Sunday, June 1, 2014

'American Girl' Dolls - A House of Fauci's Discussion

If you are a mom, grandma, aunt etc... to a little girl you have probably heard of the American Girl  store. Growing up I loved to play with dolls of all kinds. I played with dolls that could pee and dolls that could swim in the bathtub (retail value $10-$15). It was not until my Lexi was born in 2005 that I had heard of an American Girl doll; thank you Nana.



For those that know me, I am cheap. When I go shopping for clothes, I go straight to the Clearance section and when I have a chance to clip coupons I clip them and I get giddy when I get FREE stuff. With that said, I cannot wrap my mind around a doll that costs $75 plus. I just can't do it! I love my girls and I love their creativity when it comes to playing mommy and playing house, but I think they can do that just as good with a doll from Target that costs $20 (or less). So with this mindset of mine, how is it that my girls now own around 5 American Girl dolls each (except for little Bella- she has 1)?

I cannot take the credit for why my girls have ended up with so many dolls. The credit goes to my husband and his mom. When my Lexi and Gia were younger their Nana got them a Bitty Baby to share. At this time I had no idea how much that doll cost and when I found out I was amazed and did not want the girls to touch it, but had to let them. Before my youngest was born or even thought of, my husband wanted to get the girls their first (and in my head-- their only) American Girl doll. Even though I knew the cost of two dolls would really hit the pocket book, I stood aside and let it happen. They were thrilled and truly loved those dolls. 

Years later their Nana, who I might add has an AMAZING talent for finding bargains joined an American Girl doll Facebook group. With her talent she was able to wrangle up each of the girls 4 more American Girl dolls (Not the littlest one, she is too little). She surprised them with one for Christmas and then could not wait any longer and surprised them with the others a few months later. (I wish she would spaced them out, but she is the Nana, it is her decision). Then a few more months later when my middle child heard that we were going to Houston for the weekend, she some how conned her dad into getting them a set of Bitty Baby Twins and Bella her very first American Girl doll. I just stood and shook my head. 

So while we were in the great city of Houston, Texas we went to the doll store and my oldest two grabbed the twins and I was hoping we could walk out without my youngest even knowing what was going on, but she is a smart one and asked if she could have one also, so daddy obliged. 



While we were at the American Girl doll store I did a little bit of people listening (not watching but instead I had my ears open). Let me tell you that this store is never empty. Each time we've gone, including this time, the store is packed full of little girls and their moms or grandmas. Most girls, except mine, are dressed too cute and they have their little dolls with them and a lot of them are carrying them in a little American Girl doll bag. It's cute, really, just not over $75 cute. These girls and their mamas are hardcore American Girl doll fanatics. 

Okay, back on topic.. Here are a few things that I heard while I was people listening. I passed by a grandma and her grand child and it was sweet. Her grand daughter had a few American Girl doll bags, those awesome and sturdy red bags, and she was asking her if she had fun shopping. Then I heard a mom instruct her husband where they needed to go in the store to get 'Julie's' clothes. The most interesting conversation I heard was when I was in the restroom. I took my seat and then all of a sudden I heard another mom tell her friend that since her daughter started skating lessons that she needed to get her doll some skates and a gymnastics outfit and if she did not get her doll all of this she would be crushed. The entire time this mom was talking, all I could think about were dollar signs! Then I asked myself, 'Was the child going to be crushed if she did not get these outfits or would the mom be crushed?'

I guess if I was rich I would embrace the American Girl doll store and play along like a lot of the moms and grandmas I witnessed. Unfortunately, I am not rich but I also have the bargain shopping mentality. I think it is sweet that each child can pick the doll based on how they look and that each doll has its own personality. I do enjoy watching my girls play 'mommy' and 'teacher' and actually get along with each other as they play. I just can't swallow the cost of the dolls and the accessories, but they are cute. 

So what are your thoughts? Do you have any American Girl doll experiences? Are you an American Girl doll fanatic, if so, please explain to me the obsession of it?

 

82 comments:

  1. It's amazing how popular those dolls are. My nieces probably had a couple dozen between them. I guess once you start, you can't stop!

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    1. If you go to the AG Doll FB page.. it is scary... #parentsareabittooobsessedwiththesedolls (wow long #)

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  2. OMG I grew up on American Doll and now the have stores! I remember they were expensive then in the catalog books (my parents couldnt afford it) and I am sure its even more expensive now. I was laughing at your people listening segment when you said would the girl be crushed or would the mom/grandma be crushed...must be nice lol. I think the grandmas/ma do live vicariously through the daughter with the plethora of American dolls options...but yes that store so EXPENSIVE. The one here in Atlanta I heard there is even a bistro and a center for the girls to have American Girl parties...I need some kids...a daughter so I can enjoy some of the fun! Great post!

