Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Updates (Comment Problems, Weight Loss Progress, and My Vacation)

Hey guys, just wanted to share a few quick updates before I leave tomorrow.

First, I wanted to apologize to those of you who have blogs that I normally comment on.  I'm having a problem commenting on Blogger.  You may have noticed that I changed the format on my comments...I did it because it had gotten to the point where Blogger wouldn't even let me comment on my own blog.  I looked it up on the Blogger help page, and it sounds like a lot of users are having this problem.  As near as I can figure, any blogs that have their comments "embedded below post" (the third option on the "Settings" page, under "comments") are blogs that I can no longer comment on.  Whenever I try to comment on these blogs, I select "Google account" as my user profile, and then it takes me to the sign in page.  I sign in, but when Blogger takes me back to preview my comment, it's signed "Anonymous" instead of beastsbelle.  Then, when I click "post comment", Blogger takes me back to the sign in page.  It continues this cycle indefinitely.

So, until Blogger figures out this problem or until other bloggers decide to change their format, I'm stuck only commenting on blogs that have their comments open in a new window or a new page.  I just wanted to say something, because there are certain blogs I've been dying to comment on, such as Elegance of FashionI Heart American GirlThe Green Girls, Dolls and Nachos, and many others I can't think of right now.  I hope you all manage to read this post and know that I still love and follow your blogs, I just can't comment. :(

Okay, I need to keep you guys posted on my weight loss progress, too.  (Just trying to keep myself accountable here.) ;)  The bottom line is I've lost a total of 7 lbs so far.  I actually was down to 7 lbs 3 or so weeks ago, but then I had that lovely week of the month that all women love, and gained 4 lbs back.  I'm hoping most of that was due to water retention and not too many snacks. :)  I was back down to 5 lbs total lost the following week.  Then last week, everything was messed up.  I didn't get a chance to weigh in and I got my wisdom teeth out, so I really wasn't sure what to expect when I weighed in yesterday.  I was so excited when I found that I was back down to 7 lbs lost! :)  Now I've just got to get through vacationing without blowing everything.  I'm sure all you gals can relate. ;)

I've decided that I will bring Pita home when I hit the 10 lb mark.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was debating between 10 and 20 lbs.  Before, I was feeling quite optimistic and was leaning towards waiting until 20.  Now, I'm trying to be a bit more realistic.  I'd like to have Pita home before winter. ;)  So, just 3 more lbs and Pita will join my other girlies.  I have a really fun updated doll comparison post planned when she does get here.  :)

Also, Tess wanted me to inform you that there are two new  posts on their blog.  One written by Maggie (click  HERE to read it) and a new post on "Belle's Bulletins" page (click HERE and remember to scroll all the way down to read the latest).  Hope you guys get a chance to check them out. :)

And finally, just a reminder that I will be leaving for vacation tomorrow.  I've decided I only want to take one doll with me, and I've decided that Maggie is the lucky one.  I really wanted to take Piper too, but the thought of taking pics of two dolls was a little more overwhelming (especially since all 3 of my daughters are bringing their dolls and want me to take pics of them, too!).  I want to take a few pics for the blogs, but I don't want to be so involved in photography that I miss out on having fun with my family. :)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy (or not so happy) Memorial Day!

Hey guys!  This is a post I did today for my private blog that I thought some of you might enjoy. :)

Hi everyone.  Happy Memorial Day! May we always remember the brave men and women who gave their lives so that we could live in freedom.

I just had to share a rather sad story from last night. Our church celebrated Memorial Day with a special evening service that included singing, poetry, and an extremely moving DVD of 3 of the WWII veterans from our church sharing their experiences. One of the songs was a medley performed by the children and high school youth of our church. As you might guess, all three of my girls were involved.

Now, before I share this story, I have to set the stage, so to speak. The girls have all had minor colds for a few days now, so we stayed home from the morning service. We had to be at practice at 5 pm, which is when we normally eat dinner. The service was at 6, and didn't get over until after 7, which is the girls' normal bedtime.

