Wednesday, September 5, 2012

American Girl Fever

A while back I got Barbie Fever, after thinking it could never happen to me. Now I have American Girl Fever, again after never thinking it could happen to me. It just goes to show: Never say never!

It started a few weeks ago when I found a Josefina American Girl doll at work, complete with her clothing (except for her shoes). I knew Auntie Berman liked her and had the Mini American Girl version of her. So I called her and asked if I should get her and of course the upshot was that I should. I think I got her for $1.50. Auntie Berman named her Mendoza, after the heroine of books by Kage Baker. I keep accidentally calling her Mendez.

But I like going barefoot.
The next day we had to go out thrifting and at a small shop, sitting on the bottom shelf of a bookcase, was a Kirsten doll! Auntie Berman used to have a Kirsten and I quickly talked her into getting her (for $1.00). Her legs were a bit floppy and her hair had been cut. I kept looking at her and thinking how pretty she was and decided that I, too, wanted an American Girl. So then we had to go to several more stores but couldn't find any AG dolls. The next day Auntie Berman went on an expedition of her own to try and find one, but with no luck.

My birthday was approaching and Auntie Berman, after realizing the futility of finding an AG at such short notice (and possibly realizing how daunting it would be to adopt two girls at once), made the sacrifice and decided to give me the Kirsten doll. When she first got the Kirsten, she had immediately sent off to ebay for a lovely pink dress with pinafore for her. Then, under the pretext of going to see a neighbor who was moving, she took the doll and went to her hairdresser, who trimmed dolly's hair, put it up in rollers, and fastened a lovely flowered barrette in her hair where the hair-chopping could not be fixed. And the hairdresser didn't charge her a thing, since it was such a fun project.

Look at my hair!
While I was at work, Auntie Berman came over and put the dolly on the shelf with my other dolls (not easy, she said--there was hardly room). Then she waited. I came home and went into my room a couple of times but simply did not see her. Auntie Berman had to suffer all evening, waiting for me to find her. At last, when I went to bed around midnight, I saw her! I was overwhelmed with her cuteness but it was so late I didn't call Auntie Berman. When I woke up in the morning I was again delighted, but I didn't know for sure if she was mine. I thought maybe Auntie Berman had just set her there to remind me that we were going to restring her legs. Auntie Berman said indignantly that she would never be so mean.

Best friends

Now I had to think of a name. Of course it had to be Scandinavian, since AG Kirsten is Swedish. When we were in junior high, we had a Norwegian PE teacher named Miss Skaarstad. She was called Sonny by her peers. A little googling revealed that her first name is actually Søgnhild, so that is what I named my dolly and we are calling her Sunny (because I like that better than Sonny). However, we still don't know exactly how to pronounce Søgnhild and if I ever have to yell at her, I won't quite know what to say.

(In case you are wondering what ever happened to Sunshine, the relentlessly cheerful doll, well, she had a leg operation that was not a success and she has gone to that great Dollhouse in the Sky.)

Now for the operation. I found instructions here. We assembled the parts and began. First we untied her neck strings and removed her head.

Then I pulled out all her stuffing. There was a lot.

We did not want to totally remove all her parts and use new elastic, so we decided to put the brass inserts over the ferules that were already there and then crimp them. They were very hard to crimp. I had to wait until HLP came home and have him do it. I wanted to tighten up her arms, too, so I used zip ties (an idea we got from another website) as inserts on her arm elastic. Then I restuffed her and tied her neck back on.

In the Recovery Room
Unfortunately I didn't tie her neck tie tightly enough and as I was picking her up to show Auntie Berman, her head fell off, which was a bit unnerving. Auntie Berman retied it for me.

Able to sit up and take nourishment
Mendoza and I can have a tea party!
I forgot to mention Auntie Berman's doll Delilah. She is a Fancy Nancy doll I found several months ago at my store. She had her original outfit on too.

Delilah in her butterfly dress and polka dot pants
Now we are all exhausted, but happy.


  1. I can see the operation on Sunny was a success. You were very brave taking her apart. I think the haidresser did a good job. I love the photo of Sunny under her blanket post-op. I too am starting to think those AG dolls are cute and would'nt mind one. Auntie Berman was a dear to give you Sunny. Happy Birthday!

  2. Thanks! I am still enchanted with Sunny. If I hadn't managed to fix her, I think I would have had to send her to the AG Hospital. These dolls are much cuter in person than in the photos or AG catalogs. You might have to go on eBay . . .

  3. Sorry to hear the relentlessly cheerful doll has left us, I bet she was smiling to the end!

    You have some incredible luck finding the dolls that you do, what amazing prices you paid for the AG girls. Loved the story and pictures of the operation. And her hairdo is great.

    Love your Auntie Berman's Fancy Nancy doll, really cute!

  4. I made Auntie Berman put Sunshine in the garbage can. I couldn't bear to do it myself. When my small dogs died (two different occasions), she had to come over and remove the bodies from my bed. She is very handy to have around.

    The Fancy Nancy was truly a wonderful find.