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    1. you are welcome to borrow my daughters ;-) BTW.. we actually want to do the Bistro.. I looked at the menu and the prices were not horrible.. I think that part is super cute!

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    2. We ate at the bistro with a friend when my girls were infants, the servings were pretty small.

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  3. You have THIRTEEN dolls? Amazing. I have the original Samantha from the Pleasant Company line before they changed names. I remember i used my own money to buy Felicity. She was $80. At least the prices haven't changed that much!

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    1. Oh gosh... I think it's like 14 dolls.. One of the dolls did not make it in the family pic! I just look at these dolls and think.. How much $ could I sale them for ;-) hee hee --- BUT at least we have SO many girls in our family that we can pass them down when it is time.

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  4. I'm going to have to remember these FB groups when my girls are older! I always wanted one so I definitely want to get my twins one....but so expensive!!!

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    1. I would join now & start shopping now just in case a deal comes up.

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  5. I just joined a FB group. I kinda got into it because of my homeschool group. I forgot to enroll my kids the proper way so they just fit them in where spots were open. My oldest ended up in an American girl doll class and she was the only one without a doll. I had been exposed to this store when my girls were infants and said the words never ever......worse words to ever say! LOL! So I weighed the issues and if it was socially hurting her. Since she had to go to this class once a week I broke down and bought Marie Grace on ebay. I have a second daughter so had to buy her one as well. She got Saige. The dolls stand up much better than the $20 ones so I can hand these down to my grandkids. I love the history aspects in the books and that having the dolls has gotten my girls more interested in those kind of things. We are planning to get them their second dolls this year. One is getting hers in lieu of a birthday party per her request. The other will probably get Cecile for Christmas to go with her Marie Grace.

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    1. I told my girls that mama will only buy them AG items and dolls IF she can buy them pre owned.. either way they are happy.. but their nana and daddy are different stories ;-0 I think --- if possible--- every little girl should have at least one.. I suppose.

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  6. My granddaughters all love American Girl. Such cute pictures.

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  7. How adorable!! I have never heard of this store before! Something to keep in mind if I need to get a little girl a good present :)

    http://neatly-packaged.blogspot.com/

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  8. Wow, that's quite the collection. We don't have any AG dolls. My family has asked to get them for the girls and I've asked them not to..I'm sooooo mean!

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  9. Wow you have a lot of them,To be honest i do not think i would want to spend that amount on a doll at least until they are a certain age and can look after them without it getting wrecked.Thats a lot of money for something they play with and could get ruined.

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  10. Isa loves her dolls. She has two..they both have been to the American Girl Hospital for a few operations.

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  11. My daughter lovers her doll. I also love how you can send them back to the "doctor"- too cute.

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    1. I never knew about the dr.. but I heard they have a spot in the store where they can get their hair done?

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  12. I had an American Girl when I was young (Molly), but I have to be honest, the whole AG thing makes me glad I have all boys LOL :)

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    1. AMEN! If I was a rich mama.... I would not cringe but I suppose if their Nana wants to spoil them.. I will sit back and be glad it is not me having to.

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  13. I think the dolls are cute, but wow are they pricey. The big thing when I was a kid was Cabbage Patch dolls and I just don't recall them being outrageously priced. My mom made my doll clothes and she'd probably make them again if I had a daughter (who then had American Girl dolls!)

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    1. YES! CPD! I only had 1 and was in AWE of my friends that had so many! They were ugly little dolls but they smelled so good.

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  14. My daughter loves her American Girl dolls. While I'm not too excited about the price, they are really good quality --- and have excellent re-sale value ;)
    We are taking Danger to the Atlanta store on Wednesday as a treat for her big bloodwork appointment. I won't be able to purchase her a big doll, but I'm letting her choose one of Isabelle's ballet outfits as a treat for her terrible experience at the doctor. lol

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  15. My girls love American Girl! We haven't purchased any dolls yet, but we have read the books! They are so classic, my sister still has her Samantha doll!

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  16. I cannot justify spending the money on these. They're cute...but $100+ cute?!

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  17. Wow!!! People are crazy with their dolls haha! You have quite the family there. I remember that I had Molly and Felicity when I was little and loved them to pieces.

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  18. I haven't been to one of their stores, but I have heard that they are pricey. I would say it makes me glad I have boys, but I know we'd be buying one if one of them wanted a AG doll! :)

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  19. Wow, that's a lot of American Girl dolls! I just have boys and they show no interest. My nieces want them, though. Somehow, I feel better splurging on something for my nieces.