At 3:45, I started getting things ready. Of course, being the extremely unorganized person that I am, (and in my defense, let me remind you that I had all 4 wisdom teeth removed last Monday, so things have been a little out of whack lately) it didn't dawn on me until that exact moment that red, white or blue attire would be the most appropriate for being on stage on MEMORIAL DAY (duh!).

Thus began a mad, frantic scramble through the girl's clothes. I was desperate for anything that even resembled red, white and blue (you'd think it wouldn't be that difficult!). I finally managed to find an outfit for each girl...horribly wrinkled, of course. Out came the iron. I don't think I've ever ironed faster in my life!! I dressed each of them, only to discover that the shirt I'd chosen for my oldest was too small.

At this point, my two younger girls were dressed but needed shoes and were in desperate need of help with their hair. They also needed to brush their teeth. My oldest had a skirt but no shirt, no shoes, tangled hair, and unbrushed teeth. I was still in my pajamas (don't knock it...it's a stay-at-home-mom thing, OK?) with no makeup, wild hair, and absolutely no clue what I was going to wear. It was now 4:15. We had to leave by 4:45 at the absolute latest to get there by 5:00.

As you can imagine, I wasn't exactly the perfect representation of calm, rational motherhood at this moment. My hubby, who had been sleeping after a long weekend of work, woke up in time to rescue my oldest from my attempts at brushing through her tangles at light speed (the fact that she was crying and I was, to put it mildly, not exactly being sympathetic probably didn't help his napping). He helped me get snacks and drinks together for the girls while I found the oldest another shirt, did the two younger girls' hair, brushed everyone's teeth, got dressed, and did my makeup.

We were in the car by 4:40. I had not given everyone the huge snack I had planned, although I had at least fed them. I hadn't eaten since 3:00, but I couldn't think of anything soft enough for my mouth to take with me.

We got there on time (early, even!) and the girls started running through their program. They all looked so cute! All three of them were singing their hearts out with the other children. The song was a medley that included "I'm Just a Flag-Wavin' American", and each child got to hold their own little flag and wave it every time they sang that line. I was in charge of passing out flags to the children on the left side of the stage.

Then, about midway through the practice, my middle daughter misunderstood something the director said and thought she was being singled out and scolded. Afterwards, she was confused about where she was supposed to move for the next part of the song. For Middle Gal, who loves nothing more than getting things right and being praised for it, this was crushing. She was so distraught that she started crying and had to come sit with me.

Everyone ran through the song one more time, but Middle Gal decided to sit it out. She told me between sobs that she was afraid she'd sound whiny and she didn't know where to go. This girl was tired and needed food, so my mom and I figured it would probably be best for her to sit in the audience instead of performing. Something important that I should have connected at the time is that one little girl on my side of the stage who had missed the first practice was there for the second one...but more on that later.

After the practices were over, when Middle Gal realized that she was going to miss the actual performance, she decided that she wanted to sing after all. I checked with our director and she said it would be okay as long as I thought she could do it without crying.

Now, at this point, it would have been smart for me to go over the flags and make sure we had enough. But I hadn't even thought about that extra little girl and the fact that we might be short.. I was so tired and hungry and stressed about my middle daughter falling apart. At the moment, I was trying to decide whether or not I should have her go back up. I talked to her a bit, and she seemed completely recovered. I realized then that it would probably be best for all parties concerned if she went ahead and sang. My youngest would do better having her sister with her, and my middle gal would be very disappointed to miss out on performing.

Between this time and the actual service, my oldest also had a melt-down moment. She was crying and upset enough that I was wondering if she would have to sit it out instead! Thankfully, she pulled it together in time. By now, I was just trying to keep everyone happy long enough to get through their song.

Midway through the service, it was time for the medley. I got up, grabbed my pile of flags, and started passing them out to the kids. I was down to the last two girls (my middle daughter and my youngest daughter) when I realized to my horror that I only had one flag left. I gave Middle Gal the last flag and sent her up to the stage. My youngest stood next to me waiting with a trusting but slightly confused expression on her face. I took her hand and said, "I don't have a flag for you yet, sweetie. Go ahead and go up". I led her to the stage and placed her next to her sister.

By now, the song had already begun. The children were all singing with happy voices and cheerfully waving their flags. I will never forget the look on my Little Gal's face. She stood there, a forlorn look on her features, first looking over at the other children with their flags, then looking down at me. I'm actually almost crying now just thinking about it! It was such a terrible moment. I felt like the worst mother in the world.

My mind was racing. How had I suddenly come up one flag short? What could I do? I glanced across at the mom who had handed out flags to the children on the other side of the stage and saw that she had 4 or 5 extra flags sitting next to her. But by now, the song was in progress and it seemed like it would be too distracting to race 2 aisles over, grab a flag, and race back. In retrospect, I probably should have just done it. Everyone would have understood, and Little Gal would have been happier. But I hesitated. I didn't want to break the children's concentration or detract from the performance.

Little Gal never cried. Her lip quivered some, and her face was absolutely pitiful. But she also didn't sing. It was so heartbreaking. I thought back to the practice, when she'd done such a wonderful job. She knew all the words to the song, even though she's only 3. Now she just stood there watching the others.

When all of the kids came down, my youngest said, "Mommy, I wanted a flag too!" Even then she didn't cry, but I just felt so terrible.

I realize this wasn't really that big of a deal in the scheme of things. I think I was more traumatized by it than she was, to be honest! After talking things through with a few others, I finally realized what had happened with the extra kiddo being thrown into the mix. I just wish I would have realized it in time.

I just had to keep reminding myself that God is in control of everything, even little things like a three year old who doesn't get to have a flag during her song. As moms, we hate to see our children suffer or miss out on the best life has to offer. I know this sounds silly, but I even found myself praying, "Why Lord? Why did my daughter have to go through this?"

I'm sure there will be many more unpleasant situations my girls will have to endure as they grow. I don't think it will get any easier moving on from missing flags to broken hearts and unkind friends...or even bigger problems. This is what I do know, though. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28)

"All things"...even heartbreak and disappointment, even trials and testings. I can rest assured that everything that has happened and will happen to my girls is already known and allowed by our Heavenly Father. Because He is all-knowing, He can see the outcome even when I can't understand it with my finite human brain. Even if the things that happen to my girls aren't good in and of themselves, they can be used for good. God may use some situations to conform their character more like His own (James 1:2-4). He may use trials to lead them in another direction, or draw the girls closer to Himself. I may never know the reason for some things that will happen to the girls until Heaven. But because God is good, I can rest in His promises.

One valuable result of my youngest girl's little trial is that everyone was very impressed with the way she handled the situation. The best way I can describe it is that she was a stalwart little soldier. [This is not meant to belittle the severity of the situations that our real troops face in any way, btw.] She was obviously disappointed, but didn't cry or throw a fit. She just bravely endured the whole situation. The director of the evening called her the "hero of the night". Little Gal herself seems to be completely over her disappointment...she was even singing "I'm Just a Flag-Wavin' American" with her sisters this morning, a huge grin on her face. (I, on the other hand, will probably never be able to listen to that song again without thinking of last night!)

I am so proud of my girl, and can only pray that I will remember this little lesson as the girls grow and face new challenges through each period of their life.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Doll Comparison: Mia St. Clair (aka Charlie) and My AG #37 (plus more pics of Piper) :D

Hi guys!  Sorry it's been a while since I've posted anything.  My wisdom teeth removal actually went really well with few complications.  Even so, I still have 4 giant holes in the back of my mouth, and recovery just takes some time.  Thanks for being so patient. :)

I'll be leaving on vacation next week.  We'll take off on Wednesday, June 1st, and head back on Sunday the 5th.  Naturally, you guys won't be hearing much from me during that time.  But I'm bringing my camera and planning on bringing at least one doll with me, so I'll have lots of fun pics to share when I come back. :)

I thought I'd try to do at least one post on each blog today since I'll be gone next week.  This doll comparison post is one I've had on the back burner for a while and just never got around to.

