The Best Part of the Mall of America

On Christmas day 1995, I got two things for Christmas that I remember distinctly: my American doll Kirsten, and the chicken pox. I bet you can guess which I was more thrilled about. 

I had wanted an American Doll for so long. I used to flip through the giant magazines that came to our house and long for a doll of my own. My best friend had Felicity, and so I decided I wanted her too. Then a few weeks before Christmas, I changed my mind. I decided it would be cooler to have a different one so that we could switch and play with each other’s dolls if we wanted to. So my mother had to return Felicity and get Kirsten for me, right before Christmas. Thank you, Mom, for being so patient with me as a child!

I have so many fond memories of playing with my dolls, both with my sister and best friend. I also read all of the books, for every single character. And POURED over the American Girl catalogue, even though my grandmother knew a lady who made American doll clothes that were better and cheaper than the ones you could buy from the catalogue. 

Anyway, I was sad to realize that Felicity, Kirsten and Samantha (who my sister had) have all been retired and now there are a bunch of new dolls that I didn’t recognize. 

I only recognize Addy and Molly...

And oh my goodness, the things you can do with your doll in that store. I am kicking myself for not taking more pictures. You can bring her to a doll hairdresser. You can sit with her at the café (special seats for the doll) and drink hot chocolate (hopefully the caffeinated drinks are for the parents) and nibble on cookies. You can browse for accessories, like musical instruments, pets, sports equipment, camping supplies, etc. 

Why not get a piano or guitar for your doll?

I have to admit, all of this brought to mind one of my favorite quotes from Modern Family, of course, said by Gloria when Lily’s fancy doll needs to go to the doll hospital:

“You know what a doll is in my village? An apple on a stick!”

Anyway, despite the over-the-topness of it all, it was fun to re-visit a part of my childhood. 



Abby throughout the years

We interrupt blogging about my trip to the U.S. for this important post. Everyone who sees pictures of me as a child says I haven’t changed at all. Chileans say I have cara de guagua (a babyface) and to that I say, thank you! Because even if it means that now I get confused for my students and people don’t take me as seriously, it means that when the rest of the people my age are getting wrinkly and grey, maybe I will still look younger than my years.

So what do you think, have I changed much over the years? Or am I just the same as when I was 8 years old?

11th grade, age 16. This was the shortest my hair ever was in high school. Also, I know, sit up straight!


9th grade, age 14. This is my personal favorite. I may or may not have worn that tank top so much that it disintegrated. I'm pretty sure it was from Delia's.

6th grade, age 11. This was the re-do picture, and it still came out awful. My hair was LONG (I hadn't cut it in years, but finally did mid-way through 7th grade).

5th grade, age 10. I used to hate this picture, but now I think it's cute, besides the fact that I look so pale.

4th grade, age 9. Growing up, this was always my favorite school picture, can't remember exactly why.

3rd grade, age 8. Awwww! I actually picked out that dress myself. Yes, it's a sailor's dress. I remember being stressed out because we had gym class the day of school pictures but I still wanted to wear that dress, so I brought a change of clothes. It was really hard to put the tights on by myself in the bathroom.