Rebecca’s Valentine Surprise

Talk about a crazy, messed up weekend.  The girls were supposed to be off from school on Friday and Monday, giving them a nice long weekend, but then we had a snowstorm along with horribly cold temperatures, so school was cancelled on Thursday as well.  Because of the cancellation on Thursday, Cassandra and Rebecca had to go to school on Friday morning for a meeting that was postponed.  It wouldn’t have been such a big deal, but it was for a program that they were participating in on Tuesday, eeek!  Luckily, Fiona also had to go to the meeting, so her mom picked the girls up and dropped them off at the school on her way to work, and another mom brought them home.  It is definitely nice having so many kids in our neighborhood that go to Kennedy.

The girls got home just before lunch.  They were chatting as they were walking in the house, so Rebecca was totally unprepared for what was going to greet her:

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“Hello little sis!!!  Happy Valentine’s Weekend!”

“OH MY GOSH!!!! Sophia, what are you doing here???”  Rebecca ran over to give Sophia a big hug.

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Rebecca’s sister Sophia had decided to come all the way from New York City to surprise her since her school had a long weekend too.  “I got on a bus at 4 in the morning so I could be sure to be here by lunch time.  You can imagine how surprised I was that you weren’t here, but the other girls told me what happened.”

“This is so cool,” replied Rebecca.  “When do you have to go back?”

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“I’ll leave late Monday afternoon, that way I can get back home Monday night late, but still get up to go to school the next morning.  I brought you another surprise…”  Sophia said as she handed Rebecca a box.

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“OOOOOOOooooo, blueberry muffins from D & S Marketplace, awesome!” exclaimed Rebecca.  “Yeah, I figured that would be easier to transport than a burger and fries from J G Melon!” laughed Sophia.  “Agreed!  I can have a couple of these for lunch.”

Sophia attends a performing arts school in New York City, she is a talented actress, dancer and singer.  “I thought you were supposed to have rehearsals all weekend for the play you are in” inquired Rebecca.  “Well, it’s turning into the Titanic,” chuckled Sophia.  “First they are having all kinds of trouble with the sets not working out, and then the director came down with a horrible case of laryngitis.  It’s a bit hard to direct a group of kids with no voice!  So she cancelled the rehearsals for the weekend.  I decided it was a perfect chance to come visit you and your friends!”

Rebecca was super excited to see Sophia, she is 15 and a fun big sister.  They miss each other tremendously, but little visits throughout the year and Skype help them stay in touch.

It was bitter cold all weekend, everyone pretty much stayed indoors.  So, what did they all do to keep occupied?

Here are Kit and Marie-Grace listening to music:

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I thought it sounded like they were dancing, but they stopped the minute I opened the door.

Abby and Zara came over, here’s Abby watching Torchwood with Cassandra.  Cassandra is trying to get her hooked.

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Here are Zara and Alya playing a heated game of Uno Spin with Rebecca, Sophia and Shivan all watching.  It was very suspenseful!

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The other girls in the neighborhood were away and didn’t get to meet Sophia.  Louisa was at her dad’s for the weekend and Kanani and Fiona went to Erie with Fiona’s parents to see her brother, plus they spent the weekend at an indoor waterpark there.  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Sophia was supposed to catch the bus back to New York City Monday afternoon.  Mother Nature had other ideas though.  A major snowstorm was moving in, and the weatherman was predicting much more snow than originally thought.  After a few phone calls to her parents, everyone decided it would probably be much safer for Sophia just to stay put until the next day.  It’s a good thing too:  we got 10 inches of snow!  School here was cancelled again.  So much for that program Cassandra and Rebecca went to the meeting for!  I’m sure all of the kids in the area were happy, what started out as a 4 day long weekend had turned into 6.