So, without further ado, here is a comparison between Girl of the Year from 2008, Mia St. Clair (known as Charlie in my house) ;)  and My AG #37.

As you can see the two are very similar.  Their hair seems to be the exact same shade, at least to me. :)  Their skin tones also match perfectly (not that you can tell from some of my pics...once again, my camera is changing doll skin tones on me!).  Mia's hair is longer, and her part is on the opposite side.

Lovely Mia, aka Charlie.

My AG #37, aka Janie (my mom's doll).

Here's a top view of their parts.  Charlie's is on the left and is a zig-zag part, while Janie's is on the right and is a straight part.


Here are close-ups of their faces.  Sorry the lighting is so different on Janie's.  In reality, their skin tone and hair is nearly identical.  As you can see from the pics, Charlie has hazel eyes and lighter freckles and eyebrows.  Janie's freckles and eyebrows are darker, and her freckles have a different pattern.  She also has regular dark green eyes instead of hazel.

Profile shots. :)

Two beautiful gals!

Back view, showing the difference in their hair length.

So as you can see, My AG #37 would be a doable substitute for a Mia, as long as you didn't mind the differing hair length.  I still prefer Mia over #37, but both are beautiful dolls.

By the way, as I was uploading the pics for this post, I realized that I'd never shared the pics I took of Piper and her sisters.  So as an added bonus, here are some pics of Emma, Piper, and Charlie all together (and some shots of Piper by herself, too). :)  Those of you who follow Tess and Maggie's Blog will probably recognize a few of these pics from Piper's introductory post.

Sweet Sisters!

Lovely Piper: 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Amazing American Girl Craigslist Finds that could be YOURS!!! :D


Okay, folks, here's the post I mentioned earlier.  Last week, while perusing through my local Craigslist, I came across a great selection of Pre-Mattel AG stuff being sold in 4 different lots.  They were way out of my price range, but it was so exciting to see that much amazing stuff near my hometown, I couldn't resist calling the seller.  I asked if she'd mind if I came over and just looked at the dolls, but as she was preparing to move, they were already all boxed up, ready to go out the door with a buyer or be shipped to an out of town buyer.  We had a really fun chat about AGs and our doll interests.  When I heard she was willing to ship, I offered to do a post about her stuff on my blog.  She thought that was a great idea, and sent me all of her pictures she'd taken and her complete inventory list.

A couple of the pictures are a little blurry, but most of them are nice and clear.  All of them should give you a nice idea of what she has available.

NOTE:  I have not seen the dolls in person.  From the pictures they appear to be in excellent, hardly played-with condition.  The seller also confirmed that the dolls are from a smoke-free home.  She has a dog, but the dolls have been stored in containers with cedar chips, so they don't have pet hair on them. ;)  As I haven't personally seen the dolls, I can't answer any detailed questions.  If you're interested in anything, you can contact the seller directly (I've included her email address below) and ask her any questions that are important to you.

 If I had a little more extra money on hand right now, I would swoop this stuff up!  :)  I figured if nothing else, you would all enjoy seeing such a great collection of American Girl stuff from the past! :)

Here is what she has to offer:

   R = retired
   A = archived 2008

American Girl of Today Collection: Long Brown Hair / Brown Eyes- $170  SOLD!!

Clothes: all Clothing is retired and in excellent condition
     -Today’s Girl Outfit I: Pink Leggings and Tee Shirt, White Shirt, Denim Vest and Hat, Shoulder bag, Black flats / R
     -Jacket / Cap / Blue Jeans Basics: Black high top tennis shoes, yellow socks, black belt, red tee shirt / R
     -Ballet Outfit I: Pink, Tiara, Wand, Slippers, Stockings and Angel Wings / R
*Girls Matching Denim Hat one size fits all / R

Accessories: all accessories are retired and in excellent condition
     -Yellow Bunk Bed with ladder, mattresses and pillows / R
     -Sleep Sack / R
     -Grin Pin Banner with pins included / R


Felicity Doll Collection / Retired- $150  SOLD!!!

