So last month, someone from The Ashton-Drake Galleries emailed me and asked if they could send me a doll from their company to review. I took a peek at the doll online and agreed to do the review - because there are few things in life that Lily loves more than her baby dolls. She may have 4,392 of them, but she is never one to turn down a new one, if offered :)
Shortly there after, a package arrived at our door ... and you would have thought the UPS guy just delivered a pony to The Rice Ranch. It was that exciting. One of the kids brought this ginormous box into the living room and announced that it was for Lily. She beamed as only she can beam, and then yelled, "OOOOOH, YES !" as if she had been expecting that package all week. She ran over to the couch and started assisting her siblings in opening the box... a few minutes later the kids handed Lily this doll, and I promise you, it was as if you just placed a live baby in her arms. SHE WAS IN HEAVEN.
For the record- this isn't the exact moment I just referred to. On the afternoon of the doll's arrival, Lily was still wearing wrinkly pajamas from the night before, her hair was a ratty mess, and she probably had eye boogers from that morning as well. Safe to say, it was not a Kodak moment. But it was still priceless.
And Lily was over the moon happy, eye boogers notwithstanding.
She immediately began undressing her new doll.... I have no idea why, but this seems to be some sort of rite of passage for all new baby dolls being placed in Lily's care. Maybe it's that maternal instinct that kicks in - just like every new mommy who is presented her baby, fresh from the womb: we want to count fingers and toes and make sure all body parts are accounted for. (At least I do, anyway. Even when I've known four out of eleven times what my baby's gender is ahead of time, I still have to rip off the blanket and see for myself ... just checkin', doc. Carry on.)
Anyhoot, Lily inspected that dollie within an inch of its life, and when she was done removing anything attached to her (diaper, hair bow, onesie) she proudly proclaimed her "CUUUUUUTE."
Five seconds later she was running across the house, baby in tow, to a corner where she could nurse discreetly. Little Mama wanted that bonding time dontcha know, and skin to skin contact to boot. She spent the rest of the day cuddling, shooshing, swaddling, diapering, feeding, and playing with her new baby, who - as far as I can tell - is named LaLa Baby. Same as all her other babies, just for simplicity sake, I'm sure.
I'm going to be honest here, since this is a review- I don't think Lily cared about the fact that this doll is meant to represent a newborn with Down syndrome. I didn't see her face light up in recognition at the slightly upturned eyes, or flattened nasal bridge. She didn't gasp in wonder at the sandal gap between her new doll's toes, or shriek in excitement at the single crease in her baby's palm.
But I WILL say that my other kids absolutely went ballistic at the sight of this doll's bent pinkie. For some reason they had never noticed Lily's crooked pinkie until a few days before... Abigail came running to me after getting Lily dressed one morning, asking if I had ever noticed how cute her pinkie was.... I told her yes, that was one of the first things I noticed when Lily was born, and I had loved it ever since. The fact that Lily's new baby had an equally adorable little finger was for some reason the funniest and coolest thing ever, as far as the rest of my kids go. But Lily didn't even notice it.
However - she is absolutely in love with this doll. She dotes on it, plays with it, changes its clothes (the dress she is wearing in the pictures is not the one she came with) and has not lost interest in her since the day she came into our home.
I think the thing she likes most about it, is its size - she is larger than most of Lily's other dolls, and "feels" as heavy as a real baby. She is very life-like, and posable, and her skin is super soft, just like their website states.
I really like the fact that a portion of the proceeds from this doll will benefit Down syndrome charities. I do have to say that I would not normally spend the amount she is sold for, on a doll... even if she is as cute and lifelike as A Special Joy Baby Doll. With eleven kids to buy toys for, we have more of a WalMart Baby Doll Budget .... but maybe I'm being a little too transparent here ?? (Where is the "YIKES" emoticon face when I need one on Blogger ?!)
But cost aside - this doll is extremely sweet. I would absolutely give her two thumbs up, and as far as Lily is concerned, she is a definite keeper.
The Ashton-Drake Galleries offers a wide variety of unique and collective dolls... visit them online today :)