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  20. I've been so out of the loop. I didn't know there were little boy American Girl dolls. You've got a great looking doll family there. I use to read the books when I was a little girl, now I read them to my child. We have a doll, but she rarely gets played with.

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  21. My daughter is only 1 year old so she's not into American Girl yet. However, I will admit that I love the dolls and the books so I will likely purchase them for her if she likes them as she grows up.

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  22. My daughter is 1 year old so she is not into American Girl yet. However, I will admit that I do love the dolls and books so I will likely purchase them for her if she likes them as she grows up.

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  23. I love Amerian Girl. If I had a little girl this would definitely be on our list of things to do.

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  24. They are so popular! I know so many people whose girls have them! - Jenn @ The Rebel Chick

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  25. My niece was into dolls for a while. my Mom bought her two of these. Sadly, she didn't appreciate them.

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    1. I would have scooped them up and sold them ;)

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  26. When my Daughter was growing up, I don't remember Americn Girl Dolls... My Grandkids aren't much into dolls. They are such cute dolls though and most girls love them.

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  27. I think my girls are the only ones not into these dolls around here! They are really popular!

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  28. They are so expensive. We have ONE at our house, and it was a gift from the grandparents of course

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  29. I Wanted a doll SO bad when I Was growing up. I loved Samantha.

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  30. These dolls were not around when my dd was young. I think they are so cool.

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  31. These dolls weren't around when I was little. My nieces all love theirs though. They're SO much fun.

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  32. There is so much love and admiration for the American Girl Doll brand. If I had a little girl, I'm sure she'd be in love as well. I love the diversity within the brand.

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  33. My daughter wants an American Girl doll so bad! She ask me all the time when she can get one!

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    1. They have the AG doll FB page... where people sell the dolls for less than the stores... Pre Owned but kids never know or do they care

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  34. It reminds me of back in the day when we all had to have Cabbage Patch Kids. The were pretty expensive when they came out. I remember going through the adoption process and everything,

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    1. I loved the adoption process of CPK!

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  35. So far I only have grandsons, but when that girl comes along, I will be buying her an American Girl Doll. I remember when my girls were little and the Cabbage Patch doll was all the rage! People were fighting over them in the stores. I manged to snag them each one (without throwing a punch) and my mom made them the cutest clothes!

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    1. I remember the CPD! I don't know how my mom got us one.. but I do know it was crazy madness.. with people lining up at the door and waiting and waiting and then the doors opened and BAM watch out 'cause them mama's could knock you down to get a doll.

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  36. We love American Girl! I used to love getting their catalog in the mail when I was younger. I had a few of the historic dolls but my favorite was the one that looked like me!

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  37. I love my Kirstin doll and have a lot of her accessories all neatly packaged ready to give my daughter someday. And I am currently pregnant with our third boy! Maybe one of the boys will play with her!

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  38. My 5yo has an American Girl doll and a Bitty Baby, my 1yo has a Bitty Baby. We love the quality and durability of these dolls. We have a local AG store, but have never been to it.

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  39. My oldest daughter has never gotten into the AG dolls but we did find Molly at a yard sale for $2 with her original clothes on so I got all giddy. She stripped her naked and left her sitting in the floor as she does with any other doll. I picked her up and put her in the closet in case she wanted her in the future and she was stolen by family who had no where to go so we was letting them stay with us :( I have not checked into getting one for my youngest girl although she is the doll girl of the family.

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  40. I used to have an American Girl Doll - Samantha. I was obsessed with her and her accessories when I was younger. :)

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  41. I know about American Girl doll I had one when I was little but I have not mentioned it to my daughter because she will be obsessed and I can't take it right now lol.

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  42. I'm with you on this one, sweetie. They are expensive, and I shop for bargains! I was able to find a similar doll at Michael's a few years ago for my youngest doll. She loved this doll and called it her American Girl doll, for a fraction of the price! She was still able to dress it up and carried it around with her every where. We had matching outfits for her and her doll, too! So, it can be done ... for cheaper prices!

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  43. I always had the catalog but never the dolls. I like the books anyway. My kids don't have any dolls, but they don't seem to care much for dolls anyway, so I doubt they would get played with much.

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  44. I have never owned one, neither did my daughter, but I know what it is like having your own special doll. It's something you never forget no matter how old you get

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  45. My niece just turned 2 and she went to the American Girl Doll store in Dallas to have lunch with her doll. Soooo cute, but soo expensive! lol!

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  46. My daughters has American Girl dolls and visits the store here in Atlanta. My youngest had her birthday party there last year.