     -Riding Habit and Hat / R
     -Rose Garden Gown and Ribbon /R

Felicity's Accessories: Cap, purse, coin, hanky, beads and garter ties

Addy Doll Collection- $125  SOLD!!!

Clothes (not pictured):
     -Winter Coat
     -Tartan Plaid Dress

     -Addy's Accessories: Straw hat, napsack, shell necklace
     -Tin Pail Lunch / R (not pictured)
     -Needlework Kit: Needle book, hoop, apron, make-believe kerosene lamp / R (not pictured)
     -Shoes and Socks (black, beige, white)

Samantha Doll / R and Lot $550 SOLD!!!

Samantha is a retired WHITE BODY doll...just beautiful!!

Doll Travel Set / R [Included with purchase of Samantha]

Rattan Basket with ruffled cover

Garment Bag with Hanger

Ditty bag includes: hair-rollers, hairbrush, doll sized towel, washcloth and doll cleansing powder

     -Lacy Pinafore Dress and Rosebud Circlet / A
     -Flannel School Dress / A
     -Tea Outfit / R
     -Play Dress with Hair Ribbon / R
     -Cranberry Party Dress / A
     -Winter Outfit: Plaid Cape & Gaiters / A
     -Kimono and slipper / A
     -Nightgown / A
     -Lacy Whites / A

     -Samantha’s Accessories: Hat / purse / coin / handkerchief/ A
     -White Fur Cap and Muff / A
     -Victorian Valise / R
     -Samantha’s Doll I / R
     -Party slippers / A
     -Christmas Music Box / A
     -Victorian Lemonade Set / A
     -Hair Ribbons / A
     -Party Treats / A

Bed with white comforter and pillow/ A

Travel Trunk with mirror (bonus of plastic AG hangers) / A

Commode / A

Wicker Table and Chairs with cushions / A

Bonus when you buy Samantha’s Collection:

Molly’s Evergreen Velvet Dress I (retired) and Rain Slicker and Hat

Here are some pictures of this amazing lot:

Sam in her meet outfit and accessories (in white socks instead of her original black tights)

Sam's white body

Back view

And here's all her stuff!!! 

Sorry...Blogger decided to upload this and the picture of Sam's clothes sideways! :}

If anyone is interested in purchasing any of the items, you can contact the seller directly at kimmillerkrm@gmail.com.  She accepts Paypal or money orders.  The buyer is to pay actual shipping, which will vary depending on your location.

Wow, I feel like I just browsed through an American Girl history museum or something! :)  Whoever ends up with this stuff will have one amazing collection! :D

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Karito Kids Sale at zulily.com

 Hey, just wanted to post really quickly for those of you interested in Karito Kids dolls.  On zulily.com they have a sale going on Karito Kids dolls and outfits.  The sale only lasts until Friday the 20th.  They have KK dolls for $50 each (plus shipping), KK books for $6 (plus shipping), and KK outfits for $10 (plus shipping). 

I went ahead and ordered an extra outfit for my Pita doll.  With shipping, it worked out to $15.95.  I'm not sure how much the shipping is for a doll, since I didn't order one. 

The dolls available are Piper, Wan Ling, Gia, Pita, Zoe, and Lulu.  They all appear to be in their second series of meet outfits.  They also have copies of the books for each of the dolls, if you just want the books.  I've never read them myself, so I can't say whether they are well-written or not.  If you buy a doll, the book comes with her.

The outfits they have available at the present time are the "Pretty Paisley" dress and sandals and the "Flower Power" dress and sandals (this is the one I ordered!).  If you want to pay $18 plus shipping instead of $10, they have Piper and Wan Ling's meet outfits available.

Hope you get a chance to check everything out! :)   Here are some samples of the available goodies:

Gia and book

"Flower Power" 

Wan Ling's meet outfit  
Pita's book

If you're interested, then hurry!! The sale is only until Friday, May 20th, or while supplies last.  One of the outfits was already sold out by the time I got there.  Thanks to the lovely folks at AG Playthings for giving me this tip! :D

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Few More Updates

Hey guys!  Just a quick post.  I know I promised a post about a great bunch of AG Craigslist goodies.  That post is on its way.  I haven't posted yet because I want to make sure the seller and I are on the same page as far as how I post things.  As soon as I get everything figured out, I'll get the post up.  Hopefully, I'll be able to publish it sometime this week.

Also, Emma did a short introductory post about her new sister Piper HERE on "Jane Austen and Unicorns" (Tess and Maggie's blog).  She wanted me to mention that so you could all go check it out. ;)  And for those of you who are getting concerned, don't worry.  Tess and Maggie will be contributing to their blog again soon.  A lot of the recent posts have been more appropriate for Emma to do since they relate to things happening in her family. :)

I guess that's about it, aside from thanking everyone who has been so kind to comment and follow.  I'm up to 68 followers now, which means only 32 more followers before I reach my goal of 100! :D  Thanks to all of you who make my blogging experience so fun and rewarding. :)

Until next time! :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Some Random Updates

So, did anyone else try not to panic when Blogger was down this week?  I was just struck with this thought:  What if everything I'd done on my blog was lost in cyberspace somewhere?  I felt almost sick just thinking about all of the time and energy I've devoted to my 3 blogs being gone in one afternoon. 

Now before you think I'm being way over-dramatic, I realize the situation wasn't that dire this time.  It was a good reminder, though, that the disadvantage to this digital age is that our creative works are susceptible to being wiped out with no trace left.  Yikes...that's a horrendous thought! :{

Along that line, does anyone have some sort of "back-up plan" for their blogs?  Do you print your pages every once in a while?  Do you use the "Blog to Book" option?  Do you just type away and not give it a second thought?  Do you think I'm over-thinking this?  Just curious what everyone does.

Well, moving right along.  I have some random updates and things to share with you. WARNING:  Prepare yourself for a very long, picture heavy post!!!  Hmm, come to think of it, what other types of posts do I do? ;)

 First off, I'd had several wonderful thrift store and regular store finds lately that I'd love to share with you.   (I know, I know, AlexAndrea...I said I wasn't going to be buying anything else for a while!  I really did well...for about a week or so.  Sorry!)

Here are a couple of things I found for Maggie's collection for a few bucks:

A bone China lion that reminds me of the old illustrations of Aslan...

...and a cute little pewter unicorn. :)

At the same store I found the lion, they had a sale on all of their Easter stuff.  I just couldn't resist this cute little stuffed lamb:

Isn't she adorable?  She's really soft, too.

I found this Ben & Jerry's ice cream container when I was in the freezer section trying to find a dessert that I could work into my Weight Watcher's points that still tasted good.  This wasn't the greatest choice for me (it tasted great but used to many points for the amount of ice cream I got), but I thought it would be fun to use it for the dolls.  It's not quite the right size (they bought a BIG tub of Ben & Jerry's!), ;) but still fun. 

When I was in Salvation Army, I saw this really nifty little key chain behind the glass display at the counter.  I thought the jewels looked like the breastplate worn by the Old Testament Jewish priests, and I could tell that there was something inside.   

 The detail on the front.

Imagine my excitement when I looked and found out there was a mini New Testament inside!  [Kind of ironic...I was expecting the Old Testament, or something like it, since the outside cover was from the Old Testament.]  I realized it was just the right size to be a little pocket New Testament for my dolls.  When I first saw it, I thought it might be some sort of souvenir from Israel.  When I took the price tag off, though, I saw "TBN" on the back (for Trinity Broadcasting Network, a Christian TV station with a wide array of denominational beliefs.  Some of the stuff is great, some of it...not so much.).  Oh well, it's still a pretty cool little item. :)

What's even cooler is that it actually has the entire New Testament printed inside...I think.  I can't exactly read print that small. ;)

Of course, the best Thrift Store day I had happened a couple of Mondays back! :)  My mom was really sweet and let me have some shopping time without kiddos. I had to mail a package at the Post Office and had some other errands I was planning. As I left the Post Office, I thought...hmm...Salvation Army is right here. Maybe I should just pop in really quick. I'm sooo glad I did! :)

When I got to the toy section, the first thing I saw was a brown eyed Bitty Baby. She was in a really cute lavender snowsuit with AG tags. She was in pretty rough shape, but nothing a little Magic Eraser and Oxy treatment couldn't fix. She did also have the slight beginnings of silver eye, but not enough to look creepy or anything. I snatched her up quickly. I didn't see a price, but figured at Salvation Army it should be in my price range.

