbit: do NOT be an idiot and try to use a flat iron on your doll's hair. Just don't. And if you do - be smart and test a small spot underneath. So thankful I at least checked first...)
I pulled them together as best I could and set them up for an "after" photo. Oliver jumped in for a photo bomb and since I like him the best, he gets to be in focus.
Hazel saw all the fun we were having and asked to join everyone on the chair. (By the way, she ADORES the dolls. Just carries one around the house like it's her own little baby. So glad she's taking to them!)
So, that's my happy American Girl goodness at a garage sale story! And, I looked into the AG doll hospital options - it looks like I can send Little Miss Short Bangs (I think it's a Kirsten doll?) in to the hospital and they'll replace her whole head for $39. That would essentially make her a whole new doll - and sure beats $100!
Have y'all found any good garage sale deals lately? (My friend Christine just found 2 giant, iron farmhouse sinks on Craigslist for $70!)
Also, what has been your experience with American Girl dolls? At what age do your girls (or did you) begin to take/lose interest in them?