For the twins' 7th birthday (which is this coming Sunday), we promised them a trip to the American Girl store in New York City to pick out their American Girls dolls. Since hubby wasn't real interested in taking off work to spend a day at a doll store, and I wasn't ready to attempt NYC alone with all 3 girls, we invited Mama & Papa along. We drove up to Newark, then took the PATH train into the city & the subway to the store.
Note to self: do NOT go into NYC on St. Patricks Day! There was a huge parade right in front of the AG store, so we had to walk several extra blocks to get to it, but once we got there, the girls had a BLAST!! They'd already decided which dolls they wanted, A1 got "Kit" and A2 got "Josefina".
What they didn't know until we got there was that they also had spending money from all the grandparents to get accessories to go with their dolls. After much deliberation A1 got Josefina's weaving loom (even though she got Kit, she loves weaving so wanted the weaving loom) and Kit's bed. A2 got Josefina's oven and baking set (which she'd been saving her allowance for), her bed, and her doll.
When we first got to the store we stopped at the bathroom and a woman who worked at the store happened to come in and stopped to talk to Little Bit and A1 (A2 was in a stall). Later we saw her again and she was understandably shocked to see that there were "2 of you" when she saw A2 with A1. Then after we bought everything, we'd stopped at a bench to get the dolls out for the girls to bring with us to tea, and then check everything else at the coat check. The same woman happened to come by and stopped to talk to us again. She ended up spending more than half an hour with the girls, explaining to them how to take care of their dolls' hair & skin, and just talking to them. She found out we were there for their birthdays, and went and got them birthday stickers, doll-sized shopping bags (that are SOO CUTE!!), bookmarks, and some, no longer available paperdolls for their respective dolls. As she left, she gave me her business card, she's a personal shopper for the AG store, and had done an EXCELLENT job, even if we hadn't arranged for it, hee hee.
Next we went to the Cafe for an American Girl Tea. It was SO cute!! They had seats that clipped onto the table for the dolls, and insisted on bringing a Bitty Baby "loaner doll" for Little Bit too, even though she was too young to care, and just meant one more thing to keep her from grabbing, hee hee. They also brought tea cups and plates for the dolls, accomodated our being vegetarian, and were generally wonderful! The food was good too :o)
By the time we finished tea, my Dad wasn't feeling good (we later found out it was a kidney stone), so we had the challenge of figuring out how to get all of us and all the doll stuff back to the car when Dad could barely walk. I'm sure we made quite the picture, I had the diaper bag on my back (this is why I like a diaper bag that can be a backpack or a shoulder bag!) Little Bit in the wrap in a front carry, was carrying one huge shopping bag, and had A2 with me. I'd brought along a couple reusable shopping bags in case they were helpful in carrying stuff home, so we put some of the smaller items in one of those and A2 carried that the whole way. Mom was carrying 2 more huge shopping bags and A1 was "helping" her carry one of them, which I'm not sure was much help but at least kept A1 with us when we didn't have a hand to hold. And we made it! The girls were AWESOME about helping and following instructions and keeping up.
As we were driving home (Dad was in enough pain that I drove, you KNOW my dad's not feeling good if he lets someone else drive LOL), Dad decided he needed to go to the hospital, so I called hubby to meet us at the hospital (he was working late, was was literally next door to the hospital) so we could leave his car for my parents and he could ride home with us. And we left my parents at the ER. They were there all night, but eventually saw someone and confirmed that it was a kidney stone. So Mom & Dad were here an extra day or so, but got the kidney stone taken care of (hopefully, Dad's still having some pain, he has a follow-up appointment on Fri, when he'll be back up here for all 3 girls' birthday celebration (on Sabbath) anyway), and headed home.
So, things didn't go quite as planned, but the girls got their dolls and their tea party and their NYC experience LOL. I haven't downloaded pictures yet (and Little Bit is currently asleep on my lap) so I'll add pictures once I do, and I still need to get the pictures Dad took from him too.
The girls have been taking their dolls with them everywhere, were very sad when I suggested we NOT take the dolls, in teh rain, to the library yesterday LOL. And have rearranged their loft bed to make room for the dolls' beds, and such.