I figured I should check the rest of the stuffed animal and doll bin that the Bitty was lying on top of, just in case. A few layers down, I saw a little white shoe on a foot. I pulled it out, fully expecting to see a cheapo doll...and pulled out instead a blonde haired, blue eyed Bitty Baby in AG Bitty Baby clothes!! This one was marked. The price? $2.50!!! This one was in even better shape than the first, and had beautiful blonde eyelashes. They weren't tagged, so I wasn't sure if they were Pleasant Company or Mattel, but I was so excited I didn't care! :)  After looking them over and doing more research, I'm pretty sure they're Pre-Mattel.

Last year, I found the Asian Bitty at a flea market for just 25 cents. I used it as a Potty Training reward for my youngest daughter. Now my two older girls have Bittys, too! They are very happy with their new dollies. :)

Bitty #1

Beginnings of silver eye.

Full body view.

This baby's previous owner decided to give her nipples and a belly button.  I haven't removed these yet.  I was thinking of trying one of those Tide pens and seeing if that does the trick.

Her head had some pretty major rub marks.  I haven't fixed these yet, either.  I learned from one of stephenswodadancer's vids on Youtube that using a magic eraser on a Bitty's head just removes more paint, so I can't fix it that way.  Eventually, I may try to repaint her head.  For now, my daughter enjoys her just like she is. :)

Baby Polly's face after clean up. :)  (The name was chosen by my daughter.)

Bitty #2

A few pen marks on the body, but not as bad as Bitty #1.

She had worse marks elsewhere, though, like this big green marker stain on her shoulder...

...and this, um, rather nasty looking stain on her bottom.  I'm hoping a Tide pen will solve this issue, too! :}

She also had rub marks on her head, but they don't show up as much, since she's blonde. 

Here's the first part I saw of her in the stuffed animal bin.  Isn't that a cute shoe? 

Baby Jessica, all cleaned up! (My oldest daughter's name choice) :)

Full body view.

As if this wasn't awesome enough, later that day, my mom and I went to pick up my oldest from school. We had my other two girls with us, too, and they really wanted to go somewhere before heading back home. Mom turned to me and teased, "Should we see if your luck holds out and check the other Salvation Army?"

I laughed, but thought we should go, as it was one of the girls' favorite stops. We went inside and headed back to the toy section (the girls' favorite part of the store).

Suddenly, I was practically hyperventilating. We were halfway to the toys when I spotted an AG Lindsey doll in her original meet outfit!!!! I managed to spit out, "Mom, it's Lindsey...there's a Lindsey right there!!"

It took my mom a minute to figure out what I was talking about, but once she did, she got over there and swooped her up. She's a definite fixer-upper, with loose limbs and wild hair. Like I said before, though, she has her complete meet outfit, minus her shoes, undies and barrette, and she even has the body tag that says "Made in China for American Gril" (instead of American Girl), which I've heard is rarer.

Lindsey is (hopefully) going to help me reimburse myself (and hubby) for my purchase of Piper! :)  She's currently listed on AG Playthings...so we'll see what happens.  I had her listed on eBay and had a horrible situation where a buyer purchased her using "Buy it Now", but then failed to pay or contact me until I mentioned having to file an unpaid item case.  What a mess!!  I decided to forget eBay on Lindsey and try listing her on AG Playthings.  If she doesn't sell, I may try eBay again.  We'll see.

Anyway, here are the pics! :)

This is how Lindsey looked when we first found her.

She was in her original meet outfit (I found out later that the gray socks were not an original part of the outfit).

Lindsey's tag.

Yucky stuff on her face that came right off with a Magic Eraser.