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It did finally warm up enough to go outside, so Rebecca and Sophia decided to go on a walk in the snow.  Sophia thought it was so pretty, the snow doesn’t end up quite as dirty and yucky looking here as it does in the city.  “I hear lots of birds singing” said Sophia.  “We are hoping it means that Punxatawney Phil’s prediction was right and we’ll have an early spring!” replied Rebecca.  They both decided it would be fun to climb up on the snow bank that was created from my husband shoveling the driveway.  “I hope I don’t fall off!” yelled Sophia.

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Later in the afternoon the snow had finally stopped, so we took Sophia to catch the bus back to New York City.  “I’m sure going to miss you sis,” said Rebecca.  “What would you think if I came here to stay over Easter break?” asked Sophia.  “I think it would be awesome!”  At the same time, both girls said “it’s a plan!”

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Hope everyone is having a nice day with family, friends and/or significant others.  MEGA cold here in Western PA, when we woke up the temperature was a big fat zero, yuck.  I guess I will bundle up when we go out to dinner!

I wanted to share this e-card that Evil Twin sent me.  I thought it was really cute and that it would appeal to so many fellow doll and AG fans.  I thought the teapot looked very similar to Samantha’s.  Be sure to watch clear to the end and don’t close the window right away, pay attention to what the fairy is doing, even after the music ends!

Click here to view card!



“You made me love you… (I didn’t want to do it)”

Argh.  Doggone American Girl and their so-so photography.  And these darned bloggers who get new dolls and do posts about them, with fantastic photos.  It makes it tough on a girl.  I hate it when I think I have my mind made up and then something goes and changes it all.  You know where this is going, don’t you?

If you remember, right after the New Year I had commented that I didn’t think I would be getting Lea.  I thought she was a pretty doll but she looked way too much like Rebecca.  Not long after that I read a post over at Lissie & Lilly where she showed the Lea doll that she had purchased.  It was a very interesting post, but the end made it particularly intriguing.  In the post she did a comparison of Rebecca, Kanani and Lea, and I was very surprised at how she looks like Rebecca, but not identical.  (By the way, she looks nothing like Kanani in my humble opinion!)  Then Jessica over at American Girl Fan did a whole photo shoot featuring Rebecca and Lea outside in the snow.  Oh dear.  And then I got this idea in my head, one of those nagging ones that won’t leave you alone…

Last year after I did our taxes, I “paid” myself out of the refund by getting Kit’s desk.  I had already done my rough draft on the current taxes and determined approximately how much we were getting back, then I asked my husband if he cared if I did the same thing this year.  I laughed when he said “I kind of figured that was coming!”  I guess after 31 years, he has me figured out. 🙂  At that point I hadn’t decided what I was getting yet though.  Then it happened.

I did my usual morning check two weeks ago to see if any new sale items were available on the American Girl website.  And my mouth dropped open.  FREE SHIPPING on everything in Lea’s collection as well as some special offers that would save additional cash.  (insert ominous music here)  It was all over.  I discovered the sale at 6:20 AM and by 6:45 I had my order confirmation.  Within a couple of hours I had my shipping confirmation, yay!  Now the wait was on!  (and then I e-mailed Xyra and Nonna, Xyra bought her too.  We’d had an ongoing conversation about her for about a week before this, I think the NSA is in cahoots with AG!)

Lea and her stuff arrived last week, she came right on schedule.  So, what did I get?

I got Lea’s Beach collection which included her, the swim set and the beach accessories.  With the discount offered and the free shipping, I couldn’t pass it up.  I was on the fence about both of these items, but at the price, I figured I could get them and if I hated them, flip them on Ebay.  And if I liked them, I’d saved $38 (not including the free shipping).  Cha-ching!  I have to admit that I was a little nervous about opening her though, originally I thought I’d like to go to the store to get her because I’ve seen a few with odd eyebrow placement.  However, with the free shipping, I was willing to take the chance.  Fortunately, I didn’t get an “evil” looking Lea.

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Here she is when she arrived.  Notice that white flap on the box lid?  Let me just say that this was a fantastic improvement over the Truly Me boxes, way easier to get open, it makes it slide out.  She was held into her box the same way as before, no changes there.  She does have some additional plastic covering her, more protection from shine marks I guess.