    Those dolls are way too expensive and so are their accessories. My daughters wants me to take the dolls to the store to get the doll's hair done. I bet that cost an arm and a leg too! SMH!!!!

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  47. My four year old loves the American Girl dolls and will get one eventually! They're such a great brand.

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  48. My girl has one book and a video but no dolls. That is true that they are pricey.

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  49. You were in my city! (Houston) Well let me just say, I am the mother of two fabulous little girls...need I say more? I distinctly remember the very 1st time I learned the true cost of one (with clothing/etc). HA! (I too am a bargain shopper.) So major kudos to their awesome Nana!!

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  50. They are pretty cute, though I have two little boys, so I haven't head to experience the mania first-hand. However, all little girls I know have one or more American Girl dolls, and I'm sure if I had a little girl, she would certainly have one too!

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  51. This will sound crazy, but when I was 8 (21 years ago) I drooled over the Molly doll in the catalog. My parents probably wouldn't have been able to get it for me at the time because it was pricey. We had a good relationship with my school librarian (she didn't have kids) and asked what I wanted for Christmas. I assumed it was casual conversation and I told her I hoped for a Molly doll. So she bought it for me. That's crazy right? I remember knowing it was an expensive doll but at 8 that was hard to understand and I played with her like a regular doll, and I basically ruined her. Her hair never braided the same, I lost the glasses way too fast...haha, anyways, all of the that to say, if I ever have daughters I'll probably get her an American girl doll when she's old enough to understand it's value. Then again, who knows, if I would've walked into the store it would've been hard to resist the magic.

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  52. I am not looking forward to my daughter finding out about these dolls. When I was little it was all about the cabbage patch. Back then those were the expensive toys. Somehow, I ended up with three of them! I guess I'll end up giving in like my mom did.

    I can't get over the Facebook Group! I never would have guessed there was an American Doll Facebook group!

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  53. We don't have an American Girl doll store anywhere near us, thankfully! My children are grown and gone, missed the American Girl thing. We had Cabbage Patch kids when my children were little. We took them to north Ga. to the Cabbage Patch 'hospital' to adopt a doll. My little toddler niece loves dolls but won't have anything to do with those old Cabbage Patch dolls!

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  54. I've heard of the books before, and actually have read a few. I didn't know that they made them as dolls though.

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  55. My girls love their American Girl Dolls. I often think it would be fun to take the to the store in NYC

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  56. I had Addy and Samantha when I was a kid. I still have them in a box somewhere- I plan on passing them down to my daughter when she is old enough to take care of them.

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  57. I remember getting the catalog when I was younger. It was more like a magazine though! I wanted one so bad, but they're way too expensive. Now I do see some crazy deals on them though!

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  58. I remember taking my oldest daughter to the American Girl Store and now I have to take my little ones.

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  59. The Itty Bitty Baby was the first doll my daughter got at 11 months for Christmas. It's also one of the dolls that she keeps on her bed. The quality is good and while they're slightly expensive they are so worth it and I just love going into the stores. :)

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  60. I've never heard or been to this store, it looks like a great place to shop for my daughter though!

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  61. The dolls are so cute, but so expensive!! Amber

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  62. Oh wow what some amazing looking dolls, I have to admit I haven't heard of them before - definitely different :) x

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  63. These weren't out when I was young. My niece has a couple and loves them!

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  64. Since I have sons, I have never been to this store but all of my friends with daughters love it. I would have liked all the dolls when I was a young girl.

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  65. I never been to an American doll store before. I think it would be fun to go to one.

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  66. My girls got one doll as a gift but were really not into it.

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  67. I have a boy so no American Girl dolls for us. But I heard good things about these dolls from families that bought them.

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  68. I think they look so nice! Like Onica thoguh, my little one's a boy. I do have a grandbaby who just turned one though. Sounds like a great reason for me to get better acquainted with the American Girls doll line.

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  69. You and I must be sisters! LOL I have the same thoughts and feelings about the expensive purses some like to buy ... but I can so see my daughter doing it one day because she loves to accessorize and I've never cared so much about accessories.

    My mother bought my son a little boy American Girl doll and then for Christmas she had my daughter pick out what she wanted ... and she chose the Bitty Baby (I think?) twins! And it IS super cute to watch her change their diapers and feed them when she does play with them.

    Like you, I don't "get" the fanaticism either but there are other things I'm passionate about so I do understand passion about things as a person ... enjoyed your thoughts on this. :)

    That said ... you may think I'm totally crazy but I HAVE thought about getting my daughter a doll that is made to favor her ... and who KNOWS how much those cost!!!

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