Lindsey's extremely loose limbs.

More stuff on her arms that came up with a Magic Eraser.

Here she is, all cleaned up! :)

I couldn't get rid of the worst rub mark, but most of the other stuff came up very nicely.

Lindsey's sweet face. :)

Her hair still has a lot of the original curl in it. :)

There were still a few light yellow marks on her arms and neck that didn't come up very well.

For those of you who don't know, Lindsey was the first of the limited edition "Girl of the Year" dolls made by American Girl.  She was released in 2002 and retired in 2003.  She is very rare and a very sought after doll for AG collectors.  While she's cute, she's never been at the top of my wish list, which is why I'm hoping I can use her to pay for Piper. :)


Here are some fun little items that my mom picked up for me.  Her doll radar has definitely been switched on, too. :)  Now she's constantly finding doll-sized items that work for our dolls.  It's so much fun! :)  I decided to use Piper as my model, since you haven't seen her yet! :) 

Mom found this cute little tabletop easel and canvas and mini paint set when she was out and about.  It's the perfect size for dolls! :)

At Walmart, she found this cute mini "Woolly Willy".  Piper had fun trying it out.


Next, I just wanted to let those of you know who are interested in Barbie stuff that I have several Barbie auctions on eBay right now.  Feel free to check them out, if you're interested.  You can get to my eBay world page HERE.

Okay, what else?  Oh, yes.  For those of you who have a Costco in town, you might want to check out these great gift sets they're offering right now.  For $15, you get an American Girl paper doll set and activity book.  At my Costco, they had Rebecca, Molly, Julie, and Kit sets.  Sorry, I won't be showing you the inside of this, because I basically bought it to get a pic for the blog and I'm planning on returning it.  Why, do you ask?  Because personally, I'd rather spend the money on actual doll stuff.  Plus, paper dolls don't survive very long in our house.  My daughters (especially my youngest) are still pretty rough with them (it's hard playing with all of those fragile paper pieces without ripping something). ;)  

Front view

Ana paper doll in the "Sneak Peek" part of the front of the box.

Back view

The back of the box shows pages from the activity book so you can get an idea of what's inside.

It also shows the things included in the paper doll set.


I realized that I never posted pics of Piper when she arrived!  You already got to enjoy pics of her above, but here are some more: 

What could be in the box?

It's Piper! :)

Her body was in great shape:  no rips, tight limbs, the whole nine yards.  Her hair was a bit wild (I think being wrapped in a plastic bag didn't help...her hair was full of static!).  After I brushed it, it looked better, but there were a lot of pieces I had to trim.

She had a few marks that came off easily with Magic Eraser.

This ink mark didn't come off.  I might work on it more later, but it is in a really unnoticeable place, so I'm not too concerned.

Leg marks that came off easily.

Pretty Piper! :D

My mom bought two more dolls off of eBay.  Her My AG #37, which she named Janie, arrived on the same day as Piper.  So of course, we had to take a picture! :)  Mom's other doll, a TLC Kaya, arrived the next day.

Piper and Janie :)

 I am currently working on Piper's introductory post on Tess and Maggie's blog, so I'll give you a "head's up" when I have that posted.  I'm also working on developments in my "Belle's Bulletins" page on the same blog.  I'm hoping to have another post on that by the end of the month.


I will be posting, either today or tomorrow, another post on this blog showcasing some amazing AG finds I discovered on my local Craigslist.  I can't afford the prices at this time, but as the seller is very friendly and willing to ship, I thought I'd let you all know about it in case you have more to spare in your budget than I do at the present time. :)  

Things will be a bit crazy in the next few weeks, so my posts may be rather few and far between.  My oldest daughter has her last week of school next week, which involves lots of time in the car since she has all half days.  

Then, on the 23rd, I get to have all 4 wisdom teeth pulled (oh joy), so I'm assuming I won't feel like doing much of anything but sleeping for a while after that.  And the following week, my family and I will be leaving for a vacation to the West coast.  

All that to say, I'll post as often as I can, but things may be a bit sparse for a while.  :)