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Out of the box and hairnet removed–check out those eyes!!!  I absolutely love this eye color, it’s a completely different shade of hazel from previous dolls.  Truthfully, it’s probably more like my eyes than Rebecca.  I haven’t been this taken with doll eyes since Alya arrived, such a pretty shade, and they go so well with her hair.

I also got her hike outfit and the Bahia outfit, both were on my “want” list.  I’d seen a couple reviews and non-AG photos of them and decided to take the plunge.  Originally I was going to wait and see if they went on sale, but free shipping is a nasty temptress.  As you know, I’m SO not a fan of her meet dress (and it’s just as bad in person as I thought) so I barely had her out of the box and into her other outfit!

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I think this outfit looks terrific on her, it goes very well with her coloring.  I think one of the reasons I wanted this particular outfit is because the top reminds me of one I had when I was in 5th or 6th grade, one of my friends had it too.  We were in different grades, so once in a while we would plan to wear it on the same day so we matched, but no one would really notice.  Corny, huh?

One thing that impresses me right off the bat is her hair.  Not only is it a pretty color with a nice curl to it, but it doesn’t seem to hang in her eyes!  So many of my dolls with side parts (Alya, Louisa, Kit, Cassandra, Zara) have problems with their hair hanging over one (sometimes both) eyes, but her wig is constructed a little differently and it doesn’t.  I would like to see them do this more often, especially with dolls that have longer hair.

So, first things first–forget that she is Lea.  My Lea is now Sophia Rubin–Rebecca’s older sister!  No more Brazil, no more Missouri, New York City is her hometown now!  And Rebecca is super excited to see her sister, can’t you tell?  Sophia was named after her great great aunt Sophie, the sister of the original Rebecca.  She’s 15, and Rebecca really looks up to her.  Rebecca was also excited that she brought some of her clothing with her, she couldn’t wait to try it on.

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I especially liked this picture because it shows how much they look alike, but you can see how much difference there is in the eye color:

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Since I bought the package, I got the swimsuit set.  I was on the fence about it in the catalog, but I think it’s very pretty in person.

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I do have a couple of complaints though.  First off, the yellow/pink bottoms are made in such a way, where the seam is sits right on the butt seam of the doll, so it sticks out and gives her a bad case of lumpy butt!  You have to play with it a bit to get it to lay nicely.  But my bigger complaint is with the tags on the dolls.  HEY AMERICAN GIRL!  If you are going to insist on making midriff bearing swimsuits/clothing for the dolls, move the friggin’ tags!  I was able to tuck Rebecca’s in under the rash guard top enough so it’s not obvious, but with the swim suit, forget it.  It just loses something and was one of the reasons I was hesitant to purchase this set.  Fortunately I do have one or two dolls with the old style small tags that aren’t as obvious.

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I also got the beach set which I’m still not 100% sold on.  I’m still thinking on it.  It seems a bit on the clunky side to me, anyone else feel that way about it?  Just not sure at the moment.

One thing I’ve seen a lot of comments on with Lea is that they have changed the way the head is attached, they are trying the zip tie thing again.  I don’t have an issue with this, but I know some people do.  I think overall the heads will stay tight for a much longer time, and I did notice that her head was a little bit harder to turn than my other dolls.  I actually like not having to work around neck strings, and as far as customizations or doing repairs yourself, you can find zip ties at so many retail outlets.  It would just be a matter of removing a couple of stitches with a seam ripper and you’re in!

So much for not buying any dolls this year.  I tried, I really tried to resist her.  But, I have to admit that she is far prettier in person than the first photos I saw of her, and I’m very glad I decided to take the plunge.  Fortunately, they only have one more new doll (that I’m aware of) coming out this year.  Perhaps I won’t like Melody.  She won’t look anything like her book cover.  She will be unappealing.  Yeah, that’s the ticket.  The positive side to her is even if I do like her, I have a bit more than just a year to get her.  I guess we will wait and see…  (I need a bigger doll room!)