facebook pinterest twitter instagram

American Girl Doll Store ~ Quality One-on-One Time with My Children

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase. Learn more here.

I set a few lofty goals for myself this year and shared some of them on New Year’s Day. Another goal I have but didn’t share is to spend some quality one-on-one time with each of my children. All 4 kids are constantly clamoring for my attention and sometimes it really gets to me. I think it’s important that each of them enjoy some alone time with Mom, and so I decided that at the very least, one child gets to do something special with mom once a month. My oldest has it made, as we attend Mother/Daughter book club together once a month. And the youngest spends time alone with me from time to time too, but I think it’s least important for her because at this point, she gets the most attention anyhow. But I need to make a special effort to do something with #2 and #3. So in February, Ben and I will do something alone, and in March Cora and I will do something alone.

Anna and I enjoyed our alone time already – we went on a dream Mother/Daughter date. She’s been begging for an American Girl doll for a long time and I finally decided it was time for her to get one. We were supposed to have gone to the American Girl Doll store in Chicago before Christmas, but a variety of factors made that impossible. So, we went as a family to Chicago on New Year’s Eve, spent the night downtown, and Anna and I hit the road early on New Year’s Day for the official debut of the Girl of the Year Doll and so Anna could pick out the doll she’d like to have.


We were surpised on New Year’s Eve with camera boxes along Michigan Avenue and were able to have a fun family picture taken and emailed to us for free! I love it!

IMG_0115On New Year’s Day, Anna and I arrived at the store before they opened. It was a cold, one mile walk, but we were both pretty excited. It was the first time at the store for both of us. I have fond memories of going to the Steiff Animal Factory when I was a little bit older than Anna with my own mom and sister when we lived in Germany. I saved my money for a long time so I could buy animals there and I hope this will be an opportunity for Anna to save her own money a little bit better! {It also gives me something to tell grandmas that Anna would like for gifts… as I’m getting complaints that she is hard to shop for, hint…} Anyhow, we got to the mall before the store opened and stood in line for about 5 minutes. Then the door opened and everyone rushed inside to see Saige – doll of the year for 2013. Oh my! That store is something else. A little ridiculous if you asked me, but I do love their books and the educational value of a lot of their outfits and displays. I want to create memories and experiences my children will cherish and think this will be remembered for quite some time.

IMG_0114We looked all over the store and participated in some crafts. Anna learned how to draw a horse from an instructor from the Art Institute of Chicago. And I was amazed at the horse she drew! And she picked out her doll.

IMG_0113Surprise…she got Saige!

IMG_0112Hopefully, this will indeed be incentive to save money. She asked me to get her a sweater that was ONLY $12 with $50 purchase and I offered her a deal. I said that if she would agree to save her money, I would put that $12 toward the next trip so she could get something she’d rather have, like Saige’s horse. And she agreed immediately. I was very surprised.

IMG_0111All in all, it was a great morning with my oldest child. Very bonding and fun. Sometimes we just need to make these experiences happen. Now I’m trying to figure out what fun thing to do with my #2 child. Most likely we will head to one of the awesome museums we have around here and enjoy each other’s company. Our quality time will not focus on buying something expensive each time! But I did promise #2 and #3 that when both of them turn 8, they will get to do something like that, too. And that was good enough for now.

Do you make an effort to spend one-on-one time with your children? What do you do?


SimplifyLiveLove is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long time green living enthusiast and rural Iowa mom of four. An avid traveler, Michelle has lived on three different continents and has driven all four kids across the entire USA (by herself!). She loves sharing farm-to-table recipes, their family travel adventures, and gardening and homesteading tips on her popular lifestyle blog, SimplifyLiveLove.com.


  1. blankAmy says

    I don’t have any kids right now but even though my sisters and I are in our 20s our parents still try to do one on one stuff with us even if it running to the hardware store or grabbing lunch. We still enjoy it even if it something small. It is a good tradition to start!

    • blankMichelle says

      Thanks, Amy! I’m glad you still remember doing one-on-one things with your own parents. We had a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to doing something with #2. 🙂

  2. blankCara Ivey says

    Message for Anna….

    Anna. I am so very jealous of your trip to the American Girl Store! I remember when I was only your age and wanted an American Girl doll sooooo badly! I would go play with 2 very mean little girls down the road just because they each had a doll and the dolls COMPLETE set! I remember so clearly the older sister had Felicity and the younger had Samantha. I don’t think they sell Samantha anymore. I tried to look her up this last Chistmas and couldn’t find her. She was victorian with really fancy stuff and she was my favorite.
    I used to order the catalogs just so I could look through each dolls set and imagine having a set of my own.

    Now I sit here at 27 years old and I STILL wan tan American Girl Doll! How silly is that? I cross my fingrs every year that Ava, my 7 year old daughter, will get with the program and fall in love with these dolls too!!!

    I hope you are able to save save save and buy pieces of the Saige set over the next few years. What an amazing gift to recieve! I look forward to seeing pictures of you and your doll when you save up for her horse! Have fun girl! If I lived close enough both Ava and I would come over to play with your new doll! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *